Long-term test Contour NiMH

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Don
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Long-term test Contour NiMH

These are said to be second generation Eneloops according to the discussion here. This is a placeholder until I get some initial measurements done and photographs taken.

 

More to follow in a few hours.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Don
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They look close enough to the only second generation Eneloops to me.

The packaging. Not, IMO, as elegant as Sanyo’s packaging but much, much less pretentious than the packaging of the 2nd generation Tones I have.

The bottom of the box.

The writing on the cells

Positive end

Over-lit shot of the button. I can’t find any vents on it even with a magnifying glass.

Positive ends of a Gen. 2 Tone, the Contour and a Gen. 1 Eneloop.

Button to button with a Gen. 2 Tone

The negative ends. Gen. 2 Tone, Contour, Gen. 1 Eneloop

That should be enough pics to be going on with. If anyone wants more, or different pics, let me know.

Now to number them and measure voltages.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Don
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I weighed 4 of them and 4 Gen. 2 Tones. They all weighed between 25.8 and 26.0g with 3 Contours and 3 Tones weighing 26.0g and one of each weighing 25.8g. This was not on a lab balance but a cheap DX digital scale of unknown accuracy but hopefully good repeatability.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Don
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All sixteen were between 1.306 and 1.308volts fresh from the packet. I also dug out a pack of 8 second generation Tones which I’ll test alongside the Contour cells. They are completely unused other than charging in 2012. They are all at 1.309-1.31V. Now for the first set of discharges. Back tomorrow with some numbers.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

DimBulb
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is, I guess, mostly an idling current with short periods of higher current draw. Both the dims and the weight will give the “energy density.”
Eco friendly probably means less w and less w-h for a given weight and volume, unless they’ve had a breakthrough.

Don
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Yup – early digital cameras were notorious for their current draw – as in tens of amps for some of them. Current ones are far less brutal, but any flashgun will happily draw as many amps as it can – and then some. My Canon compact is awful with rechargeables – it’ll actually take a couple of hundred pics with the flash on full power, but if they’ve been in the camera for a week or so it’ll complain about their voltage even if no pics have been taken. Take a picture and it’ll be happy for a few hundred more despite moaning about low voltage. Must get round to trying it with a LiFePO4 cell and a dummy cell to see how well that works. I’d not feed it a couple of NiZn cells unless I found that someone else had had that work for them – don’t want to kill the thing,

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Don
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Contour ?Gen 2 eneloops Intial Intial Voltage Discharge
Cell 1 1.306 1,529
Cell 2 1.306 1,538
Cell 3 1.306 1,529
Cell 4 1.307 1,498
Cell 5 1.307 1,472
Cell 6 1.307 1,486
Cell 7 1.307 1,477
Cell 8 1.307 1,459
Cell 9 1.307 1,520
Cell 10 1.308 1,529
Cell 11 1.308 1,524
Cell 12 1.306 1,502
Cell 13 1.307 1,479
Cell 14 1.307 1,489
Cell 15 1.307 1,484
Cell 16 1.307 1,455
Av. 1.307 1,498

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

marcl
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Don wrote:
Contour ?Gen 2 eneloops Intial Intial Voltage Discharge Cell 1 1.306 1,529 Cell 2 1.306 1,538 Cell 3 1.306 1,529 Cell 4 1.307 1,498 Cell 5 1.307 1,472 Cell 6 1.307 1,486 Cell 7 1.307 1,477 Cell 8 1.307 1,459 Cell 9 1.307 1,520 Cell 10 1.308 1,529 Cell 11 1.308 1,524 Cell 12 1.306 1,502 Cell 13 1.307 1,479 Cell 14 1.307 1,489 Cell 15 1.307 1,484 Cell 16 1.307 1,455 Av. 1.307 1,498

Looking good so far! :bigsmile:

Marc.

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!

xed888
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Sorry if I sound ignorant mates, but could someone explain the numbers? Smile

Or basically, are they repackaged Eneloops?

Speedsix
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Yeah, at some point we just need to sum up all the numbers and data. This goes for all these testing threads with pages of data.

DimBulb
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Speedsix wrote:
Yeah, at some point we just need to sum up all the numbers and data. This goes for all these testing threads with pages of data.

Yes and summarize the findings after extracting all the info possible, preferably with graphs & formulas & best fit curves. Along with this there should be a clear idea of the goals of the data collection.

Doing this will provide insights into how better to collect data. It’s a feedback loop – data collection > summaries > goals > data collection.

Spreadsheets have some data reduction tools and I have notes from a stats course that give practical methods for reducing all types of engineering data: Student’s T table, tolerance limits to some confidence level, hypothesis testing, ANOVA and whatnot. These very tedious stat calculations are no problem for spreadsheets.

