HDS HDS Systems #23

LRJ88

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May 4, 2014
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374
Just because i’m lazy (and because there’s just way too many to navigate properly), does anyone know the locator beacon runtimes on the newer (2018 -) models? I’ve found the older ones quoting numbers of 3+ years but as i’ve understood it at least one person was doing it on the newer models but i’ve yet to see the results.
 
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mcsquare

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Aug 6, 2011
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A bit more than a year ago, I was curious about the parasitic drain of my rotaries and the effect of using the locator beacon. I devised a crude experiment around being able to measure voltages to 0.01V precision: I have tested (to my best effort) the capacities of three of my 16340 cells, and after a full charge put them 1) in Brass rotary (NB40) with locator beacon ON; 2) in Titanium rotary (NB45) with locator beacon OFF; 3) to rest on my desk. I measured the voltage of each the cells at approximately regular intervals for ~1 month (see caveats below) and obtained the following graph:

HDS_drain.png


Markers are raw voltage measurements (with error bars indicating my measurement precision). I then digitized the cell's nominal discharge curve at low current draw from lygte-info.dk and constructed discharge functions normalized to measured capacities of each cell. Non-linear least-squares fit provided an estimate of the actual drain of each cell.

I think it is fairly clear that the locator beacon has a significant impact on standby current. Very approximately, the locator beacon would fully discharge a 850mAh cell in about 160 days, or about nine months for a CR123A with 1400mAh (ignoring for now the different voltages between 16340 and CR123A, since this is all very rough to begin with). This more or less matches my experience, where an otherwise unused rotary with beacon on would indicate low battery after a few months. With the locator beacon off, standby only adds a very small parasitic drain to the self-discharge. It would take on the order of years to fully drain a rechargeable cell, at which point the self-discharge would have already done so. For a CR123A, this would take significantly longer since primaries have less self-discharge.

My take away is that if you are actively using the light and cycling through cells with any regularity, then the locator beacon adds insignificant amounts of battery consumption. On the other hand, it doesn't seem advisable to activate the beacon with a battery inside if it's in storage for more than a few months.

Now for the caveats: 1) I would have like to have measured for many more days, but life got in the way; 2) I did have to remove the cells to measure the voltages, which means these measurements are not in situ. However, this shouldn't be a big effect, since the current draw is so small; 3) Removing the cells in between also meant that sometimes I wasn't quick enough to replace the cells before the lights reset, so the reset flashes and/or the extra on/off cycles to turn off the locator beacons would contribute to the drain. I roughly approximated the effect and it comes out to a few percent difference averaged over the course of every measurement cycle, so I think it is acceptable. Nonetheless, all of this should be taken to be upper bounds of parasitic drain, since more careful and less perturbative measurements are certainly possible.
 

LRJ88

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Joined
May 4, 2014
Messages
374
A bit more than a year ago, I was curious about the parasitic drain of my rotaries and the effect of using the locator beacon. I devised a crude experiment around being able to measure voltages to 0.01V precision: I have tested (to my best effort) the capacities of three of my 16340 cells, and after a full charge put them 1) in Brass rotary (NB40) with locator beacon ON; 2) in Titanium rotary (NB45) with locator beacon OFF; 3) to rest on my desk. I measured the voltage of each the cells at approximately regular intervals for ~1 month (see caveats below) and obtained the following graph:

View attachment 34159

Markers are raw voltage measurements (with error bars indicating my measurement precision). I then digitized the cell's nominal discharge curve at low current draw from lygte-info.dk and constructed discharge functions normalized to measured capacities of each cell. Non-linear least-squares fit provided an estimate of the actual drain of each cell.

I think it is fairly clear that the locator beacon has a significant impact on standby current. Very approximately, the locator beacon would fully discharge a 850mAh cell in about 160 days, or about nine months for a CR123A with 1400mAh (ignoring for now the different voltages between 16340 and CR123A, since this is all very rough to begin with). This more or less matches my experience, where an otherwise unused rotary with beacon on would indicate low battery after a few months. With the locator beacon off, standby only adds a very small parasitic drain to the self-discharge. It would take on the order of years to fully drain a rechargeable cell, at which point the self-discharge would have already done so. For a CR123A, this would take significantly longer since primaries have less self-discharge.

My take away is that if you are actively using the light and cycling through cells with any regularity, then the locator beacon adds insignificant amounts of battery consumption. On the other hand, it doesn't seem advisable to activate the beacon with a battery inside if it's in storage for more than a few months.

