Omnicharge Omni Ultimate Powerbank (USB-C, AC out, DC out, 12x18650)

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BlueSwordM
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Wow.

What a crappy move.

If they really wanted to save costs while maintaining higher power the NCR18650GAs ahouls’ve been swapped for Samsung 30Qs.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

will34
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Well… as expected, at 12V 2A discharge rate efficiency increased a bit vs 5V 1A. 75% if the pack was 145Wh, and 87% if it was 125Wh with the chinese cells. Draw your own conclusions!

They answered to my question on indiegogo and I guess they tried to tell Sanyo GAs are being used?

Kinda confirming that they’re not replacing the cells, claims that high performance ones are being used but then never states which exact cells they are?

I guess that only means one thing… MR30 adapter time Wink

maukka
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Thanks for the test! Seems like it does have the lower capacity cells as 75% efficiency would be quite bad. You could test this by fabricating a cable between the batteries and electronics and measuring power in/out of the thing. Or use a bench PSU. I’m assuming the signal pin is not connected.

What I gather from that bs marketing speak is that they are in fact using the BAK cells. Otherwise they would state it directly what batteries are in there.

will34
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The middle signal pin from the battery is throwing some reading but I don’t think it matters for the discharge test, took the battery out and at ~30% charge I’m getting a reading of 21.6V, which I assume means cells in 6S2P config. At fully charged voltage it should be 25.2V, just slightly above what my ZL1100 can handle (24V) but I think it will do just fine. AVHzy CT-2 can handle up to 26V.

My cheap bench PSU is limited to 15V, ironically the omni ultimate itself was probably the best choice for this task.

I’ll solder leads directly to the ZL1100 and perform a slow 1A discharge rate. that will give us some clear answers.

maukka
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Could it be a temperature signal or does it vary all the time?

will34
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maukka wrote:
Could it be a temperature signal or does it vary all the time?

It seems to drop after being removed from the main unit and i’m not clear what is its purpose.

Left to right
Pin 1 is negative
Pin 2 is also negative
Pin 3 is positive

Reading goes like this:

Pin1-2: 15mV
Pin1-3: 21.83V
Pin2-3: 20.95V

I’m confused now. When the pack is fully charged pin1-3 should be the one that reads 25.2V

will34
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There’s no need to even test the battery pack, they just confirmed chinese cells inside all ultimate units sand spare batteries.

According to Omni they have sold:

230V Ultimates: total of 784 orders
120V Ultimates: total of 1996 orders
Spare Batteries: total of 921 orders

3,701 battery packs, each with 12 cells inside: 44,412 CHINESE CELLS instead of brand name ones we were suppose to receive, they raised more than a million and decided to do the nasty switcheroo on us to save a couple dozen thousands of dollars.

BlueSwordM
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Seems like they wanted to up their profit margin significantly.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

will34
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BlueSwordM wrote:
Seems like they wanted to up their profit margin significantly.

They raised more than a million dollars, and if we consider each chinese cell being $1.5 cheaper that’s only ~$60,000. Heck, even $20 powerbanks have LG F1 inside, which is not a good cell by any means, but at least it’s decent. I’m so terribly disappointed.

Worst part is, I explained the whole situation to indiegogo and all they had to say is to “contact the campaign manager”. The folks over the campaign poge comment section are so busy asking for tracking numbers that they don’t even care about the lemons they’re about to receive.

I guess I’ll have to go to reddit, amazon and youtube then.

BlueSwordM
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Yes. But 60k$US is still 60k$US of profit for them.

We need to spread the word out, and punish them.

If they used CHEAPER Samsung 30Qs, I wouldn’t have said anything in regards to internal resistance.

That would’ve been a good justification.

Who knows what could be happening behind the scenes…

If they start to cheap out on 18650s, maybe they’ll start cheaping out on electronics too…

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

will34
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BlueSwordM wrote:
We need to spread the word out, and punish them.

