Review / Measurement: Charger module with TP4056 controller

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HKJ
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Review / Measurement: Charger module with TP4056 controller

Charger module with TP4056 controller

DSC_0636
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This charger is a very small module for DIY people, it uses the TP4056 controller and standard configuration is with 1A charge current. It does not include any power supply or tray. It did not include any documentation either, just a couple of boards.
The review is about a specific charger module, but any module with the TP4056 will have identical performance.



DSC_0562 DSC_0563

I got it in an envelope with 5 circuits on 2 boards and nothing else. The boards is precut and very easy to break apart.
There is some documentation on the sellers ebay page.

DSC_0635

A close study showed that there was a small difference between the size of the boards.

annotation

The board needs a 5 volt power supply, this can either be from a mini usb connector or soldered directly to the board.
The "current resistor" can be replaced for other (lower) charge currents, because it is a 0603 size smd resistor (i.e. very small) it can be difficult to replace it.
On my boards I have a blue led for charging and a red led for done.

The charge led will be on when charging and it will be flashing when no battery is connected.
The done led will be on when charging is done or no battery is connected.

DSC_0564

The backside of the board has some internal connections and the connections points are also accessible here.

DSC_0581

The board is small, the battery is a AAA battery.

supportedBatteryTypes

supportedBatterySizes

With the mounted resistor the charger can handle larger batteries, but changing the resistor makes it to possible to charge smaller batteries.




Measurements

Below 2.85 volt the charger will charge with about 80mA in 1A configuration (blue led is on).
Above 2.85 volt the charger is applying regular charge current (See curve below).
When charger is disconnected from power, but with a battery in, it will draw below 1uA from the battery.
When the charge current goes below the termination current the charging is stopped and it will charge with around 4 uA.
The charger will restart charging when the cell drops to 4.0 volt.
The charger will not restart after a power loss or battery insertion, except if the battery voltage is below 4.0 volt.



ChargerTP4056%20(PS18650-34)

First test is with a 3400mAh battery, the charger does a good CC/CV, except the change from CC to CV is a bit soft, this increase charge time but has no bad effect on the battery. The charger is also a bit below the 1A current, it only charges with 0.85A.
The CV voltage is slightly below 4.2 volt, that is not surprising, because the datasheet for the TP4056 specify that it can be between 4.137 and 4.263 volt. This chip uses 1/10 of the charge current as termination current.
I added a temperature measurement to the test this time, as can be seen the chip heats up fast and then slowly drops in temperature when the battery voltage increases.

ChargerTP4056%20(PS18650-34)%20Vusb=4.5V

Reducing the supply voltage to 4.5 volt, increases the charge time and reduces the temperature, but the final voltage is slightly lower.

ChargerTP4056%20(PS18650-34)%20Vusb=5.5V

Increasing the voltage does increase the temperature, but also reduces the current. When the chip gets to hot, it reduces the current.

ChargerTP4056%20(PS18650-34)%20Vusb=5.5V%20HS

Here I have added a heatsink to keep the temperature down (Remember electric isolation between PCB and heatsink). It works very well, the temperature is lower than with 5.0 volt supply.

DSC_0609

The heatsink was just a piece of aluminium under the board with some isolation between.

ChargerTP4056%20(AW16340-IMR)

My old 16340 IMR cell is also charged without any problems.


Modified resistor

Replacing the standard 1.2 kohm resistor with a 2.157 kohm reduces the charge current to 470mA.
The resistor is a 0603 SMD resistor, i.e. it is 1.6 x 0.8 mm.

DSC_0637

Here a 0603 resistor is placed next to an old style quarter watt resistor.


ChargerTP4056%20(PS18650-34)%200.5A

Again the charger does a CC/CV charging, because the charge current is lower, the termination current is also lower.

ChargerTP4056%20(ET16340-750)%200.5A

A 16340 battery is a more reasonable size to charge with 0.5A.

Replacing the standard 1.2 kohm resistor with a 4.726 kohm reduces the charge current to 210mA.

ChargerTP4056%20(ET16340-750)%200.25A

Again I tested with a16340 battery and get a CC/CV curve.




Conclusion

The charger has a good CC/CV profile and can be adapted for many different charge configurations, for multichannel operation it is easy to use multiple board, for smaller batteries the resistor can be replaced. When used at 1A it might be a good idea to mount it on a small heatsink (Remember isolation), to avoid any slowdown in charging and keep the temperature down.
I do not like that it is using a mini usb connector, a micro usb connector would have been better (That is the same as used on phones).
I will call it a good charger for DIY projects.



Notes

I bought the module on ebay from "1984yht888" where it is called "5pcs Mini 5V USB Interface 1A Charging Board Module Charger For Lithium Battery"

The temperature measurements is not the chip temperature and probably not even the surface temperature of the chip (I believe that the probe is affecting the measurement).

Here is an explanation on how I did the above charge curves: How do I test a charger

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

Edited by: sb56637 on 06/25/2015 - 14:19
scaru
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Thanks for the review! Now that I know they work well I will probably order a few more. Smile Do you have any idea what will happen if you insert the battery backwards?

