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Thread: Power Banks for devices

  1. #1

    Wink2 Power Banks for devices

    Hey guys,

    Im looking for decent power bank suggestions for devices, ie. flashlights,speakers,phones and so on...
    If any knowledgeable on good brands or sizes that should get please let me know here.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    Look for modular powerbanks that let you swap out the cells. This can let you add emergency capacity to the powerbank or upgrade the batteries in a few years when they wear out. The Xtar PB2S is the latest and greatest. Nitecore and Xtar both make several interesting modular powerbanks. HKJ has posted reviews of many of them at CPF.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    i use my dewalt li ion cells, and usb adapter like this


  4. #4

    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    Quote Originally Posted by SoundRay View Post
    Hey guys,

    Im looking for decent power bank suggestions for devices, ie. flashlights,speakers,phones and so on...
    If any knowledgeable on good brands or sizes that should get please let me know here.
    There are tons of power banks and also kits and chargers that also offer a power bank option and they vary all over the place with features, output and device support. You can find them that put out 0.5A to over 4A total with 1-4 USB out ports and different USB inputs and outputs plus some have support for QC2/3 fast charging and some have various outputs from 5-12v and 2.1/2.5mm output jacks.
    If you only need standard 5v output at 1A there are so many out there that can be used there is no end to them. I have all sorts of power banks from sealed ones I bought to kits that you can just insert batteries into them 1-4 cell varieties. Of the sealed power banks I have several varieties but my favorite brand is Anker and the banks that support fast charging (QC) for some phones are my favorite as some will charge up using QC power input/adapters about 2 times or so as fast than normal 5v input and some will charge phones 80% or so faster that support fast charging. I have one that supports a total of 4A output and many of my Anker power banks have 2 output ports.
    My suggestion about sizes is to estimate the mah of device batteries needing charged by a power bank or device current in mah of items to be powered by them and get an idea of total mah needed. Multiply this number by 2-4 for the size of power bank needed. As power banks have to boost voltage to 5v and devices reduce this input voltage to them to charge batteries there is often substantial power loss involved in using them and power banks are rated not at the mah output at 5v or higher in cases that they support QC2/3 but rather rated at the mah or capacity of the batteries inside of it at about 3.7v. If you need 5000mah to charge things a 10,000mah power bank should have enough capacity to charge it. I recommend more than double however so if you have a 3000mah battery in your phone a 5000-6000mah power bank should give you more than a single charge but a 10000mah or so one will be able to charge it twice.
    Typical power banks are sized by how many batteries are inside with most having 18650 or 14500 (AA) sized batteries. There are some using flat Lipo cells in them also but they are less common and most of the better and cheaper brands use 18650s 1 or more batteries. Power banks using 18650s typically range from 2000mah to about 3300mah per cell in capacity and have space in them for the circuitry to regulate voltages in and out and properly charge the batteries within it. The better power banks are from 2600 to 3350mah with 2 cell ones at 5000-6000mah and 3 cell ones about 10,000 with 4 cell ones at 12000-13000mah capacity There are larger ones in the 15000-20000+ sizes too but when you start to get into that size I recommend considering multiple power banks as you may need to charge more than 1-2 devices and with multiple power banks you have higher output total plus the option of recharging one or more power banks while using the others. If you have bare 18650 cells you may consider buying cheap kits or chargers with a power bank option on them too.
    I have about 2 dozen power banks ranging from single cell to 6 cell models with some having a single 5mm LED light option in them. It is nice to have a power indicator too so you have an idea of the state of charge a power bank is in so you aren't caught with it dead when you need to use it. There is a variety of power level indicators in power banks from multiple LED lights to flashing LEDs to digital displays.
    One other thing I forgot to mention..... check the recommended charging ranges (input) of your devices and also to see if some of the (typically smart devices) support QC2/3 or adaptive fast charging (Samsung) as power banks range in output and if your device will charge at higher rates/input than 1A having a power bank that supports higher outputs better can speed up charging times considerably.
    The better ones have 2/2.1A outputs some over total outputs some per output with some offering higher overall output than that 3A outputs with 4A or higher total output over all ports.
    Last edited by Lynx_Arc; 09-13-2019 at 09:57 AM.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    i use my dewalt li ion cells, and usb adapter like this

