Battery building

Hey guys! I got a kit of parts from 2019, but I don’t know how to build the batteries that come with it. Is there any place where I could get the instructions?
I think that it is the rookie kit of parts, but I am not sure.

1 Like

Are you talking about how to attach the wires to the battery?

If you’re looking for attachment methods, there’s a number of different ways. The 2020 rules will have some specific minimum requirements. Team 900 has a good “best practices” guide.

If you’re describing something else, ummmm… Sealed lead acid batteries should come in one piece… please don’t attempt to open or modify the batteries. Electricity and lead and acid and stuff. Bad news bears, many times over.


Yes, how to attach battery wires

1 Like

I believe only rookie KOP comes with batteries. (I’m probably wrong but I dont remember getting a battery last year in our veteran KOP.) If veteran KOPs do I believe it comes with wires though, But I’m not sure if they are the right ends, Meaning you’ll need to crimp your own battery ends.

The veteran KoP has had one battery and the rookie two for the last few years.

The kits usually come with the Anderson SB50 (red or pink housing) pre-installed on a cable of 12" or a bit shorter, but no lugs at the other end. If so, check that the red wire is by the “+” sign on the SB50 and the black is by the “-” (we got one that was swapped once!). Then, you need to crimp on 6AWG lugs with holes on the remaining lengths, and secure these to the lugs on the battery using #10 machine screws and lock nuts, preferably with a star nut in the middle. Red to red/+, black to black/-. Cover the battery terminals and lugs with electrical tape or heat shrink tubing.

OBTW, an inexpensive but adequate crimper for size 0 to size 8 terminals:

So it is supposed to come with lugs?

6AWG Crimp lugs are part of the Kit of Parts.

1 Like

Which tote? Gray or black?

Thanks! Found them.

BTW: The KOP Batteries in 2019 sucked. Make sure to test them if you plan on using it in competition.

1 Like

Nah, it’s for a drivebase bot to test out mecanum wheels.

this is very true (I have a whole thread about it) Battery Warning. Also I know that there is a whole debate about this and I am not trying to start one, but if you want you can also solder the ends of your battery cable connectors/crimps onto the wires and then bolt them to the battery. That is what our team does. It may take a while but a soldering gun and a soldering iron will get it working in no time.

I know you said you don’t want to start a debate, but we need to avoid false statements. Soldering your battery lugs is a recipe for broken strands and an overall weaker connection. The solder wicks up into the wire strands and hardens, making the wire strands more brittle. A properly crimped lug does not need to be soldered, and an improperly crimped lug shouldn’t be anywhere near your robot (soldering won’t help it). There are a number of threads here describing this effect. And I’m sure @JamesCH95 also has something to say about it.


TL;DR: NASA says that crimps are better than soldered joints. One can get a workable battery-sized crimper for $20. There’s really no excuse.

Working? Sure.
Optimal/durable/robust? Absolutely not.

NASA Workmanship Standard link.

The relevant portion:

From another post of mine on this topic:

Before we had the sponsorship we have today (and the money to buy a hydraulic crimper) we used a crimper like this for battery/large gauge lugs. $20. We made crimps so good that the ring of a ring terminal would tear before the wire pulled out, at roughly 350lbf.


Also I know that there is a whole debate about this

Yeah, please don’t solder. It’s no debate.

Fun story. When I was young, I mounted a winch on the front of my off-road truck and built some nice cables with 1awg rubber coated welding wire. I decided I’d get all fancy and solder the cable into the lugs. There’s a lot of heat mass there so I had to use a mapp gas torch to flow the solder.

Anyway, a year later, I’m out wheeling with my buddies and I get stuck in a truck eating pit. No problem, I’ll finally use that winch I put on a year ago. Well, the winch strained and pulled and the truck barely moved. I kept pulling with the winch until finally the winch stopped pulling. After some diagnosis, the problem was plain to see. The cable got so hot that the solder in one of the lugs melted and dribbled out of the lug.

I bought a crimper after that and rebuilt all of my cables.

Incidentally, it took two Jeeps strapped to two separate trees and 8000lb winches each to finally extract my truck.


Teams might want to consider a Hydraulic crimp tool, as opposed to the impact crimp tool. For example:

These tools come with interchangeable dies to match the crimp to the wire gauge.


Absolutely. Those are the best option, just not the least expensive.

Whatever you choose to use: make samples, test them, section them. Know that your process is good.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.