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Old 10-18-10, 07:20 PM   #1
no1mad
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Need light advice, 2.0

My current light set-up ain't gonna cut it. I had reservations that it would, but tried it anyway. Last time I asked, I was only interested in cordless/wireless/self-contained units... That's still a preference, but no longer a deal breaker.

New requirements:

-Bright enough to play with traffic. My little 3xAAA light is fine around the block, but not on the commute.
-Able to handle the weather, so basically waterproof.
-Work out of the box, with no DIY'ing on my part.
-Durable (see above)
-Dependable (see above)
-Secure mounting. I don't want it to budge until I take it off.
-Runtime at least 2 hours on high for something with an external pack. Flashlights would consider 1.5 hours on a single cell (if possible)

Prefer US-sourced. I realize that damn near everything is imported, but from reading, domestic suppliers have better, more responsive customer service/warranty.
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Old 10-18-10, 08:11 PM   #2
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Love my dinotte 400
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Old 10-18-10, 08:20 PM   #3
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Cygolite TRION 600
DINOTTE 300R

Both meet all your requirements and both wireless.
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Old 10-18-10, 08:57 PM   #4
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Like the Cygolite Mitycross 400
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Old 10-18-10, 09:05 PM   #5
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got my dinotte 300R today. It will suffice. And then some.

Up front I use a variety of DX flashlights. They work great.
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Old 10-18-10, 09:06 PM   #6
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Magic Shine, from Geomangear......
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Old 10-18-10, 09:13 PM   #7
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The MS keeps coming back as the most insane light for the $, but I also keep hearing rumblings of it failing...
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Old 10-19-10, 01:49 AM   #8
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Been using the MS light for over a year at least 4-6 hours a week with no problems. Many of the posters are talking about the waterproofness of the original battery pack.. I have not heard of any MS lights straight out failing..
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Old 10-19-10, 05:20 PM   #9
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Regarding the MS, has the battery pack been updated to withstand the elements? And how solidly does it mount (light+battery)?

I'm multi-modal (bike/bus) and if there is any chance that it will fall off while the bike is one the rack on the front of the bus, then it's not for me.
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Old 10-19-10, 06:18 PM   #10
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Yes, the magicshine has been waterproofed for the last 2 generations. Only the very first generation was susceptible to weather.

Battery mounting is the same as any other light; velcro strap. I use an extender cable and just keep it in my pannier.

The wiring has been known to fray after a time, to avoid, just be sure to pull only on the connectors when pulling them apart. I haven't had any trouble since I started doing that. The source of the fraying is that the waterproof connectors snap together pretty tightly and there's a temptation to yank on the wires to get them apart. That's not good for any wiring system.

The lighthead itself mounts with an O ring, same as the Dinottes and several others. the latest Magicshine light uses a hard mount with a quick disconnect, though I'm not sure if Geoman has them yet. DealExtreme does, but I'd really recommend getting yours from Geoman. They'll probably have them in stock and shipped before you could get one from DX anyway (typically it takes 3+ weeks to get anything from DX).

Here's the newest:
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.44676

I'd really recommend going with their taillight too, it's as good as the Dinotte 140L (better I think, a bit more visible to the sides) - buy from Geoman with a Y cable for $29, you can't beat that. That combination is what I run.

If you really want to stick with made in the US, you're gonna have to go with Dinotte I think, there may be some others but Dinotte is probably the best combination of made in the US and fairly affordable.
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Old 10-19-10, 07:00 PM   #11
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Okay, the Magic Shine has been water proofed.

So the next major question would be runtime- with and without the tail light. And how costly would a back-up battery pack cost? Major suckage if both the heavy hitters front and rear were to go out...
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Old 10-19-10, 09:41 PM   #12
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Okay, the Magic Shine has been water proofed.
So the next major question would be runtime- with and without the tail light. And how costly would a back-up battery pack cost? Major suckage if both the heavy hitters front and rear were to go out...
spare battery is $50 from geomangear. I thought I saw mention of 3 hours for MS900 and the tail both on high, it may not have been on this board though.
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Old 10-20-10, 10:40 AM   #13
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3 hours is probably about right on blink, but I don't know about on steady. I get 3 hours 15 minutes on a brand new battery with just the lighthead. The taillight would probably run a good 8 or 10 hours on steady. I'm sure you'd get at least 2:30 out of the two on high, maybe longer, and 3 hours on high/blink, maybe longer. I haven't done any measurements though.
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Old 10-20-10, 11:01 AM   #14
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I don't really think that just carrying a spare battery is good enough regardless of your lighting system. I want a fully independent backup. I have a MagicShine head and tail, and my backup is a P7 flashlight in a lockblock up front, and a pair of PBSFs angled out on the seat post in back. That way I'm covered even if the wiring shorts out, the actual head dies rather than just the battery running flat, etc.

I'd want to do that even if I had a $1000 Lupine light.
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Old 10-20-10, 11:16 AM   #15
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I don't really think that just carrying a spare battery is good enough regardless of your lighting system. I want a fully independent backup. I have a MagicShine head and tail, and my backup is a P7 flashlight in a lockblock up front, and a pair of PBSFs angled out on the seat post in back. That way I'm covered even if the wiring shorts out, the actual head dies rather than just the battery running flat, etc.
This is what throws me off. If I'm going to spend money on the magicshine but still want a backup, which would use a separate battery/charger system... why not get a light setup that uses the same rechargeable batteries? I've been looking at the SST-50 LED lights like the shining beam MG-P rocket and thrower. They run on single 18650 batteries, while the MS uses 4 of them in its pack. If both of them last 1 hour on a single battery (from reading others experience), I'd get 2 hours from carrying 4 separate batteries, but I'd also get more light output so I could run them on medium power levels.
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Old 10-20-10, 12:39 PM   #16
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This is what throws me off. If I'm going to spend money on the magicshine but still want a backup, which would use a separate battery/charger system... why not get a light setup that uses the same rechargeable batteries? I've been looking at the SST-50 LED lights like the shining beam MG-P rocket and thrower. They run on single 18650 batteries, while the MS uses 4 of them in its pack. If both of them last 1 hour on a single battery (from reading others experience), I'd get 2 hours from carrying 4 separate batteries, but I'd also get more light output so I could run them on medium power levels.
That's absolutely valid. There's not a thing wrong with buying a couple of flashlights and using them. I use a Magicshine for a few reasons; I can go several days without recharging, I only have one battery to screw with on a regular basis for head and tail, and IMO the pattern is better on the MS than on my P7 flashlight.

I used the P7 throughout the summer, and it gets tiresome having to screw around with charging batteries every friggin' day. Not to mention that I also had a Dinotte taillight with AAs that I had to charge every 2 days. It's SUCH a relief now to just have one battery pack (an 8 cell Tenergy) for my Magicshine that I can just leave in the bottom of my bike bag and charge once a week, running the headlight and taillight on high/steady for 45 minutes every morning and the tail on flash for 45 minutes every evening.
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Old 10-20-10, 02:18 PM   #17
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I don't really think that just carrying a spare battery is good enough regardless of your lighting system. I want a fully independent backup. I have a MagicShine head and tail, and my backup is a P7 flashlight in a lockblock up front, and a pair of PBSFs angled out on the seat post in back. That way I'm covered even if the wiring shorts out, the actual head dies rather than just the battery running flat, etc.

I'd want to do that even if I had a $1000 Lupine light.
Oh, I'll have independent back-ups- what I'm using now . I have a Cherrybomb on the helmet and that little 3xAAA Coleman Max rated at 115 lumen up front. I'll prolly invest in a more powerful flashlight for the front before springing for the MS set-up, though by them time I buy the flashlight, charger, and batteries, I'm within spitting range of the MS...

If dyno-light set-ups weren't so damned spendy, I'd go that route as the primary (use on the MUP) and more powerful lights as back-up/augment in traffic.
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Old 10-20-10, 05:28 PM   #18
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I always have a backup headlight, right now using a Romisen R5 flashlight w/ lockblock..
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Old 10-20-10, 11:44 PM   #19
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What's your budget? That would help us a lot in narrowing it down.
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Old 10-21-10, 05:25 PM   #20
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What's your budget? That would help us a lot in narrowing it down.
Budget constraints allows roughly $100, give or take a little, but not double. It's why I'm still on the fence over the Magic Shine.

I'm torn between getting the MS and hoping for the best (as in no trouble), or get 2 flashlights that combined would be almost as bright as the MS. And either of those flashlights would be brighter still on its own than what I have now.
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Old 10-21-10, 07:02 PM   #21
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If you are going the flashlight route here is nice option, SB Romisen R5 light, about 300 lumens out the front w/ 18650 cells..

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...4-II-R5/Detail

2 lockblocks: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWNX:IT

UF 3600mah batteries and charger: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWNX:IT

all ship from usa.. total cost $85.00, would get an extra cell or 2..
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Old 10-21-10, 08:30 PM   #22
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great price.
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Old 10-22-10, 09:29 AM   #23
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Keep in mind that there are a lot of people who have had either no trouble or very little trouble with the MagicShine. Most people don't come up here and post "My MagicShine didn't give me any trouble this week" but they do post when it dies. And the majority of the trouble is either fraying wires that can be either avoided by being careful with the connectors, dying batteries which are unfortunate but hey, it happens, but probably not for a year and odds are good that your next battery will be OK. The melting charger is worrisome, but nobody can guarantee that their charger won't do that. I won't say that the MagicShine charger probably isn't more likely to do it than a more mainstream brand, but having read a lot of these stories I wouldn't charge any LiIon battery unattended anymore, from anyone.

I think the MagicShine head + tail with a Y adaptor is an awesome light set, with managable shortcomings that are reasonable given the price. You can get higher quality than MS by going with either less light or more money, take your pick.
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Old 10-22-10, 09:56 AM   #24
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How to find a light you like is easier if you can run into some cyclists that already have good lights. Then you could go ride with them sometime and see the difference between various lights.

I've spent almost $500 but I have used double Dinottee, A Fenix LD20 and three sets of MS lights to show for it as well as lots of extras. Any one of these lights would have worked, but I wanted to "SEE" what is was like to really flood the road with light - and now I know.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:56 AM   #25
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I had to give this some thoughts before giving my 2 pennies worth. I say go with a MS. I have a MG P Rocket that is as bright or brighter than the MS. It does run close to $100 by the time you get done with charger and battery. It also only yield an hour worth of lights and some spare minute like 10-15 minutes or so. The MS at three hrs is more convient if you have a long ride. Winter is coming which mean more runtime needed and having to recharge flashlight can be a hassle. I do not have that issue because I run my flaslight on med and run my MS on high, if a single flaslight is your primary light, then it is a headache to have to recharge everyday.

For $85 and SH, that price is hard to beat. Geoman has great service and honestly, I think the reliability factor is good enough to not be too much of an issue.

If I recall correctly, you have bad eye sight which means more lumen is better. Along with winter rain season, I find that more lumen is needed out on wet road. A flaslight with same lumen as MS will means double the recharge routine. When considering the three hours runtime of the MS. 500-600 lumen with three hour runtime at $85; I think it is a good deal for your price range. For everything else, there is the great customer care from Geoman.
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