BEST RCR123

MikeF

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Cribbage, I think he is looking for RCR123 rechargable batteries, not primary CR123A Batteries like the Surefires etc.
 

labrat

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Found a shop in Bangkok dealing only with flashlights and batteries/chargers/sets.
I bought a set with a charger and two rechargeable 123-cells, Sony LR123A Li-Ion Rechargeable 1200 mAh 3.6 Volts.
Cannot find these batteries in Sony's product-line, and they are stated a much higher capacity than any other rehargeable cells I have seen, also outperforms the UltraFire 880 mAh non-protected cells in run-time with the same bulbs.
Aproximately 11 USD for the set.
Cheap, and so far very good performance!
 
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DM51

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labrat said:
Found a shop in Bangkok dealing only with flashlights and batteries/chargers/sets.
I bought a set with a charger and two rechargeable 123-cells, Sony LR123A Li-Ion Rechargeable 1200 mAh 3.6 Volts.
Cannot find these batteries in Sony's product-line, and they are stated a much higher capacity than any other rehargeable cells I have seen, also outperforms the UltraFire 880 mAh non-protected cells in run-time with the same bulbs.
Aproximately 11 USD for the set.
Cheap, and so far very good performance!
These sound too good to be true. I haven't heard of any Li-Ion RCR123As boasting as much as 1200mAh.

Not in the official Sony line-up, so counterfeit?
 

labrat

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These might be counterfeit, have been cheated in Bangkok before with fake (and not working properly) BP AAA rechargeable cells (they were only repackaged old cells, and the stamped capacity size did not exist), bought in a stall in Phantip Plaza..
But this was a specialized shop, with a lot of different, nice looking flashlight (no SureFires though).
And the cells do deliver performance as expected!
So as long as they do work as now, I am happy with what I got in return for my money.
 

DM51

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It would be interesting to hear if they give you 4/3 times the run-time of the 880mAh Ultafire you have in that pic. I wonder if anyone else has heard of these.
 

labrat

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Not so far from that, based on other user's experiences and mine.
The UltraFire cell gives roughly 30 minutes, the "Sony" cell gives up to 40 minutes on the Lumens Factory EO-E1R bulb.
But as previously stated, when the cell runs out, it fades very quick!
The cell is also clearly hot when taken out, and the voltage is down to 2.55 Volts, but rise fast to above 3 Volts.
When the red light on the charger is not glowing, the cell has finished charging, but the voltage have never been over 3.9 Volts when removed from the charger.
The voltage stays around 3.8 Volt without load after the light is shut off, until it reaches the end of it's runtime then it fades very quick.
 

labrat

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I forgot, the charger is charging two cells independently!
So two cells, with varying states of charge in them, is charged simultaneously, and there are a charging indicator for each of the two cell-positions in the charger.
 

DM51

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I think you may have an unprotected cell there and you should be careful. A protection circuit should not let it go down as far as 2.55v.

Also, the charger should not be terminating at 3.9v. It should charge at 0.5C - 0.8C for about an hour until the cell gets to about 4.0v, then give a topping charge to 4.1-4.2v. Either that or trickle-charge at about 0.1C, but that takes a long time.

I can't tell anything from the comparison with the Ultrafire cell. Is this Ultrafire a new cell, is it protected or unprotected? If it is protected, it means the protection is kicking in as it should, while the unprotected "Sony" goes on discharging.
 

DM51

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Then I'm stumped. It definitely sounds like there's an issue with the charger as it isn't fully charging the batteries, but apart from that I don't know. Maybe nothing else IS wrong.

There's nothing inherently wrong with unprotected RCR123s, but you just need to be careful with them, especially if you want to put 2 in a light in series. I don't think these can be Sony ones though - I very much doubt they would sell unprotected cells, especially after the bad publicity with their computer batteries failing.

And I would be AMAZED if they were a true 1200mAh, despite the apparent better performance than the 880mAh Ultrafire.
 

labrat

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I don't think they are real Sony's either, and now looking at the photo of the charger I notice the misspelling of "BTTERY" on the front, another clue that these are fake (Maybe some China-copycats made them?)
What amazes me is that they do perform as they do, and also after I got the UltraFire's and compared them, and found they did outperform these!
So for the money I paid, I am still happy with what I got!
I am also aware of the dangers using non-protected batteries, watching out for over-depleting/heating, and I do not intend to put both of these in one light.
So far they have been used in my SF E1 and the E1L, both single-cell lights, and my L4 is only running on primaries.
I hope to get the bodies for 18650-cells, and will be using the L4 on this, and also an E1e with the Lumens Factory bulb.
Should I run into problems with these "Sony"-cells, I will surely inform about that here.
But I do hope I will never need to!
 

DM51

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Very funny indeed about "BTTERY"!!! Now you point it out, looking at the photo again it's so obvious! Hilarious that here we've been discussing this while that has been staring us in the face the whole time! An oriental knock-off, if ever there was one.

I probably don't need to tell you to get another charger and not use that one any more. Who knows what it is doing – it may already have damaged the Ultrafire cell. Test its output with a DMM if you have one, but frankly the best thing would be to just throw it in the trash.

It would be interesting to hear how the "phoney Sony" cells last, though. I suspect they will fail on you after relatively few cycles, so please keep a very beady eye on them. I would be very wary of them myself.

As I mentioned in a previous post, unprotected cells are OK for some applications but you should not use them in 2-cell lights unless you are absolutely sure they are in good condition and well-matched. Otherwise, if one discharges drastically quicker than the other, you get large current flows from the good cell to the bad one and the cell can overheat and vent with flame. That is why it is better to use protected cells – the protection circuit prevents that happening.
 
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