18650's Care and Maintenance

fulee9999

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
717
Thank you. Sounds like I either need to revert to CR123's, or get a new (yellow) flashlight to keep in the car then.
The Wurkos Golden WK03 seems interesting, though I would have preferred an inexpensive plastic light, because this light frequenctly gets rattled around in the door pocket, next to a small can of emergency oil.

Currently got a Streamlight PolyTac. Yellow colour for visibility, and it got ON or OFF. Just what I need. The PolyTac is 2x CR123 by default, but I found it works with a single 16650, so I "upgraded" it to that, because the light never seemed to work when I really needed it while I used CR123's. The KeepPower 16650 has been flawless for many years now, despite the very infrequent charging and use.

it's interesting to hear you have issues with CR123s, maybe you're not using the right brand...? never heard of good quality CR123s cause issues. Also streamlight lights are usually pretty good, so I don't it's the light that is the issue. One thing to add, li-ions also don't like being stored fully charged, if I remember correctly they should be stored at nominal voltage, so 3.7v in this case. But for what it's worth, in this case I wouldn't go around buying a Wurkos, if anything get a SureFire G2X, if you suspect the light is the issue.

EDIT:
Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but...is your avatar a picture of Bud Spencer?
I love those spaghetti western movies of his, either alone or with Terence Hill!

No, it's Jamon Serrano! I mean Charlie Firpo. I mean Bud Spencer. Wait no, it's Carlo Pedersoli.
( yep, big fan too :) )
 

PaladinNO

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
235
Location
Norway
it's interesting to hear you have issues with CR123s, maybe you're not using the right brand...? never heard of good quality CR123s cause issues. Also streamlight lights are usually pretty good, so I don't it's the light that is the issue. But for what it's worth, in this case I wouldn't go around buying a Wurkos, if anything get a SureFire G2X, if you suspect the light is the issue.
It could very well be the batteries, though they are Streamlight branded. Back when I was having the issues, I didn't know much about lights (we're talking at least a decade ago), and it could be the CR123's having been stored for too long. Took a look at some CR123 spares just now, and it says "3710" on them... Also checked the 16650, and it still read a ~75% charge.

But I am game for changing the light. Sure, it still works, and I have never had a problem with the light itself, but...eh, sometimes I just want to get something new for the sake of getting something new, you know? Doesn't happen often with me (was about to say "once every 10 years"), because "why throw away anything that still works" is my usual mentality, but the performance would definitely be better with a new light.

And the Surefire G2X Pro looks exactly like what I am looking for, but sadly no local E-tailers with the light in the right colour. Is there any international seller for Surefire? That brand has always been hard to get here in Norway. Wurkkos also looks interesting though (WK03, WK40, and HD20). I already have 2x SureFire EWP-02 (pens), but I don't have anything from Wurkkos.

Decisions, decisions...even though I have already purchased 15 lights since early January....
EDIT: I WILL resist! The Wurkkos WK03 looks really pretty, but the beam is way too throwy to keep in the car for close-up rim inspections and the like in the darkness of night.

And I got a sudden urge to watch some more Bud Spencer (RIP 2016) movies now.
 
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PaladinNO

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
235
Location
Norway
I always assumed it was just casual Jesus in a T-shirt.
(Now I feel a little silly.)
It partially actually is Jesus.
There is a scene in They Call Me Trinity (1970), around 55 minutes into the movie, where someone hits him on the cheek. He turns the other cheek (hence the partial part)...and then hits back.

I can recommend Bud movies if you're into mass brawl fights with people going through walls and windows on a regular basis without even getting a cut.

And that's probably enough about movies, I didn't mean to derail the thread. :)
 

Bob A

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 30, 2023
Messages
55
Location
Maryland
I'm a little confused. I may be mistaking aples for oranges, but I thought Li batteries had a 10 year shelf life, and that rechargeable Li batteries didn't have the issues that NiCads had with being charges before they were drained. (The NiCad thing wasn't part of the recent discussion, and I haven't read the whole thread, so apologies for that. I figured I might as well bring it up, since my knowledge of the intricacies of these things was pretty low).