HKJ
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scaru wrote:
Do you have any idea what will happen if you insert the battery backwards?

Ok, you made me do it: SMOKE and now I only have 4 working charger modules.

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

scaru
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Good to know. Silly Thanks for doing that though, I had considered using these as giveaway chargers(hooked up to a 1*18650 case) but now I won't. Did it do any damage to the battery? (short it out or anything like that)

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HKJ wrote:

scaru wrote:
Do you have any idea what will happen if you insert the battery backwards?

Ok, you made me do it: SMOKE and now I only have 4 working charger modules.

 

Now that is real testing of a product.  

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scaru wrote:

Good to know. Silly Thanks for doing that though, I had considered using these as giveaway chargers(hooked up to a 1*18650 case) but now I won't. Did it do any damage to the battery? (short it out or anything like that)

I used a protected battery and when the charger start smoking (within a second) I disconnected everything again (Old habit). I did not even look at my meters to see if the protection was tripped. The protection is not tripped now, but I do not know if the protection does automatic reset on the used battery (intl-outdoor 3100).

I had checked the TP4056 datasheet first and it did not say anything about reverse battery protection, i.e. I was not very surprised when it went up in smoke.

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

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Cool test!

And nice board for the DIY people. 

Thank you for the review and tests.

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Thanks for the testing, as well as releasing the magic smoke for us.

 

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march.brown
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Thank you HKJ for your test of this charger board.

I have been using my four charger boards very successfully , powered by my 5V 4A switch-mode PSU … I have set the PSU voltage to a few mV below 5V and am very happy with the performance … My PSU has four USB sockets attatched and I have 50cm interconnect cables (USB to mini-USB) … I personally have no problem in using mini-USB connectors … For me it was just a simple matter of buying the right 50cm cables which are now kept in a box along with the charger boards , the PSU and the magnets.

Will you be testing these boards in parallel to give a higher charge current ? … Some users might prefer a higher charge current when charging 3100mAh Li-Ions … On the other hand , two boards in parallel with each set to a lower charging current than one amp would also reduce the temperature of the chip … That would only increase the charger cost by another £1 or so.

Can you suggest a better method of attatching a heatsink to the module or indeed to the chip itself ? … … I did try cooling with a small fan , but although it did cool the chip it didn’t seem to reduce the charging time significantly … I understand that these chips will tolerate a fairly high temperature so perhaps just a simple heatsink would be the way to go … My boards are used in a near vertical position with the USB at the top , so maybe there is a slightly better cooling airflow.

Thanks again for your great charger board tests (including the destructive test !).

p.s. Does the Cottonpickers charger use the same chip ?
.

march.brown

HKJ
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march.brown wrote:
Thank you HKJ for your test of this charger board. I have been using my four charger boards very successfully , powered by my 5V 4A switch-mode PSU ... I have set the PSU voltage to a few mV below 5V and am very happy with the performance ... My PSU has four USB sockets attatched and I have 50cm interconnect cables (USB to mini-USB) ... I personally have no problem in using mini-USB connectors ... For me it was just a simple matter of buying the right 50cm cables which are now kept in a box along with the charger boards , the PSU and the magnets.

For four charger boards it would be easier to just solder a cable between them.
Micro usb connectors are much stronger than mini usb connectors and with many phones using them also much more common.

march.brown wrote:

Will you be testing these boards in parallel to give a higher charge current ? ... Some users might prefer a higher charge current when charging 3100mAh Li-Ions ... On the other hand , two boards in parallel with each set to a lower charging current than one amp would also reduce the temperature of the chip ... That would only increase the charger cost by another £1 or so.

I do not plan on testing any more on them.

march.brown wrote:

Can you suggest a better method of attatching a heatsink to the module or indeed to the chip itself ? ... ... I did try cooling with a small fan , but although it did cool the chip it didn't seem to reduce the charging time significantly ... I understand that these chips will tolerate a fairly high temperature so perhaps just a simple heatsink would be the way to go ... My boards are used in a near vertical position with the USB at the top , so maybe there is a slightly better cooling airflow. Thanks again for your great charger board tests (including the destructive test !).

As you can see on my curves, there is no reduction in current at 5 volt input, but electronic always last longer at lower temperature. The easiest heatsink is just a piece of aluminium, where you place the board against (Remember some isolation between), as you can see on the temperature curve, the temperature was reduced significantly.

march.brown wrote:
p.s. Does the Cottonpickers charger use the same chip ? .

At one time it was TP4054, I do not know if he is still using that chip.

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

nekdo12
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Is it possible to modify these charger for charging to 4.3V?

HKJ
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nekdo12 wrote:
Is it possible to modify these charger for charging to 4.3V?

No, the 4.2 volt is part of the TP4056 chip.

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

nekdo12
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Btw, it is not necessary to use smd resistor :bigsmile:

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That shouldnt work when connected via USB.

