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Lightbringer
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CRC wrote:
F*** this s*** I’m out…

After reading this, Im now terrified of my flashlights.

Im not comfortable with the risks I feel im taking everytime I use them.

Blah Blah Blah.

Better toss out your cellphone(s), earbugs, mp3 players, everything else that has a Li cell in it, then.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

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I hope you realize you are freaking out over a possible but pretty rare occurrence? I’ve been using these batteries for a long time, unfortunately dropped many, and have created no disasters.

Statistically the most dangerous place in your life is your house…..
Knowing that are you going to move out?

If you like the light, but are now genuinely afraid of lithium batteries, switch over to NiMh. They are generally considered safer, and you can still get some serious light out of them. How much light do you really need if you aren’t prowling the streets or woods after dark.
Note-you’ll find people that will tell you that NiMh have dangers too. Being alive has dangers. You gotta weigh the acceptable and reasonable from the excessive. That decision is always personal.

BTW – I appreciate your candor. I think more of you for opening yourself up, not less.
It was certainly difficult to do so, but it actually helps to know where you are really coming from.

To Air is Human, to Respire….Divine.

Correllux
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And don't beat yourself up so badly about school or learning...seriously, those aren't indicators of your actual abilities!  It's a little harder today maybe without college degrees and such but there are PLENTY of people who start out adult life in the same way(s) and go on to be happy and successful one way or another.  Some people don't settle into their groove until they're in their 40s or 50s.  And the yardstick by which society tends to measure "success" isn't always very accurate or fair, anyway...that's the truth. 

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Also...your now-flickering light.  I think I said this in another comment here, but that tells you something got knocked out of whack with the impact, so somewhere in there electricity is not getting solid connection.  There's no way to say what it is exactly without digging into the nitty gritty and trying to diagnose it.  It could be as simple as needing to tighten a retaining ring in the head or tail, or it could be a broken solder joint or some other thing.  Most of our lights are not "potted", which is when they cover the electronics and fill up space with rubber goop (which has advantages - like impact protection - and disadvantages), so harsh impacts tend to have consequences beyond just dinging up the aluminum housing...it's a crap shoot after a good drop.  Disappointing but nothing to worry about with safety.

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Hank33 wrote:
I’m wondering about something similar actually. Has anyone here actually dissected a battery up till the oozy chemical sludge part? What color is it? Is it like peanut butter? Does it burn skin? I don’t see many post from people operating on the battery? Would be nice to see the parts and chemicals in there. Just need googles, gloves and tools. This way one can see the actual item powering all our fancy flashlights. Yes…battery sludge is your friend! :-)

 

Want to learn more about batteries, good brands, how they work, and what NOT to do? Start watching and reading everything Mooch puts out. Ive been a patreon for a bit, best $1 a month i spend. HKJ here on BLF is Awesome too!

 

18650 battery dissection & explanation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3-V00nhtpE

 

 

[FLF] Five Light Friday https://budgetlightforum.com/node/78749

Check out some of my new lights (picture heavy) and quick first impressions of them here: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/77180

My Sft40 beamshots / comparison thread: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/78100

Correllux
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Yes, but there was a time where you didn't understand the risks of those things, either...so you learned, just as you are now with something different.  It's all totally normal...and prudent, which is a good thing that you're showing here.

Really the risks are pretty small, but they aren't zero, and we're dealing with more packed energy than an alkaline or a watch battery, so respect and caution is good but I think as more of all these particulars sink in for you, you'll find that there's no reason to be scared.  Don't go putting a cell in a vise or driving nails through them, and if you ever get a light that uses more than one cell, do observe the minor cautions there about discharge limits and not mixing cell types and whatnot, but overall with normal use and care, no worries.  And a lot of our best-practice rules with cells have as much to do with getting the most life/most power from them, too, not just any inherent risks.

