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Can I Use x2 CR123As Instead of x2 16340s?

Snecho

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Hello everyone.

So this will be my first "real" post after weeks of reading and searching stuff around the site. :)

I've also decided on my first, also "real" laser. It's 445nm @1.6W and takes two 16340 batteries.

Now I know all the names for these kinds of batteries get thrown around a lot. (CR123A, RCR123A, 16340..etc)
In reality, CR123As are primary, non-rechargeable cells that put out 3V consistently, while 16340s (AKA RCR123As but whatever) are rechargeable 3.7V nominal and 4.2V full batteries the same size as CR123As. With this, there is an absolute smorgasbord of confusion as to if one can use them interchangeably. I searched around a couple hours but couldn't find a relevant answer.

So I was looking for insight if it would be in the realm of possibility to use two CR123A primary cells instead of the two 16340s they "recommend." That would mean the laser would get 6V instead of an implied ~8V to 8.4V.
 
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absolute

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That is solely dependant on the driver in the laser. I will assume it uses a buck converter: higher voltage in (8V) > lower voltage out (about 4,5 to 5V for 445 diodes). Most of those will keep working as long as the input voltage remains higher than the output voltage, and 6V is higher than 5V so it's worth a try.
On the other hand, why not get a couple of 16340 and recharge them? It'll save you in the long run.
 

Snecho

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That is solely dependant on the driver in the laser. I will assume it uses a buck converter: higher voltage in (8V) > lower voltage out (about 4,5 to 5V for 445 diodes). Most of those will keep working as long as the input voltage remains higher than the output voltage, and 6V is higher than 5V so it's worth a try.
On the other hand, why not get a couple of 16340 and recharge them? It'll save you in the long run.
Thanks!

I do plan on getting some 16340s hopefully. I just wanted to learn a bit about the compatibility of CR123As. 🍻
 

paul1598419

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You can get by using CR123 batteries with buck or linear drivers as long as the forward voltage of your diode is below ~5 volts for two batteries. I have some that I've used in a pinch to see that my build works while waiting for 16340s to arrive.
 

Snecho

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You can get by using CR123 batteries with buck or linear drivers as long as the forward voltage of your diode is below ~5 volts for two batteries. I have some that I've used in a pinch to see that my build works while waiting for 16340s to arrive.
Thanks Paul! Sounds like 123s would be fine to use in a pinch. I was wondering though, considering it looks like a buck driver, would the output power change depending on the batteries used?
 

paul1598419

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As long as you're not pulling more than 2 amps it shouldn't. I have used them with 1.8 amp drivers just fine.
 




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