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Old 07-04-14, 03:00 PM   #1
mattant
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Warning to anyone with Cree headlamps

Just a warning to anyone running Cree headlamps, had the charger plugged in with it not charging anything and noticed today it's melted a big hole into the side:





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Old 07-04-14, 03:14 PM   #2
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Cree didn't make that charger. Cree makes just the emitter within the lamp, not even the driving electronics for it.

What you have there is a crappy Chinese charger sourced by whoever made the light. Nothing to do with Cree.

This warning would be just as appropriate for people with cell phones - those chargers can catch fire as well.

This warning is akin to saying "Warning, anyone who has a car with a Motorcraft air cleaner under the hood - mine does and last night the flashlight in my glove compartment caught fire."
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Old 07-04-14, 03:39 PM   #3
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Name and shame the seller please.
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Old 07-04-14, 03:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Cree didn't make that charger. Cree makes just the emitter within the lamp, not even the driving electronics for it.

What you have there is a crappy Chinese charger sourced by whoever made the light. Nothing to do with Cree.

This warning would be just as appropriate for people with cell phones - those chargers can catch fire as well.

This warning is akin to saying "Warning, anyone who has a car with a Motorcraft air cleaner under the hood - mine does and last night the flashlight in my glove compartment caught fire."
True, but this is what comes with them (in the UK anyway)

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Name and shame the seller please.
sjmalistock2008 on eBay already told them
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Old 07-04-14, 03:59 PM   #5
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If you have a national electrical safety body notify them too. That thing likely isn't safety tested and can burn someone's house down.
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Old 07-04-14, 04:21 PM   #6
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This is actually the LED emitter. The rest is Chinese mfg.




Yep, this is just another Chinese seller that dumps this stuff worldwide. Just look at the grammar on the site:

  • Output bright can come to max
  • Internal wiring applies the high efficient booster circuit, working voltage is wide and can utilize the batteries in the largest extent.
  • Waterproofing design
  • Strong Brightness / Normal Brightness / Flashing
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CREE XM-L TX EMITTER.jpg (23.1 KB, 2 views)
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Old 07-04-14, 04:55 PM   #7
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Along with what RoadTire listed, there's this little gem

. "If the item comes direct from a manufacturer, it may be delivered in non-retail packaging, such as a plain or unprinted box or plastic bag".

Now you have no idea who actually made the thing.
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Old 07-05-14, 04:01 AM   #8
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Just adding my two cents to what the others said; When it comes to cheap electronics, ( IMO ) it is not unusual for the charger to go up first. Some localities have big time voltage swings off of their main grid. Not unusual to see cheap electronics taken out by voltage surges. I've had chargers and other more expensive appliances go up due to voltage surges. It happens. This is why I always suggest doing the following: Never charge batteries when there is not someone present ( who understands the danger ) to watch over things...AND....use a surge protector on all electronics that operate or charge off of line-voltage.
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Old 07-05-14, 08:42 AM   #9
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It is a UK plug for 220v mains, not US/CDN 110v.


Electric Teakettles come to a boil quicker, over there.
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Old 07-05-14, 09:56 AM   #10
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I too need to replace chargers.

I'm in the US.

Anyone have recommendations for a good charger for these 4x1650 battery packs, also will they work with the 4x2650 or the 6x1650?

While I'm at it, one battery pack is discharging faster, need longer runtime anyway.
Is it better to get 6x1650 or 4x2650? And are some better then others? If so any recommended?
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Old 07-05-14, 09:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
Just adding my two cents to what the others said; When it comes to cheap electronics, ( IMO ) it is not unusual for the charger to go up first. Some localities have big time voltage swings off of their main grid. Not unusual to see cheap electronics taken out by voltage surges. I've had chargers and other more expensive appliances go up due to voltage surges. It happens. This is why I always suggest doing the following: Never charge batteries when there is not someone present ( who understands the danger ) to watch over things...AND....use a surge protector on all electronics that operate or charge off of line-voltage.
+1 Add to that place the charger on a non-flamable surface, away from other flammables like curtains. If the battery holder/charger goes it won't burn what it's sitting on, and if the batteries go they might not light the walls on fire.
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Old 07-05-14, 10:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
I too need to replace chargers.

