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Thread: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

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    Default Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Hey guys - quick question.

    Is there any difference between the keeppower 18350 (1200mAh) unprotected vs protected cells besides the obvious (that 1 is ďsaferĒ)

    Are you giving anything up using a protected cell for the safety in terms of performance? Or do both the cells perform exactly the same as each other and no difference would be noticed during use? Itís just preference ? Maybe unprotected cells are still around for a cheaper alternative?

    Iíd mainly just like to understand if there is a reason to choose 1 over the other and why... in regards to powering a high drain flashlight such as a modlite hand held light.

    ive scoured the internet but havenít found my answer.... however I did see something about the unprotected cells having 10A of continuous discharge meanwhile the protected cells only have 8A of continuous discharge rate, although both cells are 1200 mAh. Would this effect anything or be noticeable in operating a light?

    sorry about my newbie question and
    thanks so much for any clarity you could bring me on this topic!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    The protection circuit protects the cell against over-discharge, over-charge, and current draw. So the protected cell is limited to only 8A. If your light tries to draw more than that it will trip the protection circuit and you'll be in the dark, but as long as your light draws less than 8A it won't make a difference.

    Sometimes protection circuits can fail, particularly if the light is dropped, leaving the cell useless. I prefer unprotected cells as they are more reliable in that regard. If using unprotected cells though you need a light that provides over-discharge protection or you need to be careful not to run the batteries down too far.
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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Interesting... i appreciate the response and will keep it in mind - I own both protected and non protected ... never had an issue with either. Good info though, much appreciated!

    I have 4 more protected 18350ís heading my way in the mail - just wanted to finally see if there was much of a difference between them. Guess there isnít a great difference so thatís good!

    thanks

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Protection circuits can fail and they add some resistance to the battery.
    For that you get protection against over discharge (Very importance), over charge and over current (No meltdown or explosion if the battery is shorted).

    What type of battery is best depends very much on the light in question, as long as the light will not over discharge a battery and you are careful not to short it (I.e. never keep loose batteries in your pocket) I would prefer unprotected. If a light can over discharge a battery it can be a complex question, for most light that will work with a single LiIon cell and nothing else the answer is that it will not over discharge, for other lights you get into the complex part.
    Last edited by HKJ; 07-03-2020 at 02:03 PM.
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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Thank you sir! Very helpful!

    so the light in question doesnít use direct drive - itís capped and uses 1 IMR 18350 cell. Iím assuming in this case youíd suggest the unprotected cell? So you donít have to worry about the protection circuit failing and causing your cell to become dead ?
    Last edited by Lights and Guns; 07-03-2020 at 01:31 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    That would be my personal preference. I havenít seen a light that runs direct drive yet that doesnít get so dim you are aware the battery needs to be charged. It is usually pretty apparent when the cells require a charge to me so I prefer unprotected, particularly in single cell lights.

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Thanks for the input stag!

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Flashlights generally use one of two different kinds of drivers to power the LED.

    1. An unregulated driver. This is sometimes partially regulated, like a linear driver, or could be a FET or direct drive. In both cases, when the battery gets low, the light slowly dims for a long time. Usually it will last for hours as it gets dimmer. It won't drain the battery to a dangerous level, as long as you can see light coming from it. You'll know when the battery is getting low. Sometimes, these flashlights have built-in low voltage protection, so it will shut itself off before the battery gets to dangerously low levels.

    2. A regulated driver, such as a boost or buck driver. These are usually found on more expensive lights. They will suck the same power from the battery, regardless of its charge level, keeping the same output on the light until the battery is almost completely drained. Then, it will either step-down to a low brightness level, or shut off completely. At that point, the battery will be quite low, though unlikely to be dangerously low yet. It might still work for a couple of hours at a low level. But you'll want to change the battery as soon as it's convenient. Usually, these flashlights have built-in low voltage protection, so it will shut itself off before the battery gets to dangerously low levels.

    In both these cases, I use unprotected cells. The only time I'd consider protected cells in in multi-cell lights that use them in series.

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Very interesting! Thank you for that walkintothelight!

    I am now somewhat annoyed i ordered 4 protected cells - but I guess itís good to have different cells laying around just incase. In the future it sounds like Iíll be going the unprotected cell route - considering my lights are generally smaller 1 cell lights.
    I guess Iíll continue using my unprotected cells and use the protected ones as back ups!

    I appreciate the response and am excited to diver deeper and learn more.

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    All protected keeppowers i have are out of declared dimensions, 16650 is more 17,5 * 68 mm and stuck in e series Surefire
    Protected 18650 very close to 19*680
    I removed protection circuit boards from all ot them

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lights and Guns View Post
    Very interesting! Thank you for that walkintothelight!

    I am now somewhat annoyed i ordered 4 protected cells - but I guess itís good to have different cells laying around just incase. In the future it sounds like Iíll be going the unprotected cell route - considering my lights are generally smaller 1 cell lights.
    I guess Iíll continue using my unprotected cells and use the protected ones as back ups!

    I appreciate the response and am excited to diver deeper and learn more.

    Protection usually adds between 2 and 5mm to the battery length, sometimes slightly more, especially if there is a build in USB charger.
    Only exception is when using under sizes batteries and I have seen very few of them.

    Thickness will also usually be larger, due to the strip connecting from the front to the protection in the back. There is a few cells with protection in the front and they do not have that strip.
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    Enlightened Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by altermann View Post
    I removed protection circuit boards from all ot them
    Pity you lived so far away, I`d gladly take them off your hands!
    As much as I dislike fitting them, I don`t have much choice because I`m using them in Incans.

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by altermann View Post
    All protected keeppowers i have are out of declared dimensions, 16650 is more 17,5 * 68 mm and stuck in e series Surefire
    Protected 18650 very close to 19*680
    I removed protection circuit boards from all ot them
    I have heard about this being an issue for some flashlights not having the space to house the protected cells. Luckily the flashlight Iím mainly buying these cells for does indeed accept them. - itíll be interesting to see if my other 18350 lights will, Ive always used unprotected cells with them!

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Protection usually adds between 2 and 5mm to the battery length, sometimes slightly more, especially if there is a build in USB charger.
    Only exception is when using under sizes batteries and I have seen very few of them.

    Thickness will also usually be larger, due to the strip connecting from the front to the protection in the back. There is a few cells with protection in the front and they do not have that strip.
    Gotcha, I guess thatíd make sense - more features so ya need a lil extra room to cram them in to. It seems like protected cells have way more drawbacks then pros unless being used in a flashlight that requires multiple cells to power.
    Going forward I will continue to buy unprotected cells.

    Question though, if a flashlight runs multiple cells in a parallel manner - this would be much safer than a light that stacks them on top of each other in a tube, correct?

  15. #15
    Enlightened Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lights and Guns View Post
    Question though, if a flashlight runs multiple cells in a parallel manner - this would be much safer than a light that stacks them on top of each other in a tube, correct?
    yeah, if you`re going to use them in series then you need some form of protection for each of them, in parallel it`s not so critical, but it`s best to have matched batteries and to check them regularly that they`re still matched.

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine Alicia View Post
    yeah, if you`re going to use them in series then you need some form of protection for each of them, in parallel it`s not so critical, but it`s best to have matched batteries and to check them regularly that they`re still matched.
    Alright, thought so - thank you!

    Would you mind embellishing on checking if they are still ďmatchedĒ for me? Thanks!

  17. #17
    Enlightened Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Well assuming you bought them all together and from the same batch and keep charging them ALL (not just one at a time) at the same time, take note of the voltage of each after charging, then leave them for a few days and recheck the voltage again, they Should be the same, and if they`re not then they`re on their way to going their own seperate ways, but as long as they keep in step give or take a few milivolts they`ll be fine.
    That`s probably one of the easiest way to check that`ll give you an indication.

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine Alicia View Post
    Well assuming you bought them all together and from the same batch and keep charging them ALL (not just one at a time) at the same time, take note of the voltage of each after charging, then leave them for a few days and recheck the voltage again, they Should be the same, and if they`re not then they`re on their way to going their own seperate ways, but as long as they keep in step give or take a few milivolts they`ll be fine.
    That`s probably one of the easiest way to check that`ll give you an indication.
    Much appreciated, I will now go and do some research on this! - Iíve never checked the voltage on cells before. Good thing I donít use my multi cell light often!
    Last edited by Lights and Guns; 07-04-2020 at 11:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lights and Guns View Post
    Question though, if a flashlight runs multiple cells in a parallel manner - this would be much safer than a light that stacks them on top of each other in a tube, correct?
    Correct, in parallel you only need to worry about one voltage and the capacity of each cell do not matter.
    In series any mismatch in capacity will be a problem with unprotected cells and that is very likely to happen.
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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    It's worth mentioning that the reason it is important to match cells is that if one runs out first the other cell will attempt to "charge" it, which is when things can go poof. Even if the cells are matched the front cell will typically run out first in high drain applications.
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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Correct, in parallel you only need to worry about one voltage and the capacity of each cell do not matter.
    In series any mismatch in capacity will be a problem with unprotected cells and that is very likely to happen.
    Thanks, thatís what I was thinking!

    Would you happen to have any articles or reviews that youíve written on how to test batteries and use a DMM? Iíd be very interested in reading up on it as Iím thinking about buying a DMM now to check the health of my cells for safety but also to make sure Iím getting the most out of my lights as I can knowing the cells Iím running are in good health!

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Random Dan View Post
    It's worth mentioning that the reason it is important to match cells is that if one runs out first the other cell will attempt to "charge" it, which is when things can go poof. Even if the cells are matched the front cell will typically run out first in high drain applications.
    Didnít know this! - thatís very interesting... so you basically end up overloading a cell that ends up trying to do too much (like ďchargeĒ the other empty cell and yet still power the light) basically being demanded too much off? - then this causes a bang.

