Will 14500's work in 18650 charger?

snowlover91

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Title basically sums it up. If I order some AW 14500 batteries, will they work (along with the AW spacer) in a charger that charges 18650 and cr123 batteries?
 

SilverFox

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Hello Snowlover,

As long as you have a good connection and the charge rate is 1C or less, there should be no problems.

Tom
 

snowlover91

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Hello Snowlover,

As long as you have a good connection and the charge rate is 1C or less, there should be no problems.

Tom

My charger charges at around 450mah, so does that sound good? The batteries usually never even get warm.

So should the AW spacers work for this purpose?

Thanks
 

1dash1

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Snowlover91:

14500 needs two 8 mm AW spacers to fit on my Pila charger (or use the Pila's included 15mm spacer). No need for spacers with my WF-139, 14500 cell fits fine without any spacers.

You should already know about the inherent safety issues regarding charging and discharging Li-ion cells. Please beware that the 14500's will charge up much more quickly than your 18650's, so adjust your recharge protocol accordingly.

Edit: Corrected size.
 
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naked2

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If it's an AW charger (UltraFire WF-139) it will charge the 14500s without spacers at all. If it has non-adjusting 18650 slots (like the DSD) the AW spacers will work (with two of them, like 1dash1 said, so you'll only be able to charge one at a time, unless you have four spacers, or a pair of 15mm spacers from Lighthound).
 
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snowlover91

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Thanks for the help guys:twothumbs Here is the battery charger I have. So 2 spacers should work fine then? Sounds good! Will have to order some 14500 batteries soon. Have more LED lights on the way (C2 MC-E and RC-G2) also, looking forward to testing them out.
 

naked2

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Yes. Since you have a 50mm cell that needs to fit into a 85mm charger, you'll need both AW spacers to charge one 14500. Shouldn't be a problem, since you can only use one at a time in your new D10! :twothumbs
 

snowlover91

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Yes. Since you have a 50mm cell that needs to fit into a 85mm charger, you'll need both AW spacers to charge one 14500. Shouldn't be a problem, since you can only use one at a time in your new D10! :twothumbs

Thanks, sounds like I will be good too go! I only plan on ordering 1 14500 anyway as I don't need 2 of them since the D10 is the only light I have that can use a 14500. Thanks for the help!
 

1dash1

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Thanks for the help guys:twothumbs Here is the battery charger I have. So 2 spacers should work fine then? Sounds good! Will have to order some 14500 batteries soon. Have more LED lights on the way (C2 MC-E and RC-G2) also, looking forward to testing them out.

Snowlover91:

Some comments regarding your charger...

1. You might consider labeling the "+" and "-" terminals on the exterior of the charger, as a precaution against installing batteries backwards. (I used acrylic paint, others have used stickers.)

2. When you charge your 18650's how much free play (space) is there? You need at least 1 mm. The 14500 + 2x8mm spacers are 1 mm longer than the 18650.

3. I don't believe your charger has voltage protection. I'd suggest you use protected 14500's. (In any case, I'd recommend that you not rely on voltage protection as your primary safety measure. You should have a protocol procedure that is prudent in and of itself.) If you do a search, you'll find a plethora of information about recharging lithium batteries, here's just one of them.

P.S. Some of the reports in the "Discussion" section of the weblink you posted indicate extremely high termination voltages (as high as 4.45v !!) using unprotected cells. Use of protected cells does not necessarily solve your problems. From personal experience, I've had some so-called "protected" Trustfire cells terminate as high as 4.35v on my Ultrafire W-139, when left too long to trickle charge. Be forewarned and act safely.
 
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snowlover91

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Thanks for all the info 1dash1. I think there is at least 1mm of play in the 18650, so it should work. I use a voltmeter to check the voltages of the batteries periodically while charging and cut the charger off once the voltmeter reads ~4.15v.

BTW, instead of starting another thread, here is another question that applies. I read somewhere where it said to keep the voltage in Lion batteries above 3.5v, and to charge the batteries once they fall below 3.5v. Is this true? If so that seems kind of impractical to me? Is there a particular reason for this? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to take all precautions to extend my batteries life while being safe too.
 

mdocod

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BTW, instead of starting another thread, here is another question that applies. I read somewhere where it said to keep the voltage in Lion batteries above 3.5v, and to charge the batteries once they fall below 3.5v. Is this true? If so that seems kind of impractical to me? Is there a particular reason for this? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to take all precautions to extend my batteries life while being safe too.

