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Battery Help

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by severdhed, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. severdhed

    severdhed Loaded Pockets

    I recently picked up a Nebo Redline RC #6392 flashlight (yeah i know, not a real flashlight)

    anyway, i really like this light. It is relatively small, rechargable, 320lumens, and has a magnetic tailcap. The charger is a small base that connects to usb, you just put the flashlight on it and it charges. The problem I have with it is that it doesn't warn you when it is about to die. It never really gets dim or anything, it just works really well and bright, then suddnely turns off and wont work again until you charge it. This has caused me to not have a light when I needed one. typically, i can tell that a light is getting dim and can get another battery.

    I was looking at the FAQ on thier page where it states that They use a specialized rechargable battery specifically suited for their MagDock charger, so it cannot be replaced unless it is with another one of their batteries.

    I tried contacting their support dept, which seem to be completely clueless and directed me to Radio Shack and told me to take the battery with me.

    The battery itself is about the size of a CR123A, but slightly longer. The problem lies in the way the bottom, negative side of the battery is designed. Instead of just a flat single conductor surface, it has an outer ring, separated from the center. This is for the charger to work properly, i'm sure, but i havent seen any batteries like that anywhere else. Due to this design, the standard CR123A battery doesnt work. I'm thinking that maybe a small piece of electrical tape in the center of the battery to prevent that charging pin from making contact may work, i'll give that a shot tonight when i get home.

    I'd like to have a spare battery on hand so that i can swap it out when it dies. It doesn't have to be a rechargable even, as long as I can easily obtain them. I'd rather not have to carry a second light as a backup.

    Are there any options for me?


    Negative side of battery

  2. The Sixth Beatle

    The Sixth Beatle Loaded Pockets

    Looks like the bottom of it has two parts. Is one +ve and one -ve ? Once you know which part is which I'd have thought you could duplicate the connections by the clever use of a bit of insulation tape and tinfoil on a CR123.
  3. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

    Dont use a CR123, those are not rechargeable and will not be able to deliver the same power as the cobalt lithium that's in there now. Bad things can happen.

    As far as replacing that cell with a similar one it could be possible. However, that odd negative side looks like some proprietary addition to the cell to allow charging. If you want to replace that cell youd have to reverse engineer what the added circuitry does and how. Its probably not that difficult, it could be as simple as wire running down the cell to provide an extra positive connection to the bottom charging location (in that case youd measure cell voltage across the two spots on the bottom side of the cell). Keep in mind that these ICR cells are not too safe so take care when tinkering around.
  4. gazz98

    gazz98 Loaded Pockets

    +1. I wouldn't try to make a CR123 or any other modded battery try to work. I looked at the website FAQ too, looks like a proprietary battery. I would suggest buying the specific battery or ... move on to another flashlight. Good luck.
  5. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

    Well in all honesty that bottom doesn't look all that tricky. If i had to wager a guess i'd say the middle connector in the tailcap of the light is simply a direct spring connector so that would have to get connected to the positive end of the cell if you ever want to charge it with the kind of station the light comes with. That in turn would mean that the middle circle on the 'negative' end of the cell is a positive connection... this does however sound like a very bad idea to me as this would mean that shorting the charging terminals on the back of the light would mean shorting the battery so there must be protection on the cell to prevent this from happening.

    I'd say do some measurements with a DMM. If the odd bottom indeed functions as i think and the positive end is a 'regular' positive end then that means that you can totally throw a regular protected 16340 in there as long as the length is close enough to make a proper connection to the light. Just don't put it on the charger when you do as the charger will blow up unless it has been specifically designed to handle a short circuit. You could 'modify' the replacement cell by adding a little bit of flat plastic to the middle of the negative so the charging prong inside the tail wont connect to prevent this from happening. You will not be able to charge any replacement cell like this in the light but as a backup it might just work!

    DO NOT take my word for it, i have never worked on a light like this DO YOUR OWN MEASUREMENTS and draw your own conclusions. If you dont understand what you are doing do NOT try any of this, these batteries are tricky and can be dangerous if mishandled.... and there's ofc always the chance of breaking your light, your charger, both or burn down your house and half the neighbourhood with it. Good luck! ;)
  6. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Just a thought but not a suggestion either.
    Look at the Olight battery they use in the magnetic charging base lights they sell.
    The contact area needs to do the same thing and the battery MIGHT be similar?
  7. severdhed

    severdhed Loaded Pockets

    Thanks. I'll dig out the multi meter as see what I can see. I know not to put it in the charger with a standard battery. It would just be nice to have a spare on hand to keep my light working until I can get it back to the charger.

    Their support people know nothing about their products. I'd love to just purchase a spare battery from them, and maybe another charger to keep in my car.

