HDS Systems
Results 1 to 28 of 28

Thread: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    13

    Default My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Actually I am not sure if this is the right place to post this. Please advise. Thanks in advance.

    My TK35 EXPLODED! Here is the detail:

    I bought my Fenix flashlight model TK35 from online service provider, Amazon.Com on 7th Feb 2012. I received the TK35 on the 10th and have been using the wonderful light ever since.

    However just yesterday, 21st Feb, the TK35 exploded internally while the light is on high for about 7 minutes. I had read various report on the danger of using industry batteries 18650 on these high power flashlight. So from day 1, I had been using the recommended CR123A batteries and it works fine till yesterday.

    Details:
    - Setting on 'High'
    - Use as stand lamp to bounce off ceiling
    - Room temperature around 23 degree Celsius (Air conditioning)
    - Batteries: * 4 x CR123A (GOLSTON)

    After 7 minutes of use, we heard a loud 'Pop' sound and smell something is burning. To our surprise, the light is still on and the burning smell get worse. The click switch does not work because the white spacer within the rubber boot got expel out through the tear on the rubber boot. So, I had to twist the head of the TK35 to turn off the light.

    After the incident, I removed the batteries holder and discover that one of the CR123A battery had exploded and fuse itself to the plastic holder. I begin to wonder if the driver on the TK35 had malfunction to draw such current that it generate such heat that cause one of the CR123A to explode and fuse itself to the plastic holder. I had other LED flashlight which I bought few years back which I am still using with the same brand of batteries without any problem. So sad... I love this flashligh but it failed on me just 2 weeks of using it.

    Can anyone here advise how or what I should do next. I just email Fenix and hope they will reply soon. Just wondering if I should return to Amazon or Fenix.... Anyway, will post pics soon. Once again, thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Norm; 02-21-2012 at 07:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    580

    Default Re: My TK35 Exploded!

    were the 4xcr123A batteries well match? If one of the batteries were more used than the others, as you run down the light, the lower capacity cr123a could be reversed charged.
    A blog on small pocket tools, keychain gadgets and more!

    http://keychainpockets.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Lou Minescence's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    New England US
    Posts
    666

    Default

    Do you have pictures, that would help.

  4. #4

    Default Re: My TK35 Exploded!

    Pictures?

    What brand of CR123s were you using? (Note - Golston? Every thread on CPF shows many people saying they are crap chinese cells.)

    Were they all brand new and not mixed when installed? How long had you been using this batch of batteries?

    It's possible you drained too low or at too high a current.

  5. #5

    Default Re: My TK35 Exploded!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mach.84 View Post
    I begin to wonder if the driver on the TK35 had malfunction to draw such current that it generate such heat that cause one of the CR123A to explode and fuse itself to the plastic holder.
    More likely - the batteries weren't at the same voltage and the culprit were the CR123's

  6. #6
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My TK35 Exploded!

    Wow, thanks guys.... Those were quick replies. Will post the pic as soon as I compress them.

    The CR123A is by GOLSTON I bought few years back with my Surefire C3 and they are all new when I install them into the TK35. All 4 are the same brand. Oppss.... Donch know they are crap.

    I presume they all same voltage when new. Just wondering how then should I know when to replace the CR123A if it start to draw high current? Really confuse now... I thought CR123A is the safest but....
    Thanks again for ur quick reply.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    California Republic
    Posts
    7,248

    Default Re: My TK35 Exploded!

    Quality 123s are indeed safe, the problem is that cheap 123s are not; just off the top of my head I can recall more stories posted here of cheap 123s exploding than Li-ions.

    Stick to trusted brand 123s and use a multimeter to check their voltage for pairing/grouping; Harbor Freight has multimeters for $2.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    3,567

    Default Re: My TK35 Exploded!

    I've had unused Chinese CR123's read as 0% capacity on my zts tester after 2yrs in storage. Other Chinese cells read at 80%. Mixing the two together in a high power light has disaster written all over it.

    Poor quality Chinese primaries are less safe than using good quality LiIon cells. However there are tons of low quality LiIon cells to avoid as well.
    Last edited by cave dave; 02-21-2012 at 06:23 PM.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  9. #9

    Default Re: My TK35 Exploded!

    I'd say your subject line should really read "One of my 123's melted"

    As your light didn't actually explode.


  10. #10
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My TK35 Exploded!

    *sigh* how could I use such crap in a flashlight. Funny thing is, when I insert these crap into the C3, it just wouldn't power up. But the instant when I install them into TK35, it just light up! So, I thought is fine to use them.

    I do have a multimeter but I donch use it to check capacity, just voltage. These 4 CR123A when new, was 3.26v each and had never mixed with others. I was using it on high for the whole night the day before without any problem till yesterday. I guess if a LED flashlight is voltage driven, this will not happen.

    Any suggestion what should I do next? Really miss the TK35.

  11. #11
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My TK35 Exploded!

