A cheep repurposed wire thought to substitute bus bars for a battery in a flat pelican case where cells can't be clamped together.

Terrapin

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Just tossing this out there for feed back. I am doing my 4S 280ah Eve build in a case that will not allow a side to side banded cell configuration. This is for a Trailer I may end up living in full time if covid hits me any harder. I have pretty much hit the end of the road on components. I am thankful for how I was directed to quality vs value thus far on the BMS, DC supply to balance, cell tester, the Progressive converter to change out for the POS stock trailer one. But now I'm at the time to start smashing copper tubes to make the battery lugs and find a way to get cheep short lengths of big copper wire to connect the dots.

My thinking is to go to a junk yard to start hacking short lengths of battery cables from old trucks and such. I am thinking they are insulated well against the elements and may be a cheep way to go.

Is there a good single source of info for what I will need as far as conductor wire diameters for the short pieces that will take the place of bus bars in a 12v build. These cells are the cheep B rated ones and I am hoping using studs and wires will be a little more vibration forgiving on these tiny cell screw areas.

As always any direction on how to calculate what I need to safely series these four cells would be a great help. Even if you can't offer the copper wire conductor dimensions I can get that from info based on suggested std. wire gauge info somewhere and perform measures at the junk yard to meet the needs. I see a lot of builds with bars but not much on build info with cables. I think that based on the shape of the pelican case I have VS cell dimensions specs the single longest cable in the battery should be 12".

Thanks all on any feedback.
 

Just John

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Really it depends on how much peak current draw you expect. Certainly battery cables from a junk yard are a viable option, but also likely they might have already been scavanged for recycling value.
 

Terrapin

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New England, USA
Really it depends on how much peak current draw you expect. Certainly battery cables from a junk yard are a viable option, but also likely they might have already been scavanged for recycling value.
Good point John...copper is good money. My lady is about to junk a minivan that died. Should grab what I can. I may double the battery cable from it for the one buss where I cant use the stock bars. This is not a cheep hobby to start. Thx...you got me thinking.
 

jwelter99

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Dec 6, 2020
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Flattened copper pipe makes pretty decent bus bars. It's also easy to bend in a vice with a torch if you need to make some complex bends. Pull some heat-shrink over it or mask off contact points and dip the thing in some rubberized bed-liner paint and it's a cheap and pretty bulletproof option.

Old wire will work, but most of the good stuff gets recycled quickly. What's left can often be pretty corroded and wasted effort to try to use.
 

Terrapin

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Jan 4, 2021
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New England, USA
Flattened copper pipe makes pretty decent bus bars. It's also easy to bend in a vice with a torch if you need to make some complex bends. Pull some heat-shrink over it or mask off contact points and dip the thing in some rubberized bed-liner paint and it's a cheap and pretty bulletproof option.

Old wire will work, but most of the good stuff gets recycled quickly. What's left can often be pretty corroded and wasted effort to try to use.
That's something I haddn't thought of...bending the pipe before flattening it....hmmm...
 

Ironman

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Nov 29, 2020
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I'd probably just get welding cable.
At a scrapyard you can buy old welding cables for the per pound price, and lots of them are fair condition. All 4 of my 50ft lengths for my welder came from the scrap. Some places won't sell, you have to check.
 
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