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Old 12-07-09, 05:52 PM   #1
daven1986
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Dinotte Taillight - AA or Li?

I am looking to get a dinotte 140 taillight and I was wondering if the Li version is worth double the price of the AA version? I will be using it for commuting and have an AA battery charger and can get the batteries cheaply.

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Old 12-07-09, 07:52 PM   #2
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I have both. 2 seasons use on the AA version, recently acquired the Li-ion. The AA version will be on my road bike and as a spare for the commuter. Both work great.
AA: I had plenty of NiMH cells and a charger, so bought it on a sale (no battery pack or charger). Run time is adequate, you can carry Alkaline or (better) Lithium cells for spares and shelf life. The 4-cell holder can rust/corrode from rain, but it's easy enough to bring indoors. Cells lose a lot of capacity at below-freezing temps. I could build a "y" adapter and pack if I needed to run 2 lights off one battery pack.
Li-ion: Bought during a sale on their 600L headlamp, price difference was so small as to be worth it to me. Advantages that may or may not be worth it to you: Better weather resistance for the battery, longer run time, longer cable, ability to power headlight and taillight from same battery with a "y" splitter.

Since you have a charger and say you can buy cells inexpensively, I'd go with the AA model. Just carry a set of spare cells and holder as backup. I'd recommend using single-use Lithium cells for the backup because of their shelf life.
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Old 12-07-09, 07:57 PM   #3
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I use the 140L AA for commuting daily. Carry a spare holder with batteries in it,



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Old 12-07-09, 08:35 PM   #4
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I went with the AA version. The battery holder stinks; if it gets wet, DO NOT let it sit, it will rust internally and become unreliable. Luckily replacements are < $2 at Radio Shack.

The LiIon would be nice, but not THAT nice. I'd buy the AA version again. It'd be nice if an alternative came out, like from MagicShine, but I don't see a company that specializes in putting together off-the-shelf components being able to match Dinotte's custom (and awesome) bike-specific flash modes.
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Old 12-07-09, 10:52 PM   #5
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I'm going to go against the grain here.... Go with Li Ion. Like one poster above, at one time I had both. The AAs were always giving me trouble. It seemed i never could keep four good batteries. It only takes one bad one to ruin your ride. I had a very nice charger and name brand batteries, but that did not help. It never failed, between 30 and 45 minutes the light would go into power saver mode. My only savior during those rides was a set of extra Lithium batteries I kept in my bag... in a extra battery holder. When Dinotte introduced the 400L, I decided to upgrade my light system. While I was at it, they upgraded my AA to Lion (free) and I just used the spare battery that came with the 400L... My life has been a whole lot easier since then.
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Old 12-07-09, 10:53 PM   #6
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If you ride in temperatures below freezing or near to it, get the lithium ion one.
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Old 12-07-09, 11:01 PM   #7
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10 wheels, I really like the way you adapted the 140 to your rack top bag.

here is how I adapted the 140 to my commuter SS's rear rack.



and this is my regular road bike and how I adapted it .....

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Old 12-07-09, 11:04 PM   #8
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I now have two bikes. I just move the bag to the other bike if I take the bag. I wanted it up high as in driver eye level.
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Old 12-07-09, 11:21 PM   #9
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I didn't like the O-ring mounting so well, so I paired up two old-generation Cateye computer bands. This stays on-target great:



Oh, and I went with the Li-ion flavor. I already had a 600L, so the second charger and interchangeable batteries were a bonus. And I didn't have a good AA charger at the time (now I have a LaCrosse BC-900).
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Old 12-07-09, 11:23 PM   #10
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That is nice.
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Old 12-08-09, 03:04 AM   #11
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Thanks all. I think I will go with the AA version then as it doesn't dip below freezing that often around here, and also I will have a dynamo rear light as backup. The extra run time isn't really worth double the price for me!
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Old 12-08-09, 07:13 AM   #12
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dinotte

I bought the AA version and don't regret it. I already had an AA charger and plenty of batteries, so there was little point in paying extra for Li. I carry the battery case in the side pocket of my Carradice Barley seatbag. My batteries generally last an entire commuting week before needing a recharge, riding 90 minutes a day, 3-4 days a week.
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Old 12-08-09, 08:47 AM   #13
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I'm going to go against the grain here.... Go with Li Ion. Like one poster above, at one time I had both. The AAs were always giving me trouble. It seemed i never could keep four good batteries. It only takes one bad one to ruin your ride. I had a very nice charger and name brand batteries, but that did not help. It never failed, between 30 and 45 minutes the light would go into power saver mode. My only savior during those rides was a set of extra Lithium batteries I kept in my bag... in a extra battery holder. When Dinotte introduced the 400L, I decided to upgrade my light system. While I was at it, they upgraded my AA to Lion (free) and I just used the spare battery that came with the 400L... My life has been a whole lot easier since then.
Something definitely odd there. I use a set of pretty old AAs in mine, 2350 mAH, and I run them two days both ways, 45 minutes each way, before they go into low battery mode (still not power save mode, still bright and flashing, just with the red light on in back).

If you have a charger that does two batteries at a time, replace it. Ditto "timed" chargers (doesn't sound like you have that). Only smart chargers with -dV sensing and a separate channel for each cell are good. Otherwise, as you say, you can have one bad cell mess you up.

I also keep an eye on the batteries as they charge; if one is still charging when the other 3 have finished, I put a mark on it with a sharpie. If one cell consistently gets marks on it (3 or 4 marks say) I toss it in the recycling bin.

When it gets really cold, I charge after every ride, but the NiMH still work for me even down below zero.
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Old 12-08-09, 10:38 AM   #14
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cool, I want to use the low light with bright flash mode so it should last a few rides - my commute is about 2 hours each day.
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Old 12-08-09, 01:11 PM   #15
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The AAs last so long I don't know why you'd consider the Li version, especially at that high a price (for the "double" dinotte light).

I get 4-6 hours out of them before I recharge. That's 2-6 rides for most people.

Charging too frequently probably only speeds up the eventual failure of the connector/wire lead.
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Old 12-10-09, 11:45 AM   #16
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I use the AA version exclusively.

I have a Radio Shack NiMH charger that will signal when a rechargeable battery is no longer good. It flashes a LED when the battery in one of it's bays is bad.

I've done rides that were long enough that I needed to replace the batteries on the road, so I would stop at a convenience store and get fresh ones--can't do that with the Dinotte lithium ion packs. (sweating bullets on one double century ride coming back in the rain in the dark, because my headlights are Dinotte 400 and 800 run off of lithium ion batteries. During this particular ride, the 400 died and the 800 was signaling low battery--had to start using the 800 on medium and low--visibility sucked after awhile)

If it's cold enough, the 140L works well with the AA lithium batteries.
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Old 12-11-09, 03:44 PM   #17
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I've run the AA model for some time with no worries about battery life, even in winter. Were I to do it again ( I will soon), I'd up to a 400l mated to a front light since the 400 is (of course) twice as good and rack mounts to my Tubus just perfectly. Pity the 400l can't be had with one lens amber flash and the other red/white (F/R) steady.
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