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Thread: 18650's Care and Maintenance

  1. #31

    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    My first 18650 flashlight (TN30) will be here by Saturday. I have no familiarity to the battery so this thread is valuable to me. As much as these little jewels cost, I want to maintain them with a lot of TLC.

  2. #32

    Default 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Just ordered my first 18650 flashlight - Sunwayman C22C - what battery brands are good? What should I avoid?

    Should I use 3000 mAh and higher? Or are 2500 mAh good enough capacity?

  3. #33
    Unenlightened Ubec's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    This topic is extremely helpful for newcomers like me.

    Thanks to those users who shared their knowledge!
    Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  4. #34

    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by 777qqq View Post
    So I should store my 14500 and 10440 Li-Mn and 18650 Li-Ion batteries at 3.6-3.7 V open-circuit? How long will they remain at 3.6-3.7 V before I need to charge them back up to 3.6-3.7? I accidentally posted in this thread instead of creating a new thread.
    I have had Panasonic NVR18650B (unprotected) stored at 3.4 volts in a fridge for over 5 months with no drop in voltage. The lower voltage and temperature lowers the chemical potential of the system, thereby, slowing down any unwanted reactions
    Last edited by Lumencrazy; 01-01-2016 at 11:36 PM.

  5. #35
    Flashaholic LAMPARITA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    I have a Olight 18650 and the protection plate on the back-end of the battery got loose while trying to pull the battery out of the flashlight. Plate still attached to the battery bottom but I'm just wondering if it's safe or not to use it the way it is?

  6. #36
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by LAMPARITA View Post
    I have a Olight 18650 and the protection plate on the back-end of the battery got loose while trying to pull the battery out of the flashlight. Plate still attached to the battery bottom but I'm just wondering if it's safe or not to use it the way it is?
    So the plastic wrapping isn't holding/surrounding the metal plate? In that case, you could shrink wrap a new plastic tube around it. Remove the existing wrap before adding the new one.

  7. #37
    Flashaholic LAMPARITA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Correct, plastic wrapping isn't holding the plate so I will try to do the re-wrapping when I get home tomorrow evening but in the meantime, I will like to know if the battery can still be use the way it is? Just asking for safety reasons.

    Thank you for responding

    Quote Originally Posted by kj2 View Post
    So the plastic wrapping isn't holding/surrounding the metal plate? In that case, you could shrink wrap a new plastic tube around it. Remove the existing wrap before adding the new one.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by LAMPARITA View Post
    Correct, plastic wrapping isn't holding the plate so I will try to do the re-wrapping when I get home tomorrow evening but in the meantime, I will like to know if the battery can still be use the way it is? Just asking for safety reasons.

    Thank you for responding
    I wouldn't take the risk.

  9. #39
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    I am lost with those safety levels. Real situation right now: I have bought a Xtar 18650 3400mAh, poked it into a Thrunite TN12 (2016), and used it for some time till I came home where I do have a charger. When I put the battery to charge I was a bit scared -- Thrunite MCC-4 showed 1.5V. Having read all these horror stories about over discharged Li-Ion I was ready to run and get cover, but Xtar safely and calmly reached 3.7V without any sign of becoming any warmer than the room temperature. After that I reinserted it and now it is going after 4.2V. And only now the battery and the charger are becoming slightly warmer.

    What am I doing wrong?

  10. #40
    Enlightened gigbyt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Thanks for all this useful info, one can read for hours here at this forum.
    VINH X3VN, Elektrolumens ft-3c/xm-3, Fenix L2d ce, 1986 brinkman 5-cell, Dereelight dbs, 47's Quark 123 turbo x,Nitecore TM16GT, TK75VNQ, Fiat Lux!!

  11. #41
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    One thing that I consider impractical with Xtar's 18650: protective PCB at its bottom has a copper surface. I dare to guess it is not too thick. Taking into consideration that protected batteries are generally longer than unprotected, the flashlight springs apply more pressure to the battery. As a result, if you have not a chargeable light, you have to screw/unscrew it roughly 500 times. The springs are made of steel... against copper... The Xtar 18650 has a chance to fail long before it will deteriorate chemically.

    P.S.: Are you kidding? My post is too short?!