On a 3.7V li-ion cell, the cell will charge to 4.20V on a good charger, (you should check that your charger is terminating at a safe point and discard the charger if it is not). The cell will deliver ~4V diminishing down to ~3V under a fairly typical load, at which point, the cell is basically empty. If the load is removed, the cell voltage will rebound to ~3.3-3.6V usually. An open circuit voltage reading of ~3.5V means it is basically dead and needs to be recharged. You can take a quick cell voltage reading, and know what state of charge the cell is in. It's a pretty steady scale, from 3.5 - 4.20V for dead to full, so you can figure on 50% charge somewhere around 3.9V, you can figure ~80% charge at 4.0V, ~20% charge at 3.7V etc etc etc.... it's convenient, and practical for a rechargeable battery owner.

Lets compare this to a CR123, which will read ~3V open circuit whether it's fresh from the package or dead as a rusty doornail. This seems impractical to me as their is no simple way to measure the state of charge, and even the most sophisticated battery testers can't give perfectly accurate readings.

NIMH cells also don't really give any meaningful information about their state of charge through open circuit voltage.
 

snowlover91

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mdocod, when you say under a load do you mean in the flashlight? Sorry, I am still trying to get some of these terms down. For example, I took a cr123a out of one of my flashlights today and measured 3.6v after 10 minutes. Would I need to recharge this battery now or wait till it cuts off from over-discharge protection?

Also, about my charger, it cuts off cr123 batteries at 4.10v and 18650 batteries at exactly 4.20v so it appears to work well.
 

mdocod

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mdocod, when you say under a load do you mean in the flashlight? Sorry, I am still trying to get some of these terms down. For example, I took a cr123a out of one of my flashlights today and measured 3.6v after 10 minutes. Would I need to recharge this battery now or wait till it cuts off from over-discharge protection?

Also, about my charger, it cuts off cr123 batteries at 4.10v and 18650 batteries at exactly 4.20v so it appears to work well.

A "load" is when there is current flowing out of the battery as a result of a completed circuit. The amount of the load depends on the resistance of the circuit as a whole. Lower resistance translates to more demanding loads..

Different loads will result in different voltages maintained during the discharge. When the load is removed, the open circuit (non-loaded) voltage of the cell will jump back up slightly (to a "resting" state, so to speak)..... The operating voltage is always going to be different than the voltage that you measure on a cell that is just sitting there..

If you pull a 3.7V cell out of a light, and you are measuring 3.6V, then the cell is, for all intents and purposes, drained, and should be recharged. Ideally speaking, you should always try to charge your cells before they drop below ~3.5V open circuit. Even better would be to always charge your cells before they drop below 3.7V. Routinely discharging "all the way" down to the point where the over-discharge protection kicks in will reduce cycle life.... For li-ion cells, cycle depths of 40-80% are good and healthy. Draining all the way down isn't great for them.

Li-Ion chemistry cells do not need to be drained all the way down before recharging, you can pretty much recharge at any time you want (but don' sit there and keep resetting the charger trying to get it to pack more into the cell after it is already basically full, anything ~4.10V or higher is plenty to call a "full" charge)

Now.... I have a question for you.... When you say that your cell was down to 3.6V after 10 minutes of runtime, was that 10 minutes from a fresh charge? Or was that after 10 minutes of resting after the flashlight was shut off? I just want to make sure there isn't anything unsafe about your configuration..

---------------

Now, having asked that, lets make sure we have our terminology correct :)

When we say "cr123" we are talking about a non-rechargeable 3.0V "photo lithium" cell. In the future, for clarity, it would be best to refer to your rechargeable chemistry cells in this same size, as R123, RCR123, or 16340s. It's also nice to know what chemistry the cells are as it can help keep any confusion to a minimum. Most protected "li-ion" cells can more accurately be called "lithium cobalt" or "LiCo" for short.

Eric
 

snowlover91

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A "load" is when there is current flowing out of the battery as a result of a completed circuit. The amount of the load depends on the resistance of the circuit as a whole. Lower resistance translates to more demanding loads..

Different loads will result in different voltages maintained during the discharge. When the load is removed, the open circuit (non-loaded) voltage of the cell will jump back up slightly (to a "resting" state, so to speak)..... The operating voltage is always going to be different than the voltage that you measure on a cell that is just sitting there..

