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Putting away the Eneloops for the winter, Who uses NiCd for the cold months?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by Sniperx7, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Sniperx7

    Sniperx7 Loaded Pockets

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    I just packed my Eneloops away for the winter and started using Energizer Lithiums for my AA lights. I was reading around CPF and other forums and was seeing that NiCd, while having a lower storage capacity than NiMh rechargeables, generally perform well at lower temperatures. I'm doing this to help combat the price of Lithium AA primaries.

    I'm thinking of picking up a 2 or 4 pack of these from online and seeing how well they work for me since my charging system will compensate for them. Anyone out there using this system? How does it work for you?

    sx7
     
  2. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    This is a confusing topic... while I have seen consistent mention that NiCds do perform better than NiMhs, I've also seen a lot of stuff saying Li-ions perform both better, and worse, than either NiCd/NiMh in cold weather... go figure.

    Anyways, Sanyo seems to say their Eneloops work well down to -20C (-4F).

    http://www.eneloop.info/eneloop/whats-eneloop.html

    I'm sticking to Eneloops and 14500s in my lights, they live in my (warm) pockets anyways, and I'll just have to try and insulate them with a tactical grip when I need to use them for prolong periods in the cold.

    Too cheap to buy lithium primaries and too lazy to introduce another rechargeable chemistry.
     
  3. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

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    NiCd batteries may be lousy for many purposes when compared to other types of rechargeables but they do still have their place. Never heard of switching to them for winter though.
     
  4. amacman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    amacman Loaded Pockets

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    Unless I was going to be in consistently subzero temps (F), I wouldn't worry about the battery performance enough to justify an extra set of batteries. If anything, I'd just pack or carry an extra set of my current cells.
     
  5. Sniperx7

    Sniperx7 Loaded Pockets

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    I guess that makes sense, I was on batteryjunction's site and i saw that they were good down to 10 C but those are the old ratings, on Sanyo's site it says as you specified. I've never had an aa light for wintertime use over a cr123a light, so i'll have to see how it performs. I figure i just can't let it sit in the car when it gets real chilly.

    As always, thanks!!

    sx7
     
  6. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    I've used my Eneloops at -25 without problems. But YMMV etc.
     
  7. boyo17

    boyo17 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I've never thought about batteries and the cold,,, it might be that they don't last as long,, but I just change them or re-charge as needed

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    If your light is rated for them you could also consider running 14505s which are $1.50 a piece and essentially CR123s in a AA size (same V and mah).
     
  9. Blerv

    Blerv Loaded Pockets

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    I've never been in conditions (luckily) that a battery would be facing directly -10 to -20c. For those situations I would probably just use Energizer Ultimates or hope that the Eneloop's wouldn't mind. That or carry a light that uses lithium power.

    The thought of it makes me cold :(.
     
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  10. Sniperx7

    Sniperx7 Loaded Pockets

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    Fenix LD12, so no extra voltage :/

    I'll just continue business as usual with the Eneloops until something happens. :p

    Thanks for the info!

    sx7
     
  11. boyo17

    boyo17 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I know nothing about Eneloops,,,,, is there something special about them???

    My rechargeable AA's are Fujicell 2700mAh Ni-MH and I see no reason to change ,,, Cheap as anything off Ebay, I got a bunch of them about 5 years ago and they keep on going in cameras, flashlights, kids toys, tv remotes clocks etc
     
  12. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    Eneloops are low self-discharge NiMHs. They keep their charge better than regular NiMHs. If you use and charge the cells all the time, there's no benefit, but if you use and charge cells less frequently, say once a month (or even a year), then LSD NiMHs are a better choice. Eneloops are not the only ones, there also GP Recykos, Varta Ready2Go etc.
     
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  13. boyo17

    boyo17 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Thanks for that,,,,,, I just took a look at self discharge rates and it would seem that Fujicells keep 75% of their charge after 6 months and that suits my needs well
     
  14. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    Mine too. That's why I use LSD NiMHs in all my lights (and a few other devices as well). I have Eneloops, Recykos and the Varta cells. The only tangible difference between them that I've noticed is that the Recykos have a slightly larger diameter so they are a tighter fit in some lights. But mine are many years old and they may have changed the specs.
     
  15. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    I've used specialized NiCd battery packs in the cold before, and they're nothing to write home about. I had one battery on a survey instrument and one in my pocket. I had to switch them out every 20 minutes because the battery on the instrument would drop to no charge and go back up to full charge after warming up in my pocket.

    I realize the user specifications say that it uses a 1.5V battery, but unless Fenix has changed their manufacturing process with their most recent run of lights, the LD12 should have the same circuit as the PD12 or LD22, with something like a 0.9~3.3V range.

    That's what I'd do if I were you.
     
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  16. boyo17

    boyo17 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    ,,and so it goes round,,,,

    Nice thread :)
     
  17. Nice

    Nice Loaded Pockets

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    I rock non-re lithium bateries CR123 the whole year in my Zebralight SC80... well, on the package of the batery it says -70C :)
     
  18. patrat

    patrat Loaded Pockets

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    I dont bother to switch. My light is in my pocket, picking up body heat until I use it. If I use it at medium or higher, it stays warm once removed from pocket.
     
  19. enki_ck

    enki_ck Loaded Pockets

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    I've been switching to lithiums come winter for some time now but yes, if the flashlight is kept near your body, in your pocket, it wouldn't need it. However for flashlights and devices left in the car (and we all keep at least one flashlight in the car, right? ;) ) I think lithiums are the best way to go.
     
  20. Blerv

    Blerv Loaded Pockets

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    The other factor is draw. It's not a big deal on medium/low settings for a Preon or Quark AA but some batteries won't perform like Eneloops or Energizer Ultimates (or high voltage lithiums) at 700+ mah high modes.

    I'm not saying "all" are like this; I just know the proven performance of the competing batteries. Throw in sub-thermal temps and you could be stuck with very inadequate runtimes using a random Ni-Cd battery.