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Old 04-08-07, 02:59 PM   #1
comradehoser
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geeks: blackburn mars 3.0 question

So, I went to REI to buy another blackburn mars 3.0 today. I have one, and the bracket snapped off when I was moving it around on the seat post. REI only had one, the display model. I didn't test it out. When I got home and turned it on, it blinks at double or three times the rate of my old one.

I also seem to be going through AAA batteries with the old one at a pretty good clip.

So, what is the normative rate? ( I imagine it's the slower one) Should I bother returning one? Should I attempt to fix it? What's the cause of slow/fast blinking?
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Old 04-08-07, 03:14 PM   #2
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Can't help with getting this one fixed, but the breakage issue seems to be fairly common. I would return it and look for a different solution. It was a decent light, but when mine broke off while riding I wrote it off and moved on to the superflash - which I'm happier with anyway.
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Old 04-08-07, 05:13 PM   #3
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Im worried my 3.0 is just gonna die one day !
I replace the batteries every 9 months whether they need
it or not and its taken a few trips down the road sans bike
Now, I ziptie it to an old seat reflector bracket.
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Old 04-08-07, 06:14 PM   #4
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Check out this thread.

I used to have 2 Mars 3.0 - and while I still like Blackburn for a lot of things, I won't be buying another blinkie from them for a long while.

Seriously bad design.
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Old 04-08-07, 06:14 PM   #5
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well, that's the thing. With my slow-blinking light, when I was commuting in the dark (1/2 hour each way), I was replacing them every other week.

normal?
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Old 04-08-07, 06:48 PM   #6
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For the strobes I have toyed with a higher voltage charges the capacitor faster. When the capacitor reaches full charge - blink. Smaller capacitors charge faster and again would blink faster tho' with less intensity. With the same battery type in both your blinkies I'd guess they have different capacitor sizes. If you want to use fewer batteries get rechargeable ones, yes?
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Old 04-08-07, 07:12 PM   #7
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I really doubt any blinkies use capacitors to set the blink rate anymore. I haven't seen a capacitor in a blinkie for a long time.
It's all microcontrollers now. Even in single quantities I can buy microcontrollers for less than a buck. In thousands, they get down to pennies. They're more reliable, can do a lot more, and are cheaper than the equivalent analog circuit, and they draw a lot less power.

If one blinks faster and that's not the right behavior, I'd guess that the internal clock circuit on the microcontroller is flaky.
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Old 04-09-07, 03:39 PM   #8
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I had a Blackburn Mars 3.0 (I think it was a 3.0) and it seemed to go a month or so between battery changes, using alkalines. I was riding about an hour a day. I also have a PBSF, and despite being on the same amount of time, the SF has gone through one set of batteries and is still going strong, while the Blackburn has been through many sets. I ended up taking the Blackburn off as a waste of weight and batteries, and put it on my girlfriend's bike, so she's got a decent marker as she re-learns to ride.

I should also note that within a week of switching it on, one of the LEDs died, so it's not putting out as much light as it should (and that may be contributing to bad battery life, now that I think about it). Based on my experience, I wouldn't go with another Blackburn blinkie, and would think twice before getting anything Blackburn.

The Planet Bike Super Flash, on the other hand, absolutely rocks. Since I noticed the bad battery life on the Blackburn, I've been using the SF almost exclusively. It's bright as hell, and gingerly sips at the batteries. Planet Bike really hit the mark with that blinkie, although I'd be happy if the mounting bracket were a bit more sturdy.
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