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Thread: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

  1. #1

    Default Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    I am very new to the forum, and on reading some good threads about the Nitecore chargers, I had ordered an I4 on eBay.
    Almost immediately after ordering I had thought whether I would get an authentic one or fake.
    The charger recently arrived.
    Packing had a validation code, which I checked on their website.
    It says that this code has been checked earlier in Jan this year.
    On looking closely at the quick user guide and warranty card that came with it, I noticed some spelling mistakes.

    Then I did the magnet test - magnet didnt stick on the positive terminal but it did on the railings/negative terminals.

    On opening the charger, there was an expected SYSMAX on the blue PCB.
    On their site they mention that their capacitor components are marked Nitecore.
    This was not the case with the charger I got - they had something like "JWCO VENT" printed on them.
    One of them had "Hyncdz". The yellow sticker around the main transformer did have NITECORE on it.
    In a thread with the 2014 I4 teardown (http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...harger-i4-2014) I am not able to clearly see whether the I4 should have capacitors with Nitecore. Another similar thread with test/review of D4 does show that the capacitors are marked Nitecore.

    My thought is, this is most probably a fake charger, but I would like to get the opinions of others who might be more experienced in this regard.
    Once confirmed by others, I will post the item number and eBay seller name.

    I would also like to know whether there is any known eBay seller for authentic Nitecore chargers (shipping to South-East Asia). Or on Amazon.
    Some pics below.
























  2. #2

    Default Re: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    If that's a counterfeit, man, they did a wicked job with it. That board looks pristine! Usually fake chargers looks really beat up inside, sometimes looking like a homemade patch job.

    Everything in those pics to me looks high quality. Still I can't say it's real or not. It could be a phenomenally close counterfeit.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellon View Post
    If that's a counterfeit, man, they did a wicked job with it. That board looks pristine! Usually fake chargers looks really beat up inside, sometimes looking like a homemade patch job.
    Everything in those pics to me looks high quality. Still I can't say it's real or not. It could be a phenomenally close counterfeit.
    Exactly my thoughts. Even the yellow power connectors are from the same brand as in the original one.
    It even seems to be working "smartly" - a recently charged cell - stopped charging quite quickly. while a pair that were lying around for a while took an hour or more to get full charge.
    lets see if others can chip in.

    Is there any reliable eBay or Amazon seller which surely sells the authentic ones ?
    The authorized dealer in my city has a sick markup on these things.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    Have you tried contacting Nitecore directly?

    http://charger.nitecore.com/counterf...charger-buyers

    My i4 is the older one from 2013 and the negative terminals are magnetic, but on the inside, I don't have nitecore branded caps either.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    A lot of these Fakes come out of the same factory as the originals, so are the same quality but without a warranty, But there are Good Fakes and Bad Fakes, that i4 charger looks like it has been well made.

    HKJ might be able to give a better assessment, but without testing?

    John.
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Terry Pratchett.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    Wow, interesting question/problem. I have two of these but never thought about the possibility of them being fakes until now since they look pretty authentic.

    I suppose it could also be a second, but still well enough made to be okay.
    It is better to buy a beautiful, expensive, custom flashlight than to curse the darkness.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    A lot of fakes have duplicate serial numbers, so if you bought more than one from the same source check to see if they are the same, it can be a quick check, though better fakes might have individual serial numbers.

    John.

    Quote Originally Posted by magellan View Post
    Wow, interesting question/problem. I have two of these but never thought about the possibility of them being fakes until now since they look pretty authentic.

    I suppose it could also be a second, but still well enough made to be okay.
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Terry Pratchett.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    Quote Originally Posted by keithy View Post
    Have you tried contacting Nitecore directly?
    http://charger.nitecore.com/counterf...charger-buyers
    My i4 is the older one from 2013 and the negative terminals are magnetic, but on the inside, I don't have nitecore branded caps either.
    Yes, I have emailed them also with the validation code as well as the images of the images of the internals. Will update when I get a reply.
    Its interesting to know that 2013 version's negative terminals are magnetic and caps don't have nitecore brand !!
    I am thinking, a 2013 one was put in a newer 2014 box (for which the validation code has been checked before) and sold to me.
    But then in 2014 version, the yellow LEDs are on a separate board, while I think in the earlier version they were on the lower board itself with long legs !

    Quote Originally Posted by TinderBox (UK) View Post
    A lot of these Fakes come out of the same factory as the originals, so are the same quality but without a warranty, But there are Good Fakes and Bad Fakes, that i4 charger looks like it has been well made.
    HKJ might be able to give a better assessment, but without testing?
    John.
    Thanks for your input.
    If its really an older version, then it would be fine for me.
    I just dont want to use it and cause some serious accident !!

    Quote Originally Posted by magellan View Post
    Wow, interesting question/problem. I have two of these but never thought about the possibility of them being fakes until now since they look pretty authentic.
    I suppose it could also be a second, but still well enough made to be okay.
    Time to get a screwdriver and perform a minor operation !
    Do tell us what you see.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    Quote Originally Posted by zimbio54 View Post
    I would also like to know whether there is any known eBay seller for authentic Nitecore chargers (shipping to South-East Asia). Or on Amazon.
    Maybe I'm too trusting but I feel safe buying items on Amazon when it's "Sold by Amazon, Shipped by Amazon".

  10. #10

    Default Re: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    Nitecore have confirmed that this charger is not made by them.
    In a way its good that I know this, but now I have to buy it from somewhere else.

    The ebay seller is carmotors2013. Can't say if he is knowingly selling this fake charger.
    Item link below.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NiteCore-i4-...:X:RTQ:US:1123
    Will report this to eBay also.

    I was charging some GP AAA cells which have been used for a month in a shaver I occasionally use. And I noticed that before the charge they had around 1.2 V and after charging it was around 1.5V
    On the cell itself, its written that the cells should have a voltage of 1.2V.
    I suppose the charger's programming isnt up to the mark, or is it normal to charge AAA up to 1.5V ?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    I'm sorry to hear that you got a fake charger.

    Some NiMH cells do hit 1.5V (or even a bit more) before charging is finished, though. My Eneloops usually read 1.46V - 1.48V a few moments after they come off my charger.
    Phlogiston is the main constituent of Magic Smoke.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Probable fake Nitecore I4 charger from eBay ?

    Ok, thats interesting to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post
    I'm sorry to hear that you got a fake charger.

    Some NiMH cells do hit 1.5V (or even a bit more) before charging is finished, though. My Eneloops usually read 1.46V - 1.48V a few moments after they come off my charger.

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