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Making Ni-cad battery packs

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by AntAltMike, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    I need to join ten, sub-C ni-cads in two rows of five for my spectrum analyzer. They were furnished to me without tabs.. I just tried soldering strips of heavy copper foil that I had bought from an art supply store long ago to them, but the heat sinking of the sub-C cells was really too much for my 180 watt soldering gun.

    It looks like my choices are torch or arc weld. I have a 70 amp arc welder, but if I use that, I probably don't want to use the copper foil I have for the tabs because it will probably get obliterated by the arcing. I guess the tabs the industry uses are tin plated, something-or-other. What do any of you recommend for attaching tabs to these cells, and using what attachment technique? The battery compartment has enough space to accommodate large diameter, solid copper wire if need be.
     
  2. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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    100w iron is what I use.. need to keep tip short tho or you loose the initial umph you need..
     
  3. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

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    Is there a Batteries Plus store within driving distance from your location? Over 500 nationwide.

    They rebuild battery packs and have the equipment needed to spot weld the tabs to the batteries.
    I brought some cells in once and for a very nominal fee, attached the tabs.
     
  4. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    Actually, I bought these cells from my local Battery Plus, because that franchise had received an excellent recommendation from a regular participant in another technical forum. Unfortunately, this particular Batteries Plus had a couple of know-nothings working, though they did know enough to charge me about twice as much per battery as I will be payng online next time I buy, so when I found out their prices, I only made part of the purchase I had intended to make that day, and even then, when they figured out what I needed for batteries, one of them said, "Uh, you don't need these made into a pack, do you?" and I said that I would be doing that myself, and he actually said, "Good, because that costs a lot of money.".

    Given that my nearest Batteries Plus is ten miles away, even if they called me up and said I could bring them the cells now and they'd assemble them for free, it wouldn't be worth my time to do that. I had no difficulty soldering the 16mm x 48mm batteries together for one meter, but I didn't like the way the sub C pack was shaping up, and since I didn't have to have immediate availability of it, I figured I'd field suggestions before completing the construction of that pack.
     
  5. gov

    gov Legend

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    I have found Battery Patrol and Battery Plus to be highly variable in regards to quality. Don't know if it is a local problem or what. Sorry to say, I view either franchise as a last resort if I need something odd or something made. Off the shelf items are OK.

    I've had battery packs rebuilt for a Birdog, a field strength meter, and some tool items, not a fun experience,
     
  6. Jul 3, 2013 #6 of 16
    poganinja

    poganinja Guest

    Hi i am new to this forum ........................
     
  7. Jul 3, 2013 #7 of 16
    AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    Let me guess.... You're in tech support?
     
  8. Jul 3, 2013 #8 of 16
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Mike, why you did not buy original batteries ? What is SA you have ?
     
  9. Jul 9, 2013 #9 of 16
    AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    Because in my experience they tend to cost over twice as much as ones purchased independently of the product manufacturers. I recently found another supplier for 10-cell packs of the same physical size, 1..2 volt ni-cad battery my Sencore meter uses eight of, for half what Sencore sells them for, so I ordered two packs and will cut off the end two cells.

    Sencore 1453i. It uses this battery pack:


    [​IMG]
     
  10. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    PSA-37D
     
  11. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    That's the old AVCOM that C-band installers used to use? I thought those had a 12 volt, 3.5 AH lead acid battery in it that sells for under $20.

    My field SLM of choice (because I choose "cheap") is a Sencore 1453i
     
  12. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Not that old and not C-band exactly; if you look at eBay you'll find it's still hold good value ( $1000+);
    it cover ranges of all TV and CAT channels band and L-band and C-band. It's using 3x6V SLA batteries.
    Your box is very limited to TV/CATV only.
     
  13. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    Actually, I own about a dozen meters including a BTSA-5 a BTSA-something else that does just the sat frequencies and a Super Buddy. The BTSA battery pack, if purchased as a unit with the base, sells for about $330 from Blonder Tongue
     
  14. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    hope your company cover bills for such expensive devices (BTSA-5 is $3294)
     
  15. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    I AM my company. I'm so good to myself that I pay myself triple time on Sundays!


    Actually, I bought all my meters used on eBay. Someone is selling a bunch of Sencore 1453i's with bad batteries for just $75 each. I bought two of them.

    Avcom PSA-37D's can usually be had used on eBay for around $400 to $500.



    Update:

    Here's a PSA65C, presently priced at $400, with a range extender to take it up to 2.5 GHz

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/AVCOM-PSA65C-Portable-Spectrum-Analyzer-/290941695460?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43bd79f5e4


    Here's another PSA65C, presently at $300, with external converters to 3GHz

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/AVCOM-SPECTRUM-ANALYZER-TSCM-/171072443915?pt=US_Surveillance_Gadgets&hash=item27d4b6560b


    And this PSA37D looks mint, with new CRT and battery, presently at $500

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Avcom-PSA-37D-Portable-Spectrum-Analyzer-NEW-CRT-and-Battery-/350830244477?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51af1cb27d
     
  16. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    They just came in. The supplier is BatterySpace.com. I got two, 10 cell, 12 volt packs for $39.95 plus $12.01 shipping, which works out to $26 a pack, or less than half of what Sencore, the manufacturer of the meters I ordered them for, charges for replacement packs. They are physically just a little smaller than the original ones in the Sencore 1453i meters, but they have a much larger capacity: 2200 AH versis 1400 AH.
     

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