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Old 02-24-08, 08:49 AM   #1
Derailed
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Dream Rear Blinky?

I've had quite a few blinkies over the last couple of decades, and each has been better than the last. Yet, IMHO, they've all shared a common characteristic that I don't like: multiple blinking modes that I don't need or want.

I'm currently using a Cateye TL-LD1100, and I love the brightness, number and positioning of LED's and convenient mounting.

However, I wish it didn't have two different button switches (I always want both to be on), and I wish it didn't have multiple modes (I always want the first flashing mode). I do appreciate that I can depress and hold the buttons to bypass the unwanted modes when turning it off, but I'd much prefer one toggle switch that does nothing other than turn the entire thing on and off. As one final complaint, I wish the switch were not on the side-- too often the light is turned on when I lean my bike up against something.

Does anyone else share these frustrations? Do others prefer the same blinking mode (maybe lots of people want just one mode, but don't share the same preference for what that mode would be)? Does such a blinky already exist?

-D
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Old 02-24-08, 09:16 AM   #2
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I feel your pain. Blinking modes are marketing crap. I do like the solid on and one full blinking mode when using multiple blinkies, so in essence i'm a two mode kinda guy. A three position switch would be cool, Off-On-Blink.
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Old 02-24-08, 09:43 AM   #3
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+1 Having all those blinking modes only increases the chances for switch failure.

<conspiracy theory>FWIW, I've heard that the blinky manufacturers intentionally make them to not last, so we'll end up getting new ones.</conspiracy theory>
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Old 02-24-08, 10:34 AM   #4
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Dinotte FTW!.

2 modes. Blinking and solid. I use both.

-D
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Old 02-24-08, 10:45 AM   #5
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I have a "blinky" that just blinks. If I want a steady-on I install a regular light. FWIW I'd use a spare 8" red RR crossing gate light I have laying around. It has a retro-reflective ring on it that covers me for the legal requirements.
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Old 02-24-08, 12:05 PM   #6
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You could build your own super bright blinkie. Here is the LED and driver board you need.
Driver: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.7302

5 modes with three being steady on high, medium, and low, a flashing mode, and off. Low would be good for the MUP, medium to help conserve the battery in low volume traffic, and high so you can be seen from miles away!

LED: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1776

Extremely bright LED!
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Old 02-24-08, 12:47 PM   #7
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Is it possible to wire the board so that only one mode is active? If not, this is quite far from what I have in mind. I'm not looking for more brightness-- I want more convenience (while still offering both rear and side-facing LED's)

I know it really isn't that hard to cycle through multiple modes, but it is a major pet peeve of mine.

-D

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Originally Posted by n4zou View Post
You could build your own super bright blinkie. Here is the LED and driver board you need.
5 modes with three being steady on high, medium, and low, a flashing mode, and off. Low would be good for the MUP, medium to help conserve the battery in low volume traffic, and high so you can be seen from miles away!

Extremely bright LED!
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Old 02-24-08, 01:06 PM   #8
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The led board n4zou mention has last mode memory, so if you turned it off at blink mode, it will be at blink mode when you turn it on. I have made one, there's a thread here I started for instructions.
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Old 02-24-08, 01:08 PM   #9
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My goodness.....how much time do we need to save in this life??? Is it really that difficult to scroll through the different modes? Are you going to get carpel tunnel? Is there no time when you might possibly want to use one of the other modes? And, while I don't know this for certain.....my guess is that if it's a decent, name brand blinky (ie Planet Bike, Cateye, Dinotte, etc.) then the switch is going to be good for a lot more cycles (no pun intended) than most of us would ever push in a lifetime of commutes.

I always think of a comedic stand up routine by Brian Regan referring to microwave instructions for Pop Tarts. Paraphrasing.....if you have to microwave a pop tart then maybe you should think about loosening up your schedule.
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Old 02-24-08, 01:26 PM   #10
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I agree with you for the most part (and laughed out loud from the Pop Tart comparison), yet as I said, it is a pet peeve.

