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Old 10-23-09, 08:31 PM   #26
Plutonix
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
It might not be as cheap as you think, though. The mainstream battery manufacturers don't make real "D" size rechargeables. If you find them, look at the mAh rating - the batteries from the major manufacturers have the same capacity rating as their AA cells (2500mah, typically).

In order to get a "real" D size rechargeable, you have to buy a different brand. I found Maha D sized batteries (11,000 mah) on amazon at $30 for 2, so $60 for 4. In addition, you'll probably have to buy a new charger because your current charger probably only charges AA and AAA cells.

I'm just saying I had the same idea, but it seemed like it might end up costing just as much as simply buying the lithium ion version of the light, which comes with 2 batteries plus the charger, even counting in that eventually the battery will wear out and you'll have to buy new ones, the replacement D cells might be the same price as the replacement lith-ion pack.
Yea I am aware of the AAs or whatever spoofing D cells. I was thinking of ab actual D cell pack at 10,000mAh. Using the fake ones wouldn't surpass the capacity of the 4200mAh packs I am currently using.

An actual pack - cells glued and wired together - is what I have and what I was thinking of. I already have a charger, so if I had to replace one of the 4/3AF NiMH packs, I might consider spending more for a single, larger pack that could run both lights for longer. About $60 all told last time I checked; for me that would be in lieu of ~$30 to replace one of the existing packs were it to die.

You are right, costs could get unreasonable, depending on what you are starting with. I dunno what Dinotte charges to upgrade the AA version to Lithium, but it is also something I would investigate as an option. And of course, light and battery technology seems to have something better and brighter available every day.

And yes, I have come full circle with my Dinottes - bought the AA version because it was off the shelf simple, and then converted them to NiMH packs . AAs remain an option should a pack die.
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Old 10-23-09, 08:44 PM   #27
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Not sure if this is what you were looking for,

When I had my AA version of the 200L I was riding Brevets and was trying to think of ways to increase run times and reduce the stops necessary to change batteries. I can up with the idea of running two 4-packs in parallel. I made a wiring harness from Radio shack snap connectors that would allow two battery packs to be connected at the same time. <snip>
I did that too - or something similar - to run 1 light off 2 packs. It works great, but the weight and bulk to runtime ratio was what led me to rework some existing NiMH packs. 4 decent NiMH cells just weigh less and have more runtime than 8 AAs.
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Old 10-23-09, 09:11 PM   #28
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Regarding lithium primaries, I didn't see it mentioned above, but you should be aware that they have an initial voltage as high as 1.85v, which makes them unsuited for some devices, especially ones that require 4 cells. In fact, they can damage some devices, so check before using.

I'll add a warning about batteryspace.com's "powerizer" branded Li cells. I bought some recently, they're almost junk. Avoid them. Stick with DX's X-fires - for some reason they don't seem to f-up Li cells.
I have some powerizer "Lithium Iron" cells that measure 1.93-1.95V when new. Originally bought them to carry as back up for the Dinotte, but had the sense to measure them before I ever used them. They do sort of warn about it "If your application is sensitive to quality consistence, suggest you order Energizer 1.5V Lithium cell" and:
* AA Lithium battery 's initial voltage is 1.82V , once current loaded, voltage will drop to 1.5V.
* If your device can not accept 1.8V voltage, you cannot use the battery .
* The battery will not wok (sic) with FineTex E900 Fuji Digital camera.
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Old 10-23-09, 09:26 PM   #29
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You are right, costs could get unreasonable, depending on what you are starting with. I dunno what Dinotte charges to upgrade the AA version to Lithium,
I did exactly that. They were going to charge me $50 to upgrade my 140 to Li Ion. But I was also buying a 400L. So when they heard that, they did the 140 conversion free of charge. I took the extra money I saved to buy an extra battery pack. What really amazed me was Dinotte contacted me about a month later and asked that I return my charger, they had a better model available and wanted to trade mine up. They shipped so fast, that I did not run my second battery down before the new one arrived. FYI... I have three batteries. Two 2-Cells and one 4-cell.

Like I have said above. I have been very pleased with the conversion.
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Old 10-24-09, 11:31 AM   #30
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They were going to charge me $50 to upgrade my 140 to Li Ion. But I was also buying a 400L. So when they heard that, they did the 140 conversion free of charge.
That is very reasonable, and one of the reasons I really like D. Is the upgrade program different than the trade in program? The website shows the 400L at $269 or $279 w/ trade in. Maybe the prices are not up to date.

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Originally Posted by dekindy
Has anyone ever used an RS C or D cell battery holder to increase run time?

Use Y-Adapter to run 2 light engines this way? 2 headlights or a headlight/tail light.
I did some checking and you can build up a D cell based system very cheaply, but not from RS for the reasons mentioned (they prolly dont have 'real' D Cells):
4 D Cells = $26 and up (10,000 mAh)
Holder = $ 2
9V Clips= $ 3 (to wire a harness like shown above)
--------------
Total $31 +s/h

If you needed a D Cell charger, add $15 for a cell charger, $25 for a smart pack charger (if you wanted to charge the cells in the holder).

