Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Comparing an Olympus Li-10B battery to a "1400 mAh" replacement

Both of these batteries had to be discarded because they were swelling. The Li-10B was purchased along with my Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom camera in May 2005. I'm pretty sure the replacement was purchased from DX (DealExtreme) in January 2011.

I wanted to open them up for two main reasons: to see if it's possible to replace the cell, and to examine deception in the replacement. Both batteries were easy to open up by cutting along the seam. There are tabs, but I think the cases were welded or glued. Here's what's inside:
The Olympus Li-10B has a Sony cell inside, and the "1400 mAh" replacement contains a 750 mAh cell. It's probably decent quality, because in June 2013, after almost two and a half years of use, I measured 760 mAh.  The part number seems to be 063040AL.

In the original Li-10B, the cell fills the case. There is only some very thin double-sided tape on one side, and a bit of very thin insulating tape. The replacement contains a thick foam rubber spacer, and a thinner paper spacer. The cell thickness difference is easy to see. This is at least part of why the "1400 mAh" battery was lighter than the Li-10B.

Finally, here are the protection boards. The top is the original, and the bottom is the replacement. In the original board, the small black square is the control chip, and the much larger component is a low Rds(on) MOSFET. I'm not sure about the components in the replacement, or why one of the chips is cracked in a corner.

The replacement never had as much battery life as the original when it was new, and it probably wasn't much better than the already worn out Li-10B. However, at $5.18 US I can't say it was a ripoff, and it was helpful.

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