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Old 03-25-2012, 05:31 AM #1
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Default Fake Ultrafire 18650's

So, I was in Shenzhen (China), and ended up getting myself a green laser pointer (not sure of the power, but it can light a match / smoke black plastic), and a rather nice flashlight.

Anyway, I happened to get some 18650s with chargers for the laser pointer & flashlight, and I noticed that the battery life was not exactly that good... I decided to disassemble one of the cells, and guess what I found?


Note the sophisticated Battery Disassembly Tool (BDT):


See the real cell that was providing power -- a skimpy little thing indeed..


Not sure what the white powder is, but could be anything from drugs to washing powder. Who knows?



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Old 03-25-2012, 06:13 AM #2
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

Nice discovery. Yet another good reason to use reputable retailers.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:34 AM #3
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

Omg! Wow. Ultrafire is a bad brand anyways.
This is like faking a fake. All ultra fire does is take
Batteries deemed good from dead packs and repackage them.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:40 AM #4
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

Wow, I didn't realize ultrafire was that bad. So does that mean that the "up to 500 charges" lifetime is nothing but a joke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seoul_lasers View Post
All ultra fire does is take
Batteries deemed good from dead packs and repackage them.
That dissection was really interesting what an amazing discovery!

It reminded me of when I broke open a cheap baseball as a kid and it was filled with compressed chinese comic book newsprint.

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Old 03-25-2012, 09:00 AM #5
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

Check out the $20 500GB hard drive sold to another unfortunate Chinese tourist.




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Old 03-25-2012, 09:19 AM #6
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

HolyFake!!!
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:05 AM #7
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

That looks no good. I would avoid that white stuff. Maybe it is a chemical waste and they find a cheap way to dump it.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:18 AM #8
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

More likely to be good old plaster of paris. Cheaper than dirt.

VERY VERY unlikely to be something interesting like pharmaceuticals, or illegal substances.
Why put a more expensive cell in a cheaper cell?

Here it is. Straight from LG.

Battery companies like to ship even crates of batteries to their customers. Customers expect an even shipment. However, in many cases the companies supply the batteries can't make production and cheat by making a dummy. Problem is sometimes these dummy contain a smaller lithium cell. These are usually unprotected and in the worst case prone to detonation or catching fire.
This is a hazard of doing business with China in the fast lane. They're always cutting corners to make the final sale. Both LG and Samsung have been burned by this practice.
Ask a manager over at either of those companies, they'll respond.. those F$cking Chinese again.. Always making fakes.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:14 PM #9
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seoul_lasers View Post
More likely to be good old plaster of paris. Cheaper than dirt.

VERY VERY unlikely to be something interesting like pharmaceuticals, or illegal substances.
Its probably something like plaster of fine sand.. but imagine having bought this, put it in your luggage and go through an x-ray scan at the airport!

I bet the customs people will not be convinced that its not some illicit substance, and i could take uncomfortably long for them to determine it isnt... you'll be on the next flight in the best of circumstances.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:54 PM #10
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

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Old 03-25-2012, 02:51 PM #11
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

Like woa man, it's the matrix out there.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:27 PM #12
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

How are they suppose to look ? Rolled film with some kind of liquid ?
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:14 AM #13
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

I had read that Ultrafires had crappy protection circuits in them, so I had wanted to take a look at it. Since I'd never taken apart a cell before, but knew roughly what to expect, the powder freaked me out.

It seems like pretty inert stuff; doesn't react with water -- appeared to sort of dissolve in it. Didn't smell of anything.

Still, frankly, my method of disassembly was pretty stupid. If it had been a real but unprotected battery, I might have got myself into some trouble...

My one nod to "safety" was that I was doing it above a porcelain sink, ready to drop it if it started getting warm...

But yeah; I found it "amusing" that they would fake an already crappy brand. One thing I did notice is that one of the cells is not quite the same height as the others. It also appears to take a lot longer to charge. It may *gasp* actually be genuine...

According to Ultrafire's website, Dealextreme are known to sell fake Ultrafires -- wonder if it's one of these?


Also:

Fake Ultrafire 18650 battery warning

There someone found a 70mAhr battery -- sounds about right for a little LiIon pack like I discovered...
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:17 AM #14
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benm View Post
Its probably something like plaster of fine sand.. but imagine having bought this, put it in your luggage and go through an x-ray scan at the airport!

I bet the customs people will not be convinced that its not some illicit substance, and i could take uncomfortably long for them to determine it isnt... you'll be on the next flight in the best of circumstances.
Yeah -- didn't even think about that. That could have seriously sucked...

Doesn't help that I was trying to bring in a laser pointer that is (guessing) on the order of 300-500mW...

Glad I didn't pass through somewhere like Singapore, where the penalty for drug smuggling is death -- that would have added to the excitement...
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:42 AM #15
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

A prime example of a dangerous cell.

The small cell would be grossly overcharged,

if you charged it as a 3000mah cell.

Stick to known name-brand cells.

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Old 03-26-2012, 06:49 AM #16
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Default Re: Fake Ultrafire 18650's

Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryDFW View Post
A prime example of a dangerous cell.

The small cell would be grossly overcharged,

if you assumed it was a 3000mah cell.

Stick to known name-brand cells.

LarryDFW
Why? Don't most chargers shut off based on the cell's voltage?

Lipos share similar voltage charging specs with lithium ions. Generally their C rate is much higher too. So if that's a 300mAh cell, it can probably charge at 10x the C rate of a true 18650. It should all balance out. Charging current and voltage would, I should think, be similar.

The obvious difference, is that this tiny lipo pack will only need charging for a few minutes, to an 18650's hour.
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SAFETY & IMPORTANT READING (threads authored and contributed to by various members of LPF):
- Federal Aviation Administration - Laser Safety Initiative (link)
- Info release from Laserglow - Default Canadian restrictions on portable lasers (link)
- The Necessity of Safety Goggles (link)

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LinkBack to this Thread: http://laserpointerforums.com/f67/fake-ultrafire-18650-s-72833.html
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