Dropping isn't usually unsafe at all, just the risk of making the light not work.  With most lights the host provides more than enough protection for the cells and unless it's a really hard impact directly on one end the spring(s) are usually enough to cushion the cells from taking damage that way although it's possible that they could get dented or the driver in the head could get cracked/damaged in some way.  With the low voltages we deal with here, flickering electronics aren't really a safety issue but I suppose with some designs there would be the potential for a short to cause unregulated current to flow...which would mean heat output...not so good for pockets or inside of backpacks or possibly the electric components with high powered lights.  Like with some recent ones people had buttons stick in the on position or poorly made LED connecting wires that let the light run free...not from a drop but the same results essentially. 

Now...if you drop a battery and it gets damaged from the impact, then some caution is prudent.  The metal cans they are made from are quite thin, so they're easy to dent, and if that dent is deep enough it can push together the layers (jelly roll) inside and possibly cause a short, which would make the cell heat up, probably vent a little gas from the positive end, and hopefully not any worse (usually not any worse).  In the CPF thread you linked (again, different type of battery there) he said the positive end of the battery hit hard and dented.  Since that area is where + and - meet close together, there's a lot of potential for an accidental short to occur.  There's a thin rubber gasket that separates the + and - in addition to the plastic wrapper on the cell that provides some insulation/separation.  If the metal were crushed so much as to make the two meet, then you get a short.  Or it could crush inwards and damage the CID protection foil or just separate the + end from its crimp, exposing the guts to oxygen.  Again, usually a small risk/effect, but it's there.  This is largely true for NiMH and NiCd cells, too, even silver oxide cells, but we just pack more punch into lithium-ion cells.  So try not to drop cells and if you do, let them sit for a second before picking them up, and then inspect them for damage.  Little dents are often just fine (and in fact, some lights will dent the ends of cells just from normal use if they're just a tad too long for its design).  If the wrapper got torn, it's easy and smart to change that and you can buy wrappers super cheap, just takes a couple minutes to do that.  If the cell starts to get warm or hot after a drop, chuck it outdoors onto concrete or something, just in case, but you're not usually going to see that.  Again, if a light is dropped then the cell(s) inside are normally not at risk.

The everyday products you mention still have risk, too, of course.  I'm sure you've seen many news stories over the years of laptops or scooters or juice packs erupting in flame or melting the devices.  Most of those these days are a different lithium type but there are still several.  Basically it's the same things happening where impact may cause a short...although shoddy electrical designs cause a lot of that as well, and even devices with built in protection circuits of varying types are not totally immune from risks...the combination of engineering and protections just minimize them to where hopefully it's just accident/abuse that causes problems.

For me, long ago I just adopted a policy of caution and observation - respect - for anything battery powered.  I once pried open a tiny LR44 silver oxide watch battery just to see what was in there.  Black dirt, basically...not so exciting.  I put it in the trash can and moments later was headed out the front door to go do something.  I smelled something...smelled like burning paper...and I'll be damned but the little opened battery in the trash can had gotten so hot with exposure to oxygen that it began to burn the paper towel that it was wrapped in!  Glad I caught that before I left.  Avoidable?  Totally.  Between that and some oopses while disassembling lithium battery packs and the many many stories of battery accidents over the years, I just pay attention now in how I handle them, stay present when recharging them, etc, etc.  It's easy and while maybe not necessary or sometimes a slight hassle, it's prudent just in case.  No fear, just a healthy respect (although I probably should have been afraid in the past, seeing as though I acted pretty boldly at times....).  Smile

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Artiet59 wrote:

Hank33 wrote:
I’m wondering about something similar actually. Has anyone here actually dissected a battery up till the oozy chemical sludge part? What color is it? Is it like peanut butter? Does it burn skin? I don’t see many post from people operating on the battery? Would be nice to see the parts and chemicals in there. Just need googles, gloves and tools. This way one can see the actual item powering all our fancy flashlights. Yes…battery sludge is your friend! :-)

 

Want to learn more about batteries, good brands, how they work, and what NOT to do? Start watching and reading everything Mooch puts out. Ive been a patreon for a bit, best $1 a month i spend. HKJ here on BLF is Awesome too!

