For Streamlight Strion users-FYI

aznsx

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I'll take the risk of repeating myself by taking this back to the title post of this thread now, which I started.

There is a new Strion cell for the Strion system which provides a ~30% capacity increase over the existing cell.

I'm not here to sell Strion flashlights. SL's been doing a fine job of that for over a dozen years and need no help from me, so I will offer none ;-)

There's another thread about the latest model here, which I believe was started by a LEO:

 

aznsx

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People who've already received these things say the battery works fine in older lights. I don't see a reason it wouldn't.
I have my idea(s) about why that might have been changed, however I currently have a question in to SL Support which will hopefully verify their official policy, even though that might differ from the actual reality of the matter due to policy decision.
I think there's a good chance that this may have been a "policy decision", as I previously stated (or implied) above; a business decision, rather than a technical one. The simple question I submitted to Support was very carefully and deliberately worded in such a way as to hopefully provide a revealing answer. I've not yet received a reply, but I won't be surprised if that takes a few days, based on the specific question asked. It might have generated some discussion up there......

I had to submit the question via a web 'contact form', and didn't even get the usual 'auto-acknowledgement' e-mail, but hopefully they received it. If I don't hear back, I'll re-submit it. When I get a response, I'll post the result here.

Keep in mind that if they've decided to not officially "support" the new cell in older models, regardless of the reason or technical factors, that lack of support will nevertheless be a factor to consider. If one does something which is "unsupported", and stuff goes sideways EDIT: for any reason, that can become a liability issue (warranty, safety, etc.). That's a position I try to avoid putting myself in.
 

ABTOMAT

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Maybe the light can't charge the battery with the charger but the new light has different electronics in it?
The new batteries are compatible with existing piggyback chargers, so there doesn't seem to be a charging issue. It's probably just a CYA but who knows.
 
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ABTOMAT

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I did a little shopping around, some of the other police supply type places have lower prices and discount coupons if you're itching to buy one.
 

aznsx

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Tested the new cell in a few older Strions I have (except a very old incan that uses a cell with no traditional negative terminal), and it works fine. It's physically identical, and the voltage is the same. Why wouldnt it work?

The critical distinction in this case is the difference between what 'works', and what is 'supported'. They are related, but also fundamentally different things. My communication to SL is specifically to determine the latter.
 

ABTOMAT

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Tested the new cell in a few older Strions I have (except a very old incan that uses a cell with no traditional negative terminal), and it works fine. It's physically identical, and the voltage is the same. Why wouldnt it work?
The newer double-ended cells work fine in the old incan Strions. The "switch" is just a nonconductive plastic nub. Interesting thing about the Strion, concept-wise it's very close to the Surefire 8X from 1993. I think that was the only Surefire to not use the typical Surefire switch of the period.
 

aznsx

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This is an update regarding the new Strion cell, 74436, which is being released with the Strion 2020.

I initially found this cell listed on brightguy, with e-mail signup for notification of availability for order. I wish I had saved the info on that page, as it appears (to me) to currently be 180-out with what I recall reading there a few weeks ago.

Unless I'm very mistaken, the BG description previously stated that the new cell was compatible with previous Strion products. When I received the e-mail notification and clicked the link to order one, I found that the info there currently indicates that the cell is not 'backward compatible'.

"Streamlight 74436 Li-ion battery is compatible with Streamlight Strion 2020 flashlight only."

I have my idea(s) about why that might have been changed, however I currently have a question in to SL Support which will hopefully verify their official policy, even though that might differ from the actual reality of the matter due to policy decision. I'll post the essence of their response to my inquiry when I receive it.

I think there's a good chance that this may have been a "policy decision", as I previously stated (or implied) above; a business decision, rather than a technical one.

Don't shoot the messenger here......I'm just closing the loop and documenting SL's response to the question I submitted to them (as I indicated I would) regarding backward compatibility (with previous Strion models), or lack thereof, of the new cell (74436) being introduced for use with new the Strion 2020.

SL's official policy on this, as I expected, is in agreement with the statement in the current Bright Guy listing for that cell, which I'll repeat was apparently revised at some point between their initial listing of the cell, and the announcement of 'in stock' and 'available for order' status. No surprise there, and BG's current listing / information (which complies with SL's policy on this), states:

"Streamlight 74436 rechargeable battery; compatible with Strion 2020 only."

