Panasonic protected 18650A & 18650B

AIRASSAULT18B

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
47
I bought a set of the 3100mah & 3400mah 18650 from Fasttech. They work fine with my new Olight M22,SR51 & all my Armytek lights. The Fenix TK21,PD32UE & PD31LE all come on when I tighten the tail cap regardless if the cap is turned on or off. Anyone else see this? Any other lights with issues with these batteries? Does the other branded ie AW 3100 & 3400 suffer the same problem with the length?
 

hiuintahs

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
Messages
1,840
Location
Utah
.................... The Fenix TK21,PD32UE & PD31LE all come on when I tighten the tail cap regardless if the cap is turned on or off...............QUOTE]

I don't see how the light could come on if the tail cap switch is off. Can you post a picture of the battery at both ends? Also if you have a voltmeter you probably could run down the problem on the battery. Maybe the wrapper on the batteries isn't completley isolating the ground connection up near the protection circuit and somehow it's making contact with the inside wall of the flashlight. If you look inside the flashlight you will see a spring or bump where the battery's positive terminal makes contact. Around the perimiter of this PCB disc is a sort of gold platting that is the ground connection to the chassis of the flashlight. It just seems from your description that the battery's ground connection must be touching that. Because I can't see how it would at the tail end. Batteries without the protection circuit just have a (+) and a (-) end. In order for the protection circuit to work, they run a strip of conductive material down the full length of the battery to this protection circuit so that the circuit will have a ground reference. My guess is that somehow this isn't insulated properly up near the top of the battery.

By the way those "Panasonic" protected 18650 cells may be Panasonic cells inside, but when they modify it, it really should be a new name and part number and the only thing "Panasonic" about it at that point is the raw cell that they started with. From the pictures I could see at Fasttech, I think you can see a copper strip running down the full length of the battery with Kapton tape over it to insulate it. I think that strip is touching the flashlights ground path and bypassing the tail switch.

Sorry to here about your problems. The old saying "you get what you pay for might be true here" Still might be able to find the issue with a voltmeter and apply your own tape where the exposure is. I'm mostly guessing at this point as to what your problem might be.
 
Last edited:

Labrador72

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,851
Location
European Union
I have used AW 3100 mAh 18650s with several Fenix lights including the PD31 LE and have never experienced the problem you described. Same goes for the EagleTac 3400 mAh and Fenix 2600 mAh.
 

Labrador72

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,851
Location
European Union
I have just checked the review on Lygte-Info and it's indeed quite long: it's more of a 18700 than 18650:
http://lygte-info.dk/review/batteries2012/Panasonic NCR18650B Protected 3400mAh (Green) UK.html

I think hiuintahs may have found a good explanation why the flashlight lights up even if the tailcap is switched off.

[...] the way those "Panasonic" protected 18650 cells may be Panasonic cells inside, but when they modify it, it really should be a new name and part number and the only thing "Panasonic" about it at that point is the raw cell that they started with. From the pictures I could see at Fasttech, I think you can see a copper strip running down the full length of the battery with Kapton tape over it to insulate it. I think that strip is touching the flashlights ground path and bypassing the tail switch.
 

Lou Minescence

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 12, 2011
Messages
1,189
Location
New England US
hiuntahs' explanation is probably correct. Either that or the tail cap switch is being crushed or compressed enough for the switch to make contact. I think you would feel something was wrong as you tightened up the switch if that was the problem. That's too bad. I was also looking at the NCR18650B cells Fasttech had for sale. I will stick with Eagletac batteries because they fit everything I have perfectly.
 

mccririck

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
601
FWIW they fit the Sipik sk68 but you can feel the tail cap is a bit tight to screw shut. No issues with the switch, however.
 

