18650 battery

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Haley

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I have read a LOT on this battery. I am more confused than when I started. Its for the Tecsun pl-880. I want a second battery, and plan to order one. I would like to know, unprotected or not? As long as it is a 3.7v ,18650 battery, the mA, should not matter, correct? I am not opposed to spending some money on these----just don't want to damage my radio in anyway. Thanks for any suggestions. Mike
 

rbm

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Choose a good brand and you won't be sorry.

I use a lot of Xtar, AW, RediLast, Orbitron, Samsung, and Panasonic batteries.
More than sixty 18650's. I have more flashlights and portable battery packs than I do scanners. ;)
I've never had a problem with any of them.

Also, for most cases, I'd recommend a protected battery.

Rich

Battery test 18650, Summary for all tested batteries
Battery test-review 18650 summary
 

Haley

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Thank you Rich! Very helpful, been pretty much thinking I will go with the protected Panasonics, just wanted to make sure I had "my facts" straight on this battery. Believe it or not------it's my first time using these. So thank you. Mike
 

rbm

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Haley

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I assume the button top are the protected style from what I have read. I decided to pick up the intellicore charger (2nd gen. ) also. Looks to be a decent charger. Already own a GREAT powerex charger for the Nimh/ NiCd batteries. Mike
 

copperhd

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Go for the protected, it will keep you from discharging the battery too far & is supposed to prevent fires/explosions during charging if there is a problem with the charger or battery.
 

rbm

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Protected cells can be found in both button and flat top versions.

You'll need to read the description carefully.

If they are protected, they usually 'brag' about it.
If not, they hide it in the specifications somewhere.
Usually with just a comment... Protected: no ;)

That charger you're getting is a good one.
I gave them to my daughters last year and they love them. They'll charge just about anything.
I have a four slot version on my desk here. (along with a few other types)

Rich
 

Haley

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Copperhd , my 16580 looks protected. So I plan on getting those , for the reasons you said. Not really sure if in my application (the radio ) , buyers soundtrack want protected. Other than price I guess.


Rich, glad you said that because the ones I am ordering , specifically say they are protected. And the ones I almost ordered said they were not, but not in the product description of course. The charger is the 4 bay one , looks like a really decent one. Little under $17 on Amazon seems like a great deal. Mike
 

Haley

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I apologize to copperhd in my above response , spell check took over on my phone! Should say , I would think buyers would want protected. Mike.
 

rbm

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I use protected batteries exclusively. Unless the device says not to.
I do have a few devices that have built in protection.
The same goes for all the other size cells I use. 16340, RCR123, etc.

Li-ion batteries can be quite dangerous if not handled properly.
They can dump a LOT of power in a short time.
They should never be overcharged or over discharged.

Here are two video examples of what can happen.
One overcharged and one over discharged.
You can find lots more like them.

Rich

Charging a laptop in an airport.
LAX Laptop Fire - YouTube

A cheap 18650 with a 'fake' protection circuit being over discharged: (although he removed it to create the video ;)
The real action starts at 3:20 into the video
"Controlled" explosion of a UltraFire 18650 battery - YouTube
 
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Haley

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WOW, did not know they could be that dangerous! Thanks for pointing that out, and great videos! Mike
 

Rred

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It might also be worth adding, there is a great amount of counterfeiting in the online battery sales. Ultrafire apparently has major issues with this. They make 18650 batteries rated 3.7v 2500mA only, but there are many vendors on Amazon claiming to sell genuine products with ratings of 3000 and 4000 mAh, which Ultrafire categorically denies making.

Similar in their 14650 batteries, usually either the amperage in much higher than UF actually makes, or the voltage is off by 1/10th volt on the printed battery label as well.

Even with "protection", it may or may not be there. Know your vendor, because these batteries can and do catch fire, even from the prime vendors. I won't leave them on a charger unattended. The fine line between "you can't trust them" and simply not wanting a fire--at any price.
 

Haley

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Rred, good insight. I never really thought about that. Another reason I think I will stick with the Panasonics. Mike
 

Rred

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I'm thinking I'll keep to a source with a reputation for legitimacy and other good reasons to trust them. Like DigiKey, Mouser, or Newark. I'll use Amazon and eBay for many things, but they've both had problems with no-name vendors and counterfeits. Some years ago I bought "extra capacity" cell phone batteries from a vendor who had hundreds of good reviews...and found that someone had simply stuck a new label over a regular battery. There's just too much monkey business in the battery business, year after year.

But of course, the prices for the real thing from reputable sources are discouraging at best.(G)
 

rbm

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I'll use Amazon and eBay for many things, but they've both had problems with no-name vendors and counterfeits.
It always pays to check out the vendors on Amazon and ebay.

The Amazon vendor for the Orbtronic batteries is ORBTRONIC. ;-)
That's as close to the source and as reliable as you can get. Their reputation is very good.

Here's a review of the 3600 mah version. Others are available there also.
(You can skip all of the charts and read the plain language 'Conclusion' at the bottom.)
Test of Orbtronic 18650 3600mAh (Black)

The ebay link I provided is for a reliable dealer also.

