Question about CR 123 batteries

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Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby Cody JW » Nov 7, 2011 11:08 am

I was wondering if there is much of a difference between the Duracell 123s you get at your local retailer and the Rayovac I see in the mail order catalogs ? I just got a mail order catalog in the mail that had 12 Rayovac for $30.00 . When you look at your local retailers I am seeing the Duracell in a two pack for a much higher price. Does the price justify the actual difference in the brands ? My trusty Fennix handheld uses them and I am considering a 600 Lumen small handheld that also uses them. Also I was wondering if there are any rechargeable substitutes ? The Fennix I own and the one I am considering uses two. Can you use the same rechargeable the Spark uses ??
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby Squirrel Girl » Nov 7, 2011 11:25 am

Hah, I just ordered another dozen this weekend. I buy them online where they only cost $1 a piece. I don't know if any brands are any better than any other. (as she encourages someone to do some burn testing).

I bought a set of rechargeable ones and they were CRAP! I quit using them because they hardly lasted at all.
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby jeffkruse » Nov 7, 2011 2:23 pm

You will get far better runtime with good rechargable 18650's.
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby Squirrel Girl » Nov 7, 2011 5:25 pm

jeffkruse wrote:You will get far better runtime with good rechargable 18650's.


Those don't seem to be the same shape as will fit in, say, my Princeton Tec Apex Pro:

http://www.princetontec.com/index.php?q=apex-pro
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby tncaver » Nov 7, 2011 7:21 pm

I recommend NEVER buying any light that uses CR123 batteries. Those are the most expensive flashlight batteries made IMHO. I even recommend
not using your flashlight in the future if it uses those batteries. Buy an LED. There are so many great LED lights available now that use rechargables, and alkalines in a pinch, and are so much more efficient and cheaper and brighter these days than any CR123 light.

I have a light that uses CR123's and it is a good bright light. But the run time is very short and the batteries are very expensive. I bought it before
the LED revolution which has blown away all other light technologies for now. Rechargeable LED lights can blow away most any CR123 light in
brightness as well as run time.

This is advice from a Tennessee caver. I highly recommend you heed my advice. :kewl: I won't steer you wrong.
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby Cody JW » Nov 7, 2011 8:50 pm

So far I have been impressed with the run time on a set of batteries with my Fennix P3D handheld. I only cave in the cool weather anymore and I just use it to spot big stuff and a set has lasted me almost 3 caving seasons. I also bring it with me on night time dog walks. I know that some LEDs are more efficient than others. For example a Fennix HP-10 for me has been more efficient than my old 130 Lumen Apex was, by far. I do agree with TN caver on the advantages of a light that uses rechargeable or regular AAs in a pinch. That is one reason I have hung on to my Duo. I am hoping to find a rechargeable that will work. I will go to my local battery store and see about the possibility of using 18650. I know from recent posts about rechargeable AAs that it is important to get the right charger ( La Crosse) , I am assuming the same thing will apply to 18650 ?? I was surprised to see the charger that comes with the Spark only costs 10 dollars. I am waiting to hear from Chad or Dean about the reliability of that charger.
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby Squirrel Girl » Nov 7, 2011 8:55 pm

tncaver wrote:This is advice from a Tennessee caver. I highly recommend you heed my advice. :kewl: I won't steer you wrong.


Hah, we already know about advice from TN cavers, as per the other thread! :waving:

I don't use my Apex Pro for caving. I use it on my head for camping and all sorts of other things. For use without a helmet, the smaller battery size and weight is super. I LOVE IT! YMMV.

I have a couple backup dive lights that are 123s. One of my buddies doesn't like them because of the expense of the batteries, but to me the lights are perfect in size and power. Since they're backups, they don't get used all that much, but when I want them, they're great.

You make some valid points, but for now, I'm not ready to lose my CR123 battery powered lights. I find for some situations they are just right.
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby NZcaver » Nov 7, 2011 9:32 pm

tncaver wrote:I recommend NEVER buying any light that uses CR123 batteries.

I agree with the gentleman from Tennessee. I reluctantly use custom Li-Ion packs in certain devices, otherwise it's double A all the way. :woohoo:

Barbara - I'm surprised to hear your rechargeable CR123s were crap. Were they NiMHs? Did you use a good charger?
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby Squirrel Girl » Nov 8, 2011 5:58 am

NZcaver wrote:
tncaver wrote:I recommend NEVER buying any light that uses CR123 batteries.

