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Old 12-31-2017, 11:20 AM
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Default Batt-Bridge "Battery Pack Balance Monitor" (wiring diagram & instructions)

This is how a Batt-Bridge works (Lee Hart's Battery Balance Analyzer)

...& IMHO how they are to be wired up.

I, like to, call it a "BPBM" (Battery Pack Balance Monitor)


Here is a link:

http://www.evdl.org/pages/battbridge.html


Here is the description:

"The Batt-Bridge is about as simple as you can get; that's why it is so inexpensive. If all you want is an 'idiot' light to say, "Stop driving, your batteries are dead," I can't imagine anything any simpler. You really don't need dozens of ICs and hundreds of components just to light a light.
The Batt-Bridge divides the pack in half, and compares the voltage of each half. It lights an LED when one of them is 1v less than the other.

If a cell dies somewhere in the pack, it typically causes a 2 volt change. So the Batt-Bridge warns you that a cell went dead. There are two LEDs, so they indicate which half-pack contains the bad cell.

R1 and R2 are chosen to draw about 10-20ma from the pack. For example, if you have a 120v pack, R1 and R2 each have about 60v across them. At 15ma, they would be R = 60v / 0.015a = 4k ohms. They need to be identical values (1% or hand picked or trimmed). And they must be power resistors; 60v x 0.015a = 0.9 watts, so use at least a 2 watt resistor.

Use an ordinary low brightness green LED. Its purpose is just to indicate that power is on, and to act as a low-voltage 2.4v "zener" diode. However, the red LEDs should be high brightness types -- the brighter the better, so you can see them even in daylight.

Here's how it works. All voltages are relative to the pack center tap. If +pack == -(-pack), then the green LED lights. The green LED's anode is at +1.2v, and its cathode is at -1.4v. The red LEDs don't light because they only have 1.2 volts across them (they need over 1.5v to light).

Now, suppose you have a dead cell in the upper half of the pack. Then +pack is 2v less than -pack. R1 and R2 form a voltage divider, so both ends of the green LED are 1v more negative; its anode is at +0.2v, and its cathode is at -2.4v. This means there is now 2.4v across the lower red LED; so it lights! Likewise, if the dead cell is in the lower half, then the upper red LED lights.

The total resistance of R1 and R2 sets the sensitivity, and the ratio of these resistors sets the desired center-tap voltage of the pack. If both LEDs light, then the resistors are too low a value; increase the resistance of both of them proportionately. Ten milliamps through the resistors is low sensitivity (over 2v difference to light an LED); 20ma is normal sensitivity; 40ma gives you high sensitivity (less than 1v difference to light an LED).

If one LED lights when the half-pack voltages are correct, then adjust the value of one of the resistors. This is also how you deal with packs with an odd number of batteries, where the "center tap" is off by one."



From personal testing,

...this seems to work good for monitoring "simple" pack imbalance

...but, I have NOT been able to duplicate the claim, that it will indicate or tell you to "Stop driving, your batteries are dead,"

Here is a video to help explain the concept in a bit more detail

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Old 01-01-2018, 01:27 PM
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Here is a video

...testing a 24V version of a Batt-Bridge "BPBM" Battery Pack Balance Monitor

...for functionality (to make sure it works)

...& use data (to see how it works)


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Old 01-01-2018, 03:33 PM
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To build a 24V Batt-Bridge

I used:

...(2) 800 ohm 1 watt @ 1% power resistors

...(3) LED's (2) red & (1) green

...a small plastic container

...(3) short lengths of 16g. wire
(1) orange for the positive (+) connector, (1) green for the (mid-pack) connector, (1) gray for the negative (-) connector

...(3) clips (to attach the leads to the battery pack)

...some heat shrink


After assembly & testing

...I used some clear silicone to seal it all up

Here are some assembly/build pics

...plus a video


Attached Thumbnails
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SAM_7133.jpg   SAM_7134.jpg  

SAM_7146.jpg   SAM_7147.jpg  

SAM_7149.jpg   SAM_7162.jpg  

SAM_7172.jpg   SAM_7183.jpg  

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Old 01-01-2018, 04:35 PM
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Potting is best to use an epoxy... 5min will do in a pinch...
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Functional Artist View Post
To build a 24V Batt-Bridge

I used:

