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  1. #1
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    Chinese knock-off (of MagicShine) - Great light... for 2 weeks

    I got sucked in by Amazon - really. If you go to Amazon.com, type in "magic shine" in the search field, the top/first result is that infamous Chinese knock-off...

    ... for $25. I read some reviews, it seemed like it was worth a shot.

    The package came, and I was blown away - it looked really good! Nice CNC head unit, all cables seem good quality, etc. I charged it up, used it the next morning (I road ride 3 days/week) and it was awesome! Very bright - maybe even close to the 1,200 lumens it claims. I ran it on high for 90 minutes and it did great.

    But, the second week - probably the 6th or 7th use - the light cut out on the road. I wiggled the cable and it was fine. Did that one more on that ride. The next ride, it kept cutting out... then went out for good. I disassembled the head unit and found the power wire had come loose - needs to be resoldered. Okay, not a huge deal... if you have an iron. I don't. I could buy one. Or, pay someone to fix it - that seems silly.

    Point is - the light failed after fewer than 10 uses. I think if you're a DIY light guy, it's a homerun. Just the parts are worth the $25. But if you just want a light that's going to be reliable and not require maintenance or repairs - skip it.

    In the end, I went to Magic Shine's website, talked a bit with one of their customer service reps and bought a sweet light. I'll hang on to the Chinese knock-off - may get a friend to rewire it and use the light as the helmet light for mtb night rides.... as long as I have the real Magic Shine on the bar
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  2. #2
    Kir
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    Just learn to solder, its a very useful skill
    These lights (like many chinese cheap stuff) may need some quick fixes like thermal paste/wires soldering, but they usually work fine after that.

  3. #3
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    I'll hang on to the Chinese knock-off - may get a friend to rewire it and use the light as the helmet light for mtb night rides.... as long as I have the real Magic Shine on the bar



    This is what I did. For 25 bucks some speed bumps are to be expected no? On that note, anyone want to throw out a recommendation for a usable soldering iron so I can avoid wading through the many threads that come up using the wonderful search function?

  4. #4
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    For the once in a blue moon type use, a cheapie from Radio Shack, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. will get the job done. Get some scrap fine gage wire and a small scrap circuit board (cell phone car charger, old wired mouse, etc. ) and practice a bit. It's super easy but a little practice helps before working on something you want to keep.

  5. #5
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    Wouldn't it just be better if they sold you a kit of parts and with the whole light disassembled?

    By the time we get to the knock offs of the knockoffs we're pretty far down the food chain. Wouldn't surprise me if the components inside were counterfeit too.

    J.

  6. #6
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    I use my light 3-4 times per week. I ride on the road in a group, we avg. 22+ mph, in the dark, 6" off each others' wheels. I know the light going out isn't like the wings falling off the plane, but I just use a light too much to f' around with repairing, soldering, etc. I rolled the dice on the cheap crap... and gave up. I actually don't feel bad about "wasting" the $25 - for me, it just solidified my decision to spend more money on an authentic light.
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  7. #7
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    I use my light 3-4 times per week. I ride on the road in a group, we avg. 22+ mph, in the dark, 6" off each others' wheels. I know the light going out isn't like the wings falling off the plane, but I just use a light too much to f' around with repairing, soldering, etc. I rolled the dice on the cheap crap... and gave up. I actually don't feel bad about "wasting" the $25 - for me, it just solidified my decision to spend more money on an authentic light.



    10-4 on the reliability issues but I would add that you probably should not rely on just one light because of issues like the failure that you described. Food for thought.

  8. #8
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    Chinese knock-off (of MagicShine) - Great light... for 2 weeks

    A Chinese knockoff of a Chinese light?
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  9. #9
    Action LED Lights
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    A Chinese knockoff of a Chinese light?
    Indeed,
    every one you see selling these 808 knockoffs is probably a different manufacturer. That's why you see so many variations with different reflectors, different lenses, etc. There are thousands of small shops in China with a CNC lathe/milling machine that can turn out the body and bezel. Most of the other parts (cables, driver, led, reflector, lens) can be purchased over the counter at the electronics mart in Shenzhen (where most if not all these lights come from) Anodizing is also readily available. At this point I would bet that the mounts and helmet mounts are also available over the counter from shops that just do injection molding.
    There are only a few companies that are trying to build a brand and are in it for the long run. For the rest bike lights are just one of dozens of unrelated products they make and sell. If they have too much trouble they just go on to something else.
    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    ....Point is - the light failed after fewer than 10 uses. I think if you're a DIY light guy, it's a homerun. Just the parts are worth the $25. But if you just want a light that's going to be reliable and not require maintenance or repairs - skip it.

    In the end, I went to Magic Shine's website, talked a bit with one of their customer service reps and bought a sweet light. I'll hang on to the Chinese knock-off - may get a friend to rewire it and use the light as the helmet light for mtb night rides.... as long as I have the real Magic Shine on the bar
    What I find surprising in all this is that you were willing to go through the trouble to dismantle the lamp and then after seeing that all that needs to be done is to re-solder a wire you are now willing to just table the light. I don't quite get that. You should be able to pick up a cheap soldering iron at any dollar store and re-solder the connection. If that's too much trouble you might try your LBS. Wouldn't surprise me if someone there had a soldering iron and the skill to do the fix ( and likely they wouldn't even charge you ).

