The Official Zebralight Thread .

lampeDépêche

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... Please clarify the requirement of "…pressing the power button between battery changes."

It really only takes a single click while the tail-cap is unscrewed or off. There's some kind of capacitor supporting a register that tells the circuit whether the cell is 1.5v or 3v. A single press and release drains the cap and resets the register.
So, no need to hold down the button the whole time you are changing batteries.
 

gk1610

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I just got zl H53c LE and Sc5c mk II LE. They are so cute and perfect for me but battery capacity indicator function it doesn't seem to work properly. I have fully charged the Panasonic elenloop pro battery but the light only blinks once sometime 2, the light still using the maximums brightness mode normal. I checking xtar vc4 charger I'm using. Anyone has any ideas, thanks

1675398267609.JPG
 

AstroTurf

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I just got zl H53c LE and Sc5c mk II LE. They are so cute and perfect for me but battery capacity indicator function it doesn't seem to work properly. I have fully charged the Panasonic elenloop pro battery but the light only blinks once sometime 2, the light still using the maximums brightness mode normal. I checking xtar vc4 charger I'm using. Anyone has any ideas, thanks

View attachment 38828
light turns on... battery good

light won't turn on... battery depleted.
 

chillinn

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I have fully charged the Panasonic elenloop pro battery
For the first time, recently, someone disagreed with me about this, but you'll get better performance from your cells if you rest your cells after chargeing, before use, after use, before charging. One hour is sufficient. I have enough cells that I usually rest mine half a day after use and for days after charging.

The capacity indicator function never was very accurate, though I have never seen it indicate anything other than 4 flashes on a full and rested cell. If I don't remove the cell while it has capacity, I get a reasonable indication of remaining capacity throughout. But say it gives me 2 flashes after some use. If I twist the tailcap and lock the light for a while, or if I pull the cell to check SoC more accurately, and say it is less than half capacity, and then reload the same cell or unlock the light, my experience is it then gives me 4 flashes again. But as I begin to deplete capacity again, as the cell gets closer to empty, the flashes do reduce, and generally when there is almost no remaining capacity I'll see a partial single flash.

My theory, that others have disagreed with, is that because the light uses active electronics, there is always a tiny, though negligible, amount of parasitic drain. It isn't the parasitic drain that I think is the issue, but that this constant very tiny voltage drain prevents the cell, while in use, from fully resting. Even pulling the cell for a minute will allow the cell to rest slightly and recover a little voltage, which then helps defeat the already inaccurate voltage tester.

But it could just be the capacity indicator is inaccurate for no other reason than that it is.
 

gk1610

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Check with a multi meter or have a charger that indicates voltage (and you have tested for accuracy)?
I will test it out thank you.

For the first time, recently, someone disagreed with me about this, but you'll get better performance from your cells if you rest your cells after chargeing, before use, after use, before charging. One hour is sufficient. I have enough cells that I usually rest mine half a day after use and for days after charging.

The capacity indicator function never was very accurate, though I have never seen it indicate anything other than 4 flashes on a full and rested cell. If I don't remove the cell while it has capacity, I get a reasonable indication of remaining capacity throughout. But say it gives me 2 flashes after some use. If I twist the tailcap and lock the light for a while, or if I pull the cell to check SoC more accurately, and say it is less than half capacity, and then reload the same cell or unlock the light, my experience is it then gives me 4 flashes again. But as I begin to deplete capacity again, as the cell gets closer to empty, the flashes do reduce, and generally when there is almost no remaining capacity I'll see a partial single flash.

My theory, that others have disagreed with, is that because the light uses active electronics, there is always a tiny, though negligible, amount of parasitic drain. It isn't the parasitic drain that I think is the issue, but that this constant very tiny voltage drain prevents the cell, while in use, from fully resting. Even pulling the cell for a minute will allow the cell to rest slightly and recover a little voltage, which then helps defeat the already inaccurate voltage tester.

But it could just be the capacity indicator is inaccurate for no other reason than that it is.
That's correct with my H53c Le but Sc5c II LE still work fine i got 4 flashes after fully chargeing . Thanks for your useful information
 

KITROBASKIN

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Resting voltage is a more accurate method of determining state of charge. Not sure the utility of resting before and after charging though (or temperature variance).

Certainly when completing a charge, the amps have already tapered off with a quality charger. If somebody has credible evidence how resting shows a significant benefit with that behavior, bring forth.
 

chillinn

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If somebody has credible evidence how resting shows a significant benefit with that behavior, bring forth.
I only have anecdotal evidence.

The first cells I purchased in late 2013, along with the first decent lights I ever owned, Maratac AAA Al & Cu, were Eneloop Pro AAA. I always immediately threw them on the charger and immediately used them hot off the charger, day in day out, constantly charging or using, They didn't last 6 months, if even that, before they just wouldn't provide any amps. High modes were considerably dimmer.