I submitted a web-based contact to SL's Support (Case #C90342) after business hours on Wed, 03/13/24. I received a reply from them in my Inbox at 06:52 AM MST the following morning, 03/14/24. The text of the question I submitted was:

"I have a Strion DS-HL, and am considering buying a Strion 2020. My question is:

If I purchase a spare/extra battery (74436) for the Strion 2020, can I also use that same spare battery with my Strion DS-HL as needed/required?"



Removing the fluff, customary polite pleasantries, and extraneous info, the (EDIT:essence) of their short, simple response was:

"...the battery is not backward compatible."

Due to professional curiosity related to my background, I've spent a good bit of time (more than I'd like to admit) analyzing all the factors I can come up with which were likely involved in making that policy decision regarding backward compatibility of the new cell. I found it very interesting. A number of factors were likely considered, and there were both 'pros and cons' to consider with some of those. If my assumptions are correct, it was not a simple black and white decision as many might assume, and there were several factors on which reasonable people could (and likely did) disagree. I don't think it was a short discussion in that cross-functional product team meeting where this issue was decided, and having been in many such meetings myself, I have a good idea of how the discussion went. Personally, I don't 'like' the decision they made, but I do 'understand' it, and I can honestly say that after considering the big picture, I think they made the best decision on this. I would have likely voted in favor of the position they took. Most will probably find that very surprising, but it's true.

I won't waste the time / bandwidth of going through all the involved factors here, because one thing is for certain: It's a 'done deal', and it 'is what it is', so there's no point in beating a dead horse. Everyone can and will make their own decision on whether or not to use the new cell(s) in their previously existing Strion lights; just be aware that it is your personal decision, and if you decide to use them in that way, it will be outside of SL's officially supported policy, should that ever be an issue. You'll be 'on your own' if you do that, which is fine, just be aware of that fact.

All that said, I will clarify that I am still not personally aware of any technical issue(s) which would result from using the new cell in previously existing Strion lights. What will 'work fine', and what is 'officially supported', are likely very different things in this case, but be aware that the distinction probably applies here. This may or may not matter to you personally.

EDIT: Spelling correction
 
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snakebite

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No technical or safety reason it can't be used in the old incandescent strion.
Mine has an mj1 cell in its pack.
I rebuilt the pack myself.
This is purely marketing B.S.
 

ABTOMAT

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All right, Strion battery testing, Easter edition.

PXL_20240331_193139385.jpg


DISCLAIMER: This is my opinion based on superficial observations. The short verison is that I can't find any easily apparent compatibility issues. All Strion batteries are approved to charge directly from the Streamlight Piggyback charger, so there can't be major electrical differences.

I tested every battery in four different Strion models. One xenon, one Strion LED, one Strion DS HL, and one Strion 2020. They're all fully compatible backwards and forwards with one exception: Early Strion batteries don't have a negative terminal at the tail end of the battery. That terminal is required for a modern tailcap switch to work (xenon Strions didn't actually have a tailcap switch; rather it pushed the whole battery forward.) So an early battery will work in LED Strion models with side switches but the tailcap switch won't work. A plain LED Strion with ONLY a tailcap switch is a no-go with an early battery. The reverse isn't true, so you can power an ancient Strion with a new battery.

PXL_20240331_192857201.jpg


Also took a 2000s xenon battery, two different 2010s LED batteries, and a 2024 (for the 2020--this is confusing) battery and tested the voltage fresh off the charger. No meaningful difference.

PXL_20240331_192035065.jpg

PXL_20240331_192053560.jpg

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PXL_20240331_192128043.jpg
 

ABTOMAT

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Ever wonde what's inside an Strion battery? Here's a failed 2010s one I took apart. You can see it's an unprotected 18650 at the core. There's some kind of voltage regulator on a PCB under an insulator on the tail end, and two conductors that run from that end to the negative ring on the head end of the battery.

Some time around 2019 they changed from using stamped metal contacts to plated PCBs on both ends, but otherwise they're all outwardly similar.

PXL_20240331_191646222.jpg

PXL_20240331_191730032.jpg

PXL_20240331_191822752.jpg

PXL_20240331_191850363.jpg
 

dano

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Thinking another way, maybe Streamlight doesnt want the pre-2020 cells used in the new Strion-2020, due tothe new light's incereased current draw?

Interestingly, there is zero on Streamlight.com regarding this comaptibility issue, that i could find. There is nothing in the Strion-2020's manual or any online docs.
 
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