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Old 07-29-2008, 12:48 AM   #16
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I used to use flux years ago.. but after finding the right solder and iron combination.. and goopy flux mess in my pit box 2 summers in a row.. there was no real need for it..


45watt 900 degree iron and 60/40 Lead/Tin rosin core solder....

Spend more if you want...


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Old 07-29-2008, 06:11 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by d4man View Post
You've probably already ruined your batteries by not using an iron that was hot enough. Sorry.

When I built batteries, I used (1) 80 watt Weller bought from Lowe's and it worked perfectly.
This guy has it right! Every good battery builder uses the FAT 80 watt Weller. Theyre hard to find buy you'll know you've found it when you see it. Did I mention theyre FAT?
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:02 PM   #18
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Buy some acid flux too. That is what I use and it works great.
Acid flux will work, but I've had trouble with it causing corrosion of the copper wire on other projects (ie. not batteries) if not washed off. YMMV.

The 95/5 is a really high temp solder. 60/40 has a lower melting point, 63/37 is even lower. Get the lowest you can find without breaking the bank. On RC cars, if anything ever gets hot enough to melt the solder, you're probably better off anyway.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:12 PM   #19
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I use a $12 weller 40 watt iron with a somewhat blunted chisel and 60/40 solder for batteries. First; clean everything, next flux, then tin the surfaces you are going to solder, lastly put a bit of solder on iron tip then put sufaces together and hold iron on top.
I use this one and it rules for 13 bucks.... had mine over a year and a half..

I don't use flux, My joints rarely failed and if it did happen maybe once or twice on a motor. Never on a battery. Prolly cause i rushed.

Get the weller 40w, 80w has a huge tip and isn't neccesary.

Go for it OP !
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:12 PM   #20
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This guy has it right! Every good battery builder uses the FAT 80 watt Weller. Theyre hard to find buy you'll know you've found it when you see it. Did I mention theyre FAT?
I actually do not like that iron. Do not let wattage ratings fool you. The 40 watt weller hobby iron is actually hotter than the 80 watt one. It is fantastic for batteries or anything else for that matter.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:42 PM   #21
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Acid flux will work, but I've had trouble with it causing corrosion of the copper wire on other projects (ie. not batteries) if not washed off.
I think the trick is making sure to wash it off.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:53 PM   #22
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I have a 40w Weller too, theyre JUNK! Most people who think that they are just fine have never used a quality soldering station. I used to think I had pretty average soldering skills until I got a Hakko 936. Instantly my solder jobs starter to look much prettier and it took about 1/10 of the time because of the heat it puts out. I dont know if its been said yet, but the key is a LOT of heat for a LITTLE time period.
I find it SO odd that people are disagreeing with me about that 80w. Whoever the original poster is, do a Google search or search rctech for a proper battery building tutorial and you will find in about 2.5 seconds that the
80w Weller is THE STANDARD in battery building. Period.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:01 PM   #23
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This guy has it right! Every good battery builder uses the FAT 80 watt Weller. Theyre hard to find buy you'll know you've found it when you see it. Did I mention theyre FAT?
Yep,

I have been putting together packs for over 20 years and the 80watt weller is one of the best I have used and cheap to boot!!

When soldering batteries the most important thing is to do it very quickly so as not to overheat the cells. The large mass of the 80watt iron keeps the tip from cooling down to quick, I can make each joint in about 5 seconds. Even with that large tip I still let it warm back up for a minute or 2 between solder joints.

For everyday soldering the 40watt weller works great and can also solder packs, just not as quickly.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:05 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by jla8874 View Post
I have a 40w Weller too, theyre JUNK! Most people who think that they are just fine have never used a quality soldering station. I used to think I had pretty average soldering skills until I got a Hakko 936. Instantly my solder jobs starter to look much prettier and it took about 1/10 of the time because of the heat it puts out. I dont know if its been said yet, but the key is a LOT of heat for a LITTLE time period.
I find it SO odd that people are disagreeing with me about that 80w. Whoever the original poster is, do a Google search or search rctech for a proper battery building tutorial and you will find in about 2.5 seconds that the
80w Weller is THE STANDARD in battery building. Period.
The weller 40watt is the best low cost iron out there at $12-15

