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Thread: Charging cr123a question

  1. #1

    Default Charging cr123a question

    Hello. I have Nitecore i4 current (!) version. It lists 3.7 charging output and not 3.0
    This makes me think it will do rsr123 but not cr123a. I am only recently aware of the
    difference thanks to Forum discussions.

    Am I right in thinking that using this charger on a rechargeable cr123a will have an
    unhappy ending. If this is so they really need to be more careful with this.

    Tia,
    GC

  2. #2
    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    It depends. A CR123A is a primary battery and cannot be charged.
    RCR123 can one of a couple of different types.

    Read more here: http://lygte-info.dk/info/CR123A%20a...utes%20UK.html
    My website with battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 1000 reviews of batteries, charges and other stuff.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    Quote Originally Posted by grioces View Post
    Hello. I have Nitecore i4 current (!) version. It lists 3.7 charging output and not 3.0
    This makes me think it will do rsr123 but not cr123a. I am only recently aware of the
    difference thanks to Forum discussions.

    Am I right in thinking that using this charger on a rechargeable cr123a will have an
    unhappy ending. If this is so they really need to be more careful with this.

    Tia,
    GC
    A CR123a is NOT rechargeable, it should clearly state this on the battery!!!
    I'm as much Magaholic as flashaholic

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    What light(s) are you using these cells in?

    Maybe you can ditch the RCR123 (3.0v-3.2v) and 16340 (3.7v) and go with a li-ion 18650 instead?

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, 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, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    Thanks HKJ. As a noob I was hoping for a simple 'yes' or 'no' Should have known better OK so 'A' is only a primary despite folks selling 'chargeable cr123a' Got it.
    The rcr's I see are listed at 3.7v the chargeable cr's at 3v. While I pursue enlightenment am I correct in assuming that I should not buy the 3v and put it
    in a charger that lists 3.7 as an available output? Dire reported consequences of overcharging these things are rampant.

  6. #6
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    Woods Walker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    Quote Originally Posted by grioces View Post
    Thanks HKJ. As a noob I was hoping for a simple 'yes' or 'no' Should have known better OK so 'A' is only a primary despite folks selling 'chargeable cr123a' Got it.
    The rcr's I see are listed at 3.7v the chargeable cr's at 3v. While I pursue enlightenment am I correct in assuming that I should not buy the 3v and put it
    in a charger that lists 3.7 as an available output? Dire reported consequences of overcharging these things are rampant.
    Lithium ion 16340 (near in size to CR123 primaries ) actually come off the charger at around 4.2 volts with 3.7 being the nominal (if I have the term right) voltage. CR123 primaries (not chargeable) are 3 volts. The real problems can occur if the lithium ions are over discharged or the outer shell/wrapper is damaged.

    edit to add.

    Do not put a 3 volt CR123 Primary in your charger.
    Last edited by Woods Walker; 04-20-2017 at 10:37 AM.
    The TK20. Yes it still rocks.

  7. #7
    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    Quote Originally Posted by grioces View Post
    Thanks HKJ. As a noob I was hoping for a simple 'yes' or 'no' Should have known better OK so 'A' is only a primary despite folks selling 'chargeable cr123a' Got it.
    The rcr's I see are listed at 3.7v the chargeable cr's at 3v. While I pursue enlightenment am I correct in assuming that I should not buy the 3v and put it
    in a charger that lists 3.7 as an available output? Dire reported consequences of overcharging these things are rampant.
    A rechargeable battery marked 3V is often a LiFePO4 cell and needs a 3.2V nominal 3.6V max. charger, but that is not always the case.
    The rule is that you cannot trust any RCR123/16340/rechargeable CR123A marking to be a specific chemistry, you must read carefully and even then you might not be able to find the correct specification.
    My website with battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 1000 reviews of batteries, charges and other stuff.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    To CG: I have an Olight m3xut. I can use 18650's with the extension tube but it then becomes a handful and I don't need the
    longer running time. Came with cr123a's that are not rechargeable as CD and HKJ note and I was going to go
    with rechargeables when I read the fine print on the charger. I hate to use primaries but honestly the light doesn't see
    that much run time. Question is whether the nitecore can even charge a cr123 3v or whether that's a no no.
    Last edited by grioces; 04-20-2017 at 01:20 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    Thank gentlemen. I'm getting the picture that this is not a simple issue. For a short handle low use torch may be best/safest to just stay with a primary cell.
    Last edited by grioces; 04-20-2017 at 01:08 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    A rechargeable battery marked 3V is often a LiFePO4 cell and needs a 3.2V nominal 3.6V max. charger, but that is not always the case.
    The rule is that you cannot trust any RCR123/16340/rechargeable CR123A marking to be a specific chemistry, you must read carefully and even then you might not be able to find the correct specification.
    I wonder how many people are aware of the issues here and just pop the suckers into their charger. If that is not safe, Nitecore should specifically state that imo, even though they do not list cr123
    in the specs. Impressive and a bit scary how complicated this rechargeable Li-ion issue is.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    Quote Originally Posted by Woods Walker View Post
    Lithium ion 16340 (near in size to CR123 primaries ) actually come off the charger at around 4.2 volts with 3.7 being the nominal (if I have the term right) voltage. CR123 primaries (not chargeable) are 3 volts. The real problems can occur if the lithium ions are over discharged or the outer shell/wrapper is damaged.

    edit to add.

    Do not put a 3 volt CR123 Primary in your charger.
    Got it TY

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    Quote Originally Posted by grioces View Post
    I wonder how many people are aware of the issues here and just pop the suckers into their charger. If that is not safe, Nitecore should specifically state that imo, even though they do not list cr123
    in the specs. Impressive and a bit scary how complicated this rechargeable Li-ion issue is.
    Battery labelling, to be honest, is a mess.

    And yes, it is confusing.

    And yes, if you make a mistake, bad things can happen
    ... is the archimedes peak

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charging cr123a question

    Quote Originally Posted by grioces View Post
    I wonder how many people are aware of the issues here and just pop the suckers into their charger. If that is not safe, Nitecore should specifically state that imo, even though they do not list cr123
    in the specs. Impressive and a bit scary how complicated this rechargeable Li-ion issue is.
    You are right, at least with the manual for my i4 v2 charger, which is several years old. They don't mention CR123 cells at all, but do mention in passing that the charger is to be used for rechargeable cells only. On the other hand, every Nitecore flashlight manual I have read will explicitly state whether or not CR123 cells can be used with that light.

    Part of the problem is the nomenclature itself. When Li-Ions first started to be talked about for our lights, they were called RCR123 cells, standing for Rechargeable CR123. For the most part that name has been dropped in favor of 16340 or 16350 as the descriptor for those cells. But there have been times when instead of RCR123 I have seen them mentioned as rechargeable CR123, leading to the impression that CR123 cells, at least some of them, can be recharged. Back in the day, when I was leading an IT team and we were writing tech specs and or proposals, I stressed accuracy and precision in our descriptions so as to make it clear exactly what we were talking about when being read by someone with a sixth grade reading comprehension level. Yes, sixth grade. Believe it or not, that is the comprehension level we were told to write to by the Powers That Be. I think it was more that we could pretty much guarantee understanding if we wrote to that level, rather than say a high school level.
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