Is my Streamlight Ultrastinger worth it?

seandude

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
7
My old dependable Streamlight Ultrastinger is still throwing light after 15 years, although dim and dying. It used to be my workhorse for almost two years when I worked nightshifts at the airport, and I'm amazed it still works. I bought several spare xenon bulbs for it, and never had to change one. The 6v sub-C Ni-Cad batteries only charge up to 4.8V and then quickly die.

My question is this- I can purchase original replacement batteries for $30 from the BIG online retailer. In today's world of bad *** LEDs, is it worth the money?

It sure makes my V11R look puny
light%20%282%29.JPG
 

RI Chevy

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
3,600
Location
Ocean State
I have the same light. Just get a new battery pack and you should be good to go! These are very nice duty lights that last and throw a lot of light.
 

mcm308

Enlightened
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
359
Love this light. One of my favs. Definitely get a new pack for it.
 

NotRegulated

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 2, 2004
Messages
1,358
+1
It is definitely worth keeping running for $30 or so.

I don't have the Ultra Stinger. I upgraded my standard Stinger using Fivemega's 2x18650 Stinger upgrade kit using the Super Stinger bulb back around 2005. I still use it on occasion now and am always pleased with that incan output!
 

seandude

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
7
Thanks for the advice guys. I was hoping to find these sub-c batteries in Lithium ion instead of Ni-Cad, but no luck. I think I'll go for it anyway. Incandescents just seem to reach farther and light things up with a more natural glow.
 

RI Chevy

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
3,600
Location
Ocean State
If the cells or cell pack were in Li Ion, they would probably have different voltage and pop the bulbs. Be careful and always be conscious of voltage. You really should stick with the stock OEM battery packs.
 

seandude

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
7
$30 is a bit high, Batteryjunction sells them for about $11+Shipping
http://www.batteryjunction.com/flb-ncd-2.html?gclid=CKaKwqatssACFQto7AodvwgAHQ

Thanks for the tip. I see that BatteryJunction has two battery sticks available for my flashlight. The NiCD 6V 1600maH OEM battery, and the NiMH 6V 3000 maH battery. The NiMH battery costs $10 more, but has less memory effect, and with nearly double the amp hour rating, it would last longer (and take longer to charge).

What are the drawbacks to the NiMH battery, besides the cost? Is this the better alternative?
 

Illum

Flashaholic
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
13,053
Location
Central Florida, USA
What are the drawbacks to the NiMH battery, besides the cost? Is this the better alternative?

The only things I can think of... is permanent damage if left in depletion voltage for too long, same as most conventional chemistry. NiCd can care less, they act like miniature capacitors almost, drain it flat, charge it up, drain it flat, charge it up, it's happy. Drain it halfway and charge it up though, it'll adjust to your new runtime [halving capacitor due to memory effect]. That's one of the problems, another is the toxicity, but that's more of an end of life event.

Another thing, NIMH may have bigger capacity, but it doesn't handle heavy currents as well as NiCd, both charging and discharging [it will run, but might be a tad less output due to voltage sag]. As a result rechargeable incandescent of that era generally all use NiCd even though NIMH was already available. Also, NiMH batteries have approximately twice the self-discharge rate of NiCAD batteries when in an used state, but modern day LSD NIMHs have catered that problem nicely.
 

seandude

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
7
Illum- you're very knowledgeable. Thanks for your explanation. Seems that if Streamlight had a choice at the time of conception and decided to go with NiCd, then that is my best choice. Now all I have to do is find a way to hide the credit card bill from my wife.
 

Conte

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
734
Location
Canada
I have a streamlight SL-20 I've rigged to run 26650 cells. If I KNEW I could get LSD half D cells for it, I would probably bite.

To me, unless it's an AA, all those nickles are obsolete.

If it was me, I would try to figure a way to repack it using Lithium based cells. I'm sure I could adapt it to run of a pair of 18650 cells, just I wouldn't be using the normal charger anymore.

I read this has already been discussed. You won't find drop in li-ion Sub-C cells, you would have to adapt it.

The question to ask yourself, it how often will your realistically use it.
If I was going to use it often, then yes, I would buy an OEM style battery for it.
If it's an occasional thing, I would adapt it to use batteries that I keep in stock for my other lights like 18650.

Unless you find a nice LSD Nimh pack, you're going to have to maintain it. Which means you'll be working on it more than using it, and one day, your battery will expire and you'll be back full circle to where you are now, but with a wasted battery that barely got used . . . I've been there before.

That being said, if you are going to get an OEM style nickle pack for it, I'd probably go NiCd, they will probably handle neglect better.

If you do go with a Lithium upgrade, want to keep the stock bulb, don't care about capacity cause it's a once in a while play thing, and want something that is worry free, get a set of Lithium Phosphate cells.
 

Timothybil

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
3,662
Location
The great state of Misery (Missouri)
Illum- you're very knowledgeable. Thanks for your explanation. Seems that if Streamlight had a choice at the time of conception and decided to go with NiCd, then that is my best choice. Now all I have to do is find a way to hide the credit card bill from my wife.

Go get a Walmart money card and pay with that. Just as useful as a credit card, and no annoying paper trail to get you in trouble.
 

Conte

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
734
Location
Canada
The is something more going on here . . .
A replacement battery does not an angry wife make.
 

seandude

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
7
I ordered the NiCd stick from BatteryJunction. It was a great price and certainly beat amazon even with shipping all the way to Hawaii. Mahalo for all of the great replies.

I was being facetious about hiding the credit card bill guys. I'm sure all of our wives are well aware of our flashlight fetish. They've got their shoes, we've got our toys. Admit it- who here hasn't come home from work to see the happy brown box on the table with the wife shaking her head, "Another one?". Hint: it helps to track your shipment and have dinner in hand upon arrival. *grins*
 
Top