Olight
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 32

Thread: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mexifornia
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    I'm new to 18650s. Purchased two NIB Zebralight H60w headlamps, spend a long time researching which cells were correct, finally went with Zebralight's own recommendation, the UNprotected Panasonic NCR18650s. (The H60 is sensitive to overly-large cells, and most of a protected cell's functions are covered by this particular battery and the light's electronics...more on that later if you're interested. For now, remember it's the manufacturer's recommended cell.)

    Researched chargers. Purchased a new Pila IBC charger. Here's what happened.

    All voltages measured with no load. I took notes during charging so assume times are accurate w/in 10 minutes. The time line:

    Cells arrive in the mail, 3.66V each.
    Start charging 6 pm in new Pila IBC charger.
    By 6:30 pm I note I can rest my fingers on the cells (with moderate pressure) for 5-6 seconds before needing to remove my hand.
    By 8:00 pm 5-6 seconds is still possible but not pleasant. Unplug the charger. Take voltage at 4.04V each.
    Research CPF for info. Get advice in the parent forum, to post in the Hot Cells subforum.
    8:30 pm, cells are room temperature, voltage now 4.03V each.

    Where do I go from here? Did I do something wrong?
    Last edited by Bolster; 05-05-2011 at 01:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic Glock27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    400

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Try charging one at a time. The charger should be much cooler with one cell.

    G27

  3. #3

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    At what rate does this charger charge the batteries? My charger is at 500mah and not even no name brand batteries gets hot at all. They don't even get warm.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mexifornia
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightseeker2009 View Post
    At what rate does this charger charge the batteries?
    "IBC Charger DC out 4.2 VDC / 600mA x2"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Well if it gets so hot that you must remove your hand in 5 to 6 seconds, then I would say something must be wrong. Batteries must never get so hot as to be able to boil eggs on

    My advice is to test other batteries as well as to test these batteries in another charger. I think they are far too hot.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    580

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightseeker2009 View Post
    My advice is to test other batteries as well as to test these batteries in another charger. I think they are far too hot.
    +1
    Helps to isolate what the problem is whether it is the cell or charger. Do you have any other 18650 batteries?

    Also try fully charging the battery and measure the voltage when immediately green. Let the batteries rest for half a day and measure the voltage again. Does it drop by much?
    A blog on small pocket tools, keychain gadgets and more!

    http://keychainpockets.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* srfreddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    918

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    My 4sevens charger did that once, because of the bug. It was pretty much putting as much current as it could pull from the wall into the cell. Not good.

  8. #8
    Silver Moderator
    SilverFox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA
    Posts
    11,624

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Hello Bolster,

    I agree that something is not right. Cells in the Pila charger will warm up, but they shouldn't get hot.

    Take extreme caution while trying to figure out what is going on. Charge in an open area with good ventilation, and charge on a surface that is heat resistant.

    You need to figure out if it is the charger or the cells that are having issues. To check the charger you can monitor the process and log the cell temperature during charging. You will have to find some way to measure the temperature, but you should have a thermometer around the house that you can press into getting an idea of what is going on. The cell temperature should be below 140 F for safety, and most cells never exceed 110 F.

    If the cell heats up to hot, terminate the charge. If this happens quickly, the cell could have higher internal resistance. To check this out you need to try to charge another brand of cell. If that cell also heats up, this would bring suspicion to the charger.

    The Pila charger has a good reputation, but that doesn't mean that a questionable one makes it out every now and then. My first guess is that there is an issue with the cells, but I am open to an issue with the charger as well.

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mexifornia
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Thanks for the replies. So it's either the cells or the charger, is it?

    Let's start with the charger, and eliminate it from suspicion. How can I directly test the amperage of the Pila charger with my VOM? I'll return it if I can prove it's defective.

    I assume simply putting an ammeter "in series" in the charger is not good enough? Ie, one lead to the negative contact of the charger, other to the positive, probably wouldn't work? (EDIT: Yep, doesn't work. Charger's smart enough to know it's a VOM in series, not a cell.)

    If that won't work, is there a way to test amperage "in series" with the battery? Route a wire from the charger's negative contact to the negative of the cell, then the ammeter connected from the battery positive to the charger's positive lead?

    I should be seeing 600 mA, yes?

    In other news, popped one of the cells in my H60w last night for a quick test...wow, what a wonderful headlamp. But not running it except for a quick test until I figure out what's what with the charger/cells.
    Last edited by Bolster; 05-05-2011 at 01:06 PM.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic Glock27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    400

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    I would think that without buying another cell, your best bet would be to finish charging ONE cell at a time until the charger terminates. Measure voltage. Continue to monitor voltage on the charged cell(s) and watch for voltage drop. If they taper off quickly, the cells are the problem.
    I would be very wary of putting a meter in line to measure current without a EE giving good instruction.
    It's a bummer for you to have 2 great lights and can't fully use them yet.
    I would be willing to drop a used cell in the mail for testing. Give me a PM. You could take the postage off my future mount ;-)

    G27

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mexifornia
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.