It may not last a long time, but it works very well as long as the tip isn't eaten up. The 80w is awesome for building nickel packs... and it's the only way to do end-to-end stick packs (with a hammer tip)

Obviously the Hakko is a great iron.... I'm sure everyone who has one loves it.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:20 PM   #25
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That you are right about, the Weller 40w is the best low cost iron to start out with. But if you start getting frustrated or its taking forever to get the job done, dont blame yourself too much because its probably mostly the irons fault. Also, if you're really going to be building a lot of nimh packs, actually,
THIS Hakko right here is the best there is for that. A bit pricey, but you get what you pay for!
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:35 PM   #26
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I find it extremely odd that people suggest an iron on the grounds it's "THE STANDARD in battery building" when in reality, unless someone's blowing up or replacing packs all the time or actually in the pack building business, battery pack building only comprises I would guess somewhere about 2% of any soldering most people do. Period.
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:53 PM   #27
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I was just going to ask someone for a link to this Hakko iron everybody is talking about... then I saw that someone did...

Dunno about most of you guys, but $120-$140 for an iron seems a little bit much. Never goofed a pack up with my $10 Craftsman 45watt....

If you got the ca$h to blow.. go for it! Sounds like it's a good iron.. just not something I personally need.

Have fun!

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Old 07-30-2008, 12:43 AM   #28
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I bought my Hakko directly from the source for $80 and they gave me free ground shipping (kind of funny, they probably could have driven it over from their facility since they're local)...you need only go here and order direct, they include the cool Upgrade RC skin of your choice (which is also around a $29 value I think).

Honestly, I tried soldering motor posts, Deans plugs and whatnot with the Radio Shack iron I originally had and it was an exercise in futility. The Hakko has been a revelation and has made it so much easier. If you can get a good soldering iron that does the job cheaper, by all means...but I couldn't be happier with the Hakko and it's something you only need to buy once.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:56 AM   #29
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Thanks for the link!

I found something interesting when I looked at the info on the iron!

The 936 soldering station is an inexpensive, compact station that you can stack to conserve valuable bench space.
Features include:
adjustable temperature control with lock/set screw

temperature range 392-896F (200- 480C)

maintains idle temperature within 1.8F (1C)

ceramic heating element and senor insures rapid heat-up temperature (30 seconds) and lightning-fast thermal recovery

Celsius or Fahrenheit temperature setting

temperature adjusted by simply turning the dial

slender iron handles are insulated and ergonomic-designed for ease and comfort

accommodates large, medium or small irons

wide selection of tips available for soldering SMD and through-hole connections

(see Specifications for more details)


Its not any hotter than my $10 Craftsman! lol.. I may have to buy a $2.99 pack of tips every now and then.. oh well..



I give props to Hakko for the cools colors though.. just not worth it to me.


I think the key here is making sure you have the right kind of tip and it's not all used up when you go to solder something like a battery pack...




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Old 07-30-2008, 06:38 AM   #30
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Well well, what do you know. Fresh off of suspension and rockets in prime form. Can you not read sir? CLEARLY I said the 80W is the standard for that 2% of soldering like you said, BATTERY BUILDING. OBVIOUSLY, just from the looks of the thing you can tell it wouldn't be good for much else. What are you trying to start now?
And that link for that Hakko was very nice! For the longest time Fry's Electronics was by far the cheapest place to buy a 936, about $84 I think I paid, but that $80 price is sweet. How much is the shipping?

From internet:
"Do you have at least a 75W soldering iron or more would be preferred with at least a 1/4" chisel tip? A 30W hobby soldering iron is not gong to cut it. I use a $30 stick style 80W Weller soldering iron with a huge 1/2" tip for battery building that tops out at 900 degrees. This big iron is more for production work and I would really suggest nothing less to keep you from going insane. The big thing here is the mass and heat of the chisel tip which allows a solder joint to happens almost instantly versus say a 50W soldering iron which may take 10-15 seconds or longer to solder the same joint. More time means more heat stress on the cell itself. That huge 80W Weller makes battery building a breeze and leads to much more professional results."
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