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Thread: Old Lights, new 18650 that fit?? (Fenix esp)

  1. #1

    Default Old Lights, new 18650 that fit?? (Fenix esp)

    I have several older Fenix lights, a TK30 (MC-E), couple of TK11s, etc, that I have always used with AW brand 18650 batteries (2200 mAh size).

    I recently found the batteries won't power the TK30 at max power without shutting off. Granted, the date on these batteries was May 2011, so it's no surprise.

    So, I need replacements, but the newer 18650 all seem to be larger diameter and won't fit the TK30 and TK11 body. Even some Fenix 2300 mAh that I recently got will not fit (the positive end flares out a bit and won't insert).

    So, for older lights with smaller body diameter, is there any alternative for 18650 batteries, if the old AW 2200 are not available anymore? Maybe some of the basic Panasonic batteries don't have all the extra bulk? Can't tell just from photos of course.

    It's pretty annoying that all these new batteries are actually larger size now. It defeats the whole purpose of having a standardized size!!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Lights, new 18650 that fit?? (Fenix esp)

    There are 16650 cells, I think 2500 mah
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

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    Default Re: Old Lights, new 18650 that fit?? (Fenix esp)

    Do you happen to have calipers? Giving us actual diameter of the original 18650s that fit would give us something to go on.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Old Lights, new 18650 that fit?? (Fenix esp)

    I have calipers at work, but I won't be back there till next week. I can check then.

    Anyway, I double-checked the Orbtronic 3400 mAh (button-top) batteries I have just to make sure, and they are just barely too large for the TK30. Interestingly, they are on the verge of fitting the TK11. One will slide in fairly smooth, the other takes some pushing.

    These Fenix 2300 batteries are REALLY large diameter for their capacity... larger than the Orb 3400, since they won't go in the TK11 at all.

    Anyway, my fallback plan is to switch to my SolarForce lights for any high-output needs. For normal daily use I can get by fine with just 2AA powered lights, but on some occasions I want a more serious blaster. I tried out a 2x18650 setup on my existing XM-L T6 3-mode drop-in, and that works like a champ. The SF bodies I have are big enough to take the 3400 mAh batteries so hopefully I'll be able to feed these lights a while longer.

    Oh, and I looked for 17670s as a fall-back, but it seems those have gotten rare. Battery Junction has some of the UltraFire brand, but since I joined CPF I always heard people say that brand will blow up and burn down half the city so I've stayed away from those

  5. #5

    Default Re: Old Lights, new 18650 that fit?? (Fenix esp)

    Okay, diameter measurements (inches) are as follows. This is for two of my AW brand 18650, 2200 mAh, button-top batteries. I measured three locations along the length; each end and the middle. I rotated the battery and checked to make sure I was getting the largest diameter at each end and middle.

    0.720
    0.720
    0.717

    -----

    0.717
    0.718
    0.718

    -----

    Also, I measured the tail-end opening of the TK30 body, and it was 0.731 inches, with a moderate drag on the caliper blades. (so a battery that was 0.731" diameter would still be too snug to really use)

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Old Lights, new 18650 that fit?? (Fenix esp)

    I only have one brand of unprotected 18650. Looks like my Samsung INR18650-25R might work (Amazon link)
    .723 (+ end)
    .722 (middle)
    .720 (- end)

    All my other 18650s are protected. I measured them out of curiosity (knowing they would be too big), making sure I included the metal strip on the side:
    Orbtronic .737
    Acebeam .733
    Panasonic .738

  7. #7

    Default Re: Old Lights, new 18650 that fit?? (Fenix esp)

    Thanks for checking, that pretty much confirms my suspicion that the new cells are all going to be larger (the protected ones anyway). It's like the manufacturers all started using bulkier protection circuit components at some point...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Old Lights, new 18650 that fit?? (Fenix esp)

    AW 2900 mAh protected 18650s were the highest capacity cells that would fit in my Fenix TK11.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* hiuintahs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Lights, new 18650 that fit?? (Fenix esp)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stress_Test View Post
    Okay, diameter measurements (inches) are as follows. This is for two of my AW brand 18650, 2200 mAh, button-top batteries. I measured three locations along the length; each end and the middle. I rotated the battery and checked to make sure I was getting the largest diameter at each end and middle.

    0.720
    0.720
    0.717

    -----

    0.717
    0.718
    0.718

    -----

    Also, I measured the tail-end opening of the TK30 body, and it was 0.731 inches, with a moderate drag on the caliper blades. (so a battery that was 0.731" diameter would still be too snug to really use)
    I measured a green un protected Panasonic NCR18650B battery and got measurements like yours......around 0.720". They are flat tops and so your light would need to have springs on the ends.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Old Lights, new 18650 that fit?? (Fenix esp)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stress_Test View Post
    I have several older Fenix lights, a TK30 (MC-E), couple of TK11s, etc, that I have always used with AW brand 18650 batteries (2200 mAh size).

    I recently found the batteries won't power the TK30 at max power without shutting off. Granted, the date on these batteries was May 2011, so it's no surprise.

    So, I need replacements, but the newer 18650 all seem to be larger diameter and won't fit the TK30 and TK11 body. Even some Fenix 2300 mAh that I recently got will not fit (the positive end flares out a bit and won't insert).

    So, for older lights with smaller body diameter, is there any alternative for 18650 batteries, if the old AW 2200 are not available anymore? Maybe some of the basic Panasonic batteries don't have all the extra bulk? Can't tell just from photos of course.

    It's pretty annoying that all these new batteries are actually larger size now. It defeats the whole purpose of having a standardized size!!
    I have both the TK30 and TK11. The old Fenix 2600 mAh batteries fit. The older Fenix 3200 and 3400 won't go into the TK30 for sure. I think the new 3400 and 3500 button top Fenix 18650 batteries also fit. Have them so can do a test tomorrow if you want!

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