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  1. #1
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    Geo Update - Late April ETA for new packs

    GeoMan's Recall section was updated today to indicate an ETA of April for new packs. It was mentioned elsewhere, but prolly deserves its own posting - electrons being chreap and all:
    http://www.geomangear.com/index.php?...age=page&id=17

    The FAQ has been updated in the last week or so to include a jab at the improved Nova packs.

    Discuss....
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  2. #2
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonix View Post

    Discuss....
    First in first served?
    "Send out replacement battery packs in phases on a first come, first serve basis as funding and manufacturing support additional battery shipments "

    Late April???

    Totex have a factory in China.

  3. #3
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    I caught that phrase too. The factory may be able to manufacture them faster than they can come up with 'funding' to buy them. Even at 5,000 per WEEK, it could take 2 months to replace the 35,000 of them out there (here). And thats ignoring any demand from sales of new lightsets.
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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I'd just as soon not get mine until October or so. I have already replaced it, and if I get it in April, it'll just sit unused all summer, which isn't good for it.
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    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post

    Totex have a factory in China.
    Remind of that movie with Bruce Willis Armegeddon where that Russian space station astronaut said "Russia made, USA made, all made in China."

    So we get new batteries, but still charge them with questionable non UL charger? Luckily for me, I received my charger from Batteryspace and the UL has a number listed on it and works well.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    Just a few things to note:
    My guess is that he is bringing them over via Ocean and NOT Air due to costs and the large volumn that he needs to bring in.
    The Chinese New years will shut down the factories soon for anywhere from 1 - 2 weeks.
    Most likely he just placed his order and if so they would/could ship by 1st 0r 2nd week in March. Then Ocean and Land/Rail time to arrive at his location.


    Oh yeah, the Nova battery comment was up there about 3 weeks ago.
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  7. #7
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    I'd prefer CV/CC over UL approval. A charger can be good without UL approval, but CV/CC would be even better - or even just gentle like some Xtars can be. I dont know that their expert consultant included chargers in the evaluation. It is one of about 6 questions I'd like to see added to the FAQ (like will Totex be 'matching' cells for packs).


    The episode does make me wonder if any sort of replacement (discounted or otherwise) would have come about purely as a result of the wide spread dismal performance of the packs without the incidents of fire as motivation. I'd like to think so, but with 35,000 packs in use a fair number of people will have gotten their money's worth out of them, but are still getting a replacement.
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  8. #8
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not the Slowest View Post
    My guess is that he is bringing them over via Ocean and NOT Air due to costs and the large volumn that he needs to bring in.
    The Chinese New years will shut down the factories soon for anywhere from 1 - 2 weeks.
    Most likely he just placed his order and if so they would/could ship by 1st 0r 2nd week in March. Then Ocean and Land/Rail time to arrive at his location.

    Oh yeah, the Nova battery comment was up there about 3 weeks ago.
    Geoman has been emphatic in saying they will be US made. From the FAQ, Item 4:
    Our replacement packs will be U.S. designed, made, tested and approved. In addition, the US CPSC will also test and approve them before we send them out.
    From MTBR:
    They will be exclusive GeoManGear battery packs and will be manufactured in California to US standards. We are expecting a high quality, reliable and durable battery pack from our manufacturer.
    I dunno that I buy that "each battery pack is UN-tested" however (FAQ 6). Tested to comply with UN standards, ok, but the wording implies testing BY the UN.


    I must have missed it when they first added the swipe at Nova. I was watching because they had to have a comeback given that the Nova ads are geared to take advantage of the whole situation.
    Last edited by Plutonix; 01-27-11 at 11:49 AM.
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    The GeoMan FAQ includes tentative dates for the different steps of the design/manufacturing process for the new battery packs.

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    Thanks for the update. I haven't watched for it really, as I had figured I'd never actually get a battery.

    Just an FYI, my Nova Bike Lights battery is working great since November 30 - 20 separate rides for 31 cumulative hrs. Still goes 3+ hrs on High mode, even when it hasn't been charged in nearly a week (3 different 6-day-long weather or holiday breaks in this period). It might die tomorrow, but so far it's fine.

    I don't care where the MS battery is made or if it's certified as long as it works. I probably have a dozen electronic devices lacking UL certification that I've used over the years with no problem whatsoever. In fact the MS battery is the only dud I've got in a long time.

    UL certification means nearly nothing to the consumer. Anybody can submit a perfect sample for testing/certification, then churn out whatever crap they can manage to sell afterwards by the thousands.

