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Old 10-15-10, 01:47 PM   #1
AdamDZ 
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Question Suitable high capacity battery replacement for the MagicShine battery?

Since I'm running two MS headlights and two MS taillights now I only get about 1h out of the standard MS battery. What would you suggest for a suitable replacement to at least double the capacity? Would it still work with MS charger? Weight isn't that much of an issue. I ride heavy anyway so another pound or two won't make a difference.

What's the capacity of the standard MS battery pack anyway? Is it LiPo or something else?

I know I could run each headlight out of separate battery but I prefer to have one source to run all the lights from and one spare source to carry along.
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Old 10-15-10, 02:06 PM   #2
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i did a quick search and found this tread: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=287459. They reference another thread showing the pack is rated at 2400 MAH. The battery is an 8.4v battery and geomangear says the current is 2400ma.

i'm not sure where to go for a replacement though. You have a lot of lights, might want to consider a flux capacitor
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Old 10-15-10, 02:17 PM   #3
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Yeah, flux capacitor would be awesome I can't help it, there is just way too much free space on the handlebar! So I have to look for something like 5000mAh or more. Thanks for digging up that info!

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Old 10-15-10, 02:26 PM   #4
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Your best bet might be a Ni-CD or NiMH pack (as far as cost). They come pre-assembled in 8.4V packs for R/C cars, and the NiMH ones easily hit 4000ma.

Here's one for 5000mAh, less than $50 and weighs just over a pound:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXAAGL&P=0
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Old 10-15-10, 04:05 PM   #5
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Thanks, that's not bad! Although I'd need a charger too for this too and that's another $30, at least. I was hoping to find larger Li-Ion that I could use with my existing chargers.
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Old 10-15-10, 05:04 PM   #6
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Battery junction has a 7.4v 6600mah pack for $63 plus whatever SH. That should get you over two hours of use. It should work with your charger since LiIon is rated from 2.7v to 4.2v single cell or 4.2v to 8.4v with two in series. I think they just advertise the battery at nominal voltage which is 3.7v single or 7.4 with two in series. You just have to put your own connector on it.

Edit: BTW, flux capacitor is not as good as Dilithium Crystal. You can get that at engineering deck of the Enterprise

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Old 10-15-10, 05:21 PM   #7
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The standard batteries are LiIon, not LiPo. Lithium polymer batteries are typically not cell-shaped, but flat packs like the batteries in phones and MP3 players.

I'm running an 8 cell pack I bought about a year ago on sale for $25, a lot of people here bought them at the same time. The connector on it was not quite right so I cut one off of a MS extension cable bought from DX for $3 and soldered that on instead. It's been working great since.

EDIT: Colleen above found the original link. They're $63 now. It works fine with my charger.

Colleen: while you're picking up some dilithium crystals, see if Scotty can set you up with some transparent aluminum butted tubing and brazing rod. A transparent frame would be awesome.
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Old 10-15-10, 05:38 PM   #8
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Awesome! Thank you! I will order a couple of these batteries then. Good idea with the MS extension cable.

I'll use my existing MS batteries with my third, helmet mounted lighthead in Winter .

Love the Star Trek references

Adam

PS. Ah, it turns out I already have compatible connectors, both male and female!

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Old 10-15-10, 07:02 PM   #9
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Hmmm, wait. My bad. After re-reading the post, I think the 2400 mah are only per cell which means the pack is actually a 4800 mah 8.4v rated since they are 2s2p. If that is the case and you are getting 1 hr run time, then a 6600 mah will probably give you only an additional 1/2 hrs or about 1.5 hrs. You may need a bigger pack than 6600 mah

Does this seem right?
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Old 10-15-10, 07:16 PM   #10
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Hmm... not sure. But that means I'd need 8000mAh battery Also, the first gen MS had 4 cells, I took one apart. The second gen, the round one - I have no clue what's inside. Maybe I'll have to DYI something then. I still have some boards I used to repair a broken 1st gen MS battery.

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Old 10-15-10, 07:23 PM   #11
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Hmm... not sure. But that means I'd need 8000mAh battery Also, the first gen MS had 4 cells, I took one apart. The second gen, the round one - I have no clue what's inside. Maybe I'll have to DYI something then.
Its the same battery in a different package.

