Any other power source for a Streamlight weapon mounted light than than 123's or the proprietary "18650"?

Wurkkos

gsmit1

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Surprisingly, I couldn't find much on this. I can't be the only one.

One of the main reasons I bought this light/laser unit was because I already have a few dozen high quality 18650 batteries.

Not only is the proprietary one they included lightweight junk, but it has some sort of mosfet protection circuit or something wrapped on the positive end which apparently is required for this thing to work.

Does anybody know of any not obscenely overpriced, actually high quality battery that is confirmed to work in place of the one in the package from Streamlight?

Any help on this would be tremendously appreciated. I never would have bought this model had I known.

Thanks.
 

idleprocess

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So, per the documentation...
BATTERY INSTALLATION/REMOVAL
Remove the tail cap. Place the two CR123 batteries into the tube, positive end first and replace the tail cap.

The light will also function if you install a Streamlight #22101 or commercially available “Li Ion 18650 protected cylindrical 3.7V 2600mAh ‘button top’ rechargeable battery” that have their own charging cradle system.

Since it works with 123As or an 18650 that means the contacts are a conventional tubular light - positive at one end, negative at the other. Also, since it works with both ~6V and ~3.6V, there's almost certainly no interaction between the driver and any circuitry in the 18650 cell.

The trick looks to be the 18650 cell must be a button-top - likely due to the shape of the positive contact intended to prevent inserting the cells in a reverse-polarity arrangement. The protected mandate is likely just to prevent over-discharge of any li-ion cells for user convenience; it also strongly implies that the light does not demand the kind of current that would call for high-rate cells (ala Samsung 25R's capable of 20A).

I would look for something like the generally well-regarded Panasonic/Sanyo NCR18650GA in button-top. A quick search turns it up in unprotected and protected variants (no affiliation with the seller, just using for reference). I would validate maximum cell length as well as the maximum current draw before buying; 1000 lumens suggests that something like a 3A minimum current is adequate but that's just spitballing.
 

gsmit1

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Streamlight's product page for that light does not say "18650" anywhere. It uses a proprietary product designation for their power pack, which is as it should be

This is clearly Midway trying to falsely use the prospect of readily available batteries as a selling point.

I'm disappointed. I didn't think they would do that.

EDIT: I posted this before seeing your last response.
 
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gsmit1

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So, per the documentation...


Since it works with 123As or an 18650 that means the contacts are a conventional tubular light - positive at one end, negative at the other. Also, since it works with both ~6V and ~3.6V, there's almost certainly no interaction between the driver and any circuitry in the 18650 cell.

The trick looks to be the 18650 cell must be a button-top - likely due to the shape of the positive contact intended to prevent inserting the cells in a reverse-polarity arrangement. The protected mandate is likely just to prevent over-discharge of any li-ion cells for user convenience; it also strongly implies that the light does not demand the kind of current that would call for high-rate cells (ala Samsung 25R's capable of 20A).

I would look for something like the generally well-regarded Panasonic/Sanyo NCR18650GA in button-top. A quick search turns it up in unprotected and protected variants (no affiliation with the seller, just using for reference). I would validate maximum cell length as well as the maximum current draw before buying; 1000 lumens suggests that something like a 3A minimum current is adequate but that's just spitballing.
Excellent information sir, for which I am very grateful.

I have been using cylindrical LIION batteries in my vaping devices for a few years, and while nobody will be hiring me in the industry this week, I do have a well above average technical understanding of what they are and how they work.

I love my unregulated/unprotected mechanical devices and would very much prefer to keep my teeth and face intact. I learned quite a bit about current draw and coil resistances and how they interact along with the effect that draining voltage has on the whole process of providing wattage as well.

What I have no experience with, and hence little knowledge of, is protected batteries, though I have see them for sale.

I have piles of Sony VTC5As, Samsung 20S and Molicell P26As. (not to mention some pretty muscular 20700s and 21700s) I was thrilled when I thought that my 18650s would work in this light. After all, I routinely pull 25 or even 35 amps in the case of the 20S, so I figured no weapon mounted light should ever be a challenge.

I will defer to your clearly superior knowledge, which seems to be saying that protected button top cells should work. Like I say, I've seen them at lithiumionwholesale, Iluum and 18650batterystore, but never paid much attention because they weren't useful to me at the time.

Mooch taught us that one immediate telltale sign of inferior rewraps was the noticeably lighter weight. The Streamlight batteries are that. Great light and crummy battery. I have no interest in 123s. I even toyed with the idea of unwrappinging it and wrapping whatever was on the positive end onto a new VTC5A. I rewrap batteries all the time. Seems like a good balance of muscle and capacity for this application.

When I can, I'll grab a couple protected button tops and see how it goes. I have an Opus BT-C3100 and a SkyRC MC3000 so chargers are good.

Thanks again very much. :)
 

gsmit1

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Actually, I have some lower drain, but higher capacity LG HG2s and Sony VTC6s which might be even better.
 

gsmit1

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It looks like i spoke too soon and shouldn't rely on my subjective sense of weight. I should have just weighed them in the first place.

A VTC5A weighs 45.4 grams on my digital scale. The Streamlight battery weighs 47.2 grams. It seems the Streamlight cell is at least in the same weight range as a known high quality 18650. The protection module probably accounts for the extra couple grams.

I also discovered that there's a lot more to making a round lithium cell protected than just wrapping the module onto the positive end of the battery. It appears that both the positive and negative poles must be fed through the circuit. Not worth it.

I wish I knew what cell was under this wrap. I might be able to find out by taking the wrap off, but I'm pretty sure the zillions of wraps I have for flat top cells are not long enough to rewrap it.

