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'Plug and Play' Life Cycle Testers

Posted: Jun 29 2020 3:25am
by No_Shorty
So just wanted to check if there are many options for such a thing, I have come across the EBC-A20 and this very thorough review on BudgetLightForum: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/56801

But other than that there doesn't seem to be anything, I can see a few of the chargers/dischargers from the RC world can do a few cycles but the don't appear to be able to do them in the 'thousands' range - it's a shame that they can't be hacked/cajoled into doing so as options abound.

The EBC-A20 seems like a decent purchase in any case, but I couldn't find any info on others to compare - hence the topic to see if they are out there.

Re: 'Plug and Play' Life Cycle Testers

Posted: Jun 29 2020 11:13am
by goatman
the ebc-a20 needs a computer hooked to it for the cycle testing. im not a computer person so this might be me but if the computer goes to sleep while testing, the testing stops, so I go on youtube and find a 12hr video to play, like the sounds of waves or thunderstorms and the usb/tty cable is cheap/loose if you bump the cable it stops the cycle so I put a square of duct tape on the outside of the usb plug so It fits snuggly into the laptop and doesn't move. its a handy little tool though, I like it.

Re: 'Plug and Play' Life Cycle Testers

Posted: Jun 29 2020 11:56am
by john61ct
That company has a decent rep, sells dozens of models but need to self-import.

Some high-end chargers can do the same.

Re: 'Plug and Play' Life Cycle Testers

Posted: Jun 29 2020 1:45pm
by No_Shorty
goatman wrote:
Jun 29 2020 11:13am
the ebc-a20 needs a computer hooked to it for the cycle testing. im not a computer person so this might be me but if the computer goes to sleep while testing, the testing stops, so I go on youtube and find a 12hr video to play, like the sounds of waves or thunderstorms and the usb/tty cable is cheap/loose if you bump the cable it stops the cycle so I put a square of duct tape on the outside of the usb plug so It fits snuggly into the laptop and doesn't move. its a handy little tool though, I like it.
You can most certainly turn that off under power options, but I had wondered if you need a 'spare' PC to store the data. It's a shame it can log the basic info to an internal memory.

Re: 'Plug and Play' Life Cycle Testers

Posted: Jun 29 2020 2:49pm
by amberwolf
I don't know of anything outside of industrial systems used at battery manufacturers that really do what you're after.

There's a couple of people doing longterm cell testing here on ES, but IIRC both have had problems with tests being interrupted (and data lost) by software bugs and power failures, etc.; AfAIK they all require a computer attached to their serial or usb port to do the data collection and processing (and/or station control).

West Mountain Radio makes the CBA system, but it also requires a computer--I don't know if it does quite what you're after.
http://www.westmountainradio.com/cba.php

I suspect that you could use the Grin Tech battery tester station to do this for an entire battery pack (though not for the cells individually), but haven't looked into doing that with it.
https://www.ebikes.ca/product-info/grinspector.html

Re: 'Plug and Play' Life Cycle Testers

Posted: Jun 29 2020 4:51pm
by goatman
No_Shorty wrote:
Jun 29 2020 1:45pm
goatman wrote:
Jun 29 2020 11:13am
the ebc-a20 needs a computer hooked to it for the cycle testing. im not a computer person so this might be me but if the computer goes to sleep while testing, the testing stops, so I go on youtube and find a 12hr video to play, like the sounds of waves or thunderstorms and the usb/tty cable is cheap/loose if you bump the cable it stops the cycle so I put a square of duct tape on the outside of the usb plug so It fits snuggly into the laptop and doesn't move. its a handy little tool though, I like it.
You can most certainly turn that off under power options, but I had wondered if you need a 'spare' PC to store the data. It's a shame it can log the basic info to an internal memory.
I was going to use my old laptop but I had to pay $10 to One-Drive to download the eb-software so I put it on the new laptop

Re: 'Plug and Play' Life Cycle Testers

Posted: Jun 30 2020 2:30am
by No_Shorty
amberwolf wrote:
Jun 29 2020 2:49pm
I don't know of anything outside of industrial systems used at battery manufacturers that really do what you're after.

There's a couple of people doing longterm cell testing here on ES, but IIRC both have had problems with tests being interrupted (and data lost) by software bugs and power failures, etc.; AfAIK they all require a computer attached to their serial or usb port to do the data collection and processing (and/or station control).

West Mountain Radio makes the CBA system, but it also requires a computer--I don't know if it does quite what you're after.
http://www.westmountainradio.com/cba.php

I suspect that you could use the Grin Tech battery tester station to do this for an entire battery pack (though not for the cells individually), but haven't looked into doing that with it.
https://www.ebikes.ca/product-info/grinspector.html
I did find the West Mountain ones, both cheap and expensive... Cheap if you're a company needing to do tests, but expensive for the individual.

It's one of those things that seems like it should be dead easy to implement on any of the charge and discharge RC chargers. I guess the manufacturers just don't spec their machines to be run 24/7 for months on end, so limit this function to "cell refresh" 5 cycles.

I also expect anyone with the know how could know up an Arduino project to do this, again there are plenty of charge/discharge projects, so it would just be a bit more code.

The work that has beem done by Doc and others is great stuff, and reduces my desire to do this. I would just like to be able to run whatever cell I choose through tests at the voltages and drain I will be using.

Re: 'Plug and Play' Life Cycle Testers

Posted: Jun 30 2020 2:44am
by xfrankie
No_Shorty wrote:
Jun 29 2020 3:25am
So just wanted to check if there are many options for such a thing, I have come across the EBC-A20 and this very thorough review on BudgetLightForum: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/56801

But other than that there doesn't seem to be anything, I can see a few of the chargers/dischargers from the RC world can do a few cycles but the don't appear to be able to do them in the 'thousands' range - it's a shame that they can't be hacked/cajoled into doing so as options abound.

The EBC-A20 seems like a decent purchase in any case, but I couldn't find any info on others to compare - hence the topic to see if they are out there.
I actually ordered the EBC-A20 like five days ago from Ali based on the very same article you posted. It will take some time to get here though.
I was deciding between this type and the EBC-A40L, which can only do single cell (5V max) but at 40Amp charge/discharge. I'm going to test some large format pouch cells (claimed 45Ah capacity) so higher testing currents would be better.
But that one was like triple the money, which is way over my budget for this purpose - I dont mind waiting some more time to finish the tests.
The A40L has a teardown video on youtube (it is a russian guy, but the view "under the skirts" is still useful even without the commentary), but strangely enough the 20A version is nowhere to be found.
I already have a half-dead laptop in my garage, so this thing can hook up right to it.
I will post some more info once the thing gets here.

Re: 'Plug and Play' Life Cycle Testers

Posted: Jun 30 2020 5:58am
by amberwolf
No_Shorty wrote:
Jun 30 2020 2:30am
It's one of those things that seems like it should be dead easy to implement on any of the charge and discharge RC chargers. I guess the manufacturers just don't spec their machines to be run 24/7 for months on end, so limit this function to "cell refresh" 5 cycles.
Some of the RC chargers with USB ports can use computer based software to monitor and control them. I used one that was mostly in German with some bad English translations in some menus/etc, so difficult to operate, to test out some stuff years back, probably more than a decade ago. I don't recall the name, but it was probably Logview.
http://www.logview.info/forum/index.php?pages/home/


There's a number of places to get various softwares to run RC chargers, though they may be specific to that particiular brand or model:
https://www.google.com/search?q=rc+char ... irefox-b-1
including a github that might be able to do something like this. (havne't read it, just glanced at it).
https://github.com/stawel/cheali-charger

Re: 'Plug and Play' Life Cycle Testers

Posted: Jul 01 2020 4:56am
by No_Shorty
All really interesting links - especially the open-source firmware for the '4 button' type chargers. There is no mention of being able to increase the cycles from 5 but I have dropped the creator a message with the question!