NiMH D cells?

Mike G

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Hi all,

I'm looking to switch from alkalines to NiMH, and I have a few things that run on D or C cells - namely a Maglite and a lantern. I'm having trouble figuring out what brand of cells to get for these, it seems most of them have "optimistic" capacity ratings and/or poor quality control. I'm having similar struggles with picking out a charger. Any recommendations?
 

LEDphile

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You may find it simpler to use adapters and AA cells in your devices that need C and D cells (the adapters are readily available online). Gives you a few more options for chargers as well
 

Mike G

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You may find it simpler to use adapters and AA cells in your devices that need C and D cells (the adapters are readily available online). Gives you a few more options for chargers as well
Wouldn't that result in much higher voltage, or am I mistaken? If not, that's not a bad idea, but I'd still like to use full-size cells if there's any good ones. Three AA Eneloops would give 5,700 mAh, but a (good) D cell should probably be 8,000+.
 

fivemega

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You will need parallel 3AA to D adapter loaded with 3 Eneloop pro cells.
Since all 3 battery connected in parallel, voltage will remain 1.2 volt but capacity will be 3X (3x2500=7500) mAh which means long run and low self discharge.
For C size, these are OK.
These with Eneloops will work too but capacity will be low.
Remember always use LSD (Low Self Discharge) NiMH batteries.
 
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Lynx_Arc

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I agree AA LSD nimh (eneloops) is the best way to go if you want to continue using these lights. You should also invest in a good smart charger.

One other thing to consider is to upgrade these lights to something that is newer and doesn't take D cells as there are a lot of offerings out there and with newer and brighter and more efficient LEDs and drivers too. I strongly recommend lithium ion power if you decide to pursue this as it has a big advantage over Nimh in that it is more power dense, higher voltage, and can handle higher currents.
 

fulee9999

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it's very hard to beat the capacity of the D cell, but as stated before, you could use eneloop pros and an adapter
 

Lynx_Arc

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it's very hard to beat the capacity of the D cell, but as stated before, you could use eneloop pros and an adapter
D alkaleaks only aren't beatable at low currents...... at 500ma an Energizer D cell is rated at 6000mah, compare that to 3 eneloops at 6000mah combined for original and about 7200mah for eneloop pros.
If you are using 3D cells you could even consider using lithium ion cells in parallel and a pair of 3400mah 1650s can give you 6800mah.
 
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xxo

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I've had good luck with soshine LSD NiMH C's and D's.
 

Mike G

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You will need parallel 3AA to D adapter loaded with 3 Eneloop pro cells.
Since all 3 battery connected in parallel, voltage will remain 1.2 volt but capacity will be 3X (3x2500=7500) mAh which means long run and low self discharge.
For C size, these are OK.
These with Eneloops will work too but capacity will be low.
Remember always use LSD (Low Self Discharge) NiMH batteries.
Cheers, I'll file that away.
I agree AA LSD nimh (eneloops) is the best way to go if you want to continue using these lights. You should also invest in a good smart charger.

One other thing to consider is to upgrade these lights to something that is newer and doesn't take D cells as there are a lot of offerings out there and with newer and brighter and more efficient LEDs and drivers too. I strongly recommend lithium ion power if you decide to pursue this as it has a big advantage over Nimh in that it is more power dense, higher voltage, and can handle higher currents.
Where should I start? I'm really not too familiar with flashlights, I just know that my Maglite is tough as a brick, throws a lotta light, and runs for a long time. What are my options for replacing it and my lantern? I don't really want anything with a built-in or proprietary battery, since cells inevitably wear out, plus I like the convenience of just being able to replace the battery if need be.
 

radellaf

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I recently bought an unreasonable number of EBL C and D LSD NiMH. They all test out close enough to their ratings. I had some Tenergy Centura but those cost a fortune and I hear they're not the same quality or mfg as they used to be like 10 years ago. EBL isn't Eneloop but they're not bad. What's most annoying is that all but one of my "4 cell" chargers can only fit two D cells.

Really, I should just use AA adapters. I have a few, both generic 3xAA and Eneloop brand 1xAA.
 

Rickajho

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I've had good luck with soshine LSD NiMH C's and D's.
I haven't. At least the places I ordered from claimed the Soshine's were LSD. But within 4 months none of them would hold a charge better than 30% of their rated capacity 2 weeks after being charged. Waste of money, for me anyway.

I'd rather have the AA eneloop's at a lower capacity than have to be concerned about how charged - or not - a flashlight full of Soshine D cells is.
 

pendragon1998

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I use rechargeable D-cell NiMH batteries at work, and we own about 400-500 of them. The ones I settled on are the PowerEx 10,000mAh low self discharge D-cells. They power our devices in the field for months. For charging and testing, we have ten XTAR Dragon VP4+ units, and we have been very happy with them.
 

