Common Batteries vs. 123s In An Emergency (Something That Comes Up Quite A Bit Here)

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cslinger

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I constantly see people talking about wanting AA or D or C etc. due to them being more available in an emergency etc. My question is this, since I have never had to run out and get batteries in an emergency as I am usually stocked.

Would it not make more sense to specifically get a CR123 light of some type for your EMERGENCY light? I can understand wanting common batteries for commonly used lights etc. but in an emergency it seems to me like the first batteries to go at the local Walmart are going to be the AAs, Cs and Ds. You on the other hand can simply sneak over to the Camera department and pick up a few "Camera" batteries which seem much less likely to dissappear.

What say you?
 
defusion

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i say buy stockpiles of anything lithium, and for flashlights CR123 seems to be the preferred choice.
i still recommend having at least one cheap D-cell eating flashlight available for when you can only run those batteries, same goes for AA.

i have 1 CR123 light that i use often, 1 AA light that has many modes for increased runtime or high output whenever you need it.
next to those frequent users for which i have a few weeks worth of batteries, i also have a 3D maglite and some (less efficient than the fenix) cheap AA lights, and one AAA, that i might hand out or use when i only have batteries for those.
 
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cobb

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Re: Common Batteries vs. 123s In An Emergency (Something That Comes Up Quite A Bit Here)

Ive read this ever since I visited the site about how to avoid cr123 models for fear of not finding batteries during an emergency. Frankly, Ive seen cr123s that go for 8 bucks each on the shelf gather dust. Theres no run of cr 123s during a storm or any event. Now during a storm, all the other brands sell out, except duracell brand. After hurricane isabel hit Richmond, gaston and a few others, the battery areas in Walmart were bare, excet for anything with the duracell logo on it and the camera batteries, button cells.

I think the better idea with many being eco conscious is to get recharagable batteries for their lights and a solar or car charger.
 
Planterz

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I think the idea of using AAs or AAAs in emergencies come from the commonality of them in every day houses. What I mean is, it's good to have a flashlight that can use them to cannabilize the batteries from other items, such as TV remotes, alarm clocks, electric toothbrushes, etc. Even if you stockpile CR123A batteries for your Surefires, it can't hurt to have a AA powered flashlight as well, since you're bound to have a few extra batteries lying around for those too.
 
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Eugene

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Re: Common Batteries vs. 123s In An Emergency (Something That Comes Up Quite A Bit Here)

The problem with 123's is nothing takes them but lights. What happens if there is an emergency and you want to use your AM or FM or Scanner or CB or whatever. You then have to stockpile two different kinds of batteries, but if you stick with AA lights then you can just stock one type of battery.
 
TORCH_BOY

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Re: Common Batteries vs. 123s In An Emergency (Something That Comes Up Quite A Bit Here)

I have two emergency lights, one is a Longbow Micra cr123 light, and the other is the Inova X1 fitted with a Lithium AA cell.
 
Oddjob

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Re: Common Batteries vs. 123s In An Emergency (Something That Comes Up Quite A Bit Here)

In true CPF fashion I say stock them both. If there was a real emergency, you increase your odds if you have both AA and 123's. As Planterz said you can take AA's from other appliances and 123's have great shelf life. Being exculsive to one type is limiting. I think it would not hurt to have other battery types as well. I have a cheap 2D light with a SMJLED that would run for a looong time. It's stays in a closet and I never use it but it's there if I need it.
 
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Two of my CR123 lights have 2AA bodies. One in particular (VIP) can run at very low amperage, so runs, and runs, and runs, with common AA's. In my case AA's are the way to go in emergercies, that and chargers that can run off of my car battery, so I can use NiMh's too.

Bill
 
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OceanView

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I've always been a "common battery" type myself, and try to standardize stuff I might use in an emergency on AA's--lights, headlamps, radios, external battery pack for cell phone (Charge2Go's, if I recall correctly).

However, with the availability of rather inexpensive CR123a cells, their long shelf life, and the great runtime and brightness you can get with the latest Cree and SSC LED's, I think I'm starting to rethink that "common battery" philosophy. A moderately driven LED and just a handful of CR123a's are going to produce a lot of useful light for a long time, even if you're not able to get replacements.

