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Customer Review

55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unstable and exceed the Volt rating after charge..., September 7, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kits: 4 Tenergy RCR123A 3.0V 600mAh Rechargeable Li-Ion Protected Batteries with a Smart Charger (Accessory)
I made the mistake of abandoning my normal principal of "you get what you pay for"

I was excited to find these so inexpensively and had planned to use them in my SU-800 master controller for photography. The "quality" batteries for this unit average around $16.00 each, so the idea of getting four batteries with a charger cheaper than the cost of two normal batteries was just appealing to my "green sense".

Now I'm back to the single use batteries, as these rechargeable's let me down time and again... when freshly charged, they often showed voltage ratings well above 4v and this isn't workable in my units. So, I let them run down a tad and they are usable for a blink, then run down quickly under normal use.

Also, if they are not equally discharged and charged in twos, the charger will show both charged, while they are not equal upon removal... one battery showing a voltage rating of 2.2 and the other 4.0 fresh from the charger.

I consider this to be a real problem and potentially damaging sensitive equipment if using a battery that actually has a overcharged condition. Batteries rated at 3 volts shouldn't show over 4 while in service.... and again, drain quickly.

I should get 1000 cycles from my SU-800 by Nikon with a fresh battery... with these, it's more like 150-ish
Very disappointed.

I can't provide a review of how these batteries perform in other equipment, but if you need something that performs as "rated" with meaningful performance life, based on my experience with this group... please continue shopping for something better.

Smart Charger- charges unpredictably
3.0V batteries hold unstable charges (based on my experience with those shipped to me)
Charged life- very short, around 20% of that of a normal single use battery (based on the group I received)

If you need something quick and cheap for equipment with a broad operating range, then you may get something out of these. I just can't personally recommend them.

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 6, 2010 5:45:49 PM PDT
yikes that is an ugly situation, I get my batteries pretty cheap and only use lithium for serious stuff.
I have heard little other than bad on most Li Ion batteries and charger they all seem to fail vigorously and some time catastrophically.
thanks for the post don't want weird voltage in my units.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 7:25:00 AM PST
Doug Baldwin says:
I know it's been a while since you've made this post, I just purchased the exact same Commander unit and was wondering if you've found an acceptable rechargeable battery or if you're still using single-use.

Thanks for the heads up.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2011 12:51:47 PM PST
Sorry Doug.. still using the single use batterys... Energizer has been the best company in that category for my uses... but one of those will get me through an entire wedding...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2011 5:58:26 PM PDT
No, unfortunately I use single use batteries for the SU-800.... same battery for the Sekonic Flash Master light meter also.

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 9:45:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 24, 2011 9:49:11 PM PDT
Liz says:
I have been doing a lot of research regarding rechargeable batteries, and I was very surprised to find out that there are so many different RCR123A's! One would thing that if it says "RCR123A", then it would be the same battery. That is NOT the case, however.

I have a NovaTac Storm flashlight. The user's guide specifies to use either a primary CR123A (3.0V), or an RCR123A lithium-ion (4.2V). The 4.2V really threw me off because I kept seeing RCR123A's with 3.6V or 3.7V. When I googled "RCR123A 4.2 V", a different Amazon listing for this item came up (I found this listing by looking at "what do others buy...").
Card Kit: 4 Tenergy RCR123A 3.0V 900mAh Rechargeable Li-Ion Protected Batteries with a Smart Charger
Someone there also gave a negative review due to the 4.2V.

I BELIEVE (but I'm not positive that I'm right), that you may have better success using a rechargeable that is compatible with your device, which I think would be a 3.6V RCR123A. Perhaps something like this:
Kits: 6 RCR123A 3.0V 750mAh LiFePO4 Rechargeable Batteries with a Smart Charger
You stated that the 4+ volts was because the batteries were overcharging. However, I do not believe that is so. This product is SUPPOSED to be 4.2V, and somehow that is compatible with a primary 3.0V battery (don't ask me how - I'm not a techie - just start researching what I'm talking about and you'll see what I mean - maybe you can figure out how it works).

Good luck to you!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2011 5:40:26 AM PDT
Thanks for that comprehensive post... however my equipment has overcharge cutouts to protect the circuitry... I wouldn't chance it.

Unless really solid rechargeable option comes along.. I currently use panasonic single use batteries for this purpose.

I'm sure someone else will benefit from this post Momma Bear... thanks for taking the time :)

Posted on Oct 28, 2011 6:46:30 PM PDT
Walker says:
You simply lack the understanding of these batteries. The primary lithium batteries actually have a higher mAh rating, thus the longer runtime. Your also paying way to much, I buy 123s for less then a buck each all the time. Look for surefire, streamlight, or panasonic 123a's online. Dealextreme is a good place to look.

The RCR123a Li-Ion chemistry should come off the charger at 4.2v but fall to 3.6-3.7 after "resting" for a few hours or after a small amount of drain. The LiFePO4 RCR123a cells should come off the charger at 3.6v and fall to 3.2-3.3v pretty quick.

A fresh out of the package "throw away" 123A is setting at 3.2v so I suspect your SU-800 would handle the LifePO4 just fine. Just carry spares. Your runtime is just about right since those batteries have 1/2 or less the capacity then a normal 1500mAh throw away (primary) Li-Ion.

For the price of that SU800 you could go radio based iTTL with the newer radio poppers. I can't stand nikon's wireless flash tech, its terrible. I shoot manual with radio poppers when I need off camera flash (which is quite rare now days).

buy a universal tenergy charger like those used for RC aircraft and charge the batteries on it using alligator clips.. much safer and higher quality charger.

Posted on Dec 4, 2011 8:32:22 AM PST
Popeye says:
Generally rechargeable cells are made in 1.2V increments, due to the chemistry of the cells. Nonrechargeable cells are in 1.5V cells. This has nothing to do with the manufacturers, this has to do with the chemistry of batteries. Blame electrons, not manufacturers for voltage disparity. IN addition to this, the cells vary in voltage as they age. In nonrechargeables, it doesn't matter, you throw it away. In a rechargeable you must overvolt, as it goes down with every charge. Educate yourself before you complain about constraints put on us by the laws of physics and reality.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2011 1:22:10 PM PST
From the consumer vantage point... there are many other companies doing it right...
Even with the constraints of physics...
I'm far from alone in my assessment of these batteries.

Posted on Dec 17, 2011 2:02:43 PM PST
Potion09 says:
One star is kind of harsh don't you think? Just like you said....1 brand name battery worth this whole set (including charger and 4 batteries) and instead of getting 1000's charge you manage up to 150 charge or little over so let do the math......4 none rechargeable 123 battery cost $14-16 at local store or 1 for $16 bucks with no charger and may not even do up to 1000's charge as stated, so if you're able to recharged 150x times on this cheap set I don't need a calculator for this one.

A volt over is not going to fried out your electronics equipment it the AMP that kill.
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