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Thread: Another battery question

  1. #1

    Default Another battery question

    Hello CPF members. New member here with some questions I couldnít find searching. I know enough to know I donít know enough and need some help. We needed some Red headlamps for night fishing on our boat. Wanted something with a flood for fishing and also have a spot with some decent throw to help navigate on the river. They would be used occasionally for maybe a couple hours at a time unless we broke down and needed them thru the night. They would be left on the boat except for the hard winter months when the boat isnít used. So after a short search I purchased two red led headlamps from Amazon. Part number GaiGaiMall-PN-G2006. I know they are cheap lights but they have the features I wanted and $30 for two of them I figured I could give them a try. Havenít tried them on the boat out on the water yet. On land with the supplied AAAs, the light is very bright and throws pretty far so they should work out ok for us. There are no specs on the Amazon page or in the manual. The manual just list the option of using three AAA in a adapter or one 18650. Iíve tried googling the brand name and the ASIN number with no help. So I have no idea of what kind of components it has or what itís operating parameters are. One of their white headlamps says it has a XM-L-T6 but I donít know enough to say what the red headlamp would have. It can be zoomed in and out on the high, low and strobe settings. It also has a charging port on the battery case but didnít come with any cables.
    Iím trying to figure out what batteries I want to use. I have no experience with 18650 batteries because until now I have had lights that Iíve just used Eneloops in. With that said, here is as I understand the very basics. The AAA adapter for this light is in series and is about 64mm long. Iím going to start with Eneloops at 800 mAh and 1.2v which Iím assuming times three equals 2400 mAh and 3.6 volts. They would be recharged after each time they are used. Then Iím considering having Energizer lithium AAAs (L92) as backups. They are 1250 mAh and 1.5v again assuming times three equals 3750 mAh and 4.5 volts. Both of these type batteries I have no concern of popping off on our heads and no storage issues to speak of. If they would fit I would consider a 18650 like the Orbtronic ORB3500P which is 3500 aMh, 3.7v, 10A and is protected. My understanding is that the 18650s shouldnít be stored very long fully charged for safety issues. Iíve read as low as about 50% or lower. So if stored at 50% thatís about 1875 mAh. Correct???. So wouldnít that leave me with less run time than using the Eneloops making the consideration of using a 18650 a mute point. I know enough that a lights brightness and run time depends the components installed in the light. After that Iím ignorant with all the possible combinations of components available. Please correct me if my understanding and reasoning is completely off. Iím just wondering if my ignorance would be causing me to give up any performance from these lights by not using a 18650 battery. As an example. Say we have stayed out into the night for a couple of hours fishing. We would use the lights on low in the flood position when fishing. It is very dark if we are up the lakes head water on the river. There are steep mountain sides blocking most moon and star light. When we leave I would like to have as much throw and as bright as possible during this time to help us navigate out of the river section. I have a spotlight that has a red cover for it but itís not convenient to have to hold it the whole time. I even wouldnít be opposed to switching to fresh batteries before we started out. Just trying to figure out our best option with batteries. Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Another battery question

    18650 will give you best performance\run time, when you have 3 aaa in series with 1250ma each you get 4,5v at 1250ma, you only add voltage with series set up, not capacity.

    you can store fully charged li ion, good brand cells, will not be any more dangerous fully charged sitting on a shelf, than fully drained, li ion do not like being stored fully charged cuz they permanently lose some capacity that way, but it is not immediate nor dramatic

  3. #3

    Default Re: Another battery question

    Go with 18650s as you can get 3000+mah cells vs about 800 or so mah LSD nimh about 4 times as much runtime and easier to manage a good 18650 should last you days. I've done the 3AAA headlamps and 1AA headlamps in the past but now I use 18650s.
    As for the cheap Chinese headlamp you bought probably has a decent clone LED emitter in it not a Cree but they perform adequately for the price.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Another battery question