There are several cell options: Tenergy and Powerizer @ 10Ah for ~$26; Titanium @ 12Ah for $28. As long as these are around 90% of the stated capacity (a quick stat from CPF) you'd still get about double the runtime for 2 light engines as compared to 2 sets of 4xAAs.

You could even go with AccuPower LSD D-Cells for $42 and still be below the $100 tipping point to upgrade 2 lights. It is only when you go to premium cells and deluxe chargers that it starts to not make sense unless you have other uses for them.
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Old 10-24-09, 01:52 PM   #31
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That is very reasonable, and one of the reasons I really like D. Is the upgrade program different than the trade in program? The website shows the 400L at $269 or $279 w/ trade in. Maybe the prices are not up to date.
I honestly don't know. You need to contact Dinotte and ask them.
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Old 10-25-09, 02:33 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Plutonix View Post
That is very reasonable, and one of the reasons I really like D. Is the upgrade program different than the trade in program? The website shows the 400L at $269 or $279 w/ trade in. Maybe the prices are not up to date.



I did some checking and you can build up a D cell based system very cheaply, but not from RS for the reasons mentioned (they prolly dont have 'real' D Cells):
4 D Cells = $26 and up (10,000 mAh)
Holder = $ 2
9V Clips= $ 3 (to wire a harness like shown above)
--------------
Total $31 +s/h

If you needed a D Cell charger, add $15 for a cell charger, $25 for a smart pack charger (if you wanted to charge the cells in the holder).

There are several cell options: Tenergy and Powerizer @ 10Ah for ~$26; Titanium @ 12Ah for $28. As long as these are around 90% of the stated capacity (a quick stat from CPF) you'd still get about double the runtime for 2 light engines as compared to 2 sets of 4xAAs.

You could even go with AccuPower LSD D-Cells for $42 and still be below the $100 tipping point to upgrade 2 lights. It is only when you go to premium cells and deluxe chargers that it starts to not make sense unless you have other uses for them.
Could you post a link to the smart pack charger you mentioned? I would love to be able to charge my AA's in the pack, without taking them out, but I've never seen a charger that could do that, unless it was built into the light itself, for either AA or D batteries.

With the lith-ion, you also get 2 batteries, not just one, the 2 cell lith-ion is at least half the size (if not more) of 4 d cells, charges in the pack (maybe that's possible as you mentioned?), probably easier to mount on the bike, and going over bumps is not a problem at all.

Just...talking out loud here.
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Old 10-25-09, 06:30 PM   #33
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http://www.thomasdistributing.com/sa...tteries-aa.php
http://www.thomasdistributing.com/sh...80s1g8fvnklck1
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Old 10-25-09, 06:41 PM   #34
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Could you post a link to the smart pack charger you mentioned?
Here's the cheapest one that Batteryspace has

Keep in mind that the cost of convenience is not quite as good charging. You can never charge a whole pack quite as accurately as if each cell is charged separately. If one cell is a little more discharged than the others, it may not get totally charged when the charger shuts off.
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Old 10-26-09, 11:42 AM   #35
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Could you post a link to the smart pack charger you mentioned?
There are 2 semi-threads coursing thru this and they have different answers, IMO.

ItsJustMe's link is probably the better charger for charging std 4xAA Dinotte packs, which seems to be what you are inquiring about. And his note about pack vs cell charging is dead on.

However, the notion of a pack charger came up in context of higher capacity power sources. In the case of the 4xD Cell solution, I would use this one which would be able to charge a 10Ah D Cell pack in much less time. This one would also work with Dinotte AA packs and any 6V sources you might have - use the 1A setting for AA packs.

In either case, get a Tamiya connector to wire a 9V clip to.

The pack charger was mentioned as an option if you dont already have a D Cell charger; more expensive but handy. The same issue regarding weak cells applies to D Cells but could be much harder to notice. Where a pack-charged AA source could end up with some fraction of ~2h runtime, with a D Pack it would be some fraction of ~10h run time. I am not sure I could ride long enough after dark to notice. Even a fractional 10Ah source would have plenty of capacity to drive a second engine you might have for ~4h.

With either AA or D cells you could periodically and regularly do a cell charge to max charge them all esp after they have been run a long time, and use the pack charger for topping off.


The 4C Lithium battery packs would be about 1/3rd the weight of 4xD cells (230g vs ~660g), but IMO is an apples vs oranges comparison. The point was not to imply a way for AA to compete with Lithium, but an economical way to run 2 existing AA engines for much longer than AA cells can provide. I am pretty sure you couldn't upgrade 2 AA engines to Lithium for the $30 required to slap together a D Cell source.

HTH
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