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'[EE] Li-Ion Battery Logistics'
2012\05\29@130103 by Josh Koffman

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Hi all.

I've used lithium ion cells in a few projects now, and they've served
me well. I'm contemplating trying to make my next project extremely
small (or, well packed at least, depending on your definition of
small), and I'm curious how others have handled the situation I'm in.

Basically the issue is that I'd like to have a removable battery, so
that it can be swapped out during operation if it becomes drained. The
case I'm using is a Hammond metal extrusion box (1455 series), so
there is no battery door, or option for a battery door. In the past
I've used 14500 cells, which have worked great. There's a company
called Bulgin that makes a panel mount AA battery holder (check it out
here: www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/BX0011%2F1/708-1396-ND/1980754
) which works great. Unfortunately, it's a bit large. It takes up a
fair bit of internal volume, and for the box I want to use, it just
won't fit.

On my last project I used a small lithium polymer cell that worked
great. But they aren't really removable in any easy way. I chose a
pack that should provide the run time needed (so far it hasn't been a
problem) and added the option to run the device from an external USB
power source, such as an external battery pack.

One ideal solution would be to use one of the many cell phone, digital
camera or other electronic gadget packs. They seem to often require a
special form to hold them though.

So, how have you dealt with this? These are home projects, not
production items. Manufacturing a battery holder and fitting it into a
jam packed case seems unlikely from where I'm sitting, but I could be
missing something. I'm leaning towards the external battery pack idea
again, but I need to figure out how much my current draw is to see if
I can get the run time I want for the size of cell I think I can
squeeze in there.

I'm not necessarily looking for an outright solution, but getting
others' thoughts would be great!

Josh
-- A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
        -Douglas Adams

2012\05\29@142809 by Dwayne Reid

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At 11:00 AM 5/29/2012, Josh Koffman wrote:

>One ideal solution would be to use one of the many cell phone, digital
>camera or other electronic gadget packs. They seem to often require a
>special form to hold them though.

I just purchased a Canon S100 camera and have ordered two knockoff NB-5L batteries and a charger from eBay - for less than $12 including shipping to Canada.  Supposedly, these batteries are a single LiPo cell rated at 1400 mAhr.  They are in a nice, rectangular package with three contacts at one end.  <http://www.ebay.com/itm/270962587345> if you are interested.

My thought is this: most camera batteries are probably easier to deal with than many cell-phone batteries because they are completely contained within the device's enclosure.  A lot of the cell-phone batteries that I've seen lately are housed in a weird plastic enclosure that actually becomes part of the cell-phone (the back of the phone is the battery).

You can either fabricate your own enclosure for the battery, perhaps using pogo pins to make the connections.  Or: purchase extra chargers and steal the battery housing from that.

Just a thought . . .

dwayne

-- Dwayne Reid   <spam_OUTdwaynerTakeThisOuTspamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

2012\05\29@172450 by Josh Koffman

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On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM, Dwayne Reid <.....dwaynerKILLspamspam@spam@planet.eon.net> wrote:
> I just purchased a Canon S100 camera and have ordered two knockoff
> NB-5L batteries and a charger from eBay - for less than $12 including
> shipping to Canada.  Supposedly, these batteries are a single LiPo
> cell rated at 1400 mAhr.  They are in a nice, rectangular package
> with three contacts at one
> end.  <http://www.ebay.com/itm/270962587345> if you are interested.

This is exactly the type of battery I was thinking of. I like that
it's rectangular, and perhaps it wouldn't be too bad to mill some sort
of holder for it.

> My thought is this: most camera batteries are probably easier to deal
> with than many cell-phone batteries because they are completely
> contained within the device's enclosure.  A lot of the cell-phone
> batteries that I've seen lately are housed in a weird plastic
> enclosure that actually becomes part of the cell-phone (the back of
> the phone is the battery).

I agree. Some of the Android phones seem to have removable backs, but
the battery packs are always sort of an odd shape to try anything too
homebrew with.