  12. #42

    Scowl Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    I am lost with those safety levels. Real situation right now: I have bought a Xtar 18650 3400mAh, poked it into a Thrunite TN12 (2016), and used it for some time till I came home where I do have a charger. When I put the battery to charge I was a bit scared -- Thrunite MCC-4 showed 1.5V. Having read all these horror stories about over discharged Li-Ion I was ready to run and get cover, but Xtar safely and calmly reached 3.7V without any sign of becoming any warmer than the room temperature. After that I reinserted it and now it is going after 4.2V. And only now the battery and the charger are becoming slightly warmer.

    What am I doing wrong?
    Same here, Vadimax! I bought a lamp from a seller in E-Bay UK, which came with three UltraFire 3600 mAh-cells. Re/Discharging protection circuit.

    But when the lamp ran out of juice and became dim, I inspected batteries. All were between 1,42 - 1,46 Volts!!! Scary! However, I decidec to charge them with my Nitecore-charger. It seemed to work well, they did not got hot and only slightly warm. I measured 4.21-4.22 Volts from them.

    Are these fake batteries without a protection circuit or how is this possible as they discharged so low to 1,45 Volts? Can I still use these or throw them into bin?

  13. #43
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    I guess, in my case a battery was stored for too long. It is kind of expensive for Lithuania, so no one is buying them. Perhaps, natural discharge. After being charged to 4.2V, it behaves normal so far.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    Thrunite MCC-4 showed 1.5V.
    This probably means the safety of your cell is lowered, i.e. the risk of it bursting into flame is higher.
    This does not mean it will exploded, but your safety factor is lower.
    My website with battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 1000 reviews of batteries, charges and other stuff.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  15. #45

    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by gbye darkness View Post
    Same here, Vadimax! I bought a lamp from a seller in E-Bay UK, which came with three UltraFire 3600 mAh-cells. Re/Discharging protection circuit.

    But when the lamp ran out of juice and became dim, I inspected batteries. All were between 1,42 - 1,46 Volts!!! Scary! However, I decidec to charge them with my Nitecore-charger. It seemed to work well, they did not got hot and only slightly warm. I measured 4.21-4.22 Volts from them.

    Are these fake batteries without a protection circuit or how is this possible as they discharged so low to 1,45 Volts? Can I still use these or throw them into bin?



    With regards to Ultrafire, it's well-known among the flashaholic community that all Ultrafire cells are nothing more than generic ones recovered from used laptop computers. No such thing as a fake Ultrafire cell because the downright cheapest Made in China flashlight company with a brand name, doesn't actually make their own cells. Generic, recovered batteries with an "Ultrafire" label slapped on each one. It's why the company can afford to undercut the few competitors it has. Namely the ones that actually produce their own batteries.

    Some "Ultrafire" cells work, some work after only one charge, some can't hold a charge at all, and some simply won't charge up (again, at all). It's pot-luck what you'll get. Anything from barely decent to non-working junk. Don't worry. You're not the first to get tricked by Ultrafire. I did, when first starting out in this hobby. And, you won't be the last.

    Get some quality AW brand rechargeable cells.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  16. #46

    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post


    With regards to Ultrafire, it's well-known among the flashaholic community that all Ultrafire cells are nothing more than generic ones recovered from used laptop computers. No such thing as a fake Ultrafire cell because the downright cheapest Made in China flashlight company with a brand name, doesn't actually make their own cells. Generic, recovered batteries with an "Ultrafire" label slapped on each one. It's why the company can afford to undercut the few competitors it has. Namely the ones that actually produce their own batteries.

    Some "Ultrafire" cells work, some work after only one charge, some can't hold a charge at all, and some simply won't charge up (again, at all). It's pot-luck what you'll get. Anything from barely decent to non-working junk. Don't worry. You're not the first to get tricked by iUltrafire. I did, when first starting out in this hobby. And, you won't be the last.

    Get some quality AW brand rechargeable cells.
    Thanks, mate! I ordered 8 Sanyo cells and earlier had ordered 4 SkyRay protected cells. Dont know about the SkyRays, if they are any good? I have a four-cell SkyRay lamp as well.

    I've had a couple of single-cell 18650 lamps for years, no problems. But with these multi-cell lamps, better be safe than sorry. Meanwhile I will be monitoring those Ultrafures vigorously...

  17. #47

    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    This is a good thread. I recently made the jump and got my first 4 NCR18650B's. While i did ran into some issues (not the cells themselves). I manage to work around it. My question is.. As these cells begins to wear out as time goes by and repeated use. Is there anything i should be aware as these cells age. like reduce charging current,etc?. I am using these cells in my power bank which takes 4 18650's. That is a lot of capacity thus making it a huge upgrade compared to what i was using before lol.

    Thanks.

  18. #48
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    wow! Even now in 2016 countless people are still being fooled into buying utrafire cells! I freely admit that years ago a pair of my first cells were 3600mah Ultrafires with the red wrapping and slick black and grey design at one end. I was a total noob. I could never figure out why these cells constantly needed to be recharged. At the same time I had a couple 2900mah Fenix cells that out ran the expensive ultrafires by 10 to 1. It wasnt until I discovered CPF that I learned that my mighty ultrafires were at best 600mah re wrapped cells yanked from junk yard laptops. Ever since I take my cells very seriously. I only buy from a couple of legit sources now only and they have never steered me wrong.

    As for building a battery pack flat top high mah Pannies, Samsung and LG's are what I understand are what are made into battery packs for anything from laptops to the huge power banks for Teslas and Toyota Prius'.

    From what I understand the whole reason 3600mah cells sold out so quickly is that they were bought en masse by laptop makers and Tesla. Correct me if I am wrong but Olight stands alone with their new proprietary 3200 and 3600mah cells with next gen protection circuits built into the positive end only they are advanced to the point where no circuit is needed on the negative end nor is a conductive strip needed to connect the two ends anymore. Olight does not make flat top versions of these cells thus they are the only ones like it on the market and were designed for flashlight use only.

    They are expensive but Im gonna buy some of these super circuit 3600mah Olights.

    Ill end with this...all of the above information was told to me by Sal at Orbtronic. Sal also said Panasonic was supposed to drop a 4000mah cell in 2015 but where just to overwhelmed with demand for all their other flat top cells by the laptop industry and specifically Tesla. The 4000mah tooling and assembly lines are there and ready to be fired up. I expect these new super cells to drop 2nd quarter of 2016. Big question is will they fit lights? Rumor has it that its Tesla pushing for bleeding edge tech 18650's so we will have to wait and see...
    Last edited by CelticCross74; 02-12-2016 at 05:14 AM.

  19. #49

    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Is combining 18650's of different (top-quality) manufacturers in one light a problem? And if so why?
    (I understand why e.g. Fenix does not recommend, but is there a real reason?)

  20. #50
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Yes, stick with same brand in each multi cell light to keep things on an even keel. No mixing of age/brand and mah simply put...........Buy the amount of cells for the light in one go from the same batch(hopefully). By mixing cells, amount of cycles they have been through and various ages will mean there will be weaker cell/s in the mix. The risk of running a cell/s down more than the other/s becomes an issue and you can have problems............or worse.

    Most manufacturers only recommend their own cells, there is no need for this generally(unless a specific type). Most big name manufacturers use the same panasonic etc etc inside, adding their PCB/label on the outside. Still not to mix say a nitecore 3400 with a fenix 3400 due to different ages and states of use being from different batches.

    Sure more can be added, bottom line dont mix cells


  21. #51
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    What the voltage of two 18650 ..........is it more than 9 volts ?
    LOL.....I know nothin
    I have a Malkoff M-61 drop in that I want to use in a two 18650 batt body ...........can I ??

  22. #52

    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Just ordered an Olight S2 and this topic has been great. Thanks for all the great info.

  23. #53
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by djdawg View Post
    What the voltage of two 18650 ..........is it more than 9 volts ?
    LOL.....I know nothin
    I have a Malkoff M-61 drop in that I want to use in a two 18650 batt body ...........can I ??


    2x 18650 cells are 4.2+4.2=8.4v so the drop in will need to support that voltage. So it is less than the 9v, if that is what that drop in is rated for=good to go!

