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Thread: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

  1. #61

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by cernobila View Post
    Another option may be to use a AW CR123 dummy cell filed down a little for just the right overall length when combined with the RCR123 cell.

    OK, to help me make sure I'm clear on the concept...

    For using the Pila IBC to charge a couple of the VA Protected R123A (750 mAH) batteries, would using the slightly filed down dummy cells from AW likely be the best way to go?

    I just ordered a Pila charger and am in the process of ordering a few 18650 and R123A batteries from AW, so if I'm trying to figure out if I should order a couple of the dummy cells for R123A charging (or perhaps use the nut and bolt method as shown earlier in the thread).

    Thanks for any advice on that!

  2. #62
    Flashaholic* pobox1475's Avatar
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    Question Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    after qualification there should be a trickle charge to bring deeply depleted cells to ~2.9V before hitting them with 600mA
    At what low voltage do the protected AW cells cut off at in use?

  3. #63
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    Default Re: PILA IBC Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverFox View Post
    Hello Bones,

    Yes, my nut fits tightly on the bolt. I used brass. I don't know if it is the best, but I like brass, and it was available.

    Tom
    Thanks SilverFox, I think I will go with brass as well.

    That will make the spacer the softest metal in the equation, consequently absorbing most of the wear.

    I will also make sure my brass nuts fit tightly, although it has been my experience they are self-tightening in the winter months ...
    I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Hi CPF People!

    As you see, I'm a beginner here. I've been searching and learning a lot in the forum, i think it's first class! As many of you, coming from the old Mag-lite era, and since a year or so on the led times, using a Fenix L2D (Q5), that gave me only satisfactions to date. I've ordered an Olight M20 R2 and some batts (cr123, rcr123 prot, 18650 prot), from batteryjunction (they even take the time to check the die aligment problem often seen on this model previous to send it to here, Argentina), and a PILA SBC from BugOutGear (BTW: what a service and fast delivery!), that's already in home (now waiting for the light & batts ) . Reading the post so far on this charger and others by the way i have a question relative to the over-discharge theme on li-ions: if a correctly discharged batt, lets say a good protected one, is left stored for some time uncharged, is there risk to enter on the over discharge fields (and ruin the unit or make it risky to recharge)? If yes, how much time is too much? Thank you all, and please be kind on my english

  5. #65

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    I have this charger, I use it to charge 2xP18500 cells from AW.

    Charges them to 4.2V.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Hello Ecodelosandes --


    Welcome to CandlePowerForums !






    To answer yer' question . . . .


    I understand the self-discharge rate of healthy Lithium-Ion cells

    is very low, and shouldn't pose any problem is this regard.



    Purchased an Olight M20 Warrior R2 myself, and am very pleased with it.




    And, like you, i also went with a Pila IBC charger, too.





    Please let us know what you think, when your M20 arrives.



    Good Luck with your new Flashlights.


    _

  7. #67
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    Popcorn Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Thank you Burgess! I'll report back my experience with the Warrior..... as soon as it come home, I presume two weeks or so

  8. #68

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    The Pila charger I recently bought from Flashlightz has charged some of my AW Li-ion cells beyond 4.20V. Most recently (as in, right now), I pulled off an AW protected 17670 cell at 4.22V. Now I suppose it could be that my meter is inaccurate. It is a Mastech 8229.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Case View Post
    The Pila charger I recently bought from Flashlightz has charged some of my AW Li-ion cells beyond 4.20V. Most recently (as in, right now), I pulled off an AW protected 17670 cell at 4.22V. Now I suppose it could be that my meter is inaccurate. It is a Mastech 8229.
    If you are concerned, it may be a good idea to compare few meters just to be sure, then the age/condition of the cells and how they compare to each other, eliminate all question marks first.

  10. #70

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    All good ideas. But comparing multiple meters is not realistic since I don't have access to multiple meters, especially for any sort of extended monitoring that might stretch over weeks.

