TEC-06 Serial Battery Tester Review & Analysis

A few months ago, someone commenting on my TEC-02 review asked what I thought of the TEC-06 tester - and I had nothing useful to offer, because I didn’t have one in my office to play with.  But, I do enjoy reviewing small electronics, especially if they’re related to batteries!  And this one looks like a nice unit, at least on paper.  It supports up to 15V/3.5A/16W, has two useful operating modes, and is rumored to have serial support, if you sniff about on the proper pins!  And I do enjoy new gizmos!

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.sevarg.net/2018/01/14/tec-06-serial-battery-tester-review/

(Comments from Blogger)

2018-06-21 by Kapitän

Is my unit broken? I successfully tested a NiCD battery with 500 mA discharge current. But when I set the discharge current to just 1000 mA, it goes down to 800 mA. The heat sink is only lukewarm. The fan isn’t running. With a discharge current of 2000 mA set, the unit starts the fan immediately and stops it after less than a minute. The current is going down (in steps of 100 mA). Thanks for any help you might provide.

2018-06-22 by Russell Graves

What is the battery total capacity? It sounds like you’re asking for more current than the battery can provide.

2018-06-22 by Kapitän

It was a freshly charged 700 mAh battery. I did another test with an Ikea Ladda with 2450 mAh. The TEC-06 reduced the current from 2000 to 1200. There is a test on the internet according to which discharging with 2A is possible. Test of Ikea Ladda AA 2450mAh (White)

2018-09-24 by Tlmadsen

Great Review. Much better and easier to graps than most video-reviews. Keep going.

2018-10-19 by Greg Sullivan

Excellent review - thanks. Just regarding your assertion that the open circuit termination voltage is often used, how do you know this to be the case? Until now, I’ve always assumed that the loaded voltage was used, so I was a bit taken aback by this.

2018-10-22 by Russell Graves

It depends on the unit. Some use the loaded voltage, some use the open circuit voltage, and some let you pick.

I’ve reviewed a lot of battery testers over the years of this blog.

2018-10-31 by Greg Sullivan

I’ve got one! I think mine may be pretty accurate all the way down to 50mA - I measure 4.15mV across the sense resistors when set to 50mA. Using an old DMM that is not calibrated, but it looks promising. If I can get my Mooshimeter out of it’s current bricked state, I’ll have a second meter to compare to. :relaxed:

2018-11-01 by Greg Sullivan

FWIW, I’ve now measured current directly, and it’s bang on 50mA (on the 50mA setting). Using the 200mA range on my old CHY48R “Multilogger” DMM.

2018-11-14 by Greg Sullivan

Took another sense resistor voltage measurement with a second DMM @50mA - same result, so I’m now very confident indeed that my unit is working well down at the low end. Have also tested a range of battery types, and it’s producing expected results. It’s a little winner. I agree that it would be nice if they added Watt-hours though.

2018-12-10 by Hairless Hippy

firmware updates anywhere??

2018-12-11 by Russell Graves

I’ve never seen anything like a firmware update for these, and totally RE’ing the chip is more effort than I’m going to put in.

2019-01-29 by delme

FYI: I have a 6.3Version: MicroUSB, second Elko next to the crystal.

2019-07-01 by Tony1tf

I have just received a TEC-06 and the seller said it had a serial connection which uses a CH340 driver. I can’t post a photo, but the two tracks to the USB data pins can be clearly seen on the top of the pcb and are connected to pins 2 & 3 of the 12C5608AD. I have tried ch340 drivers on both Mac and PC and can’t see the USB device being enumerated or establish a connection. So I’m not sure what is needed.

2019-07-01 by Tony1tf

I just received a TEC-06 and the supplier said it has a serial connection from the USB connector using the CH340 driver. I can see tracks on top of the pcb to the USB connector which I traced to pins 2 and 3 of the 12C5608AD. I can’t post a photo here. I tried the CH340 driver on both a PC and Mac, but nothing enumerates or communicates with the board. Any advice?

2019-07-01 by Tony1tf

Update - I can see serial data coming out of pin 3, so it doesn’t seem to be a USB connection.

2019-07-01 by Russell Graves

That sounds like China to me… run the serial line out through the USB data pins.

You could probably build an adapter that provided power and did the TTL-to-USB conversion - it wouldn’t be hard.

2019-11-28 by Greg Sullivan

I’m trying to discharge some AA & AAA NiMh cells as quickly as possible, and have noticed something strange - the current draw gradually drops. I.e - I set it for the max (3.5A), but as the cell is discharged, the actual current reading slowly drops, terminating at 2 - 2.5A or so. Anyone else noticed this?

2019-12-05 by Russell Graves

There’s likely a lower limit on the resistance it will run the load at - and NiMH is pretty low voltage to start with. Not sure if there’s a way around it on this unit. But that’s consistent with being resistance limited.

2020-12-09 by NOPcode00

I’ve designed and made a 3 piece enclosure for the tester available here Enclosure for the TEC-06 Battery Analyser by NOPcode00 - Thingiverse
that can be 3D printed.