While it's true that if you rely on CR123a's for lights, those batteries aren't useful for other things, you can also think of the CR123a's as sparing your precious stockpile of AA/C/D's for running the radio and other electronics that use common batteries--batteries which may be virtually impossible to get once the emergency has started. In an ironic twist, the "common" batteries then become the high-priced, hard-to-find ones because everyone grabs them up in a panic.

Great question, actually. :thumbsup:
 
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ken2400

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If you have cordless tools how about making an LED light that uses the batteries from them?

If space and weight is not too big of a concern what about using sealed Lead acid batts? Putting one on a float charger from harbor freight might be a cheap way to go? I agree it would be the size and weight would limit is portability but would keep a room light for hours.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 
2xTrinity

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Re: Common Batteries vs. 123s In An Emergency (Something That Comes Up Quite A Bit Here)

One thing that I like about many of the LED lights that we have around the house (and in the cars etc) is that they will run on 18650 rechargeables OR 2xCR123 primary. For everyday use, the 18650 is an economical way to go, and for a short term power outage, one charge should be enough (and we have a few spares charged up most of the time) -- my Lumapower M1 for example produces useful "low level" output for about 24 hours, which should last a couple night of continous on-time, or about 4 hours on high with 18650.

spending some money buying a stash of primary CR123s gives me the option of using my nice light even if I'm in a situation where a battery charger isnt convenient -- either an emergency, or even a trip where I'm packing light and would rather spend a few bucks and burn through some lightweight primaries than haul a charger with me.
 
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LiteTheWay

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Re: Common Batteries vs. 123s In An Emergency (Something That Comes Up Quite A Bit Here)

But if it is an emergency and you have run out of and can't get batteries, then the only thing that you can rely on is crank lights. Some of these are pretty good now and will even charge your mobile phone too.
 
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knot

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Re: Common Batteries vs. 123s In An Emergency (Something That Comes Up Quite A Bit Here)

I would like to have a 2x123 LED flashlight with an optional AAA battery pack (like the Lenser arraignment) for those occasions, if possible.
 
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knot

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7histology said:
But if it is an emergency and you have run out of and can't get batteries, then the only thing that you can rely on is crank lights. Some of these are pretty good now and will even charge your mobile phone too.

Well, there is my car that will consistently out crank me in a race to charge batteries or my phone.
 
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paulr

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Re: Common Batteries vs. 123s In An Emergency (Something That Comes Up Quite A Bit Here)

I'd prefer to use AA's for everything. I've still got most of a 40-pack of alkaline primaries left from a project a while back, plus a lot of rechargeable AA's and several chargers including a 15 minute charger that can run off of 12 volts. As mentioned elsewhere I'm looking all over for a cell phone that can run on AA's. I just hate lithium backwards and forwards.
 
xiaowenzu

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Re: Common Batteries vs. 123s In An Emergency (Something That Comes Up Quite A Bit Here)

The answer is to stockpile Sanyo Eneloops! The have the storage longevity of lithiums and ability to be recharged. And they come in AA! :)
 
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saltwater

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Biker Bear said:
Of course - depending on the sort of emergency, gasoline might be far too precious to burn just to charge batteries.

I couldn't agree more. When Hurricane Rita hit Houston all the stations ran out of gas, with the mass exodus of people from the city. Batteries flew off the shelves and bottled water and bread were quickly sold out. If we had taken a direct hit it would have been a long time for supplies to be re-stocked.
My neighbors all have generators but quickly ran out of gas to run them. We only lost power here for 4 days, some areas were out for 2-3 weeks. D cell batteries were the first to go, then the C's. Cr123's were available but at highly inflated pricing.
 
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knot

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Biker Bear said:
Of course - depending on the sort of emergency, gasoline might be far too precious to burn just to charge batteries.

True, but I'd kill two or more birds with one stone if that were the case or rather, a car battery will easily charge a cell phone or small batteries without the motor running.
 
Art Vandelay

Art Vandelay

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Did anybody here have plans to provide for your battery needs after Y2K? What were they?
 

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