Second hand Sony LiPo batteries


I got hold of four secondhand Sony VTC5 batteries in Talat Din Daeng for 500 baht, from the same bloke who sold me the dodgy Wismec (see Wismec RX200), with a pretty purple (yet blown) 4GB Kingston USB DT101 G2 thrown in (see Stick it up your USB).

After the initial excitement, it started to sink in that they were probably fakes. When will I ever learn?



As a baseline, what is the capacity of a set of new Sony batteries? A quick google gives these rough figures

  1. Sony VTC6 3000 mAh 30 A
  2. Sony VTC5a 2600 mAh, wildly varying (25 -) 35 A
  3. Sony VTC5 2600 mAh 30 A (spec’d at 20 A)

I immediately put the four batteries in my Xtar VC8 to check the capacity. After about 6 hours, the capacities ranged from 2121 to 2554 mAh. Not too much under the specified capacity, especially when considering that they are second hand.

The VC89 discharges to around 2.6 V.

The final capacities were

  1. 2413 mAh
  2. 2121 mAh
  3. 2554 mAh
  4. 2427 mAh


A second grading test gave very similar (although slightly higher) figures:

  1. 2425 mAh
  2. 2125 mAh
  3. 2558 mAh
  4. 2438 mAh

This increase in value (4-12 mAh) makes one wonder whether a third grading would increase them further.

Comparing them with a set of VTC that I bought from GearBest or FastTech a year or two ago…



Screenshots of a battery comparison

Some interesting graphs from Will China’s 18650 Battery Beat LG, Samsung, Sony & Panasonic? Let’s find out!

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