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  1. #1
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    US source for 6x Battery box?

    My google-fu sucks. Maybe you guys can help?
    Looking for something like this, 6-cell 18650 but hopefully ships from the US, without the 2-3 week lead time.
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    This picture is from an eBay store in Shenzhen, China.

    I have a good sealed Magicshine 4x battery pack, but it's not currently meeting all my needs, namely:
    1) 4 cells don't last long enough for my longest rides- I have a few 24-hour team races planned this year, and will need lights for at least two 2-hour efforts with about 2-3 hours between.
    2) I have 6 "loose" Samsung 18650 batteries from a laptop that was less than a year old, and got....aahhh...broken. Batteries are in great shape, but I need a way to put them to use without a bunch of DIY soldering and shrink-wrapping that I would undoubtedly screw up and hurt my self.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  2. #2
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    No way, no how, would I trust one of those battery boxes for a race.

    My experience is not with that box in particular, but I found battery holders using springs on one end of the cells for connection to not be reliable. The cells bounce on hard hits and lose connection momentarily. Some lights that just makes them flash. Others may turn off completely or change modes.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  3. #3
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    ...agree. I think if you are a serious enough rider to want to compete in a 24 event it makes no sense to "cheap out" on the lights and batteries you are going to use. That would be like saying, " I'm going to race and is this yada, yada, mountain bike at Walmart going to work for me"? What works for the novice doesn't necessarily translate over to someone who wants to compete. It's enough to worry about that when competing in an event that you don't want anything mechanical on your bike to fail. To check that you make sure your bike is in top shape and ready to roll before the race. Last thing you need to have happen is to be flying down some never-before-ridden remote downhill ( with other people all around you ) and have your cheap-a** light or battery fail on you.

    If you decide to buy a 6-cell holder if I were you I'd at least make double sure that it is reliable enough before using in a race. If not than you need at least two sets of good 4-cell batteries ( assuming you are using a bar and helmet lamp ) and then a special charger that will fast charge the batteries that you switch out when in the pit area.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice.

    For the usual weekly night rides, my Cygolite 1100 on my head and my Magicshine on my bars is enough.

    Iím racing the Ďno-skill requiredí dirt-roadie 24-hrs in the Old Pueblo, not exactly worried about anything getting bounced loose. People race this on CX bikes.
    Looking for a cheap way to have lights for my 2nd set of night laps and thought this might work because I already cannablized 6 laptop batteries. I was looking for a US source for a box so I could give it a test run before the race on Feb18-19th.

    Iíll probably just use the single Cygolite for one set of laps and the magicshine for the 2nd set.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    .....If you decide to buy a 6-cell holder if I were you I'd at least make double sure that it is reliable enough before using in a race.
    Yep. You need to see how tightly the cells are in the box. Do they compress the spring substantially? They need to. Protected cells might be better for that as they are typically a bit longer than un-protected cells like your salvaged batteries. Put it together and test. Knock the box around and see it the light blinks or turns off. One final thing, I found it better to mount the box horizontally rather than vertical. Tolerated hits better that way.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  6. #6
    Rod
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    You could always pick up another self contained light for $60-65a or a magicshine.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  7. #7
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    get a good 4 banger

    and just plan a battery swap stop. much better imho

    carry 4 spare 18650's
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    get a good 4 banger

    and just plan a battery swap stop. much better imho

    carry 4 spare 18650's
    I'd prefer 6 for a longer run time, but I can get down with that, if good 4-cell boxes exist. Where can I find a "good 4 banger"?

    I've seen lots of posts discussing good chargers that are built to charge and balance individual 18650 cells....so my question is; what are those cells going into? single battery flashlights?

    Or is it just that a 6-cell box isn't a common thing, and I haven't found a quality 4-cell box because I wasn't looking? They all seem to be inexpensive Chinese boxes like the pic in my first post.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  9. #9
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    There are no quality 4 or 6 cell boxes (that we've come across), only 2 cell holders. I'd go with 2 4-cell welded packs, can't be that hard to switch plug out of one into the other.

    -Garry

  10. #10
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    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    No way, no how, would I trust one of those battery boxes for a race.

    My experience is not with that box in particular, but I found battery holders using springs on one end of the cells for connection to not be reliable. The cells bounce on hard hits and lose connection momentarily. Some lights that just makes them flash. Others may turn off completely or change modes.
    I agree about (not) using them for racing. But the bouncing problem might be mitigated with wrapping cells so they hardly move in the case. This prevents boucing them, at least in a SS 4cell box this was the case.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    Nope, those are the ones we were discussing above with bouncing problem, let alone parasitic drain and noticeably voltage drop. Long story here: Review: New "Solarstorm" 2S2P 8.4V "water resistant" 4 x 18650 battery case for bicyc

  13. #13
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    Has anyone tried these?

    VRUZEND DIY Battery Kit

  14. #14
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    Interesting. I might try these out in the future. Thanks for posting!

    -Garry
    "My Bike Lights" Thread on BLF teardowns, measurements, and beamshots. Moving my photos, PM or post up if you can't see them.

  15. #15
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Interesting. I might try these out in the future. Thanks for posting!

    -Garry
    Agreed. 28 dollars isn't a bad price.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  16. #16
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    Yeah, considering you can assemble quite a few packs. Have to add in cost for the pcm circuit though and the 7A pcm I used from Hunk_Lee was $6.95 or $11.95 for 2pcs. You can get also get a 4A for $5.50 or 2pcs for $9.95.

    -Garry
    "My Bike Lights" Thread on BLF teardowns, measurements, and beamshots. Moving my photos, PM or post up if you can't see them.

  17. #17
    arc
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    Good pricing on cells.

    How do you wrap the assembled pack to keep it from shorting out or the caps from working loose?

    Where would you get a neoprene case that works with a velcro strap to fasten it to your bike?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Interesting. I might try these out in the future. Thanks for posting!

    -Garry
    Something I stumbled upon when building my electric skateboard. It was just too much to take on with a 10s4p pack and my first build.

  19. #19
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    I plan to buy that 6 cell battery box. I also plan to modify it with springs at both ends of the Li-Ion cells.

    That box does NOT sense the series connection between the batteries, so the undervoltage protection circuits may not operate correctly if the Li-Ion cells are not closely matched.

    It's my intent to add a sense connection to the series connection of each pair of cells and make sure that the undervoltage protection is set at 2.5 VDC per cell. I have two reasons for setting it that low.

    The first is that when I'm riding in subzero weather the series resistance of the cells increases dramatically. Because of the internal voltage drop across this series resistance, the apparent cell voltage is less than it actually is and most low voltage protection circuits will be tripping when there is still over 30% or more cell capacity remaining.

    Second, I'm also willing to pay the price of reduced cell lifespan in warmer weather to obtain longer run time on occasion. Most of the time I'll be recharging the cells long before they are discharged so it won't affect the cell's lifespan very much.

    One of the reasons that discharging cells down to 2.5 VDC can be a problem is that many people don't bother to immediately recharge the cells, and instead let the cells sit around and further self-discharge. THIS is when the real damage to the cells is going to occur. If you are conscientious about immediately charging depleted cells you won't pay much of a penalty with the cell's lifespan.

    Having 6 cells also reduces the voltage drop across the internal resistance of the cells so the run time is not decreased as much in cold weather.

    I'm not sure if I will disable the 5VDC USB regulator or not. If I do retain it I will rewire it in a manner in which I can turn the 5V circuit on or off, probably with a power MOSFET as a switch.

    I will probably disconnect the voltage indicator LEDs. The preset voltages are meaningless in cold weather. I may add an actual voltmeter. That way I can interpret the voltage in relation to the outside temperature and have a better estimation of the remaining cell capacity and run time.

    One of the advantages of a battery box is that you can remove the Li-Ion cells and charge them more quickly in a good quality external charger.

    Another advantage of a battery box is that you can use cells salvaged from dead battery packs. Typically only one or two of the cells in a battery pack will go bad. If you pull the remaining good cells from the pack before they have self discharged too far, they can be recharged and put back into service.

    I may also change the connectors, or at least rewire it with heavier gauge wire and possibly silicone insulation so that it is still flexible in cold weather. The insulation on my present battery pack wire is like a spring in cold weather and doesn't cooperate at all.

    I was thinking about making my own battery box from scratch, but I couldn't find any off the shelf plastic that was the correct size and shape. It was either way too big or a little bit too small.

    Scott Novak

  20. #20
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    I just ordered a 6-Cell battery box from GearBest for $12.38 shipping included. We'll see how long it takes to arrive.

    Scott Novak

  21. #21
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    I ordered the 6-cell battery box and received it in 22 days.

    The switch on the box turns the voltage indicator and USB output on and off, so it shouldn't be drawing any significant current when it's turned off.

    I just rode between Downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of America which is 8 miles away. The light turned off whenever I hit a good bump, at least a dozen times. I strapped the box sideways on the top tube for the ride home. The light still turned of whenever I hit a big bump in the road. I was expecting this problem, but I didn't expect it to be that bad.

    I'll be taking the box apart and I'll post photos later this week.

    Scott Novak

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Novak View Post
    I ordered the 6-cell battery box and received it in 22 days.

    The switch on the box turns the voltage indicator and USB output on and off, so it shouldn't be drawing any significant current when it's turned off.

    I just rode between Downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of America which is 8 miles away. The light turned off whenever I hit a good bump, at least a dozen times. I strapped the box sideways on the top tube for the ride home. The light still turned of whenever I hit a big bump in the road. I was expecting this problem, but I didn't expect it to be that bad.

    I'll be taking the box apart and I'll post photos later this week.

    Scott Novak
    Hey Scott, did you have any luck solving the on/off problem with this box? I was about to buy one on eBay since I just salvaged some excellent condition Panasonic 18650s from a laptop, but I can't have my light turning off over every bump. If this box can't be made to work, I'll have to look into soldering a pack together.

  23. #23
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    [QUOTE=DrvLikHell;13732839]Hey Scott, did you have any luck solving the on/off problem with this box?QUOTE]

    I haven't done anything with it yet. The only easy solution is to add contact springs to the bottom so that there is a spring on each end of the cell. I need to figure out a good way to remove the circuit boards at the bottom of the battery cavities so that I can add contact springs.

    Also, the MOSFETS that were used to protect against polarity reversal need to be removed, as they will just explode if you reverse the cell polarity, as the protection circuit will not work because of a moronic design flaw. You could add fuses in series with the cells and at least make it safe.

    To make it foolproof you need to use three individual overvoltage/undervoltage circuits with a polarity reversal protection circuit on each one.

    Scott Novak

  24. #24
    arc
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    I have one of them as well. It's probably going to get converted to 12v to replace my aging light and motion packs.

    The springs are week and the battery cavity is really long, Long cells with a protectionp board are the best bet.

    Short unprotected cells aren't going to work well.

    There is lots of room to add springs although the long cells may require short springs.

    It looks like the lower battery terminal's are held in place with screws covered by the sticker on the bottom.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by arc View Post
    I have one of them as well.....It looks like the lower battery terminal's are held in place with screws covered by the sticker on the bottom.
    You must have something different than I do. There are no screws holding the PWB with the cell contacts at the bottom of the case. They appear to be glued in place.

    Scott Novak

  26. #26
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    While perusing eBay I came across a 6x 18650 battery box that already has springs on the bottom of the box in addition to the springs on the lid. Perhaps this may save us from trying to stick a soldering iron down into the bottom of a battery box to solder some springs on? What do you guys think?

    US source for 6x Battery box?-s-l1600.jpg
    US source for 6x Battery box?-s-l1600.jpg

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrvLikHell View Post
    While perusing eBay I came across a 6x 18650 battery box that already has springs on the bottom of the box in addition to the springs on the lid.
    This box addresses one of the more serious problems of intermittent output.

    Also, it allows you to strap it onto either side. The case that I have can only be strapped on one way.

    Is the top keyed so that it will only go on in one direction?

    I may have to buy this one.

    Scott Novak

  28. #28
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    The model of the battery box appears to be EB03 Mobile Power Box and perhaps Trustfire brand.

    Here are a few sources of the battery box.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Waterproof-...p/263642105894

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Trus...ceBeautifyAB=0

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Trus...ceBeautifyAB=0

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Trus...ceBeautifyAB=0

    Scott Novak

  29. #29
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    Trustfire EB03 Mobile Power Box

    Also listed on Amazon in both a 4 cell and a 6 cell version.

    https://www.amazon.com/TrustFire-Rec...-33&th=1&psc=1

    Judging by the delivery quote it is likely shipped from China.

    Scott Novak

  30. #30
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    I haven't been able to find a US source for the box so I haven't bought one yet. I guess I'll just have to wait a month for it to come from China.

  31. #31
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    I just ordered one from AliExpress for $12.95. The price is valid for 2 days. I see the prices of this Chinese stuff going up and down quite a bit, so it pays to shop around.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Trus...871019101.html

    They claim 12 to 20 days shipping time.

    We'll see how that goes.

    I have no illusions about this battery box. I fully expect to find design problems with the battery protection circuit. But at least it should take care of the battery disconnect problem.

    Scott Novak

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Novak View Post
    I just ordered one from AliExpress for $12.95. The price is valid for 2 days. I see the prices of this Chinese stuff going up and down quite a bit, so it pays to shop around.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Trus...871019101.html

    They claim 12 to 20 days shipping time.

    We'll see how that goes.

    I have no illusions about this battery box. I fully expect to find design problems with the battery protection circuit. But at least it should take care of the battery disconnect problem.

    Scott Novak
    I ordered a 6 cell and a couple of 4 cell versions of this one through Amazon a couple of weeks ago, hopefully they get here before too long. I agree it has potential, even if just as a foundation for a plain box. It shouldn't be so hard to find a decent box for loose cells.

  33. #33
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    I've actually been tempted to order one myself because I use the 4 cell one I have a lot (not mtb use, my path/gravel/pavement bike) to charge speaker and phone. Be nice to have a days worth of power and still have plenty for my light for the ride home.

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