Flashlight Reviews

CBA II - Computerized Battery Analyzer

provided for review by
West Mountain Radio
West Mountain Radio's CBA II (Computerized Battery Analyzer) is one of the most advanced battery analyzer and testers available in the market. As the name suggests, CBA has extensive capability to test and analyze battery in terms of their characteristics such as Voltage, Current, Power & Performance. With West Mountain Radio's CBA II you would be able to match capacities of Rechargeable batteries and determine best performing batteries. CBA II uses latest plug-n-play USB technology to communicate with PC. As an optional accessory, you can get temperature probe to monitor the temperature during the tests.

When you order CBA from West Mountain Radio; required hardware, USB cable, power cable with Power Pole connector and an excellent software totally free of charge are included. Note that each CBA is individually calibrated for best performance and accuracy.

Computerized Battery Analyzer CBA II Features:
  • Characterize individual batteries and packs by inspecting their discharge curves at specified current levels
  • Capable to measure discharge currents up to 40 Amps or total power dissipation up to 150 Watts
  • Microcontroller (µC) based hardware to measure current, voltage & temperature with high accuracy
  • 10 bit voltage resolution with auto select ranging
  • 12 bit current resolution (below 3 amps) and 10 bit current resolution above 3 amps
  • Electronic MOS FET based load with current regulation
  • Ruggedly built
  • Uses gauge 13 power wires with Power Pole connectors
  • Excellent software supplied free of charge

CBA II Software Features:
  • Allows testing of various types of batteries and battery packs
  • Pre configured common battery types such as Lead Acid, NiCd, NiMH, Li-Ion
  • Custom battery configutation including Voltage Limit & Test Current
  • Compare battery characteristics such as Voltage, Current, Power & Performance in Ampre Hours
  • When Temperature probe is connected, it also displays live temperature readings
  • Print Labels with test dates and capacities for easy identification and matching
  • Print Capacity discharge curves and battery analysis results

Primary Safety Considerations: (CBA User Manual)
  • Never discharge a battery at a higher discharge rate than it is designed for
  • Never use a battery that has poorly insulated or frayed wiring or exposed metal parts
  • Never connect a battery with reverse polarity
  • Never test a battery near flammable materials
  • Never allow a battery reach a temperature that causes it to get so hot that it may be too hot to touch
  • Never test or charge your batteries while unattended
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby

In-Depth Review & Pictures:
CBA II Package Contents: Contents include CBA, small note along with the installation CD, spare 25 Amp fuse, USB cable and the temperature probe (please note that temperature probe is an optional accessory).

CD and Instruction Note. The instruction note mentions primary installation instructions to get you started. Please be advised that for the very first installation, you should insert CD first prior to connecting CBA II.

CBA II comes with pre installed 25 Amp fuse to offer better protection. The 40 Amp additional fuse is included along with the note. Normally, you would not be required to use this 40 Amp fuse unless you would like to test batteries in excess of 25 Amp.

USB Cable and optional magnetic temperature probe.

Computerized Battery Analyzer CBA II: Pictures

Before installation please make sure that you meet the minimum basic pre-requisites. Today's PC definitely meets the requirements. But if your pc is more than 6 years old, you may want to reconfirm the hardware and software requirements.

Hardware / PC: A PC with USB Port, 128 MB of RAM or more, Windows 98 or higher version of operating system, 233 MHz processor or higher and about 10 MB of free hard disk space for installation.

Software Installation:
Installation: The installation of CBA is very simple. Just follow the steps and you are ready to go.

  • Insert the accompanying CD in to the CD drive, the CD should auto run and prompt you with 5 options
  • If the auto run is disabled, you can browse the CD through windows explorer and double click on auto run file
  • Once the auto run application starts, choose "Software & Hardware installation option"
  • You will now be asked to connect USB cable between PC and CBAII
  • As soon as you connect windows will auto detect West Mountain Radio - Computerized Battery Analyzer hardware and prompt you for installing drivers
  • You should then choose CD ROM as the location of drivers and allow the driver installation to complete. On some PC's especially on Windows XP based PC's you will be prompted to verify / confirm to installed unsigned driver. You have to use "Continue Installation" Option to continue. Follow the steps to complete the driver installation returning to auto run window
  • Use the 5th Option to install the West Mountain Radio Test software
  • Follow easy to understand steps to complete testing software installation
  • You are now ready to analyze and test batteries
  • Please read through the included electronic manual before performing steps. Do not forget to go through safety precautions prior to beginning the tests
Let's begin some testing. But before that, you MUST read the user manual completely. Here are a few important tips

Tips for Testing batteries with CBA II:
  • ALWAYS Connect CBA II through USB to PC prior to connecting batteries
  • DO NOT Connect battery with wrong polarity
  • Ensure that battery terminals are clean and battery is making firm contact with the battery holder/adapter
  • Also ensure that the electrical path has no or minimal resistance and connections to power poles are firm
  • DO NOT Short the battery or the CBA II power connectors at any point of time
Sanyo 2000 mAh NiMH Battery Test: The first step was to charge the batteries. The batteries were charged using La-crosse BC-900 charger with charging current set at 1 Amp. All four batteries were given rest for 2 days prior to caring out the tests. Each battery was tested individually with a discharge current of 1 Amp and cutoff voltage of 0.9 volts. Prior to the test the assumption was that all batteries are having same charge and they are in same health. However after the tests, it is now clearly proven that battery 003 and battery 004 are under performing where as battery 001 and 002 are near their full capacity. Below comparative graph depicts the fact very clearly.

This way you can clearly match the good pair of batteries and identify under performing batteries.
Reviewed: 2007-11-03
Updated: 2008-08-03

Buy West Mountain Radio's CBA II Computerized Battery Analyzer at West Mountain Radio's Website.
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