Stand alone 18650 battery tester

Stumbled across these on FT, 5 and 12 vdc versions


I ordered one when it was released, looks pretty solid. I’m still waiting for it to arrive.

As far as I could tell from translating the Chinese manual:

-Battery discharger, draws no power from battery for self consumption, requires external power source.
Buttons&+ used for manually adjusting discharge current, and to adjust termination voltage. An automatic mode is default.
-Once the discharge starts the LCD will cycle thru Volt, Current, and Capacity every 1 second.
-An audible alarm will go off when the discharge is completed, and all three of the above parameters will be displayed.
-There is a polycarbonate case for it, also a hole for a small fan for the heatsink.
-Also available is a dedicated 18650 holder which supossedly supports up to 71mm cells.

The only thing that I couldn’t find is max draw current. But there is a picture on another chinese website showing “0.1A-2.6A”

This seems to be a kit for serious enthusiasts or industrial use. If it’s anywhere near as accurate as a hobby charger (I use my icharger 106B+ for this purpose) then it is totally worth it.

I like the idea of that battery holder, but I doubt it'll be good for higher currents.

Yeah I thought the same, needle thin contacts are a great recipe for significant resistance increase and throwing wrong readings… but it really looks well designed and even has 18awg leads… :~ I will wait for a review first, because it is quite expensive for just a holder.


lots of pictures in here.

There are 2 versions of this holder, the BF-1 and BF-1L. the L verison supports up to 71mm cells. The needle retracts and the larger contact touches the battery. I like that!

Interesting! Maybe I can rip off their design :slight_smile:

Regarding the holder: Even if the contacts add resistance, the design looks like it would reduce the variation considerably, making it easier to get repeatable readings.

Actually I think contact resistance will be low, but I think the small contacts (and wires) might be an issue when the discharge current is over 20A. I agree that it looks like it might decrease variation, which is why I'd like to try it out. I may end up designing something else though. Probably something that uses weights to apply contact pressure.

I received this a few days ago. I haven’t had a chance to dive in and try it out. It came with instructions printed on one side of 1/3rd of a sheet of letter paper.

Oh, did I mention that 95% of the page is in Chinese?

Did I also forget to mention that I don’t read Chinese. I guess I can’t be sure that it isn’t written in another language I don’t read. But I’m guessing I can rule out Russian, Greek, French, German, Danish, Dutch, Hungarian, Estonian, Farsi, Korean, Arabic, Sanskrit, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish, Maylay, Hebrew and Tagalog…

I see a dimple in that battery and a scrape/fold in the shrinkwrap — is that something that likely got damaged by putting the cell in the holder wrong or clamping it wrong?
Or did they just happen to pick up a damaged cell to make the pictures?

The holder isn’t foolproof, but I think it would take some effort to really gouge up the shrinkwrap like it is in that picture on Cart101.

The design of the holder is such that the outer ring on each contact is wired to the heavier gauge discharge wires and the central pin is wired to sensing wires. The tester has the ability to sense from the main discharge wires, or through the sensing wires. I think the separate wires could be worthwhile, I’m not convinced separating the contacts really accomplishes much other than eliminating the resistance of 1.5cm of stainless steel. By my measurements, the voltage drop under 2A discharge over the distance of the contact assembly is…0.000v.

Thanks for the pointer to the translated instructions, gauss163. It was easy to get a discharge test up and running in the default mode. I’m testing a crappy Sanyo cell I pulled from an old Gateway pack at 2A right now. I haven’t figured out how to do the internal resistance test, yet.

So is there something I can learn from this that I can’t learn from an Accucel 6 hobby charger?
(I mean, if I figure out how to use both of them … I have an Accucel 6 but am very sure I’m missing much of what it can do)

I wrote up my initial experience with the ZH-YU ZB206+ battery tester on my blog. Most the effort so far actually went into reinterpreting the machine-translated instructions into something I found more useful and accessible.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was avoiding writing up the documentation for the initial release my own Arduino-based smart battery “Pack Probe” project…

I don’t know, I don’t have an Accucel 6. I guess one thing it can do is do resistance and discharge testing on a cell without tying up a the charger.

Does the Accucel 6 have separate leads for discharging and reading voltage? If not, this might provide a more accurate resistance measurement.

Also, I noted this in my post, but to gauss163’s point, the power limit override only seems to apply to discharging series packs. This thing won’t discharge at more than 2.6A, even with the power limit turned off.

nice…it appears the boards are all 12vdc, the 5vdc has a 5 -> 12 vdc booster daughter board on it…which means if it charges at 2A (10W), it will be pulling MUCH higher than 2A at 5vdc input…yikes!

Either way…did you find the board useful, as in the data gleened from the board and what it does, is it worth the expense?


ZB206+V1.3 Resistance Tester for 18650 Battery(5V) w/ Nixie Tube and LED indicator

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It doesn’t charge batteries, so the draw over the microUSB is minimal when not taking advantage of the ability to power and control a cooling fan.

As to utility and value, good question. I’m still ruminating on that, but I’m leaning towards useful and worthwhile. For about $20 for the board and holder and less than an hour of effort with some final wiring and reading/interpreting the instructions, I now have:

  • A more precise measurement of internal resistance than my Opus BT-C3100
  • A way to test cell capacity at 2.6A discharge rate.
  • A way to test cell power capacity.

The resistance testing capability pretty much justifies the $/time investment, with the caveat that I’ll still have to invest some effort in verifying the readings it gives vs a more standard technique.

I think the Ah readings are pretty comparable to what I can already get for 4 cells at a time with the Opus. And the extra 0.6A vs the Opus’s single cell discharge rate limit isn’t a huge win.

The power capacity capability should be useful because I’m ultimately interested in coupling the cells I recover with switch mode power supplies.

Good question. I don’t know. They describe it as a pulsed DC resistance test method which is good for quick screening and point to an AC resistance tester for more precise measurement. When I have a chance I’ll try hooking it up to a O’scope and see if I can get a better idea of what they are doing.

Regarding cur-off voltage, which of those is “pulsed” and which is “continuous” ? (“b” and “P”)

OK, “b” is “pulsed” and “P” is “continuous”.

Yeah, kind of counterintuitive.