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Old 12-16-2014, 10:39 PM #1
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Default Crappy Ultrafire 18650

I bought this:

1 X ULTRAFIRE LITHIUM RECHARGEABLE BATTERY 3.7V 18650 - 4000mah FLASH LIGHT UK | eBay

It claims 4000mAh. When it turned up it was suspiciously light.

If I fully charge it with my NiteCore D4 and discharge test it with a Turnigy Accucel 6 it only produces 500mAh before its out of charge. I've cycled it a few times now with no improvement.

Once bitten twice shy - anyone know where I can get a "proper" 18650 in the UK?


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Old 12-16-2014, 10:42 PM #2
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

I buy genuine Panasonic cells off of ebay, never been burned, I've gotten real ones every time.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:12 AM #3
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Talking Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

Quote:
Originally Posted by tttonyyy View Post
I bought this:

1 X ULTRAFIRE LITHIUM RECHARGEABLE BATTERY 3.7V 18650 - 4000mah FLASH LIGHT UK | eBay

It claims 4000mAh. When it turned up it was suspiciously light.

If I fully charge it with my NiteCore D4 and discharge test it with a Turnigy Accucel 6 it only produces 500mAh before its out of charge. I've cycled it a few times now with no improvement.

Once bitten twice shy - anyone know where I can get a "proper" 18650 in the UK?
One clue is the specs...there's no such thing as a 4k mah 18650, so, you should have known it was fake right there.

If you open it, you might find almost anything inside it btw....a fun project to post your findings.

Many are just old laptop cells they rewrapped and sold as new, some are not even an old 18650, and could be a 14500, or CR123, etc....you never know.

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Old 12-17-2014, 01:16 AM #4
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

Yes those Ultrafires are well known to be low grade and never up to the stated capacity. See this thread:
WARNING- See if you will ever buy an Ultrafire after seeing this.....
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:30 AM #5
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

That's really bad. I did charge it in the fireplace in case it let loose. I don't have any other 18650s so I'll have to use it for now, but I will keep an eye out for Panasonic cells.

It's hard to see from the ones listed whether they have protection circuits or not though. Where they are from a dismantled pack, do the cells normally have individual protection, or are they likely to be unprotected?

Take these for example:

2 Genuine Panasonic 18650CF Lithium -ion 3.7v Rechargeable 2250mAh Batteries. UK | eBay
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:17 AM #6
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

Quote:
Originally Posted by USAbro View Post
Unwrap the plastic covering to find the real capacity. Some say about 300mah to 700mah depending on the battery underneath the plastic.

Don't use them. They have been know to explode, in fact, one exploded on me.
I havent seen that low capacity written on a bare 18650 yet? maybe i havent been opening laptop batts all that long though... hmmm
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:52 AM #7
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Talking Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

Panasonic doesn't make protected cells, just the unprotected cells.

Re-sellers take the new unprotected Panasonic 18650 and add the protection to it, and re-wrap it with their own logo/label, etc.

18650 now a days, are normally made in mah ratings of 2600, 2900, 3100, and 3400, with some 3600 just coming out. (not widely available yet).

If you see an 18650 with the above ratings, its normal (Not real per se, but at least a normal nominal mah rating)


If you see anything HIGHER than that, or between those mah ratings (IE: 3000 mah) its a fake cell. (In the future of course, all of the above will change...but as of now...you can go by it)

If its an IMR 18650, the nominal mah ratings are again different...but IMR do not require protection at least, etc.


So its 100% OK to take the new Panasonic 18650 and add protection and/or a new private label to resell it as your brand cell.

Its only a problem for the consumer when an unscrupulous re-seller DOESN'T use a new cell, and/or uses a fake or recycled PCB, etc, lies about the specs, and sells the end result as a new 18650.


Selling you a used laptop cell as new means that its internal resistance is going to be higher, and, if you use a device that uses two or more in series for example, the cell with higher internal resistance is going to act as a resistance heater, and, then, bad things can happen.

It can internally short, causing similar bad things, even just in the device that uses ONE cell, or in your charger, etc.


If its a new cell, say a 2400 mah, but labeled higher, so you might think its OK to match with another of the same mah...you end up with flow INTO the lower mah cell, potentially reversing the current flow you wanted.

The least harmful, except to your wallet, is when you only use one cell per device, and its a new but over-rated cell...so the device simply doesn't run as long as you thought it should, or, at least as long as it should have....so you were ripped off, but, at least your house doesn't burn down, etc.


Again, the problem comes back to the dang LABEL.


