The protected cell appreciation thread

28 posts / 0 new
Last post
Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195
The protected cell appreciation thread

It came to me recently while watching yet another big cloud of ‘vape’ smoke appear out of nowhere that we really don’t teach our children much anymore. If you smoke, use flashlights or probably a host of other things using high powered batteries that old geezers like me don’t know much about…why does it possibly make a difference as to what battery you use?
I’ll tell you why…kids.
Kids witness us using what we use and say: “Why…Dad and Uncle Joe use ‘x’ (i.e.: unprotected batteries)…why should’t I (???)…”

This thread is dedicated to the manufacturers who responsibly invest the time and resources to produce products which we can actually show our kids while using them ourselves. This doesn’t have to turn in to an unprotected versus protected cell debate but thank God if it does for their education if nothing else. Bonus also if it highlights a domestic product produced at your country’s benefit no matter where you live.

I’m simply tired of questions not being asked or answered as to protected cell fitment, the expansion of the unprotected (only) cell market for little good reason in many cases (flashlights thankfully becoming one of them with LED advances) and no source for teaching kids that this hobby can be a safe one involving “One is none” fuel source safety. If this gives a financial boost to manufacturers willing to provide us this previously available basic customer service courtesy (dual cell fitment or a simple notation as to not) at the expense of those who don’t and (arrogantly) won’t?…all the better.

I’ll reserve the next space for anybody who likes to update lists and do things for others including kids. This list might also be useful for those seeking to modify old lights or hosts on the aftermarket without searching if teaching kids about basic electronics interests anyone.

If the cell was listed first and then the model it might make a copy/paste/search easier…

Edited by: Freedom on 11/10/2018 - 05:30
Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195

Reserved for 21700 protected cell lights

Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195

Reserved for the next generation of protected cells

Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195

14500 Thrunite TH20
Headlamp with ramping UI plus Turbo to 500 lumens

18650 Zebralight S6330
Discontinued 3 cell with option to use one cell at a time; 2300 lumens (if memory serves; see their site for a list of old lights and what they handled) nice cell storage/carrier as well.

18650 ArmyTek Wizard
Headlamp; Older lights seemed to all fit protected cells; might still today

RobertB
RobertB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 12/18/2015 - 17:49
Posts: 2778
Location: USA, Michigan

Maybe teach kids what a protected circuit is vs non-protected, Zebralights for example, either don’t need, or can’t use a protected cell because of size, but don’t need to, because of built in LVP. Protected cells can’t handle higher amp draws. Most, if not all regulated vapes have LVP afaik. Mechanical mods are a different subject for another day.

Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195
RobertB wrote:
Maybe teach kids what a protected circuit is vs non-protected, Zebralights for example, either don’t need, or can’t use a protected cell because of size, but don’t need to, because of built in LVP. Protected cells can’t handle higher amp draws. Most, if not all regulated vapes have LVP afaik. Mechanical mods are a different subject for another day.

Teaching kids about circuits (only) is akin to teaching them how to use a ground fault protector ‘button’ yet nothing about the main breaker switch upstream in the panel. Zebra lights CAN use protected cells in their lights which they previously did and still do AFAIK. Your head (headlamps) and hands (flashlights) are worth so much more than whatever you are trying to accomplish otherwise.

What you are saying to kids is this:
Do not purchase or rely on low voltage protection circuits from (?) regulated or overseen by (?) especially when there is an option for using protected (loose) cells which are not only replaceable but easily troubleshot over time.

Vaping with unprotected cells to boot teaches kids absolutely nothing concurrently. (sorry, vapers).

RobertB
RobertB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 12/18/2015 - 17:49
Posts: 2778
Location: USA, Michigan

My SC600 ZL’s with pogo pins can not use protected cells , and I don’t like how they crush the springs in the H600 headlamps. ZL’s LVP circuits are excellent, just like my Makita and Bosch power tools are.

Agro
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 05/14/2017 - 11:16
Posts: 2948
Location: Ślōnsk

I wouldn’t give even a protected cell to a kid w/out supervision. I would however a flashlight with a built-in charger, but first I would glue the threads. Regardless if the cell inside has protection circuit or not.

Mike C
Mike C's picture
Offline
Last seen: 23 hours 12 min ago
Joined: 01/22/2014 - 08:03
Posts: 2036
Location: Sweden

If I had a kid that was vaping I’d be more concerned about that than the kind of cell used.

