RCU Review: Building Battery Packs


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    Contributed by: Paul Gentile | Published: May 2003 | Views: 72819 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    A How To column
    By Paul Gentile (Furyflyer2)


    Making your own Battery Packs

    Making battery packs can be fun and can save you money. Hobby Lobby sells a special jig that allows you to make your own soldered end-to-end battery packs. I recently needed a 3000 mh battery pack that could deliver high amps, so I decided to make my own battery pack with the cells soldered end-to-end to allow for the most current flow. Read on for a step-by-step assembly construction and be sure to check out the videos.

    Getting Started

    To get started you need to have the following:

    • Scotch-brite scrubbing pad or sand paper
    • 60/40 rosin core electronic solder
    • Corrosion free flux
    • Sponge (wet) for cleaning solder tip.
    • Soldering jig - I used the magnetic jig available through Hobby Lobby
    • Heat shrink to fit the assembled pack , 2-5/8"
    • Heat shrink to fit assembled stick, if used, 1-7/16"
    • Hot melt glue
    • 1 pair of end caps, if used
    • Small bench vise
    • "Extra hands" stand to hold wires and connectors while soldering them. The wooden one in the top left corner is good for connectors because it doesn't pull off the heat.
    • 13 gauge silicone wire
    • battery connection braid
    • battery connector ( use what is needed for the application)
    • hobby heat gun


    Assembly

    Step 1: To start you must prepare the cell ends. To accomplish this roughen up the ends to allow for the solder to adhere properly. This is done with sand paper, l00 grit will work fine. Once all the cells are roughened up, you can pre-tin them using a hot iron. Be careful to apply enough heat to allow the solder to flow but not too much heat which can damage the cells.

    Step 2: Now that all the cells are pre-tinned you can solder them together. Place a cell on the jig positive side up and place another cell on top negative side down, allowing enough space for the "T" tip. Using the tipped soldering iron place the one tip on the cell end and slide the other cell end to contact the "T" tip. See video by clicking image to the left for actual assembly of cells.

    Click on this picture to see a video of soldering the cells together.

    Click the picture to see the video of finishing up the battery pack assembly.

    Click the picture to see the heat shrink plastic applied to the pack

    Step :3 Once all the cell are soldered end to end, you can next place each assembed cell stick side by side. After making sure that one end has a positive and the other stick a negative end, you apply strapping tape to hold both cell strips together and you can run a bead of thick CA down the joint for extra strength.

    Step 4: Now that you have the cells together, you can solder a connecting strap to one end of the battery pack. Once that is done you can use a battery end cap to cap the ends of the battery.

    Step 5: The last step is to solder your battery wires on the other end and apply your other end cap. Once you have that done, just slide the battery through the heat shrink and using a hobby heat gun shrink it tight around the cells.

    IMPORTANT NOTES!


    One final thought... Make sure you solder the cells positive to negative. Don't apply too much heat to the cells and be sure to use adequate ventilation

    Making your own battery packs doesn't take much time at all. This technique can be used for almost any size battery. So give it a try. Visit Hobby Lobby at www.hobby-lobby.com for more information on their battery solder jig tool.

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