    I bought the cells (AW protected, with his latest version black label with the "+ Power" logo on them) very recently. They all charge up easily, don't get hot, and hold their voltage.

    Another, more minor issue with the Pila, is that the the CPF review of the charger states that charging won't initiate on a cell that measures 4.17V. Well, I've put in cells that measured 4.12V and the charger didn't initiate charging until I pressed the reset button. If the Pila doesn't sense that voltage correctly, it doesn't give me much comfort that it is measuring the termination voltage correctly either.

    The bottom line for me is that this relatively expensive Pila charger so far seems no better than an inexpensive Ultrafire charger. IMO, the Pila is an unimpressive product. I personally would not recommend it to a friend.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Justin Case, what part of the world you from.......I have some contact details for Pila USA if it would be of any help. I know that sometimes frustration and disappointment leads to hasty conclusions.......I am sure that it wont take long to compare your meter with another.....if this would be my concern, I would take my charged cell and my meter and go to a friend or a store that sells these things and do a direct comparison. If they would read very close or the same I would then contact Pila for some advice.

  12. #72

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    I appreciate your advice, but let me be clear. My conclusions are not "hasty", nor based on "frustration" or "disappointment". Read my post. I presented observed facts where the Pila has come up short. I've checked the health of my cells. I've observed resting voltage exceeding 4.20V multiple times. If I were "hasty", I would have posted a complaint the very first time I saw >4.20V. I did not.

  13. #73
    Flashaholic* pobox1475's Avatar
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    Question Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    OK, now I'm concerned. I am planning on a new charger real soon. Is or is not the the Pila IBC the best choice of currently available Li-Ion protected cell chargers?

    v Makes sense to me. Thanks crofty...
    Last edited by pobox1475; 12-17-2008 at 11:34 AM.

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Justin Case, For all you know, your meter is inacurate. So untill you`ve tried another meter you can`t be sure where the blame lies. Lend or buy another meter, a $5 will sufice. It`s handy to have two meters lying around anyway.

    pobox1475, don`t let one persons unconfirmed claim put you of the Pila IBC. I and thousands of others enjoy it`s top notch quality and reliability everyday and have done so for a long time.

  15. #75

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Crofty, thank you for the advice, but it is redundant as I already wrote in my original post, "Now I suppose it could be that my meter is inaccurate."

    A salient point, however, is that if my meter is off, it is off by more than 0.01V since the max charge initiation voltage is claimed to be 4.17V but I measured cells at 4.12V that didn't charge until I pressed the reset button.

    Since I am measuring consistent readings for other things like NiMH and fresh primary lithium voltages and tailcap current draws, I doubt that the meter is off by 0.05V.

    Further, buying a cheap $5 meter would hardly constitute any sort of reliable confirmation or refutation since the accuracy of such a meter would also be completely unknown. Sadly, I am disinclined to spend the money on a Fluke.
    Last edited by Justin Case; 12-17-2008 at 12:44 PM.

  16. #76
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    Lightbulb Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    There is the possibility that if the meter is inaccurate it could be inaccurate to varying degrees. It's not tool late to contact as long as you've been good ...

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Justin Case, I reiterated because even though you admit it yourself you still prefer to jump to conclutions.

    Untill you`ve ruled the meter out, by using another, you can never know for sure. Like cernobila said "eliminate all question marks"

    A dodgy meter is more than capable of operating normaly one day and malfunctioning the next.

    Cheap meters have been proven accurate enough for this task, a fluke would be ideal but it`s not absolutely necessairy.

    You`d have to be extremely unlucky for 2 cheap meters to be inacurate, so if it makes you feel bettter buy/lend two of them.

    Another question mark to eliminate is the batteries in your meter, make sure their fresh.

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    I just got an IBC this week so it hasn't been used too much. I've charged up AW's 16340's, 17500's, and 17670's. They were all at 4.19 or 4.20 off the charger. So far very happy with it.

