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  1. #1
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    New batteries for niterider 120 usb

    People smarter than I,

    In the last 2 weeks both of my Niterider usb lights (120s) have given up the ghost. They were at least 5 years old and I used them almost every day for morning workouts- so they served very well. I used one on the helmet and the other on my bars.

    I just got a NiteRider 500 -but now I have two good lights without batteries. SO - Could I build a battery pack - using like RC batteries or something inexpensive and run them for road riding?

    I have no idea about voltage and the like - but the lights themselves are really in good shape and I would hate to have them go away.
    When I looked into batteries - it was cheaper to just buy the new light.

    Google and the MTBR search left me empty...

    Steve
    My bike is heavier than yours - it does not have Carbon or Titanium parts - I love it!

  2. #2
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    Disassemble them. Try to identify the battery and search google for a replacement. Maybe you can solder a new one in place. Good as new.
    "This isn't the ******* comedy hour. Sober up and do it right."

  3. #3
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    okay - I will start digging tomorrow!
    My bike is heavier than yours - it does not have Carbon or Titanium parts - I love it!

  4. #4
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    If it is the same as the 250, it should be easy
    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    Niterider Minewt 250 cordless - deconstructed
    I haven't seen much about this light here, and was ordering something else from Perfomance, and had a coupon....So I ordered one to play with. My plan was to try to 'turbocharge' it by upgrading the LED and maybe the battery. I figured others here might be interested as it looks like a decent all-in-one light. It was of course on backorder, but finally arrived yesterday.

    So I dug in today to check out the guts and see what could be upgraded. Below are the first pictures.
    ...
    The battery is a single lithium 18650 cell, labeled 2800Mah. So it looks like the battery is not worth upgrading until higher capacity units are available. What are the current best ones, 3000Mah? The battery is not soldered and can easily be replaced once the unit is apart. Not something you would want to do while riding, as it requires removing 3 M2.5 screws.
    ...
    Sadly the attached images have disappeared

  5. #5
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    while you're in there, it might be worth seeing if you can upgrade the emitter too It's not all that easy, but I've upgraded a bunch of minewts from SSC P4 to XM-L and the difference is considerable.

    As for replacement batteries, you can get Panasonic 3400mAh unprotected cells on Fasttech for ~$13 a pair.

  6. #6
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    We the people ...

    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post

    As for replacement batteries, you can get Panasonic 3400mAh unprotected cells on Fasttech for ~$13 a pair.
    Just a FYI, my latest order of those cells from Fasttech never made it. Postal people caught them in Hong Kong during an x-Ray, and they were returned to Fasttech. They apparently won't let them ship the way they have been shipping. (Fasttech said it was because of increased security on airplanes)
    Also, they rate those new panasonic cells assuming a 2.5v cutoff. I haven't been able to utilize the full capacity of those cells on a factory PCB that is in a Niterider or light & motion battery back I have rebuilt recently. I get about 2900mah.
    Cheers!

  7. #7
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    good point - I got a pair from them a couple of months ago okay, but recently people have been having trouble. Got another pair from Banggood last week that came in okay. Both sets tested out to ~3300mAh on my hobby charger.

    One thing to bear in mind is that the rated capacities are a range (min. 3300mAh I think for the B) and that they're calculated at a very low discharge rate of ~0.5A, so in normal use you'll probably see around 3Ah which about fits what you get. Not discharging below 3V is a good thing anyway, you only get another 50-100mAh yet it hammers the battery and reduces its lifespan.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    good point - ~3300mAh on my hobby charger.

    Not discharging below 3V is a good thing anyway, you only get another 50-100mAh yet it hammers the battery and reduces its lifespan.
    Hey Matt, You mentioned your Panasonic cells tested out at 3300mah which would seem to me your hobby charger drops them to 2.5v ? What charger do you have? My IMAX B6 (clone) will only allow me to discharge to 3.0V, and for the life of me, I can't change that default. I'll run a test on all my NCR18650B's to check they are authentic, and if they test out with a capacity of 2900mah, I figure they are legit.
    (See http://industrial.panasonic.com/www-...CI4000CE54.pdf)

    Also, from what I have read, dropping these new cells to 2.5v is not hard on them due to a different chemistry. I would love to be able to find a PCB that I could use to replace the stock factory one in my Light & Motion Li-Ion battery packs, that would allow that (2.5v), but so far, their proprietary one has some signaling going on thru a thermistor to the L&M charger. I do allot of Adventure racing and me and my teammates need to squeeze as much capacity out of our L&M battery packs as possible. Using a Hobby charger, other than to test my cells, is not an option for my teammates.
    Cheers!