Luminous do various 18650 holders. You can then charge the cells individually which should make them last much longer than the MS.
http://www.luminousdiy.com/Light%20K...ts.htm#holders
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Old 10-15-10, 07:38 PM   #12
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Its the same battery in a different package.

Luminous do various 18650 holders. You can then charge the cells individually which should make them last much longer than the MS.
http://www.luminousdiy.com/Light%20K...ts.htm#holders
That would be too expensive: I'd also need a charger or two for the individual cells. I'd like to use my existing MS chargers.

***

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Hmmm, wait. My bad. After re-reading the post, I think the 2400 mah are only per cell which means the pack is actually a 4800 mah 8.4v rated since they are 2s2p. If that is the case and you are getting 1 hr run time, then a 6600 mah will probably give you only an additional 1/2 hrs or about 1.5 hrs. You may need a bigger pack than 6600 mah

Does this seem right?
Yeah Colleen, you're right! But that means I need 8 x 18650 cells to double the capacity. That's $80 at Battery Junction Prices plus shipping, plus materials, boards (only have one) or some kind of holders and a lot of soldering. I might as well buy two more MS batteries from GeoMan and rig them in parallel externally using a custom-made external Y-cable to double the capacity.

Last edited by AdamDZ; 10-15-10 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 10-15-10, 07:42 PM   #13
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I might as well buy two more MS batteries from GeoMan and rig them in parallel externally using a custom-made external Y-cable to double the capacity.
This is probably your best bet, it will give you the most flexibility and the least headaches.
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Old 10-15-10, 07:50 PM   #14
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I concur

I'm pretty sure the original pack are 4800 mah. The MS is a P7 emitter which runs about 45 minutes on 2200 mah or 2400 mah 18650. So it's almost safe to say that four battery will run the MS 900 for three hours if each cell are 2400 mah. So yeah, you will need a 8000+mah pack to get 2 hrs with 2 MS900 and 2 MS tailight.
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Old 10-15-10, 08:12 PM   #15
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This is probably your best bet, it will give you the most flexibility and the least headaches.
Yeah, I think that's what I'm going to do. I already have the connectors needed for this. While at it, I will add a waterproof masters switch. Turning all of these lights on and off is actually time consuming the rear blinkies "remember" the selected mode and they're real pain in the butt to turn on and off! A master switch will solve this nicely.

Man, I'm gonna be lit up like a small tow truck this Winter

Thanks to all for all the brainstorming
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Old 10-15-10, 09:54 PM   #16
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Your best bet might be a Ni-CD or NiMH pack (as far as cost). They come pre-assembled in 8.4V packs for R/C cars
The six cell packs (7.2 volts) are a better match than the seven cell packs (8.4 volts.)

Three NiCd/NiMH cells in series have a very similar voltage curve to a LiPo/LiIon cell. The Magicshine uses two cells in series (and two in parallel) so the appropriate replacement would be six NiCd/NiMH cells. On the bright side, it's pretty much a drop-in replacement.

I don't know how the magicshine would handle the excess voltage of a seven cell NiMH pack. I'm guessing it would be fine, but I'm not sure.

And yes, the stock pack is essentially 4800 mAh 7.4 volts (though it starts out as 8.4 volts -- 7.4 volts is the nominal voltage. NiMH cells are the same -- the "7.2 volt" packs really start at 8.4 volts as well, and the "8.4 volt" packs start at 9.8 volts.)

Really, I'd say your best bet would be a few more magicshine packs in parallel. If you're up to making your own, you can buy two cells from deal extreme for about $8 -- so for $16 you could make the equivalent of a magicshine pack, or for $32 you could make a double one, $48 for a triple, etc. and this would charge fine with your stock charger, but most people aren't up to soldering packs together.

znomit's idea is good -- you can buy those battery holders, but they cost nearly as much as the cells they'd hold.
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Old 10-15-10, 11:03 PM   #17
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The problem is the MS battery is an unbalanced design. The cells go out of balance and capacity drops, then you have to throw it away.
With individual cells you can rebalance periodically even if you normally charge off the MS charger. And you can toss individual cells if they go bad.
Its probably a better long term solution, avoids the yearly MS tax that people are discovering just now...

