XTAR PB2 thread

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BlueSwordM
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XTAR PB2 thread

So, I finally received my XTAR PB2.

And knowing that a lot of people bought it, I created this thread so people can discuss about it and share their thoughts and what could be done to make it better.

BlueSwordM
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[Inside](https://i.imgur.com/9×0WFf0.jpg)

It can only handle unprotected flat tops.
Button tops can be inserted, but they are almost impossible to remove, and even putting them in is a chore.

Protected cells are out of the question. Too long, and even if you managed to put them in, you would not be able to pull them out.

[When on](https://i.imgur.com/u0fv7OK.jpg)

Smallest DIY 2 18650 power bank that I have seen, and the finish is so good. Smooth rubber feel, but gets dirty quite easily.

It only has a micro-USB port for charging and a USB-A for output. I would have preferred having USB-A out with QC 3.0 since it operates 2 cells, and 18W is possible then with even laptop pulls.

One nice feature is that I don’t have to worry about hurting cells that have SOC: it is the first non dedicated charger that I’ve seen that had two separate charging channels! This is what XTAR meant by separate charging of the lowest charged battery.

In output, it combines the parallel output of the cells, but in charge, it charges the lowest voltage cell first.

It works, as I have tried putting 2 cells with different voltages(3.8V vs 4.24V), and they didn’t discharge into each other. Great stuff.

It has a max power input of 10W, and a max power output of 10W. The package includes a micro-USB cable, and a small manual explaining things.

BTW, the cells used are LG D1 laptop pulls.

Both are tested to be 2500mAh cells at 2A using my constant current tester, so they are good.

Edit: Sorry for the poor layout, but I don’t know how to link pics on mobile, and formatting is poor. I will correct this once I get home on my PC.

Newlumen
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Nice review. Thanks

toddcshoe
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I am suppose to have a few on the way but got a email from BG about production problems and my shipment being late. Got some BG points out of it though. Don’t know when it’s shipping. It’s okay, I was real late getting into the BG and am not in any hurry for it really. Sounds like they will be nice to have on camping and outdoor trips this summer.

atbglenn
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Mine just came. I’m charging up a fresh set of Samsung 30Q’s right now. Initial opinion is it’s built really nice. I like the feel in my hands and it has a nice display which at this time say’s my batteries are a 22%.

I'm a second amendment guy all the way

contactcr
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The blue display LEDs are so bright i can barely read the number. 99 looks like 88

Newlumen
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Mine hasnt arrived yet.. they shipped out on may 19th.. i didnt buy an insurance so no tracking number.. i am little bit concerned..

contactcr
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I wouldnt worry mine just came yesterday

Newlumen
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contactcr wrote:
I wouldnt worry mine just came yesterday

Cool.. i have a plan for this power bank… i will hook it up to my nitecore tini and light it up..

BlueSwordM
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@Newlumen, don’t worry. It will come soon enough.

BTW, nice idea for using it to run a Nitecore Tini. It will run forever on a 6000mAh power bank.

@contactr, what do you mean too bright? The contrast is not lacking, unless you are viewing it on the side.

contactcr
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The parts of the number that are lit up are bleeding into the unlit parts so it looks like all parts of it are lit

contactcr
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99 (i think):

contactcr
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BlueSwordM wrote:
It can only handle unprotected flat tops.
Button tops can be inserted, but they are almost impossible to remove, and even putting them in is a chore.

Protected cells are out of the question. Too long, and even if you managed to put them in, you would not be able to pull them out.

This should be emphasized. It’s not even easy to get flat tops out.

They probably did this to keep it from moving around but when you have two cells in there I basically have to bang the other end and let them come lose. A better solution would have been a bit more flex in the terminal and then maybe some foam on the battery cover side to keep them in place from that angle too.

Newlumen
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BlueSwordM wrote:
@Newlumen, don’t worry. It will come soon enough.

BTW, nice idea for using it to run a Nitecore Tini. It will run forever on a 60000mAh power bank.

@contactr, what do you mean too bright? The contrast is not lacking, unless you are viewing it on the side.

I got my pb2 today from banggood.. took 24 days.. not bad…

Lcd is not bad.. you need to angle little bit to read out the numbers.. i have good eyes… not a problem.. numbers are clear if i read it from 3 feets..

It feel good.. remind me of motorola pebble cellphone texture..

Simple design.. 2 usb ports…

I am using lg mj1 flat top for the extra mah..