  24. #54
    Flashaholic* stephenk's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCross74 View Post
    wow! Even now in 2016 countless people are still being fooled into buying utrafire cells! I freely admit that years ago a pair of my first cells were 3600mah Ultrafires with the red wrapping and slick black and grey design at one end. I was a total noob. I could never figure out why these cells constantly needed to be recharged. At the same time I had a couple 2900mah Fenix cells that out ran the expensive ultrafires by 10 to 1. It wasnt until I discovered CPF that I learned that my mighty ultrafires were at best 600mah re wrapped cells yanked from junk yard laptops. Ever since I take my cells very seriously. I only buy from a couple of legit sources now only and they have never steered me wrong.

    As for building a battery pack flat top high mah Pannies, Samsung and LG's are what I understand are what are made into battery packs for anything from laptops to the huge power banks for Teslas and Toyota Prius'.

    From what I understand the whole reason 3600mah cells sold out so quickly is that they were bought en masse by laptop makers and Tesla. Correct me if I am wrong but Olight stands alone with their new proprietary 3200 and 3600mah cells with next gen protection circuits built into the positive end only they are advanced to the point where no circuit is needed on the negative end nor is a conductive strip needed to connect the two ends anymore. Olight does not make flat top versions of these cells thus they are the only ones like it on the market and were designed for flashlight use only.

    They are expensive but Im gonna buy some of these super circuit 3600mah Olights.

    Ill end with this...all of the above information was told to me by Sal at Orbtronic. Sal also said Panasonic was supposed to drop a 4000mah cell in 2015 but where just to overwhelmed with demand for all their other flat top cells by the laptop industry and specifically Tesla. The 4000mah tooling and assembly lines are there and ready to be fired up. I expect these new super cells to drop 2nd quarter of 2016. Big question is will they fit lights? Rumor has it that its Tesla pushing for bleeding edge tech 18650's so we will have to wait and see...
    The 3600mAh Olight 18650s are actually wrapped 3500mAh Sanyo 18650GAs with a relatively restrictive protection circuit. There are better protected GAs available from Orbtronic, Keeppower, or Blazar.

  25. #55

    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    I'm thinking of buying a flashlight which uses 18650, but I'm unsure how to store the batteries inside my house without risking everything burning down.

    What happens if I fully charge a 18650 to 4.2V and then just place it in a box for two years? Will the battery just be useless/destroyed or could it start vent/burn due to the self-discharge?

  26. #56
    Flashaholic Lexel's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    That fully charged battery will have 3.9V, lost maybe 20% of its capacity
    there is no danger for venting or catching fire

    batteries catching fire is mostly caused by overdischarge(and charging it again nstead of recycling it), mechanical damage or overcharge

  27. #57

    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by Lexel View Post
    That fully charged battery will have 3.9V, lost maybe 20% of its capacity
    there is no danger for venting or catching fire

    batteries catching fire is mostly caused by overdischarge(and charging it again nstead of recycling it), mechanical damage or overcharge
    OK and if I store it 10 years on a shelf it will have approx 1.5V and be broken/overdischarged (i.e I will not able to recharge the battery) but still there is no risk that the battery will catch fire as long as I don't put it in my battery charger and try to revive the battery?

  28. #58
    Flashaholic Lexel's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    lithium batteries catch only fire if the dielectric layer fails
    and they are charged

    if overdischarged metallic copper crystals grow which can punctate the dielectric layer

    a fully charged battery wont be overdischarged from storing 10 years, but will be almost empty somewhere around 3V
    even if its overdischarged then there is no danger if you dont charge em again and put them to recycling

  29. #59
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    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    What happens to the lifespan at higher charging temperatures? I can't find hard numbers anywhere.

    I'm building a solar-powered outdoor product with an 18650 and a hot running microcontroller that will be in a plastic enclosure which may (or may not) in the sun. Power usage is expected to only drop the SoC by about 3-5% each day and recharged by solar. Temps are likely to exceed the recommended charging temperature of 45C/113F, perhaps up to 60C/140F. If charging at that high temperature day after day only reduces the overall lifespan by say 10% then I'm comfortable with that.

    Anyone know?

  30. #60

    Default Re: 18650's Care and Maintenance

    Would it be wise to discharge an 18650 to the appropriate (storage voltage) or is it okay to just keep it as is after charging?

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