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Old 05-10-2015, 06:51 AM #1
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Default Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

I've been wanting to do this little write up with my Opus BT-C 3100 charging station on some of the quality brand batteries we commonly use. I have completed the testing for 18650,18350n 16340, 14500 batteries. Its a 4 slot charging station so I have to do them in heats. I will also be adding some Ultra Fires so people can see for themselves how these "Fire" brands compare to the quality brands. All the batteries being tested are brand new. There are much more in depth collections of data and charts out there but IMO they are hard to read and have too much information. It is my intention to compile a simpler and more reader friendly list of the most relevant specs of the most common brands used by the laser hobby community that being mAh's, Internal Resistance, and voltage obtained of fully charged cells.

First set of numbers are the charge/discharge test set at 500mAh charge/discharge.
Test description for those not familiar with this unit- The Opus drains the battery then fully charges it, then drains it again and measures the actual mAh. You can set the charge discharge current at 350, 500, 750, and 1000mAh. Since 500mAh is the recommended I used that for this test.

The second set of numbers is the internal resistance test.
Test description- The charge will measure the dynamic internal battery resistance by applying a load and the current reading refers to the voltage drop detected on that battery. 20-80 milliohms is considered the highest quality a battery can have, 500 milliohms is considered unfit for high current loads. I ran this test 3 x to get the mean average as its different every time you do this test but around the same range + or - 10-20%. There is around 30milliohm contact resistance from the charger itself so that must be deducted from the reading for a more accurate assessment.

The third set of numbers is the measured Volts of the fully charged battery.


Results.

True mAh compared to rating advertised.
18650- Brand/ Rated/Actual
Nitecore- 3400mAh/3406mAh
Panasonic- 3400mAh/3373mAh
Sanyo- 3400mAh/3270mAh
UltraFire- 4200/2287

18350- Brand/Rated/Actual
Nitecore- 700mAh/704mAh
Efest- 800mAh/903mAh
AW- 900mAh/838mAh

16340- Brand/Rated/Actual
Nitecore- 650mAh/690mAh
UltraFire- 1200mAh/132mAh

14500- Brand/Rated/Actual
Nitecore- 750mAh/740mAh
Samsung- 800mAh/802mAh


Internal Resistance of 18650's x 3 tests= Average milliohms
Nitecore- 134+113+124 / 3= 123-30 = 93 milliohms
Panasonic- 92+77+74 / 3 = 81-30 = 51 milliohms
Sanyo- 83+117+80 / 3= 93-30 = 63 milliohms
UltraFire- 163+166+176 / 3= 168- 30= 138 milliohm


Internal Resistance of 18350 x 3 tests= average milliohms
Nitecore- 125, 141, 95 = 120-30 = 90 milliohms
Efest- 192, 156, 162 = 170-30 = 140 milliohms
AW- 232, 205, 210 = 215-30 = 185 milliohms

Internal Resistance 16340 x 3 tests= average milliohms
Nitecore- 208+204+187 / 3= 261-30= 231 milliohms
UltraFire- 298+283+278 / 3= 286-30= 256 milliohms

Internal Resistance 14500 x 3 tests= average milliohms
Nitecore- 182+182+197 / 3= 187-30= 157 milliohms
Samsung- 163+180+149 / 3= 164-3-= 134 millohms

Volts of fully charged battery by type.
Nitecore -18650- 4.20V
Panasonic 18650- 4.20V
Sanyo -18650- 4.20V
UltraFire-18650- 3.60


Nitecore -18350- 4.19V
Efest- 18350- 4.19V
AW 18350- 4.19V

Nitecore 16340- 4.12V
Ultrafire 16340- 4.09V

Nitecore 14500- 4.12V
Samsung 14500- 4.16V

Conclusions according to this test-

18650- The most consistent and up to spec mAh is the Nitecore and measured just slightly higher internal resistance than optimum. The battery with best Internal resistance which should result in longest life, and also a really funky pistachio green shrink wrap is Panasonic. One could argue that the significantly better rating of internal resistance vs. only slightly underspec rating of mAh could put this battery as the best tested here. Sanyo had the most internal resistance but was also only slightly underspec regarding its rated mAh. All these are great batteries IMO. UltraFires 18650 did a lot better than I expected them to. I tested 2 separate batteries one with a few charge cycles on it and they both were pretty similar. They are basically a 2300mAh battery regardless of the outlandish claim of 4200mAh. Where these batteries fell way short was fully charged reading just 3.6V. UF would not be the best choice for high powered hand held's.

