Status for 2016
I have published many reviews this year, between 4 and 5 each week (Total around 230) and even with that many reviews I did not review everything I wanted to review. I have collected some highlights in this article.
To keep up to date on my reviews it is a good idea to check the "Last additions" section on my front page, it will list the last couple of reviews/test/articles I have done, just below it there might also be information about good offers, coupon codes, etc. for stuff I have just reviewed (When present it will be from the dealer that gave me the review item).
At the start of the year I switches to full four terminal on my two LiIon test stations (In the comparators these cells are marked with an asterisk), this was not without problems, I melted about 10 battery holders, before I got a solution that was reliable.
I have reviewed about 140 batteries this year, this means I have more than 500 battery reviews on my website. Like last year I got many batteries for review from rewrappers.
The battery capacity did not increase this year, but high capacity, high current cells are now common.
High current cells from the major brands, they are all rated at 20A or more current (There may be time or temperature limits):
High capacity cells from the major brands:
Due to the many vapers rebranders has taken to the high current cells, always sold unprotected (Protection is not practical at high current). They are sometimes announced with very high current ratings:
Enercig 18650 2600mAh (Gray) 31A
Staring IMR18650 2500mAh (Green) 45A
AW IMR18650 3000mAh (Red) 2016 20A
Aucooma IMR18650 2800mAh (Purple-blue) 40A
I saw some cells with problems:
Gpower 18650 3000mAh (Yellow-black) 40A
UltraFire SZ18650 9900mAh (Yellow)
What technology is inside that super cell
There have been very few protected cell, one interesting type did show up, but they do not fit everywhere due to the length:
Lumintop 18650 3400mAh usb (White) LM34C
MecArmy 18650 U18-34 3400mAh (Black-red), usb rechargeable
I had to check how the above batteries where made
With larger cells (26650) there is more cells with around 5000mAh, due to vapers they are often marked with very high and optimistic current ratings.
Shockli IMR26650 5200mAh (Black) 30A/60A
Efest IMR26650 5200mAh (Purple) 2016
And as usual some manufacturers are way too optimistic in their markings:
BestFire IMR26650 6000mAh (Purple) 60A
BestFire IMR26650 4500mAh (Purple) 90A
The smaller cells are getting good at high current, these small cells can handle 10A:
Hibatt IMR14500 700mAh (Orange)
Keeppower IMR18350 (Black)
I have tested a few alkaline and NiMH AA/AAA cells and a single lithium cells:
HQ Alkaline Ultra Power AA
Eneloop AA BK-3MCCE 1900mAh (White)
Japcell Lithium AA
This year I got started on 9V batteries, the first couple of tests covers the many different ways to make them. The classic 6 cell alkaline, 7 or 8 cell NiMH, LiIon either two in series or one with boost converter:
9V battery index
A did a few articles about LiIon batteries:
My charger do not charge LiIon to 4.2V, is it faulty?
How far can LiIon be discharged?
This year I have tested about 45 chargers for round cells, making the total about 190 chargers. I have listed a few of the more interesting chargers here, but there are many more. The total list of charger can be found on my website.
This charger can charge just about any round cell:
Charger GyrFalcon All-88 (Enova)
Charger GyrFalcon All-44 (Enova)
Xtar made a charger with external voltage/resistance probes, this is also their first analyzing charger:
Charger Xtar VP4 Plus Dragon
A new chip for charging LiIon is available, this chip is a switcher, this gives it some advantages compared to the TP4056.
Charger 1.5A 3.6-4.2V (TP5000)
A small fairly universal charger showed up from a couple of brands
Charger LiitoKala Lii-100
There is also a two cell version of it.
Charger LiitoKala Lii-202
I only tested a few power banks this year, but tested a bit over 40 usb chargers. For a complete list see my usb charger index (With skull ratings) or my usb index.
6 port charger with individual port protection and build in current meter:
Caseflex 50W 6 port CF-AZ01-Z038
Cannot get enough ports, maybe this is the solution:
Aukey 10 port wall charger QC3 PA-T8
QuickCharge 2.0+3.0 and a normal usb output, both with lots of power:
BlitzWolf 30W QC3.0 Dual-Port USB Adapter BW-S6
Very good car charger, with some extra functions:
Nonda ZUS, dual car usb charger and locator
A small power bank:
Blitzwolf Mini power bank 3350mAh BW-P2
Or a very large power bank with usb-c support:
Power bank Ravpower Turbo+ RP-PB043 (20100mAh)
And, of course, the usual collection of bad and dangerous chargers:
3.1A 3 port usb charger
I wrote two articles about usb chargers, both are a bit technical. The first one is about the different coding schemes and fast charging, the second one explains what the different parts inside an usb charger do.
USB power information
How does a usb charger work?
USB test equipment
I have tested some usb test equipment this year.
From a simple resistor that gets extremely hot (275°C):
USB Load resistor 1A-2A
To PC based measuring system:
Electronic load ZKE EBD-USB+
A universal load for testing usb chargers and power banks:
YZXStudio Load ZL1000
A device to trigger quick charge or MTK-PE voltages (This can also be used to destroy phones with):
USB meter: QC2-3-MTK-PE Trigger J7-t
I tested some YZX studio usb meters, they make some of the best:
YZXStudio USB meter ZY1270
I did not test any led drivers in 2016
In this category I checked a a power supply and a load.
The power supply is only a frontend that needs a DC input voltage, then it supplies voltage regulation and adjustable current limit. This is a cheap way to get a fairly decent lab power supply:
Power supply frontend DPS5015 50V/15A
What to expect in 2017
I do not expect any major changed in 2017. At the current time I am nearly out of batteries, this may reduce my publishing frequency. I will continue testing 9V batteries, but this is rather slow, due to the low test current and there will be weeks between 9V reviews.
With usb chargers I need to upgrade my equipment to handle advanced usb-c, but I have not seen any good upgrades yet. This means for now I will only be testing old usb and usb-c with up to 5V 3A.
I have a few articles planned, but as usual only a few (I do not have time for more). There is now an index with all my articles.
I expect there will be a bit more stuff up in the "Anything else" category.
To discuss or ask questions about specific reviews they can usual be found on CPF, BLF and fonarevka (Not all reviews are posted everywhere).
Suggestions about what to test are welcome. When sending suggestion remember to include a link to a shop that ships to EU (Denmark). It is also possible to ask dealers/manufactures if they will send stuff for review.