Sketchy BangGood 30Qs- my verdict

I purchased two sets of 4 button top 30Qs from BangGood for my MF04S.

TLDR: These are sketchy and are almost certainly not 30Qs.

The printing of cells’ labels all looked funny. Noticeable the UN in samsUNg looked distorted and stretched the exact same way on all 8 of my cells.

There also wasn’t a date code listed on any of them.
However, when I compared them with the shape of my other 30Qs and 35Es, they looked identical.

Discharge wise, I don’t have the necessary equipment to conduct a proper test but I do have a D4v2 which I used to test the cells.

My VTC6, other 30Q, 35E, and the BangGood 30Q all heated up the D4v2 in approximately the same time. I conducted this unscientific test by double clicking for turbo mode every 10 seconds and holding them in my hand until they were burning to the touch and I had to let go.
All four aforementioned cells made the D4v2 feel unbearable to hold after about 25s.

I also have some low quality EBL 18650s I got off Amazon some time ago. Those took 60+ seconds with repeated turbo activation every 10s before my D4v2 became unbearably hot to hold.

These “30Qs” have a discharge capability which isn’t bad.

Internal resistance on the other hand was a mixed bag. The set of four batteries labeled “1” had higher internal resistances when measured on my lii-500. The set of 4 labeled “2” had fairly low internal resistances (about 10 ohms). (I’m not sure how accurate the lii-500 is at measuring internal resistance)

Capacity on the other hand… Unless my lii-500 is somehow super off, I can conclusively say these are not 30Qs. They’re more in line with 35Es.

The button top 30Qs I bought from illumn all had about 2950-3000mAh using the normal test function. The ones from BangGood all had ~3200mAh, one even peaked at 3424mAh!

My lii-500 charger has never really appeared off to an extent like this in the past. My 30Qs, 26650s, 35Es, VTC6s, 18350s have all landed within fairly tight margins of their manufacturers’ and other testers’ ratings. I highly suspect the mAh ratings of these “30Qs” is accurate which implies there’s some funny business going on.

Take note that I made sure to charge the first set fully before using the “fast-test” fiction which does not charge the cells before the discharge test is conducted.

The 3125mah cell in the 2nd set was the one I used for turbo tests in my D4v2, the other cells are all fresh out of the packaging on their first discharge though the terminals did not look pristinely new when I took them out of their packaging.

My verdict: I feel that these are 35Es but I have no way to be certain as I lack the proper test equipment. They are probably sufficient for my MF04s with its boost (soon to be buck) driver but I don’t really know what to make of them.

Video of my discharge tests for proof:
1st set: 4 Bg 30Qs
2nd set: 4 Bg 30Qs
3rd: keepower1200mah 18350(illumn), vtc6(illumn), 35E, 30Q

A few remarks:

  • All channels in a consumer grade analyzing charger will measure differently. Slot resistances, small differences in charge voltage and other components' tolerances contribute to this, at times with higher than 1% deviation. For top accuracy it is necessary to obtain a set of corrective indexes.
  • If those 30Qs measure noticeably higher than 3000mAh then definitively they're not 30Qs.
  • You purchased button top cells. Button tops conceal one of the most distinguishing traits of cells: their flat top geometric shape. This is no license for fakes but makes a crook's life easier.
  • The 35E is a mature, well developed and consistent cell, and your capacity figures are all over the place. I think it is unlikely for those to be genuine 35E cells, but more like some sort of chinese alternative OEM cells I'd say.

Unwrapping the cells would reveal a lot more information. Removing the button tops would also do but if they're properly welded I don't recommend it.

A Lii-500 cannot properly measure internal resistance, on average it will read half the actual value of cell plus rail resistances. For measuring, the charger sends a current pulse to the rail. Since the charger does not allow the rail voltage to go above maximum charge voltage, if the cell in the rail is freshly charged or its voltage is high enough the reading will fail.

As a curiosity, my currently measured average slot accuracy on my Lii-500 is 98.524%, 100.837%, 100.156% and 100.483%.

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 00:26

maybe there was an error on production with the labeling machine and they printed 30Q on 35E cells?

I doubt it. That would be a huge mix up which would be unlikely to get through quality control. I feel that Barkuti is correct in saying that these are some cheap Chinese cells.

How would it benefit bangood or whatever company orchestrated this if they switched 30Qs for 35Es? They’re about the same price. It’s much more likely they’d switch to something cheap for the financial gain imo.

A few month back i also bought a couple four sets of BT 30Qs from BG which had a good deal on them but haven’t used them yet - planned for the LT1, MF01S or else. Now i’m looking at them more closely…

The 8 cells all have the exact same printing with the exact same defects or distortions, but they are not in the same place as yours. Some symbols are different too - like the 30Q zero which is narrower then the D below.

But more disturbing is that two or three cells have physical defects, like flattened area or dents, like they where banged up a bit before or after being wrapped - the wrapping does not look damaged though.

I’ll set them to test in a Opus BT-C3100.

Id be surprised if Banggood was selling counterfeit name brand cells, but those sure do look fake to me. Enough so that Id demand a refund. Hopefully more people will drop by to chime in.

Whether deliberately or not, it doesn't matter: Banggood is screwing up with batteries. Instead of Samsung they're ordering Samdung and that's about it. :-D

Of course not really, they either don't really know what's going on, they really don't care, or both; and something tells me it's the latter.

Genuine cells display an unmistakable level of uniformity: properly aligned and botch free printing, distinctive wrap color shade, characteristic top and other can details, etc.

