Rechargeable 123’s

Crews

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My thermal (Hogster-R) specifies it’s designed to use with 3.7v rechargeable 123 batteries.

I am a techno-idiot and there are a dizzying array of obvious chi-com options out there. Would like to avoid buying junk and putting my equipment at risk.

Does the group have any suggestions for good quality batteries and charger? Are there any pitfalls to consider with going this route? I can also do an external battery, but would like to avoid the extra weight and cables.
 

A.Huggy

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What you are looking for is known as an 18350, or RCR123. They are all made in China or Japan. The easiest way to find the higher quality cells is to buy from a reputable flashlight supplier like Fenix or Nitecore. Orbtronic is another reputable brand, as far as I know they all use cells sourced form Panasonic or Samsung.

There are two types of anode terminals: "button" and "flat". Some devices only work with flat, some only work with button, most work with both.

Button Top
Flat Top
Charger
 

Crews

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I am assuming if my unit also runs on regular 123 batteries then I need button terminals. I didn’t realize 18350 and RCR123 were the correct names for this. Perhaps that’s why searches weren’t yielding any brands I recognized.

Is there any danger of these batteries going above 3.7v and delivering too much power if they’re left in the charger too long? Or is all this pretty much taken care of with the recommended equipment?
 

A.Huggy

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I am assuming if my unit also runs on regular 123 batteries then I need button terminals. I didn’t realize 18350 and RCR123 were the correct names for this. Perhaps that’s why searches weren’t yielding any brands I recognized.

Is there any danger of these batteries going above 3.7v and delivering too much power if they’re left in the charger too long? Or is all this pretty much taken care of with the recommended equipment?
It's all taken care of. 3.7 is the nominal voltage. So expect to see 4.1-3.5 operational range.
 

Max_R

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I suggest confirming with a device manufacturer that it is capable of running on rechargeable CR123 (a.k.a RCR123, 18350, etc) and the higher battery voltage is not going to damage the device. Due to the voltage difference between rechargeable and non-rechargeable CR123 batteries you have to expect that the battery voltage (charge) indicator is going to be way off and will be showing full charge on the rechargeable battery when it's almost completely empty.

Two additional comments: 1. I would recommend using _protected_ rechargeable batteries. They may be slightly longer than standard CR123 batteries but if they fit protection is a good thing in case if something goes wrong with the battery(-ies). Exploding RCR123s are ugly and most probably the damage will not be covered by the manufacturer's warranty. 2. The capacity of the RCR123 batteries is roughly two times lower than the capacity of the non-rechargeable CR123. You should expect battery life to drop accordingly.
 

WhereNow&How

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I asked a friend who powers a lot of expensive gear with rechargeable 123's and he sent me this link.
https://power.tenergy.com/tenergy-r...MI4NmKwuDF6AIVV9yGCh2ZeA6lEAAYAyAAEgK7afD_BwE
I run a lot of rechargeable RCR 123 batteries. Stick with Orbtronics, Keep Power or Fenix. They are the much better batteries.

I do run some Tenergy RCR 123 that come off a charger at a maximum of 3.6 volts instead of the regular 4.2 volts of the others.

I use those Tenergy's in COTI's but they are only 600 maH and do not last long. Always been too SCARED to stick a 4.2 volt RCR 123 in a COTI. Would hate to fry one of those.

I do run the RCR 123 4.2 Max Voltage in all the Flir PTS Thermosight line of scopes and also in the Breach with excellent results if you use Orbtronics, Keep Power or Fenix.
 

FCS

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I’ve been running Orbtronics for 4-5 years (not a really long time frame) in flashlights w/o any issues.
Rechargeable 18350 in NV / thermal, under recoil I have no first hand experience.
Nightcore D4 smart has kept batteries healthy. Usually recharge mine in “low” as should be a little better for battery life.
 

WhereNow&How

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@FCS Yeah I have run the Orbtronics in Thermal Flir PTS Scopes under recoil and also in the Luna ELIR-3 under recoil, with ZERO issues.

Orbtronics batteries are extremely solid, well built and very dependable IMHO.
 

Crews

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@FCS Yeah I have run the Orbtronics in Thermal Flir PTS Scopes under recoil and also in the Luna ELIR-3 under recoil, with ZERO issues.

Orbtronics batteries are extremely solid, well built and very dependable IMHO.
Orbtronics seems like a recurring them, and the link FCS provided seems like the best place to get them at $5.75/pcs. Going to get 4 of them and a Nightcore D4 charger and try my hand at it. Thanks for the advice everyone, I will make sure to follow up.
 
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Slambert008

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I use a standard Duracell or similar on my work PEQ. We change them before every mission so we don’t worry about them dying. Always carry a few extras in my sustainment pouch just in case :cool:
 
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Crews

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I got in some of the Orbtronics that @FCS linked. Unfortunately it looks like they are too long/tall for my battery cover to snap down in place. This is apparently a variable that I wasn’t aware needed to be considered. Do I need to start looking at the oal of potential battery options, or is this a simple button top vs flat top thing?
 

