IR Meter Recommendations


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TheBatteries

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Is AC 1kHz pretty much the standard for measuring IR of batteries? I noticed this is mentioned quite often in datasheets I read. How do the cheaper testers work then, like the Opus and the iCharger? How do they determine IR?


Nice enjoy your tester. I would like to figure out how to read the data for the RC3563 using Excel. Any chance you are tallented in this area or in modifying the existing PC software?

I'm a computer programmer, yes, but my experience in interacting with hardware like this is minimal. I may try poking around with it at some point.
 

Wolf

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Is AC 1kHz pretty much the standard for measuring IR of batteries? I noticed this is mentioned quite often in datasheets I read. How do the cheaper testers work then, like the Opus and the iCharger? How do they determine IR?
1kHz AC is the defacto standard used by manufacturers to test cells. Most all manufactures will state that in their spec sheet.
If a mΩ reading is given it is understood to be 4 wire 1kHz AC unless otherwise stated.
I have only found 2 other cells where DC IR is given.
1611459154054.png1611459519293.png
The Opus , iCharger, SkyRC etc work off of a V-drop method. Simple resistance, current and voltage calculation. The Cell needs to be at least 60% charged to get a reasonable result. Unfortunately most of the "standard" charger/testers are not 4 wire which is important even for DC IR. Hence we get ridiculous IR readings in the hundreds of mΩ even with the Opus instructions requesting to subtract 30mΩ off of the results. The iCharger with the balance leads hooked up has the best chance of a reasonably accurate DC IR reading. Although there really isn't a standard of what a good cells DC IR should be. As in how long to apply the load and at what charge voltage and at what stage of time of the v-drop measurement do you calculate the result. I built an ESP32 4 wire DC IR tester and can tell you from my findings that DC IR of a good cell is around 2X the AC IR of a fully charged cell. DC IR takes quite a lot more time to test for and a cell has to have a reasonable charge to test it. AC IR on the other hand does not require the cell to be loaded for a V-drop as it tests the cells impedance which varies a marginal amount between fully charged and empty. Higher mΩ when empty, usually around 5mΩ to 8mΩ.
Temperature can also have an affect but again relatively minimal unless extreme.
 
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TheBatteries

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Something isn't quite making sense here...

On Auto, it reads 0.000mΩ
On 20mΩ, it reads 0.000mΩ
On 200mΩ, it reads 3.47mΩ
On 20Ω, it reads 0.0063Ω

So how to I know which setting to put it on? The manual is all Chinese and can't find any English videos on Youtube either... I assume the 3.47mΩ reading is correct, but why is that not being displayed under the 20mΩ setting since 3.47mΩ is less than 20mΩ? Am I missing something? Also, I would have expected the 20Ω setting to show 0.0034Ω but I assume it's just less accurate at that resolution.
 

Wolf

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I use mine on auto at all times. If I am not mistaken this is where it auto zeros itself. I will check mine to see if the readings change as I navigate through the ranges. I will also check to see if mine came with a "manual" I can't remember. When I first got it I checked it against all my other meters and found it to be right on, so I just use it exclusively now.
Will report back.

Wolf
 
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Wolf

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OK as promised.
With Alligator probes not connected to anything and the meter on any mΩ range setting you should get OL.
20210125_184713.jpg
Connecting the Alligator clips to a copper wire I get on Auto with slight fluctuation 0.069mΩ
20210125_184951.jpg
Set to 20mΩ I get 0.065mΩ
20210125_184958.jpg20210125_184922_001.jpg20210125_184930.jpg20210125_184937.jpg20210125_184942.jpg
All other Ω settings show 00.000mΩ
Wolf
 
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As you know I have just about every IR tester made that is within a reasonable sub $200.00 budget. I'm sure you have seen the pictures of them. But just in case

They are all OK and relatively accurate
For ease of use the RC3563 is my personal choice. Especially when you get it with the holder. Just pop the cell in get a reading and on to the next one. I can process 50 cells in less than 10 min. Checks IR and V at the same time not like the SM8124A.
No fumbling with the probes.
Also the other clear plastic 4 wire holders that come with the YR1035 are quite cumbersome. This one is open and easy to use.
View attachment 23244
My thoughts

Wolf
Thanks Wolf, on your recommendation, I just bought the RC3563 and I'll connecting it to the megacellcharger PC :)
 

Wolf

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Thanks Wolf, on your recommendation, I just bought the RC3563 and I'll connecting it to the megacellcharger PC :)
@The Kilowatt Challenge that's great! I hope you find it useful. I also have 2 MCC and unfortunately I was one of the first recipients of it.
Well I shouldn't say unfortunately more of a guinea pig with the first shipments. From the beginning I didn't trust the database, so I would copy and paste the raw data from the MCM into an excel sheet, and manipulate the data from there. Turned out I was right as the SQlite db would drop cells due to some combination of events that were not foreseen by the programmers. No harm, no foul I had the data and found some workarounds. In a couple of months I will be ready to run ≈ 1600 cells through the MCC's and with the updates to the firmware and software I will give it another chance having my backup in excel of course. 🙂 I will also see how well the RC3563 integrates into the MCM db and how fast I can enter the data.
 

Bubba

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I will also see how well the RC3563 integrates into the MCM db and how fast I can enter the data.
I also would like to get the data into Excel or a database other than using the manufacture software which can not export. Please share how.
 

Wolf

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I also would like to get the data into Excel or a database other than using the manufacture software which can not export. Please share how.
At this time the MCM (Mega Cell Monitor) software has the API figured out. I think @Oleksii has some information on this. Although I believe he has accomplished this with a YR1035+ on a linux box. I do not believe the RC3563 is that much different. I'm sure with all the hardware and software hackers (er I mean engineers) we can figure something out.
 

Oleksii

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At this time the MCM (Mega Cell Monitor) software has the API figured out. I think @Oleksii has some information on this. Although I believe he has accomplished this with a YR1035+ on a linux box. I do not believe the RC3563 is that much different. I'm sure with all the hardware and software hackers (er I mean engineers) we can figure something out.
You should know that YR1035+ support already implemented and working in MCC thankfully that I was able to solder a chip inside it and Martin was interested to implement support of it right away when I informed him in FB.
I captured raw data, send to him. he developed and I tested alpha releases. It works.
Raw data format for YR1035+ is a little different than for RC3563
 

paddy72

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I just got my YR1035+ ordered from Aliexpress and wanted to share some comments or concerns without opening an extra thread on this topic.

First of all i am quite positively surprised by the accuracy of the readings - i only checked voltage for now with all my DMMs, some good Fluke like the Fluke 189 with 4 decimal digits and two others. The voltage reading was on the mV exact with the 189 and right inbetween the value of 2 other Fluke DMMs - so thats good enough for me :)
I ordered mine with the ordinary probe leads with two little brass connectors coming out on a spring at the handle. I noticed that the cables are rather short even for measuring a 18650 as you want to touch the poles perpendicular so you always put a bit of stress to the cables as you stretch them. The handles ends are rather sharp plastic holders where the two thin wires run through - so i am a bit concerned they could rub off quite easily when used often? What is your experience here with every day use?

They offer also an "advanced probe" that seems to be constructed somewhat different - not sure about the cable length there. Sure they want to keep cable length as short as possible as it could put some additional inductance in the measurement and also capacity.
 

Wolf

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Yes the YR1035+ is a very good Voltage and IR reader. I own just about every sub $100. 00 IR meter from the humble YR1030 (which built my first 14s80p battery) to my favorite the RC3563.
If you read the complete thread I highly recommend the cell holders to measure the cell with. The probes no matter how you use them are clumsy to use for the 18650. You need to use 2 hands (duh) and you have to memorize the readings if you are going to record the results in a spreadsheet.
So unless you have someone to enter the numbers or have a photographic memory I ended up doing the measurement twice once for Voltage and once for IR. The cell holder will keep the measurement and it is very easy to copy both numbers. The RC3563 with the cell holder, the USB interface with a bit of py and VB code this process can be automated.

The probes on my YR1030 which were chintzy at best but did last and are still useful, Your leads are much better encased in plastic rather than shrink wrap. Still my recommendation is the cell holder.

Wolf
1638794525181.png
 

paddy72

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Thanks, Wolf, for your suggestion!

My concerns about the cell holder is you have to grab each cell and put it in the cell holder first - take the reading - and put the cell out again.
My workflow is slightly different but optimized:
I put all cells to measure in rows and test them with the probes using both hands. I use a voice recorder to save the readings and replay the recorder to fill the data in the excel sheet. This is much more efficient as i go through the rows taking all readings in one process and just replay to write down the numbers. It would take me much more time to put every cell in the cell holder i guess :)
I still wonder if you are faster with the automatic reading via arduino & Co. and filling the data to the excel?

Most time consuming is to put all cells out of the boxes and order them in rows according to their numbers so that i can fill the excel data one after another without jumping too much :)
 

Wolf

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I still wonder if you are faster with the automatic reading via arduino & Co. and filling the data to the excel?
Oh yea put cell into holder hit Ctrl+q (or whatever you program the macro shortcut to) numbers are in excel, next cell, takes maybe 4 seconds per cell.
Although I must admit the voice recording is an ingenious idea. Never thought of it. I just wanted to automate the process and eliminate as much human error as possible. Reading the Voltage and IR from the meter directly to excel eliminates a lot of error. Believe you me after recording 6000+ cells with the 2 hand method and no voice recorder, still have to chuckle that I didn't think of this, I can tell you the holder is "da bomb". I actually ordered 5 of the holders separately as I wore 1 out and the 2nd one is starting to show its wear marks.
I also started to use premade number tags1638886689864.png there was sometimes a question on what the cell number was, as my handwriting isn't Dr. bad but there were questions is it a 4 is it a 9. Then I align 36 cells ( I have 2 MegaCell Chargers 16x2) into (2) 4X5 cell holdes I also try to get all the same cell types into 1 batch easy to fill in excel. Unfortunately I have added another parameter to my excel sheet which does require a bit more work and that is the date code. When I was working with just 1 manufacturer and ninebot batteries it was easy.
I had the LG date code all figured out and automated not so much with the others. Hmm more programing work in excel but I will get it.

Since my powerwall is essentially built I am now just doing cell studies on all the leftover cells (at least 4000 if not more) and get a better understanding of AC IR, DC IR, and overall improving the harvesting process.
Wolf
 

paddy72

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Good idea with the number tags, i still use permanent markers but found already some letters decaying. Also the pencils dry out rather quick.

I think with my voice recorder method i need 5-6 sec. per cell, 2-3 sec. for reading voltage/IR and 2-3 to write it down afterwards. The rather short cable length of the YR1035 is a bit annoying as you have to arrange the cables for every 3-4 cells i guess. It puts also a lot of stretching to the cables sometime so i hope they will last a few years. I am still around 500...600 cells as most of my sources have dried out unfortunatly.
 

Dr. Dickie

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I ordered this one from eBay specifically because the shipping time listed was fast. I ordered it January 9th, so 2 week delivery time.
One thing I will say is, the lead connections to the cell holder is very vulnerable to breaking. The soldered connection are right there with no wire strain relief. I mounted mine onto a small wooden piece and used a zip tie to provide strain relief. Well, I did that after the 6th time one the wire connections broke and I had to re-solder it.
 

Wolf

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Well, I did that after the 6th time one the wire connections broke and I had to re-solder it.
Fast learner are we now.

I bought 5 additional cell holders for my RC3563 just because.....
Actually with my massive cell testing I tend to wear and sometimes break the actual probes.
I do have the replacement probes also but grabbing another holder is easier in the interim till I can fix the broken one.

Wolf
 

paddy72

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When using the voice recorder for enhanced measurement process you could also engage an automatic voice recognition/writing app that would be able to write the data directly in a prepared excel. If i had more cells to test i would definetly invest in this process as it would be probably even more efficient. To work with the cell holder seems to be more time consuming here.
 
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