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Old 09-30-08, 09:31 AM   #1
kidpurple
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Anyone use the Mars 4.0 yet?

Mars 3.0 vs. Plant Bike Superflash

Everyone seems to think the Plant Bike taillight is the best in the price category. To me the actual light is very comparable between these 2. Mars is better on the sides - PB has better flash mode, ease of changing batteries and mounting options.

Maybe the Mars 4.0 will beat the Superflash? I got one on the way and will let you all know how it is. Anyone else used this Mars 4.0 yet?

I may end up with both a Superflash and one of the Mars' on all of my bikes. Maybe a Superflash on each seatstay and Mars on the seatpost.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:21 PM   #2
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Nice looking unit that seems to be available in the UK and limited US availability. No tools required to change batteries! Looks like Blackburn listened the 2.0 and 3.0 critics. I already have 4 rear lights so I will not rush out and buy one. If I needed a unit I would either buythis or the Cateye TL-LD610 or the Dinotte.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:53 PM   #3
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Anyone else used this Mars 4.0 yet?
We got some Mars 4.0 in at work, so I put one at the far end of a long basement with a SuperFlash, and turned off the lights. On flashing mode, it is noticably brighter than the SuperFlash and has a larger hotspot (good & good). On steady mode, it appears to have equivalent brightness to the SuperFlash.

The flash pattern is just blink-blink-blink-blink... so the SuperFlash's flash pattern might have an edge insofar as that goes. Anyway, if I had to choose between one of the two for my long-distance visibility needs out on the highways, I'd pick the brighter of the two, which is the Mars 4.0. Price seems to be similar, so that's not a factor.

BTW I'm not a fan of Blackburn's mounts, and the Mars 4.0's seatpost mount looked like the same hokey design as the 3.0, but they did have a rack mount that looked OK and could probably bolt up to a nice sturdy seatpost reflector mount.
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Old 10-01-08, 10:08 AM   #4
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Pic? I've used the Mars 2 (what a pain in the ass) and the 3, which is a great improvement.
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Old 10-01-08, 10:35 AM   #5
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I have the Mars 4.0 mounted on a reflector mount and a SF on each seatstay. It makes for a very visable combination. I am sorry that I do not have any pics.
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Old 10-01-08, 11:37 AM   #6
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I have the Mars 4.0 mounted on a reflector mount and a SF on each seatstay. It makes for a very visable combination.
That was exactly the setup I was thinking about doing. Run the mars on steady and the SF's flashing. My Mars 4.0 is still in the mail - I hope to have it by the weekend.
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Old 10-01-08, 11:49 AM   #7
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I'll be interested to hear what people think of the 4.0. I've got a pair of the 3.0's mounted on my rack. The lights themselves seem to be great, but the mounts leave something to be desired. I mount the lights vertically and every day at the start of my 15 mile commute I make sure the lights are pointing straight back so traffic will see them. At the end of my commute the lights have fallen and are pointing downwards. If I tighten the mounts any more I think I'll strip them. Maybe I'll just duct tape the damn things to my bike.
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Old 10-01-08, 10:37 PM   #8
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That was exactly the setup I was thinking about doing. Run the mars on steady and the SF's flashing. My Mars 4.0 is still in the mail - I hope to have it by the weekend.
If you're going to run the Mars 4.0 on steady, it'll be pretty similar to the SuperFlash on steady.
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Old 10-02-08, 09:41 AM   #9
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If you're going to run the Mars 4.0 on steady, it'll be pretty similar to the SuperFlash on steady.
Would there be any advantage for either one regarding side visibilty?
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Old 10-02-08, 09:16 PM   #10
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Would there be any advantage for either one regarding side visibilty?
I'll see if I can buy a Mars 4.0 and do some real-world comparison. The store owner has them set aside for the moment, but I'll ask tomorrow. The 4.0 does have amber side LEDs, but the SuperFlash has side exposure of all three of its emitters, so I don't see a clear design win one way or the other.
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Old 10-03-08, 12:21 AM   #11
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I'll see if I can buy a Mars 4.0 and do some real-world comparison. The store owner has them set aside for the moment, but I'll ask tomorrow. The 4.0 does have amber side LEDs, but the SuperFlash has side exposure of all three of its emitters, so I don't see a clear design win one way or the other.
The Superflash has rather poor side visibility, especially in daytime or around dusk. I base this walking my bike through a dark underground tunnel with white tile walls; my Cateye TL-1100 and TL-1000 lights (with side emitters) both reflect a lot of light from the walls, the Superflash doesn't reflects any, leading me to believe that very little light is actually being directed to the sides.
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Old 10-03-08, 01:53 AM   #12
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Dunno about the 4.0 but the flea lights looks pretty cool.
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Old 10-06-08, 11:05 PM   #13
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The Mars 4.0 arrived today. I put it one next to the PB SuperFlash. The Mars is brighter when they both have brand new batteries.

