ZL SC53c N 14500 Issue

ilikeguns40

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I wonder if there is any visual difference between the LiIon capable SC53c N and the Non LiIon model? (if someone was hunting AA/LiIon Zebras in the wild)
I don't notice any difference. They both look and function exactly the same.

I wish they would officially support li-ion myself, and not sure why they don't anymore. But again I'm totally fine with using eneloops or other NIMH batteries. I've found that using li-ions didn't really offer that much more lumens for it to be beneficial.
 

jon_slider

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I don't notice any difference. They both look and function exactly the same.
thank you ;-)
I wish they would officially support li-ion myself, and not sure why they don't anymore.

Zebra said that they ran out of room on the driver, when they added G6 and G7, so they said they deleted the LiIon code and Officially stopped listing LiIon Voltage range.

But users such as Lips and McBob discovered that LiIon still worked UnOfficially.. until the latest unannounced change that deleted LiIon support, that Lips posted about.
 

Lips

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On the SC53 models it's a boost converter for the Alkaline and Eneloop batteries. Your gonna loose some efficiency getting the 1.2 to around 3v.

Using the Lith-Ion the SC53 light has no Buck Convertor but uses a linear regulator-resistor design to lower 4v down which your going to loose some efficiency on too.

thefreeman about SC53 driver:
Uses the LTC3539-2, a synchronous boost converter with integrated switches and low start-up voltage (0.7V), 2MHz switching frequency.
~5x5x4.5mm ferrite core inductor.
I checked several times the measurements for a mistake but in the end the efficiency appears to be just… not great.
Though given the high resistance of the integrated FETs it's not that surprising, ~90mΩ for the low side NFET and ~180mΩ for the high side PFET.

Decent thread on reddit that explains why 14500 Lith-Ion can be used.
SC53 with 14500


Driver Link for 53 lights: Why the SC53 can use Li-ion
PDF of actual driver LTC3539-2 used in these lights.


When Zebra upgraded from the SC52 to the SC53 etc. models they needed memory room in the Firmware to add the G6 & G7 programed levels. On the 53 models they removed from the Firmware the battery chemistry detection feature that was on the 52 models... Hence the capacitor glitch when changing chemistries. (easily remedied by pressing the button to discharge the capacitor before changing battery chemistries.)

First user to claim they tried 14500 in SC53c on CPF Oct 26, 2021
Thread: ZL H53 on 14500?

Some mixed results for your consideration.
Don't have an H53 on hand to try it with a 14500, tried a 14500 in the SC53c (should be same driver) and it performed similar to my SC52 and SC52 L2. High was definitely brighter running a 14500 than running with either an NIMH or a 1.5v lithium primary.
Did not fry the driver, but the SC53c acted a little odd at first when I removed the 14500 and went back to an Energizer ultimate lithium (1.5v). Would come on, but then cycle H-M-L and then shut off. Did that four times. At that point, I removed and reinstalled the (1.5v) battery and it started working normally. As I have more curiosity than sense, I reinstalled the 14500 and the light worked just like the first time with high significantly brighter than running on the energizer lithium primary (1.5v). This time when I removed the 14500 and went back to the energizer lithium primary (1.5v), I did not have any odd behavior (initially or otherwise). Light seems to be working fine, but if something changes, will post about it.
As I am satisfied with the output at 1.2-1.5v, don't plan to tempt fate and try it again.
 

jon_slider

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my guess is the new SC53c N driver (the SC54 driver) is more efficient than the LiIon capable one..

waiting for McBob, or someone, to do some actual tests, and disassembly comparisons.. Im expecting to see a larger inductor (more efficient), in the SC54 driver

the SC53 series is one of the least efficient zebras

M1 % efficiency
Zebra SC5370
Zebra SC6485
Zebra SC64c LE88
Zebra H600 IV93
Zebra SC700d93
 

radellaf

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It seems the issue is that people want a Zebra that runs on 14500, and that is no longer an option.

imho the 18650 model is a great option if an AA model is not sufficiently bright.

For better or worse, I have to second this. The AA (esp N) is really not that bright, and the small 18650 model is really small. Running 14500 has been "overclocking" for quite a while, now. I'm doing it with one of my Ns but just because, hey, it's a hobby, I wanna have fun.
 

aznsx

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For better or worse, I have to second this. The AA (esp N) is really not that bright, and the small 18650 model is really small. Running 14500 has been "overclocking" for quite a while, now. I'm doing it with one of my Ns but just because, hey, it's a hobby, I wanna have fun.

I'm not Zebra-qualified (and haven't followed this whole 'issue'), but that sounds like a reasonable statement (by @jon_slider) to me too.

Keep in mind that (to the best of my limited knowledge), "overclocking" typically didn't fry components (although some things might have run a bit warm(?). Overvoltage dang sure can though, and very well may; at least over time - even if not immediately. If it does, it will undoubtedly happen at the worst possible time, of course! I guess if one does that, they must "feel lucky" today [and tomorrow, and the next day] (to quote Clint) ;-) Besides, if my computer screws up, it's a very serious problem, but if my flashlight fails at the wrong time, it could be much worse than that.
 

HRace

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Feb 8, 2016
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"..all new driver circuitry….that we'd like to try it out in the current (SC53) lights."

I recently placed an order for my first bob_mcbob Zebra. He was great and disclosed this change that I had not known about. I decided to proceed with the order since I plan to run eneloops. bob_mcbob can dissect mine or others coming to him and see what's changed. I'll be happy to get the light and use it.

Thanks to all you guys for the research and info sharing here.
 
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