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Thread: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

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    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Hello everyone,

    My MH20 gets really hot after a few minutes on turbo. I mean so hot, you can almost not touch it any longer than a few seconds. Personally I'm fine with it as I'm not that temperature sensitive with my hands through out my job. But I'm worried.. will it damage my light somehow?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    I'm assuming it's just the head that's really hot. The rest of the body is just pretty warm? If so, I would trust Nitecore designed it properly and there's no need to worry. Of course, running it on high all the time vs. another lower mode will mostly likely kill the LED sooner...but we're still probably talking years, or a lifetime. Use it and abuse it

    Heat is really going to be a problem as we try to push more and more light out of small lights like this.
    GOOD TINT!

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    totally normal for the MH20 and all other small lights that push 1000 lumens. They can and will get hot. MH20 is purposely designed to wick heat away out to the exterior of the body as it is part of NC's ATR (Advanced Thermal Regulation) design. You should also notice that once it gets hot it will slowly cool off as the light senses the temp and backs off power until it cools off enough to still provide a smooth drop off curve in output instead of jagged drops like a timed regulated light would. Strange though, to hot to touch? My MH20 gets pretty warm but not that hot. Of course a rule of thumb with these little powerhouse lights is once they get uncomfortably hot throttle down.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Yes, the head gets hot really quick while the body is still hand warm. The body gets hot too but not nearly as hot as the head.
    Since the MH20 got the temperature regulation I will trust them. Still pretty happy with my MH20!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    freaking love my MH20. It is the nicest most well designed and built NC I have ever had or used. I have been a massive NC critic for years that with their notorious history of advertising vastly overrated specs and often sub par build quality. In 2015 NC seems to have turned quite a corner. The products they have rolled out in 2015 all truly seem to be a step up in everything from design to build quality I am very impressed. Is the MH20 perfect? No. It is one of a kind and my copy is flawless. What would I change at the very least would be design in a low voltage warning(I presumed it had it as most NC's do until I read here that it did not)and make the mini USB port waterproof with the flap open ala UC35.

    Also experimented with 2xCR123's in the light. Did not notice any increase in output but the light got hot much faster than it did on an 18650 cell so I at least know to stick with good 18650's. Currently running 3500mah Keeppower 10amp cell in it. The cell doesnt even break a sweat with its low internal resistance and feeds the light better than any other cell that I know of could. The cells no voltage sag on turbo means I get 100% performance and superior run time at the same time. Bought a dozen of these awesome cells.

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    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    I'm not sure, but I got a feeling that it gets hotter with a unprotected Panasonic 18650 from a laptop battery pack than with a protected Trustfire 18650. Is this a possibility?

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    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Sure its a possibility. Many protected cells also protect from over heat as well as over charge and over discharge. Trustfire? A rule of thumb on this and most other light forums is to avoid any cells that have xxxxFire in the name. They are all trash along with likely being very unsafe. From a laptop battery pack? Avoid! Battery pack 18650's are designed to do just that-work in a pack not singly. I highly advise a cell purpose meant for high output flashlights-any protected 18650 3400mah, 3500mah and the mysteriously not available anymore 3600mah cell all protected of course. I see you are in Germany so I do not know what kind of availability you have to high quality high capacity protected button top cells. There is one reputable EU dealer but the name escapes me at the moment. At the least you want a 3400mah cell based on Panasonic or Sanyo cells. Protected button tops. Brand names from Fenix to Nitecore and Thrunite all sell their brand name 3400mah cells they are all good cells as they are all re wrapped and protected Japanese made Panasonic.

    I understand ordering from the UK or the US is very expensive so I understand any hesitation to do so. Here in the US I can get any cell I can think of easily from Orbtronic.com, GoingGear.com, illumn.com and many others. Go to the battery and electronics section of the forum and inquire about a reputable EU dealer for these high quality protected cells and you should get some answers there. Good luck

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    NKON.nl is often mentioned at CPF. I have never shopped there myself, so I cannot give a recommendation from personal experience. That said, many other CPF members have said that NKON is a reputable seller in the EU.

    Recharging inside a flashlight can be more dangerous that recharging in a stand-alone charger. That's because the flashlight is a sealed environment. If venting occurs when you are recharging inside a flashlight, it has the potential to blow the head and tail cap off. In addition, it is likely that a charger built into a flashlight does not have as many safety features as a stand-alone charger such as the ones Xtar sells.