    These adapters are very useful but only if you have a lot of batteries and they aren't very expensive to buy. A USB adapter that fits my porter cable and black & decker 20v batteries now goes for about $50 and for that price you could buy a few stand alone power banks that are more compact and have better output support. The usb one I got for cheap at a flea market only does a combined 1A USB output while they have power banks with 2A or more output available which makes charging devices a lot quicker.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    These adapters are very useful but only if you have a lot of batteries and they aren't very expensive to buy. A USB adapter that fits my porter cable and black & decker 20v batteries now goes for about $50 and for that price you could buy a few stand alone power banks that are more compact and have better output support. The usb one I got for cheap at a flea market only does a combined 1A USB output while they have power banks with 2A or more output available which makes charging devices a lot quicker.
    i paid 20 bucks for such adapter, however mine isn't dewalt, but made by a third party, other than lack of dewalt logo, mine is identical, i use it for about 6 mo, so far no complaints, i do have plenty of batteries, right now i have 6. half are 5ah, other half 3ah , but i agree if you do not already have power tool batteries it does not pay to buy just for that.
    i never measured what usb can supply, but from charging phone and i pod, it seems like 1A rating maybe be correct, it takes same time to charge as with provided apple ac adapter.
    i'm not sure, many usb cables are capable of 2A, those usb cables i cut up had thin wires, at 2a there would be a lot of resistance.
    Last edited by alpg88; 09-13-2019 at 12:26 PM.

  7. #7
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    I have an Anker Elite and a 26800, they both can use two input cables to speed up the charging process. They are nice and solid and haven't let me down yet.
    Also I use an Xtar PB2 which is a useful and versatile device, which as Lynx says, takes a couple of removeable cells, so you can use it as a charger and powerbank. If you don't mind a bit of parasitic drain it's a useful storage box too.
    I only have the earloer PB2 not the PB2S, but HKJ give the new one a good review
    Here....
    https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...amp-power-bank

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  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    If you were not aware: My current favorite power bank, the RAVPower 20100 PD 3.0 - big 20,100 mAh capacity, USB Micro and USB-C in and/or out, can charge a full-size laptop like a cell phone @ 45 watts via USB-C charging. $56.


  9. #9

    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    how trustworthy are those ratings? we have plenty of garbage 18650 that claim 4000-5000mah.

    is there a reputable brand for those, that can be trusted?? most of power banks i have, have no name on them, no one knows who made them and what cells they used.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    i paid 20 bucks for such adapter, however mine isn't dewalt, but made by a third party, other than lack of dewalt logo, mine is identical, i use it for about 6 mo, so far no complaints, i do have plenty of batteries, right now i have 6. half are 5ah, other half 3ah , but i agree if you do not already have power tool batteries it does not pay to buy just for that.
    i never measured what usb can supply, but from charging phone and i pod, it seems like 1A rating maybe be correct, it takes same time to charge as with provided apple ac adapter.
    i'm not sure, many usb cables are capable of 2A, those usb cables i cut up had thin wires, at 2a there would be a lot of resistance.
    My phone supports fast charging which means it has the option of charging (with compatible charger) at 9v 2A and even 12V 1.5A and compare that to 5V 2A you have 10 vs 18watts of power. I've found some name brand cables aren't good enough (wiring) to support fast charging tech but what I find is funny is I've tried cables from Dollar Tree and ALL of them work... even the M/F extension cables with one of their cables works too... go figure. A decent USB cable can handle 2.1A but not all cables are able to handle it.
    If your device and charger both support fast charging tech (Adaptive/QC) it can reduce times to about half at 5V/2A and 1/4 at 5V/1A and even more if you put 2 devices on a 1A total adapter. I have Anker power banks that support fast charging, one that supports fast recharging (of itself). I also have a power bank that supports 3A total output for the 2 ports on it with a 16000mah battery pack.
    Tool battery adapters are useful but the tech in them is not up to date for the ones I've seen. I've used contacts and test leads to connect 12/24V USB adapters that support fast charging to 20v tool batteries and they work good. You can get the circuit boards for about $3 and the 12V auto plugin adapters for about $5 or so, I bought 2 for $9.99 on ebay of a better known brand.
    It is a good thing to have as many options in an extended outage as possible and tool batteries is one source but the one issue I have is not all tool batteries have auto chargers for them I would have to drag out my 800 watt inverter which requires opening the hood and connecting leads to my car battery. Essentially if you have a USB car adapter there is less need of using tool batteries and recharging them as they are less portable than a power bank.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    how trustworthy are those ratings? we have plenty of garbage 18650 that claim 4000-5000mah.

