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Thread: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

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    Default what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012? I have been out of touch.
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    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by picard View Post
    what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012? I have been out of touch.
    In my limited time here, I'd say that AW, Redilast and CalliesKustom, who were THE triumvirate in 18650 cells for 2011 and before, have now been thoroughly unseated by a host of other players, all sourcing the famed Panasonic NCR18650A cell and now the NCR18650B (3400 mAh).

    The new players, like Orbtronics, International-Outdoor, Xtar, EagleTac, Keeppower (OEM maker for most of these people) and some others, are all generally cheaper than the $20/cell that the 'old guard' are commanding, even before shipping.

    I got two new EagleTac 3100s for $20.39 delivered back in March and while they might test out a tad lower for the two samples, versus some of the others, they're close enough for government work.

    Keeppower 3100s and Orbtronics 3100s are ~$26.00 a pair delivered. Tough to beat.

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by picard View Post
    what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012? I have been out of touch.
    Panasonic, either 3100 or the new 3400 mAh (Called NCR1865A or NCR18650B by Panasonic).
    You can get the first one from many different suppliers, the second one is not really on the market yet (The first batch was sold out rather quick).

    You can find brand names for suppliers in my battery test, there are significant variations in price, but not that large variations in quality.
    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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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Panasonic, either 3100 or the new 3400 mAh (Called NCR1865A or NCR18650B by Panasonic).
    You can get the first one from many different suppliers, the second one is not really on the market yet (The first batch was sold out rather quick).

    You can find brand names for suppliers in my battery test, there are significant variations in price, but not that large variations in quality.
    I have recently bought two Xtar (Sanyo) 18650/18700 2600mAh protected cells , plus two Panasonic 3100mAh NCR1860A protected cells (with another two in the post to me.

    I have always used 3.6 volts as the "Empty" point and as such , I topped my cells up before they reached this voltage ... Are the newer cells capable of going down to a lower voltage or do we still keep 3.6V as "Empty" ?
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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by march.brown View Post
    I have always used 3.6 volts as the "Empty" point and as such , I topped my cells up before they reached this voltage ... Are the newer cells capable of going down to a lower voltage or do we still keep 3.6V as "Empty" ?
    .
    It depends on when you measure the voltage, when the battery has rested and is without load 3.6 volt is probably a good value (On my batteries I uses 3.3 to 3.4 volt as empty).
    During load the Panasonic can go down to 2.5 volt before they are empty.
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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    It depends on when you measure the voltage, when the battery has rested and is without load 3.6 volt is probably a good value (On my batteries I uses 3.3 to 3.4 volt as empty).
    During load the Panasonic can go down to 2.5 volt before they are empty.
    Could the same voltage range you give for "empty" on 18650s be used for 16340s?

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Panasonic, either 3100 or the new 3400 mAh (Called NCR1865A or NCR18650B by Panasonic).
    You can get the first one from many different suppliers, the second one is not really on the market yet (The first batch was sold out rather quick).

    You can find brand names for suppliers in my battery test, there are significant variations in price, but not that large variations in quality.
    Thank you for this specific resource, and for the incredible ongoing work you have done and shared over the years. Really useful and comprehensively useful.

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu_Travelbee View Post
    Could the same voltage range you give for "empty" on 18650s be used for 16340s?
    The 2.5 volt is only for the Panasonic called NCR18650/NCR18650A/NCR18650B, the 3.x is the same for all LiCoO2 LiIon batteries.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    It depends on when you measure the voltage, when the battery has rested and is without load 3.6 volt is probably a good value (On my batteries I uses 3.3 to 3.4 volt as empty).
    During load the Panasonic can go down to 2.5 volt before they are empty.
    Thanks for the information ... I will continue using the rested voltage of 3.6V as "empty" ... I don't usually go as low as this as I prefer to top-up at about 3.8V ... I have still got about 40% left even at 3.8V.

    Thanks again.

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    The two brands I use is Redilast and Callies Customs. They fit in all my lights with no issues and they are easy to charge and maintain.

