The Xtars we had here weren't all that much. They're good.
One battery that hasn't been mentioned is the Hi-Max at about $6ea. My tests show they come in at about 2500+ mah. This is the cheapest battery I would recommend to a friend.
I have opened up a lot of fake / recycled batteries. One of the sellers had a 99.5% feedback so you cant gauge battery quality by feedback ratings. Most battery buyers are not on message boards and dont actually test their batteries.
If you buy the cheapest 18650 batteries your almost guaranteed garbage. Even the "real" Fire batteries seem to suffer from high internal resistance and much shorter than average lifespans, 1-2 years? (vs name brand batteries sanyo samsung ect)
Ultrafire Grey vs. TF black (mouse over)
black line: 0.3A discharge, red: 1A, green: 3A
Well I had a red ultrafire junker battery do better than the Trustfire flame battery. Now I don't recommend those batteries, but I'm still using them. Those Ultrafire grey batteries in my opinion are a lot better battery than you guys are reporting in my opinion. These I got are dang good batteries so far. For the money they are very good batteries.
If you are like me, having only a couple of 18650 in circulation, get for example Xtars.
I have tf flames, got Xtars now. They perform well and have good capacity/quality yet quite low price
And I agree with you. The Xtars are good batteries. But I can buy 8 of the grey Ultrafire protected batteries for about the price of 2Xtars. Now to me the Ultrafires are the better deal. They may not be as good either. But when I go through a set of them and even if they won't last as long I still have 3 more sets to use. I don't think 2 Xtars are going to out last 8 Ultrafire grey protected batteries. But like I said use what you like and pay what you want. I'll take these batteries and do just fine.
That's the rub right there : The cheaper cells may test out well to begin with , but 2 years down the track may have seriously degraded ..
If you buy new cells every year to maintain mAh ...
Then buying batteries that cost twice as much , maintain good capacity for 3 years , is not so economically irrational after all .
I'm not disagreeing with you at all. But again if I can buy 4 sets of the Ultrafire grey protected 2400MAH batteries for about the same exact cost of the Xtar 2600MAH batteries I believe the 8 Ultrafires will out last 2 of the Xtars. I just ordered 6 more of the Ultrafires. So far I like these batteries. I don't need the Rolls Royce of batteries to keep my lights a working.
You'll also need to deal with variations between the batches from various sellers (they themselves would not know, so some blame DX but that is simply untrue).
Just tested my stuff out to give a larger sample (in addition to what mitro or old4570 has done). TF Flames will come soon.
Actually if want to test with flashlights, one needs to note the runtimes with a regulated light that cuts off. Like what i did with the Sky Ray 3800. Eg I got Panasonic 2900 60-61 mins, XTAR 2600 53-54 min, Solarforce 50 min, TF Flames 43-44 mins. The lousier cells like PAlight/Ultrafires lose so much power/capacity due to heating up that they did not go for more than 5- 10 mins.
Disclaimer, i gunned the SR3800 till the point of failure with such runtimes. So don't try this yourself.
Been testing some of my older batteries , and about to test some more ..
So be interesting ...
The crap grey ultrafire are like $8/pair, the xtars about twice that or less. The ultrafires are crap to start with, and what's even worse is that they're not consistently crap so it's probably not very safe to use in multi-cell lights. Frankly half-way decent unprotected cell are better.
Ok, here's the TF Flames, 2208mAh down to 2.6V @ 1A constant draw. Same as what old4570 got i believe. I got the later batch as his....so not too bad. From dealextreme.
Of course those Ultrafire cells are usable for some apps, like XR-E lights or even XP-G. The 783mAh one can still be used for stuff like laser pointers etc. I use them for my greenie, they only draw 0.7A. And that means i can switch on the laser for about 1hr and 1.3hrs respectively (!!). And seriously you don't use them for 1hr at a time, so no worries.
What the...it's only $4.80 for 5pcs of the Ultrafire 2400mAh shipped!! Re-claimed cells sure are cheap like nothing (cost is gonna be much lower).
I'd advise getting the TF-Flames, and from DX only. At least we know that's a good source. Other sources, it's like lottery. The "best" thing that can happen to anyone, is getting getting a 2208mAh cell, and another at 1356mAh, the user has no measurement equipment, and then you use this in a triple XM-L with no LV protection...like the TF-3T6. heh....
Wrong. Again, I can buy about 8 of them for about the same price as 2 Xtars and I got money that 8 of them will in fact out last 2 Xtar 2600MAH batteries.
I can buy 2 of these for $4.38 factory sealed and delivered to my door. These again are good batteries regardless of what you Xtar promoters are saying. I will run them in more of my lights and compare them to the Trustfire flames. But I doubt I will see any big difference than what I have seen so far. Again, for the money they are the better deal.
