ZB2L3 v2.0 ZHIYU battery tester

I’ve got another battery tester to play with!  This tester is a ZB2L3 v2.0 by ZHIYU.  It’s rated for a max of 15v, 3A, and 9999AH - so you can test your 12v lead acid batteries with it, if you care.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.sevarg.net/2015/10/10/zb2l3-v20-zhiyu-battery-tester/

(Comments from Blogger)

2015-10-13 by Unknown

Thanks a lot for this tutorial. I just received my tester, and there wasn’t any manual.


2015-10-16 by przemek

The only manual is in the ebay description. When I got mine I rewrote the manual and put it on Github: GitHub - przemekklosowski/zb2l3-batteryTester: battery capacity tester instructions . Basically the same as you wrote. I did one cute thing: attached the thing to a small heatsink with resistors on 0.1" posts in a configuration that lets me jumper them for 3.75, 7.5 and 15 Ohm.

Did you try to figure out the schematic? The marked/visible ICs are 1117 LDO regulator, 321 op amp and 8205 which I think is another LDO. There’s probably a microcontroller under the LED display that sequences it and integrates the charge. A pity they didn’t spit the data over USB: it’d be a neat trick to collect data on a PC and plot the discharge curve.


2015-10-16 by Russell Graves

Very cool! No, I didn’t bother to reverse engineer it. My interest is in how accurate it is, and it seems good enough for my needs.


2015-10-17 by Unknown

From the picture on GitHub, przemek got a version 1.0, whereas Russell and I got v.2.0. The components are clearly in different places. I don’t know whether there is any functional difference.


2015-10-19 by Unknown

I had no big resistors to take, so i created a 3.5ohm resistor with small 1W resistors, coated the metal parts with hot glue(to prevent electrolysis), and put them inside a container filled with water, works too well.


2015-10-19 by przemek

Actually, I got 2.0 too; I was being lazy and used the picture from ebay IIRC.


2016-01-20 by Unknown

I like the price. But is is a shame there is no serial data out. Assuming a micro-controller is underneath it would have cost nothing to expose a pin with the serial data. I wonder if anyone has looked to see what mcu it has. If it were one I’m familiar with (like PICs) I’d consider writing alternate firmware and soldering to another pin for data.

Thanks for your review!


2016-01-20 by Unknown

Gee, also wondering if these are the same batteries tested with the first tester you did? Probably not but how did the pulsing tester capacity vary from this one? The same battery tested under same ambient temperatures and recharge level would shed light on whether that issue was significant after all. I’d pay a bit more for the serial data and internal resistance value.

If they are the same batteries they seem to be fairly close. In this test you used 0.5 and 1.0 A vs. 0.25 and 1.0 A for the first unit.

Also, saw this other discharge tester on ebay with fan and heat sink and wonder if you are still testing more units. Looks nice but also doesn’t have any serial data.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/18650-li-ion-lithium-Battery-Mobile-Power-Capacity-Tester-Meter-electronic-load/262059490557


2016-01-20 by Russell Graves

Same batteries used for all my testers. If you want to chat about this stuff, the contact form is to the right.

I still need to write up my ZB206+, and I’ll take a look at the unit you linked.


2016-06-17 by EdwardM

hello, very nice write up! I just got one of these, v2.1 from banggood.com for about $5 shipped. I was wondering about using it to test some 12V sealed lead acid batts I have. Using the included resistor, it starts out at about 1.5A load and that resistor starts getting quite hot. I would like to apply a load closer to the 3A limit of the device. Could I use some 12V incandescent bulbs as the load? I’m sure I can find one or a combination that would be close to 3A. would that work?


2016-06-17 by Russell Graves

Edward -

Yes, any sort of load will work fine. 12v/40W bulbs should get you close to 3A (fully charged is around 14v, so 3A@14v = 42W.


