Performance difference noted in Titanium Innovations CR123

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John Deez
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Performance difference noted in Titanium Innovations CR123

Titanium Innovations CR123s from batteryjunction.com are considered to be the best value for this type of battery. I want to share a problem that I had with them in a night vision device to show that there is a difference between them and some Surefire batteries that I had.

The unit has two modes for 3 or 3.7volts. It appears to have been set on 3.7v from the factory for some reason. After using some batteries for about 20 minutes, the buttons became unreliable. The unit still worked, so I thought that it must be an issue with the buttons. Tech support called me back and told me to try a different power source. The new surefire CR123s that it came with powered up the unit fine while it was set at 3.7v.

I set the unit to 3v and the titanium innovations seemed to work fine after that. I’m not sure if they were the previous used ones, though, or some new ones that I opened up. So the point of this thread is mostly just to show that there is a different output from

zltwo
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CR123’s are 3 volts…

The surefires might have had a higher resting voltage, but that might also mean they deplete faster.

I don’t understand why you’d want to run the device at 3.7 volts…

vonroyale
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The 3.7 setting is to use 16340 batteries, and maybe even 18350 if there is space.

John Deez
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I didn’t intend to post this. I realized that it could have just been a difference between the used vs brand new batteries. I know about the difference between 3.0 and 3.7v, but if the unit defaults to that for some reason, you can’t change it while it is off.

I still think its a good question about the capabilities of Titanium Innovations CR123s given that they are a popular budget option. Tech support spoke negatively about them and said 1) they don’t store well, and 2) they don’t sustain as high of an amperage draw, the device requires two amps on startup .

I looked around the web a lot last night and didn’t find a review or specific tests for them (I thought there were some). I found someone on candlepowerforums complaining they went bad after a few years. I just bought 8 packs of them and may be outside of the return period, so I really want to know if they are inferior to Surefire/ Panasonics.

texas shooter
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I’ve been using Titanium Innovations CR123a’s for about 10 years. Two of the Constables precincts also use them mostly because I showed them they were cheaper than Panasonics. I can’t speak about storage, I don’t think we ever have them older than a few years before they get cycled into use. http://titaniuminnovations.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/performance-gr... They do sag on a load. Runtime seems to match Panasonics who builds most of the other labelled CR123a’s.

John Deez
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Those are some good real world observations.

The question for me is whether the price difference is due to the differences of manufacturing in the USA vs. Taiwan, or if there are corners being cut. Long term storage could be one of the first things compromise on since most people don’t store their batteries for more than a few years. I’ve always been dubious about the claimed 10 year shelf life of batteries.

I think this technician was very astute about his observations with this battery. The two things he said; storage and higher currents, make sense in what you would lack in a cheaper product. Often times they tend to blame something other than their product, but I think he was very spot on, but I still don’t have a lot of data supporting storage.

I think it will burn through these and order some US made ones for storage. I can consider it a splurge instead of a waste of money. I like cr123 lights.

jon_slider
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fwiw, a brand new CR123 starts out at 3.2v
you could use a DMM to determine the actual voltage of the batteries being tested.

a circuit set to 3.7v will not consider that new CR123 depleted

but, after using a CR123, as it drops below 3.0V your light recognized that the battery was not 3.7v type

therefore, the issue with your batteries is not the brand, it is the voltage after they are no longer fresh and new

so I recommend you set the light to 3.0V power source, so it wont think a 3.0V battery is depleted (like it does when set to 3.7V)

nothing Im hearing has to do with the battery brand.. its just a lack of operator understanding about battery types and voltages, and having the switch set mistakenly to 3.7V. Plus some FUD about storage, that cannot be verified, as there is no evidence either way

so.. buy Surefire cells if it makes you feel better
but I have not seen any facts that make me doubt the less expensive alternative

a partly depleted surefire, below 3.0V will produce the same result in the light when set to 3.7V, as the alternative brand

the part about power level differences is also FUD without evidence.. there are no facts in evidence, from which to believe the surefire battery is better.. no matter where it is manufactured

the main difference between USA made and outsourced, is the cost of labor.. Surefire costs more because of USA cost of manufacturing being higher, not because they contain more Volts, nor more Amps, nor more storage life..

there may be more data about CR123 batteries here:
https://lygte-info.dk/info/indexBatteriesAndChargers%20UK.html
I have not looked for the exact cells in this thread.. I leave it to you to try to find some Facts.. instead of just FUD

texas shooter
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I have used 20 year old Panasonic’s in an original Surefire forearm light. They worked so you can get really long shelf life. Will Titanium Innovations do 10 years. Probably, it’s a very stable chemistry. That said I do keep Panasonic CR123a’s and CR2’s around. Panasonic has a resistant wire that heats and adds resistant when over two amps. Titanium Innovations has a 3 amp slow fuse.