What is your favorite method of converting flat top batteries to button top?

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lightlight22
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What is your favorite method of converting flat top batteries to button top?
Neo Magnets
23% (19 votes)
Solder Blob
59% (48 votes)
Soldering a spacer
9% (7 votes)
Re-shrink w/ protection circuit
2% (2 votes)
Other...
6% (5 votes)
Total votes: 81

Don't give up on your dreams,
Keep dreaming.

mrheosuper
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a spacer, of course, especially when need high current

Forgot my pen

Lexel
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soldering a brass button

Jerommel
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Solder blob.
Gives the largest contact surface because it’s relatively soft.

Here are some fresh ones (not yet used):

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

keltex78
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Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

teacher
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Lexel wrote:

soldering a brass button

Jerommel wrote:

Solder blob.
Gives the largest contact surface because it’s relatively soft.

Here are some fresh ones (not yet used):


Those both look great guys. Thumbs Up

Jerommel, those are the best & most exact “solder blobs” I have ever seen!! Nice work……. Thumbs Up

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

       Texas Lumens Flashlights  <>   M4D M4X Deals : sign up - save $$$$    ||||   Confucius say -- Baaa-haaaaaa......   tongue-out

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deye223
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Jerommel wrote:
Solder blob.
Gives the largest contact surface because it’s relatively soft.

Here are some fresh ones (not yet used):

!http://i67.tinypic.com/2nu3lag.jpg!

very neat mate Thumbs Up

Firelight2
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I haven’t tried turning flat tops to button tops, but if I did, I would use the same method I use for making buttons for positive contacts on drivers:

1. Take a piece of sheet copper and cut a small disk using metal scissors.
2. Place cell vertically in vise.
3. Apply solder paste to top of cell
4. Place copper disk on top of paste
5. Use a toothpick to hold disk in position so it doesn’t shift while applying soldering iron to top of disk. The instant the solder melts remove iron.
6. If necessary, apply a second disk on top of the first for a taller button.
7. If necessary use a handfile and possibly steel wool to file the top of the disk completely flat and to remove any sharp edges.

firedome
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I’ve when using neo 5mmx1mm or 1.5mm magnets. No need to glue or washers or any kind of spacer. Just center and load the whole assembly up. Most lights that need button tops have a non-conductive ring that surrounds the magnet.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

-Plato

stephenk
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I vote for buying button tops in the first place. Wink

Are there any instructional videos on how to add solder blobs without causing explosions for soldering non-experts?

Jerommel
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stephenk wrote:
I vote for buying button tops in the first place. Wink

Are there any instructional videos on how to add solder blobs without causing explosions for soldering non-experts?

It helps when you have developed some soldering skills of course.
But the flattop surface (of course) needs to be clean and without oxidation.
Do not sand the nickel plating off.

Use a hot iron of around 40 Watts.
Wet the tip with rosin core solder, put it on the flattop.
Add rosin core solder kind of between tip and top.
Add more when it starts to flow.
Move the tip over the surface of the top while adding more solder.
When it’s all flowed on the top (and you have put enough solder there), retract the soldering iron.
The solder will solidify in a nice dome shape.

This all should take no more than 4 or 5 seconds !

Maybe you can practice on tired old laptop pulls.

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

teacher
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Jerommel wrote:
stephenk wrote:
I vote for buying button tops in the first place. Wink

Are there any instructional videos on how to add solder blobs without causing explosions for soldering non-experts?

It helps when you have developed some soldering skills of course.
But the flattop surface (of course) needs to be clean and without oxidation.
Do not sand the nickel plating off.

Use a hot iron of around 40 Watts.
Wet the tip with rosin core solder, put it on the flattop.
Add rosin core solder kind of between tip and top.
Add more when it starts to flow.
Move the tip over the surface of the top while adding more solder.
When it’s all flowed on the top (and you have put enough solder there), retract the soldering iron.
The solder will solidify in a nice dome shape.

This all should take no more than 4 or 5 seconds !

