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Topic: Conductive tape or solder for fire wallet repair?
Message: Posted by: inigmntoya (Feb 6, 2011 04:22PM)
I've got a Volcano fire wallet and one end of the "ignition" wire was held to the battery with some kind of metallic tape.
It's no longer sticking and I'm looking for either a source for replacement tape, or suggested alternatives.
For example, does anyone know if I would be able to solder the wire to the battery without (a) trashing the battery, or (b) trashing the "ignition" wire from the heat of the soldering iron? Or would solder even stick to the battery contact?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 6, 2011 04:54PM)
Well. applying heat to a battery will cause it to explode.

I suggest you place it inside a sheilded container to work on, along with those glove attached to the container, or at least wear protective gloves.

Radio Shack sell low temp solder that can be melted with a match. That may work for you.
Message: Posted by: inigmntoya (Feb 6, 2011 05:20PM)
Thanks for the info....though a quick google check says a match flame is 600-800 degrees and solder usually melts at or even a good bit below that.
I definitely don't need to have a battery explode on me, so I think that option is generally out... and probably explains why it wasn't used in the first place. :)
Message: Posted by: remote guy (Feb 6, 2011 05:50PM)
Home Depot sells a aluminum tape that will conduct electricity. You can find it in the duct work section of the store.



Nick
Message: Posted by: inigmntoya (Feb 6, 2011 09:33PM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-06 18:50, remote guy wrote:
Home Depot sells a aluminum tape that will conduct electricity. You can find it in the duct work section of the store.
[/quote]

I've seen tapes like that... copper too... but is the adhesive conductive too? If not I don't see how it would make much of a good connection.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 6, 2011 10:07PM)
I really do not see why you cannot just wrap the bare wire with a piece of aluminum foil, then tape that to the battery. I do not have your effect, so I do not know how much room you have to apply tape.

If nothing else, contact the dealer or manufacturer to see if you can get it repaired by them.
Message: Posted by: remote guy (Feb 6, 2011 10:12PM)
[/quote]

I've seen tapes like that... copper too... but is the adhesive conductive too? If not I don't see how it would make much of a good connection.
[/quote]



You said in your first post that tape was originally used on the prop.

Nick
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Feb 6, 2011 10:29PM)
As long as the bare end of the wire connects the battery terminal, you have a connection. The tape would just be there to hold it fast.
Message: Posted by: remote guy (Feb 6, 2011 10:55PM)
Here is another option.


http://www.allelectronics.com/index.php?page=search&search_query=conductive+glue&x=48&y=10



Nick
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Feb 7, 2011 12:28AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-06 23:55, remote guy wrote:
Here is another option.


http://www.allelectronics.com/index.php?page=search&search_query=conductive+glue&x=48&y=10



Nick
[/quote]

Good find!
Message: Posted by: inigmntoya (Feb 7, 2011 06:20AM)
That looks good. Thanks everyone!
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Feb 7, 2011 10:00AM)
By the way, it's never a good idea to solder directly to a battery- apart from the explosion risk, it really doesn't make a good mechanical connection (meaning the wire could break off)... plus it makes for a lot more work when you've eventually got to replace the battery.
Message: Posted by: inigmntoya (Feb 16, 2011 09:38PM)
UPDATE:

I bought a clip-on heat-sink, bent a small piece of copper wire into a spiral shape, and soldered that to the ignition wire lead, then secured the copper spiral to the battery contact with plain old electrical tape. It seemed to work fine, but now I think the battery has died (still need to dig up my multimeter to be sure).

The battery says "Polaroid" on it, so I'm guessing it's from a pack of the old SX-70 film or something like that?
Single packs of the film seem to be going for $20 or more apiece.... Does anyone have an idea of what might be a suitable replacement battery (voltage, capacity, etc.)?
Message: Posted by: inigmntoya (Feb 16, 2011 09:42PM)
... Or alternately, some other form of ignition system I can retrofit into this wallet?
Message: Posted by: rhiro (Feb 18, 2011 05:33AM)
If your battery has "Polaroid" on it, it's probably a Polapulse battery. This was a thin, rectangular battery built into Polaroid film, as you've guessed. It was also available separately for a relatively short time. Estes, the model rocket company, used to sell a launch controller that used a Polapulse battery. I don't know the specs on the Polapulse battery, other than it is a 6V battery. Seeing how the Estes launch controller used it, I have to think a fresh Polapulse would deliver at least a few amps. Good luck finding one at a decent price, though. Last I checked it was slim pickin's on Ebay.

