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PostPosted: February 12, 2020, 12:37 pm 
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Location: West Chicago,IL
I recently purchased a battery tester that will test a battery in or out of a car. From what I read, these modern testers measure the voltage and conductance of a battery. Rather than putting a big honkin’ load, it measures the electrical performance.

After looking at several brands, I focused on the Topdon BT Master. The reason for that choice was it has no display or button switched to fail. It connects to your smart phone, either Android or Apple. The phone controls the tests and displays the results. In addition, there are no batteries to replace or leak. It gets its power from the battery being tested. I figured this device was more reliable over the long term than those with dedicated displays to fail or break in a toolbox. Only time will tell if I made the right decision.
I purchased this device on eBay for ~$23 delivered. Pretty inexpensive! When I received it, I was eager to test it out. I downloaded the BTMaster app from the Google Playstore and gave it a shot. First thing is one has to setup an account. I entered my email and tried to create a password. Every attempt at this was met with defeat. I searched online for any workarounds. None were found. Bummer!
I then tried to pair the device with my phone. Every attempt was met with a failure telling me the BT Master denied pairing. WTF? Searching deeper on the InterWeb, It would appear that the pairing is supposed to be done from within the app, not setup on the phone before opening the app. But I can’t get the app to get past the account setup stage. What to do?

I sent a message to the seller asking for any help getting past this. That was met with crickets. I also left a message on the mfgr’s website. And opened a chat on their Facebook page using Facebook messenger. So far, no response. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt as many China businesses are shut down presently due to the Corona Virus.

In my researching, I saw that the mfgr has a similar BT battery tester that is no currently offered. That device uses a different app, BTMobile. In a moment mixed with despair and hope, I downloaded that app. Maybe, just maybe, the devices use the same commands, just display differently on my phone. I connected the battery tester and opened the app. To my joy, it all came to life. No creating an account was required. It told me to open the BT to the tester by just pressing a button, I entered the battery type and CCA rating of the battery. I told it to run the battery test. It took a few seconds and responded with a few measurements/calculations. My battery was at full charge (expected), the calculated CCA, and the % of health of the battery. WooHoo.

My intent here was to simply get the tester operable or return it to the seller. I did not run other tests at the moment since the battery is out of the car. Presumably it measures the voltage during actual cranking and also measures the charging voltages. The latter is less important IMO since I can measure that with my DMM which I trust explicitly.

In spite of very poor communication with the seller and mfgr, I think I’ll keep this device as a tool for future use. Perhaps in a few weeks, I’ll get a response from the mfgr when companies reopen in China.


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PostPosted: February 12, 2020, 1:14 pm 
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Location: Cornholio OR "Where the magic happens"
That tester uses your cars starter to do a poor version of a load test.
But the really bad part is allowing an outsider access to your phone
Try one of these, that doesn't allow a Chinese company access to your phone.
The 300 amp alligator clamps make it look like it does something, you could plug it into your cars lighter and do the same.


This is a better choice.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/BATTERY-TESTER-100-AMP/30328396

Not ideal but far better for the same~ money. Too big for a small battery and too small for a large battery.

If you have the battery in a car all you need is a volt meter to test it and watch battery volts when cranking.

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PostPosted: February 12, 2020, 6:20 pm 
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That is a fancy way of testing the internal resistance of the battery. Just need a dvm and a resistor to check, then compare to a chart based on cca. More accurate to check your new battery to know where you actually start versus a general chart. Test no load v, add resistor as load and check v and amps, resistor plus internal resistance equals total and you have total amps and voltage diff so find for internal. Internal ohms increase with age/condition.

The honkin' load is more accurate and can be used for testing other things like a carbon pile. :cheers:

I just replaced my walmart maax battery yesterday. It was getting slower than normal when cold and I checked the date code. It was from nov/2010. They cost more but are cheaper in the long run. I always go with the most cca that will fit in the tray for the minimum price maax. 750cca will work longer than 600cca with the same rate of degradation.

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PostPosted: February 12, 2020, 9:50 pm 
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Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F wrote:
That is a fancy way of testing the internal resistance of the battery. …….


Sure is. But what is wrong with new tools?

Bent Wrench wrote:
That tester uses your cars starter to do a poor version of a load test.
But the really bad part is allowing an outsider access to your phone
Try one of these, that doesn't allow a Chinese company access to your phone.
The 300 amp alligator clamps make it look like it does something, you could plug it into your cars lighter and do the same.


This is a better choice.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/BATTERY-TEST ... P/30328396

Not ideal but far better for the same~ money. Too big for a small battery and too small for a large battery.


You seem to have the same recommendation as MV8. My tool handles small or large battery just as easily. anything from 20 to 2000 CCA ratings It tests to various international standards. Flooded batteries, plate and Spiral wrapped AGM batteries, Gel and even EFB batteries too.

FYI, the BTMobile app did not require creating an account.

BTW, Your fears of China hacking me are yours and not mine. If I were concerned about the Chinese hacking into my life, I would have no computer, no cell phone, no smart TV or satellite TV, or practically any other "connected" electronic devices such as my telephone.

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PostPosted: February 12, 2020, 9:57 pm 
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rx7locost wrote:
But what is wrong with new tools?

Oooh, a new tool, I like new tools.
Good to hear you got the app bug worked out. :cheers:

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PostPosted: February 13, 2020, 5:52 am 
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Tool? I thought it was a video game! :P Too much razzle dazzle!
I kid, I kid. Nothing wrong with that. I think my baby sis has one. :boxing:
Seriously though, just kidding. It is interesting.

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