Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Slow and steady
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    448

    Disassembling NiteFlux Photon Max Battery?

    Does anyone have advice on disassembling and replacing cells in the battery from a NiteFlux Photon Max Extreme? Mine is only 18 months old and has died. NiteFlux no longer sells in the USA and I'd rather tinker than deal with NiteFlux in New Zealand since it is out of warranty anyway.

    Thanks very much for any light you can shed on this issue.
    It's a 6" 29er, 69 HTA, 29" standover, setup for 31.6 Joplin, 83mm BB, blah blah blah. A bike for being stupid. --Walt Wehner

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    48
    I'm in the same boat, any thing to share on this... the replacement part costs from NF are over the top... http://www.niteflux.com/BuyBatteries.aspx

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mattthemuppet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,281
    holy crap, that's alot! Any info on how it died? Suddenly or no longer holds a charge? You could take the pack apart and test each cell using a cheap DX charger (if they all charge to 4.2V and hold that voltage for a week+, then they're probably fine). If the cells are good, there might be a protection PCB in there somewhere, in which case Batteryspace probably sells a suitable one. If not, then you can buy replacement cells of similar or greater capacity from DX and elsewhere for not too much.

    Or you could just buy a holder from LuminousDIY, the cells you want from DX, use that cheap charger to charge them separately and salvage the connector from your old pack, so that the new one is compatible with your light.

    Either way, you should be able to fix it for a lot less than $200..

  4. #4
    Do It Yourself
    Reputation: Homebrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,722
    It looks easy enough since the case is screwed together as opposed to glued or plastidip. It should just be a matter of troubleshooting the defective component and a bit of soldering. But you never know until you get in there. The charge status led is not a good sign for keeping it simple and is that a power switch on the battery?
    Long Live Long Rides

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    211
    OMG!
    Their battery holders are made of gold??

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: HEY HEY ITS HENDO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    712
    an easy alternative is to start over and junk the battery and charger
    buy an equivalent lipo pack and a balancing charger
    you could end up with longer runtime and a longer lasting well balanced battery
    and very inexpensive when compared to the NiteFlux packs!!
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LititzDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    519
    The battery has all the driver in it.

  8. #8
    Slow and steady
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    448
    I have the 2008 "coke can" style battery pack with integrated controller. I figured out how to disassemble and repair it, but it isn't for the faint of heart.

    It is working great now. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures, but here is the procedure that I used:
    1. Do not attempt to remove the upper section of the battery pack. All the work is done from the bottom.
    2. Remove the bottom cap. The plastic cap is glued into the aluminum cylinder. I couldn't figure out how to remove the cap without destroying it. I carefully melted a hold in the plug using my soldering iron and then used a screwdriver to pry it out. I'm using the pack now with no bottom cover. I might've been able to pry out the cap without ruining it but it is a very tight fit and I had no luck prying it out from the edge.
    3. I used needle-nose plier to pull the batteries out from the end of the cylinder. Be VERY careful here to not unplug the pack from the circuit board before noting which way the plug goes! Keep track of the orientation of the plug otherwise the pack will be destroyed when re-assembled.
    4. Remove the shrinkwrap and electrical tape from the battery pack.
    5. Desolder the cells, keeping track of where every wire goes and the orientation of the charger circuit board and temperature sensor.
    6. Assemble a new pack using four 3.6v 18650 LiIon cells. Make sure to keep the batteries, wires and temp sensor correctly oriented. I used "protected" UltraFire 3000 mah cells from DealExtreme, but I've heard that the 2600 mah cells are actually superior. Either protected or unprotected cells will work. NiteFlux designed the pack to sense each cell independently, and it originally came with unprotected cells. I wasn't sure which I needed at the time, so I ended up with protected which are redundant with the integrated PCB. I probably will end up with shorter overall life from this pack as a result. I also should've bought cells with tabs since soldering directly onto the cells is a PITA and also heats up the cells which is kinda risky.
    7. Wrap everything up with electrical tape and/or shrink-wrap it.
    8. Using needle-nose pliers, plug the new battery pack back into the circuit board at the top of the canister. On my pack the wiring colors were consistent from the plug to the circuit board, e.g., red on the pack goes to red on the circuit board, etc. NOTE that if plugged in backwards, the circuit board will probably be destroyed and the batteries could explode
    9. Slide the battery pack back into the cylinder. In my case the taped pack was a snug fit and doesn't wobble around or fall out.
    10. I crossed my fingers and plugged in the charger, the light turned orange and I was glad to see that. If the pack's LED turned red or remained unlit, I would've immediately unplugged it and disassembled the pack looking for what went wrong.
    11. Wait for the charger to complete. The original 2200mah pack took 4 hours to charge so expect the 3000mah pack to take 5 hours. The light will turn green when charging is complete
    12. Try out the light.
    Right now I have left the bottom of the can open and just put the whole thing into the neoprene sleeve. Eventually I'll try to track down some sort of replacement plug for the bottom of the canister.

    Mine is working great, but I have not done a runtime test yet. It lasts at least 3 hours on medium with a few minutes on high and turbo. My understanding is that the 3000 mah cells won't last as long as 2600 cells under high-discharge (high/turbo). That's OK for me since I usually use only low and medium anyway.
    Last edited by Tony; 11-02-2010 at 01:36 PM.
    It's a 6" 29er, 69 HTA, 29" standover, setup for 31.6 Joplin, 83mm BB, blah blah blah. A bike for being stupid. --Walt Wehner

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    291
    Bringing this back from the dead - I am about to embark on the same project, are these the right batteries to use?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...831#vi-content

  10. #10
    Slow and steady
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    448
    Quote Originally Posted by baltik
    Bringing this back from the dead - I am about to embark on the same project, are these the right batteries to use?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...831#vi-content
    Yep those should work fine, you'll need 4.
    It's a 6" 29er, 69 HTA, 29" standover, setup for 31.6 Joplin, 83mm BB, blah blah blah. A bike for being stupid. --Walt Wehner

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    291
    Much appreciated - I did a little digging and this seems to be cleaner solution, water proof and looks to be the same plug. Any idea if it will work?
    http://www.batteryspace.com/li-ion18...emaleplug.aspx

  12. #12
    POG
    POG is offline
    Pudgy Old Guy
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    534
    Quote Originally Posted by baltik
    Much appreciated - I did a little digging and this seems to be cleaner solution, water proof and looks to be the same plug. Any idea if it will work?
    http://www.batteryspace.com/li-ion18...emaleplug.aspx
    Come on light building gurus, answer the guy's question! Will this work?

    Very disappointed in the nightflux company as I had recommended their lights to some friends.

  13. #13
    Slow and steady
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    448
    That pack will not work directly. The Niteflux Battery housing contains all the electronics to control the lights. You could jury-rig something by using that pack to drive the electronics but it would be more work than just soldering up your own battery pack.

    If you want to use a pre-assembled pack, try http://www.batteryspace.com/li-ion18...4swithpcb.aspx you will still need to remove the original batteries and then attach the PCB plug from the old pack onto the new pack.

    I am not 100% sure that would work because the original NiteFlux battery pack PCB has a temp sensor.
    It's a 6" 29er, 69 HTA, 29" standover, setup for 31.6 Joplin, 83mm BB, blah blah blah. A bike for being stupid. --Walt Wehner

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,168
    Quote Originally Posted by POG
    Come on light building gurus, answer the guy's question! Will this work?
    Already answered in post 7 and 8

  15. #15
    POG
    POG is offline
    Pudgy Old Guy
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    534
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony
    That pack will not work directly. The Niteflux Battery housing contains all the electronics to control the lights. You could jury-rig something by using that pack to drive the electronics but it would be more work than just soldering up your own battery pack.

    If you want to use a pre-assembled pack, try http://www.batteryspace.com/li-ion18...4swithpcb.aspx you will still need to remove the original batteries and then attach the PCB plug from the old pack onto the new pack.

    I am not 100% sure that would work because the original NiteFlux battery pack PCB has a temp sensor.
    Thanks for the helpful response!

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    96
    My Photon Max (Coke can) battery pack gave out after 18mo. Although NiteFlux responded quickly, a discounted repair or "buy our new battery" was hardly the customer service I expected after spending over 1000USD with them. I will order from TrailLED next week, as NiteFlux has lost us as a returning customer. http://www.trailled.com/catalog/accessories

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2
    Despite what people have said I've had a good experience from the customer services at niteflux will post pics of my battery pack stripped out when I get a second and show the response from niteflux.

    Regards

    Stuart

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2
    Hi Stuart,

    bought from ebay three years ago means definately way past warranty. We do repairs out of warranty here. We could rebuild for you at $120 incl freight and new 1-year warranty. You should expect 3-4 years more life. If you want to try and do it yourself, at your own risk, that's up to you. The battery has 4 18650 Li-Ion cylindrical cells inside. I would recommend you get sanyo cells for replacement. They are the best you can get and are what we use for everything these days. They need to be spot welded together, and connected to the protection circuit module as per the original. Take some photos before dismantling the old pack. Be careful not to damage the PCM while working on it. To open the cannister, you can use a chisel to wedge apart at the join near the top end. It is not easy to do, although in most cases it takes me about 5 seconds but that is because I've had lots of practice.

    Let me know if you have any other queries. If you want us to do the rebuild for you then go to our website and follow the instructions under the service tab for paid repair.

    Cheers, David



    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Disassembling NiteFlux Photon Max Battery?-cap.jpg  

    Disassembling NiteFlux Photon Max Battery?-imag0351.jpg  

    Disassembling NiteFlux Photon Max Battery?-imag0353.jpg  

    Disassembling NiteFlux Photon Max Battery?-imag0355.jpg  

    Disassembling NiteFlux Photon Max Battery?-imag0356.jpg  

    Disassembling NiteFlux Photon Max Battery?-imag0357.jpg  

    Disassembling NiteFlux Photon Max Battery?-imag0358.jpg  

    Last edited by stu323GT-R; 11-25-2011 at 03:16 PM.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    40
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    ...NiteFlux no longer sells in the USA and I'd rather tinker than deal with NiteFlux in New Zealand since it is out of warranty anyway.
    Just for the sake of accuracy, Niteflux are an Australian company based in Adelaide. Not in NZ.

    Savvas.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    I have the 2008 "coke can" style battery pack with integrated controller. I figured out how to disassemble and repair it, but it isn't for the faint of heart.

