Will I turn into a Maglite fan once again?

xxo

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I just bought a Maglite ML300 2D last week. I've been looking for a more powerful EDC that uses standard cells for a while now and with the high output, simple mode switching, and decent battery life, I finally pulled the trigger. A 2D is rather large for EDC, but I'm getting used to it. I'm just glad I didn't go for 3 or 4 D.

As for batteries. I'm currently still on the 2 Energizer Max cells that came with the light and I bought an 8 Pack of Rayovac for spares. I am going to investigate Rechargeable cells as a matter of course. My main concern is the current drain, I have already checked perceived brightness and NiMh appears to be just as bright on high power, but I will do more comparisons in the near future.

Mags run fine on NiMH's, though I generally run my 2 and 3D cell LED Mags on single 26650's in adapters – a lot lighter than D cell NiMH's and there's only one cell to charge, not to mention no leaks that are always a possibility with alkalines.
 

jrmcferren

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I just performed some testing on my ML300 and determined that some additional testing is required. Note, all tests performed on High.

Partially used Alkaline still providing full visible brightness: 1.1 amps dropping to .8 amps in about 5 to 10 seconds settling at about 0.8 amps. The intensity does not vary.
Harbor Freight NiMh that has likely had some self discharge: 2.2 amps and steady, no visible increase or decrease in output.
Tenergy Centura recharged within the past few months: 2.3 amps and steady, no visible increase or decrease in output.

My RadioShack battery tester shows the NiMh (both Harbor Freight and Centura) on the border of recharge and good, but measures 1.2 volts (about 18 Ma test current from the tester). My partially used Alkalines show 1.4 volts (with the test current applied from the tester), a good on the tester, and the test current is a slightly higher 21ma.

I have the Harbor Freight cells on the charger now, a full charge on NiMh puts us around 1.4 volts which is about what I'm getting from the Energizers on the tester.

Current result: Inconclusive
Next question to answer. Is the current dropping due to an increase in voltage caused by the Alkalines recovering from an inrush surge?
How I'm testing: Freshly charged NiMh will present a higher voltage to the driver, if the current drops on testing the freshly charged NiMh from 2.2 Amps, there is some evidence of higher battery voltage = lower current.

Ironically, the question I was trying to answer to begin with was if it was possible to duplicate the Alkaline claimed High runtime with NiMh cells and what capacity would be required.
 

xxo

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You should have no trouble matching the actual alkaline run time with any decent 8,000-10,000 mAh NiMH D cells, though the alkalines will do a little better on eco mode. Problem is most of the name brand NiMH's only have a 2,500 – 3,000 mAh sub-C cell inside which is hardly any better than a single hi cap AA NiMH.



A single 5500 mAh 26650 should also give pretty much the same run time as a pair of alkaline D's on high.
 

bykfixer

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I like Imedion D cells. Kinda pricey and don't store as well as say, eneloops but if it's a daily user those have a big storage tank of electric fuel.
 

jrmcferren

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Further testing indicates that as the voltage of the cells go up, the current drain decreases and vice versa. This combined with no real change in brightness means we have another valuable feature and that is regulation! I've quoted a few replies below and added some comments.

You should have no trouble matching the actual alkaline run time with any decent 8,000-10,000 mAh NiMH D cells, though the alkalines will do a little better on eco mode. Problem is most of the name brand NiMH's only have a 2,500 – 3,000 mAh sub-C cell inside which is hardly any better than a single hi cap AA NiMH.



A single 5500 mAh 26650 should also give pretty much the same run time as a pair of alkaline D's on high.

Yes, my Harbor Freight ones are just like that 2500 mAH. I also think the 6.5 hours Mag Quotes for high includes time when the light drops out of regulation as the FL-1 standard they use allows for the output to drop to 10% as the cut-off for battery life. This would make the real regulated time line up with what you get out of NiMh cells. At least that's what I'm going to go with since the math and my numbers don't add up to 8000 mAH giving 6.5 hours of runtime and I'd really not start an argument in the first thread I've participated in for several years. :whistle:

Why don't they store well? My imedion AAs have finally given up the ghost and I bought them 10 years ago
I think he's referring to self discharge. Panasonic still has a lot of the competition beat on the reduction of self-discharge. I started the transition to Eneloop in 2016 for AA/AAA cells and I'm going to accelerate the transition on the AAAs a big by using my non-Eneloop cells in cordless phones that murder cells. (Ironically these are Panasonic phones and they murder Eneloops).
 

vicv

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I have both eneloops and imedions. I find them equal in performance. Now have some Amazon cells that seem good too.
I'm genuinely surprised by your findings. Especially the difference between alkalines and nimh. 0.8A to 2.2A is a huge difference for a tiny difference in voltage. That'll be over twice as bright on nimh.
From looking at runtime graphs, it look as though the light drops output continuously on high from the moment you turn it on. So I find your tailcap readings interesting. I have a ml50lx on the way and will get out my dmm when it arrives and check it out
 
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xxo

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Further testing indicates that as the voltage of the cells go up, the current drain decreases and vice versa. This combined with no real change in brightness means we have another valuable feature and that is regulation! I've quoted a few replies below and added some comments.



Yes, my Harbor Freight ones are just like that 2500 mAH. I also think the 6.5 hours Mag Quotes for high includes time when the light drops out of regulation as the FL-1 standard they use allows for the output to drop to 10% as the cut-off for battery life. This would make the real regulated time line up with what you get out of NiMh cells. At least that's what I'm going to go with since the math and my numbers don't add up to 8000 mAH giving 6.5 hours of runtime and I'd really not start an argument in the first thread I've participated in for several years. :whistle:

yes, these lights are well regulated and run time will pretty much depend on the Watt hrs. of the cell or cells used, but keep in mind that there is a timed step down over the first hour to around 65% - by this time alkaline cells can no longer keep up with the power needed to run at this level and will continue to decline in output. NiMH's of Li-ion cells will tend to level off at the level that the light stepped down to until they are almost dead when they drop out of regulation.
 

jrmcferren

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Of course, I had the light running for less than a minute, Mag uses temperature sensing as an input too. A drop down would make the numbers add up. Thank you. I guess I need to order some Tenergy Centura Cells to go with my Mag then. I probably should also upgrade the incandescent mags we have for emergencies with some drop ins, already use the Centuras as I was afraid of loosing them to leaking Alkalines or getting into a "toss them if needed or not" routine. Of course at that time, I was still using store branded Alkalines. I've since adopted (for alkalines) a Made in USA, name brand, and no Duracell rule. I have just recently added the no Duracell rule due to some stuff I've been seeing on YouTube about high Duracell failure rates, Duracell had always been in disfavor anyway due to price.
 

vicv

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For my "when I need them lights" I use Energizer L91s in adaptors. No chance of leaking or self discharge. If I need it in am emergency, I really don't care about the shorter runtime as I can always switch to available c and d cells when they go dead. Without having them leak in the light
 

xxo

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Of course, I had the light running for less than a minute, Mag uses temperature sensing as an input too. A drop down would make the numbers add up. Thank you. I guess I need to order some Tenergy Centura Cells to go with my Mag then. I probably should also upgrade the incandescent mags we have for emergencies with some drop ins, already use the Centuras as I was afraid of loosing them to leaking Alkalines or getting into a "toss them if needed or not" routine. Of course at that time, I was still using store branded Alkalines. I've since adopted (for alkalines) a Made in USA, name brand, and no Duracell rule. I have just recently added the no Duracell rule due to some stuff I've been seeing on YouTube about high Duracell failure rates, Duracell had always been in disfavor anyway due to price.


Well there's one way to find out, charge up a couple Tenergy cells and see how long they run in your light. And duracells do suck, they seem to be getting worse and worse.
 

xxo

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For my "when I need them lights" I use Energizer L91s in adaptors. No chance of leaking or self discharge. If I need it in am emergency, I really don't care about the shorter runtime as I can always switch to available c and d cells when they go dead. Without having them leak in the light


L91's will actually run longer than alkaline C cells in anything that draws a half Amp or more. Considering all of the other advantages of L91's (longer self life, better performance in high and low temps, light weight and no leaks) and that they cost about the same as alkaline C's, I don't see any reason not to use L91's in place of alkaline C's. Of course, once you have the AA to C spacers you can also run eneloops and the like as well for a rechargeable option.
 

