Panasonic NCR18650A (with PCB) from FocalPrice

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ada_potato
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Panasonic NCR18650A (with PCB) from FocalPrice

I'm a long-time lurker and this is my first post, so you've got a Noob here.

I have been reading the threads on the "best value" 18650 battery, so I started looking around and ordered 4 Panasonic NCR18650A (3100mah) batteries from FocalPrice (sku EB0048G).

I chose this battery based on price ($8.76 each ordering 3 or more and free shipping). Everything I've read indicates that NCR18650A have the most capacity.This particular green Panasonic is different in all the comparisons that I've read because these have a PCB installed by the manufacturer of the cell.(Note the black stripe around the bottom of the cell, that is the PCB).

 They came packaged in a padded envelope that was in good shape. Shipping is slow, as they took 2 weeks to arrive from China. One PCB has a VERY slight dent, possibly caused by shipping.They also came loose, with 2 paper UPC labels on each cell. After scraping the labels off with my fingernail, glue residue had to be removed with paint thinner (solvent).

 Compared to my Trustfire Flames, these cells are long. I measured 18.4mm X 69.2mm with a micrometer. They fit in my Solarforce L2, and barely fit in my Olight SR51.(spring fully compressed)

 The 4 cells arrived with 3.643v, 3.643v, 3.642v, and  3.641v.

I don't have a hobby charger to do discharge capacity tests, but I did 4 rundowns to shutoff with my SR51 on high.

Run 1, set A: 4.17 V start to PCB trip at 2.8 V - 108 min.

Run 2, set A: 4.20 V start to PCB trip at 2.8 V - 109 min.

Run 1, set B: 4.20 V start to PCB trip at 2.8 V - 110 min.

Run 1, set B: 4.20 V start to PCB trip at 2.8 V - 109 min.

(109 min. average)

Just for curiosity's sake I used my 1.5 yr. old Trustfire Flames that have had very light usage, and they yielded 80 min. to shut off. (PCB looked like it tripped at a higher voltage.) As I mentioned before, the Panasonics PCB tripped at 2.8 v, and reset itself when resting voltage climbed back up above 3.0 volts.

 Olight's rating of 110 min. on high is obtainable, and these cells are right there. If anyone would like to do a discharge test using new cells (Hi-max,etc.) and a Olight SR51, I'd be interested in the runtime results. Please post it here.

Overall, I'm very satisfied. If you are looking for the best at just a few dollars more than the cheapest cells, consider these.

Battery Ends

Battery 2

Battery Height

 

 

 

 

brted
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Thanks ada_potato, that looks like a pretty good price for these batteries. Welcome to BLF!

fishinfool
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Aloha and welcome to BLF ada_potato!

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

bose301s
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Maybe we can get HKJ to review these to makesure they're on the level.

Kokopelli
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I also ordered 4 of the protected ones from FP. They should arrive this week. I'll then conduct my results with my humble Accucell Hobby Charger at 1 A discharge rate.
raccoon city
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Good to have you here, ada_potato.

ludow
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Hi!

 

If they are protected, protection is DIY, not by manufacturer. I quess... 

Never trust a smiling dino!

krikstas
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there are more batteries for great price on FP:

http://www.focalprice.com/EB0039S/Panasonic_2900mAh_18650_Battery_with_Protection_Grey.html

http://www.focalprice.com/EB0040S/Panasonic_2900mAh_18650_Battery_Grey.html

and marsfire Smile with "original" Sanyo 3800 mah inside http://www.focalprice.com/EB0051R/Sanyo_37V_3800mA_18650_Liion_Battery_for_High_Power_Flashlight_Red.html

from some reports on their site Panasonic cells are good, but some doubts still presents... Smile 

2100
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Wow, that's a cheap price.

ruffles
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krikstas wrote:

...and marsfire Smile with "original" Sanyo 3800 mah inside http://www.focalprice.com/EB0051R/Sanyo_37V_3800mA_18650_Liion_Battery_for_High_Power_Flashlight_Red.html

...

 

So, if they're lying about one of their batteries, what are the odds that they're lying about some or all of their batteries? 


 

yavi
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ludow wrote:

Hi!

 

If they are protected, protection is DIY, not by manufacturer. I quess... 

They are protected, the problem is the description as far as I can see.

In buyincoins got the same batteries, look at the white and red ring on top of it (+) and compare  to the unprotected.

