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Sony NP-BX1 Batteries: Wasabi vs. SterlingTEK

The combined results of the six most recent NP-BX1 batteries for my Sony HDR-AS30V helmet camera:

Sony NP-BX1 - Wasabi FG - STK ABCD - Ah scale - 2015-11-03

Sony NP-BX1 – Wasabi FG – STK ABCD – Ah scale – 2015-11-03

One might reasonably conclude all six came from the same factory; the STK B battery looks like a dud. The two replacement batteries from STK performed slightly better than the first pair.

The Wasabi and SterlingTEK batteries all carry a 1600 mA·h rating that’s far in excess of their actual 1000-ish mA·h performance. If they were advertised as 1.0 A·h batteries, they’d meet their specifications (for small values of “meet”), but nobody would buy a second-tier battery with less capacity than the Sony OEM battery’s 1.24 A·h.

If you rummage around in previous posts, I did verify that battery capacity does increase with decreasing test current, but definitely not by the 60% needed to reach 1600 mA·h.

Because most devices these days operate at constant power from a boost supply, presenting the results against a watt·hour scale would make sense:

Sony NP-BX1 - Wasabi FG - STK ABCD - Wh scale - 2015-11-03

Sony NP-BX1 – Wasabi FG – STK ABCD – Wh scale – 2015-11-03

That doesn’t change the overall rankings, such as they are, but does include the effect of higher terminal voltage.

The claimed specifications:

  • Sony OEM – 4.5 W·h
  • Wasabi – 5.7 W·h
  • STK – 5.9 W·h

The Sony battery actually performed about as advertised, but the others fall short on this scale, too.

They should survive for hour-long rides with the GPS tracker turned off, which is about as much as I want to ride at once. I’ll eventually autopsy the STK B battery, which won’t last all that long.

Credit where credit is due: after I sent the first test results to STK, they sent a pair of replacement batteries and, based on the second test results, refunded the entire purchase price. I’m reluctant to give a five-star rating for customer service, because shipping mis-advertised products should carry a zero-star rating.

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  1. #1 by bonnev659 on 2015-11-11 - 07:28

    wow.. looks like I am only going for my regular batteries instead of knock offs for my VIRB. The Shimaro cam doesn’t have removable battiers sadly. thanks for doing the testing and sorry to hear the ones you got was not that good

    • #2 by Ed on 2015-11-11 - 08:24

      Well, if you ignore the grossly inflated “1600 mA·h” claim, they have slightly less capacity than the OEM battery. Unfortunately, you can’t tell what the actual capacity without a good battery tester, so you don’t know what’s in the box.

  2. #3 by Joel on 2015-11-11 - 11:42

    Ed- How about a post on your battery test setup and methodology, or did I miss that sometime in the past?

    • #4 by Ed on 2015-11-11 - 12:49

      It’s a West Mountain Radio CBA II, upgraded with CBA IV firmware to work with Windows 7. I pick a reasonable discharge current and it does all the tedious work; if only they had a Linux-friendly interface…

      Of course, every battery requires a different test fixture, but that’s one of the reasons I got a 3D printer:

      Those all have Powerpoles and plug directly into the CBA.

      Keeps me off the streets at night, it does… [grin]

  1. Sony HDR-AS30V vs. STK NP-BX1: Power Estimate, Redux | The Smell of Molten Projects in the Morning