Battery pack shenanigans ..anyone seen this before?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Battery pack shenanigans ..anyone seen this before?

    Buddy of mine has a couple of season old Magicshine MJ-816 (The mickey mouse light). *edit* This was not a GeomanGear pack - it was some other pack he had sourced.

    Apparently this was one of the replacement packs - but it has been dumping on our ~2 hour rides the past few times.

    I put it on my AccuCell and fresh off his tricklecharger, I only pulled 1889mah out of it. I did a full charge at 1.7A rate and it only took 1997mah. I'm looking at it thinking 6-cell, 2s3P, even using 2000mah cheap cells, this thing should be taking 5000+mah.

    I got his permission to open it up and found this:
    a) 1300mah cells? WTF?
    b) 2 dummy cells? They're only connected on one end, so they're not part of the circuit, even though the tabs are spot welded on one end.

    Battery pack shenanigans ..anyone seen this before?-20151120_202543_zpsvyl1ckul.jpg
    Battery pack shenanigans ..anyone seen this before?-20151120_202643_zpsuqpwsam1.jpg

    Even at that - they're only charging to about 75% capacity.
    Last edited by adrenalnjunky; 11-21-2015 at 12:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    It's a typical Chinese "junk grade" battery; no surprise there. Probably, the IMR cells were salvaged from discarded power tool or the like. The dummy cells are often used to make the pack look bigger & better.

  3. #3
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    I found the same from a 2S2P pack that came with a Triple XM-L2 light I reviewed from GearBest. At first I noticed they were not connected up right and their wrapping was different shades of blue:

    " width="549">

    " width="549">

    Then after measuring 0.00v across two of the cells I took a risk and cut one open to find this:

    " width="549">

    The two remaining good cells were way out of balance too. After balancing (iirc), capacity tested at 2,200mAh:

    " width="549">
    (This was prior to getting my hobby charger.)

    Funny thing is, because the light was so underdriven it still gave 1hr 30 min runtime on the unbalanced pack. And since it was a Triple it still put out a good amount of light looking bright to the average user.

    -Garry
    "My Bike Lights" Thread on BLF teardowns, measurements, and beamshots. Moving my photos, PM or post up if you can't see them.

  4. #4
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    Well now we see why that company went out of business. Cheapest of the cheap and dishonest Chinese crap.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalnjunky View Post
    Buddy of mine has a couple of season old Magicshine MJ-816 (The mickey mouse light). His battery packs were part of the big to-do with the recall that put Geomangear out of business.
    I don't believe that is one of the Geoman Gear replacement packs. Those were 4 cell packs in a molded hard plastic case.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    I don't believe that is one of the Geoman Gear replacement packs. Those were 4 cell packs in a molded hard plastic case.
    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    I found the same from a 2S2P pack that came with a Triple XM-L2 light I reviewed from GearBest. At first I noticed they were not connected up right and their wrapping was different shades of blue:

    Then after measuring 0.00v across two of the cells I took a risk and cut one open to find this:

    " width="549">

    -Garry
    Garry - I popped the botton top off the 2 "dummy" cells like you did - found the same inert filler inside. They're just 18650-sized slugs.

    Vanc - I did talk to my buddy about this pack and found this was not a GeomanGear pack - only the 2 hardshell packs he handed me were. Neither of those would take a charge on my AccuCell - it told me the connection was broken. I cracked them both open to the pleasant surprise that they are filled with real Panasonic 3000mah cells. The protection circuits must be the problem, I can bypass the PCB and the packs take a charge and discharge like a champ.

  7. #7
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    The replacement Geoman packs were loads better than the Magicshine packs he recalled. That said, they do have a fairly high rate of protection board failures and like any series wired pack without balancing capability the cells get unbalanced over time with a resulting loss of capacity.
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  8. #8
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    Opened up another of my buddy's non marked packs. 2s2p this time. Only took 1019mah after a discharge cycle.

    Found 2 mismatched dummy cells this time. Both of these are real batteries though. One showed a half volt and the other is showing 3.6ish. Tired of dealing with these sub par batteries.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalnjunky View Post
    Tired of dealing with these sub par batteries.
    No need to waste your time dealing with them. If particular Chinese light lacks the "head only" option, and you're ordered it with such battery - just pass it directly to the garbage bin.

  10. #10
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    I order "light head only" options for this exact reason. I'll take a chance on cheap Chinese light heads, but I draw the line with battery packs - not worth the risk/hassle.

    -Garry
    "My Bike Lights" Thread on BLF teardowns, measurements, and beamshots. Moving my photos, PM or post up if you can't see them.

  11. #11
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    Tell your friends to stop buying random pack that are the cheapest they can find. There is a reason they are so cheap.

    The only cheap lights ive seen with useable battery packs came with lights I grabbed from amazon. Cheap china cells but they worked. Then nitefighter lights, proven use of branded cells. Beyond that they need to be going to action-led-lights or hunk lee for batteries.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Beyond that they need to be going to action-led-lights or hunk lee for batteries.
    +1
    And chargers too!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    +1
    And chargers too!
    +2
    I believe a whOle lot of these "chargers" are not the proper CC/CV charging algorithm but instead maintain a constant current right up to voltage termination (assuming they terminate correctly). I don't believe that is good for any battery let alone cheap Chinese cells!

    -Garry
    "My Bike Lights" Thread on BLF teardowns, measurements, and beamshots. Moving my photos, PM or post up if you can't see them.

  14. #14
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    Me too...
    This time the blue ones were dummies. Crap battery from a bad Solarstorm X2 clone. Seems to be more common than I expected.

    Battery pack shenanigans ..anyone seen this before?-20151123_195258.jpgBattery pack shenanigans ..anyone seen this before?-20151123_195308.jpg

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    +2
    I believe a whOle lot of these "chargers" are not the proper CC/CV charging algorithm but instead maintain a constant current right up to voltage termination (assuming they terminate correctly). I don't believe that is good for any battery let alone cheap Chinese cells!

    -Garry
    I've provided one of those cheapo sample to the HKJ to test and it shows good CC/CV curve.


    Source: Review of WJT-0068 2S 1A LiIon

    Not that bad, but not very safe for 220V environments. On the other hand there is a lot of USB chargers that are not very safe either. Of course I would not leave it unattended.

  16. #16
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    I suspect now most of these cheap packs have 2 filler cells. I also have 2 cheapo packs I bought off Ebay for 5 bucks each. They don't even run my clone single T6 for 1/2 hr.

    Maybe the best thing to do is everyone not buy these packs and then they'll have no choice but to quit making them as nobody buys them.

    Trying to figure out the connector thing w/ H.Lee.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    ......Maybe the best thing to do is everyone not buy these packs and then they'll have no choice but to quit making them as nobody buys them.
    Never gonna work. Plenty of unknowing buyers out there looking for big numbers on the specs for the lowest price.
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  18. #18
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    Ya only fix is for people to check packs and if fake cells are found, report it to ebay or amazon (can find alot of the same junk on amazon).

    Problem is as Vanc said, too many people look at the numbers and pay attention to nothing else or bother to research and find out the packs are a waste. Its not a "luck of the draw" anymore, if they have big numbers listed and are stupid cheap, they are fake and dangerous.

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