Safe to use AW rechargeables with surefire Incan's?

Brian321

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Ok, I have a surefire A2 on the way and i have some AW rcr123 batteries, I also have an Ultrafire charger that i can choose to charge them at 3 volts. Would charging them @ 3v be ok to use in surefire incan lights or will the batteries still put out more than 3v? (i already fried a 6P bulb using them at 3.7 volts :ohgeez:Im such a newb.)
 

jp2515

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Do a search, for Rechargeable A2 or Surefire A2 Aviator, there have been many threads about using rechargeable batteries with the A2
 

45/70

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Brian321, as jp2515 said, there are many threads about using rechargeable cells in your A2, as well as in Surefire lights in general.

A note about charging AW's cells in a 3 Volt charger. It won't work. I'm guessing you're using a WF-138. The 3 Volt setting on these chargers is specifically for charging LiFePO4 cells. It won't really hurt LiCo 123 cells, but won't charge them either. The WF-138 set at 3 Volts, will only charge to 3.6 Volts, which is pretty much "dead" for a LiCo 123 cell.

If by chance, you are not using a WF-138 charger, but some other type of 3 Volt Li-Ion charger, be careful. There do exist 3 Volt chargers for 3 Volt LiCo cells. These chargers charge cells to 4.4-4.5 Volts to overcome the voltage reduction circuitry that is incorporated into these cells. :caution:Trying to charge a regular 3.6-3.7 Volt (4.2 Volt OC) cell in one of these chargers runs the risk of an explosion, as they will considerably overcharge the cell. :caution:

Dave
 

Benson

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Ok, I have a surefire A2 on the way and i have some AW rcr123 batteries, I also have an Ultrafire charger that i can choose to charge them at 3 volts. Would charging them @ 3v be ok to use in surefire incan lights or will the batteries still put out more than 3v? (i already fried a 6P bulb using them at 3.7 volts :ohgeez:Im such a newb.)
There are special considerations involved in the A2, because of the combination of regulated incan and LEDs -- as jp2515 pointed out, this has been discussed quite a bit.

For the more general question, yeah, two 3.6 or 3.7V cells (these are LiCo chemistry, and charge up to 4.2V) will fry a bulb made for two 3V primaries (which start at maybe 3.2V open-circuit, and sag to less than 3V under load). However, provided currents match up (current in mA no more than twice the battery capacity in mAh), you can run a 3-cell bulb on two LiCo cells. P90 is barely OK, P91 is too much.

(side note: There all also LiMn cells (aka IMR) that hit the same voltages (3.7 nominal, 4.2 at full charge) as LiCo, but can handle much higher current (including P91). AW sells these too, but since you said AW RCR123s, not mentioning IMR, I assume you're not using them...)


There are "3V" or "3.2V" Li-ions available (these are LiFe, and charge at up to 3.5-3.8V), which will often work one-for-one, but have somewhat higher voltage under load than 3V primaries, resulting in premature burnout (in unregulated incans -- which is to say, practically all but the A2). They also have less capacity than LiCo.

45/70's absolutely right, both that your charger is in all probability a WF-138, which on the 3V (LiFe) setting will put almost no charge (maybe10 or 20%) in a LiCo cell, and that, if your charger isn't the WF-138, but one designed for the 3V regulated LiCo cells (which are somewhat scarcer; I think they haven't been made in a while...), it poses serious risk of a fire/explosion if you charge plain LiCo cells in it.
 

SilverFox

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Hello Brian321,

I don't think the AW cells will fit in the A2. The protection circuit requires a connecting strip that runs up the side of the cell. This adds enough extra diameter to the cell that it becomes a very snug fit if it will fit at all.

You can run unprotected R-CR123 cells in the A2, but it may shorten the life of the LED's because of the higher voltage. It will have no effect on the lamp because of its regulated driver.

Tom
 

Brian321

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Thanks for the info...So i can run 3.7v RCR123 batteries in it and it wont fry the driver or bulb?( It will just regulate it?).
 

SilverFox

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Hello Brian321,

That is correct. The "issue" is with driving the LED's at a higher voltage. I have Y/G LED's and they don't seem to mind, but they were a little dimmer to start with.

Tom
 

ampdude

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Hello Brian321,

I don't think the AW cells will fit in the A2. The protection circuit requires a connecting strip that runs up the side of the cell. This adds enough extra diameter to the cell that it becomes a very snug fit if it will fit at all.

You can run unprotected R-CR123 cells in the A2, but it may shorten the life of the LED's because of the higher voltage. It will have no effect on the lamp because of its regulated driver.

Tom

Silverfox, the IMR16340 cells fit very well with no problems. Most of the protected RCR cells will not fit in the A2 though in my experience. Some will if you force them in. You'll get better runtime with the IMR cells anyways, as the stock A2 lamp draws well over 1 amp and the LF HO-A2 draws even more.
 
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