    For these reasons, I would use a brand name, protected battery in the Nitecore MH20. A protected version of the Sanyo-Panasonic NCR18650GA 3500mAh battery would do the job nicely. The protected KeepPower 3500mAh is a good cell that many say uses the GA. In his testing, HKJ gave a favorable report of the KeepPower 3500mAh battery.
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    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Yes TRUSTFIRE because back in 2010 a guy in a german flashlight forum recommended me those. I now know I should never buy or even use them but my MH20 arrived and I couldn't resist.

    I already purchased 2 protected button top Panasonic NCR18650B's with 3400mAh from FASTTECH. 3 weeks ago though. They didn't arrive yet.

    Also I used NKON to buy my NITECORE INTELLICHARGER i4 v2 and a couple of AW RCR123's for my two OLIGHT S1 BATON's that should arrive soon. The charger received a week after I made the order, so that's a good experience!

    The thing with the 18650's from LAPTOP BATTERY PACKS recommended me a active member on this forums.

    Will the quality of the battery influence the heat of the flashlight somehow? Not talking about the protection though.

    Thanks and greets!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Quote Originally Posted by KeepingItLight View Post
    NKON.nl is often mentioned at CPF. I have never shopped there myself, so I cannot give a recommendation from personal experience. That said, many other CPF members have said that NKON is a reputable seller in the EU.

    Recharging inside a flashlight can be more dangerous that recharging in a stand-alone charger. That's because the flashlight is a sealed environment. If venting occurs when you are recharging inside a flashlight, it has the potential to blow the head and tail cap off. In addition, it is likely that a charger built into a flashlight does not have as many safety features as a stand-alone charger such as the ones Xtar sells.

    For these reasons, I would use a brand name, protected battery in the Nitecore MH20. A protected version of the Sanyo-Panasonic NCR18650GA 3500mAh battery would do the job nicely. The protected KeepPower 3500mAh is a good cell that many say uses the GA. In his testing, HKJ gave a favorable report of the KeepPower 3500mAh battery.

    The EVVA 3500mAh uses the Sanyo-Panasonic GA and is available from Mtn Electronics at only $9.50 ea. I use them exclusively in my MH20 with great results. The KeepPower is also a good choice.

    I suppose the closed environment is the reason why the charging via the usb is very slow. It does seem to work well though and the light does not even get warm during charging.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Quote Originally Posted by facepalm69 View Post
    Yes TRUSTFIRE because back in 2010 a guy in a german flashlight forum recommended me those. I now know I should never buy or even use them but my MH20 arrived and I couldn't resist.

    I already purchased 2 protected button top Panasonic NCR18650B's with 3400mAh from FASTTECH. 3 weeks ago though. They didn't arrive yet.

    Also I used NKON to buy my NITECORE INTELLICHARGER i4 v2 and a couple of AW RCR123's for my two OLIGHT S1 BATON's that should arrive soon. The charger received a week after I made the order, so that's a good experience!

    The thing with the 18650's from LAPTOP BATTERY PACKS recommended me a active member on this forums.

    Will the quality of the battery influence the heat of the flashlight somehow? Not talking about the protection though.

    Thanks and greets!

    Personally I would not want to run my MH20 on Trustfires long enough for it to get hot. It's a bit too much like a game of Russian Roulette. So be careful and I'd suggest easy going until your good batteries arrive in the mail, then you can depend on the combined protections of the light itself and the batteries to make sure nothing goes BOOM!
    Half of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at.

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    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Didn't think they are THAT dangerous. But we'll I will keep it in my mind!

    Hopefully the Panasonic's will arrive soon. And hopefully they are no fakes. Anyone got experience with batteries from FASTTECH? Because they were only like 11$ for 2.

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    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Just ordered 3 KeepPower 18650 3500mAh's from a german authorised dealer for 14,95€ each. Dont think I can go wrong with these.

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    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    alright! Happy you were able to find the Keeppower 3500's at a decent price! I have a dozen of them across a dozen lights and man they are the best 18650's I have ever used.

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    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    I'll be feeling good and save with these. Thanks for the advice!

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    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Please help me out...

    I can't see any difference of output when switching from high in turbo mode with the Trustfire batterie. When it's freshly charged I can see a difference. Now that it has 3.98V I can't. With the unprotected Panasonic from the laptop battery pack I easily see the difference between high and turbo, even at under 4V.

