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Thread: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by subwoofer View Post
    It certainly is underhanded of Ultrafire to repackage old cells as new and not make this clear. I wish I could afford AW cells as there look great...
    I haven't got any AW 18650s either, but I've been thinking for a while if it actually saves me anything at all in the long run. I'd love to see some data on the actual life span of AW cells. The life span of the Trustfire cells I'm using sure isn't great.
    Quote Originally Posted by subwoofer View Post
    I can hardly believe anyone would fake Ultrafire products, they would just make their own like ScorpionFire, or FireyFire :-)
    there definitely are fake ultrafire cells around, some of them have capacity ratings not even listed on the ultrafire homepage. whoever sells them obviously thinks they can profit by faking a "reputable" brand.

  2. #32
    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by subwoofer View Post
    It certainly is underhanded of Ultrafire to repackage old cells as new and not make this clear. I wish I could afford AW cells as there look great...
    That's the thing many don't understand. In my experience, AW's cells actually are cheaper, or in the worst case, cost the same, but are less trouble because they last so much longer. This applies to Redilast and a few other dealers as well, that actually use quality cells. AW has a much wider range of choices as far as sizes and such though.

    Dave

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmut.G View Post
    I haven't got any AW 18650s either, but I've been thinking for a while if it actually saves me anything at all in the long run. I'd love to see some data on the actual life span of AW cells. The life span of the Trustfire cells I'm using sure isn't great.
    Helmut, you might want to check out the thread I linked to above.

    Dave

  4. #34
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    Crackup Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    Fire brands are "like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

    Norm
    haha epic

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Here's the batteries I ordered...expected to arrive tomorrow.

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/prote...0-lithium.html

    I would like to measure volts and amperage, you guys have any certain way of measuring them?

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    here's what I do:
    get yourself a $5 digital multimeter (can be more expensive of course if you want to spend more). measure the voltage before you put them in the charger. overdischarged cells exploding in the charger make up a large part of reported incidents. toss any cells below 3.0V, closely watch any cells between 3 and 3.5 V.
    measure voltage when you take the cells out of the charger a few times to determine if it overcharges them.
    measure resting voltage an hour or so after charge, then let them sit for a few days after being charged and measure voltage again. dispose off cells that don't hold a charge.

    never run the cells down until the protection kicks in, and you should be good.

    edit: I forgot: use common sense. If a cell seems to perform weakly, dispose off it rather than trying to use it further.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    In my own experience the Li-ion cells you can buy are usually good, OK or junk. You really want the good ones, but you can get some OK ones nice & cheap. The junk cells are what you definitely need to avoid.

    Cells like the Panasonic 2900 would be in the 'good category and AW has some protected 2900 18650s based on these cells. I have some AW 2200 & AW 2600 cells that still perform excellently.

    From DX:
    Trustfire 2400 protected cells in the black/red/flames wrapper seem to be OK and at only $10 for 2 cells they are a good budget option.
    Trustfire 2500 unprotected cells in the blue wrapper seem to be the other good choice (dearer but better than the grey wrapper 2500 cells).

    The Ultrafire 3000 & Ultrafire 3600 seem to be cells to definitely avoid, they are nowhere near living up to their claims and you can get better performance out of the lower rated cells that cost less money.
    Last edited by KiwiMark; 07-21-2011 at 11:25 PM. Reason: me england bad, that's unpossible!
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  8. #38
    Flashaholic cdrake261's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Got my ultrafire batteries in.... one measured 3.67v and the other one measured 1.33v

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by cdrake261 View Post
    Got my ultrafire batteries in.... one measured 3.67v and the other one measured 1.33v
    write to batteryjunction that you want a replacement for the one that measures 1.33V.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmut.G View Post
    write to batteryjunction that you want a replacement for the one that measures 1.33V.
    The customer service guy insisted I charge it anyways...I insisted that I return it. God I can't wait for my aw 14500's to come in

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by cdrake261 View Post
    The customer service guy insisted I charge it anyways...I insisted that I return it. God I can't wait for my aw 14500's to come in
    DON'T CHARGE IT.

    Li-Ion batteries that show a voltage as low as that are dead and potentially dangerous when being charged.

    it's a different case if the voltage shown is 0.00 V. that's a sign that the protection circuit was activated and has "locked" the battery. in that case putting it in a charger will "unlock" the circuit.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmut.G View Post
    DON'T CHARGE IT.

