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Thread: How do you charge your hotwire?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Chrontius's Avatar
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    Default How do you charge your hotwire?

    Title says it all. Nothing about mine is pleasant or easy, so I figure I'm doing it wrong.

    How do you guys make these beasts work for you?

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    A little more details about what you mean would be useful.

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    Flashaholic daBear's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    I have modded the tail cap with a DC plug and run wires to the battery pack or if possible the battery holder and just plug it into a smart charger. Can't do this for all battery holders, but you sure can for a custom battery pack.

    It is certainly nice and handy to not have to even take the batts out of the light to charge it up, much less take the batts out individually.
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    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    I typically remove custom packs and charge them using my Triton2 and magnetic adapters.
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    MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    I have the FiveMega 6aa to 2D adapter with the charging plug at the bottom. I have made my own adapter that connects the male charging plug to a Tamiya-style connector on my smart-charger.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Chrontius's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    Quote Originally Posted by LuxLuthor View Post
    A little more details about what you mean would be useful.
    What kind of batteries, charger, and whatever else paraphanelia is used by the people used to making hotwires was the basic question. Things like "I use a Fivemega pack with the built-in charging jack, and a smart-charger" or "I modded my tailcap with a charging jack" were exactly the sort of responses I was looking for.

    I'm thinking of switching away from lithium cells for safety, ease of use (and not needing a soft-starter to run at all), and I wanted to know what the experts prefer.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* 2xTrinity's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrontius View Post
    I'm thinking of switching away from lithium cells for safety, ease of use (and not needing a soft-starter to run at all), and I wanted to know what the experts prefer.
    Another alternative if you don't want to give up the good energy/weight ratio of LiIon is to go with Emoli Cells in "C" hosts. 2 will fit in a 3C, or 3 in a 4C, to run lamps like 5761, or 1185 respectively.

    The chemistry is inherently safe, which I presume is your reason for wanting to switch. Emoli would also be convenient if you already have a LiIon charger, as you can series-charge them most of the time, but if you find them getting out of balance sometime in the future, you can equalize them by charging them individually on any LiIon charger.

    I know many have installed jack chargers on lights using Emolis, or even individually protected LiIons for that matter -- no reason it can't work there just like it does for NiMh, with the added caveat that it should be possible to charge them individually occasionally if need be.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Chrontius's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    My Li-ion charger is the $15 Kaidomain single-cell charger.

    Mostly I want to switch because I can't get ROP-hi to light on the Kai D cells, and I don't want to have to create a soft-starter for my first hotwire. This ROP was supposed to be easy, after all.

    That said, not burning the house down is a good thing ^_^ Where can I get my paws on those, and are they better than AW's li-ion C cells?

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* 2xTrinity's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrontius View Post
    My Li-ion charger is the $15 Kaidomain single-cell charger.

    Mostly I want to switch because I can't get ROP-hi to light on the Kai D cells, and I don't want to have to create a soft-starter for my first hotwire. This ROP was supposed to be easy, after all.

    That said, not burning the house down is a good thing ^_^ Where can I get my paws on those, and are they better than AW's li-ion C cells?
    Emoli unfortunately arenm't sold to individuals, only to OEMs to make drill packs. Here is a thread where you can buy loose cells for $16 that have been stripped from drill packs and cycled once to test capacity.

    For ROP, AW C cell will work as well. Those don't require a soft starter for ROP, but they do for the philips 5761 (about 6A once warm). For ROP-Hi you'll likely get the same runtime as Emoli and you'll be able to fit it inside a smaller 2C host. The Emoli can safely push out 5x as much current as regular LiIon, so they're definitely the better option for anything more powerful than an ROP.

  10. #10
    MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    Just to save people some searching, the AW C-cell is available here

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* FILIPPO's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSalt View Post
    I have the FiveMega 6aa to 2D adapter with the charging plug at the bottom. I have made my own adapter that connects the male charging plug to a Tamiya-style connector on my smart-charger.

    same here but with 9AA adapter....

  12. #12

    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    I, too, struggle with the charging systems required for my rechargable lights.

    I have some low-powered lights that use NiMH or Li-Ion cells with I charge seperately.

    I have a couple ROPs with 2D-to-6AA or 6A battery holders, which I charge outside the light in a cradle attached to a pack charger.

    I hate using any of these because I don't like to fiddle with the chargers--which require plugs, table space, a safe place to operate, loose cells, multiple wall adaptors, etc. Some folks enjoy playing with rechargable lights, but I don't like the hassle. As a result, most of my rechargable-powered lights see little use.

    I do, however, have two rechargable lights that see regular use: a MagCharger and an old Surefire 9N (not the 9AN). I love both of these lights because they use simple, elegant charging cradles. I don't have to remove the battery pack from the light. I don't even have to plug anything in. I just slip the light into the charger (which is also a convenient wall/dash mount) and go.

    I keep the MagCharger mounted by the back door, plugged in via the plug adapter, and the 9N is mounted in the car running off the 12v line current.

    I've read a lot of threads arguing that lights like this are best suited to be used as duty lights--drained and recharged every night. I agree that such is the primary, and best, use for these lights. Nonetheless, they have proved very useful for me. Neither is a primary light for me, but they are always there, and I can use them without worrying about the battery state. I have not noticed any ill effects to the batteries from being on the chargers all the time. Maybe I'm just lucky?

    So, that's a long way of saying that I prefer a rechargable flashlight of the MagCharger/StrIon variety--built in contacts with a special charging cradle.

    I've often thought of converting my MagCharger to an 1185 and modifying the charging base. Maybe I should consider upgrading the 9N to real hotwire status as well? I think I might be able to drill out the body (from the top) and make enough room for 2 Emoli cells and a spacer at the tail. You could gut the charger, and connect an appropriate pack charger to the contacts in the cradle. Of course, then I'd have to make an adapter from an old lamp assembly to host an 1111...and change the plastic lense... --But now I'm hijacking the thread. Sorry.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* eebowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    Chrontius, I use a 6AA modamag adapter for now with 6 Titanium cells. These are the remainder (survivors) of 12 cells I bought probably 2 years ago. I've used an 8 bay charger exclusively up till recently when I got hold of a Triton 2 which I still don't use that often due to balancing issues.

    I've reently decided to do the opposite of you and switch over to Li Ion chemistry.(Like what 2XTrinity suggested.) The best choice is to go with Emoli cells since they have a higher thermal stability and can tolerate over discharging (though still a bad thing) better than lithium cobalt chemistry. Oh yeah, and though they have a lower energy density, they can discharge up to 20A continuously.
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  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Northern Lights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    I use a BC-6 charger, best investment ever for me.
    It can charge 6 different chemistries (NiMh, Pb, li-ion, Li-Fe and Lipoly, and NiCd) and have 5 preset programs I can make up. I used the generic alligator clip harness and hook to a plug and my lights have jacks all up front on the left side off set as not to interfer with the right hand when picking them up with the cord attached.
    I use AW drivers and standard switches with the jack, in the standard switches I have used KIU, pr to bi pin sockets and some other adaptions of mine also.
    I series charge AW c cells, A123 and Emoli cells. I have noting in NiMh at the moment.
    Here is three A123 cells and the jack system:


    Here is one of the finished lights AW cells and a smart charger:


    Another jack
    Last edited by Northern Lights; 04-24-2008 at 03:53 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: How do you charge your hotwire?

    I plan to use my RC charger plugged into the fivemega 6AA -> 2D pack.

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