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Thread: 4GREER 3100mAh Protected 18650 Mini-review: RUNTIME COMPARISONS

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    Wink2 4GREER 3100mAh Protected 18650 Mini-review: RUNTIME COMPARISONS

    I have recently been sent a number of 4GREER 3100mAh protected 18650 batteries for review.





    4GREER informs me that these 3100mAh batteries were specially made, based on the popular Panasonic NCR18650A internal cell. The protection circuit, protection plate, as well as high-top contact plate and packaging, are all unique for the 4GREER brand. They have also emphasized to me their optimization for performance in extreme weather conditions, both in very cold and hot climates.

    For those of you who are not familiar with 4GREER (which apparently stands for "4 Genuine, Robust, Efficient, Excellence, Reliable" products), they are a Canadian company that manufacturers batteries and flashlights. They have been around for about 3 years now, and specialize in products aimed at law enforcement, military, medical, etc. I had previously examined their earlier 2400mAh cells.

    Note that this mini-review will be done in the style of my earlier 4GREER and Redilast quick battery comparisons. Most of the other batteries compared here will likely be familiar to CPFers. Also note that I am not going to be cutting up any batteries – I’m simply going to compare the apparent capacities in my standard test bed. And I will leave the (incredibly valuable) detailed voltage/current testing to those who have the necessary equipment, like HKJ.

    4GREER reports the following characteristics for these cells:

    • Nominal Voltage: 3.7V
    • Fully charged, without load, voltage should read 4.18V DC
    • Nominal Capacity (min.): 3050mAh
    • Nominal Capacity (typ.): 3100mAh
    • Diameter (Max): 18.6mm
    • Length (Max): 69.2mm
    • Approx.Weight: 48g
    • MSRP: $24




    As you can see, these 4GREER 3100mAh cells have a small button top, and should therefore work fine in lights that have a physical reverse-polarity protection feature (or that otherwise need raised rops). How do they compare to other cells?



    From left to right, 4GREER 3100mAh, 4GREER 2400mAh, AW 2200mAh, AW 2600mAh, Redilast 2600mAh, Redilast 2900mAh, Xtar 3100mAh, 4GREER 3100mAh.

    The purpose of the above is to show you the height and button-top differences of the 4GREER cells compared to others I own. The older AW 2200mAh cells and the Eagletac 2400mAh cells have the classic small button-top, and are of course shorter than these newer high-capacity cells. The older 4GREER 2400mAh have a traditional small button top, and are quite tall for their class. The AW 2600mAh cells have flat-tops that don’t project beyond the wrapping. The Redilast 2600mAh and 2900mAh cells have a wide raised top (i.e. wide button-top). The Xtar 3100mAh (also built around the Panasonic NCR18650A) has a small button-top.

    Here is how they all compare in weight and height (average of multiple samples given):

    • AW 18650 2200mAh small button-top – 45.9g, 67.4mm
    • AW 18650 2600mAh flat-top – 46.4g, 67.8mm
    • EagleTac 2400mAh small button-top – 46.7g, 68.8mm
    • 4GREER 2400mAh small button-top - 48.6g, 69.2mm
    • Redilast 2600mAh wide button-top – 47.2g, 68.5mm
    • Redilast 2900mAh wide button-top – 45.7g, 68.9mm
    • Xtar 3100mAh small button-top – 46.3g, 68.6mm
    • 4GREER 3100mAh small button-top – 45.7g, 69.0mm

    The 4GREER cells are a reasonable length for 3100mAh cells with a button top – I am glad to see they are shorter than the earlier 2400mAh cells.

    Testing Method and Results

    My standard test bed for all Li-ion batteries is the original JetBeam IBS circuit. I possess the first-generation IBS circuit in all three body types (Jet-I, Jet-II and Jet-III), which allows me to similarly compare 14500, 16340 (RCR), 14670, 17670, and 18650. I like using this circuit for comparison testing because it is optimized for 3.7V Li-ion, reasonably heavily-driven at max output, and runs fully-regulated.

    To test batteries, I charge up each new battery I receive on my Pila to 4.18V, and run on the appropriate IBS light at 100% until the protection circuit kicks in. This gives me an easy way to estimate the capacity of new cells as they arrive (as well as periodically monitor their health over time). FYI, in my standard reviews, I only use "typically" performing AW 18650 2200mAh small button-top cells (i.e. cells that perform around the average of all samples I have bought).



    The 4GREER cells are performing well – there is good consistency between my four samples. All 4GREER 3100mAh cells consistently exceeded my Redilast 2900mAh cells. I do not know at what voltage the protection circuit is cutting in at, but I suspect it is comparable to most other cells.

    To see how they compare in a light that cannot maintain flat stabilization at high drive currents, below are runtimes for 3x 18650 cells in the Xtar S1:



    The 4GREER 3100mAh runtimes look remarkably similar to the Redilast 2900mAh, just with proportionately greater runtime, as you would expect.

