Battery bars

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Old 01-09-2006, 11:41 AM
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Sooooo.... how 'bout them battery bars?

I'd rather beat this dead horse than get into that one on here, sorry Kat.
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by killingtime
Sooooo.... how 'bout them battery bars?

I'd rather beat this dead horse than get into that one on here, sorry Kat.


'Sall good. I'm just sensitive about the "believe what I do or else" approach.


I don't use battery bars, I glue severed chicken heads to my batts.
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Old 01-09-2006, 02:00 PM
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Ok Ok everyone here looking for god to the right and everyone here for global warming to the left and anyone here for the battery bar forum just speak up. Wow how did this get so far off track!? Anyways I just wanna say that I like to use orion bones and novak bars. Doesn't matter what finish is on them cause it is more important to get a good solder joint than anything else. I gotta say BigDogRacing said alot of good stuff back on page two. I myself take the orion bones and file them flat before making any packs. There are two reasons for this
1) Most if not all bars are stamped out on a machine and they are not all flat.
2)When the bar is flat against the battery heat will transfer faster and you
will get a faster better solder job.
Now not all bars can be filed flat because some have a differant bends for the positive and negative side but orion bones can be filed flat. Do a little test and take a orion bone and magic marker the bottoms black and then run it on a file and you will see that it is far from flat. BigDogRacing was right on the money about making the bars flat and getting a good solder joint so to end this all .....Just about any good battery bar will do but make sure it is flat on the cell and you have a good solder joint and all will be fine.
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Sluggo
Ok Ok everyone here looking for god to the right and everyone here for global warming to the left and anyone here for the battery bar forum just speak up. Wow how did this get so far off track!? Anyways I just wanna say that I like to use orion bones and novak bars. Doesn't matter what finish is on them cause it is more important to get a good solder joint than anything else. I gotta say BigDogRacing said alot of good stuff back on page two. I myself take the orion bones and file them flat before making any packs. There are two reasons for this
1) Most if not all bars are stamped out on a machine and they are not all flat.
2)When the bar is flat against the battery heat will transfer faster and you
will get a faster better solder job.
Now not all bars can be filed flat because some have a differant bends for the positive and negative side but orion bones can be filed flat. Do a little test and take a orion bone and magic marker the bottoms black and then run it on a file and you will see that it is far from flat. BigDogRacing was right on the money about making the bars flat and getting a good solder joint so to end this all .....Just about any good battery bar will do but make sure it is flat on the cell and you have a good solder joint and all will be fine.
Can you just bend it straight by putting it in a vice, or is it vital to take off the gold plating on the contact side?
-Josh
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:25 PM
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The bend in the bar has a purpose. It's more for the positive end of the cell but it is there to keep the bar off of the case of the cell. The case is also the negative end of the cell. So if the bar was straight and it rubbed thru the heatshrink and the label it would short out the cell. As for filing the bars flat its only to make them totally flat for a good contact patch....1) for a good conection and 2) for better heat transfer. If you file them flat it doesn't take alot off the bars, just enough to get what you are looking for.
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Old 01-11-2006, 03:05 PM
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Thought this might be a good thread to report these tests. I tested the voltage drop accross a battery bar while the 6 cell pack was being discharged at 20 amps. The more the voltage drops, the less voltage gets to your motor. Bars are pretty good these days so we are not talking big losses, but as part of a resistance lowering effort for stock motor racing in the entire car, every little bit helps.

Deans Bars 2% Silver Solder (the rest lead tin alloy) - 2.5 mV per bar

Deans Bars Deans Silver Solder (2% silver) - 1.7 mV per bar
This solder worked great for bars. I use flux like bigdogracing, but a tiny drop of clear liquid flux (HCl,ZnCl2) only on battery bars. Residue washes off easily with alcohol. a 900F -1000 F tip is the key to a good fast soldering job on these heavy conductors. I found that this solder has too much built in flux for lead wires (12 gauge Deans Wet Noodle). You tend to stiffen about 1/2 inch of lead wire under the insulation. This eventually causes a hidden failure of the wire. Use the Novak solder instead.

Promatch Bars (these are a little wider than Deans, but a little thinner. Slightly more crosssectional area than Deans. They fit better through the JRXS) 4% Silver solder (the rest lead tin alloy). 1.2 mV, About a 50 % improvement over 2% silver solder and Deans Bars. I don't have a national supplier for this solder, but its from the far east.

I never had a Deans bar loose its plating. I do sand the batteries. I get very reproducible voltage drops from one bar to the next without trying to make the Deans bars flat, although solder is not as good a conductor as the bar so the thinner the solder layer the better.

NiMH, I believe use an alkiline electrolyte solution. It is already wet inside. No need to worry about condensation. LiPo's have an organic solvent inside instead;no water inside. No way for condesation to occur either.

Plating type is just Hype. I like the zinc plating on Deans bars, because it has never failed me by peeling off. Should be stuck to the bar as good as solder if it is plated correctly.

If an object (like a ball or a wire) is charged by static electricity (an excess of charge) the charge tends to repel itself and collects on the surface. This does not carry over to conduction in a wire where there is a relatively slow flow of electrons and no exess charge is built up. This sea of electrons is in the entire conductor not just on the surface.

Last edited by John Stranahan; 08-25-2006 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 01-11-2006, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by John Stranahan
Thought this might be a good thread to report these tests. I tested the voltage drop accross a battery bar while the 6 cell pack was being discharged at 20 amps. The more the voltage drops, the less voltage gets to your motor. Bars are pretty good these days so we are not talking big losses, but as part of a resistance lowering effort for stock motor racing in the entire car, every little bit helps.