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by march.brown View Post
    Thanks for the information ... I will continue using the rested voltage of 3.6V as "empty" ... I don't usually go as low as this as I prefer to top-up at about 3.8V ... I have still got about 40% left even at 3.8V.

    Thanks again.
    The Panasonic NCR-series cells have 40% left at 3.65V, so you might want to recharge them at that voltage. For other cells, 3.8V indeed is a fine value.

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowww View Post
    The Panasonic NCR-series cells have 40% left at 3.65V, so you might want to recharge them at that voltage. For other cells, 3.8V indeed is a fine value.
    Thank you for the information ... I will make a note of that , as it is my intention to only buy the Panasonic 3100mAh cells in future ... I also have two Xtar (Sanyo) 2600mAh that are new ... The Ultrafires are being phased out , though four protected cells are still at 4.19V to 4.20V rested ... When my two new Panasonics arrive from the Far East , the four Ultrafires will be my spares and will eventually be replaced by more Panasonics ... I don't need many spare cells ... Three spares will be enough.

    Again , many thanks.
    .

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Has anyone assessed which of these batteries has the most robust construction - abrasion resistant wrap etc ?

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    New Panasonic 3400mah cells would get my vote.

    Very low internal resistance to maintain higher voltage.

    No protection circuit board for higher reliability.

    I've used many different types & brands of #18650 cells in my lights.

    LEDite
    Last edited by LEDite; 09-06-2012 at 02:29 PM.
    UV Lights, Panasonic 3400mah #18650 cells available

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    several companies seem to build protected button cells using Panasonic as base.

    Question now is - who does the best product and who offers the best charger ?

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonK View Post
    Question now is - who does the best product
    Depends on your needs. If you need flat-top you can get cells by Keeppower, AW or RediLast, if you need button-top you can get cells by Xtar, Eagletac and Orbtronic.
    Quote Originally Posted by DonK View Post
    and who offers the best charger ?
    Xtar, with their SP2.

  17. #17

    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    I need button, so looks like my choice is partially made. Orbtronic site says everything is out of stock !

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Xtar and Eagletac are your friends then (:

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    I'll browse their sites - I have been using a couple of Ultrafire 2600 batteries with a T-100 (Tenergy ?) charger and have had good results. BUT the Ultrafire get a lot of bad press, so I figure that I'd best get something better before disaster strikes. I'm looking to pick up 6 batteries and a charger.

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonK View Post
    I'll browse their sites - I have been using a couple of Ultrafire 2600 batteries with a T-100 (Tenergy ?) charger and have had good results. BUT the Ultrafire get a lot of bad press, so I figure that I'd best get something better before disaster strikes. I'm looking to pick up 6 batteries and a charger.
    I am still using my two old Ultrafire (blue) unprotected and five (grey) protected 2400mAh ... I have used them for about three years now and they were all OK ... Only recently have they started to fail ... One died and couldn't be revived and a couple more are not holding the 4.20 volts after being charged to about 4.24V ... Those two are dropping to about 4.11V ... The others are at about 4.18V rested ... So. I have a total of seven workers including the ones that drop to the lower voltage ... I have got two new Xtar 2600mAh protected and two new Panasonic 3100mAh protected plus two more coming ... I will be sending for another two in a few weeks time ... I will then get rid of some (possibly all) of the Ultrafires.

    In all fairness , I have been a bit cruel to the Ultrafires as they are stored at room temperature , fully charged ... I will do the same with the Xtars and the Panasonics ... If I have to buy two new cells (on average) every year or so , it isn't really going to break the bank at less than £15 for two delivered ... I just like to have my spare cells fully charged ... I will standardise on the Panasonic 3100mAh's now.

    I now use some of the cheap home made Li-Ion chargers and am very pleased with their performance ... I haven't thrown out my other Li-Ion chargers but I don't use them now ... I am keeping them "just in case".
    .

  21. #21

    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    I'm not familiar with the home made chargers. I think I will go for the Panasonic based 3100 batteries, the 3400 models are about double the price, and I don't see a good reason to pay such a premium for a little more capacity. I store my batteries fully charged too - no point in doing otherwise IMO.

