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Apr 30, 2006, 02:42 PM
Annoying Newbie
Jon3's Avatar
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Discussion

Similar Chargers?


I noticed a couple of similar charger photos, and I'm curious if anybody besides me has pulled one apart to see whats actually inside.

My Multiplex LN-5014 looks eerily similar to the e-station 301.
Here is is opened up.

At the bottom of the PCB, it says "P136-2 Swallow 2"

Unfortunately, there's a "KN SM102" LCD panel soldered in place over the one IC so I was unable to take a look at see what kind of chip it was, as I wasn't ready to completely dissemble my new charger =)

I'm also curious about the unused J4 connector, and the 2 9pin packs below and to the right of the D1 diode.

As for comparisons, the LCD, menu, buttons, chass, power in, and the buzzed (you can see it through the vents on the 301, all appear to be in exactly the same position. It looks like the 301's banana jacks are merely sidemount instead of vertical flushmount.

Basically I'm pretty sure they're identical, but I'd love to see somebody with a 301 pop the cover and put a high res photo online!

I'd also love to see a 501 too!




A full size pic of the inside available here.
Last edited by Jon3; Apr 30, 2006 at 02:47 PM.
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Apr 30, 2006, 02:50 PM
Use the Force!
LBMiller5's Avatar
There are a lot of people selling this same charger under various private labels. Check out this one that I have.








Almost identical on the inside! There are several other vendors selling this same charger under other names.

Lucien
Apr 30, 2006, 02:55 PM
Annoying Newbie
Jon3's Avatar
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Is bantam the actually OEM manufacturer?

And can these be turned into 501DXs with some creative electronics hacking? =)
Apr 30, 2006, 04:40 PM
Registered User
lol.... the truth be known! Bantam has denied being the manufacturer of certain brands and will not comment on others. Swallow, Multiplex, and X-Peak are the same. Bantam's 301 is not any of the above. Bantam does make chargers for other companies, including Kokam and Thunder Power.

This has been brought up several times. Because they may look alike, does not mean they are the same charger. Even if Swallow does make the Multiplex, that doesn't mean it has the same software.
Apr 30, 2006, 04:49 PM
Registered User

Bantam


Bantam is made by Bantam.
Apr 30, 2006, 05:44 PM
Registered User
I tell ya , I dont see a lot of difference between the 3 chargers shown.
The bantam has right angle RCA plugs & I dont see an 8pin DIP the other 2 have.
I serviced electronics for 15yrs, and Id say these are all the same design, componet
location,content. Different places might of assembled them. China,Korea, Tiwan
they all steal designs, it legal. Sweatshops assemble them.

Any other electronic educated eye, coment??

And as far as "software" goes its next to nill. These are primarly
analog power circuits, their is no hard drive or extensive programing
involved. Next Ill hear the bantum has a CD rom drive, as well as a
decortive redish PCB & and the astronauts have them on the space
missions too....................................
Last edited by Dennis157; Apr 30, 2006 at 06:08 PM.
Apr 30, 2006, 07:50 PM
Annoying Newbie
Jon3's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Accessory
lol.... the truth be known! Bantam has denied being the manufacturer of certain brands and will not comment on others. Swallow, Multiplex, and X-Peak are the same. Bantam's 301 is not any of the above. Bantam does make chargers for other companies, including Kokam and Thunder Power.

This has been brought up several times. Because they may look alike, does not mean they are the same charger. Even if Swallow does make the Multiplex, that doesn't mean it has the same software.
How can you say bantam is not the same as the others. It is virtually identical internally.

I mean, perhaps they're running different firmware, but hardware wise, they appear to be the same.

Now, this could mean a couple of things. One ore more manufacturers are buying a pre or mostly completed board, and dropping their own or the default firmware, packaging it, and selling it.

Or one of these people is manufacturing it, and OEMing it to others.

Or one of the above, and some of these manufacturers have simply ripped off the competition by cloning the board and selling their own.

