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  1. #1
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    New Light System Needed!

    I'm tired of replacing expensive battery packs: my current $80 li-ion water bottle battery, while light & powerful, only lasted 100 cycles before blowing a cell. it's 6 mo old so no warranty... and whne it blew, i was 2 miles into my 6 mile DARK, RAINY commute! gar.

    I want a light set that runs off standard aa or c cells. easily relpaceable, charging in standard chargers, alkaline backups if push comes to crunch...

    The only such system I'm currently aware of is the Dinotte series. Are there others?

    I'd be open to a bar-mounted flashlight but the powerful ones (5w+) seem to have short runtime.

    fwiw, i have an elderly NiteHawk housing a 20w bulb overvolted to 14.8V with the batterspace li-ion pack. GReat setup while it lasted

    also posted in the electonic gizmo section...
    beer-bottle target

  2. #2
    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
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    Check out the recent Fenix flashlight threads. You can get 2-3 hours out of them w/rechargeable batteries on high, they kick out some serious lumens too. 2-3 hours might not seem like a long runtime, but pretty simple to swap out the batteries on the go.

  3. #3
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    2hrs is plenty but I need (want) more than 3w led... their website lists the l2T as 55 lumens constant
    beer-bottle target

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    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroy
    2hrs is plenty but I need (want) more than 3w led... their website lists the l2T as 55 lumens constant
    The ones you'll be interested in are the Fenix Cree models. Also, wattage isn't the only factor with LEDs. How the circuitry uses the juice is also an important factor, and plays more of a role in advances of LED technology then LED wattage.

    With the Fenix Crees, you can get 120-160 lumens, depending on model.

    Have a look at these two threads.

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=309998

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=308339

  5. #5
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    thanks - the only direct comparison i have is the 5w Dinotte which is rated at 120lumen. I would expect the Cree model to be similar brightness - it this reasonable? one person said his 2aa Cree light was comparable to his 10W Nitrider.

    i much preferred my own 25w halogen to my co-worker's Dinotte and of course it's much better than a 10W halogen.

    is there a higher-power led light running off aa or c pack?
    beer-bottle target

  6. #6
    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroy
    thanks - the only direct comparison i have is the 5w Dinotte which is rated at 120lumen. I would expect the Cree model to be similar brightness - it this reasonable? one person said his 2aa Cree light was comparable to his 10W Nitrider.

    i much preferred my own 25w halogen to my co-worker's Dinotte and of course it's much better than a 10W halogen.

    is there a higher-power led light running off aa or c pack?
    I would expect the Cree would be at least as bright as the DiNotte rated at 120 lumens, yeah. One difference might also be beam pattern, depending on lenses used.



    Otherwise I can't answer any of those questions with certainty, maybe somebody else can. Elusor is one person who posts here, who has a Fenix Cree, and I think there are a few others. I don't own a Fenix Cree, will probably get one this fall for a helmet mounted light, when the days get shorter. I am using DiNotte lights now, but have the proprietary Li-Ion pack version.

  7. #7
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    I use a Mag-Lite AA Mini-Mag 3-watt LED flashlight with good results. I know you want something larger than 3-watt but this flashlight has an adjustable beam pattern by just rotating the head and I have found this greatly improves this flashlight over other non-adjustable lights even with higher wattage. It will run for 2.5 hours on just two alkaline AA batteries and 7 hours on two disposable lithium "camera" batteries. I mounted it to my handlebar with a cheap EMT conduit hanger with small bits of inner tube glued to the interior clamp surfaces to prevent scratching the flashlight and an old blinkie handlebar plastic clamp. I drilled out the plastic clamp with a 1/4 drill so I could attach the conduit hanger to it easily. Wal-mart is currently close out selling the 2 AA version for $19. They have a 3 AA version with longer run time but for me it's a little too long in length for convenient mounting. Even if you don't use one for your bicycle it's a good deal for a 3-watt LED flashlight.

  8. #8
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    I use a Mag-Lite AA Mini-Mag 3-watt LED flashlight with good results....... Even if you don't use one for your bicycle it's a good deal for a 3-watt LED flashlight.
    I have that EXACT light. great light, use it all the time around the house & garage. not enough for biking tho...
    beer-bottle target

  9. #9
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Elusor, wherefor art though Elusor, with your crazy poetic language???
    please weigh in!
    beer-bottle target

  10. #10
    LOOK, a bike! LOOK! LOOK!
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    I was in the same position and recently resorted to rebuilding my own battery packs. It's proven not for the faint-of-heart, but I have a brand new 4.5 AH nimh battery pack for my light for around $35 in parts. The good thing is that I know what cells it's using and I can expect to get at least 400 cycles out of them. Additionally, I was able to build a different cell arrangement that now fits snugly in my commuting bag's rear pocket.

