Close call?

pendragon2019

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Mar 25, 2019
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Ok, here's my little story. I have a Quark Mini 123 flashlight that runs on one Titanium Innovation CR123 battery. I've had this awesome little flashlight for maybe 10 years now and I freaking love it. I carry it with me every day. The other day, I found my flashlight on a kitchen counter. I figured it had either fallen from my pocket and someone picked it up, or else, one of our little kids stole it from my pants and my wife snagged it from them. So back in my pocket it went.

Later that day, I went into our dark shop and pulled the flashlight out so I could see. When I twisted it on, nothing happened. Dead battery, I figured. Probably one of the kids was playing and left it on. So I stuck it back in my pocket and started walking back to the house. I thought I twisted it off.

About 45 seconds later, my pocket starts growing quite warm. I pulled the flashlight out and it was getting really hot. I quickly twisted the head off and popped the quite hot battery out and tossed it on the ground. No smoke, nothing blew up. But damn.

Want to know the charming bit? The lithium battery was inserted into the flashlight backwards. The best I can guess is that the kids unscrewed the head and took it apart, then my wife must have just shoved it all back together and set the flashlight on the counter. She says she doesn't even remember doing it (with screaming kids, I can kind of believe that). But someone - not me - put that battery in backwards before I put the flashlight back in my pocket.

I'm guessing that could be considered a "close call."
 
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WalkIntoTheLight

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Ok, here's my little story. I have a Quark Mini 123 flashlight that runs on one Titanium Innovation CR123 battery.

About 45 seconds later, my pocket starts growing quite warm. I pulled the flashlight out and it was getting really hot. I quickly twisted the head off and popped the quite hot battery out and tossed it on the ground. No smoke, nothing blew up. But damn.

Want to know the charming bit? The lithium battery was inserted into the flashlight backwards.

AFAIK, the Quarks are supposed to have reverse polarity protection. I guess that didn't work, or something else failed. (Damaged wrap?) Are you sure it was inserted backwards? It might have been tough to tell in the panic.
 

pendragon2019

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I'm about 90% sure it was in backwards, but to be fair, I yanked it out in a hurry and tossed it fast (I was hoping it wouldn't decide to vent in my hands). I had a visual impression that it came out tail first, but I didn't sit there and examine it. The wrap was fine when I later examined the battery. I think the Q Mini123 was the first of the mini 123 line, so I'm not sure if those had the reverse polarity protection, but they probably did.

The light still works great. It's a wonderful flashlight. Mine has worn all the black anodizing off the high points of the knurling, and all the sharp edges are nicely rounded, so it has a very 'old friend' feeling to it. For being carried in my pocket with my keys every day for a decade, the glass is in better shape than my eyeglasses lenses are after a year of careful wear. They really made the Q Mini123 just right.
 

pendragon2019

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I think that was user error. Any flashlight might do something unexpected if you jam the batteries in backwards and twist it on.
 

GoVegan

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Great example of why us flashaholics should keep CR123 lights away from kids, I'm always shocked when I see people here giving 2xCR123 or even 18650 lights to their kids, without thinking about the consequences of what could easily happen.

Anyways, I'd personally stay away from Titanium Innovation CR123 cells are they are made in China.
 

LeanBurn

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I have kids and battery newb adults that use my lights. For that reason (among others) is why NimH was the way to go for me. I never have to worry.
 

Monocrom

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Great example of why us flashaholics should keep CR123 lights away from kids, I'm always shocked when I see people here giving 2xCR123 or even 18650 lights to their kids, without thinking about the consequences of what could easily happen.

Yeah, too dangerous. Plus, a CR123 is a choking hazard. Kids always putting stuff in their mouths.

Anyways, I'd personally stay away from Titanium Innovation CR123 cells are they are made in China.

+1
I don't trust such cells even though technically they are less dangerous inside of single-cell lights.
 

Kestrel

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[...] I don't trust such cells even though technically they are less dangerous inside of single-cell lights.
I seem to recall back in the day that we had more incidents with 2xCR123 configurations; in large part, those may have been replaced with (safer) 1x18650's - so now most CR123 lights on CPF are single cells. It has been quite some time since we had a serious safety discussion on CR123 lights, hopefully because things have improved I think.
 

Monocrom

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I seem to recall back in the day that we had more incidents with 2xCR123 configurations; in large part, those may have been replaced with (safer) 1x18650's - so now most CR123 lights on CPF are single cells. It has been quite some time since we had a serious safety discussion on CR123 lights, hopefully because things have improved I think.

I have to be honest, I still use two CR123 cells in most of my main EDC lights. Have never even come close to having a safety issue. But I mainly use SureFire or Streamlight branded CR123s (which are basically re-branded Made in America Panasonic cells.)

I have noticed that some of the trouble with 2xCR123s came from folks who tried to cheap out with crappy Made in China cells. No matter how often I and other members have warned against using such cells, some folks it seems had to learn the hard way.
 

pendragon2019

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Mar 25, 2019
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I'd just like to reiterate, that I don't give my kids the flashlight to play with. It had apparently found its way out of my pocket and someone picked it up.

As for the CR123 cells by Titanium Innovations, I've never had a problem with them before, after years of use. I'm much more afraid of coin cells with kids around, especially the ones found in the s***ty little toys kids always seem to acquire, which immediately break open.
 
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