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Old 04-13-10, 03:15 PM   #1
cjrich
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Magicshine 900 versus P7 Flashlight

Hi all.

Sorry for another Magicshine thread but I'm weighing up the pros and cons of buying a MS900 verse a 5 mode P7 flashlight.

The flashlight to me would be more useful as I can use it for other things like fishing, camping etc, however not sure about run time and how suitable the beam is for cycling. I don't really do much night cycling, just need a light for pre sunrise starts or if I get caught back late at the office.

Any advise, suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 04-13-10, 04:04 PM   #2
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They are pretty close in brightness.. Shiningbeam.com sells a MC-e flashlight that is definitely the brightest P7 / Mc-e light I own.. I have 5 of them to compare..
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Old 04-13-10, 04:05 PM   #3
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MS if you need runtime. P7 otherwise. IMO.

I have both. I bought the MS because I was used to 200 lumen lights, and need 50 to 60 minutes runtime in the winter. I saw "45 minute runtime" on the P7 and said "not enough" and bought a MS.

Turns out, the P7 is so bright that I only need to run it on medium and it's still more light than the Dinotte 200L that I was used to; plenty to ride by in pitch black in the winter, except on the worst parts of my ride where I kick it to high for about 10 minutes. All told I got plenty of runtime to finish my ride, even in the winter when the ride is longest and the batteries are coldest.

The MS is a good light too, but there's a lot more to go wrong with it; wires fray, connectors get screwed up, the battery isn't waterproof, you have to route wires, take the battery on and off to charge (not good to charge in very cold temps in the winter, so take it inside).

A flashlight on a bar mount is as simple as it gets, it's waterproof, and for only a few bucks more than the MS you can buy two of them and have a backup (batteries and chargers don't have to be bought twice). IMO you should have a backup anyway; ANY light can fail even if you spend $1000 on it.

Also, you can grab a flashlight off the bar and use it as a flashlight. Very handy. Or repurpose it easily as a helmet light with just a few rubber bands; perhaps even just to change a tire by the side of the road at night.
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Old 04-13-10, 04:32 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.
Trying to keep costs down. Which P7 from DealExtreme would you recommend? I am considering the MTE SSC P7 900-Lumen 5-Mode.
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Old 04-13-10, 05:39 PM   #5
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I have two 2 mode P7, one 5mode P7 and. MS900. Side by side, the MS seem to throw a farther and wider beam but the P7 seem to be slightly brighter because the color of the light from the LED is more pure white.

If you can set up a MS where things like the connector is secure, battery rain drip proof, and not having to constantly removing the MS from your bike, then I recommend the MS only because I run over 30 minutes of lights per day and I cannot stand having to unscrew the P7 to get the battery out to charge everyday. Charging my MS is easier because the battery is permanetly mounted to the bike and the wall outlet is 2 feet away.

Otherwise if you are constantly yanking wires on the MS ( and Heaven forbid ) as "It Just Me" noted, then it will break faster and a P7 might be better for you. One note, as my luck goes, all three of my P7 has loose connection that make them dim by themselves when I hit bumps. A little work can solve most issue with the P7.

For the mode of P7, I prefer my Off-high-low mode over the 5mode. I don't use much of the strobe or SOS a d sometime getting it to the high mode is a hassle when I just want to get going instead of people at the train station watching me flicking switch in the darkness.
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Old 04-13-10, 07:44 PM   #6
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I have a 2 mode Aurora. I love it. I only use it on high and it runs for up to 60 minutes. If you need more run-time the two battery version gives you at least an hour and a half. But for $36 (plus $17 for 4 batteries, $5 for a mount and $10 for a charger) you get a VERY bright light. Aim it down.

Low mode is not useless. Low mode is nearly as bright as my backup Romisen. I have no use for the blinky modes but some people like them. They'll probably cost you $5 extra.
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Old 04-13-10, 08:02 PM   #7
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To complicate things, you may want to look into a light with the new Cree XP-G R-5 LED. They are bright and with an 18650 battery you can get about 2 hours of light.
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Old 04-13-10, 09:45 PM   #8
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I had the MTE p7 5 mode. Changed it to direct drive. Got bored and cut the barrel off it, used the head as a bike light with a remote 4x18650 pack and a regulated 2.8amp current.