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nekdo12 wrote:
Btw, it is not necessary to use smd resistor :bigsmile: !http://shrani.si/f/2b/59/gEmeWWE/untitled.jpeg![/quote]

Cool, I do not know it it is easier to solder, but it is easier to see the resistor.

NightCrawl wrote:
That shouldnt work when connected via USB.

Why not? The in- is connected to the usb gnd power.

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

march.brown
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HKJ wrote:
As you can see on my curves, there is no reduction in current at 5 volt input, but electronic always last longer at lower temperature. The easiest heatsink is just a piece of aluminium, where you place the board against (Remember some isolation between), as you can see on the temperature curve, the temperature was reduced significantly.

What insulation material do you suggest to go between the back of the board and the alluminium heat sink ? … Presumeably it would have to transfer the heat through to the alluminium.

Would it be better to glue (somehow) a small (finned) heatsink directly to the top of the chip instead ? … This would not need any insulation material.

Thanks again HKJ for your very valuable help.
.

march.brown

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I've heard kapton tape works well. It is extremely thin but it will not conduct electricity. 

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scaru wrote:

I’ve heard kapton tape works well. It is extremely thin but it will not conduct electricity. 


Is the Kapton tape thermally conductive and double sided sticky ?

Just wondering whether to use Arctic Silver ceramic thermal paste (non-conductive) to glue a heatsink to the back of the board.

These heatsinks are 15mm X 15mm X6mm and are finned … £1-46 for five including postage.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Silver-Tone-Aluminium-15×15×6mm-Heatsink-Coo...

On the other hand , copper shims might glue on the back of the board OK.

Or maybe just leave the charger boards as they are , without heatsinks … I have not had any trouble so far … If they do get too hot , the chip will apparently automatically reduce the current as necessary … It’s only for the first part of the charge that the chip heats up anyway and mine were less than 65C at worst … Even holding my finger on the chip for a while reduced the temperature according to my infra-red thermometer.

Perhaps I’m worrying too much.
.

march.brown

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HKJ wrote:
NightCrawl wrote:
That shouldnt work when connected via USB.

Why not? The in- is connected to the usb gnd power.

For me it looks like usb gnd and in- are in parallel, so usb gnd would bypass the resistor. I could be wrong of course.

nekdo12
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And yes, you are wrong

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HKJ wrote:
The easiest heatsink is just a piece of aluminium, where you place the board against (Remember some isolation between), as you can see on the temperature curve, the temperature was reduced significantly

I have decided to add a heatsink to my boards.

Heat sinks. 15mm X 15mm X 6mm Aluminium.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/140868269228?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=...

Sekisui 5760 double sided tape.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/230868705181?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=...

I will use the double-sided tape to hold the aluminium heatsinks to the underside of the charger board … I hope this will give some reduction in chip temperature during the first part of the charge cycle … It certainly can’t do any harm.
.

march.brown

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march.brown wrote:
I hope this will give some reduction in chip temperature during the first part of the charge cycle

It will definitely reduce temperature.

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

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HKJ wrote:

march.brown wrote:
I hope this will give some reduction in chip temperature during the first part of the charge cycle

It will definitely reduce temperature.


Thanks HKJ … For £3-45 I can do all my four charger boards and still have one heatsink spare.

It’s just a matter of waiting for the heatsinks to come from the Far East to the UK.

Thanks again.
.

march.brown

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Thanks very much! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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Ordered three of these for 1.60 each inc shipping on eBay. I already have 18650 sockets but they don’t give much space for protected cells. I guess I can make my own emergency packs with these.

Still, for standalone chargers, does anybody know a place for strong 18650 holders those can accept even an XTAR 18700 cell?

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I found that the normally available battery holders won’t accept protected 18650’s (which are actually 18700’s) … The easiest way is to use short leads (4”) fitted with croc-clips … The croc-clips will easily clip onto magnets … The magnets will “stick” to the battery … Easy !

There are photos of this somewhere on BLF.

Good Luck.
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march.brown

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Found and bought even better size and cheaper heatsinks! Smile

5pcs 20×20×6mm High Quality Aluminum Heat Sink

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That’s the way I’m using my hobby charger. Magnets don’t stick to copper PCB’s at the bottom of protected batteries, I’m afraid. But still, you’re right. Attaching crocodiles to the output seems to be the best option for now. You can even charge cell phone batteries this way, through a clipper, a pin or another mating socket.

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borstar_micke wrote:
Found and bought even better size and cheaper heatsinks! Smile

5pcs 20×20×6mm High Quality Aluminum Heat Sink

Hmm, I must order a few Smile Nice find.

They also have different sizes of copper plates. These can be good to fill in holes in some pills, or to modify the distance of a star to reflector.

verge
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I’d like to connect a small digital voltmeter to this TP4056 module to monitor charging.

Can I do it by connecting input of voltmeter (http://www.ebay.com/itm/330702194021) in parallel to the output of the charger?

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Verge: yup it should work, decent price too…

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