For the record: it isn't the fear of wasting time or developing carpel tunnel disorder or of wearing out the switch that bothers me. I want a single switch that I can operate easily, even when wearing thick winter gloves. At the end of the day, I find it annoying to remove my gloves and cycle through unwanted modes (or press and hold two small button switches).

That said, I can see why you'd find something this nit picky tiresome

-H

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My goodness.....how much time do we need to save in this life??? Is it really that difficult to scroll through the different modes? Are you going to get carpel tunnel? Is there no time when you might possibly want to use one of the other modes? And, while I don't know this for certain.....my guess is that if it's a decent, name brand blinky (ie Planet Bike, Cateye, Dinotte, etc.) then the switch is going to be good for a lot more cycles (no pun intended) than most of us would ever push in a lifetime of commutes.

I always think of a comedic stand up routine by Brian Regan referring to microwave instructions for Pop Tarts. Paraphrasing.....if you have to microwave a pop tart then maybe you should think about loosening up your schedule.
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Old 02-24-08, 01:34 PM   #11
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Thanks (both to mrbubbles and n4zou)! I found the thread and will check it out. I was about to say that building my own sounds like too much trouble, yet here I am wasting everyone's time complaining about my bike light pet peeves!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
The led board n4zou mention has last mode memory, so if you turned it off at blink mode, it will be at blink mode when you turn it on. I have made one, there's a thread here I started for instructions.
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Old 02-24-08, 04:12 PM   #12
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Kudos to you for not getting defensive.....a rarity on boards like these (it seems).
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Old 02-24-08, 04:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derailed View Post
Is it possible to wire the board so that only one mode is active? If not, this is quite far from what I have in mind. I'm not looking for more brightness-- I want more convenience (while still offering both rear and side-facing LED's)

I know it really isn't that hard to cycle through multiple modes, but it is a major pet peeve of mine.

-D
Here you go.
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4451

These are so cheap they sell 5 at a time as it's not cost effective to sell them individually.
No modes, flip the switch on for light, flip it off for none. You can drive a single 1-watt star mounted emitter without a heat sink or drive 10 5mm 20,000mA LED's. Don't worry about the 4 extra driver boards. Once you build a supper blinkie others will pay you to build them one!
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Old 02-24-08, 05:12 PM   #14
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Luxeon III Red-orange

I think that you will find that the Luxeon III red-orange star is much brighter than the Cree. While the red-orange is a little warmer than the red, it is not that different from car tail lights and it much brighter than any red LED.
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Old 02-24-08, 05:26 PM   #15
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I really like my cheap-o Trek brand light. 5 rear facing LEDs and three modes: on, blink, off. While riding I'll reach down and hit the button twice. A single click puts it in solid on mode, two puts it in blink, and the third is off. By hitting the button twice either I end up in blink mode or, if one click doesn't take, I end up in solid on mode, which isn't the end of the world.

Best cheap ($10) blinkie ever...
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Old 02-24-08, 07:09 PM   #16
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Does this LED already have an integrated lens, and will it work with the second driver you mentioned (the one that is simply on/off)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou View Post
You could build your own super bright blinkie. Here is the LED and driver board you need.

LED: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1776
Extremely bright LED!
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Old 02-24-08, 07:51 PM   #17
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...Does such a blinky already exist?-D
+1 DiNotte. I'm not aware of anything that rivals it in terms of: 1) simplicity and ease of use 2) reliability 3) brightness. I got mine during a rare sale - $100 directly from DiNotte. Now that I have it, I think it's not only worth it at $100, but at the regular price too of $169.
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Old 02-24-08, 11:42 PM   #18
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+1 DiNotte. I'm not aware of anything that rivals it in terms of: 1) simplicity and ease of use 2) reliability 3) brightness.
+1
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Old 02-25-08, 07:56 AM   #19
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Dinotte: Best. Blinky. Ever.
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