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Thread: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

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    Enlightened Booga's Avatar
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    Question 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    I have a MTE SF-23 torch that after a few minutes of use loses power and becomes less bright, I've tried new batteries and it does this with those too. When I put the batteries back in my Nitecore charger it shows that they are still almost fully charged.

    Can anyone suggest what might be the issue please?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Does that light have a thermal step-down, to prevent overheating? If so, that could be the cause. Otherwise, try high-drain cells, to make sure it's not internal resistance of your batteries.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    I'm not sure if it has a thermal step down, that would make sense though. Is there anything that can be done if this is the issue?
    Thanks

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    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Could be the torch or batteries, what batteries are being used? If they end in fire or read 5000mah etc then its them for sure. Not too sure on the light, it wont be 900lm though, so would guess batteries, certainly if they are ones that came with it(usually junk).

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Definitely look into the thermal step down. My Olight S1A will step down in the highest mode with a 14500 after 1-2 minutes to prevent heat build up, even with a fresh cell and even if the light is cooled.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    Could be the torch or batteries, what batteries are being used? If they end in fire or read 5000mah etc then its them for sure. Not too sure on the light, it wont be 900lm though, so would guess batteries, certainly if they are ones that came with it(usually junk).
    I haven't got them with me to look at as I'm currently at work but I know 2 of them are Ultrafire? The battery that came with the torch was just a plain peach coloured battery and I have a few green ones that might have been advertised as Samsung (I can't quite remember). I've heard it's a bit of a minefield finding genuine batteries on ebay etc so they may well all be junk.

    I see you're also from the UK. Where would you recommend I order decent batteries (and perhaps torches) from?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Booga; 10-17-2018 at 08:55 AM.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Your UK, a reputable source I use is ecoluxshopdirect(also ecoluxshop on eBay). Guy is called Norb, very helpful and will look after you. Shipping is quick and usually 2 days. Samsung ,Sony,Panasonic, Sanyo and LG are the top 5. Although a little over kill, Samsung 30Q or Sanyo GA would be an option. Just make sure if the light only takes button top or can take either. Button top are probably a more useful cell down the line(in case you may buy a torch with physical polarity protection. Basically a ring of sorts to only allow contact from a button top cell on positive end, if cell placed in wrong way, wonít fry the driver/LED). Around £6 or so for a good cell, might find two for £10-£12 ish. If protected, possibly add a few £ per cell. Sometimes these can be too long for the cheaper Chinese lights though.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Torches wise, I have lights from all around the world. Ones UK side have been from Flashaholics,hennie Haynes , olight off the top of my head. Prices are always a little more(some times a lot!). But you have piece of mind, come any issue, itís a lot easier to ship back. Import from China, pay £40, buy UK pay £65(example), but cost of shipping to china(around £12 dependent), then 4 weeks minimum wait, the difference can seem a lot less than it looks.

    If you have an idea on a light, size,fuel type,LED , colour tenp(warm/neutral/cool so possibly 3000k to 6500k). Then might be able to advise better. Importing from USA for example is not a bad experience, nor is China depending on seller/shop.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Thanks for all the advice, I'm in the market for a headtorch too so will probably get in touch with some of those companies, see what they recommend and start fresh with a headtorch and new batteries. Then I can try some decent quality batts in the old SF-23 and see if they make a difference.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    I am really loving the olight h2r neutral white right now. Have a couple, back up as i like that much! I dropped it twice, well 1st drop was not me(someone else knocked off over head conv of around 10ft or so). Other than chip fine, then doing a motor(lower one here around 20ft up), stuck on with magnet(strong!) But knocked it off.............killed it. Quick email to olight UK and sent off, new one back in around 3 days start/finish which was very impressive.


    So a couple of, beautiful floody 4000k ish beam, super bright if you want it to be(over 2000lm). Most use goes on medium 140lm level though. 18650 fed, of which you get a 30Q in olight wrap with it. Its got a pos/neg exposed for the charging . However i dont use internal charging, prefer charging cells out of light so can keep an eye on things. Also , its no use when charging! So swap out cell for fresh whilst other on charge, can continue using it. So the olight H2r neutral white would be a recommendation for sure, head band is decent to, certainly compared to the zebralight offering. Speaking of which(other than average headband) , zebralight do nice lamps. Prob because i am more used to it and UI is subjective anyway(as with everything). But olights click on, memory works great, press/hold to ramp low/med/high cycle. Double tap for turbo. Has short cut from off to max and min(press hold from off for moon, double click from off for max). I find zebra's a little finicky when on my head..............again might be because i am more use to the h2r.
    Have removed the top strap since this older pic(dont need it and use clips to retain the strap around the lower part of hard hat).

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    I chanced gearbest again after a few year break, skillhunt h03 neutral white on offer for £22(now £24) which is a very good deal. Similar in ways UI to zebra with the double tap to change level on L/M and H(so like a H1/H2/M1/M2/L1/L2. So if on m1(medium one) double tap for m2, and double tap to go back to m1. So each level has a sub group.............pretty cool and helps fine tune an output closer to your needs(6 levels instead of 3).

    Here within a week as well..............not bad
    H03 far right

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Thanks, I'll look into those when I get home. I wouldn't mind something with a bit of throw as I'll be using it for night hiking and it's nice to be able to see the path ahead, trail junctions etc etc. Once I'm in a hut for the evening it will only be used occasionally for cooking etc alongside a camping light. I'm currently using an old Petzl Myo XP which has a handy flip down diffuser on it so I don't blind people round the fire but for night hikes I know there's a lot brighter out there now.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Throw will always be a little limited due to usually a small reflector on headlamps. But for a more throwy beam, reflector and not diffused or optic will be required. Ther eis a new zebra out this month or next i think, a HI version. Presume the xhp35 HI so should kick out maybe 1400 ish lumens and decent reach.

    The h2r is flood, but once you get on max, it will flood a field! So sheer output from the very nice nw xhp50 reaches a good way. Other option is have a punchy light and have a floody headlamp, good for close/moderate distance. Throwy light for moderate/ far distance.

    The skilhunt H03f has a diffuse optic that can be opened/closed to use a reflector behind. Nitecore do the hc33 which might be punchy, only down side for me is its cool white. Dont like them much for night use, certainly for a head lamp. Neutrals or 4000-5000k shows nice/accurate colours, cooler 6500k tends to wash out some colours. Of course if this does not bother you, all good there.

    Emisar range, the D1 for throw and D4 quad for a punchy flood beam of crazy output(under $40 shipped). Just released is a little larger version D4s which is 26650 fed. I find 26650 fit nicer in hand due to the larger body diameter. Also the bonus of around 5000mah tank, little better heat dissipation with larger body/mass(hold higher output longer ). These are crazy and fun lights, but also practical on lower levels. Battery read out, adjustable temp setting for driver, very cool ramping UI(press hold to ramp from under 1lm to over 3000..........or 4000 in some cases, in 2.5s). Quick release of switch and press again to ramp back. Double tap for 100% grin and hand warm fun, very cool intuitive UI(user interface). Also the later firmware on the D4s allows the user to tweak the ceiling, you may find 1500lm max ample..............set it to that. International outdoor, or mtn electronics stock them USA side(int outdoor makes best sense in UK for this light). Of course choice of colours, choice of LED...............very cool $40 light(or a little more for the D4s and little more again for the xpl HI version. Hank who owns it, is spot on , reliable and good to deal with.S o dont be put off ordering from him in China. Hard in fact to get a better(subjective) light for $40 full stop!!! IMO anyway.

    If there is any you might want to try out(d1/d4 or what ever) let me know. Can always ship to you to try out. I pay to you, you just pay back to me when done. That can be sorted by PM if decide.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    Throw will always be a little limited due to usually a small reflector on headlamps. But for a more throwy beam, reflector and not diffused or optic will be required. Ther eis a new zebra out this month or next i think, a HI version. Presume the xhp35 HI so should kick out maybe 1400 ish lumens and decent reach.

    The h2r is flood, but once you get on max, it will flood a field! So sheer output from the very nice nw xhp50 reaches a good way. Other option is have a punchy light and have a floody headlamp, good for close/moderate distance. Throwy light for moderate/ far distance.

    The skilhunt H03f has a diffuse optic that can be opened/closed to use a reflector behind. Nitecore do the hc33 which might be punchy, only down side for me is its cool white. Dont like them much for night use, certainly for a head lamp. Neutrals or 4000-5000k shows nice/accurate colours, cooler 6500k tends to wash out some colours. Of course if this does not bother you, all good there.