    Again, I don’t know what the internal construction of the cells are like, but my 4GREER samples seem of consistent and good quality in their external presentation (i.e. no bulging contact surfaces, centered raised-tops, etc.).

    Hopefully, you found the quick runtime comparisons useful. I look forward seeing more detailed analyses of these cells from those who have the necessary equipment and expertise.

    ----

    4GREER batteries were provided by Kit-Tronics.com for review.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 01-22-2012 at 07:34 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Fenix LD60.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4GREER 3100mAh Protected 18650 Mini-review: RUNTIME COMPARISONS

    I'm using K-Meleon on a laptop with a stripped down version of XP Pro, so it could just be me, but the photos look cut off to the right side.

    EDIT: Ahh, now I see the scroll bar. 1024x768 can only do so much.
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 01-21-2012 at 01:12 PM.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

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    Default Re: 4GREER 3100mAh Protected 18650 Mini-review: RUNTIME COMPARISONS

    Nice review, as usual. These reviews are helpful.

    Is there really an XTAR 3100 cell? Was that a typo and it is a 2600 Sanyo cell inside or have they sent you a new 3100 sample?

  4. #4

    Default Re: 4GREER 3100mAh Protected 18650 Mini-review: RUNTIME COMPARISONS

    Quote Originally Posted by LEDAdd1ct View Post
    EDIT: Ahh, now I see the scroll bar. 1024x768 can only do so much.
    I have the same issue on my mini notebook. The formatting for the site (at least in Firefox) seems to give a lot more real estate to the left-hand name/ID column.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tone View Post
    Is there really an XTAR 3100 cell? Was that a typo and it is a 2600 Sanyo cell inside or have they sent you a new 3100 sample?
    It's labelled as 3100mAh (and performs like it, as you can see). They only sent me the one sample though, so I don't know how representative it is. I appreciate the multiple samples from 4GREER, as it allows me to check consistency and test in multi-cell lights.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Fenix LD60.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

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    Default Re: 4GREER 3100mAh Protected 18650 Mini-review: RUNTIME COMPARISONS

    Thanks selfbuilt for the review.
    What makes 4GREER different than AW, Redilast, Xtar, Callie's Kustom? Just the dimensions and button/flat top?
    I don't understand the purpose of testing the runtimes if the packages have the same battery (i.e. Panasonic 3100)?

    I'd be very interested in someone testing the circuits.

    Jake

  6. #6

    Default Re: 4GREER 3100mAh Protected 18650 Mini-review: RUNTIME COMPARISONS

    Quote Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
    What makes 4GREER different than AW, Redilast, Xtar, Callie's Kustom? Just the dimensions and button/flat top? I don't understand the purpose of testing the runtimes if the packages have the same battery (i.e. Panasonic 3100)?
    I believe most of the 3100mAh batteries out there are based on the Panasonic internal cell. But runtimes will differ depending on the characteristics of the protection circuit (i.e. the protection cut-off voltage can be different). I've also noticed some significant reported differences in how the various brands of 3100mAh batteries perform at different drive levels - especially at really high current draws (but am not equipped to measure that). The runtimes at least give you an idea of what to expect in actual usage.

    I'd be very interested in someone testing the circuits.
    So would I - to that end, I've recommended to Kit-Tronic that also send a set of batteries to HKJ for testing.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Fenix LD60.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

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    Default Re: 4GREER 3100mAh Protected 18650 Mini-review: RUNTIME COMPARISONS

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    So would I - to that end, I've recommended to Kit-Tronic that also send a set of batteries to HKJ for testing.
    If they send my some, I would be happy to run them through my testing equipment, but they have not contacted me (yet).
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4GREER 3100mAh Protected 18650 Mini-review: RUNTIME COMPARISONS

    Quote Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
    What makes 4GREER different than AW, Redilast, Xtar, Callie's Kustom?
    To add to what selfbuilt said, not all companies are using "Grade A" cells...some may be using rejects. The only real way to know is through testing. So even though Brand A and Brand W both use Handy Dandy cells on the inside, Brand A may be using top quality cells, while Brand W may be using factory seconds...or worse.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

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    Default Re: 4GREER 3100mAh Protected 18650 Mini-review: RUNTIME COMPARISONS

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    I believe most of the 3100mAh batteries out there are based on the Panasonic internal cell. But runtimes will differ depending on the characteristics of the protection circuit (i.e. the protection cut-off voltage can be different). I've also noticed some significant reported differences in how the various brands of 3100mAh batteries perform at different drive levels - especially at really high current draws (but am not equipped to measure that). The runtimes at least give you an idea of what to expect in actual usage.
    So would I - to that end, I've recommended to Kit-Tronic that also send a set of batteries to HKJ for testing.
    The did send some batteries to test and the result can be seen here.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

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