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Thread: What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

  1. #1
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    Default What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    I have some power banks at home, but I am considering a power bank that uses one, or more, 18650 batteries. Which one(s) should I consider? Are they all created equally? (I assume that they are NOT all created equally.) I have seen some that are power banks and 18650 chargers. Are they a good choice?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    The Nitecore F4 might be the best one on the market. However no one has done an in depth review so I can't say for sure. But it is what I would buy if I was shopping.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    I think before considering which power bank to invest in more information is needed:
    1)What devices are you going to connect to it.
    2)Are you using it just as an 18650 battery charger or more.
    3)How much capacity and current output is needed to replenish devices it is needed for.
    4)How fast do you need it recharged and how often do you think you need to cycle it (use and recharge it)
    5)What is your budget.
    6)Does any of your devices support fast charging (Samsung/Qualcomm) or do you think you may in the future invest in such devices.

    My answer to power banks that are for also charging 18650s is related to the other questions asked here. Personally if you aren't using a power bank heavily and don't need it to be portable all the time a stand alone charger may be a better option as they can often charge other sizes/types of cells and some have analytical modes and variable charging rates. These multi purpose charger/powerbanks can range from limited vs a charger to very functional and the cost can range from more expensive to about the same as their counterparts.
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  4. #4
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    Default Nitecore F4

    Quote Originally Posted by parametrek View Post
    ...The Nitecore F4 might be the best one on the market..
    Thank you for the tip on the Nitecore F4. I will have to look into that a bit further.

    I also need to determine what 18650 batteries I would use with it.

    More research is needed!

  5. #5
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore F4

    I get on well with my Xtar PB2 and use it all the time in the truck, but that Nitecore looks interesting.
    P

  6. #6
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    Default What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    I think before considering which power bank to invest in more information is needed:
    1)What devices are you going to connect to it.
    2)Are you using it just as an 18650 battery charger or more.
    3)How much capacity and current output is needed to replenish devices it is needed for.
    4)How fast do you need it recharged and how often do you think you need to cycle it (use and recharge it)
    5)What is your budget.
    6)Does any of your devices support fast charging (Samsung/Qualcomm) or do you think you may in the future invest in such devices.

    My answer to power banks that are for also charging 18650s is related to the other questions asked here. Personally if you aren't using a power bank heavily and don't need it to be portable all the time a stand alone charger may be a better option as they can often charge other sizes/types of cells and some have analytical modes and variable charging rates. These multi purpose charger/powerbanks can range from limited vs a charger to very functional and the cost can range from more expensive to about the same as their counterparts.

    Thank you for the reply.

    1) Right now my focus is on using an amateur radio digital hot-spot mobile. The power bank would power the hot-spot AND an AT&T Netgear cellular hot-spot.

    2) I am not exactly sure if you are referring to using it for batteries other than 18650 or the power bank function.

    3) The capacity and current output needed will depend on which amateur radio digital hot-spot I buy. I had a Shark RF OpenSpot 2, but returned it. I haven't bought another one yet. I have read the have low demand.

    4) I have generally not needed fast charging. So, for example, an over-night charge is generally sufficient for me.

    5) I don't usually come up with any sort of arbitrary budget cap. I generally determine if something fits my needs and then find the best price. Obviously, I am not going to spend a lot of money on something like this. For example, based on what I have seen so far, I should be able to get a power bank charger and 4 18650 batteries for under $100.

    6) I think my Samsung S9 smartphone supports fast charging, but it really hasn't been a concern of mine. I have a Mophie battery case. The phone charges up over-night and it is usually good all day. If I need more power, I turn on the Mophie. I don't anticipate wanting faster charging anytime soon.

    It could also be that I will end up focusing on a power-bank charger that uses only two 18650 batteries. Portability will probably be a very important factor for my application.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    I like the 4x18650 Battery Case Power Bank diy and four Samsung INR18650-30Q 3000mAh, for about $30.
    Can take out the battery out to use for flashlight.
    If the battery dead, you can replace it, and continue to use it.

  8. #8

    Default What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    Are the HotSpots powered with 12vdc or 5vdc?

    I use standard SLA Batteries on all of my Ham gear for power and you can get some pretty serious batteries really cheap from any Alarm Supply House which is where I usually get them if I want new ones.

    I use mostly 18ah batteries and they run under $30 each and can be slow charged from a $10 power supply or using a PowerGate and your home 12vdc supply as well.

    I can run a full power mobile from one of these for about a day of pretty decent use for events and I always have a few more in reserve too.
    There are also 7ah and 12ah versions which are even less expensive and the 7ah are about the size of a soda can.
    I use an HT for a few days on one of those when working events or Emcomm all the time.

    Just another option.


  9. #9
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    Default What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    Are the HotSpots powered with 12vdc or 5vdc?

    I use standard SLA Batteries on all of my Ham gear for power and you can get some pretty serious batteries really cheap from any Alarm Supply House which is where I usually get them if I want new ones...
    I should have explained a bit more. I want to be able to take this mobile or portable. For example, when I go horse-back riding, I would like to be able to use my AnyTone AT-D878UV and the amateur hot-spot.

    For fixed-station use, though, the Sealed Lead Acid might be a good way to go, though.

    The hot-spot I had was 5 VDC.
    Last edited by JAS; 05-11-2019 at 02:05 PM.

  10. #10

    Default What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    A 7 or 4 ah sla will fit in many water bottle carriers which is how I use them in the field.
    So you could easily carry all of it everywhere.


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    Last edited by AVService; 05-11-2019 at 02:16 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    A 7 or 4 ah sla will fit in many water bottle carriers which is how I use them in the field...
    So, if I understand this correctly, the big advantage is the price then?

  12. #12

    Default Re: What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    So, if I understand this correctly, the big advantage is the price then?

    I think price,power,longevity almost everything that you need though I still do not know if you need 12vdc or 5vdc for the Hotspot?

    In my experience a single battery that is easily charged just works out better though I have not tried any in your exact application either.

  13. #13
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    Default What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    It is 5 VDC.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What 18650 Battery Power Bank Should I Consider?

    You should be able to get a 20,000mah power bank for well under $100..... I have a few Anker Power banks that work well.
    I recommend you figure the current draw of all devices you will be using and do the math and whatever figure you come up with get a power bank that has about 2x that capacity as power banks are rated by the batteries inside them which has to be boosted to 5v and then the 5v powers devices or charges batteries in devices. The one thing about power banks is you can always have more than 1 of them I have 3 Anker power banks a 2 cell 5600, 3 cell 10500 and 4 cell 13300. They make a 6 cell 20,000 or so and I believe an 8 cell 26,000 or so.
    There are other brands of power banks out there that are also good but a lot of cheap ones that could be a crap shoot as some of the cheaper ones are a lot less efficient which means a 4 cell cheap one may perform as well as a 3 cell decent brand one and may not be able to sustain as much power output, so if you are running multiple devices you need to add up the max amperage of all devices to make sure your power bank can handle the load. Higher current loads will reduce the efficiency of the power bank some more which means reduced runtime.
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