USB battery box 2x18650 enb

DSC_2964

I got this box from fasttech where it is sold under the "ENB" name.
Specifications:


How does it look

DSC_2104 DSC_2105

The box arrived in a retail packing with specifications on the back.

DSC_2107

DSC_2108 DSC_2109

All connections are placed in the same end, micro usb for charging input and normal usb for output.
This means it can share charge and cable with a mobil phone, as long as the charger is rated at 1A or above. With two cables it is possible to daisy chain them, charger to usb box and usb box to phone, after a couple of hours both will be fully charged (Very nice).

DSC_2110

On top of the unit is 3 leds and a button.
The leds shows when the usb output is active with a "running" light.
When charging they shows charge status, holding the button down will also force display of charge state.

DSC_2112
DSC_2111

To replace the batteries, slide the outer cover off the box. The batteries can be up to about 67.8 mm, but shorter is better, i.e. unprotected.

DSC_2861

With a small screwdriver it is possible to open the box.

DSC_2862 DSC_2863

DSC_2864

DSC_2961

DSC_2959

A close look at the electronic, one interesting details is that there is no connection between the two battery +.
Because of this the batteries is not required to have the same charge state.



Measurements

USB%20Box%206%202x18650%20enb%20load%20sweep

A load sweep shows that it can deliver up to 1.8A, before turning off, with 1.5A rating this looks fine.

USB%20Battery%20box%20%236%20USB%20out%204%20ohm%20(PA18650-31)

A test with a single battery and 1.25A shows that it shuts down after 20 minutes, this does not look very good. Letís try with two batteries instead:

USB%20Battery%20box%20%236%20USB%20out%203.5%20ohm%20(2xPA18650-31)

With two batteries and 1.4A load, the box works perfectly. It runs for two hours.
The output turns off when the batteries is down to about 3.1 volt, this is a bit early.

USB%20Battery%20box%20%236%20USB%20out%205%20ohm%20(2xPA18650-31)

A 1A load with two batteries will stretch the runtime to more than 3 hours. Notice that the termination voltage is slightly lower.

USB%20Battery%20box%20%236%20USB%20out%2010%20ohm%20(2xPA18650-31)

Reducing the load to 0.5 A looks strange, there is a jump at 200 minutes and again at 390 minutes.
This is because the box only uses one battery at a time when running at 0.5A, the jump at 200 minutes is the switch between the batteries and at 390 minutes it starts using both batteries in parallel.
Voltage and Voltage2 is the voltage for the two batteries, the current measurement is common.
Note: The efficiency curve is faulty between 200 and 390 minutes, because it is using the voltage from the discharged battery for calculations.

USB%20Battery%20box%20%236%20USB%20out%2010%20ohm%20(PA18650-34)

At 0.5A load the output turns off when the batteries are just below 3 volt, this is a good value for most LiIon batteries.

USB%20Battery%20box%20%236%20USB%20out%2010%20ohm%20(PA18650-31)

USB%20Battery%20box%20%236%20USB%20out%2010%20ohm%20(BE18650-26)


load3.5ohm

At 1.4A load there is about 91mV noise, this is acceptable.

load10ohm

Reducing the load to 0.5A will reduce the noise to 36mV, this is also acceptable.

USB%20Battery%20box%20%236%20charge%20(PA18650-34)

Charging a battery looks close to a CC/CV profile, but a very soft change from CC to CV (This increases charge time).

USB%20Battery%20box%20%236%20charge%20(PA18650-31)

USB%20Battery%20box%20%236%20charge%20(BE18650-26)

On the 2600mAh battery the current reduction start early, increasing the charge time to the same as a 3100mAh battery.

USB%20Battery%20box%20%236%20charge%20(2xPA18650-31)

Charging two batteries looks funny, this is because the charger is switching between the two batteries at a slow rate. This does not affect the CC/CV charge profile.



Conclusion

The box is larger than I expected for a two battery box. The function of the box is very good with low standby current, automatic turn on, support for both Apple and usb standard. Support for simultaneous charging, i.e. both charging its own batteries and delivering output, it very useful. It works best with two batteries.



Notes

Read more about how I test USB power supplies and chargers