Already on it, my comments are all over their indiegogo comment section, some folks there seem to believe whatever lie Omnicharge feeds them and refuses to even look at the evidence. “Perhaps these new cells are indeed better than the previously planned one” Facepalm

So I went ahead and started a thread on reddit, where usually some degree of common sense is found.

I’m just so pissed that what was supposed to be my reliable variable DC power supply, MPPT solar energy storage unit and mobile power bank has the main component wrong. I don’t even use chinese cells on the cheapest of my flashlights, I can’t accept them on a $300 device.

BlueSwordM
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Could you link to the thread?

I mean, if they wanted to use cheaper Chinese cells, they should’ve least sprung for these bad boys:
https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/High-Energy-Density-Rechargeable-...

These are actually very nice cells at 3400mAh 10A capable cells.

I mean, they still should’ve gone with 30Qs, but still. They could’ve switched to more capable cheaper cells… but they didn’t.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

will34
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BlueSwordM wrote:
Could you link to the thread?

I mean, if they wanted to use cheaper Chinese cells, they should’ve least sprung for these bad boys:
https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/High-Energy-Density-Rechargeable-...

These are actually very nice cells at 3400mAh 10A capable cells.

I mean, they still should’ve gone with 30Qs, but still. They could’ve switched to more capable cheaper cells… but they didn’t.

https://www.reddit.com/r/OmniCharge/comments/bhfp0b/chinese_18650_cells_...

IMO there is simply no reason other than cost cutting, discharge rate was no excuse, the Omni ultimate maxes out at 150W output power which is barely more than 1C.

maukka
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I don’t see any mention in the manual how to limit the current from the DC output. How is that done? They only mention setting the voltage. I’d like to use the Ultimate to power an LED and limit the current to for example 1A regardless of voltage.

That has been a listed feature since the beginning

maukka
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Got an aswer to the current limit.

Quote:
When you are on the DC output menu, you can press and hold the power button to select voltage. After selecting your voltage, press the power button again, and it will ask you to set your maximum amperage.
maukka
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will34 wrote:
I’ll solder leads directly to the ZL1100 and perform a slow 1A discharge rate. that will give us some clear answers.

Did that work out?

Someone mentioned on reddit that if you’re making your own MR30-DC cable for the Ultimate you need to bridge the two negative pins on the MR30 connector (the grouped ones). Not sure if that holds for the battery connection as well.

will34
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maukka wrote:
will34 wrote:
I’ll solder leads directly to the ZL1100 and perform a slow 1A discharge rate. that will give us some clear answers.

Did that work out?

Someone mentioned on reddit that if you’re making your own MR30-DC cable for the Ultimate you need to bridge the two negative pins on the MR30 connector (the grouped ones). Not sure if that holds for the battery connection as well.

For some reason my ZL1100 went haywire mid discharge. Not sure if it’s the voltage or it got overheat. Seems like a fuse is blown and won’t discharge anything at all now. At least it served me well for 2 years, I’m more pissed by the fact that we’ve got Chinese cells inside the ultimate, and a fake energy rating.

As for the MR30 on the battery side, the isolated one and the middle are negative. The other one is positive. Middle and positive measures 1.0V less than – and +. Fully charged at 25.2V as expected.

Barkuti
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While this is not my war, I'd like to point out that there may be other reasons besides “cheaping out”, “cost cutting”, “piss whoever off” and drama etcetera after their decision for the neither omni nor ultimate power bank cells. Price is not the only factor, availability counts too.

If you like huge and powerful power banks you can also take a look at chargetech's lineup.

With regards to the false advertising thing, not long ago someone at ForoLinternas told me he found these cells (NCM/NCA Battery——Cylindrical Cell @ EVE Energy Co. Ltd.) inside a NEB1002-H1 Segway battery pack, while they do claim to use Litio Li-Ion LG (LG cells) at least in their related Spanish product page.

