What D Cell Batteries for a 6 Cell Mag with a Malkoff Drop-in?

stlavsa

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I am purchasing a 6D Cell Maglite, and the $40 malkoff 3-6 cell LED drop-in.

I am curious to see what batteries I can use with this setup? Should I just be going with regular throw-away alkalines like energizer/duracell? Or is there a rechargeable that will be better? (Brighter, Longer lasting?) I've been out of the rechargeable battery game for almost 10 years now so I have no idea whats out there.

The light is going to be used for night time coon hunting, so brightness AND run-time are very important. Sometimes you can be out there allllll night if the dogs run off. So what will last me longer, rechargeable, or reg alkalines? And are do the rechargeable operate at a safe output range?
 

NoNotAgain

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I know nothing of the Malkoff D cell drop-in and what current it draws.

I own a Mag Light 6 D cell light with a Terralux 310 drop-in. The Terralux has three brightness settings. I keep alkaline batteries in mine only because I don't want to drop $100 for batteries and a charger when I have numerous lights with lithium ion cells that are much brighter than the Mag Light.

Looking at the listed amperage's for a alkaline D battery as being listed as 12,000 mAh and 1.5 volts. The rechargeable NiHM Tennergy is listed at 10,000 mAh and only 1.2 volts

Based strictly on listed amps and voltages, the alkaline batteries will last longer.

When I hunted racoons, we would use helmet mounted lights and spare battery packs. Not having to hold onto the light was key to getting off a shot when needed. If you insist on a hand held light, I'd pass on the Mag Light and look at another newer design from one of the folks that advertise here.

A typical D Cell can provide 12,000 mAhours.
A ma is 1/1000 of an amp, so 12 AHours.
This implies that a D Cell can supply a current of 12 Amps for a period of 1 hour.
The maximum current that the battery can supply instantaneously is limited by the internal resistance of the battery,and varies with the type of battery used. (alkaline, carbon, etc)
The use time of the battery roughly scales, if you draw 1.2 Amps instead of 12 Amps, the cell should maintain its 1.5 V for approximately 10 hrs. At 120mA load, it should last for 100 hours.
You can verify by connecting a battery to a known load(resistance) and measure the time it takes for the voltage across the battery to drop to about 1.4V.

A 1 ohm resistor at 1.5 Volts should represent 1.5 Amps.

A 10 ohm resistor at 1.5 Volts should represent 150mA.

A 100 ohm resistor at 1.5 Volts should represent 15mA.

A 1K ohm resistor at 1.5 Volts should represent 1.5mA
 

stlavsa

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Thanks that is very helpful. I have LED headlamps for walking through the woods. I dont coon hunt alone, so the idea is we have a spotter and a shooter at a minimum.

The idea behind having the Big Mag is so that we have a reliable club, and a long lasting light source with a focusing beam. Total for the new flashlight and the upgrade puts you in the 75 dollar range for a real, measured 300 otf lumen light with plenty of battery life, from what I gathered all the newer fancy LED flashlights offered 1/5 of the battery life give or take.

Some additional info I found is posted below, refers to anything less than 9V input:


It
uses a genuine Cree XP-G2 LED. This dropin produces a real 300 (measured out the front) lumens with alkaline batteries. The Drop-In module is constructed of CNC machined structural aircraft aluminum and has a regulated driver. The current output to the led is 1000ma on 3, 4, 5 or 6 D cells. It can be operated with rechargeable cells as long as the maximum input of 9 volts is not exceeded.

Edit: thought of another question. What is (or is there) a benefit to running 6 cells vs 3? Battery life will be the same?
 
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stlavsa

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I think I understand it now. The voltage will be 9v with 6-D cell batteries, and at 12000mAh a piece. Theoretically, the 6 cell will have twice the run time of the 3 cell at, at 1.5 volts output.
 

ChrisGarrett

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I've got two 6D MLs with Terra-Lux MiniStar 5s installed and decided against going the NiMH route and picked up some Duracell alkaleaks just to have handy, since the lights don't get used much at all.

It was more cost effective to me, to buy single use batteries.

