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  1. #1
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    I tried to source 18650 cells locally...

    but came up short . It doesn't look like Interstate Batteries, Batteries Plus, or even Radio Shack has them. I could get rechargeable Ni-Cads or even SLA, but was wanting to get into the Li-Ions...

    I have issues with ordering online now, since I now longer have any credit cards and only using the debit card tied directly to the checking account. Got burned on a car rental once and have been leery ever since.
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  2. #2
    Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz cc700's Avatar
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    get a new account for free at a big bank like boa. they suck, but if you're careful with your accounting you'll never have a high liability.

    there are no ways to get 18650's locally that i know of, unless you can convince someone to stock them and i'm pretty sure there are no dealers that are really legal for us distribution. you have to mail order.

  3. #3
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    If there is one nearby try a police and security equipment supply store as a possibility. 18650 batteries are almost exclusively used in high intensity LED flashlights so far as I know. A *** store also might have a source they could order from if they carry tactical flashlights for *** attachment.

    I use my debit card for Amazon purchases and have not had a problem. Amazon does have them.
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    Just some guy, you know?
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    I know someone who got a paypall account, and tied their checking account to that for just this reason - more security when online shopping.

    You can also get a pre-paid debit card from some lending institutions, then you only put on how much you want,.. and your main checking account is safe.

    Whiskey

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    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Where are you going to get the light? Isn't that just as much of a problem?

    There's a local batteries store near where I live. They didn't stock 18650s, but said they could order them. I decided to order online so I would know more about the quality I was getting.

  6. #6
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Most grocery stores sell prepaid credit cards and you buy one with 50.00 or 100.00 on them.. 18650 cells cannot be bought at any store, most hobby stores sell the wrong style of 18650's which are more oriented to building battery packs..

    Lighthound has as a payment option - money orders.

    http://www.lighthound.com
    Last edited by socalrider; 12-03-10 at 12:53 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    but came up short . It doesn't look like Interstate Batteries, Batteries Plus, or even Radio Shack has them. I could get rechargeable Ni-Cads or even SLA, but was wanting to get into the Li-Ions...

    I have issues with ordering online now, since I now longer have any credit cards and only using the debit card tied directly to the checking account. Got burned on a car rental once and have been leery ever since.
    Open a Paypal account or use your debit card. I've never had a credit card in my life and I buy online frequently.

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    I tried to obtain them locally too and was unsuccessful. There seems to be no US distributor for them. I wonder if it is a liability thing. Maybe no us distributor is willing to take on the liability of a "vent with flame" incident.

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    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPMacG View Post
    I tried to obtain them locally too and was unsuccessful. There seems to be no US distributor for them. I wonder if it is a liability thing. Maybe no us distributor is willing to take on the liability of a "vent with flame" incident.
    More likely it's the fact that the market is tiny. Try a hobby shop that sells RC cars and such, they should have them.

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    Here are A123 LiFe nano phosphate cells in an 18650 package:
    http://www.radicalrc.com/category/A123-Cells-Packs-199

  11. #11
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPMacG View Post
    Here are A123 LiFe nano phosphate cells in an 18650 package:
    http://www.radicalrc.com/category/A123-Cells-Packs-199
    I'm a bit confused here.

    1. I don't really recall the periodic table (didn't take physics), but doesn't LiFe equate to Lithium Iron? And how does that differ from the Li-Ion cells that virtually all of these high powered LED flashlights use?

    2. Not an electrical engineer either, but the LiFe cells you linked to have 1100 mah. Aren't most of the Li-Ion cells easily double that- 2600, 2900, and above?
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    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    1. I don't really recall the periodic table (didn't take physics), but doesn't LiFe equate to Lithium Iron? And how does that differ from the Li-Ion cells that virtually all of these high powered LED flashlights use?
    It's a type of Li-ion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium...sphate_battery

    2. Not an electrical engineer either, but the LiFe cells you linked to have 1100 mah. Aren't most of the Li-Ion cells easily double that- 2600, 2900, and above?
    For one, you can dump 30-60 amps from these batteries, while flashlight 18650s are limited closer to 3 or 4 amps. Maybe that just requires more of a tradeoff with lithium batteries than it does with NiCd/NiMH.

