OK - according to my highly accurate temperature compensated newly arrived $5 Chinese calipers, the cells in OEM wrapper are a hair over 18mm, and wrapped over the OEM wrapper are a hair under 19mm. That is with colored paper, which I think is a touch heavier than the plain white I’ll be using for these.
Please note - these yellow test wrappers are a little short and let some of the orangish OEM wrapper show on the edge. (nothing I can do about where the OEM shrink covers the top and bottom) I expect to have some samples ready to show in a few days so you can see what I intend to provide.
Additional Note - see OP - I’m exploring the option of getting a much simpler design printed directly onto 18650 shrink tubing.
The cell has been chosen. Panasonc/Sanyo NCR18650GA. Flat top, so no problems with how well a button was added, higher capacity than a 30Q, and a respectable current rating. More importantly, I have a reliable domestic supply of them that will not have me loosing money on each set I ship.
For me, the original wrap is more of an aesthetic problem. The color is NOT a good match for a white cover. The extra thickness doesn’t seem to be a problem - at least in an SP36 and my single cell lights. Maybe I can work a deal on a Q8 and fit-test them there too. (I understand the lantern battery case is basically a Q8, right?)
OK, Thx. I have a light around here somewhere that protected cells are sort of a press fit into because of the added wrap plus the thickness of the conductor strip that runs up the side of protected cells. Once in, a protected cell is a PITA to remove. Not an issue with any of my other lights. I just wanted to make sure the size of the unprotected BLF rewraps.
Am I correct to assume that the BLF cell offering will be fairly short-lived, and not something that will continue for long term?
On the other hand, future-wise, how can this wrapper be prevented from unscrupulous manufacturers and vendors from copying it and selling a complete but sub-standard, and even dangerous “BLF” batteries all over the web?
Just my .02
Edit: In fact, photo from the op might have given someone from you-know-where already an idea and might even sell it online ahead of this project!
I don’t have a particular end point in mind for the project. To be totally honest, the main reason I’m doing this is because I think the idea is cool.
I expect it to run till the demand drops, or I get tired of doing it, or my battery supply dries up. Then again, I went into this saying that since the LT1 project and related graphics are basically BLF property, I’d donate my finished files back to BLF. It will be a LOT less work for me if y’all print and wrap your own. What I see myself providing is a quality battery set already customized to match a popular project, and at a non-predatory price.
There are already such things as GIF and UltroFire and Gabrile “9900mAh” batteries on the market. Scammers are gonna scam. We just have to make sure to tell each other about the scams.
2) The minimum quantities involved to make a properly done copy of this are large. The demand pool for the product is small. The target audience is price sensitive, so the opportunities to profiteer are small.
Question: How are you printing the wraps? In my experience, inkjet printers use water-based inks that can easily smudge when handling if fingers are not completely dry. Laser printers use heat & pressure to fuse toner to the media, and might shrink the wrap as it passes through the fusing unit. Too, individual wraps are so small that they would be unlikely to travel through the paper path of either type of printer unless attached to a larger backing sheet.
EDIT: Seems my Reading Comprehension-Fu was weak on this one. I see where these are paper under clear wrap.
I also see where you mentioned alignment of color within the lantern lens aligning correctly within the lens outline. In printing that is called registration. If the image file contains the color inset in it's native state, a printer should be able to achieve precise registration in only one pass, printing B&W and color simultaneously.
- Yep. The fancy ones are color prints under clear shrink
Nope. Those will/may be factory printed shrink. I’m not asking for full CYMK with exact registration, but I have to get an idea of their acceptable error margins and decide if the second color will look right without mangling the design too much.
Another choice that might be nice for “advertising” purposes would be like choice #2, but use the actual site name/address: budgetlightforum.com but I’m not sure we want that, and certainly Mr. Admin would have to decide if it’s okay to use the site name for advertising that way.
Hmmm… that brings up a question. The LT1 is rated at 2A charging, right? If someone only has one of these installed, it will exceed the cell’s recommended max charge rate. I know that none of us are likely to have a single cell in any of our lanterns, but to badly paraphrase George Carlin, the scary thing about your average idiot is that they’re smarter than half the idiots you’ll encounter.
The TP5100 charging chip is capable of 2A, but the LT1 design holds it to a maximum of 1.5A as a deliberately conservative design choice. I believe the lantern can be set to charge at either 750mA or 1.5A using a solder bridge.
I’ve got a mockup of what the battery labels would look like with a (very) abbreviated instruction set attached. The image is the raw layout and the links are to (roughly) how they look when wrapped around a battery.
What’s your preference? A cleaner, simpler design, or a busier version with a quick reference included?