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Batteries & Chargers Discuss Li-P, Li-Ion, NiMh, Nicad battery technology and the chargers that juice 'em up!

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Old 09-07-2011, 03:23 PM   #1
Winston
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Default Chinese NiMH packs on eBay

From recent experience, I've found that a very high percentage of Chinese source eBay NiMH battery packs apparently have fraudulently claimed capacity ratings. I'm surprised not to find much of anything about this in this forum.

Here are three examples:

2 ea eBay item 6V 1800mAh (claimed) NI-MH Rechargeable Receiver Battery Pack New
One tested at 440mAh, the other at 575mAh after being cycled multiple times at 1/10C
Suspect both are made from ancient 600mAh cells
From eBay seller wangdecheng9898 - printing on packs he sells now with same rating look different (size & style of font)

1 ea eBay item 4.8V 2300mAh (claimed) Ni-MH Rechargeable Receiver Battery Pack
Actually 1350mAh after multiple 1/10C cycles
From eBay seller digi-skyway - he's still selling this item which appears exactly the same

3 ea Xacti video camera batteries
Less than 1/2 of claimed capacity based upon operating time of camera compared to operating time with correctly marked OEM battery

Since many of these sellers sell all kinds of things, I don't believe they're the ones responsible for the mis-marking of the packs or that they were even aware of the fraud when they bought their stock. But I can tell you that after they're informed of the mis-marking, they continue to sell
the same items with the same claims.

Digi-skyway offered a half-refund if I kept the pack, based I guess on the "logic" that I'd pay half price for a pack of half the capacity I actually needed as long as I gave positive feedback, and a full refund if I returned it, thereby probably spending more on postage than I'd paid for the item only to have it stolen in transit after it reached their thieving shores or to have its receipt never acknowledged. I chose negative feedback with a notice other potential buyers about the fantasy capacity rating of his packs.

Note that I wasn't buying any of these for their intended purpose in consumer electronics or as RC receiver packs. I was buying them for various electronics projects. But I learned my lesson and will be ordering from US sources with name brand cells from now on. And, no, I don't represent the interests of any US battery or RC supplier. It's just that too many Chinese sellers on eBay are apparently crooks.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:50 PM   #2
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My final experience with Chinese-origin NiMH battery packs. I will never buy another direct-sourced Chinese pack:

After finding that packs with capacity labels that could be printed on any inkjet or laser printer weren't even remotely close to their claimed capacities, I thought I'd try two identical 4.8V 1800mAh packs that were marked directly on their shrink wrap with a high speed inkjet printer like those used to mark expiration dates on food, figuring that fraudulent vendors wouldn't have that sort of equipment. These packs weren't purchased on eBay, but were purchased from one of those Hong Kong sites where you can buy tech items with free shipping.

One pack charged to 400mAh and then rapidly degraded/failed after the first cycle. The other charged to 150mAh and also gradually failed. These 4.8V "1800mAh" (hah!) packs weigh 52g each whereas a known-good Sanyo cell 4.8V 2000mAh pack weighs 108g.

Bottom line: Direct-source Chinese NiMH and, probably, NiCd packs are GARBAGE. Packs from reputable RC and battery vendors, for US residents preferably US-based ones, are the only way to go. And, once again, no, I'm not associated with any battery vendor anywhere.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:23 PM   #3
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The milliamp escalation 'war' has done a serious disservice to NiMh. A reasonable chemistry has been seriously tarnished by massively inflated claims and seriously crap cells. In many cases marketing has trumped performance.
I've got a number of 2500-2700mA AA cells that come nowhere near that level and self-discharge at an alarming rate. They don't come close to the quality of some > 5 year old 1500mA cells.

Brand name and US distributor may help because they can tarnish their reputation selling this kind of stuff but I'd bet they get them from the same Chinese sources in a number of cases. Ins some cases they have sold some pretty junky stuff too.

I think buying batteries of any sort on eBay is looking for disappointment unless proven otherwise.

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Old 09-10-2011, 07:36 PM   #4
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I agree wholeheartedly. But it's more than just a mAh race with these Chinese packs. It's outright fraud at an outrageous level when a "1800 mAh" pack reaches 150 or 400 mAh one time and then fails.

And I was amazed when I searched the various RC forums and saw hardly any comments at all on this topic. So, spread the word - Chinese NiMH and, probably, NiCd battery pack claims are almost certainly lies and any battery packs you buy directly from China/Hong Kong are almost certainly overrated or even completely defective GARBAGE.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by flydiver View Post
Brand name and US distributor may help because they can tarnish their reputation selling this kind of stuff but I'd bet they get them from the same Chinese sources in a number of cases. Ins some cases they have sold some pretty junky stuff too.
But, as you mention, the better RC suppliers are rightfully concerned about their reputation in the RC community and will probably stand by the quality of items they sell. And as I have found, there is no point in trying to save a few bucks by buying Chinese-source packs when absolutely every one of them are either completely defective or don't provide anywhere remotely close to their claimed mAh rating. I have never received a pack from a US battery vendor that was even remotely as out of spec as this Chinese JUNK.

Originally Posted by flydiver View Post
I think buying batteries of any sort on eBay is looking for disappointment unless proven otherwise.
As I have described, buying Chinese packs from any source located in Hong Kong/China is nearly certain to disappoint. I've bought LiPos from Hobby King that seem to be fine, but they don't even offer NiMH or NiCd packs for sale. Perhaps that's because being located in Hong Kong, they are painfully aware of the massive fraud apparently taking place in China with those types of cells.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:33 PM   #6
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I think there is so much misunderstanding about how NiXX works and especially charges, coupled with over a decade of bad chargers and batteries that many folks have just given up. That would encompass much of the newer RC community. There is also increasing option to switch over to lipo now.
The 'old guard' knows what works and simply sticks with it.

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Old 09-10-2011, 10:33 PM   #7
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For RC, I use LiPos exclusively. For electronic gizmos that I build, I use NiMH packs for low current and NiCd packs for higher current applications because they can be charged through a two-contact DC power connector and don't require a balancing connector for continued decent, safe performance like LiPos. Only recently have I made the mistake of buying direct Chinese-sourced NiMH and NiCd packs. Won't do that again...
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:26 AM   #8
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There are reliable sources like GenAce from HobbyParts , Turnegy from Hobby King that still provide great value vs old choice . When you can get a great pack for $19.00 vs $79 you have to look at that differance .My numbers and my care of batterys allows me to enjoy that value and get the most out of them.
Now there is a new law in place that you will not be able to buy direct from China to the USA on lipos greater then 1000 amps .
If the seller is reputal he will tell you that when you attempt to order ,
this effects the USA only .
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lou1984 View Post
There are reliable sources like GenAce from HobbyParts , Turnegy from Hobby King that still provide great value vs old choice . When you can get a great pack for $19.00 vs $79 you have to look at that differance .My numbers and my care of batterys allows me to enjoy that value and get the most out of them.
Now there is a new law in place that you will not be able to buy direct from China to the USA on lipos greater then 1000 amps .
If the seller is reputal he will tell you that when you attempt to order ,
this effects the USA only .
The consistent problems were with NiMH packs from China/Hong Kong, not LiPos,
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:40 PM   #10
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Yep and even HK gets burnt along with us consumers. I bought a bunch of their AA 2300's I think it was, for use as rx packs. Not one lasted more then two cycles, and even one set didn't have enough juice off the charger to run a pair of retracts. Bout a week later HK pulled em form their ads.

I switched out to Venom AA's and have been quite satisfied with em. They have been in use going on 4 years now and still take nearly full spec capacity on recharging.


And why China sellers make up specs? Because they know it will make it a bigger seller then to list it at what it should be, and for the cost involved, most buyers won't return em, paying more in postage then the cells are worth.

We fall for the "supposed" specs and they make the bucks.

When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:25 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Glacier Girl View Post
We fall for the "supposed" specs and they make the bucks.
Not any more. I took the time to post my Chinese NiMH battery pack experiences here so others don't have to learn the same way I did. And as I said previously, I'll bet their NiCd packs experience similarly amazing levels of pack capacity rating fraud and outright defects.
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:19 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Winston View Post
Not any more. I took the time to post my Chinese NiMH battery pack experiences here so others don't have to learn the same way I did. And as I said previously, I'll bet their NiCd packs experience similarly amazing levels of pack capacity rating fraud and outright defects.
A lot of people have had good luck with the Eneloop batteries. I picked up 8 of them for my Canon SX20IS camera. And, batteriesamerica can provide them with solder tabs. Yes they are expensive, but they perform per their specifications. My eight Eneloop cells are on their second year, and are still going on strong after a number of charge cycles.

http://www.batteriesamerica.com/newpage3.htm

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