    Li-Ion batteries that show a voltage as low as that are dead and potentially dangerous when being charged.

    it's a different case if the voltage shown is 0.00 V. that's a sign that the protection circuit was activated and has "locked" the battery. in that case putting it in a charger will "unlock" the circuit.
    Yea...don't buy from battery junction, it bothers me that they are selling dangerous batteries and wish I knew before I ordered from this. Returning for a refund!

  13. #43

    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Just bought four UltraFire 18650 3800mAh (yeah right) from eBay. As expected, none of them tested anywhere near 3800mAh. Two were around 1900mAh (at .5A discharge), the other two were under 1000mAh.

    When I complained, the seller had the gall to offer me first a 30% refund, then a 50% refund. No thanks. Half the price is not worth getting two barely usable recycled 18650 cells. I could have just taken apart one of my old dead laptop battery and pulled cells that are the same capacity for free.

    I left a negative feedback, but unfortunately the seller has tons of positive feedbacks saying 'great product!'. Most buyers have no way to test the cells it seems. As long as it charges, they assume they are getting what they paid for. eBay doesn't seem to care either, I've reported the listing twice.

    The seller's name is americanstorexx.

  14. #44

    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Fell into the same trap. I bought a couple of these from different venders on Ebay and where different each batch. I will not buy anymore and invest in better batteries next time.

  15. #45

    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by 45/70 View Post
    It's also pretty well known that the various xxxxxFire labels and such are just that, labels, that are "slapped" on cells originating from these factories and other sources by various distributors (not the manufacturers) such as UltraFire. The manufacturers don't "slap" these labels on, distributors such as UltraFire do. They can put their label on whatever cells they want, from whoever they source their cells from. This apparently includes recycled cells, as well.

    It's not as big a mystery as many think it is, although exact details of sourcing and such, is likely to remain a mystery. If I were xxxxxFire, I sure wouldn't want to make this information available, for obvious reasons. And in China, they are under no obligation whatsoever to make this information available to the consumer, unlike in most other countries.
    My points more clearly stated:

    1. There is just one real UltraFire company and one real TrustFire company.
    2. If you buy the cheapest "UltraFire" or "TrustFire" cells you can find on ebay you will get FAKES not from the companies mentioned in 1.
    3. So conclusions of the type "but this UltraFire 4000 mAh i got off ebay was this or that so all UltraFire this or that" are not valid.

    The official UltraFire shop even warns people not to buy from DX because they sell fake UltraFire products.

  16. #46

    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    My experience has been the eBay stuff is usually crap. I ordered some "ultrafire" RCR123s off ebay. The cells ended up being way too long. Almost like somebody had a normal sized unprotected 16340, added the protection circuitry and the shrink wrap and called it good.

    What I have had good luck with:
    All AW batteries
    Flame Trustfire 18650s from DX
    Gray Ultrafire RCRs from DX

    However DX is such a crapshoot that I'll probably pony up the extra cash next time for AW's again. In the market for a few more RCRs and 17670s.

    I love LiCo cells. It's too bad there's so many ways to get bad ones out there.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by pinetree89 View Post
    I ordered some "ultrafire" RCR123s off ebay. The cells ended up being way too long. Almost like somebody had a normal sized unprotected 16340, added the protection circuitry and the shrink wrap and called it good.
    That's how they do it. And the protection circuit boards aren't on the small side either.


    Quote Originally Posted by pinetree89 View Post
    I love LiCo cells. It's too bad there's so many ways to get bad ones out there.
    I share those feelings. I love them because they don't self-discharge and you don't have to worry about their health when you use them right.
    Most of the cheap ones do not live up to these expectations, however.
    Last edited by Helmut.G; 10-17-2011 at 03:45 AM. Reason: typo

  18. #48

    Help Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Please help a confused newbie out.

    I just dropped $64 on 6 new ultrafire 3000 mah 18650's from battery junction. I'm not a rich dude, and $60+ means a lot to me.

    I've never had an issue w/ BJ.com before, they've always done me alright, which is why I took the leap on these.

    They seem to power my Olight M20 and Fenix TK35 OK, but I'm unclear what to measure to confirm capacity. I do have a cheapo $5 multimeter, but nothing fancy.