Here you also got the link to the ones at buyincoins, where by the way they are cheaper if you buy only 1-2 units.

ludow
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yavi wrote:

ludow wrote:

Hi!

 

If they are protected, protection is DIY, not by manufacturer. I quess... 

They are protected, the problem is the description as far as I can see.

In buyincoins got the same batteries, look at the white and red ring on top of it (+) and compare  to the unprotected.

Here you also got the link to the ones at buyincoins, where by the way they are cheaper if you buy only 1-2 units.

 

They are, but not by manufacturer.

Never trust a smiling dino!

Kokopelli
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The latest batch of batteries I got from BIC appeared to be really bad. Blue Ultrafires rated at 2400 mAh were 220 in real. And 3600 protected UFs only 880 mAh. I'm not buying another battery from BIC. I guess FocalPrice green Panasonics are genuine but maybe with untuned circuits. 

yavi
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ludow wrote:

yavi wrote:

ludow wrote:

Hi!

 

If they are protected, protection is DIY, not by manufacturer. I quess... 

 

They are protected, the problem is the description as far as I can see.

In buyincoins got the same batteries, look at the white and red ring on top of it (+) and compare  to the unprotected.

Here you also got the link to the ones at buyincoins, where by the way they are cheaper if you buy only 1-2 units.

 

They are, but not by manufacturer.

 

Yes you are right, I did not get you.

There isn't any cell manufacturer  as far as I know selling protected cells, they are always unprotected, they are protected by the companies who re-label.

Pulsar13
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Kokopelli wrote:

The latest batch of batteries I got from BIC appeared to be really bad. Blue Ultrafires rated at 2400 mAh were 220 in real. And 3600 protected UFs only 880 mAh. I'm not buying another battery from BIC. I guess FocalPrice green Panasonics are genuine but maybe with untuned circuits. 

The similarities here is is ULTRAFIRE, not BIC. You can buy UF batteries from ebay, Manafont, DX etc and most likely you'll get the same junk. 

Kokopelli
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The first batch I had from them (talking about 2400 ones) were way better. They now sell uberly inexpensive but apperantly junk cells under UF brand. I have always avoided UF cells but were surprised I had good luck before. 

 

FocalPrice has really good prices if bought over 3 pieces. I really wonder how my ones will measure. As the OP says, they will more likely be genuine. Maybe I'll get their 2900mA Panasonics too. 

yavi
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Kokopelli wrote:

The first batch I had from them (talking about 2400 ones) were way better. They now sell uberly inexpensive but apperantly junk cells under UF brand. I have always avoided UF cells but were surprised I had good luck before. 

 

FocalPrice has really good prices if bought over 3 pieces. I really wonder how my ones will measure. As the OP says, they will more likely be genuine. Maybe I'll get their 2900mA Panasonics too. 

I feel they are genuine just from the measurements given by ada_potato if we take as a true value the 3100mAh of the panasonic, compared to his trustfire flames gives us the trustfire flames are 2254mAh which sounds to be true on the old batches of them.

I have just seen this same panasonics at CNQG, the price is a lot more expensive, but at least they have published its resistance, being ≤45mΩ.

Here you got the link:

http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1495

N.Shock
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I bought two of these cells at CNQ and will add two discharge curves later when I'm home.

Hikelite
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yavi wrote:

.......

 

I have just seen this same panasonics at CNQG, the price is a lot more expensive, but at least they have published its resistance, being ≤45mΩ.

Here you got the link:

http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1495

They published something that is absurd, they cannot be under 100mOhm. The cell alone has 80-90mOhm and "standard" mosfets will add 25-38mOhm, from 4.5V to 2.5V

 

N.Shock
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45mOhm could be the resistance of just the protection pcb.

But you are right, it's useless to claim this would be the total resistance of the protected cell.

hazna
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Kokopelli wrote:

FocalPrice has really good prices if bought over 3 pieces. I really wonder how my ones will measure. As the OP says, they will more likely be genuine. Maybe I'll get their 2900mA Panasonics too. 

From my tests, I believe the unprotected 2900mah panasonics to be genuine.  They do seem to bulge out very slightly in the middle, though.

A blog on keychain gadgets, pocket tools and more:

http://keychainpockets.blogspot.com/

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yavi wrote:
Yes you are right, I did not get you.

There isn't any cell manufacturer  as far as I know selling protected cells, they are always unprotected, they are protected by the companies who re-label.

