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Old 10-09-09, 07:37 PM   #1
sknhgy 
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Dinotte's and AA's

1) My 200L is a hassle. I wish it was simpler to charge the batteries.

2) Sometimes, when I ride over a rough surface one of the batteries will come loose from the holder and my light will shut off. Not good on a pitch black night when you're cruising across gravel and potholes.
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Old 10-09-09, 08:10 PM   #2
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Wrap a rubber band around the battery holder.

Yep, I thought the AAs were a hassle too. When I bought the 400L, Dinotte went ahead and upgraded my 140 to Li Ion free of charge. I used the money I saved to buy an extra battery. I've been very happy ever since. Much, Much simpler.
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Old 10-09-09, 08:49 PM   #3
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+1 on rubber bands. I use one around the battery pack to hold the batteries in and another lengthwise to keep the connector on. Having the AA version allows me to share battery packs with friends who have the same light. There is usually someone who carries an extra on any given evening ride. I can also charge the batteries in 30 minutes, which means that if I forget to charge them the night before, all is not lost.
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Old 10-10-09, 07:31 AM   #4
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1 3/16" O ring is more durable and stronger than rubber bands and costs 50 cents at the hardware store.

Oh, and when you swing by a Radio Shack store, pick up a spare. The light is great but those battery holders stink; if you run them in the rain and don't immediately dry them out, they will rust and become unusable. Luckily the holders are like $2 at RS.
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Old 10-10-09, 12:35 PM   #5
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1 3/16" O ring is more durable and stronger than rubber bands and costs 50 cents at the hardware store.

I said rubber bands to keep the idea simple. I actually use cross sections cut from old inner tubes. Free and quite durable. It's also Eco friendly since I am reusing the tubes.
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Old 10-11-09, 05:41 PM   #6
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OK. You all make the AA's sound better. I camped out this weekend in a tent site with no electricity. I went over to an electric site and plugged in my charger. 30 minutes later my light was ready to go.
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Old 10-22-09, 07:49 PM   #7
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1 3/16" O ring is more durable and stronger than rubber bands and costs 50 cents at the hardware store.

Oh, and when you swing by a Radio Shack store, pick up a spare. The light is great but those battery holders stink; if you run them in the rain and don't immediately dry them out, they will rust and become unusable. Luckily the holders are like $2 at RS.
It is my recollection that a while back several people tried using the RadioShack battery holders and the runtime of their light went down. Something about the RadioShack version not being as efficient as the one provided by Dinotte.

It was not difficult to get extra battery holders from Dinotte, I think they even sent me them for free.

I agree that the Dinotte 200L AA version is a bit of a pita, though not more than most other AA battery lights. The lithium version is certainly easier, though more expensive. In an ideal world, they would be like the Ixon IQ, a light from Lumotec - you put in AA nimh batteries, and there's a battery charger built into the light. So you just plug the entire light into the charger to charge the batteries, but you still get the benefits of having cheap replacable AA batteries in your light! Since it's all one unit, taking the batteries and the light with you is a lot easier and faster, and you don't need a rubber band to keep it from getting jostled.

Unfortunately, I bought one but didn't like it. It wasn't as bright as my Cyo. It was impossible for me to get it mounted by the fork crown, and it had a shaped beam that didn't put light off to the sides - unfortunately, it didn't quite put enough light on the road for my taste either.

Still, it *really* did the battery thing right! :-)
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Old 10-23-09, 07:05 AM   #8
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It is my recollection that a while back several people tried using the RadioShack battery holders and the runtime of their light went down. Something about the RadioShack version not being as efficient as the one provided by Dinotte.
That's probably one of the more ridiculous things I've ever read. It's a battery holder. It has one critical component, wire. Unless Radio Shack is using some kind of resistive wire, or somehow it's not making good contact, there's no way for the battery holder to have any impact on efficiency.

Besides, I've got emails from the Dinotte guy and he says what he uses IS Radio Shack battery holders. I've got several of them and the originals, and they're absolutely indistinguishable.
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Old 10-23-09, 07:16 AM   #9
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My Dinotte 140 tail-light uses AA batteries, and I never had a problem. I keep the battery case in one of the pockets in my Carradice seat bag. I like the convenience factor with AA batteries. They are easy to charge and light enough that I can carry spares in my seat bag. In a pinch, I could always buy spare AA batteries at just about any store.
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Old 10-23-09, 07:40 AM   #10
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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.