Bell-shaped curves, anyone? Big Smile

Don
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Thus far, fancy stats are unwarranted. The initial discharge is of limited usefulness as I do not know when they were manufactured or charged though they were certainly manufactured after mid-2010 if they (As seems extremely likely) are rebadged Eneloops. What we’re really looking for here is consistency and hopefully consistency with real Eneloops. The 2G eneloops I have were charged in late May 2012 and have been untouched since – they were manufactured in March 2010. What I want to see is capacity over time and consistency.

So from the initial results we see a very good consistency in voltage – not really a surprise as voltage is not a useful indicator of charge in NiMH cells. But someone might have a use for the data.

The consistency in charge available to 1.000V under load with a span of 73mAh between the most and least charge – or in real world terms a variation of about 5%. My measurement errors may be greater than this, though I hope not.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

marcl
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Well, if they are nearly 3 years old and have 75% of there capacity left then I am impressed. I would also say that is a tick in the eneloop box.

So far so good.

Thanks for doing this Don,

Marc.

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!

DimBulb
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marcl wrote:
Well, if they are nearly 3 years old and have 75% of there capacity left then I am impressed. I would also say that is a tick in the eneloop box.

So far so good.

Thanks for doing this Don,

Marc.


And so testing aged batteries is pretty useful. The battery makers must respond to market forces and so maybe their production line is changed somewhat every six months, maybe less often.
Don
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All 16 came off the charger between 1.450 and 1.455V so good consistency there.

 

First full cycle on 8 of them underway - results in the morning.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

DimBulb
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marcl wrote:
Well, if they are nearly 3 years old and have 75% of there capacity left then I am impressed. I would also say that is a tick in the eneloop box.

So far so good.

Thanks for doing this Don,

Marc.


And so testing aged batteries is pretty useful – batteries that wear out soon is a hidden cost of ownership.
The battery makers must respond to market forces and so maybe their battery chemistry is changed somewhat every ~6 months.
Don
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I'm not too happy with the numbers on Run 2 thus far - looks like my charging regime isn't cramming in every ounce of charge it could. Cells 9-16 discharging just now.

Contour ?Gen 2 eneloops   
 Intial Intial Intial   
 VoltageDischargeChargeRun 1Run 2
Cell 11.3061,529 2,0862,008
Cell 21.3061,538 2,0942,019
Cell 31.3061,529 2,0962,016
Cell 41.3071,498 2,0701,986
Cell 51.3071,472 2,0322,078
Cell 61.3071,486 2,0432,091
Cell 71.3071,477 2,0562,078
Cell 81.3071,459 2,0061,900
Cell 91.3071,5202,1832,200 
Cell 101.3081,5292,2442,253 
Cell 111.3081,5242,2352,205 
Cell 121.3061,5022,2322,187 
Cell 131.3071,4792,1542,128 
Cell 141.3071,4892,1492,117 
Cell 151.3071,4842,1092,117 
Cell 161.3071,4552,1892,029 
Av.1.3071,4982,1872,107 

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

DimBulb
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first step.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Significant_figures

How many significant figures need to be posted for these values? IMHO the first column could be rounded to 1.31 unless this two mV difference means something.

By way of answering, how sensitive to room temperature are these voltages? What the accuracy and resolution and repeatability of your meter (you may be seeing variations in your meter)?

The trees and branches and leaves can hide the forest.

Don
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I’ve done the courses in sampling theory. And don’t assume how many digits there are on my meter.

“The Devil is in the details”

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Jinx
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Good work Don, I have purchased 4 of these to try. I look forward to your future tests/conclusions, I’d be interested to see any results you have even if others aren’t ( they don’t need to read the thread do they Oops )

Mine all arrived at exactly 1.309 (Fluke, calibrated to nation standards)
First discharge cycle netted;
1 – 1975
2 – 1966
3 – 1965
4 – 1970

Ambient 19c, results from my uncalibrated Maha. The glaring omission is the lack of discharge rate, I forgot to note this as it is decided by the charger based on capacity, which I set to 2500mah, if I get a chance I will check and update :8)

marcl
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Jeansy wrote:
Good work Don, I have purchased 4 of these to try. I look forward to your future tests/conclusions, I’d be interested to see any results you have even if others aren’t ( they don’t need to read the thread do they Oops )

Mine all arrived at exactly 1.309 (Fluke, calibrated to nation standards)
First discharge cycle netted;
1 – 1975
2 – 1966
3 – 1965
4 – 1970

Ambient 19c, results from my uncalibrated Maha. The glaring omission is the lack of discharge rate, I forgot to note this as it is decided by the charger based on capacity, which I set to 2500mah, if I get a chance I will check and update :8)

Jeansy, Really this is a little too much information! Just round them up to 2A. Wink

@ Don. Thanks for your work Don It is very much appreciated. You too Jeansy. :bigsmile:

Marc.

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Thanks Don for all the hard work here, following your post ordered one set myself to see what all these are about
Ordered from I Cell – look like 2nd gens as you say comparing sanyo’s have on hand here.

Discharge/refresh on LaCrosse BC700

1- 2008 1.49v
2- 2013 1.49v
3 -2010 1.48v
4- 2008 1.49v

No readings taken beforehand, just threw them in charger

Date coded on wrapper 11-06 also said on packet 2011 seems a little old to me anyway see how they do in my nitecore EA4

regards B

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Anymore info on this yet. Is there enough evidence to conclusively say they are re-branded Eneloops?

Cheers.

Don
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Not yet. Nor will there be soon. The quickest way of getting conclusive proof would be to check the business press to see about the details of any deals between Contour Energy (A US firm who own contourenergy.co.uk) and Sanyo/Panasonic. Since I rapidly lose the will to live when looking at biz press releases, I’m not the guy to do this. There are probably SEC public record filings as well.

But there probably is a public record of Contour Energy (?Systems) doing a deal with Panasonic (Who own Sanyo).

I can only produce indicative stuff depending on the relative performance of some of these against a smaller number of genuine Eneloops from the same generation. (16 Contours & 8 Eneloop Tones (2G))

My opinion is they almost certainly are 2G Eneloops, but I have no data to back this up. Since I can only discharge one set of eight a day, and they are still in their first couple of cycles, it’s going to take a while to get the data.

The limiting factor is the Maha C808M I’m using to charge them – for maximum charge the cells need to spend 24 hours in it.

I could change the regime and use a hobby charger to charge all 16 at a time but that would rather invalidate the previous results. I’ll have a think about charging regimes while I’m on holiday in about an hour from now.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

bones
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Chicken drumstick –
Having both sets here to compare myself all I could say is the physical characteristics,similarities in the end caps, same size, colour and appearance in grain effect of steel they look pretty close, it isnt scientific conclusion however at £3.99 pack delivered was worth a risk.

They also say made in japan

B

Chicken Drumstick
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Cheers. Well pay day is next Thurs, so hoping to order then as I’m in need of 6 packs of the AA’s and 3 of the AAA’s.

I presume people are also assuming the AAA’s are also re-branded Eneloops?

Don
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Chicken Drumstick wrote:
Cheers. Well pay day is next Thurs, so hoping to order then as I’m in need of 6 packs of the AA’s and 3 of the AAA’s.

I presume people are also assuming the AAA’s are also re-branded Eneloops?

If they also say Made in Japan then it’s highly probable.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Don
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This may be relevant.

http://www.contourenergy.com/news/press_releases/20110621-2.html

Gem is a wholly owned subsidiary of DCC (www.dcc.ie) who don’t mention Sanyo/Panasonic anywhere…

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

bones
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The way I read it DCC acquire companies and brands, doesn’t look like the make anything themselves more a service provider with no manufacturing facilities.Contour doesn’t actually say (cant find) they have own mfg facilities beyond Test and R & D facilities i’m bit pushed for time to wade through pages of stuff.

My monies on from Panasonic/sanyo they provide OEM services for others, they look so similar to me, although there is a raft of other known manufacturers such as Sony Fujicell, Yuasa,Mitsubishi,Hitachi.

Would the bigger japanese players be cloning other competitors products ? I’m out on that one

B

marcl
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bones wrote:
The way I read it DCC acquire companies and brands, doesn’t look like the make anything themselves more a service provider with no manufacturing facilities.Contour doesn’t actually say (cant find) they have own mfg facilities beyond Test and R & D facilities i’m bit pushed for time to wade through pages of stuff.

My monies on from Panasonic/sanyo they provide OEM services for others, they look so similar to me, although there is a raft of other known manufacturers such as Sony Fujicell, Yuasa,Mitsubishi,Hitachi.

Would the bigger japanese players be cloning other competitors products ? I’m out on that one

B

It’s a little simpler than that. Would you, if you were Sanyo let someone call their batteries ‘the worlds best battery’ unless they had your cells inside?

Marc.

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!

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I wouldn’t take too much notice of the ‘world’s best battery’ thing. That’s just an advertising puff.

As far as I can see this is a good deal, and I’m happy with the calls. Besides, I’m giving them away to my nephew, so it’s his problem lol.

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