Review: Trustfire 3000mAh protected.

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Stephen Wallace
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Review: Trustfire 3000mAh protected.

This is another quick review carried out on a single cell. As I have mentioned in other reviews of single cells, it is nice to test cells in pairs, to get some insight in to how well cells are matched, but there is only so much you can tell from such a small sample. If two cells are badly matched, then you have learnt all you need to know, but if two cells are well matched, who is to say whether three or four cells, or even more, would be equally well matched. So while I can't comment on cell matching, we can at least see if this one cell matches it's claimed capacity, and see how well it maintains it's capacity at different discharge rates.

Shilling and such.....

I know that there is some concern in this forum with people testing items that have been supplied by dealers, in case items are reviewed favourably, in order to keep up the supply of 'freebies'. In light of this, it is only fair to state that this battery was supplied for me to test, by UK ebay dealer big_f_d_d.

Fact is that, before there was ever any question of my being sent any cells to test, I was already a customer. I was attracted to big_f_d_d's ebay listings, as for one thing, he was in the UK. He carried a wide selection of different cells, and unusually, provides discharge curves and comparisons of a wide selection of cells. He also offers free shipping, a free box, and the opportunity to return any cells that you are not happy with. 

So, if I sound positive about big_f_d_d, it's not because I am benefiting in any way from supporting him, but because having bought several batteries from him, a charger, and an XM-L  P60 drop-in, I have been genuinely pleased with his service.

Having once been sent an extra cell to test (along with a selection of batteries that I had bought), I contacted big_f_d_d to get some extra details to include in the write up. Having done so, it only seemed courteous to let him know when I posted the review. In response to that he asked if I would be interested in testing some more cells, and here we are.

The cells will be tested in the same way I have tested other cells, and the measurements will be posted just as they come off the machine - I have no intention of 'massaging' the figures to make these cells look any better than they are. As it happens, big_f_d_d doesn't even have these cells listed on ebay at the moment, so there is no great advantage to him, even if I recommended these over everything else. Not to mention that you could pick these up from any number of other dealers.

Testing equipment

A quick re-cap of the equipment used for testing: -

I will be charging cells with an iCharger 106B+, and discharging and testing internal resistance with an iCharger 208B. Two chargers are used for speed and convenience – one cell can be charging while a second is being discharged (not relevant in this instance). I use the same charger for each step to ensure consistency in conditions between tests, so that results are comparable.

Voltage is measured with a Precision Gold WG 020 multi-meter, dimensions with a Precision Gold digital calliper, and weight with a Neva digital scale stated to be accurate to 1/100th of a gram.

The base of the cell is attached to the charger via a 12” 16AWG cable with a large, strong magnet soldered to it. The positive button is attached via a magnet (if it adheres well) or via a crocodile clip. In this case, the magnets adhered well at both ends.

Results at a glance

Trustfire 18650 3000mAh protected

Provided for testing by Ebay UK member ‘big_f_d_d’

Big_f_d_d does not currently have this cell listed on his ebay page, so I cannot comment on pricing, but it is freely available from other ebay dealers, or the common China/HK electronics retailers – for instance, KD, DX, DD, BIO, BOB, Manafont, et al are likely to stock these

 

Cell 1 (1)

Storage voltage

4.00V

Measured length

68.69mm

Measured width (max)

18.42mm

Weight

45.52grams

Internal resistance at initial voltage

123mOhm

Capacity from storage down to 3.00V @ 0.6A

2019mAh

Internal resistance after storage charge

135mOhm

Capacity from 4.2V down to 3V @ 0.6A

2455mAh

Capacity from 4.2V down to 3V @ 1.0A

2445mAh

Capacity from 4.2V down to 3V @ 3.0A

2402mAh

Capacity from 4.2V down to 3V @ 5.0A

2186mAh

(1) This is a single cell provided to me for testing, rather than a purchase that I have made – these cells are normally supplied in pairs.

Construction

The cell has a more brittle wrap than most vinyl type heat shrink. It appears quite thin, and is stretched tightly around the protection board. Quite likely the need for a material that accepts graphics and is metallic leads to the difference in consistency.

As per the photo above, there was a small nick in the wrap. As received, the wrap was crushed at this point, but did not appear to go through to bare metal. Under the heat of the 5A discharge, this nick has split, revealing the underlying cell. The cell also had a small dent in the side, but it doesn’t look to be large enough to have caused any damage to the cells internals.

