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Thread: Odd CR123 experience, and question

  1. #1

    Thinking Odd CR123 experience, and question

    So I had 2xCR123 in a XR-E P60 host, and I hadn't used it for a while. Turned it on this morning and it came on for a second, then went out. I pulled the batteries (Trustfire silver wrapper rechargeables) and checked them. One was pulling 3.57 on my MM, but the other one flashed .1 for a split-second, then went to 0. Tried it several times and got the same results.

    I figure the one cell has died, but I've never seen them do it this way. Is it safe to try and recharge it, or should I just send it to Battery Heaven?

    (BTW, I have since gone to 18650's in these hosts, but these are leftovers from my 123 days. I hate to junk them as long as they're working.)

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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* TooManyGizmos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd CR123 experience, and question

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    Are those "TrustFire's" ... the PRO-tected versions ?

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    ~ "She" says ... ... I have ... TooManyGizmos ~

  3. #3

    Default Re: Odd CR123 experience, and question

    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyGizmos View Post
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    Are those "TrustFire's" ... the PRO-tected versions ?

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    Yes. Is it possible the bad one just tripped the protection circuit?

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  4. #4
    Flashaholic* TooManyGizmos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd CR123 experience, and question

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    Yes ... it is absolutely .. most likely . It should RE-set and begin charging when you put it in the charger , but monitor it closely to see it's not damaged .

    It may be getting close to it's ... "End-of-life" .
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Odd CR123 experience, and question

    Thanks. I didn't think of that at first, since the companion battery in the flashlight was still pulling almost a full charge.

    Both batteries were bought at the same time, charged and tested for voltage, and they've been through only two charging cycles.

    I'll try charging and see what happens.

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  6. #6
    Flashaholic* TooManyGizmos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd CR123 experience, and question

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    3.57 on the other one was getting pretty low too .
    Since a fully charged one should read 4.15 to 4.20 v.

    What you experienced is normal , one always Trip's before the other.

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  7. #7
    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd CR123 experience, and question

    Hi Mike. I think all that has probably happened is the one cell discharged a little ahead of the second cell and the PCB "tripped". 3.57 Volts on the other cell is pretty much discharged anyway, so the cells seem to be more or less matched. As TMG mentioned, if you place the cell in the charger the protection circuit should "reset" and begin to charge.

    I'll also point out that it's best to not discharge Li-Ion cells with protection circuits until the protection circuit trips. The protection circuit is there to protect the cell, not to remind the user it's time to recharge. Cells will last longer if not discharged to such a low level. Most Li-Ion cell specifications are based on a 100%-20% discharge, otherwise the number of available cycles would be considerably less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_TX View Post
    Thanks. I didn't think of that at first, since the companion battery in the flashlight was still pulling almost a full charge.
    I see you have posted since I started my reply. As I mentioned above, a LiCo/ICR cell with an open circuit voltage of 3.57 Volts, is nearly fully discharged. Normally it's best to recharge cells when the OC voltage is in the 3.60-3.70 Volt range. This may actually be below 20% remaining charge, however.

    Dave

  8. #8

    Default Re: Odd CR123 experience, and question

    Thanks, gents. I placed the drained cell in my charger, and when I came back after an hour the lights were flashing (indicating a fault). I replaced the battery in the charger cradle, though, and it now seems to be charging. I must have it in there a little crooked or something.

    I know the other cell is pretty flat, too, but they had both been sitting in a flashlight for a few months unused. I have too many lights.

    I'm going to see if this cell charges up, then charge its "cellmate".

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  9. #9

    Default Re: Odd CR123 experience, and question

    To close the loop on this story, the errant 123 did indeed charge up fine. That's the first time I've had a battery hit the wall and trigger the protection circuit. If nothing else, it's good to know it worked!

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  10. #10
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd CR123 experience, and question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_TX View Post
    To close the loop on this story, the errant 123 did indeed charge up fine. That's the first time I've had a battery hit the wall and trigger the protection circuit. If nothing else, it's good to know it worked!

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    You might be better off not buying the cheap Trustfire/Ultrafire batteries. They are inconsistent in many ways, which could lead to an unsafe situation. Since we are talking about rechargeable batteries, you should spend a little more and buy trustworthy name brand batteries. Actually you should do that with disposable primary batteries too. With them, if you want cheaper batteries that consistently get good reviews, buy the Titanium Innovations CR123 primary batteries for $1 apiece. With the RCR123, you can buy AW's or Eagletacs. But make sure the module in your light will handle the often higher volts of RCR123's/16340's.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Odd CR123 experience, and question

    Quote Originally Posted by HighlanderNorth View Post
    You might be better off not buying the cheap Trustfire/Ultrafire batteries. They are inconsistent in many ways, which could lead to an unsafe situation. Since we are talking about rechargeable batteries, you should spend a little more and buy trustworthy name brand batteries. Actually you should do that with disposable primary batteries too. With them, if you want cheaper batteries that consistently get good reviews, buy the Titanium Innovations CR123 primary batteries for $1 apiece. With the RCR123, you can buy AW's or Eagletacs. But make sure the module in your light will handle the often higher volts of RCR123's/16340's.
    I hear this from time to time, but I've used Trustfire rechargeables (only protected ones) for a couple years now with zero problems. I should have known what was going on with this one, but it's the first time I've had one discharge this much.

    I always test my batteries with a dmm, and monitor them from time to time to make sure they are staying "balanced". This particular one got away from me because it was in a seldom-used light. As it is, the protection circuit apparently worked as designed, and that's reassuring. One thing I did do, though, is to reduce my use of multi-cell applications ... this particular light is the last one where I still have 2xRCR123.

    I have one light that requires 4xCR123, though, and I use primaries. I'll look into the Titanium Innovations batts you suggested.

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