...(2) 800 ohm 1 watt @ 1% power resistors

...(3) LED's (2) red & (1) green

...a small plastic container

...(3) short lengths of 16g. wire
(1) orange for the positive (+) connector, (1) green for the (mid-pack) connector, (1) gray for the negative (-) connector

...(3) clips (to attach the leads to the battery pack)

...some heat shrink


After assembly & testing

...I used some clear silicone to seal it all up

Here are some assembly/build pics

...plus a video


Don't you have to wait a month for that glob to cure and become non conductive or is it instantly non conductive right out of the tube? I prefer GOOP because you can get more, cheaper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mckutzy View Post
Potting is best to use an epoxy... 5min will do in a pinch...
I've seen epoxy crack.
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckutzy View Post
Potting is best to use an epoxy... 5min will do in a pinch...
Thanks for the suggestion

What are the pros & cons of using epoxy over the silicone?

...please provide a link to the type of epoxy you have in mind

I used clear silicone because I have seen speed controllers done that way

...maybe its a Chinese thing
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Functional Artist View Post
Thanks for the suggestion

What are the pros & cons of using epoxy over the silicone?

...please provide a link to the type of epoxy you have in mind

I used clear silicone because I have seen speed controllers done that way

...maybe its a Chinese thing
Don't forget to fill it full of sand and gravel then so you waste less glue or epoxy as they do on speed controllers......
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:28 PM
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When I used to fix electric motors a few years ago we used a 2part epoxy to encapsulate cord caps for submersible pumps, also used 5min epoxy quick for winding repairs... Both were more than sufficient to handle the heat and vibrations(high voltage will rub holes in insulation if not held immovable)..

We used a specific electrical potting epoxy... Dolph's I think it was called... I know it was expensive...
I asked about your average 2part, most will be tolerable to most uses in the electrical field.. Some are better than others...

The silicone won't handle the heat as good aswell as the vibrations(not so aplicable to DC circuits) at least that's why we didnt uses it...
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckutzy View Post
When I used to fix electric motors a few years ago we used a 2part epoxy to encapsulate cord caps for submersible pumps, also used 5min epoxy quick for winding repairs... Both were more than sufficient to handle the heat and vibrations(high voltage will rub holes in insulation if not held immovable)..

We used a specific electrical potting epoxy... Dolph's I think it was called... I know it was expensive...
I asked about your average 2part, most will be tolerable to most uses in the electrical field.. Some are better than others...

The silicone won't handle the heat as good aswell as the vibrations(not so aplicable to DC circuits) at least that's why we didnt uses it...

As of right now

...I am only working with

...& making 24V (for the kids kart's)

...& 48V versions of Batt-Bridges (for !Arriba! & El Moto)


* (high voltage will rub holes in insulation if not held immovable).

That's why I used the silicone, to hold everything immovable

For vibrations
...moving vehicles are rough on small wire connections (wire chafing)

To insulate
...helps to avoid shorts, due to bare LED leads in the box & such


Would 24V & 48V @ 10 - 20ma be considered "high voltage"?


Would that liquid rubber tool dip stuff from HF https://www.harborfreight.com/14-1-2...lack-2779.html
work as a inexpensive alternative, to silicone or epoxy, to insulate & hold small these connections immovable?

...probably wouldn't have to "fill 'er up" just give everything a couple of good coats or layers.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:14 PM
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High voltage here in N.America I think is rated at 408vac and above... I don't think it applies to DC, albeit 48vdc is getting up there...
The vibrations I was referring to was AC 60 hz power frequency. You will see electric motor fields wrapped, tied and varnished... If not the wire will flap about and rub on itself or another object of the motor...


Doing a little research into the properties of silicone...

Here's a bit of interesting read...
https://electronics.stackexchange.co...nic-components
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckutzy View Post
High voltage here in N.America I think is rated at 408vac and above... I don't think it applies to DC, albeit 48vdc is getting up there...
The vibrations I was referring to was AC 60 hz power frequency. You will see electric motor fields wrapped, tied and varnished... If not the wire will flap about and rub on itself or another object of the motor...


Doing a little research into the properties of silicone...

Here's a bit of interesting read...
https://electronics.stackexchange.co...nic-components

Very interesting

Here is some more info I found


Potting Electronics

In electronics, potting is a process of filling a complete electronic assembly with a solid or gelatinous compound for resistance to shock and vibration, and for exclusion of moisture and corrosive agents. Thermosetting plastics or silicone rubber gels are often used. Many sites recommend using silicone or epoxy to protect from impact and loose wires. [1] Araldite (a brand name) potting compound has been suggested for certain automotive applications[citation needed].