 

18650 battery dissection & explanation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3-V00nhtpE



There's no oozy sludge in most batteries but the fill in watch batteries and lithium primaries is kind of a moist dirt consistency sorta, not as thick or homogeneous as peanut butter at all.  Li-ion is basically a long strip of foil "painted" with the chemical mixture and then rolled up.  The chems are on one side of the foil and the other side has an insulating material to prevent direct contact/shorting when it's rolled up.  The foil is very thin, as is the "paint", and often two-sided with copper and tin on opposing sides (or some other metal(s) anyway).  It's dry and some of it may flake off or you can scratch it away into powder/flakes.  I don't know if it could burn skin if you were to leave it in contact...normal handling it doesn't, but it's also just wise not to handle it directly...implements or gloves, much smarter.  It's been a very long time since I undid a NiMh cell and I can't even remember exactly but I think it was the same...maybe more moisture.  HKJ did a teardown on a cheapie li-ion cell long ago...cut away the top part of the can, shorted and heated it up, then proceeded.  lol.  It's on his site somewhere...and surely there are a zillion videos on youtube of people doing it (not just the nail-driving and hammer-smashing ones).
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Venting only happens when something goes really wrong, like serious physical damage to the cell or a direct shortcircuit, just dropping a good quality cell shouldn’t cause it to vent unless it’s from a tenth floor or something like that.

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CRC -  there has been a lot of useful info in this thread for you, but my 2 cents as someone who was VERY new and uneducated about this hobby only last year - 

 

Overall - the way i learned and see others learning here is to follow this process (when in doubt):

  1. find a light you want (i.e. KR4)
  2. start a thread on BLF asking any info about it you dont understand (batteries, function, reputation, etc)
  3. mention you're new and just want some info
  4. wait for responses

I think this process works best because you are only learning what you NEED TO KNOW. and after awhile, your cumulative knowledge will be much more than you ever expected. I see members all the time starting threads just to ask a question, I don't know how its taken by the community - but i think its smart. if you cannot find your answer by searching, and feel overwhelmed by searching, just cut right to the chase and ask in a new thread. 

 

Noctigon KR4

 

-I have a KR4, its one of my most carried lights, i drop it ALL THE TIME, no problems in my experience. it sits next to my head on my nightstand too.

-Use these batteries with it: https://www.18650batterystore.com/collections/molicel-18650-batteries/products/molicel-p26a and these https://www.18650batterystore.com/collections/18350-batteries/products/epoch-18350-battery-1100mah 

       -they're cheap, and reputable, and can handle the KR4. I use them both. 

-Buy your batteries here : https://www.18650batterystore.com/ or here: https://liionwholesale.com/ and i think many of us could agree you will never get a junk battery. feel safe about that. thats half the problem, buying junk batteries. and if either of these places started to sell junk, you would here about it on BLF first. (There are other places to buy them, but i'm trying to make it straight forward).

-Buy a good charger, charge your batteries with it. this one is good: https://www.18650batterystore.com/products/xtar-vc4s

         -There are many other good chargers, but i'm making this straightforward, and i think many here would agree about the charger. 

 

 

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Correllux
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It should only vent when there is pressure built up inside the sealed cell.  That of course comes from heat, one way or another, or crushing physical force.  Most cells and any that are approved for import into the US have a current interrupting device (CID) built into the top end of the cell...it's basically like a foil cover that ruptures (hopefully) when it should to prevent further heat/pressure/current flow.  It's hard to see it and not so obvious if you don't know it's in there, but with most cells you can peer into the cutouts in the positive cap and see it down there.  This is also why you shouldn't poke things into those cutouts or attempt to pry up/repair a positive end that has been dented.  We aren't getting overly toxic fumes here like with those primaries or cells that are super heated, etc., but if a cell ever vents from an accidental short or damage, you may hear a little "poof" if you're close to it and listening, maybe catch a little odor.  Again, don't huff it, but it's not the same as that other thread and not a huge concern.  By the way, this kind of thing is why it's always a bad idea to carry extra cells in a pocket with keys or other conductive things, or pokey things, even if the cell is in one of those little silicone stretchy covers (which are otherwise handy but less protective than a plastic box or something). 

