Author Topic: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries  (Read 24388 times)

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Offline saturation

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Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« on: October 09, 2011, 07:26:44 pm »
I'm posting to warn folks that some eneloops batteries received from eBay, Delextreme and other sources have been counterfeit.  Since Sanyo doesn't have a traditional 'authorized' distribution channel for consumer items, its more difficult to track than their electronic components.

They come from many sources, so they all do not look the same.

In this version, note the spelling of water and wash on the top cell:



Note the middle cell is slightly shorter, has a depression around the top, and is 2500 mAh; "white" eneloops go to 2000mAh.



In this version, the battery has a dark top color versus the white of true eneloops.



Although there is no strict consistency, one difficult item to copy so far has been the date code and numbers punched on the side a true eneloop.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 07:51:44 pm by saturation »
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alm

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 07:33:27 pm »
Note that Sanyo does make genuine 2500mAh Eneloops, although the branding is different from the 2000mAh ones.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2011, 07:48:25 pm »
Thanks alm, you're right, the image refers only to the standard 'white' batteries.


Note that Sanyo does make genuine 2500mAh Eneloops, although the branding is different from the 2000mAh ones.
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Online IanB

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2011, 07:52:40 pm »
Yup, this has been known and widely talked about for quite some time now. Amazing what lengths some people will go to to turn a quick buck.

The batteries in the picture are actually "old" eneloops (HR-3UTG), which have since been superseded by the newer HR-3UTGA model. An even newer model HR-3UTGB has just been announced with even better charge retention performance than before (90% after 1 year and 70% after 5 years).

The really odd thing is that Sanyo themselves caused a lot of confusion by changing the design of the batteries recently. The original eneloops had a trademark squarish positive button with four openings around the side of it, whereas the newer batteries have a round positive button with no visible openings. When the new batteries were introduced Sanyo was inundated with callers asking if the new batteries were fakes. You would have thought a manufacturer would be more conscious of the value of trademarks in their designs.
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Offline sonicj

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 10:03:25 pm »
i just received 4 HR-3UTG cells from a established Manhattan retailer via eBay. $9.99usd for 4 cells shipped.

one thing i noticed that i haven't seen mentioned is the 5 year warranty. i have trashed many NIMHs in less than 5 years... 
-sj
 

Offline bazza

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 01:44:43 am »
I always slow-charge my Sanyo (Panasonic :p) Eneloops. No 4-hour-or-less charges for me. I want them to last so I do the overnight thing.

I only buy mine from established stores such as B&H.

This is awesome news.
http://panasonic.net/sanyo/news/2011/10/06-1.html

It's amazing how they just keep innovation going on these (if they are to be believed of course). They have already completely replaced the few remaining benefits disposables had and they just keep getting better.
 

alm

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2011, 03:19:49 am »
I always slow-charge my Sanyo (Panasonic :p) Eneloops. No 4-hour-or-less charges for me. I want them to last so I do the overnight thing.
Note that the IEC61951-2 testing conditions Sanyo quote mostly consists of 1/4C * ~3h cycles, so I'm not sure if slow charging will have a tangible benefit on the number of cycles. I'm sure the testing method was optimized to make the batteries look good.
 

Online IanB

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 03:40:44 am »
I always slow-charge my Sanyo (Panasonic :p) Eneloops. No 4-hour-or-less charges for me. I want them to last so I do the overnight thing.
I think overnight charging is the surest way to kill your batteries in a hurry, but whatever floats your boat...
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline codeboy2k

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2011, 04:24:52 am »
I always slow-charge my Sanyo (Panasonic :p) Eneloops. No 4-hour-or-less charges for me. I want them to last so I do the overnight thing.
I think overnight charging is the surest way to kill your batteries in a hurry, but whatever floats your boat...

Can you elaborate? I have both types of chargers, the quick 1 hour kind and another slow charger that charges about .1C or .2C (200-250ma maybe) and it takes about 10-12 hours, sometimes more, to fully charge.  The batteries are barely warm.

I've measured the charging current, it goes down as the battery builds up a charge.

How am I damaging my batteries?  I really want to know, no sarcasm or disrespect intended.

Thanks!


 

Online IanB

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 04:56:23 am »
Can you elaborate? I have both types of chargers, the quick 1 hour kind and another slow charger that charges about .1C or .2C (200-250ma maybe) and it takes about 10-12 hours, sometimes more, to fully charge.  The batteries are barely warm.

