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Thread: Testing my old Li-Ion batteries

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* akula88's Avatar
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    Help Testing my old Li-Ion batteries

    A still have a few old Li-Ion batteries of different sizes and chemistry, including the decades-old Pila.

    I bought an Opus CT-C100 last year hoping to get some solid efficacy data - actual mAh 'capacity' vs published/rated on the cell. I was, however, dissappointed that I could not really get it done... especially trying to simulate a 'NOR' test.

    The instruction sheet that came with it was rather ambiguous. Essentially, I go thru a manual CHARGE, DISCHARGE, then (re)CHARGE. It's mostly on the DISCHARGE mode that I don't get a result -- only saying less than 100 mAh, yet the voltage is already way down... and in cases of unprotected cell, below 2A.

    I selected the single-cell Opus, as I also wanted a compact charger, as opposed to the C3100 or even Lii-500 Engineer.

    Am I doing this wrong? or I really have a crappy analyzing charger? What are other options (charger) for this application that is still compact [single or 2-cell]?

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    Flashaholic* adamlau's Avatar
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    Default Re: Testing my old Li-Ion batteries

    SkyRC MC3000 has been a solid performer for me. Though in all honesty, I would simply discard all of your older cells (if used) and purchase new ones. Li-ions are relatively inexpensive and widely available online or at your neighborhood vape shop . I also had a number of older cells, including 2 x Pila 600p 18650, all of which all were recently discarded.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Testing my old Li-Ion batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by akula88 View Post

    I bought an Opus CT-C100 last year hoping to get some solid efficacy data - actual mAh 'capacity' vs published/rated on the cell. I was, however, dissappointed that I could not really get it done... especially trying to simulate a 'NOR' test.

    The instruction sheet that came with it was rather ambiguous. Essentially, I go thru a manual CHARGE, DISCHARGE, then (re)CHARGE. It's mostly on the DISCHARGE mode that I don't get a result -- only saying less than 100 mAh, yet the voltage is already way down... and in cases of unprotected cell, below 2A.

    I selected the single-cell Opus, as I also wanted a compact charger, as opposed to the C3100 or even Lii-500 Engineer.

    Am I doing this wrong? or I really have a crappy analyzing charger? What are other options (charger) for this application that is still compact [single or 2-cell]?
    Have you tried the test using a good new cell, to compare results?

    What you are seeing sounds like your old cells are just about dead, having very high internal resistance that kills the voltage as soon as a moderate load is put on them. It could be the tester, but I'd try a new cell to check.

    How do your old cells perform in modern flashlights? Do they deliver a good high mode for a long time, or do they run for just a little bit before stepping down?

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* akula88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Testing my old Li-Ion batteries

    Actually, I'm a very casual and minimal user. I'm very far if 300 recharging cycles is a basis -- plus I rotate them a lot. Pila 168s still provides good runtime. But at least I need some good baseline and would like to categorize/mark them.

    It's a couple of my 16340 (Soshine and Nitecore) which are only retaining less than 300 mAh, although rated at 650-ish mAh. IR is also very high compared to my new 18650s.

    BTW - what are safe ways in discarding done-and-dead Li Ion rechargeables?

    ---

    Based on user reviews, Liitokala Lii-300 Engineer provides good enough features for my requirement. However -- a couple of *new* (but larger) chargers -- Liitokala Lii-600 and and VAPcell S4 plus -- are dark horses but are more than 200% of my budget. Hmmm...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Testing my old Li-Ion batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by akula88 View Post
    ...
    BTW - what are safe ways in discarding done-and-dead Li Ion rechargeables?
    ---
    A lot of employers have box for recycling batteries, specially outside their IT department.
    Best buy accepts rechargeable batteries but not alkaline.
    Hardware stores like home depot can recycle batteries. Check if there is any restriction.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* adamlau's Avatar
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    Default Re: Testing my old Li-Ion batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by akula88 View Post
    BTW - what are safe ways in discarding done-and-dead Li Ion rechargeables?
    If you have a supporting charger, take them through a discharge cycle in order to lower their energy store. Wrap both terminals with tape or plastic wrap. Your weekly refuse service may offer e-waste pickup. Otherwise, drop them off at a local hazardous waste disposal site (there should be one relatively local to you).

  7. #7

    Default Re: Testing my old Li-Ion batteries

    i have a panasonic NCR18650A bought in 2011, after a few periods of use in xtars , still able to deliver lengthy run time in a hand held fan today, better than some unbranded 2200mH
    Nitecore charger shows 23xx~24xx mah in-consistently

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    Default Re: Testing my old Li-Ion batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by bestsystem View Post
    i have a panasonic NCR18650A bought in 2011, after a few periods of use in xtars , still able to deliver lengthy run time in a hand held fan today, better than some unbranded 2200mH
    Nitecore charger shows 23xx~24xx mah in-consistently
    Same. I've been using laptop cells harvested from a machine over 10 years old. Samsung 22F. Their measured capacity varies from 1800 to 1900 mAh (over 80% original capacity). Not bad, for cells that were basically stored at 100% charge for most of 10 years.

    I managed to eventually kill of one them, by using the heck out of it in a light almost every night for several months. I've probably put close to a hundred cycles on the others, and they're still going strong.

    I think good cells last a lot longer than we give them credit.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Testing my old Li-Ion batteries

    I bought 2 ultrafires around the same time I bought my huntlight, rexlight, and ra twisty (25 years ago?). I soon purchased 17670ís and 16650ís for my surefires. Still using them
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

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