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Wouldnít a charger like a Lii-500 charger or something similar which is an analyzing charger Be able to tell me whether a cell is good or bad? Primarily use 18650 and 18350ís - this as opposed to going the DMM route seems a bit easier and user friendly, no?
    Last edited by Lights and Guns; 07-04-2020 at 01:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lights and Guns View Post
    Wouldnít a charger like a Lii-500 charger or something similar which is an analyzing charger Be able to tell me whether a cell is good or bad? Primarily use 18650 and 18350ís - this as opposed to going the DMM route seems a bit easier and user friendly, no?
    The Lii-500 or other analyzing charger will be able to tell you the capacity of the cell. Very useful info for matching up unknown cells, yes.

    However, the DMM is really simple to use. 99.9% of the time all you're going to do is measure the voltage of a cell before and after charging. Before, to see if a cell is drained much more than other cells in the battery, which would indicate it is weak. After, to make sure you charge all the cells in the battery to the same level, usually 4.20v.

    If you're just using a single cell in a light, then you can probably skip the DMM and just let the charger do its thing. It doesn't hurt to double-check with a DMM once in awhile, though.

    One other thing a DMM is useful for is to check for self-discharge after charging. Measure the voltage right after charging, it will be somewhere in the 4.15v to 4.20v area. Then wait a couple of days, and measure again. If a cell is dying, it will be under 4.10v, and you should probably replace it.
    Last edited by WalkIntoTheLight; 07-04-2020 at 02:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lights and Guns View Post
    Would you happen to have any articles or reviews that youíve written on how to test batteries and use a DMM? Iíd be very interested in reading up on it as Iím thinking about buying a DMM now to check the health of my cells for safety but also to make sure Iím getting the most out of my lights as I can knowing the cells Iím running are in good health!
    You cannot test a battery with a DMM.
    I written lots of stuff about LiIon batteries, but nothing directly about testing them.
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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkIntoTheLight View Post
    The Lii-500 or other analyzing charger will be able to tell you the capacity of the cell. Very useful info for matching up unknown cells, yes.

    However, the DMM is really simple to use. 99.9% of the time all you're going to do is measure the voltage of a cell before and after charging. Before, to see if a cell is drained much more than other cells in the battery, which would indicate it is weak. After, to make sure you charge all the cells in the battery to the same level, usually 4.20v.

    If you're just using a single cell in a light, then you can probably skip the DMM and just let the charger do its thing. It doesn't hurt to double-check with a DMM once in awhile, though.

    One other thing a DMM is useful for is to check for self-discharge after charging. Measure the voltage right after charging, it will be somewhere in the 4.15v to 4.20v area. Then wait a couple of days, and measure again. If a cell is dying, it will be under 4.10v, and you should probably replace it.
    Awesome, I really appreciate the reply - that was GREAT, and cleared up a lot for me - so thanks for breaking it down like that!

    I don't want to buy junk, so what DMM would you recommend me to get? - going to get it ordered asap.

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    You cannot test a battery with a DMM.
    I written lots of stuff about LiIon batteries, but nothing directly about testing them.
    Check my article index: https://lygte-info.dk/info/indexArticles%20UK.html

    Gotcha! - I will take a look and see what I can find, so far looks like a treasure trove of info! -- Thanks!

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lights and Guns View Post
    I don't want to buy junk, so what DMM would you recommend me to get? - going to get it ordered asap.
    Even though you cannot test a battery with a DMM, it is generally useful. It can be used to spot bad chargers and over discharged batteries.

    Many "junk" DMM will work fine for anything related to batteries, the dangers first occurs when you try to measure mains voltage before the mains outlets. The "junk" DMMs will not have as long lifetime as the quality meters, but when using a meters once a week or less it is not that significant.
    Generally I would look for a 6000 count or more DMM with auto range and to get as versatile meter as possible I would want full current ranges, frequency and temperature (This is not really needed for batteries, but the price difference is minor).
    I have reviewed a lot of DMM's, you can check my list here: https://lygte-info.dk/info/DMMReviews.html
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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    If a light can over discharge a battery it can be a complex question, for most light that will work with a single LiIon cell and nothing else the answer is that it will not over discharge, for other lights you get into the complex part.
    I accidentally bought some (unprotected) nipple top KeepPower 1200mAh IMR 18350 cells.

    I intend to use them in a JETBeam RRT01 Raptor flashlight when it arrives. Reviews for the 2019 version mentioned that it has a Low Voltage Warning and it will flash when the battery is too low, but it doesn't have Low Voltage Protection.

    Is 2.5V the discharge limit for most 18650/18350 3.7V cells?

    Would it damage the cell if you run them down to 2.5V a few times but mostly keep them charged between 3.6 and 4.2V?

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    Default Re: Keeppower 18350 protected vs unprotected.

    Yeah, I'd just get a junk DMM for $10 or $20 from you local hardware store. Or cheaper if you find one on-line. For measuring battery voltages, almost anything will be fine.

    Personally, I'd look for one that can run from AAA or AA batteries, so you can use rechargeable Eneloops in it. Though, most junk DMM's use 9v batteries, so you might be stuck with that. It should last a long time on a single battery, though.

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