OK, vaping aside and on to flashlights… Will real quality cells actually blow up? As far as I know, the quality ones don’t. And if it’s a cheapo ***fire cell, then the protection circuit can’t be trusted anyway. If you are considering kids well being, then it seems like you’ll still have to teach them a thing or two about cells regardless of protection. If you can do that, and actually get through to the kid, shouldn’t you be able to teach the kid to use unprotected safely?

BlueSwordM
BlueSwordM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 11/29/2017 - 12:34
Posts: 2054
Location: Canada

Yeah. What parent would allow a kid vaping anyway?

Back on topic however, the problem with protection circuits are multiple:

1. Higher internal resistance, so lower amp draw is possible, and more capacity is lost.

2. They can fail. If they fail and you put them in a light without LVP(NITECORE!), you are going to discharge them down too low without even knowing it.

3. Sometimes, they are wayyy too expensive. Why would I pay 20$US for a single freaking cell?

4. It justifies manufacturers to only support button-top protected cells, and allows them not to put LVP in a light anyway.

And besides, lithium ion cells in the cylindrical factor, with less volatile chemistries than pouch cells, are much safer than the cells inside of your mobile devices like a smartphone.

IMO, I’d be more concerned with charging a phone right besides me rather than in a dedicated 18650 charger.

Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195
RobertB wrote:
My SC600 ZL’s with pogo pins can not use protected cells , and I don’t like how they crush the springs in the H600 headlamps. ZL’s LVP circuits are excellent, just like my Makita and Bosch power tools are.

Your Makita and Bosch power tools are researched, extensively tested and backed by…never mind.

Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195

BlueSwordM wrote:
Yeah. What parent would allow a kid vaping anyway?

My point was that vaping has always been aimed directly at kids with great sucess and involves unprotected cells.
BlueSwordM wrote:
problem with protection circuits are multiple:

1. Higher internal resistance, so lower amp draw is possible, and more capacity is lost.

If you teach kids that capacity is everything why not teach them that size is everything as well?

BlueSwordM wrote:
. They can fail. If they fail and you put them in a light without LVP(NITECORE!), you are going to discharge them down too low without even knowing it.

I’ll take my chance on a protected cell versus a fake or dubiously built LVP circuit if I have the choice as quality cells are tested much more at the factory, in the field and up here on BLF occasionally while LVPs are just plain not.

BlueSwordM wrote:
. Sometimes, they are wayyy too expensive. Why would I pay 20$US for a single freaking cell?.

Why do I pay for a fire extinguisher, helmet, gloves or a fire suppression system on my buggy?
Because all of those things are cheap compared to my life or a a hospital visit

BlueSwordM wrote:
It justifies manufacturers to only support button-top protected cells, and allows them not to put LVP in a light anyway.

How many manufacturers are actually doing this as a percentage of all out there accommodating protective cells? Again, give me a protected cell capable light over a fake or junk LVP equipped light running unprotected cells any day.

BlueSwordM wrote:
besides, lithium ion cells in the cylindrical factor, with less volatile chemistries than pouch cells, are much safer than the cells inside of your mobile devices like a smartphone.

IMO, I’d be more concerned with charging a phone right besides me rather than in a dedicated 18650 charger.

Mixing the issue of charging cells and protected versus unprotected cell use in general won’t fly here.
Describing unprotected lithium ion cells as ‘safer’ in the cylindrical form factor won’t either.
We need to educate and neither statement does in terms of keeping enthusiasts away from unprotected cells birthed from dubious manufacturing processes using possibly sub-standard LVPs (only).

ChrisGarrett
ChrisGarrett's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 46 min ago
Joined: 02/12/2014 - 22:03
Posts: 384
Location: Miami, Florida

Buy quality cells (protected, or not,) lights and chargers from reputable companies/vendors and most horror stories will disappear.

I don’t have kids, but if I did, I’d stick with AA and AAA lights for them until they got older and could fathom the differences between NiMH and li-ions and I wouldn’t be buying them stuff from dubious no-name manufacturers.

Look only to the hoverboard craze from a few years back—a few quality manufacturers and a whole bunch of junk.

I don’t skimp on li-ion anything, but that’s just me. If I have to save a few bucks, I’ll buy cheap toilet paper and beer.

Chris

WalkIntoTheLight
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 41 min ago
Joined: 12/05/2015 - 10:26
Posts: 1552
Location: Canada

Anyone would do far more for their health and lifespan, if they got a little more exercise and ate a little better. Switching to a protected cell instead of unprotected, is way down on the list of safe things to do. Personally, I’d rate it as last.

