Are cr123a's really that much better?

jzmtl

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It's been -30C the past couple of days, I've used my flashlight outside, the only one that doesn't croak out after a few minutes is primary 123a.

Cheap L91 isn't avaliable to people who live outside u.s., any way you slice it it's still much more expensive than 123a.
 

AvPD

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The only thing I don't get about CR123A's is why so many people prefer 2xCR123A over 1x18650 (or 4xCR123A over 2x18650) when there are little or no performance gains to be had. Two of them hold less lithium than an 18650 and there's things like uneven discharge and one battery feeding charge to another.
 

jzmtl

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There's no primary 18650 I'm aware of. Also 2x123a use buck only circuit while 18650 would require buck/boost circuit which is less effcient.
 

Black Rose

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The only thing I don't get about CR123A's is why so many people prefer 2xCR123A over 1x18650 (or 4xCR123A over 2x18650) when there are little or no performance gains to be had
As jzmtl said there is the circuit efficiency part of it, but more importantly is temperature performance. It is recomended that rechargeable lithium cells not be used in extreme hot or cold environments.

In places like where jzmtl and I live (where brass monkeys wear long johns in the winter :D ), rechargeable 18650s will not give good cold weather performance.
 

Bullzeyebill

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One of my favorite go to lights is a Mr Bulk VIP using the CR123 body. At 110 mA draw from the battery on low (modded), it lasts forever with a Seoul P4 LED. Just plain dependable, long cell life, and easy to carry extra cells in a small soft case. I always feel prepared with this light and my AAA neck light.

What I am trying to say is that a CR123 light can have its place. I have multiple lights with different battery chemistry's, and depending on the situation, they all have their place.

Bill
 

etc

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I like 4x123 form factor, also 2x123 is very compact and is my EDC.

Just too bad that most devices don't use 123s. Like my Garmin GPS, short wave radio, scanner, whatever. So you have to use AA.

I like Surefire 9P / Malkoff M60LL as you can use either 123s or AAs in it.
 

LeifUK

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Many of us already have rechargeable AA cells and a charger as AA cells are used in many consumer goods. So moving to rechargeable CR123a cells would be costly. And burning through standard CR123a cells is expensive.

Here is a comparison taking the manufacturers specs at face value:

Fenix LD10 1 AA cell: 94 lumens for 2.2 hours. 120 lumens max.
Fenix PD10 1 CR123a cell: 95 lumens for 3 hours, 190 lumens max.

So the CR123a torch runs 27% longer at the same output level. And it gives a much higher maximum output. I think it is the high output levels that are appealing.

I may well buy some rechargeable CR123a cells as my macro flash can use them.
 

Black Rose

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I may well buy some rechargeable CR123a cells as my macro flash can use them.
Just take into consideration that rechargeable CR123 cells (otherwise known as 16340/RCR123) are 4.2v hot off the charger and 3.6v when "empty".

If your macro flash cannot handle the extra voltage, the first flash it generates with a 16340 may well be it's last :poof:

A rechargeable option that does not have as high a voltage are 16340 LiFePO4 cells. They top out around 3.3v, so that might work for you.
 

LeifUK

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Just take into consideration that rechargeable CR123 cells (otherwise known as 16340/RCR123) are 4.2v hot off the charger and 3.6v when "empty".

If your macro flash cannot handle the extra voltage, the first flash it generates with a 16340 may well be it's last :poof:

A rechargeable option that does not have as high a voltage are 16340 LiFePO4 cells. They top out around 3.3v, so that might work for you.

I did a quick Google and found some rechargeable CR123a that are 3.0V and some at 3.2V. I also found some 3.7V ones! :confused: It looks as if there is a range of voltage levels. I have also read that some cameras cannot work with rechargeable CR123a cells.

Thanks for the warning. I will check with Nikon before I try anything.
 

45/70

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Leif, maybe you know this already, kinda sounds like it, but there are 4, more or less common types of Li-Ion cells in the CR123A form factor. ~3 Volt LiFe, ~3 Volt LiCo with diodes to reduce the voltage, 3.7 Volt LiMn, and 3.7 Volt LiCo. The last two can use the same type of charger. The first two use totally different chargers from the last two, and themselves, for a total of three different kinds of chargers that must be used for these 4 kinds of CR123A form factor rechargeable cells.

I bring this up because lately, there have been quite a few threads with people not having good results. This is usually because they are not using the proper charger for the cells they have. As I know you are concerned with safety (as I am), I'll point out that the only really unsafe combination of charger and cell, is to try to charge a 3.7 Volt LiCo cell in a charger meant for the 3 Volt LiCo version. This is a potentially dangerous combination, as the 3 Volt LiCo charger charges at a higher voltage than a 3.7 Volt LiCo charger. I know that sounds backwards, but it isn't. :) The other mismatches will, at worst, just damage the cells.

Dave
 

LeifUK

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Leif, maybe you know this already, kinda sounds like it, but there are 4, more or less common types of Li-Ion cells in the CR123A form factor. ~3 Volt LiFe, ~3 Volt LiCo with diodes to reduce the voltage, 3.7 Volt LiMn, and 3.7 Volt LiCo. The last two can use the same type of charger. The first two use totally different chargers from the last two, and themselves, for a total of three different kinds of chargers that must be used for these 4 kinds of CR123A form factor rechargeable cells.

I bring this up because lately, there have been quite a few threads with people not having good results. This is usually because they are not using the proper charger for the cells they have. As I know you are concerned with safety (as I am), I'll point out that the only really unsafe combination of charger and cell, is to try to charge a 3.7 Volt LiCo cell in a charger meant for the 3 Volt LiCo version. This is a potentially dangerous combination, as the 3 Volt LiCo charger charges at a higher voltage than a 3.7 Volt LiCo charger. I know that sounds backwards, but it isn't. :) The other mismatches will, at worst, just damage the cells.

Dave

No I didn't know that. Thanks. I've used ordinary CR123a for years, but did not know about rechargeable ones until recently. (This forum is full of information.) Looks like care is advised given that I am allergic to uncontrolled fires and explosions.
 
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