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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bat56's Avatar
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    Planet bike superflash got a drop of water in it. Switch broken. Hacks?

    Title says most of it.

    When I put the batteries in the thing just flashes. This is better than dead, but still... I have acces to a pretty keen soldering person and the required equipment. Any thoughts on how I can approach this?

    Maybe I'll hack a nice big switch on the side.

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    I have had water get in a Super Flash, and it did act strangely. I removed the cover, removed the batteries, and gently dried it with a hair dryer. Let it stand a while and it was OK.

    If I think I'm going to encounter wet conditions, I wrap the Super Flash in a piece of house hold stretch film and place a rubber band around it. This works pretty well. Same treatment for control head of computer.

  3. #3
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Try that advice ^^^^^, just open it and let it dry for a few days.
    Planetbike covers most of their products with a lifetime warranty.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bat56's Avatar
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    I should have said, I did not know there was a problem until I noticed it was turning on and off by itself. I opened it up for two days and now I have the blink problem. I'll try it again now that it has been four days drying.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Fynn's Avatar
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    That is a simple on/off switch. It has no brains. Try and run the light with the cover off. If it acts the same way the problem is NOT with the switch.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bat56 View Post
    I should have said, I did not know there was a problem until I noticed it was turning on and off by itself. I opened it up for two days and now I have the blink problem. I'll try it again now that it has been four days drying.
    I do like mine, Iv'e dropped it in the road a few times and it's been ok, but the first one I had would turn on all by itself, like at night when I was on the computer. I thought I had a ghost or something. BTW, be very careful prying the thing open.

    DO NOT pry from the bottom where the switch button is, use the little slots near the top!!! PB could use a bit more R and D.

    Their Beamer front strobe has a grey rubber switch that biodegrades with finger oils and UV light. This can be remedied by putting a piece of innertube over it with talcum powder in it. Don't let the switch be exposed. Just figured I'd mention the front one too in case anyone bought the set. For 25.00 expect it to last a year, maybe two

  7. #7
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    I saw an ad on late night TV for a bag that absorbs the moisture out of electronics theoretically ruined by water immersion (Cell phones, MP3 players etc and presumably some bike lights). You put the device in the bag, seal it and wait 24 hours. Dunno how well they work but they are only like 2 for $20.

    They are just some sort of desiccant with the bag gimmick. If you have some desiccant packets saved that ship with hard drives, DVD drives, video cards etc, you can use them. Amazon has this and this which are cheaper than the bag.

    Compared to replacement costs of MP3 players and cell phones or bike light bench charges and even shipping on warranty items, the $10 or so seems well worth a try.

    MacGyver would put the PBSF in a baggie with some (raw) rice for a day or so and should work better than a hairdryer.
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  8. #8
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bat56 View Post
    Title says most of it.

    When I put the batteries in the thing just flashes. This is better than dead, but still... I have acces to a pretty keen soldering person and the required equipment. Any thoughts on how I can approach this?

    Maybe I'll hack a nice big switch on the side.
    A couple of years ago a forum member left his in a pocket and went through the washing machine. He let it dry and it was fine.

    I loaned one to a friend, he somehow dropped it into a sewer! He got is out and let it dry and it still works.! I let him keep it..eeck.

    Just open it and leave it alone for a while. You could spray it with some electronic cleaning spray, maybe from Radio Shack?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonix View Post
    I saw an ad on late night TV for a bag that absorbs the moisture out of electronics theoretically ruined by water immersion (Cell phones, MP3 players etc and presumably some bike lights). You put the device in the bag, seal it and wait 24 hours. Dunno how well they work but they are only like 2 for $20.

    They are just some sort of desiccant with the bag gimmick. If you have some desiccant packets saved that ship with hard drives, DVD drives, video cards etc, you can use them. Amazon has this and this which are cheaper than the bag.

    Compared to replacement costs of MP3 players and cell phones or bike light bench charges and even shipping on warranty items, the $10 or so seems well worth a try.