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    I'd say your subject line should really read "One of my 123's melted"

    As your light didn't actually explode.

    Opppssss.... U are very right on that! Can I change the subject?

  12. #12
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Gippsland Australia
    Posts
    8,704

    Default R : My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Quote Originally Posted by Mach.84 View Post
    Opppssss.... U are very right on that! Can I change the subject?
    Edited for you.

    For future reference, click edit post, then go to advanced and edit your title from there.

    Norm

  13. #13
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Thanks Norm! I tried edit function but didn't venture into advance option. Now I know.
    Cheers!

    Oh btw, anyone have any suggestion what I should do next? Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Norm; 02-21-2012 at 07:39 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    I had a TK35 for a while and I agree its a great light. I think the main problem you had is that the regulation on the light is very good so it was able to keep pulling more current as the cells depleted and really pull that weak one into a bad state (possibly a reverse charge).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mach.84 View Post
    Oh btw, anyone have any suggestion what I should do next? Thanks in advance.
    Well - leave it to us to be sure to help you spend your hard earned money.

    First off - sounds like you need a new TK35.

    Then, if you want to continue with CR123s I would look into Surefire, Energizer, Rayovac, etc cells. And then you will want, of course a ZTS battery tester to load test the batteries.

    Although I would recommend you look into some quality protected 18650 cells. Do some searching on the AW black cells on the site and you'll see that they are very reliable. A good charger, like a Pila charger, will set you back a bit but you'll be guaranteed to be charging you cells properly.

  15. #15
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Gippsland Australia
    Posts
    8,704

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Quote Originally Posted by ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond View Post
    First off - sounds like you need a new TK35.
    Is the battery carrier & button, available as a spare part?

    Norm

  16. #16

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    ps - saw that you had posted over in selfbuilt's TK35 review thread and his answer was very informative and really to the point of what everyone has said here.

    Link
    Last edited by Norm; 02-21-2012 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Added Link.

  17. #17
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Hi Norm, thanks for the questions. Indeed that was exactly what I was thinking how to salvage this light.

    Hi shineonyoucrazydiamond, I had replied on that thread and think its better to post the pics here as not to duplicate it. I do have Energizer CR123A but I only use them on my incan C3 because that crap batteries could not even power up my C3. Damn lesson learned!!! Guess what.... my Pila and panny 18650 (protected) are on the way here and this happend... arrhhh what a luck! Pics intensive.

    Edit: Norm, if it is too much I will remove some pics. Cheers!

    Click on image for a bigger frame.






























































    Sorry for the small pics as this is my first ever pics posted. Still learning.
    Last edited by Mach.84; 02-22-2012 at 12:20 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Most important thing out of all this is that no one got hurt.

  19. #19

    Default

    Scary... Many users have issues on CR123a. Be careful guys.

    ________________________________
    - Sent from Mobile using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,339

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Wow...that light looks like it got 2nd place in an arse kicking contest...sorry to hear. Yeah, buy quality cells. As far as pairing, I just keep mine together by writing "codes" on them. I'll move two cells to another 2-cell light, but never 4 cells to two two cells...they would be used in single cell lights. If you want to get the most out of your batteries, get a nice battery vampire. Hope Fenix or Amazon helps you out...and, yeah, glad no one got hurt.

  21. #21
    Silver Moderator
    SilverFox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Bellingham WA
    Posts
    11,583

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Hello Mach.84,

    Welcome to CPF.

    Golston cells have been found to be inconsistent from cell to cell. Sometimes they work very well. Other times they are crap. It looks like you ended up with an imbalance of good and crap cells.

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* yifu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Thank God you are ok and didn't get hurt or anything, that's why i tend to avoid primaries, other than being freaking expensive (8 dollars per hour on high?) 4 difference cells allows slight variation in capacity to cause disaster. Don't believe the myth about industrial or even protected 18650s being unsafe. They are used by millions in laptop cells without danger (outside cpf) and inside cpf, IMR cells are 100% safe while good quality AW, Redilast 18650s have excellent protection circuits, vent holes and other safety features that basically eliminate the risk of an explosion. I have not seen a single thread where a AW cell has exploded and i have seen torture threads of lights containing AW cells dropped, frozen, beaten, toasted in an oven to the point that the protection circuit is destroyed, but no explosion.

  23. #23
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Quote Originally Posted by ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond View Post
    Most important thing out of all this is that no one got hurt.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fulaeetoy View Post
    Scary... Many users have issues on CR123a. Be careful guys.
    Thanks all.... I should hv use 18650 instead! Family are alright but the smell is really bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by yifu View Post
    Thank God you are ok and didn't get hurt or anything, that's why i tend to avoid primaries, other than being freaking expensive (8 dollars per hour on high?) 4 difference cells allows slight variation in capacity to cause disaster. Don't believe the myth about.....
    .......seen torture threads of lights containing AW cells dropped, frozen, beaten, toasted in an oven to the point that the protection circuit is destroyed, but no explosion.
    Thanks yifu, really thank God that there wasn't any fire at all! Now I know and probably should have used protected 18650 instead. Btw, IMR has lower capacity compare to Li... Am I right to say that?
    Thanks in advance. Cheers!

  24. #24
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Quote Originally Posted by angelofwar View Post
    Wow...that light looks like it got 2nd place in an arse kicking contest...sorry to hear. Yeah, buy quality cells. As far as pairing, I just keep mine together by writing "codes" on them. I'll move two cells to another 2-cell light, but never 4 cells to two two cells...they would be used in single cell lights. If you want to get the most out of your batteries, get a nice battery vampire. Hope Fenix or Amazon helps you out...and, yeah, glad no one got hurt.
    haha... I second that! Luckily there wasn't any fire. That is a good suggest! Writing codes and moving in pairs. Oh what's a battery vampire? I had contacted Fenix at this stage and hope they can help me getting the battery holder and rubber boot for the button. Will update here once they reply. Cheers!

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* hank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Berkeley CA
    Posts
    1,525

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    > smell is really bad.

    Toxic, don't keep the stuff indoors. search on
    lithium primary battery fire

    This is a good summary of safety procedures for lithium primaries:
    http://www.whoi.edu/cms/files/Lithiu...SG10_26006.pdf

    excerpts follow:

    4.0 CELL HANDLING PROCEDURES
    Inadvertent short circuits are the major cause of failures for both Lithium (Primary) and Lithium Ion (Secondary) cells. Problems associated with shorting as well as other hazardous conditions can be reduced by observing the following guidelines:

    • Wear safety glasses whenever handling batteries.
    • Remove jewelry items such as rings, wristwatches, pendants, etc., that could come in contact
    with the battery terminals.
    • All dented cells or batteries with dented cells should be disposed, regardless of electrolyte leakage. Denting of sides or ends increases the likelihood of developing an internal short circuit at a later time.
    ...

    Cells should not be forced into battery holders or other types of housings. This could deform the bottom of the case causing an internal short circuit. Furthermore, the terminal cap could be crushed putting pressure on the glass-to-metal seal. This could result in a cell venting. Check for proper fit before inserting the cells into any type of housing.
    • Excessive force should not be used to free a cell or battery lodged inside the housing.

    Store the cells in an isolated area, away from combustible materials. Store depleted cells in an area separate from fresh cells. Allow space for complete encapsulation with Lith-X in the event of a fire.
    • Any Primary Lithium battery storage area should have immediate access to both a class D and an ABC fire extinguisher.
    • Never stack heavy objects on top of boxes containing lithium batteries to preclude crushing or puncturing the cell case. Severe damage can lead to internal short circuits resulting in a cell venting or explosion.
    • Do not allow excessive quantities of cells to accumulate in any storage area.
    ...
    8.0 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
    8.1 Releases from Cells (Vented, Leaked or Exploded)
    The electrolyte contained within the lithium cells can cause severe irritation to the respiratory tract, eyes and skin. In addition, violent cell venting could result in a room full of hazardous air contaminants, including corrosive or flammable vapors. All precautions should be taken to limit exposure to the electrolyte vapor. Review the MSDS or product information sheet PRIOR to working with cells, so that you are familiar with the steps to take in the event of a release....

  26. #26
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My CR123A (GOLSTON) Exploded

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverFox View Post
    Hello Mach.84,

    Welcome to CPF.

    Golston cells have been found to be inconsistent from cell to cell. Sometimes they work very well. Other times they are crap. It looks like you ended up with an imbalance of good and crap cells.

    Tom
    Hi Tom, thanks! Really informative forum. Wish I had read the battery section before I purchase my TK35. And you are spot on! I did a quick check on my remaining crap batteries and most are half & some read '0' on the capacity. Really crap battery!
    Discarded them....
    Once again, thank you all and in advance. Cheers!

    Steven

  27. #27
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    879

    Default Re: My TK35 Exploded!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mach.84 View Post
    I presume they all same voltage when new. Just wondering how then should I know when to replace the CR123A if it start to draw high current? Really confuse now... I thought CR123A is the safest but....
    CR123A's are just as safe as 18650 - crap brand ones (*Fire for 18650's, GOLSTON and similar for CR123A) are unsafe, especially in multi-cell usage, high-tier ones (Sanyo, Panasonic for 18650, Duracell, Surefire, Titanium for CR123A's) are safe (unless you do silly things such as mix empty and full batteries, or mix batteries from different brand)

  28. #28

    Default Re: My TK35 Exploded!

    You can get quality made in USA Panasonic 1550 mah cr123 cells off battery junction for $1.50 each.
    My Lights -- Olight S20 Baton XM-L 470 Lumens
    Olight M20 Warrior 2010 320 Lumens
    Rayovac Sportsman Xtreme 4W 120 Lumen 3C,
    Fenix E-15


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •