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Thread: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

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    Flashaholic kilogulf59's Avatar
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    Default Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    I now have several gadgets that require CR2032 lithium cell batteries, food scale, garage door opener remotes, et cetera, and I have a couple of questions regarding the same.

    First, would it be worth it to get rechargeable CR2032's and a charger and, if so, which batteries/chargers are good?

    Second, which are good brands of disposable CR2032 lithiums? I've purchased a few from Amazon, in the past, and they didn't hold up. They seem to be hit or miss.

    Please, bear in mind I'm not battery/tech/electronic/gadget savvy, I'm just a user

  2. #2

    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    No the rechargeable CR2032 cells are not worth it. They cost a lot and are only good for 50 full cycles. I'm not sure why they wear out so fast but the datasheets were explicit about the terrible cycle life. Also they have half the capacity.

    I buy my CR2032 from Battery Junction. They have some great bulk prices. It is a shame environmentally but it is cheaper to use disposable than to use bad rechargeables.
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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by parametrek View Post
    No the rechargeable CR2032 cells are not worth it. They cost a lot and are only good for 50 full cycles. I'm not sure why they wear out so fast but the datasheets were explicit about the terrible cycle life. Also they have half the capacity.
    Rechargeable coin cells can in fact offer great advantages over nonrechargeables for certain types of devices - namely devices that typically use only shallow-depth cycles, e.g. solar powered devices like calculators and keyboards, and also devices that use them for memory backup. This is because their Lithium Manganese dioxide chemistry enjoys the same advantage as common Li-ion 18650 chemistries - you can obtain much greater cumulative life if you use only shallower depth cycles (> 10x life in extreme cases).

    For example Sanyo claims 2.5x more life at 5% discharge depth vs 20% depth for their ML621. Namely at 5% depth you get 3000 cycles = 150 equivalent full cycles (150 = 3000 * 0.05), and at 20% depth you get 300 cycles = 60 full cycles.

    3000 cycles is over 8 years of life for a solar powered device that drains < 5% overnight while lights are off. Indeed our Logitech solar powered K750 keyboard uses a ML2032 and is over 7 years old and still works fine (likely now it has much less runtime when used for long periods of very dark use (deep discharge), but we rarely use use it that way).

    As for pricing, generally for coin cells there are widespread counterfeits of all the top-tier brands. To avoid these low-quality fakes you can buy from a reputable vendor (e.g. DigiKey, Mouser). If you buy in bulk you can obtain very good prices (even competitive with the fakes).
    Last edited by Gauss163; 05-14-2018 at 09:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Btw, another important point deserves strong emphasis when estimating coin cell capacity, and comparing primary vs secondary coin cells. Namely, much more so than for larger cells like 18650, the usable capacity depends strongly on the (average) current because IR increases greatly as the cell drains. Except for very low currents you won't obtain anywhere near the nominal capacity. But this effect is not so strong if you are only doing shallow-depth discharges because you are never (or rarely) using the ranges where the IR is much larger.

    Jack Ganssle has done many coin cell capacity tests, see How much energy can you really get from a coin cell?s His results confirm the strong impact that IR has on (primary) coin-cell capacity. In particular this implies that naive capacity estimates based on datasheet values are often greatly inaccurate. This is required reading for anyone interested in these matters.

    The analysis is more complex for pulsed loads, e.g. ultra low energy wireless sensor or Bluetooth low energy devices. For a good introduction see Nordics's white paper High pulse drain impact on CR2032 coin cell battery capacity and TI's white paper SWRA349: Coin cells and peak current draw.

    In summary, be sure that you are very familiar with the (unique) behavior of coin cells else your estimates may be meaningless.
    Last edited by Gauss163; 05-14-2018 at 04:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by kilogulf59 View Post
    Please, bear in mind I'm not battery/tech/electronic/gadget savvy, I'm just a user
    A person needs a charger to charge rechargeable batteries.

    Sounds like your uses are not heavy discharge for the most part. Keep it simple and get Battery Junction or some other reputable place to send name brand 2032's, my advice.

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    Flashaholic kilogulf59's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    OK, thanks for the help folks ...Amazon and Energizers it is

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Don't buy from Amazon, eBay etc. unless you can be sure it is shipped from a highly reputable electronics supplier. Probably over 80% of the coin cells on Amazon & eBay are fake. Digikey or Mouser are safe bets.
    Last edited by Gauss163; 05-16-2018 at 09:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Do not buy from Amazon. No telling where they source their stuff.

    Go to Batteryjunction for fresh batteries.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    As others have noted, I too have found it especially difficult to source good quality authentic button / coin cell batteries ....
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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Thanks for the advice on places to purchase. I figured Amazon would be reputable...

