Test / Review: UltraFire BRC18650 3000mAh (Red-silver) from 3 shops

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HKJ
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Test / Review: UltraFire BRC18650 3000mAh (Red-silver) from 3 shops

UltraFire BRC18650 3000mAh (Red-silver)

These batteries are sold from many China shops, I have tested from 3 different shops and there is wide differences and none of the batteries are good.

DSC_0295

Official specifications:

  • Model : 18650 (Protected)
  • Voltage: 3.7V
  • Capacity : 3000mAh
  • Size : 65mmx Ø18mm Weight: 35g
  • Recharge up to 800 times
  • Xenon bulbs are not suitable


UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)-info

These batteries are from the UltraFire shop that insists that they sell genuine UltraFire with good quality.

DSC_0282 DSC_0283

DSC_0288 DSC_0289

DSC_0285
DSC_0286
DSC_0287

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)-Capacity

The two batteries has a huge difference in capacity, especially at low currents.

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)-CapacityTimeHours

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)-CapacityTime

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)-Energy

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)-PowerLoadTime

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)-TripCurrent

It does not look like this battery has a over current protection or maybe it is at a higher current than the battery can supply. The A battery failed after one test.


UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)-Charge



UltraFire BRC18650 3000mAh (Red-silver) cnq

DSC_0360

Official specifications:

  • Genuine Ultrafire 3000mAh 18650
  • Real capacity: 2900mAh (-100mAh / + 100mAh)
  • Internal PCB protection prevents under-voltage at 2.5V and over-voltage at 4.25V. UNIQUE INTERNAL PCB!
  • Diameter 18.6+/-0.2 mm (Note: Diameter may not fit all flashlights)
  • Height 66.5+/- 0.2mm
  • Weight (Typical) Approx. 46 g
  • Nominal Voltage: Average 3.7V
  • Cut-off Voltage: 2.5V
  • Internal Impedance: less or equal to 180 milli-ohm (with PTC)
  • Cycle Performance: 90% of initial capacity at 400 cycles
  • Cycle life: > 500 cycles
  • Charge: Current = 0.5C mA Voltage = 4.2 V End Current = 0.01 mA
  • Discharge: Current = 0.5C mA End Voltage = 3.0V


UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20cnq-info

This is the most expensive UltraFire 3000mAh than cnq has, these are supposed to genuine UltraFire.

DSC_0358

DSC_0364 DSC_0365
DSC_0361
DSC_0362
DSC_0363

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20cnq-Capacity

The two batteries has a huge difference in capacity, especially at low currents.

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20cnq-CapacityTimeHours

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20cnq-CapacityTime

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20cnq-Energy

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20cnq-PowerLoadTime

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20cnq-TripCurrent

It does not look like this battery has a over current protection or maybe it is at a higher current than the battery can supply. The A battery failed after one test.


UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20cnq-Charge



UltraFire BRC18650 3000mAh (Red-silver) DX

DSC_0369

Official specifications:

  • UltraFire Protected 18650 3.7V 3000mAh Lithium Batteries


UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20DX-info

These UltraFire does not have the same performance as the two other pairs.

DSC_0367 DSC_0368

DSC_0373 DSC_0374
DSC_0370
DSC_0371
DSC_0372

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20DX-Capacity

There is a fairly good match between the batteries.

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20DX-CapacityTimeHours

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20DX-CapacityTime

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20DX-Energy

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20DX-PowerLoadTime

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20DX-TripCurrent

On these UltraFire the protection works.

UltraFire%20BRC18650%203000mAh%20(Red-silver)%20DX-Charge



Conclusion

The genuine UltraFire batteries are not very good with very different capacity and problems with the protection circuit, the DX version is better (At least the ones I got). None of the batteries are close to the rated capacity.
The internal resistance is also way to high for the genuine batteries.
I will rate these batteries as BAD, the DX ones are acceptable for a cheap battery, but because there is many different UltraFire 3000mAh on the market, I would not trust them.



Notes and links

Due to the wide difference between batteries from the same dealer, I have not included them in the charts, but only in the comparator.

How is the test done and how to read the charts
How is a protected LiIon battery constructed
More about button top and flat top batteries

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:46
Chicago X
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You're a brave man for testing these indoors.   :bigsmile:

 

Look at the DX version's logo on the bottom of the cell - it looks to have been engraved by hand...

 

Thanks again for the test - this should be a perma-sticky at the top of the sub-forum !!!

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scaru
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Thanks for the test HKJ. Confirms what I had always thought. 

HKJ
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Chicago X wrote:

You're a brave man for testing these indoors.   :bigsmile:

I believe that it is very a good idea to include some of the cheap/bad batteries in my test, this makes it easier to see what the differences are.

I plan on a few more (But I do not plan to test all the cheap brands).

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

scaru
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Any chance of a test of the 5000 mah battery? 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/280742341594#ht_500wt_1287

HKJ
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scaru wrote:

Any chance of a test of the 5000 mah battery? 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/280742341594#ht_500wt_1287

It probably has less than 2000 mAh. I will think about it, but remember that it will probably be between one and two months from I order it, until I can publish the test.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

Shadowww
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scaru wrote:

Any chance of a test of the 5000 mah battery? 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/280742341594#ht_500wt_1287

I guess it's 5000mAh for the 4-pack, so 1250 mAh per battery. Big Smile
scaru
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I had ordered one and I seriously doubt it was even 1250 mah. 

sb56637
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Thanks so much for another detailed review! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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BetweenRides
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Thanks, HKJ. I stopped buying these long ago and am glad for that. I still use a few of them when they actually work. Some of my lights (like Balder BD-2) will not even function on high using these cells. They should come with a big Avoid label on them.