There are some good online flashlight dealers as well.
They wouldn't stay in business very long if they tried fooling that community. ;)
Lighthound is a good example.
Some of the others sell both the cheap cells and the 'good' cells.
Many of them are also on ebay.

Stick with a good quality cell from a reputable vendor and you'll be fine.

Rich
 

Rred

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Thanks for the link, Rich. I'd never heard of them, but then again I'm not intimate with the battery market. That's what I hired you for. (What, didn't HR send you the memo? You're on payroll now.(G)

If you remember some years ago there were bad OEM SONY laptop batteries causing fires, among other "good" OEM brand names. I let my laptop and phone charge overnight, although the idiots at Samsung and LG insist on having their phones go "BING!" and light up when they are fully charged, rather rude in the middle of the night when phones can be expected to be charging. So I compromised this year and mounted an extra smoke alarm on the same wall they're usually at.

I've just seen one too many reports of lithium battery issues, most recently a UN and pilots' association meeting raising the question of banning all of them in cargo holds, because no one has quite figured out yet how to keep them all "uncombusting". To coin a word.

But I figure brand names and good reputations are a good start.

Although it comes to mind that both Eveready and Duracell had leak problems in the last decade, as they competed to get more active chemistries and higher capacities. I know I sent leakers bacxk to both a number of times, along with the note that I want longevity and reliability, not leaks. Funny thing, guess what they advertise now? Right, better shelf life, less leaks.(G) At least those were only inconvenient, not catching on fire.
 

rbm

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Thanks for the link, Rich. I'd never heard of them, but then again I'm not intimate with the battery market. That's what I hired you for. (What, didn't HR send you the memo? You're on payroll now.(G)

If you remember some years ago there were bad OEM SONY laptop batteries causing fires, among other "good" OEM brand names. I let my laptop and phone charge overnight, although the idiots at Samsung and LG insist on having their phones go "BING!" and light up when they are fully charged, rather rude in the middle of the night when phones can be expected to be charging. So I compromised this year and mounted an extra smoke alarm on the same wall they're usually at.
.
Sounds good to me, I'll be looking for my first paycheck. ;)

To add to the problems with counterfeit batteries ..................
A few years ago (5 or 10) there were some serious injuries caused by counterfeit cell phone batteries.

In one case in Europe, the battery in a guys phone blew up while he was using it.
The blast to the side of his head killed him instantly.

In another case, in Asia, a cell phone battery blew up while the phone was in a guys front pants pocket.
That didn't kill him.
But ............... I'll bet it hurt. A LOT!

I'm sure there were a lot more like them but they're the two I remember off the top of my head.

Rich

Edit: Yet other cases. (and many brands)

Exploding Cell Phone Kills Man In China
A faulty cell phone battery could have caused the explosion, which severed an artery in the man's neck.
http://www.informationweek.com/mobi...cell-phone-kills-man-in-china/d/d-id/1076247?

Chinese Regulators Find Mobile Phone Batteries That Can Explode
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/06/world/asia/06cnd-explode.html?pagewanted=all

Samsung cell phone battery explodes in man's pocket
http://www.cnet.com/news/samsung-cell-phone-battery-explodes-in-mans-pocket/

Chinese woman left with a scratched eyeball after her iPhone 5 exploded 'after heating up during 40 minute call'
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-leaving-Chinese-woman-scratched-eyeball.html

iPhone 5c Explodes In US Girl's Pocket, Inflicting Second-Degree Burns: Why Do Ordinary Cellphones Explode?
http://www.idigitaltimes.com/iphone...gree-burns-why-do-ordinary-cellphones-explode

Samsung 'attempts to silence report of Galaxy S4 catching fire' after angry customer uploads Youtube video
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ing-angry-customer-uploads-Youtube-video.html
 
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nanZor

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Note that 18650 refers to a battery size, and not the chemistry specifically.

Li-ion has many chemistries, but the most common from the least energy-dense (most stable) to highest energy-density (least stable) goes a bit like this:

LiFePO4 (lithium IRON phosphate) nominal 3.2v
LiNMC (lithium nickel-metal-cobalt) nominal 3.7v (.5v higher than above)
LiCoO2 (lithium cobalt) nominal 3.7v

LiFePO4 is the most stable. It is one reason you can sit on them with motorcycles and custom wheelchairs. (aka A123, Shorai, Antigravity, EarthX etc) Being the least energy-dense, they are larger than the others. Not as critical to charging voltage, but still don't go crazy.

Other li-ion chemistries are much more sensitive to abuse.

You may want to get the specs on your existing battery since the 18650's can vary not only from button/non-button tops, but also in length and girth depending on the manufacturer, and how much protective circuitry (if not bare cells) adds to those dimensions. The Tecsun holder might be very specific to a certain manufacturer's precise dimensions.

With knowledge about the different chemistries, and proper charge techniques, li-ion from *quality* manufacturers is nothing to fear in the hands of adults.
 
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