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  1. #1
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    Ayup light battery and "wet" light suggestions (Texas Water Safari)

    I have been researching a light for the Texas Water Safari (a canoe ultra marathon). While a few individuals make some custom lights for it, I suspect most racers use off the shelf lights-many remote battery bicycle lights. Plus I can use the bicycle light as a bicycle light (might get a few more miles in a year).

    The standard custom battery is a 10AA per night (up to 100hr to finish-4 nights). A 5x2 would create a 7.5v 6000mah pack. I have a few 7.4v 4000 mah packs-so would use rechargeable outside the race.

    The iblaast was recommended by a racer. But I suspect it was a much older model. Plus side it can run on the 15v 10AA pack. Not a budget option though.

    Ayup is closer to the desired lumens (600), fairly water tolerant, priced favorably (for just the light), but not sure if the circuitry they have in their batteries.

    Saw a great deal on a glowworm x2, but the mount worries me. Plus the remote switch potentially complicates making an extension.

    other suggestions are welcome. Reliability is paramount, as a failed light would probably force a DNF. Once the race starts, if I can not repair it with duct tape and floatsum, it's all over. Realistically I would not mind carrying a spare unit if the weight and price is right (like a BT40)

    Flipside is people have done done it with a duck taped maglite, so I am probably over thinking it. Plus after batteries the maglite is a lot of weight to carry 264 miles.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mousehunter View Post
    I have been researching a light for the Texas Water Safari (a canoe ultra marathon). While a few individuals make some custom lights for it, I suspect most racers use off the shelf lights-many remote battery bicycle lights. Plus I can use the bicycle light as a bicycle light (might get a few more miles in a year).

    The standard custom battery is a 10AA per night (up to 100hr to finish-4 nights). A 5x2 would create a 7.5v 6000mah pack. I have a few 7.4v 4000 mah packs-so would use rechargeable outside the race.

    The iblaast was recommended by a racer. But I suspect it was a much older model. Plus side it can run on the 15v 10AA pack. Not a budget option though.

    Ayup is closer to the desired lumens (600), fairly water tolerant, priced favorably (for just the light), but not sure if the circuitry they have in their batteries.

    Saw a great deal on a glowworm x2, but the mount worries me. Plus the remote switch potentially complicates making an extension.

    other suggestions are welcome. Reliability is paramount, as a failed light would probably force a DNF. Once the race starts, if I can not repair it with duct tape and floatsum, it's all over. Realistically I would not mind carrying a spare unit if the weight and price is right (like a BT40)

    Flipside is people have done done it with a duck taped maglite, so I am probably over thinking it. Plus after batteries the maglite is a lot of weight to carry 264 miles.
    Your post leaves place for a lot of questions...Is this light going to be used on a helmet or some other way? Are you looking for something self-contained ( lamp and enclosed battery ) ?.

    I'm taking you will need 9-10 hrs of run time per night? I figure there are a lot of options but keep in mind most bike lights are not marketed as being completely waterproof. Still I've seen some cheap bike lights in the past that could hold up to being submerged under water. The Xeccon X12 for one but Xeccon went out of business about a year ago. You mentioned Ayup but truthfully I haven't heard of those lamps being mentioned in some years. Both Ayup and iblaast are both Aussie companies but I thought Ayup went out of business ( although I might be wrong about that ).

    Not sure what to recommend but if it were me I'd take a chance on something like an ITUO XP-2. The XP-2 will give you the light you need and is programmable which allows you to adjust the modes for the output that you think will be most useful. These lamps are GoPro mountable so if you use a helmet ( or head strap ) with a GoPro mount the XP-2 will work. XP2 is rated IPX6. Very water resistant. Can hold up to light or heavy rains. If not submersed for too long it should hold up very well. I would choose this brand because I personally like the way they they are built. So far no ones ever complained of one failing because it got wet.

    Of course if you use something like the XP2 you should probably order the largest battery they sell. I would think their 6800mAh battery should be able to get you through a single night as long as you keep the output around 400-500 lumen. Since all the modes are programmable you should have no problem setting and using the modes that are appropriate for the moment.

    You mention using AA's for building battery packs. Well, I suppose if you don't own a lot of extra Li-ion battery packs custom built AA packs can also work. If it were me I'd consider building some 2P/6S AA packs using Eveready Lithium batteries. This would net you a 9volt 7000mAh battery. You get more stable watt hours out of lithium's and the initial slightly higher voltage ( using 6 in series ) should not harm the lamp. One of these should last a night as long ( as I said before ) you limit the output. Of course using a lamp on a helmet ) or head strap you would need an extension cord so the battery would have to be worn on your body somewhere ( belt pouch or such and then secure the wire so it doesn't interfere with your paddling.

    Now a cheaper way to go might be to use a diving torch or other water resistance torch. Then all you have to do is find a way to mount it to your helmet or head strap. Most of the torches I use look very water resistant ( Convoy S2 and BLF A6 )...however if you are using a head strap system you might seriously consider the Zebralight H600. I don't own one of these myself but the Zebralight series are reknown for being very nice torches ( although they do cost a bit ) I'm sure their IPX rating is very high. Of course if you use a good torch you will need a good supply of single 18650 cells. ( likely about 6 good protected Panasonic 3400mAh cells per night ) The down side of using a torch of course is that you will have to switch out cells when needed and the beam patterns are not as wide. Keep in mind most torches aren't programmable so you need to use a torch with a UI that gives you the best mode options for extending run time. The H600 should do that and the A6 I have has a 7 mode option so the 5th mode should give you a decent amount of light to work with and still give you decent run time from one cell. The H600 has a multi option UI so I'm pretty sure it has some good mode options for extended run times.

