Disclaimer: I am long winded.
My custom light based on the "torch" 623 bulb and 12 AA Nimh Elite 2000's made a loud pop last night.
What started it, and added to my confusion is that I was barely awake and was sitting in a chair in the living room and saw this HUGE long shadow scurrying across my floor. Thinking it was a cockroach or something I did not want breeding in my house I grabbed one of my tennis shoes I had taken off (I was barefoot) and my silver mag mod and I was off to save my home from pestilence.
I noticed right away that it was a VERY big centipede, which I had never seen before in my area. It kinda scared me since I had bare feet, and I was trying to use the light to herd it into an area where I could squash it. If I was more awake I would have probably tried to capture it because it was so rare looking and I want to know if it is poisonous.
At any rate I had the light pretty close to the damn thing and I felt kinda bad because I am not into torture, but I wanted it to move from behind a table leg, then BOOOM!
A loud pop that sounded like a rimfire pistol gunshot (I actually tried to make some normal sounds afterwards so my neighbors would not call the police at 2 a.m.). I forgot all about the centipede for a moment and had almost dropped the light.
After a few seconds in my groggy state I tried to work it out.
My first instinct was that the centipede had exploded, or that something else near the back of the table I couldn't see did.
I realized and remembered the power of the light I was holding (still on and still bright) and shut it off. When I shut it off I noticed that the plastic cap that usually covers the button was off and lying on the floor, I don't know if it was from pressure, or the fact that I almost dropped the light.
But at the time, the cap being popped off made me think that a cell had gone bad, reversed polarity or something and had an explosive vent. I am aware of the hazards of improperly used lithium, but I was sort of skeptical that a NiMH would be likely to reverse like that and need to look that up. Also I did not FEEL any vibration or concussion from my hand, turning the light off was just a safety afterthought.
The problem is that I of course removed the battery pack to check, and it looks perfect and no battery was even warm.
I put it aside to deal with this morning, and the voltage is 15.3 volts which means that each battery would have to be at 1.275 volts, or that if one batt. was bad, and simply still able to conduct thru, the rest would have to be at 1.39 V each, which I simply can't believe, It's not like I took the light off of the charger, it has been laying around for several weeks since the last charge at least.
The batt. tube is relatively clean except I did notice a white substance in two spots that were suspiciously about a battery length apart (head and tail), and would have been from a center battery because they were in the center of the tube. The white stuff was however dry and I could not swab any of it off with a qtip, so I wonder if it was always there or caused by something else. I did at one time sell this light to a guy who did not maintain it well, and had let the pack go very far south before he sold it back to me, and I restored it to greatness. (I had to sand and polish the contacts and replace all the cells).
Bottom line, if I was checking this batt pack off the shelf, I would give it a visual and voltage grade of A++ for holding a charge and operating my light effectively.
One theory I have now is that the centipede DID explode somehow, but, when I found it later (I did not stop my anti-centipede hunt after I shut the light off) it was still moving and was only a foot or so away from where I last had seen it. This doesn't seem likely, but, heck, this is a hot light, and bugs are wierd.
My other theory, that I am leaning towards but want Candlepower confirmation of, is that for whatever reason, one of my batteries, or all, simply decided to vent and the pressure was trapped by the mag body in the battery tube, until at some point it was able to expand and pop off the black plastic switch cover. But it was such a loud POP, or was it because I was near tile floor and it was 2 a.m. and was already fairly quiet in the world.
If it was a vent, should I worry about using this pack? it looks fine, I was planning on checking each battery individually this morning, until I measured the V and found it to be, if anything, impressive, after no charge and several uses.
Has anybody else had a switch cover pop off with a loud popping sound? Maybe that is all that it was, just a release of normal pressure from cells that are fine.
Should I just move on, it's not lithium, and I really just want to continue using these batt's if they appear to be ok.
Am I in danger to test them in the light, and then the charger?
Custom Quad Bored Silver 3D Mag Body
Borofloat Heat Resistant Lens
WA 64623 Bulb
12AA to 3D Batt. Pack (14.4V) (measures 15.3 day after event)
12 X Elite 2000 NiMH AA Batteries
AW Soft Start 3 Way Switch with strobe
ALSO, would it be brilliant to put a tiny pinhole (literally from a tiny pinprick near the edge of the cover) in the rubber cover to prevent this from happening again. It would still keep out rain for the most part, but would expand open under any instance of pressure.
I don't want to be scared of my favorite light, I used to be much better read in these areas, but have not been active in the hobby for a few years, beyond USING the lights. So my knowledge of what different types of batteries can do, and what is normal is a bit rusty. I can tell you that I always leaned towards NimH in certain builds BECAUSE I felt that they were more forgiving and had less potential for an unfortunate event.