    *Stuff breaks. If you can fix the issue without too much trouble, great!
    If not you attempt a return or save the lamp for parts. In the mean time because these are so inexpensive you just buy another and continue life as before. With lamps like these they are inexpensive enough to be able to afford an extra one for back-up ( which is ALWAYS a good idea )


    FWIW, I have back-ups for almost every piece of cycling gear that I own. I only wish that most of that stuff had of been as inexpensive as the cheap Chinese lamps. Most cycling specific gear is not cheap. FWIW I also follow my own advise. A couple years ago I bought a cheap XP-E LED-AA pocket torch for EDC ( everyday carry ) purposes. After only having it a couple weeks one day I dropped it on the pavement. When I picked it up it would no longer work. Yeah, I was mad. It cost $20 and took a month to get to me. Regardless, since it was so useful I had to have a replacement. Since I liked the form factor of the one I had I just decided to buy another of the same. I've not had a problem since and yes I've dropped it more than a couple times. ( I do hold my breath though when this happens... ) The moral here...see paragraph two *.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    What I find surprising in all this is that you were willing to go through the trouble to dismantle the lamp and then after seeing that all that needs to be done is to re-solder a wire you are now willing to just toss the light. I don't quite get that. You should be able to pick up a cheap soldering iron at any dollar store and re-solder the connection. If that's too much trouble you might try your LBS. Wouldn't surprise me if someone there had a soldering iron and the skill to do the fix ( and likely they wouldn't even charge you ).

    FWIW, I have back-ups for almost every piece of cycling gear that I own...
    If it were that simple, I'd probably have fixed it - but it's buried inside. I can see it... just can't get to it. The board is glued in.

    Yep - we all have backups for all of our stuff - two Ultegra cranks sitting by my road bike... which is beside my other road bike... a wall of cassettes, chains, pedals... bins of shifters, derailleurs... Three mountain bikes... yep. lots of backups. My old Dinotte 400 is now my backup to the MagicShine... and the old Dinotte has a backup...
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    If it were that simple, I'd probably have fixed it - but it's buried inside. I can see it... just can't get to it. The board is glued in.
    Oh..I see. Yeah, that complicates the issue. At this point even if you toss the lamp in the parts bin you have , emitter, battery, O-rings, electrical wires/connectors and mount that are still useable. Not a total loss.

  13. #13
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    Ive noticed a 2 or 3 hour run time go down to about an hour. I've had this for maybe 4 months. Does anyone know a way to get full charge again?
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamwa View Post
    Ive noticed a 2 or 3 hour run time go down to about an hour. I've had this for maybe 4 months. Does anyone know a way to get full charge again?
    It could be the charger went up. No way to know for sure unless you have another one. While it might also be a problem with the battery PCB I would tend to think it is a problem with the charger sense you haven't had it but four months.

    You could just buy a replacement charger and while that might be the cheapest way to go it might make more sense to just buy another of the $25 light sets. You might pay an extra $10 doing it this way but you'll get another battery and lamp head along with the charger ( which should charge both batteries without a problem.) When it comes to the Chinese electronics it's always a good idea to have spares, particularly when it comes to the chargers which are known to be the most likely of fail prospects. I say this because I constantly read of people having problems with their chargers, even with some name brand stuff.

    In retrospect when you get a replacement it might be a good idea "Not to leave the charger plugged in when not in use". Quite possibly a minor power surge through the AC lines could be enough to knock one of these things out. If you have a surge protector you might want to use it when charging your battery.

  15. #15
    Action LED Lights
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamwa View Post
    Ive noticed a 2 or 3 hour run time go down to about an hour. I've had this for maybe 4 months. Does anyone know a way to get full charge again?
    I'd say it's almost certainly the battery since cheap batteries are the way these sellers get the price down to $25. (find a volt meter and check the output of the charger. It should be 8.4V) These batteries are usually seconds, the ones laptop manufacturers reject.
    You can spend good money after bad and buy another battery from the same source or step up and buy a decent Magicshine BAK or Panasonic pack.
    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

  16. #16
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    Re: Chinese knock-off (of MagicShine) - Great light... for 2 weeks

    Hell I have one of these lights, the light itself is worth the money by a long shot when u look at what it costs for a cnc housing. But too I used to be huge into rc and custom fabbing stuff so repairs to this light is gravy. Used mine a few times quite happy so far. I know pack is craptastic so will be getting new cells to make my own packs soon. Do a bit of research and learn how to use soldering iron and u can make killer lights for dirt cheap.

    That being said this light is what it is, a quick cheap fix for a bike light. Quality stuff comes price and don't blame amazon (anyone who blames amazon becuase the Chinese seller gives them crap to ship for them is stupid). If you need a great light buy a great light, need something cheap for a quik fix, then things like this work well enough. If your a diy person then this cheap stuff gives you a starting point to have some fun with mods.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Action LED Lights View Post
    ...You can spend good money after bad and buy another battery from the same source or step up and buy a decent Magicshine BAK or Panasonic pack.
    While I can agree with this thinking to some degree a lot depends on the initial outlay of money and what can be realistically expected to be bought with this kind of expenditure.

    When it comes to consumer electronics it needs to be understood that sometimes products have faults or fail for some reason. Really doesn't make any difference on what it is and how much it cost. Things break or fail to work as expected. I've had T.V.'s go up after only two years. I've also had a $400 Sony CD player go up just after the one year warranty ran out. Tried to fix the CD player but that didn't work so I just bought another...what are you gonna do? If you want to play CD's you need a player. I liked the Sony so I just bought another. After I had almost every digital electronic device I own go on the fritz I made sure to use a surge protector on EVERYTHING. Haven't had a problem since.

    If a piece of your $25 Chinese light set fails to work just buy another and be glad it's not your T.V., Car, Computer, Washing machine...etc, etc. Life is too fleeting to worry about such minor mishaps....and speaking of such, I just discovered a pimple on my butt. Oh My, this might be worthy of a new thread...don't you think?

  18. #18
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    Mine has been pretty good over the last two years. Just out for a short ride with it tonight. I only do 1-2 hr rides so not sure how the battery is doing.
    DIY LED Bike Lights:
    A few Dynamo builds and some Small battery lights

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