Last edited by dekindy; 10-23-09 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 10-23-09, 08:03 AM   #11
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My Dinotte 140 tail-light uses AA batteries, and I never had a problem. I keep the battery case in one of the pockets in my Carradice seat bag. I like the convenience factor with AA batteries. They are easy to charge and light enough that I can carry spares in my seat bag. In a pinch, I could always buy spare AA batteries at just about any store.
Generally the AA system works fine, but they aren't good with water. I've had three of the original holders that Dinotte shipped with the lights fail on me though, and the email response from Dinotte was, if they get really wet in the rain, you MUST take them inside at the end of the ride, take the batteries out and dry the holder thoroughly, or the connections will rust and you'll get intermittent contact. That's what happened to all 3 of those of mine. I bought replacements at Radio Shack and now I dry them after a wet ride and so far they're OK.
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Old 10-23-09, 08:43 AM   #12
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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 had some NiMH packs to old lights that I reworked to run my pair of Dinottes. I really like the simplicity and generic nature of AAs, but also like the longer runtime with NiMH packs (~ 4.5 hours). The only connectors I could find were simple 9V style clips, not the cabled kind like on the light head. So they are a bit more fragile and less weather resistant, but it is also cheap and easy to replace them as needed.

If I were building up a pack instead of reusing/reworking packs, I might use NiMH D (or F) Cells and run both lights off 1 pack for less weight and more runtime. Maybe add an extra connector for charging so the light heads never have to be disconnected.

The problem *I* have with "too much" runtime is that I could get spoiled as to how often to recharge them, then forget and end up in the dark.
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Old 10-23-09, 11:28 AM   #13
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I had some NiMH packs to old lights that I reworked to run my pair of Dinottes. I really like the simplicity and generic nature of AAs, but also like the longer runtime with NiMH packs (~ 4.5 hours). The only connectors I could find were simple 9V style clips, not the cabled kind like on the light head. So they are a bit more fragile and less weather resistant, but it is also cheap and easy to replace them as needed.

If I were building up a pack instead of reusing/reworking packs, I might use NiMH D (or F) Cells and run both lights off 1 pack for less weight and more runtime. Maybe add an extra connector for charging so the light heads never have to be disconnected.

The problem *I* have with "too much" runtime is that I could get spoiled as to how often to recharge them, then forget and end up in the dark.
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.

P.S. I ran across these on amazon -
http://www.amazon.com/Tenergy-10000m...6318394&sr=1-1

10,000 mah (rated, at least) from "Card Tenergy" for $13 for 2, so $26 for 4. Have never heard of "Card Tenergy" before though, while Maha is a reputable manufacturer. A few good reviews though.
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Old 10-23-09, 12:19 PM   #14
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In a pinch, I could always buy spare AA batteries at just about any store.
Have you actually tried that? I had the same theory, and decided to test it. I got maybe 10 minutes on high using a 200L with Duracell batteries. I never tried the low setting because I was not interested in running the light on low. The only batteries you could buy in a pinch that would really work well are Lithium. Since my AA theory was busted, I decided to try the Li version and I am very pleased with the results.
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Old 10-23-09, 12:35 PM   #15
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Have you actually tried that? I had the same theory, and decided to test it. I got maybe 10 minutes on high using a 200L with Duracell batteries. I never tried the low setting because I was not interested in running the light on low. The only batteries you could buy in a pinch that would really work well are Lithium. Since my AA theory was busted, I decided to try the Li version and I am very pleased with the results.
So have you tried the disposable lithium AA batteries? Every convenience store I go into now seems to carry them...
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Old 10-23-09, 12:36 PM   #16
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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.
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. By sticking with the snap connectors, the wire harness could also be removed and the battery packs connected one at a time should there be a problem. I shared this idea with a fellow randonneur who posted a similar idea on the Google list. He liked it so much that he posted instructions to his blog ...

http://bike.duque.net/brevets-preparation.htm?pic=93
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Old 10-23-09, 12:41 PM   #17
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So have you tried the disposable lithium AA batteries? Every convenience store I go into now seems to carry them...
Yes... As expected, the run times were the best of the lot. They are becoming more and more available, but it's still a hit and miss proposition. At least here where I live.
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Old 10-23-09, 01:14 PM   #18
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So have you tried the disposable lithium AA batteries? Every convenience store I go into now seems to carry them...
Lithium AAs rock, but I couldn't afford to use them in my Dinotte. I do use them in my carry-around digital camera, because I don't use it much (maybe 30 or 40 frames a month) and when I had rechargables in it, I had to take them out and charge them once a month. Now I put a pair of Lithium AAs in and they last 6+ months.

I probably never would have tried it, but someone tossed a half dozen lithium AAs into the "battery recycle" box here at work, I pulled them out and they tested OK, so I started to use them. I'm still going through those 6, almost a year later.
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Old 10-23-09, 01:27 PM   #19
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I like my 200L but my P7 flashlights get far more use because they are handier.
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Old 10-23-09, 02:50 PM   #20
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Lithium AAs rock, but I couldn't afford to use them in my Dinotte. I do use them in my carry-around digital camera, because I don't use it much (maybe 30 or 40 frames a month) and when I had rechargables in it, I had to take them out and charge them once a month. Now I put a pair of Lithium AAs in and they last 6+ months.

I probably never would have tried it, but someone tossed a half dozen lithium AAs into the "battery recycle" box here at work, I pulled them out and they tested OK, so I started to use them. I'm still going through those 6, almost a year later.
I would never recommend using lithium AA's in your Dinotte on a regular basis. I was just saying they were available for "Oh, craaaaaap" kind of use. :-)

For you digital camera, I can understand, and certainly you should use the lith-ion batteries someone was throwing out. :-) But when they run out, have you seen the new(ish) low-discharge nimh AA batteries? They lose their charge, when not used, at a *much*, *much* slower rate. They charge in a regular charger. They cost $10 for a pack of 4 (depending on brand). Rayovac Hybrid, Sanyo Eneloop, and Duracell Precharged are the ones I know of.

I actually use them in my Dinotte 200L because I'm never sure how long they'll be sitting around before I'll suddenly need them.
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Old 10-23-09, 03:11 PM   #21
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Sanyo Eneloops are superb batteries. They have an extremely low self-discharge rate. You can charge them up and they'll still be at 1.3v a year later. Try that with any conventional NiMH, and you'll find you need to recharge after less than 2 weeks. Eneloops are absolutely worth the extra cost for the peace-of-mind and lack-of-hassle associated with their use. They are nearly magical.

They are rated at 2000ma, this seems to be about right. I have other NiMHs rated up to 2700ma, and they actually have a shorter life - mostly due to the fact that manufacturers will print anything to make a sale.

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.

Oh, did I mention Eneloops are great?
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Old 10-23-09, 03:54 PM   #22
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Seeker 333, where do you purchase the Eneloops that you like so well?
Thanks
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Old 10-23-09, 05:21 PM   #23
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For you digital camera, I can understand, and certainly you should use the lith-ion batteries someone was throwing out. :-) But when they run out, have you seen the new(ish) low-discharge nimh AA batteries? They lose their charge, when not used, at a *much*, *much* slower rate. They charge in a regular charger. They cost $10 for a pack of 4 (depending on brand). Rayovac Hybrid, Sanyo Eneloop, and Duracell Precharged are the ones I know of.

I actually use them in my Dinotte 200L because I'm never sure how long they'll be sitting around before I'll suddenly need them.
Low self discharge is all I buy anymore. It's what I use for my backup Dinotte lights.

Meijer here in the midwest has a house brand precharged that performs as well for me as eneloops, for $7.99 for 4 AAs. AAAs are a little harder to come by for cheap (no house brands that I've found), but DealExtreme has some Japanese-made cells for $8.39 per 4-pack right now. I just got a couple and am using them in my Superflash.

I still use the older NiMH in my Dinotte as primary batteries because I'm charging them every two days anyway. I have a heap of older NiMH, it'll probably take me 5 or more years to get rid of them, that's how long my original batch lasted (the ones that were only about 1800 mAH) before they wouldn't hold a charge anymore.

BTW, non-rechargable lithiums are just lithiums, not lithium-ion.
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Old 10-23-09, 05:35 PM   #24
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Seeker 333, where do you purchase the Eneloops that you like so well?
Thanks
Anywhere I can get a good deal. Amazon is a good place to look.
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Old 10-23-09, 06:11 PM   #25
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Anywhere I can get a good deal. Amazon is a good place to look.
Thanks...
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