    Does anyone know a reason for this? It's confusing.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* the0dore3524's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Hi, just a quick question. Is the MH20 waterproof without the rubber flap that covers the charging port? Thanks!
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  18. #18
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    No, none of Nitcores USB rechargeable lights are waterproof with the flap open. The Fenix UC35 is the only mini USB rechargeable light that I am aware of that actually is waterproof with the flap open.

    facepalm69-that Trustfire cell in reality very very likely cannot hold its charged voltage almost at all. In reality the Trustfire cell is actually less than half its claimed mAh capacity. I strongly advise you just trash it they have been known to be dangerous to the point of venting and even catching fire. The unprotected Panasonic cell despite being from a laptop is still high quality made likely in Japan and actually has and can maintain true 18650 level capacity meaning the voltage it has does not drop drastically when you turn the light on.

    What you are seeing is the performance difference in quality and performance between a true 18650 and a mystery Chinese made cell most likely stuffed with some kind of powder around a cheap AA cell to make it 18650 sized. You can YouTube Trustfire/Ultrafire 18650's and watch the many videos of these cells bursting into flames, getting mAh capacity tested to 1/4 claimed capacity and so on.

    Your freshly charged Trustfire dropped voltage like a rock as soon as you turned the light on and would keep dropping until the light dimmed out and off which wouldnt take long.

    The Keeppower 3500mah cells you ordered are on a whole higher level and are purposely designed for high out put lights. They have very low internal resistance which means that on turbo you will get maximum performance that the light is capable of. The 3500's 10amp ability will feed your MH20 every bit of amperage the light needs to draw without breaking a sweat. In my experience with both Orbtronic and Keeppower 3500mah cells they hold their capacity very well they dont drain fast even when using turbo for extended periods of time.

    Outside of monster lights that require 20+ amp cells the 3500mah 10amp GA is the best 18650 for high output lights to date. Only when you get into lights that require 4/5 amps or more such as custom lights would you need anything hotter. Good luck

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    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Just learned alot. Thank you! I won't be using my Trustfire's anymore now. With a bit of luck the KeepPower's will arrive Saturday!

    Greets

  20. #20
    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    My 2 AW 16340 protected's just arrived. Actually they were for the 2 Olight S1's Ive ordered but I couldnt resist to try them out in my MH20. And wow, a very noticeable difference in output! They came both with 3.82V.
    But I guess 2x RCR123 gives a little more output than a single 18650 cell, right?

  21. #21

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    it's normal it is very little

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    Flashaholic Octavian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCross74 View Post
    .....................................
    Also experimented with 2xCR123's in the light. Did not notice any increase in output but the light got hot much faster than it did on an 18650 cell so I at least know to stick with good 18650's. Currently running 3500mah Keeppower 10amp cell in it. The cell doesnt even break a sweat with its low internal resistance and feeds the light better than any other cell that I know of could. The cells no voltage sag on turbo means I get 100% performance and superior run time at the same time. Bought a dozen of these awesome cells.
    Good observation.
    All of my flashlights which I run with 2x18350 gets hot faster than with 1x18650 (Olight M22, Eagletac T200C2,Fenix PD35 TAC...)

    To Olight M22 I forgot it on the desk (arround 15 min on turbo with 2x18350) I didn't succeed to hold it in my hand more than 1-2 seconds...was HOT.
    Never happened again... I'm more carefully
    Last edited by Octavian; 12-11-2015 at 01:04 PM.

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    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    The KeepPower's just arrived! 3.62V on them. What I've noticed is, if I run the MH20 with 2x AW RCR123 the jump from high to turbo is much more noticeable than with 1x KeepPower 18650 3500mAh. And the output is slightly higher.

    Feeling very good now with the quality cells!

  24. #24

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    My rule of thumb is never run a light to the point where it get's hot. These small ubber bright lights are made to "Hey, whats that!" Bump up to turbo for a moment, and then back down to a lower, cooler level. If you want 1000 lumens for more than a moment or two...you find the right light. A TN 36 for example. That can run for more than a few moments at 1000 without running hot. Otherwise I would expect rapid degration of the LED and issues with the electronics...right beyond the return period...and for sure when the warranty is out.

    I love my MH20, but agree it needs a red low battery warning light. It's nice to be able to check the voltage...but still, needs a low warning.