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    Yes, different chemistry and different capacity. But they are the same package and similar voltage to Li poly, so I suspect they will work in a flashlight.

  14. #14
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    I am one who is going to stick with cells with a proven track record.. The last thing you want is to try something new, you hear the sizzle and POOF the light is toast..

  15. #15
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    3.3v at 1100 mah can have two effects. It will give less than an hour of run time even for a low current draw emmiter led such as a XP-G R5 at 1.5 amps. The second issue might be the lower nominal voltage at 3.3v. Some higher power emitter led might result in a much dimmer light than anticipated depending on the forward voltage requirement. Also it may use a different charger which may not work for 3.7v LiIo battery if you decide to use those later on.

    no1mad, I think Money order is your best option. Use that to get the better battery from lighthound as socalrider suggested. Email Bryan at Shiningbeam to see if he accept money order which I think he does on a small order. If so, you can get your light from him. Shiningbeam also sell 18650 and charger. You have to type in 18650 in the search box at his web page.
    Last edited by colleen c; 12-10-10 at 09:16 AM.
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  16. #16
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    here are two types of Lithium Iron cells apparently so be sure of what you are getting.

    Common Lithium Iron cells are NOT the same as Lithium Ions. Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA and AAA cells are lithium iron technology and are 1.5V nominal non rechargeable batteries. Very good cold weather performance and high output voltage during life compared to Alkaline cells as well as a very long shelf life. Expensive though for disposable batteries.

    I am not familiar with the Lithium Iron Phosphate cell but from the Wikipedia article it is a lower voltage than the common rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries used in most rechargeable bike lights. I would presume from the listed voltages that they would require a dedicated charger too as the listed charging voltage is lower than for Lithium Ion cells.

    There are multiple Lithium battery technologies out there, both primary cells and rechargeable. Voltage outputs vary from about 1.5V nominal under load to 3.7V. Be sure of what you are buying and do not mix chargers for specific types as some Lithiums can explode or burn if incorrectly handled.
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  17. #17
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
    Common Lithium Iron cells are NOT the same as Lithium Ions. Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA and AAA cells are lithium iron technology and are 1.5V nominal non rechargeable batteries. Very good cold weather performance and high output voltage during life compared to Alkaline cells as well as a very long shelf life. Expensive though for disposable batteries.
    Actually, the nominal voltage of Lithium Iron cells is 1.75. The natural voltage of the electrolyte is something like 1.93V - a chemical is added to lessen it to a safer 1.75V. However, the voltage has a tendency to steep on them when they just sit around. They have a shelf life of around 10 years, which is nice, but obviously comes into conflict with the steeping.

    I have some cheap Chinese ones (perhaps redundant) which measure over 1.9V out of the package a year later. Care should be used with these because something that takes 4 cells can end up seriously over volted - you can be feeding it nearly 8V when it expects 6V. They fried a number of digicams when they first came out - I think most cams allow for them now.

    And yea, they are pretty expensive.
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  18. #18
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    Plutonix;

    Per the technical specs PDF from Eveready their Lithium Iron cells drop to between 1.5 and 1.6V very quickly once placed under any real load.

    One new technology rechargeable cell that some devices do not like due to excessive voltage is the new Nickel Zinc battery. They have about the same voltage output as your Chinese lithium Iron ones but for longer after being put under load I understand. Also lower energy density than most current Nimh batteries.
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    My personal opinion is that I don't want loose lithium ion 18650 cells in my house because of the possible fire hazard. I don't like the idea of having lithium ion cells that are the standard AA size and could accidentally be placed in a charger intended for nickel cells. Sure the lithium ion cells have protective circuitry, but how reliable is the protection? Given their country of origin, I worry.

