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Components and Circuits For discussions about component types, alternatives and availability, circuit configurations and modifications etc. Discussions here should be of a general nature and not about specific sets.

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Old 25th Sep 2020, 1:50 pm   #1
WaveyDipole
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Default Genuine or fake caps?

I recently purchased these from eBay. They were sold as Panasonic FR caps and I need a quality long lasting cap (Panasonic FR are good for 5000 to 10000 hours) for the application. Although there is a superficial resemblance, there is no branding or [M] trademark that usually appears on Panasonic caps. I know what I think, but would like to as the opinion of members before making a decision to return them as "Item not as described". I have taken photos from 4 directions so as to show all markings. Are these genuine or are they fake/grey goods?
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Old 25th Sep 2020, 1:57 pm   #2
Radio Wrangler
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Default Re: Genuine or fake caps?

Would be interesting to measure the ESR and compare to the panasonic datasheet.

I don't think I would trust them as far as I could throw them. I've used a great many panasonic capacitors in quite critical applications and had 100% satisfaction. Never seen one without their name on it (Panasonic or Matsushita)

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Old 25th Sep 2020, 2:04 pm   #3
Lucien Nunes
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Default Re: Genuine or fake caps?

Looks odd to me. Missing [M], print definition not very good, batch code looks wrong. Is it lasered on or just part of the printing of the sleeve? It normally appears reddish and has a definite physical relief.
E2A also check the vent stamping on the top of the can. Pana caps usually have a T with a curved top, although this might be well replicated in a copy.
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Old 25th Sep 2020, 2:29 pm   #4
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Default Re: Genuine or fake caps?

Date/batch is normally coded, these FR caps are a bit newer, bought from CPC around 9 years ago.
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Personally I wouldn't use those if they are from 1999 anyway (as the batch code suggests), seen far to many Japanese branded capacitors from the late 80's & early 90's that are leaking corrosive electrolyte everywhere and had to deal with all the eaten up PCB traces afterwards.

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Old 25th Sep 2020, 3:04 pm   #5
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Default Re: Genuine or fake caps?

All the genuine Panasonic FR capacitors previously obtained from franchised distributors do not have Panasonic or M printed on them. I agree that it does make them look suspect but when tested are correct to specification.

Managed to find a sealed printed bag of 10 capacitors manufactured by Panasonic Industrial Devices Malaysia Sdn Bhd, supplied as samples by Avnet. These capacitors show no markings to identify they are are Panasonic apart from value, voltage, batch number, 105C FR, and correct font is used.

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Old 25th Sep 2020, 3:37 pm   #6
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Default Re: Genuine or fake caps?

Several times recently, I've bought batches of Panasonic electrolytics of various ranges from Farnell, and none had any hint of name or logo on them, just the range code. Very low-key, but I think Farnell are reasonably trustworthy and have too much to lose from not being circumspect with sourcing.

Unfortunately, auction sites are a gamble- you might be getting genuine NOS overstock at a bargain price (and it is out there), or something from Del Boy's lock-up.
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Old 25th Sep 2020, 4:43 pm   #7
WaveyDipole
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Default Re: Genuine or fake caps?

They do have the 'T' vent stamping as in post #4. The '9914MC' looks chalky white and printed on top of the sleeve. The remaining print looks part of the printing on the sleeve although as pointed out, definition not so good.

I tried to measure the ESR. The DE-5000 would not measure it - just displayed OL - which is odd since it suppose to be able to measure up to 20mF (milllifarad). I did calibrate (zero) it before starting.

The Peak ESR meter measured the ESR at 0.02Ω for 4 of the caps and one measured at 0.01Ω. The datasheet indicates that for a 2200μF cap rated at 35V and in a 16mm diameter can the ESR should be 0.014Ω so perhaps 0.02Ω does seem just out of spec. This is also true for Peak's own table which indicates I should expect 0.01Ω.

The ESR is not critical in this application (DC smoothing, linear supply), but the fact that I may have been sold 20 year-old electrolytic caps as "new" - not NOS - does concern me and I am not inclined to use them. I purchased on eBay because of the 5 postage cost imposed by both RS and a similar charge by Farnell, but perhaps this was false economy. At roughtly 1.10 each taking into account large letter postage, they were not exactly "bargain price" but comparable although slightly cheaper than Farnell.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 2:26 am   #8
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Default Re: Genuine or fake caps?

Using 1999 made capacitors should not pose a problem unless they were stored in a hot place. Just to make sure you might want to give them a quick reform (connect to the working voltage or slightly higher through a high ohm resistor and leave them for some hours). That said, did the FR series already exist in 1999? I highly doubt that. Also I doubt the date code format, and if really from 1999 they probably would have sported the old [M] logo. They could be fake.

On the other hand, if the vent matches they might be genuine and use another date code format , I'll take a look at my stock (from Farnell and RS) tomorrow. Vents aren't often copied exactly as far as I know. The separate printing process for the date code is also a good sign. Copycats want to do it as cheap as possible, so all printing at once.

Last edited by Maarten; 26th Sep 2020 at 2:41 am.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 6:07 am   #9
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Default Re: Genuine or fake caps?

What was the price? Components from Ebay are usually more than if you buy them at CPC/Farnell/RS etc, folk buy em there or other places and sell em with a few bob on top. The only time it pays to buy bog standard components off ebay is if you don't have 30 to buy from the big three or only want one LED or whatever, it's a minefield else.

The only way to be certain is to gut one and a genuine Sony cap. Andy.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 11:16 am   #10
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Default Re: Genuine or fake caps?

They were 6.49 for 5x. Farnell is 1.86 each and RS 1.25 each ex VAT. Farnell charge 5.95 handling charge, RS 4.95. I actually only need two, so from Farnell, the total cost with VAT for two caps is 10.41, for five 17.11. If it were not for the disproportionate handling charge I would have purchased from RS. They stopped charging that for a while and I started ordering from them, but have been doing so again for some time.

I asked the seller about this and am still awaiting a reply.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 2:00 pm   #11
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Default Re: Genuine or fake caps?

If they measure correctly, gutting likely won't get you anywhere as they will look about the same. You'd need to chemically analyse the electrolyte.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 4:39 pm   #12
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Default Re: Genuine or fake caps?

Oh, I forgot to mention that capacitance measures 22xxμF on all five with only the last two digits being different. No reply from seller today. Maybe need to wait until Monday?
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