Soldering non-tab NiMh's - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 05-16-2005, 03:26 PM   #1
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Soldering non-tab NiMh's

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Hey I have a quick ? Does the heat of the soldering iron affect the cells..... I have a Weller soldering station and just bought some 2500 Mah AA's ( energizer's made in Japan, can't be half bad )... I wanted to make up a 6.0 V Rx pack... I'm just putting a 1/8 dab of solder on the + and - sides... So not much heat but still some.....
So just wondering if it's OK.......
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:18 PM   #2
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Personally, I assemble a lot of packs but I purchase cells with tabs for the very reason that I do not like to solder directly on the "positive" post of the cell. Of course, with the tabs, no soldering on the post is necessary! There is a plastic seal under the positive post that allows the cell to vent if there is too much pressure buildup in the cell for various reasons. If that seal were to be melted because of too much heat, the cell would be destroyed.

I have soldered to the positive post but make sure that you use a high heat gun and do it very quickly to avoid the heat from soaking in. Use a damp cloth to immediately quench the heat. You should have no problem. A number of the electric guys that I know who solder packs with cells end to end have to solder to the positive and do so with good results, but again its done quickly with high heat.

Of course, with any new pack, give it a thourough testing after assembly to check for continuancy and I usually give it a full slow charge for 24 hours at the overnight rate (wall charger) which will "form" the pack and then a full cycle to assure its up to specs and ready for use! A bit of extra work but you will have a very relyable pack thats good for many flying seasons!

Go for it! All the best! Let us know how you make out!
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:35 PM   #3
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Heat is not a good thing for any battery- My dad used to manufacture ELTs (emergency locator transmitters - Pointer Avionics) for aricraft, and in the "old days" he used to have to solder the packs by hand. His technique was to have one of those gel packs that you place in the freezer ready to cool the ends of the cell after soldering. He said the trick was to get some acid paste flux, the kind used in plumbing, and take your solder and put a little dab on the end before soldering. Place the solder with it's glob of flux directly on the top of the cell where you want to attach the lead, then press the soldering iron ontop of the solder and flux. When the flux liquifies and the solder melts, feed more solder in from the side until the end of the cell has been "tinned" ie: has a nice dab of solder on it. Then wipe the exess flux off with a damp rag and press the cell into the gelpack to cool it. Pre-tin all the cells like this. Then cut your wires, strip the end and tin it with solder. Place the wire on top of the dab of solder on the end of the cell and then press the soldering iron ontop of the wire, and once the solder on the wire and cell have liquified and fused, remove the heat, and as soon as the solder has cooled to a solid, press the end of the cell into the coldpack again. The key to all this is to be FAST, and make sure you have a high power soldering iron, at least 60W and use a fine resin-core electronics solder, - NOT the 1/8" dia stuff they sell for plumbing!
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Old 05-16-2005, 07:56 PM   #4
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OK i've made up the pack.... Now should I discharge it or wall charger it over night first... I have a Triton charger so I can cycle it, but how many cycles?.... If I have given a cell to much heat is there a way to tell wich one, I do have a multi-meter.. So would the bad cell have a definate V drop? And could a cell still have good V but be trashed....
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:13 PM   #5
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Hi Darren:

The best way to charge a newly assembled pack is to charge it slowly with your wall charger for a minimum of 14 hours. Once that is done, cycle the battery with your Triton two or three times. You will be surprised at how much more MAH you get with each charge/discharge cycle. Continue cycling until there is no appreciable improvement.

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Old 05-18-2005, 11:40 AM   #6
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I was reading this and noticed the mention of acid. That is a definite no no with electronics. What I do beside the high heat I prepare the ends by a little fine sanding with very fine sand paper. That roughs up the surface and also cleans it. Then using resin core I pre-tin the ends. I also use the braid for packs that is used for sucking up the solder when taking components off a a board. RS has it. That is better than having small strands of wire for connections. After wash and clean the cells to remove the resin. Maybe some of you guys can remember the old black death.
John Davidson
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