Rechargeable 123?

Blackbird13

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I'm constantly going thru my SF batteries. I use a m4 with a very nice drop in mallkoff . Which is awesome. It has nice throw and a great flood but it eats 123 like lays potatoe chips. I've always wondered why you see cr 123 for sale at the stores but no rechargeables. Not unlike the AA, AAA's. Rechargeables ,You see them everyday.can I use cr123 rechargeables for this light, if not why. If so can I use on any of my other SF inco. And led lights.
 

staticx57

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Check the voltage requirements of the LED dropin. Often you can get away with 16650=2CR123 as far as size is concerned. Example Malkoff M61N will work fine in a 6P with a single 16650. One 16650 will underdrive an incan drop in though, wont be as bright.
 

hiuintahs

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.........I've always wondered why you see cr 123 for sale at the stores but no rechargeables. Not unlike the AA, AAA's. Rechargeables ,You see them everyday.can I use cr123 rechargeables for this light, if not why. ......
There are rechargeable CR123 batteries and they are called RCR123 or 16340. They are more of a specialty item and as such you won't see them in brick and morter stores.

There is a precaution on being able to use them in every light that uses a CR123 though. Unlike the AA or AAA rechargeables which have a voltage very similar to their alkaline counterpart, the RCR123 or 16340 are a lithium ion with a higher voltage near 4.20v when fully charged. Not all lights that run off of CR123 will allow the higher voltage. Like staticx57 mentioned you need to check the manual to verify that your light allows the use of lithium ion rechargeables.

My preference for the 2xCR123A lights is to use a 18650 lithium ion if the flashlight tube will accept it. The only problem will be older lights. I think most all new 2xCR123A LED flashlights are gearing more toward the 18650. And from what I'm seeing most new single CR123A lights accommodate a 16340. Sorry I'm just not familiar with your particular light. Maybe someone here can chime in.
 

chillinn

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Ostensibly, there are rechargeable cells in the 16340 size of CR123A. There are RCR123A Li-ion cells, which are usually LiCo, and often protection circuit is recommended for a number of reasons. A more recent chemical addition to this size is the IMR16340 cells, which are more resilliant to overdischarge, but really depends on how long the cell was overdischarged, and how it was treated in order to recharge. IMR cells don't come with an option for a protection circuit. I have had a lot of success safely recharging overdischarged IMR cells, and keeping them in service, but just recently, I killed one dead by recharging it without allowing a long enough rest period after use, now won't hold charge.

In reality, and practically, there are no rechargeables that can replace a CR123A in capacity or voltage. The best option I have seen so far is to jump up to IMR 18350 cells, which offer about half the capacity of a CR123A, but still with the increased 4.2V terminating or max voltage. This voltage can destroy some lights that require a 3V nominal voltage, but in regulated lights, it should be an acceptable replacement.

Another option, possibly, is using 2xAA NiMH cells, which will give roughly the same voltage and capacity as a single CR123A... but you take a hit on the size of your battery tube, as 2xAA cells are a lot longer than a single CR123A.
 
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Chicken Drumstick

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I'm constantly going thru my SF batteries. I use a m4 with a very nice drop in mallkoff . Which is awesome. It has nice throw and a great flood but it eats 123 like lays potatoe chips. I've always wondered why you see cr 123 for sale at the stores but no rechargeables. Not unlike the AA, AAA's. Rechargeables ,You see them everyday.can I use cr123 rechargeables for this light, if not why. If so can I use on any of my other SF inco. And led lights.

In answer, there are no direct CR123a rechargeable options. CR123a's are 3.0v while a regular AA or AAA is only 1.5v and a different chemistry.


There are RCR123's sometimes called 16340. In Li-ion chemistry these are 4.2v, so a lot higher voltage and could fry the electronics in your light. They also have less capacity, so while they are rechargeable, runtimes are generally shorter.

There are also LifePo4 chemistry batteries in this size which are also rechargeable. These are 3.0-3.2v so only slightly higher voltage, but maybe too high still. They are also rarer and harder to buy, require a special charger and have even lower capacity than the Li-ion type.



The real answer is to use a flashlight that supports 18650 Li-ion. Great performance, huge runtimes and rechargeable.


As others have said, check the operating voltage range of your drop in, you might be able to use a single Li-ion (4.2v) with it. A 16650 Li-ion is essentially the same width and length of 2 x CR123a's and can often be used as an alternative.
 

ChrisGarrett

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its a mad 60, thanks for all the help

You have the older MD60, which from Google, seems to use a 9v-14v (max.) operating voltage range and the M4 stacks 4 CR123A primaries in series, correct? The M6 is 3S2P, I think.

4x3.25v (CR123A out of the pack) gives us 13v before a load is applied. Good to go there.

2x4.35v Sanyo 16650 2500mAh cells stacked, will give you 8.70v, so slightly below the operating range of the MD60 drop in and things may be kosher, or not.

You could try 4x3.2v LifePO4 cells, stacked, but they're going to be spotty at best and you'll have no capacity to speak of.

The cheapest way to test things out for you would be to buy a Liitokala Lii 100, or 202 charger from GearBest, or Ebay, which do 4.35v cells for $4 and $7 respectively and buy two of the Sanyo 16650ZTA 4.35v 2500mAh naked cells and see what you see. Illumination dot com has the naked Sanyo for $6.25 ea.

You would need to monitor your naked cells running in series and watch for any dimming, which can be a problem with Malkoff drop ins, as they can suck batteries/cells dry with little visual evidence.

I see that Lumens Factory makes an M4 compatible LED XP-L W2 drop in that runs from 3.6v-13v for about $60 and that might just be the safer play, if primaries are becoming too spendy.

Chris
 

roadkill1109

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if you really must use batteries with 3.6volts, there are Soshine 3.0v CR123A rechargeables, you however need to also purchase the charger for these as if you charge them in regular lithium ion battery chargers, those charge up to 4.2volts.

the specific charger will only charge those CR123A's to 3.6 volts which is just about the same voltage as CR123 primaries.

Good luck! :)
 

Blackbird13

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That's exactly what I need, or at least untill I find out the specifics behind my md 60 that I run in my m4 devestator with the usual kt4 head. I use every day at the power plant and I go through so many batteries. How long to the rechargeables last
 

ChrisGarrett

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That's exactly what I need, or at least untill I find out the specifics behind my md 60 that I run in my m4 devestator with the usual kt4 head. I use every day at the power plant and I go through so many batteries. How long to the rechargeables last

There are a few problems with running four RCR123 3.0v/3.2v LiFePO4 cells in series.

First: You need to run protected cells when running in series, especially running four in series.

Second: Most LiFePO4 cells you're going to find (save for the K2 Energy cells that SF actually marketed, or perhaps Tenergy,) are going to come from generic Chinese factories and will therefore be of unknown and perhaps dubious quality.

Third: The capacity might be between 450mAh-600mAh per cell, but since you're running them in series, you'll only compound the voltage and not the capacity.

As a comparison, a SF CR123A primary (Panasonic USA) has about 1550mAh of capacity and is good for a rated draw of 1.5A.

So you'll get about 1/3 the runtime using LiFePO4s (if you can find them and then those that won't kaboom your light and you,) than you would using your $8 worth of primaries.

For the price of two cycles, using a total of 8 primary CR123As, you can get the two Sanyo 16650 cells I mention and one of the chargers and see if they work. That would be a safer alternative and one that I'd try out first.

Anyhow, good luck to you.

Chris
 

night.hoodie

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There are a few problems with running four RCR123 3.0v/3.2v LiFePO4 cells in series.

First: You need to run protected cells when running in series, especially running four in series.

Only for ICR LiCo cells (which typically RCR123 cells seem to be)?
Are protected LiFePO4 cells available?
I run IMR LiMn cells in series.


Or 2mm wider 3x 18350 IMR cells :cool: seems to me a half decent option for replacing primaries, should give 500 recharges and about half the runtime of 4x CR123A. Probably requires boring if possible, or ideally a different, shorter tube.
 

ChrisGarrett

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Only for ICR LiCo cells (which typically RCR123 cells seem to be)?
Are protected LiFePO4 cells available?
I run IMR LiMn cells in series.


Or 2mm wider 3x 18350 IMR cells :cool: seems to me a half decent option for replacing primaries, should give 500 recharges and about half the runtime of 4x CR123A. Probably requires boring if possible, or ideally a different, shorter tube.

I don't know about protected IFR cells, but running four of them in series is going to take some attention to detail, is my point, whether they're protected, or not. At least with quality Seiko PCBs, if you start dropping the voltage, you get the light to shut off, presumably, because the low voltage circuit trips.

And with with 4 CR123As, you would presume that they're of the same make, manufacturer and from same the batch, so you drain them equally, together.

We can't really tell with generic LiFePO4 cells, either naked, or protected, where or when they were produced.

I'm all for the guy boring out the light, but SF lights are collectible and he might not want to do that for resale value? The 16650 4.35v Sanyos will fit, have a slightly higher combined voltage vs. two 18650s, so that might be the better play for less than $20 and he could always use the stuff for other lights if it doesn't, or sell the stuff here for a couple of dollars loss.

Chris
 

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