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Old 01-16-11, 01:24 PM   #1
no1mad
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MS 1400 or dual 900's?

Okay, so I've been doing some reading and rethinking my lighting strategy. I was thinking about getting multiple LED flashlights that way I would have built-in redundancy due to a failure. Only thing is, that would mean keeping track of/ recharging # of cells x 2 (or more) for multiple lights, possibly multiple chargers at both home and work... it appears to be a logistical nightmare for someone who isn't the most detail orientated.

So, I popped over to Geoman's site. The MS light heads are still available (as there is nothing wrong with them)- it's the light sets that include the battery and charger that have been pulled. Two 900 heads cost only a few bucks more than one 1400, but then factor in the cost of a y connector and source battery and charger elsewhere.

But a dual set-up, running off a single power source... isn't that like having built-in redundancy? Obviously if the battery flat lines that's one thing, but if something should happen to one of the heads, so long as battery has juice and nothing wrong with the cable, then the other head should work, right?

If my logic is correct, then I'm also going to need info/links on what/where to source the battery and charger. And I'm okay with a bottle pack, as I've got a cage on the outside, bottom part of the down tube that I'm not using.
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Old 01-16-11, 02:09 PM   #2
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Theres some issues with the light heads but long term the battery is the weak point.
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Old 01-16-11, 04:04 PM   #3
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Theres some issues with the light heads but long term the battery is the weak point.


I was not aware. Nor am I sure if a MS would've worked for my bike/bus commute anyway. Guess I'll get the cheapest dyno hub+light I can find and augment that with a couple of flashlights.
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Old 01-17-11, 08:39 AM   #4
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I was not aware. Nor am I sure if a MS would've worked for my bike/bus commute anyway. Guess I'll get the cheapest dyno hub+light I can find and augment that with a couple of flashlights.
I've been using Dinotte lights for a few years now. I'll be switching over to dynohub lights as money permits. The Dinottes are great lights, but keeping batteries charged is a pain. I ride everyday, so it seems I'm constantly switching batteries around.

There are some good dyno-powered headlights for $100. You still need the new hub (and wheel built), but it seems worth it. You can still use your battery lights as backups.
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Old 01-17-11, 02:20 PM   #5
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For me the secret is having battery packs with run time to spare. I only have to charge batteries every two days. I could probably do three in a pinch. I don't know if anyone is making dynamo powered lights with the kind of light output a MagicShine emits. The MS is my new gold standard light. I need every single lumen of that light on my commute. In driving rain two would actually be a little better. After all is factored in: hub, wheelbuilding and lights... ... and I am assuming there are no third world knock-offs of this kind of technology... ... I suppose if you have to ask... and I do...

H
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Old 01-17-11, 06:41 PM   #6
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For me the secret is having battery packs with run time to spare. I only have to charge batteries every two days. I could probably do three in a pinch. I don't know if anyone is making dynamo powered lights with the kind of light output a MagicShine emits. The MS is my new gold standard light. I need every single lumen of that light on my commute. In driving rain two would actually be a little better. After all is factored in: hub, wheelbuilding and lights... ... and I am assuming there are no third world knock-offs of this kind of technology... ... I suppose if you have to ask... and I do...

H
Looks like I'm back in the battery camp.

After spending some time reading over on Peter White's and Sheldon's sites, I don't think a dyno will work for me. My next bike will have disc brakes, and if I understand it correctly, a dyno-disc set-up isn't possible.

Whatever I end up with has to be able to run at a minimum of 2 hours on high per day. One hour in the morning to travel on a MUP that is lit in some places, but not in others. The other hour will be either on the same MUP or some back roads, depending on my mood and how much daylight is left.

