Question about RCR123A batteries

Alteran

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I was browsing batteryjunction.com, when I noticed some rechargeable lithium batteries, and I am thinking of buying them. There are 2 kinds being sold with a charger, the main difference, maybe the only one, is one kind of batteries are 900mAh, the others 750mAh. What is the difference? They are also listed as 3.0V batteries, but it then says they charge fully to 3.6V. I am also wondering if the higher initial voltages can damage LEDs, as I know it can blow incandescents. Also, it does say it is a 3.0V "working voltage". I am looking so save money on batteries, but I sure don't want to destroy one of my lights! I am very new to rechargeable lithium batteries, and any advice is greatly appreciated.

By the way, the batteries I saw are at http://http://www.batteryjunction.com/recrbachrc.html
 
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FlashKat

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What flashlight are you trying to use them in?
The 900 mAh batteries just have a higher capacity which allow the batteries to run longer. The 3.0v RCR123 batteries should work in your LED flashlight without any problems. I am running with Powerizer 3.0v RCR123 in my Streamlight incandescent light with 3 of these batteries with no problems, and I ran 2 of these in my Pelican M6 incandescent with no problems until I did something VERY stupid and tried 2 3.6v RCR123 batteries and blew out instantly. I had a Streamlight 2L Twin Task and Xenon/LED and never had a problem.
Alteran said:
I was browsing batteryjunction.com, when I noticed some rechargeable lithium batteries, and I am thinking of buying them. There are 2 kinds being sold with a charger, the main difference, maybe the only one, is one kind of batteries are 900mAh, the others 750mAh. What is the difference? They are also listed as 3.0V batteries, but it then says they charge fully to 3.6V. I am also wondering if the higher initial voltages can damage LEDs, as I know it can blow incandescents. Also, it does say it is a 3.0V "working voltage". I am looking so save money on batteries, but I sure don't want to destroy one of my lights! I am very new to rechargeable lithium batteries, and any advice is greatly appreciated.

By the way, the batteries I saw are at http://http://www.batteryjunction.com/recrbachrc.html
 

Oddjob

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The mAh is the amount of "juice" a battery has. The 900 mAh (milliAmp hours) will provide longer runtime than the 750 mAh. If a light uses 100 mAh then 900 mAh battery will provide 9 hours of light and the 750 mAh battery will provide 7.5 hours of light.

Lithium Ion batteries come off the charger with more voltage. The 3.0 V RCR123 will come off the charger at around 3.6 V while a 3.7 V RCR123 cell will come off at around 4.2 V. The extra volts will produce a brighter initial beam. This extra voltage will not damage an LED that is rated for these higher voltages so it is important to know what the limits of the LED you are planning to use are. Manufactures usually indicate the range of voltages for their LED's. Also it is important to know that the voltages will add up in 2 batteries are used in series (one on top of another). A light that uses two 3 V CR123 primary (i.e. non rechargeable) cells may be good up to 6.5 V but if you use two RCR123's fresh off the charger, then you will have 8.4 V which may shorten the life of an LED.

The important thing to know is the rated volts for the light you are going to be using it in. Try doing a search for more information. I only have a basic knowledge so others may chime in if I am incorrect. Here's a useful link:
http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone.htm
 

Alteran

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I would probably be using them (for now) in my Fenix P1D-CE, and when I get it, my Inova 24/7. Would it be possible to put a 3.0V rechargeable into a LED light for a few minutes, then transfer it to an incandescent? I also don't understand what it means when it is said that the batteries have a 3.0V working voltage.
 

Oddjob

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I think the workng voltage refers to what it is at for a large majority of it's charge cycle. It may come off the chargers at 3.6v for a 3.0v RCR123 but after some initial use the voltage stabilizes around 3.0v. If you want to be accurate it might be worthwhile getting some kind of metre to measure the voltage that way there is no guessing. You can put it in a light to decrease voltage and then transfer to an incand but there is no way to guarantee you decrese the voltage enough.
 

mudman cj

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3.0 V cells typically use the 3.7 V chemistry, but institute a circuit to step the voltage down. The exception to this is AW's 3.2 V cells that use a 3.2 V chemistry. For the first fraction of a second, the battery output voltage is at 3.7 V, but then quickly drops to 3, though some drop to 3.2. There are different versions of these cells on the market, and some require different charging profiles. See this thread for more info. And this one goes into more detail about these cells and in particular about one type and their compatibility with different lights.
 

Lighthouse one

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Until you get more experience- use what the maker of the light says is ok. They will normally tell you what batteries you can use. You can always use a lesser voltage battery ( say a 3.0 volt instead of a 3.7 volt). But be careful not to go the other way. You will possibly get less brightness from a light with the 3.0 volt battery- but there are too many it depends questions. Each light is different. It is also a good idea to consider trying to use the larger 17650 and 18650 li-ion batteries if the light can operate well at the lower voltage. There is much less danger of having a battery episode with a single rechargeable. 2 rechargeables can give trouble if you get one that doesn't charge or discharge the same as another. MY Striker got real hot- when I accidentally did this same thing.
 

FlashKat

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What incandescent light do you want to run the RCR123 batteries in? I run Powerizer 3.0v RCR123 batteries in my Streamlight TL-3 incandescent with no problems.
Alteran said:
I guess I would probably just use disposable batteries for my incandescents in this case. I might also get a voltage meter. Oh, and does anybody know if batteryjunction is a good place to buy batteries or lights from?
 

LED_Thrift

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I have the 900mAh batteries from BatteryJunction you are referring to. They charge to 3.6v right off the charger. In use the circuit in them drops the voltage to 3.0v in 12 milliseconds. Most lights take this very brief voltage spike without any problems. Light that have multiple output levels and use multiple batteries seem to be more suseptible to problems. LED lights using a single cell are usually OK. Search for "battery compatibility" because there is a thread that lists which lights are known to take which batteries.
 
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