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Old 10-05-10, 10:56 PM   #1
vol
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PDW Danger Zone tail light?

Has anyone seen Portland Design Works' Danger Zone tail light? Wonder how it compares to the Radbot.
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Old 10-05-10, 11:47 PM   #2
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Here's a link for those interested.

http://www.ridepdw.com/goods/lights/...-zone%E2%84%A2
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Old 10-06-10, 12:02 AM   #3
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Yeah I also just found it. It has video, too. I'm not sure how it compares to the Radbot 1000, though.
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Old 10-25-10, 10:25 AM   #4
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Im loving mine. Danger Zone has 2 half watt LEDs, Radbot 500 uses 1 half watt, and the Radbot 1000 has 1 one watt. I have 2 PB blinkies, I like the slow 'flashing' of the Danger Zone and Radbots more. They are less seizure inducing, yet still attention getting, also its easier to place the speed and location of the slower blinking light. IMO

I have ridden on good roads and cobble stone, and in the rain with never having the danger zone turn off, so mine doesn't have a shut off problem, like some early Radbots. Its attached to the seat post.

Last edited by Totaled108; 10-25-10 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 10-25-10, 11:21 AM   #5
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I'm thinking PDW tail lights will be the end of the PBSF.
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Old 10-30-10, 09:15 PM   #6
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I've got a couple, but I've never had a Radbot, so I don't know if I have the insight you're looking for, but I can tell you I really like the lights. I think the DZ is a *much* better looking light, and the transparent upper case gives good side marking light. The lights are impressively bright, and I like the slow flash setting. The power switch is easy to use, even with full- finger gloves. The clip slides into the mount securely, without any slop.

My only dislike is the style of the post mount. They thoughtfully supply the light with two different mounts to fit seat posts and smaller diameter tubes like seatstays, but they're the same ol' articulated bracket light manufacturers have used for years. Yeah, they work, but lights have been styled over time, while this mount hasn't, creating a sort of visual dissonance to me.

Other than that, this is a great light that deserves a look if you're shopping for a taillight.
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Old 11-04-10, 08:44 PM   #7
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any side by side comparisons of the two? Both look like great lights and people are happy with both. but which is brighter? the single 1 watt or the double .5 watts?

Radbot 1000 vs Danger Zone
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Old 11-10-10, 08:51 PM   #8
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yep.
dangerzone is my new favorite.

dangerzone vs. radbot
[video=youtube;0XgjzBZ7wV8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XgjzBZ7wV8[/video]

dangerzone vs planet bike superflash vs radbot
[video=youtube;8pnI94_ZusM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pnI94_ZusM[/video]
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Old 11-10-10, 09:33 PM   #9
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I got a Danger Zone to check out, and it seems like a good unit as long as you're diligent about keeping fresh batteries in it (on the most attention-getting flash mode, runtime appears to be 14-15 hours with rechargeable NiMH AAAs). The click-switch is nice, compared to the zero-feedback switch on the SuperFlash. And its mounts are cross-compatible with the SF mount, for those of us with multiple bikes and SF mounts.

For those who'll use it on steady-burn mode, it appears to put out about the same amount of light as the SuperFlash. Figures... there's only so much power in AAA cells. Personally, I'd go with the most strobe-tastic mode.

Oh, and I noticed a couple interesting aspects:

1. I pulled out a AAA and reinserted it. The light came ON. It doesn't default to OFF. So if it momentarily loses contact, it won't leave you in the dark.

2. When the light was nearly out of power, it could NOT be turned off. This is better than auto-power-off, in my opinion... a weak light is still better than no light.

Last edited by mechBgon; 11-10-10 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 11-10-10, 09:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post

Oh, and I noticed a couple interesting aspects:

1. I pulled out a AAA and reinserted it. The light came ON. It doesn't default to OFF. So if it momentarily loses contact, it won't leave you in the dark.

2. When the light was nearly out of power, it could NOT be turned off. This is better than auto-power-off, in my opinion... a weak light is still better than no light.
Those are interesting insights, and neat touches that show thoughtful design and engineering.
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Old 11-11-10, 01:35 AM   #11
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I like the danger zone's flash modes alternating between the two LEDs. However, because the radbot is 1W, while the danger zone is 0.5W x 2, the radbot produces a big circle of lighted area, larger than the danger zone's. I wish they use two 1W LEDs (1W x2), which will be superior to both these two.
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Old 11-14-10, 10:12 PM   #12
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If mounted horizontally, does it increase the angle of view?
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Old 11-15-10, 02:20 PM   #13
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Yup, the Danger Zone is pretty impressive. The LED brightness and throw distance is very good - in fact, each individual 0.5W LED in the Danger Zone seems, to me (with identical fresh batteries), brighter than the 0.5W LED in the SuperFlash. The lens design seems to send more light rearwards, which is great but also means there is less side visibility compared to the SuperFlash. Actually, I'm running one of each - with the Danger Zone on my post, and my Superflash high up on my non-drive seat stay - directed slightly upwards and outwards (towards a passing car). But since I don't use a seat bag, I think the option of mounting the Danger Zone sideways means I could easily fit both lights on my post.
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Old 11-19-11, 08:55 AM   #14
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I just got a DZ and took it out this morning early while it was still dark. Parked the bike in an area that was shaded by the trees (I live in San Francisco, so no place is truly dark because of the street lights) with it on crazyflash mode. I walked almost a block away and was amazed at how attention-getting it is.

I was distressed when I opened the package to see that there was no rack bracket included even though they do include one with the cheaper Rad series. They want six bucks for what amounts to 25 cents worth of injection-molded plastic and a couple screws, washers, and nuts. I whined to PDW support and they responded immediately that they dropped one in the mail to me. So far, excellent support!

I don't think I care that much about angle of view. If there is danger approaching me from the rear, it is highly likely to be on-axis, and this thing is killer on-axis.
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Old 11-19-11, 12:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by itsthewoo View Post
If mounted horizontally, does it increase the angle of view?
i had it mounted horizontally thinking the same, but in fact there is a reduction of light on the bottom/button end of the unit. the design of the housing and the plastic lens does provide for adequate side light emission. also, the appearance of the lens shows it to be slightly concave giving the impression that the leds are pointed at different angles, but close inspection of the led assembly, both are flat and pointed straight.
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Old 11-20-11, 04:22 PM   #16
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1. I pulled out a AAA and reinserted it. The light came ON. It doesn't default to OFF. So if it momentarily loses contact, it won't leave you in the dark.
The DZ I just got doesn't do that. If it's on, and you take out a battery it goes off (naturally) and when you put the battery back in it flashes once and then is off. It DOES default to OFF.
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Old 11-20-11, 05:06 PM   #17
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The DZ I just got doesn't do that. If it's on, and you take out a battery it goes off (naturally) and when you put the battery back in it flashes once and then is off. It DOES default to OFF.
Strange. My defaults to ON.

Also, I was riding with a group today (total of four people) and two of them fell back. They saw me and another guy riding together. I had the PDW DangerZone light, the other guy had a PB Superflash. They said my light was much more visible than his. It was a cloudy, rainy day.

I have nothing against the PB Superflash, I have a few of them.
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Old 11-20-11, 06:05 PM   #18
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Strange. My defaults to ON.
Maybe it's been changed in later production models. But just to make absolutely certain I just did the test again, and when the battery went back in both LEDs flashed once, then it stayed off.

I've sent a query to PDW for clarification on this.
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Last edited by michaelnel; 11-20-11 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 11-20-11, 06:29 PM   #19
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There's a few at work, I'll check to see what their default state is nowdays.
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Old 11-20-11, 08:19 PM   #20
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How does the DZ compare to the NR Cherrybomb?

Current set up is seat wedge w/reflective piping (can also clip light to it), Cherrybomb, OEM reflector, and trying to mount a 4D Toplight at the seat post binder/clamp. Wanting something for the chain stay(s).
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Old 11-21-11, 05:52 PM   #21
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OK, I got a response from Portland Design Works:

"Thanks for the email. I just tested a couple of Dangerzones from our inventory, and they behave the same way yours does. I also tested a Radbot 1000 and it too behaved the same way. Our lights weren't designed to turn back on when you put the batteries back in."

I was pretty doubtful about the claim, good to have confirmation from the guys who actually know.
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Old 11-22-11, 02:31 PM   #22
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Very interesting. I have a DangerZone--probably bought it Summer of 2010. I was just recharging the batteries and mine defaults to on when inserting the batteries (their 'zZz' slow-blink mode). Perhaps they made changes in the product between 2010 and now.

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OK, I got a response from Portland Design Works:

"Thanks for the email. I just tested a couple of Dangerzones from our inventory, and they behave the same way yours does. I also tested a Radbot 1000 and it too behaved the same way. Our lights weren't designed to turn back on when you put the batteries back in."

I was pretty doubtful about the claim, good to have confirmation from the guys who actually know.
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Old 11-22-11, 11:03 PM   #23
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How does the DZ compare to the NR Cherrybomb?

Current set up is seat wedge w/reflective piping (can also clip light to it), Cherrybomb, OEM reflector, and trying to mount a 4D Toplight at the seat post binder/clamp. Wanting something for the chain stay(s).
The CherryBomb is notable for its rippled optic, which spreads the beam horizontally. Other than that, its flash pattern isn't too far off the SuperFlash.

The DangerZone uses regular optics that aren't direction-specific. Its claims to fame in my book would be 1) the very aggressive strobe pattern, 2) it sometimes fires both 1/2W emitters at once for an extra-big punch, and 3) the clicky button is nice. Plus the DZ fits Planet Bike mounts, unlike the CherryBomb which doesn't.
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Old 11-23-11, 09:19 PM   #24
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Another question about the DZ and the other uber bright rear flashers: If one mounts one to the seat stay and also has a rear rack, is the light gonna be bright enough to still be effective after being blocked by the rack legs?
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Old 11-23-11, 09:34 PM   #25
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Another question about the DZ and the other uber bright rear flashers: If one mounts one to the seat stay and also has a rear rack, is the light gonna be bright enough to still be effective after being blocked by the rack legs?
From directions where it's not blocked, it should be worth having onboard. But it doesn't have *quite* enough power to penetrate solid metal so you wouldn't want to be relying on it by itself to cover your backside from all angles.
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