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Old 09-16-09, 09:07 PM   #1
Giro
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MagicShine 900: Flash Rate? Faint P7 activity when off?

Just got my MagicShine 900 from Geoman (great service).

Two items have me slightly concerned:

1. Seeker333 stated he estimated his flashed at about 4 Hz. When I put mine on flash, it has a much higher flash rate. However, Seeker3333's light cycles high->low->strobe (~4hz)->off; mine adds an SOS to this and cycles high->low->strobe (~32hz)->SOS->off. CORRECTION: Mine adds both an SOS and a medium setting, so mine cycles high->med->low->strobe (~32hz)->SOS->off.

I took photos at 1/4 second exposure of marked spokes on a spinning wheel and counted the number of images of the marked spoke. Depending where the flash cycle is when the shutter opens and closes, you need to add & subtract 0.5 from the number of images of the spoke to calculate the flash frequency range. At 1/4 second I got 8 images of the marked spoke. Thus the flash frequency of mine is somewhere between about:
(8 - 0.5) * 4 = 30 Hz and (8 + 0.5) * 4 = 34 Hz.
Is anyone else getting a flash rate this high in a MagicShine recently purchased from Geoman (or others)? Since mine adds an SOS after the flash setting, does mine have a different chip controlling the light?

2. When the light is turned off but connected to the battery, the P7 LED in mine remains very faintly on with some flickering. This is very faint; you have to turn off the lights in a room or shield external light with your hands to see this. Has anyone else noticed this or could they take a look at their light? Might this be the phosphors in the P7 LED being excited by the rear pilot light in the switch?

Thanks.
p.s. Swinging a pencil or similar object rapidly back in forth shows the duty cycle at the ~32 Hz flashing is ~50% on, ~50% off.

Last edited by Giro; 09-17-09 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Corrected my light cycling: high->med->low->strobe (~32hz)->SOS->off
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Old 09-16-09, 10:06 PM   #2
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Sounds like you've got a bum light. A 32hz strobe mode would be quite maddening (and quite useless) and there should be no flickering when the light is off. I'm sure geoman will take care of you.
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Old 09-16-09, 10:37 PM   #3
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I got one last week. It cycles High/Med/Low/Strobe/not-SOS/Off. The strobe is maddeningly fast, but I didn't bother to measure. 34 Hz might not be too far off. The so-called SOS is 3 short, followed by 4 long. Then it repeats. I may not know Morse code, but I know enough to say that isn't SOS. There is no light from the LED when off; just the green glow from the switch.
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Old 09-16-09, 10:40 PM   #4
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Glad I ordered mine when I did. I have hi/low/3hz strobe which I find to be perfect. I hope this isn't a permanent production change as I want to get another one.

I looked at the specs on geomangear.com and the list of modes has changed... High Mode@900 lumens > Mid Mode@500 lumens > Low Mode@200 lumens > Fast Blink > SOS Mode so your light isn't defective as far as the fast strobe mode is concerned but that flickering does make it suspect.

Last edited by funbob; 09-16-09 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 09-16-09, 11:23 PM   #5
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I agree, bad light, return.

I think mine is 5hz (5/second), not 4. I have some DX P7 flashlights with 10 hz strobe, and that's pretty fast. Good for getting traffic attention during the day. IMO the older 3 mode (actually it's 4 mode - high med strobe off) is better than what they're selling now.

Sounds like they ran out of drivers and just grabbed some std P7 flashlight drivers out of the bin. SOS is universally considered useless, unless you happen to be bicycling in a rubber boat somewhere in a large body of water. I have a small P4 flashlight with a SOO mode...
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Old 09-17-09, 01:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post

Sounds like they ran out of drivers and just grabbed some std P7 flashlight drivers out of the bin. SOS is universally considered useless, unless you happen to be bicycling in a rubber boat somewhere in a large body of water. I have a small P4 flashlight with a SOO mode...
+1

The low cost Chinese flashlight makers are famous for substituting parts on the fly.
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Old 09-17-09, 07:04 AM   #7
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My Magicshine arrived on Monday. I have no light at all when it's off except for the green one on the button. But it does have a maddeningly fast strobe mode, likely what you calculated. That seems too fast to be anything but annoying to an oncoming car, bike, or pedestrian. Not a huge issue for me since I also have some old Nashbar 4-AAA battery front light with a very nice strobe although useless for lighting the road.

I am, however, very pleased with the main beam; this thing lights up the road way better than my old 15watt halogen Planet Bike light ever did, and I thought that one was a pretty good deal.
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Old 09-17-09, 09:35 AM   #8
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Too bad about the weird modes, but honestly, I only ever use two modes. High and off. I think I MIGHT use the strobe at 3hz that I have, if I were riding in the day during a torrential downpour or crazy fog with 10 feet visibility or something.

SOS is completely useless for anything. I don't know why they keep putting it in, even in flashlights.

32hz strobe is just stupid. What moron thought that would be useful for anything but causing seizures?
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Old 09-17-09, 07:22 PM   #9
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I received my Magicshine yesterday, and I also have the 5 mode version, with one of the settings being epilepsy-strobe. The SOS is also pretty useless. I don't think the tradeoff of losing a worthwhile strobe for a "medium" steady setting was a good one.
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Old 09-17-09, 09:14 PM   #10
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I don't know if Geoman is listening, but with this new information, I am much less interested in getting one. Please, no SOS, and a slow flash mode.
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Old 09-17-09, 11:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Litespeedlouie View Post
I don't know if Geoman is listening, but with this new information, I am much less interested in getting one. Please, no SOS, and a slow flash mode.
+1

I'm much less apt to purchase another one with the slow flash mode missing. I actually do use that mode during the day from time to time.

Geoman, if you could comment on if this is a permanent change or not or if we're just at the mercy of whatever driver the manufacturer feels like including in a particular batch.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:18 AM   #12
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I was just about to purchase this from geoman, I'm so glad i looked at this thread. I'm a lot less interested in this fast flash mode.
Geoman, please comment on this magicshine change.
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Old 09-20-09, 08:01 PM   #13
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Please put me on the list of "disappointed" with strobe rate.....insane was indeed a good description....I have resorted to using the SOS mode for daylight riding......hopefully there will be a "fix" available....my soldering iron is already plugged in!
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Old 09-21-09, 11:07 AM   #14
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Question Magicshine at Geoman is NOW 5 mode

From Geoman website Sept 21 1:04 pm EST

Lighting Modes: High Mode@900 lumens > Mid Mode@500 lumens > Low Mode@200 lumens > Fast Blink > SOS Mode

With the Mid mode you should been able to play with the battery run time.
FYI, I still like the strobe for city riding.
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