2016-07-03 by Unknown

Thanks for the in depth review. I’m just curious to know if you have figured out or can suggest how the reading can be logged on an SD card. I’m currently working on a Arduino project that involves this discharger. Any suggestion from anyone would be greatly appreciated.


2016-07-03 by Unknown

Just curious to know if you’d managed to data log the readings. Thanks


2016-07-03 by Russell Graves

I never bothered figuring it out. I was given the software, but I don’t like running random Chinese binaries on my systems, so I never played with it.

If you’re using an Arduino, grab a precision voltmeter, a shunt, and do the calculations yourself.


2016-07-03 by Unknown

I’m designing and building a machine to automate the charge and discharge of batteries so I don’t need to baby sit them. I can setup a camera to take a picture of the reading display on the dischargers but I wanted something more professional as a setup


2016-07-03 by Russell Graves

Sure, but you could very easy build a watt-hour and amp-hour meter into the Arduino controlling the system as well with a few additional components and avoid the whole mess. You’ll need to reset the discharger somehow, which will involve likely replacing the buttons with links to the Arduino.


2016-09-16 by FlyMan

Thanks a lot for this tutorial, very nice.

I have a question about this module. What do you think about use it for test the consuption rate of a weather station, based in Arduino platform attached to a 6V / 4.5A batery? This wil be only for monitoring continuosly the batery state. The weather station consumption is about 30mA.

The ZB2L3 will be powered, by a solar panel and a DC-DC buck to suply 5V.

I can implement a voltage divider for this step, but I would like to use the ZB2L3 to do this (perhaps is not a good idea).

Thanks.


2016-09-17 by Russell Graves

I don’t see why you’d use this instead of a voltage divider and current sense shunt if you want to monitor a weather station based around an Arduino.


2016-09-18 by FlyMan

I will implement a voltage divider and a current sense. On the other hand I will buy a ZB2L3 for play, I like it!

Thanks Rusell.


2016-09-19 by Russell Graves

Let me know if you figure out the serial interface. I didn’t care enough to really spend time on it with a tester that I wasn’t a huge fan of.


2016-09-20 by FlyMan

Actually I’m working with StampPlot Pro as a little DAQ, the Arduino serial interface is very basic.


2016-09-24 by adriankoooo

Hi,

An interesting review from ebay:

“A word of warning to everyone, DO NOT BUY THIS DISCHARGER! The problem with this discharger is it assumes you have a constant current load hooked up to the discharger and that said constant current is 2 amps. The problem is that the resistor provided with the discharger will not discharge the battery at a constant current as it is a resistor. I plugged in this discharger and set everything up with the 7.5 ohm resistor and the discharger said it was discharging the battery at 2 amps, and this simply isn’t true. Because if we do some math with ohms law, we will see that this simply isn’t true:

Battery voltage vs fixed resistor value of 7.5 ohms:
4.2/7.5 ohm= 0.56 amps. The charger read 2.0 amps
4.0/7.5 ohm= 0.53 amps. The charger read 2.0 amps
3.8/7.5 ohm= 0.50 amps. The charger read 2.0 amps
3.6/7.5 ohm= 0.48 amps. The charger read 2.0 amps
3.4/7.5 ohm= 0.45 amps. The charger read 2.0 amps
3.2/7.5 ohm= 0.42 amps. The charger read 2.0 amps
3.0/7.5 ohm= 0.40 amps. The charger read 2.0 amps

I tried calibrating each discharger, but it ended up doing nothing. Since the discharger is calculating the capacity based off the fact that a constant 2 amps is being discharged (when really the discharge current is varying), this discharger is unusable for me. I cannot recommend buying this.”

- what is the truth? There is a very big difference between capacity measured via professional tester and this cheap meter? I just want to test my 18650 baterries.

Or it would be better to measure capacity with Arduino? Like here:

Very simple Arduino Lithium-ion battery capacity tester/discharge monitor | electronicsblog.net


2016-09-25 by Russell Graves

Mine did report reasonable amperages during discharge - you may have a defective one.