Another reason why I was leaning towards a dyno was because I'm a multi-modal commuter (bus/bike). Local transit requests all things that could fall off during transport be removed. Mounting and removing and re-mounting daily would become tiresome in a hurry, but I may not have a choice. If I knew for sure how solid the mounting of both the light head and the battery pack were, I might be tempted to just leave them on the bike during transport.
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Old 01-17-11, 06:57 PM   #7
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Looks like I'm back in the battery camp.

After spending some time reading over on Peter White's and Sheldon's sites, I don't think a dyno will work for me. My next bike will have disc brakes, and if I understand it correctly, a dyno-disc set-up isn't possible.

Whatever I end up with has to be able to run at a minimum of 2 hours on high per day. One hour in the morning to travel on a MUP that is lit in some places, but not in others. The other hour will be either on the same MUP or some back roads, depending on my mood and how much daylight is left.

Another reason why I was leaning towards a dyno was because I'm a multi-modal commuter (bus/bike). Local transit requests all things that could fall off during transport be removed. Mounting and removing and re-mounting daily would become tiresome in a hurry, but I may not have a choice. If I knew for sure how solid the mounting of both the light head and the battery pack were, I might be tempted to just leave them on the bike during transport.
I have a shimano hub dynamo on my MTB. There are disc specific models.

Pretty inexpensive.
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Old 01-17-11, 07:27 PM   #8
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I have a shimano hub dynamo on my MTB. There are disc specific models.

Pretty inexpensive.
Either the info I read was out of date, or I was mistaken. At any rate, thanks for that.
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Old 01-17-11, 07:40 PM   #9
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I just got a Shimano Alfine Dynohub, which accepts a centerloc disc. I was going to do the wheel build myself, but got the whole wheel for less than I could have built it up myself: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=35503

The newer LED dynamo lights seem to be every bit as good as many of the battery-powered offerings.

I'm very happy with the light my new Supernova E3 puts out, despite running into (an apparently rare) faulty standlight capacitor. The light still works fine, but my standlight and tail light rely on the capacitor.

Anyway, it is worth considering a dynamo setup instead of battery-based.
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Old 01-18-11, 11:54 AM   #10
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But a dual set-up, running off a single power source... isn't that like having built-in redundancy?
Yes, it is like having some built-in redundancy, but really -- the most likely problem you'll encounter on a ride, by far, is your battery dying, either because you forgot to charge it, or you were out longer than expected, or you forgot to turn it off when not in use, or the battery wearing out ...

However, if you keep a spare battery in with your spare tube and tools ... you're redundant again. You could even make a pack with six NiMH cells -- I'd suggest the low self discharge rate ones so they'll last months between charges -- and while they won't work well at high power, they'll work great at the lower power settings.

Personally, I keep a $1.80 mount and a P7 flashlight in my bag as a spare light, and it's also useful if I need a flashlight. And I generally have one good light on my bars (a P7 flashlight, or my MS900 usually) and one smaller light (like a PB Blaze) that I bought before I found these better lights ...
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Old 01-18-11, 12:38 PM   #11
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Okay, so I've been doing some reading and rethinking my lighting strategy. I was thinking about getting multiple LED flashlights that way I would have built-in redundancy due to a failure. Only thing is, that would mean keeping track of/ recharging # of cells x 2 (or more) for multiple lights, possibly multiple chargers at both home and work... it appears to be a logistical nightmare for someone who isn't the most detail orientated.

So, I popped over to Geoman's site. The MS light heads are still available (as there is nothing wrong with them)- it's the light sets that include the battery and charger that have been pulled. Two 900 heads cost only a few bucks more than one 1400, but then factor in the cost of a y connector and source battery and charger elsewhere.

But a dual set-up, running off a single power source... isn't that like having built-in redundancy? Obviously if the battery flat lines that's one thing, but if something should happen to one of the heads, so long as battery has juice and nothing wrong with the cable, then the other head should work, right?