    I could have used 4x$2 DX 18650 cells, a $7 DX charger, and a $15 2s2p 18650 cell holder and had more reliable battery than the 2 Geoman sold me. I've got over 400 recharge cycles on 6 of the cheapest DX cells you can buy, and they are all still going, although admittedly at reduced run time. Haven't had a dud cell yet of the 8 I bought 2 years ago. I suppose this simply illustrates the inherent difficulty of charging a 2s2p 18650 cell battery, or maybe MS should upgrade their cell quality to DX's high standards (dx=dealextreme).

    Geoman's delay is almost certainly cost motivated, not a lack of battery expertise or manufacturing capacity. To me, 35,000 batteries sounds like a >$350,000 hit to Geoman. I'm surprised they didn't simply file bankruptcy and start over with a new business name and url.

  11. #11
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    I could have used 4x$2 DX 18650 cells, a $7 DX charger, and a $15 2s2p 18650 cell holder and had more reliable battery than the 2 Geoman sold me. I've got over 400 recharge cycles on 6 of the cheapest DX cells you can buy, and they are all still going, although admittedly at reduced run time. Haven't had a dud cell yet of the 8 I bought 2 years ago. I suppose this simply illustrates the inherent difficulty of charging a 2s2p 18650 cell battery, or maybe MS should upgrade their cell quality to DX's high standards (dx=dealextreme).
    The problems occur when the cell are being charge from a non balancing charger while the cell are still hooked up in the 2S configuration. You can take DX 18650 cell and keep them in balance if you remove them out of the cell holder and charge them individually in a charger. However I doubt that those same cell will remain balance if they are charged in the 2S configuration with a standard non balancing charger.

    What occurs is that during the charge cycle with an unbalance charger, the two cell in series are suppose to be charging at the same rate if they are balance. If two cell are not balance, their final discharged SOC can be different because of various reason such as variation in capacity or discharge rate. When the cell are being charged, the final charge voltage can be 8.4v when the charger stop charging and the indicator is green. However that does not mean the cell are balance. In reality, one cell final SOC might be 4.15v and the second cell might be 4.25v. This unbalance of the cell can be dangerous for the potential of fire because one cell is being overcharged and the other cell can be over discharge before the PCB protects the cell. Both cell can develop internal shorts and potential for thermal runaway during charge cycle.

    One method to avoid this is to use quality cell that has better consistancy from QC, material and manufactoring process. I'm not really sure just how well 4 new 18650 cell from DX will be balance with each other. However I do have several batch of cell bought from DX on the same order and used them exclusively and cycle them with my P7 at work and I notice them to have a different rate of self discharge. If they were used in a 2S2P pack and charged in a standard non balancing charger, the problems would have been notice much earlier.
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    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    The problems occur...
    Thanks for the explanation.

    I was not clear in my post. The "$7 DX charger" is an 18650 charger that charges only 1 or 2 cells on separate circuits. I would be charging cells individually, and installing and later removing from a 2s2p cell holder. I occasionally check them with meter to ensure charging OK. So the problem you described can be completely avoided by this simple process.

    My point is that for a little work and ~30 bucks, you could ensure a reliable battery for your MS type light for probably hundreds of recharge cycles. And double the life for another 12 bucks for 4 additional cells. Worst thing that can happen is you throw away a cell once in a great while, at cost of 3 bucks.

  13. #13
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    The nice thing with a DIY pack as you describe is the versatility. You can change to any grade of cell at anytime you like. The biggest plus is not to have to buy a new pack when the pack just drop out of your needed runtime. I almost made my own pack because the original pack was just barely enough. When my pack started to lose runtime, I found my self having to charge more often. A DIY pack would be simply to remove the battery and either balance them or replace them if needed.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
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    Some people got their head so far up their butt such that the only thing they hear is muffle when trying to explain anything to them! I only wish they take it out sometimes to smell the roses.

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    Regarding DIY packs, what type of enclosures are available to protect them from rain and drizzle? It seems to me that having a pack that's easy to open (for individual cell recharging), yet waterproof, is not likely to be cheap.

  15. #15
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mondoman View Post
    Regarding DIY packs, what type of enclosures are available to protect them from rain and drizzle? It seems to me that having a pack that's easy to open (for individual cell recharging), yet waterproof, is not likely to be cheap.
    There's couple of cheap options. You can get 2 x 2P holder, tape/glue them back to back and wire them up in series to get the 2S2P configuration. The shape will be similar to the original MS pack. Then you can put that in a water bottle with a large screw on lid or a stem bag. Home depot sold some Viewtainer container. They are clear cylindrical container with caps. You can slip the pack in that and seal the slot where the wires comes out.

