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Old 10-05-08, 11:11 PM   #1
Sirrus Rider
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Nite Rider Digital Evolution "Fuel Gage": forgettaboutit or Get it repaired??

The "Fuel gauge" of my Nightrider Digital Evolution is doing the "Nightrider" thing of the scanning green LED. The set is still producing light and I was initially going to send it in for repair; however, to get Niterider to look at it will cost $35 and if it requires parts it will cost the price of the parts as well. The set as you know is halogen and with with the advent of super bright LEDs is if not obsolete at lease obsolescent. So I'm wondering what I should do. Should I just ignore the "fuel gauge" and use the set until the batteries stop holding charge (and in the mean time use the money I would have spent fixing the set toward finishing putting Dynohubs and LED head lights on my two primary commuters.) or pony up to get the set repaired??
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Old 10-06-08, 12:41 AM   #2
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IMHO, I would just leave it. How often did you look at it anyway? You should already know about what your run time is by now. Just recharge when you think you are getting close.

What type of batteries are you using? Ni-Cad, Ni-Mh or Lithium? It does not hurt to charge Ni-Mh or lithium early. The Ni-Cads you should run down close to 1 volt per cell about once every two to three months to prevent the memory effect. That is if you are using a 12 volt system you should run the batteries down to 10 volts. "10 cells in a 12 volt pack", each cell is 1.2 volts, fresh off the charger should be 1.4 - 1.45 volts, each cell, ratings are also true for the Ni-Mh also, but they do not suffer from the same memory effect.

You do not want to pull a 12 volt pack below 10 volts as reverse polarity could happen to the weakest cell. This would ruin the pack.

Last edited by brokenknee; 10-06-08 at 12:56 AM. Reason: add battery info.
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Old 10-06-08, 10:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by brokenknee View Post
IMHO, I would just leave it. How often did you look at it anyway? You should already know about what your run time is by now. Just recharge when you think you are getting close.

What type of batteries are you using? Ni-Cad, Ni-Mh or Lithium? It does not hurt to charge Ni-Mh or lithium early. The Ni-Cads you should run down close to 1 volt per cell about once every two to three months to prevent the memory effect. That is if you are using a 12 volt system you should run the batteries down to 10 volts. "10 cells in a 12 volt pack", each cell is 1.2 volts, fresh off the charger should be 1.4 - 1.45 volts, each cell, ratings are also true for the Ni-Mh also, but they do not suffer from the same memory effect.

You do not want to pull a 12 volt pack below 10 volts as reverse polarity could happen to the weakest cell. This would ruin the pack.
I believe the Digital Evo is Ni-Mh.
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Old 10-07-08, 09:08 PM   #4
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If Ni-MH just charge on a regular basis to keep full.
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Old 12-05-10, 09:07 PM   #5
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I know this is an *old* thread, but this came up when I was searching for Nite Rider issues. My NR Digital Evolution is doing the same exact things as the OPs light. My light is 3-4 years old and it started doing it this year. If the OP is still around, did you ever resolve it, or did you just use it and keep it charged up?

I haven't tried NR customer service yet but several people have mentioned that they want $$ just to look at the light. Since my light seemed to be working ok, except for the wonky fuel gauge I was just going to do as the OP was suggested: keep it charged and keep using it.

After this light is done I will buy another brand though.
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Old 12-05-10, 09:26 PM   #6
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Good luck with Niterider.. I used to only buy there lights, never again.. They will delay you and then ask for a lot of money to fix your light.. Then of course they will give you the option of buying one of there new lights at a discount.. DON'T DO IT..

The last 2 Niterider lights I owned I had to ship them back twice in order for them to tell me, oh your battery is bad, just give us 200.00 and we will send you a new battery and you will be fine.. Of course it would be better in the long run to just buy a new light..
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Old 12-05-10, 09:31 PM   #7
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We have 3 NR lights here but we won't be getting any more. Everyone is saying that NR is bad to deal with and I expect I can get a nice light at a better price elsewhere. I'm going to run the NR I have, as I have a regular commute now, and keep an eye out for a good deal on another light.
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Old 12-06-10, 10:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by eofelis View Post
We have 3 NR lights here but we won't be getting any more. Everyone is saying that NR is bad to deal with and I expect I can get a nice light at a better price elsewhere. I'm going to run the NR I have, as I have a regular commute now, and keep an eye out for a good deal on another light.
I had (until today) a NR Digital Evolution. I had a problem with mine, sent it in, paid their bench/service fee, and got it back. A year or so later, I developed the fuel gauge problem and haven't used it since. That was about 3 years ago.

Fast forward to today, I learned that Baja Designs is offering a $100 trade in for their Strykr. I promptly mailed my NR to Baja Designs and a new Strykr should be in the mail soon. It'll cost me $198 + ~ $12 S/H + an optional quick release mount for ~$12. A top quality light by today's standards for ~$225 with no bench fees if there are ever problems with it.

I'll never make the NR mistake again.
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Old 12-07-10, 12:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by hopperja View Post
I had (until today) a NR Digital Evolution. I had a problem with mine, sent it in, paid their bench/service fee, and got it back. A year or so later, I developed the fuel gauge problem and haven't used it since. That was about 3 years ago.

Fast forward to today, I learned that Baja Designs is offering a $100 trade in for their Strykr. I promptly mailed my NR to Baja Designs and a new Strykr should be in the mail soon. It'll cost me $198 + ~ $12 S/H + an optional quick release mount for ~$12. A top quality light by today's standards for ~$225 with no bench fees if there are ever problems with it.

I'll never make the NR mistake again.
As the originator the thread the end result was that I chose to upgrade my light. I figured if I sent my digital evolution into NiteRider after the fees and new parts I would've paid the equivalent of a brand-new light. Ultimately I picked up a $70 LED Cyglolight from Performance Bicycle that simply outperformed the Digital Evolution for roughly the same cost as the repair. I also picked up a Niterider Minewt USB that I had intended to use as the primary light, but I found it so inadequate in performance that it has been relegated to secondary so the Cyglolight has become the primary. The Minewt USB is probably the last Niterider light I will ever buy. I will always have at least one battery light as reserve; however, for simple reliability I have gone to Dynohub lighting.
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