    I note that soshine and 4Sevens do smart chargers at reasonable prices (I think smart is essential)

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonK View Post
    I store my batteries fully charged too - no point in doing otherwise IMO.
    Well, if preserving battery's capacity and low internal resistance is pointless, then indeed storing them fully charged is way to go.
    I prefer my batteries to lose 5% of capacity a year, though, and not 40%.. So I store mine at 50% charge.

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowww View Post
    Well, if preserving battery's capacity and low internal resistance is pointless, then indeed storing them fully charged is way to go.
    I prefer my batteries to lose 5% of capacity a year, though, and not 40%.. So I store mine at 50% charge.
    You are living in a very hot place, at 25 degree you "only" loses 20% per year at fully charge (4% at 40% charge).
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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    You are living in a very hot place, at 25 degree you "only" loses 20% per year at fully charge (4% at 40% charge).
    Hi Again HKJ ... My storage room for the spare batteries is on the North side of the house and doesn't get over about 20C ... Winter time it is probably about 15C in that room ... The torches with charged Li-Ions fitted are in assorted rooms that in Summer may well reach 25C for short periods of time.

    It is only now after about three years that a few of my old Ultrafire 2400mAh cells are possibly giving trouble ... One died (no volts) and I was unable to revive it by coupling it to a good cell in an effort to (possibly) reset the protection ... That cell has now been disposed of ... Two (maybe three) cells go from 4.20V (approx) down to about 4.11V after resting for a few hours , the other few sink to only 4.18V ... These are all my original Ultrafires ... They are all still useable and even the worst ones still might possibly have a reasonable capacity left ... So I will have to do some battery run tests on one particular torch and make a note of the cell voltage against time ... That way I should know how the capacity of each battery will compare ... Any that are poor can then be safely disposed of.

    I am gradually replacing the old Ultrafires with Panasonic 3100mAh protected cells ... I am assuming that they will last at least as long as my old Ultrafires have lasted ... Obviously I don't know how old the Ultrafires were when I bought them ... My Ultrafires don't get charged very often and since the Panasonics have a far larger capacity , they will be charged even less frequently ... Probably about four times each per year.

    Since I will have only eight of the new cells , I don't think that it is worth changing my storage technique (or lack of) ... If I had loads of the new cells , then I most probably would store the spares at a lower state of charge and at a lower temperature ... I don't mind if the new cells last at least as long as the old Ultrafires ... I can live with replacing them after three years or so ... No problem.

    I could keep the spare cells in the fridge ... It runs at a temperature of 3C ... I'm not certain how much better this would be for the fully charged cells or how long it would take to bring them up to room temperature ... If the fully charged cells were kept in the Fridge , how much improvement would there be on their capacity retention ?
    .

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    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Quote Originally Posted by march.brown View Post
    Hi Again HKJ ... My storage room for the spare batteries is on the North side of the house and doesn't get over about 20C ... Winter time it is probably about 15C in that room ... The torches with charged Li-Ions fitted are in assorted rooms that in Summer may well reach 25C for short periods of time.
    My comment was mostly to shadowww, because you need an ambient of about 40 degree to loose 40% capacity in a year.
    You temperature range is much better, you can check the table at battery university.


    Quote Originally Posted by march.brown View Post
    I could keep the spare cells in the fridge ... It runs at a temperature of 3C ... I'm not certain how much better this would be for the fully charged cells or how long it would take to bring them up to room temperature ... If the fully charged cells were kept in the Fridge , how much improvement would there be on their capacity retention ?
    .
    The capacity loss would be more like 6-8% per year (For a 40% charged battery 2-3% per year), but you have to watch for moisture, it might corrode the battery!
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  26. #26

    Default Re: what is the latest most reliable 18650 battery for 2012?

    Yeah AW's cells ARE Panasonic NNP cells, with his protection circuit added in. He makes them right up to 3100mAh. http://industrial.panasonic.com/www-...A4000CE254.pdf

    They are high quality cells and he makes a nice protection circuit. In multi-cell lights, not having a protection circuit with ICR chemistry is a bit scary IMO.

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