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Old 12-03-09, 11:10 AM   #1
tjspiel
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MagicShine Owners - Battery Drain from indicator light?

I unplug my MagicShine after riding into work and again when I get home. I do this to shut off the charge indicator light that's part of the button. Should I even bother?

I'm a little worried that I'm going to cause premature death of the plug by pulling it apart so much.

Thanks!
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Old 12-03-09, 11:27 AM   #2
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I don't think it matters either way. More likely the battery will die before the plug "wears" out. Leaving it plugged is negligible battery trickle. Related question: how long can you run the light when it's in "red" mode before it dies? Seems to go for a while (multiple hours) but I haven't run it dead yet.

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Old 12-03-09, 11:46 AM   #3
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I ran mine red for forty minutes or so. I changed it from high to low when I noticed it had gone red. Then I rode it the rest of the way to work.

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Old 12-03-09, 11:54 AM   #4
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I ran my MagicShine a good forty minutes after it had turned red. I switched it from high to low, then rode it the rest of the way into work.

I thought subjectively speaking, that on low, the light from the MS was as bright as the light from the 4d-cell, LED Mag-lite that I had been using prior to getting the MS.
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Old 12-03-09, 01:13 PM   #5
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I don't worry about the indicator light staying on because I get plenty run time anyways. I would be more concerned about prematurely wearing out the plugs than have to charge the battery a little more often. I usually can commute 3-4 days (90+ minutes a day) on a charge, a whole week if I keep the light on low beam.
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Old 12-03-09, 01:59 PM   #6
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The indicator draws enough to kill 6 minutes of runtime per 24 hours that it's let run. Up you you. I unplug mine, but I'm not sure it's a good idea as several people have had trouble with the connector, and I'm starting to see signs that my connector is getting a bit wonky too.
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Old 12-03-09, 02:19 PM   #7
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The indicator draws enough to kill 6 minutes of runtime per 24 hours that it's let run. Up you you. I unplug mine, but I'm not sure it's a good idea as several people have had trouble with the connector, and I'm starting to see signs that my connector is getting a bit wonky too.
Thanks everyone. That's 18 minutes over a few days. Hmmm...

It takes a pretty good yank to get the connector apart and I sometimes worry that I might be pulling more on the cable than the connector itself.

I guess I'll leave it plugged in, - at least at work.
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Old 12-03-09, 03:07 PM   #8
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ask GeoMan. he's pretty quick with his replies. I unplugged mine today at work cuz I rode in a rainstorm but it is such a tight connector I don't want to fatigue it.

the manual says not to store the battery fully charged and frequent charging is good for it. so the pilot light should actually be healthy for the battery chemistry.

I'm trying to figure out how often to charge mine if I run it for an hour in the am and an hour in the PM
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Old 12-03-09, 07:36 PM   #9
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It is possible but difficult to separate the connectors without touching the wires at all. I've been pretty careful to do that.

I just went out and took to the male side's snap ring section on the plastic with some sandpaper. It's a little easier to plug and unplug now.
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Old 12-03-09, 09:43 PM   #10
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That's precisely what happened to mine: I unplug each day at work, and eventually (a few months in) the plug has become unreliable. Yes, I know the directions say not to pull on the wires, but the connector is a very tight fit, and this isn't always possible.

I'm replacing the connectors with a set of cylindrical twist-lock connectors from my local electronics supply place. They are "weather resistant" (probably won't stand direct immersion, but then again neither would the stock connectors) and due to the twist lock, require very little force to mate and unmate the connectors.

