18650 Battery Test

Looking for a battery tester that will tell me the health and capacity of 18650 protected rechargeable batteries,not to expensive thank you

This is called a hobby charger and starts at around $25 + a bit of DIY work.

Which one is that?

I know Soshine has charges that measures how much current you put into the battery, but I did not know they had one that could measure capacity.

That is not really measuring capacity, but can be used to get an idea about capacity.

The only way you can measure capacity is by charging the battery fully, then discharge it while measuring.

With LiIon you will get a good estimation (within a few %) of capacity, when measuring mAh to charge from empty to full.

I beg to differ. Information is meaningful in context; for most users the information provided by the SoShine is probably all that they need - or can use. While I would be foolish to argue with HKJ’s knowledge in this area, all capacity measurements are relative in the sense that they vary considerably depending on the discharge conditions. The capacity measurement the SoShine provides allows a quick and simple differentiation between good stuff and cr_p, as well as warning of poor or failed cells. It has the drawback of only charging one cell at a time, which I expect will not be a big deal for the average user of the device. Many of the hobby chargers are overly complicated and finicky for the average user who isn’t into RC stuff or a flashaholic. The voltage measurement on the SoShine is a joke, but other than that it’s useful. Users just have to be careful not to overdischarge (non-protected) lithium cells before charging, which will require some sort of external voltmeter since the voltage reading is fiction. Not to mention, we don’t have fakes yet…….

Your arguments are not against what I wrote. The main problem with the Soshine is to get the batteries discharged, before you charge them and, of course, the you have a difference because you are charging, not discharge. The error due to this is small on LiIon, but large with NiMH.

The original query was regarding “health and capacity of 18650 protected rechargeable batteries”, for which the SC7 is OK. Discharging non-protected batteries is a pain and risks damaging them ( I speak from thankfully infrequent experience). Protected cells can be left in a flashlight to discharge. I haven’t used the SoShine with NiMh enough to have an idea of the inaccuracy. I still think the average user will probably be better off than with the complexity of hobby chargers.

If you want to measure capacity, hobby charger is the solution.

The Soshine charger can be used to estimate capacity, but you need to be careful with discharging for it work.

For me the hobby charger is the easiest to use, but I do not scream and run away when I see a couple of menus on a screen (The menus on a hobby charger is not the best interface that is seen).

A cells capacity is considered to be the mAh delivered when discharged - that is how manufacturers rate their cells. Measuring mAh when charging the cell is not the same. While it may produce an indicator of capacity, it is not a measurement of capacity, by definition. To call it that is misleading and potentially confusing to anyone new to the subject.

As I wrote somewhere above, the difference is only a few % with LiIon.

Yes indeed. That is why i called it an indicator.

Well, I think everybody’s right on this: its not a true very accurate measure, its not as good as it could be either, but it looks like its probably more than enough for a casual user to keep tabs on their batteries. Especially since most of us just have voltage measurement and unscientifically measured runtime to rely on.

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