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Old 08-27-2013, 08:22 PM #1
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Question 16340 Conundrum SOLVED and the BEAST is awake!

After learning a great lesson recently regarding the purchase and use of batteries, I find myself still running into some capacity woes. The story goes a little like this...

I purchased the wrong batteries for a laser that takes 16340s... instead of 3.6v 16340's, I bought Tenergy RCR123A that were 3.0v (~900mAh). This was tricky because they would run any other laser requiring the 16340's, but not power the 700mW 532nm I ordered in the recent laserbtb groupbuy (awesome GB and kudos to OffroadFreak btw). The laser was verified as working properly by the manufacturer and I purchased some Ultrafire 16340 (1000mAh) from Amazon to get things running... all is good, right? Since these are intended to drive my recently aquired SkyLasers 532nm handheld, I looked for 16340's that had a higher mAh rating (assuming that would be important), but basically what happens is, the instant they are fully charged and the laser is enabled, I get about 1W of green for a second (laser spec'd for 700mw, so that is a win) and then it starts to fall steadily through the 900's, 800's, 700's... etc until it is sub-100mW and fading within 30 seconds or so.

My first question is whether or not I should suspect the batteries as being "duds" or if I should just look to a higher quality battery?

Secondly, what seems to be the "best" 16340 to be found of recent?

It's a sweet laser, but 20 or so seconds of runtime above 200mW is a bummer. These batteries have to go

Cheers!
c






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405nm >> Skylasers PL405 500mW, overspec generic pen 70mW
445nm >> Blord 3W Dominator
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488nm >> Uniphase 2214-40MLA Cyllindrical Argon Ion
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638nm >> Blord 501B 200mW
650nm >> generic pen 4mW
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Last edited by KapHn8d; 08-30-2013 at 03:08 PM. Reason: added video and updated title
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:52 PM #2
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Default Re: My 16340 Conundrum

i got these: Cheap Ultrafire 3.6V 880mAh LC 16340 Protected CR123A Battery 2-Pack
They last a while and are protected Maybe your driver is overheating resulting in power loss?
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:53 AM #3
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Default Re: My 16340 Conundrum

I use these, I have heard others claim they are better than *****fire ones. the site calls them cr123s, but notice they are indeed 3.7 volts, aka 16340:AW RCR123a Protected 750 mAh Battery.

I used these to power my old PL-E mechanical 700mW 532. this laser killed other crappy 16340 batteries I tried. I used them in it, then they got really hot and no longer held charge. the AW ones drained fast, but worked. considering the PL-E mechanical was designed to use one or two high capacity 26650 or 18650s, I was impressed
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:14 AM #4
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Default Re: My 16340 Conundrum

Yes AW cells are my first choice for 16340's but I would also look at other possibilities as well. Being a DPSS laser it is not uncommon for them when having stability issue to drop in that fashion starting out with a high peak and then dropping like a stone. The crystals could be shifting as the unit warms misaligning and causing the power drop.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:55 AM #5
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Default Re: My 16340 Conundrum

Thanks for the tips. I ordered some of the AW's to try.

I am curious about the suggestions regarding driver overheating and/or crystals shifting due to heat. This is in a matter of 15 to 20 seconds tops... in a laser build by a known and reputable manufacturer... I would think these would be extremely unlikely unless there was some sort of damage to the unit...? no?


Update: I added a video to the OP and wanted to also say there is zero discernible heat from any part of the host, but the batteries are ever-so-slightly warm after that sub-one-minute run.
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Last edited by KapHn8d; 08-28-2013 at 03:47 AM. Reason: update
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:38 PM #6
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Default Re: (VIDEO ADDED) My 16340 Conundrum

As an aside, this laser will run steadily around 500mW on a single 18650. Just a datapoint...

Sorta makes sense given the voltage being halved, no?

I'm not sure what sort of driver is used in these.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:24 PM #7
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Default Re: (VIDEO ADDED) My 16340 Conundrum

I buy my batteries from a german site so I can't help you with that where to buy your batteries

BUT I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS SITE : AkkuDB to check what your batteries are capable of I always chose my batteries this way

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Old 08-28-2013, 10:36 PM #8
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Default Re: (VIDEO ADDED) My 16340 Conundrum

AW cells will fix that issue, I'm pretty sure. If you have a multimeter, try measuring your battery's voltage as it discharges. I bet you see it drop instantly, and decrease quickly on those 16340s.

3V RCR123 are usually use a diode or two to drop the extra voltage, just like how we use diodes to drop voltage to simulate a laser diode load.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:16 PM #9
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Default Re: (VIDEO ADDED) My 16340 Conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by KapHn8d View Post
As an aside, this laser will run steadily around 500mW on a single 18650. Just a datapoint...