I've measured the charging current, it goes down as the battery builds up a charge.

How am I damaging my batteries?  I really want to know, no sarcasm or disrespect intended.

Thanks!
The trouble with slow charging NiMH batteries is that it is very difficult for the charger to determine when the batteries are fully charged and stop the charging current. Most slow chargers or overnight chargers operate on a simple timer and rely on manual intervention to pull the batteries off the charger at the right time. This is not too bad if the batteries start out empty and you watch the clock carefully having calculated the optimum charging time, but it is less good if the batteries are in an unknown state of charge initially.

Occasionally overcharging NiMH cells at low charge currents does not do much harm, but overcharging repeatedly on every cycle can accumulate wear on the cell and cause it to fail prematurely.

The best kind of charger is one with automatic end of charge detection (negative delta-V) on each individual battery slot, that uses a medium charge current in the 0.25-0.5C range. Most of the bundled Sanyo eneloop chargers work this way.

A faster one hour charge is within the allowable range for AA cells, but I find the cells get quite warm and I prefer a 2-4 hour charge.
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Online BravoV

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 05:40:35 am »
The best kind of charger is one with automatic end of charge detection (negative delta-V) on each individual battery slot, that uses a medium charge current in the 0.25-0.5C range.

Additional to the "best" Ni-based apart from d-v detection criteria are , time controlled and temperature monitoring, that will be the complete charging solution.

alm

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 08:21:03 am »
I believe dT termination would be the best, but is not very practical for AA cells, which don't feature a temperature sensor.
 

Offline sonicj

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2011, 08:22:07 am »
just started the first charge on mine... 0.5A with ?V set to auto.

the user manual states "1) Single cell capacity under the following condition Charge : 200mA×16h" & "3)After a few charge and discharge cycles under the above 1) condition." so i would assume the slower charge rate allows for a higher capacity charge with optimum performance after a few charge/discharge cycles. so.... after the first couple charges i'll probably charge at the recommended 2A and see how many mAh they take. 
-sj
 

Offline sonicj

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2011, 08:37:28 am »
eneloop branded chargers specs:
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2011, 06:29:32 pm »
Yes, its not an entirely new issue, but its getting worse.  I read some folks have bought counterfeit eneloops through Amazon.com,  at least by testimony.  So folks should beware of the sources, I'd try to get them direct from Sanyo whenever possible if eneloop is what you want.

Tenergy is looking very promising. 

Yup, this has been known and widely talked about for quite some time now. Amazing what lengths some people will go to to turn a quick buck.

The batteries in the picture are actually "old" eneloops (HR-3UTG), which have since been superseded by the newer HR-3UTGA model. An even newer model HR-3UTGB has just been announced with even better charge retention performance than before (90% after 1 year and 70% after 5 years).

The really odd thing is that Sanyo themselves caused a lot of confusion by changing the design of the batteries recently. The original eneloops had a trademark squarish positive button with four openings around the side of it, whereas the newer batteries have a round positive button with no visible openings. When the new batteries were introduced Sanyo was inundated with callers asking if the new batteries were fakes. You would have thought a manufacturer would be more conscious of the value of trademarks in their designs.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2011, 07:37:00 pm »
I have four genuine Eneloop for about a year.

I am happy with them up to a point.
Because it looks that the internal condition of the cell its not that stable speaking about the capacity.
In the first 3-4 months all batteries was looking identical speaking about the discharging curve.
Today there is noticeable changes, every battery looks to have an different capacity.
Not that different to loose my sleep about it, but they are not identical,
even if I use them always all together =  the same charge - discharge circles.

At the same time that I got the Eneloop, I got also Sanyo 2700mA and actually eight of them.
In about eight months two of the eight, they died just like that.

Died = They get charged fully as 100%, as soon they fall at 80%, they suddenly fall down to 0% and the device (digital camera) stops working.
Something happens here with those fresh Sanyo cells, from my oldest Sanyo  4X1600mA set , the two of them after 11 years there is still usable.

Even in the Ansmann AAA 1100mA batteries I had two bad apples from the four, with the same symptoms like the Sanyo 2700mA.
The Ansmann AA 2850 Digital even after a year of use looks healthy, but their discharge rate is high.
Even a bit higher than the Sanyo 2700mA.       
 