    Tested the Pila for amperage by putting my VOM in series (on the 10A setting so milliamps will read as decimals). As you can see, .67 of an amp, or 670 mA. The leaflet with the charger says 600mA.

    Bad charger? It's putting out 12% over its rating. I don't like those numbers.

    (Oops, sorry Glock, just read your post. In this case I think asking for forgiveness will be easier than asking for permission, eh? Thanks for the cell offer, tho!)
    Last edited by Bolster; 05-05-2011 at 01:14 PM.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mexifornia
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Decided to return the Pila charger. The retailer also agreed it should not be putting out 670 mA.

    I don't have the patience for Li-Ion, I fear. I'm playing out of my league. I now have 2 Panasonic NCR18650s for sale, and two Zebralight H60w's, as well!

    BTW, the cells are holding their charge. Both sitting at 4.03 V where I left them yesterday.

    A big thanks to my CPF friends who helped me figure this out.
    Last edited by Bolster; 05-05-2011 at 01:08 PM.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic Glock27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    400

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Bummer! It's a shame that you had a bad experience. You ordered "the best" of both charger and cells.....this should have been real easy.
    Li-Ion is intimidating and scary because of all the stories of potential danger....houses catching fire, limbs being blown off, hundreds of people killed.
    I’m not convinced that the cells were not at fault. 600 mA is normal output for a cell with a specific resistance. If the resistance of the actual cell is higher than expected, perhaps that accounts for the 11% greater current.
    When I first got into lights I was all AA Ni-MH. I’ve sold or given away all but my headlights (H50s & 501w’s). Li-Ion gives you so many more choices, higher power density, more light…and a form factor that feels so much nicer in the hand IMHO.

    G27

  14. #14
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    3,567

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Most people keep the flip up door open when charging. Was the door on the charger open or closed.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  15. #15
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    580

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    670ma charge rate doesn't seem to be too bad. There could be some variation betwen various chargers and theres also the chance that your DMM is not giving you a 100% accurate reading (especially if it's a cheap one). 670ma charge rate shouldn't damage your cells any more than a 600ma charge rate.

    Don't give up too quickly, I think you should consider trying another battery instead. I'm a little suspect about some of the panasonic ncr18650 from hkequipment...
    A blog on small pocket tools, keychain gadgets and more!

    http://keychainpockets.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* VegasF6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    1,444

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
    Decided to return the Pila charger. The retailer also agreed it should not be putting out 670 mA.

    I don't have the patience for Li-Ion, I fear. I'm playing out of my league. I now have 2 Panasonic NCR18650s for sale, and two Zebralight H60w's, as well!

    BTW, the cells are holding their charge. Both sitting at 4.03 V where I left them yesterday.

    A big thanks to my CPF friends who helped me figure this out.
    Don't give up just yet Bolster. You are doing everything right, we will figure this out. I have a couple suggestions, despite it seeming like a waste of money, consider buying another pair of cells, even if they are budget brands. Even if they don't fit in this headlamp, you are bound to want other lithium powered lights in the future, after all its an addiction

    Also, I didn't think to offer this earlier, but I would be more than happy to try and charge those cells for you on my hobby charger and see if they give me any trouble.

    Third, (ly?) and I will want the other guys advice here, I would think you could go to a local electronics store and pick up a 3.3 ohm 10 watt resistor, and short the leads across that Panasonic battery. This should effectively give you about a 1.2 amp draw on the cell. Leave that on for say, I dunno 15 minutes or whatever and monitor it. If the battery feels very warm to touch while discharging, it's definitely the cell. I would THINK, (but this is theory) if that cell has excessively high internal resistance causing heating during charging, it would also do so during discharge.

    I wouldn't think that 670 mA from that Pila is to excessively high, but it would depend on what state of charge your cell was at also. If it was already over 4 volts it should have entered a constant voltage stage of charge with current tapering off.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Aircraft800's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    DFW Texas.
    Posts
    1,484

    Default

    I have 6 of the NCR18650's, I don't like them at all. I have 3 chargers, a TrustFire, and 2 hobby chargers. These cells have always been a problem for me charging at a 1/2C ~ to a 1/10C. They seem to never reach 4.1~4.2v I usually end up terminating the charge because the cells get warm, but similar Li-Co cells never warm up at all. I wonder if there is a better charger for these newer chemistry cells?

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* jasonck08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Redding, CA
    Posts
    1,494

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Could they be fake or used cells?