AIRASSAULT18B

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
47
.................... The Fenix TK21,PD32UE & PD31LE all come on when I tighten the tail cap regardless if the cap is turned on or off...............QUOTE]

I don't see how the light could come on if the tail cap switch is off. Can you post a picture of the battery at both ends? Also if you have a voltmeter you probably could run down the problem on the battery. Maybe the wrapper on the batteries isn't completley isolating the ground connection up near the protection circuit and somehow it's making contact with the inside wall of the flashlight. If you look inside the flashlight you will see a spring or bump where the battery's positive terminal makes contact. Around the perimiter of this PCB disc is a sort of gold platting that is the ground connection to the chassis of the flashlight. It just seems from your description that the battery's ground connection must be touching that. Because I can't see how it would at the tail end. Batteries without the protection circuit just have a (+) and a (-) end. In order for the protection circuit to work, they run a strip of conductive material down the full length of the battery to this protection circuit so that the circuit will have a ground reference. My guess is that somehow this isn't insulated properly up near the top of the battery.

By the way those "Panasonic" protected 18650 cells may be Panasonic cells inside, but when they modify it, it really should be a new name and part number and the only thing "Panasonic" about it at that point is the raw cell that they started with. From the pictures I could see at Fasttech, I think you can see a copper strip running down the full length of the battery with Kapton tape over it to insulate it. I think that strip is touching the flashlights ground path and bypassing the tail switch.

Sorry to here about your problems. The old saying "you get what you pay for might be true here" Still might be able to find the issue with a voltmeter and apply your own tape where the exposure is. I'm mostly guessing at this point as to what your problem might be.

I checked the covering & there is no exposed connection on the copper strip on any of the batteries. The seal they put around the battery to contain protection overlaps at both the + & - ends giving just enough for the flashlight connection I have some photos showing how much sticks out in the Fenix TK21 vs the Olight M22.
 
Last edited:

hiuintahs

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
Messages
1,840
Location
Utah
OK, you have an interesting problem. I don't think the fact that the battery sticks out is the issue. I think that is just because there is a spring up at the front. It does the same on my PD32UE.

I just want to make sure you have this unique problem with all 4 batteries and only in the Fenix lights. In other words that it's not just a unique situation with just one battery............and also something mechanical about the Fenix that is different than on the other lights that might lead us to what is going on.

I'm still wondering about the front or positive terminal of the battery. Here is another test to try. In these 3 Fenix lights push down on the battery with your thumb until it won't go any further and kind of wiggle your thumb around as the battery is held down firmly.............does the light come on without the tail cap installed? Make sure you try it with more than one battery and the other problem lights also.

I'm just trying to elliminate whether the problem is the front or the tail cap back.

I don't think bending the spring over at the front would turn on the light. I just think it would short the battery out or cause a no-connect with the ground side of the circuit board. Well, I didn't explain that very well. Anyhow, these springs are such that it looks almost impossible to bend them over. They are cone-shapped and so when they compress, they don't bend over in my opinion. Now bending over the spring on the tail cap would short out the switch and turn the light on but again, not sure that is happening as Lou Minescence mentioned above.
 
Last edited:

aus_sparky

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
44
Location
Victoria, Australia
Hi,
Sorry to detract from the topic a little but I was wondering what is the difference between the 18650A and the 18650B? I did notice the B's seem to appear more with the higher mAh batteries. Are the B's just latter technology?
Thanks.
 

HKJ

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
9,715
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
Hi,
Sorry to detract from the topic a little but I was wondering what is the difference between the 18650A and the 18650B? I did notice the B's seem to appear more with the higher mAh batteries. Are the B's just latter technology?
Thanks.

Yes, the B is later technology, the names are:
Panasonic NCR18650 -> 2900mAh
Panasonic NCR18650A -> 3100mAh
Panasonic NCR18650B -> 3400mAh
 

AIRASSAULT18B

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
47
OK, you have an interesting problem. I don't think the fact that the battery sticks out is the issue. I think that is just because there is a spring up at the front. It does the same on my PD32UE.

I just want to make sure you have this unique problem with all 4 batteries and only in the Fenix lights. In other words that it's not just a unique situation with just one battery............and also something mechanical about the Fenix that is different than on the other lights that might lead us to what is going on.

I'm still wondering about the front or positive terminal of the battery. Here is another test to try. In these 3 Fenix lights push down on the battery with your thumb until it won't go any further and kind of wiggle your thumb around as the battery is held down firmly.............does the light come on without the tail cap installed? Make sure you try it with more than one battery and the other problem lights also.