I am so much happier with it now than the way it was. I also like it better than my MagicShine bike light. The thing I don't like about flashlights on bikes is that they kinda wobble just a hair b/c you have a longer / bigger mass to support there that's connected to the light. With a seperate lamp and battery pack...there's nothing there to counterweight the light and move it around.

I'd say go to Hoffmanamps.com and explore either building your own or have somebody that knows what they're doing build you a true 2.8amp light. My MTE wasn't 2.8amps when I got it.
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Old 04-13-10, 10:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cjrich View Post
Thanks guys.
Trying to keep costs down. Which P7 from DealExtreme would you recommend? I am considering the MTE SSC P7 900-Lumen 5-Mode.
None as every DX light I've had has died after a year or less. Try Shining Beam, he should have a new MC-E or SST light in stock shortly. It'll arrive to you a lot quicker than a DX light, it'll be a lot better quality, and it'll be brighter. He ships worldwide for about USD5, so shipping isn't an issue.
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Old 04-13-10, 10:31 PM   #10
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None as every DX light I've had has died after a year or less. Try Shining Beam, he should have a new MC-E or SST light in stock shortly. It'll arrive to you a lot quicker than a DX light, it'll be a lot better quality, and it'll be brighter. He ships worldwide for about USD5, so shipping isn't an issue.
Have to agree with Ziemas, many of the DX lights are junk. If you like mode changing while riding and then the light dying, go for it.. Of the handful I have none are dx lights, they all no longer work.. Since you live in Australia, check on Candlepower forums and leave a WTB listing.. Many of the light I own are from there and there is a big following from your country..

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/

the cpf marketplace: http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/forumdisplay.php?f=59
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Old 04-14-10, 07:43 AM   #11
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I have the MTE P7 5 mode. I've only had it about 4 months so I can't attest to its quality. Also it's a good point that there are newer LEDs out. I won't gripe if the $36 flashlight only lasts a year until I have to replace it, because there will probably be better LEDs out in a year, and $36/year is way less than I've BEEN paying, and it's better light than I've gotten for my lighting dollar, even when I was buying HIDs.

FWIW, here's what I got, and I have no complaints about any of it:
MTE "P7-D" SSC P7-C 5-Mode Memory 900-Lumen LED Flashlight (1*18650) Item# 16092 $36.45 USD
TrustFire Protected 18650 Lithium Battery (2500mAh 2-Pack Blue) Item# 5790 $8.18 USD
2*18650/4*CR123A Battery Protective Case (2-Pack) Item# 26711 $2.32 USD
Universal Bicycle Mount Item# 8274 $1.54 USD
Digital Li-Ion 18650 Battery Charger Item# 6105 $7.92 USD

The plastic box to hold a couple of spare batteries is quite nice to have. I bought two 2-packs of the batteries. That charger is probably the best one at DX. There are certainly better from others but that one works for me.

There are other bike mounts, I bought several and this one is the simplest and works great for me, the light has never moved even on very rough gravel roads (mount it so that it's fairly well balanced)

The 5 mode is good for me. I don't really use the flashing modes, but I do want low/med/high - I use high occasionally, medium most of the time, and low occasionally.
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Old 04-14-10, 09:02 AM   #12
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Personally I'd say don't get too hung up on brightness. As I said, I came from the world of 200 lumen (nominal) lights and assumed I'd always want whatever I had running on high.

In reality, medium mode on my P7 is almost always plenty. I only flip to high on a part of my route where I'm going down descents on rough gravel roads that are sometimes potholed and almost always washboarded. On those parts, I want to see 50 feet or more ahead, to steer around washboarded sections. On paved road, medium is plenty, and in the rural areas on paved roads, low is actually fine too.

Yes, you want a nice bright light, but the P7 puts out enough that in many situations, you won't need all of it.
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Old 04-14-10, 11:21 AM   #13
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... you may want to look into a light with the new Cree XP-G R-5 LED. They are bright and with an 18650 battery you can get about 2 hours of light.
Do you have any recommendation on which flashlight model? DX has two with claimed 320 lumens, the UniqueFire L2 Cree XPG-R5 320-Lumen LED Flashlight - Black (2*16340/1*18650) and the UniqueFire L2 Cree XPG-R5 5-Mode 320-Lumen LED Flashlight - Black (1*18650) but they also claim only 50 minutes run time.

Thanks.

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Old 04-14-10, 11:35 AM   #14
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I bought 3 of the 5 mode. The only problem is that two of them were over driven. One at 2.4 amps and one at 1.4.
They are sending me two replacements.
A friend has the other. It draws 1.2 amps, runs for 2 hours on high and is almost as bright as the P-7.
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Old 04-14-10, 12:19 PM   #15
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I've been using a two-mode P7 daily since early last fall...replacing a 5-mode that was junk for commuting purposes. The two-mode is a solid performer, I get about an hour run-time on high and can just put in a spare battery if I need more. The 5-mode was constantly changing modes every time I hit a bump...made me crazy.
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Old 04-14-10, 01:00 PM   #16
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If you get a P-7, a two-mode (high-low) is probably all you need.

The other modes are just a pain to switch through.

I've got a P-7 on the bars ... it works well. Home and back on one charge during the winter -- this is a 90-minute round trip. Two days in the late spring, like now.

I have Fenix AA light on the helmet in turbo-flash mode.

Together, they get attention.
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Old 04-18-10, 09:10 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the replies and advise. My current twin Cree Q5 lights aren't too bad as long as I'm on familiar roads, so will think about it a bit more.

CJ
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Old 04-19-10, 02:55 PM   #18
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I've been using a two-mode P7 daily since early last fall...replacing a 5-mode that was junk for commuting purposes. The two-mode is a solid performer, I get about an hour run-time on high and can just put in a spare battery if I need more. The 5-mode was constantly changing modes every time I hit a bump...made me crazy.
I'll agree that the 5 mode doesn't work well as a handlebar light. But I'm using mine as a helmet light so the bump mode changes are a thing of the past.
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Old 04-19-10, 05:25 PM   #19
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I have the 5 mode and have not experienced any undesired mode changing. It's been on my bars for about 4 months now.
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Old 04-19-10, 06:25 PM   #20
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I have the 5 mode and was experiencing trouble with it changing modes when hitting small bumps. As suggested by someone else on the forum, it appears to happen because the battery briefly breaks contact with one of the terminals. I very easily fixed this problem by wrapping the battery in fine tape (I used plumbers tape) so its more wedged in the chamber. So far, no changing.

For those having this trouble I strongly recommend giving this effectivly free solution a try. Just make sure not to get the battery stuck
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Old 04-21-10, 11:27 AM   #21
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Battery wrap ... yes, that can solve the problem.

I've not had this problem with my P-7 lights but I did with another flashlight, and it fixed it. Quick and easy, and never mode-shifted again.
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Old 05-20-10, 10:26 PM   #22
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Took a gamble and ordered this one. I liked the physical size and 3 modes. It's been shipped and should arrive next week and I will report back.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.36357

CJ
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Old 05-21-10, 04:33 PM   #23
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FWIW, I'm now back to undecided. The P7 flashlight lasted about 5 months before wigging out. Now it sputters and changes modes every time I hit a crack in the pavement. I've had the switch apart looking for bad solder joints, and couldn't find one. Sometimes it's not too bad, others it barely runs.
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Old 05-21-10, 07:12 PM   #24
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FWIW, I'm now back to undecided. The P7 flashlight lasted about 5 months before wigging out. Now it sputters and changes modes every time I hit a crack in the pavement. I've had the switch apart looking for bad solder joints, and couldn't find one. Sometimes it's not too bad, others it barely runs.
If I recall correctly, someone posted having luck with sticking thin magnets between the battrey(ies) and the coil. Wrapping the batteries helped others.

Myself, I just use a 2-mode and have NO ISSUES. In fact, so far I haven't heard of any problems with the 2-mode P7s. (I'm sure I'll hear soon if I'm wrong on that ).
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Old 05-21-10, 09:37 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=Giro;10669825]Do you have any recommendation on which flashlight model? DX has two with claimed 320 lumens, the UniqueFire L2 Cree XPG-R5 320-Lumen LED Flashlight - Black (2*16340/1*18650) and the UniqueFire L2 Cree XPG-R5 5-Mode 320-Lumen LED Flashlight - Black (1*18650) but they also claim only 50 minutes run time.

I gave up on the Uniquefires and sent them back again. Same problem, overdriven. I got the Ultrafire 501b and it comes with the new LED and it only draws 1.2 amps. Runs 2 hours on high or 4.5 hours on the flashing mode.
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