Alpha problem / battery sensitive??

klackey

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Disappointed with my recent discovery that my Alpha readymade is temperamental about batteries. Hoping you all have a solution. I have stayed away from Prometheus lights for what now, a decade, because of it using non standard batteries. Over the last few years I have moved to the 18650 format with my EDC and "serious" lights. So, with battery issue solved, I got a Alpha readymade...

I LOVE my Alpha... perfect beam, tint, etc.... it is sightly chunky..... but a real hard working light. Seriously LOVE this light but tonight I discovered a weakness that may cause me to change the alpha light from a EDC to a bit of a shelf queen. It seems to very battery sensitive....... that is problematic as "stocking" special batteries for a EDC/ SHTF light... makes NO sense no matter how awesome it is!!!

I am VERY heavily invested in a manufacture of lights that apparently "crushes" the + end of the batteries. Once the battery has been in that light the + tab is dented. They continue to work fine in all that manufacture lights ( have 20 + many others) and several other 18650 brands just fine. However when I install them in my P-Alpha they will not work. I am a bit disappointed. I really do not want to stock "princess batteries" only for my sensitive Alpha light...that defies all logic of EDC and economics. The Alpha is (was) my primary and the back-up is other... they really should be able to share the batteries.

Solution idea: Could I get a small steel washer to put on top of the dented batteries for the Alpha? I am a bit concerned that the washer might shift and possibly "short" the light out as I think part of the circuit is the actual body of the light.

Or could is solder a little more on the Alpha spring or head...... Just so profoundly disappointed that it is not tolerant like ALL my other lights are.

Please do not tell me to change my back-up light........ They have been dead reliable for over 10+ years..... they have my respect and trust.......

I want to use the Alpha hard as a daily EDC but I need a "fix"...... ideas?
 
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desert.snake

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So you put a battery in Fraz Labs that is longer than the recommended length on their website and forum and now he crumpled it?

As for the Alpha, this has long been known, lenght of unprotected batteries with flat "+" are not long enough to make good contact. I just soldered a suitable spring from a broken copier onto a copper tube so that it was long enough.

There is no ideal anywhere, otherwise the forum would be much smaller))
 

kerneldrop

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At first I was like wow that's a long post over a battery needing assistance for constant contact…then I googled that light and see it's over $300. So now I get it.

I've shortened springs, lengthened springs, used old copper pennies on the negative side, wavy copper springs, magnets, dented battery tops etc etc.

I have specific batteries for specific lights. It's just how the niche goes.

Now a solution for you: put a penny or a stack of pennies on the negative side between the battery and tailcap. I'm excessive so I used pennies made before 1982 (95% copper) and shined them up so that the resistance was minimized. But anything will work.
 

kerneldrop

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Yes for the price "which is actually cheap for a light of that quality" it would be nice if you were not limited to an exact length battery. Go malkoff and be done with it 😁

The post he didn't want but the post he needs. Haha
 

klackey

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No, my battery crusher lights are apparently my HDS lights :( not a Fraz Labs. I actually feel like the $300 price point for this light is a "good buy" for what you get...... It is quality..... It just seems to have a "problem" needing perfect batteries. Having to stock different 18650s for each light kills the reason for having the same battery format.

"Go malkoff and be done with it 😁"...... they are fine but I like others more... :)

I am liking a penny spacer idea but have a concern that it could make contact the sides of the light and cause some unintended issues. Anyone have thoughts on this?

Keep the ideas coming.... I really love the Alpha but I need it to be a little less of a picky eater of batteries.
 

kerneldrop

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I am liking a penny spacer idea but have a concern that it could make contact the sides of the light and cause some unintended issues. Anyone have thoughts on this?

Keep the ideas coming....

When you turn on the light the negative current is going down the sides of the light and to the driver...the ONLY consequence is that the penny touches the side and turns on the light. But being an 18650 light you can wrap the penny in electrical tape and prevent that problem from happening/

Whatever it is that you do...do it on the negative side.

The easiest and best thing to do is to buy batteries that work with the light... or use your Malkoff that is perfection as designed and built.
 

kerneldrop

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The driver used is a 7135*9 3.4 amp driver.
There's no reason to not use a spring at the driver and a spring at the tailcap...allowing every battery to work.

3.4amp is a conservative current amount that any spring can handle.
 

NutSAK

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If you put spacers on the negative side of the cell, there will be no real issues, as @kerneldrop explained above.

With the amount of variation of protected Li-ion cell sizes due to capacity and protection circuit differences, I'm not sure if it's reasonable to expect a flashlight to be configured to consume them all without some degree of adjustment, especially considering the use of damaged (dented) cells. Even Malkoffs occasionally require spring length adjustments.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Thin disc magnet on negative side?

Personally, if I like a flashlight enough for regular use, I will have 2 batteries that are used for that tool and another favorite flashlight may need a different size 18650. Case in point: Eagtac needs protected, anduril ramping flashlight needs unprotected. One of my toughest flashlights, an 18650 P60 host Oveready short (500mm) body with a Zero Res 'switch' is THE most picky about length and battery contact design.

Hopefully the initial anger will subside and the 'princess' slur will cease. A reality that all acquisitive flashlight enthusiasts eventually face is 18650 dimensional slop, and the decisions flashlight makers choose dealing with that.
 

klackey

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Thank you all for you input. Yes, it is a bit annoying to have 9 different 18650 based lights and only one (Alpha) that is picky about batteries. For a very well-engineered light it seems odd that it would be the one light that is this sensitive.

I do have another idea as it seems most of my battery issues come from my stock of preferred Sanyo cells. I might be able to find another manufacture that has a "stronger" + side button.

I am also going to try and track down the offending battery crusher (it really is only depressing the button a hair) and hope it is one light not the entire line of lights.
 

kerneldrop

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The light or its engineering aren't the direct cause of the problem.
It's the driver that has a button instead of a spring.

Springs on the driver and tailcap allow a greater range of fit tolerances.
The downside is they won't handle the current a button does.
But the driver is only 3.4amps, so you'll have zero issues with springs.

If you just love the light, send the light to a modder that will remove the button and replace it with a spring.
I can recommend some names if you want to go that route.
 
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treek13

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Aren't you complaining about the wrong light in the wrong forum? Isn't the real problem the hds light/lights that dented your cells?
 
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thermal guy

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16650 use to fit back in my day😁
image.jpg
 

klackey

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Actually, no...... HDS is not the issue..... that is just one of the other 8+ 18650 lights that I did not mention. The ONLY light that is picky is the Alpha.... :) .

I really do love the Alpha.... I use it as a primary and the HDSs as a solid backup.

The penny trick did not work :) :) made the solid light into a glitch machine... unusable.... :)

Thinking now I will just have to have special batteries set aside for the temperamental light. Reality is I hardly ever burn through one battery in a night and ALWAYS have a backup of some sort.
 

kerneldrop

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Post up a pic of the tailcap spring.
I've never seen a penny not work.
Maybe it was on tails instead of heads.
 
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