Affordable tool to measure capacity of lithium batteries?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Jochen, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. I don't want to start a fire or risk anything. - So is there some affordable tool that can measure the capacity of camera cell phone and maybe laptop batteries unattended?
     
  2. There are little inline USB meters that show the voltage, current and accumulated mAH charge while a battery/device is being charged. However, I don't know of anything that can measure the actual stored energy.
     
  3. Thanks for pointing me at them, Joe. They sound quite desirable, once I'll have switched to USB chargers for all my cameras.
    I have AA / AAA chargers that measure capacity during discharge cycles they are offering too. Something like that for lithium would be perfect, especially with variable contacts since I am running at least 8 different battery types here.
     
  4. The RC people use all sorts of chargers, some of which can drain the battery and measure the actual capacity. My old Maha does that. Look on the RC sites.
     
  5. The voltage of a lithium batter is almost flat until it is nearly exhausted. PowerEx (nee Maha) chargers drain the battery very slowly. Unless you sit and watch for two or more hours, you have no way to observe the transition. Even then, you have no idea of the load imposed.Nor is the battery completely drained, rather to about 1/3rd its capacity. Smart batteries (e.g., Sony professional video batteries) are chipped to compare the load against the projected capacity of the battery. Most camera batteries have similar intelligence built into the camera. None of these are reliable in the battery has an internal failure. All you notice is that the battery life is significantly lower than other batteries.

    At home, I use Watson chargers, which show the voltage and capacity of a wide variety of batteries. Plates for different batteries are interchangeable, and inexpensive. The percentage does not agree closely with that displayed on the camera.
     

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