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by kilogulf59 View Post
    Thanks for the advice on places to purchase. I figured Amazon would be reputable...
    Remember, Amazon just acts as the sales front end for a lot of third parties. To be really sure lock for the phrase 'fulfilled by Amazon', which may or may not also say 'sold by Amazon. When it says 'fulfilled by Amazon' that means that Amazon is putting their rep on the line for this transaction, and you have a much greater chance of getting quality goods. If you don't, they will make it right for you.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    Remember, Amazon just acts as the sales front end for a lot of third parties. To be really sure lock for the phrase 'fulfilled by Amazon', which may or may not also say 'sold by Amazon. When it says 'fulfilled by Amazon' that means that Amazon is putting their rep on the line for this transaction, and you have a much greater chance of getting quality goods. If you don't, they will make it right for you.
    I don't think this completely avoids counterfeits because Amazon frequently groups their sourced stock with that from 3rd parties, e.g. see the Forbes article How to avoid dangerous counterfeits on Amazon this holiday season, esp. the section "Ships from and sold by Amazon.comĒ is not even immune to counterfeits".

    And "they will make it right" doesn't help much for items like coin cells where it is difficult if not impossible to recognize counterfeits. That's partly why I recommended using major electronics parts suppliers like DigiKey and Mouser.

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    Flashaholic kilogulf59's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    I will keep DigiKey and Mouser in mind. I assume Battery Junction is good as well?

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    I have no experience with Battery Junction (never heard of them). They appear to have a storefront on Amazon so if they fulfill through Amazon then you have the same problem as above.

    Digikey and Mouser are among the top 5 electronic component distributors in the world. I've never heard of anyone receiving fake or counterfeit products from them. But I've lost count of the number of times I've heard such about Amazon.

    Batteries (including coin cells) are among the most widely faked items in existence. If you follow electronics forums you'll often see complaints about such, e.g. the EEVBlog thread Is there some kind of widespread CR2032 issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by rr100@EEVBlog
    10 years ago I used to buy the cheapest 2032 from ebay sometimes even bulk with no packaging at all and all was good.

    But now something crazy is going on: they just don't work too long. Car keys (notice the plural) that used to work for years now work for only 2 months, I put one in some pocket organizer and is "battery low" in 6 months without using it, stuff like that [...]

    I tried many brands, all sealed/blister, even some rip-offs from brick and mortar stores.

    Any idea what's going on here? Some widespread "fakery"? Some critical ingredient got banned or something?
    And here's another example from SmartThings:

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelahess@SmartThings
    Far better options [vs. Amazon] <snipped links to Arrow, DigiKey, Mouser and FutureElectronics...>

    All authorized distributors of Panasonic.

    Iíve had to send back 6 of the 7 battery orders Iíve made on CRís from Amazon. SO many fakes out there. And these cost half (or less) as much. I use Prime for everything, but batteries.
    Last edited by Gauss163; 05-15-2018 at 11:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by Gauss163 View Post
    I have no experience with Battery Junction (never heard of them). They appear to have a storefront on Amazon so if they fulfill through Amazon then you have the same problem as above.
    Whatever that means.

    A quick check for quantity 10 Panasonic 2032's:

    Digikey was clumsy, gave up on it.

    Mouser was fine. $15.39 includes shipping estimated

    Battery Junction was easy to navigate and gave a shipping cost to my zip code. Total $9.13

    I recently bought 10 2016's. Each package had a holographic design.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    I purchased four dozen button cells from Amazon a few years ago for a bicycle light used for riding at night during the fall/winter, 6 months a year. Only used a dozen of the cells the first year. The second year I went to begin using the remaining three dozen button cell batteries and learned that they died in storage - in a cool, dry place. Never again.

    Battery Junction is located in Connecticut and is a woman owned establishment. Been a customer of their store for over 5 years and purchase all of my batteries from them in quantities of up to 80 batteries per order including button, CR123a, RCR123, 18650, AA, AAA, and 9V.
    Last edited by RCS1300; 05-15-2018 at 12:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by KITROBASKIN View Post
    Whatever that means.
    It means Battery Junction might be fulfilling some orders through an Amazon warehouse. As I explained above, there is a very high risk of receiving counterfeit coin cells from Amazon or any other supplier whose supply chain is not trustworthy. Many electronics professionals and hobbyists buy their coin cells only from major authorized distributors such as Digikey or Mouser because they have a long history of never supplying fakes. There may well be other (smaller) sources that are just as trustworthy but I am not aware of any.

    I wouldn't give up so easily on Digikey. A couple minutes more time to order will pay off in the long run if it saves you from the hassle of having to frequently replace short-lived fakes.
    Last edited by Gauss163; 05-15-2018 at 12:46 PM.

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    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    I bought a charger and 4x 2032 rechargable battery`s to use in my 3D tv glasses a few years ago, It was cheap and worked reasonably well for a few weeks and then i got bored of 3D and have not used it since.

