My experience as well. Seeing the little orange glow in the middle after a good cleaning and burn always brings a smile to my face (and a wish that I could get the whole disk white again). Ace: Batteries on their last legs can sometimes get the core to glow, but not enough to really work worth a damn. I found this more with my UltraLite holder (10440 cells) when I had a few that were lame from the factory (voltage looked good, took a while to charge, but under a 1A load, they died in 30 seconds or so, even right off the charger). Have you tried more than one or two different batteries? (shot-in-the-dark).