There’s nothing wrong with unprotected cells. Buy quality, regardless whether you choose protected or unprotected. Quality, and just the smallest amount of common sense, will do better than any protection circuit.

mihlit
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 11/08/2018 - 04:50
Posts: 14
Location: Czech Republic

I think that protection is not that useful for saving you from dangerous situations. LVP affects discharging battery too much. This leads to shortening its lifespan and increasing internal resistance. If you don’t watch that battery yourself, the worst case is that you will have to buy a new one much sooner. It will not catch fire nor explode because in this LV situations, there is not much energy left, it’s already discharged. The biggest issue is with overcharging, where protection circuit works not so ideally as it usually reacts too late (similar like most bms). This can be negatively affected with tolerances of protection circuit components. Most of those protection circuits does not check battery temperature, which could help. Also don’t forget that even unprotected cells have some protection anyway (ptc,cid). If you want to be safe(er), the most important thing is quality battery and quality charger. I’m not a flashlight expert, but I have quite a few years experience with lithium batteries from ebikes and even longer from rc models. In rc planes we squeeze out everything we can get from a battery. And from a battery pack not much bigger (dimensions) than two 18650 cells, drain more than 100 Amps. None of these batteries have any protection whatsoever (not even ptc,cid). With this abuse, it happens, time to time, that battery puffs, smokes or burns. Not really often, but if you are in that hobby for a few years, you will have experience with such situations. It never happens to discharged battery. It never happens during charging if you have quality charger, charge to 4.15 V and check battery temperature. So, that’s why I buy quality charger and quality unprotected batteries and feel perfectly safe. Your mileage may vary

Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195

The adult in the room:
“..Buy (cough) ‘quality’ unprotected cells (only) from ‘x’, little Joey (the most easily faked cells on the planet) …and don’t worry about the (one is none) single LVP safety circuit keeping your head or hand from being blown off…as we haven’t figured out which of those are actually quality parts. Unfortunately, you would have to tear that third world light apart/ruin it to ever properly ‘test’ a LVP as such (which is impossible) to determine its true quality…”

I’m guessing that when a kid has some kind of ‘problem’ involving an unprotected battery and direct adult supervision nowadays…this thread will likely be handed over to the grieving parents as evidence that he or she was “in good hands” all along.

At least he had a brighter flashlight than the kid down the street.

BlueSwordM
BlueSwordM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 21 min ago
Joined: 11/29/2017 - 12:34
Posts: 2054
Location: Canada

You do know most lithium ion cells fails physically, and not electrically? A protected cell would not help in this case, at all.

And this is why reviewers exist. I wouldn’t buy an old Convoy C8 to a friend, since I checked with a power supply that it doesn’t include LVP. Many reviewers here test lights so the consumer can make a good choice, and LVP is the one thing I always take into consideration.

And besides, an 18650 will never fail catastrophically if you discharge it too low, and then charge it back up. A good quality charger, like from companies like Liitokala, Nitecore, XTAR, Efest, etc, will handle that well. The 18650 will just lose a bit of its cycle life down to 80% capacity.

And most flashlights don’t pull a ton of current from the cells, have LVP and reverse polarity protection, and have thermal protection/don’t get too hot.

And besides, if LVP fails, the light usually fails to turn on, since it’s part of the IC.

It’s the opposite for a protected cell: the protection circuit can short out, or be destroyed and keep the circuit open. I’ve actually had one from Imalent that suffered, by my mistake, a direct short. It grilled the IC, and put the cell worked thankfully.

I then tried to discharge it down below 2,5V, and surprise!, it continued working down to 2,0V.

TLDR: Get quality stuff that was reviewed, use a quality charger from a mainstream “enthusiast” brand, quality TESTED cell, etc.
Knowledge is power.

Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195

BlueSwordM wrote:
You do know most lithium ion cells fails physically, and not electrically? A protected cell would not help in this case, at all.

An unprotected cell will first fail electrically and then physically when the LVP circuit fails and there is no other backup. The ignorance here exhibited by “well…it doesn’t happen very often” is astonishing.
BlueSwordM wrote:
this is why reviewers exist. I wouldn’t buy an old Convoy C8 to a friend, since I checked with a power supply that it doesn’t include LVP. Many reviewers here test lights so the consumer can make a good choice, and LVP is the one thing I always take into consideration.

Good for you. You don’t use things which will explode if your “one is none” backup becomes just that and you remain screwed anyways by virtue of your unprotected suddenly violently venting/exploding cell.

BlueSwordM wrote:
“…besides, an 18650 will never fail catastrophically if you discharge it too low, and then charge it back up. ..and besides, if LVP fails, the light usually fails to turn on, since it’s part of the IC.

