Insides of BlackVue B-124 (DIY 11,852 mAh @12.8v / 151.7 W/h + extension battery for under $50?)

EsQueue

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Hello, I just decided to take apart my brand new BlackVue B-124 and post some internal pictures as I couldn't find any. I found out a few things from doing this. On the picture of the circuit board the board name is NEO6 REV-G.
I didn't separate the batteries from the upper part of the case as it used some strong adhesive tape and I didn't want to ruin it. With it being attached, it helps a bit in thermal conduction. Building and 3D printing an extension would only require a 4s BMS, some decent gauge wire and a female XT60 connector. You can add whatever fuses that you want to make things more safe is you wish. Make sure that you get the batteries in groups of 4.

To open the device, the labels on both sides should be carefully removed. Doing this will expose four Phillips head screws on each side. This also reveals a hidden micro USB port. ( I didn't connect anything to it.)


Removing all screws on both sides will allow the 2-piece aluminum case to separate from the plastic side panels.


Here are the seperated case pieces



The B-124 uses sixteen IFR18650EC LiFePO4 3.2v 1.5Ah batteries in a 4s4p configuration. Four in series ( for the 12.8 volt rating) multiplied by four in parallel (for the 6,000mAh rating) Since power = Voltage x Current you get the rating of 76.8Wh


Notice that the boards name is NEO6 REV-G. The solder points located to the top labeled B+1 and B-1 are the positive and main positive and negative points which connect to the beginning and end of the battery series. The points to the bottom labeled BM1 and BM2 are balance and monitor the difference in voltage between the four series of batteries. Batteries balance themselves out in parallel but with sensitive lithium types, it is strongly recommended to have some type of Battery Management System.


Just a random picture of the micro USB port.
 
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EsQueue

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Just installed it today. If I don't like the Capacity, a 14Ah extension will cost $37 shipped from AliExpress. I've used that company's batteries when building a 13S10P ebike battery. I tested each battery and they were within the rated capacity. A 14Ah battery is 233% the capacity of the original 6Ah battery.
 
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Well, I purchased the parts needed, to build my 14Ah extended LiFePO4 battery pack. I already have nickel strips, wires and XT60 connectors. I'll just design and Print a simple case when the parts finally arrive from China. In the Mean time, I have an Arduino circuit, display and knob that I'll use to add pulse feature to my DIY spot welder. I may post pics of the the battery but most likely will not as it may be a hassle.
 
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I've gotten all the parts and started. I chose 32700 (32mm x 70mm) batteries over the common 18650 (18mm x 65mm) battery as their store much more energy. The capacity of the cells were much lower than rated was is disappointing. The aliexpress selller is named Charger Battery Store which used to have good batteries in the past so the quality just recently went south. The batteries were rearranged to better balance their capacities than what's shown in the following pictures using repackr.com By the capacity of the smallest bank, this should add 11,469 mAh.

Here is a picture of the material that I believe that is needed.
XT60 Female, BMS, kapton tape, nickel strips, 32700 LiFePO4 batteries and some 3D printed battery holders. I had to modify some 18650 holder designs to work and I still need to design and print a case for all of this.






Here are the batteries in the 3D printed holders


I am considering to run them in either a stacker or horizontal formation. I am really leaning toward the second.

 
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The batteries were rearranged to better balance their capacities than what's shown in the following pictures using repackr.com By the capacity of the smallest bank, this should add 11,469 mAh.
I think the best way to arrange them is all in parallel, then there is no need to balance them, and no problem if they loose capacity unevenly.

Since it is only powering a camera, there is no problem using a cell voltage to 5V or 12V DC step up converter to obtain the correct output voltage for the camera, and charging the battery just needs a simple CC/CV charger since there is nothing to balance. A step up converter might not be quite as efficient as a step down, but they are very close these days and it does allow you to use the full capacity of every cell instead of having to leave some part empty because cells connected in series are never perfectly balanced, even with a balance circuit.
 
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I think the best way to arrange them is all in parallel, then there is no need to balance them, and no problem if they loose capacity unevenly.

Since it is only powering a camera, there is no problem using a cell voltage to 5V or 12V DC step up converter to obtain the correct output voltage for the camera, and charging the battery just needs a simple CC/CV charger since there is nothing to balance. A step up converter might not be quite as efficient as a step down, but they are very close these days and it does allow you to use the full capacity of every cell instead of having to leave some part empty because cells connected in series are never perfectly balanced, even with a balance circuit.
This BMS board balances when the battery is nearly completely full. The way I drive and with it's capacity, I don't think that it will happen too much. The cells are already very similar in capacity so I am only only leaving under 200 mAh on the table. I'll never run lithium products in my vehicle without a BMS so by running in parallel, I'll only add the efficiency loses and costs of a converter on top of a 1s BMS. I understand your reasoning but I am definitely not going that route as it will cost more, be less efficient, increase the size, add another failure point and further delay it's construction as I don't have one on hand.
 
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Almost done, I just need to design and print a top case.






Absolutely no soldering directly on the cells. Spot welded using my DIY spot welder. Still have to lower the current a bit though but it's fine for now.
 
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Finally complete. Capacity tested out to 11,852 mAh at a 1.5 amp load for the beginning. I'd imagine that it would have measured closer to 12 Ah if I had a 500mA load but that would take too long. It took nearly 8 hours at such a high load to drain it.