    670mA is NOT a high current to charge a 2900mAh 18650 cell at.

    I frequently charge my 2900 cells at 1.5-2A on a hobby charger and they never get noticeably warmer than room temperature...

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Aircraft800's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    DFW Texas.
    Posts
    1,484

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    670mA is fine for these cells, they have a Max charge current of 0.7C, or 2A. I wonder if these Nickel oxide based cells behave differently by design?

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mexifornia
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Hi folks. A sincere thanks for taking interest in my travails. Just following up on a few comments or questions. I agree we don't have a diagnostic on the cells yet, but we do have a diagnostic on the charger. The cells are holding their charge so far. Somewhere here on CPF I read of another CPF'er stating that his new Panasonics needed several charge/discharge cycles before the internal something something broke up or dissipated (see, I'm in over my head) which in turn lessened the internal resistance. Can't find that post now, and that's just from memory...may be misremembering something here.

    However, I'm caught in a moment where I have almost zero time to experiment further with these. Besides normal work duties, I'm also studying for a ham radio test, concurrently taking a CERT class, preparing a summer graduate class, and trying to buy a house! So for the near future I just need a headlamp that works, not one to fiddle with. The second issue is, I foolishly discussed the H60w & cells issue with my wife. Her firm opinion was that her husband, who carries three advanced degrees in his head (none of which help him understand or design flashlights in the remotest way), had better not be putting any Lithium Ion anything near his skull.

    Thus Spake the Wife.

    Maybe I'll get interested in this again after 4sevens gets his charger fixed and on the market, and can figure out a way to use the headlamps only when SWMBO isn't around, but this Pila is going back. Haven't decided what to do with the cells yet.
    Last edited by Bolster; 05-06-2011 at 10:03 PM.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    1,664

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Where do you get your NCR18650? I heard that there're a lot of fake cells out there in the market. I have 8 NCR18650s. All of them works great with my H60s and SC60s. I use only Pila IBC charger as well.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    580

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
    Maybe I'll get interested in this again after 4sevens gets his charger fixed and on the market, and can figure out a way to use the headlamps only when SWMBO isn't around, but this Pila is going back. Haven't decided what to do with the cells yet.
    I don't know if the 4sevens charger is necessarily gonna be better than the pila ibc

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    Where do you get your NCR18650? I heard that there're a lot of fake cells out there in the market. I have 8 NCR18650s. All of them works great with my H60s and SC60s. I use only Pila IBC charger as well.
    From some other threads, I believe he got his ncr18650 cells from hkequipment. If you know of any other dealers who sell genuine batteries around this price, please let me know... I would be interested in getting some
    A blog on small pocket tools, keychain gadgets and more!

    http://keychainpockets.blogspot.com/

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mexifornia
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    hkequipment is responsive...I'll report their customer service for you. Still playing out.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    1,664

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    4 of my 8 NCR18650 were from hkequipment. All of them works great with my Pila IBC charger.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    580

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
    hkequipment is responsive...I'll report their customer service for you. Still playing out.
    Any update on how things are going with hkequipment?
    A blog on small pocket tools, keychain gadgets and more!

    http://keychainpockets.blogspot.com/

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mexifornia
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    They accepted a return rather cheerfully. But no explanation or even guesses as to the issue...probably want to examine it first.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    580

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    did you buy through their ebay store or actual website?
    A blog on small pocket tools, keychain gadgets and more!

    http://keychainpockets.blogspot.com/

  28. #28

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    One thing you could do to test the capacity is take the cells to a local Batteries Plus store depending where you live. They have machines to do capacity tests on all types of cells. My guess is the cells you purchased have little to no capacity left and that is why they are getting hot. I don't know of a reputable place that sells individual cells because of the danger involved. Charger was probably fine the output can vary depending on the state of the cell.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mexifornia
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    OK, hkequipment has refunded. (Originally bought through their ebay store.) No communication with them re: the problem.

  30. #30
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Mohave Desert (Apple Valley), California, USA
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Panasonic NCR18650 (2900 mAh) & Pila IBC Experience: Very Warm.

    Similar problem here. Dug out my Pila which I haven't used in over a year. Popped in an AW going on its second recharge. Battery got fairly warm. Second battery was allegedly a new Panasonic 18650B. This one got EXTREMELY hot...The Pila itself was very warm and ESPECIALLY hot around the plug area. I can't remember having these problens before. I'm wondering if I have the right cord. I both called and emailed Pila USA. In response to my call they told me that they didn't sell cords separately but that I was welcome to buy ANOTHER charger! What nerve... also, they've never answered my emails. I've had issues with neither Xtar nor Nitecore chargers...so much for the vaunted Pila excellence!!
    Last edited by applevalleyjoe; 12-15-2013 at 04:39 PM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •