View Full Version : Ultrastinger question

Anthony Alderman
07-05-2007, 02:14 PM
While talking with the BUG :) inspector while we were both at the same job; he was telling me that if you alternate charging your batteries on AC and then sometimes on DC it shortens there life. Anyone have any experience with this??
Thanks Tony

John Arnold
07-05-2007, 02:17 PM
I haven't noticed this in 5+ years of use, although I'm not sure how I would. I use both methods on both my UltraStingers. I use a fast charger in my vehicle. Maybe Nick has an opinion? He posted something about Streamlight batteries not too long ago.

Dom D'Agostino
07-05-2007, 03:27 PM
I can't see the difference, since the AC charger uses a transformer to charge the battery. The Streamlight AC charger has 12VDC output.

I think it matters more how often you charge the battery, and how low the battery's voltage drops before a recharge.

Anthony Alderman
07-05-2007, 04:20 PM
I actually did not think about the fact that the transformer produces 12 v DC. Cant see that there would be a difference.


Rick Hurst
07-05-2007, 04:31 PM
The owner of the Police supply store here that I buy all my flashlights and accessories from told me that charging your Streamlight and Maglight with your charger in your car would shorten the life on the rechargable batteries. He stated the police dept.s have told their officers not to be charging them in the car, but to carry additional batteries that have been charged by AC not DC.

Dom D'Agostino
07-05-2007, 04:47 PM
Sounds like an urban legend to me.

I bet the frequent partial-use/charge/use/charge/use cycle in the car charger is the real issue.

Nick Ostrowski
07-05-2007, 04:52 PM
I was just at the Streamlight plant here a couple weeks ago for a burned out bulb and low light output on one of my Ultrastingers. This light was the one I leave in the car charger and every so often, I noticed that the red light on the charger was off. I'd rotate the plug-in chord in the car receptacle and the light would come back on. The tech at Streamlight said it is likely a bad connection in the charger plug and probably affected the battery's memory. But he didn't mention anything about their car chargers in general as degrading the life of the batteries, just when there was bad contact and loss of power to the charger. In the end, I needed a new bulb and a new battery stick - $21.00. You can't buy a replacement stick for these lights that cheap anywhere. I'm happy to live 20 minutes from their plant.

Jim Luttrall
07-05-2007, 05:15 PM
The instructions for the car charger said something about not using a "switched" dc source with the charger since repeatedly starting the charging cycle would cause problems. Since I would have to do some rewiring to get a continuous source, I have just recharged mine at the house, but it died at the last 10 minutes of the second inspection today. I wish I was close enough to get that cheap deal on the replacement battery!

Jerry Peck
07-05-2007, 06:32 PM
I just always carried a small inverter in the van and used my 120 volt chargers all the time on everything. Never even took the car chargers which came with them out of their packages.

Used the inverter for my cell phone charger, computer charger, everything - never have to worry about having the right 12v charger - just always use the 120 volt chargers.

Gunnar Alquist
07-05-2007, 07:07 PM
I keep a backup Mag in my car plugged into the dc charger and the other Mag is my primary light. The light in the car is rarely used, but the battery does seem to go bad quicker than the one that I charge in the garage on 120v. This is not a scientific study, but it might have something to do with interrupted power to the 12v car charger because it will turn on and off whenever I start my car and the 120v house charger does not.

Bruce King
07-05-2007, 08:09 PM
I just got my second ultra and have made some checks....

The ultra stinger charges to a higher voltage (over 16 volts) using 120V (16v unloaded charger output, not battery voltage). The battery is only 6.9 volts.
This provides higher output and longer run time than using the car to charge.

If you charge it on 12vdc it will eventually retain a lower max memory depending on whether or not the engine is running when you charge it.

The charger base can not put out 12volts with 12 volts input, it loses about .7 volts internally through the charger/current regulator and changes with load even more.

Stinger says not to run the battery down all the way. Many rechargables like to be run down before charging and removed from the charger when done but not the stingers, just leave them on the AC charger until you leave in the AM.

Nick Ostrowski
07-05-2007, 09:56 PM
Once you notice the light output on a Streamlight beginning to get dim, it's time to turn it off and pull out your backup. Continuing to run the light when the charge is obviously weak reduces the life of the battery.

neal lewis
07-06-2007, 08:22 AM

$21 is a great price for the battery. The going rate is around $40 for the genuine article. I just paid $30 at a dealer, although it is some generic battery stick made in China. We'll see how long it lasts.

Nick Ostrowski
07-06-2007, 08:29 AM
Neal, there are a few online flashlight supply websites that offer the Ultrastinger battery stick for $30. E-mail me (nick@strongfoundations.com) if you'd like me to pass along some of the website address.

Bruce King
07-06-2007, 08:14 PM
Here is one for $29

Home Inspector Essentials: Batteries (http://www.hi-essentials.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=HIE&Category_Code=BATTERIES)

Richard Hamann
07-10-2007, 03:25 PM
Hello fellow inspectors,
The Stinger batteries are Ni-Cd (Nickel-Cadmium) type which traditionally have a condition called a "memory effect" dependant on the depth of the previous discharge. Repeated shallow discharge use results in shallow capability, or in other words short term light availability. To maximize it's ability, use it until the light starts to dim (deep discharging), as mentioned by a fellow inspector. Repeated deep discharging can start to bring back it's full capability, not guaranteed of course. Ni-Cd have only fair charge retention, so keeping it fully charged becomes important. Ni-Cd's have good cycle life when used and charged properly. As usual beware of cheap knock-offs.

Just trying to add a few cents to the wealth of information given here. Keep up the good work.

Richard Hamann
S & R Inspections
Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Rick Hurst
07-10-2007, 04:40 PM
Myth or Fact on Battery Memory

Memory: myth or fact? (http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-33.htm)

Jim Luttrall
07-10-2007, 04:58 PM
From the Manufacturer's instructions that came with my ultra stinger
"There are special considerations to note when using multi-cell rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, such as found in the Stinger.
If a ni-cad battery is subjected to repeated and extensive overdeep discharges, such as an aggressive conditioning procedure to eliminate "memory" which runs the battery down completely on a regular basis, it can experience a voltage reversal of one of the individual cells. This may cause a buildup of pressure within the cell which can lead to venting the electrolyte, cell damage... personal injury."
"To obtain the safest and longest service from your.. products...Do not periodically "Condition" or "exercise" your flashlight despite what you may have been told about "memeory"... Streamlight specifically discourages a regular ritual of deep discharging, which is not only unnecessary, but will greatly shorten lamp and battery life.

'nuff said