    Please help me evaluate how screwed (or not) I got, based on data I can reasonably collect, while I still have time for recourse.

    Alternatively, what would you have bought for reliable batteries in the same price/capacity range which was advertised? I always thought bj.com to be a respectable source -- is that not the case?

    Thanks,
    -Slice

    Post #1 I think, though long time lurker. Ducking for cover.

  19. #49
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    So are the ultrafire batteries sold by eBay sellers and battery junction fake? I suppose it must be hard to tell seeing as genuine ones are junk aswell.
    I wonder if the sellers are knowingly selling fakes (if they are fakes).
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  20. #50
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by JacobJones View Post
    So are the ultrafire batteries sold by eBay sellers and battery junction fake? I suppose it must be hard to tell seeing as genuine ones are junk aswell.
    I wonder if the sellers are knowingly selling fakes (if they are fakes).
    Buying them from eBay is almost garentee junk and batteryjunction accidently sold me a fake ultrafire as voltage was below 3v. Actually I measured them at 1.8v IIRC...

    Buy AW lithium ions from lighthound and you'll be alright.

  21. #51
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    My Ultrafires were bought about two years ago and mainly bought off Ebay ... I must have been very lucky as they are still working OK ... Snag is that I don't know the actual age of these cells ... They might even be old stock ... Since I don't top them up very often , my batteries will probably die of old age rather than too many cycles.

    I have protected (grey) and unprotected (blue) batteries and I'm perfectly happy with them all ... When they die , I will just buy a couple more as necessary to maintain stocks ... I only keep three spares , so that is no problem.

    I guestimate the amount of use the torches get and then measure the volts when I think they have run about three hours ... If the volts are down below 4.0 volts I top them up ... Usually I get it right at about 3.8 or 3.9 volts which I prefer ... I have never run them down to 3.6 volts.

    Sometimes my spares remain unused for several months but they still measure well over 4.1 volts and usually nearer to the 4.2 volts ... If I ever notice that a spare is below 4.0 volts I will top it up and see what it is like after another few months ... If it fails then I will simply buy another couple of Ultrafires.

    My system works for me , but I am not in a life or death situation ... If a Li-Ion torch dies in use , I always carry two ITP-A3's and an ITP-A2 as well.

    Too many torches is just enough.
    .

  22. #52
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Regarding Ultrafire, it is possible that:

    1. They source from various Chinese suppliers of Li-Ion bare cells and thus the quality is a crapshoot.
    2. They are totally irresponsible and re-sell "recycled" batteries in all sorts of conditions of deterioration with their wrapper on them.
    3. They are a sufficiently reputable company that counterfeit Ultrafire cells are now in circulation that are of very low quality.

    I'm not sure which if any of these is true and I have not yet run across anyone who has absolute proof one way or the other (e.g. someone in the industry or a credible representative from Ultrafire).

    What I am sure of is that Matt K. and the other folks at Batteryjunction are running a firm with an excellent reputation here in CT who have never failed to meet or exceed my expectations as a long time customer. They may have received some old stock from a supplier or even received counterfeit Ultrafires unknowingly.

    I believe Matt would want to know if:

    1. His customer service rep. was advising people to recharge batteries that had dangerously low voltage.
    2. He had old or counterfeit batteries in his warehouse.
    3. He had a supplier he couldn't count on for fresh genuine products.

    My experience strongly suggests that Matt would remedy any of these if they were brought to his attention.

  23. #53
    Flashaholic Learjet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Well I've been had. I bought a flashlight / battery / charger combo deal on evilbay from China. The flashlight, I love it. The batteries though are absolute rubbish. They are Ultrafire red 3000mah. Both cells read 3.9V when they first arrived in the mail and before charging. Testing them using a Turnigy Accucell 8150 multipurpose hobby charger, from fully charged and then discharging them at 1 amp discharge rate from 4.2V to 3.0V... Cell 1 only had a capacity of 226 mah and cell 2 a non whopping 47mah!

    Of course they are too weak to run anything.