Chris
 

cland72

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This is a more generalized question, but I think it fits with this discussion: between Energizer and Duracel alkalines, what do you guys like better?
 

StarHalo

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This thread is all over the place for some rather simple questions, some order:

- Your Malkoff drop in is designed to run on 3 to 6 D cells, that's 4.5 to 9 volts, so anything that supplies that range of voltage will work.

- Alkaline batteries don't do well in high-drain applications, where their voltage will sag promptly and reduce runtime. Safe and proven rechargeable/NiMH cells hold up much better, providing more output over a much longer period of time. Rechargeable/NiMH batteries should be your default choice for LED lights versus alkaline unless you're going for maximum runtime at a low output.

- There is no "better" alkaline cell, they all have poor high-drain performance and you should assume all will swell/leak over time.

- Store shelf D-size rechargeable/NiMH batteries are in fact just small cells in a large D-cell-shaped holder; you'll want Tenergy-brand NiMHs which are actual whole-cell D batteries.

- Using your Mag as a club shouldn't be part of your criteria, since there's no guarantee it'll work afterwords.

- Only ~300 lumens from a massive 6 D is not much light for having to carry around a whole lot of weight. Your runtime will be excellent, however you could get more output from a smaller light while carrying spare cells.
 

Nubo

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+1 on the leakage factor, plus who wants to have to run out and buy six D cells every time you go out? With the rechargeables you start with fresh cells every time.

D-sized NiMH will power that light WAY longer than a full night. with 10AH cells, you'll be carrying 72 Watt-hours and the drop-in is probably pulling 3 to 4 watts from the batts. They won't even be breaking a sweat. I built a similar light for my wife, with a 4-D mag to keep in her car. Went with low self-discharge cells but not sure that's an issue for you if you're only going to be using the light on scheduled outings.
 

fivemega

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Mentioned drop in will perform very well by pair of protected 18650 (3400mAh) in 2D M*g.
Same voltage, same performance, good run time, much smaller and light weight than 6D and easy to recharge.
Also easy to carry pair of fully recharged spare batteries.
 

StorminMatt

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Go with Tenergy Premium or Centura cells. These seem to be some of the highest regarded NiMH D cells. And they are quite affordable (around $18-$20 for two). The choice between the two depends on whether or not low self discharge or runtime is important to you.
 

BillSWPA

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I bought Tenergy Centura D cells for an electronic "aquarium" that is mounted to my son's toddler bed. They have worked out very well. Unlike alkaline, which provide less and less output as they drain, NiMH provides full output until the cells are almost completely drained. Cost is about 4x the cost of alkaline for a cell that can be recharged 1,000 times, so for a device that sees heavy use, the high initial investment pays off in the long run. The Centuras are low self discharge, so they hold their charge quite well over time. This is not the case with other Tenergy D cells.

Other NiMH D cells I have seen are quite expensive.

Chargers for D cells are not easy to come by. I have been charging mine on a Titanium Innovations smart fast charger which will charge AAA, AA, C, D, and 9v NiMH. This charger works quite well with AA, D, and 9v cells. However, mine does not consistently terminate with AAA, and makes C cells get hotter than my comfort level.

If you are not using the light frequently, alkaleaks may be your most cost effective option, but for frequent use you cannot beat NiMH.
 

StorminMatt

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Even if a device is infrequently used, NiMH is still worth it. They perform MUCH better than alkalines in the sense that they don't 'run down' with use. They won't leak and possibly destroy your light. And they will be available for use in any other gadgets that use them. Finally, keep in mind that alkaline D cells are MUCH more expensive than alkaline AA batteries. Part of the issue here is that they generally aren't available in large quantity 'value packs'.
 
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Mr Floppy

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Edit: thought of another question. What is (or is there) a benefit to running 6 cells vs 3? Battery life will be the same?

I do have the said drop-in and and I can tell you in a 6D Mag, the current draw is about 0.5A. When the batteries start getting used and the current draw will keep increasing as the battery voltage drops. On a 3 cell Mag, the current draw is 0.9A on fresh batteries and gets closer to 1A after about an hour. So the benefit of 6 cells is the incredible run time. I don't like to use alkalines as I've had leaky ones before in my mag and it was not fun cleaning it afterwards but 6 hours on 3xD Alkalines is quite reasonable. 6xD's would give you two nights worth of use at the least.

