Refrigerator Odor Eliminator Air Purifier Deodorizer USB O3 Ozone Air Purifier Food Preservation Deodorizing Fridge Freshener (WHL #99)

Ozone generators – the heroes of fart neutralization :D
(or something along those lines…)

I recently got a portable ozone generator that is powered from a single 18650 lithium cell, at a whopping 6.39€ from AliExpress. I already own two of the units BigClive once described as “Twinkies“, due to the fact he recommended this style of unit because of its circuitry. Unfortunately I ordered the wrong ones with 4x AA battery supply instead of a 18650 cell – it wasn’t clear in the description and I couldn’t be bothered as the units were 4.82€ back in late 2021. Plus I wasn’t really feeling adding in primary cells or modify them for use with lithium or a stationary power source. So I got one of those:

I technically only want the generator part, but the ~6kV modules alone basically cost the same as these fully functional units, so I got one of those instead. Plus, this one comes with an x-ray view of its guts, so I was happy to compare those Chinese artist impressions of their very own products with the shipped reality.

Had a chuckle when it arrived – it’s not vaporware, it’s sapor ware! (sapor from Latin meaning “taste” or “flavour”?)

Well…the unit looks as advertised on the outside, and four tiny self-tapper screws later, this fell out:

I have to say…they got the button right. The button is a separate part and not attached to the shell via a flexible link. And that’s about it with the similarities on their advertisement image – no surprises here.

Key question however is: Does it work? And the answer is both “yes” and “no”.

Let me explain: I think the unit is theoretically functional. The battery is real, though it (once again) misses advertised spec by a long shot. Seller claims 2000mAh, battery claims 1200mAh (factory oversight!), battery yields roughly 1150mAh from a 3.0V discharge/1C = 1200mA charge cycle. Since there’s no marking on the cell itself and it is very light compared to other 18650s (35g vs 45-50g), I don’t think it is recycled garbage, but a real brand-new low capacity cell instead. The welding tabs were extremely weak, one fell off right away and the other one didn’t pose much resistance to a pair of pliers. Clearly not a high-current joint – clearly not necessary here either (although it should make decent contact, bet it would have failed early, especially in a condensation-prone environment like a fridge).

The circuitry is also working, it does charge via USB-C, the button is working, the indicator LED is working. There’s one chip present that had his marking rubbed off, and the other one is an XY brand 4056C, likely a TP4056/LTC4056 knock-off (200-700mA standlone single cell Li charger). Bottom of the PCB is mainly GND, both + terminals of the battery and HV connectors are shorted. Very simplistic circuitry, but enough to do the job. It only offers a low-intensity and a high-intensity mode, that’s about it.

And the noname “C01-D05” 3-6Vin 2-6kVout generator is also working fine. It draws a constant current of about 35mA regardless of input voltage, and I dare not measure the output without an elaborate voltage divider setup. At 6Vin (and probably 6kVout), it immediately reeks of ozone, that’s what we want.

Where’s the flaw, then? Well, the unit doesn’t operate the HV generator at 6V, it only supplies battery voltage to it. There’s minimal losses as the “XORB 23” component should be a decent MOSFET (googling yields an AO3400 5.8A type with identical marking), but we’re still talking about 3.7V on a half-charged battery. And at that input voltage, the module products basically zero ozone. One can hear a few pops and crackles every now and then, but even when put inside a plastic bag for the half an hour program, it does not smell of ozone at all. 6V: Yeah, plenty, but around 4V, the voltage doesn’t seem to be enough to produce ozone with the supplied tri-needle arrangement. Maybe it would with some carbon fibre bristles, but with those metal triangles being far away from the grounded output plate: Nope.

So the unit does work – but only in a super inefficient fashion (35mA current regardless of input voltage, remember?), and only on a very full battery (glad it has such a low-capacity one that depletes quickly…). It would have benefitted greatly from either a HV module with a higher transformer ratio – or a step-up converter before supplying the HV unit. It even has space for that in the very well designed case, it’s simply not fitted as an external component nor on the board. But without it’s not fake, it’s just borderline useless…

Guess I won’t be using it then as supplied, but will have to make some adjustments myself – a switched 5V supply from a USB-like wall wart output should do the trick!

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