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Old 02-22-2012, 06:01 PM #1
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Default Question about when to stop using rechargables

Oksy so I have ordered a bunch of rechargable 16340 and 18650 batteries but I understand that they are not protected cells. I want to make sure that I am using them safely and not running them too far down. Can anyone tell me how to judge when they need to be recharged?

My flashlight will automatically switch to strobe when the cells get low so that works there but how do I tell with a laser?

Thanks


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Old 02-22-2012, 06:14 PM #2
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Default Re: Question about when to stop using rechargables

What I do is charge a battery initially to 4.2v... after that use it in a laser, and as I'm using it, occasional pop it out to check it... once it falls to ~3.1v time to recharge.

After you do this you will know that let's say ~20 minutes of use of battery A in laser B = depleted battery, so you will be able to estimate when you need to recharge your cells.

Often if I'm unsure and lazy I'll just drop the batteries into my charge to top them off, but that's a lazier and worse approach.

Edit: You need a multimeter obviously You can grab one from any electronics store, or online.

Last edited by InfinitusEquitas; 02-22-2012 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:04 PM #3
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Default Re: Question about when to stop using rechargables

I don't use the protected cells as the protection circuit can get in the way on some heave discharges
like trying to feed dual driver set-ups.

I charge my cells up before using them then when ever I use my laser when I'm finished using it I
take the cells out and charge them, not necessary to wait till you think they might need charging.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:09 PM #4
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Default Re: Question about when to stop using rechargables

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaminpyro View Post
I charge my cells up before using them then when ever I use my laser when I'm finished using it I
take the cells out and charge them, not nessary to wait till you think they might need charging.
I was always under the impression that it's best to at least somewhat discharge the batteries before, charging them again?

I guess the better question is, with these batteries, is there any memory effect, or detriment from not fully discharging, and recharging?
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:11 PM #5
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Default Re: Question about when to stop using rechargables

There is no memory effect with Lipo cells

That was true with NiCad cells, they needed to be discharged
but not the Lipo's they are the bomb

No deterrent from not fully discharging a Lipo before charging it.
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Last edited by Flaminpyro; 02-22-2012 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:14 PM #6
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Default Re: Question about when to stop using rechargables

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaminpyro View Post
There is no memory effect with Lipo cells

That was true with Cad cells that they needed to be discharged
but no Lipo's they are the bomb
That's good to know

Means I haven't really been abusing my batteries
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:20 PM #7
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Default Re: Question about when to stop using rechargables

would this work for checking the voltage of my batts?

Protable Universal Battery Tester Volt Meter for 9V 1.5V and AA AAA Cell | eBay
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:29 PM #8
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Default Re: Question about when to stop using rechargables

In theory it should, but you're better off just getting a decent multimeter.

Edit... with a couple of leads it would work... in theory, I just don't trust cheap stuff like that.

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Old 02-23-2012, 05:35 PM #9
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Default Re: Question about when to stop using rechargables

Quote:
Originally Posted by khurrle View Post
would this work for checking the voltage of my batts?

Protable Universal Battery Tester Volt Meter for 9V 1.5V and AA AAA Cell | eBay
NO. The test point for 9 volts is not where you check your battery. You mite overload the meter at 1.5 volt spot.
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Last edited by n2stuff; 02-23-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:33 PM #10
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Default Re: Question about when to stop using rechargables

Quote:
Originally Posted by khurrle View Post
would this work for checking the voltage of my batts?

Protable Universal Battery Tester Volt Meter for 9V 1.5V and AA AAA Cell | eBay
This Battery Tester is only for 1.5 and 9 volt batteries.

If is for use with the batteries that you name in your first post (16340 and
18650 3.7volt) the answer is no, the voltage is different.

If is for use with primary bateries (non rechargeable) of 1.5 volt and 9 volt
and secondary 9 Volt (rechargeable), yes, if this model is reliable.

If is for use with secondary batteries (rechargeable) of 1,2 volt, you may
have erroneous results because the voltage is different, and the tester can
consider as the low power battery.

With a multimeter, especially if it is digital, it is not advisable to check the
batteries olone because they may indicate that a battery can have a proper
voltage or near, and still be in poor condition because it is unable to provide
sufficient current and voltage when is in use in the device, laser or other for example.

The best way to do is to measure the battery voltage while the equipment is
running, when the battery is in load.

Last edited by piferal; 02-23-2012 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:53 PM #11
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Default Re: Question about when to stop using rechargables

yeah, Ill just buy a regular voltmeter at the hardware store
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:16 PM #12
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Default Re: Question about when to stop using rechargables

You can get an inexpensive voltmeter at your local Harbor Freight. I have on of these


(on sale right now)
and it is pretty accurate on DC voltage. I compared the reading to my Fluke and it was within .01
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