    You also can buy the holder as a 2S2P in a flat style in a shape of a wallet. Batteryspace sell some enclosure with screw on lid. You will have to drill a hole for the wire and use a groment.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
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    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    The nice thing with a DIY pack as you describe is the versatility. You can change to any grade of cell at anytime you like. The biggest plus is not to have to buy a new pack when the pack just drop out of your needed runtime. I almost made my own pack because the original pack was just barely enough. When my pack started to lose runtime, I found my self having to charge more often. A DIY pack would be simply to remove the battery and either balance them or replace them if needed.
    Yes, since I already have 18650 cells and charger for flashlights (like many folks here), all you need is a 2s2p cell holder and some wire and a connector (salvage one off an old MS battery) and you're in business.

  17. #17
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    Thanks for the explanation.

    I was not clear in my post. The "$7 DX charger" is an 18650 charger that charges only 1 or 2 cells on separate circuits. I would be charging cells individually, and installing and later removing from a 2s2p cell holder. I occasionally check them with meter to ensure charging OK. So the problem you described can be completely avoided by this simple process.

    My point is that for a little work and ~30 bucks, you could ensure a reliable battery for your MS type light for probably hundreds of recharge cycles. And double the life for another 12 bucks for 4 additional cells. Worst thing that can happen is you throw away a cell once in a great while, at cost of 3 bucks.
    I have that exact setup for my MS - a gang pack. A 2S2P holder (ie no PCB) with primo (protected) cells that are charged with a pair of cell chargers. The cells can discharge at very slightly different rates, but since they get charged to the max each time, they cannot get significantly out of balance. I actually have 6 cells which are numbered; they get rotated (1+2) + (3+4) one time; (3+4) + (5+6) etc. I log the results and am looking to see if there are 2 pair that are significantly more well matched and/or watching for a bad cell in the bunch.

    Since there is always 1 pair charged, I also slapped together a 2S1P mini pack in case I need a light but forgot to recharge; OR to carry for an extra 1.5 hrs of light for late night summer rides, centuries, etc. Even with 1 pack/holder, if needed you can just carry extra cells and pop them in if needed.

    One other advantage in addition to what Colleen mentioned is that the pack is reusable. I have disconnects on the connector to the pack so that to recycle it from a MS pack to a XYZ pack, all I need to do is build a new adapter/connector. They quick disconnects as the strain relief has to be removed, but still easier than splicing or rewiring the pack or building a new one. I've done the same to the NiMH packs for the other bike so the same pack can run Dinottes, Nitehawk or old Planet bike halogen and it works well as long as they are the same voltage (or close).

    The down sides are a) a bit of a hassle cell charging; I dont mind the inconvenience given longer service life the pack will have and lower risk of a pack incident.

    b) waterproofing. You cant heat shrink a pack you open almost every day. I am not an all weather commuter I dont need much but I put some duct tape on the outside of the MS battery bag to ward off the odd splash. If it is bad like from snow melt, put the pack in a baggie (which is just about all the protection I need).

    You can also make a sleeve from a 3.00" kiddie tube but then it wont in the MS (2 strap version) holder.

    All in all you loose the convenience of 1 step pack charging, but gain a lot of versatility, (should get) longer service life from the cells and little chance of pack incident.

    HTH

    EDIT: Ok, there is one other negative - you need to be careful to insert the cells properly to avoid short circuit or reverse polarity. Mine are clearly marked and one has some colored PVC tape to mark the positive connectors.
    Last edited by Plutonix; 01-28-11 at 12:32 PM.
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  18. #18
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Hopefully each pack is NOT individually UL tested. UL testing is destructive. They mainly test to make sure things aren't unduly dangerous when abused, like having the cord ripped out of the wall repeatedly.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  19. #19
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    There's couple of cheap options. You can get 2 x 2P holder, tape/glue them back to back and wire them up in series to get the 2S2P configuration. The shape will be similar to the original MS pack. Then you can put that in a water bottle with a large screw on lid or a stem bag. Home depot sold some Viewtainer container. They are clear cylindrical container with caps. You can slip the pack in that and seal the slot where the wires comes out.

    You also can buy the holder as a 2S2P in a flat style in a shape of a wallet. Batteryspace sell some enclosure with screw on lid. You will have to drill a hole for the wire and use a groment.
    You can get cell holder "blanks" from LuminousDIY. They are just resin formed holders with no wires and you wire them 2S2P or 4P - whatever you need. They come in a variety of shapes like 4x1 or 2x2 or 3x3 (good for 2S3P ! ).