This is the "unseen" protective device in a cell...and I guess, still, some ultra cheap suspect crappy cells don't incorporate it, but most do, and all the big makers do.  Just a standard part of their construction.  When you buy a "protected" battery, that's different - that is additional stuff added on to the outside of the cell (beneath the wrapper) with teeny electronics that cut the circuit based on voltage levels or heat. 

You're welcome...don't give up, you're halfway there already.  Smile

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Speaking of CRC, did anyone play River City Ransom (RCR) on the original Nintendo?

It was my favorite co-op 2-player game on the system.

Correllux
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raccoon city wrote:
Speaking of CRC, did anyone play River City Ransom (RCR) on the original Nintendo?

It was my favorite co-op 2-player game on the system.

 

No...did play CCR once, though...upon a time. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWijx_AgPiA

Correllux
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Hey, better for you to be hot than, say, your batteries.  Smile 

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Anyway, CRC, to answer the title question: it is because learning as much stuff as possible is fun and feels quite nice.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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CRC wrote:
Artiet59 - Thanks!

you're welcome, and if you have additional questions about anything at all with batteries, lights or reputable places to get them just shoot me a pm anytime.

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So I am not very knowledgeable about how drivers work, but basically the 5amp constant current means that the driver in the kr4 will regulate the output up to 5 amps, and after that it is run in a direct drive mode (meaning that whatever battery power you have, minus the resistance of things like wires,etc. Will go straight to the leds). 

the best way I can describe the 5amp constant currrnt part is - the driver is made with resistors in it that limit the power that is allowed to go from your battery through the driver to your leds, in the amount of 5 amps. 

also, from what I understand is that a "constant current driver" (like the kr4) is not as sophisticated or well engineered as a buck driver or a boost driver, because those also have other capabilities to preserve battery life and give the light better "efficiency". Like I said, I am understanding this more as time goes on but this is the extent of my layman's knowledge, I know that the constant current driver Hank offers isn't the most efficient and best driver out there, but it is a balance of his design, intent (high output, some driver regulation), options (awesome leds and body material like titanium) that makes Noctigon and Emsiar so appealing. It's the every persons light. A great combo of components for an affordable price. 

so yes, some people will completely bash any driver that is not a buck driver or boost driver made with boutique parts and massaged into existence by an electrical engineer and pixie dust, but when it's all said and done it's about balancing your expectations, what you truly want and need, and if you care about changing batteries lol. That's an understatement but how I feel about it sometimes. I own lights with buck drivers, boost driver, direct drivers (the cheaper ones) and I love them all. 

over time you will find what you like, and what you dislike. I'd say try different things first. Signing off now be black later for more!

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I just saw I didn't answer your second question - 6 amps is not necessarily very powerful, but it's all in perspective. A lot of convoys drivers are 6amp max drivers because for single emitter flashlights it is a good general max output to be safe for the emitter. But for a multimemitter light like the kr4 (5amps) is a good everyday max out out, basically covers you up to turbo. Your marker being a 10amp max power sounds high? Iirc that is a single emitter osram led light, so 10amps sounds like it would be high, for a single emitter light with an osram led. Because most osram leds are more comfortable around 5amps, with only the CULPM1 (the largest white flat they make) being able to maintain about 8amps comfortably. 

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Check out some of my new lights (picture heavy) and quick first impressions of them here: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/77180

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CRC wrote:
Hmm, It would seem I have a lot more learning to do about Drivers and Amps. I diddnt really understand much of that.. Thank you very much though

 

Don't worry, someone who understands it much more than I do would have probably explained it much better. You will see many examples people on here explaining things very well and it will be easier to understand than my ramblings. 

one thing I wanted to clarify too- when I was describing the buck and boost drivers some are so passionate about - there is another positive aspect to those drivers I left out, probably the most important one- it is that they are much more efficient & consistent in their output. I only mentioned them being more efficient in battery life, but their efficiency in output and consistent output is what I assume is the biggest reason many people like those drivers so much. And it is important. I kindve taking a dig at it, but there are clear benefits to buck/boost drivers. But they are not the end all be all for all of us. That's all. Smile

 

[FLF] Five Light Friday https://budgetlightforum.com/node/78749

Check out some of my new lights (picture heavy) and quick first impressions of them here: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/77180

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CRC wrote:
So for now, do I really need to understand the specifics of “5A Constant Current + Direct Drive” to just own and operate the KR4 beyond just knowing what battery to use with it?

