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Old 01-11-11, 06:26 AM   #1
sknhgy 
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Local source for 18650's and others

Thought this might be of interest. Looks like they carry a wide variety of batteries. I haven't been to a store yet but I will soon.

http://www.batteriesplus.com/
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Old 01-11-11, 10:16 AM   #2
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Hobby shops that cater to RC cars and such should have them too.
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Old 01-11-11, 10:24 AM   #3
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I've checked them before - if you look, all the packs are for specific power tools and low capacity (2200mah). No plain cells either. Someday maybe, but not yet.
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Old 01-11-11, 11:06 AM   #4
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Not likely ever. Li-Ion cells, like the18650, are not consumer cells. They have no real use by themselves; only made up into application specific batteries. Batteriesplus sells things to end users, not to people making batteries. If you want battery making parts, buy them from someone who sells battery making parts. Don't be surprised that you can't find one locally, either.
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Old 01-11-11, 01:27 PM   #5
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Not likely ever. Li-Ion cells, like the18650, are not consumer cells. They have no real use by themselves
Really? So what about my several flashlights that take 18650 cells? They fit in like slightly oversized AA batteries, no big deal.

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Hobby shops that cater to RC cars and such should have them too.
Have you ever seen one for sale there? I like R/C planes as much as I like bicycles, and I've never seen an 18650 cell for sale at the hobby shop.

In fact, they don't have loose LiPo cells for sale at all -- just complete LiPo packs. They do have a few loose NiCd cells, however -- but just a few meant for making your own pack.

I don't think 18650 cells will tolerate the high discharge rates (10C+, works out to 25+ amps) that R/Cers are looking for anyways, so they'd be a poor choice for making power packs. (They might be OK for RX or TX packs, however.)

A few years ago we were buying power tool packs to pull out the emoli cells. Their high discharge rate performance was inferior, but they were so cheap compared to the better cells that we did it anyways. And I'd expect these to be a lot better than 18650 cells just based on their shape -- short and fat tends to work better than longer and skinnier.

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Old 01-11-11, 02:22 PM   #6
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Have you ever seen one for sale there? I like R/C planes as much as I like bicycles, and I've never seen an 18650 cell for sale at the hobby shop.
Yes, I have. All the local hobby shops carry them, as well as a hunting a fishing supply store that sells high zoot flashlights.
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Old 01-11-11, 04:29 PM   #7
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Really? So what about my several flashlights that take 18650 cells? They fit in like slightly oversized AA batteries, no big deal.
\
Sold, by the manufacturer, specifically as supporting 18650 cells? By someone with a US presence?
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Old 01-12-11, 02:37 PM   #8
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Sold, by the manufacturer, specifically as supporting 18650 cells? By someone with a US presence?
This "US presence" requirement is new, but beyond that ... yes. Where have you been?

All the 18650 (Cree, P7, etc.) flashlights that we're so fond of for use as bike lights in this forum ... what sort of batteries do you think they take?

(And yes, stores with a "US presence" do sell such lights as well. I imagine that most if not all of the lights in question were made in China, but you can buy them from US vendors if you want.)
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Old 01-13-11, 06:22 AM   #9
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Not likely ever. Li-Ion cells, like the18650, are not consumer cells. They have no real use by themselves; only made up into application specific batteries. Batteriesplus sells things to end users, not to people making batteries. If you want battery making parts, buy them from someone who sells battery making parts. Don't be surprised that you can't find one locally, either.
^ This. I've been to the Batteries Plus in Elgin, Illinois. They don't and probably won't carry any individual Li Ion cells. If they do have them, they are specifically manufactured into battery pack replacements for laptops, etc. They don't even carry any chargers for them. They do however have some decent Nimh batteries and chargers and about every kind of specialty battery available. I talked at length with the guys working there. In order for them to carry Li Ion, they have to be licensed and permitted which is very expensive (close to $10K in IL). The foot traffic I've seen at the retail store on 3 visits was less than a Radio Shack store, so it would take a long time to amortize that kind of investment. We don't have the extensive winter night riding community here in Northern Illinois that would support the traffic needed - maybe you guys in Southern states do. Too much cold, wind and snow/ice right now.
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Old 01-13-11, 11:12 AM   #10
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Not likely ever. Li-Ion cells, like the18650, are not consumer cells. They have no real use by themselves; only made up into application specific batteries.
I should also mention that most cell phones use a single LiPo or Li-ion cell -- therefore they're technically a cell rather than a battery (which is a collection of cells.)

You could argue that the protective circuitry makes it into a consumer product -- but if so, the 18650 cells sold for flashlights typically have a protective circuit as well.

Ultimately, I disagree with your point here -- at least some of the 18650 "batteries" certainly are are consumer "cells", intended for end-users to charge and use on their own. Now, they may only be commonly used in flashlights, and they may be relatively rare, rare enough that it doesn't make sense for places like Batteries Plus to stock them (especially considering that LiPo/LiIon cells degrade over time, even if not used) -- but that doesn't mean they're not sold as consumer cells.

Also, about the hobby shop having 18650 cells -- I've looked into this a bit, and it seems that A123 does sell some cells in a 18650 form factor. A123 cells are used for R/C use, but they have a different chemistry than the LiPo and LiIon cells we may be used to. In particular, LiPo batteries (including 18650s) are charged up to 4.2 volts, and you stop using it at around 3.3 volts or so. A123 cells are charged up to 3.6 volts, and you stop using them at 3.0 volts or so. In both cases, they call them "3.6 volt cells" -- but one gives the charge voltage, and the other the nominal voltage.

So if you put your A123 cell into your flashlight, it would work, but probably cut off faster than expected. And if you put your A123 cell into your LiPo charger, your charger would probably ruin it.

(I think the A123 cells may just be LiFePO4 -- which is often used in electric bicycles as well. Which is fine, but with somewhat different voltages you have to be careful about charging them, and the application that uses them as well.)
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Old 01-13-11, 01:08 PM   #11
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Lowes sells them in my part of the world. Beside the Surefire flashlights.
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