Fake 18650 cells from scam-sellers
Yes that´s t fact! Many of the cheap cells out there are fake and unfortunately many buyers don’t know about this. I have therefore done a raid on Ebay and did buy every one that was cheap and i though was scam.
I did buy 28 of them but only 16 have showed up 6 weeks later. I also had 2 older ones that i also used and examined a bit closer.
Its always difficult when it comes to cells and especially if you want them cheap 🙂
Equipment i did use for this test:
- Icharger Duo 308. Calibrated and with decent cables to make sure even results
- Logview on computer for logging the data
How i planned the test phase
I wanted to keep the test simple but at the same time in a level where we could distinguish bad cells from the good ones. I ran this test at 250mA. This is a current that all cells should be able to handle.
I did not care of testing iR nor what their max drain that they could handle would be nor if they went hot. Basic simple test!
So basically what my goals was to find out was:
- Actual weight
- How they look inside!
I have already spent way to much time on this and its time to present the results. Am I surprised? No I´m NOT.
I tried to summarize as much as possible in this excel sheet (All links in bottom of this article)
What you will see here is that most of the cells are junk. They even lie about the weight of the cells!! But there was some of them that was decent. Unfortunately 2 of them was cells i had already. Above document is missing some data but it will be added to the real documents as soon as i have rerun the tests. (I screwed up the data on them….)
So lets add a whole bunch of graphs! Yey! For more details take a look at the spread sheet in bottom links.
When i opened it up i instantly can see that there is no protection circuit inside.. As i thought… Neither is the container full
As you can see the length of the guts is not even close to the cell itself. And its also hollow so you see through it… I would easily say its not even 1/4th of what it could have been.
1 cell of all cells almost passed. But that one did cost the same as you can buy genuine cells from other proper resellers.
So if a cell does not have a genuine brand like Samsung, LG, Sanyo or any of the other ones and the price is way lower than proper cells.. They are most likely FAKE!
I’m not surprised and i hope you, yes you that is reading this, also understand how poor most of them are. Also going for the weight on Ebay is not even working since many of them fake that part too.
What happened to the transactions made when i bought them?
All except 1 seller gave me my money back without a single problem. Im not going to hang out the sellers that did give me money back and i generally dont either but i do want to give a warning about this seller
The seller most likely have multiple shops on ebay but its via this account that i had issues.
What defines a proper cell?
- Capacity of proper cells today are between 1500-3500mAh in general.
- Weight is between 44-49gram
- Price is between 3-15EUR per piece. (Depending on several factors)
Google Spreadsheet of the cells (If you have any you want to add let me know!)
What if i want to add cells?
I would be more than glad if you have data to add!
Note that there are some things you need to consider:
- What discharger you used for it
- Do you have any discharge graphs
- Between what voltages was the test done
- That is the current set to discharge at
- What is the cutoff current set when it stops
I prefer if you have all of above so we can add that as well.
If and when i add stuff on this page. Ie more cells il add that information down here. (Update info)