In the potting process, an electronic assembly is placed inside a mold which is then filled with an insulating liquid compound that hardens, permanently protecting the assembly. The mold is part of the finished article and can provide shielding or heat dissipating functions in addition to acting as a mold. A cast assembly uses a removable mold. [2]

As an alternative, many circuit board assembly houses coat assemblies with a layer of transparent conformal coating rather than potting.[3] Conformal coating gives most of the benefits of potting, and is lighter and easier to inspect, test, and repair.

When potting a circuit board that uses surface-mount technology, low glass transition temperature (Tg) potting compounds such as polyurethane or silicone are used, because high Tg potting compounds may break solder bonds as they harden and shrink at low temperatures.


Conformal Coatings

Acrylic Resin (Type AR):

Acrylic conformal coatings are easily applied. They dry to the touch at room temperature in minutes, have desirable electrical and physical properties and are fungus resistant. They have long pot life and low or no exothermic during cure, which prevents damage to heat sensitive components. Also, they do not shrink. The main disadvantage is solvent sensitivity, but this also makes them easier to repair.

Epoxy (Type ER):

Epoxy systems are usually available as “two-component” compounds. These rugged conformal coatings provide good humidity resistance and high abrasion and chemical resistance. They are, however, virtually impossible to remove chemically for rework because any stripper that will attack the coating also dissolves epoxy-coated or epoxy-potted components and the epoxy-glass printed circuit board itself. The only effective way to repair a board or replace a component is to burn through the epoxy coating with a knife or soldering iron.

Polyurethane (Type UR):

Polyurethane conformal coatings are available as single component, two components, UV curable, and water borne systems. As a group, all provide excellent humidity and chemical resistance plus outstanding dielectric properties for extended periods.

Silicone Type (SR):

Silicone conformal coatings are particularly useful for high temperature service, up to about 200 C. They provide high humidity and corrosion resistance along with good thermal endurance, making them desirable for PWA’s that contain high heat dissipating components such as power resistors. Silicone coatings are susceptible to abrasion (low cohesive strength) and have high coefficients of thermal expansion.



Application Processes

Conformal coatings are very thin layers of material designed to protect the surface of a printed circuit board. These layers are applied onto the circuit board or the substrate and act as a protective coating from harsh elements. Conformal coating is used when the finished product containing the printed circuit board would be exposed to a harsh environment. These environments may include heat, chemicals, moisture or any environment that could damage the mechanics of a printed circuit or the substrate.

First application is the Dipping Process: this can be done typically by automated equipment or manual application. PCBs are typically hung by an arm and then lowered in a dip tank containing the coating with an immersion rate determined by the population density of the PCB to be dipped. Some advantages of this process is coating penetration under components, coating thickness is assured, can be a fast process time, and this process has a low skill process in application. Some disadvantages of dip coating is thin tip coverage, inconsistent coating thickness, and rather intensive masking is required.

Spray Coating either from an aerosol can or spray gun application is the second most widely used and accepted application of liquid conformal coatings. In this process the material is diluted and sprayed with multiple passes each at a 45-degree angle with multiple coats to achieve desired thickness required. Advantages for spray coating are high volume capable of 1000’s of boards per week, reduced masking in comparison to the dip method, better tip and edge coverage, along with a more uniform thickness. Some disadvantages is multiple passes are needed to achieve desired thickness and there is less penetration of coating under components in comparison to “dipping.”

Brush Coating application is commonly used with a low volume production run. During this process it is important to keep the brush loaded with coating and let it flow; do not paint the assembly. Some advantages to this process is the extremely low cost and that it is well suited for low volume applications as well as for repair and rework of an assembly. Disadvantages are it can be slow on labor intensive on large board, which also makes for a questionable finish for the assembly.

Selective Spray coating application is very common amongst automotive and other high volume application in which board design and layout does not change much of long periods of time. For this application, selective spay maximizes throughput by minimizing the amount of masking as well as providing and highly controlled process creating precise repeatability. However there are some disadvantages to this process. Boards may still require masking, and it does require a skilled operator to program and operate this machine. Programming is time consuming as well in addition to the high cost of the spray machines.