    Of course if it's me, I'd go XP2 "AND" a good torch for back-up.

  3. #3
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    I have not seen any new posts about ayup for several years, but their website has some 2017 updates-so either it is managed by a good bot or someone is still breathing. The iblaast web site mentions a 2016 revision, but individual pages are still posting "now in 2014".

    The light must be bow (front) mounted. When a paddle switches sides, it crosses the paddlers face. That wound flash, hurt night vision, and probably cause a migraine eventually. In a random boat it is known to be even harder on the back paddler (I guess because they can not anticipate it as well). The race is long enough that hallucinations are common, don't want to throw in something that can trigger erasures. Bow mounting puts it more in harms way, exposes it to more water, and encourages a long remote wire in solo boats (my solo is 17' long, so it is very out of reach

    In a perfect world, single mode lights are preferred. Less chance of burning up your batteries by running turbo. The beginning of the race can be a bit crowded, so mounting it at the end of day one can avoid a good amount of abuse ( the upper section also has the worse rapids-while branches are latter the biggest light killer)

    When I started biking, the main trail I ran crossed a stream several times-waist deep. The whole trail was in the canyon. I still associate mountain biking with wet.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mousehunter View Post

    ...The light must be bow (front) mounted. When a paddle switches sides, it crosses the paddlers face. That would flash, hurt night vision, and probably cause a migraine eventually. In a random boat it is known to be even harder on the back paddler (I guess because they can not anticipate it as well). The race is long enough that hallucinations are common, don't want to throw in something that can trigger erasures. Bow mounting puts it more in harms way, exposes it to more water, and encourages a long remote wire in solo boats (my solo is 17' long, so it is very out of reach

    In a perfect world, single mode lights are preferred. Less chance of burning up your batteries by running turbo. The beginning of the race can be a bit crowded, so mounting it at the end of day one can avoid a good amount of abuse ( the upper section also has the worse rapids-while branches are later the biggest light killer)

    When I started biking, the main trail I ran crossed a stream several times-waist deep. The whole trail was in the canyon. I still associate mountain biking with wet.
    Okay the bow. I'd go XP-2. With the XP-2 there might be some way to modify the remote wire to make it longer. That would certainly make things easier for controlling the light.

    That kind of race doesn't sound like fun to me but to each their own. Strange but I seem to hear the sound of a folk guitar and banjo dueling in the back of my mind.

    Option two might be a Gemini Olympia ( or Duo ) with wireless remote.

  5. #5
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    Just posting my updated research on the ayup. It appears the light was initially unregulated. Latter they added modes with a resister system in the battery box. The best guess I have seen online is that to keep the light housing the same size and weight, and probably to keep everything compatible, when they decided to regulate they did it by putting te circuitry in the battery box. In a way it is an elegant solution, but it does make using aftermarket batteries more complex and costly (best bet would be to reverse engineer to see what regulator they are using, then build one inline)

    part of me actually really likes likes that option, but I am definitely not ready to commit to it. I also have been thinking of building a p60 headlamp. That option could give me a single mode solution-which is more efficient than using a multi mode at med or low power. Looking at various forums, it has been attempted by safari racers before. Host are cheep from china, and top of the line drop ins are affordable.

  6. #6
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    See the last post in this thread

    best bike lights that use AA/AAA



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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mousehunter View Post
    Just posting my updated research on the ayup. It appears the light was initially unregulated. Latter they added modes with a resister system in the battery box. The best guess I have seen online is that to keep the light housing the same size and weight, and probably to keep everything compatible, when they decided to regulate they did it by putting te circuitry in the battery box. In a way it is an elegant solution, but it does make using aftermarket batteries more complex and costly (best bet would be to reverse engineer to see what regulator they are using, then build one inline)

    part of me actually really likes likes that option, but I am definitely not ready to commit to it. I also have been thinking of building a p60 headlamp. That option could give me a single mode solution-which is more efficient than using a multi mode at med or low power. Looking at various forums, it has been attempted by safari racers before. Host are cheep from china, and top of the line drop ins are affordable.
    I'm not sure I can relate to your fascination with Ayup. To me it's old tech. Of course if you like them, Hey, whatever.

    I'm not sure why you think using P60 drop-in modules would be the way to go. For years I've used P60 drop-ins for torches that I used for mounting biking. That said P-60 drop-in's are not really designed to be used for long periods of time. That's because the thermal path is not the same as a lamp ( or torch ) that has a dedicated emitter Pill or other design connecting the emitter ( thermally ) directly with the lamp body ( for cooling purposes ). Yes you can buy single mode P-60's but that doesn't mean they are more efficient. Almost all lamps that use LED's control the current to the LED via a driver circuit, even if they are just one mode. You can direct drive some LED's but in most cases that will give you only maximum output. All depends on the batteries and the emitter being used.

    I've almost completely given up using P-60's as I found they tend to burn out over a period of time if you use them a lot. I much prefer torches with emitter pills that provide a much more efficient thermal path. ( Also keep in mind that many torches with multiple modes contain memory so just because there are different modes doesn't mean you always have to cycle through modes ( if you don't want to ).

    Oh, and BTW the idea that Scar told you about is a very good idea. If you want something already set up for AA's there are bike lights that can be used with AA's. They just tend to be not real inexpensive.

  8. #8
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    I've been very happy with my Ay Up lights. Although I have gone on to brighter lights with better patterns the AY UPs have had the best reliablility of any of my lights. One set is ten years old and I'm still using the original battery packs. They are light enough to have both battery and light set on my helmet. The newer style battery has an output of 700 lumens with three power levels. I now use them mostly for night hiking.

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