I'm in the US.

Anyone have recommendations for a good charger for these 4x1650 battery packs, also will they work with the 4x2650 or the 6x1650?

While I'm at it, one battery pack is discharging faster, need longer runtime anyway.
Is it better to get 6x1650 or 4x2650? And are some better then others? If so any recommended?
There are so much variation between mfg of batteries that the format seems less important than what factory and label is put on the battery. Good 18650 will outperform cheap 26650's. You need a pack set up with a balance charger so that each battery get's exactly what it needs, independent of the other batteries in the pack. The electric car racers have that system down pat.

Best advice I can give is http://budgetlightforum.com It's like the bikeforums of the flashlight world. And includes cyclists as well. Lots of reviews, personal experiences, ad-hoc opinionated opinions, beam shots, and vendors also participating.
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Last edited by RoadTire; 07-05-14 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 07-05-14, 10:11 AM   #13
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Although this is about just the charger, and I do think it's a good idea to keep them unplugged when not in use, the charging of 18650 batteries should not be left unattended. If overcharged and with a failure of protection electronics these batteries can experience thermal runaway and explode after releasing highly flammable hydrogen gas.
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Old 07-05-14, 02:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
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It is a UK plug for 220v mains, not US/CDN 110v.


Electric Teakettles come to a boil quicker, over there.
Yes, I could tell it was a UK plug. That just means that the charger has more work to do to lower the voltage from 220 to 8.4 volts DC. Other than that I have no idea how stable line voltage is inside the UK. This I do know; If you get hit ( momentarily ) with 110volts AC over here in the states it hurts like the Dickens. If you get hit ( momentarily ) with 220 volts AC ( and yes we have that here too in the states ) that will knock you on your arse. That said, I can only imagine what happens to an electronic device when the 220 power supply interface shorts out. Ah the smell of melting plastic.
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Old 07-05-14, 02:58 PM   #15
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Warning to anyone with Cree headlamps

This is precisely why, as a component manufacturer, I wouldn't want my brand as the face of the subassembly. I brought this up before, and a lot of people disagreed.
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Old 07-05-14, 03:39 PM   #16
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This is precisely why, as a component manufacturer, I wouldn't want my brand as the face of the subassembly. I brought this up before, and a lot of people disagreed.
Yes I agree with you. It seems the brand name "Cree" is being used to market lamps when the seller chooses to use that name in the product title. This is of course a dishonest marketing strategy but since the brand name "Cree" is often associated with the LED being used, some people assume that if the product has a Cree LED that it is a TOTAL "Cree" product ( when such is not always the case, although the emitter might actually be a Cree emitter ). I guess they figure they can use the "Cree" brand name as they wish if they are using the emitter. Likely the Cree people aren't going to raise a fuss or issue a disclaimer because they want to continue to sell their emitters and really don't want to mess with their buyers ( in this case, The Chinese ).
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Old 07-05-14, 07:49 PM   #17
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This is precisely why, as a component manufacturer, I wouldn't want my brand as the face of the subassembly. I brought this up before, and a lot of people disagreed.
For better or worse, Cree is the selling point. Even though they only make the LED emitter which is a small part of the whole assembly, it's the most important part and it's what people look for.

