123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

proline

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What's really scary now, is after reading all these posts on CR123 battery failures, I'm afraid to put batteries in my Surefire Beast now. Surefire, AmondoTech Titanium, Battery Station were some of the failures and these I have some of.

Considering there are 20 that go into a Beast, what a blast, (pun intended), if any of them fail. Of course if I fill it up with their batteries and there is a failure, at least that won’t be able to blame anybody else’s batteries.

I’m not sure what is up with the mention of Surefire's batteries leaking. Old stock, current stuff, something to check for, not worth mentioning??

I see AmondoTech is selling batteries in two and three's linked together. For those lights that take this quantity, is this a good way to go?? Thank you.
 

DevL

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This thread has also confused me. Which cells are reccomended? Is it better to get Battery Station since they are match and will vent or get cells that never had issues in testing or what?
 

SilverFox

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Hello Proline,

Before SureFire had their own brand of batteries, SureFire lights were issued with Duracell batteries.

Tom
 

hank

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Silverfox wrote earlier:

"The ZTS tester seems to have a problem with unused cells that have something strange going on with the chemistry. It does seem to be able to match cells on starting voltage. I have found that the 10% and 20% cells seem to have almost the same capacity as the 100% cells. It's the 40%, and 60% cells that seem to be strange."

Can anyone comment further on this, or compare what a voltmeter says to what the ZTS says?

I have one of the ZTS testers, bought it to thin the battery herd just recently.

I've noticed I need to test any battery that is in the middle range at least three times, with a few seconds in between --- sometimes more. I retest til I get the same LED light level shown a couple of times.

--------- Jan.8 2009-------EDIT--------
-- so I asked ZTS directly. They said wait a few minutes at least in between testing a battery, because it takes some batteries a while to come back after their tester imposes a load on them. That makes sense
---------





Often I'll get a nice high reading --- 80% --- the first time. The second time I'll get 60%, and that may be consistent the third and later times.

Sometimes on the third time I'll get 40%, and it'll stay there on further testing.


I haven't had time to sit with a voltmeter and try to figure out what's going on --- been doing botany fieldwork, offline a lot during these summer months.

I'm safe enough, I think, I'm not using any 2x123 lights (the Streamlight Scorpion, old incandescent model, was the only one I ever had).

But I'm really puzzled what's going on. A summary, if someone can sum this up, or pointer if someone has, would be much appreciated when it's sorted out.
 
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nmaynan

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has Surefire or any other manufacturer been sued over these Kabooms? It seems like they'd be getting hit with suits over this.

I'd sure hate to get injured from one and would likely immediately jump to the conclusion that the manufacturer was liable.
 

RobertM

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:wow:
Holy crap! I've heard a lot of people on the forum talk about lithium battery safety before, but somehow missed this thread. Thanks for posting all the info! Now I'm continually looking over at the drawer with all my CR123's in it :).

Robert
 

DHart

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Dang, that was a long first post! Anyone have a summary?

I've spent the last couple of hours pouring through threads here of kabooms and battery tests and must give a huge, heartfelt thanks to those here who have worked so hard to test and contribute. THANK YOU!

AND... can someone here who is knowledgeable enough about the current state of flashlight types/brands and battery types/brands write a summary of findings? That would be so helpful to all of us.
 

Sean

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I haven't read through all the pages. I was wondering if Duracell has ever had an incident like some of the others? Has any CPF member reported a Duracell failure?

I have never had a problem with Duracells. I have had Surefire 123's die suddenly, in series with good 123s. Not good. I bring this up because now I have Panasonic CR123s and just had one in a series set of 3 drastically drop voltage, so much that the internal resistance was killing the other two cells. Luckily I caught this quickly because the light dimmed noticeably. It's worthy to note that if I remove the bad cell and replace it with a dummy, the remaining two cells power the LED light at full brightness. If I put the "bad cell" back in, the light output is drastically reduced but it does still work. Now what would have happened if I would have thought I was in "moon mode" and kept the light on??

If I can't find a single incident of Duracells having problems, I may have to go back to using them, even though they cost more.
 
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LuxLuthor

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This thread, especially page one is unparalleled. Would be great to have it in list as a sticky.
 

Steve-at-Springboard

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CPFers: a tremendous amount of work has been done here, mostly by volunteers. Unfortunately, it may need to be done again. Things change in the battery business, mostly for the good.
1. The BatteryStation cells referenced in the testing have been replaced by U.S. made cells (the previous cells, with the yellow band, were Chinese).
2. The testing references 15,000+ CPF users - we now have over 155,000 users and I don't think we have ten times as many 'explosions' as back then (2005-6) so, I think things are better.
3. Energizer does not make SureFire 123 cells.
4. Energizer does not make Energizer 123 cells.
5. According to multiple sources, there is only one (1) factory in the U.S. that makes all cells labeled 'Made in U.S.A.'. Accordingly, all U.S. brands should have the same rate of cells leaking, low capacity, etc.
6. Foreign cells vary widely as to quality and capacity, IMHO, not worth the risk to save a few bucks. I got stung myself three years ago buying Panasonic cells of Japanese origin (normally a fine battery if the price is right). Turns out they were Chinese counterfeits and only have 40% the capacity of a U.S. cell according to my ZTS tester. Also, I just heard of someone counterfeiting SureFire batteries in China. Supposedly, they do not have an expiration date printed on them like genuine SureFires. Caveat Emptor!
7. After individually handling over 20,00 SureFire batteries through the years, I have only seen one that had leaked and one that was completely dead. I wasn't checking for diminished capacity. Perhaps the reports of leaking include episodes of partial venting rather than leaking prior to use. I'd rather have an occasional leaky cell rather than a cell with no venting capability.
8. Perhaps some of the manufacturers can let us know if their flashlights are designed to handle the batteries venting or, if they are totally sealed and will 'grenade' if the batteries vent rapidly. In most high-power rifles, the bolt and receiver are made such that, if the cartridge fails, the high-pressure gases are diverted away from the shooter's face. Maybe this has been done already for flashlights, maybe not. Might be a competitive advantage for someone.

Anyhow, I think that the battery situation is better than it was but, we still need to follow the rules about not combining multiple brands, new and old batteries, primary and rechargables, etc. And, I only buy U.S. made CR123A cells. Some testing with currently available batteries might show some progress in cell safety.
 

milkyspit

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This

Anyhow, I think that the battery situation is better than it was but, we still need to follow the rules about not combining multiple brands, new and old batteries, primary and rechargables, etc. And, I only buy U.S. made CR123A cells. Some testing with currently available batteries might show some progress in cell safety.

(Also: put the higher voltage cell at HEAD END of the light.)
 

cy

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an oldie but goodie of a thread... has anyone heard from Newbie lately? please PM
 
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