    The 2x2 "compact" version fits perfectly into the MS 2 strap bag. They will also easily slide into a 3" tube to fashion something more waterproof, but I like some of your ideas better since it will look less ghetto.

    Here is the finished product:

    The other side is just like this but with + and - reversed. The Tamiya is the connector disconnect and just to the left of that is a strain relief.

    The top (just because I have the pic handy):


    The resin is hard but easy to modify. Where the wires cross over to the other side, I cut a channel into the resin so they would be recessed to reduce something pulling them off. Same on the bottom where they make the serial connection. I also slathered some plati-dip over the contacts even though they are recessed so that if you set it down on a metal table Bad Things dont happen.

    The connector is from a DX Y Connector - these are slightly more lightweight than the 1meter extension, but you get 2 per cable. Either lets you make the connector as long or short as needed.
    Last edited by Plutonix; 01-28-11 at 02:12 PM.
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    batteryspace.com has a 2s2p 18650 cell holder, 18650s (not best price) charger (ditto) and a MS-compatible female connector

  21. #21
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    The batteryspace holders include PCBs and are for building a traditional pack used with a pack charger. Which is a good way to go - since the cells are removable, you can pack charge them 90% of the time, and open it up to 'balance' them with a cell charger once in a while.

    I almost regret not having gone that way, but this way was cheaper (all I needed was the holders).
    Last edited by Plutonix; 01-28-11 at 01:50 PM.
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    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    Thanks Plutonix, for those DIY pack pictures. The last time I was at LuminousDIY, I was not sure how their pack configuration was listed. Now that I see the terminal are user specific and solder to the way we want it, that became much clear. I got four spare Aw2900 and I think I will order a holder to get a 5800 mah pack. That just about right for my Titan and the extra load from my MS tailight.
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  23. #23
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonix View Post
    The batteryspace holders include PCBs and are for building a traditional pack used with a pack charger. Which is a good way to go - since the cells are removable, you can pack charge them 90% of the time, and open it up to 'balance' them with a cell charger once in a while.

    I almost regret not having gone that way, but this way was cheaper (all I needed was the holders).
    There was something about the Batteryspace holder I did not like. They mention the pack undervoltage protection circuit will be trip when the battery are inserted in the holder. The user will have to plug in a charger after inserting the cell in to reset the PCB. That's ok except if a cell bounce loose while in the middle of your commute. Same problem if you want to change cells in the holder while you are out on the road. That means the PCB on the holder will need to be reset and that's almost possible to do out on the road. Does this sound right to anyone reading the description on those batteryspace cell holder?
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Some people got their head so far up their butt such that the only thing they hear is muffle when trying to explain anything to them! I only wish they take it out sometimes to smell the roses.

  24. #24
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    Thanks Plutonix, for those DIY pack pictures.
    My pleasure. They come with the battery contact clips (8) all positive/springy for a snug hold, a small velco strap to keep the cells from popping out and a zip tie. Not sure what the zip was for, but I used it for strain relief.

    The strap is not always needed - the MS bag is snug and holds them well enough. I used some Trustfire 2400s at first and they are 67mm long and the clips hold tight. I also used some Ultrafire unprotected which were about 63mm long which DID need the strap to keep them in place until you get it into the bag. I ended up using Panasonic 2900s which are protected but have a petite positive tip (semi flat top), so the fit is in between and actually the best.

    Since you have a Pila, you should be able to get max service life from them.
    Last edited by Plutonix; 01-28-11 at 02:14 PM.
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  25. #25
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    ... That means the PCB on the holder will need to be reset and that's almost possible to do out on the road. Does this sound right to anyone reading the description on those batteryspace cell holder?
    Wow, I remember reading that and wondering the same thing - although at first I thought they meant just the first time. Also, depending on whether it is sized to fit button top/non or protected cells it could leave room for a tight or loose fit, or restrict what batteries could be used. So yea, I agree - too clever by half.

    I figured that I could use magnets to take up any slack, but since the 2s2p is only available as 4x1 the scale tipped in favor of the Luminious. You could use 2 x 2s1p and wire them in parallel but they warn against that. Running the light would work, but charging it would be problematic.

    I might give it a try if and when they get a 2s2p in 2x2 config.
    Last edited by Plutonix; 01-28-11 at 02:22 PM.
    Man does not live by one bike alone.
    2010 Trek 4500
    2011 Trek 7.5 FX

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