I joined CPF in 2014, but I still didn't catch a clue when I got a Maratac AA and a quad of Eneloop Pro AA and continued that practice I later learned was battery or cell abuse. Again, these cells did not last long before they were also not remotely performing, and I didn't put them through a lot of charge cycles, maybe 30, before my high modes were really dim. It was upsetting because they were expensive and everyone was talking about how good they were.

I thought it was the cells, brazenly posted that they sucked, but in the responses from CPF members, I picked up the idea that cells need to rest, and adopted that practice. There was an explanation, I just don't remember exactly what it was. It probably had something to do with heat, that a hot cell has more resistance, and applying or drawing amps from a hot cell increases resistance, and eventually permanently damages the cell, something along those lines.

I don't blame you for being skeptical, KITROBASKIN. I just can't believe you also would not have the same results as I did constantly running and charging hot cells. Because when I started resting my cells, they started to last for years and are still going, many recharge cycles and no noticeable degradation of performance.

But I also started charging Eneloop AA cells at higher voltage, because I have to assume part of the problem was missing termination, but it is really the same underlying problem, which is that heat damages and kills the cell, and letting it cool down before charge or use entirely mitigates the issue.

I haven't seen HKJ post in awhile, and I sure hope he is doing well, but I am sure he would back me up and offer more insight, because he taught me a lot about this, about why missing termination damages cells, and I am nearly certain it had to do with heat, Searching for his posts you may find the accurate explanation and become a believer.

Maybe do an experiment on one Eneloop. Charge and run it constantly at high amps with no rest period to empty, immediately charge without any rest, and repeat, and I am sure you will come to the same conclusion that after 15-30 charge cycles, the cell will no longer provide sufficient amps to power a direct drive mode at the brightness you expect, and in fact, much much dimmer. The same will be true of all chemistries, though some chems, like LiFePO4, are surprisingly resistant to abuse.

Then, I think, once you are convinced, either get an analyzer and sift out your weak cells, or just replace them all and treat the new ones better. I also once thought CPF members obsessing about cell performance was silly. But then it started to matter to me. Because I want my lights to perform, I necessarily need my cells to perform, and it only takes a small amount of care to achieve performance that lasts. I used to think cells were cheap and easily replaceable. They're really not. The cost adds up, and on my limited budget, I can't afford to replace my cells twice a year. It's likely you have a larger budget, but I'm sure you'd prefer not to spend unnecessarily.
 
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KITROBASKIN

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I do not fast charge NiMH. They do not get hot. I do not use high output for an extended time, therefore batteries do not get hot. If someone is having hot batteries, it could be internal resistance. Letting them cool down is a good idea. Resting as you have defined it may prolong life somehow but I am not taking extra measures to do that. You have every right to promote battery resting, and I can spend my time doing other things. I have 18650´s over 12 years old, no refrigeration, no resting. They are sufficient; never checked their capacity.
 

chillinn

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I do not fast charge NiMH.
Slow charging my Eneloops was part of the problem I had. It's not true, apparently, of other NiMH, so long as they're not actually relabeled Eneloop or Eneloop Pro. I was charging them at 0.125mA, thinking a slow charge was less harmful, and in essence a slow charge should not be harmful. I now charge other AA NiMH at 0.475mA, but I charge AA Eneloop at 750mA, which could not be considered fast, but it's as much as the last gen NiteCore D4 will give.

Forgive me if this is patronizing, but on a smart charger, cell charging terminates as a function of ΔV/Δt, also written as dV/dt. If the cell does not quickly heat up when it reaches full charge capacity, which an AA Eneloop will not at 0.125mA, and often enough not even at 0.475mA, it will miss termination and the charger will continue to assault the cell with mA. Eneloop literature recommends a charge rate of 0.5C - 1C, which would mean, correct me if I am wrong please because C confuses the heck out of me, 1A - 2A for a 2000mAh Eneloop, and 1.25A - 2.5A for a 2500mAh Eneloop Pro. 1A and above sounds like fast charging, but for Eneloop, it is recommended, due to the risk of missing termination and overcharge if the cell doesn't heat up quickly enough when it is full. What happens instead is the cell will heat up very slow, and then stay hot while being overcharged, foiling the stupid smart charger to fall back on its timer, if it has one.
 
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KITROBASKIN

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I have a Panasonic charger that came with some Eneloop cells, an older Apple charger, and maybe 9 year old Maha (still have some of those Powerex NiMH cells).

Has anyone used a 1.5V Li-ion AA in their SC-52?
 

chillinn

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I have a Panasonic charger that came with some Eneloop cells, an older Apple charger, and maybe 9 year old Maha (still have some of those Powerex NiMH cells).
I've heard the Maha is great and good things about the Apple charger. The charger I used that destroyed my Eneloop Pros with my help was an Eneloop charger, BQ something I forget, and it was allegedly smart, but it didn't charge at a high enough current to consistently terminate charge properly, in fact quite the opposite. When I gift lights with Eneloop, I always give BQ-CC55 with the included quad, assiming the current is high enough to consistently achieve termination properly (because I never checked, and I've never owned one).


Has anyone used a 1.5V Li-ion AA in their SC-52?
Maybe they would make the famous Zebralight brightness regulation even tighter. Actually, I heard they have a maximum current rating of 2A -2.5A, and they're protected, so they might not work at all on the highest SC52 modes. But FWIW I've used L91 in SC5c Mk II before, and it does fire the turbo and runtime isn't terrible, and I have been running a nearly depleted L91 in my SC53c for months waiting for it to stop working. It was iirc 1.54V when I put it in there in October. Still going. I realize L91 is really nothing like 1.5V AA Li-ion, but I expect they'd provide better performance than AA Li-ion in Zebralight. But idk, maybe someone has tried them in ZL and they work ok.
 
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18650

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I only have anecdotal evidence.

The first cells I purchased in late 2013, along with the first decent lights I ever owned, Maratac AAA Al & Cu, were Eneloop Pro AAA. I always immediately threw them on the charger and immediately used them hot off the charger, day in day out, constantly charging or using, They didn't last 6 months, if even that, before they just wouldn't provide any amps. High modes were considerably dimmer.

I joined CPF in 2014, but I still didn't catch a clue when I got a Maratac AA and a quad of Eneloop Pro AA and continued that practice I later learned was battery or cell abuse. Again, these cells did not last long before they were also not remotely performing, and I didn't put them through a lot of charge cycles, maybe 30, before my high modes were really dim. It was upsetting because they were expensive and everyone was talking about how good they were.

I thought it was the cells, brazenly posted that they sucked, but in the responses from CPF members, I picked up the idea that cells need to rest, and adopted that practice. There was an explanation, I just don't remember exactly what it was. It probably had something to do with heat, that a hot cell has more resistance, and applying or drawing amps from a hot cell increases resistance, and eventually permanently damages the cell, something along those lines.

I don't blame you for being skeptical, KITROBASKIN. I just can't believe you also would not have the same results as I did constantly running and charging hot cells. Because when I started resting my cells, they started to last for years and are still going, many recharge cycles and no noticeable degradation of performance.

But I also started charging Eneloop AA cells at higher voltage, because I have to assume part of the problem was missing termination, but it is really the same underlying problem, which is that heat damages and kills the cell, and letting it cool down before charge or use entirely mitigates the issue.

I haven't seen HKJ post in awhile, and I sure hope he is doing well, but I am sure he would back me up and offer more insight, because he taught me a lot about this, about why missing termination damages cells, and I am nearly certain it had to do with heat, Searching for his posts you may find the accurate explanation and become a believer.

Maybe do an experiment on one Eneloop. Charge and run it constantly at high amps with no rest period to empty, immediately charge without any rest, and repeat, and I am sure you will come to the same conclusion that after 15-30 charge cycles, the cell will no longer provide sufficient amps to power a direct drive mode at the brightness you expect, and in fact, much much dimmer. The same will be true of all chemistries, though some chems, like LiFePO4, are surprisingly resistant to abuse.

Then, I think, once you are convinced, either get an analyzer and sift out your weak cells, or just replace them all and treat the new ones better. I also once thought CPF members obsessing about cell performance was silly. But then it started to matter to me. Because I want my lights to perform, I necessarily need my cells to perform, and it only takes a small amount of care to achieve performance that lasts. I used to think cells were cheap and easily replaceable. They're really not. The cost adds up, and on my limited budget, I can't afford to replace my cells twice a year. It's likely you have a larger budget, but I'm sure you'd prefer not to spend unnecessarily.

In my experience the Eneloop Pro (2500) batteries don't tolerate abuse to the same extent the non-Pro (2000) batteries do. Most of my non-Pro's even from over 10 years ago still perform well but the Pro's I used in some quad cell lights were as good as dead to high resistance within maybe 2 years.

That also goes for the smaller AAA versions compared to the AA batteries. The smaller AAA size don't seem to take to abuse quite as well as the AA's do. I've killed some AAA's by discharging too low where AA's in a similar spot seemed to bounce back.

I think this double whammy makes the Eneloop AAA Pro's the form factor which needs the most babying.
 

chillinn

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I don't think you can separate Zebralights from cell performance. They wouldn't be much use without a battery, and if your battery isn't performing, the performance of your ZL will degrade along with it. So in this regard, the discussion of cell performance is germane to Zebralights.
 

AstroTurf

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I don't think you can separate Zebralights from cell performance. They wouldn't be much use without a battery, and if your battery isn't performing, the performance of your ZL will degrade along with it. So in this regard, the discussion of cell performance is germane to Zebralights.
prolly so much so that...

it deserves its own thread?!?
 

EamonnWright

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Does anyone know anybody who will replace a lens on an SC62? Zebralight has to send it to China, and I've read of too many lost lights or 8 month turn-arounds to risk it. Thanks in advance.
 
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