   
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2011, 08:06:35 pm »
As aside, the Maha C9000 is one of the best commercial NiMH charger available,  it does both dV, dT charge termination, impedance checking, IEC capacity determination and both user programmable and system programmed cycling.  It uses pulse charging and keeps batteries charge temps < 40oC even at 0.5C at normal ambient room temp.  I wrote some reviews of it in the archives:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3729.msg49867#msg49867
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=782.msg9528#msg9528

Its extensively reviewed and been around since 2007, you can find reviews via google.

I've taken 7-10 year old and dead NiMH cells and was able to cycle them back to life.  Most impressive were the 10 year old set I forgot in a travel bag, the revitalized cells hold a charge and pass IEC testing at 70% or so rated capacity but had tremendous self-discharge rates, 30+% per day, so in the end they were discarded, but that they could be revitalized at all was impressive. 

I have a bunch of 5-7 year old cells I still use thanks to the Maha.

eneloop branded chargers specs:
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Offline Balaur

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2011, 09:31:15 pm »
I also vouch for the MAHA C9000 charger: very safe operation, good design and implementation and solid as stone

A lot of success stories as well.
 

Offline sonicj

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2011, 10:57:41 pm »
As aside, the Maha C9000 is one of the best commercial NiMH charger available,  it does both dV, dT charge termination, impedance checking, IEC capacity determination and both user programmable and system programmed cycling.  It uses pulse charging and keeps batteries charge temps < 40oC even at 0.5C at normal ambient room temp.  I wrote some reviews of it in the archives:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3729.msg49867#msg49867
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=782.msg9528#msg9528

Its extensively reviewed and been around since 2007, you can find reviews via google.

I've taken 7-10 year old and dead NiMH cells and was able to cycle them back to life.  Most impressive were the 10 year old set I forgot in a travel bag, the revitalized cells hold a charge and pass IEC testing at 70% or so rated capacity but had tremendous self-discharge rates, 30+% per day, so in the end they were discarded, but that they could be revitalized at all was impressive. 

I have a bunch of 5-7 year old cells I still use thanks to the Maha.
i was just trying to point out the various charge rates of the factory recommended chargers... (240mA to 1680mA)

i know a lot of people have had good results from Maha equipment, but i have a Maha MH-C777PLUS II and its terrible! it habitually misses peak detection and has cooked many of my NiMh cells.  :-\  opening the charger didn't give me that warm fuzzy feeling of a quality product...

i now use a IMAX B6 clone and its ok. the interface is kinda cumbersome, but being able to set my own capacity and time cutoff thresholds is nice. adjustable delta v sensitivity, but no delta t even though it has a external temp sensor.  :o  anywho, at least it doesn't kill my NiXx batts! btw, it does LiIon, LiPo, LiFe, NiCd, NiMH & PB and cost less than $20.

wow, we're way off topic. sorta.
-sj
 

Offline bazza

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2011, 11:01:27 pm »
I always slow-charge my Sanyo (Panasonic :p) Eneloops. No 4-hour-or-less charges for me. I want them to last so I do the overnight thing.
I think overnight charging is the surest way to kill your batteries in a hurry, but whatever floats your boat...

Since you wrote that, I read up more about things.

My charger is a cheapy Sanyo NC-MQN06U. It came with a Sanyo Power Pack battery bundle, but now looking on the Sanyo site it looks like they bundle their more compact charger with their Power Packs now:
http://www.eneloop.info/products/power-packs.html

I am pretty sure this charger is timer-based, but I always thought it turned off when the lights stopped flashing and turned steady on the charger. Steady light means it's ready. All the batteries I charge are completely empty before I stick them in there.

It charges 2 or 4 AAA batteries at 150mA.
It charges 2 or 4 AA batteries at 300mA.

There's some better info here on Sanyo chargers than their used to be regarding the methods they use:
http://www.eneloop.info/products/chargers.html

Mine is not listed there.
There is one line there that says:
 The slow charging by using a low charge-current ensures a long cycle life of the eneloop batteries.

I don't know if that's just marketing fluff to make a cheaper charger seem better or if that's reality, but I have always been more comfortable with the batteries never heating up a bit while being charged and always assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that it prolonged their cycle life.


 

Offline bazza

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2011, 11:12:15 pm »
i now use a IMAX B6 clone and its ok. the interface is kinda cumbersome, but being able to set my own capacity and time cutoff thresholds is nice.

