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Nitecore 38A 2100mAh 18650 Bench Test Results...useless 38A rating, only 23A

Discussion in 'Batteries and Chargers' started by Mooch, May 12, 2017.

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  1. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    To prevent any confusion with the eGo-type "batteries", I use the term "cell" here to refer to a single 18350, 18650, 20700/21700, 26650, etc.

    While the test results are hard data, the conclusions and recommendations I make based on these tests are only my personal opinion based on my criteria for setting a rating. Carefully research any cell you are considering using before purchasing.

    Testing cells at their limits is dangerous and should never, ever, be attempted by anyone who has not thoroughly studied the dangers involved and how to minimize them.

    If the cell has only one current rating number on it, or if it says "max" then I have to assume that the company is stating that the cell can be discharged at that current level in any way, including continuously.

    IMG_5332.JPG IMG_5333.JPG IMG_5334.JPG IMG_5335.JPG IMG_5264.JPG

    Bottom Line
    This Nitecore is a 23A rewrapped cell with a useless pulse rating (see the Comments section).

    While this cell has a 20A continuous rating in micro print on the wrap it has a useless 38A "max pulse discharge" rating on the wrap too. It also features "38A" in a huge font which many people will use as the cell's rating when shopping or when a vendor displays it on their web site. For these reasons I feel the large "38A" rating, or any "pulse" or "max" rating, is misleading and shouldn't be used.

    The wrap is not the standard heat shrink plastic. It is self-adhesive and appears to be similar to Mylar. I do not know how durable it is compared to the wraps being used now by other companies.

    This cell says "IMR18650" on the wrap but it does not use IMR chemistry. It uses one of the INR chemistries.

    I am rating this Nitecore at 23A and 2100mAh. The ones I tested were rewrapped Sony VTC4's. Their performance was close to, but a bit worse than, the VTC4's I have here.

    The two cells that were tested were purchased by me from IMRBatteries.

    Continuous-Current Test Results

    Pulse-Current Test Results
    IMG_5338.PNG IMG_5337.PNG

    Continuous-Current Comparison to VTC4

    Always Remember
    ⁃ There is no 18650 with a factory/manufacturer rating over 30A continuous.
    - There is no 3000mAh 18650 that can have a rating over 20A continuous.
    ⁃ There is no 3100mAh-3600mAh 18650 that can have a rating over 10A continuous.
    ⁃ There is no 18650 available to vapers that has a capacity rating over 3600mAh.

    • At 10A continuous this cell delivered 2050mAh. This is great performance for a 2100mAh rated cell so I am rating it at 2100mAh.
    • Pulse ratings are utterly and completely useless unless we know some things about how the ratings were set. There are no standards for a pulse rating. Without knowing the length of the pulse, the time between pulses, and the criteria used to set the rating (temperature? run time? voltage sag? a combination of these?) we can't compare one battery's pulse rating against another's. They're useless.
    • These "pulse" ratings can be dangerously high. While you might normally be able to vape at that high a level without too much risk, since the current is pulsed, these ratings don't take our safety into account in case of a mod malfunction or accidental button press. This can cause the battery to be discharged continuously, possibly causing it to vent (most likely not go into thermal runaway and burst though).
    To see how other cells have tested and how hard you can safely push them, check out these links: List of Battery Tests | E-Cigarette Forum
    • Like Like x 5
  2. sonicbomb

    sonicbomb Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2015
    1187 Hundertwasser
    *Rings the shame bell....
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Derek Cross

    Derek Cross Senior Member ECF Veteran

    May 16, 2015
    I wonder why they do this. Why do they continue to rewrap batteries and exaggerate continuous ratings when they know damn well that Mooch is always on patrol?

    I wonder, is the VTC5A is being rewrapped and sold yet?

    I wish they would hurry up and rewrap that beautiful Sanyo 20700 cell so I have something to put in my new XXX mod thats on its way. The only place ive seen 'em selling so far is ebay, and while I know there are some reputable people selling quality authentic products on that sit, I just have no way of knowing for sure who is or is not.