    I do really like this light, and it was about half the price of the olight s1r turbo that I was looking at....I guess you get what you pay for. Personally, I had a hard time justifying $30 for a flashlight.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
  8. The Sixth Beatle

    The Sixth Beatle Loaded Pockets

    The Olight S15R uses a standard 14500 battery.
  9. severdhed

    severdhed Loaded Pockets

    i found a multimeter at work, the suspicions are correct. the center contact on the back of the batter is poistive, the outer ring is negative. I don't need it to charge, i just want somethign I can throw in when the rechargable battery dies.

    so, if i were to cut a small circle of insulator (electrical tape) and placed it in the center of the negative side of a CR123, it should, in theory, turn the light on. i dont' have a cr123 on hand, i'll have to wait till i get home tonight. i'll let you all know.
  10. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

    No, dont use a CR123. Use a decent chemistry RCR123/16340 and make it a protected one at that. If the light has built in undervoltage protection (as opposed to in the cell) a CR123 will not have the needed voltage to run the light. If it does manage to get the light on you are running very low on the side of regulating things, depending on the circuitry in the light you could either run into small issues or just flat out break something as this light is not designed for this at all.

    The insulator on the back of the cell should not be needed to run the light.... its just protection for the charger.
  11. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

    I think it is the 123 newer versions that go in backwards & have both contacts on the bottom end?

    I dont have one but that is what I have read.

    On the S15r they both end up on the bottom too obviously as that is where they make contact?

    Maybe the Nebo is the same and does take a standard rechargeable cell too?

    If not that Nebo battery does look more than a little scary if both contacts are on one end like that.

    1 minute with a meter will tell the story.
    Last edited by EZDog, Dec 19, 2016
  12. severdhed

    severdhed Loaded Pockets

    I guess if it has under voltage protection, that would explain why it never really gets dim. It works fine, then suddenly shuts off. I tried a starts cr123, but it would not turn on.

    Their tech support got back to me finally, they will sell me a spare battery for $11, and a charger for $15. They want me to send them a money order... Haha

    I think I paid $30 for the light, at that rate of be better off to just buy another one, that way if not only have a spare battery and charger, but a spare light as well.

    Now I just have to decide if it is with doing that, or just saving for a better light that uses standard batteries

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
  13. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Well you never say though if it is a standard cell or not?
  14. severdhed

    severdhed Loaded Pockets

    The standard positive terminal is positive, the outer ring on the negative side is negative. The center contact on the negative side is positive.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
  15. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

    My bet is that this modification to the negative end will make the cell awkwardly long, so regular (or even protected) 16340s might not even be able to make proper contact. That could also be a reason why a regular cr123 will not work. Give the light a shake when the cell is in there, you will feel the mass moving from front to back (or you might even be able to hear it) if it is too short. A small ball of aluminium foil in the tailcap of the light will remedy this in a pinch but then again that will only work if it is not the undervoltage protection at work.

    But honestly, i would not buy a second light. Sure you will have a spare battery but you will also be stuck with a useless second light. If it were my choice i'd just go for a cell that uses a more common cell, in order of personal preference; 18650, 16340, NiMH eneloops (i hate 14500s with a passion). 18650 lights sure are larger but you get so much more worth out of your space, they are one of the most heavily developed cells currently meaning you can get great capacity and reliability for an even better price.
  16. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

  17. severdhed

    severdhed Loaded Pockets

    Good news. I remembered to bring my only flashlight that uses a cr123 battery with me today. I took the battery from it, folded up some aluminum foil to make it longer and it turned on just fine. I understand that placing it in the charger like this would be stupid and dangerous, but this solves my problem. I can carry a spare CR123 battery in my altoids tin kit and throw it in this light if the rechargeable battery dies during the day.

    I tried it the other day without the foil and it just didn't work, but even though it didn't shake around inside, i think the center pin on the tailcap was contacting the battery, but the raised ring on the cap that contacts the negative outer ring wasn't reaching the cr123. the folded up foil made all the difference.

    The light isnt as bright with the cr123a battery, i'm assuming this is because they are 3v and the 16340 is 3.7 v. Due to the expensive nature of cr123 batteries and lower voltage, i may be better off picking up a set of rechargeable 16340s. I understand i'd have to use an external charger, but i'm ok with that.

    Is there anything i need to look for or stay away from when purchasing these rechargable 16340 batteries and chargers? I'd rather not spend a fortune, but dont' want to buy crap or something that is going to explode. I figure if i pick up two rechargeables, i can use them in both this light and my other nebo micro redline oc that uses a CR123 battery.

    Thanks for all of your help with this so far.