    MacGyver would put the PBSF in a baggie with some (raw) rice for a day or so and should work better than a hairdryer.
    You can save some money by using rice instead. Rice is pretty good at absorbing moisture from the air.

  10. #10
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    FWIW, I've had two of these die on me. I have been able to temporarily revive them with a blow drier, but they've never been dependable after that.

    The best suggestion of course is preventiong. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure... as the saying goes.

    # Tip one: Use scotch tape to seal the seam where the red plastic lense pops off. This works pretty well since batteries last so long.

    # Tip two: Go over the top and just put a platic baggy and a rubber band over the entire light.


    Personally I just go straight for the plastic baggie and rubber band. It's 100% effective and the only negative is your light doesn't look as pretty. LOL. Which is really not a negative at all in my book, especially when it comes to saftey and the cost of replacement.

    == Why these things go bad ==

    First, I have yet to find a blinkie that was truely waterproof. The seals on the super blinkie are only about 1mm thick. There is no way they're going to stop all the water.

    Second, most blinkies are place on the back of the seatpost, seat or seat wedge. This puts them in direct line of fire with all the water coming off the back tire. There's no way a superblinkie can stand up to that much spray for long.

    If anyone else has any other ideas let me know.

  11. #11
    Truck Driver Totaled108's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmeiser View Post
    Second, most blinkies are place on the back of the seatpost, seat or seat wedge. This puts them in direct line of fire with all the water coming off the back tire. There's no way a superblinkie can stand up to that much spray for long.

    If anyone else has any other ideas let me know.
    Fenders will be your best defense against water. All my bikes locate the blinky on the seat post under the saddle. With fenders, this is the driest spot on the bike. I have ridden for over an hour in continuous down pour and the blinky hardly has a misting of water on it. Don't waste time and money on the cheap ones. Full fenders are the only way to be fully happy in the rain and riding through puddles.

    Also, fenders defend your face and back from road grime.
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  12. #12
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmeiser View Post
    FWIW, I've had two of these die on me. I have been able to temporarily revive them with a blow drier, but they've never been dependable after that.

    The best suggestion of course is preventiong. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure... as the saying goes.

    # Tip one: Use scotch tape to seal the seam where the red plastic lense pops off. This works pretty well since batteries last so long.

    # Tip two: Go over the top and just put a platic baggy and a rubber band over the entire light.
    .Personally I just go straight for the plastic baggie and rubber band. It's 100% effective and the only negative is your light doesn't look as pretty. LOL. Which is really not a negative at all in my book, especially when it comes to saftey and the cost of replacement.

    == Why these things go bad ==

    First, I have yet to find a blinkie that was truely waterproof. The seals on the super blinkie are only about 1mm thick. There is no way they're going to stop all the water.

    Second, most blinkies are place on the back of the seatpost, seat or seat wedge. This puts them in direct line of fire with all the water coming off the back tire. There's no way a superblinkie can stand up to that much spray for long.

    If anyone else has any other ideas let me know.
    Thin cheap non zip seal sandwich bags are thin and don't dim the light as much as a better quality thicker bag, but still keep the light dry.
    The led itself is just surrounded by the clear plastic part of the lens, there's no seal there. I think the rubber seals on the housing halves are fine.
    You can see the gap around the led just by looking closely on some lights
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  13. #13
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmeiser View Post
    Personally I just go straight for the plastic baggie and rubber band. It's 100% effective and the only negative is your light doesn't look as pretty. LOL.
    A baggie may also affect the light output/dispersion though probably very minimally.

    I have one of the early models which were very prone to the light unit escaping from the bracket, so mine have some PVC tape over the seam to hold it together. This must help with waterproofing because they have worked without a problem for years on the seat stay.

    They play back up to a PDW Danger Zone now though (which means I moved them to the right seat stay).
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  14. #14
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I have my PBSF PC-7ed to the rear fender, been there two years, no issues. I also have two generic blinkies attached to the V-racks, again no water issues.
    2008 Kona Fire Mountain/Xtracycle
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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