Now for the caveats: 1) I would have like to have measured for many more days, but life got in the way; 2) I did have to remove the cells to measure the voltages, which means these measurements are not in situ. However, this shouldn't be a big effect, since the current draw is so small; 3) Removing the cells in between also meant that sometimes I wasn't quick enough to replace the cells before the lights reset, so the reset flashes and/or the extra on/off cycles to turn off the locator beacons would contribute to the drain. I roughly approximated the effect and it comes out to a few percent difference averaged over the course of every measurement cycle, so I think it is acceptable. Nonetheless, all of this should be taken to be upper bounds of parasitic drain, since more careful and less perturbative measurements are certainly possible.
Pretty much exactly what i was looking for, thank you very much. Sparingly using the locator beacon when in need seems to be the way to go.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Seems like anyone using a flashlight nightly will not lose significant runtime with the locater beacon on, right? Maybe keep activated at night only? (Helpful if one rises before dawn)
 

mcsquare

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Aug 6, 2011
Messages
7
Pretty much exactly what i was looking for, thank you very much. Sparingly using the locator beacon when in need seems to be the way to go.
Seems like anyone using a flashlight nightly will not lose significant runtime with the locater beacon on, right? Maybe keep activated at night only? (Helpful if one rises before dawn)

I think if you're using your light regularly, the locator beacon at worst might move up your battery swap by a few days. This should not be an issue unless you have a CR123A in there and expecting full juice after setting it aside for a few months!
 

klackey

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Love the old school stuff...................... still feel it is some of the best .................... love the clickily lights. They have been dead reliable.
 

kaichu dento

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My take away is that if you are actively using the light and cycling through cells with any regularity, then the locator beacon adds insignificant amounts of battery consumption.
I've always left my locator beacon active and since I have to recharge anywhere from daily to weekly, not enough drain to matter.
 

the.Mtn.Man

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Oct 3, 2008
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I almost never turn the locator beacon off, and my rechargeable batteries easily last for weeks with regular daily use of my Rotary. The small amount of extra drain is really not worth worrying about.
 

jimmy1970

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Sep 6, 2008
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Location
Brisbane, Australia
Hi,

Does anyone know where I can source new HDS flat tailcap rubbers?

As I was a HDS dealer at the time, Henry shipped me a few spares years ago but they’ve all split and gone to heaven.

My last cap rubber is ready to split too. I sent HDS an email 2 years ago and didn’t get a response!

Any assistance would be appreciated.

Thanks,

James….🙂
 

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desert.snake

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Eastern Europe
Hi,

Does anyone know where I can source new HDS flat tailcap rubbers?

As I was a HDS dealer at the time, Henry shipped me a few spares years ago but they’ve all split and gone to heaven.

My last cap rubber is ready to split too. I sent HDS an email 2 years ago and didn’t get a response!

Any assistance would be appreciated.

Thanks,

James….🙂
You're lucky it's the clicky version. He has a lot on his site
 

LRJ88

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May 4, 2014
Messages
374
Hogo, i know it’s been said before but i can’t for the life of me find it now, what’s the maximum comfortable battery length for the regular cr123 battery tube? I’ve seen all kinds of batteries recommended up to 37mm in length or somesuch, but if you could weigh in before i put some almost 36mm long Keeppowers in it and mash them i’d be grateful.
 

jimmy1970

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Sep 6, 2008
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Brisbane, Australia
You're lucky it's the clicky version. He has a lot on his site
Thanks guys but the website wants to charge me $75 USD for shipping to Australia for 1 tailcap rubber!
 

Hogokansatsukan

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Aug 14, 2006
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Tucson
Hogo, i know it’s been said before but i can’t for the life of me find it now, what’s the maximum comfortable battery length for the regular cr123 battery tube? I’ve seen all kinds of batteries recommended up to 37mm in length or somesuch, but if you could weigh in before i put some almost 36mm long Keeppowers in it and mash them i’d be grateful.
36 would be max.
 

LRJ88

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May 4, 2014
Messages
374
36 would be max.
Thank you kindly, just to make it a lot easier later on and if someone googles it i’ll just add this then:

HDS Systems max length battery 16340 CR123 36 mm.

I don’t know if it’d be worth adding it to the HDS FAQ either sometime later, thank you for the clarification now though.
 
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