The Mars mounted find on the back of my rack, but the mounting hardware (for seatpost) is still superior on the PFSF.

The Mars 4.0 will cost ya $24.99 while the SuperFlash will cost only $18.49.

If I can mount a light on the back of a rack or a light mount - I'll go with the Mars 4.0. If I need to put on the seatpost - I'll use the SuperFlash. Likely I'll have one of each on most of my bikes.
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Old 10-07-08, 08:17 AM   #14
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The Mars 4.o looks like a great helmet choice. Swivel your head for nearly 360* visibility.

Looking at the specs, the SuperFlash is rated at 1/2 watt for it's main LED and the Mars is now 1 full watt for the main. The Mars should be considerably brighter.
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Old 10-07-08, 02:37 PM   #15
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Those LED wattages mean nothing. Battery drain is actually more like 50mW(2AAA batteries going for 50hrs).
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Old 10-11-08, 10:35 AM   #16
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The clip has been beefed up a fair bit compared to the 3.0. The latch that holds the light in the bike mount has also been moved onto the bike mount so you don't have to flex open the clip to remove the light from the bike mount. Hopefully that will be enough to stop the clips breaking, on the 3.0 it was pretty much a matter of when the clip would break not if.

The two halves of the light now clip instead of screw together. It is easier to break apart and clip together than other lights I've used that clipped together. Plus the bulk of the light is in the half that isn't secured to the bike.



I like the idea of a small unobtrusive like that is still bright enough to be useful so hopefully both halves of the 4.0 will still be attached to my bike in a years time unlike the 3.0.
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Old 10-13-08, 09:25 PM   #17
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I run one helmet mounted Planet Bike Blinky 3H, two Planet Bike Superflashes, and a DiNotte 140L-AA-R, all facing to the rear.

l use AA Powerex 2700 rechargables in the DiNotte. The PB Superflashes are the newer black body/clear lens/red LEDs and I use AAA Energizer Lithium batteries in them. I use regular (non-lithium) AAA batteries in the PB Blinky 3H, because it appears to sit properly angled with the slightly heavier non-lithiums.

Hearing the positive feedback about the Mars 4.0, I bought two of them to compare. Sorry, no pics.

On steady, the PB Superflash appears to have a slightly larger orb that is a little brighter than the Mars 4.0. On flash mode, the PB Superflash's multi-LED pattern is far superior and appears brighter. From the side view, the Mars 4.0 is superior with one amber LED pointing to each side.

To be fair, the brighter PB Superflashes may be due to the lithium batteries. I didn't remove the Mars 4.0s from their packaging, as they can be turned on and viewed with the packaging intact, so I didn't try them with the lithiums.

The Mars 4.0 looks like a good light, but I'll be returning both of mine and continue to use my PB Superflashes with lithium batteries.

Incidentally, as most everybody knows, the DiNotte 140L-AA-R far outshines the other lights.

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Old 10-14-08, 01:52 PM   #18
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hmm.... i rather pay a little bit more ($26), and get a Cat Eye TL-LD1000

which is exactly what i did
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