Lol…you’re right…if you’re a flawless human being and yank the cell just before it explodes and charge it back up?…‘by definition’ it won’t (and hasn’t) explode(d)…yet.

I can see why unprotected cells have become so popular of late.
Reckless behavior obviously knows no bounds (or reason) in a young generation caring less about safety (period) and trusting instead in overseas manufacturers which…I don’t even need to say it. Sad

Muto
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 8 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2012 - 16:42
Posts: 1668
Location: Southeast, PA
Freedom wrote:
I can see why unprotected cells have become so popular of late. Reckless behavior obviously knows no bounds (or reason) in a young generation caring less about safety (period) and trusting instead in overseas manufacturers which…I don’t even need to say it. Sad

And Exactly, where are your “Infallible, in your Dreams” cells manufactured??

If they are not made overseas, then where?
Please school me old wise one.

You buy what you want.
We will continue to use both Protected and un Protected cells as we damn well please.
You raise your kids and I’ll raise mine.

If this is such an international danger as you say, where are the pictures of people with hands missing from a flashlight battery???
I remember one idiot with a crap battery in a poorly modded vape that blew up, other than that, nada.

The Reaper is the hardest working man in the business, never takes a day off!
Enjoy this day like it’s your last, because it just may be.

Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195
Muto wrote:
Freedom wrote:
I can see why unprotected cells have become so popular of late. Reckless behavior obviously knows no bounds (or reason) in a young generation caring less about safety (period) and trusting instead in overseas manufacturers which…I don’t even need to say it. Sad

And Exactly, where are your “Infallible, in your Dreams” cells manufactured??

If they are not made overseas, then where?
Please school me old wise one.

You buy what you want.
We will continue to use both Protected and un Protected cells as we damn well please.
You raise your kids and I’ll raise mine.
*
If this is such an international danger as you say, where are the pictures of people with hands missing from a flashlight battery???
I remember one idiot with a crap battery in a poorly modded vape that blew up, other than that, nada.*

1) No one has said that you can’t use anything
2) Search for “explode” or “exploding” using the forum tool and come back up here to tell us all just how many threads you found and what you learned.

I would also suggest that you lobby overseas manufacturers up here to produce protected battery capable lights should someone you love experience the same catastrophe using unprotected cells with “one is none” safety backup systems (LVP circuits) from questionable sources. I’ll leave where you purchase them to your own wisdom and financial considerations.

cistercian
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 23 hours ago
Joined: 03/11/2013 - 18:10
Posts: 10
I prefer protected cells. I have 3 lasers that are 2× 26650 hosts. Current draw is tame, 5 amps max. The cells I bought can deliver up to 15 amps so the protection circuit is not stressed @ my usage level. My BLF Q8 also has protected cells in it. I bought a SkyRC MC3000 charger as an upgrade over my Efest V4 LUC. I also have a Fluke 87-5 meter to make sure everything is up to snuff. I don’t really like Li cells…I view all of them as potential bombs…so I use panasonic/sanyo cells built with protection from Orbtronic. They cost more than unprotected but they work wonderfully for me. My stepson vapes. His cell handling appalls me. On the upside, he only uses panasonics. Of course, they are unprotected.
Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195

Thank God that we can debate this up here to coax different opinions and for this site.

When LEDs were less efficient and could only be driven so hard this discussion was far less contentious. If any of you were involved in the motorsports industry over the years, you know full well that we are about to go through this exact same type of debate with electric powered everything in both battery design/safety and mind numbing launch/travel speed from a dead stop.

If safety isn’t our top priority as the world progresses we might as well all invest in flower shops as our families will either be devastated ourselves or be expressing condolences to others sooner rather than later.

Our kids deserve to witness these debates play out so that hey can simply copy, paste and live them rather than taking the time out of their precious lives to argue who has the baddest anything or when he is going to do himself in piloting it on a JoeSixPack budget.

Take it from an old geezer: A lot of fun can be had relatively inexpensively at the upper design levels of where we are at in 2018 and well before while being safe doing it. Lighting in general today pretty much proves this point in terms of output, power and our basic even overkill needs given the myriad of options currently available.

Thank you, Lord for allowing this old man the blessing of living long enough to witness technology in its most basic and advanced forms and your saving grace involving (evidently) a bit of a different perspective regarding safety.

WalkIntoTheLight
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 41 min ago
Joined: 12/05/2015 - 10:26
Posts: 1552
Location: Canada

I don’t get it… why are you trying to spread so much FUD about unprotected cells? Almost everything you are trying to scare people about unprotected cells, also applies to protected cells. If you really think you’re holding a hand-grenade in your pocket and a thin protection strip is all that separates you from death, then don’t use lithium-ion batteries!

Newbies should start with Eneloops. After that, protected or unprotected lithium-ion really doesn’t make much difference. Far more important is the quality of the battery and the quality/features of the light.

ToyKeeper
ToyKeeper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 01/12/2013 - 14:40
Posts: 8110
Location: (469219) 2016 HO3

Saying a 21700 cell is safe for kids because it has a protection circuit is a lot like saying a 3000 mW laser is safe for kids because it’s throttled down to only 1000 mW. It can still cause quite a bit of damage in less than a second.

Yesterday I had a wire turn into smoke from an accidental short using less current than a protected 21700 cell puts out.

It’s usually pretty easy to find child-safe flashlights at local retail stores, if that’s the goal. But for enthusiasts, those lights are unappealing for precisely the same reasons they’re safe for kids. AA and AAA batteries make great training wheels… but it’s nice having the freedom to take the training wheels off and play with hot rods.

It seems a bit strange though, asking hot rod manufacturers to install engine governors. It kinda misses the point of the product they make.

I’m not sure why exactly ZebraLight stopped supporting protected cells, but I suspect it was probably a combination of factors:

  • To make their lights smaller. “Small” is a big part of their brand.
  • To make their lights brighter. “Bright” is also a big part of their brand.
  • To eliminate customer complaints about the light being defective because it shuts itself off on the high modes. The protection circuit trips and makes it seem like the light is broken… which can be anywhere from inconvenient to dangerous, depending on the situation. Resetting the protection circuit typically requires sticking the battery in a charger, which isn’t going to happen while changing a tire in the middle of the night.

I generally wouldn’t recommend giving kids any li-ion flashlights until they know how to be safe. But if you do, you should probably at least make it a relatively weak light, like a 3×7135 Convoy shorty with 18350 or 16340 cell. Definitely not a maximum-power “wow” light like a 21700 direct-drive multi-emitter nut roaster. That’s just asking for trouble.

Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195
WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
“…Newbies should start with Eneloops. After that, protected or unprotected lithium-ion really doesn’t make much difference..”

…and if you believe that…stay away from stories such as this one too… https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/11/10/jonestown-massacre-fi...

Freedom
Freedom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2016 - 04:18
Posts: 195
ToyKeeper wrote:
“…Saying a 21700 cell is safe for kids because it has a protection circuit…”

Nobody said that any cell is “safe for kids”. Using protected cells in combination with LVP circuits is simply what children should be taught when a battery powered market in general is flooded with non household name brands manufactured in places with less than stellar records concerning just about everything under the sun not to mention zero regulation. Teaching kids basic standards of safety (today) is more important than ever.

ToyKeeper wrote:
“…It seems a bit strange though, asking hot rod manufacturers to install engine governors. It kinda misses the point of the product they make..”

The only legitimate “hot rod manufacturers” in the history of this planet have previously produced time tested proven quality manufactured safe products sporting legitimately earned worldwide reputations.

The above was EARNED (first) by primarily excellent customer service (first) defined by direct interaction with customers versus corner cut in a manner resembling…well…let’s just leave it there.

Greener
Greener's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 8 min ago
Joined: 10/21/2017 - 04:59
Posts: 31
Location: Netherlands

My kids use the Nitecore NU20.

I vape, I use flashlights and have both protected and Unprotected.
Just use them smart and be safe.
Cars can be more dangerous them batteries Wink

nick779
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 7 hours ago
Joined: 03/09/2018 - 15:46
Posts: 113
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Freedom wrote:
ToyKeeper wrote:
“…Saying a 21700 cell is safe for kids because it has a protection circuit…”

Nobody said that any cell is “safe for kids”. Using protected cells in combination with LVP circuits is simply what children should be taught when a battery powered market in general is flooded with non household name brands manufactured in places with less than stellar records concerning just about everything under the sun not to mention zero regulation. Teaching kids basic standards of safety (today) is more important than ever.

ToyKeeper wrote:
“…It seems a bit strange though, asking hot rod manufacturers to install engine governors. It kinda misses the point of the product they make..”

The only legitimate “hot rod manufacturers” in the history of this planet have previously produced time tested proven quality manufactured safe products sporting legitimately earned worldwide reputations.

The above was EARNED (first) by primarily excellent customer service (first) defined by direct interaction with customers versus corner cut in a manner resembling…well…let’s just leave it there.

Who do you consider to be a “legitimate hot rod manufacturer”?