Buying batteries on Ebay
Yesterday I wanted to experiment with using a ferrite rod antenna for WSPR. I was using my AA-200 antenna analyzer to try to tune the antenna when it suddenly restarted. I switched it off and on again and as soon as I chose any function the analyzer restarted again.
The last time I used the AA-200 I remember the batteries ran out so I charged it. It appears that after 6 years of use the rechargeable battery pack won’t hold a charge.
|AA-200 antenna analyzer and open battery pack|
I’m useless at taking things apart but Olga managed to open the battery pack to reveal a shrink wrapped pack of 4 AA cells. I could have ordered a replacement from Strikalite but their price was £20. I found an Ebay seller in Hong Kong whose price was a quarter of that. So for the sake of a few days wait I could save myself £15.
I ordered the battery pack, but this morning there were two emails in my inbox saying “We are sorry to tell you that we are not allowed to dispatch batteries recently for the customs are very strict on exporting batteries.” Is this something new? It’s the first I have heard of it. I’ve certainly bought battery packs (including batteries for handheld transceivers)from China on Ebay before.
The seller has refunded my money (or at least he has said he will.) In the meantime I found a UK seller of Chinese batteries, Vapextech UK, which, while not as cheap as the Hong Kong seller, is still a third of the price of Strikalite. Having said that, Strikalite is still a good firm to go to if you want to refurbish a ham radio battery pack and like me you are useless at taking battery packs apart.
I work for a company that ships batteries overseas and domestic. It can be a pain in the butt especially if it is a Li-Ion but it is possible. I find most times they just don’t want to bother with the hassle. You were probably better off getting them from the UK anyway tho.
I’ve actually heard of Chinese businesses placing sticking on their batteries that claim they’re something less hazardous than Li-Ion, like NiCd or NiMH. One buyer said that he contacted his seller about it and they said to just peel off the NiCd sticker to reveal the Li-Ion one underneath it. They told him it was the easiest way to get around customs and postal regulations and they intentionally used removable stickers for the fakes.
Seems like someone will always come up with a way to get around just about anything, whether it’s legal/ethical or not.