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Charging habits

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by 00ChevyScott, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. 00ChevyScott

    00ChevyScott Loaded Pockets

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    Hey guys, new to the light scene so bare with me here. Just picked up a Fenix PD31, and an Ultrafire 18650 battery and charger. I've read a lot of the threads about Li-ion batteries so I think I'm pretty good there, but I'm wondering what everyones charging habits are. If I used the light for 10-15 minutes total in a day, is it worth taking the battery out and charging it back to 100%? Or should I just leave it in there and use it a few days and then charge it back? I'm not sure if the use I'm putting it through is enough to warrant a trip to the charger, or is it always best to top of the battery whenever possible? I also don't want to wear out my light by pulling the battery in and out every day, if that's an issue.
     
  2. Mcameron

    Mcameron Loaded Pockets

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    i would run the light continuously ( taking breaks every so often to let the light/ batts cool) and see how much runtime you get off a single charge.......

    then i would keep that number in mind and use it as a benchmark.........

    when you feel youve used your light enough to get you somewhat close to that benchmark number, pop them out and charge them.......


    and then every once and a while (once every few months)....allow the batteries to fully discharge before charging them.


    but i would not be charging them after only a few min. use.......that is unnecessary.
     
  3. vinniec5

    vinniec5 Loaded Pockets

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    never REPEAT Never charge Li-Ions unattended or leave the house with them charging. are the protected 18650's? if they arent, don't run them totally dead before charging. 18650's are great batteries but they are not AA's and pack a serious amout of power in that package and can explode if not taken care of
     
  4. Kripto

    Kripto Evil Sid

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    I would probably add that if you choose to charge unattended, use protected cells and a good charger.

    I recently picked up a Pila charger ($50) and some AW protected cells (RCR123, 14500, and 18650) I'm confident that I can charge these w/o my being home. I used to have Ultrafire/Angelfire batteries and chargers and didn't feel comfortable using them for safety sake. I'm sure they're fine, I've used them... Charged/discharged them and have not had issues.. I switched to the AW batteries and Pila charger because I feel that I'd rather have reliability and safety over anything else.
     
  5. 00ChevyScott

    00ChevyScott Loaded Pockets

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    -.- I know that. I didn't mention anywhere in my post I was going to charge them without being there. And yes my 18650 is protected.
     
  6. jcw122

    jcw122 Loaded Pockets

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    I use my light with 1xLi-Ion, have a spare in my backpack, and have 2x spare CR123s. So I never charge unless the battery is dead.
     
  7. vinniec5

    vinniec5 Loaded Pockets

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  8. ScottAW

    ScottAW Loaded Pockets

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    I know I get about a 2 hr runtime on a cell, so I use it for a week or two, more now that it's ever-dark winter, and I pop it on the charger sometime in there. Never had a problem.

    And I always top off if there's a nasty storm coming, planning a camping trip, anytime I know I'll be using the light more.
     
  9. Kripto

    Kripto Evil Sid

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    I should also state that when I charge batteries in chargers that have a wall-wart style plug (barrel connector at the end of a long wire) I put the charger on something non-flammable like a steel sheet (1/4in steel used to disperse heat on a stove) or a plate.

    I'm paranoid of starting house fires and make every reasonable precaution to prevent it. :)
     
  10. mvyrmnd

    mvyrmnd Loaded Pockets

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    Here's the tip:

    If you run the battery dead, charge it immediately. If you leave it flat for too long it will fail.

    Otherwise, you can charge whenever you want. It'd be fairly pointless to top it off every day - there's just no need. Do as Mcameron suggested and record a baseline runtime. If you know that you can run your flashlight for an hour, then after a couple of days in your pocket you can tally up an enstimated runtime, and charge accordingly. My EDC uses an 18350 cell, and on average I charge it every 3-5 days, and it's usually down to about 50% at that stage.

    All of the other advice given, while not actually answering your question, is useful. I'd suggest you buy better quality cells. Ultrafire's can be very hit and miss when it comes to quality control. AW, Callie's Customs or Redilast are a good way to go.

    You said you bought an Ultrafire charger. What model is it?
     
  11. 00ChevyScott

    00ChevyScott Loaded Pockets

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    Eh I don't think it's an Ultrafire charger. It came with an Ultrafire battery from Amazon. They call it a "Travel Charger" and the model number is WBT-001 made by WEN BAO TANG, lol. It charges the battery at least. It's output 450mA and I checked my battery's voltage when the light changed colors and it is usually in the 4.20-4.23v range.