    It is working great now. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures, but here is the procedure that I used:
    1. Do not attempt to remove the upper section of the battery pack. All the work is done from the bottom.
    2. Remove the bottom cap. The plastic cap is glued into the aluminum cylinder. I couldn't figure out how to remove the cap without destroying it. I carefully melted a hold in the plug using my soldering iron and then used a screwdriver to pry it out. I'm using the pack now with no bottom cover. I might've been able to pry out the cap without ruining it but it is a very tight fit and I had no luck prying it out from the edge.
    3. I used needle-nose plier to pull the batteries out from the end of the cylinder. Be VERY careful here to not unplug the pack from the circuit board before noting which way the plug goes! Keep track of the orientation of the plug otherwise the pack will be destroyed when re-assembled.
    4. Remove the shrinkwrap and electrical tape from the battery pack.
    5. Desolder the cells, keeping track of where every wire goes and the orientation of the charger circuit board and temperature sensor.
    6. Assemble a new pack using four 3.6v 18650 LiIon cells. Make sure to keep the batteries, wires and temp sensor correctly oriented. I used "protected" UltraFire 3000 mah cells from DealExtreme, but I've heard that the 2600 mah cells are actually superior. Either protected or unprotected cells will work. NiteFlux designed the pack to sense each cell independently, and it originally came with unprotected cells. I wasn't sure which I needed at the time, so I ended up with protected which are redundant with the integrated PCB. I probably will end up with shorter overall life from this pack as a result. I also should've bought cells with tabs since soldering directly onto the cells is a PITA and also heats up the cells which is kinda risky.
    7. Wrap everything up with electrical tape and/or shrink-wrap it.
    8. Using needle-nose pliers, plug the new battery pack back into the circuit board at the top of the canister. On my pack the wiring colors were consistent from the plug to the circuit board, e.g., red on the pack goes to red on the circuit board, etc. NOTE that if plugged in backwards, the circuit board will probably be destroyed and the batteries could explode
    9. Slide the battery pack back into the cylinder. In my case the taped pack was a snug fit and doesn't wobble around or fall out.
    10. I crossed my fingers and plugged in the charger, the light turned orange and I was glad to see that. If the pack's LED turned red or remained unlit, I would've immediately unplugged it and disassembled the pack looking for what went wrong.
    11. Wait for the charger to complete. The original 2200mah pack took 4 hours to charge so expect the 3000mah pack to take 5 hours. The light will turn green when charging is complete
    12. Try out the light.
    Right now I have left the bottom of the can open and just put the whole thing into the neoprene sleeve. Eventually I'll try to track down some sort of replacement plug for the bottom of the canister.

    Mine is working great, but I have not done a runtime test yet. It lasts at least 3 hours on medium with a few minutes on high and turbo. My understanding is that the 3000 mah cells won't last as long as 2600 cells under high-discharge (high/turbo). That's OK for me since I usually use only low and medium anyway.
    Your post inspired me to replace my batteries. My light would go for hours on the lower settings but it would just go out without any warning mid ride on the higher settings. If I just touched it to the charger it would start going again but it would still go out again on the higher settings.

    This is what I found:
    1. I first tried taking out the bottom section. It was siliconed in. I levered it out with a Stanley knife and then screw drivers. This allowed me to get access to the cells but the lead to the board at the top of the tube was soldered to the board and the lead was too short to allow the cells to be replaced.

    2.To get the top end cap out was much harder as it was epoxied in. I removed two screws which held in the circuit board and then I had to belt the plastic end cap out with a hammer and brass punch. This broke a solder to the charging plug so I soldered in a short piece of wire to take its place.

    3. I then pulled the battery pack up through the tube and unwrapped it taking a few photos of how it was wired and the type of cells. They were four x 3.6V INR18650, 2200 mAh Li-Ion cells.

    4. I ordered on Ebay some Samsung INR18650-29E Li-Ion Industriezelle 3,62V (4,2V Laden) 2900 mAh / 3C. These were the only INR cells I could find. They are protected but don't have any tabs which I would have preferred. Samsung INR18650 29E LI ION Industriezelle 3 62V 4 2V Laden 2900 MAH 3C | eBay After the VAT was removed these cost $A50 delivered.

    5. I soldered the new cells together and to a little board that is attached to the cells. To solder the cells to each other I stripped some wire and tinned it and used this to bridge the cells. I the bound the cells with plenty of electrical tape and a little foam to stop them from rattling in the tube.

    6. I put it all back together except instead of gluing the caps in ran some electrical tape around the joint.

    7. They charged up like normal and I started a runtime test 3.5 hours ago on the maximum setting and they are still running fine.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    2
    Disassembling NiteFlux Photon Max Battery?-photo2.jpgDisassembling NiteFlux Photon Max Battery?-photo3.jpgDisassembling NiteFlux Photon Max Battery?-photo1.jpg

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BikerJen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    333
    I wish I had the talent to fix mine. I was racing tonight and my light went out 10 minutes in. I had charged it at least 12 hours... Sad to see a great light go bust.
    Enjoying the trails one pedal stroke at a time...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •