Test/review of Blackube AA 2250mWh USB (Black)

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HKJ
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Test/review of Blackube AA 2250mWh USB (Black)

Blackube AA 2250mWh USB (Black)
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Official specifications:


  • Voltage: 1.5V
  • Energy: 2250mWh
  • Output current: 1800mA
  • Charging current: 5V/500mA
  • Charging time: about 1.5h
  • Cell type: Li-polymer
  • Life time: 1000-3000 cycles
  • Weight: 16.3g

Blackube%20AA%202250mWh%20USB%20(Black)-info
This is a USB charged 1.5V battery, there is a LiIon cell, a buck converter and a charge circuit inside.
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Behind the black dot on the front is a red and green led, it shows red while charging and green when finished.
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Included with the batteries is a 4 way USB charging cable, i.e. any 2A USB charger can charge four batteries simultaneous.
Blackube%20AA%202250mWh%20USB%20(Black)-Capacity
The capacity depends a bit on the load current, but output voltage is stable.
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At low current the capacity is also lower, because the internal regulation also needs some current. The battery can last for months at low current draw.
Blackube%20AA%202250mWh%20USB%20(Black)-CapacityTime
Blackube%20AA%202250mWh%20USB%20(Black)-CapacityTimeHours
Blackube%20AA%202250mWh%20USB%20(Black)-Energy
Blackube%20AA%202250mWh%20USB%20(Black)-Charge
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The electronic circuit makes the internal impedance look strange.
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The voltage from an electronic circuit is not as stable as battery voltage, with some equipment it will affect performance.
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It looks like the buck regulator runs at about 1.4MHz
Conclusion
These batteries has less capacity than normal NiMH, but run at a higher voltage. This makes them ideal for most equipment that has trouble with NiMH batteries. They also weight considerable less than NiMH, this can be significant in some circumstances. There is one disadvantage: Battery meters do not work with them.
The USB charging makes it very easy to find a charger for them.
Notes and links
The batteries was supplied by Blackupe/roca-sup.com for review.
How is the test done and how to read the charts
Compare to other AA/AAA batteries: Alkaline/NiMH/Lithium

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

Superstocker
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Thanks HKJ! This is a very interesting cell.

LightObsession
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Interesting. Thanks for the review.

Might be a good option for the Lumintop Tool’s that I gave away a few weeks ago, since they’ve got the USB charging.

djozz
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LightObsession wrote:
Interesting. Thanks for the review.

Might be a good option for the Lumintop Tool’s that I gave away a few weeks ago, since they’ve got the USB charging.


I can’t help noticing that in that case inside the battery the voltage of the li-polymer battery is bucked down to 1.5V and then by the flashlight driver boosted up again to the led voltage.
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djozz wrote:
LightObsession wrote:
Interesting. Thanks for the review.

Might be a good option for the Lumintop Tool’s that I gave away a few weeks ago, since they’ve got the USB charging.


I can’t help noticing that in that case inside the battery the voltage of the li-polymer battery is bucked down to 1.5V and then by the flashlight driver boosted up again to the led voltage.

They’re using alkaline now.

Pete7874
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So, these cells cannot be charged in a typical NiMH charger, correct?

HKJ
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Pete7874 wrote:
So, these cells cannot be charged in a typical NiMH charger, correct?

Correct, they need USB power to charge.

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

L4M4
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man those discharge curves are sexy AF Big Smile

Couchmaster
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flydiver
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One of the big problems with these batteries is the misunderstanding and ignorance of the purchasers.
They can be useful but have a fairly narrow band of optimal uses. They work, but aren’t very cost effective for most very low drain applications, nor do they work well in high drain uses. The voltage converter heats up. Not good for camera flashes/strobes.
Some devices that really seem to require the 1.5v and have modest drain do well. Some small devices work better: battery operated beard trimmer, nose hair trimmer, electric toothbrush and the like.

I now have 12 of a brand called [Tenavolt], and generally like them….so far. Long term use to be determined.
Only buy them on special at about $2.50/cell. Full price is exorbitant.

Fox
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Thanks for the review… but I doubt I will buy and use with this chemistry. I try to avoid any Li based rechargeable battery. I only trust Ni-Mh

The most ugly place in the world! Surprised

Pete7874
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Fox wrote:
I try to avoid any Li based rechargeable battery. I only trust Ni-Mh
Do you own a cell phone? A tablet? A laptop? A camera?
Venom
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Thanks for the review HKJ !

Can these batteries be drain low before its need a recharge?

HKJ
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Venom wrote:
Thanks for the review HKJ !

Can these batteries be drain low before its need a recharge?

They contain protection that will disconnect the output when they are empty, they will not drain the internal LiIon cell dangerous low.

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

Venom
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HKJ wrote:
Venom wrote:
Thanks for the review HKJ !

Can these batteries be drain low before its need a recharge?

They contain protection that will disconnect the output when they are empty, they will not drain the internal LiIon cell dangerous low.

Thanks for the reply!

mrheosuper
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can we do teardown on this battery ?

Forgot my pen

HKJ
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mrheosuper wrote:
can we do teardown on this battery ?

I may do that later together with a few other of same type.

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

flydiver
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mrheosuper wrote:
can we do teardown on this battery ?

He’s done a very similar cell before: https://lygte-info.dk/info/BatteryDisassembly18650usb%20UK.html

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HKJ wrote:
Behind the black dot on the front is a red and green led, it shows red while charging and green when finished.
Is this LED only used during charging?

Can it be used to indicate remaining capacity at all?

Given the flat voltage curve, I’m guessing it’s not easy to tell how much juice is left in it.

HKJ
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Pete7874 wrote:
HKJ wrote:
Behind the black dot on the front is a red and green led, it shows red while charging and green when finished.
Is this LED only used during charging?

Can it be used to indicate remaining capacity at all?

Given the flat voltage curve, I’m guessing it’s not easy to tell how much juice is left in it.

The led is only for charging, there is no way to see how much energy is left in the cell.

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

Pete7874
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flydiver wrote:
I now have 12 of a brand called [Tenavolt], and generally like them….so far. Long term use to be determined.

The one thing about these Tenavolts cells is that they don’t have a usb port, so you’d better not lose the supplied charger, but if you have 12 of them, then I guess you already have 3 of their chargers as well. Smile
flydiver
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Easy to get another ‘charger’. Do you lose your chargers? Wink
An advantage, If you want to call it that, is it only takes one USB connection to charge 1 > 4 cells. Personally I think I prefer that over the USB direct connection.
The charger is a box barely larger than a storage pack for AA. If you buy it with the charger, that’s what it gets shipped in. I guess you could store them in it. Don’t know if there is a low grade drain, but I think not.

Pete7874
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flydiver wrote:
An advantage, If you want to call it that, is it only takes one USB connection to charge 1 > 4 cells.

A single usb cable that comes with the Blackube cells can charge 4 cells as well.
flydiver
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A splitter cable, good idea.
Seems then that it comes down to preference, IF you care to bother with these. The USB port adds one more bit of electronics to the cell, which is a pretty cramped space.
By my measurements using a ZB206B+ (an FET discharger, not resistance) I get about 140mAh more than HJK for the Blacktubes. 0.5A and 100mAh for 1.5A. I think the difference may be that port. I didn’t push beyond that since it’s evident the buck converter seems to overheat and fail. I had hoped to use them for underwater strobes and it became evident it was not a serviceable idea.

If they are a tech that works for you, either would seem to suit. Not sure how they’ll show themselves for the long haul. Thus, the purchase and experiment. I’ve got a bunch of Eneloops going on 12+ years old that need replacing so thought I’d try these out for ….some…..uses.

Pete7874
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flydiver wrote:
Seems then that it comes down to preference, IF you care to bother with these.

Yup, I ordered some Tenavolts just for S&Gs since they were on sale. Still don’t know what I’m going to use them in.
flydiver
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They’ll work in almost any application under 1.5A. I find the best uses is a travel Sonicare that takes AA. It was lame on NiMh, almost as good as the lithium power ones on Tenavolt. Similarly a nose trimmer and a beard trimmer both work with more punch. Also a bunch of LED night lights I have around the house. They don’t dim, and the battery is a tad smaller diameter so pops in and out of the slot much better.

Haven’t bothered to try them in very low drain applications. Don’t see that as their best use.

Pete7874
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Curious what their self discharge is like compared to LSD NiMH cells.

Pete7874
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flydiver wrote:
I now have 12 of a brand called [Tenavolt], and generally like them….so far.
FYI, I did a quick write-up on these, in case anyone is interested:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/68974
fluke
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Trying to get them here in the UK is a pain.

Anyone got any links to them?