Battery Technology Engineer warns against re-celling Li-ion

In my quest for some NP-1 re-celling services, My internet machine stumbled upon My inquiry yielded this reply:

“Hello Pete. Thank you for your email.

1st. Do NOT EVER refill, recell or rebuild ANY Lithium Ion battery. Unlike the amateurs in franchise battery companies or with fake images of their facility, I am/was a professional value added battery assembler for 23 years. Besides the extreme danger to the technician and end user in recelling Lithium Ion batteries, these idiots do not know to consider component fatigue among many other issues. With the NP1 there is also the damage to the contacts which have a tension built into them.”

Despite this company’s webpages being a confusing deluge of information, irrelevant links, politics and other ramblings, there seemed to be some evidence of engineering expertise in the field of battery technology for TV production. Rathbone’s had a booth at NAB in past years. I recall seeing his battery products on shoots over the years.

After spending 30 minutes looking for an email address on the website, I finally found one hidden in a downloadable pdf resume, after which I emailed my inquiry about re-celling NP-1 lithium-ion battery packs.

Rathbone's booth at NAB 2006

Rathbone’s booth at NAB 2006













Well… It turns out the company has gone (or been forced) out of business. The website remains as a placemarker, tribute, and resume.   But my eyes had glazed over to the point that I missed that crucial bit of information.

Nevertheless, Mr Ron Rathbone personally returned my inquiry with a 300 word broadcast battery manifesto of sorts; a tale of destruction by way of his customers,  armed robbers, politicians, and, to a lesser extent, the climate in Michigan.

Anyway, Mr. Rathbone offers the above very ominous warning, plus:

“… 2008, because of lithium ion, I was forced to do as the broadcast battery suppliers and go overseas to have them manufactured. To custom weld lithium ion is TOO dangerous. You must have automated assembly line to weld these cells into packs and China is the only place. So, No Matter what brand you purchase they are really manufactured in China despite what you may be told.”

from the website….Rathbone’s “no frills facility, staff at
work.” has been successfully re-celling our NP1 Li-ions of late. I have to wonder what Mr. Ritter thinks of Rathbone’s warning…. I’ll forward it to him and see what he says.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 10.19.03 PMAre IDX batteries made in China? The batteries themselves say “Made In Japan.”  I imagine Varizoom’s batteries probably are made in China. You can pop those suckers open with a nail file. 

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 10.21.58 PMRathbone is a pretty deep, interesting cat, a survivor of severe hospital malpractice and 4X bypass surgery ,among other life challenges. He tells of his life-after-death experience on his blog site

-Pete Verrando