    Emisar range, the D1 for throw and D4 quad for a punchy flood beam of crazy output(under $40 shipped). Just released is a little larger version D4s which is 26650 fed. I find 26650 fit nicer in hand due to the larger body diameter. Also the bonus of around 5000mah tank, little better heat dissipation with larger body/mass(hold higher output longer ). These are crazy and fun lights, but also practical on lower levels. Battery read out, adjustable temp setting for driver, very cool ramping UI(press hold to ramp from under 1lm to over 3000..........or 4000 in some cases, in 2.5s). Quick release of switch and press again to ramp back. Double tap for 100% grin and hand warm fun, very cool intuitive UI(user interface). Also the later firmware on the D4s allows the user to tweak the ceiling, you may find 1500lm max ample..............set it to that. International outdoor, or mtn electronics stock them USA side(int outdoor makes best sense in UK for this light). Of course choice of colours, choice of LED...............very cool $40 light(or a little more for the D4s and little more again for the xpl HI version. Hank who owns it, is spot on , reliable and good to deal with.S o dont be put off ordering from him in China. Hard in fact to get a better(subjective) light for $40 full stop!!! IMO anyway.

    If there is any you might want to try out(d1/d4 or what ever) let me know. Can always ship to you to try out. I pay to you, you just pay back to me when done. That can be sorted by PM if decide.
    Thanks very much for all the advice and the offer of trying some out. I'll probably be able to make a decision just on reviews etc but I'd be interested in seeing photos of the D1, H2R and H03 beams in action if you have any? Does the D1 get hot or would it be ok in a headband like the Nitecore HB02?
    Last edited by Booga; 10-22-2018 at 04:15 AM.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    D1 can get warm, but i would not want to use in headband. I would rather have floody lamp and use flashlight for reach when needed. Anything much over 600 or 700lm will get quite warm/hot after a while, even more depending on environment. So most will step down either timed or thermally once at a set temp(some can program or tweak a little like the D1/D4).

    The H2R and H03 are both like a frosted/diffused lens to spread the light. Ideally for throw, a smooth reflector on the lamp with an xpl HI or xhp35 HI (would recommend 4000-5000k if possible, but subjective).
    Nitecore HC30 on flashaholics is available in NW, more output the HC33.

    Sorry i dont have any beam pic, also they are in work now. Hard to get in work due to lots of artificial light around. All i can say is they are floody,the H2R on max is pretty awesome and will light up a small field. Takes quite a bit to impress me these days, the H2r does still.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    No problem, will all your helpful advice I'm pretty sure the H2R is going to be the one for me.

    I've also just ordered some batteries from ecoluxshop on eBay so will try them in my old SF-23 and see if it behaves itself. If not I might treat myself to a D1 as a handheld thrower one day.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    The neutral is very nice if you do decide on that. Also buying UK side(although more expensive), come an issue its worth it for the extra piece of mind. Topped with 5yr warranty,should be all good. Its not the smallest or maybe the lightest of lamps(compared to zebra's anyway), but you get use to it pretty quick. The D1 from int outdoor is cheap enough to get anyway, the 5000k HI is nice and clean in beam. If you want a little warmth, 4000k.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by Booga View Post
    I have a MTE SF-23 torch that after a few minutes of use loses power and becomes less bright, I've tried new batteries and it does this with those too. When I put the batteries back in my Nitecore charger it shows that they are still almost fully charged.

    Can anyone suggest what might be the issue please?
    Yeah, a LOT of LED flashlights have a thermal step down on their turbo or highest settings. It should be listed in its manual or on the online specs at the store or company website. But if your light puts out 500+ lumens on max, and has lower settings as well, you should find that the lower settings are perfectly adequate for your needs.
    Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.

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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Update:
    I ordered some Panasonic 3200mAh protected cells from Ecoluxshop and tried one in my SF-23 whilst out on a walk last night. It seems to have solved the problem of the torch stepping down. Fingers crossed it will keep behaving itself.

    I've also just received an Olight H2R, I went for the cool white in the end as I like the confidence that a cool light gives me when out in the middle of nowhere. Torch Direct Limited originally sent me a neutral white (an easy mistake to make) but their customer service was exceptional and they got the correct torch delivered to me within 24 hours of me e-mailing them. I've got it on charge now and will be trying them this weekend on a four night hiking and bothy (mountain cabin) trip.

    Cheers

  20. #20
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    Default Re: 18650 Torch Losing Power, Help Please

    Glad sorted original issue and hope enjoy the h2r, mine is used 5 days a week , every week. I always lock out on tail cap(just loosen a few mm to break contact) in between use. There is no parasitic drain, but more to prevent accidental activation.

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