And personally whatever you go with I'd run two individual packs with one head/tail off each.
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Old 10-16-10, 09:06 AM   #18
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Really, I'd say your best bet would be a few more magicshine packs in parallel.
This indeed seems like the easiest way out.

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And personally whatever you go with I'd run two individual packs with one head/tail off each.
That's a valid solution too, duh! Although, it would require running two extension cables to the rear, the bike already looks like a mobile radar jamming station

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The problem is the MS battery is an unbalanced design. The cells go out of balance and capacity drops, then you have to throw it away.
With individual cells you can rebalance periodically even if you normally charge off the MS charger..
My last year's MS battery is still giving me more than two hours of steady high beam. Going individual cells seems like something too complicated for me. It's just my perception perhaps.

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Old 10-16-10, 09:12 AM   #19
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And personally whatever you go with I'd run two individual packs with one head/tail off each.
There is one big advantage to having multiple, separate packs -- redundancy.

They won't all go dead or fail at the same time.
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Old 10-16-10, 09:30 AM   #20
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There is one big advantage to having multiple, separate packs -- redundancy.

They won't all go dead or fail at the same time.
Good point too! I guess I will try both solutions then. The advantage here is that whether I put two batteries in parallel or run two separate packs, as long as I have all the necessary cables I can basically reconfigure the lighting on-the fly. So I like the idea of additional MS batteries at this point rather than building my own extended packs.
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Old 10-16-10, 03:46 PM   #21
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Be careful, you can't just take multiple battery packs and wire them together. The pack with the lower charge will try to charge the other one, and it'll try to do it at the highest current that its protection circuitry will allow. This could get dangerous and it's certainly not good for either pack.

If you fully charge each pack on the same charger, then hook them together, then tie them together with a Y adapter or whatever you're going to use, and then always treat them as a single pack after that, it should work OK. But don't take a half charged pack and plug it in with a fully charged pack, or anything like that.
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Old 10-16-10, 04:59 PM   #22
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I'm not really convinced that this is correct: the packs will be in parallel with the lights "in the middle" (for the lack of a better term). The lights will either provide a load or open the circuit when off, therefore preventing any charge flow between the batteries.
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Old 10-16-10, 05:11 PM   #23
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I'm not really convinced that this is correct: the packs will be in parallel with the lights "in the middle" (for the lack of a better term). The lights will either provide a load or open the circuit when off, therefore preventing any charge flow between the batteries.
Think of it this way. Two pack in parallel must have the same voltage since voltage remain the same in a parallel circuit. Li-Ion volatage for 2 series battery will range from 5.4v drain to 8.4 volt fully charge. If the fully charge pack at 8.4v is connected to a fully discharge pack at 5.4v, then what happens is the discharge pack will draw current from the charged pack until the voltage is equal within the two pack. The protection board will give out whatever it was design to max out at. When this happens, the wire of the pack along with the pack can get warm or hot.

If both pack were balance voltage wise before hooking up such as if both are fully charge, then there will be no draw of current from the lower voltage pack.
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Old 10-16-10, 05:18 PM   #24
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Oh, I see.... I was thinking the wrong way around, sorry. Yeah, ignore my previous post...

So in that case it seems that the best way to extend the capacity without running into trouble would be what znomit said: "I'd run two individual packs with one head/tail off each." This way the capacity is doubled and no risky coupling of batteries involved!

Adam
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Old 10-16-10, 05:25 PM   #25
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Supplement to my above post. Once they are balance such as being fully charge, then go ahead and hook them together and run your lights with them. Keep the system as a unit afterward. If at any time you do have to remove one pack and use the other pack until it is depleted, then be sure that both pack are at the same charge level before attempting to hook them back together.

Where this can be dangerous is if you did hook up two unbalance charged packs with a Y-adpater with small gauge wire and the protection circuit board has a high amperage cutout. What can happen is that the wire in the Y-adapter may not be able to handle the current passing along between the two pack while the higher charge pack is providing power to the lower charge pack. The wire can get hot and may start melting the insulator until the wire are expose and short out with each other.
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