Copper Terminals Boost Battery Power

"They have 10 times more conductivity than commonly-used lead terminals, the leading cause of battery failure," says Bill Bishop, sales manager for Southern Fastener Co., manufacturer of new "crimp type" copper connecting terminals for car, truck and tractor batteries.

Bishop feels many farmers mistakenly blame battery failure on the battery itself when the problem is with the connecting cables. "Most batteries are hooked up using conventional copper cables with bolt-on terminals made of lead affixed to each end. "Lead has a conductivity of only 8 to 10%, compared to 97% for copper. The disadvantage of this lead-to-copper hookup is obvious. Low-conductive lead terminals not only restrict cranking power from the battery to the starter, but also severely restrict the flow of charging amps from the alternator to the battery," explains Bishop.

He points out that solder-type battery terminals are constructed of brass with a conductivity rate of 65 to 70%. "These terminals have a distinct advantage in conductivity over lead. However, most solder-type terminals are soldered with a 60/40 lead-tin solder. Surrounding 97% conductible copper with 8 to 10% conductible lead solder is, once again, creating a tremendous amount of resistance in the system."

To get batteries hooked up with virtually no loss in conductivity, Southern Fastener Co. has introduced crimp-type connecting terminals, constructed of copper with a corrosion resistant plating, for making your own highly-efficient battery cables.

"We think our new copper terminals are, by far, the best choice available for hooking up batteries. The connections are copper to copper so there are no dissimilar metals involved to cause resistance or to create corrosion. We've developed a special crimping tool for affixing our new copper terminals to copper cable. We also have developed an exclusive teflon coated heat-shrink sleeve which seals cables and connectors against battery gas, moisture, oil or anything else that can cause corrosion and reduced battery performance."

In making your own battery cables with the new copper terminals and protective teflon sleeves, Southern recommends that you also use welding cable (size 2/0 for big tractors and combines and No. l for smaller tractors, pickups and cars) instead of conventional battery cable.

"Welding cable has a much better insulation and will carry half again as many amps as the same size battery cable. For example, a system constructed of 2/0 welding cable and our new copper terminals will carry more than 650 amps on a cranking surge. A similar system using 2/0 battery cable will carry only 250 amps. The difference is obvious. What's more, welding cable is more flexible, adding to the ease of making multi-battery hookups," Bishop explains.

You can purchase individual positive and negative terminals for 2/0 and No. 1 welding cable. The special crimping tool you'll need is also for sale.

Or, you can buy do-it-yourself kits made up of terminals for 2/0 cable, for No.1 cable, or for both. For example, a BAT-6 kit includes the following pieces: six positive and six negative terminals for 2/0 cable and the same for No. 1 cable; three positive and three negative flag terminals (for multiple battery hookups) for 2/0 cable; 12 starter lugs for 2/0 (both 3/8 and 1/2-in. stud) and six for No. 1 cable; 2 ft. of heat shrink teflon tubing; a crimping tool; a steel box to hold all the pieces; and one can of battery cleaner/protector spray.