I believe there are a lot more valid players in the battery industry now, a lot of them in china. This is not a concern for me, the lack of honesty and namely the reasons behind may.

 

Deleting a just published post causes the forum thread answer notification to fail. Thus, if you need to change your just published post, edit it. Thanks.

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

I recommend saying no to Covid vaccine. Listen to your soul. Innocent

maukka
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That’s too bad. I’ll test mine when I get it with the EBD-A20H.

maukka
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I have nothing against using Chinese batteries either, if they have been tested properly. It’s just that they lied and the capacity is not what was advertised.

will34
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It’s been many years since I received a powerbank with false energy or capacity rating. One would assume that in 2019 such things no longer happens, much less with a device that costs $350.

Had they used some cells that would at least compare to the Sanyo GA like the super cheap and easily sourced LG F1 I would probably be fine. But there is “142Wh” printed on the back of the unit, that I cannot stand. There is an image in one of their updates from 6 months ago already showing the bak cells, they had plenty of time to explain and justify the changes if they wanted to. Now that is shady.

Sourcing 44,000 cells aren’t difficult either when they had months to do that. A quick trip on alibaba shows more sellers than my fingers can count willing to supply 100,000+ cells per week. When you got the money you just get things done. That’s how China works.

Indiegogo policy dictates that the campaigner must deliver the product, but doesn’t specify it must comply with the spec it was marketed with. That’s up to the backer and project owner. There is no PayPal claim, and obviously omnicharge isn’t answering my emails, after I went the extra mile to expose them. Smile

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If one of these things ever catches fire, these people will be wide open to legal claims because they didn’t use the specified cell. You can just imagine the lawyer in court:

“Unfortunately, instead of using the reputable brand name cell specified on Kickstarter, they substituted a cheaper cell without that assurance…”

I was actually tempted by this powerbank when I first heard about it, but decided it was just too expensive for me. Dodged a bullet there, because I wouldn’t be a happy customer about this either.

maukka
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Ultimate Battery Cells

Dear Backers,

First, we want to reassure everyone that we have not gone dark. We have been gathering together as a team to discuss a proper response to the accusation from some of the backers based on the comments we have seen posted on IGG. 

We take these concerns seriously, and we care deeply about our backer's feedback, and we stand behind the quality of all the products that we build as Omnicharge from the beginning and into the future. So let’s start addressing your concerns:

Choosing BAK Cells
Yes, we chose to use the BAK cells. But it seems everyone has a misunderstanding of why and have a stigma that these are poor quality “Chinese” cells. On the contrary, they are not and here is why:

These cells are chosen because of their charging characteristic and life cycle; these cells have been used in the EV (electric vehicle) market for many years, and have stood the test of time that they are best utilized in high charge and high discharge environments, which we needed for the Omni Ultimate. Additionally, the cells are built to last 1000 life cycles and still retain over 75% capacity which allows the Omni Ultimate to have a longer product life cycle in the field, which we felt was important for this type of item. 

Also, BAK is one of the largest lithium battery producers in China, top 3 as a matter of fact and in terms of size are comparable to among the largest in the world. So in terms of reputation and capability, this is not your run-of-the-mill operations company that we’ve chosen. The price, quality, and safety standards were part of the reasons we’ve chosen them over others.

Head to Head Performance Testing Results
During our selection, we came down to either choosing LG or BAK (Sanyo wasn’t ever in the plan due to supply constraints and extremely high cost vs performance). We made that choice through thorough testing and validation. We’ve noticed many of the comments made were just based on the specs and validation on the cell level, which we have also done, but beyond that, the most important testing is actually building battery packs in order to test the performance under the most extreme use cases and look at the holistic performance of the entire system instead of one single cell performance. 

Of all the testing, this one is the main differentiator that stood out: 
The test is between LG cells and BAK cells, on their performance under 100W continuous discharge (6 cells for each battery pack):

One of the main columns to pay attention to is the number of times that the battery pack was in the state of OT (over temperature which we set at 65 degrees Celsius) and how long it took to recover from the OT status.