    Wow! I sure mucked up the mAh thought. Donít know what happened there. Put a piece of metal, wood or something in my hands and Iím ok. Put a piece of electronic gear in my hand and my mind struggles. Long term health issues and meds hasnít helped my thought process much either. I think if my a$$ wasnít attached to me Iíd forget it somewhere.
    Anyhow thanks for the mAh correction. Now the 18650 battery looks a lot better on paper. With my situation I wanted a protected battery. After looking at the Orbtronic ORB35500P specs again I see that it is a button top and is 68.9mm long. I could be wrong again but I believe my lights need a flat top because the positive terminal is a convex bump over 1mm that protrudes into the battery compartment. The neg end is a spring. The AAA adapter is about 64mm long. After some measuring I might be able to squeeze a battery up to 66mm in it. Combined with the length issue, no idea what the lights specs are and my ignorance, I donít know what battery to consider. I e-mailed Orbtronic with my details and asked for a suggestion. They replied suggesting their 3500mAh high drain hybrid IMR which is a 65.6mm flat top. They said that all protected 18650s were 68.8mm. Iím assuming they meant theirs but I havenít found any shorter. Am I stuck with a unprotected battery option? After reading about the 18650 till my head is spinning I still have some safety concerns. Thanks.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Another battery question

    As long as the light it is used in is designed properly an unprotected 18650 is fine. The only drawback is you can drain an unprotected cell lower than healthy. I don't think I have any protected 18650s I do have a Wowtac 18650 with USB charging built in but unsure if it is protected or not. An Orbtronic 18650 or any quality name brand 18650 should work fine.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Another battery question

    with 1 cell light you do not really need protected cells, those lights have either dd driver or a linear, so you will see lights dim before it gets to discharge the cell too deep. there is nothing to worry about with good quality 18650, especially imr. it is lights with multiple cells in series that you need protected ones, to prevent reverse charging. or deep discharge.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Another battery question

    Thank you Lynx Arc and Alpg88 for your replies. I did some more looking around and canít find any shorter protected batteries. I donít think I have a choice in the lights factory lay out. I would have to use an unprotected battery. It would be a pain but I could mod the battery compartment to fit a longer battery.
    I read in a thread that a light that uses a remote battery pack connected with a cord should use a protected battery because of possible short in the cord. Until I read that thread I didnít think about it. These lights have a remote battery pack with a coiled cord going to the head. I was snooping around with one of the lights and took the front head apart some. Found a wire smashed between two frame pieces that are screwed together. It must have flopped over out of place during assembly. Not knowing what features the driver has, could a single pinched wire cause a short that could make a battery pop off or would it have to be a neg and pos wires contacting together to cause that? Sorry but Iím just being cautious because these are going to be on my wifeís and my head. Iíve had enough health issues already and donít need a headlamp popping off on my head. Thanks. Your advice in much appreciated.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Another battery question

    If there is room in the battery compartment you could just wire in a 10A fuse to protect against shorts if it concerns you. I don't have any headlamps with remote battery packs which pretty much eliminates that problem.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Another battery question

    Been researching batteries off and on. Trying to figure out which of the modern chemistry is the safest. Sal at Orbtronic recommended the 3500mAh high drain hybrid IMR. My understanding is that it is rewrapped with the original manufacture undisclosed but some of their batteries are rewrapped Panasonics. If thatís the case for the most part, why not just buy a Panasonic at a cheaper price? Am I missing some details here? Iím considering the Sanyo NCR18650GA as it seems to be well liked. Just confused what chemistry the NCR is. Is it a hybrid IMR or INR? Any suggestions on a battery with a safer chemistry? I'm going to at least buy some batteries and at least I will have them on hand.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Another battery question

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    with 1 cell light you do not really need protected cells, those lights have either dd driver or a linear, so you will see lights dim before it gets to discharge the cell too deep. there is nothing to worry about with good quality 18650, especially imr. it is lights with multiple cells in series that you need protected ones, to prevent reverse charging. or deep discharge.
    oops, disregard that, it does not apply, not all of it, to red leds, which have lower voltage than white, red leds can drain cell too deep.
    i looked at op light, it seems to be single red led light, red leds are not high current led, 700ma, 1a is all they can take, there is no need for high drain cells here.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Another battery question

