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Making my own battery

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Old 09-30-2012, 03:39 PM
  #1
devil505
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Default Making my own battery

Instead of buying a Nimh battery, I am wondering how hard it is to make my own. I have an old 4.8v 4 cell AA battery I could use the cord off of and am able to get the same size batteries but Nimh. I am wondering how to attach the small pieces of metal that connect the ends of the batteries to each other. Is there a special glue or can I solder them, thanks
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

You can buy individual cells with the solder tabs already installed.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:34 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

I have a couple packs I made up with Eneloope batteries, they are nims that self discharge slowly so you can charge them today and next month they are still charged. I just went to radio shack and bought the plastic battery holders with the two wires already attached and solder on a plug. You can shrink wrap the batteries in or just use packing tape. The plastic holder does make the pack slightly larger.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:38 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

FWIW, a good commercially made pack has the tabs welded to the cells. That gives you a good electrical connection that is extremely durable. Soldered packs have been known to have their joints fail due to vibration, and of course if you aren't a skilled solderer there's always the worry about getting a bad joint that will fail. IMO, battery packs are just not a place to try to save money. You can't save much and still have the same quality, and a DIY job can put you in the dirt in a hurry. If money is tight and you don't mind investing time to save it, get wrecked airframes for cheap or free and repair them, ditto for gummy swap meet engines that still have good compression. That plus buying quality electronics and a good computerized charger so you can take proper care of your batteries can make the hobby remarkably inexpensive for you.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:09 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

I agree...NOBS Batteries sells the eneloope batteries wired and with a universal connector for about $25. Doesn't make much sense if you are a newcomer to soldering to save a few bucks.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:43 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

I solder custom servo extensions, custom harness and multiple Y chords for special needs all the time however I prefer not to solder flight packs when there are so many complete packs on the market now at reasonable prices.

Much rather be cuttin' wood.

John
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:11 AM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

I'm the same way. I'm confident in my ability to stick two wires together and shrink wrap them, so I make extensions and Y harnesses. It's worth the time it take to do that and save those dollars. I buy NiCd's from hangtimes whose prices are just about the same for a welded cell pack than what I can buy the cells for and solder up my own. Of course now I'm slowly switching over to LiFe so I buy the Hyperion packs.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:57 AM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

You also run the risk of killing the cells with too much heat from soldering. AA's are very sensitive to heat. Hangtimes +1 even for LiFe batteries.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:28 AM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

I've built many packs over the years, never had a solder joint come apart, but that was back when there wasn't as good a selection of high capacity packs as there is now. used to be if you wanted a 1200-1400 pack you paid through the nose or you built it yourself.

I just picked up some eneloop batteries at Costco,, I'm going to build Ignition packs with them,, I have 100% confidence in my skill to do it right.

But I will say this, Building a RX pack is not something you want to do if you have to ask how. Might want to experiment with soldering wire bracing for landing gear and other RC building tasks before you dive into build RX packs.

Good luck
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: JohnBuckner

I solder custom servo extensions, custom harness and multiple Y chords for special needs all the time however I prefer not to solder flight packs when there are so many complete packs on the market now at reasonable prices.

Much rather be cuttin' wood.

John
I have killed a cell soldering my own, that's why I use the plastic holders for the Eneloope packs. I only have the two packs I made up using the Eneloope's and I have battery Plus make up all my other packs, even my TX pack. By having them made up I get fresh batteries but they don't have the Eneloope's in stock. I buy those in the camera store and they have the nipples on the end. I'm thinking I should just buy a few packs of the Envelops and have Battery Plus solder them up for me and shrink wrap them. It just saves space compared to those plastic holders. Been using them for a couple years now without any problem though. I can even have the AAA packs made up for me at B+ if I'm looking to save weight and still need high capacity.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:09 AM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

you will need special tools to solder the tabs to your cells. A standard soldering iron will overheat and destroy the cell before you get a reliable connection.
Not worth the trouble. You can get a battery holder at Radio Shack or very cheap at Hobbyking.
They all work great, they have wires coming out, you just solder you leads with the plug on. Much safer then messing with the tabs.

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Old 10-01-2012, 11:29 AM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

When one can buy a 2300 mah 6v off the internet for $9.00, why would anyone go through that trouble and risk?  I bought a dozen of that internet auction site and they've been awesome.  Last forever, charge good and very affordable.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:46 AM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

Quote:
ORIGINAL: OliverJacob

you will need special tools to solder the tabs to your cells. A standard soldering iron will overheat and destroy the cell before you get a reliable connection.
Not worth the trouble. You can get a battery holder at Radio Shack or very cheap at Hobbyking.
They all work great, they have wires coming out, you just solder you leads with the plug on. Much safer then messing with the tabs.

Not true at all, I do it with a 40 watt iron all the time, RC car guys have been using regular soldering techniques to build packs for decades, now with Lipo use it's an art no longer being used
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:30 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

Oh I,ve made up plenty of packs tranny and Rx as well as other stuff in night lighting set ups however these days where ever possible I will use a good quality pack every time.