Last edited by Functional Artist; 01-04-2018 at 03:50 PM. Reason: add more info
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:05 PM
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I have assembled a couple of "mobile" Batt-Bridges for doing "spot checks" on different battery packs

I want to mount one permanently on "El Moto" my electric motorcycle to monitor battery pack balance while riding

They could also be mounted

...to the steering support of karts

...or even on the dash of golf carts


The ability to turn it off when not in use would be important

...it would probably take like forever & a day for them little LED's to drain the battery pack but, still, it's not good to have a constant drain on your battery pack, even if it's dinky


Well, to be able to turn it off ya, gotta add a switch

...but, not just any switch


Remember a Batt-Bridge has (3) legs/leads

...a positive (+) lead

...a center tap

...& a negative (-) lead


So, the switch will have to sever (2) of the legs/leads to "actually" turn it off


A (double pole single throw) dpst switch will accomplish this

...it is a switch that controls (2) separate circuits at the same time


I have started making a Batt-Bridge with a switch

...it will have the LED's & the switch on the face instead of on the end like I did on the "spot checker" units


I drilled (3) holes for the LED's & (2) others for the switch

...gonna skip the LED bezels on this one for comparison purposes

...drilled the (2) holes for the switch a bit bigger

...then, used a razor knife to connect them holes

...& whittled a little more off each side at a time

...till the switch fit snuggly
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SAM_7239.jpg   SAM_7240.jpg  

  #13  
Old 01-06-2018, 09:28 AM
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I sent a question out on the EVDL (Electric Vehicle Discussion List)


I was very surprised when Mr. Lee Hart, himself messaged me back.


This is the message:

"I am assembling a few Batt-Bridges.

In the description it specifies D2 & D3 are "red high-efficiency LED" & D1 is just a green LED.

...in the written description down below it says: "Use an ordinary low brightness green" & "the red LED's should be high brightness types -- the brighter the better, so you can see them even in daylight.

All say about the same thing (I think) but, it's NOT CRYSTAL CLEAR for the lay person (your average DIY guy or gal)"



** OK, here is what Mr. Lee Hart replied:


"Yes, they are all saying the same thing. There are no good definitions

for LED efficiency and brightness, so I had to use generic terms."



* My next question:

"...for the record, which LED's are the "right" ones for building a Batt-Bridge?"



** Mr. Hart's answer:

"Electrically, what matters is the voltage drop across the diodes. The

*color* (or more precisely, the wavelength in nanometers) of an LED

largely determines this. The green LED should be about 565nm and drop

about 2.1v at 10ma. The red LEDs should be about 635nm and have drop of about 1.8v at 10mA.

Visually, the LEDs can be whatever color and brightness you want, as

long as the voltage drops are about right. Since the green LED is on all

the time (it just tells you the Batt-Bridge has power), you don't want

it to be annoyingly bright. The red LEDs indicate trouble, so you want

them to be bright enough to notice, even on a sunny day."



* My next question:

"...what is the "proper" size/gauge wire to be used on Batt-Bridges?
(It will carry pack voltage but, only ~10 - 20ma)"


** Mr. Hart's answer:

"The current is low, so just about any size wire will work. Choose it for

mechanical strength and insulation quality rather than wire size.

Be sure the insulation on the wire is good enough. You're connecting

these wire to your high voltage pack! Good wire will have its voltage

rating printed on it, or in its data sheets.

Also, put the resistors at the battery terminal end of the wire. That

way, if there is a short in the wire, the resistor will safely limit the current."



Did ya notice that little gem @ the end?


"Also, put the resistors at the battery terminal end of the wire. That

way, if there is a short in the wire, the resistor will safely limit the current"


The BPBM's, I have assembled so far, have the resistors at the LED end of the wires

...NOT at the battery terminal ends (as recommended)

...& will NOT "safely limit the current" coming up to the monitor.

Learning as I go
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:51 PM
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Installed the "guts"

(1) DPST switch
(2) resistors
(3) LED's

Soldered one end of each of the resistors to separate poles of the switch

Soldered the other end to the appropriate spots in the "LED loops"

Ran the (3) lead wires thru the bottom of the box & soldered 'em to the proper spots
(2) to the switch & the other to the center tap lead

Tested for functionality

Sealed/suspended all of those delicate connections in Silicone

(I now know this is NOT the right kind of silicone, I read the info)
(It's mainly to suspend, NOT seal & I think that warning was for circuit boards)

Let 'er cure for a couple of days

Snap the back on

Tested 'er again

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SAM_7432.jpg   SAM_7433.jpg  

  #15  
Old 01-08-2018, 09:30 AM
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I received another message with some interesting info

from "Cor van de Water" on the EVDL


"Looking at the Batt Bridge circuit:

http://www.evdl.org/pages/battbridge.html

You can see that it connects to the pack at 3 points:

bottom, mid and top.

So, in order to cut the current, you need to disconnect at least 2.

This can easily be done adding a reed relay in series with the two resistors so the pack+ flows through the resistor, then through the contact of the reed relay, then to the red and/or green LED. From the bottom of the green LED, you go through the contact of the second reed relay, then through the second resistor and to pack-.

The two coils of the two reed relays can be connected to IGN (Ignition) and ground.

Make sure they are 12V reed relay coils.

Note that the resistors are suggested to be dimensioned for 20mA.

That was a good value for older, low efficiency / low brightness LEDs.

Today you can buy LEDs that you cannot look at directly, lest you risk eye damage at 20mA.

So you may need to design for a lower current through the green LED.

One way to do this is to add a resistor in parallel to the green LED, so most of the current bypasses the LED and the LED will be less bright.

You can also increase the resistance of the two resistors R1 and R2 but this makes the circuit less sensitive to imbalance because there is less current change per Volt of imbalance.

This sensitivity can be improved again by adding a zener in series with the resistor, but now we are starting to design a more complex product again...

Cor."


Gonna have to do some more research

...on Reed Relays

...& what size resistor?
("One way to do this is to add a resistor in parallel to the green LED, so most of the current bypasses the LED and the LED will be less bright.")
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:37 PM
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I have been doing some more testing

...of the 48V Batt-Bridge with a switch


To gather more accurate data, I attached a meter to each battery

...this way, each "cell" of the battery pack can be constantly monitored


I am interested in, some accurate data on, how much of an imbalance is needed to trigger this thing






Then, I got the first "round" 48V Batt-Bridge that I made out & ran a few tests with it to connected

This way I can compare the results of a switched BPBM to a non-switched BPBM




But, then I ran into/discovered a "new/old" issue
  #17  
Old 01-14-2018, 09:19 PM
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The old/new issue I ran into

...is with the round 48V Batt-Bridge, the first one I built (old component)

...I don't think it's wired correctly (new issue)


While testing the Batt-Bridge with a switch

...I figured I could connect the round BPBM to confirm it's accuracy

But, I did NOT get the same results


* IIRC during initial testing, the round BPBM, took like 4 hours & at ~4 volt drop to signal an imbalance
(I thought it should have been a bit more sensitive)

But, while testing the BPBM with a switch, it showed an imbalance in just a few minutes & at ~.5V - 1V variation (a lot more sensitive)


Well, that's the bad thing about potting electronics (you can't go back in & fix stuff)


Gonna', have 'ta make another
(properly wired this time)

...for testin' purposes


Assembled the "LED loop" (as per the diagram)

...soldered 'em together with the appropriate lead wires

...attached the resistors at the battery ends of the wires, this time (as per the diagram)

...covered 'em with some heat shrink

...& tested 'er out


Attached Thumbnails
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SAM_7583.jpg   SAM_7599.jpg  

SAM_7603.jpg  
  #18  
Old 01-15-2018, 11:45 AM
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Yup, it seems to function correctly

Lets put 'er in a box

First, ya gotta come up with a plan

...need a box

...figure where everything can fit

...& look kool


Once ya got that figured out

...lay out a drilling pattern

...mark the drill points

...drill the holes

...cut out the hole for a switch


OK, we have a box

...now lets add the stuff that goes inside


This one is set up as a surface mounted, on the dash type unit

...with the lights & switches in the front

...& the wires run thru a hole in the back


I soldered the wires to the switch first

...snapped it into position

...then inserted the LED's into their bezels

...being careful not to stress or bind anything too much


Gonna test 'er again before adding some potting to seal 'er up
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landuse (01-16-2018)
  #19  
Old 02-07-2018, 12:44 PM
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During research, I came across this series of videos on soldering

It's old school but, super informative

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Old 02-07-2018, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Functional Artist View Post
During research, I came across this series of videos on soldering

It's old school but, super informative

I used these videos to teach myself how to solder!! They were really good. I soldered up a whole metal detector board from scratch and didn't have one problem
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