Cree definitely would not be a major force in LED manufacturing if they insisted that their name never be used in connection with a product that used their emitters. In fact they employ people to do exactly the opposite.
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Old 07-06-14, 07:49 AM   #18
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...What you have there is a crappy Chinese charger sourced by whoever made the light...
FWIW: All my Garmin, Cygolite, Samsung, Apple, etc. chargers are made in China, so I imagine it's the design and QC that's important rather than the geographic locale of manufacture.
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Old 07-06-14, 08:01 AM   #19
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FWIW: All my Garmin, Cygolite, Samsung, Apple, etc. chargers are made in China, so I imagine it's the design and QC that's important rather than the geographic locale of manufacture.
Agreed, the differentiation being "cheap Chinese." All those knock-offs or off-brands. But it happens with name brands too, like you said, design, so there is no guarantee your charger circuit board won't fritz and smoke either.
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Old 07-06-14, 08:31 AM   #20
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Yea US uses 220v, your stove if electric is 220v.. the Powder-coater in town has a 440v power line into his shop
to run that oven .. electric power required is a significant part of the cost of powder coating..

I have a couple small pieces in the queue, waiting till something big needs doing , to hang in the oven with it ..
my cost is way cheaper then..
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Old 07-07-14, 06:26 AM   #21
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I always wondered about the wisdom of letting people use the name "CREE." Odds are, the emitters aren't even CREE since there are cheaper emitters that are good enough for a lot of lights
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Old 07-07-14, 07:21 AM   #22
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FWIW: All my Garmin, Cygolite, Samsung, Apple, etc. chargers are made in China, so I imagine it's the design and QC that's important rather than the geographic locale of manufacture.
I did say "crappy Chinese charger" to differentiate it from a "good Chinese charger." Good and bad chargers are made in China. I doubt anyone makes bad chargers anywhere else these days.

There are some frighteningly dangerously designed chargers on the market. A couple of weeks ago a woman was killed by a bad USB charger in Australia.

Chargers are often afterthoughts, someone will design a decent light then just buy a commodity charger on the market somewhere.
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Old 07-07-14, 12:29 PM   #23
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Although this is about just the charger, and I do think it's a good idea to keep them unplugged when not in use, the charging of 18650 batteries should not be left unattended. If overcharged and with a failure of protection electronics these batteries can experience thermal runaway and explode after releasing highly flammable hydrogen gas.
+1

The RC model folks use these things a lot more than we do, for the most part. Our main source of power is our legs and theirs is these batteries and accessories.

I took heed from the RC guys and bought a five buck charging bag. It's to put the battery pack in when it's charging to contain the explosion. When one occurs.
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Old 07-07-14, 04:17 PM   #24
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+1

The RC model folks use these things a lot more than we do, for the most part. Our main source of power is our legs and theirs is these batteries and accessories.

I took heed from the RC guys and bought a five buck charging bag. It's to put the battery pack in when it's charging to contain the explosion. When one occurs.
Keeping with the person you quoted and what you said about , "When one occurs". I think it would of been more accurate to say, "IF one occurs". "When", implies that something will inevitably occur. If that were true these things would be blowing up right and left and that is just not happening. With electronic devices sometimes things go wrong. The poorer the design or quality control the more the chance of something going wrong. That doesn't mean that something "WILL" go wrong. Sometimes things just go wrong, even with the best designs or quality control. I think it was best said by the person who came up with the phrase, "S*** Happens". Just ask the people at NASA. They know all about how bad things happen.
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Old 07-07-14, 07:08 PM   #25
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Warning to anyone with a mobile phone

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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
There are some frighteningly dangerously designed chargers on the market .... a woman was killed by a bad USB charger in Australia.
Yes, as seen here. Her family and authorities have been speaking out since her April death.

Quote:
Mrs Aldeguer was talking on her phone, which was plugged into a charger, when she died. The charger, which did not meet Australian safety regulations, had inadequate shielding causing 240 volts to 'arc' and pass from the charger through the phone into her body....

Police closed down a stall in Campsie in Sydney's southwest last week after a friend of Mrs Aldeguer told police that the faulty charger had been bought there. Police seized a large amount of stock, including phone chargers, power boards and travel adaptors, which were found not to meet Australian safety requirements. NSW Fair Trading Commisioner Rod Stowe said the rip-off, cheap chargers seized by the commission were low quality plastic that could melt and did not have insulation on pins or approval marks.
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