vicv

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It's really too bad they don't make a lithium C and D cell. They'd last forever!
Duracell are that bad? I thought they were the best alkaline? If one needs to run alkaline, which one?
 

bykfixer

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Capacity-wise the Duracell and Energizer alkaline are pretty much the same. If I'm not mistaken Energizer bought a large slice of Duracel or vice versa.
I use Rayovac cells for 2 reasons. First they cost less yet have the same capacity. Next, I've had very few leak in the last few years versus Energizer and Duracell in Maglite products. Others have disagreed but my results have found Rayovac to be the brand I trust for not leaking, even in high drain lights or extreme temperatures. But I don't store my flashlights inside a container like a glove box or console. I don't know if that matters or not.

I have an older model 2D LED in my truck that uses the Duracells it came with (ie it doesn't get used very often) but both light and batteries are stored in the package with the batteries outside of the light. A Coast HP7 and a Streamlight headlamp both have Rayovacs stored inside of them without any issues for a few years now. But my ML25 is stored with eneloops inside C cell adapters.
 
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xxo

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It's really too bad they don't make a lithium C and D cell. They'd last forever!
Duracell are that bad? I thought they were the best alkaline? If one needs to run alkaline, which one?


It would be nice if the lithium-iron cells replaced alkalines completely, but I won't hold my breath, there's still a lot of people that buy zinc chloride heavy duty cells because they are a few cents cheaper.

which alkaline doesn't leak is like asking what brand of cigarettes to smoke and not get cancer......all alkalines suck, duracell just sucks worst when it comes to leaks. The newer duracells seem more likely to leak than the old ones, the only alkalines that leak quicker are the home depot defiants.
 

xxo

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Capacity-wise the Duracell and Energizer alkaline are pretty much the same. If I'm not mistaken Energizer bought a large slice of Duracel or vice versa.

Energizer bought rayovac. Duracell was bought by a couple of old koot billionaires, known for running companies into the ground to squeeze whatever profit out of them that they can.
 

jrmcferren

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I just finished the last of the Amp draw tests today. With a fresh set of Alkaline cells the ML300L 2 Cell takes 1.7 amps on high and starts rising up over a few seconds presumably as the battery voltage decreases.
 

vicv

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So I received my ML50LX 3C in green in the mail. It's daylight so I'll know more tonight. That being said, holy crap I like this light. It may replace my polystinger as my favorite LED light. It feels fantastic in the hand. Smooth and soft somehow but grippy. Awaiting more AA to C adaptors so it's filled with alkalines right now. Not sure I care too much for the way output is selected but the button does feel nice. The proper spot focus is just a tad away from full stop CCW. Will have to wait to tonight's dog walk to be sure. Where I'm sure the neighbors will be wondering why such a white beam is shooting across the sky
 

xxo

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I just finished the last of the Amp draw tests today. With a fresh set of Alkaline cells the ML300L 2 Cell takes 1.7 amps on high and starts rising up over a few seconds presumably as the battery voltage decreases.

Alkalines don't have much chance of sustaining current draws at that level for long, even with a step down to 65% after an hour, they can't keep up. For people who really want to run alkalines, the 3 cell versions are better since they don't draw as much Amps.
 

xxo

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So I received my ML50LX 3C in green in the mail. It's daylight so I'll know more tonight. That being said, holy crap I like this light. It may replace my polystinger as my favorite LED light. It feels fantastic in the hand. Smooth and soft somehow but grippy. Awaiting more AA to C adaptors so it's filled with alkalines right now. Not sure I care too much for the way output is selected but the button does feel nice. The proper spot focus is just a tad away from full stop CCW. Will have to wait to tonight's dog walk to be sure. Where I'm sure the neighbors will be wondering why such a white beam is shooting across the sky

The ML50Lx's are really nice, I have a green 2C version and also a 3C standard ML50L, great lights. The switch does take a bit of getting used to but it is fairly simple and intuitive. I usually keep mine set to function set 3 - momentary-constant high and eco, unless I am using them as lanterns, then I like function set 1 - high, medium and eco.

The best way to run these that I know of is on a protected 21700 in an adapter - this will run longer than full capacity NiMH C's and weighs a lot less. AA Eneloops/Fujiloops run pretty well too, but of course run time is less.
 
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