Deans Bars 2% Silver Solder (the rest lead tin alloy) - 2.5 mV per bar

Deans Bars Deans Silver Solder (3% silver, I believe) - 1.7 mV per bar
This solder worked great for bars. I use flux like bigdogracing, but a tiny drop of clear liquid flux (HCl,ZnCl2) only on battery bars. Residue washes off easily with alcohol. a 900F -1000 F tip is the key to a good fast soldering job on these heavy conductors. I found that this solder has too much built in flux for lead wires. you tend to stiffen about 1/2 inch of lead wire under the insulation. This eventually causes a hidden failure of the wire. Use the Novak solder instead.

Promatch Bars (these are a little wider than Deans, but a little thinner. Slightly more crosssectional area than Deans. They fit better through the JRXS) 4% Silver solder (the rest lead tin alloy). 1.2 mV, About a 50 % improvement over 2% silver solder and Deans Bars. I don't have a national supplier for this solder, but its from the far east.

I never had a Deans bar loose its plating. I do sand the batteries. I get very reproducible voltage drops from one bar to the next without trying to make the Deans bars flat, although solder is not as good a conductor as the bar so the thinner the solder layer the better.

NiMH, I believe use an alkiline electrolyte solution. It is already wet inside. No need to worry about condensation. LiPo's have an organic solvent inside instead;no water inside. No way for condesation to occur either.

Plating type is just Hype. I like the zinc plating on Deans bars, because it has never failed me by peeling off. Should be stuck to the bar as good as solder if it is plated correctly.

If an object (like a ball or a wire) is charged by static electricity (an excess of charge) the charge tends to repel itself and collects on the surface. This does not carry over to conduction in a wire where there is a relatively slow flow of electrons and no exess charge is built up. This sea of electrons is in the entire conductor not just on the surface.
Thanks John
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Old 01-11-2006, 05:39 PM
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SC-You are welcome. And here is what that puppy should look like if you have a hot enough tip. Only takes about 3 seconds. Squash solder between tip and bar for conduction. Heat. Phssssh. Flux flash evaporates. Add solder to side of bar, it gets sucked in mighty quick. Done. 3-4 seconds. When the solder wicks up the side of the bar like this you know the flux and heat are right. The good part of the joint is right between the bar and batt, however. OK. I was trying to hide what battery this was so I would not get in trouble with promatchcr. I had a race Saturday, so I needed one fast.
Attached Thumbnails Battery bars-promatch-bars-002.jpg  

Last edited by John Stranahan; 01-12-2006 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 01-12-2006, 11:50 AM
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Engtat- I thought I would bump this up in case you haven't had a look yet.
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Old 01-12-2006, 07:39 PM
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hey John....Good words and nice pic and while your at it I think I have a pack or two that needs to be put together
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by John Stranahan
I found that this solder has too much built in flux for lead wires (12 gauge Deans Wet Noodle). You tend to stiffen about 1/2 inch of lead wire under the insulation. This eventually causes a hidden failure of the wire. Use the Novak solder instead.
Hey John, I used to have that same problem, but now I use a set of those long thin needle-nose mini pliers and kinda clamp the wire right at the end of the insulation when I'm tinning it. Then when I go to solder the wire onto (whatever), the solder will usually wick up the wire a bit more, but not so far that it gets way down into the insulation. It's the same method I used to use for tinning the motor brush shunts when we used to solder them to the hood.

Hope that helps!!
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Old 01-13-2006, 05:57 AM
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BigDogRacing-Thanks. I'll try that. I have a pair of the thin pliers. The Novak solder does not tend to wick as much.
Sluggo-Thanks. You can buy them assembled now. I imagine the people that do that are pretty good at it. SC-you are welcome.
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Old 01-13-2006, 06:38 AM
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Wink I have 1

For battery bars that are costly, come with inconsistant plating, are heavy and stick out of the side of the pack, there is an alternative.

I was working with some new guys driving RC cars. Chassis flex from crashing was causing bar seperation and bending the packs alignment. I took a long look at it and did some testing.

With the new batts (3700 & 3800+++) they have a tough time fitting in buggys and other vehicles.

So I decided to use braided wire. Prep the cells by sanding the surface to get a good light tin. Use heat sink forceps to tin the ends of the braid wire. Very little is needed.
Assemble the packs using Shoe Goo in a straight line between each cell. Use a Deans batt jig to hold the cells together tight. Set my pretinned and cut braids on the cells and hold them with a knife blade. Hit with the iron and it takes very quick because the tinning on the braid means the solder goes all the way through.

I measured the values in V drop and resistance and it is as good as any other bar connection.

The packs fit in the buggy or JRSX which I drive.
Resistance is irrelevant. Can't see a difference.
Weight has been minimized as much as possible. Big benifit!
The packs can and will flex without bending or breaking. Tweak free cars??
It is substancially cheaper and easier to handle than bars.

Hope this helps,
TEX
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by John Stranahan
SC-You are welcome. And here is what that puppy should look like if you have a hot enough tip. Only takes about 3 seconds. Squash solder between tip and bar for conduction. Heat. Phssssh. Flux flash evaporates. Add solder to side of bar, it gets sucked in mighty quick. Done. 3-4 seconds. When the solder wicks up the side of the bar like this you know the flux and heat are right. The good part of the joint is right between the bar and batt, however. OK. I was trying to hide what battery this was so I would not get in trouble with promatchcr. I had a race Saturday, so I needed one fast.

LOL, it's all good....I still think you are an ok guy,LOL
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:47 AM
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Thanks Jay. That 4% silver solder is a Much More Racing Brand. It may be available at bigger hobby shops. It is the best of 3 that I tested. Does not wick much. Has a small 1 mm diameter which I like. This helps the solder melt more instantly when you touch it to a hot solder joint without having to apply a lot of pressure. More like the stuff on a big spool that I used to use.
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