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Lithium Battery Versions .. .. ..

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Musicmanager

Active Member
Morning Guys

I wanted to share some of my recent battery experiences in the hope that the information may help folk in the future.

A while ago, I started a thread on here seeking advice about the use of Lithium batteries for a project toy I had in progress for my grandkids. The conversation was somewhat animated over concerns of fake or genuine lithium batteries, indeed there was a member from North America somewhere, name escapes me, Agnieska or something like that .. who was adamant that fake batteries could be easily identified by their name. For example, I had bought a set of 5 'Ultrafire' batteries, only to be told that ALL Ultrafire are fake.

Since my intention was to put these batteries in the proximity of my grandkids this worried me some, not least because my wife would never forgive me if I blew one of them up ! I found a small company in the UK who specialise in the supply of Lithium batteries and approached them for advice; I was told that the fake Lithium battery market was alive and virulent but my suggestion that it was limited to certain manufacturers, and the likes of Sony, Panasonic etc would be safe & OK was a flawed notion. He asserted he could show me a fake version of almost any manufacturer I chose to mention, but equally a perfectly kosher one.

My current project involves the assembly of 5 small circuits, each one powered by a rechargeable 18650 battery; 2 of these are built and working very nicely, including the recharging of the battery using a TP 4056 module.
Yesterday morning I completed the third circuit, attached the battery and checked the circuit worked OK, and then attached the wall-wart power supply to check the battery recharging; Initially, all appeared OK but then, fortunately whilst I had moved away from my bench, there was a loud crack like a gunshot, a bit of a flash and then bits of hot battery all over my bench together with an acrid smell.

After having a change of underwear, I spent some time with investigation and found .. .. .


. Lithium Fake.jpg Lithium Gen.jpg

The battery on the left is a fake; notice the hollow in the button and the colour of the surrounding plastic which ,although the photo doesn't show it well, is actually translucent and some of the contents are visible.
The battery on the right is genuine; the button is solid, the plastic surround is opaque.
There are other more subtle differences - the printing of the markings on the fake battery are different but only in font, font size and case, so not very easy to spot.

The practical difference between them is that the genuine battery gradually takes less current as it charges; when it reaches a certain level the TP 4056 uses that to identify a 'charged' battery and switch off the charging process; The fake battery continues to take current at a gradually increasing rate generating some considerable heat, not just the battery but the TP 4056 and the L7805 V. Reg. chip supplying it ( both are limited to 1.5 amps ); presumably, something in the battery melts and causes a short circuit and then boom !


I hope someone may find this information useful .. .. .. I'm off for a lie down !

S
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I find weight a fairly good indicator, genuine ones weigh -45g. Fakes E.G. tend to be lighter - in this case, 35g. What do yours weigh?

Mike.
 

Musicmanager

Active Member
I find weight a fairly good indicator, genuine ones weigh -45g. Fakes E.G. tend to be lighter - in this case, 35g. What do yours weigh?
Hi Mike

Yes, I remembered you said that before .. .. .. .. . but the results were inconclusive .. .. the fakes weigh 39 gms, the genuine 42 gms

Maybe the fakers have become wise to the difference and are adding a piece of swan shot or something ! :D

I entirely accept my analysis is brief, but I wanted to offer what I could; had I been sat at my bench at the time the outcome would have been very different.

S
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
A friend of mine builds electric skateboards and dismantles Ryobi battery packs. Seems they contain 10 (5s2p) genuine 18650 batteries in each one. As you can get two for AU $200 (US $120) they work out a pretty cheap and reliable source. Not seen genuine ones for US $6 each anywhere else.

Mike.
 

Mickster

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Dodged a bullet there MM, really glad you didn't have a fire.
 

Musicmanager

Active Member
Ahh !! Audioguru !! THAT was the name I was trying to think of .. .. .. .. .. :)

AG .. the records stuck !

S
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Ahh !! Audioguru !! THAT was the name I was trying to think of .. .. .. .. .. :)

AG .. the records stuck !

S
The name ULTRAFIRE? Did you buy those very cheeeeep fake batteries from ebay?
Can you imagine the low pay to the people who make that junk? No wonder they eat bats, snakes and other animals that started the corona virus, not the Mexican beer.
 

Musicmanager

Active Member
The name ULTRAFIRE? Did you buy those very cheeeeep fake batteries from ebay?
Well, whilst I did buy from Ebay, they weren't particularly cheap or particularly fake ! Of the eight batteries I purchased 5 are genuine and 3 are fake as I demonstrated in my first post.

Incidentally, the Ultrafire Warehouse is in New Jersey not in China.

As for the bit about bats & snakes and other animals, I'm struggling to understand what you're going on about, but then, that's nothing new !

S
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Chinese fake-makers selected making fake ULTRAFIRE 18650 battery cells maybe because they are popular and are easy to sell on ebay.

Researchers found the Sars virus in 2008 and now the Corona virus in bats living in caves in China and antibodies in poor Chinese people who live near the caves and eat the bats. There is a weird animal with scales in the caves that also eats the bats and is sold as a "delicacy" in the Chinese live market where the Corona virus began. Snakes were also mentioned being eaten over there.
Do European people in countries where the virus is rampant eat Chinese tourists then break the too-late lockdown rules?
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Eating bats and animals with scales, could be a problem.

But what about the Icelanders?
They eat puffins and gulls and rotten shark meat.
I guess if something develops out of that, we are really done for.
A big flying virus with teeth!

JimB
 

Musicmanager

Active Member
Chinese fake-makers selected making fake ULTRAFIRE 18650 battery cells maybe because they are popular and are easy to sell on ebay.
Yes, maybe .. … but as I said in my original post, I had conversation with legitimate battery suppliers who assured me the fake market is not limited to any manufacturer, even the well known names are prone to the problem.

They eat puffins and gulls and rotten shark meat.
Well be huffin and puffin and snappin all over the place !

A big flying virus with teeth!
You're a brave man JimB, I wouldn't dare call him that !! :D

S
 
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