Sorta makes sense given the voltage being halved, no?

I'm not sure what sort of driver is used in these.
What do you mean it will run on a single 18650 but not on two 3.V RCR123? and yet will run briefly on two 16340! That doesn't make any sense at all. Are you sure that laser isn't supposed to run on just one 18650 instead of two batteries? Exactly what model laser is this? I think DTR may be correct, there is more at work here than just low quality batteries.

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Old 08-28-2013, 11:23 PM #10
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Default Re: (VIDEO ADDED) My 16340 Conundrum

If a laser has a buck/boost type driver, it can run on different voltage. the only example I can think of is the jetlasers PL-E mechanical (not the pros though). these can run on 1X 26650, 1X 18650 with sleeve, 2X 16340 with sleeve (or 18350), and with an expansion tube 2X26650 or 2X 18650 (with two sleeves)
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Last edited by Shakenawake; 08-30-2013 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:37 PM #11
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Default Re: (VIDEO ADDED) My 16340 Conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakenawake View Post
If a laser has a buck/boost type driver, it can run on different voltage. the only example I can think of is the jetlasers PL-E pro and mechanical. these can run on 1X 26650, 1X 18650 with sleeve, 2X 16340 with sleeve (or 18350), and with an expansion tube 2X26650 or 2X 18650 (with two sleeves)
It may have a boost driver. He's talking about a laserbtb group buy, I was just looking at their site and it sounds like he has one of these:
PL 532nm 100-700
it says in the specs it uses one 18650. I may be wrong but it could be a possible explanation for the problem.

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Old 08-29-2013, 02:45 AM #12
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Default Re: (VIDEO ADDED) My 16340 Conundrum

Kevin from laserbtb informed me via email that it runs on 2x 16340's as is indicated on the host. I just tried a single 18650 to see if it would work. It isn't long enough (and I don't have an expansion) to run 2x 18650's and it isn't wide enough to fit a 26650. The correct battery configuration is 2x 16340's... just not the ones I bought. The 3v RCR123's will not sustain enough power to lase in this unit. Apparently there is a 3W 808nm IR laser inside pumping the crystals (per Kevin).
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:25 PM #13
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Default Re: (VIDEO ADDED) My 16340 Conundrum

go buy IMR 16340's like DTR said i have them and you cant go wrong with them.

They are the best 16340's period They can discharge extremely fast so make sure you dont short them!

greetings,,

EDIT: you wont see the riple then. I have had the same. A 500mW model that did 1W peak and 900mW steady average with IMR's and bounced all over the place with ultrafire's

Also the high capacity 18650's i've tested also worked fine..
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Last edited by offroadfreak8582; 08-29-2013 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:06 PM #14
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Default Re: (VIDEO ADDED) My 16340 Conundrum

After ordering some AW RCR123a Protected 750 mAh Batteries recommending in this thread, I've awakened the beast. I ran a few short LPM sequences and got a nice sorta-smooth operation that is definitely sustained above the rated 700mW. I limited this to 90 seconds because I could feel some slight warmth building in the host and I felt it was sufficient to confirm these batteries are legit. I'm not sure what the actual duty cycle is on this unit per the manufacturer or what the implications are of overheating it, so better safe than sorry.

Thanks for the recommendations and comments here and I hope this post serves to steer folks looking for 16340's in the right direction when it pops up on searches.

Cheers!!

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405nm >> Skylasers PL405 500mW, overspec generic pen 70mW
445nm >> Blord 3W Dominator
460nm >> laserBtB 50mW pen
473nm >> Jet Lasers PL-E Pro 10-30mW
488nm >> Uniphase 2214-40MLA Cyllindrical Argon Ion
515nm >> Skylasers HL515 30mW
520nm >> Skylasers HL520 50mW
532nm >> Skylasers PL532 700mW, CNI 532nm GLP
543.5nm >> JDS Uniphase HeNe
589nm >> DL Spartan 50mW
632.8nm >> JDS Uniphase HeNe
638nm >> Blord 501B 200mW
650nm >> generic pen 4mW
650nm >> Skylasers HL650 300mW
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Last edited by KapHn8d; 08-30-2013 at 03:07 PM. Reason: added link
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:05 PM #15
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Default Re: 16340 Conundrum SOLVED and the BEAST is awake!

Awesome now you can truly enjoy your 532

IMR cells for the win! (They also are great for other high powered builds!)
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:42 PM #16
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Default Re: 16340 Conundrum SOLVED and the BEAST is awake!

umm, he got these:AW RCR123a Protected 750 mAh Battery

not these:AW IMR16340 550 mAh IMR CR123 size LiMN Rechargeable Lithium Battery

glad to help, glad that I actually picked some that others like too.
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