  19. #79

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Crofty, I have not jumped to any conclusions. I have carefully caveated my findings. Further, they are restricted only to my single data point. I have not claimed that any other Pila chargers suffer from the same performance issues. But I personally would not recommend them, since my charger does not appear to perform as expected.

    IMO, it is you who are jumping to conclusions. On what data do you base your statement that cheap meters are sufficient for a voltage measurement confirmation? If only DMM calibration were that easy. On what data do you base your statement that "You`d have to be extremely unlucky for 2 cheap meters to be inacurate (sic)." Can you tell me what the confidence level might be if I checked my DMMs voltage reading with two other DMMs vice just one other? That might help me "feel better".

    As for "thousands of others" enjoying "it`s (sic) top notch quality and reliability everyday and have done so for a long time", I have not been in touch with these thousands of Pila owners. If you could provide some data on their terminating voltage measurements so that I can get an idea on the statistical scatter, I would appreciate it.
    Last edited by Justin Case; 12-17-2008 at 04:19 PM.

  20. #80
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Justin Case,......a couple of points. If you are in this hobby and use rechargeable cells then a good quality industry standard meter is a must. (I don't know anything about yours) Also put some energy into contacting the main importer/distributor of Pila in your area and talk to them about your situation, better than email, you never know you may get a replacement unit......I guess that I have been lucky like most here, my two Pila chargers charge to about 4.16 to 4.18 on normal charge, perfect for LED lights and life of the cells. If I want to use the cell/s for one of my Incan lights I push the reset button and the cells come out 4.19 to 4.20, never over this......yes I am one of those here that will not use any other.

  21. #81
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Case View Post
    All good ideas. But comparing multiple meters is not realistic since I don't have access to multiple meters, especially for any sort of extended monitoring that might stretch over weeks.

    I bought the cells (AW protected, with his latest version black label with the "+ Power" logo on them) very recently. They all charge up easily, don't get hot, and hold their voltage.

    Another, more minor issue with the Pila, is that the the CPF review of the charger states that charging won't initiate on a cell that measures 4.17V. Well, I've put in cells that measured 4.12V and the charger didn't initiate charging until I pressed the reset button. If the Pila doesn't sense that voltage correctly, it doesn't give me much comfort that it is measuring the termination voltage correctly either.

    The bottom line for me is that this relatively expensive Pila charger so far seems no better than an inexpensive Ultrafire charger. IMO, the Pila is an unimpressive product. I personally would not recommend it to a friend.
    Just, please let me add an observation, IMO don't think this is an "issue" of the charger's electronic tacking faulty readings, but a design's characteristic. You must set a period of voltage wich the system consider not necesary to trigger a new recharge cycle, if you don't set anything like this at all, you get practically a trikle charge, wich we know are absolutely dangerous with LiOn's.

  22. #82

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecodelosandes View Post
    Just, please let me add an observation, IMO don't think this is an "issue" of the charger's electronic tacking faulty readings, but a design's characteristic. You must set a period of voltage wich the system consider not necesary to trigger a new recharge cycle, if you don't set anything like this at all, you get practically a trikle charge, wich we know are absolutely dangerous with LiOn's.
    The point is that the CPF FAQ on the Pila charger suggests that this "period of voltage" is 4.17V, above which charging does not occur because the cell is considered fully charged. The "issue" is that a cell which I measured at 4.12V appears to fall into this so-called "period of voltage" as you term it. If the charger believes that 4.12V is 4.17V, what other voltages is it also apparently misreading? You would hope that the 4.20V termination voltage isn't one of them.

    Absent any additional information, I can't depend on this charger any more than the inexpensive ones that also apparently don't terminate at 4.20V. That's my basic tenet of being conservative with Li-ion safety.

    In the meantime, I am trying to borrow a Fluke for a comparison measurement of voltages.