I don't have a 6D, just a 2D with two extension tubes but the total weight is close to 1Kg (~2.2 lbs).
 

stlavsa

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This thread is all over the place for some rather simple questions, some order:

- Your Malkoff drop in is designed to run on 3 to 6 D cells, that's 4.5 to 9 volts, so anything that supplies that range of voltage will work.

- Alkaline batteries don't do well in high-drain applications, where their voltage will sag promptly and reduce runtime. Safe and proven rechargeable/NiMH cells hold up much better, providing more output over a much longer period of time. Rechargeable/NiMH batteries should be your default choice for LED lights versus alkaline unless you're going for maximum runtime at a low output.

- There is no "better" alkaline cell, they all have poor high-drain performance and you should assume all will swell/leak over time.

- Store shelf D-size rechargeable/NiMH batteries are in fact just small cells in a large D-cell-shaped holder; you'll want Tenergy-brand NiMHs which are actual whole-cell D batteries.

- Using your Mag as a club shouldn't be part of your criteria, since there's no guarantee it'll work afterwords.

- Only ~300 lumens from a massive 6 D is not much light for having to carry around a whole lot of weight. Your runtime will be excellent, however you could get more output from a smaller light while carrying spare cells.

+1 on the leakage factor, plus who wants to have to run out and buy six D cells every time you go out? With the rechargeables you start with fresh cells every time.

D-sized NiMH will power that light WAY longer than a full night. with 10AH cells, you'll be carrying 72 Watt-hours and the drop-in is probably pulling 3 to 4 watts from the batts. They won't even be breaking a sweat. I built a similar light for my wife, with a 4-D mag to keep in her car. Went with low self-discharge cells but not sure that's an issue for you if you're only going to be using the light on scheduled outings.

Even if a device is infrequently used, NiMH is still worth it. They perform MUCH better than alkalines in the sense that they don't 'run down' with use. They won't leak and possibly destroy your light. And they will be available for use in any other gadgets that use them. Finally, keep in mind that alkaline D cells are MUCH more expensive than alkaline AA batteries. Part of the issue here is that they generally aren't available in large quantity 'value packs'.

I do have the said drop-in and and I can tell you in a 6D Mag, the current draw is about 0.5A. When the batteries start getting used and the current draw will keep increasing as the battery voltage drops. On a 3 cell Mag, the current draw is 0.9A on fresh batteries and gets closer to 1A after about an hour. So the benefit of 6 cells is the incredible run time. I don't like to use alkalines as I've had leaky ones before in my mag and it was not fun cleaning it afterwards but 6 hours on 3xD Alkalines is quite reasonable. 6xD's would give you two nights worth of use at the least.

I don't have a 6D, just a 2D with two extension tubes but the total weight is close to 1Kg (~2.2 lbs).

Thanks to EVERYONE in this thread. This is the kind of info that I was looking for. I have been doing some reading, and I was curious to whether the 1.5v of Alkalines vs the 1.2v of the NiMH was a big deal, and from these posts, and other threads, I gather that the 1.2v of the NiMH will actually hold steady until they are nearly dead, providing a linear 1.2v vs the alkalines with 1.5V that will drop quickly with use.

I will be looking in to some Tenergy D-Cells they seem to be highly regarded. And I realize its a lot of weight to be lugging around for 300 Lumens, but I have watched some videos, and the Malkoff Drop-ins seem plenty bright to me, and at 19.5", its a big light, and with coon hunting, you dont always need to take a gun, unless your actually killing coon, so just a pistol and a flashlight that doubles as a club will suffice.

I realize that the thing shouldnt be used as club on a regular basis, but, if it came down to it, I would use it vs getting attacked by something or someone.
 

stlavsa

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This is a more generalized question, but I think it fits with this discussion: between Energizer and Duracel alkalines, what do you guys like better?

cland72:

In regards to your question, I have seen a few battery tests, and it seems like the answer is dependent on the device being used. Some batteries perform better at low drain vs high drain.