    Went out fishing yesterday staying out into the night for a couple of hours. Used the cheap AAA batteries they came with. I was pleasantly pleased how the lights performed. Nice low flood for fishing. Could see the rod tips while in the rod holders and could read the line counters. While underway we used them on high zoomed out in spot which threw pretty far. I could mark the bank to maybe 100 yds or so and anything with reflection on it like a buoy even further. I wonder if they would be brighter and throw further with a charged 18650 in them than with fresh AAAs? Guess I'll buy some 18650s just to have at least. Still trying to figure out which ones to go with. Found some LG HG2s on sale for $3.99. Would they be reasonably safe and work ok?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Another battery question

    LG HG2s are decent batteries and any high quality 18650 if handled responsibly is safe and should work and should perform a lot better than 3AAAs plus save you money after a few charge cycles with the bonus of guilt free lumens. I've found once I had decent rechargeable batteries for a device it encourages me to use it more often and for longer times as I don't worry about the cost to replace primaries.
    You could probably get by with 2-3 18650s if that is your only light. I would consider getting a second light that is white that uses 18650s so you can use it to carry an extra cell with you in it.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Another battery question

    I doubt that an 18650 would be any brighter than 3 AAA Eneloops, though you would have more runtime.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Another battery question

    Quote Originally Posted by xxo View Post
    I doubt that an 18650 would be any brighter than 3 AAA Eneloops, though you would have more runtime.
    would be brighter for a lot longer as the eneloops drop in voltage a 3400mah 18650 will be dropping very slowly still bright when the eneloops give up on you around 1.2v or less a total of 3.6v or less the 18650 will be around 3.9v or so. If the eneloops give you plenty of runtime and hold up well you may not need an 18650 but it is a good thing to have an extra set of batteries so one set can be charging while the other is in use.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Another battery question

    doesn't really matter, Vf of red led is about 2,2v if the driver is a linear one, cell voltage will only start to matter when cell drains below Vf, and before it gets there it will burn half of the cell power into heat, if driver is a buck, it wont matter either. brightness will not change ,runtime will
    Last edited by alpg88; 09-23-2019 at 07:10 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Another battery question

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    doesn't really matter, Vf of red led is about 2,2v if the driver is a linear one, cell voltage will only start to matter when cell drains below Vf, and before it gets there it will burn half of the cell power into heat, if driver is a buck, it wont matter either. brightness will not change ,runtime will
    That is if it has a linear regulator. If it is a cheap light may just be a resistor and then it will scale in brightness along with drop in voltage. It may not be that noticeable using nimh or lithium ion though. It is possible that 2 red LEDs in series are used it could be direct drive at 4.4v.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Another battery question

    the light in question has only 1 led.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Another battery question

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    the light in question has only 1 led.
    Must be a circuit then to drop 3AAA down to the voltage of the red LED. You could power a red LED with 2AAA with a resistor easily.
    Unless it has a buck circuit there is a lot of power being lost in heat either via resistor or linear regulator.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Another battery question

    pretty sure this light is identical to white, with only difference is the led, what driver is in there is a mystery,

  20. #20

    Default Re: Another battery question

    One sign there is a buck or boost circuit in a light is a coil or inductor to step up/down the voltage. It would increase runtime a lot.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Another battery question

    Been busy but thought Iíd finish up what I did. They are cheep enough so I ended up buying two Sanyo NCR18650GA and two LGHG2. Have them charged and ready to go in their cases in a boat bag with the headlamps. Havenít tried them yet as we havenít stayed into the night fishing lately. I was also curious on how long the light would last on the AAA batteries the headlamp came with. Now I donít know the proper way a light is tested and when to stop the test. I actually got tired of keeping tract of the times. I had to start and stop the test for various reasons like going to bed or of such things. The headlamp would go dim but still put out some light to be of some use. Then I would come back later and turn it back on. It would be brighter after the rest. The longest period I left it on at one time was seven hours. I gave up after about thirty six hours. Towards the end the light would be pretty low but enough to see to do task up close within arms reach. I am well pleased with this and who knows how long they will last on one of the Sanyo 18650. My plan is to fish with some Eneloops in then switch over to a 18650 while under way navigating. I know next to nothing about drivers, emitters or components like this to be of any help. I forget how many lines there are but there is a grid if you zoom it out against the wall. Thanks all for you help and considerations. A fine bunch I would say.

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