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Quick Look: Vapcell YR1030 AC Internal Resistance Battery Tester

Discussion in 'Batteries and Chargers' started by Mooch, Feb 16, 2018.

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  1. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    Misusing or mishandling lithium-ion batteries can pose a SERIOUS RISK of personal injury or property damage. They are not meant to be used outside of a protected battery pack. Never exceed the battery’s current rating and keep the plastic wrap and top insulating ring in perfect condition.

    Testing batteries can be dangerous and should never, ever, be attempted by anyone who has not thoroughly studied the dangers involved, understands the risks, has the proper equipment, and takes all appropriate safety precautions.

    31BA30B0-B893-4FCE-979D-C9B0E95EC93A.jpeg A280F668-206A-4019-BC32-3191C605699B.jpeg


    Bottom Line
    This is just a quick look at a battery tester Vapcell sent me. This was not a comprehensive test or a check of build consistency between units, durability, reliability, or safety.

    The YR1030 is an affordable, accurate tester that measures the AC internal resistance of a battery. This is the the internal resistance typically listed in a battery’s datasheet. It is measured using a low voltage, low current 1000Hz sine wave injected into the battery and then measuring the battery’s response.

    The AC internal resistance is lower than the DC internal resistance which is used to determine how much a battery’s voltage will sag when current is drawn from it. But, the AC internal resistance is the industry standard and the only number typically posted by the manufacturers.

    This meter can be used to measure the AC internal resistance of different cells to roughly gauge their relative performance or to help find fakes. Vendors could use it for spot checking new shipments to see if low amp fakes were mixed in with a batch of higher current rated cells.

    It operates from an internal pouch cell, probably LiPo, which is recharged via USB. The cell stayed cool and charged to 4.14V in my unit. This helps extend the life of the cell versus charging to 4.20V.

    The tester comes with the dual-pin probes shown in the photos. The alligator clamps and battery testing fixture are optional extras. Which you use depends on how you will do your testing. I recommend using the pin probes or battery fixture as using the alligator clamps means you need a way to mount the battery.

    I compared the readings from the Vapcell YR1030 against the ones I got using my BK Precision BA6010 Battery Analyzer. The results were quite close and consistent. This is important as a consistent error, i.e., an offset, can be compensated for. But inconsistent readings are useless.

    This meter has “binning” functionality to help sort battery grades based on internal resistance ranges defined by the user. I suspect this is a popular unit for the China battery wrappers to use for grading cells.

    The internal layout and design are okay but the flux residue on the circuit board from the hand soldered components was disappointing to see. At this price point though there has to some compromise. I saw some weirdness and locking up when recharging and trying to turn it back on but cycling the power cleared up any issues.

    I would have preferred that the unit was powered from the battery being tested, instead of from an internal LiPo, but that’s just a personal preference.

    You must be consistent in your testing though to get the best results from this unit. Clean the battery contacts, charge the battery, let it sit for an hour to come to room temperature, and then test it multiple times. Handle it as little possible to minimize the temperature rise from your body heat. This is all important for consistent readings. Contact Vapcell with any questions you have regarding the features and use of this unit.

    Overall this seems to be a good unit for the price, around $75USD, and could be a nice addition to a shop’s/vendor’s cell testing program. I believe that Liion Wholesale (www.liionwholesale.com) has them and the accessories in stock.

    Vapcell (www.vapcelltech.com) donated one unit for the purposes of testing. Thank you!


    Testing Setup
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    Technical Specifications
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    Test Results
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  2. Rossum

    Rossum Surly Curmudgeon Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    Deer Camp
    Do you think this device has utility in judging a cell''s condition, i.e. how much the cell has degraded, either in storage or from cycling?
     
  3. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    Capacity loss is apparent much earlier than a change in internal resistance but a badly degraded cell would have a higher internal resistance.
     
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  4. Mactavish

    Mactavish Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 19, 2010
    New York
    @Mooch

    Interesting timing as I have been considering buying one of these.

    Currently I’m using a EBD-MO3 Mini V3 Battery Capacity Tester. I’m sure you are aware of these “poor man” testers, basically a sled with connections to the main discharge block. I set this unit for a 2 amp discharge with a 2.5 volt cutoff. After a full charge on my Xtar VP2, and settle time, I run the discharge on the EBD, and get a total MaH number. Sometimes I’ll also use my YZX Studio 1270 USB Power Meter or Portapow meter to monitor how many MaH’s are being put back into a depleted battery, though I doubt these meter tests would be as accurate as the discharge tests on the EBD, since you can manually set the voltage cutoff.

