Energy Options > Other Energy Sources

18650 Lithium Cell Recommendations: The good, the bad, and the ugly

<< < (2/30) > >>

FreeLancer:
I've added KeepPower to my list of premium cells, and Lingsfire and Thorfire to the "Fire" list.

endurance:
I was just doing some battery testing of my own on my 16340/RCR123s.  I don't have a tester, so I went by minutes of output out of the same flashlight with the light head wrapped in a coldpack to prevent overheating.  The test light was a JetBeam PC10.  These are all used cells of about the same age, two to three years old, rotated through my EDC and other lights, some may sit untouched for six months, others might get cycled from full charge to full discharge in under a week, but they all have the same chances of getting the same rest or abuse.

Ultrafire 880mah:
Five batteries tested.  High:  18:05, Low: 10:50, Average:  15:20 (dropping the lowest averaged 16:25)

Nitecore 650mah:
Four batteries tested.  High:  24:30, Low: 19:30, Average:  22:40 (dropping the lowest averaged 23:40)

That's a pretty substantial difference for name brand vs. "fire" branded batteries, especially given the claims of greater capacity by the Ultrafires.  I have some Olight branded batteries around and when I round them up I'll post the results back here.

After this test and also after reading yet another story about a flashlight blowing up because of a bad 18650 Ultrafire battery, I'm probably going to toss my Ultrafire RCR123s out of rotation and into SHTF usage only and buy a few more better quality cells.  I know the Olight batteries can be had for under $4 a piece, so if they measure up to the Nitecore, I'll get them, otherwise I'll get more of the $6 Nitecores.

FreeLancer:
I ran 10W constant drain tests, from full charge to 2.8V, on the three "fire" brands that have arrived thus far.  These were all charged on a Foxnovo charger at its lowest rate of 0.5A, since the premium cells were occupying the NiteCore D4, which charges at a gentler 375mA. 


The Good

ThorFire  $15/pair    3000mAh    48g

Test Result: Cell #1 - 2.46Ah    Cell #2 - 2.47Ah    82% stated capacity

The performance and consistency of these ThorFire cells deserves further attention.  I knew after weighing all the cells that these had much more in common with the premium cells than the "fire" crap, and the charge times added further to what the testing eventually proved.  These could very well turn out to be the value cell of the entire bunch, likely even out performing some of the "premium" brands.


The Bad

LingsFire  $11/pair    3600mAh    44g

Test Result: Cell #1 - 1.17Ah    Cell #2 - 1.93Ah    33-54% stated capacity

Inconsistent and uninspiring performance, plus they're hideous.  I'm done with them.


The Ugly

UltraFire  $8/pair    3000mAh    39g

Test Result: Cell #1 - 0.07Ah    Cell #2 - 0.10Ah

I figured they'd be losers, but not this bad.  Something is seriously wrong with these cells.  They're shorter, lighter, charge too quickly, and something about their construction made the magnetic leads (which works well on the other cells) repel the positive lead off the cell's button top, requiring that I come up with an alternative hook up for testing these.  The fact that, according to the web, there are likely dozens of different UltraFire manufacturers and retailers, some of which might actually produce good product, doesn't exactly inspire confidence for me.  I'm absolutely done with them!  And I'm really glad I charged and discharged these mutants outside on concrete, too.



I've got the CBA testing the first of the Eastshine cells, and it's looking like they'll beat the ThorFires, but not by much and at twice the price.  Details tomorrow.

endurance:
Thanks for the data!  I'm surprised there was so much spread from the Fire brands, I always assumed they'd come out of the same factory and thus, all performed the same.  Clearly that's what happens when you assume. ;)


--- Quote from: Endurance on December 26, 2015, 08:21:33 PM ---...
After this test and also after reading yet another story about a flashlight blowing up because of a bad 18650 Ultrafire battery, I'm probably going to toss my Ultrafire RCR123s out of rotation and into SHTF usage only and buy a few more better quality cells.  I know the Olight batteries can be had for under $4 a piece, so if they measure up to the Nitecore, I'll get them, otherwise I'll get more of the $6 Nitecores.

--- End quote ---
I finally tested one of my Olight batteries.  Utter crap.  11:30 to full discharge from full charge.  The second worst performer overall.  Not at all worth it.  Not very scientific since I only tested one, but since I only own two, I know how they've been treated and that battery had less than 20 uses over the last three years and was always stored charged.  I still haven't pulled the other one since it's in a location I rarely remember to get to.

Alan Georges:
Holy Cats, FreeLancer, that's a lot of testing!  Thanks for the data.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version