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Thread: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

  1. #1

    Default Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    I don't know for sure what is happening, but it seems so cool. I'll describe the setup, and I hope the CPF wise ones will tell me what is occuring.

    With an incan setup and momentary twisty tailcap, IMRish 4.2V cell, twist cap to full on brightness, and burn it a few seconds, then ever so slightly twist tailcap to almost or barely off, then press momentary hard for full brightness, and slowly release... I get a second, lower, constant on mode, half-brightness, with momentary access to full brightness. Screwing around I can inaccurately get all manor of brightnesses from very dim glowing filiment, up to full brightness. And in addition to these other brightness "modes" I can find a burning fire mode, a burning candle mode, and a burning match mode, with chaotic increases and dips in brightness that is very pleasing to behold.

    I thought I did, but must admit idk what is meant by "shorting the battery," specifically that phrase, if it doesn't mearly mean a short circuit. What I would guess is happening is the tail is resisting the voltage, lowering it, and the current stays what the lamp's rating is, so the lower voltage and lower brightnesses may increase runtime, but due to lamp burning less efficiently at lower brightnesses, there is somewhat of a diminishing gain as brightness decreases.

    I'm making that up. Please tell me what is happening. I've been told, and I repeated to others, with primary lithium cells, "do not short the battery," but now I realize.... idk what I am talking about, just parroting what I heard. I'm using Li-ion secondary cells as described. I can do this with NiMH, too.

    Is accessing these "lower modes" a bad idea? Am I headed to ? Is this shorting the battery, or just a really cool function of the tailcap spring and connection? Thanks.
    Last edited by night.hoodie; 01-09-2018 at 06:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    I'd say it sounds like you need to take apart your tailcap and clean it. Those lower modes you're getting is resistance

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    Quote Originally Posted by vicv View Post
    I'd say it sounds like you need to take apart your tailcap and clean it. Those lower modes you're getting is resistance
    That's what I thought, too. What is the downside to this? Is there a safety risk? In a single mode light, that is really too bright for it's own good, it is kind of fulfilling to find lower "modes," even if the mode sequence is less than ideal and difficult to utilize, even if there is not much, if any, corresponding increase to runtime.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    There should be an increase in runtime a bit as current draw is lower. Also means power is being wasted in the switch as heat and may eventually damage the switch

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    I am trying to understand your description ....

    Are you talking about trying to find a contact point for a momentary / twisty switch that is juuuust barely "on" ?

    Then, at that exact point, the output dims and/or flickers ?

    If so, I suspect you are creating a very "low tech" / very slow / "PWM-like" effect, via intermittently making and breaking the circuit
    ... is the archimedes peak

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    I am trying to understand your description ....

    Are you talking about trying to find a contact point for a momentary / twisty switch that is juuuust barely "on" ?

    Then, at that exact point, the output dims and/or flickers ?

    If so, I suspect you are creating a very "low tech" / very slow / "PWM-like" effect, via intermittently making and breaking the circuit
    That sounds rightish. Turn down the twisty until connection is not as tight... if using miniscule twists, a lower brightness is achieved, or sometimes a continually flickering mode.

    I'd really like a precise description of what is occuring with the circuit and flow of electricity, like.... electrons shoot out the positive end of cell, into lamp, across filiment, producing light and heat, back to ground into switch, where likely resistance is met with current /and/ voltage, to negative end of cell where battery gnomes collect the electrons and ready them for gunning out the positive end... yeah, I don't know how this works. thanks for the help.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    You are (partially, intermittently, variably) making and breaking a connection, at maybe what, a few Hertz ? a dozen Hertz ?

    When the connection is broken, current stops flowing instantly, but the lamp filament slowly dims as it cools.

    But before visible light stops being emitted, you remake the connection, current flows, filament heats up, and output again starts to increase.

    Repeat as needed, for dim flickery output, as preferred ...

    This is not a short circuit, by the way.
    Last edited by archimedes; 01-09-2018 at 06:54 PM.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  8. #8

    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    Basically you're just adding resistance to the circuit, or modulating the power a bit like PWM but more erratic, depending on how the contacts are touching, or not touching, inside the tail cap.

    Resistance reduces the flow of current, causing the light to dim. Some energy may be lost as heat in the intermittent connection, and arcing could occur which could eventually damage the contacts if it's a high current lamp. It's cool to try, but I would probably avoid doing it too much on an expensive light.

    This won't damage the battery, and it isn't shorting the battery. A short is when the positive and negative terminals are connected together with little to no resistance, allowing a high current flow through the battery which will quickly overheat it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    Sounds like a cool quantum tunneling mod... a compressible ring of quantum tunneling material, which when full tight is bypassed by a shoulder/rim of bare aluminum for full power... a couple of ball detents so you know just where you are with the tail cap loosening, one of the detents being just beyond the fully uncompressed range of the quantum material so that a tail cap lockout is a legitimate lockout.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    I used to do the same thing with a Malkoff M60 warm low pill, just the barest connection gave off a nice, warm, low, low, low, low.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    I am happy and relieved to learn this is not a short, and sounds like it isn't dangerous.

    I am very very sensitive to PWM at even very high MHz, and I am not having any trouble with this output and cannot detect flicker (except when in a flickering mood, and this flicker doesn't bother me, like firelight doesn't bother me). It feels like constant current. I don't have trouble with incan fixed lighting, and I know that also cycles, but I do have a problem with the digital miser tailcaps' PWM in the lower modes (fully aware the filiment is not behaving like LED, but stays glowing, almost like Zebralight's PWM-like schema with LED, but some ZL modes bother me over longer periods).

    I thought at first it was a mod, but I am able to do this with any twisty tailcap tried. It's more function with a twisty/momentary (no clicky). Sounds like others have "discovered" this also, probably a century ago or more, so maybe it's not as novel as it seems to me (wow, this is too neat, just what I've always been looking for).

    I wondered about quantum tunnelling, too, and risk straying from topic (is this is the wrong forum?). Could this be quantum tunnelling? Is a quantum tunnelling tailcap with smooth brightening and dimming possible and appropriate for incan lights? I know vicv and others detest fireing lamps at less than their ideal output, and I apologize if offensive, but I do it all the time. I flipped out when I figured out that an Eneloop can fire a 3.7V 1.2A lamp.
    Last edited by night.hoodie; 01-09-2018 at 07:34 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    What OP is describing is not quantum tunnelling either
    ... is the archimedes peak

  13. #13

    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    What OP is describing is not quantum tunnelling either
    Didn't really know what that was in flashlight applications, had to read about it. No QTC in there, so this is maybe closer to a bad analog of a control ring. I think the correct explanation is in the thead. Thanks, guys.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Is this shorting the battery? If not, what?

    I mentioned QTC meaning that it would be neat to do this properly and intentionally with something like a QTC o ring,
    The effect we're talking about here is caused by careful fussing between a really bad, and a really, really bad electrical connection.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

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