To pick an alternate battery, I'd first power your wallet with a 6V power supply, measure the current draw, then pick an appropriate battery that can source the required current. Lithium Polymer (Li-Po) batteries are reasonably close to the form factor of the Polapulse and would probably fit nicely, but come with a lot of caveats. (E.g. Safety issues, easily damaged if you exceed their current ratings, and the fact that a 7.4V Li-Po battery might prematurely burn out your heating element unless you add something to drop the voltage.) Unless you are already familiar with how to use these, I would avoid Li-Pos. If there is room to hide thicker batteries, I'd use either disposable alkaline batteries (4 cells), or rechargeable nicads or nickel metal hydride batteries (5 cells) to get your 6 volts.

BTW, as others have mentioned, soldering batteries can be dangerous. A friend of mine was soldering a coin battery, it exploded, and it threw battery acid into his eye.

Good luck and be careful!

Ross
Message: Posted by: en2oh (Mar 2, 2011 10:20PM)
Hi Guys,
Couple things might be useful here. First, there are batteries that have solder tabs already on them. For example, the Polapulse P80 or P100 have contacts soldered onto them. I did a quick search and although they haven't made these batteries since 2006, they are available periodically on eBay. 11 sold for $88 recently. But, there is some information that might be interesting to you. There is an analogue site called "The Impossible-Project" that has actually kept the poloroid film technology alive by purchasing the last Polaroid Plant in the US. Apparently they also have "Impossible-Batteries" available. They mention that for the P80, their current capacity of 750mAh at 6 volts is an improvement over the old capacity of the original batteries.

It wouldn't be difficult to purchase some rechargable LiPo battery packs that are small enough and are easy to solder to. Since the basic lithium polymer battery configuration is 3.7v, you'll need to put a couple in series. Be careful with dead shorts (risk of fire and explosions very real) as well as proper recharging circuits (easily available on ebay from any of the battery vendors).

This really is a great opportunity to upgrade your prop. I'd go with LiPo rechargable batteries myself :)
Take care,
Doug

http://www.the-impossible-project.com/projects/battery/ (if you really want to 'mimic' the original 6 v packs - 7.4 volts is unlikely to be a problem for the prop but if it is, just put a small voltage dropping resistor in series)

[quote]
On 2011-02-18 06:33, rhiro wrote:
If your battery has "Polaroid" on it, it's probably a Polapulse battery. This was a thin, rectangular battery built into Polaroid film, as you've guessed. It was also available separately for a relatively short time. Estes, the model rocket company, used to sell a launch controller that used a Polapulse battery. I don't know the specs on the Polapulse battery, other than it is a 6V battery. Seeing how the Estes launch controller used it, I have to think a fresh Polapulse would deliver at least a few amps. Good luck finding one at a decent price, though. Last I checked it was slim pickin's on Ebay.

To pick an alternate battery, I'd first power your wallet with a 6V power supply, measure the current draw, then pick an appropriate battery that can source the required current. Lithium Polymer (Li-Po) batteries are reasonably close to the form factor of the Polapulse and would probably fit nicely, but come with a lot of caveats. (E.g. Safety issues, easily damaged if you exceed their current ratings, and the fact that a 7.4V Li-Po battery might prematurely burn out your heating element unless you add something to drop the voltage.) Unless you are already familiar with how to use these, I would avoid Li-Pos. If there is room to hide thicker batteries, I'd use either disposable alkaline batteries (4 cells), or rechargeable nicads or nickel metal hydride batteries (5 cells) to get your 6 volts.

BTW, as others have mentioned, soldering batteries can be dangerous. A friend of mine was soldering a coin battery, it exploded, and it threw battery acid into his eye.

Good luck and be careful!

Ross
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: inigmntoya (Mar 3, 2011 10:39PM)
En2oh:

Thanks for the great info. I'd found the "Impossible" film and was considering cannibalizing one of their film packs but was uncertain of what was inside. I've contacted them to see if they'll sell me a couple batteries on their own.
Message: Posted by: inigmntoya (Mar 17, 2012 03:36PM)
Update:

It only took me a year, but I got in touch with the Impossible Project and they just sent me four of their Polapulse P80 equivalent battery packs for the cost of shipping ($6). It took a little work with scissors and tape as the packaging was a bit too large (but the battery size just fine), and I'm setting things on fire again. :firedevil: