SolarStorm X2 Battery Balanced? NO. 14/04/20 Update: Fixed

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ryansoh3
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SolarStorm X2 Battery Balanced? NO. 14/04/20 Update: Fixed

Hi all,

I have a SolarStorm X2 as the primary bike light but was wondering if the battery was balanced.

It ships with a 8.4V charger, but it doesn’t have a balance plug so $10 that it’s not balanced.

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Edited by: ryansoh3 on 04/20/2014 - 09:48
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I have a similar light (a trustfire if I recall correctly) that uses an identical battery pack. On my example, there’s a circuit board underneath the shrink wrap that has what appears to be a balance lead that runs between the two battery banks. I know little about electronics, so I couldn’t tell you how (or if) the circuit functions, but I did try unbalancing the pack by discharging the banks to different levels. Even after leaving the pack for several hours and then slowly charging the pack at 100mA, the pack remained unbalanced and subsequently started overcharging one of the banks.

In hindsight, it would’ve been better if if I just ran some leads from the two banks and monitored the voltages after several cycles. The cells, for what it’s worth, were marked “TZGLLY18650-1800 L08140921”. I think they came out to be close to 1.8Ah per cell.

ryansoh3
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Awesome, thank you very much for your reply.

I guess I’ll have to cut open the shrink wrap and see if they’re balanced at all.

Edit: I’ve just torn apart my pack and it’s not looking good.



They’re very unbalanced, at 3.997V and 4.102V.


Thanks for the warning, I guess I’ll balance charge them. Thank goodness I only charged up to about 8.30V with my hobby charger because I was suspicious that these were not balanced.

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Bucketthead
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I have several of these. What’s the fix? I understand they need balancing but how? Extreme detail for beginners is much appreciated.

I no longer need a wallet. Thanks BLF! 

ryansoh3
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Bucketthead wrote:
I have several of these. What’s the fix? I understand they need balancing but how? Extreme detail for beginners is much appreciated.

If you don’t have a hobby charger, individually charging the battery pairs is the way to go.
Here’s what I’m currently doing:

I hooked up one of the pairs with magnets and I’m charging it up to 4.20V. After that’s finished, I’m going to switch to the other pair and charge it up to 4.20V.

If you do have a hobby charger, you can take advantage of the green rectangular PCB and solder some leads to them and connecting it to the balancing port of the hobby charger.

I was hesitant about cutting open the black shrink wrap, but after Default Username said that they were not balanced, it was a no brainer.

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maciex93
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If batteries are low quality, and have different capacity they always will go unbalanced.
The best option is add balancing connectors like that: http://www.ebay.com/itm/10×-2s1p-7-4v-JST-XH-Connector-Adapter-plug-RC-lipo-battery-balance-charger-B6-/160899607757?pt=Radio_Control_Parts_Accessories&hash=item25765d2ccd
of course if you have hobby charger like imax b6 or icharger. And charging in balance mode.

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maciex93 wrote:
If batteries are low quality, and have different capacity they always will go unbalanced. The best option is add balancing connectors like that: http://www.ebay.com/itm/10×-2s1p-7-4v-JST-XH-Connector-Adapter-plug-RC-lipo-battery-balance-charger-B6-/160899607757?pt=Radio_Control_Parts_Accessories&hash=item25765d2ccd of course if you have hobby charger like imax b6 or icharger. And charging in balance mode.

That’s correct. The one with the lower capacity will always have a lower voltage after a discharge cycle, and if charged without balancing, the one with the higher capacity will be overcharged beyond 4.20V. I doubt these would explode as in a flashlight, but venting wouldn’t be very present either.

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I’m glad I could help ryansoh3. Interestingly, the circuit board on your pack looks quite a bit different than the one present on my pack, despite them looking quite similar on the outside. Here’s a picture of what I found inside mine. The two 8-leg chips on top are marked 8205 24C1G, and the 6-leg chip is marked 3W17. The “balance” lead was connected to COM, B+ and B- to battery, and P+ and P- to output.

(Apologies for the poor macro shot)

(Link to original image)
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5495/12703074745_c492edd476_o.jpg

mfpmax
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Some folks on the MTBR site converted their packs to removable batteries. I had planned to do the same so I could firstly, use better cells, secondly, be able to charge the cells individually.

Kaidoman has a pack that is serviceable.

leaftye
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Kaidomain battery pack.

http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S023038

 

They emailed me back yesterday to let me know that it's wired for 8.4V.

The low mode should be lower.

Reviews: Efan IMR18350 700mAh 10.5A, <a href="http://

HBomb
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Do you run your hobby charger open for heat management? Or just because it looks cool, because it does.

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ryansoh3 wrote:
maciex93 wrote:
If batteries are low quality, and have different capacity they always will go unbalanced. The best option is add balancing connectors like that: http://www.ebay.com/itm/10×-2s1p-7-4v-JST-XH-Connector-Adapter-plug-RC-lipo-battery-balance-charger-B6-/160899607757?pt=Radio_Control_Parts_Accessories&hash=item25765d2ccd of course if you have hobby charger like imax b6 or icharger. And charging in balance mode.

That’s correct. The one with the lower capacity will always have a lower voltage after a discharge cycle, and if charged without balancing, the one with the higher capacity will be overcharged beyond 4.20V. I doubt these would explode as in a flashlight, but venting wouldn’t be very present either.


That might be explained by the internal charge leakage being higher when the cell is discharged than when it is charged, or by the lower capacity cell also having more leakage. If they were always equally efficient, in terms of the charge out equaling the charge in, they would stay in balance when charged and discharged in series, even though they had different capacity.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

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leaftye wrote:

Kaidomain battery pack.

http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S023038

 

They emailed me back yesterday to let me know that it’s wired for 8.4V.

That looks a bit better than the one I saw. Nice

Bucketthead
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Comes with a bag/cover to strap to your bike.
http://dx.com/p/pannovo-b-c04-water-resistant-4-x-18650-battery-pack-cas...

So, if I’m reading correctly, if I have the version with the board on the top I’m OK? Assuming it is wired the same. Or not?
Edit: oh, I see the Kaidoman one has the “bag” too.

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HBomb wrote:
Do you run your hobby charger open for heat management? Or just because it looks cool, because it does.

Yup, it does come with a fan but it was quite distracting so I’m running it silently. The cool part is a nice addition, thanks. Smile

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garrybunk
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I'm planning on using the DX Pannovo case as well (it's just taking DX FOREVER to ship my order while they wait on an item to come in stock).  I was also tinkering with other DIY ideas to be able to use my own cells and pull them to charge them individually.

Question - how safe/unsafe is it to use 4 high quality BUT unprotected 18650's in a case like the Pannovo? 

-Garry

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Essexman
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Fast tech sell something similar too – https://www.fasttech.com/product/1457300

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I ordered some balancing plugs from eBay yesterday and I was able to fix the balancing issue.

The circuit board did seem to have some components but wasn’t able to balance the cell. Over/under voltage projection perhaps?

I soldered on some XST-XH 2s balancing plugs to the PCB tabs:

I added some heatshrink to keep the wires organized.

Works perfectly with my hobby charger. Smile

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soopahfly
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I’m trying to do the same with my pack. I can’t get it to work though.

Can you see where I’ve gone wrong?

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I think that blue wire should be connected to COM (right-botom corner)…

 

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Does my post#62 here help you:  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/34302?page=1#comment-845487 (sorry I can't create a link from my phone anymore it seems) .  I've not actually connected mine to a hobby charger yet though but I can measure each banks voltage across the balance plug with a meter.

-Garry

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soopahfly
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Absolutely correct. I moved the blue wire to the one you have marked as COM (mine says BM) and it’s all working perfectly.

Thanks!

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watch out for packs like that with fake,dummy cells and widely differing capacity on the 2 “good” cells.
forget these cheap and nasty packs and just buy the reloadable pack mentioned.i know of 2 riders who had this type of pack blow up while charging.
now they run 4 18650b and charge the cells in an all-80 8 bay.
risk went to near zero.performance doubled!

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Problem is that case above to use your own cells is no longer available. The new SolarStorm 4 cell case is crippled with protection circuitry that doesn't work correctly and parasitic drain (&usb power that many don't want).  The fix for the SS case is posted in its review thread over at MTBR, but I didn't find it easy to do.  Those cases also stink for any light drawing over about 2.5A. 

Ledoman has KD producing custom packs with Panasonic cells and seeing good results. GearBest seems to be selling some of the same ones but I'd support KD on these.

-Garry

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soopahfly
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garrybunk wrote:

Problem is that case above to use your own cells is no longer available. The new SolarStorm 4 cell case is crippled with protection circuitry that doesn’t work correctly and parasitic drain (&usb power that many don’t want).  The fix for the SS case is posted in its review thread over at MTBR, but I didn’t find it easy to do.  Those cases also stink for any light drawing over about 2.5A. 

Ledoman has KD producing custom packs with Panasonic cells and seeing good results. GearBest seems to be selling some of the same ones but I’d support KD on these.

-Garry

I’ve got one of those packs coming, and I’ll be attempting the modifications. The hardest part looks to be releasing the pcb’s from the bottom of the case. I use a Lumicycle as my bike’s main headlight with a genuine battery/charger so I’m not too fussed about that. This was so I can have a spare pack in my bag for my Yinding headlight that I run on my helmet.
This pack came from a Magicshine clone I bought about 2 years ago. I’ve just done the same modification to the Yinding pack, and that was a lot easier. The pack looked better quality too, FP brand batteries, 1800maH printed on the side.
Didn’t look like recycled cells.