  9. #9
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    I have a Thunder AC6 which is pretty similar to your IMAX B6 from what I can tell. The capacity results came from discharging the cells at 1A to 3V and then charging them at 1.5A, which is the opposite of what I should be doing to test the capacity but it's good enough for me and I'd rather store them charged than empty Besides, these hobby chargers aren't exactly paragons of accuracy, so they're better for comparing cells or cells over time than my values vs. yours. I've tested NCR18650 and NCR18650A on it too and those came out to ~2800mAh and ~3000mAh, which is about right, so these NCR18650B seem legit.

    I couldn't really say whether or not a discharge to 2.5V will harm the cells or not, most likely not (or not that much) as the manufacturer wouldn't put that in the specs. However, from the discharge tests I've seen on BLF (look up user HKJ in the battery forum), there's really very little energy left below 3V and not much between 3.2 and 3V (5-10% at most?), so there just doesn't seem much point.

    For adventure racing, multiple power levels seem to be the way to go - Ofroad'bent does some completely crazy ass multiday races, so I'd pick his brains. He makes his own lights and is very happy with them, so that might be a more effective (but harder) option than messing with the lights you already have.

  10. #10
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    If you're only getting 2900mah out of NCR18650Bs, then they are likely not real Panasonic cells or they're old. There are tons of counterfeit panasonic cells being sold, especially on ebay and from places in china. The amount of capacity between 3.0 and 2.5V is pretty small unless your discharge rate is high (>1C), that's the only scenario where there is much difference in capacity between a 3 and 2.5v cutoff.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbMacgyver View Post
    If you're only getting 2900mah out of NCR18650Bs, then they are likely not real Panasonic cells or they're old. There are tons of counterfeit panasonic cells being sold, especially on ebay and from places in china. The amount of capacity between 3.0 and 2.5V is pretty small unless your discharge rate is high (>1C), that's the only scenario where there is much difference in capacity between a 3 and 2.5v cutoff.
    If you check the specs at the link I posted a few replies above, it will take you to Panasonics spec sheets for the NCR18650B. Check the discharge characteristics , you will see you will only get about 2900mah when you discharge them down to 3v. You get an additional 400-500 mah when you drop em down to 2.5v

    So one could make a reasonable deduction that you have authentic cells if they test out at 2900mah on a hobby charger/analyzer, which to the best of my knowledge, only drops them to 3v.

    I concur, and won't buy off ebay. Up until recently, Fasttech.com worked for the 10-12 cells I have bought over the last 6 months. Not sure what I'm going to do for future purchases seeing they are having trouble getting them through the postal office in Hong Kong. (They were running about $16.00 a pair for unprotected cells)

    Cheers!

  12. #12
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    From the Panasonic datasheet at http://industrial.panasonic.com/www-...CI4000CE54.pdf

    At 0.2C ( which is 650ma for 1S packs and 1.3A for 2S packs) you get about 3200mah. That's pretty typical discharge rates for most bike lights. At 0.5C (1.65A for 1S pack and 3.3A for a 2S pack) you still get almost 3100 mah. And those are conservative from what I've seen. I usually get a little better than that from the NCR1650B I've tested.

  13. #13
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    It's always worth checking out the battery tests on BLF:

    Test / Review: Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh (Green) | BudgetLightForum.com

    the energy remaining under 3V is negligible unless you're pulling crazy amps from the cell. At 0.2A discharge you're looking at 50mA between 3 and 2.75V, so perhaps 100mA if you discharge down to 2.5V. That's less than 3% of the cells capacity, so it's really not going to make that much difference to runtimes.

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