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Thread: Questions about high drain vs regular batteries

  1. #1
    Enlightened TimeOnTarget's Avatar
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    Question Questions about high drain vs regular batteries

    I just realized that I was using a "regular" battery in a new light of mine that requires a high drain battery. The battery was a Keep Power 14500 840 mAh, 3.7V, 3.11Wh. The light worked but would not remain in high/100% mode. At times, it would momentarily function at 100% and sometimes it would simply flash. After talking to the builder, he discovered the error of my ways and set me straight. I ordered the appropriate cells and am awaiting delivery.

    This discovery led me to ask about my other lights which I am now trying to learn more about. This can be confusing though, as information varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

    For example, I have a PFlexPro triple that states in the specs to use a single high drain 18650 battery. OK, seems simple enough, but there are many different specs for "high drain" cells. My PFlexPro will draw up to 12A in turbo according to the website. Higher modes use over 5A, but the Olight cell says for "High Drain Devices" but lists Max discharge current at 4A.

    I own 3 of these O-light cells which I use in my S2 Batons with the following specs;
    Olight 18650 Lithium-Ion 3400mAh Battery


    • Optimal for high-drain devices
    • Using an innovational positive protection circuit and its positions on the positive of battery which is different from traditional circuit protecting board placement
    • Over discharge current protection
    • Over discharge voltage protection
    • Short circuit protection
    • Overcharge protection
    • Up to 500 charge and discharge cycles
    • Maximum 4A constant discharging current
    • Improved Battery Safety Free from Leakage of Liquid Electrolyte
    • Low Battery Internal Impedance

    SPECIFICATIONS:

    • Type: 18650-3400mAh
    • Model No: ORB-186P34
    • Chemistry: Li-ion
    • Capacity (mAh): 3400mAh
    • Voltage: 3.6V
    • Maximum Charge Current: 2A
    • Maximum Discharge Current: 4A
    • Charge Current: 1A recommended
    • Charging Cycle: 500
    • Weight: 48.27g
    • Dimensions (Diameter x Height):18.5 × 69 mm


    Let's contrast that with this new Obtronics High Drain cell.
    3500mAh Protected 18650 Battery Li-ion 3.7V Rechargeable Orbtronic 10A Dual Protection (Panasonic-Sanyo inside), For High Performance Flashlights


    Battery Specifications:


    • Capacity (Ah): 3.5 Ah (3500mAh)
    • Type /size: 18650 Protected
    • Nominal Voltage (V): 3.6V - 3.7V
    • Charging Voltage (V): 4.2 V
    • Charging Algorithm: CC/CV
    • Weight (g): 48 g
    • Diameter (mm): 18.6 mm (+/- 0.03)
    • Height (mm): 68.9 mm (+/- 0.03)
    • Max. Continuous Discharge current Load: 10A (10000 mA)
    • Chemical Composition: Li-ion (Lithium-Ion) Hybrid
    • Protection cutoff: 10A
    • Protection ICs: Made by Seiko
    • Welded Button Top: Yes
    • External | welded PCB | Protection: Yes
    • Model name: ORB3500P


    More about protection:


    • Over-current (Activated @ 10A)
    • Over-charge (Activated @ 4.29V)
    • Over-discharge (Activated @ 2.45V)
    • Over-temp. and short circuit protection
    • Protection circuit designed by Seiko

    Can I use the OLight cell in my PFlexPRo and get the rated output? Is it dangerous to even try?
    Does the Obtronic meet the requirements even though it is rated for a max of 10A?

    I realize this is getting to be a long post, but I am new at this, and I really want to understand how this works.
    THANKS!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Questions about high drain vs regular batteries

    Apart from any length issues, you should have no problems using protected cells in your light, at least on lower modes. The light MAY cut out on high, though. Ideally, in a light that can draw 12A, you should run a true high current cell like a Sony VTC, LG HG2, or Samsung 30Q.
    Last edited by StorminMatt; 10-11-2017 at 12:07 AM.

  3. #3
    Enlightened TimeOnTarget's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about high drain vs regular batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by StorminMatt View Post
    Apart from any length issues, you should have no problems using protected cells in your light, at least on lower modes. The light MAY cut out on high, though. Ideally, in a light that can draw 12A, you should run a true high current cell like a Sony VTC, LG HG2, or Samsung 39Q.
    Thanks.

    So, as a rule, should we use a cell with a greater amperage output than required or is equal good enough?

    Is it "safer" to use high drain protected cells rather than unprotected?

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about high drain vs regular batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeOnTarget View Post
    Thanks.

