CR123 users, please be careful

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phillipsted
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Postby phillipsted » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:07 am

Sorry about your mishap, Dan. 4Sevens customer service is great - and their commitment to their customers ranks right up there with our favorite knife company!

One other thing to keep in mind. Some flashlights (like the 4Sevens Mini line) don't have thermal or voltage protection circuits. Their larger products almost all do - they shut down if they reach temp thresholds or voltage irregularities. I remembered this fact one day last week when I was out under the hood of my car with a MiniX between my teeth - set on high. About five minutes in, it started burning my lips pretty badly. I shut that puppy down and cooled it off. It was probably just a few seconds from failure at that point. Bad juju...

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Monocrom
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Postby Monocrom » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:14 am

dsmegst wrote:It just happened about 1/2 an hour ago but I will be contacting them tomorrow. These are standard BATTERY STATION units, bought years and years ago. I still have some left so I was using them up instead of going with my usual AW RCR123 batteries.
Oh crap . . . Were they blue with yellow lettering or were the BS cells blue with white lettering? This is very important.

Since you bought them quite a few years ago, I'm assuming they are the older blue with yellow lettering version. If so, those are junk Made in China CR123 cells. Awhile back, there was an incident in which those cells exploded inside of a flashlight. The owner posted pics of the aftermath over at candlepowerforums.com

Kevin, the owner of Battery Station, saw the topic. To his credit, he did the right thing. BS cells are now Made in America, with a strong emphasis on quality control. Those BS cells are the new version (blue with white lettering). Unfortunately, many of the older Made in China junk BS cells are still floating around out there. Be sure to contact BS about what happened to you.

Also, when lithium CR123 cells vent that way, the fumes and residue are toxic. Not trying to scare you to death. But don't touch the residue, and get yourself checked out by a doctor right away. (Just in case.)

EDIT:

Sorry, I must have missed your other post on page 1. Yeah, you definitely have the older Made in China junk. Don't even use them. Contact Battery Station and let them know you have those older cells. They'll tell you how to properly dispose of them. Perhaps even let you trade them in for newer, quality, BS cells.
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Monocrom
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Postby Monocrom » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:22 am

bh49 wrote:I am sorry to hear about this.


What are standard Battery Junction units. I cannot find this brand on their website.
Those would be their Titanium brand CR123 cells. Matt, owner of Battery Junction, has a great reputation. His cells are Made in China, but apparently Matt gets them produced at a factory with QC standards. On a personal note though, I prefer not to take a chance with any Made in China primary CR123 cells. Matt's cells are highly regarded though by flashlight enthusiasts.
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:37 am

oh man sorry to hear of this....glad you are alright..keep us in the loop and let us know how everything turns out..Doc :)
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Bluntrauma
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Postby Bluntrauma » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:15 am

This isn't the 1st time I have heard about problems with this battery.

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/sho ... ight&pp=30

This is an old thread so I don't know how pertinent it would be to this discussion but I knew I had seen it somewhere.
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dsmegst
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Postby dsmegst » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:31 pm

Bluntrauma wrote:This isn't the 1st time I have heard about problems with this battery.

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/sho ... ight&pp=30

This is an old thread so I don't know how pertinent it would be to this discussion but I knew I had seen it somewhere.
Pretty darn pertinent from where I'm sitting. ;) But there also seems to be a bit of overreaction in that thread. I had one incident in 15 years of using the CR123a batteries and with a manufacturer that's been known to have issues. The good thing is Battery Station addressed it by changing makers. I sent them an email also so it'll be interesting to hear what they have to say.

In contrast, I also had plenty of alkaline batteries vent and destroy small devices over the years. Now I'm almost completely converted to NiMH AA and AAA batteries. But I still like the CR123a format. I'll continue to use them but with extra care.
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Blerv
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Postby Blerv » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:58 pm

Hey Dan. You might get a charger that will do 3 volt settings and get a few AW RCR123's in LiFEPO4. It's "safe cell" technology like the IMR but is primary voltage instead of 3.7-4.2. Sony makes some in that technology too.

You could run the rest of your 123 disposables in single edc type lights. That's how I'm slowly going through them. Or keep them in your apocalypse bag :) .
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dsmegst
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Postby dsmegst » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:48 pm

I got an email from Kevin, the owner of Battery Station. He offered to replace the defective batteries at cost and also offered to pay for the damaged flashlight.

He warned me that all Chinese made CR123a primaries can suffer from deterioration after 2 to 3 years of storage. His suggestion is to recycle the old batteries and replace them with new US made ones. I'm going to take his advice and take them to the county recycling center.


Blerv, I'm doing some reading on the new AW cells and they sound like the best bet for safety. I didn't realize these LiFePO4 cells existed. It's a shame none of my 3.7v chargers will work though. :) Time to do some shopping.
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Postby Drkknight614 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:41 pm

Moral of the story, dont put cheap *** batteries in your toys. Granted you didnt know. 4sevens..Im sorry FourSevens (thats the new name btw, they also have a new logo and their flashlights have changed a bit with the name, pretty much they did a rebranding thing.") CS is second to none. It is excellent and the reason why I stand behind them and own so many of their products. I also have a G5 and it is awesome. I only use 4sevens or Surefire cells in my lights. Have not had a problem. People gotta remember to make sure the battery voltages are matched right with the products and make sure if your product takes multiple batteries you replace all of them at once. No mix and matching. And if your going to use 123s put in quality batteries, if you cheap out you might as well just use regular akalines and use a AA or AAA light.
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Blerv
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Postby Blerv » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:46 pm

Cool Dan :) . Yea I'm going to have to move to a hobby charger someday. Too many narrow-minded hunks of plastic, lol.

Drkknight614: I recall he bought a ton at one point (prob before they were frowned upon)and wasnt flying through them. Voltage was checked too, which seemingly is the right way to group Li-Ion batteries but not primaries as they need a load test (just learned this). Fact is all primaries can poof and when they do flames come out. It's very rare even for the negligent folks (which Dan isn't).

The only real thing you can do is be crazy on voltage matching/checking or use safe chemistry (or run single battery lights which further limits the risk).
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Monocrom
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Postby Monocrom » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:13 am

Anonymous wrote:Nice, good customer service.
Kevin is a stand-up guy. He just honestly didn't know back then that the company in China he had contracted out the work to was cutting such massive corners, in terms of Q.C.

When he realized what the situation was, he made sure his brand's cells were made properly with tight Q.C. standards. Unfortunately, yes; there are still many of the old Battery Station blue with yellow lettering cells out there.
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