In reality, but best deal is the Rayovacs. They perform as good as the other two, but have the better bang for the buck.
 

cland72

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cland72:

In regards to your question, I have seen a few battery tests, and it seems like the answer is dependent on the device being used. Some batteries perform better at low drain vs high drain.

In reality, but best deal is the Rayovacs. They perform as good as the other two, but have the better bang for the buck.

Thanks for the response stlavsa. I know alkalines are a no-no to most here, but in reality lots of us use them, hence my question.
 

jcvjcvjcvjcv

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Mentioned drop in will perform very well by pair of protected 18650 (3400mAh) in 2D M*g.
Same voltage, same performance, good run time, much smaller and light weight than 6D and easy to recharge.
Also easy to carry pair of fully recharged spare batteries.

Might just as well pick up two 26650's (5200 mah) if you take a 2D
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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Thanks for the response stlavsa. I know alkalines are a no-no to most here, but in reality lots of us use them, hence my question.

I have never had a problem with fresh alkalines leaking. (Some people have, but I think it's very rare.) Leaking becomes a concern when the batteries are old, past their expiry date, or almost fully discharged. For a device that is rarely used, or very low drain, alkalines are a cost-effective choice.

Just to be contradictory, I no longer use alkalines in anything. I just don't like the idea of buying throw-away batteries that may leak someday if I forget to change them every few years. I do have some NiMH C's and D's that I use in some old devices that require them. They're not low-self-discharge, but I only charge them up every 6 months and they still have juice in them. I think C's and D's don't self-discharge as fast as the smaller cells.

For everything else, I use Eneloop (low self discharge) AA and AAA cells. I have some C and D sleeves for them, but until my real NiMH C's and D's die, I won't bother with the sleeves.

If I used my C and D devices more (a couple of them are old incandescent Maglites I seldom use), I'd get fresh NiMH C and D cells. But for my very infrequent use, the old NiMH cells do fine, or AA's + sleeves if I need to.
 

StorminMatt

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For everything else, I use Eneloop (low self discharge) AA and AAA cells. I have some C and D sleeves for them, but until my real NiMH C's and D's die, I won't bother with the sleeves.

If I used my C and D devices more (a couple of them are old incandescent Maglites I seldom use), I'd get fresh NiMH C and D cells. But for my very infrequent use, the old NiMH cells do fine, or AA's + sleeves if I need to.

Keep in mind that adaptors come with LOTS of compromises. First of all, capacity takes a hit, especially if the sleeves take only one or two cells each. Secondly, although single cell adaptors are cheap, adaptors that take three cells (which are what you would want for capacity) cost around $10 each. This is MORE than Tenergy D cells, and you still need the AA's to fill them. Internal resistance is higher with adaptors, which limits current (although this may not be a concern with a Malkoff XP-G2 drop-in in a 6D). And finally, you end up with LOTS of cells to recharge - 18 in a six cell Mag! Even the nine you would have in a 3D is alot. So unless you are one of those folks who utterly REFUSES to use anything that's NOT an Eneloop (and you know who you are), adaptors are not worth it. Stick with Tenergy D cells.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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Keep in mind that adaptors come with LOTS of compromises. First of all, capacity takes a hit, especially if the sleeves take only one or two cells each. Secondly, although single cell adaptors are cheap, adaptors that take three cells (which are what you would want for capacity) cost around $10 each. This is MORE than Tenergy D cells, and you still need the AA's to fill them. Internal resistance is higher with adaptors, which limits current (although this may not be a concern with a Malkoff XP-G2 drop-in in a 6D). And finally, you end up with LOTS of cells to recharge - 18 in a six cell Mag! Even the nine you would have in a 3D is alot. So unless you are one of those folks who utterly REFUSES to use anything that's NOT an Eneloop (and you know who you are), adaptors are not worth it. Stick with Tenergy D cells.

Guilty as charged. My Eneloop sleeves are all single-cell adapters. For infrequent use, I don't care about the lower capacity. And since they're a replacement for stuff that is meant to work with alkalines, high-current isn't an issue.
 
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