  23. #83

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by cernobila View Post
    Justin Case,......a couple of points. If you are in this hobby and use rechargeable cells then a good quality industry standard meter is a must. (I don't know anything about yours) Also put some energy into contacting the main importer/distributor of Pila in your area and talk to them about your situation, better than email, you never know you may get a replacement unit......I guess that I have been lucky like most here, my two Pila chargers charge to about 4.16 to 4.18 on normal charge, perfect for LED lights and life of the cells. If I want to use the cell/s for one of my Incan lights I push the reset button and the cells come out 4.19 to 4.20, never over this......yes I am one of those here that will not use any other.
    Crofty seems to think a $5 meter suffices. You want me to buy an unspecified "industry standard" meter. Which is...?

    Can we please stop with the unsolicited advice.

  24. #84
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Case View Post
    Crofty seems to think a $5 meter suffices. You want me to buy an unspecified "industry standard" meter. Which is...?

    Can we please stop with the unsolicited advice.
    I may not have been clear in what I meant by "industry standard". I meant a meter that is used by tradesmen that rely and trust their equipment to make a living and do a competent and reliable job. The meter I use has been recommended by a couple of electricians that work in the health industry.......btw, have you contacted Pila directly, maybe this would be the best way to go......

  25. #85
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Case View Post
    I have not jumped to any conclusions.
    I beg to differ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Case View Post
    But I personally would not recommend them, since my charger does not appear to perform as expected.
    You are jumping to the conclusion that the charger is at fault, when it could be the meter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Case View Post
    On what data do you base your statement that cheap meters are sufficient for a voltage measurement confirmation?
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...9&postcount=19

    My Pila IBC charges AW RCR123`s to 4.17v every time and will only go to 4.18v after pressing the button.


    I think you need to follow the advise given:

    A) Try a differant meter, a cheap one will do.
    B) Contact Pila. I bought mine directly from pila and they are very helpfull.

  26. #86

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    One last time. I have CAREFULLY CAVEATED my statements. I did not state conclusively that my Pila is defective. If you think I have, then quote the passage. In fact the part you quoted above says "my charger does not appear to perform as expected". The key phrase is "does not appear". I have not "jumped" to any definitive conclusion that my Pila is faulty. I am saying that it appears to have a problem based on FACTUAL, OBSERVED DATA. I have also caveated that with the clear statement that of course the meter accuracy is a confounding variable. Please STOP trying to convince me that your opinion is correct, while my own thoughts are incorrect.

    Please provide your hard data that says using a "cheap" meter "will do". How many different meter comparisons do I need to make to get to the 95% confidence level?

    Do you have the data on the "thousands of other" Pila customers that you referenced previously? That probably will help to establish measurement standard deviation.

    What meter are you using? What is your meter's accuracy spec? What steps have you done to verify that your meter reads accurately to at least two decimal places? Otherwise, your claims that your Pila terminates its charge below 4.20V are just as unconfirmed.

    Last edited by Justin Case; 12-20-2008 at 07:08 AM.

  27. #87
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    n\a deleted
    Last edited by chewy78; 12-18-2008 at 07:28 PM.

  28. #88
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

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    Last edited by chewy78; 12-18-2008 at 07:28 PM.

  29. #89
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

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    Last edited by chewy78; 12-18-2008 at 07:31 PM. Reason: deleted

  30. #90

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by chewy78 View Post
    I have just finished topping off my pair of WOLF EYES LRB-168a's (18650 2200mah) and I measured 4.17 volts on both of them. I am using a sears craftsmen auto ranging multimeter item# 03482139000 model # 82139 which takes aa batteries.That model goes for like $29.99. I also have one of those cheap ones from gb electric that the reading kept fluctuating and those kind take 9 volt batteries to power up and it still did that with a fresh 9 volt battery in it.

    Bottom line, get a decent quality mm. Not a cheap a** one!
    What procedure have you done to determine that your Sears DMM is a "decent quality mm"? Is your DMM made in China? Is your DMM calibrated? The specs on your unit state +/-1% + 2 digits (not quite sure what the "+2 digits" means exactly) at 4V. So 4.17V could be 4.21V (applying just the +1% spec) and still be within spec.

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