They can label it anything they feel like. Literally. Anything goes. Say its a Panasonic, say its a Genuine Panasonic. Say its got 10,000 mah and 100 amp. Whatever you want. Make the label LOOK LIKE the real ones, or, if a competitor's is selling well, make it look like the competitor's cells....right down to your competitor's logo, etc.


Sometimes, they screw up, and there are mistranslations and typos...a potential clue as to their quality, BUT, even the real cells that are private labeled can too, so, its not a fool proof test either.


Finding a seller who does the QA/QC on THEIR suppliers, etc, is vital.


BTW - The CHARGERS can be counterfeit as well, etc. AND just as dangerous, with shorter cell life as the least of the issues.

Last edited by Teej; 12-17-2014 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:16 AM #8
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

Thanks for the extensive post on the subject, that's very useful information. I'm only just starting to educate myself on Li-ion and what to look for.

I'm sure it has been posted here before but I found this quite informative too:

Is my battery protected

It's a shame about the fakery, I wouldn't have thought there would be that much money in recasing and labeling smaller cells.

So if I am to use an unprotected cell in a laser, how will I spot the cell is reaching the low voltage besides removing the cell periodically to test it?

I've read here about a few home builds that incorporate a little protection PCB, and I guess that is the logical thing to do - put the protection in the device rather than the cell.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:57 PM #9
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Talking Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

I'm more familiar with flashlights in that regard. In a flashlight, if its direct drive, when the cell can no longer support the amp draw, the light starts to dim.

If the device has protection built in, it might turn off if the voltage drops below a preset limit, such as 3.2 v, or 2.5 v, and might also lock out the turbo or higher output modes earlier than that, or trigger some warning flashes as it draws down, etc.

I'm not sure how that would translate to a laser, but I could see it dimming, or a cut-off if the voltage dropped below a pre-set limit at least, if wired that way.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:33 PM #10
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

RYDorDIE278's comment about laptop batteries got me thinking - a while back I mistakenly ordered the wrong battery for my laptop, and it has sat around unused ever since. Just chopped it up and inside were three Samsung ICR18650-24B cells, which are now charging in the Nitecore

Edit: Probably very well known here but I found:
I = Lithium Ion
C = cobalt (M = manganese, N = nickel)
R = rechargeable
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:12 PM #11
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

O-Like actually sells a few decent lasers BUT the 18650 batteries they are sending with them are the Ultrafires with who knows what inside them. I recently bought a couple of units from them because they owed me some $ and they both came with those cells.
Honestly didn't expect batteries or chargers with them due to all the shipping issues. Feel torn about destroying them though as I could always stick them in a build that draws very little. Would only use them individually as you never know what's actually inside them and you DON'T want mismatched cells.
Luckily out of all my lasers/batteries I only had one other all red 18650 Ultrafire. You can tell in your own hand without a scale that it is lighter than a normal 18650.
I'm not recommending O-Like lasers in general. Only a few that I have personally tested.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:19 AM #12
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

Quote:
Originally Posted by USAbro View Post
I was speaking of crapfire brands.
Yea i know what you mean, but i think it would be rare to find a 18650 battery under the plastic with 300~700mAh written on it , you would likely have to unwrap the steel casing and read the rating on the smaller battery inside to see 300~700mAh written on anything

But Who knows....Not me... Just guessing really
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:17 AM #13
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

I've been looking for some good cells for my Jetlasers PLE Pro which was supposed to put out a watt at 532nm, but when using cells which are only 20% depleted, the output is 30-40% less, sometimes more. Searching ebay and some of the flashlight forums, I've come to learn that you can get 18650 batteries which will hold their voltage longer, but at the cost of reduced current output (not meaning capacity). Other batteries are optimized to push the current higher, but with a quicker reduction of voltage (more than just from being drained quicker). I haven't found any battery touted to keep their voltage the longest under a moderate lode of four or five amps, but if anyone knows of such, please clue me in.

For now, it appears I need to put three to four 18650's in parallel so they drain slower and due to that, the voltage does not drop off as fast. I won't mix and match different cells, only the same model by the same manufacturer. Any warnings from doing such?

Also, I cut and paste this from another forum, thought it worth reposting here:

Quote:
Here is some vital info for determining the state of charge for Li-Ion cells.