This probably isn't a good idea for those without good soldering skills, as the wires involved are small gauge.
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Old 12-04-09, 05:52 AM   #11
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last night I found that the extension wire was too difficult to disconnect so I left it but the connector to the battery wasn't as tough so I disconnected it. actually I had to because the switch didn't work and wouldn't turn off the light. I let it dry further overnight with the lens cap off and kept the light on for 20 minutes last night and 20 minutes this morning and the switch is working again
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Old 12-04-09, 10:40 PM   #12
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I unplug mine at home after every evening commute from work ,and plug it in again on the start of the next evening's commute when I leave work. There was one time when I needed that extra 6 minutes of run time when I was that same time frame from home when another lighting system's battery died on me, leaving me with a inexpensive backup light to get home with. That was a tough 6 minutes dealing with one of the more complex sections of my commute and dense urban traffic, with a basic pinpoint of a light. Shouldn't happen again though, not with a dual MS setup with spare batteries.
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Old 12-05-09, 12:05 AM   #13
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I just got my MS yesterday and notice also that the connector is on the tight side. I put a small dab of greese on the plastic part and that made a world of difference. No more tugging on the wires and no more green light remaining on.
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Old 12-06-09, 11:14 AM   #14
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How can Magic Shine improve on their product? Shouldn't there be a better way to connect the battery to the light so that charging can be made easier?

Everyone knows that we're supposed to remove the terminal using the terminal housing and not the wires. But still, there needs to be some improvement here.
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Old 12-06-09, 01:19 PM   #15
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Honestly, if the plug fails on my MS, it's getting a generic connector. I've done this in the past with a batteryspace bottle battery which had a horrible connector originally. I've found that it really doesn't matter if the connector is waterproof or not. There isn't enough voltage in this system to get affected much by rainwater. If you have a situation where a lot of salty slush is likely to get splashed into the connector, waterproofing might be more important.

Here is what I have used in the past, it is extremely reliable and tough; it's the same kind of connectors used for automotive trailer lights.


A Tamiya RC connector is another good choice:
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Old 12-06-09, 09:22 PM   #16
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I've tried both the trailer connector and the Tamiya connector, and I didn't like either of them.

The trailer connector requires a great deal of force to mate and unmate. It's worse that the original EIAJ-3 that comes with the MagicShine.

The tamiya isn't waterproof, although it's not clear how much that matters in such a low voltage application. The other problem I had was the Tamiya kit I bought at RadioShack came with pigtails and a crimp terminals. I could not get this setup to be reliable under real life riding conditions. It worked fine in the garage, but road bumps would knock out the light. This clearly is not a good state of affairs.

I've now moved to Switchcraft EN3 (IP67) connectors. The contacts look small, but they are rated at 7 amps, which is far more than the MagicShine battery will ever produce. It looks like this (only I use 2 pins, not 7)



These connectors are water-resistant, and because there is a bayonet locking collar, they have very little insertion (and extraction) force: you just untwist the locking collar and the connectors come apart.

I've only used this for a short time, but so far it performs better than the Tamiyas.
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Old 12-07-09, 07:58 AM   #17
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The trailer connector requires a great deal of force to mate and unmate. It's worse that the original EIAJ-3 that comes with the MagicShine.

The tamiya isn't waterproof, although it's not clear how much that matters in such a low voltage application. The other problem I had was the Tamiya kit I bought at RadioShack came with pigtails and a crimp terminals. I could not get this setup to be reliable under real life riding conditions. It worked fine in the garage, but road bumps would knock out the light. This clearly is not a good state of affairs.
The connectors you show look nice. I'm just using what I can get cheap and will work. The trailer connectors work great. But more to the point, they can take a LOT of abuse. The connectors that come with the light have to be treated very carefully; the trailer connectors you could probably yank out by the wires a thousand times and it wouldn't bother them.

Yes, a lot of Tamiya connectors come with crimp terminals - that doesn't mean you have to use them as such. I try to buy the raw connectors so that I can solder them. If they're already pigtailed, I'll release the terminals from the block, pry the crimp open, solder it anyway, and then reinsert it.

I haven't used Tamiya connectors for my lights, I have used them for other stuff. I mention them here because some people have used them and they're easy to get and are known to handle the current just fine.
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Old 12-07-09, 08:48 AM   #18
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By time I got to work this morning the indicator went from green to red so I disconnected the wire at the battery. the extension is more difficult to disconnect. I figure I'll save as much juice as possible. Also, I have found the connectors easier to disconnect if I actually look at them and position my fingers properly; meaning: without any overlap onto the other side. I think sanding the exterior is an outstanding idea too.
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