    is there a reputable brand for those, that can be trusted?? most of power banks i have, have no name on them, no one knows who made them and what cells they used.
    There are some decent quality brands of power banks but it does depend on how much peformance you need from one.
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  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    i never measured what usb can supply, but from charging phone and i pod, it seems like 1A rating maybe be correct, it takes same time to charge as with provided apple ac adapter.
    Current USB standards [using a "USB Micro"/standard USB-A port] will allow up to 3A; in real-world use, I don't see any of my Apple devices charge faster than ~2.5. Snapdragon-equipped Android phones can hit 3A. Cables are only supposed to be rated to 2A, so you need a quality cable that's actually built better than the standard to get this faster charging (I recommend Anker Powerline series.) Manufacturers almost always bundle an inexpensive slower charger with their devices, so you'll also need a better charger than what came in the box (when buying a charger or hub, look for the amp rating for each outlet - if it just says "3A" but has two outlets, that means it can only charge two devices simultaneously at 1.5A.)

    Newer Apple devices [iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro series] will charge via USB-C which allows for significantly faster 18W charging.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post

    Newer Apple devices [iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro series] will charge via USB-C which allows for significantly faster 18W charging.
    i have i phone xr, it does not have usb c, it has regular apple connection. but i rarely use it to charge, only to transfer files, i use wireless pad, it charges up pretty quick, no slower than with a wire

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    i have i phone xr, it does not have usb c, it has regular apple connection. but i rarely use it to charge, only to transfer files, i use wireless pad, it charges up pretty quick, no slower than with a wire
    Yes, there are Lightning-to-USB-C cables that will allow your phone to charge at 18W [when plugged into a USB-C charger,] roughly twice as fast as wireless charging; you're looking at about 50% battery in 30 minutes.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Power Banks for devices

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Current USB standards [using a "USB Micro"/standard USB-A port] will allow up to 3A; in real-world use, I don't see any of my Apple devices charge faster than ~2.5. Snapdragon-equipped Android phones can hit 3A. Cables are only supposed to be rated to 2A, so you need a quality cable that's actually built better than the standard to get this faster charging (I recommend Anker Powerline series.) Manufacturers almost always bundle an inexpensive slower charger with their devices, so you'll also need a better charger than what came in the box (when buying a charger or hub, look for the amp rating for each outlet - if it just says "3A" but has two outlets, that means it can only charge two devices simultaneously at 1.5A.)

    Newer Apple devices [iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro series] will charge via USB-C which allows for significantly faster 18W charging.
    Phones that support adaptive fast charging and qualcomm's quick charging can charge at 12v input up to 18watts for QC 2/3 and QC4 can support voltages up to 20v and 100watts. My phone supports QC2 and 18 watts charging almost twice as fast as 5v 2A charging rate.
    Many of my Anker power banks support 1A charging unless the device is compatible to charge at 2-3A 5V or 9V/12V ranges.
    I think the 5V 20A charging rate also requires a phone to have temperature sensing tech in the charging system so as to keep it from overheating. 100watt charging is claimed to give 5 hours of runtime for 5 minutes of charging and 50% charge in just 15 minutes time.
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