However, if you want a good tester, I recommend the ZB206+ - I reviewed one of those as well, and it’s the only one I reviewed that I still use. https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/01/zb206-battery-tester.html

If you need one and are in the US, contact me - I have a few spares laying around with battery holders that will work for 18650s.


2016-09-25 by Unknown

I agree with Russell Graves that this sounds like a defective tester. Like Russell’s, my tester show plausible current readings.


2016-09-30 by Unknown

I got the same defective results.maybe someone could figure out the calibration…or point out the MANUFACTURERS website?


2016-11-30 by Unknown

I just calibrated a couple of these today. Your guide is correct, except for the last step.
You really need a variable bench power supply. You connect your load resistor where it is supposed to go, and connect the input to the power supply. Simply set it to 2 amps, and if you feel the resistors heat up, press OK. Calibration done, and now super accurate.


2016-11-30 by Russell Graves

That assumes you trust your bench power supply. :slight_smile:


2016-11-30 by Unknown

Well, yes, of course. But I did some measurements with a multimeter, that I’m sure I can’t afford. Just though it would be good to update the original post with this information. I was personally really confused about the “short the load” part, until I did some testing myself… :stuck_out_tongue:


2016-12-09 by Unknown

Hello Russell! In the test results you published you also inclided recharge results. What device or setup did you use to get the recharge amp-hour readings? Thanks.


2016-12-09 by Russell Graves

Andrew - it’s not mentioned in this article, but probably in some others. I have a VTC4 charger that I use for charging NiMH and lithium cells.


2017-02-06 by Anonymous

I’ve bought two of these testers, but I have a problem with them when I am using it.
When I connect fully charged battery, the voltage on the meter shows 4.2V, the same, when I use the multimeter.
Clicking OK, it shows a cut-off voltage of 3V which is fine, but as soon I press OK, the voltage on the multimeter stays at 4.2v (on the terminals) but the tester voltage drops (on the LCD) to 3.6V.
This cause that all measurements are incorrect. A battery that I know that is about 1500 mhA is showing as 600 mhA.
Does it mean that it is faulty?
I have performed the calibration wit one and two resistors but still nothing. Should I try to calibrate without the resistor or somehow different?


2017-02-06 by Unknown

Hi Maciej
What load resistor do you use? If you put a high load on a small battery, then it seems probable that the voltage drops to 3.6V. Sounds like your multimeter reading is wrong.

Your 1500mAh battery, was that tested to be 1500mAh using a similar load? If you test it with a higher load, the capacity will be less.

I’m inclined to think that your tester is working.


2017-02-06 by Russell Graves

Maciej Jozefiak - it sounds like either you have a lot of resistance between the battery and the tester, or you’re pulling a lot of current through the cell, causing significant voltage sag, and reduced capacity.


2017-02-06 by Anonymous

Hi guys,

Thank you for reply. I am testing Samsung\LG 18650 batteries from laptop packs.
When they are charged the voltage is 4.2V.
The resistance is single 5W 7 Ohm resistor which came with the meter.
Could it be that I messed up the configuration during the calibration process?
What resistor do you put during this calibration porcess?
thx


2017-02-06 by Russell Graves

I didn’t calibrate mine. I left it as-is.

Really, though, this is not the best tester out there. The ZB206+ is a radically better tester for not much more money.


2017-08-23 by Unknown

Hi: Thanks for the tutorial. Has anyone made a circuit to add to the battery tester to prevent hooking a battery up backwards? I’d appreciate any details for doing that.


2017-08-29 by pmiller056

I have one and it produced weird results. The cell voltage was correct when not discharging and rose when discharging through the load. The current reading was lies. It was going to be more effort than it was worth to return the module for credit/replacement. In the interest of reverse engineering I unsoldered the LED display. As expected, there’s more underneath the LED display. There’s a Titan Microelectronics TM1650 I2C controlled LED display and keyboard driver. The microcontroller is a ST 8S003F3P6, which is an 8 bit, 20 pin micro with the usual flash and multifunction pins. The 8205 noted above is almost certainly a FET to turn the load on and off. As I learn more, I’ll post more.


2017-10-12 by Unknown

I notice the resistor supplied is 7.5Ohm and 5W. If this is used to test a 12V car battery the current would be approaching 2A. With 12V (or perhaps 14.5V) across the load resistor and 2A through it, shouldn’t the resistor need a power rating of 30W or more?


2017-10-12 by Unknown

Good point.

Also note that you should avoid testing lead-acid batteries if at all possible. They don’t like being totally depleted.


2017-10-12 by Russell Graves

Yes, this is not a good resistor to use with a 12V battery. And as Rune notes, draining lead acid batteries is generally a bad plan anyway. You can set a high termination voltage and only test part of the capacity, but you’d definitely need a bigger load resistor. The 100W units are good for stuff like that.


2018-01-11 by Unknown

I want to ask … I buy this module often error 4 & error 3 … which I use current 18650 brand sanyo 2100mah battery … the solution how ??


2018-02-20 by Unknown

Hmm, I’ve got this tester and am experiencing strange behavior. First of all when it meassures a constant volatge, at variates about 0.2v around the real value constantly. When it acually tests, the voltage seems stable but it is 0.3V too low! Have tried calibrating in multiple ways and that does also influence the default voltage-meassuring before starting the test, but once actually starting the test, the voltage is wrong again by the same ammount. This way it sadly is unusable…
Guess my unit is defective?


2018-02-21 by Russell Graves

Are you seeing the voltage drop from a battery under load? A high load on a small battery could easily exhibit 0.3V drop. Check with a separate multimeter. But, this isn’t a tester I use anymore because I’ve found better testers (check the battery tester category of posts).


2018-02-27 by Unknown

hi boss … i want to ask … i use 5w 10ohm resistor … how to read the battery capacity ??? while the number indicated 900ah ??? how many mah my battery ???


2018-03-03 by Russell Graves

There should be a decimal point in there. The capacity is indicated in amp-hours, but look for the decimal.


2018-03-20 by Unknown

Have you seen:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7SWExcGAnOQ

An excellent breakdown of why these units are punk. Circuit analysis and how obe should have designed them

Cheers!


2018-07-19 by Unknown

Bad board, like https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7SWExcGAnOQ says, bad values, and the new calibration works different and not good.
When i calibrate with 1000mA the display gives by 100mA real current already 1000mA.
It looks like that i must calibratate with 9999mA. But that is above the specifications.
Not usable for a good measuring value. Better to make a Arduino version!!
Who have a better solution? Thanks.


2018-10-29 by Unknown

I tested a 18650 battery after which the tester was stuck and now only shows the battery voltages and does not start another test. What can I do?


2018-11-10 by Unknown

Adrian, throw it at window ) TEC-06 is our hero: TEC-06: An accurate, versatile & cheap Battery Charge-Tester - YouTube


2018-11-10 by Unknown

An example of Arduino project sits here (Russian, use GT): Ардуино, Андроид или Айфон - что популярней в мире?


2018-11-10 by Unknown

Thank you, Jim. Very interesting. Have no time to do my own research (


2018-11-10 by Unknown

I found some time to make a test run. Mine ZB2L3 is 2.3e version. During 59 min 59 sec I draw 1.000A current (stabilized up to 1mA step), and ZB2L3 showed 1009 mA/h. I passed the calibration process before, as article above propose, it’s working, so, I’m afraid, even with newest firmware this tester isn’t much precise.

Another one, I hope, better, TEC-06 is ordered at Ebay. I’ll do the same test.


2020-08-20 by Lie Ambar Angin

I got error 5 after Calibration, short load.
Please help me for result error 5
Thank You.