 

abaolutley not! I don't even know if I REALLY understand it lol!. You are good my friend. Just go over Anduril and it's basic operations and you will be fine! Like literally just the operations to ramp up/down, turn on /off, and turbo! 

all is good. I would wager that more than half the people that own a kr4 don't understand the constant current aspect of the driver, thoroughly. I could be wrong, but you are not alone!

[FLF] Five Light Friday https://budgetlightforum.com/node/78749

Check out some of my new lights (picture heavy) and quick first impressions of them here: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/77180

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CRC wrote:
Artiet59 wrote:

CRC wrote:
So for now, do I really need to understand the specifics of “5A Constant Current + Direct Drive” to just own and operate the KR4 beyond just knowing what battery to use with it?

 

abaolutley not! I don't even know if I REALLY understand it lol!. You are good my friend. Just go over Anduril and it's basic operations and you will be fine! Like literally just the operations to ramp up/down, turn on /off, and turbo! 

all is good. I would wager that more than half the people that own a kr4 don't understand the constant current aspect of the driver, thoroughly. I could be wrong, but you are not alone!

haha, alright perfect. I was more concerned that direct drive might be something that needed to be well understood to be used safely. Still gonna be a little while before I can afford it, so I have time to learn anything I might need to know.

 

perfect! We want to hear about it when you get it in!

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High drain is relative, an 18650 would need a higher CDR to be called ‘high drain’ than an 18350 or an 14500. I would need to look at a review to be sure but the MC13 shouldn’t be using more than 5 to 6A in turbo as that’s approximately the current which archives peak output for that LED, using more would just damage the LED for no gain. The driver should be doing the current limiting in that flashlight so you shouldn’t be worried about using a more powerful cell. The number of manufacturers of good 18350 cells is small so there is a high chance they are the same cell underneath.

It would be better if manufacturers used actual CDR requirements but I guess most people dislike numbers so they use imprecise words like ‘high drain’ rather than sounding too technical and losing sales. Also if turbo required 10A but the cell only has 8A CDR it shouldn’t explode, it will perform worse and heat more than expected but an explosion would require a larger difference and the failure of the safety features. As most ratings, the CDR has a safety margin, but that doesn’t mean you should exceed it on purpose.

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That Xtar 2 bay charger is definitely a good charger, i particularly like its charging speed (2amp x 1 cell, 1amp x2 cells). I also have come to trust Xtar chargers for reliability. The batteries are certainly good for the KR4, and for the 18350 - it will work for the manker definitely. The 18650 (Molicel, P26a) is great for the KR4, but there are probably better options for the Manker, because you dont need over 20 amps of discharge for the manker that is running an Osram led at around 5 amps. I would say pickup this cell for your Manker https://www.18650batterystore.com/collections/sanyo-18650-batteries/products/sanyo-bl if you will be buying from 18650batterystore.com

Its a reputable cell, and a good price. and its in stock. like the previous post stated, you dont need a high amp cell for the Manker. plus you'd probably want each light to have its own cell, in case you wanted to use them at the same time Smile

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CRC wrote:
Okay new question.

If I were to buy myself a pack of Enloops. Am I pretty much free to just slap them into any AA/AAA light and be good to go?


Correct.
CRC wrote:
Im hoping that instead of completely abandoning flashlights, I can just limit my needs and interests to AA/AAA flashlights?

You could consider getting flashlights with included battery and built-in USB charging. For example the Wurrkos FC11. It comes with everything you need. No need for separate battery or charger purchase.
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You are zigging and zagging again.
You seem to get attracted to ‘bright shiny objects’, and want even brighter, shinier objects. Then while checking things out you either get information that scares you, or overloaded with the tech specs of the potential new toy.

Not sure what the answer is for you.
NiMh are inherently safer, easier to come by, and far more widely used in flashlights than Li-on, though lithium is catching up pretty fast. It does have many compelling properties.

You DO have to know SOME stuff. There are good, less good, mediocre, and crap NiMh. You can’t go wrong with Eneloops, as long as you get the real product. There are plenty of reviews by HKJ in the forum to help you.
Same with chargers, so you need at least a viable charger. It doesn’t have to be ‘amazing’, just competent and reliable.
You can get a fairly decent light that will run off NiMh. Not as amazing, but pretty decent. I have both, and the reality is NiMh gets far more use for me.

To Air is Human, to Respire….Divine.

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CRC wrote:
If I were to buy myself a pack of Enloops. Am I pretty much free to just slap them into any AA/AAA light and be good to go?

Well, I wouldn’t slap them in, but put them in somewhat gently.

Otherwise, yeah, good to go.

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how crazy is this
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CRC wrote:
Okay new question. If I were to buy myself a pack of Enloops. Am I pretty much free to just slap them into any AA/AAA light and be good to go? No brain required? Back to basic? Like my t.v remote control?

For the most part yes. My expertise is limited and perhaps someone else will chime in with a better answer.

Most lights and nearly all Eneloops it is very much insert and don’t worry. However, not all lights, batteries, and chargers are created equal. Some cells will be underperforming out of the box. (Eneloops will likely have fewer of these than any other brand.) Usage, heat, chargers that don’t terminate properly will all affect battery performance over time. The type of driver in the flashlight will also make a difference.

As a AAA example I have some E02 II’s and Ti3s along with a number of AAA cells of varying age and condition. The Ti3s take any cell. Most people would not notice that the older cells are not up to the task. The Lights still get plenty bright and the run time is not that bad. However, if you put the lights side by side with a good new cell and an older one you would be able to notice that the lights are not as bright with the lower performing cells. The E02 II’s are a different animal. Those lights need a good cell to function properly. While the Ti3 will chug along just fine on high putting out noticeably more Lumnen than on medium the E02 will trip the regulation and only allow a low or moonlight mode. It simply will not do High and forget about turbo.

Most people don’t care about any of this or even notice. For the most part NiMh cells are trouble free and most people wouldn’t know that their light should be brighter than it is if they happen to have bad cells. Don’t know how many NiMh lights have the kind of drivers that require low IR cells in order to function. Pretty sure that my TN4a has that kind of driver but have never put older AAs in it. Also, my guess is that with 4 AAs there is a bit more room for error. Have not had a problem with any of the cells I use in that light. I do notice that the light stays at much more stable brightness as the cells discharge than something like a C8 with Biscotti so I am assuming that it is a constant current driver.

Bottom line to me is that the charger is probably as important as anything. Bad chargers destroy cells way ahead of their time. On the whole there really isn’t anything to worry about with NiMh. Buy good cells and a good charger and just enjoy. At some point by more batteries when the ones you have used are not performing as well as you would like. You are very unlikely to ever have a leak like alkaline that will destroy your flashlight. You will definitely get lots of light for far less $ than alkaline without the risks!

flydiver
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Look to be. Stupidly expensive. Should be under $4/battery.
Used to be not hard to get re-branded Eneloops for $2-3/battery for AA (Ikea-Ladda, Amazon Basic, Duraloops…). Getting tough to do that now.
I haven’t had to buy NiMh in a good while. Maybe someone else has better price suggestions.

(Note – everyone says go to Ikea for Ladda-Eneloops…..Yeah, just try to get a Ladda.)

To Air is Human, to Respire….Divine.

Lightbringer
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That’s the spirit…

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Dunno what transpired but what a shame that a legit question/concern turned into a great thread with a lot of relevant and helpful information, only to be childishly deleted with the OP removing all of his comments, too.  This could have been a good reference thread for other people.  I hope he's not too frustrated or scared or whatever and can continue enjoying lights on some level at least.  He sounded so excited about things, too. 

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