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Old 07-18-2010, 02:31 AM #1
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Question Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

I'm interested in getting some lithium rechargeable batteries for my various lasers for a couple reasons:

1) Cost - over time rechargeables will be much cheaper
2) AAA alkalines just can't handle the current needed for some of my lasers (specifically the green modules)

I'm planning on getting some 18650's as well as 18500's for the flashlights I have that can't fit the 18650's. I was wondering if protected li-ion batteries are worth the extra money and the bigger size. I don't mind paying extra if they are recommended, but I would like to know if size is an issue if the non-protected ones are suitable for use in homemade lasers.

Thanks in advance,
--Awlego


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Old 07-18-2010, 02:36 AM #2
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

Protected batteries are definitely worth it. Though it kind of depends on what protection features they have. On top of the safety features like overcharge protection etc, get a battery that has undervoltage cut off as well. It'll keep you from killing your batteries by running them down to far.

I'd recommend a good charger too... not the cheap $10 chinese ones.. Your batteries will live longer. Though if you use unprotected batteries, a quality charger that actually cuts off at the proper voltage is imperative. Keep in mind these batteries can EXPLODE if not treated correctly..

Batteries and chargers are bad places to cut costs on builds when your using rechargable lithiums.
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:04 AM #3
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

Yeah I completely agree with exploding batteries being a bad thing. I'm planning on getting a charger that has automatic adjusts power to cut off at the correct time and won't charge over-discharged batteries. It also can handle both protected and non-protected batteries.

My one remaining question is: are non-protected batteries okay if size is a problem with the protected ones?

I plan on getting both, but one of my hosts doesn't have room for the extra few mm in the protected version and wanted to know if it would be okay or if I needed to find a smaller protected battery.

-Awlego
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:38 AM #4
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

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Originally Posted by awlego View Post
Yeah I completely agree with exploding batteries being a bad thing. I'm planning on getting a charger that has automatic adjusts power to cut off at the correct time and won't charge over-discharged batteries. It also can handle both protected and non-protected batteries.

My one remaining question is: are non-protected batteries okay if size is a problem with the protected ones?

I plan on getting both, but one of my hosts doesn't have room for the extra few mm in the protected version and wanted to know if it would be okay or if I needed to find a smaller protected battery.

-Awlego
The most inherent danger is overcharging, which, if your charger has built-in protection, there's minimal risk there.

Unprotected are fine really. Just be careful not to over discharge them or they won't work anymore. You can usually see, depending on the device, that it will stop operating properly (i.e. lower output). Unless there's a boost driver involved, then there's no telling 'til it's too late. Just check them with a multimeter every once in a while to make sure they're not getting too low.
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:43 AM #5
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

Any chance I could get a link to the charger you're looking into? I've been looking for nice 18650 and cr123 chargers, and even just getting a brand would be helpful :P
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:55 AM #6
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

I think the Pila IBC is probably one of the best chargers around. However, at $50, it's also one of the more expensive.
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:02 AM #7
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

Here's the charger I was looking at.

Ultrafire WF-139 Charger for 14500 / 17500 / 18500 / 18650 / RCR123 3.7 volt Lithium Battery Charger

And thanks for the advice everyone
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:52 AM #8
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Exclamation Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

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Originally Posted by awlego View Post
Yeah I completely agree with exploding batteries being a bad thing. I'm planning on getting a charger that has automatic adjusts power to cut off at the correct time and won't charge over-discharged batteries. It also can handle both protected and non-protected batteries.

My one remaining question is: are non-protected batteries okay if size is a problem with the protected ones?

I plan on getting both, but one of my hosts doesn't have room for the extra few mm in the protected version and wanted to know if it would be okay or if I needed to find a smaller protected battery.

-Awlego
A few years ago I had a close call with a RCR132A li-ion cell, it was a non-protected cell for a flashlight. Upon charging after 2 months of use it got hot in the charger and burst catastrophically into a pretty sheet of orange and red/pink flames. Luckily I was in the room at the time and threw the flaming charger and the battery out the window and out onto the back lawn where it smoldered. I suspect the battery was faulty and either not sealed properly or it discharged below 3.0v.... either which way that was the last non-protected cell I ever bought.
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:07 PM #9
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by awlego View Post
Here's the charger I was looking at.

Ultrafire WF-139 Charger for 14500 / 17500 / 18500 / 18650 / RCR123 3.7 volt Lithium Battery Charger

And thanks for the advice everyone
If you use the wf-139 then definitely use protected batteries, they've been known to overcharge batteries.
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:18 PM #10
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

The problem, for me anyway is that the protection circuits do not #%$-ing work! I've had to remove all of them to get my batteries working.
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:07 PM #11
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

Might help if you posted the type and manufacturer of your batteries. All are not created equal after all, and it's kind of another one of those 'you get what you pay for' things.

Like I said in a previous post. Batteries and chargers aren't really the best place to skimp on costs. And actually buying good batteries with 'actual' protection circuits will save you in the long run since they'll last a heck of a lot longer, charge cycle wise.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:50 PM #12
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

DealExtreme: $8.01 TrustFire Protected 18650 Lithium Battery (2500mAh 2-Pack Blue)
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:03 PM #13
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

Buy from LarryDFW. His batteries are top notch and prices are awesome.
Sanyo #18650 Batteries & Chargers <<<< link
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:06 PM #14
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

The reviews of that one don't look so hot there. The old ones seem ok, but it looks like the new ones suck.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:17 AM #15
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

I ordered from Larry, and can't wait for them to arrive. I'm still enjoying his ar coated for red lens I bought last year. Thanks Larry

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Old 07-19-2010, 04:16 PM #16
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Default Re: Protected vs Non-protected Li-ion Batteries

Yeah, I don't like batteries with "fire" in the name. Only one I have is a 17670, since it was a weird size. I stick with name brands for those.
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