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i just did a rundown test on a pair i bought off amazon a little over 1/2 year ago, put em in my bc40, till the light shut off. when i measured them, one was 3.4v, the other had the protection tripped :bigsmile: , went under 2.8, great batteries they are, needless to say i am going to get some good cells soon and retire them asap

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Bid at an auction on ebay and won four of these for ridicilous money and 1 is a complete dud, it doesnt work. Multimeter says 3,8v but it can only produce a dimly glowing LED (what you call halo?) that you can look straight into. Charging it with my WP2 II produced the interesting effect of voltage dropping the more I charged it. Put it in the WF-188 and it made it happier (but maxed out at 3,85). I dropped one on the floor when I unpacked them, don’t know if it’s that particular battery though.

The rest charges to 4,10-4,15v and two of them works OK, one flickers in my HD2010 on high.

Conclusion: If you pay less for four 18650’s and shipping costs from China than you do for a coffee at 7-Eleven, chances are the cells aren’t very good. But I didnt expect anything else. And two of them work just fine (for now).

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I have 4 of these of the DX kind. So they are rated 2000mah? not bad considering the unprotected ones I have are rated at 850mah.

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

zeremefico
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I made some discharge test with the cheap “Ultrafire” 18650 “3000” mAh batteries I have.
Since I can’t discharge these to 2.8V but only to 3.0V (1A), can I determine the full capacity of the battery?
The results of the discharge to 3.0V 1A, was around 1200 mAh.

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HKJ
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zeremefico wrote:
Since I can't discharge these to 2.8V but only to 3.0V (1A), can I determine the full capacity of the battery?

That depends on the battery. Some batteries can easily be discharge above 3 volts, some other cannot. Look at the curve, if it is nearly vertical at the end, the battery is fully discharged.

In my test the batteries are not always fully discharged, especially not at 5A current.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

zeremefico
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I have an original imax B6 charger, I can’t export the results.
According to the battery life in flashlight usage, it must be around 2000 mAh.
Not bad for a “3000 mAh” cell???

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Shadowww
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iMax B6 can discharge down to 2.8V (or any other voltage, really) in NiMH mode.

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Didn’t know that, I will try to 2.8V.
Safe for Li-ion?

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zeremefico
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Shadowww wrote:
iMax B6 can discharge down to 2.8V (or any other voltage, really) in NiMH mode.

Can anyone confirm that it is safe for li-ion too?

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You won't get much capacity left discharging from 3V to 2.8V. I'd say your test is quite accurate. I only get 900mAh on mine.

But it is normally ok to go down to 2.7V, because even then at rest the voltage will bounce back to 3.3V or so after some minutes. 

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And the reason why you're "feeling" it has 2000mAh, is probably because in real life use, the current actually keeps dropping following the battery voltage (assuming normal linear driver). 

A discharge test will keep pulling 1A regardless the voltage drop, until the battery drops below the preset target voltage.

Papa Bear
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How can you tell the difference between the UF 3000 "protected" and non protected cells? I purchased a headlamp that came with two UF 3000s that (surprise, surprise) seem to have significantly different charge times. The batteries are used in a parallel configuration. I am guessing that this will also translate to a significant difference in capacity. I am trying to figure out what I want to do with them:

1. Recycle them? They are brand new and that seems like a waste.

2. Buy 2 pairs of Panny 3400s and just use these if I forget to charge the unused Pannys.

3. Buy 1 pair of Panny 3400s and rotate these with the Pannys.

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1. Those cells usually are waste.. Wink

Protected cells usually have a bump at the lower end like so:

I would get rid of all Ultrafire cells and get some decent ones. Which ones depends on your light.

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They claim to be "protected" and they are longer than 65 mm. I held my calipers parallel to the button (but not contacting it - I don't want to risk shorting them). It appears to be about 69 mm long. That appears to match w/the FastTech specs for the protected cell. It looks like the Panny NCR18650B Protected cells are a physical match. I'm going to get a couple of pairs of those, a Nitecore charger, and maybe something to do controlled discharges on.

NightCrawl
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Again: those Panasonic cells might not be the best choice for your application.

Papa Bear
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The Panasonic cells are a physical match, high capacity, and are well reviewed. Am I missing something?

NightCrawl
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Yes, their discharge curve is flatter than some other cells, so they probably wont last as long/provide as much light as some other cells might. Of course, great cells, but not the perfect choice for any condition.

Papa Bear
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NightCrawl wrote:

Yes, their discharge curve is flatter than some other cells, so they probably wont last as long/provide as much light as some other cells might. Of course, great cells, but not the perfect choice for any condition.

What cell do you recommend? I am new to this. Even though I have purchased the Pannys, I would be more than willing to have another matched set ...

NightCrawl
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Depends on your light or more specific: the driver. There might be better choices, but there dont have to be.

Papa Bear
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The light is a Cree XM-L T6. The driver? No idea. I'm assuming its the cheapest generic driver sourced out of the cheapest country in the world. The maker is supposedly a company called ePathDirect. Unfortunately, it is just an Amazon construct, so I have no idea where they sourced it from. It is so generic that the headband says "Cree" on it and the battery pack says "LED Headlight".

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Got a link? Did you measure how many amps it draws? Do you have a multimeter?

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