If you pull a 3.7V cell out of a light, and you are measuring 3.6V, then the cell is, for all intents and purposes, drained, and should be recharged. Ideally speaking, you should always try to charge your cells before they drop below ~3.5V open circuit. Even better would be to always charge your cells before they drop below 3.7V. Routinely discharging "all the way" down to the point where the over-discharge protection kicks in will reduce cycle life.... For li-ion cells, cycle depths of 40-80% are good and healthy. Draining all the way down isn't great for them.

Li-Ion chemistry cells do not need to be drained all the way down before recharging, you can pretty much recharge at any time you want (but don' sit there and keep resetting the charger trying to get it to pack more into the cell after it is already basically full, anything ~4.10V or higher is plenty to call a "full" charge)

Now.... I have a question for you.... When you say that your cell was down to 3.6V after 10 minutes of runtime, was that 10 minutes from a fresh charge? Or was that after 10 minutes of resting after the flashlight was shut off? I just want to make sure there isn't anything unsafe about your configuration..

---------------

Now, having asked that, lets make sure we have our terminology correct :)

When we say "cr123" we are talking about a non-rechargeable 3.0V "photo lithium" cell. In the future, for clarity, it would be best to refer to your rechargeable chemistry cells in this same size, as R123, RCR123, or 16340s. It's also nice to know what chemistry the cells are as it can help keep any confusion to a minimum. Most protected "li-ion" cells can more accurately be called "lithium cobalt" or "LiCo" for short.

Eric
Thanks for the help. After shutting the flashlight with the 16340 battery (got it right:)) I waited 10 minutes before testing the battery voltage to make sure it had time to rebound. I had been using the light for quite a few weeks so it drained the 16340 to 3.6v from a previous 4.1v. My batteries are the trustfire ones from DX, I assume they are LiCo like you say, but don't really know.

One last question, I assumed recharging at this higher level (above 3.5v and above) is good for the battery, right? I am just not used to doing that, lol. Thanks for all your help!!!!!!:thumbsup:
 

mdocod

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One last question, I assumed recharging at this higher level (above 3.5v and above) is good for the battery, right? I am just not used to doing that, lol. Thanks for all your help!!!!!!:thumbsup:

Yes, they are LiCo cells :)

It's healthiest to keep the open circuit voltage of the cell in the ~3.5-4.20V range if you can. Charging at around 3.7V is a great time to do it.

I'm not sure what you are *used* to doing with batteries, but pretty much every battery chemistry out there does not have much to gain, but more to loose, by a heavy over-discharge on a regular basis. The industry of rechargeable consumer cells has been pushing the memory concept (which was a total myth) for various marketing reasons I suppose, which led consumers to believe that they always needed to completely discharge before charging a cell. In most cases, the only reasons they played this card, was so they could get consumers to drain it down all the way so the cells would charge properly on their cheap timed charger design.. Bottom line is, forget what you are "used" to for handling other rechargeable cells. LiCo has nothing to gain from a very deep discharge.
 

snowlover91

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Ok, thanks for the help, that makes sense. I will make sure I recharge my Lithium cells once they get ~3.6v.

One last question, I am getting some Rayovac Hybrid batteries (can't get eneloops as they aren't sold around here and prefer to buy local) and I was wondering how far they should go before I recharge them? Is 1.1v a good area to recharge them at?
 

mdocod

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Voltage readings on NIMH cells are far less straight forward and useful. There isn't really any accurate way to know what state of charge a NIMH cell is in. Just use it till the light dims and recharge them, they will be fine.

You will find that with NIMH cells, fresh off the charger, they will read ~1.4+V, after a few hours they will settle to ~1.3+V, and then you will basically discharge them, and at most points through the discharge, if you took a voltage reading, you could get something like 1.25-1.30V, and it wouldn't really mean much either way. Every brand of cell is going to have slightly different voltage behavior so there isn't a standardized "rule" to go by. A cell measuring UNDER 1.2V open circuit is basically dead, but that happens pretty quickly right at the end of the discharge without much warning.

For NIMH cells, you don't need to be as concerned with over-discharge, most people would suggest that they should be drained to ~0.9V under a load to get most of the juice out, with the load removed they will very likely still be reading ~1.1-1.25V just depending on various factors.

Just charge them when the device they are being used in shows signs that the cells are getting low and everything will be fine.

Deep discharges and reverse charging are the worst for NIMH, so just try to avoid leaving a device "on" that will continue to drain down the cells after they are already showing signs of being "dead." In multi-cell applications, continuing to drain them down way low can cause some better performing cells in the bunch to reverse charge any lesser performing cells. A good way to ruin them..

Eric
 
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