18350- Nitecore appears to be the most consistent and a very good choice for an 18350 cell testing significantly better internal resistance than the others. AW stood out with the worst internal resistance results at 185milliohms which if accurate is nearing its half life. Most surprising was the Efest coming in 100mAh over spec. I'm going to stick with Nitecores for this battery type.

16340- Nitecore did better than the Ultrafire but not tremendously better in internal resistance. The internal resistance was surprisingly high on both the UltraFire and Nitecore in fact the highest out of all the tested batteries of all types. Nearly half dead. But Nitecore more important mAh was hugely better than Ultrafire and that IMO is much more important. Possibly high Resistance is a characteristic of this battery type.



Photo of all batteries used in this test. (ultrafire not pictured)


18650 pictured left to right, Nitecore, Panasonic, Sanyo, Ultrafire


18350 pictured left to right Nitecore, Efest, AW


16340 and 14500 pictured left to right Nitecore, Ultrafire- Nirecore, Sanyo


Pictured above the Opus BT-C 3100 in action reading actual mAh.

Thank you for looking.


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Old 05-10-2015, 10:19 AM #2
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic,, Efest, Ultra Fire batteries.

Thanks for taking your time to test these batteries. Now we can actually refer (new) members to this thread when they ask about good quality batteries instead of having to guess what's best based on our own experiences.

+rep as soon as I can!
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:50 AM #3
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic,, Efest, Ultra Fire batteries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gozert View Post
Thanks for taking your time to test these batteries. Now we can actually refer (new) members to this thread when they ask about good quality batteries instead of having to guess what's best based on our own experiences.

+rep as soon as I can!
My pleasure thank you for reading it Gozert I have been wanting to do this since I got my Opus back in December. The testing was easy just place them in the charger on the right setting and go to sleep. Logging all the data and writing the thread took a few hours. My wife and I were supposed to go to a friends summer kick off EDM party but we decided to stay home so I fhad the time and motivation to make it happen.
I'm a battery geek. I'll take a pic of my collection of batteries. I'd like to see them all together for laughs. I have batteries for every laser so in theory I could have them all on at the same time. After a very close call mishap I no longer store my lasers with batteries in them so I have quite a few just laying around. I'd rather have them get used than just sit on my work table and drawers.
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:00 PM #4
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic,, Efest, Ultra Fire batteries.

very interesting ... thanks
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:11 PM #5
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

I do leave my batteries in my lasers, although I should stay away from that habit. I only use good quality batteries but it's probably best to leave them out like you said. For every laser I own I try having at least one pair of batteries. Still have a couple 16340's laying around, but those will be put to use very soon in a custom 405 build.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:27 PM #6
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

Great post for beginners. Thanks and rep.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:40 PM #7
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

Good info. I just got Sanyo's the other day though Honestly I think any of the three are good choices. The biggest concern most people have is a) does it fit and b) will it blow up
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:09 PM #8
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwfreefly View Post
UltraFire- coming soon
Good luck with that
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Old 05-11-2015, 05:56 PM #9
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

This was really nice of you to do the testing. I also have a staggering # of batteries and can run all units at the same time plus at least another 50. It's just what happens when you have hundreds of units lol. I just always treated each one I built or purchased as needing it's own supply.
I have lots of Nite core chargers and probably another 20 crappier ones but the one I want is the one you use.
Some observations with the testing:
-surprised that the red and black 18650 fire had as much capacity as you tested. I am willing to bet that all of those in that color scheme are not the same scam cell inside AND I would caution every one NOT to use them in series or parallel if they use them at all. If you use it stick with low draw units
-Trying to understand why the fire 18650 only charged to 3.6V. I have one of those cells and it doesn't have an issue fully charging. Seems very odd. I own a few ultracap cells that I haven't bothered getting rid of as I use them for quick testing (as in making sure a unit works properly). They happened to come in a few different things I purchased for "free". The 3 18650 Ultra fire crap I have are all different colors but all have stupid high ratings. One is like your pic, one is all red and one is all blue. Funny how they all weigh about the same as in way less than a good cell. Enough about these crappier cells though as its such old news to a lot of us.
-I don't own any Nitecore cells just because they always seem so much more expensive than my Pan/Sanyo/Samsung/Efest/AW etc.... ones. I know they are great cells but they just seem to be a bit out of line with other good cells.
-I had read in the other thread concerning recommended batteries and chargers that you posted in (where you linked to here) about the counterfeit epidemic and I will second, third, fourth, and fifth you on that. I am so sick of the counterfeiting going on. It is especially bad with AW cells. I even ran across an Ebay seller a few months ago who was selling both at the same time. In the genuine cell description he went on and on about legit cells explaining what to look for and the differences between them but then in his much cheaper sale for them he says nothing about them being fake. Got to be kidding me. Apparently you can have your cake and eat it too.
Bottom line is if the AW (or other quality manufactured) cells seem like a good deal they are most likely fakes. Maybe you should repost those linKS for legit stuff here. I know for certain that Larry sells legit cells. I could probably post some other ones that I know are good sources too. The only caveat is anyone can all of a sudden jump on the fake cell wagon especially as the temptation is there when they lose business from the schmucks. Batteries are BIG business.
Wonder what brand and capacity cells my plug in Prius uses. Believe they are all 18650 cells. I am not a tree hugger in any way shape or form
Will add that all my better cells do a great job of maintaining a very high voltage after charging and I think it is a decent way to tell how good a cell is albeit not the most scientific way. Just notice that the crappier the.cell the more quickly they lose charge.
- looks like newest Opus is the 3400 and supposedly version 2.2 is being released in June according to what I read on Amazon.
I gave +REP but what I said may be weird as I went to fix it and I accidentally tried to double REP.
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:16 PM #10
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwfreefly View Post