Maybe you can practice on tired old laptop pulls.

Good info Jerommel, thank you for posting it. Thumbs Up

My goal is to make mine look as perfect as yours do in your pics up in post #4. Smile

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

       Texas Lumens Flashlights  <>   M4D M4X Deals : sign up - save $$$$    ||||   Confucius say -- Baaa-haaaaaa......   tongue-out

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jf_smm
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Other – I prefer to go from house to house and explain the peril their little battery souls are in if they don’t convert to button top ism Wink

Tjhosan
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I use piece of solid core wire and bend it into a ring and give it a tap with a hammer to flatten it some. Then i just solder that to the battery.

teacher
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Nice one ‘Tjhosan’. Smile I never thought of that, thanks for sharing.

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

       Texas Lumens Flashlights  <>   M4D M4X Deals : sign up - save $$$$    ||||   Confucius say -- Baaa-haaaaaa......   tongue-out

         Rudeness Level /\ mΩ /\ {width:70%} /\ LightWiki /\ LED Tint Chart /\ LED Tint Picture /\ Xlamp size chart /\ BatteryU                   Flashaholic? Need Professional Help???   wink   /\ TheOriginal /\ TAB /\ LightSearch /\ BatterySearch /\ 14500's /\ DiCal                                                       

Tjhosan
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teacher wrote:
Nice one ‘Tjhosan’. Smile I never thought of that, thanks for sharing.
Thumbs Up
stephenk
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Jerommel wrote:
stephenk wrote:
I vote for buying button tops in the first place. Wink

Are there any instructional videos on how to add solder blobs without causing explosions for soldering non-experts?

It helps when you have developed some soldering skills of course.
But the flattop surface (of course) needs to be clean and without oxidation.
Do not sand the nickel plating off.

Use a hot iron of around 40 Watts.
Wet the tip with rosin core solder, put it on the flattop.
Add rosin core solder kind of between tip and top.
Add more when it starts to flow.
Move the tip over the surface of the top while adding more solder.
When it’s all flowed on the top (and you have put enough solder there), retract the soldering iron.
The solder will solidify in a nice dome shape.

This all should take no more than 4 or 5 seconds !

Maybe you can practice on tired old laptop pulls.

Thanks for the instructions!
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firedome wrote:
I’ve when using neo 5mmx1mm or 1.5mm magnets. No need to glue or washers or any kind of spacer. Just center and load the whole assembly up. Most lights that need button tops have a non-conductive ring that surrounds the magnet.

Have you tried doing tail cap amp readings with & without magnets ?
I used to use magnets but after finding that on an S70 on turbo running 2 x Liitokala 26650“s with magnets I was losing nearly 0.5A.
It may be of course that the magnets I was using had pretty high resistance but because of that I quickly over came my fear of solder blobbing cells & now solder blob if I need to turn a flat top cell in to a button top Thumbs Up

Ian

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I’ve seen magnets dent my cells .
not a fan of magnets

Solder blobs are simple …Add flux first then load up your iron till the solder is almost dropping off …it takes about a second to do . Kicked myself for waiting so long to do it . Seems like I was always hunting for a longer cell for lights that didn’t have a spring ..messing with magnets or buying protected cellsbecause they were longer was just dumb .

καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

teacher
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Boaz wrote:
I’ve seen magnets dent my cells .
not a fan of magnets Solder blobs are simple …Add flux first then load up your iron till the solder is almost dropping off …it takes about a second to do . Kicked myself for waiting so long to do it . Seems like I was always hunting for a longer cell for lights that didn’t have a spring ..messing with magnets or buying protected cellsbecause they were longer was just dumb .
+1……. I was in the same boat as you Boaz until not too long ago. I detest magnets…. Wink

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

       Texas Lumens Flashlights  <>   M4D M4X Deals : sign up - save $$$$    ||||   Confucius say -- Baaa-haaaaaa......   tongue-out

         Rudeness Level /\ mΩ /\ {width:70%} /\ LightWiki /\ LED Tint Chart /\ LED Tint Picture /\ Xlamp size chart /\ BatteryU                   Flashaholic? Need Professional Help???   wink   /\ TheOriginal /\ TAB /\ LightSearch /\ BatterySearch /\ 14500's /\ DiCal                                                       

ARsee
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While I just received 10 flat tops, I was in need of a solution.