So don,t do much of that anymore except on rare special occassions such as one tranny pack its an Aurora low voltage system and I am making up a special internal/external saddle pack for an extended flight next month.

But I never recomend this to new folks who are just trying to save a buck or two by cobbling up whatever packs from radio shack or somewhere.

Some of the 'cobbled up packs' I have pulled from airplanes is, well it's scary to say the least. Makes one wonder how many 'Mystery crashs' we've all witnessed have been due to cobbled up packs.

On the matter of those battery holders in most cases the cheap plastic one do have two serious failure modes and I certainly have experianced both. The first is eventuallly the spring contacts will corrode and fail. Its only a matter of time and how soon. The second problem on some of the plastic types the corner were one of the springs is will eventually weaken from heat (The plastic itself). This corner plastic will then be pushed away by the spring weakening the contact and eventually becoming intermittant. Of course there goes your RF link.

To all who I mentor I suggest if those things are included with a radio that they are discarded and not used in favor of premade commercial packs. To my dismay I often see those things include in even some quality radio systems now.



John
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:20 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

I'll look at the two I have, they have been in use for over two years now. I'm the only one I know that has done it and using the plastic box. The fellow that assembles the packs at my local Batteries Plus is really good with making them up. I have never asked to watch him do it but I souuld just to see how he does it. I just assume he was using a low wattage soldering iron but really don't know. I was making up my own packs until I fried a cell. Easy to catch something like that if you always cycle your new packs. I'm about due to replace all of my old packs anyway and I think I will use all Eneloope from now on. I have really been happy with them.
Thanks for the warning John. I'll look into it and see if I spot any problem.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:56 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

We all bow down before you. Haha.
Whats your point?
Not true at all?
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:23 AM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

My point is you made a false statement, once again, guys have been building packs for decades with common tools, myself included. If that statement was your opinion, then parse it with the phrase "I think you will need bla bla bla" But please don't expect to make statements as if they are facts without being called on it when you're just plain wrong.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:53 AM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

With the cost of Life packs being so dirt cheap now, if you can wait a few weeks for shipping, that would be the better way to go. I have a Life in my one plane that has outlasted more expensive Nimh 5 cell packs per charge. I can fly for hours on the Life compared to maybe an hour on the Nimh of the same Mah ratings.  They are lighter too.  In fact I just got a 2500 mah 5C 2S Life for under $9.  http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=14077
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:32 AM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

If you read again - the op has no experience with this. He is asking about some sort of glue...maybe that sort of questioning tells you something.
So he obviously hasn't done this before. Yes, it can be done with a soldering iron, I can do it too. You are missing the point.

But for a beginner it will more then like be fatal to solder his battery packs.
This is a plane, not a car which just stops running when the battery fails.

If you do this in Europe, the insurance will decline coverage if your plane falls out of the sky because you poorly installed your radio or your homebuild battery failed.

Anyways - the cells many years ago where a lot easier to solder. Did you ever look at a newer battery pack?
The ones I have are spot welded - hard to break apart.

What is simply wrong here is to giv the op teh poor advice that it's ok to solder. Get a ready made pack or get a battery holder and be safe.

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Old 10-02-2012, 10:41 AM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

Is that what I did? Why don't you read my first post in this thread.
here I'll quote the key part of it for you

Quote:
But I will say this, Building a RX pack is not something you want to do if you have to ask how. Might want to experiment with soldering wire bracing for landing gear and other RC building tasks before you dive into build RX packs.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:03 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

I just made LI-Ion battery packs for my new 35% Extra and my older 50CC Yak.....easy to do, no problems and my Yak is at 4 weeks without a charge flying 2 or 3 flights a weekend. Still holds over 7 volts with a 1 amp load....down side to Li-ions is a voltage regulator or a power expander like a Smart Fly EQ-6
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:08 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

I've used a 40watt Wellar iron many times for soldering battery packs.... That's the easy part... getting enough practice and experience is what takes the time... not that any of it is difficult.. once you've done it a few times... the only way to get experience is to.. do it.... and sorry to say... there are no special tools that will get you experience.

No specialty tools required to build a battery pack though... only experience.. it seems some here have more of that then others doesn't it... we can only be our own judge though can't we.

Experience tells me anymore that with very decent battery packs available in many configurations.. at very reasonable prices.. I'll buy a RTF pack and be done with it. Theres not a whole lot of savings in building your own... matter of fact.. if you don't get it right and perfect... it could cost alot more then the price of a battery pack when said and done.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:36 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery


Quote:
ORIGINAL: JohnBuckner

But I never recomend this to new folks who are just trying to save a buck or two by cobbling up whatever packs from radio shack or somewhere.

Some of the 'cobbled up packs' I have pulled from airplanes is, well it's scary to say the least. Makes one wonder how many 'Mystery crashs' we've all witnessed have been due to cobbled up packs.


Would Ya Huh? This is the type of crap I run into all the time with fellows trying to save what? maybe a buck?


John
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:31 PM
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Default RE: Making my own battery

Whoever did that needs to be knocked upside the head and sent over to the buggy track.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: jester_s1

Whoever did that needs to be knocked upside the head and sent over to the buggy track.




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