Resting voltages (no load connected). These figures are approximate:

4.2V = 100%
4.1V = about 90%
4.0V = about 80%
3.9V = about 60%
3.8V = about 40%
3.7V = about 20%
3.6V = empty
<3.5V = over-discharged
Oh, I've also found some high current 18650's that are specified at 3.6 volts, instead of 3.7, but don't know why. Has anyone seen any batteries in the 18650 or 26650 sized tubes which are slightly higher than 4.2 volts at maximum charge, even if not Li-Ion? Yep, I've read you don't want to charge Li-Ion batteries higher than 4.25 volts, so hoping there might be some other chemistry in that size of a battery, or some kind of hybrid that will give me 4.5 to 5 V when fully charged yet allow 5 amps of continuous current draw from one battery in a 18650 or 26650 form size.
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Last edited by Alaskan; 12-30-2014 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:18 AM #14
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

I think samsung ICR18650 30B are rated for 4.35v at full charge. But to be honest i would think something else is going on? How much current does your laser draw.? And what batterys are you using atm?is it possible your using laptop pulls or low quality batterys with a high internal resistance and they are sagging the voltage alot?
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:55 AM #15
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

I want the story on "One exploded on me" USAbro.
Links to the testing showing the batteries used for the voltage/current sags. For my better units I only use Authentic AW IMR and Panasonic b and PD (although now they have the PF) cells depending on the current draw. HUGE problem right now is the counterfeit/fake cells out there making it not only hard to find the real ones but also driving the prices way up.
Just purchased 2 sets of cheaper AW IMR 18350 only to find out they are fake. Cost me $30 for 2 authentic ones. The market must be hot for them as some sellers on Ebay are selling both versions. They don't tell you that the cheaper ones are fake in the description for those but then on the ones that are authentic it says "authentic" in bold on the listing and then describes how you can tell what a real one is in their description for these "authentic" ones.
So, they are being both dishonest in one sale and touting their real ones in another and jacking up the price of course. What a mess.
I shouldn't complain that the real ones cost more after spending $600 between diode module and host I suppose but some of the smaller cells are costing more than the bigger ones also. Comes down to whatever the market will bear.
If those Samsung are rated for 4.35V it sure makes me wonder how you would charge them that high with a regular quality charger as the better ones most of us use are the Nitecore i2/4 and the really nice new D2/4. Would have to use a dangerous charger or my variable DC power supply to do it. Personally I wouldn't walk away for long from any charger with lithiums. Best to have the charger in the same room you're in.
Want authentic Panasonics then buy from Larry on here. His REP comes from being honest. Not the best idea anymore to just go with the lowest price these days. Batteries are BIG business.
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Last edited by Pman; 12-30-2014 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:36 PM #16
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Default Re: Crappy Ultrafire 18650

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pman View Post
I want the story on "One exploded on me" USAbro.
Links to the testing showing the batteries used for the voltage/current sags. For my better units I only use Authentic AW IMR and Panasonic b and PD (although now they have the PF) cells depending on the current draw. HUGE problem right now is the counterfeit/fake cells out there making it not only hard to find the real ones but also driving the prices way up.
Just purchased 2 sets of cheaper AW IMR 18350 only to find out they are fake. Cost me $30 for 2 authentic ones. The market must be hot for them as some sellers on Ebay are selling both versions. They don't tell you that the cheaper ones are fake in the description for those but then on the ones that are authentic it says "authentic" in bold on the listing and then describes how you can tell what a real one is in their description for these "authentic" ones.
So, they are being both dishonest in one sale and touting their real ones in another and jacking up the price of course. What a mess.
I shouldn't complain that the real ones cost more after spending $600 between diode module and host I suppose but some of the smaller cells are costing more than the bigger ones also. Comes down to whatever the market will bear.
If those Samsung are rated for 4.35V it sure makes me wonder how you would charge them that high with a regular quality charger as the better ones most of us use are the Nitecore i2/4 and the really nice new D2/4. Would have to use a dangerous charger or my variable DC power supply to do it. Personally I wouldn't walk away for long from any charger with lithiums. Best to have the charger in the same room you're in.
Want authentic Panasonics then buy from Larry on here. His REP comes from being honest. Not the best idea anymore to just go with the lowest price these days. Batteries are BIG business.
Yes it is very disappointing geting fake cells! I buy my NCR18650B 3400mAh and NCR18650PF from banggood and i believe they are authentic, they arrive with correct voltage , low IR and since i have had my OPUS charger i tested most of them and all of them i tested have the correct capacity within 100mAh of there rating depending on current draw/charge current/protected or not, I dont know alot about the samsung batts myself just heard about them here and there but i would say you would need a suitable charger to get the most out of them,

EDIT: I Want the story of one exploded on me too USABro....
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Last edited by RYDorDIE278; 12-30-2014 at 08:47 PM.
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