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Thread: improved batt charging clamp instructions

  1. #1
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    Default improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Here's the latest updated charging clamp from here: EZ $3 recharging battery clamp for odd size cells

    improvements include:

    1. 14 guage monster wire (12 would be better) 8inch recommended for triton. $1
    2. brass contacts, lamp parts from hardware store $1
    3. mini-clamp $3
    4. gold banana plugs $6 radio shak, could have used $3 version

    A. secure all materials
    B. cut monster cable to desired length. I did 10 inches.
    C. trim cable and solder to brass fitting.
    D. remove rubber clamp pad and discard. then drill hole thru plastic clamp slighty smaller than threads. keep hole straight.
    E. thread brass fitting into plastic clamp head hole
    F. attach banana clips, gold clips were solderless

    your done!

    Edit: picture updated to show plastic banana clips instead of gold type



    Last edited by cy; 08-18-2009 at 08:22 AM.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* wquiles's Avatar
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Excellent - thanks much cy [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/goodjob.gif[/img]

    I will try to build me a set (or two) this comming weekend [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Will

  3. #3
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    here's a pic showing common brass lamp hardware used. note groove used to wrap cooper wire before sodering.

    Last edited by cy; 08-18-2009 at 08:23 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Hello Cy,

    Excellent upgrade. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    On a side note, I was just reading about some cautions when using banana plugs. It seems that if you charge 2 or 3 Li-ion cells in series and break the connection at the end of the charge by removing the banana plug from the charger, and if the two banana plugs come into contact with each other, there is enough potential to weld the plugs together. This produces a dead short on the battery and things heat up rapidly.

    I ended up putting some small "O" rings around the body of my banana plugs, but think some heat shrink would be better.

    At any rate, caution is advised. It is better procedure to disconnect by opening the clamp.

    Tom

  5. #5

    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Thanks for the tip, Tom.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Very nice looking charging clamp, but I wouldn't want anyone to think that gold plugs and such heavy gauge wire is necessary. By far the high resistance point in cy's clamp charger is going to be at the point the clamp contacts the cell.

  7. #7

    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    [ QUOTE ]
    SilverFox said:

    On a side note, I was just reading about some cautions when using banana plugs. It seems that if you charge 2 or 3 Li-ion cells in series and break the connection at the end of the charge by removing the banana plug from the charger, and if the two banana plugs come into contact with each other, there is enough potential to weld the plugs together. This produces a dead short on the battery and things heat up rapidly.



    [/ QUOTE ]

    Excellent point.

    A good practice to get into with things like this is to offest the ends a bit. Make one say two inches longer than the other. It makes 'accidents' very difficult. This even only comes up because the connections are against 'the rules', as the source male. Energy sources should always be female (like the lamp and outlet it's plugged into). Consider extension cords......

    There's a sexist line in there somewhere....

    Doug Owen

  8. #8
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    [ QUOTE ]
    It seems that if you charge 2 or 3 Li-ion cells in series and break the connection at the end of the charge by removing the banana plug from the charger, and if the two banana plugs come into contact with each other, there is enough potential to weld the plugs together. This produces a dead short on the battery and things heat up rapidly.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That is why that is a bad practice to begin with. I have always used sermos connectors to connect to cells when charging since no electrical contacts are exposed should I need to unplug things in a hurry. Thank you for bringing this subject up.

    Jerry

  9. #9
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    silver, excellent point about dead-short danger with those fancy gold banana plugs.

    off they go.. in favor of plastic bodies ones. I may try off setting one plug also.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    cy:

    Is the diameter of the knurled head of the screw small enough to make contact on any cell? I've seen on RCR123 cells that the amount of wrapper overlap varies by manufacturer and making contact at the negative end a problem!

  11. #11

    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    I like using the dual banana plugin setup. I don't know the seperation of the plugs on the triton but a lot of power supplies and meters using banana plugs space them apart so you can use them. This eliminates plugs ever touching each other and reduces stress of either wire on the plugin by essentially transferring the shock/jerk to both sockets. They also make stackable dual plugins which would allow you to plug in other items like perhaps an external voltmater etc or if desired another clamp to charge batteries in parallel (not necessarily recommended).

  12. #12
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    picture is updated to reflector change to plastic handle banana plugs instead of Gold version.

    also plug was off-set, had to split cable due to plug pulling out by itself.

    thought about the issue post being too big for positive nipples, but no problems so far.

    wasblinded, heavy short cables to charging rig is exactly what triton and other intelligent chargers recommend.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    [ QUOTE ]
    cy said:

    wasblinded, heavy short cables to charging rig is exactly what triton and other intelligent chargers recommend.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    And when charging at the extremely high currents into high amp-hour battery packs that RC guys use, large gauge cable is useful. But in the 1-3 amp range for flashlight cells (though there may be rare exceptions) your clamp leads are still overkill. Not a bad thing, just more than needed.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    just a heads up..

    for those who would rather not build their own rig. Xrunner is offering a simular batt clamp for sale here: FS: Battery clamp for recharging odd size cells

  15. #15
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    OK here's the next evolution of the charging clamp.

    simply go the next size larger clamp, purchased harbor freight tool for $4 on sale. all other instructions are the same from first page.

    this will allow charging of 2D to 6 or 8AA adapters or 3x C cells.

    Last edited by cy; 08-18-2009 at 08:25 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Thanks for the head's up, cy. My local Harbor Freight had the 12" clamps on sale for $1.99 today.

  17. #17

    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Cy.....I still can't find that clamp for sale!!! I would be willing to trade the Arc Ls with 123 case for someone to make me a high quality holder, just let me know if interested via email. the Arc ls is used but in very good condition.
    Thanks!

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* nethiker's Avatar
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Irp, I tracked down the thread that Cy linked to earlier. Is THIS what you were looking for?

  19. #19

    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by lrp
    Cy.....I still can't find that clamp for sale!!! I would be willing to trade the Arc Ls with 123 case for someone to make me a high quality holder, just let me know if interested via email. the Arc ls is used but in very good condition.
    Thanks!
    Harbor Freight has 'em, http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=46807. You might consider a few of the (new improved) $3 DMMS, Item 90899 while yer there. The clamp is $3.50, they have a smaller one that also looks promising.

    Doug Owen

  20. #20

    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Nethiker, yes that would do...are you interested? Let me know and I will send you the Arc Ls w/123 case, just send me your mailing address. Thanks!

  21. #21

    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Thanks guys, I have emailed Mike for ordering instructions.

  22. #22
    Moderator js's Avatar
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by wasBlinded
    [ QUOTE ]
    cy said:

    wasblinded, heavy short cables to charging rig is exactly what triton and other intelligent chargers recommend.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    And when charging at the extremely high currents into high amp-hour battery packs that RC guys use, large gauge cable is useful. But in the 1-3 amp range for flashlight cells (though there may be rare exceptions) your clamp leads are still overkill. Not a bad thing, just more than needed.
    wasBlinded,

    Your observation is correct, but I think there is more to the story here. Schulze, for example, recommends--I suspect--such heavy gauge wire to ensure that the resistance of the wire is neglible compared to the internal resistance of the batteries. Also very low lead resistance gives a more accurate absolute measurement of the battery voltage. The Triton and isl-330 chargers both stop current periodically to monitor certain variables, mainly pack resting voltage. What else is going on I don't know.

    But in any case, I agree with you that 12 or 14 gauge wire is probably over-kill, but it definitely doesn't hurt. My main point is just that it isn't recommended (by schulze) in order to reduce I^2R losses or anything, but to ensure an accurate voltage and resistance measurement of the pack itself, as opposed to the total system.

    Why an absolute measurement would be required (versus a relative one) I don't know. I suspect that it is because the auto-charge function on the more sophistaced schulzes does indeed measure IR in order to calculate maximum charge current (early in the cycle). For myself, charging with the Triton, all my different charging cables are 18 or 20 gauge wire and I have had no problems so far. Perhaps it would be different if I had a 330? Who knows?
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

  23. #23
    Moderator js's Avatar
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    On a more important note,

    cy,

    SWEET CHARGING CLAMP!!! I love it! Great idea. I'm going to set myself up with one of these.

    I have a charging rig for the 5 cell 1/2D MagCharger and SL-20X packs made by splitting a metal D cell battery holder in two and attaching the ends to a board so that a 5 1/2D stick just fits in. Then I alligator clip onto the battery holder leads. But this wouldn't work for odd sized cells, of course.

    Thanks for posting this!
    -Jim Sexton, creator of the M6-R, the TigerLight Upgrades, Fixture-ring lamp potting, the SL60, co-designer of the B90 Upgrade, and proponent of the SF A2, the SF M6 X-LOLA, Titanium, the Haiku, and the LunaSol 20

  24. #24
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Mental note to self. Thanks.

    Cy, are those batteries in a series or parallel configuration?

    Can the triton or ICe charger for that matter charge batteries using the clamp for a series configuration? What about a parallel configuration? How would it be done, what would need to be set on the charger for say 1) 6x168a in parallel in 2 3x168a holders and say 2) 3x168a in a series configuration?

    Thanks. This could very well be the answer to my problems.

    Also, the triton charger needs a power supply right? Is there such a thing as a small/light power supply to go along with the charger?

    Does the ICE charger need a power supply as well? What is recommended?

    Curtis
    -- CUE

  25. #25
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    looking for some answers to my questions please.

    Curtis
    -- CUE

  26. #26
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    almost forgot about this old thread

    yes you can charge in series, but must use lower charge rate to fully charge.

    typically I'll charge 8x AA in a modamag carrier at .5amps.

    I've never tried charging li-ion in parallel.

    you can charge li-ion in series by selecting correct voltage. generally I prefer to charge li-ion cell in single cell mode.

    yes triton requires an additional power supply. I use a large car battery, then once a week or so charge up the car batt.

    main reason is my house has large voltage fluctuations, so I would need a 15amp regulated power supply


  27. #27
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Nice idea, have to go looking for parts for one, but why not put a fuse in the lines. If shorted out pop a fuse and no fireworks.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    Cy, what size are those screws in the clamp? They look like 1.5inch x 8/32

    Is that correct? I am trying to track down the right length and size.

    Curtis

  29. #29
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    Default Re: improved batt charging clamp instructions

    don't know exact size, but go to your local hardware store. cruise the lamp repair parts and you will find all sorts of brass hardware that will work.

  30. #30

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