I received a new DARKMATTER 18650 battery in the mail today.
This is HID CANADAs newly created label. It is a Panasonic NCR18650A based 3100 mAh cell. It was refreshing to see the bold DARKMATTER logo running the length of the battery since I have problems differentiating all those brands with that generic looking black and red on silver wrapper like AW’s without a magnifying glass.
I can’t give you an in depth review with graphs and pie charts, just my own Joe lunchbox thoughts and observations.
I don’t think anyone needs convincing that these Panasonic, made in Japan cells are very dependable and of the of the highest quality.
As usual my DARKMATTER arrived with a white sticker attached to the wrapper with date and the tested capacity of the cell. HID runs every battery they sell through a series of checks and tests to assure that there are no defects. My cell shows that they recorded the capacity at 2927 mAh which is pretty cool. When it arrived it was fully charged at 4.19v which is exactly how I like my cells to come off my charger.
The good part is that DARKMATTER has a small button top. I have several torches that won’t run on flattops or large diameter button tops. So far I’ve found that small diameter button tops work in every 18650 flashlight I own. They powered up my Eagletacs and Nitecore EC2 no problem. Although they are held in the highest regard I cannot justify the cost of large capacity AW flat tops knowing they will only be compatible with some of my flashlights.
At about $15.00 each the 18650 DarkMatter 3100 is a great deal and gives me a new choice over the Eagletacs I’ve been buying lately.
As I said earlier there really isn’t any need to get into technical specs (I’m sure someone will cover that) since this cell already has an excellent track record. Joe lunchbox wants to know if his new large capacity cell will make his light turn on and off. Yes it will. The DARKMATTERs small diameter button shouldn’t have any problem making contact in pretty well any light. I stopped buying cells that don’t have this configuration a while back.
With the new laws it’s getting harder to buy batteries in the States leaving very little to choose from in Canada. HID Canada DARKMATTER gives me a high quality battery from a Canadian supplier, that I discovered not too long ago, and look like the upcoming flashlight and battery market for Canadians.
Hopefully they will come out with an entire line of DARKMATTER batteries in the future.
Even as I am writing this HID Canada has announced their DARKMATTER 3400 mAh protected cell is available for pre-order. I had to grab two.
HID Canada is no doubt reputable. You should get spec output each and every-time with Panasonic cells 2999 is not
3100mah. I just picked up a batch of 3400mah Panasonic 18650, capacity level is within +or- 2-3 mah time and time again. And likely due to the quality of the instrument im using not the cell itself.
Try testing with another cell you tested already Vs claimed output. You should then have a better feel for adjusting your data accordingly. As far as labeling i agree it would be nice if companies use some distinct branding and good shrink wrap. Looks DarkMater is doing just that. JetBeam, Nitecore Eagletac. and a small number more…Otherwise its red n Blue. As long as they don’t put “flames” on the wrapping or give a name like “implode” or “muchoFire”. Tells me someone has not a clue
Thanks for your post! We’re considering 16340 and 14500 sizes but having a hard time getting a manufacturer to satisfy:
1. good price and value
2. dependable quality and capacity
3. average sized cell (harder than you think!)
We recently had an issue with a manufacturer that will not be named — who had half a batch of batteries have HALF the stated capacity and one DOA too. Needless to say we obtained replacements and will likely not carry them any longer. It really irks me to think how many “under performing” or bad batteries are sent out unknowingly. Having said that, in the hundreds of AW that have went out now, there hasn’t been one “bad” battery ever (18650,16340,14500,10180). It’s pretty safe to say that if you buy AW, you should get a good cell as-is.
You’re right that 2999 isn’t 3100. Note that Panasonic themselves state the nominal capacity for the NCR18650A is 3070 using optimal testing conditions (C/10, etc). Our testing methodology is quite different and is not designed to extract every little bit of juice out as you can see here:
In a nutshell, we use a CBA III Pro testing a 1 hour rested cell at 1.5A to 2.75V. Having a “lower” capacity rating is not indicative of a poor performing battery. Actually, 2999 is quite a good rating which bests or match hundreds of AW 3100 and others we have tested. The key defining factor to a great battery is again: price, capacity and consistency, nominal physical size. The DarkMatter series is designed to meet all these criteria, especially since we test every single battery before it leaves our hands. This means that 2999 can be immediately compared to any other of our batteries (XTAR, AW, etc) and be a meaningful rating.