You have a standard, medium sized button. This appears to be made out of steel – a magnet will adhere to it readily. This should provide compatibility with a wide range of lights and chargers.

The cell has a foil style base over the protection circuit, which will tend to exhibit wear and tear more than a solid metal base.

Light compatibility

Light

Characteristics

Fits

Functions

Olight M20

Wide tube, spring at head, sprung plunger at tail cap

Yes

Yes

SWM T20CS

Short tube, dual springs

Yes

Yes

Jet IIIM

Wide tube, tail spring only

Yes

Yes

Fenix TK15

Two-piece tube – narrow at head

Short tube, short spring at head

Yes

Yes

Fenix TK11

Narrow tube, tail spring only

Yes

Yes

Eagletac G25C2

Wide tube, sprung plunger at head and tail (minimal travel at the head end), physical reverse polarity protection

Yes

Yes

Nitecore IFE2

Narrow tube, physical reverse

Polarity protection

Yes

Yes

Charger compatibility 

Charger

Fits

Functions

4Sevens single bay

Yes

Yes

Trustfire TR-001

Yes - just

Yes

Ultrafire WF-139

No (2)

Yes (2)

Ultrafire WF-188

Yes

Yes

HXY-042V2000A

Yes

Yes

XTAR WP2 II

Yes

Yes

Pila IBC

Yes

Yes

Jetbeam/Sysmax Intellicharge i4

Yes - Just

Yes

(2) While the cell is too long to sit all the way down in the cradle of the WF-139 charger, with the cell sat in the bay at an angle, the positive button on the cell makes contact with the charger’s positive terminal, and charging will commence.

Internal resistance

Cell

Voltage

Internal resistance

Trustfire 3000mAh

4.00V (as received)

123mOhm

Trustfire 3000mAh

3.74V (storage charge)

135mOhm

Ultrafire 3000mAh

3.93V (as received)

248mOhm

Ridbatt 2600mAh #1

3.74V (storage charge)

129mOhm

Ridbatt 2600mAh #1

3.74V after initial capacity test (storage charge)

135mOhm

Ridbatt 2600mAh #1

3.74V all testing complete (storage charge)

117mOhm

Xtar 2600mAh #1

3.85V (as received)

139mOhm

Xtar 2600mAh #2

3.79V (as received)

136mOhm

Keeppower 2600mAh #1

3.78V (as received)

123mOhm

Keeppower 2600mAh #2

3.78V (as received)

119mOhm

Hi-Max 2600mAh #1

3.79V (as received)

153mOhm

Hi-Max 2600mAh #2

3.80V (as received)

163mOhm

I have compared the Trustfire 3000mAh with the only other cell I have listed as having a capacity of 3000mAh. The rest of the internal resistance table is bulked out with cells listed as having a capacity of 2600mAh, which seems more in line with the true capacity of the Trustfire.

Conclusion

I'm in two minds about this cell. I'm sure that the little nick in the wrap, and the little dent, where specific to my cell, so I'm not going to worry about that. However, cells that overstate their capacity are a pet peeve of mine. This cell didn't perform badly - if you think of it as being a 2600mAh cell. As a 3000mAh cell, it fell short. It maintained capacity well between 0.6A and 3A, with capacity dropping more noticeably at a 5A discharge. As these can generally be picked up cheaply, I guess it's not a bad budget choice, but if we take pricing out of the equation, I can't help but think that there are better cells available in the 2600mAh class, some not a whole lot more expensive. Continued testing of other cells (I have a few 2600mAh ones lined up), will show if this is indeed the case. So to sum up, cheap, good for the price, but they don't strike me as being the best in class, and certainly not a 3000mAh cell.

 

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:46
bibihang
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Great one! So it also does fit into the DRY right?

Stephen Wallace
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Unfortunately, I do not personally own a DRY, so cannot confirm that for you.

However, this cell fit all my lights - width wise - even those that are quite narrow, so the width shouldn't be an issue. On the other hand, it is quite long, and there is only a limited amount of length available in the DRY's battery carrier, so it would be best to check the available length in the carrier before settling on a battery to use. 

aoyue2702
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bibihang wrote:

Great one! So it also does fit into the DRY right?

 

Of course,  with adding a few small washers.

bibihang
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aoyue2702 wrote:

 

Of course,  with adding a few small washers.