 

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Does it have a low temperature charging cut-off? Charging below freezing is dangerous.
 
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Does it have a low temperature charging cut-off? Charging below freezing is dangerous.
Freezing temperatures is something I don't have to worry about here in Southern California. I am unsure if the B124/NEO6 has that protection. If it does, it will not send a charge out to the extension battery either. I'll have to check.
 
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Would you be able to post links for all the parts u used? I have a wonky cellink neo and would either like to replace the cells for use in another car or make my own expansion pack

Thanks in advance
 
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A small amount of the parts listed here were spare parts that I already had in stock.
I only shop on eBay (when much cheaper than Amazon), Amazon (when I want the quickest shipping) and Aliexpress (when I want the absolute lowest prices but don't mind waiting close to a month)

BMS (make sure to click 3.2v LiFePO4)
8x LiitoKala 32700 LiFePO4 batteries. I got them from someone on aliexpress called "Charger Battery Store" but will not leave a link to them as their batteries are not to advertised capacity and don't seem to care after a respectful message was written to them.
XT60 Male connection (Had extras from an eBike battery build)
The battery holders and case were all 3D printed. I quickly drew up the case and modified the battery holder for 18650 cells to work decently for the 32700 cell. If you want the stl files I'll send them to you or post it on thingiverse and send you a link.
8mm x 0.1mm nickel strip (for spot welding) That was built and 3D printed also for very cheap.
 

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Thinking of doing this myself. But this would be the first time I'll be doing anything battery related so I'm a bit weary of my car catching on fire.

Have you thought about adding a lipo guard bag?
 

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Egen means own in Danish, so in Danish "min egen" = my own. :)
 
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Thinking of doing this myself. But this would be the first time I'll be doing anything battery related so I'm a bit weary of my car catching on fire.

Have you thought about adding a lipo guard bag?
I don't recommend doing this is you haven't read up and is really knowledgeable on lithium batteries. That of know of a great source for information. You don't need to go a complete DIY route. Buying the neo6/b124 backup batteries are a complete rip off though. There are batteries with Much more capacity and are already BMS protected for half the cost. All you will need to do is solder on a Female XT60 connector and plug it in. Change the capacity setting on your software to get a better battery gauge reading.

I researched for months before building a 10s10p battery for an ebike then up grading it to 13s10p. That was using regular 18650 Lithium cells which are less forgiving than LiFePO4 cells. LiPo cells are to dangerous for automotive purposes and I don't trust LiCoO2 cells either for my car though it's fine for my bike. You have to be aware that the entire cases is negative and that even goes all the way to the top of the cells. They must have an intact wrapper. I used electrical and kapton tape on my ebike batteries to repair cracked wrappers and used a protector for the top.

I have lots of lithium ion back up batteries but will not use them in my car for a camera backup. If I were to build that backup battery using the same batteries that I used in my ebike, it would be double the Capacity but I wouldn't. Hybrid cars that use those batteries have separate liquid cooling systems just for the batteries.
 

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@EsQueue

I have Cellink B 2nd generation. I think the battery is defective since it can only hold an hour of parking mode recording after a full charge at home all night. It is possible to open the unit and swap internal battery w/same kind? Will it be that simple just like changing a dead battery from a toy :)? If it require solder, i have no issue with it.
 

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I think the batteries in your cellink unit are the 18650 size, so probably not room for the larger 32700 ( 18 / 32 being the cell diameter, and the 650 / 700 being the length 65 and 70 mm, don't ask me why the extra 0 is there at the end )
If your unit is defective you should do a RMA on it if thats possible, if you can not then you need to look for 18650 sized ( if thats what inside ) LIfepO4 batteries,and then assemble them correctly of course.
If you can source the same batteries as your unit have, chance is it is probably just one or two of the cells that have failed, this way you don't have to replace all of the batteries that after all do cost a little.

And you have to be carefull in batteries too you will see dangerous fakes, or at least just fakes, so don't go looking for the absolute bottom prices.
 
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know610

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I think the batteries in your cellink unit are the 18650 size, so probably not room for the larger 32700 ( 18 / 32 being the cell diameter, and the 650 / 700 being the length 65 and 70 mm, don't ask me why the extra 0 is there at the end )
If your unit is defective you should do a RMA on it if thats possible, if you can not then you need to look for 18650 sized ( if thats what inside ) LIfepO4 batteries,and then assemble them correctly of course.
If you can source the same batteries as your unit have, chance is it is probably just one or two of the cells that have failed, this way you don't have to replace all of the batteries that after all do cost a little.

And you have to be carefull in batteries too you will see dangerous fakes, or at least just fakes, so don't go looking for the absolute bottom prices.

Thank you. Mine is out-of-warranty. Been had it for 2yrs. I'm not looking to increase anything. I just want to replace same size as the original. Would they have those in Amazon instead of Alibaba?
 

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... chance is it is probably just one or two of the cells that have failed, this way you don't have to replace all of the batteries that after all do cost a little. ...
Bad idea. The cells are serio-parallel, so they should have the closest specs possible to each other (doesn't matter there is balancing circuit or feedback for overdischarge... ).

Btw: @know610 How good are you with soldering station? It requeres station/tip with pretty high heat capacity (if you don't have a welder) and the cells in B-124 seem like welded directly in pairs and there isn't much space on the sides...
 
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