    The Vapecell YR1030 looks interesting as from many articles I’ve read seem to point to the importance of factoring in resistance when trying to judge a batteries health and capacity. I was not able to find much info one this affordable meter online.

    After reading your response above I’m still not sure if I should bother with this as a purchase?

    I saw you recent video where you mention briefly DC internal resistance, and I’m aware this meter reads AC resistance, and I’ve seen AC resistance figures in many battery specifications, and this is what still CONFUSES me.
     
  5. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    Whether it’s worth buying is up to you and what you want the data for. AC internal resistance is the industry standard and can track health. DC internal resistance can determine voltage sag and track health.
     
  6. Mactavish

    Mactavish Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 19, 2010
    New York
    Are there any meters in the $100 range that can track DC internal resistance?
    Thanks.
     
  7. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    Perhaps one of the chargers with that feature but I haven’t tested any and inconsistency is a big issue.
     
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  8. Rossum

    Rossum Surly Curmudgeon Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    Deer Camp
    I wonder how just how linear it is DC internal resistance is? I.e will it be the same at 20A as it is at 1A?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but a charger isn't likely to be able to pull the kind of currents a high-powered mod can...
     
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  9. Rossum

    Rossum Surly Curmudgeon Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    Deer Camp
    If they do, they're not making it obvious on their site. At least I haven't been able to find it there.

    The more I think about this, the more curious I am. I have some cells that are approaching 350 easy cycles. They are still performing well enough, but it would be interesting to see if there's a measurable difference compared to some cells that I purchased at the same time, that have been in storage at ~3.70V the whole time. I think it would also be cool to get a baseline reading on brand-new cells the next time I order some and then see what happens with use...
     
  10. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    The thumbnail and link is on the home page. :)

    Vapcell YR1030 Internal Resistance Tester with Clamps and Battery Holder - Genuine
     
  11. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    The resistance is pretty linear for different current levels if the pulse is not too short or too long. But, the voltage change is quite small at lower current levels which affects accuracy.

    A 1A pulse for a 20mOhm DC IR cell produces 20mV of sag. With the usual few millivolts of background electrical noise that level of change is a challenge to measure. It can certainly be done, down to picovolts, but the typical microprocessors and voltage reading circuitry often has a resolution of only several mV.

    A cell with a DC IR of 20mOhms could easily be read as having the same resistance as one with a DC IR of 25mOhms if using low discharge current pulses. Using high amp pulses makes for more voltage sag and that makes it easier to differentiate between cells.
     
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  12. Rossum

    Rossum Surly Curmudgeon Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    Deer Camp
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Mactavish

    Mactavish Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 19, 2010
    New York
    While the same tester can be found for less, I bought one from the link mooch provided. First time using ApplePay online, makes for a super quick check out.
     
  14. Mactavish

    Mactavish Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 19, 2010
    New York
    Hey Mooch,
    Bought the meter, just wondering if there is a chart, or formula that would describe how to interpret the IR numbers?

    For example, the Sony spec sheet for NEW a Sony VTC4, lists the IR= 12. Lets say 6 months or a year later, you get a reading of IR = 24. That would be double, but what does that really mean, at what point or IR resulting measurements, give you an indication that the battery should perhaps be retired?

    Maybe that later IR reading would need to be 96, 8x higher then when the battery was new, to trigger replacement.

    Just not sure how to interpret the scale of IR readings this meter will tell us over time, in terms of battery health.
    THANKS.
     
  15. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    No chart.
    You’ll have to contact Vapcell for info on its use for that.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. MikeyConti

    MikeyConti VapeBro Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 22, 2014
    South Carolina
    Thanks for all the hard work @Mooch !

    I understand you can’t give many answers on what people find with this tool, nor will Liion, being said, if anyone reads this, Mooch is looking out for safety reasons for all of us! :thumbs:

    That said, I hope I get payed before they sell out. I like learning things like this and love testing equipment/Tools!
    Have many DMM Meters and other various testers for certain things but not like this. Will need a lot of research if I get it.. :w00t:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Mactavish

    Mactavish Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 19, 2010
    New York
    I reached out to HKJ who did a more in depth review of this meter last year, hopefully he can add some of his experience and address our follow up questions.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  18. MikeyConti

    MikeyConti VapeBro Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 22, 2014
    South Carolina
    Ran across that as-well, surprised not many conmented on it? I don’t really go to that forum unless I’m searching info on certain Flashlights to learn what LEDs would work best for work based on the Color they produce.. Lots of info there..

    But, hope you get the answers you need.
     
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