You can use any connectors you like. I’m a big fan of Anderson PowerPole connectors for the discharge leads. I used this other connector that I had in my parts bin for the discharge wires. I’m not sure what that type of connector is called, but if someone wants to let me know in the comments section then that’d be great!

The Panasonic 18650pf is a good cell, that’s the one I used here. I also like the Samsung 26F, though it’s a fairly low power cell, and the Samsung 29E which is a bit higher power cell. The Samsung 30Q is a fairly new cell that has good specifications but doesn’t have as long a life – everything is a trade-off.

The Panasonic NCR18650PD cells can be purchased at Fast Tech dot Com, who reliably processed and shipped my transaction. Good prices, too, from this http://electricbikebatterys.com vendor. I “tested the waters” by buying just 4 cells first and will certainly be buying more from them. I’d like to make my own e-bike pack with these cells and further inquired to AllCell to see if I could obtain one of their PCM blocks. Unfortunately, they will only sell these on bulk wholesale basis to established pack-building businesses. The DIY pack builder will have to explore other options.

What a great article! It has opened my eyes to lots of possibilities. Being new to this I had a couple of questions. I am interested in building a spare battery to give me more range on the Faraday Porteur. My question is how to connect the battery I would build to the bike. The main battery resides in the downtube and the connection is hidden. They offer an ancillary battery that plugs into the charging port which is what I would like to build myself rather than buy. Do you think this would be possible? Where could I find a connector that would match? Any concerns? If so, what other options do you suggest? Thanks so much for the help!!

If any one battery cell varies significantly from the others, do NOT connect it to the other cells. Paralleling two or more cells of different voltages will cause an instantaneous and massive current flow in the direction of the lower voltage cell(s). This can damage the cells and even result in fire on rare occasions. Either individually charge or discharge the cell to match the others, or more likely, just don’t use it in your pack at all. The reason for the voltage difference could have something to do with an issue in the cell, and you don’t want a bad cell in your pack.

This is truly inspiring, this has helped me out in so many ways, I have a few questions I want to ask please. I was looking to withdraw amps by making connections from the battery directly but charging it through the bms as my bms is similar to yours max withdraw of 40 but I need upto 50a. and also are most BMS self balancing ? Meaning wil they always try to balance themselves even when they are not being charged ? Hope to hear from you soon kind regards

BMS’s aren’t required, they just make life easier. As you mentioned, if you don’t use a BMS then you’ve got to diligently monitor your cells and use balance charging to manually balance your cells. A BMS just takes care of this hassle for you. A low quality BMS can cause problems, but good quality BMS’s shouldn’t risk cell damage.

Note: At multiple points along this article I have inserted videos that I made demonstrating the steps involved in building a battery. The battery used in the videos is the same voltage but slightly larger capacity. The same techniques all still apply. If you don’t understand something in the text, try watching it in the video.

I guess I’ll just have to risk some deterioration on the cells. I don’t think there’s much of an effect, as I did it on an old 18650 cell to test. The joint and surrounding areas were cool to the touch within 1-2s of removing the heat.

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So I’m going to first use a wider (285 mm to be exact) but shorter piece of shrink wrap to go around the long direction of the pack. That will seal the ends first, and then I can go back with my long and skinny piece of heat shrink to do the length of the pack.

Yes, it’s technically possible, but sometimes it is easier said than done. If the cells are on the edge of your battery, it’s much easier to cut them out (by the nickel, not by cutting the actual cell!) and replace them. If they are sandwiched in the middle of your pack then you’ll have to do a lot more pack surgery to get in and replace them. But yes, it’s possible to just remove them and replace them with new, good cells of the same capacity.

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