I agree with the gentleman from Tennessee. I reluctantly use custom Li-Ion packs in certain devices, otherwise it's double A all the way. :woohoo:

Barbara - I'm surprised to hear your rechargeable CR123s were crap. Were they NiMHs? Did you use a good charger?


Isn't America great? You can buy CR123 powered lights... or not! :kewl:

I do agree with your points to an extent, and I wouldn't have a primary powered by CR123s, I don't think. But for my other purposes, I really like them.

I dug out the now several years unused recharger and batteries. The label on the charger is Ktec and the batteries are eFilm. I believe I purchased them from Thomas Distributing, but I could be mistaken (it's been a while).

It's also possible that I got a bad batch. All I know, is that the rechargeables held their charge a noticeable fraction of non-rechargeables. I would be down in FL for a week of cave diving, just using the Apex Pro in the evening (above ground) and I'd probably have to recharge the batteries twice during the week, whereas with non-rechargeables I think I could go for the whole week without a change of batteries. Again, it's been a couple years, so I don't recall the exact measurements, but about that.
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby tncaver » Nov 8, 2011 7:48 am

If you must use CR 123 lights and batteries, check out Titanium Innovations CR 123 batteries here:
http://www.batteryjunction.com/tpen-tcr123a-.html
$1.00 each for as few as one battery. Cheaper if you buy a dozen or more.

You can also find replacement bulbs, batteries and new CR 123 lights here:
http://www.surefire.com/

However, for a great variety of lights (including LED's) you may want to go here:
http://www.brightguy.com/
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby Squirrel Girl » Nov 8, 2011 7:54 am

tncaver wrote:If you must use CR 123 lights and batteries, check out Titanium Innovations CR 123 batteries here:
http://www.batteryjunction.com/tpen-tcr123a-.html
$1.00 each for as few as one battery. Cheaper if you buy a dozen or more.

You can also find replacement bulbs, batteries and new CR 123 lights here:
http://www.surefire.com/


Yes, I have a bunch of Titanium Innovation batteries and they are great.

"Bulbs"? What are these "bulbs" things you speak of???? :huh:
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby tncaver » Nov 8, 2011 8:12 am

Squirrel Girl wrote:"Bulbs"? What are these "bulbs" things you speak of???? :huh:


You can buy replacement lamp assemblies here:
http://www.surefire.com/LampLEDAssemblies

There are varying brightness levels available for some CR123 flashlights. I own a Brinkman light that uses CR123 batteries and it has a Surefire
replacement lamp assembly. I bought the Brinkman hand held CR123 at Walmart for $20 and it has been an excellent light
for spotting things due to it's bright spot. The CR123 batteries do have a long shelf life which makes them a good choice for an emergency flashlight that is not used very often. However, there are LED's now that blow away the incandescent CR123 lights in brightness as well as run time. Rechargeables AA batteries are way less expensive in the long run than CR123's. Today's alkaline and Lithium AA batteries have a long
shelf life as well. Too bad they are not interchangeable with CR123A batteries.
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby Squirrel Girl » Nov 8, 2011 8:30 am

It was a joke! :big grin:

My lights are all LEDs without "bulbs."
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby Marduke » Nov 8, 2011 8:35 am

RCR123 have less power than CR123. That is simply the nature of the beast. Rechargable AA's have morr power than primaries, RCR123 have less power than primaries. I have a couple 2xCR123 lights, but use a 17670 cell in them for far superior performance. 18650 is far FAR better, but lights are generally purpose built to accept them. I have a number of 18650 lights that run of cells recovered from laptop battery packs. 1x18650 gives you the equivalent of about 4xAA.
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Re: Question about CR 123 batteries

Postby jeffkruse » Nov 8, 2011 8:49 am

Primary 123’s (not rechargeable) are ok but expensive. Protected Rechargeable RCR123A’s (16340) have very little capacity. I only use the RCR123 for my EDC (every day carry) where I don’t expect long usage and can recharge it every day.

Sometimes a light that takes two 123’s (16340) can take one 18650 but not always.

You won’t find rechargeable lithium RCR123A’s or 18650’s in the store. They are dangerous if mishandled. (But so are primary 123’s.)

2900mAh @ 3.7V for a quality (redilast) 18650 is probably the best energy density you can reasonably get. 18650’s power the world but they are built in battery packs so we never see them.
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