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Counterfeit/Low Grade LG HG2 Test Results

Discussion in 'Batteries and Chargers' started by Mooch, May 4, 2016.

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  1. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    You might have heard that there have been an unknown number of counterfeit or low grade LG HG2 batteries sold recently by multiple vendors. Below are the results of the testing of the HG2's that IMR Batteries was kind enough to send me along with two other donated batteries and some of my own.

    IMR Batteries sent six from the batch they received that is performing very poorly (hereafter called the "bad" batteries) and two each from previous batches of good HG2's they sold. I also received two of the bad IMR Batteries HG2's from Zac Field of ECR. Thank you Zac for donating them for testing! I also tested two of my own HG2's that I knew were "good" batteries, i.e., genuine HG2's.

    Test Results :

    -- Bottom Line --
    The bad HG2's are identical in appearance to genuine HG2's but they have a different white top ring insulator. It's shiny/smooth on the bad batteries I tested but matte/textured on the good ones. There are tiny differences in wrap color and printing from the good HG2's but you'd never notice without a side by side comparison. The bad ones perform as really crappy 10A batteries and shouldn't be used above about 30W each. I recommend not using them at all though. Multiple vendors are selling these batteries. If you have poor performing HG2's and their insulators are shiny/smooth then contact the vendor you bought them from. For now, I recommend buying Samsung 30Q batteries until vendors can clear out their stock of bad HG2's and restock with good ones. My thanks to Battery Bro for their HG2 blog entry that helped bring all this stuff out into the open!


    -- Test Comments --
    • The HG2's from the two older batches that IMR Batteries sold all tested out as genuine HG2's.
    • The bad batteries look identical to good HG2's but performed worse than any low grade battery I have seen. LG MH1's and HE2/4's also look identical to these bad batteries. But the discharge curves of those don't match the bad batteries either. I do not know if these bad batteries are a rewrap of another battery or if they are low grade HG2's.
    • The bad batteries test out to about 2800mAh at a 0.5A discharge. This is too high for them to be HE2's or HE4's. They could be lower grade HG2's or a higher capacity battery like the MH1 though. But, as mentioned above, the shape of the discharge curves was wrong for the MH1.
    • I have never seen a LG battery (or Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Sanyo) ever have a self-adhesive top insulating ring like these bad batteries have. The high-volume automated assembly lines of the big manufacturers don't need the adhesive to hold the rings in place until the wrap can be shrunk tight onto the battery. Self-adhesive insulators are often used in smaller, manual or semi-automated, assembly lines where there's a chance that the ring might blow or fall off during handling. But if these bad batteries are a rewrap, what are they a rewrap of?
    • It's possible that these are Chinese manufactured batteries created to look like the HG2's. But everything looks identical to real HG2's, including the tooling marks. It seems unlikely that this would be the case. Perhaps a factory that was licensed to produce HG2's under contract decided to whip out a batch of fakes using whatever internals they had laying around? This is all conjecture though.
    • The internal resistance of the good batteries ranged from 22mOhm-24mOhm (0.022-0.024 ohms). The bad batteries had internal resistances of 39mOhm-41mOhm, a significant increase. This high internal resistance causes huge voltage sag which leads to very early weak/low battery messages from the mod. This is one of the best ways to determine if you have one of these bad batteries.
    • The bad ones from IMR Batteries all had silver stickers approximately 1/2" wide on the outside. I do not know if all of the bad batteries sold by IMR or other vendors have wide silver stickers too.
    • I do not know if there are any bad HG2's that have different wrappers or stickers than the ones I tested.
    • I do not know if all the HG2's with 1/2" silver stickers are bad batteries.
    • During testing, the bad HG2's never reached temperatures that could cause them to vent. Their voltages dropped so low, so fast, at high discharge current levels that they never had time to get hot.
    • While these bad batteries never reached dangerous temperatures when overstressed I do NOT recommend continuing to use them at any power level. My tests only reflect the performance of the batteries I have. There might be bad HG2's out there that do get too hot.
    • IMR Batteries has posted a blog entry that describes what happened and how you can arrange to get your bad batteries replaced (if you purchased them from IMR). The link is LG HG2 with gloss finish insulator
    • XTAR Direct and VapeNW have also been reported to have sold bad HG2's. Please contact them for more information.
    • I have more bad batteries coming in from at least one more vendor and will post my test results as soon as I have them.
     
    • Like Like x 43
  2. WillyZee

    WillyZee Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 23, 2013
    Toronto
    you are a true gift to the vaping community Mooch :cool:
     
    • Like Like x 21
  3. sonicbomb

    sonicbomb Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2015
    1187 Hunterwasser
    Hero to some, unknown to most.
     
    • Like Like x 11
  4. Mowgli

    Mowgli Runs with scissors Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    Taxachusetts
    This thread should be a non-dismissible sticky.

    Get this word out to every vaper you know and every vape shop owner.


    My RX200 heated on me last night while chain hitting at 76W.
    I grunted and set it aside until it cooled.
    Now all my bogus HG2s are waiting to ship back tio IMRB.

    76W on 3 good batteries should be totally safe and even conservative.
    Imagine all the envelope pushers that are flirting with disaster unknowingly now.

    I have 18 bogus HG2s from IMRB that are mine and need to collect from friends.
    I ordered 18 Samsung 30Qs from RTD to replace them today.
    .
     
    • Like Like x 7
  5. MikeyConti

    MikeyConti VapeBro Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 22, 2014
    South Carolina
    Remember that Member that posted pictures of a few dented HG2's he got from Orbtronics?, then the replacement was dented as-well if I remember right??.. Well damn, I got 2 new ones a little over a month ago, gonna have to inspect the hell out of them!

    We will never get ahead with this kind of BS going on the in Industry with Big Brother watching....

    Edit* Thank God you are here to catch this and warn us!!
     
    • Like Like x 11
  6. Wingsfan0310

    Wingsfan0310 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 2, 2013
    Flat Rock, MI, USA
    I've always used Samsung 25R's exclusively. I finally broke down and ordered 8 HG2's that I received about a week ago after hearing all the glowing reviews just to see for myself. I still haven't tried them and after reading this thread I'm not so sure I want to. I think they need to rename Murphy's Law to Steve's Law :lol:.

    Cheers,
    Steve
     
    • Like Like x 6
  7. rhelton

    rhelton Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 15, 2014
    spokane, wa
    I just got a big handful of HG2's from 101 Vape today, they have stickers on them but they are thin ones that I have never seen before. Im checking them over right now and see if I can tell any difference from the last batch I received from them a month ago.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  8. KayP

    KayP Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Dec 21, 2015
    Gold Coast, QLD, AUS
    Thanks Mooch! You are quite literally a life saver.

    It's soo difficult to tell them apart in the pictures. I'm trying to figure out which ones are mine (bad or good).
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Mowgli

    Mowgli Runs with scissors Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    Taxachusetts
    I can tell the difference between my 2 month old good HG2s' insulator and these fakes'.
    The newer ones' insulator ring is shiny and white as white gets.
    The older ones don't reflect as shiny.

    I rewrap sets as different colors so I can tell married sets apart.
    The new batteries' insulators are stuck in place.
    The older (good) batteries' insulators are loose and need to be held in place while shrinking the wrap.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  10. KayP

    KayP Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Dec 21, 2015
    Gold Coast, QLD, AUS
    @Mooch is it okay for us to link to your thread when we contact our vendors? I won't, nor do I think anyone else, will mind if you say no. Again, we greatly appreciate your hard work. Thank you.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Sugar_and_Spice

    Sugar_and_Spice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 11, 2010
    between here and there
    Well crap. I just order some of these a couple of hours ago from 101 Vape. Just now looked again at the pic they have on their website and it does show a white ring on them, but cannot tell if its shiny or not.
    Please post when you have your results as I would greatly appreciate it.

    :)
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    No problem. :)
     
    • Like Like x 9
  13. KayP

    KayP Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Dec 21, 2015
    Gold Coast, QLD, AUS
    I can't even tell the ones I currently have are fake or genuine.. I keep looking at the top insulator over and over again. It appears to be matte, but it also shines a little. Maybe my eyes are going bad; too bad I can't claim warranty on these.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. KayP

    KayP Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Dec 21, 2015
    Gold Coast, QLD, AUS
    Thanks buddy. Again, much appreciated.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  15. Debadoo

    Debadoo ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 18, 2012
    Texas, near Fort Hood
    Ok.......question........I'm like Kay P can't really tell if the white ring is glossy or matte, but.... If I run my fingernail over it in the direction from the outside of the cell to the contact, I can feel some slight texturing. There are no stickers on them, just got 6 of them from Orbtronic. RTD was out and illumn was 1.50ish more do ya reckin I'm ok, or not?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  16. Sugar_and_Spice

    Sugar_and_Spice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 11, 2010
    between here and there
    I contacted 101 vape and have already received an answer. Basically, they said they only sell authentic cells and that these were no exception. So, in other words, they aren't concerned with the rumors and/or results of these tests. Guess if mine turn out bad, they don't care. They just lost a customer whether or not the ones I receive are bad or not. Their answer seemed very short and quip, like they were offended when asked about a product. That's why I won't buy from them again.
     
    • Like Like x 9
  17. Wingsfan0310

    Wingsfan0310 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 2, 2013
    Flat Rock, MI, USA
    I just inspected mine and the ring is definitely not shiny white and I can certainly feel texture on the ring. I ordered mine from the same place I get my Samsung 25R's from and they have always been top notch. I think I'm ok. I'm going to load a couple in my DX200 (I have the 2 x 18650 optional battery cradle) hook it up to Escribe, go into the device monitor and let it rip. If they are sagging, I'll see it.

    Cheers,
    Steve
     
    • Like Like x 6
  18. Debadoo

    Debadoo ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 18, 2012
    Texas, near Fort Hood
    thanks hun, I don't have any way that I know of to check mine that way. Oh, and btw, murphy's law has already been renamed Deb's law, so you missed it, sorry :lol:
     
    • Like Like x 4
  19. KayP

    KayP Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Dec 21, 2015
    Gold Coast, QLD, AUS
    That is to be expected, it's only humane. Technically they are liable if they guarantee it to be authentic, despite which country you buy from. If proof is found that the item is not as advertised, they have to consider a reimbursement for said product(s). Worse comes to worse, you can always lodge a dispute with your bank or paypal, and with good reason. Who knows what can happen when faulty/unsafe batteries are regularly pushed to their limits. Hang in there SS. Apply sugar and sweet talk to the vendors for now and apply a buck ton of spice later if your batts turn out to be fakes. And don't forget, the vendors can always claim it back (well at least try to) from their supplier.

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
     
    • Like Like x 5
  20. KayP

    KayP Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Dec 21, 2015
    Gold Coast, QLD, AUS
    Another word of advise SS, I always like to converse with vendors in written, as in emails. It's much harder for them to convey their irritation/rudeness on paper.

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
     
    • Like Like x 5
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