    Last edited by Badbeams3; 12-14-2015 at 08:01 AM.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Ill just use the MH20 as I would any other flashlight. Its a usage object and the creator have designed it to work on 1.000lm. If not, theres still a 5 year warranty.
    If it gets too hot it will decrease the output to cool down. I guess thats a good point.

    TN36 is very expensive though.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Quote Originally Posted by facepalm69 View Post
    Ill just use the MH20 as I would any other flashlight. Its a usage object and the creator have designed it to work on 1.000lm. If not, theres still a 5 year warranty.
    If it gets too hot it will decrease the output to cool down. I guess thats a good point.

    TN36 is very expensive though.
    Bet after 6 months my light is brighter than yours...

    Last edited by Badbeams3; 12-14-2015 at 04:39 PM.

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    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Haha, good one 😄

    Do you have any in depth explanation or can you tell me one? I'd like to read more about how heat affects the LED and the electronics.

    Good thing is, it's actually like 5 degrees outside and the MH20 only gets warm. Not like inside the house at 21 degrees. Besides that I would not even need 1000lm inside my house. 😂

  28. #28

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Quote Originally Posted by facepalm69 View Post
    Haha, good one 

    Do you have any in depth explanation or can you tell me one? I'd like to read more about how heat affects the LED and the electronics.

    Good thing is, it's actually like 5 degrees outside and the MH20 only gets warm. Not like inside the house at 21 degrees. Besides that I would not even need 1000lm inside my house. 
    Lol...oh my, 5 degrees! I live in Florida and have the a/c running...

    "Prolonged heat can significantly shorten the useful life of many LED systems. Higher ambient temperature leads to higher junction temperatures, which can increase the degradation rate of the LED junction element, possibly causing the light output of an LED to irreversibly decrease over the long term at a faster rate than at lower temperatures.

    "Controlling the temperature of an LED is, therefore, one of the most important aspects of optimum performance of LED systems.

    http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/nlpi...s/led/heat.asp








    Last edited by Badbeams3; 12-14-2015 at 05:47 PM.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic facepalm69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Interesting! Thanks

    Yes, we have a winter in Germany. It's still quite warm though.

    I'll just catch a eye on the heat of my flashlight. Like avoiding too much of heat in summer days when it's warm. Shouldn't be a problem. High mode is still pretty bright too!

    Cheers, Einstein! 😁

  30. #30

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20 gets very HOT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Badbeams3 View Post
    My rule of thumb is never run a light to the point where it get's hot. These small ubber bright lights are made to "Hey, whats that!" Bump up to turbo for a moment, and then back down to a lower, cooler level. If you want 1000 lumens for more than a moment or two...you find the right light. A TN 36 for example. That can run for more than a few moments at 1000 without running hot. Otherwise I would expect rapid degration of the LED and issues with the electronics...right beyond the return period...and for sure when the warranty is out.

    I love my MH20, but agree it needs a red low battery warning light. It's nice to be able to check the voltage...but still, needs a low warning.
    I have to say I strongly disagree with this. These lights are designed to operate at even the highest setting for as long as the user needs. Nitecore designed these lights with ATR, that is, thermal regulation. A sensor measures the temp and adjusts it accordingly to keep it within safe limits. Many lights putting out more than 400 lumens will get warm or hot on the outside, it's normal and part of the process of a well designed light. Furthermore the average temp at which it seems most humans consider something hot is usually between 125-140F, depending on individual differences influencing your sensitivity to the heat. Some can handle more and some less, but 140F is not that hot for a flashlight it could handle much higher temperatures if we could.

    Also Cree rates their LED's for a max temp of 150C (302F) at the junction point before degradation of the LED occurs. Up until this temp you may get slightly reduced output but it won't affect the life of the led much, if any at all. This is all straight from the Cree website about the XM-L2 they use in the MH20. The thermal management of the MH20 is designed to handle and maintain heat well below this level to promote a long LED life. Of course the main factor is the heatsinking, a light with excellent heatsinking at 1k lumens will be much cooler at the LED junction versus one with poor heatsinking where the heat builds up under the LED. I say all this to say you can run your MH20 at turbo as long as you want provided you have good batteries to handle the current draw. You won't lose much if any led life by doing so and you won't damage the electronics either. They're DESIGNED to handle the heat and throttle the temperature when needed.

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