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November 3, 2023

Affordable Double C size Extended Life Primary Lithium Cells from PowerStream

New! Re-designed for HDD applications.

Used with Digitrak ™ Horizontal Drilling Locators and Ditch Witch ™ HDD beacons

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supercell Double C 3.6 volt lithium battery  Counterfeit battery announcement:

Please note, because PowerStream is the premier supplier of sonde batteries, there are several companies selling counterfeit PowerStream cells on E-Bay, Amazon and Alibaba.

Those bogus batteries are repackaged water-meter batteries, do not have the same vibration testing and design features as ours, and may not have the UN38.3 transportation test, which makes them illegal to ship. We have recently added a new label to our cells which provides more abrasion resistance and helps to identify genuine PowerStream cells.
We have now been selling our custom-designed sonde batteries for over 10 years. In the short time we have been selling them we have sold over 100,000 cells, and are supplying many of the top drilling companies in the USA.  
Traditionally these sonde transmitters use two alkaline "C" cells. Because non-rechargeable lithium batteries have over twice the voltage of alkalines we created a "Double C", a single cell twice as long as an alkaline C cell with 3.6 volts. This battery replaces two C cells in series.

NEW: The PowerStream Double-C is the only Chinese Double-C cell to have passed UN Transportation testing UN38.3. See the certificate below.
NEW. Starting in Spring 2013 the PowerStream Double-C battery has been redesigned to perform even better in harsh environments. This improved cell is exclusive to PowerStream.
  • The production was moved to a new state-of-the-art production line with demonstrated ability to produce cells with tighter tolerances, higher capacity, and lower internal resistance.
  • We have updated the chemistry to almost completely eliminate passivation effects, which show up as voltage sag during start-up. This also improves the performance under cold weather conditions
  • We have improved the design to be more tolerant of shock and vibration. We have found in the past that vibration damage is the biggest reason that cells sometimes have short service life.
  • We have instituted 100% vibration testing.

Satisfaction guaranteed.

Price quantity of 1-10 cells 11-50 cells 51-99 cells 100+ cells Buy Now  
$56.00 $47.50 $38.72 $31.80 add_to_cart.gif We ship these by UPS GROUND only

Size Type Nominal Voltage Nominal Capacity
Nominal Current
Pulse Current
Mass Size
DoubleC-H High Capacity lithium thionyl chloride 3.6 V 17 AH 200 mA
(note 1)
800 mA 108 grams CC
26.2 mm dia x 102 mm long

  • From 2.2 to 6 times the capacity of two alkaline C cells in series
  • Compatible with Digitrak ® Mark Eclipse®, LT ™, SE ™, F2 ™, Spot ®, and D Tek transmitters and Ditch Witch beacons.
  • Much better voltage hold-up during discharge than alkalines or power sticks
  • Extremely long shelf life--up to 20 years
  • Single welded steel shell, cannot leak. A single cell is more reliable than two cells welded together.
  • We have sold thousands of cells over 8 years for horizontal drilling sondes and have many happy repeat customers, including some of the biggest names in the directional drilling business.
  • These cells use the same lithium thionyl technology that the military uses for night vision.

Note: The extraordinary shelf life of these cells is not reduced if the batteries are partially used. In other words, you can use 10% of the life of the battery, let it sit on the shelf for a year and it will still have 90% of its life left. Note 1: The battery voltage will stay above 3 volts for entire discharge when discharged at 200 mA or less.

Quantity pricing is based on one order, one shipment.

Water or drilling fluid penetrating the battery compartment can simulate a bad battery.

Why is it that we can ship thousands of cells to the largest drilling companies in America with no reports of complaint, but another crew has a rash of failures?
A sonde with corroded terminals can make it look like the battery is bad, or exhibit short battery life. With 100mA current flow and 4 ohm contact resistance the voltage drop will be 400mV, dropping the effective battery voltage from 3.2V to 2.8V. Since power is amps times volts, the sonde will try to draw more current to compensate for the voltage drop, which causes even higher voltage drop. So 4 ohms of contact resistance can waste 30-50% of the battery life.

If water ever penetrates the battery compartment you have an immediate problem that should be resolved. Make sure that the battery compartment is cleaned completely of moisture, make sure that the contacts are shiny, and that the seal is good. Getting the fluid out of the sonde should be done with a vengeance, or you will be stuck with replacing the expensive batteries more often until the sonde fails completely. If the O-ring is damaged, replace it, if the sealing surfaces are damaged consider using teflon tape to enhance the seal.


Our crew has been using the PowerStream lithium cells in our DCI sondes for 6 years without a hitch. These cells are very cost-effective and excellent performance. SG Montana.

We use the PowerStream cells for our Ditch Witch electronics. The specs match what our Ditch Witch beacons require, and they work perfect in the field.PM Michigan

Since the PowerStream Digitrak Sonde cells work so well, we have stopped using the Digitrak Supercell. We have been using the PowerStream Double-CH exclusively since 2008.AJ-T Canada

In our terrain we often run into hidden gravel deposits. If we run out of battery we have to pull the sonde and (due to the gravel collapsing) we have to drill the hole again, putting us behind schedule and off-budget. PowerStream's batteries pay for themselves. WG Michigan

Sonde transmitters are used as sonde locators or beacons by horizontal directional drilling companies, and require extended life lithium batteries and drilling supplies. These earth boring machine operators use Digitrak sondes and transmitters with portable boring machines to do horizontal drilling under roads, parking lots, canals, and under landscape that cannot be trenched. We have been suppling battery drilling supplies for trenchless drilling locators for many years and supply many of the big horizontal drilling companies, as well as hundreds of local trenchless drilling companies.

We have been purchasing these batteries over the last couple of years and have had great success with the batteries typically lasting over a month. --DE New England

UN Transportation 38.3 test results for the PowerStream Double-C

Double-C UN transportation tests results UN 38.3 part 2
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