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Old 07-05-2007, 09:30 AM   #1
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Default soldering batteries

Long time watcher, first time poster. I am putting together some matched 6 cell battery packs with deans soldering bars, and am having trouble getting a good solder "weld" for lack of a better word. I have a Weller soldering station and seem to have trouble getting the bar to stick well, it seems that the flux is the only thing holding it on. Soldering iron gets super hot, it will melt a great pool on the bar but won't adhere it well to the cell. Any tips on prepping the cells or a better solder to use.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, I used the search function and could not find a thread on this topic.
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:33 AM   #2
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assuming you have a hot enought solder iron 80w, you may need to sand paper the ends of the battery.

i use a dremel
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:39 AM   #3
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Rough up the ends of the cell a little with some sandpaper...it won't take much.

Then, put a small pool of solder on the end of the cell before you attach the bar. Again, it won't take much. Just enough so the solder will flow to the bar.

And try not to leave the iron on the cell for too long.
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:44 AM   #4
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I run my iron at around 700 for soldering cells. Try scuffing up the battery with some coarse sand paper before soldering.

What works best for me is to first get the iron really hot, melting a good amount of solder right on the iron tip then I use that "pool" of molten solder to heat up the cell. The hot solder conducts heat more efficiently than the iron itself. When applying the solder to the cell/battery bar, start by melting more to that aready hot pool and then onto the rest of the area. By that time the cell should be pleanty hot to melt the solder directly.

The trick is, the cell surface has to get hot enough to melt the solder on contact. If you just apply solder to the bar, you are probably going to get a cold joint on the battery which will not hold.

Hope this helps. I won't pretend to be a pro at this, but the above tips always work for me
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:14 PM   #5
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All of the above are good things to do, but there's onemore thing to consider, exactly which eller iron do you have? I know a bit about some of their stations, & without the right tip it won't matter what you do, you won't get a good solder joint on a battery. What you need more than anything when soldering batteries is high heat & LOTS of surface area in the iron's tip. That surface area allows the heat to transfer QUICKLY, so the solder will flow & bond to both bar & battery without damaging the interior of the cell. Believe it or not, Weller's cheap 40 watt irons can actually work better for that than their $100 stations(because of the surface area of its tip, most of their stations are just not meant for big jobs, they're for small, circuit board level work, I know this because I use them at work myself, & they're just not well suited for heavy-duty work)......
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies, I don't have the model number in front of me, seems to me I paid around $80 for it. I'll try the wider tip.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:08 PM   #7
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Exactly what Grizzbob says, and make sure that the tip has a lot of mass - it is thick - as well. The wattage of the iron is almost meaningless, what is important is the size of the tip.

A large tip will hold the heat well, and not lose temperature fast. That is the key to a good 'weld' when soldering, not the wattage. Here is a 260w iron, but that tiny tip will lose heat straight away, and you won't solder any cells with it. Here is the 45W iron I use, and it is excellent.

Don't save dollars on a soldering iron, and damage your cells with too much heat. HTH
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:21 AM   #8
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I have a 40 watt Weller, I installed a 3/16" wide tip, scuffed up the battery ends with sandpaper and got great results last night. Thanks for all the info.

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Old 07-06-2007, 12:51 PM   #9
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Like everyone else has said scuff the ends with some sandpaper or a dremel, use a Weller Chisel style tip or one with a big flat surface, soldering batts is probaly my least favorite thing to do, but since I perchased the Weller WESD51 soldering station with the ETD tip it has been cake. Good Luck and if all else fails go to your local track and ask someone to help you
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:11 PM   #10
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well, I don't know much and I just finished building six packs of batteries, and when I bend the battery the bar bends but doesn't come off :P, sand the ends with a 600 grit sandpaper and then put flux on it, put some solder on the end of the iron, and press it to the battery, it'll flux the solder on, and you can solder whatever you want on it easily.
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