    John.
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Terry Pratchett.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Considering what places charge for shipping, unless you're buying a case, it's probably cheaper to go to a local retailer and buy them.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Based on my experience and that reported by others, buying from local brick and mortar yields a high risk of fakes, and is more costly. In the past you could get better prices from major distributors but it appears now they won't ship by USPS due to changes in Lithium shipping regulations, so the shipping price is at least $8 or so by UPS/Fedex ground. Usually what I do in such cases is wait till I need to order something else, and ship them combined, which makes the coin cell shipping almost free (the cost per cell is around $0.26 in qty 10)

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    Flashaholic kilogulf59's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Seems there's a helluvalotta fake batteries out there....

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    ^^ Unfortunately so. To understand how far they will go have a look at the Frankenbattery camera battery fakes, e.g. below is excerpted from a Youtube video teardown of a fake Sony NP-F970 videocam battery. What a piece of work, eh? Caveat emptor!


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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    I probably have fake coin cell batteries then....LOL. I've purchased several times off of Ebay. I've just bought the name brands and from someone that has a record of lots of sales over time. I figure if people were upset that the feedback would kill their reputation and lower their FB. I haven't had any problems with them.

    I also place orders from Mouser and Digikey every couple of months so I might piggy back on one of those orders and stock up on various sizes. Looks like the batteries are reasonable if you don't have to pay for shipping. My problem is that I don't use coin cells up very often and when its time to need one, I don't want to wait a long time to order. I have a half dozen of a few sizes that I've needed in the past. I think I got them all off of Ebay.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Gee whiz, I wonder where they're all coming from? <Sarcastic rhetorical question>

    Seems to me one or more of our wonderful ABC agencies should be looking into this...

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by hiuintahs View Post
    I've purchased several times off of Ebay. I've just bought the name brands and from someone that has a record of lots of sales over time. I figure if people were upset that the feedback would kill their reputation and lower their FB. I haven't had any problems with them
    Alas, it doesn't work that way. Generally you cannot trust reviews from the general public on technical matters. For example, in the past I posted links showing that some eBay sellers have sold tens of thousands of "10000mAh" 18650 Li-ion cells with rave feedback. Only about 20 buyers noticed that they are lower capacity (usually 10x less capacity). That infinitesimal fraction of knowledeable critique is lost in the noise among tens of throusands of positive feedback from the masses. Probably the same holds true for coin cells too. The masses would never notice that they are much lower-capacity fakes.
    Last edited by Gauss163; 05-16-2018 at 08:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Also, although I have no way of knowing the true numbers of authentic versus inauthentic coin cells, but it would not surprise me much if the "fakes" straight up outnumber the real cells through commonly available retail channels.

    In that case, general expectations and feedback (to the extent of the few percent of consumers who even likely pay much attention to the performance of a tiny coin cell costing only pennies) may be more likely a positive surprise to the upside for the occasional real battery than any disappointment with the usual ....
    ... is the archimedes peak

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Ikea seems to have a very good price on them, if you have a store nearby:
    https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80291156/

    I can't speak for quality. I'd hope a retailer as big as them is sourcing directly from a reputable manufacturer, but I do not know.

    Also, I've heard from CPF user Zak that Arrow electronics is a good alternative to Mouser and Digikey with lower shipping costs for small orders.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    Yes, Arrow is up their with Digikey and Mouser. Curiously they didn't show up as an authorized distributor when I did an ECIA search so I overlooked them. ECIA = Electronic Components Industry Association is a not-for-profit org representing electronics component manufacturers and their distribution partners. They have a web page which allows you to search for authorized components distributors, e.g. you'll see Digikey and Newark listed if you search for CR2032. It's a good place to start your search if you need to ensure that you obtain genuine electronics components (though a bit overkill for small quantities of cheap consumer batteries)

    As for Ikea, I have no idea who their source is for coin cells. $0.375/cell for qty 8 is higher than the Digikey price $.026 for qty 10, but ends up better if you don't need to pay shipping. But it may be a bad deal if they are not good quality. For coin cells it's not only the nominal capacity that matters but also the quality, e.g. fake cells make have much higher IR, which means you'll get much lower real-word capacity in many cases, esp. for pulsed loads such as devices with radios (Bluetooth, etc). See the white paper links I gave above for much more on that. Also quality control is usually much worse for fakes (it's not unusual to see duds even for top-tier brands - you can't expect superb QC at this price point).
    Last edited by Gauss163; 05-16-2018 at 10:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    I purchase my coin cells from a 3rd party seller on Amazon. Never had an issue. If they're fakes, they're good fakes. I can buy 5 cells from them (with free shipping), for less cost than 1 cell from a local retailer. There's no way I'm paying retail prices for coin cell batteries.

    OTOH, I've also tried sellers on the popular Chinese sites. Awful! They come with full voltage, but immediately die when you use them. They must be powered by a static electric charge on them.

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    Default Re: Questions Regarding CR2032 Lithium Batteries

    ^^^ Please give a link to the product you refer to. Any product fulfilled by Amazon will be luck-of-the-draw since they often mix stock from many sources (see the discussion above).

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