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'[OT] Paying for quality...'
2006\07\19@092450 by Howard Winter

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I have standardised my cordless tools (drills, saws, etc) on a particular manufacturer's 18V range, and I am
well pleased with the quality of the equipment.  However, the batteries are *darned* expensive!  I saw some
for sale on eBay and won one for about half the price in the shops, but when it arrived I found it wasn't
actually made by the firm themselves, it was a no-name copy (this wasn't mentioned in the eBay auction!).  But
it seemed to work and I carried on using it in rotation with the genuine ones I have for a while.

But after about 10 cycles, I found that it was taking less and less charge each time, and before long the
charger was indicating "dead battery".  I had lost track of who I bought it from, so sending it back wasn't an
option so I decided to look inside and dismantled it.  It used Panasonic NiMH 3000mAh cells, which was a bit
of a surprise, and I measured their voltages.  All were good except one that was showing signs of slight
leakage, and no voltage whatsoever!  It was acting pretty-much as a dead short.

I bought a replacement (tagged) cell, and just as I was cutting the tags from the dodgy cell I noticed
something - its flat end was connected to the next cell's flat end, its centre-contact end was connected to
the centre-contact of the next one in the other direction - it had been fitted in reverse!  So for all of its
short life it had been reverse-charged, so I'm not surprised it finally gave up.

It shows that not only was the assembly shoddily done, but there can have been no quality control, because
surely they would have spotted the problem, and/or the voltage would have been lower than expected (I imagine
that before the first charge the voltage would have been about 2.4V too low, since the problem cell was
pushing the wrong way).

Anyway, I carefully soldered in the new cell (wishing that Phil Pemberton lived closer so I could have asked
to use his spotwelder! :-) and charge-balanced the cells, and reassembled it into its case.  I seem to have
saved the pack and it's now operating as it should have.  In future I'll make sure I'm buying the
manufacturer's own products, not a no-name copy!  But I may get them from the 'States, where they cost about
half what they do here...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\07\19@094309 by Bob Axtell

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Howard Winter wrote:
{Quote hidden}

This fake battery business is a serious problem. If moved from NiMH to
LiIon, it is the cause of laptops exploding all by themselves, and cellphone
batteries catching fire. It is caused by China's lack of quality
control, made extreme by Chinese manufacturers not honoring copyright laws.

If it isn't corrected soon, I think the IEEE committee will recommend
eliminating the use of Li-Ion cells for safety reasons.

--Bob

2006\07\19@095057 by Philip Pemberton

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Howard Winter wrote:
> I have standardised my cordless tools (drills, saws, etc) on a particular manufacturer's 18V range, and I am
> well pleased with the quality of the equipment.  However, the batteries are *darned* expensive!  I saw some
> for sale on eBay and won one for about half the price in the shops, but when it arrived I found it wasn't
> actually made by the firm themselves, it was a no-name copy (this wasn't mentioned in the eBay auction!).  But
> it seemed to work and I carried on using it in rotation with the genuine ones I have for a while.

I've got two drills here - a Dremel MultiPro (the two-speed one) in a
Wolfcraft drill stand that I use as a PCB drill, and a Nu-Tool 12V cordless.
The Nu-Tool is cheap and plasticky, but I'd expect that since it only cost a
tenner from Makro :P

Nice for drilling holes in plastic instrument cases though. I do intend to mod
the charger to allow me to connect it up to the smart charger I'm working on -
the bundled charger is absolutely dire. It charges the battery in two or three
hours, but doesn't have any fast-charge cutoff circuitry I can find...

> It shows that not only was the assembly shoddily done, but there can have been no quality control, because
> surely they would have spotted the problem, and/or the voltage would have been lower than expected (I imagine
> that before the first charge the voltage would have been about 2.4V too low, since the problem cell was
> pushing the wrong way).

There's no quality control in anything these days :)

> Anyway, I carefully soldered in the new cell (wishing that Phil Pemberton lived closer so I could have asked
> to use his spotwelder! :-)

You had tagged cells anyway - it would have been easier to solder to the tags
than to weld on some new ones.

> and charge-balanced the cells, and reassembled it into its case.  I seem to
have
> saved the pack and it's now operating as it should have.  In future I'll make sure I'm buying the
> manufacturer's own products, not a no-name copy!  But I may get them from the 'States, where they cost about
> half what they do here...

And pay VAT, Import Duty and whatever handling charge the courier decides to
put on top?
Make sure you factor all that in - sometimes things are not as cheap as they
first seem...

--
Phil.                         | Kitsune: Acorn RiscPC SA202 64M+6G ViewFinder
spam_OUTphilpemTakeThisOuTspamdsl.pipex.com         | Cheetah: Athlon64 3200+ A8VDeluxeV2 512M+100G
http://www.philpem.me.uk/     | Tiger: Toshiba SatPro4600 Celeron700 256M+40G

2006\07\19@184432 by Dave Lag

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Howard Winter wrote:
> I have standardised my cordless tools (drills, saws, etc) on a particular manufacturer's 18V range, and I am
> well pleased with the quality of the equipment.
> Cheers,
>  
> Howard Winter
> St.Albans, England
>
Is the colour yellow?
:)



2006\07\20@050330 by Ling SM

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> This fake battery business is a serious problem. If moved from NiMH to
> LiIon, it is the cause of laptops exploding all by themselves, and cellphone
> batteries catching fire. It is caused by China's lack of quality
> control, made extreme by Chinese manufacturers not honoring copyright laws.
>
> If it isn't corrected soon, I think the IEEE committee will recommend
> eliminating the use of Li-Ion cells for safety reasons.
>

You would expect big chain supermarkets that source from China to have
some QC as they have resources, manpower and muscle.  Nil from the local
big shots or Carrefour here, but I found the 100-Yen shops (here and in
Japan) offer real value for money as their China-made stuff apparently
gone through QC dictated by the Japanese.

Cheers, Ling SM

2006\07\20@051217 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 7/20/06, Ling SM <.....ipal11KILLspamspam@spam@singnet.com.sg> wrote:
>
> You would expect big chain supermarkets that source from China to have
> some QC as they have resources, manpower and muscle.  Nil from the local
> big shots or Carrefour here, but I found the 100-Yen shops (here and in
> Japan) offer real value for money as their China-made stuff apparently
> gone through QC dictated by the Japanese.
>
> Cheers, Ling SM

I think Carrefour is not too bad in Singapore. The local big shots? Do
you mean NTUC? Not too bad lah...

What is the 100-Yen shop in Singapore? I think you do not mean the
the ill-fate (SGD) $1.99 chain? It went bankrupt sometime ago.

Regards,
Xiaofan (in Singapore)

2006\07\20@133144 by Howard Winter

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Dave,

On Wed, 19 Jul 2006 18:45:37 -0400, Dave Lag wrote:

> Howard Winter wrote:
> > I have standardised my cordless tools (drills, saws, etc) on a particular manufacturer's 18V range, and I
am
> > well pleased with the quality of the equipment.
>...
> Is the colour yellow?
> :)

Funny you should say that... have you been peeping into my shed?  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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