    The 18650 sized A123 chemistry cells can not ever "vent with flame". They are approximately the same voltage as lithium ion cells (3.3 V versus 3.7 V I think). They might play in a LED flashlight, particularly one of the flashlights that is designed to operate either from one 18650 lithium ion cell or two AA NiMH cells. But, the A123s are expensive, their capacity is less than half of a lithium ion 18650, and they require a different charger.

    I'm sticking with Eneloop NiMH cells for my bike lights for now. I just offered up the A123 18650s as an item of interest.

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    BTW, the A123 LiFe nano phosphate cells that I mention are not the same chemistry as Eveready lithium iron cells. The nominal voltage on the A123 chemistry is about 3.3.

  21. #21
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
    Per the technical specs PDF from Eveready their Lithium Iron cells drop to between 1.5 and 1.6V very quickly once placed under any real load.
    The Chinese ones are supposed to be 1.5V with a peak of 1.72V and quickly drop off to ~1.6V under load. I just played with some last week and after a year of sitting around, they were something around 1.9V and didnt drop off all that quickly.

    They are about 2 years old, so better buffering agents may have been developed and US products subject to litigation are likely even better.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPMacG View Post
    My personal opinion is that I don't want loose lithium ion 18650 cells in my house because of the possible fire hazard. I don't like the idea of having lithium ion cells that are the standard AA size and could accidentally be placed in a charger intended for nickel cells. Sure the lithium ion cells have protective circuitry, but how reliable is the protection? Given their country of origin, I worry.

    The 18650 sized A123 chemistry cells can not ever "vent with flame". They are approximately the same voltage as lithium ion cells (3.3 V versus 3.7 V I think). They might play in a LED flashlight, particularly one of the flashlights that is designed to operate either from one 18650 lithium ion cell or two AA NiMH cells. But, the A123s are expensive, their capacity is less than half of a lithium ion 18650, and they require a different charger.

    I'm sticking with Eneloop NiMH cells for my bike lights for now. I just offered up the A123 18650s as an item of interest.
    Not sure where you are getting your info. 18650 cells are much bigger than AA cells, you cannot place an 18650 cell in a AA charger. This idea that 18650 cells are just sitting around waiting to burst into flames is way overblown. I have been using them for years with no issues, I have at least 600+ hours on the road using these types of lights. Consider all the banging and bouncing while you ride and no problems yet..

    You will find that people that have had issues with the venting w/ flame are either using very cheap cells or a very cheap charger.. Stick with name brand from known sellers and you will be fine.

    There are so many devices we use day in and out that utilize 18650 cells and problems with them are extremely rare.

  23. #23
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    I've got 18 loose 18650 cell which are AW, Ultrafire red, and Ultrafire blue in the house. I also got 2 MS battery pack at home and 4 loose 18650 cell at work. If I count those up, that is a total of 30 18650 cell. I've never had problem with any of the cell beside whatever issue that are currently involve with the MS packs. Been using them almost a year now.

    Most problem with 18650 cell occurs during charging of a cell that has been discharge beyond safe limit. Single cell light are not too much of an issue since most user will notice a dimming of the light output and change the battery anyway before the battery gets too low. A battery pack is a different can of worms since a single cell can drop below the safe SOC volt limit and when the user tries to recharge the pack, it may vent. Packs are harder to detect if there is a failing cell if the wiring configuration has a combination of series/parallel. User of 18650 cell can store there loose cell in fire resistant container just for safety reassurance. I put my in 3/4 pvc tube with one end cap off and thee other end has a screw on cap with a hole in the cap in case of venting.

    Honestly speaking, I'll be much more worried about buying cheap non OEM LiIon battery replacement for laptop and charging that than I would with a quality single cell 18650.
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  24. #24
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiskey View Post
    I know someone who got a paypall account, and tied their checking account to that for just this reason - more security when online shopping
    And when someone compromise the paypal account your checking gets cleaned out. But the thing is there it's a LOT harder to get your $ back from Paypal than it is from a bank, because Paypal isn't bound by the same federal regulations that say they have to make it good...

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    If there is a computer repair shop near you see if you can buy the old battery packs. The batteries inside are most likely 18650's.

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