By the way the last 30Q cell I bought, from NKON, at the beginning of this year, came with SDIEM (Malaysia) wrap markings. This, in my opinion, means that Samsung already moved all 30Q production away from their SDI (Korean) plants. They have more than enough newer, more advanced cell models to keep SDI fully busy.

Those labels do off a bit odd.

I had to check after you mentioned that and both my BG and Illumn 30Qs' are for sure not uniform in their printing. If anything, my Illumn 30'Qs are even more misaligned but I doubt they would be selling fakes. Seems Samsung does not print all their cells equally or there are a lot of fakes going around, I really don't know.

It’s not just the samsUNg part. The mAh capacity difference from what it should be is quite alarming.

Four of my eight BT 30Qs from BG came out of test on an Opus BT-C3100 (default test settings 500mAh):
2958, 2967, 2974 and 3008mAh. That’s pretty consistent with what they claim to be with a 50mAh (1.6%) overall scattering of capacity on that set, which seems decent too. The Opus is known to overestimate a bit capacities though…
Second set of four is on test…

PS: second set results are:
2924, 2915, 2937 and 2973. A bit lower and slightly more scattered then the previous set but still close - over 2900mAh.
Overall scattering for the eight cells is 3008-2915/3000 * 100 = 3.1% - 93mAh.

For reference:

Distinctive underwrap see-through cell markings: W26, L0H3 637B1, B01, J2B8 (twice).

While the printing may not be considered strictly uniform, you can see the perfectly smooth wrapping. This likely is because the cells are wrapped with a powerful, bobbin fed automated machine which distributes heat super evenly over the wrap. When less than professional wrapping equipment is used, wraps usually end up with creases.

I've been able to re-wrap some cells with no creases at all, but only with wraps which don't come nastily folded, and using a very powerful hair drier while juggling the cell in my hand.

By the way, the above picture needs resizing, see my signature Sunnysunsun.

Re-wrapping is necessary for BT cells. That does not mean they are fake… even if they have wrinkles.

“BT cells?” Button-top? :question:

BT means button top yes.

AFAIK no manufacturer produces button top cells. It’s an addition that third parties put onto original cells, sometime with a protection circuit. Those need an additional wrapping layer to hold and conceal the “enhancement”, which in turn can conceal the original cell if opaque.

They added an additional clear layer of wrapping on each cell. It’s the capacities that confuse me the most. Over 10% more than the nominal capacity is not normal

Fake for sure but I’ll buy them off you. Mind if I pay with $3 bills and $8 bills?

It’s BangGood. You pay your money and you get what you get.

Yes, but Banggood traditionally been a reliable source for Samsung 30Q’s, so it is an interesting and unfortunate development to see them delivering fakes. I don’t trust the company any further than I can throw them, but there have been situations in which they became a reliable source for certain products. Considering how difficult and expensive it is to buy and ship authentic li-ion cells, it’s a rather large blow to find that Banggood’s 30Q’s are not trustworthy.

They often offer four 30Q’s for ~$20 with minimal shipping charges to the U.S., so they became a popular source for these “universal” cells. There are stores that have better sales on genuine 30Q’s, but shipping (understandably) offsets even lowest best per-cell prices.

I do agree, however, that this trend fits with Banggood’s not-so-hard-earned reputation for general badness :person_facepalming: .

I bought one of their BLF A6 kits with included 30Q last November and I believe that cell is genuine and tests right around 3000mAh. It looks like Barkuti’s reference images. The L0I7 date code makes sense, though not super-fresh: I (2018), 7 (July).

I don’t have any, but I think that cells made in 2019 would have a xxJn in the top-most code on the metal can, where n is the month (i.e. hexadecimal 1-C). As I understand this, Barkuti’s cell appears to made in March, 2017.

Samsung 30Qs are difficult to get for my location. I used to buy several BLF A6 + 30Q in Banggood so I can get legitimate Samsung 30Qs (then sell off the BLF A6 flashlight). Since I couldn’t get any Samsung 30Q shipped to my country in any other way. So most of my 30Qs actually came from the BLF A6 +30Q bundle. So far I believe all of them have been legit (although some might be a bit older date codes, like 2017 or 2018)

Just very very recently was able to get genuine 30Q from another source and easier to purchase for me locally.

I got some new 30Q that now has “141” (previous ones had “136” on the marking). The “141” had L0J4 so indicates year 2019. The “136” older ones may have H (2017) or I (2018). I think I have more 30Qs with the “I” date code (2018).

The “141” (J or 2019 date code) has lower AC IR (using YR1030 battery resistance meter) ~ I’m measuring just around 11.8mOhms, compared to the previous “136” (I or 2018 date code) which usually has around 13.0mOhms AC IR.

I made similar experience as Sunnysunsun, i bought 4 pcs. 30Q’s Button Tops from BangGood one month ago. They look exactly the same as on the pictures in the first post.
I also have some genue flat top 30Q’s that I bought from NKON, they look exactly like the pictures from Barkuti. The difference made me a bit nervous right befor i tested them with my XTAR VP4 Plus Charger, as allways with newly purchased cells. I thought, OK might come from the necessary rewrapping, which must always be done with Button Top cells.

The results shows a capacity for all four new BT cells in the Range 2650 - 2750mAh, i was expecting somewhat abaut 2950mAh. The internal resistance was 60 to 80% higher than all my genie 30Q’s and VTC6 cells (all flat tops). The cells work so far without problems, but I do not have a good feeling with those, I have put these aside.
I have doubts about these cells and don’t want to buy any LiIon’s at Banggood in next time. Although the two Shockli 26650 5500mAh, I recently bought from them are good, compared to another pair i bought from shockli store an AE.

Just wanted to share my experiences with you, maybe it will help somebody.