> You can either fabricate your own enclosure for the battery, perhaps
> using pogo pins to make the connections.  Or: purchase extra chargers
> and steal the battery housing from that.

Interesting! I might just order up a set to play with. At $10 it isn't bad...

Thanks Dwayne!

Josh
-- A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
        -Douglas Adams

2012\05\29@173622 by glen wiley

picon face
Take a look at the epoxy casting stuff in your local craft store - you
would be surprised at what you can make!  You can create molds using
molding clay that will take any shape.  Hobby Lobby  has everything you
need to cast a very durable battery holder, a little work with a drill
after it dries and you have an awesome custom enclosure.

This is great for a prototype or just a few pieces - I made a set of 16
objects in just a few hours (enclosed LEDs with USB connectors in the epoxy
for lighting effects).

On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 5:24 PM, Josh Koffman <joshybearspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2012\05\29@175418 by Robert Rolf

picon face
A word of warning. Knock-off LiPol packs don't last and can cause damage to
the camera.
A colleage ordered several for his Canon camera, and they ended up with no
capacity after about 3 months.
The batteries actually swelled up inside the camera, and he had a bugger of
a time getting it out.
The 'real' battery has lasted him more than a year. He bought the knockoffs
two years ago,
after the second one failed the same way he bought a genuine spare, which
has behaved properly.
Buyer beware

2012\05\29@202552 by Dwayne Reid

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At 03:54 PM 5/29/2012, Robert Rolf wrote:
>A word of warning. Knock-off LiPol packs don't last and can cause damage to
>the camera.  A colleage ordered several for his Canon camera, and
>they ended up with no
>capacity after about 3 months.  The batteries actually swelled up
>inside the camera, and he had a bugger of  a time getting it
>out.  The 'real' battery has lasted him more than a year. He bought
>the knockoffs two years ago, after the second one failed the same
>way he bought a genuine spare, which has behaved properly.

Yeah - I'm somewhat concerned about battery quality of these cheap cells.  However, I'm more concerned about the battery charger.  I'll be taking a VERY close look at that before I let it charge any batteries.

I've actually had pretty good luck with no-name Asian-made LiIon and LiPo cells.  I certainly have gotten my money's worth out of any of the cells and battery packs that I've purchased in the past.

I figure that, for $12, I can take the chance.

dwayne

-- Dwayne Reid   <EraseMEdwaynerspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

2012\05\29@220051 by Bob Blick
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flavicon
face
On Tue, May 29, 2012, at 06:25 PM, Dwayne Reid wrote:
> At 03:54 PM 5/29/2012, Robert Rolf wrote:
> >A word of warning. Knock-off LiPol packs don't last and can cause damage to
> >the camera.  A colleage ordered several for his Canon camera, and
> >they ended up with no
> >capacity after about 3 months.  The batteries actually swelled up
> >inside the camera, and he had a bugger of  a time getting it
> >out.  The 'real' battery has lasted him more than a year. He bought
> >the knockoffs two years ago, after the second one failed the same
> >way he bought a genuine spare, which has behaved properly.
>
> Yeah - I'm somewhat concerned about battery quality of these cheap
> cells.  However, I'm more concerned about the battery charger.  I'll
> be taking a VERY close look at that before I let it charge any batteries.
>
> I've actually had pretty good luck with no-name Asian-made LiIon and
> LiPo cells.  I certainly have gotten my money's worth out of any of
> the cells and battery packs that I've purchased in the past.
>
> I figure that, for $12, I can take the chance.

Two things about knock-off battery packs that I have sometimes noticed:
1) internal resistance is higher, either because of the cell or the
mosfet in the low-voltage cutout

2) battery chemistry is sub-par, so charging to 100% is not healthy

But sometimes they are just fine. Basically it's whatever fell of the
dock this week.