I also wish I knew what the current draw is for this light. I have no idea. All my experience is with resistance coils for vaping.

I further wish I didn't think about these things, but I can't help myself.
 

gsmit1

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Then again, I could cut a couple wraps down, put one halfway on, shrink the middle and then overlap the second one in the middle a bit and finish shrinking the two of them as one.
 

idleprocess

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A quick search hasn't turned up anything on the voltage range and thus whether or not it has low voltage protection for bare cells. At some point every LED driver cuts out - the question is whether or not it does to at a voltage that's above the overdischarge limit for li-ion.

I've also not been able determine if the positive contact requires a button top or not.
 

gsmit1

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A quick search hasn't turned up anything on the voltage range and thus whether or not it has low voltage protection for bare cells. At some point every LED driver cuts out - the question is whether or not it does to at a voltage that's above the overdischarge limit for li-ion.

I've also not been able determine if the positive contact requires a button top or not.
I do again very much appreciate your help sir.

As you know, an 18650's nominal voltage is 3.7 (or 3.6), but they are safe to charge to 4.2 volts. I've only tried fully charged unprotected flat tops in this light.

I wonder if it somehow steps the voltage of a fully charged battery down to somewhere in the nominal range and the reason it won't work with a fully charged flat top is because the voltage is actually too high.

I guess I could discharge one down to like 3.5 volts and see if it works.

Is there a way to tell by looking at the positive contact in the light whether it requires button tops? It's a brass contact and it's kinda big actually.

Also, are all button tops protected and vice versa? Are they the same thing?
 

vicv

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I do again very much appreciate your help sir.

As you know, an 18650's nominal voltage is 3.7 (or 3.6), but they are safe to charge to 4.2 volts. I've only tried fully charged unprotected flat tops in this light.

I wonder if it somehow steps the voltage of a fully charged battery down to somewhere in the nominal range and the reason it won't work with a fully charged flat top is because the voltage is actually too high.

I guess I could discharge one down to like 3.5 volts and see if it works.

Is there a way to tell by looking at the positive contact in the light whether it requires button tops? It's a brass contact and it's kinda big actually.

Also, are all button tops protected and vice versa? Are they the same thing?
18650s aren't just safe to charge to 4.2v, that's where they are supposed to be charged to. Think of 3.6v as the average voltage under load in a discharge cycle from 4.2v to 2.5v. Charging one to only 3.5v is practically 0% charge.
Often the brass positive contact with be recessed slightly this needing a button top to protrude past the recess.
No whether it's button top has nothing to do with whether it's protected or not.
Try to think logically on the voltage. A light designed to use 6v will not need a rechargeable to be only 3.5v.
The light will have a buck circuit which reduces the voltage to the led that it needs for the current output level until the power source can no longer supply that much.
 

gsmit1

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18650s aren't just safe to charge to 4.2v, that's where they are supposed to be charged to. Think of 3.6v as the average voltage under load in a discharge cycle from 4.2v to 2.5v. Charging one to only 3.5v is practically 0% charge.
Often the brass positive contact with be recessed slightly this needing a button top to protrude past the recess.
No whether it's button top has nothing to do with whether it's protected or not.
Try to think logically on the voltage. A light designed to use 6v will not need a rechargeable to be only 3.5v.
The light will have a buck circuit which reduces the voltage to the led that it needs for the current output level until the power source can no longer supply that much.
Right, but I'm just thinking out loud about why maybe the light won't turn on with an unprotected battery. A test of the vaping quality of a mechanical device is voltage drop under load.

And see that's the point. I know almost nothing about lights. All my experience is with regulated and unregulated vaping devices.

There are fully unprotected/unregulated devices where whatever voltage is in the battery/ies at the time of activation is sent directly to the coils. These are usually the ones that blow up in people's faces when they don't know what they're doing.

Then there's numerous versions of regulated/protected devices. Some of which do have buck and boost circuitry, many buck only, but not boost and some that are direct output with protections only.

There has to be at least some crossover into this area of electronics, but knowing next to nothing about lights and lasers, I don't know how to apply it.

If the light runs in the 6 volt range, and requires a boost circuit with a single round liion battery, then no, none of my musings about voltage are valid. I don't know. I'm asking :) (EDIT: Or maybe it's the other way around and it needs more voltage than a single unprotected battery can provide and my musings are accidentally valid in the opposite direction))

If it can be over-volted with a single battery and requires a step down in order to work, then maybe an unprotected battery already discharged to within whatever range it runs in might work and give some clues about why it won't work with a fully charged unprotected battery.

OR, I'm misunderstanding battery powered light technology altogether which is entirely possible.
 
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vicv

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A normal led runs at about 3 volts. So a rechargeable under load of say 1 amp would be at around 3.9v. So the circuitry will reduce the batteries output to 3.0v. Same with 2 cr123a. A AA powered light will boost the battery to 3.0v.
So the only reason it's not working for you is because you're using a flat top battery or not the proper battery. Voltage isn't an issue.
And I vaped ten years ago. Back when we used metal mesh for our wick material. So I know mechanical vapes. Lol.
If it could be over volted with a single battery, then it definitely wouldn't work with 2 cr123a
 

idleprocess

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Is there a way to tell by looking at the positive contact in the light whether it requires button tops? It's a brass contact and it's kinda big actually.
Positive contact will tend to be either recessed within an insulator such that flat contacts (such as the typical alkaline/NiMH/123A negative) won't 'make'.

Also, are all button tops protected and vice versa? Are they the same thing?
No, they're independent of one another.
 

fivemega

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Just add a small magnet on center of battery positive terminal and retry.
This will make it look like a button top 18650
 
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