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Thread: Copper Tube Bus?

              
   
   
  1. #1
    teddillard
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    Copper Tube Bus?

    Can someone tell me why this is not a good idea? Seems awesome to me… First, take a copper tube with an ID of around .135 (for 12-14awg wire). Drill it like this:



    Next, feed the wire through, like this, and crimp and solder:



    Slip the whole thing through some heat-shrink and you have a bulletproof, low-profile bus. No?

    I want to use this for the balance leads for the Turnigy packs. There are copper tube buses available for huge industrial applications, but I haven't been able to find anything for small gauge wire... seems like it would be a pretty slick way to make up pigtails. Am I missing something?
    Last edited by teddillard; 10 July 2011 at 0346.

  2. #2
    teddillard
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    V.2.0: with a simple copper pipe hanger:







    Not quite as pretty...

  3. #3
    teddillard
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    Duh.

    These little babies I got from Lowes.





    I know Adam's laughing at me.

  4. #4
    Moderator Nuts & Volts's Avatar
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    What do you need us for Ted you're figuring everything out

    Only bad thing I see about the copper tube is that it may not be the most electrically conductive alloy of copper. for the balance leads your last idea is definitely the best. For the power leads you just need something a little bit bigger
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  5. #5
    Status-free and luvin' it
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    Nice and compact much cleaner than stripping more jacket away to twist them all together then solder-bomb!
    Mike Pipes
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  6. #6
    Builder kd8cgo's Avatar
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    I had a backup electric system I was using a few years ago for power outages and the like, it was just a 12V inverter, couple thousand watt cheapo deal, combined with some group 27 deep cycles. I had used the cheapest battery cables you can buy at auto parts stores, 8 gauge copper wires IIRC. I was getting low voltage cut under heavy load, so I replaced those with some flattened 3/4" rigid copper wall water pipe I had laying around from an old plumbing project with some holes drilled in it and covered with heat shrink, no more LVC on the inverter until the batteries hit a much lower SOC. I might still have those laying around in fact - but it did work very well. I didn't use solder at any point, just mechanical through hole connections. I imagine if your going to try some crimping, the soft walled copper tubing might be better for that.

    I also used those copper crimp deals from Lowe's before on an e-bike project to join a leaded Maxi-style fuse holder to some 8 or 10 gauge wire, they seemed to work O.K. for that, never loosened or heated badly, but that was a relatively minor 20-40A load range.

  7. #7
    Señor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Crimp tube is the way to go, at least for small low current wiring. You might use adhesive heat shrink, just because it'll keep it from corroding and makes a better bond (maybe you did? I can't tell).

    Not sure this will work for the power wiring. But it might. What gauge are the power cables from the cells?
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  8. #8
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    (Tony returns from the dead.)

    Only issue I see with this is when you go to solder the main power cables, all the solder on the 8 or 10 AWG will go molten as well, potentially making the process fraught with peril but if your crimps are good, it should be legit. I am still deciding how I will do mine but I've got a plus or minus decent idea. My Katana will be alive tonight. Back to work.
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  9. #9
    Empulse R #24 frodus's Avatar
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    why not use copper grounding bar? It's tapped and has screws for everything. They're fairly cheap and they're great for making busses.

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  10. #10
    teddillard
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    Too big and bulky. Too not permanent (screws vs solder/crimp).

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