Grappler
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Mine arrived in the U.S. from Banggood’s China warehouse in only 7 days. Fastest BG order I’ve ever received!

I should mention I did pay for tracking and insurance. It seems this speeds the order along.

atbglenn
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contactcr wrote:
99 (i think):

!{width:75%}https://i.imgur.com/Bbe4lN1.jpg!

My display is much easier to read than yours. If it’s 99, 88, or any other reading, I can make it out clearly.

I'm a second amendment guy all the way

Newlumen
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Grappler wrote:
Mine arrived in the U.S. from Banggood’s China warehouse in only 7 days. Fastest BG order I’ve ever received!

Mine pb2 came from thailand. According from the package label… your?

Grappler
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Newlumen wrote:
Mine pb2 came from thailand. According from the package label… your?

The package label says mine came from China.

FlashTom
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Can I use different batteries at the same time without any risks, e.g. one Sony VTC6 and one Samsung 35E or would this have a negative effect on one or both cells.

Itsme
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Grappler wrote:
Newlumen wrote:
Mine pb2 came from thailand. According from the package label… your?

The package label says mine came from China.

My package says shipped from China too

BlueSwordM
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@FlashTom, no problem whether the cells are discharged, or charged.

For charging the cells, the PB2 has separate charging channels, meaning it is safe to charge different cells.

For discharging, the cells are in parallel, so it does not matter.

klrman
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Mine hasn't come yet, but I should have read the specs before ordering it as none of my batteries will fit.  I hope it makes a decent paperweight.

BlueSwordM
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Wait, why none?

Unprotected flat tops work fine.

klrman
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I mean none of the batteries I have personally will fit.  The only unprotected batteries I own are 30Q's but they are button tops.  Most of my batteries are protected.

Newlumen
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Oh ok.. flat top are cheaper!!

FlashTom
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BlueSwordM wrote:
@FlashTom, no problem whether the cells are discharged, or charged.

For charging the cells, the PB2 has separate charging channels, meaning it is safe to charge different cells.

For discharging, the cells are in parallel, so it does not matter.

Thank you! What would happen in following situation in the PB2?

Mode: Discharge (e.g. charging up a phone via USB)
Channel 1: Sony VTC5A, capacity 2.600mAh
Channel 2: Samsung 35E, capacity 3.500mAh

Now, being discharged in parallel those cells would always have the same voltage, right? Sorry for raising a stupid question but how does this work with cells of different capacities and what happens when both cells reach something like 2.8V? I always thought it’s no good idea to combine cells of different brands and different capacities regardless whether they’re being used in parallel or in serial.

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Quote:
Sorry for raising a stupid question but how does this work with cells of different capacities and what happens when both cells reach something like 2.8V?

Think of it as two water containers in parallel, one with a larger diameter than the other. An imbalance would be created IF they were being drained at the same rate, by a separate tap at the base of each, but that is not equivalent to what is happening here.

In this scenario the containers are joined by a thick pipe at the bottom, and are being drained by a single tap. Their levels will stay exactly the same until they reach the cutoff, no imbalance, no issue.

Beam me up!

FlashTom
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Alright, I guess I got you. Thank you! So, I have to imagine the battery drain of both cells like this?

Zulumoose
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That is exactly how I pictured it.

Different scenario for the charging circuit though. Take that same diagram and put one way valves leading from the central pipe to each tank , so they can be at different levels but can only fill, not empty, so they won’t affect each other at all.

Now pump the liquid in slowly, it will go to the point of least resistance, filling the more empty container first, then keeping both at the same level and filling them together when the pressures equalize.

In both scenarios, the level or pressure is equivalent to voltage, and the volume of liquid and container is the charge and capacity respectively.

Beam me up!

matg
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Im loving my pb2! My previous power bank holds 8× 18650s and is big, bulky, and doesnt charge my phone as well even though it claims 2 amps output.

This pb2 fits in my pocket, my phone charges fast, and its got a slick design. I often fidget with the magnetic door while charging my phone and its very satisfying for some reason.

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Quote:
My previous power bank holds 8× 18650s and is big, bulky, and doesnt charge my phone as well even though it claims 2 amps output.

I don’t know how the ports negotiate charge rates, but I have a 4 bay Soshine which is probably a rebadged Tomo, and the curious thing is that there is a 1A and a 2A output port, yet the 1A port uses a faster rate with my phone than the 2A, but only the 2A will deliver good current to my tablet.

Beam me up!

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