Ok, thank you. I know Chicago X is selling some washers for the DRY, right? Anyway I have already ordered this TF 3000mah flame last week and waiting for it coming. I will see how it goes.

pounder
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they fit in the dry without washers, but they are very tight..I added washers to mine just to keep the cell from being under too much stress..

sixty545
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Also read my test here.

Lensman
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Thanks Stephen, very useful review.

SpaceCowboy
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Stephen,

 

Just one mistake you should correct. By XTAR MP2 II you probably tried to say XTAR WP2 II



MP2 is CR2/CR123 charger (very good charger, but not for 18650)




Stephen Wallace
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Yes, that was a typo. Could have sworn that I had spotted that and corrected it already, but perhaps that was a different write up.

Thanks.

CheapThrills
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Today I received 4pcs from Manafont. Resting voltages at arrival were: 3,83V, 3,84V, 3,85V and 3,86Volts. Charged up to 4,17V with Xtar, now discharging to 2,7V with Imax B6 @ 1Amp. Will give some capacities for comparison later in the evening.
nginx
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Been following this post. Thanks for the review. Quite a bit of useful information here.

CheapThrills, where are the comparisons mate? I am very eager to see how good the latest batch is.

keltex78
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I just received 2x 2-packs of these Trustfire 3000mAH 18650 cells from Manafont. They seem like legitimate cells and not fakes, if anyone is concerned. All cells appear to be very well built. The have very good quality, well-printed wrappers on gold-hologram foil, and have the Trustfire hologram sticker on the outside of the overwrap. Unfortunately, I don't have a way to test cell capacity, but they look like the legitimate product.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

SpaceCowboy
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Be careful guys. It seems that protection on this cell is not working.

NightCrawl
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Where you got that from?

cessnapilot
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CheapThrills wrote:
Today I received 4pcs from Manafont. Resting voltages at arrival were: 3,83V, 3,84V, 3,85V and 3,86Volts. Charged up to 4,17V with Xtar, now discharging to 2,7V with Imax B6 @ 1Amp. Will give some capacities for comparison later in the evening.

did you ever get those capacity measurements?

Aleister
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SpaceCowboy wrote:

Be careful guys. It seems that protection on this cell is not working.

Have you or anyone else tested the protection circuit? I already had an issue with one of those and most of my other "thunderflames" are in multi-cell flashlights, so I am a bit worried...

Let a flooder be my wife and a thrower be my mistress

Pulsar13
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CheapThrills wrote:
Today I received 4pcs from Manafont. Resting voltages at arrival were: 3,83V, 3,84V, 3,85V and 3,86Volts. Charged up to 4,17V with Xtar, now discharging to 2,7V with Imax B6 @ 1Amp. Will give some capacities for comparison later in the evening.

Wow 2 weeks and still not finished discharging... sure you set them at 1A? maybe accidentally set 1mA? JK Sealed

Anyhow since some others are expecting result, I also got a couple of TF3000 Flame from Manafont recently and Imax B6 gave reading of 2400++ mAh (don't remember exact) at 1A, discharge to 3V. 

After discharge to 3V, I let them rest a while, pop the discharged cell into the 3-mode Ultrafire Manafont drop-in and whoa... still lots of light. Tail cap read at 1.4A. Quite amazing. The battery still have some good juice left after discharging to 3V. The current seem to be stable too, dropping only a bit at slow rate. 

I didn't quite test the discharge down to 2.7V BUT from the feel of it, even at 3v and the way it supplies current, it should still have 100-200 mAh left. I believe you could get 2500+ mAh from these cells. Well, at least from this batch.

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Aleister wrote:

SpaceCowboy wrote:

Be careful guys. It seems that protection on this cell is not working.

Have you or anyone else tested the protection circuit? I already had an issue with one of those and most of my other "thunderflames" are in multi-cell flashlights, so I am a bit worried...

I shorted mine on the 10A setting of my DMM, 5.6A for a sec, after that 0.0. Shut down in UF980L on High (Direct Drive) after about 30min of a buttload of light, 20min usable light and 15min of firefly.

Aleister
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NightCrawl wrote:

Aleister wrote:

SpaceCowboy wrote:

Be careful guys. It seems that protection on this cell is not working.

