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Dangers of Aftermarket Counterfeit Battery Packs

Authored on: May 14, 2013

Technical Paper

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The continuing growth of portable handheld devices has spawned a healthy selection of aftermarket battery pack suppliers. Both the OEM and end user pay a price when counterfeit battery replacements are chosen. The quantifiable impact of imitation battery packs to the OEM includes increased safety risks for their customers, greater product returns due to non-performing batteries, reduced customer satisfaction, and reduced revenue for batteries supplied by the original manufacturer. This paper details some of the safety issues observed in counterfeit battery packs and presents options to implement a prevention program to control the aftermarket ecosystem.
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David.Burton Posted May 23, 2013

The solution is for OEMs to quit ripping consumers off on battery pack prices. A new battery pack often costs almost as much as the whole product originally did that came with 2 battery packs! I don't know how many drills I have with bad battery packs that just get discarded since a whole new drill with battery packs costs hardly any more than replacing a battery pack!

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watashi Posted May 29, 2013

As far as the loss to the OEMs, I agree with Davir.Burton's post. I had and worked with DeWalt dirlls for years. I "babied" the battery packs. Since they were NiCads, it is required to completely drain the battery before placing on charge. I did this religiosly and took great care not to overcharge them. Still, at best, they barely lasted a year. Then it was $95 a pop to replace them. With a $350 drill you had little choice. With lower end tools, the cost of the tool may be less expensive but the cost of the battery pack doesn't drop proportionately. Forcing the user to replace the entire tool. If you are exectrically inclined, you may open the battery pack and CAREFULLY replace the individual cells if they are available on the secondary market. Sometimes they may be common "C" ni-cad cells. To the budget conscience user, placing the battery pack on charge prior to opening it the measure the voltages of each individual cell may allow one to only need to replace one or two cells. Voltage below 1.2V with cell disconnected should be replace. Cells over 1.5V are still good. Note these voltages are when user just took pack off of charge. Nominal voltage for a Ca-Ni cell is 1.25V

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watashi Posted May 29, 2013

As far as the loss to the OEMs, I agree with Davir.Burton's post. I had and worked with DeWalt dirlls for years. I "babied" the battery packs. Since they were NiCads, it is required to completely drain the battery before placing on charge. I did this religiosly and took great care not to overcharge them. Still, at best, they barely lasted a year. Then it was $95 a pop to replace them. With a $350 drill you had little choice. With lower end tools, the cost of the tool may be less expensive but the cost of the battery pack doesn't drop proportionately. Forcing the user to replace the entire tool. If you are exectrically inclined, you may open the battery pack and CAREFULLY replace the individual cells if they are available on the secondary market. Sometimes they may be common "C" ni-cad cells. To the budget conscience user, placing the battery pack on charge prior to opening it the measure the voltages of each individual cell may allow one to only need to replace one or two cells. Voltage below 1.2V with cell disconnected should be replace. Cells over 1.5V are still good. Note these voltages are when user just took pack off of charge. Nominal voltage for a Ca-Ni cell is 1.25V

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watashi Posted May 29, 2013

Sorry for the double entry

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