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knucklegary

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I use rechargeable D-cell NiMH batteries at work, and we own about 400-500 of them. The ones I settled on are the PowerEx 10,000mAh low self discharge D-cells. They power our devices in the field for months. For charging and testing, we have ten XTAR Dragon VP4+ units, and we have been very happy with them.
Who is your company supplier for PowerEx cells?

I know AA PowerEx are made in Japan but not sure about their C or D-cells?

Thx..
 

pendragon1998

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Who is your company supplier for PowerEx cells?

I know AA PowerEx are made in Japan but not sure about their C or D-cells?

Thx..
The battery said tested and assembled in Taiwan, made in China - whatever that means.

I think we generally buy them off Amazon, actually.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Cheers, I'll file that away.

Where should I start? I'm really not too familiar with flashlights, I just know that my Maglite is tough as a brick, throws a lotta light, and runs for a long time. What are my options for replacing it and my lantern? I don't really want anything with a built-in or proprietary battery, since cells inevitably wear out, plus I like the convenience of just being able to replace the battery if need be.
There is a lot of lights and lanterns that can take bare 18650 and 21700 cells with the 18650 most popular and the 21700 slowly catching up with it. You can easily swap out batteries and many of these lights/lanterns can take 1 or more cells....... headlamps also are made using a single battery instead of multiple cells. Do a search on 18650 or 21700 lights and/or lanterns here in the forum there are way too many choices to toss just give you one choice.
 

GaryF

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I've had pretty good luck with the Tenergy Centura D cell LSD's that I purchased in 2017 and 2019. Usage is in radios, I have 14 of these pricey wonder batteries.

They certainly are living up tp the LSD requirement, as a couple of these radios sit on the shelf and rarely get used. Another gets used for an hour or more each day. I charge them all about once a year just for good measure, and the daily use radio I charge every 4-6 months.

Now a radio doesn't tax these batteries very much. I have 15 year old Eneloops that have been to hell and back that still test out at over 85% of their original capacity. I don't put the same demands on the Tenergy's, and certainly don't have as much history with them, but so far they have been good to me.
 

ArchaeoCat

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Virginia, USA
Hi all,

I'm looking to switch from alkalines to NiMH, and I have a few things that run on D or C cells - namely a Maglite and a lantern. I'm having trouble figuring out what brand of cells to get for these, it seems most of them have "optimistic" capacity ratings and/or poor quality control. I'm having similar struggles with picking out a charger. Any recommendations?
Amazon sells (or at least sold) actual 10,000mAh D cells. I've been using them in a C Crane 2E radio for over a year now. I believe they are the same eneloop cells you can get in Japan, but not here in the USA. I also have some other brand that purports to be 10,000 mAh, but the Amazon Basics cells are much heavier. My charger put just shy of 10,000 mAh in them when they eventually ran down. These things run a large radio for days on end! I can honestly recommend them over any of the others and definitely superior to using the sabot style ones. They weren't horribly expensive either. Much better than using alkalines!
 

Alaric Darconville

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I've been using the Tenergy Centura LSD D cells, which are 8000mAH. They've been working well for about 3 years in pretty low-usage lights (like a Big Beam model 242 in the bathroom as a power outage light).
 

Grijon

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I've been using Power Owl and Tenergy Centura LSD NiMH D cells in my incandescent Maglites for a couple years now. Not cheap, but in my incans they pay for themselves in less than 50 hours, and I have some with over 85 hours on them.

Most of my charging for them has been done with generic $15 NiMH 4-bay smart chargers, sometimes branded as EBL - you know the type if you've done any NiMH shopping on Amazon, which is where I've bought all my D NiMH stuff from.

Occasionally I use an Xtar VP4+, but keeping things simple has worked well for this particular use; I have a dozen or more chargers ranging from Maha C9000s to Xtars and these two cheap ones I use for D cells. Every once in a while I'll check voltages before and after charging to have some idea of how the cells (and chargers) are doing.

I've got over 300 hours in incandescent Maglite use overall with this system and haven't had any problems. I've got a lot of other batteries and chemistries and lights and chargers and so on, but this is intentionally old-school in its purpose in this part of my hobby :)

If you're looking for heavy use it is a simple, easy and ultimately economical way to go. If you're looking for intermittent or light use then AA-to-D/C adaptors are much more flexible and economical.
 

lumen aeternum

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Aside from Lithium primaries - which I don't think they even make in D size - what type of cell provides the best cold temperature performance? Alkaline, Nimh, or Lion ? My major concern is the 3D Maglites I keep in the cars.

Smaller lights can use CR123 primaries.
 
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