I'm just trying to elliminate whether the problem is the front or the tail cap back.

I don't think bending the spring over at the front would turn on the light. I just think it would short the battery out or cause a no-connect with the ground side of the circuit board. Well, I didn't explain that very well. Anyhow, these springs are such that it looks almost impossible to bend them over. They are cone-shapped and so when they compress, they don't bend over in my opinion. Now bending over the spring on the tail cap would short out the switch and turn the light on but again, not sure that is happening as Lou Minescence mentioned above.
No it does not come on when I hold them down firmly. When the tail cap is tightened up is when the problems begin for the Fenix lights.
 

bshanahan14rulz

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
2,819
Location
Tennessee
Something's up with your tailcap. You've stated it's not a failure of the cell wrap, and the test hiuintahs suggested rules that out as well as a problem with the positive end spring. I'm thinking either the switch, when put under too much pressure, allows its contacts to complete the circuit even though pressure not applied to button side, or the spring in the tailcap is deforming sideways instead of compressing, and shorting the bottom of the cell to the body of the flashlight or tailcap.

I wonder if having someone rewrap your cell after removing button top might help? The cell looks to be almost 5mm longer
 
Last edited:

AIRASSAULT18B

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
47
Something's up with your tailcap. You've stated it's not a failure of the cell wrap, and the test hiuintahs suggested rules that out as well as a problem with the positive end spring. I'm thinking either the switch, when put under too much pressure, allows its contacts to complete the circuit even though pressure not applied to button side, or the spring in the tailcap is deforming sideways instead of compressing, and shorting the bottom of the cell to the body of the flashlight or tailcap.

I wonder if having someone rewrap your cell after removing button top might help? The cell looks to be almost 5mm longer
I believe it is over compressing the spring in the tail cap sideways as you say. This happens with one set of each type mentioned in the title. Also only my Fenix lights PD31LE,PD32UE,& Tk21. As you can see by the pics there is no problem with the Olight M22 & various other lights I have tested it with. I guess these will be for use in any other lights that use 18650 except Fenix brand.
 

aus_sparky

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
44
Location
Victoria, Australia
I'm finding this thread very interesting and I'm happy that there hasn't been any issues with the M22 and 3400mah batteries. I have an M22 on order and some Keeppower 3400 batteries which are also quite long. Now back to the issue at hand, I'm trying to get my head around the Fenix issue and what hiuintahs suggested. With no physical damage to the battery and no tail cap on, how could the torch turn on anyway? No tail cap, no circuit. To me it sounds like the pressure on the tail cap may be causing flexing in the switch and turning it on. Are the contact assemblies all seated correctly (just a thought, but the three wouldn't all be loose)? I guess it's something for the torch manufacturers to keep in mind as the battery manufacturers strive for higher capacity batteries. It's really surprising how much difference there actually is in length between the different battery manufacturers.
 

AIRASSAULT18B

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
47
I'm finding this thread very interesting and I'm happy that there hasn't been any issues with the M22 and 3400mah batteries. I have an M22 on order and some Keeppower 3400 batteries which are also quite long. Now back to the issue at hand, I'm trying to get my head around the Fenix issue and what hiuintahs suggested. With no physical damage to the battery and no tail cap on, how could the torch turn on anyway? No tail cap, no circuit. To me it sounds like the pressure on the tail cap may be causing flexing in the switch and turning it on. Are the contact assemblies all seated correctly (just a thought, but the three wouldn't all be loose)? I guess it's something for the torch manufacturers to keep in mind as the battery manufacturers strive for higher capacity batteries. It's really surprising how much difference there actually is in length between the different battery manufacturers.
Once you tighten the cap & the light comes on the switch will not turn the light off. You lose any control of the switch. About the manufactures. The M22 could take a 18650 in the 4000mah range easily if you go by the way the length has grown since about the 2600mah length. The Armytec a little less. So I'm guessing Olight was looking ahead. A fine torch by the way. Possibly Fenix might want us to use their brand of batteries so they constrain the capacity of the tube. (Just a thought as no other brands I checked had this problem)
 
Top