I recently opened a $500 battery pack for a Varian helium leak detector, to find a $15 SLA battery and a small amount of special foam. You get a lot more foam for the extra $200.
Seriously, though, the package is the important thing. No way could I have replicated that Varian case, and this Nagra battery case looks rather exotic too.
This is for a piece of audiophile equipment. There is a £470 charge for checking that all the electrons are properly lined up. You can’t skimp on these important details and expect someone with a golden ear not to notice.
That pink foam is special electro-acoustic foam to damp any vibrations caused by the electromagnetic waves from the battery when discharging.
[edit - non-audiophiles cannot imagine how important it is to have all the free electrons in the equipment with the same spin orientation. Electrons with opposed spin are likely to interact with one another, thus interfering with flow and creating unpleasant background noise.]
I’ve seen these sort of battery shenanigans pop up on youtube or elsewhere a couple of times before. Where a given battery is actually comprised of smaller ones. Too lazy to find it but there was one where the person filming opened a battery and found a series of smaller button batteries in it, which were typically sold for more than what he paid for the “larger” version, so it was a cheap workaround to get the smaller ones for a better price.
ISTR a story about a manufacturer who’s NiCd D cells were simply C cells inside of a D casing. Of course Transistor batteries are usually 6 AAAA cells in series to give you 9 volts.
The Nagra pack looks like it’s rather easy to open up, so there would be no reason to even think about spending $700 on a factory authorized replacement. I haven’t watched the video (I prefer text stories), but I hope he opened his old one instead of buying a new one.
I make bike stereos that contain Li-ion battery packs very similar to this one. I buy them from Batteryspace, and they cost more than $30, but are ready to use, with a protection circuit board and everything.
So if what is special is the case, can’t you just get your own NEW batteries and replace them?
I have done that in the past with a beard trimmer. I need to do it again with my current one, but I am afraid it is built to where I can’t open this one at all.
Side rant - I get it - planned obsolesces. I still call it bullshit. Old ass NiCd batteries that wont last more than a few good years. Right now it holds enough juice for 1/2 my face per charge. At least make it where I can open and replace if I chose to. You aren’t going to lose that much as 99+% are just going to throw it away for a new one.
I believe that’s the 9v that looks like a short A. Has 6 button cells inside.
I’m a trifle surprised by this one; not by the very-closely-approaching fraud bit; but by the seeming indecision on the part of the vendor:
If you want to pretend that the box is actually full of battery, foam isn’t nearly dense enough; but a slug of whatever awful pot metal happens to be cheap would bring the density right into the plausible range at little additional cost.
If you are, actually, being honest about how much battery you are selling, and this is just the small one, why not pretend that it’s a feature rather than a defect and sell it in a much smaller case as ‘ultraportable’?
We’ve seen the same thing on various battery packs in the lab I work in, including expensive UPS’s.
Luckily we have technicians which know this, and have saved us thousands.
When the battery died in my APC UPS, I took it apart. It was just a pair of standard lead-acid cells attached to a connector. Replaced it with a pair of bigger, long-life batteries of the same chemistry, and the unit ran happily for couple more years until it died of natural causes.
Replacing dead cells with the cells of the same chemistry but different form factor is fairly easy. Just a mechanical hack and sometimes a bit of hot glue.
It’s his friend’s battery pack, and I believe his friend did buy a new one as he needed it sooner rather than later. The guy in the video says he’s going to attempt to replace teh two dead batteries (4 of the six were still reading the right voltage) and give it back to his friend as a gift.
I’m not sure this would constitute fraud. They didn’t claim the whole battery pack was full of batteries. They likely have one plastic moulding that fits into/on their product and sell it at various battery capacities. More capacity means more cells. So in the lower capacities they need filler material to ensure the batteries can’t slide out of place and put tension on the leads and break. This is definitely a case of price gouging. But it’s not fraud.
Yeah, the best part is he talks about how there’s a switch on the board for the thing, and h e figures if you were to switch it you coudl probably throw in more batteries to make that box behave like the larger more expensive form of that battery pack. Hahahah.
Yes that’s likely the case. Full disclosure, I’m an engineer (embedded software at a hardware design company). We routinely design products to share as much components as possible to minimize variants and production runs. Often population of a few more components and suddenly it’s the more expensive version of something within the product line. This is pretty industry standard stuff to do. So yes, the circuit board is likely the same between the large capacity and small capacity packs. Major change is the addition of more cells to up the capacity.
What I’ve learned here though is that I’m in the wrong industry! We don’t see those kind of mark-ups!
It wouldn’t unless the actual capacity of the included pack was significantly less than the advertised price. You’re definitely right about why there’s foam in the battery it makes way more sense to have a single mold. It also saves complexity on the recorder since it’d have to have at least one more mounting hole for a smaller ‘more honest’ battery pack.
The smaller pack wouldn’t make things much more portable since it’d still have to screw into the same size recorder.
Could 3d-printing do the job?
Sometimes, when in a pinch, you can also mould stuff from epoxy putty, or from polycaprolactone/Shapeloc.