Have you or anyone else tested the protection circuit? I already had an issue with one of those and most of my other "thunderflames" are in multi-cell flashlights, so I am a bit worried...

I shorted mine on the 10A setting of my DMM, 5.6A for a sec, after that 0.0. Shut down in UF980L on High (Direct Drive) after about 30min of a buttload of light, 20min usable light and 15min of firefly.

Thank you NightCrawl!

Let a flooder be my wife and a thrower be my mistress

superpila
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Just to mention that I got some of these cells from DX and they are now selling the same old fake 2400 (not the good 2400 flame) wrapped in this new shell. All of the 4 I've tested are actually 2000mah at 1A discharge. Still decent quality for the price, but definitely not as good as the ones tested at the beginning of this thread. 

nginx
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^ Think you got the wrong thread. This one is for the 3000mah TF cells.

superpila
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nginx wrote:

^ Think you got the wrong thread. This one is for the 3000mah TF cells.

That's what I got. Sorry I think I was not very clear: the 3000mah trustfire on DX now are actually 2000mah, exactly like the new 2400mah trustfire on DX, which too are 2000mah. In fact I suspect that they are the same cell, as they perform exactly the same in the tests I've done.

nginx
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Oh sorry. I thought you were talking about the 2400 flames. The 3000mah ones actually costs a good couple of bucks extra. So that kinda sucks harder. Better to get the 2400 flames and save some I guess. I heard DX acquired a battery tester to ensure quality of these cells from next batch. Hope that would stop selling of these fake batteries.

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Some guys on DX forums have said that DX has tested some cells that's why they area saying 4000mAh and not 5000mAh for Trustfire the 26650 cells. Which apparently is some client lure text  as the same 4000mAh "real capacity" text can be seen on Taobao.

Regrading  fake cells, it's not like they buy from vendors that knock on their door and receive what they have in their bags at the moment, they know very well who sells which and what. DX to be able to have such low prices has to deal only with major distributors for longer periods, they cannot buy from here and there.

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cessnapilot wrote:

CheapThrills wrote:
Today I received 4pcs from Manafont. Resting voltages at arrival were: 3,83V, 3,84V, 3,85V and 3,86Volts. Charged up to 4,17V with Xtar, now discharging to 2,7V with Imax B6 @ 1Amp. Will give some capacities for comparison later in the evening.

did you ever get those capacity measurements?

 

 

Sorry guys, I posted them to wrong thread for some reason Flat Stare

 

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/4741#comment-142170

 

Got 2 sets today.

I found this thread, so posting here where I have previous tests.

 

First pair was 3,83V and 3,84V

Second pair was 3,85V and 3,86V

Discharged with Imax B6 at 1A from 4,16-4,17V to 2,70V

 

1st pair battery #1: 2338mAh   (at 3,00V it was 2163mAh)

1st pair battery #2 2273mAh

2nd pair battery #1  2265mAh (at 3,00V about 2050mAh)

2nd pair battery #2  2282mAh

 

 

Funny. The one thing I especially remember from my 1st set (sold already away) was that they kept voltage very high until the end. These don´t.

There was a 0,2V difference even with pair #1 and pair #2, just by eye after say 100mah of discharge.

 

Will update but I can confirm already these are not the same anymore compared to first set.

Too bad they turned out to be poo-poo. Sad




Bottomline:

IMO they are not worth it.

I also got a feeling they deliver less current that first ones, not tested yet (my only DD light is borrowed...)

Going with Xtar 2600´s, once again, back to them...

nginx
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That's too bad. It looks like only the first batch was good and then their quality took a nosedive. I don't know what they can gain by deceiving customers. Sooner or later the truth will be out as always.

Thanks for doing the tests. I ordered the TF 2400 flames instead and saved a couple of bucks.

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I got my good ol' UF-980L back now, will do soon some draw measurements.

Have to top up cells first but I can already say: looks bad....

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Ok here we go:

 

Used Un-protected TF "Flame 2400mAh" @ 4.17V     :   3.65A

Used Protected Xtar 2600mAh   @ 4.16V                   : 3.82A

NEW TF "Flame 3000mAh"    @4.15V                         : 3.05A  (decreasing more rapidly, than others from there...)

 

 

Aaaaargh come on!!

These "3000"s used to be my the ones giving The Highest Amps, not lowest.

First pair got me over 4.00A.

 

 

 

I'm pissed     Flat Stare