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Thread: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

  1. #1

    Default Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Hi,

    This is my first post (after lurking on here for quite a while), so my question probably sounds a bit noobish.

    Today I received two batteries from an ebay seller, AWT 18650s with a black wrapper and 3,400mA capacity. They have got clear shrink wrap above the printed wrapper, which I removed. However, as I peeled of the wrapper from one of the batteries (I've not checked the other one yet), I was shocked to find out that the PCB was loose, and only attached to the battery by the thin metal strip that runs along its side.

    At first I thought I had made a mistake, and that the clear wrapper is a part of the battery that needs to stay intact. But that seems unlikely, as it would be the first ever item that I've owned with a clear wrapper that is meant to stay on the product.

    Is it common to find batteries with a PCB that isn't glued or otherwise solidly fixed to the battery itself? Or have I made a mistake, and made the battery unsafe? It seems to work fine, but being new to Li-Ion cells I thought I'd rather ask the experts.

    The only other 18650s that I own are Olight ones that came with my SR52, which have a printed wrapper that covers both the battery and the circuit board.

  2. #2
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    When I've removed the PCB from AW cells it has the metal strip that you found (this runs up to the +ve end) and it it stuck to the actual cell with sticky. In view of the danger of shorting the metal strip to the -ve body of the cell, I'd make sure the PCB is firmly attached to the cell and not just by the wrapper. Squirt a bit of glue in there if you can. If all else fails take the PCB and the strip off and run it naked, that will of course mean that you have to take all the necessary precautions when using unprotected cells, as LiCo cells are more fragile than IMRs.
    P
    P

  3. #3

    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    When I've removed the PCB from AW cells it has the metal strip that you found (this runs up to the +ve end) and it it stuck to the actual cell with sticky. In view of the danger of shorting the metal strip to the -ve body of the cell, I'd make sure the PCB is firmly attached to the cell and not just by the wrapper. Squirt a bit of glue in there if you can. If all else fails take the PCB and the strip off and run it naked, that will of course mean that you have to take all the necessary precautions when using unprotected cells, as LiCo cells are more fragile than IMRs.
    P
    P
    Thanks for your reply, Peter!

    Obviously, I'd like to keep the protection. But it makes sense to make sure the battery isn't short-circuited. What kind of glue should I use? Does it need to be heat-resistant?

    The battery works fine (I've tested it in a cheap laser pointer), so I don't think I've damaged anything. But it does seem that the clear wrapper is meant to be left on the battery - a bit ambiguous IMHO, as it is the same kind of wrapper that you see e.g. wrapped around multi-packs of cheap alkaline AAs - although the fact that there wasn't a perforated pull-off tab should have probably made me more cautious.

    I'll be leaving the wrapper on the other battery that I bought, which is intended for the Fenix CL25R lantern that also arrived today ... really looking forward to testing it, but trying to stay patient until it gets dark!

  4. #4
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Li-Ion cells don't like heat so you should be ok with a normal resin.
    P

  5. #5

    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Great, thanks - looks like I'll be getting out the Loctite!

  6. #6
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Don't forget to rewrap the battery to avoid shorting on the tube of the flashlight

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ping-a-battery

    P

  7. #7

    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    Don't forget to rewrap the battery to avoid shorting on the tube of the flashlight

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ping-a-battery

    P
    Gosh, I didn't think of that! The metal strip is held down by some clear sticky tape, but you are probably right - it seems like far less protection than proper shrink wrap. Glad to see though that the process looks pretty easy and straightforward!

  8. #8
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    If you're only wrapping a few cells, you can get pre cut shrink wrap of the correct diameter on Ebay and Amazon - I think.
    P

  9. #9

    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    If you're only wrapping a few cells, you can get pre cut shrink wrap of the correct diameter on Ebay and Amazon - I think.
    P
    Great, just found it!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Just spent ages heating the shrink wrap with a household hairdryer. But there are still plenty of bumps.

    Am I being too careful? The thought of heating up a Li-Ion battery like that does freak me out a bit, but maybe I should heat the same area for a longer period of time, or hold the hairdryer closer to the battery.


  11. #11
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Well if it's any help, I use a domestic fan heater and hold the cell about an inch from the grille. Too hot for my fingers so have to do half at a time to keep them out of the way. It takes about 3 seconds an end, certainly not enough time to heat up the cell.
    P

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* stephenk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bright Bird View Post
    Hi,

    This is my first post (after lurking on here for quite a while), so my question probably sounds a bit noobish.

    Today I received two batteries from an ebay seller, AWT 18650s with a black wrapper and 3,400mA capacity. They have got clear shrink wrap above the printed wrapper, which I removed. However, as I peeled of the wrapper from one of the batteries (I've not checked the other one yet), I was shocked to find out that the PCB was loose, and only attached to the battery by the thin metal strip that runs along its side.

    At first I thought I had made a mistake, and that the clear wrapper is a part of the battery that needs to stay intact. But that seems unlikely, as it would be the first ever item that I've owned with a clear wrapper that is meant to stay on the product.

    Is it common to find batteries with a PCB that isn't glued or otherwise solidly fixed to the battery itself? Or have I made a mistake, and made the battery unsafe? It seems to work fine, but being new to Li-Ion cells I thought I'd rather ask the experts.

    The only other 18650s that I own are Olight ones that came with my SR52, which have a printed wrapper that covers both the battery and the circuit board.
    Just be aware that AWT is not exactly a high quality brand, and seems to be a bit hit and miss in reviews.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    Well if it's any help, I use a domestic fan heater and hold the cell about an inch from the grille. Too hot for my fingers so have to do half at a time to keep them out of the way. It takes about 3 seconds an end, certainly not enough time to heat up the cell.
    P
    That's reassuring - I'll try to be less freaked out when I give it another try tomorrow! It would probably be easier if I hadn't broken the directional nozzle of my hair dryer.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenk View Post
    Just be aware that AWT is not exactly a high quality brand, and seems to be a bit hit and miss in reviews.
    Thanks for pointing that out. There are sites that give them a 5-star rating, but next time I'll check HKJ's review first before buying any batteries (I just noticed that there is one for the 3000mAh version). Today I ordered two 3400mAh Panasonic batteries, but since then I've realised that they are unprotected! I'm also hoping that they're genuine, as there are probably plenty of fake ones about (the eBay seller was only charging £9.99 for two, but I've noticed that some sellers are asking up to £15).

  14. #14
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Oops, butterfingers
    Last edited by peter yetman; 07-19-2017 at 01:49 AM.

  15. #15
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Don't be scared of Unprotected. A very wise man said once that the protection is there to prtect the cells from you, not the other way round. Don't run them down too low, and if you do, charge them immediately. Don't overcharge, so use a decent charger. Don't abuse them and you will be fine.
    There's hundreds of threads on here about them, read and digest.
    P
    Last edited by peter yetman; 07-19-2017 at 01:47 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    [...] A very wise man said once that the protection is there to prtect the cells from you, not the other way round. [...]
    I'll bear that in mind. One of the cells (together with a Nitecore i1 charger) is for a friend's laser pointer, so I'll be giving her a Li-Ion Health & Safety primer - I'll also be there when the battery is first charged so I can watch it, and test the voltage after it cuts off.

    The wrapped battery is looking a lot better now - I pressed the nozzle of the hairdryer directly onto the wrapper, and it only took about a minute to smooth everything out. So unless I ever end up having to wrap loads of batteries, I should be able to avoid having to spend money on a heat gun.


  17. #17
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protected AWT 18650 - loose PCB?

    Very smart, good job.
    P

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