Battery weight a good indicator of quality / capacity ?

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Zebretta
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Battery weight a good indicator of quality / capacity ?

This pertains to new batteries only.

I do know that with my D Cells, rechargable or not, (assumed new) as the weight increases so does the capacity.
I mean within the same class. Apples to apples, oranges to oranges (alkalines to alkalines, chemistry to chemistry etc)

Super lightweight D cells have little capacity, and my heaviest D cells do have the highest capacity.

Obviously, the more of the innards there are, the more ions they can pack.

But is weight a reasonably good measure of a new battery’s capacity comparing it to other batteries in the same class?

cmflippen
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Not necessarily. I’ve seen some tear-downs of chinese batteries, and many of them are filled with stuff like flour or sugar to increase weight.

Speed4goal
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Some of them even pack sand in there. Cheaper then flour or sugar

Zebretta
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I can’t see flour or sugar being a good choices for weight but sand definitely.

wow! What sneaky turds they can be. I had no idea.

Ricflair
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Don’t forget they also filled them with some of that left over contaminated Chinese drywall.

I have taken some ebay cells apart that were given to me as part of a trade.
They felt stupid lightweight. It had “Ultra Fire” on the label. I knew soon as I picked them up they were fakes. Once apart, there was a freaking small capacitor in it! Talk about a scam job.

I keep a small scale and weigh suspect cells. There can be a several gram difference between the scams & authentic cells. One good way to get a idea is get you some quality laptop pulls. Those are unprotected flattops. Compare the weight of them to your “Protecte” “Fire” cells.
Scary stuff out there.
This is why I only buy cells from reputable dealers.

RicFlair is on the air with blonde hair & pink underwear!! Whaoooooo!

everydaysurvivalgear
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Some what yes. Only if you are dealing with name brands. Its also good if you buy a few cells to see how much they weight compared to each other. If they are the same brand and make you may be able to tell which one has more capacity. BLF members done this with the Basin 26650s to see if they where from the same batches.

Zebretta
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The Chinese communist government I hear is really good at throwing propaganda at the Chinese people (who can’t get outside news) and so I wonder if they do this to USA bound stuff more often?

I wish the USA could get back to making more of it’s own stuff.

CRX
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Tired
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It seems like it’s a whole lot MORE effort to make a crap battery like that than to make a ‘real’ one. But, I ain’t Chinese so what do I know.

teacher
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CRX wrote:

Tired

Thanks for sharing those pictures CRX.
It never ceases to amaze me the lengths the makers of those go to just to assemble crap. Facepalm

Smile

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SawMaster
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Weight is just one factor- look for any anomalies and if you find any, look deeper. There’s no non-destructive way to know what’s in a cell. The only reliable method of knowing what you have is electrically testing the cell, usually done with an analyzing charger Wink

Phil

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I know right why not make the walls thicker of the cells it would be easier then filling the cells with rubbish. lol

techieman33
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everydaysurvivalgear wrote:
I know right why not make the walls thicker of the cells it would be easier then filling the cells with rubbish. lol

Metal costs a whole lot more than sand or trash.

The Miller
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if you order cells from a not fully trusted vendor (trusted, like RMM, and others) or a vendor in China who had no idea what is actually shipped or sold (like many on AliExpress) that is advertised as being an A brand cell, weight certainly is something that can give away if it is fake.
Also when presenting your case to AliExpress or paypal, it is good to be able to show a much lighter cell then the official specs state for example. (I must be really lucky, only the no name or Ultrafire cells I received were poor in terms of low mAh and higher internal resistance, all branded ones tested OK so I have not disputed cells)

Getting a charger that does just a little more then charging (for example, my Littokala Li500 for $15 shipped without adapter) can give you some more info, they may be not all that good at giving you a 100% result on internal resistance and mAh but using the same charger on all cells surely give you a good idea on those things and also over time, since the faults are present in each measuring, a decline in mAh or elevation of internal resistance can be seen easy.
And well for $15 having a quad bay charger capable of charging a lot of different cells is a good deal in itself IMHO
Edit clarified a bit Wink

RichardinNC
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“if you order cells from a not fully trusted vendor (like RMM)”

OK, I’m confused. When did RMM become not fully trusted? I’ve ordered from them and always thought they were a first class vendor.
Just asking.

CRX
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Depends how you read it, he meant the other way.

teacher
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The Miller wrote:
if you order cells from a not fully trusted vendor (like RMM)
RichardinNC wrote:
“if you order cells from a not fully trusted vendor (like RMM)”

OK, I’m confused. When did RMM become not fully trusted? I’ve ordered from them and always thought they were a first class vendor.
Just asking.

CRX wrote:
Depends how you read it, he meant the other way.
Don’t feel bad ‘RichardinNC’, I thought the same thing until I reread it 3 or 4 times. Wink
I think (hopefully), that CRX has the correct answer. Thumbs Up .. Wink

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patmurris
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@CRX: Thanks for posting those picts. When Ricflair told about a small capacitor inside an hollow cell i had a hard time to believe it – no offense intended. Such a blatant scam is mind boggling. Shocked

The Miller
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Lol clarified, when posting I was certain it was clear, but well don’t want people reading it several times before getting it, its just that BLFers usually and generally seem rather smart, keen and sharp Wink

wle
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If it is too light, it is definitely weak in all areas. (Talking to you, “UltraFire”, though I’m sure others perpetrate this too, I have at least one light/verified crappy U****F***)
If I remember correctly, it is like 20g too light.

But as others pointed out, it’s pretty cheap to add sand, so that doesn’t work.

And a battery that is good but old, will be weak but not weigh any less.

wle.

Zebretta
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Amazing posts! Thanks for the photos. I sure am learning a lot here.

So tell me, when they put a capacitor inside a battery like that, what will the test results be from a charge/discharge test?
I mean, I assume it will have less capacity, but by how much?

In other words, could I have a battery that seems to test reasonably close to expected results, but still only have a capacitor inside?

And if it tests reasonably close, what’s the problem?

Sorry if these are noob questions….but I’m a battery noob

Thanks

Zebretta
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Oh, and maybe (again, I’m a noob so this could be silly) but……

Why couldn’t a chart of some sort be created listing what the average or expected weight range might be for different cells of different capacities?
For example, shouldn’t the weight of an authentic18650 of 2400mAh capacity fall in a certain range since it also claims to be Li-Ion chemistry?
My thinking being that if it’s the chemistry it claims (inside) the weight of that capacity for a given chemistry “should” be fairly uniform?

For example, I just weighed an UltraFire 18650 that claims 5000mAh (lol) and weighs 35 grams.

I’d bet the weight of a real 3400mAh 18650 weighs more than that.

Granted, a smart Chinese battery faker (vs an authentic battery maker) will add sand or whatever to make up the difference, but maybe a lot of Chinese fakers are also lazy fakers and don’t do that?

So at least in some cases, a quick weight comparison could be handy in cases where the faker didn’t fake good enough?

Finally, if you shake a battery and can feel the weight shiting or hear movement, it’s probably a good bet you got a fake right? lol

CRX
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I don’t think it’s capacitors being used, just very small lipo cells with capacity anywhere around 100 – 300mAh judging by the sizes so maybe 5-10% stated capacity if you’re lucky LOL

Zebretta
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CRX wrote:
I don’t think it’s capacitors being used, just very small lipo cells with capacity anywhere around 100 – 300mAh judging by the sizes so maybe 5-10% stated capacity if you’re lucky LOL

Ahhh…so the capacity would be WAY off?
thanks

I just bought a 10 pack of cheap cheap UltraFire 18650’s ($1.00 each) off of ebay and I guess I got lucky because they all consistently tested at 700mAh which is at least usable in my small 1000lm Cree flashlights.

wle
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i don’t really believe a capacitor could simulate any battery… first it would not have a constant voltage curve, under a load, a capacitor starts dropping proportional to the current, batteries do not do that. capacity would vary with the value of the capacitor, but it’s basically 1/2 C Vsquared.. very small for any capacitor they could fit in the can, compared to a battery…

Zebretta
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wle wrote:
i don’t really believe a capacitor could simulate any battery… first it would not have a constant voltage curve, under a load, a capacitor starts dropping proportional to the current, batteries do not do that. capacity would vary with the value of the capacitor, but it’s basically 1/2 C Vsquared.. very small for any capacitor they could fit in the can, compared to a battery…

Ok. That helps. Thanks.
I wonder if the charger/tester would even try to analyze it?

wle
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it might look like a faulty battery.

with a small energy storage capacity, it would appear to “charge”[reach final voltage] very fast.

but the stages a li battery would go through, would not appear correct, so it’s hard to know how a smart charger would interpret it.

which is another reason to suspect that it never really happens.

Also, supercapacitors are not cheap either.

a charger isn’t going to say “hey this is a capacitor”. because it is so unlikely. it might say “i don;t think this is a battery” or just “error”. or “one charging stage looked funky to me, so i quit trying.”

CRX
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Zebretta wrote:
Oh, and maybe (again, I’m a noob so this could be silly) but……

Why couldn’t a chart of some sort be created listing what the average or expected weight range might be for different cells of different capacities?
For example, shouldn’t the weight of an authentic18650 of 2400mAh capacity fall in a certain range since it also claims to be Li-Ion chemistry?

For example, I just weighed an UltraFire 18650 that claims 5000mAh (lol) and weighs 35 grams.

I’d bet the weight of a real 3400mAh 18650 weighs more than that.

Granted, a smart Chinese battery faker (vs an authentic battery maker) will add sand or whatever to make up the difference, but maybe a lot of Chinese fakers are also lazy fakers and don’t do that?

So at least in some cases, a quick weight comparison could be handy in cases where the faker didn’t fake good enough?

Finally, if you shake a battery and can feel the weight shiting or hear movement, it’s probably a good bet you got a fake right? lol

Well we don’t want to arm them with better faking information! LOL
HKJ’s reviews give all the specs of cells and there is consolidated versions of his tests in my sig link post.

Any movement inside a cell tells all, check out HKJ’s disassembly of batteries threads too. There is no space for anything to move around in a properly made cell, it’s pretty much a long roll of tightly packed films end to end.

Disassembly of cheap 18650 battery

Disassembly of some UltraFire batteries

Disassembly of UltraFire 9900mAh 18650 battery

CRX
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Zebretta wrote:
I just bought a 10 pack of cheap cheap UltraFire 18650’s ($1.00 each) off of ebay and I guess I got lucky because they all consistently tested at 700mAh which is at least usable in my small 1000lm Cree flashlights.

Oh dear, not that lucky, these are most likely old used laptop cells or whatever which were good at some point maybe five years ago or so, you’ll learn in time to toss these and get proper good cells but we can’t rush your learning curve with our advice. Wink
It’s amazing how many of us started out buying this crap, myself included but at least you’ve come to a place where you will learn about it.
Why have 700mAh capacity and safety issues when you could have up to 3500mAh, peace of mind and far superior performance. For that $10 you could have two or three cracking good cells.
Not giving you a hard time, just saying Wink

wle
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Old laptop cells are a good example of something a weight test would not detect.

Additionally, they are the most likely source of fakes.

Cells get old without selling, they get cheaper and cheaper by the month til someone buys then and then voila!

“9999 MAh 18650s! 10 for $10”

wle

everydaysurvivalgear
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I think the best bet now for every one is to buy a charger with capacity tester they can be found for cheap. They will give you a rough estimate.

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