Crews

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Is this one a better choice?
Orbtronics 18350
Listed OAL is 35mm, as opposed to listed OAL of 16340 at 35.6mm. Still may not fit in my unit though. I've email the mfg to see if they can give me an idea on what the max dimensions are. Seems like primary CR123A are anywhere from 34-34.5mm?
 

WhereNow&How

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Is this one a better choice?
Orbtronics 18350
Listed OAL is 35mm, as opposed to listed OAL of 16340 at 35.6mm. Still may not fit in my unit though. I've email the mfg to see if they can give me an idea on what the max dimensions are. Seems like primary CR123A are anywhere from 34-34.5mm?
You might can reach out to Korey Kirschenmann who is Pro Staff with Night Goggles. He seems to be one of the more experienced people out there with the Hogster. He might be able to answer and offer up possible solutions. Tom at Night Goggles would be a good place to start if trying to reach Korey.
 

Crews

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I followed up with the mfg to determine the max OAL and was told they actually don’t recommend rechargeables as they’ve seen them fail under recoil and explode. I assume it’s still covered under the unit’s warranty but who wants to risk that if it’s a possibility. So I guess the whole project is going to be scrapped. I did advise them to remove mention of this from their product info.
 

WhereNow&How

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I and my buddies have been running Obtronics and Fenix RCR 123 Rechargeables for 3 years now in Flir PTS Thermosights (233. 536 and 736)and not a single failure with rechargeable batteries or scopes.

I have one setup that is a PTS 736 on a Model 70 Winchester bolt in 270 Win which is a pretty hard recoil round especially when paired with a bolt action. All that being said, not the first problem with that rig. And FYI, I can run that bolt gun just about as fast as most people run a semi-auto when you consider racking a round getting back on target and sending one down range.

That's my actual field experience for whatever that is worth. Still doesn't solve your fitment problem.
 

Crews

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I will have to admit, I put the unit on top of my AT with some really speedy 308 bullets and it was a hammer, even working the bolt my bang flop count increased and hitting running animals was easier.
 

MarinePMI

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Overall impressions of the scope?
 
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Crews

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I’m actually very happy with it thus far, regardless of this small misunderstanding. Think I’ve got about 20 hunts on it.

Really like the compact form factor, FOV is massive, regular 123’s last about twice as long as the Triji’s around me and are twice as easy to change out. Menu navigation is only 3 buttons and wasn’t too hard to figure out. High resolution display makes up for low(er) resolution core. Speedy customer support from Nightgoggles (vendor.)

I considered this a gamble, because I just couldn’t get down with the spec sheets for the obvious budget option (Pulsar). So far I am very happy with the gamble. Obviously still curious to see how it stands up over time as I continue to whoop on it. Thermals don’t live easy lives up here on the Red River.
 
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Crews

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Hell I killed (a very conservative) 5 hogs with it last night on a solo hunt, only had to get out of the truck once. Here it is on a 12.5” SBR for perspective:

68052685-A62E-48DC-AB31-553D34C1CE66.jpeg
 
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MarinePMI

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Thanks Crews, I appreciate you typing that out; I've been contemplating buying a thermal (of some sort) this summer, and that helps.

The issue is that in my state, I can't have NV attached directly to the rifle for hunting purposes (coyotes is a bit of a gray area, but even that leaves it up to a potential tree hugging DFG warden). I already have a helmet mounted 14, and a MAWL for this reason. So I'm thinking the thermal must be helmet mountable (best case), but waffle a bit on that requirement.

That being said, I have about 7 years until I can bail on this shithole (CA), and Montana (where I hunt twice a year, and currently plan to retire) does allow NV. Soooo...I've been thinking now may be the time to start investing/gearing up with NV and thermal for my brief hunts in the summer and fall, so that when I do retire, I'll already have a decent leg up on things. And so, I am torn between a cheap, weapon mounted system, or just save up a little more and go for a REAP of some sort (that can do both). Hearing about the cheaper options makes me think my requirements may be too strict. Perhaps something new will come out this year to change my mind...

Anyways, that's a long winded way of saying thanks (and why).
 

Crews

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If it’s worth anything to you, I actually like scanning with the unit mounted on my rifle more than handheld. It’s a lot more stable. And switching between handheld and weapon mounted has made me miss some opportunities. But, I am riding around and looking so your type of hunting may not be the same as mine.

This unit has plenty of resolution out to 200 yards, but you can easily add another 150 if you’ve got time to see the animal move and watch it for a while. Coyotes don’t show up as hot as animals with less hair, but it’s not hard to tell what they are when they’re walking (or running)
 
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