    Under the red wrapping was a small circuit board at the - end and the cell was a silver unmarked noname. They don't even roll properly on the table. They are heavy on one side like loaded dice.
    Fenix L1 R bin CPF special, Fenix P2D CE, P3D CE, Ultrafire WF-602D1, WF-501B with XM-LT6, WF-502B with XM-LU2, WF-502B with SSC-P7, TrustFire TR-3T6, 6AA ROP (Roar of the Pelican), a bunch of 3AAA multi LED lights.

  24. #54
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Learjet View Post
    Well I've been had.
    That really sucks!

    Lesson learned though - check on these forums before buying batteries to ensure you are getting good ones.
    So many lights, so little money (cause I spent it on lights). I'm not afraid of the dark, the dark is afraid of ME!

  25. #55
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Double post. Apparent forum hiccup.
    Last edited by 45/70; 10-16-2011 at 12:39 PM.

  26. #56
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    There is a widespread misunderstanding throughout the Forums. Many appear to have fallen prey to "clever" marketing tactics, used by many Chinese distributors.

    It seems many, do not understand that there is nothing "ultra" about UltraFire, except maybe the products they offer are "ultracheap". This refers to the quality of the merchandise, not necessarily the price.

    I missed Andrew's post above, but find some of his suggestions interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewnewman View Post
    1. They source from various Chinese suppliers of Li-Ion bare cells and thus the quality is a crapshoot.
    2. They are totally irresponsible and re-sell "recycled" batteries in all sorts of conditions of deterioration with their wrapper on them.
    This is true, and applies to most Chinese distributors, not just UltraFire. As seems to be evident, they also source cells from various recalled, or recycled battery packs. These packs actually, often contain cells manufactured in Korea and Japan, as well as China. Many of the recalled battery packs may actually contain cells that are considered defective, for one reason or another.

    As for recycled cells, many Li-Ion cells that are recycled are sent to China. As any avid recycler is well aware of, "reuse" is much more effective than breaking down a product into it's basic elements for re-manufacturing. It is both more environmentally friendly, as well as being much more cost effective to the recycling operator. In the case of Li-Ion cells, just slap a new label on the "recycled" cell, market it at a much cheaper price than a "new" cell, and you're done.

    3. They are a sufficiently reputable company that counterfeit Ultrafire cells are now in circulation that are of very low quality.
    The idea of counterfeit "UltraFire" cells, always cracks me up. Since their founding, a few years ago I, and many others, have purchased and used, many UltraFire products. The general consensus is, that their products are among about the lowest quality products available, particularly when it comes to Li-Ion cells. Their lights and electronics don't fare much better, but that is not the topic of this discussion. At any rate, it is absurd to suggest that anyone would attempt to counterfeit UltraFire Li-Ion cells, or anything else they market, for that matter. It just wouldn't make any sense to fake "crap".

    I'm not sure which if any of these is true and I have not yet run across anyone who has absolute proof one way or the other (e.g. someone in the industry or a credible representative from Ultrafire).
    I seriously doubt that you will ever see an UltraFire representative here on the Forums (which probably are a major source of their customer base). They've had many chances over the years to appear, but have apparently declined. This is likely because they don't actually have "a credible representative". OK, that may not actually be true. If they did have one though, and the person was truthful, the danger of letting "the cat out of the bag" would outweigh any benefit to participating on the Forums.

    As for the products sold by CPF dealers, as well as others, they are running a business. If there is demand for a product, they're going to offer it. It makes no difference whether the product is unreliable, undependable, or even to some degree unsafe, dealers are going to include it in their lineup. It would be foolish to not offer a product that every other dealer is selling in significant quantities. That's the nature of business, supply and demand. Fortunately, CPF dealers are easy to work with, and if you do have a problem, they'll fix it. In my experience anyway, that, they're quite good at.

    On a final note I'd like to point out something that I think many members are unaware of. There is only one reputable "Fire" brand, and that is the U.S. based "SureFire". All of the other Ultra, Trust, Spyder, Fandy, Unique, Crapy, Bangy, and rapidly propagating "Fire" brands, have only been around a few years, are of Chinese origin, and are distributors (not manufacturers) that play (apparently quite successfully) on the "SureFire" brand name.

    Laser Products Corporation was a company that originated in the U.S. in the late 1970s or early 1980s, as a spinoff of Newport Corporation, which was founded in the 1970s. Around the turn of the century the name was changed to "SureFire", an existing product line, at the time. SureFire is, and has been, a major supplier of flashlights and laser mounted gun sights for the U.S. military and U.S. law enforcement agencies, for many years, and is based in Fountain Valley, California U.S.A.