You will notice that under different environment temperatures that LG cell pack frequently hit our OT and required much longer cooling time than BAK cells. Just focusing on one scenario, under 23 degree Celsius, discharging at 100W DC, LG cells would trigger OT protection 5 times, whereas BAK would trigger 1 time, and LG would require 32 minutes of cooling, where BAK only took 6 minutes. In the end results both achieve roughly the same discharge time, even though from the outset it looked like LG cells spec sheet looked better.

So why? This is because the frequent temperature protection resulted in LG cells consuming more energy (energy is lost through heat dissipation) and we couldn’t get all the energy from these cells. BAK performed much better in this environment. 

We also did some reference tests to see what happened and we found the internal resistance of BAK cells is lower which means it consumes less energy when working. The internal resistance of the battery cell affects a lot on the cell’s performance, especially for high power output scenarios. 

Battery Brand

Model NR

Rated Capacity (mAh)

Voltage

Internal Resistance (mohm)

Max Discharge Current

BAK

N18650CL

2900 mAh

3.6V

≤35mΩ

3C (8700mA)

LG

INR18650 F1L

3250mAh

3.6V

≤70mΩ

1.5C (4875mA)


Pack Performance vs. Cell Capacity
So why do we focus on pack performance is because the purpose of Omni Ultimate is to provide a power supply solution for high power electronic equipment such as laptops, drones, video equipment, and even though you can charge your phone and tables, that is not what the Ultimate power system is optimized for. 

The cell capacity shown in the spec sheet is standard capacity in a specific environment with specified output current (which is called a lab test results). But in a real world scenario, what we care about is how the cells performs once put together as a pack, going through real-world testing situations. So our goal at Omnicharge is to do our best to find the battery cells with high power performance and capacity utilization in the most demanding use case scenario. 

So as for the cells rated capacity vs the cells effective capacity, we’ve chosen to use 140wh effective capacity instead of the cell rated capacity. We apologize if this created any confusion and if you felt mislead. But our reasoning is if the LG pack which is 140wh performs the same as the 125wh pack from BAK, then the end result is the same. We wanted to give you the final performance results which in hindsight we probably should have listed both for better clarifications. And we are learning based off your feedback and we need to improve our communication and transparency throughout this crowdfunding process

Going back to the beginning and where we are today….
When we first launched the Ultimate campaign, this was a product idea, an innovation we wanted to bring to the market with your support and backing. We chose to crowdfund because inherently product development is risky and product outcome is not guaranteed. But through hard work and dedication, and with your support, we have gone through four campaigns, all of which have been delivered into your hands and we have received many thank you notes from our supporters. 

This Ultimate campaign has been particularly hard compared to our other campaigns since we pushed our limits on the power engineering design and also came to market with features that were first in the industry. Raising $1m on crowdfunding wasn’t enough to bring this item to the market, once you’ve factored in the R&D, tooling, and manufacturing setup, we already invested our own money in order to fulfill all of the orders to you our backers because that is our promise, and we hold ourselves to a higher standard since we treat our backers as our own friends and family.

Our goal is to bring you a product that works in the real world. If you measure us in that sense, this campaign is successful. If you want to measure us based on our communication or our accuracy on spec sheets, we definitely have room to improve. But at Omnicharge we stand behind our work and engineering, we have dedicated our lives in bringing the best power solutions to market, that is what you’ve backed and received. And so far it seems from all the feedback, the product works as intended despite the debate on capacity ratings. 

I can only ask you to remember that this is crowdfunding, you are the early adaptors that support crazy ideas from makers like us. We are not perfect, we are not a Fortune 500 company like Apple, Google, and Samsung, where they have unlimited money and people to handle everything. But even then for those companies with unlimited resources, they can also make mistakes when delivering new products and innovation. 

