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This Should be Illegal… Battery Repair Blocking

ColinLTT
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10 minutes ago, ColinLTT said:

Don't think the link embeded properly

If you think I'm wrong, correct me. If I've offended you in some way tell me what it is and how I can correct it. I want to learn, and along the way one can make mistakes; Being wrong helps you learn what's right.

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i bet at some point they will change the title to "I ALMOST SET THE BULDING ON FIRE TWICE!!!"

please quote me or tag me @wall03 so i can see your response

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Are those just V-Mount batteries? You might want to switch brands.

 

We use Anton Bauer Gold Mount batteries at work, and some of the older 'Dionic' series can be relatively easily re-celled. We've got a few that are a decade old and still have about 2/3 of their design capacity left in them on the original cells, even after hundreds of charge cycles. I haven't tried re-celling any of their 'Digital' series packs yet, but I've harvested the 18650s from ones where the BMS gave up the ghost and the cells have been fine. They've since replaced the Digital series with the 'Titon' series, but they're still so new to our environment I can't say one way or another how good they are.

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13 minutes ago, Needfuldoer said:

Are those just V-Mount batteries? You might want to switch brands.

RED cameras like there own batteries for some reason.

But yeah Anton Bauer V mounts are one of the better.

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Why do these cells even have to be welded together? There could be spring-loaded contacts on the underside of the BMS PCB and another PCB on the other side and the entire thing is just a 18650 sandwich and held together by the housing. Recycling and re-celling would be much easier.

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Would Linus + MKBHD have enough money to sue RED into releasing whatever restraints keep the batteries from being rebuilt/recycled?

and/or forcing them to release design specs if they decide to stop manufacturing something so a third party license holder can continue where they left off?

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Gotta be honest, this is one of the very few situations where I actually agree with the manufacturers locking things down. Considering the amount of laptops I've seen damaged by chinesium grade replacement batteries I think a company selling and warrantying $6000 cameras should be allowed to stop customers from using non-OEM batteries.

 

We have a rule in work against using reconditioned battery packs or packs from non-major brands purely because the fire risk however small simply isn't worth the cost saving.

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One major thing missing in the video that probably should be there: The cells themselves. You cannot just replace any 18650/18490/18350/20650/something with just any same size cells. REPLACING CELLS WITH DIFFERENT ONES MIGHT BE DEADLY DANGEROUS! There is a reason why with 18650's and other cells not only capacity and voltage is mentioned but also rated amperage. Those two later ones are EXTREMELY important. Voltage just tells the voltage class the cell is, 3.7V 18650 cell optimally works between 4.2-3.4V depending on remaining charge, this is why your lithium AA/AAA rechargeable batteries don't tell in their case that they are 1.5V but 1.2V because they are 1.2V class cells.

 

Amperage on the other hand tells you how many amps the cell is rated to give out. This is the point where safety really comes in and patience. Choosing between 1.2V, 3.7V and whatever voltage classes is easy because that is often told in the description because too low voltage and your device won't work and too high voltage your device will fry. Amperage is what tells at which point the cell is safety use and at which point it goes nuclear. Reputable cell manufacturers and shops will tell you two different amperage for a cell: continuous and peak meaning the safe amps the cell is rated to give out as long as there's charge and the safe amps the cell can give momentarily, the first one being the more important one often. Now when you take your battery pack open and you see the cells it's made from, look at them and try to find out their maker and model, often printed on the cell casing itself and should be visible through the wrapping. You will most likely find Sony/Murata cells (US18650[model]), Samsung cells (INR18650-[model]) or LG cells (LGDB[model]1865) (or other ones, these were just ones close around me to give examples). Now that you know what cells you are replacing try to find matching cells because if you replace something like Sony/Murata 18650VTC5A cells with something like LG MJ1 cells, you are going to die, because VTC5A is rated 25A/35A (up to 50A) and MJ1 is just 10A continuous and we don't need to go any further to know that your device might be same as short for the MJ1 cells and they will go nuclear.

 

Most likely you are not going to die and the cells won't go nuclear if you F'ed up and put wrong ones in. But I will use those terms because these are things where not doing the groundwork and not being careful might end up with fire and explosions with burned homes and dead bodies.

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Personally I am a bit split on if battery packs should be end user repairable or not.

There is plenty of low quality cells out on the market that can be a safety risk to use in some applications. Though, the typical worst case problem is squeezing out "too much" capacity and ending up with poor safety margins on the insulation like Samsung did with their note 7.

 

Though, preferably the batteries should still be repairable by someone authorized by a third party. (third party authorization likely from some government organization so that we don't get into the Apple "authorized repair" situation...) In this case there would be an authorized repair program for all brands. Where a company wanting to operate in the country just have to provide the needed information, items and tools for such an operation. ("tools" being programming tools if such is needed, or other specialty assembly tools. The authorized shop has to buy their own spot welder, benches and other "basic tools" that aren't specialized, as well as their own cells unless "it is special".)

 

This is though just my two cents.

But I can see how government authorized repair stores can lead to "incentives" making the re-celling process impractical from a safety concern standpoint making it near impossible for anyone to be authorized.

