Review: Triple XTAR 18700 roundup - stress performance test

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Budgeteer
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XTAR 18700 Li-ion battery peformance test/review

2200mAh - 2400 mAh - 2600 mAh (Sanyo based)

all with protection PCB

 

http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/4264/dscn2629j.jpg

 

This is a review and performance assessment for the most popular XTAR 18700 form factor Li-ion batteries with protection PCB. Test is done using all three battery capacities x2 since szwholesale.com were kind enough to send pairs.

Charging is done on double channel XTAR WP2 charger for all samples and all batteries were tested a hour later off the charger. All 6 did charge to 4,18V exactlly if i can trust my multimeter enough.

Discharge test was performed with a custom built XM-L based flashlight (which will be reviewed in future as a DIY - guide) with KD linear driver which pulls up to 2,8A if the cells can provide such discharge. All 6 did without any problems according to my multimater which is pretty reliable even to 3.7A which is the max discharge i have witnessed so far.

Since XM-L are all the raage now a good battery must sustain high currents nowadays. This is by far the most interesting and unforgiving stress test to my book. The flashlight was cooled during continuous runtime by the aid of a 120x120mm high speed computer fan. Opted against multiple re-runs because of the excessive noise it makes and my not very great enthusiasm toward runtime tests.

Each battery was discharged only once. The test consisted in how long they provided current untill protection PCB kicks in and if it does that properly (they all did).

So how did those beauties perform at such elevate stress? At 2,8A constant draw untill a little above the XM-L Vf i expected them to last under 1 hour or near that. Pretty amazed how wrong i was assuming that.

Worth to mention tough that brightness dropped during the test after time. To mantain the test runtime in one long session i did not measure current at intervals. I tought it would affect the results to have the battery "recover" a little during intervals.

This was by far the most time consuming review i ever did. You cannot speed/rush the process in any way. I had to do it sistematically and eliminating as much variables as i could. It was however enjoyable if not for the noisy fan.

 

Runtime:

Set XTAR 18700 2200mAh

A - 60min

B - 63min

Set XTAR 18700 2400mAh

A - 69min

B - 70min

Set XTAR 18700 2600mAh (Sanyo based)

A - 70min

B - 72min

 

These results are accurate to up to +-1min max. The resting voltage after the protection PCB started to kick in (blinking) was 3.01-3,05V as soon i was able to measure it. This confirms the protection kicks around 2.75V which is okay for a safety feature.

I really wanted the sanyo based to last a few min more but did not. Would however pay just a little more for knowing that it has a high quality cell inside. It is unknown what internals other XTAR batteries have althrough they perform nicely to say the least.

 

Additional pictures:

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/3286/dscn2627m.jpg   http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/1789/dscn2630x.jpg

From left to right: 2200mAh, 2600mAh and the 2400mAh batteries

 

Summary:

These are all great protected batteries to get whichever you may choose or find a better deal. The 2600mAh samples are made by Sanyo which is a major quality battery manufacturer. You can't go wrong with if quality is what you seek.

All exceptionally well made and nicely wrapped with tough bottom which could sustain some abuse (but i strongly advise against. Li-ion batteries shoul be treated with respect. Always.). Actually i've been told that these can be used on weapon flashlights and are designed to sustain heavy recoil. Neat, if you need such feature.

Need something to power your XM-L's? Those are really worth considering.

 

PROS:

- Great capacity

- No problem sustaining high discharge rates

- PCB that works reliably

- Inexpensive for the quality provided

- Nicely finished and very good wrapping and overall build quality

 

CONS:

- May not fit flashlights that require 65mm long batteries at max. these are 67,5-69mm long with the 2600mAh one being the longer one.

- Not yet widely available

 

I would like to thank szwholesale.com for providing test samples for review.

I had pleasure to use 2400mAh before and the other certainly does provide great experiance. I suspected these are great performers and Old review proved that. Since he managed an awesome review i opted for hard discharge rate test to give another evaluation on these. Now that XM-L based flashlights are common and in heavy demand this test just complemets the great work Old did on those.

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This is a very timely

This is a very timely review.  I've been meaning to give the 700 length a try.

thanksgregorFoy

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Youre welcome. I found the

Youre welcome.

I found the 18700 fits just about everywhere a generic with pcb would. If you want exact length fro any of those i can go find my caliper. These are short circuit protected so i can measure them the dumbass way. Laughing out loud

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Naw - I know how long they

Naw - I know how long they are.  That's what I like about them; will fit in every 18650 light I have except maybe the L2i.

Foy

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Budgeteer wrote: Youre

Budgeteer wrote:

Youre welcome.

I found the 18700 fits just about everywhere a generic with pcb would. If you want exact length fro any of those i can go find my caliper. These are short circuit protected so i can measure them the dumbass way. Laughing out loud

 

A sheet of 80gsm (grams per square meter - approximately 24lb in US units) paper is around 0.125mm thick. Works fine as an insulator.

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Thanks fo the info. However,

Thanks fo the info. However, Old managed to measure pretty much anything and did a nice job on those. I just added my experience with a different driver perhaps. I have 2 2400mAh half a year already and im pleased so far.

If those would not exist i would be still buying Hi-max 2600mAh. Great cell but i put much more confidence in these.

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Thank you very much for your

Thank you very much for your great job Gregor.

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Thanks for the review .

Thanks for the review .

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Another great review as

Another great review as usual.  Thanks Budgeteer! 

 

 

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Hi Budgeteer! Great review,

Hi Budgeteer! Great review, it's going frontpage and sticky.

The Sanyo-inside 2600mah 18700 cells are my first and only Li-Ion cells. So far they fit well in the three compatible lights that I own: Solarforce Skyline II, MRV Clone, and Tank007 TK-737 (which is quite a short light).

I'm very happy with the runtime on these cells. However, there is something that concerns me, it's also an area where I would like to see a bit of input from the experts in their reviews... These are supposedly protected cells. However, as far as I can tell, I haven't been able to get the protection circuit to trip. I am a bit of an oddball, I like to run batteries flat-dead until I squeeze out every last joule of energy. I know that this isn't good for Li-Ion cells. And that is supposedly what the protection circuit should do- prevent the voltage from dropping too low and thus preventing a dangerous internal chemical state. However, I sometimes leave lights running and then forget about them, and other lights (like the Skyline II) have parasitic drain from their digital switch. But with these XTAR / Sanyo 18700s, my lights happily run from fully charged all the way down to a faint glimmer without the protection circuit forcefully intervening and breaking the circuit. Seems like it just plain doesn't work. The only exception was with the Skyline II, but I imagine the shutoff logic is programmed into the flashlight, not the battery. Could anybody offer more insight about what we should expect from a good protection circuit? Thanks!

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Thank you all. It's hard to

Thank you all. It's hard to do a review when there was already nice job done by our Paganini of batteries Old. I opted for a stress test instead as i think it matters nowadays. High current emitters are pretty standard nowadays so it did make sense. Safety is a major concern to many regarding li-ion technology so i wanted to include that as well. I hardly ever discharge batteries till the potection kicks in but since it's a good safety feature that hardly anyone ever test i opted to include it. Also the quality of wrapping can make a difference. During use and heavy swapping the wrapper can be damaged so i think this is important for a quality product. I do like to sell/give reliable flashlights and equipment. I found these batteries along with chargers the best regarding price/performance/reliability so far. Some may call my assessment premature as these were not tested extensively. I agree, but time will tell if there are any quirks involved. Untill then this have to do. There are just a few really good batteries for decent price around. These are amongst the best if not the best in their price range. It seems XTAR is pretty confident in their product lineup to send generous amounts of samples to review. Probably they would never do that if the products were mediocre.

Yesterday i left (again) a XTAR 18700 2400mAh in the WP2 charger overnight. I'm getting sloppy! I would never do that with my dust collecting DX random charger and always babysitted it in a fireproof bucket. This XTAR chargers have lowered my distrust to li-ion safety quite alot. Can't say it's a good thing... one should always respect potentially dangerous technology. I have to pay more attention in future...

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sb56637 wrote: Hi Budgeteer!

sb56637 wrote:

Hi Budgeteer! Great review, it's going frontpage and sticky.

The Sanyo-inside 2600mah 18700 cells are my first and only Li-Ion cells. So far they fit well in the three compatible lights that I own: Solarforce Skyline II, MRV Clone, and Tank007 TK-737 (which is quite a short light).

I'm very happy with the runtime on these cells. However, there is something that concerns me, it's also an area where I would like to see a bit of input from the experts in their reviews... These are supposedly protected cells. However, as far as I can tell, I haven't been able to get the protection circuit to trip. I am a bit of an oddball, I like to run batteries flat-dead until I squeeze out every last joule of energy. I know that this isn't good for Li-Ion cells. And that is supposedly what the protection circuit should do- prevent the voltage from dropping too low and thus preventing a dangerous internal chemical state. However, I sometimes leave lights running and then forget about them, and other lights (like the Skyline II) have parasitic drain from their digital switch. But with these XTAR / Sanyo 18700s, my lights happily run from fully charged all the way down to a faint glimmer without the protection circuit forcefully intervening and breaking the circuit. Seems like it just plain doesn't work. The only exception was with the Skyline II, but I imagine the shutoff logic is programmed into the flashlight, not the battery. Could anybody offer more insight about what we should expect from a good protection circuit? Thanks!

 

Not much but this might help.

Depending on load the battery voltage lowers to some extent. In my heavy discharge test the protection kicked at 2.75 v when under use. If tested open circuit this battery will show around 3V. The light output with a cell in that range should be pretty low by then. There is a problem with digital switches tho. The parasitic drains that those switched put on a battery often drain the battery to 2.75V and when the PCB shuts the cell off ther might be some heavy issues to charge the battery again. Voltage will not be present as the battery sits at 2.75V or a tiny bit below (DMM wil show 0V). To overcome this only the MP1 charger can wake such battery from the "dead". Others do not wish to charge those. It's best to take care when using flashlights with parasitic drain in off position. So far protection PCB's worked for me when intentionally or casually happened to trigger.

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Protection PCBs for Li-Ion

Protection PCBs for Li-Ion cells will not trigger if the current draw is low.

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When i tested the XTAR D01

When i tested the XTAR D01 (which have a parasitic drain for a xxmA or so in "standby") the battery i used (xtar 2400mAh) the pcb triggered at that low drain in a few days needed to discharge the cell.

The battery voltage shown on DMM was 0! After inserting it for 10 seconds in the MP1 the cell reported 3,0xV already and happily kept on charging in every charger. I assume the protection works. Please correct me if you know more on subject.

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XTAR 18700 Rechargeable
XTAR 18700 Rechargeable Protected battery 2600 mAh Sanyo's aren't available on the retail site (http://www.qualitychinagoods.com) that I could find. So they must be purchased on the wholesale site which charges additional shipping. Pricing 5 packs of these (10 batteries total) with shipping in USD came to a total of:
Sub-Total:$52.50
Percent Rate (Total):$15.75
Total:$68.25
So that’s $6.83 each or $13.65 a pair delivered to the US. Has anyone been able to find a better deal on these? I'm not complaining about the price... just wondering.
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Also of interest: does anyone

Also of interest: does anyone know what light would accept a 14650?

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FlashPilot wrote: XTAR 18700

FlashPilot wrote:

XTAR 18700 Rechargeable Protected battery 2600 mAh Sanyo's aren't available on the retail site (http://www.qualitychinagoods.com) that I could find. So they must be purchased on the wholesale site which charges additional shipping. Pricing 5 packs of these (10 batteries total) with shipping in USD came to a total of:
Sub-Total:$52.50
Percent Rate (Total):$15.75
Total:$68.25
So that’s $6.83 each or $13.65 a pair delivered to the US. Has anyone been able to find a better deal on these? I'm not complaining about the price... just wondering.

http://www.qualitychinagoods.com/xtar-18700-2600mah-protected-batteryxta...

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The more

The more testing the better Smile

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FlashPilot wrote: Also of

FlashPilot wrote:

Also of interest: does anyone know what light would accept a 14650?

There were a bunch of incan and Osram multi-die mods around that used them. Fivemega at CPF makes, or made battery holders and bored bodies for them.

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Wonderful review! Thank you!

Wonderful review! Thank you! Last an hour at 2.8? Not bad.

Any U.S. supplier got these?

Wonder if they'll sink 4A for ~30 min. for my triples?

Rich

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I just got my XTAR 2600mAh

I just got my XTAR 2600mAh 18700's this week, so I am reading this review for the first time. If the light was blinking, that is the driver's battery protection kicking in. I don't think the battery PCB would blink; it would just turn off.

I put one of my XTAR batteries on my Turnigy charger, discharging at 1A and got 2472mAh down to 3.0V under load. When I charged the battery, I found out that the Turnigy is set to stop charging after it puts 2600mAh in the battery. It also has a timeout feature that I've pushed to over 2 hours. Usually it stops when the battery is full.

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Blinking it is a indirect

Blinking it is a indirect "feature" of the PCB. Under heavy load the voltage drops, then the pcb cut's off, voltage raise above the treshold (when there is no load) then repeats. That's the magic of the blinking is all about.

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I may have to test that with

I may have to test that with an unprotected cell. Usually when the protection triggers, it doesn't get reset unless you put current through it externally like in a charger. I think it's the driver that is making the light flash, though I can see what you are saying about it getting in a loop.

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