    Rant concluded,

    Dave

  27. #57
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    So what you are saying is that there are no "fake" Ultrafire batteries, just that the quality varies wildly and is pot luck...

    The last Ultrafire cells I got do seem to have the performance of used and tired laptop batteries. Just testing the rest of my "Chinafire" cells, they are tired and weak compared to my Sanyo cells also. Well that's the last lot of batteries from China I buy. It will be name brand from now on. I suppose I'll get done with fakes of those now. I can't win.
    Fenix L1 R bin CPF special, Fenix P2D CE, P3D CE, Ultrafire WF-602D1, WF-501B with XM-LT6, WF-502B with XM-LU2, WF-502B with SSC-P7, TrustFire TR-3T6, 6AA ROP (Roar of the Pelican), a bunch of 3AAA multi LED lights.

  28. #58
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    Dave, I do agree that xyzFire products are crap and I think they shouldn't be bought by anybody who wants to get a product worth the money.

    Quote Originally Posted by 45/70 View Post
    The idea of counterfeit "UltraFire" cells, always cracks me up. Since their founding, a few years ago I, and many others, have purchased and used, many UltraFire products. The general consensus is, that their products are among about the lowest quality products available, particularly when it comes to Li-Ion cells. Their lights and electronics don't fare much better, but that is not the topic of this discussion. At any rate, it is absurd to suggest that anyone would attempt to counterfeit UltraFire Li-Ion cells, or anything else they market, for that matter. It just wouldn't make any sense to fake "crap".
    But I do disagree on the fake cells. It does make sense to fake UltraFire cells. Why?

    You wrote it in your own post:
    Quote Originally Posted by 45/70 View Post
    As for the products sold by CPF dealers, as well as others, they are running a business. If there is demand for a product, they're going to offer it. It makes no difference whether the product is unreliable, undependable, or even to some degree unsafe, dealers are going to include it in their lineup. It would be foolish to not offer a product that every other dealer is selling in significant quantities. That's the nature of business, supply and demand.
    There is a demand, and sadly, a quite big one.
    If there is a demand, it makes sense to fake the products. Selling a completely worthless product under the name of a popular brand is much easier than establishing a new brand.

    Even with a much lower profit margin, I believe the guys who sell the fake UltraFires, that are not even working for a few weeks, like the cells this thread is about, still make a better living than many chinese workers.
    That's why it makes sense, even though the idea of a fake UltraFire makes me laugh just like you because it's so absurd.

  29. #59
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    I must have been very lucky with the three lots of Ultrafire batteries that I bought.

    Mine are either the Blue (non-protected) or the Silver/Grey (protected) 18650's.

    I have had no problems (so far) in the last couple of years or so.

    They all seem to hold their charge for a very long time and do everything that I need from a Li-Ion.

    Maybe I'm just lucky.
    .

  30. #60
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    Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

    My "new" 2400mah blue Ultrafire cells are weak too. At the same 1A discharge to 3V one reads 610mah and the other 793mah. A 2400mah protected flame Trustfire was better but still weak, 1A again to 3V with 1445mah. By comparison a red 2600mah Sanyo had 2769mah to 3V ! I also noticed on my meter that the "ChinaFire" brands have greater voltage drop under load than the Sanyo.

    With today's XML LED's drawing over 2 amps from an 18650, the batteries need to be in good condition otherwise the light just isn't going to perform. I don't see any of these Chinese cells ever being able to drive the LED to it's optimum output. As a practical test with an XML-T6 LED, a 5 minute run with Ultrafire cells the light only gets warm. With the Sanyo it gets hot, obviously being able to drive the LED at full current for longer. In a silly sort of way I suppose ChinaFire cells would protect the LED from burning out if run on high for too long LOL.
    Fenix L1 R bin CPF special, Fenix P2D CE, P3D CE, Ultrafire WF-602D1, WF-501B with XM-LT6, WF-502B with XM-LU2, WF-502B with SSC-P7, TrustFire TR-3T6, 6AA ROP (Roar of the Pelican), a bunch of 3AAA multi LED lights.

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