For us, we are delivering the best performing Omni Ultimate that we can deliver to you today. We ask that you look at this beast, look at the performance, look at the design, look at the engineering, and look at we’ve brought to the world today. Look at how we were able to bring you a version 1.0 product that is also almost perfect. We can only ask that you forgive those errors that we’ve made in communication and promise you that we will improve. Let’s put aside the 15 wh viewpoint difference between us, and celebrate that the Ultimate is born. 

Regards,

Jason Wong
Omnicharge CEO

maukka
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Why are they comparing the BAK to an LG F1L and not a premium cell like the 30Q or MJ1? The price per battery shouldn’t be an issue in a product of this caliber.

BlueSwordM
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I’m sorry, but what kind of trickery are they trying to do here?

That’s damage control alright. They are using a bait and switch tactic.

The LG F1L is already an inexpensive cell, so going with a BAK cell means they want even higher profit margins.

If they really cared about the performance, they would’ve gone straight to using 30Qs.

They are lying so much it’s not even funny. These greedy people are not making me too happy.

And they thought we did not know about them using NCR18650GAs in their 1st product.

Oh my they are wrong.

It’s time I employ my tactic…

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

BlueSwordM
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It’s not the price that’s making me angry though.

If they recalled wanted to get higher performance for a lower price, just go with a 2000-2500mAh 15-20A Chinese cell.

That would’ve been understandable. Not good, but at least understandable and better than this crap.

Seems like they were planning all along to use NCR18650GAs in their 1st product to get some good review, and then they went to make a 2nd gen with the original expectations.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

will34
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After their official statement and test results that are nothing but pure BS, funniest part being even the cell they supposedly chose for its glorious high discharge capabilities, also got over 65°C at a low discharge rate of ~15W/cell.

Good and bad news….

Bad news is they admitted the use of Chinese cells and are not planning to deliver the promised and advertised product, they just changed the specs instead. Specs no longer says 40,300mAh now just 34,800mAh instead. So we’re either keeping a $350 powerbank with about $12 worth of Chinese cells inside, or receive a full refund.

That that’s where the good news comes in… I’m not sure if this applies for everyone but Omnicharge is offering me a full refund as long as I return the Ultimate and all the accessories, also they might request me to cease fire to their IGG comment section, which I admit it was driving some people crazy. Some of them simply didn’t care for whichever cells were inside they just wanted to receive it.

So what do you think, should I return everything and get my $500 back? My reasoning says yes, but my heart says no, I had so much faith in this product and found a lot of uses for it.

BlueSwordM
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No, don’t get a refund.

You’ll have to ship back a lithium ion powerbank via air!
That is going to cost a stupid amount of money to ship.
I think they are trying to bribe you out.

Even if they are willing to pay the full amount including shipping, I’d still stir up the pot so they feel the fire under their feet.

It still boggles my mind they were using NCR18650GAs in their 1st product, but then swapped them in the 2nd product.

IF THEY REALLY WANTED HIGHER PERFORMANCE AT A LOWER COST, they should’ve went with Samsung 30Qs instead.

I have the impression they got their cells at 1$US/each, which is 2-3x what Samsung 30Qs/NCR18650GAs cost in bulk.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

will34
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No actually I’m unable to ship anything with any kind of batteries in it via air so they accepted to not return the battery pack.

And even after I return my unit they can’t shut me up on any of the platforms, maybe except their campaign page.

To be honest I’m pretty tired of the situation, I tried my best to summarize everything on the reddit thread and will be uploading some test results soon, but have spend so much time… do you say I should get a refund without returning the product?

BlueSwordM
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Yes, get a refund.

In the meantime, try to get everybody to request a refund.

Even better yet, request Omnicharge to get a % refund based on the capacity loss.

40,300mAh/34,800mAh = 1,16 = +16%

IMO, they should just give a 20% refund to everybody on the kickstarter. That would help to soften the blow.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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