If my logic is correct, then I'm also going to need info/links on what/where to source the battery and charger. And I'm okay with a bottle pack, as I've got a cage on the outside, bottom part of the down tube that I'm not using.
I have both. The 1400 is okay but not really all that useful. It's a 900 with a couple of mouse ears stuck on it. The mouse ears don't add much to the overall light. Two 900 lightheads would give more, and more usable, light.

I'd rather have 2 lights with two batteries rather than 2 lights with one battery. The problem with running two lamps off the same battery is that if the battery fails, you are riding in the dark Most of the issues I've ever had with lights had to do with battery problems than with the lamp itself. Even when I was using halogen, I was more likely to have problems with the battery than the bulb.

You might want to order a y connector anyway because then you'll have the leads you need for the battery. You can get batteries from Battery Space. The battery that the MS uses is a 4200 mAh battery. I don't know that I'd go the the $40 Chinese pack at the bottom of page 1 since this is probably similar to the one that Geoman has been having issues with.

As for the reliability of the light head, I haven't had any issues with mine. It works and does what I want it to. But then I run it in full on mode all the time and don't mess with the flashy or dimmy bits
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Old 01-18-11, 03:22 PM   #12
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Whatever I end up with has to be able to run at a minimum of 2 hours on high per day. One hour in the morning to travel on a MUP that is lit in some places, but not in others. The other hour will be either on the same MUP or some back roads, depending on my mood and how much daylight is left.

Another reason why I was leaning towards a dyno was because I'm a multi-modal commuter (bus/bike). Local transit requests all things that could fall off during transport be removed. Mounting and removing and re-mounting daily would become tiresome in a hurry, but I may not have a choice. If I knew for sure how solid the mounting of both the light head and the battery pack were, I might be tempted to just leave them on the bike during transport.
A single MS pack will only give 1.5 hrs of runtime with two MS900 on high. If you planning to run both lights, you will have to manage your battery consumption on a single pack. Better off with two packs and two MS900.

If you wear a helmet, you have the option of mounting one light on your helmet with one battery pack in your jacket pocket. This may help cutdown on having to remove two lighthead off your bike. You can leave one battery pack on your bike by placing it in a water bottle and run the wires out. Zip tie the bottle to the holder so it won't bounce off while in transit.
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Old 01-18-11, 03:54 PM   #13
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Theres some issues with the light heads but long term the battery is the weak point.
The problems or recall is related to the battery, I've not heard of any issues with the lighthead itself. Many people on here have found suitable replacement battery packs.. I still have a 1st gen MS light that is 1.5 years old and has no issues..
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Old 01-18-11, 06:53 PM   #14
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Thanks for all of the feedback so far. However, I've also been reading the threads about the new Gemini Titan. From what I can tell, this light just might usurp the throne from the MS light. Even colleenc is impressed with it (and prefers it for commuting on road), which I must admit speaks volumes.

That being said, I'm hesitant to just order a Titan. It's a relative newcomer to the game, and the vendor's reputation hasn't been established.

Hopefully, Geoman will start sourcing batteries/chargers for the MS soon. I'm kind of surprised that they haven't gone the route some of the end users have done and found an alternate source, sort of like a custom light set. Sell the MS lights with a third party battery and charger. Of course, Geoman inking a deal with Gemini to be the U.S. distributor wouldn't be a bad idea either.
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Old 01-18-11, 09:50 PM   #15
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I think the Nova version MS on eBay looks the best and the Geo version is being eclipsed. The Nova a decent flash like the Gemini, Hi-Med-Lo (I dont use low much but like having it), longer warranty than MS and the improved controls.

They are the ones claiming to have magically come up with a UL charger and battery the same month Geo announced the pending recall - a bit too coincidental, I think. I checked and the model number he gave is not in the UL database; he also says he saw spec sheets from the manufacturer showing they are using LG cells. Prolly not. But it still has a 1y/6m warranty.

Best combo looks like the Nova light head with 5200mah Gemini pack; second choice would be all Gemini but I'd like to wait for a US distributor.
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