16340- Brand/Rated/Actual
Nitecore- 650mAh/690mAh
UltraFire- 1200mAh/132mAh

16340- Nitecore did better than the Ultrafire but not tremendously better. The internal resistance was surprisingly high on both the UltraFire and Nitecore in fact the highest out of all the tested batteries of all types. Nearly half dead.
Damn, I should probably buy better batteries then! Are there any better brands other than Nitecore for 16340 type of batteries? (Now that you have tested them)
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:37 PM #11
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

AW IMR 16340 LEGIT cells. You an get Efest 14500 and 10440. I believe Sanyo UR 14500 are good too. AW IMR 14500. These are the smaller cells I can think of that are good.

Just read in the budget light forum that the Opus 3400 2.2 is apparently actually out now.
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:47 PM #12
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

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Originally Posted by Constandinos97 View Post
Damn, I should probably buy better batteries then! Are there any better brands other than Nitecore for 16340 type of batteries? (Now that you have tested them)
Hold the phone. I need to clarify and edit that statement. The Nitecore 16340 mAh was far FAR better than the Ultrafire its was only in the resistance that it wasn't much better. MAh is much more important. So I would not go searching for new batteries. Nitecore are high quality cells.

I'm wondering regarding the 16340 test if poor resistance is just a chacteristic of this battery type? I may run a refresh maintenance on the Nitecore and try again but if you notice each battery type the resistance numbers of the different brands, although different, all seems to hover around the same readings. At first after testing the 16340's and seeing Nitecore poor resistance measurement I figured that maybe the smaller the cells the worst the resistance but when I did the 14500's that theory was put to rest because they did much better than 16340's and are much smaller cells. But if you look even the 14500's resistance numbers are pretty similar.

So in summary I don't think you need to feel you have to buy better batteries. I would put Nitecore against ANY brand any day. Keep in mind this testing is no where near scientific or thorough enough to make any concrete conclusions which is why I was careful to word my statements with caveats such as " this test shows" or "one could possibly determine from this test" ext. it's a helpful guideline but I would need a dozen of each type multiple chargers and a couple weeks of time to collect all the data to make any definitive statements.

@Pman- thanks my brother. I got your rep and figured it was a typo lol or some inside joke I was not getting. I can only imagine how massive your battery collection is. Larry was recommending Keeppower cells in another thread. I looked into their 16340's because I'd like to build up that part of the data collected in this write up. Do you own any of those?
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:10 PM #13
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

Anyone can answer this, I have a question about my blue laser pointer, I have 1000mw blue laser and used battery two CR123 1300mAh, what if I change the battery using two panasonic 18650 3200mAh by modify battery tube, I just wanna push runtime to charge the battery. But I affraid it will make my laser broke because too high battery mAh. Anyone can help me please?
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:09 PM #14
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

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Originally Posted by Frankestein View Post
I have a question about my blue laser pointer, I have 1000mw blue laser and used battery two CR123 1300mAh, what if I change the battery using two panasonic 18650 3200mAh by modify battery tube, I just wanna push runtime to charge the battery. But I affraid it will make my laser broke because too high battery mAh. Anyone can help me please?
Your laser will be fine, since the voltage is the same for those two different cells.

P.S. My testing shows lower Internal Resistance levels for the Sanyo 3400mah cells and I have tested hundreds of them (avg~50 milliohms).
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:14 PM #15
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

OK thank you for your explanation
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:56 PM #16
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Default Re: Test results for Sanyo, Nitecore, Panasonic, AW, Efest, Ultrafire batteries.

Nitecore and Panasonic are the only batteries ill use. I've heard horror stories about ultrafire and similar china brands.
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