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20 minutes ago, Streetguru said:

Would Linus + MKBHD have enough money to sue RED into releasing whatever restraints keep the batteries from being rebuilt/recycled?

Lol no.

Your "PC master race" thing is cringe. 

 

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55 minutes ago, Ubersonic said:

Gotta be honest, this is one of the very few situations where I actually agree with the manufacturers locking things down. Considering the amount of laptops I've seen damaged by chinesium grade replacement batteries I think a company selling and warrantying $6000 cameras should be allowed to stop customers from using non-OEM batteries.

there are plenty of brands who make great battery packs for cameras.

 

the only thing I think camera makes should do is have a fuse

1 hour ago, Needfuldoer said:

Are those just V-Mount batteries? You might want to switch brands.

 

We use Anton Bauer Gold Mount batteries at work, and some of the older 'Dionic' series can be relatively easily re-celled. We've got a few that are a decade old and still have about 2/3 of their design capacity left in them on the original cells, even after hundreds of charge cycles. I haven't tried re-celling any of their 'Digital' series packs yet, but I've harvested the 18650s from ones where the BMS gave up the ghost and the cells have been fine. They've since replaced the Digital series with the 'Titon' series, but they're still so new to our environment I can't say one way or another how good they are.

AB is some of the most expensive batteries you can buy. the other issue is most do not support over 12A loads thats only 150W which while fine for cameras is kinda an issue if you want to power lights

 

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1 hour ago, Ubersonic said:

Gotta be honest, this is one of the very few situations where I actually agree with the manufacturers locking things down. Considering the amount of laptops I've seen damaged by chinesium grade replacement batteries I think a company selling and warrantying $6000 cameras should be allowed to stop customers from using non-OEM batteries.

 

We have a rule in work against using reconditioned battery packs or packs from non-major brands purely because the fire risk however small simply isn't worth the cost saving.

Disagree. The manufacturer needn't facilitate it, but they also needn't take measures explicitly to prevent cell replacement altogether. If a customer is determined to go this route and have the skill to carry it out, manufacturers should stay out of the way.

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What I don't like about the video is the panick and misinformation about the sparks. I'm 99% sure they came from bad welding technique (bad contact, wrong parametres) and had nothing to do with used cells.

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I work a lot with batteries and have never seen an "evil BMS" as described where it will just stop working after X uses.

 

It is however common for BMSes to - well, do their job and monitor the battery, and if something very much not OK happens lock themselves out permanently for safety since that should never have happened and it's not possible to know if the battery is still safe to use after that's happened. That includes a middle cell voltage suddenly disappearing.

On a lot of those you can re-cell, BUT you have to follow a strict procedure and disconnect the cells from + to - in order one after the other. If you disconnect the top cell, then the next etc it's fine, but if you just disconnect randomly and it senses a middle cell voltage going to 0 it goes into "permanent failure" mode straight away. 

Some from the common manufacturers (TI etc) can be reset using software tools but it sometimes requires having access to software keys. There are people who have them and will do that for you. 

 

Other than that for the low current draw a RED pulls putting 2 layers of strip was totally unnecessary. OK was just to link the groups together

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3 minutes ago, Kilrah said:

Other than that for the low current draw a RED pulls putting 2 layers of strip was totally unnecessary.

its 120-140W max from the whole pack. ( I don't remember if these are 10A or 12A at 12-16V)

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I'm going to point out the hypocrisy here...

 

Quote

What exactly happens to those batteries once you’re done with them? And why is replacing them so dang hard? We explore the how’s and the why’s.

In this video he basically said removable phone batteries can't handle the future and are bulky which both are lies, sealing up phones are just simply cheaper and better for their bottom line in both manufacturing cost and obsolescence.

 

Linus can't bring up a issue for one product and ignore the biggest issue out there that is far worst of an issue than camera batteries.

So I have a question for LTT, when are you going to start talking about the non-(self)repairable status of our cell phones? You know the units we all own at least one of? The units that get thrown away possibly improperly (actually likely in many places) in the millions per year?

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1 hour ago, Zodiark1593 said:

If a customer is determined to go this route and have the skill to carry it out, manufacturers should stay out of the way.

And that's the problem. Channels like LTT (and plenty more) are popular and when they show something like this, scores of their followers will attempt their own repair. But w/o knowing what they're actually doing. If someone has the knowledge and skill to do so, fine. But most viewers/consumers simply don't and that means they're a danger to themselves, their environment and as a result of the wide-spread claim-culture in the US, a significant liability for the manufacturer who may be forced to pay compensation for some stupidity from consumers they have no control over, well into $$$ millions.

 

49 minutes ago, Kilrah said:

Other than that for the low current draw a RED pulls putting 2 layers of strip was totally unnecessary.

The 2nd layer wasn't for the current. If you'd looked more carefully, it was a bridge between the parallel cells, just like the first layer.

 

1 hour ago, penguino said:

What I don't like about the video is the panick and misinformation about the sparks. I'm 99% sure they came from bad welding technique (bad contact, wrong parametres) and had nothing to do with used cells.

Agreed. Still, better safe then sorry. IMO Linus wasn't paying too much attention where the strips actually were when he spot-welded them. Had he taken more care in centring the strips and the spot-welder, it would have been fine. User error: PEBKAC (problem exists between keyboard and chair 😛 )

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2 hours ago, GDRRiley said:

AB is some of the most expensive batteries you can buy. the other issue is most do not support over 12A loads thats only 150W which while fine for cameras is kinda an issue if you want to power lights

 

You get what you pay for, though. We’ve tried the cheap batteries, they just don’t hold up. They either don’t last nearly the same number of charge cycles, or the BMS craps the bed if they’re pushed too hard. 

 

We typically run Panasonic P2 cameras, IPNG backpacks from LiveU snd Dejero, Dracast LED500s, and Litepanels Astra 1x1s, all off of Digital 90s and Titon 90s (with a few oddballs and a couple Dionic HCX-es mixed in). Nobody uses 500 watt halogen lights anymore. 

Dell owns my soul.

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1 hour ago, Needfuldoer said:

You get what you pay for, though. We’ve tried the cheap batteries, they just don’t hold up. They either don’t last nearly the same number of charge cycles, or the BMS craps the bed if they’re pushed too hard. 

I've seen 1/2 dozen other brands hold up just as well.

1 hour ago, Needfuldoer said:

We typically run Panasonic P2 cameras, IPNG backpacks from LiveU snd Dejero, Dracast LED500s, and Litepanels Astra 1x1s, all off of Digital 90s and Titon 90s (with a few oddballs and a couple Dionic HCX-es mixed in). Nobody uses 500 watt halogen lights anymore. 

I mean those are all small fries compared to the new 300 and 600W Aperture lights.

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Ok. Unless that spot welder can provide 180amps or better in the minimal time frame it was a wasted purchase. A regular car battery and the the cheap battery spot welder would have been a better solution.

 

I love utility in things and sometimes throwing money at project is not the best solution.

 

Clearly Linus had the wrony settings on that spot welder or it was not capable of providing the high amount of current needed to spot weld. Just seeing the nickel strip getting red hot told be he was not doing it right.

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8 minutes ago, GDRRiley said:

I've seen 1/2 dozen other brands hold up just as well.

Never underestimate the carelessness of news videographers!

Dell owns my soul.

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3 minutes ago, Needfuldoer said:

Never underestimate the carelessness of news videographers!

I counter with high school kids.

Good luck, Have fun, Build PC, and have a last gen console for use once a year. I should answer most of the time between 9 to 3 PST

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"Stupidity is like trying to find a limit of a constant. You are never truly smart in something, just less stupid."

Camera Gear: X-S10, 16-80 F4, 60D, 24-105 F4, 50mm F1.4, Helios44-m, 2 Cos-11D lavs

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I think a large part of the problems faced in the video stem from that battery spot welder that they are using.  A couple years ago I picked up the version two battery spot welder from this company: 

https://malectrics.eu/product/diy-arduino-battery-spot-welder-kit-v3-2-2-full_bundle_car_battery/

 

I have used it quite extensively since that time and have been very happy with it.  While I cannot comment on the V4 (current) kit, the V2 has been awesome.  A couple bits of advice though, use a truck battery, not a car battery and for larger/longer projects I recommend hooking up a battery charger to the battery to keep it topped off.  Since I do all my battery work on my work bench I simply hook up my bench power supply to the truck battery and it keeps the voltage fairly constant.  If the battery voltage dips lower it will produce inconsistent welds.

 

A story on an ESPECIALLY "EVIL"  BMS:  my dentist knows that I'm about to graduate with a degree in electrical engineering so he asked me if I could take a look at the batteries they use for their head lamps that go with their magnifying eye glasses.  To get replacement batteries costs upwards of 150 dollars per battery and he said he typically buys 8-10 per year (for the whole office). I could tell by the profile that it was a single 18650 cell.  After taking it home, I first ran a capacity test with the OG cell in the device, then I took out the OG cell which I assumed to be no good.  I swapped in a cell of known capacity and ran the test again, to my amazement the test came out with roughly the same capacity and it was nowhere near the capacity that it should have been.  After some circuit analysis and reverse engineering I determined that there was a wire that was communicating from the BMS to the "brain" of the battery unit.  At first I assumed this small "brain" board was just dealing with giving a PWM signal out to dim or brighten the headlamp.  But NO!! It turns out they had hijacked one of the capabilities of the BMS which is to shut the voltage output off when the battery level is too low. Many hours of testing later this is what I determined:

 

Every time you would plug in the headlamp it would basically increase a count in the "brain" by 1.  Next it would monitor the mAh that had gone out, and the higher the count the less mAh it would let flow out to the light before it triggered the low voltage cutoff on the BMS. On average it would decrement the "capacity" by approximately 5 mAh each time.

 

TLDR: my dentist gave me a battery that was "dead" and "...would only last about an hour" and I found the cell inside to still be at about 90% of the rated capacity.

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