CANADIAN Meshtastic Users - 21700 & 18650 Batteries

With the help of other more experienced users, like @Tim292stro in this forum, some of you may now be thinking of, or transitioning to 21700 batteries over the standard 18650 batteries. As others have reported a 21700 battery gives the same voltage as an 18650 but offers up to 5,000mAh vs the 3,500mAh max for an 18650. Some users who create 3D printed enclosures for devices like the T-Beam v1.1 are even adding larger back plates to accommodate the larger 21700 battery (which requires a removal of the stock 18650 battery holder on the T-Beam, and a re-solder of a larger 21700 battery holder, but the gain is about 40% in run-time capacity over a 18650.

For Canadian users, depending on where you live in Canada, sourcing QUALITY 18650 batteries (ie. non-Chinese made) in the 3,500mAh variant is very difficult, if not impossible to find domestically. Even stand-alone “Battery Stores” in Canada don’t carry Japanese, South Korea or Malaysia made 18650’s and 21700’s are almost non-existent and if you can find either most will be non-name Chinese made batteries.

Recently I searched everywhere in Canada for just a 3,500mAh 18650 battery, and all I was able to find locally at an All Battery store was a Samsung 30Q which is only 3,000mAh for $15CND each. Not even an option for a 3,500mAh battery of ANY brand, and they don’t even carry ANY 21700 battery.

So, again, listening to other more experienced users here, I took their advice and checked out the US based people. It’s shocking to see the price difference with most quality 3,500mAh 18650’s and 5,000mAh 21700 batteries being between $4.99 and $5.99US vs $15CND for a single 3,000mAh battery. Disgusting I know, but that’s another topic for another day.

So I ordered 2 18650 batteries from them, both in 3,500mAh with one from Samsung (35E) at $4.99US and one from Sanyo (NCR18650GA) at $5.99US, and also 2 21700 batteries, both being the Samsung (50E) for $4.99US each. So a total of 4 batteries and a total battery cost of $22.96US + $24.15US for shipping (OUCH!!) for a total of $47.11US or about $63.60CND based on a 35% exchange rate. $63.60 divided by 4 batteries works out to about $15.90 per battery. So around the same price I could get a lower end 3,000mAh battery for locally.

But here’s the kicker! I ordered these on-line exactly 7 days ago, on October 28, 2022 (a Friday night, so no expected action until to the following Monday, October 31, 2022). They wonderfully shipped them to me via USPS (postal) which few businesses who ship to Canada understand is the absolute BEST method to send anything to Canada from the USA as it seldom, if ever, incurs any Customs, Duty, or Taxes, whereas ANY courier company will ALWAYS charge you all 3 AND a BS “brokerage fee” on top of everything else. So any US based company that ships to Canada who ships via USPS (postal) is a friend indeed!!! All 4 batteries arrived in my mailbox this morning, 7 days after ordering them and they came from Georgia which is clear across the continent and about as far away diagonally on a map that I could possibly get. Yet it arrived in 4 business days to my friggin’ door!!! Holy Sheep Shit Margaret!!! I could not be happier! Sure it sucks that no matter who I get these batteries from they cost us Canadians $15CND, but I’m super impressed with and THANK YOU to the other members here who recommended them to me! The package was bomb proof, well packed and the batteries in proper containers to protect them from touching and shorting etc. So THANK YOU again for the recommendation and THANK YOU to 18650batterystore!


I got mine from Lees Electronics in Vancouver. They seem pretty good so far but do not carry 21700.

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I looked at them as well. Very cool store, but not great 18650 selection. I think they had one Samsung that was only 2,200mAh and anything else didn’t even have a brand name on it let alone indication of where it was manufactured. And like you said not a single 21700 to be found. But they do have some cools stuff like dual and triple battery holders and such.

I’ve had the same struggles in Canada – FYI if anyone needs them in a hurry, I’ve been buying the “lipstick” phone chargers they sell at Dollarama and taking them apart, there’s an 18650 battery in those.

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WAIT! WHAT??? Where’s my wife…“Wench!!! Start the car!!!”

What do they charge at the Dollarama for it? (because most things are no longer actually a dollar), and can you post a photog??

Sure, I just checked and they’re $4 each, they’re 2,000mah. Did the job for my personal and work projects in a hurry.


P.S. If anyone also wants to live dangerously I’ve gotten a couple Samsung 18650 (non protected) by taking apart a Ryobi battery pack that was no longer working (one bad cell out of all of them), I would make sure to put on your safety squints and doing some research of the risks before attempting to take it apart.

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Thank you! Do you have a photo of the actual shucked battery inside? The packaging says 1,800mAh which of course is limp, but like you say, it will do in a pinch. I bet there is no discernible brand name on them? Maybe “Kung Pow Meow” or no name at all?

Gonna head out to Dollarama today and get a couple to shuck and will do some side-by-side tests with a Samsung…not expecting great results, but I’m always up for finding stuff like this, so thanks for the intel!!! :slight_smile:

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No problem. Generally they’re completely blank, mystery 18650’s! It’s like a surprise bag but it can explode :slight_smile:

Most vape shops have high quality 18650s as well.

What do you mean it can explode? As far as I know the only explosion or fire risk is if they are shorted. So when taking it apart, as long as there is no short it should be just fine right?

You bring up an interesting point about Vape shops. I noticed on many, if not all, 18650 batteries that says not for Vape. Not sure what that indication is for or why but maybe somebody knows? I mean, it either uses an 18650 battery or it doesn’t. What’s the difference?

Vapes pull a lot of current so only high quality cells can (should) be used. Its a lawsuit waiting to happen if they stock low quality cells for their customers. I find vape shops either have no 18650s at all or only high quality “reasonably expensive ones”.

Thank you, that makes sense. So for the purposes of Meshtastic, we do not need high amperage. What we do need is High Capacity which is the mAh value. Whatever the amps after that is usually irrelevant as Meshtastic does not draw or have need for large bursts of power. At least that’s my understanding from others on here when I’ve asked that question. So the highest mAh value is what we’re looking for. This is why I have been getting 21700 batteries instead of 18650’s for larger projects like tje outdoor solar powered repeater nodes. 18650 batteries only go as high as 3,500mAh whereas the 21700 batteries go as high as 5,000 mAh and if you put two of the 21700 batteries in a battery holder and wire it parallel, that’ll give you 10,000 mAh.

if youre going to be using a 3d printed case anyway, why not just add a JST connector and use an off the shelf 18650 battery pack.


While I’m in a Canadian thread… any of you from the Niagara region? Always curious if there are other relays in the area :slight_smile:

Just adding another option here…
I’ve bought from them in the past and received my package very quickly. Not a huge selection or awesome prices, but worth checking out!

When it comes to high shipping cost from US, you can try to use shipping forwarders eg My Mailbox. I’ve been using this particular one for eBay items that do not ship outside of US and for stores that either have a high shipping cost or do not offer USPS option.

Hamilton here, not running any right now, but have a plan for summer of 2023

Nice! I Work in hamilton and have a node running there as well, would be curious to know if you see it once you get some hardware :slight_smile:

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