I bought a Turnigy hobby charger a little while ago in order to learn more about charging and to have the flexibility to charge basically anything.

Long story short, I still haven't bought battery cases and the banana-to-alligator cables for easy hook-ups (it came with none). I'm about to do that soon to learn more about battery charging.

I think the hobby chargers are hard to beat when it comes to control over your batteries and learning more about charging and just having the flexibility to charge basically anything.

 

Offline sonicj

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2011, 11:31:04 pm »
There is one line there that says:
 The slow charging by using a low charge-current ensures a long cycle life of the eneloop batteries.

I don't know if that's just marketing fluff to make a cheaper charger seem better or if that's reality, but I have always been more comfortable with the batteries never heating up a bit while being charged and always assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that it prolonged their cycle life.
traditionally, slow charging NiMh could lead to missed delta V detection since its not not as pronounced at the slower rates. if you are slow charging with a sanyo eneloop charger, you should have nothing to worry about.


I bought a Turnigy hobby charger a little while ago in order to learn more about charging and to have the flexibility to charge basically anything.

Long story short, I still haven't bought battery cases and the banana-to-alligator cables for easy hook-ups (it came with none). I'm about to do that soon to learn more about battery charging.

I think the hobby chargers are hard to beat when it comes to control over your batteries and learning more about charging and just having the flexibility to charge basically anything.
smart! i lurn best hands-on like this too. i think you'll enjoy charging all sorts of stuff around the house once you get the hang of it. mine is cycling a old Dewalt 18V XRP NiCd pack as i type this.
-sj
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2011, 11:40:28 pm »
imax b6?  Never heard but just checked it out, it reads like a great charger.  The Maha is optimized for NiMH.  The IEC test allows you also to make a calibrated comparison between what your test shows, new batteries and compare them to other batteries in a standardized way. 

The C777 charger is a 10 year old design, it was one of the better chargers in 2000-1, but its obsolete today.  I agree your B6 is far better, and I personally will look into it for charging battery packs, the RC folks have quite a variety of interesting battery pack chargers.  But I'd need to know it worked and was built impeccably to prevent Li charger fires; NiMH at most boil over if overcharged compared to exploding.



Pictures is a Li poly fire in a diving location in Florida.  It burned one room of the motel and destroyed a $6000 underwater scooter.  It can be quite a loss for saving money on a cheap charger.





i was just trying to point out the various charge rates of the factory recommended chargers... (240mA to 1680mA)

i know a lot of people have had good results from Maha equipment, but i have a Maha MH-C777PLUS II and its terrible! it habitually misses peak detection and has cooked many of my NiMh cells.  :-\  opening the charger didn't give me that warm fuzzy feeling of a quality product...

i now use a IMAX B6 clone and its ok. the interface is kinda cumbersome, but being able to set my own capacity and time cutoff thresholds is nice. adjustable delta v sensitivity, but no delta t even though it has a external temp sensor.  :o  anywho, at least it doesn't kill my NiXx batts! btw, it does LiIon, LiPo, LiFe, NiCd, NiMH & PB and cost less than $20.

wow, we're way off topic. sorta.
-sj
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Online IanB

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2011, 12:27:15 am »
My charger is a cheapy Sanyo NC-MQN06U.
This charger is not too bad, as it does use automatic end of charge detection and is not a simple timed charger. Since it is sold by Sanyo as an official eneloop charger you can assume it is OK to use.

The main downside with the MQN06 is that it only charges batteries in pairs, and therefore you need to use and charge batteries in matched pairs so they start out in an equal state of discharge. If you can ever find it, the MQN05 was better as it had a higher charge rate and could charge batteries individually, but I don't think there are any MQN05 chargers left anywhere.
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Offline sonicj

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Re: Counterfeit Sanyo eneloop batteries
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2011, 12:28:30 am »
yea, it made me a little nervous the first few times i charged lipo on it. it hasn't given me any problems as of yet. i do most of my lipo charging on a CellPro 4s as i do feel a little more comfortable with it over the b6 clone, but its 4x the price and only does lipo. despite the lack of delta t, the  loud stock fan and the craptastic menu, i find it extremely handy. i'll eventually invest in a fully featured high current charger at some point, but for now its a great charger for the price.

ALL of my lipo charging is done in a LiPo bag!
-sj
 


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