Flashlights are only a realy small niche for li-ion batteries. Most of them are build for laptops and nowadays for e-bikes. They need unprotected and Panasonic, Sanyo, Sony, LG etc. built them.

AW, Redilast, Xtar and other brands build a protection and wrapped.

 

I think the Focal, BIC Sanyo and Panasonic batteries are genuine (the  MarsFire have only the wrong mAh in the titel and the description). Manafont sell them, too (they do not name mAh):

http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/sanyo-protected-18650-high-capa...

 

@ada-potato:

2 weeks aren't slow for a asian shop - it's fast. With dealextreme or kaidomain you offen have to wait 4 weeks.

Light up the darkness.

N.Shock
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Here is the 2A discharge curve for the first cell:

 

The charger monitor programm unfortunately crashed while discharging the second cell. So there is just a picture of the charger display. I twas discharged with 2A too:

 

The cells did match pretty good. But I think you have to discharge them down to 2,5V to get better mAh results.

Chicago X
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I'm digging the clear re-wrap.

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

War Dogs, Making it Home - Rescue Dogs for Returning Vets

N.Shock
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I like that too. It's cool to clearly see the used cell.

JAS
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Looks good - May pickup few.

How is the wrapper compared to TF flames?

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N.Shock wrote:

Here is the 2A discharge curve for the first cell:

That discharge does not look right for a fully charged NCR18650A cell, at 3 volt I would expect around 2600 mAh with 2A discharge.

That is what I got for all NCR18650A batteries I has tested. The problem can be either the battery, the charger or the discharger.

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

N.Shock
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I know your excellent battery tests. Smile

I expected the difference of roughly 500mAh to be the result of not discharging them to 2.8v but to 3v.

But it might be a combination of the charger not charging them to 100% and showing a little to low results in discharging. So take the above discharge with a grain of salt.

I will get a better charger and we'll see. You can't do anything wrong with an iCharger 206B, right?

HKJ
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N.Shock wrote:

I expected the difference of roughly 500mAh to be the result of not discharging them to 2.8v but to 3v.

As you can see on my 3V bar chart the capacity must be around 2600mAh at 3 volt discharge, this is 500mAh less than the full 3100 mAh rated capacity.

 

N.Shock wrote:

But it might be a combination of the charger not charging them to 100% and showing a little to low results in discharging. So take the above discharge with a grain of salt.

You could check the charger with a known NCR18650A battery (if you have one) or with a voltmeter and ammeter.

N.Shock wrote:

I will get a better charger and we'll see. You can't do anything wrong with an iCharger 206B, right?

iCharger is good, but you might still have to check the calibration.

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

N.Shock
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HKJ wrote:

You could check the charger with a known NCR18650A battery (if you have one) or with a voltmeter and ammeter.

I've got two NCR18650A from intl-outdoor.com but did not discharge those with 2A yet.

HKJ wrote:

iCharger is good, but you might still have to check the calibration.

Just bought an iCharger 206B with calibration to <4mV.

Did not like my old hobby charger as it's monitor program crashed sometimes and it terminated the charge with an connection error all the time.

Kokopelli
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My set of batteries arrived yesterday. The good part I found was that they were genuine batteries with clear wrap and apperantly a PCB. The Kapton (or similar) tape and a bar under it runs from tail to head. The bad thing about these batteries were that they had stickers all around it. Had to remove the stickers with some penetrating oil to let them in some tightly fit bodies. 

 

Anyway, I charged one with my XTAR WP2 II charger and made a discharge test with my Accucel 6 hobby charger @ 1A, the max current I could set. I must state here that I uses magnets for connection but they were between the clippers so the clipper could touch the battery directly. Therefore, having a small amount of connection resistance added to the circuit I set my Accucel 6 to NiMH discharge mode and down to a voltage of 2.3V.

The cell measured 3034mAh and the final voltage the charger reads were 2.3V. I didn't have a DMM with me but tried a second discharge cycle at 0.1A and the voltage was back at 3V. 

My conclusion,

1. They are really above 3000 mAh, built well and has strong metal tabs at the both poles.

2. The circuit didn't seem to have cut at 3V on my sample

3. The circuit didn't seem to have cut at 2.5V either, but with some inline resistance the real voltage on the cell could be higher.

4. I still don't know if the circuit really works. 

- I will try some further tests tonight, and this time I'll try to measure the real voltage on the cell. 

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