    FastTech, from what I hear is selling actual authentic Sanyo 20700 cells. The issue with buying them overseas, Im told is that you get killed in shipping cost, because its a battery, and that your not 100 percent certain that you will actually ever even get the product. I hear that batteries coming from FastTech have a habit of getting stuck in customs. Ive had zero issues ordering from FastTech, but ive never ordered cells of any kind.

    Anyone know of a good Ebay seller with only authentic cells? Most importantly (for myself) are there any Ebayers currently selling the Sanyo 20700's? The cells that are best for lower ohm tube mech vaping?
  4. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    You can find the Sanyo NCR20700B's out there but not the A's as far as I know.
    Be sure you know which you are getting. They are very different batteries.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Derek Cross

    Derek Cross Senior Member ECF Veteran

    May 16, 2015
    Right. Im looking to get the one thats sold out. The 20700A... I really wish this cell was available. Maybe soon? Im on the email list to be notified when theyre back in stock over at imrbateries. I love tube mods, still. Theres something about building and tinkering and not relying on a comp board to get my desired vape that is still very very appealing to me. Dont get me wrong, I love my dual battery regulated, as well as unregulated mech mods. Its just the single tube mech will always have a place in my rotation. With these newer cells coming out im very excited about the future and upcoming changes to how we vape, and what we vape with! :thumb:

    Mooch, in your opinion what difference, if any will I see when I try out the new ijoy 20700 battery, when compared to my usual, and favorite 18650 battery the VTC5A? Im thinking more capacity, obviously, but will it hit as hard, for as long as the vtc5a?

    On second thought, your busy, and I can check and compare your pulse data for each battery, so dont worry about responding to that. Im being lazy:)
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Derek Cross

    Derek Cross Senior Member ECF Veteran

    May 16, 2015
    Ok so I went and checked all the pulse data for the Ijoy 20700, and put it up against my other 3 favorite cells when using a single cell mech and what I came up with is pretty interesting. Keep in mind this is how I read the data, and im pretty much looking at the higher levels that I pulse these cells at, above 30 amps. At 30 amps and lower they all (seem to imo) perform at a more similar level,or they at least start at close to the same starting voltage. I only looled at the graphs with the first few pulses. Not the graphs showing the drop of the capacity.

    So for me, since im using the vtc5a and the LG HB4, and HD2C I was able to look at how these Ijoy cells will perform compared to my top 3 favorites. I wanted to know if it was worth getting some of these cells to go with my new XXX mod(that takes both these, as well as the 18650), or if I was better to wait for those Sammy cells to become more available to the public.

    Correct me if im wrong here, anyone PLEASE, but it seems that when pulsing these over 30 amps(which I do at 3 sec pulses) that the Ijoy 20700 performs a littl bit lower in voltage than the HB4, and HD2C. Now the capacity is much higher than both(especially the HB4) so the voltage will (should) stay higher, longer. From what I read in the graphs there doesnt seem to too much of a downward curve in voltage as the capacity drops, but Im only seeing this with my eyes:closedeyes: and im sure im missing something.

    So this cell performs a little lower than the HB4 and HC2C across the board if looking at starting voltage and what a cell does within the first couple redrips of an rda:) whether or not this loss in voltage will be something that equates to "doesnt hit as hard" will be something I wont be able to answer for myself until I get some in my hands:-x

    In the end Im thinking I will use my XXX mod with the 18650 cells until a better 20700 becomes available. Am I missing something though? Will Nitecore be coming out with any 20700 cells in the near future?
  7. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    The iJoy doesn't hit as hard as several 18650's. It runs quite a bit cooler though at very high amps. Think of it only as an LG HB series replacement, a true 30A battery.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Derek Cross

    Derek Cross Senior Member ECF Veteran

    May 16, 2015
    Thanks Mooch. I think ill wait a bit longer until some better 20700 cells are more readily available.

    Still these are truly exciting times for those of us that still use single cell unregulated mechs. I know people thought that tube mechs would just stop production with the invention of the regulated device, and I was nervous myself. But there are still so many innovative things happening with these devices. They (the designers and manufacturers) are still finding ways to keep vapers attention through different button mechanisms and such, and I believe when more and more of these 20700 cells come out, maybe the tube will get a little boost in sales throughout the popular vape sites and a boost in production in general. Who knows. I know im excited!
    • Like Like x 1
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