Battery Suckers Suck - Thrunite Catapult Mini

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Hamilton Felix

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Well, as time went by.,, my Nitecore EA4W died and I wanted to fill its custom leather holster (Thor’s Hammer Leather), so I got the EA41 Pioneer, then it died. I recently updated with a Thrunite TC20 V2 to fit the same holster. But that’s a “light up the back 40” light. I wanted a thrower, too. The Thrunite Catapult Mini is a great pocket sized “light up one tree across the back 40” light. I am impressed.

But... I leave the Catapult Mini on the night stand for days, then grab it when I want it. Dead - or close to it. Turns out this one is a battery sucker. It seems to be a thing with today’s electronics-controlled LED lights, that some will pull down batteries while on the shelf, turned off. Usually, we’ve experienced this with cheap common brand name lights bought in a “three pack” from Costco. But sometimes a Real Name light does it. So now, the Catapult Mini sits in two sections on the nightstand, and I assemble it when I want to put it in my pocket. But this is NOT a light to leave in the car “just in case.”

Guess I just wanted to vent, but I wondered if others have experienced same with the same lights. I don’t think there’s much one can do. Life was simpler 50 years ago, when we just flipped one cell in our 2D lights before heading into the hills. 😉 I wonder if anyone anywhere is making up a list of battery suckers to avoid...🙄
 
thermal guy

thermal guy

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When I was into HDS lights back when they were HDS lights I had a U60XRGT that would drain a battery in 3-4 days. It killed me to send it back as henry couldn’t fix it and could not make anymore.The more complicated things get the more that can and will go wrong. That’s life.
 
H

Hamilton Felix

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You’re right about that. I believe Mr. Scott said “the more complicated you make the plumbing, the easier it is to stop it up.” 😉

Your tale got me thinking: Apparently, not every light of a particular model is necessarily a battery sucker (if all HDS did it, there’d be an outcry). It may well be that if I bought another Catapult Mini it would not have the problem. I guess that’s just part of our initial familiarization these days: learn if it’s one you need to store with battery separate.
 
thermal guy

thermal guy

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The search for Spock 😁
 
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wweiss

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The Manker SkyLumen modded E14vn III & MC13vn both do it but only with Manker’s brand battery. I’m wondering if it’s the battery and not the light that’s self discharging slowly.
 
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DaveTheDude

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I don't have anything of substance to add to the discussion, but after experiencing some fatal parasitic drain on another brand of light, I've sworn to never buy one with that "feature" again. In that regard, I very much appreciate reviews that specifically identify and call out any light with an electronic switch, regardless of how low the current draw is claimed to be by the manufacturer. Current draw claims are in the same category as claims of throw distance...IMHO.

200
 
bykfixer

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I've a few lights with mechanical switches removed from the just in case category. My 1st gen Elzetta Alpha with hi/lo tailcap would prompt to low after sitting a few weeks in the lockout position. Swap in new cell and all was normal. Out of curiosity I left a cell in it several months and sure enough the battery was dead.
Same with a Fenix E05. That one surprised me.

Maglite XL lights in lock out position as well. Most recently and to my surprise a Maglite ML25 with the tailcap loosened a full turn had sucked dry some eneloops. That one has the minimag style switch but I left that turned on so my prefered beam would be set and I loosened the tailcap to cut the circuit, but apparently it was not completely cut. Other ML25's have not done that. Just the polished silver one I own. Perhaps due to no anodization? But it turns off when loosening the tailcap.

Last year I discovered a shelf queen SureFire 6p that had new batteries had the issue. Went to fire it up and nothing. Swap in new cells and it worked fine. Tried the cells in another 6p and nothing.

Anyway I just wanted to point out that on occasion lights with mechanical switches can have parasitic drain, even in lockout mode.
 
Poppy

Poppy

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I hadn't considered that my light may be killing my batteries, as much as the fact that with time the rechargeables self discharge.

This cheap blue light runs on 2x AAA cells. I don't think that duraloops, and eneloops hold their charge as long as they are touted to hold them. Although, almost never used, the little AAAs in that light need to be periodically topped off. Sometimes I'll go to my stash of AA duraloops, and eneloops that are in my drawer, and they all take a charge when I put them in the charger to top them off.

Maybe they are getting old, because you know how time flies, but they are certainly under used. Therefore they have not been depleted due to charge cycles.
 
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Cliffjumper

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Doesn't really address the original question, but... Most of my lights these days are fire or send-you-to-the-hospital burn hazards. So I focus on getting lights that I can quarter-turn disconnect the batteries in case one of my kids manages to climb onto something and get their hands on one. So for me, even with e-switches, I can leave them for weeks or months (or a year in some cases) and still have a useable charge left as long as I remember to lock them out. But I always have another light available somewhere in the house that's charged up.

(I'm very type-A and keep a Google spreadsheet tracking all my lights with their details, features, locations, and date last charged.)
 
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Lawman VII XIV

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I doubt very much that any light with a truly mechanical switch has parasitic drain. I don't use Duracell products, but all the eneloops I've used in almost ten years have held a charge very well. I use them in a half-dozen TechLite Lumen Master 200s. I got them in a three-pack from Costco.

Most people don't seem to know these are not the same flashlights Costco first sold under that marque. From the online complaints of the previous version, these are much better lights. No parasitic drain.

My oldest Eneloops date back to 2008. I didn't date them as they were received, but I should start doing that. Anyway, some are starting to fail, as in needed more frequent recharging or having "failed" according to my Powerex charger.

A list of the usual suspects would be helpful, as a guide.
 
ledbetter

ledbetter

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Mechanical switch flashlights are very unlikely to have parasitic drain. It’s much more likely that your batteries are the problem.
 
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ampdude

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The only light I have that drains batteries is an old army style bent head light. Thing will drain a set of D's in a week. Not sure how or why. I don't use it, not even sure where it's at anymore.
 
Henk4U2

Henk4U2

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Personally I prefer lights that (also) have a mechanical switch. But even then, I give the tailcap a ½ turn backwards when I'm not carrying the light.
Being fond of lighted tailswitches I often make a redneck version of my own, by just bridging the tailswitch with a generic 3mm led. And swap the black tailcap for an opaque one, of course. Not very sophisticated, but it will serve the purpose for at least several months with an18650 battery.
 

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