  11. #11
    Mirror slap survivor
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    I have one of the very first DiNotte 5W lights. Battery selection was a large reason I chose this light. It's plenty bright, and rechargeable AAs are cheap enough to replace. I keep three sets in rotation---one in the light, and one set in the chargers I keep at home and at work. I also carry lithium AAs in my seatpack just in case. It's a great light, but battery maintenance does get to be a hassle. Run time on my light is about 1.5 hours on high, which covers each leg of my commute, and it's dark in the winter. I'm thinking of buying the DiNotte 500W and using that as my bar light, with the 5W shifted to helmet use.

    Mike

  12. #12
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toucci
    I was in the same position and recently resorted to rebuilding my own battery packs. It's proven not for the faint-of-heart, but I have a brand new 4.5 AH nimh battery pack for my light for around $35 in parts. The good thing is that I know what cells it's using and I can expect to get at least 400 cycles out of them. Additionally, I was able to build a different cell arrangement that now fits snugly in my commuting bag's rear pocket.
    cool idea - never really considered it. i did hack together a 10w spot helmet-light running on an r/c car battery. I'll have to give this some thought for the bar light, thanks
    beer-bottle target

  13. #13
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    Cateye makes a whole line of lights as well as Princeton and their new Corona Extreme bike light or the Yukon Extreme.

  14. #14
    Banned. Elusor's Avatar
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    Elusor

    for recommend the fenixs
    is best use for Fenix P3D CE, 3X makes triangles stacks for one stack
    not for parallel P3D, but outwards
    x>y (horzizontal looks/crosslook)


    180$?
    this for ...

    compares close for 500 lumens!

  15. #15
    Banned. Elusor's Avatar
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  16. #16
    Arrogant Safety Nanny
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    Wow that's quite a setup elusor...do you run that on your bike? Any pictures of that kind of setup on a bike?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroy
    I'm tired of replacing expensive battery packs: my current $80 li-ion water bottle battery, while light & powerful, only lasted 100 cycles before blowing a cell. it's 6 mo old so no warranty... and whne it blew, i was 2 miles into my 6 mile DARK, RAINY commute! gar.
    What brand of battery was it that offers less than a six month warranty?

  18. #18
    Conservative Hippie
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    This combo is part of my light set up:
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile_combo.cfm?combo=38346
    powered by NiMH AAs.

  19. #19
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    consider something that clips to your helmet visor/forehead.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  20. #20
    Banned. Elusor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffB502
    Wow that's quite a setup elusor...do you run that on your bike? Any pictures of that kind of setup on a bike?
    not have the camers for picts'

    but for altenatives,m uo you can use "8 x "11.5 paper crumbles to ball jame between fenixs' / contrast fome
    then use welkro strap ($3.00) to wrap

    staples business depot
    http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/ca...affixedcode=WW

  21. #21
    Banned. Elusor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroy
    Elusor, wherefor art though Elusor, with your crazy poetic language???
    please weigh in!
    this for be seen flahser light for bike
    http://www.amazon.com/Princeton-Tec-.../dp/B000O6XE12

  22. #22
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Pop the LiIon pack open, get a replacement cell from batteryspace.com, and fix it.

    I rebuild all my packs; lights, cordless drills, laptop. Saves a lot of money, has never caused me trouble.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Allen's Avatar
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    You may wish to look at dynamo hubs. Never have to worry about a battery again. The headlights are not as bright but they are adequate.
    I've been running Shimano dynamo hubs and Busch & Muller lights for several years, no problems.

  24. #24
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroy
    cool idea - never really considered it. i did hack together a 10w spot helmet-light running on an r/c car battery. I'll have to give this some thought for the bar light, thanks
    You can even wire the RC batteries in series to get the 14.8 V you need. Much cheaper (and more robust ) than the Li-ion.



    You can see where I attached the positive to the negative pole of the battery pack to wire them in series.

    Below is how I carry them. A 3500 mAh pack lasts me around 2 hours.

    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  25. #25
    It's ALL base... DScott's Avatar
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    FYI- the Dinotte 5W lights now output 200 lumens. I use 2700 mAh AA rechargeables and a 4-cell quick charger with very good results. Run-time is 2-3 hours (never measured it exactly).

    Love 'em.

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