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Thread: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

  1. #1

    Default Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    I want to invest in an RCR123A battery or two to use in my 47's Quark Mini ML-X light. I already have a Pila charger and I wonder what RCR123a battery you would recommend for this combination as being good value and appropriateness? I am curious to see how many extra lumens will be emitted from this light. Yes, I know that the light will get very hot on high mode but I promise to be careful and not run it very long at that level.

    In reading through the threads on CPF, it appears that the 18650 batteries get much better testing coverage than these, their smaller cousins.

    Is it still best lingo practice to refer to these batteries as RCR123A batteries or do most use the numeric designation instead? If so, what would that be?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    I started out with two 700mAh Soshine protected 16340/RCR123s and just got a pair of 750mAh AWs last week from a Florida Ebayer.

    The Soshines are fine, but I think the AWs are worth a few bucks more. I needed spares for my SWM V10R and ShiningBeam I-mini, so that's what I did.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    I think the AWs are worth a few bucks more.

    Chris
    Chris got me searching for the AW 16340 batteries and I thought that that would be pretty straightforward. I discovered, however, that one also has to choose between the IMR and protected cells. My observation is that the IMRs are considered much safer but with lower capacities and that you must also be careful not to over discharge them. I suspect that the Mini ML-X that I have would shut down before that low voltage point. So, does it primarily come down to a tradeoff between safety and capacity? Of course, then I read further that the capacity of the AW RCR123 are usually significantly overstated and thus the difference between that and the IMR, as far as capacity goes, might not be that material. In addition to that, the IMRs appear to be less expensive. What's not to love about these IMRs? There must be another side to this story. . .

    BTW, can these both charge in a Pila charger?

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaGuy View Post
    Chris got me searching for the AW 16340 batteries and I thought that that would be pretty straightforward. I discovered, however, that one also has to choose between the IMR and protected cells. My observation is that the IMRs are considered much safer but with lower capacities and that you must also be careful not to over discharge them. I suspect that the Mini ML-X that I have would shut down before that low voltage point. So, does it primarily come down to a tradeoff between safety and capacity? Of course, then I read further that the capacity of the AW RCR123 are usually significantly overstated and thus the difference between that and the IMR, as far as capacity goes, might not be that material. In addition to that, the IMRs appear to be less expensive. What's not to love about these IMRs? There must be another side to this story. . .

    BTW, can these both charge in a Pila charger?
    The AWs, being protected cells, do have a cut off for over charging and over discharging, so they're pretty safe in this regard. If you look at some of the better 16340s on HKJ's testing page, they're pretty close to stated capacity at the 1A and 2A levels that many of these lights like to run at. Not exactly as stated, but pretty close.

    IMRs are more forgiving, have less capacity, but give you a better discharge curve at higher current, so that's a benefit. Let's face it, the Panasonic CR123A have 1550mAh of capacity, albeit at a lower voltage and the second tier comes in a 1400mAh IIRC, so they're going to have that going for them when placed up against the RCR123s, either LiFePO4, or Li-Co chemistry.

    The Pila can charge both chemistries, but as with my Xtar WP2 II, you'll need two sets of spacers, for your two bays.

    Ultimately, what's safe and what's not, is up to you.

    One of my Soshines has been glitching a bit, but still going strong at 30 min. (260LM) in my ShiningBeam I-Mini, so I might end up retiring it, I don't know.

    I might pick up some IMRs just to see what all the fuss is about.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    IMRs are more forgiving, have less capacity, but give you a better discharge curve at higher current, so that's a benefit. Let's face it, the Panasonic CR123A have 1550mAh of capacity, albeit at a lower voltage and the second tier comes in a 1400mAh IIRC, so they're going to have that going for them when placed up against the RCR123s, either LiFePO4, or Li-Co chemistry.
    The AW 16340 IMR does not have less capacity than AW 16340 ICR batteries.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

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    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The AW 16340 IMR does not have less capacity than AW 16340 ICR batteries.
    Well, going by the labeling, one's listed at 550mAh and the other is listed as 750mAh, but you're the expert, so I'll defer to your expertise.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    Well, going by the labeling, one's listed at 550mAh and the other is listed as 750mAh, but you're the expert, so I'll defer to your expertise.

    Chris
    550mAh is a the best value for both.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    550mAh is a the best value for both.
    Thanks for you reply HKJ.

    I just ordered a pair of IMR 16340s from LightHound, so I'll compare them for runtimes in my two single cell lights...a ShiningBeam I-Mini and my SWM V10R, so I'll get a chance to figure things out a bit.

    It just seams to me, that there is a disparty in labeling for these two different chemistries, no?

    Thanks for you effort, as I consult your website quite a bit, but didn't see either of the two AW offerings listed in your tests and I, like others, just want to get what I pay for, lol!

    I realize that depending of current draw, one might see more capacity at the lower end of the scale versus the higher end, but it seems that these battery sellers, don't give the consumer the real facts.

    Take care and thanks again for your hard work, as I appreciate it!

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    I just ordered a pair of IMR 16340s from LightHound, so I'll compare them for runtimes in my two single cell lights...a ShiningBeam I-Mini and my SWM V10R, so I'll get a chance to figure things out a bit.
    Remember that you must not run the cell down, that will damage the cell.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    It just seams to me, that there is a disparty in labeling for these two different chemistries, no?
    There as always been a problem with labeling on 16340 cells, with very optimistic capacities.


    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    Thanks for you effort, as I consult your website quite a bit, but didn't see either of the two AW offerings listed in your tests and I, like others, just want to get what I pay for, lol!
    I have not published the test yet. I have the test data ready, but been busy with other batteries and chargers.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Thanks HKJ,

    I guess I'm just curious as to why Mr. AW has disparate (different) capacities listed for his two offerings?

    Shouldn't he be using the same standard, for both chemistries? I realize that amp draw affects capacity and I can understand two different manufacturers coming to two different conclusions regarding their distinct offerings, but it seems to me that there should be some 'standard' in place to measure the same cells, even though they might be different chemistries. Say...at 1A, 2A or 3A.

    it just seems that the consumer (me) who's not an expert on this stuff (like you) is being screwed.

    Thanks again for all of your help.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    I guess I'm just curious as to why Mr. AW has disparate (different) capacities listed for his two offerings?
    My guess is that other people where selling 16340 with a too high rating, before AW started and it would be very difficult to sell 550mAh, when everybody else says 750mAh, even though they only have 550mAh. There was probably not that much competition on IMR cells and it was easier to use the correct rating for them.

    The above is only a guess, it happened before I started looking at batteries and lights.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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  12. #12
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    My guess is that other people where selling 16340 with a too high rating, before AW started and it would be very difficult to sell 550mAh, when everybody else says 750mAh, even though they only have 550mAh. There was probably not that much competition on IMR cells and it was easier to use the correct rating for them.

    The above is only a guess, it happened before I started looking at batteries and lights.
    Thank you sir.

    Take care, Chris
    Convoy: S2, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The AW 16340 IMR does not have less capacity than AW 16340 ICR batteries.
    Thank you HKJ for your insight on these matters.

    Based on the quote above, is there any real-world justified reason why someone should buy the ICR instead of the IMR for running a Mini ML-X? I understand that the ICRs are protected, so your risk is minimized, but some argue that there is still greater risk there than with IMR in that ICR requires hardware to save it from itself. There is also the price difference, as stated earlier, in favor of IMR.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaGuy View Post
    Thank you HKJ for your insight on these matters.

    Based on the quote above, is there any real-world justified reason why someone should buy the ICR instead of the IMR for running a Mini ML-X? I understand that the ICRs are protected, so your risk is minimized, but some argue that there is still greater risk there than with IMR in that ICR requires hardware to save it from itself. There is also the price difference, as stated earlier, in favor of IMR.
    The important point is how low the light can drain the battery, if the light automatic shuts of above 2 volt, you can use the IMR, but if it has a boost converter and will empty the battery to below 1 volt, I would prefer a protected battery.
    A battery takes serious damage if it is over discharged!

    Edit: The 2 volt is during load, not when the battery is removed from the light!!!
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    "Based on the quote above, is there any real-world justified reason why someone should buy the ICR instead of the IMR for running a Mini ML-X? I understand that the ICRs are protected, so your risk is minimized, but some argue that there is still greater risk there than with IMR in that ICR requires hardware to save it from itself. There is also the price difference, as stated earlier, in favor of IMR."

    Actually, LightHound has both the AW ICR (750mAh) and the AW IMR (550mAh) for sale for $6.99 each, so they're the same price and presumeably, the same to ship, which was less than $3 to Miami, in my case, last night.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Certain lights will benefit from the IMR cell as they will pull more power from the cell as it has a lower internal resistance.
    I have a Trustfire Mini-01. You can see the different current draw results i got with various cells here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...stfire-Mini-01 I will be ordering a couple of AW IMR 16340's to try

    Here is a result of a test(done by an ebay vendor) at 1A discharge for various rcr123a's.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The important point is how low the light can drain the battery, if the light automatic shuts of above 2 volt, you can use the IMR, but if it has a boost converter and will empty the battery to below 1 volt, I would prefer a protected battery.
    A battery takes serious damage if it is over discharged!

    Edit: The 2 volt is during load, not when the battery is removed from the light!!!
    I see from here that the Mini ML-X voltage range is from .9V - 3V. Does this mean what it would appear; that it will not shut down at or above 2 volts and thus IMRs should not be used with it?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Best RCR123A battery when using Pila charger and Quark Mini ML-X

    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaGuy View Post
    I see from here that the Mini ML-X voltage range is from .9V - 3V. Does this mean what it would appear; that it will not shut down at or above 2 volts and thus IMRs should not be used with it?
    Exactly, it uses a boost converter.
    Some people do use IMR in this kind of lights, but they have to be very careful not to over discharge the battery. With very careful I mean that they must manually keep track of runtime and charger the battery before it is over discharged.

    Also remember that the light is not supposed to be used with LiIon batteries, i.e. it might get to hot and damage the led or blow the driver.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
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    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

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