A quick search of the forum, and here I found some nice ways of getting the task accomplished.

Excellent topic, ALL. Several great solutions!!

Thanks to all who chimed in.

 

Update:

I just did all of mine. Works as explained.

 

 

Dave.
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I used to use solder and a washer of the right size, put the washer in place and then solder into the hole in the middle, it gives more strength than just solder,

Now I just buy the correct batteries with buttons Wink .

mrheosuper
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Not many people use spacer, i dont know why
There is battery store at my place. And they have service convert from flat head to button head, 1$ for every 5 batteries
The result is good(at least to me)

Forgot my pen

chrisc
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I use some magnets and a little bit of glue to stop them sliding to the side.

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Made a couple of these.
I just drop one in between the flat tops. Usually 2 batteries and usually the first battery in doesn’t need any help, at least in my flashlights.
The disc keeps it centered in the flashlight tube. Solder blob in the center. These are the thicker ones. I use the thinner ones most often.
Not a good solution for everyone but works for me. YMMV.
These are for 26650 sized cells Smile

papaslightsaber
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teacher wrote:
Lexel wrote:

soldering a brass button

Jerommel wrote:

Solder blob.
Gives the largest contact surface because it’s relatively soft.

Here are some fresh ones (not yet used):


Those both look great guys. Thumbs Up

Jerommel, those are the best & most exact “solder blobs” I have ever seen!! Nice work……. Thumbs Up


+1 Agreed. I’m inspired looking at these guys solder pics.
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I love this thread. As soon as 18650’s stop driving me crazy, they start driving me crazy again. Magnets are ok for me, but never anything more than just ok. Obviously they are not always a viable solution. In any of the 4p twist top configurations, they are definitely NOT ok.

I see a nice path to several solutions here and really just appreciate this thread and the activity here. I’ve always thought of doing the solder blobs as cumbersome and having an ugly appearance. However, with the given soldering tips and the posted pics, I can clearly see that it’s just the opposite.
Barkuti
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Sorry, but:

 

With regards to decreased discharge performance, magnets resistance is not the real issue. The issue is in part related to the increase in contact resistance, as you are creating another non-stationary surfaces solid to solid contact. Increase contact surface, get wider magnets and or solder the stuff.

No, I'm not buying shitty button tops. That @#$% is an aftermarket add-on, very cheaply made. Crappy steel sheet spot welded with a puny nickel strip. Dreadful.

If I were to be handed button top cells without any real use for these ignominious stuff to be there, I'd probably grab my multitool and remove them (Oh! Already done in the past). 

This may sound a bit dramatic to some of you, but not to me. I'm happy with it. If in need for protruding contact surfaces, I build my own to my standards. 

 

Party

delete
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Zebretta wrote:
Made a couple of these.
I just drop one in between the flat tops. Usually 2 batteries and usually the first battery in doesn’t need any help, at least in my flashlights.
The disc keeps it centered in the flashlight tube. Solder blob in the center. These are the thicker ones. I use the thinner ones most often.
Not a good solution for everyone but works for me. YMMV.
These are for 26650 sized cells Smile

!{width:30%}http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x231/mistypotato/26650Spacer_2_120170...!

how to build it? can you advice me?

Ronin42
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I stumbled on a great way to make flat tops the same size and protected cells (sometimes your light just needs long cells)

Driver springs, or more specifically a stiff driver spring that RMM has in his shop. tin the spring first then a quick dab of solder once on the cell and bingo a flexible sized cell that fits protected and button top sized lights.

(“It’s good that most people can’t remember their previous lives. Otherwise
things would be a lot more complicated than they already are.”
Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo)