Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Now, More Pleasing Odor!

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Soldered Battery Terminals

Soldered and Strain-Relieved Battery Terminals
  [vote for,

More inspiration from Real Life (tm). This morning my car thumbed its virtual nose at me when asked to start. Fortunately, it was nothing more than a loose cable on the positive terminal. I said to myself: "Self, car battery posts are made of lead, why don't they solder battery cables, or at least quick disconnects directly to the battery terminals?" I did not answer myself, because I did not know. I quickly became agitated with my nonresponsiveness, and after a few choice words of inner dialog I drove to work.
nvrfastenuf, Dec 17 2003


       My guess is that the reason they aren't soldered is for ease of changing the battery. Why the terminals are cylindrical, allowing for contacts that slip off, is beyond me.
Worldgineer, Dec 17 2003

       Oh, they're worse than cylindrical. They are a truncated cone. Look closely......
nvrfastenuf, Dec 17 2003

       // truncated cone //   

       A "frustrum", please ....
8th of 7, Dec 17 2003

       Well that's silly. There must be a reason. (thoughts start toward thermal expansion, but this leads nowhere) Perhaps to fit connectors of differing size? You'd think the auto industry would have worked out standardization issues by now.   

       [8th] sp: frustum
Worldgineer, Dec 17 2003

       do they taper 'up' or 'down' though ? ([neilp] has no car and can't remember).
neilp, Dec 17 2003

       The narrow end is up.
nvrfastenuf, Dec 17 2003

       [o] Side terminal batteries are of the devil; Everyone knows this. :-)
nvrfastenuf, Dec 17 2003

       The taper would allow you to tighten the connector with a few good whacks from any blunt instrument, if you don’t have the right size wrench.
AO, Dec 17 2003

       Ahh, percussive maintenance! I like it! Actually, that makes good sense. But eliminating the problem makes more sense than allowing an easy repair after the fact.
nvrfastenuf, Dec 17 2003

       Lots of batteries now have lugs and screw terminals, quick release terminals are and have been available for the "cone" shaped battery terminals for around 20 years now (so you don't need a spanner to tighten/loosen them).
Micky Dread, Dec 17 2003

       [nvrfastenuf] d'aaaghh, the wrong way up. What fools.
neilp, Dec 17 2003

       How about having a non-lead terminal soldered to the lead one (with the electrical connection then being made to it). Or would there be too much of a tendency for acid to somehow work its way into the joint and mess things up?
supercat, Dec 17 2003

       Put spring loaded contacts in the bottom of the battery compartment, cast into the plastic, and matching flat contacts on the bottom of the battery (slightly recessed for protection). Put the battery in the compartment, lock it down and you are done. No more slipping contacts, no more missing wrenches, no more accidental shorts.   

       Of course the car now needs a special "courtesy contact" where you can clip on jumper cables. Those come as an upgrade, lets say $200 so you can get friendly with that damsel in distress?   

       (+) for seeing the problem and spending a thought on it.
kbecker, Dec 17 2003

       + for the thought, - for the solder. How about aligator clips instead of round terminals?
phoenix, Dec 18 2003

       //a loose cable//
You will need to keep the engine, wiring, and battery spotless and in great condition. Which then would render this idea unnecessary.
You must heat the wire and terminals to properly solder them, but do this without starting an engine fire (which is why you need the area super clean). In a high-current condition, such as engine start, you could melt the solder. Even a little melting will cause cracks to form, and weaken the connection. Perform a check of the solder regularly.

       Perhaps welding is a better alternative. A proper weld could withstand the vibration and the heat from current flow.
Amos Kito, Dec 18 2003

       How about having the battery have permanently-affixed cables with a standardized connector (suitably designed to avoid shorting) that would mate with one in the car? This would then mean that the act of connecting the battery would take place at some distance from the battery itself--potentially a very good thing if the battery had been outgassing recently.
supercat, Dec 18 2003

       most battery terminals outside of the auto world are bolts. This is good, but they also require periodic re-torque maintainance. Just check it every once in a while? If it was soldered, there would have to be a standardized connector. This could work out better or worse, all depending on those little details.
AutoMcDonough, Mar 03 2010

       terminals and battery connectors made of brass are far superior to lead connectors. With some care in maintenance and a routine level of service they would last for hundreds of years, far exceeding the expected life of the car not to mention the battery.   

       Possibly you have noticed how many parts of your car are made of plastic, how the metallurgy of components is not what it could be, how the design prevents repair and upgrade. This is due to a school of design constraint I call "limited use". A battery cable is designed for "limited use", to last as long without maintenance as will satisfy the terms of the manufacturers warranty. After this point performance will begin to degrade requiring ever more frequent maintenance, thus "limiting use" and ensuring that you, the consumer, will soon be in the market for a new one. DIY.
WcW, Mar 03 2010


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle