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Thread: Whats the difference between Cr123, 16340, RCR123A, CR16340 batteries?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Help Whats the difference between Cr123, 16340, RCR123A, CR16340 batteries?

    I've been using CR123's, or just 123's as I believe they are also called. They are 3.0v.

    So I've heard of 16340's before, but never looked into it. Then tonight I was looking at the Sunwayman V10R Ti+ LED flashlight, and it is supposedly capable of 190 lumens with "normal" battery configuration, and 500 lumens with a 16340 battery.

    So I am already at batteryjunction, so I go over to the battery sales area of their site and look up Lithium batteries. I found the 16340, RCR123A section and looked into if for answers. What I found were not many choices. There are: 3.0v RCR123A's, 3.2v RCR123A's, and 3.6v 16340's. To make matters more confusing, the only option which is listed as a 16340, is also listed as a CR123a. It says : Ultrafire 3.6v 880mah RCR123A, CR123A 16340 CR16340 as low as $3.25

    Now I know the standard non rechargeable 123's are also called CR123A's, and CR123's.

    I read that some 16340's might be 1-2-6 millimeters longer than a CR123, so they might not fit on some 123 lights, unless the light is made for it.

    Why do 16340's have the same names as CR123A's, if they are different in several ways? They apparently are 3.6v and can be longer.

    Is it me, or is that confusing?

    How does replacing a 3.0v 123 battery into a flashlight with a 3.6v 16340 cause the power to jump from 190 to 500 lumens?

    Whats with the 1 listed Tenergy 30200 battery, a CR123A, being 3.2v? Is it possible to accidentally buy the wrong battery with too much voltage and damage your gadget because it's not made for 3.2 or 3.6v?

    In your lights that can use either 123's, CR123A's or 16340's, which battery do you choose to use on a regular basis, and do the different choices have an effect on battery life, if one is 3v, 3.2v or 3.6v?

    Geeez Louise!





  2. #2

    Default Re: Whats the difference between Cr123, 16340, RCR123A, CR16340 batteries?

    16340s are not RCR123s.

    I bought some of the Grey Ultrafire 16340s off batteryjunction and they are much longer than primary 123s. It will not fit in my Fenix E15.

    If you want rechargeable 123s (RCR123s) You want AW cells they are currently the best RCR123s on the market and i will include a link to the market place for them.

    http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...l-***Part-2***


    Also these 3.0v cells you are seeing on battery junction are LiFePO4 cells which are newer safer chemistry that have lower voltages. They charge with special chargers usually purchased with the cells. You can not charge LiFePO4 3.0v cells in a 3.7/4.2v Li-Ion charger, bad things will happen.

    Also to answer your other question, Yes you can damage some lights with 3.7v cells if the drivers are not able to handle such voltages. You have to know what voltage input the driver can handle.

    Such as a common drop in the Malkoff M31 has an input voltage range of 1.8v-3.3v so it would work with a LiFePO4 cell (like the tenergy cells you spoke of) but if you use the Ultrafire 880 mah 16340 which puts out up to 4.20v you would damage it.

    Usually the product specifications state input voltage for the light and what type you can use.

    Here is an image of the Ultrafires 880 mah 16340s next to AW RCR123s so you can see the size difference and also some primary CR123s at bottom. The 17670 is on top.

    http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a1.../P6130107C.jpg

    Last edited by 901-Memphis; 04-19-2012 at 11:15 PM.
    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


  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Whats the difference between Cr123, 16340, RCR123A, CR16340 batteries?

    CR123As are lithium primaries. All the rest you mention -- 16340, RCR123 -- are different names for the same rechargeables. Ostensibly 16mm across, 34 mm high, and the final "0" means they're cylindrical in shape. However, that sizing is approximate -- as noted above, different manufacturers' products can vary by a bit, and protection circuits make them vary even more.

    The most common chemistries you'll find:
    ICR and IMR rechargeables: 4.2V max, 3.7V nominal
    IFR (Lifepo4): 3.6V max, 3.2V nominal
    3.0V RCRs are a special case: they are a regular ICR (4.2V max, 3.7V nominal) with a circuit on top that makes it appear to the outside world that it's a 3.0V cell

    Each one of the 3 different lines above usually requires a different charger, unless you have one of the few chargers that can handle multiple chemistries, or a hobby charger.
    Last edited by Joe Talmadge; 04-20-2012 at 08:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Whats the difference between Cr123, 16340, RCR123A, CR16340 batteries?

    Quote Originally Posted by 901-Memphis View Post
    16340s are not RCR123s.

    I bought some of the Grey Ultrafire 16340s off batteryjunction and they are much longer than primary 123s. It will not fit in my Fenix E15.
    Being nit-picky, a RCR123 could be a 16340 cell since the "16340" numeric nomenclature is all about size and format not chemistry or other features.

    But that is not why I'm writing - I just wanted to comment on those grey TrustFire cells - they are enormous! I'd not have expected such a size delta.

    I have a handful of AW IMR 16340 cells and they are all just a tiny bit shorter in length than SureFire / Duracell (SF|CR)123As. As such they fit my 1xCR123 lights including the SureFire T1A Titan just fine.
    Last edited by tandem; 04-20-2012 at 12:03 AM.

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