    So, as a rule, should we use a cell with a greater amperage output than required or is equal good enough?

    Is it "safer" to use high drain protected cells rather than unprotected?
    When you get up into the really high drain cells like ten or twelve amps, it is hard to find a protected cell. The only real difference between protected and not protected is that if the cell is not protected it is up to you to make sure the cell is not drained too far. Most of us do that with the trusty DMM, although some lights have one built in (like several of the Nitecores).

    As far as the amount of drain the the light has, I personally would look for a cell that is rated for at least that much drain. If it is not, you face either the same problem you are having now, or prematurely wearing out the cell by making it try to put out more than it is designed for. If you have gone to the expense of buying a light that draws that much, it only makes sense to buy cells that let it do so, rather than crippling it.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  5. #5
    Enlightened TimeOnTarget's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about high drain vs regular batteries

    Yes, for sure. I want to fuel my lights with the correct cells to achieve their full capabilities.

    Knowledge is power, and the learning curve can be costly. I am also a believer in buy once, cry once.

    I am trying to avoid buying cells that are not what I think they are.

    I appreciate the replies.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Questions about high drain vs regular batteries

    Good rules of thumb:
    - There are (almost) no protected high drain batteries.
    - There are no high drain batteries above 3000mAh.
    - The higher the drain, the less correct the ratings are. At high drain, a 2600mAh can outlast a 3000mAh battery.

    When in doubt, get VTC6 for flashlights, or VTC5A for vaping. They mostly overlap in use cases though, so either is typically fine for either use.

    Do be careful, these cells can put out 30A and not break a sweat. They’ll weld your keys stuck to itself if you put it in your pocket, and ruin your leg. ;-)

    For high drain, do also go for high quality. Don’t be putting 10A through cheap Chinese crap, get good Chinese quality instead. :-)

    Do consider the dangers of using unprotected batteries, make sure there’s low voltage and high temperature cutoffs, and don’t put them in series unless you have complete control.

  7. #7
    Enlightened TimeOnTarget's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about high drain vs regular batteries

    Thanks terjee

    I bought 2 of those Sony VTC6 and 1 of the new Obtronic branded cells to try out.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about high drain vs regular batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeOnTarget View Post
    Thanks terjee

    I bought 2 of those Sony VTC6 and 1 of the new Obtronic branded cells to try out.
    Those batteries will serve you well. I am NOT positive, but I believe the Orbtronic [same specs as VTC6] is a VTC6 re wrap. Orbtronic are very good batteries. I am still using some that are almost 5 years old w/ over 500 cycles! Has ~ 70% of original capacity.

    There are all knids of opinions on High drain/IMR/Unprotected battery.

    They are a safer chemistry that is why they do not need protection. I also have heard many say they are actually safer then protected batteries.

    If you have a DMM, which is important for the health of the battery[and possibly yourself!], taking readings before and after use and also after charging, is the best way to prevent OVER DISCHARGE.

    The first thing I do when I get a NEW Torch and batteries is to do a MAX run time test. I literally know my batteries and lights so well that I have guessed the correct voltage numerous times after getting home from my hikes w/ CAPO.

    Is this the battery you bought from Orbtronics?

    https://www.orbtronic.com/18650-3000...li-ion-battery


    Good luck with your batteries and torches.
    Solitude breeds contemplation which creates clarity. Capolini-11.27.2017
    Physical beauty temporarily satisfies the eye. Inner beauty is eternal and nurtures the soul. Capolini-7.23.2017









  9. #9
    Enlightened TimeOnTarget's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about high drain vs regular batteries

    I got this one just to see if it lives up to the hype, newest and greatest and such...
    https://www.orbtronic.com/18650-prot...ah-lithium-ion

    I am at the stage where I know just enough to be dangerous! LOL

    I have an XTAR Dragon and a DMM. I keep an eye on my discharge levels.

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* Capolini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about high drain vs regular batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeOnTarget View Post
    I got this one just to see if it lives up to the hype, newest and greatest and such...
    https://www.orbtronic.com/18650-prot...ah-lithium-ion

    I am at the stage where I know just enough to be dangerous! LOL

    I have an XTAR Dragon and a DMM. I keep an eye on my discharge levels.
    That should be a good battery. Not considered a high drain, but will provide sufficient amps and plenty of capacity.

    Looks like a LG MJ1 or Panasonic/Sanyo "GA" rewrap
    Solitude breeds contemplation which creates clarity. Capolini-11.27.2017
    Physical beauty temporarily satisfies the eye. Inner beauty is eternal and nurtures the soul. Capolini-7.23.2017









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