Straining the hr/min dimensional nonsense out of the slope suggests the camera averages 550 mA and 1.9 W. Derating those by a few percent to account for the recharge efficiency might be in order, but they’re surely in the right ballpark.
In round numbers, the total capacity declined from 3.25 W·hr to 2.5 W·hr, which means a single battery can’t quite power the camera for the duration of our normal hour-long rides. I do not know what voltage trips the camera’s decision, but the batteries definitely shut down sooner.
The blue traces are the C/D batteries from the as-new tests back in early 2020, the green traces are C/D after two years of use, and the red traces are the “new” quartet after their first charge in the Official BatMax Charger.
It looks very much like BatMax is selling used batteries repackaged as new items, because they are indistinguishable from my used ones. They definitely are not the “Premium Grade A cells” touted in the description.
I returned them for a refund and sent the test results to BatMax; they sent “new replacements” even though I said I would not pay for any future shipments. The batteries had a slightly different wrapper, but the test results were still indistinguishable from used batteries. I offered to return the package and was told that would not be needed.
It seems three good batteries now cost about as much as four crap batteries, under the reasonable assumption chargers are essentially free.
Three batteries isn’t quite enough for my usual rotation and, for unknown reasons, one cannot buy only batteries, so in short order I will have two chargers and six batteries.
The consolidated test results:
The color code:
BatMax 2020 new: blue
BatMax 2020 used: orange
BatMax 2022 new: green + lime
I stopped writing Amazon reviews after having a few detailed-writeups-with-graphs rejected for the usual unspecified reasons. As the Finn put it, “You wanna download, you know the access code already.”
It turns out that under rare conditions, triggered by fumbling a front derailleur shift, the upper chain section (out of the picture on the top) can whip vertically enough to jam between the Terracycle Idler’s mounting bolt and its longer chain retaining pin:
Whereupon the chain falls off the chainring, jams firmly between the spider and the crank, and brings the proceedings to a halt.
Having finally figured out the cause, I made a simple bushing to fit around the mounting bolt, reduce the gap, and (I hope) eliminate the problem:
Given its rarity, I will need a few more years to verify the solution.
Might get around to cleaning the chain one of these days, too …
Short-circuiting the Bafang battery’s charge port may have done anything from completely destroying the battery management circuit to just welding a brass nugget onto the port’s center pin. The main output to the bike motor remained functional, so my friend used it on rides over the next few days to reduce the charge level.
Meanwhile, I peeked inside the undamaged battery on Mary’s bike:
The battery pack is neatly shrink-wrapped and firmly glued into the plastic shell, with the battery management PCB on the other side of the battery. Some gentle prying suggests it will be difficult to disengage the adhesive, so getting the pack out will likely require cutting the blue wrap, extricating the cells as an unbound set, then cutting the blue wrap to release the wires.
A closer look at the nose of the battery:
The large red wire entering on the left comes from the motor connector, loops around the nose of the battery, and probably connects to the battery’s most positive terminal or, perhaps, to the corresponding BMS terminal.
The medium black wire from the side contact of the coaxial jack (atop the pair of red wires) burrows under the battery and likely connects to the most negative battery terminal. This is the charger plug’s outer terminal.
The small red wire from the center contact of the coaxial jack (between the medium black and red wires) goes to the charge indicator PCB in the nose of the battery. This is basically a push-to-test voltmeter with four LEDs indicating the charge state from about 40 V through 54 V. The small black wire from that PCB burrows under the battery on its way to the BMS.
The medium red wire from the center contact goes to the BMS.
There is no way to determine how much damage the short might have done, although the silicone-insulated wires should have survived momentary heating, unlike cheap PVC insulation that slags down at the slightest provocation.
Removing and replacing the coaxial jack requires Cutting Three Wires then rejoining them, a process fraught with peril. You must already have a profound respect for high voltages, high currents, and high power wiring; this is no place for on-the-job learning and definitely not where you can move fast and break things.
With this in mind, the only hope is to remove the nugget and see if the battery charges properly.
The trick will be to do this without any possibility of shorting a metallic tool between the center pin and the side contact.