Thread: Battery bars
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Old 01-07-2006, 03:38 PM
Tech Master
koabich's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Detroit Area
Posts: 1,359

WOW...this is kinda crazy.
Before you read my post please be aware that I am not a chemist and no nothing about metals. My only experience that might help is about 15 years or building battery packs.

The most commonly used battery bar in my experience is the Deans unit. This is a plated silver bar. It a very good basic bar and I used to use it exclusively. Still a very good bar but I do feel the quality control with Deans is not to good and their plating process my be varied. The reason I saw this as I notice that I could buy 200 battery bars at a time and over the course of months or even years, some of the battery bars would stat to discolor and turn yellow. This may be nothing at all but I take it as bad plating or poor quality control as I have never seen this with any other bar I have ever used!

Once the Orion Dogboones came out I started using them for no other reason in particiluar than it looked like the solder joint could be made stiffer and that there is greater surface area on the bar to help make better/more contact on the end of the cell. I tried all 3 platings (silver, gold and platimum) and finally wound up sticking with the platimun bars as I was able to source these at the same cost as the silver bars. I noticed no performance difference (either positive or negative) between platings. Also, unlike what another poster said, I never once noticed any corrosion of any kind with the platimun bars. I would find it hard to beleive that platimum would be more prone to corrosion than silver or gold. Especially since every catalytic converter in the USA has platimum in it versus gold or silver.

About 2 years ago, I switched over to the new Pro Match bar. They look basically like the Deans but are twice as wide. They are also supposed to be made of oxygen free copper. I also use the Novak bar when I can find it. At times this bar can be impossible to find. The Novak offers the same benefit as the Pro-Match but just looks cooler!

The wider bar offers more surface area than the other and allows the assembled pack to remain stiffer without having to glue the cells together.

So far I have not noticed a bar that performed better or worse than another. I have however found bars that I prefer to use more than others. The key is to find a bar that is easy to solder, easy to work with and one that you can find in quantities and at at cost you can afford.

I would personally be more worried about the quality of solder you use and the soldering iron you use than battery bars. Solder is a huge deal along with the gun...but that's an entirely different thread!
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