As for the cold issue, I'm suspecting it's a problem for keeping a flashlight in a car, for example. My lights get cold outside in a pants pocket, but they aren't out there for more than a few hours at a time.

Is there a difference in the cold response between CR123 and the rechargeables? Is it a bad idea to keep a CR123 in a cold spot over a long period? Will they function at full capacity once warmed up, or is part of the charge just lost forever?

Lots of ignorance on my part, and probably more questions that I haven't thought of yet.
 

fulee9999

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
717
Is there a difference in the cold response between CR123 and the rechargeables?

CR123s usually designed to be stored and to work down to -40 C/F, as per the datasheet of an Energizer shows too:

1708594506504.png


While the li-ions ( Sony VTC6 in this example ) is NOT meant to be used/charged in the cold:

1708594565017.png


Is it a bad idea to keep a CR123 in a cold spot over a long period?

No, they are fine with that, see above.

Will they function at full capacity once warmed up, or is part of the charge just lost forever?

It will actually discharge at a lower rate, while also damaging the capacity, lucifer lights summarized it very well:

CAPACITY REDUCTION IN FREEZING TEMPERATURES

How much is the battery capacity reduced in freezing temperatures? This is not at all easy to answer, as the capacity also depends on the discharge current. And the graphs also show that if the discharge current is extremely high (e.g. 4A) then the battery will gradually warm up to normal temperature and maintain it.

Panasonic NCR18650GA - when discharging at 4A at 0°C the battery has 3080mAh, 92 .6% of capacity compared to 25°C. [5]

Panasonic NCR18650GA - when discharged at 4A at -10°C the battery has 2920mAh, 88% of capacity compared to 25°C [5].

Panasonic NCR18650B - when discharged at 3.3A at 0°C, the battery has 2950mAh, 90% capacity compared to 25°C. [4]

Panasonic NCR18650B - when discharged at 3.3A at -10°C, the battery has 2800mAh, 85% of capacity compared to 25°C. [4]

Panasonic NCR18650B - when discharged at 3.3A at -20°C, the battery has 2190mAh, 67% of capacity compared to 25°C. [4]

Panasonic NCR18650A - when discharged at 0.62A at 0°C, the battery has 2550mAh, 86% of capacity compared to 25°C. [2]

Panasonic NCR18650A - when discharged at 0.62A at -10°C, the battery has 2400mAh, 80 .5% of capacity compared to 25°C. [2]

Panasonic NCR18650A - when discharged at 0.62A at -20°C, the battery has 1400mAh, or 47% of capacity compared to 25°C. [2]

Panasonic INR18650-35E - when discharged at 3.4A at -10°C, the battery has 40% capacity compared to 25°C. [3]



DO YOU RUN THE BATTERY DOWN BY USING IT IN FREEZING WEATHER?

Yes, using a li-ion battery below 0°C will irreversibly destroy it (battery ageing). The lower the temperature, the more the battery ages. If the discharge current is low (e.g. C/10 = 0.34A) the damage is not great. In case of high discharge currents, the damage is already significant. However, there are also studies that indicate that higher discharge currents do not necessarily cause more damage than low discharge currents, because the battery can gradually warm up to a plus temperature with high current flow. Anyway, wherever the truth lies, the battery is damaged by use in sub-zero temperatures.

Much more damage is caused by charging cells in freezing temperatures, which causes layers to form on the electrode surface that reduce the available capacity.
 

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
20,042
Location
NYC
Any type of rechargeable battery can very slowly drain down when not in use. Normally not a huge issue. But when you're putting a flashlight away for emergency use only, best to go with one that has CR123 lithium primaries in it. (Assuming you don't live in a particularly hot environment.) Since those don't slowly drain out and never leak.
 

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
20,042
Location
NYC
Are you being Sarcastic?
No, not at all. It's one of the main reasons I still used primaries up until last year. Long after many members switched to rechargeable cells of all sorts. If you can slowly charge up a battery, then over time it can slowly discharge on its own. One of the big reasons why Eneloops are so insanely popular on CPF is because their self-discharge rate is guaranteed to not go below 70% for a certain number of years, if left unused or in storage. I don't remember off the top of my head if it was 5 or 10 years.
 
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