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CygoLite went dead :-(

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CygoLite went dead :-(

Old 11-14-05, 06:45 PM
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CygoLite went dead :-(

Crap.

I used it Thursday morning with no problems. It might have been a tiny bit nippy, but that's about it. When I got home from work, I put it on the charger and charged it up for a few hours, then put it aside and flew home to Chicago. Then last night, I put it on the charger for an extra hour or so, just in case the charge went down while I was away.

This morning, I take off and I go to switch on the light. Nothing. Nada. I'm flipping the switch like a flipping fool, and nothing. Somehow, the light doesn't work. I barely have enough light with my other light, but I switched my headlight into high mode also so I could get some extra light. Initially, I thought maybe I just didn't charge it as I thought, but I just finished charging it again, and unfortunately, the light still doesn't work.

What can I do? It's an expensive light, and it's my main light. I would want to return it to the company somehow and have them replace it, but I got this light about 2 years ago, and I don't have the warranty anymore. I'm kind of stuck here, and I need this light. I just can't believe that it's dead, but apparently, something happened, and it just does not work anymore, and I've tried everything.

I'm so sad about my light. May you rest in peace.

Koffee
 
Old 11-14-05, 07:21 PM
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It could just be a burnt out bulb. They go every couple years or so. Doesn't seem too uncommon. You can buy replacement bulbs right from Cygo-lite (off the website), or if you know the right voltage and wattage, Performance has some generic replacements available as well.

Exactly which model is it? And does it provide any light at all? Or, is it completely dead?

You can also check the battery to see if it has a voltage, if it does, you probably just need a bulb. If the batteries are bad, then you need those, which are a little more expensive to replace.
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Old 11-14-05, 08:25 PM
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Everything useful seems to stop working in D.C..

Seriously, I'd go with Patriot's options. A sudden problem like that doesn't sound like the battery. I'd think that the battery cycle would get shorter and shorter in a noticeable manner.
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Old 11-14-05, 08:43 PM
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*sigh*

It's the Cygo Lite 6 vol system. I don't think it's the battery either. Dang it, I was hoping it would be an easy, fast fix.

I don't have any way of checking the battery unfortunately. Thanks for the tips- I'm going to get new lights. I'll see if there's some way I can bring the battery in someplace just in case.

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Old 11-14-05, 08:46 PM
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Is it one of those two bulb lights? It's unlikely that both bulbs would blow at the same time. If it's one of those you can get yourself a cheap 5 watt MR11 light at Menard's and replace on of the bulbs. That will give you a definitive answer. It can only be four things. Bulb, switch, battery, or stuff in between any of those.
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Old 11-14-05, 09:09 PM
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It's both. It's not the switch, since it was plugged into the power strip with the television and tivo. I don't see how the battery could have went dead so quickly when it worked perfectly up until now. But on the other hand, so did the bulbs!

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Old 11-14-05, 10:26 PM
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I've had two of these lights. I was able to trouble-shoot problems by mix and matching bulbs, batteries, and casings. One of the sudden failures was due to bulbs. And ONLY bulbs from the manufacturer were a "perfect" fit in the casing. The second failure was the switch. The company offereed to trade my old casing for a new casing with new switch for a reasonable fee (under $10).

Frankly, I've found rechargable systems to be a headache. Gotta keep them charged just so. Gotta keep spare bulbs handy. So, recently, I've been riding at night with two Sigma TRI LED units. Each comes with three AA batteries. A set of batteries lasts about fifty hours of BLINDING light in the strobe mode, and about 100 hours when run until the strobe becomes fairly dim. Fifty hours means about five or six weeks on a set of three AA batteries. And, a new set snaps in without tools...batteries can be changed easily while "on the road".

The Sigma's do NOT light up the road...they just alarm and annoy anyone within a hundred yards of you. In my neighborhood, street lights and lights from homes and businesses make it reasonably easy to see the road. The challenge is to wake up motorists and other cyclists (especially the "fashionable" ride-at-night-with-no-lights cyclists. The Sigma TRI LED in strobe mode is far more annoying and attention grabbing than any LED strobe I've used. Drivers a full block away begin moving away from the center of the road...clearly they are reacting to the Sigma's. And, several drivers have stopped to say "Hey, I have a bike...where can I get a light like those?"
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Old 11-14-05, 10:48 PM
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I ran out of light once at night, figured my bulb was gone. My power strip was unplugged and sat "charging" all night. As all computer tech's say "was it plugged in"?
I check to see a red light now on the adapter.
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Old 11-14-05, 11:12 PM
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It's worth a call to Cygolite. When one of my bulbs burned out, I emailed and they said they'd send another one -- all I needed was the receipt, which I faxed. I didn't hear anything for awhile so I emailed again. Then the bulb came and a few days later, ANOTHER bulb came!

I know it's been two years but they may offer something reasonable. You never know.
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Old 11-14-05, 11:54 PM
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To check the battery, see if you or someone you know has access to a voltmeter or multimeter. If so, use it to see if the voltage of the battery is 6 V. I have a Cygolite that I've used for 5 yrs now, and I find that often the issue isn't the bulbs or battery, but rather corrosion on the contacts that are supposed to complete the circuit. If that's the case, scraping off the corrosion and then adding a dot of solder with a soldering iron has worked well for me.

Hope this Helps,
Nelson Chen
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Old 11-15-05, 12:48 AM
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I have an older version of the Night Rover and it's got a poorly designed switch. When I called Cygolight, the customer service guy told me to take it apart and pull on this metal flange with a needlenose pliers to improve the contact. It actually worked, except that now I can only use one of the two lights.

I'd give them a call.
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Old 11-15-05, 06:25 AM
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Losing use of the light is a pain. Hope you obtain a fix for it soon.
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Old 11-15-05, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Ngchen
To check the battery, see if you or someone you know has access to a voltmeter or multimeter. If so, use it to see if the voltage of the battery is 6 V. I have a Cygolite that I've used for 5 yrs now, and I find that often the issue isn't the bulbs or battery, but rather corrosion on the contacts that are supposed to complete the circuit. If that's the case, scraping off the corrosion and then adding a dot of solder with a soldering iron has worked well for me.

Hope this Helps,
Nelson Chen
I have no idea what you just said after "...but rather corrosion on the...". From "contacts that are...", I just would not know what to do unfortunately.

I'll check around, but being new to the area, I don't know hardly anyone yet, so finding a voltmeter could be a challenge.

Koffee
 
Old 11-15-05, 06:33 AM
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If you don't have access to a DC voltmeter or don't want to bother figuring out how, just take it to an electronics store, even a radio shack, they would most likely be glad to help you out and check the battery for you. If you're not getting around 6vDC or whatever your lights are supposed to be, you probably have a loose connection somewhere or in the switch.

Jay
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Old 11-15-05, 08:55 AM
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Take your light down to an LBS that sells the same product line. They can swap out bulbs and batteries to isolate the problem. Chances are you just have a bad bulb.
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Old 11-15-05, 09:05 AM
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First you need to find out if it is the fault of the:

a) Charger

b) BAttery

c) Light itself



I have two cyglolite night rover systems. They are notorious for having bad operation switches in the light itself. They simply quit making contact all of the sudden. They are of very poor design. Again, remember that you first have to find out what is at fault. a,b or c?

I would find a volt meter and check the output of the charger first. IF it is outputting roughly 6 volts then you know it is fine.

Next move to the battery. If it is outputting 6 volts than it is fine.

That leaves the light itself. Which i suspect is the problem. Could be a burned out bulb, but unlikely. They last a long time. Probably a bad switch. I bet cygolite will steer you in the same direction as me, because they are well aware of this weakness. They get hundreds and hundreds of these units in with malfunctioning switches.

They are very simple, crappy switches. All they are is little pieces of plastic that slide and hopefully push to metal "plates" together. IOW, they just make metal touch metal and ground the system so current flows.

If you buy a cheap $1 flashlight with a slide switch, it will be designed the same way, except it will probably be better. On one of my lights, i got so tired of messing with bending the metal to make them work properly, that i finally just soldered the wire directly to the other side, so that the bulb is always on whey the connector is plugged into the side of the light. It is much more reliable this way, and when i want to turn it off, i just unplug it.

Additionally, you need to be cautious not to overcharge your battery. My cygolite 6 volt systems are supposed to be charged for 17 hours MAX. Then they need to be discharged. Failing to follow this scheme can damage or destroy your battery.

Last edited by Portis; 11-15-05 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 11-15-05, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
On one of my lights, i got so tired of messing with bending the metal to make them work properly, that i finally just soldered the wire directly to the other side, so that the bulb is always on whey the connector is plugged into the side of the light. It is much more reliable this way, and when i want to turn it off, i just unplug it.
Wow. Good idea! I don't know why I didn't think of this. Thanks, Ranger. I don't know if you've helped out Koffee, but you've helped me fix mine.

(Now if I could only find a second handlebar clamp for my other bike.)
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Old 11-15-05, 12:41 PM
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On an side, the basic plug and jack connectors are also pretty unreliable. I had two connectors go bad on a set of homemade DIY lights. I was using though the shell of a Marwi Kamikazi light which used mini-phono plug type connectors...

Anyway, I eventually just bought a 5 pack of 9-volt battery connectors for $2 and spliced them onto both ends and used that. It is a much better physical connector. I can't solder the wires together cause I run a simple wallwort charger that plugs into the end of the battery pack.

Jay
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Old 11-15-05, 02:19 PM
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It would be unlikely that either both switches or both bulbs broke at the same time. I have a Cygolite and have had one bulb blow and one switch fail, but never so both sides stopped working at the same time. (unless it suffered a severe fall) I'd also be surprised that the battery died suddenly so that it didn't even have enough power to make the bulb glow dimly.

I'd be suspicous that a solder joint in the light or battery broke.

But certainly check if the battery gives off any voltage. If it doesn't either the cells were killed or there is a broke wire in the battery case or wire/connector. If the battery is good then there is a broken wire in the head unit.

Al
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Old 11-15-05, 05:27 PM
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Just out of curiousity does your light have a fuse in it? Mine does. If it is blown the light wont work.
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Old 11-15-05, 05:54 PM
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Cygolight can probably help you more than you think on the phone. The market place is forcing light manufacturers to have good phone and good repair service.

Start asking around to see if you can find the right person to help. For the right person it is very, very, simple and fast. If it comes to it walk into an electronics place and just ask for help. To identify the problem should take about a minute or two. Act helpless and flirt a little. It might be free advice.

Then call Cygo and get what you need.
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Old 11-15-05, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
It would be unlikely that either both switches or both bulbs broke at the same time. I have a Cygolite and have had one bulb blow and one switch fail, but never so both sides stopped working at the same time. (unless it suffered a severe fall) I'd also be surprised that the battery died suddenly so that it didn't even have enough power to make the bulb glow dimly.

I'd be suspicous that a solder joint in the light or battery broke.

But certainly check if the battery gives off any voltage. If it doesn't either the cells were killed or there is a broke wire in the battery case or wire/connector. If the battery is good then there is a broken wire in the head unit.

Al
I think it is unlikely too. I have never had more than one switch fail at a time, however it is still possible. I think you have gotten some good advice here. Please let us know how it turns out.
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Old 11-15-05, 06:56 PM
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Radio Shack sells a spray for cleaning contacts on switches. Stop in and get a little can and spray the switch on the light. If it fixes the problem, just have the switch serviced.

If you bring the battery pack with you when you buy the spray, you can ask the people at Radio Shack to test the battery to see if it is dead.

Originally Posted by koffee brown
I have no idea what you just said after "...but rather corrosion on the...". From "contacts that are...", I just would not know what to do unfortunately.

I'll check around, but being new to the area, I don't know hardly anyone yet, so finding a voltmeter could be a challenge.

Koffee

Last edited by rideabike; 11-15-05 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 11-15-05, 07:18 PM
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I recommend printing this thread, and taking it and the light either to someplace like Radio Shack, or to one of the 3 cygolite dealers in DC: http://www.cygolite.com/light/main/3shops.htm

If you'd rather DIY, you can buy a voltmeter at someplace like Radio Shack or Sears. Like kuan said: "Bulb, switch, battery, or stuff in between any of those." Both bulbs probably didn't stop working at the same time, so I'd suspect "switch, battery or stuff in-between." Check the battery first, since it's the easiest thing to test.

If the battery doesn't have the right amount of juice, the battery might still be OK. Like Ranger said, it could be the charger. Easily checked with a voltmeter.

If all else fails, e-mail cygolite and see what they offer to do for you.

Good luck, and let us know what you decide and how it turns out.
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Old 11-15-05, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
*sigh*

It's the Cygo Lite 6 vol system. I don't think it's the battery either. Dang it, I was hoping it would be an easy, fast fix.

I don't have any way of checking the battery unfortunately. Thanks for the tips- I'm going to get new lights. I'll see if there's some way I can bring the battery in someplace just in case.

Koffee
When you charge the battery does the light change from red to green? If so the battery should be good.
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