So you're buy something that has a catastrophic failure mode at half the price that DX sells them for. And let's be fair here, it's not really half the price since it costly around $2 to ship them to you, so more like 1/3 the price. Good luck.
Well.. If your personal health and safety is it worth.. its on you.. I better pay a few dollars more and will not land in hospital soon ;) .. Interesting most of the "explosion threads" I read where on "ultrafire" batteries... Nobody suggests here to buy AW, Redilsat or other overpriced (but good) batteries.. But the Xtars with Sanyo are very good value... Btw. two ultrafire on your ebay link are ~9.50 shipped... 2 Xtars are 13.50$ shipped... 4$ for a bit of safety and better batteries... Should be a no brainer imho
There is a lot of variability in batches, esp. the gray ones, and there are probably a lot of fakes too. I have some true gray Ultrafires ("Ultrafire" is engraved on the negative plate) and they do pretty well. My Trustfire flames have been good, but I know some people get bad ones, and there are definitely fakes of those too since I have some (which are lousy). I don't regret buying the XTAR's I got in the group buy, but I wouldn't want to spend more than that.
I don't buy batteries off of eBay anymore unless I know the batteries from that seller have been tested. That's 1 battery for $4.38 that you linked to, which is about the going rate. The XTAR's were $13.50 a pair. I wouldn't trust a battery that $3.50 a pair.
Yea I had the wrong link.
I can buy 6 of these for the price of 2 Xtars. And I'll be the first to let you know if I see a problem. They may not be the Rolls Royce of batteries but they will get you there just like a Volkswagen. I may try some of the Xtars later on. But I like these batteries for the price and they seem to take and hold a charge well.
Also we have these additional pts to consider :
(1) XTAR 2600s are purchased from XTAR HK as per paypal transaction reference. There is absolutely no way you can get ripped off. Zero percent. They ship fast, i purchased 3X from them and 3X they arrived in my mailbox within 2 weeks, fastest was 5 working days. For the budget brands, you deal with ebay, DX, MF, focalprice. You play with roulette as the source, even the same source may receive fakes. And if you do not test/measure, you will never know. In that case it's better to stick with the small single cell stuff, ie you will never advance past a point, esp if in the future when there are new emitters doing higher currents. We all know that lights are somewhat hindered by cell discharge performance - basically it is 18650 coz that is where all the R&D going to be. Nobody will give you a true 6AH 32600 even though size would dictate it easily could.
It is really the fakes that are floating around, the ones with using reclaimed cells. So many hundreds of reports around and they have been around for years literally on websites/blogs/CPF/flashlightforums etc. This is not a new problem, and with new flashaholics they will always find buyers. Sellers are interested in profit, and many are not technical. Eg, you can't blame DX for selling 22g worth of Fujik when it says 30g on the bottle, but you can warn others and that is pefectly ok/legal.
(2) Quality of PCB. Their PCB protection is pretty aggressive. In my DD XM-L lights, they cut off when fully charged, even in strobe mode. Prob at just over 4 amps. Sensitive as well. It works perfectly ok when charged to 4.1V in my DRY triple XM-Ls...so it's cool (no real capacity from 4.2V till 4.1V, unless you count approx 30-45 seconds runtime as capacity). Low voltage cut also works. This would be a very safe battery to use but still leave enough headroom for high powered lights. I have many other budget type protected cells but they cut way too early like they do not allow me to use in the UF-980L @ 3.5A. Only exception is Trustfire Flames.
I don't know how they protect against overcharging in case your cheap charger goes wonky (most usual case of catastropic venting), but i'll bet they cut perfectly. If a user wants to save a few bucks on cells, i am sure they won't be using hobby chargers or Pila or even XTAR. I already have 2 faulty OEM generic charger, one actually works but cuts at 4.25V and i don't like that. Try some more with cheap cells w/o PCB and play more roulette....
I'd rather run a 4S light complemented with equipment like DMM/charger and Li-ion handling SOP, its relatively safer....
(3) Unprotected. Esp if you are a novice and do not know when and how a driver fails and FETs create a dead short and what are the consequences, you will definitely be facing a pipe bomb case, guaranteed. Even if it's protected. I have a protected cell actually do not protect against shorts, faulty? Again, it's roulette. Obviously if they can fake a cell they can also fake a PCB. I'd not count on it to work 100%, or prolonged usage etc.
Edit - i am not saying that they are bad, but only for other applications with lower current needs.
If it's too technical, this should explain better.....pictures and video.
Here's one with the Ultrafire Grey...
During usage : http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?122500-Cyclops-Flashlight-Explosion
Seriously when i discharged mine at 1A it already got somewhat warm (high internal resistance). I don't know how it can survive a 2.5-3A discharge and also heated by the XM-L, and still stay safe. Not to mention those DD lights (pretty common) soaking 4 amps which the battery can do at full charge. (at least mine does, even though the capacity is sucky)