Best regards,

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Email service worth paying for. Try it for free

2012\05\29@224631 by RussellMc

face picon face
> A word of warning. Knock-off LiPol packs don't last and can cause damage
> to the camera.
> A colleage ordered several for his Canon camera, and they ended up with no
> capacity after about 3 months.
> The batteries actually swelled up inside the camera, and he had a bugger
> of a time getting it out.
> The 'real' battery has lasted him more than a year. He bought the
> knockoffs  two years ago,
> after the second one failed the same way he bought a genuine spare, which
> has behaved properly.
> Buyer beware!


I've had relatively good luck with 'after market' LiIon battery packs.
I've bought probably about 20+, most for Sony cameras in 2 styles, or
for Sanyo cameras, plus a few cellphone batteries,  over some years.

The Sony cameras use two cells in series. Sanyos and cellphones use one.

Most Sony clones are slightly down in capacity compared to genuine
Sony batteries and some of them may have had a shorter calendar life
than genuine batteries.
I've had a few of the clones finally fail completely but so far
genuine ones up to ~ 5 years old just keep chugging downwards in
capacity.

Most of the clones I bought in Hong Kong but I bought one clone
locally recently and it had far far lower capacity right from new. The
price was good and the very reputable seller noted in advance that a
small percentage proved to be poor and would be replaced. The pack
weighs the same as the others so I'll see if he'll consent to me
dismembering the dud pack to see it there is any obvious reason for
the failure.

I bought two cellphone batteries from a Shenzhen street vendor - one
was very cheap and the other very very cheap. He actually advised me
that the cheaper ones were of low quality but I bought it to see how
they compared.  A few years ago now - as I recall it worked well
enough. [The sale had an interesting addition as it attracted the
attention of a policeman who knew the seller did not have a licence
for street sales. I claimed the seller as my friend (which he had
become in the brief prior period when he told me about batteries) and
the policeman had the grace to leave him alone. I've seen others not
so lucky.]

I have had one only battery visibly swell - an after market Sanyo
Xacto rectangular one.

Aftermarket laptop batteries (are there any other sort worth buying?
:-) ) seem to have worked and lasted well enough. No records kept but
they seem to get beaten to death by constant cycling within "a few
years" with reduction in capacity very evident with time.

I've never had a camera or cellphone or laptop battery "vent with flame".


Russel

2012\05\30@011320 by KPL

picon face
I am still using a 9-years old Canon S50 (just does not die, not
giving me an excuse to buy a newer camera) which is running on cheap
batteries for the last 7 years or so. The original one was usable for
about 4 years, clones last much less, but hey, they are at least 4
times cheaper. No swelling or other bad effects ever noticed, just
degraded capacity.
Most of the clones were bought locally, ant that is usually the very
cheapest of the cheap stuff that ends here.
So it's probably not that bad.

On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 12:54 AM, Robert Rolf <Robert.Rolfspamspam_OUTualberta.ca> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2012\05\30@015405 by John Chung

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Hi Josh,

I have always toyed with the idea of a LiPo pack.  Here are my thoughts.

1) Select a easy dimension to fabricate your casing.
2) For the battery connectors. You can bend aluminium sheets for the battery terminals.

OR

Use the solution in most RC stuff. Dean connector or XT connector. But it's won't look so pretty..........

Regards,
John



{Original Message removed}

2012\05\30@044502 by alan.b.pearce

face picon face
> >One ideal solution would be to use one of the many cell phone, digital
> >camera or other electronic gadget packs. They seem to often require a
> >special form to hold them though.
>
> I just purchased a Canon S100 camera and have ordered two knockoff NB-5L batteries
> and a charger from eBay - for less than $12 including shipping to Canada.
> Supposedly, these batteries are a single LiPo cell rated at 1400 mAhr.  They are in
> a nice, rectangular package with three contacts at one end.
> <http://www.ebay.com/itm/270962587345> if you are interested.

Another style that may work is the Canon EOS 450D/500D etc battery.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/250964671657

The contacts are in the 'push out' bit on the end, and require flat blades that go in between the pair of springy contacts on the battery IIRC (I don't think it is the other way around), a bit like putting a PC card into an edge connector.
-- Scanned by iCritical.

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