Bantam may well be manufacturing it. Maybe they're OEMing the board to others but not publicly acknowledging it. Maybe they're buying the board but have written better firmware. Or maybe they're just not quite telling the truth and doing the same thing a the other manufacturers.

But implying the bantam is a 'different' charger in any way other than the label and perhaps firmware seems silly. The components and the PCB pretty clearly are being built from the same schematic.
Apr 30, 2006, 07:59 PM
Registered User
You guys crack me up. First, Swallow and Bantam put their names on the PCB. The LCD screens are different as well as the board layout. While the Multiplex PCB says Swallow. Simply put, they are different. I'll also bet you that the Swallow firmware is different than the Multiplex. So even if Swallow makes them both which I do, the chargers could work differently and have different issues.

Since Swallow as well as Bantam make their own units, they can update the chargers faster. Bantam is releasing the 3rd revision to the 301 model called the 301DX. The Multiplex is the same unit it was a year ago. My guess would be that they bought x number of units and that is what they get. I have done OEM sales in software industry for almost 20 years. You get what the contract calls for. In the hardware side of the business, it is usually a contract for x number of units over a specific period of time.

The proof here is that Bantam makes their own units, they are the manufacturer. If you care not to believe that fact, that is your own choice.
Apr 30, 2006, 08:08 PM
Frankenstein recycled packs
rampman's Avatar
You would be paying more if there wasn't one company making these chargers. The cost and time involved is horrendous. We are the eventual winners as we pay less for any of these if they were stand along units.
Apr 30, 2006, 08:13 PM
Renewed interest
ozace's Avatar
One thing that sticks in my mind is Batam have a big range of chargers, if they were not the manufacturer i would expect to see the 902 sold everwhere with different names.

The swallow is made by SJ propo and resold under hyperion, multiplex and their own name (swallow advance). Their range of chargers is very different to the stuff from bantam.
Apr 30, 2006, 08:32 PM
Annoying Newbie
Jon3's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Accessory
You guys crack me up. First, Swallow and Bantam put their names on the PCB. The LCD screens are different as well as the board layout. While the Multiplex PCB says Swallow. Simply put, they are different. I'll also bet you that the Swallow firmware is different than the Multiplex. So even if Swallow makes them both which I do, the chargers could work differently and have different issues.
Anybody can write a name on a PCB. The board layout and the LCD screens appear virtually identical. As does the menu layout. I'd wager good money the firmware is identical too.

Quote:
Since Swallow as well as Bantam make their own units, they can update the chargers faster. Bantam is releasing the 3rd revision to the 301 model called the 301DX. The Multiplex is the same unit it was a year ago. My guess would be that they bought x number of units and that is what they get. I have done OEM sales in software industry for almost 20 years. You get what the contract calls for. In the hardware side of the business, it is usually a contract for x number of units over a specific period of time.
Which leads me to believe it is more likely that Bantam is the true manufacturer, and the Multitech is just an OEM'd unit from Bantam.

But how is bantam updating the 301? All the components are SMC, including the IC, which is not socketed, and its pretty tough to re-flesh any kind of IC in situ. Do you mean sending back to the manufacturer?

Quote:
The proof here is that Bantam makes their own units, they are the manufacturer. If you care not to believe that fact, that is your own choice.
Again, I don't dispute it, I don't have that information. I'm just saying, the units from them and the others appears to be pretty much identical.
May 01, 2006, 07:46 PM
Registered User
Looks like this charger is just the same old song and dance!!!!!!

With a new improved SALES PITCH . thats all.........................
May 01, 2006, 08:08 PM
Registered User
Dennis, just out of curiosity, what chargers do you own?
May 04, 2006, 08:21 PM
Registered User
I am charger shopping,for something lately
May 04, 2006, 09:02 PM
Registered User
Well if you believe that all these chargers are the same, buy the Prodigy II. It is the least expensive of the bunch. Report back how it works for you.


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