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  1. #1
    ballbuster
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    Dang, MJ808s are spotty! Alternatives?

    I decided to whip out my original Magicshines for a ride last night. My NR Dual 700 has been acting up with random shutting off. So, I have two Magicshine MJ808s, strapped to my bars with a Y-cord. I figure this can give me two side-by-side spots for a wider field. Even that wasn't enough to see anything on the trail other than... well, the hot spots right in front of me. I brought the NR D700 with me as a backup in my Camelbak since I had no idea of the condition of my MS battery.

    It was so bad, I just had to switch back to the NR light. Oh, and I have a Lumina 650 on the lid. That has a fairly narrow spot as well, but on the lid that works.

    So, what low rent Chinese light heads have a wider beam? I was looking at the SolarStorm, or the Gemini knock-off. I don't need a metric crapload of lumens, just a good beam pattern... and enough lumens.

    Then again, I reflowed some of the solder joints on the NR Dual 700, and it doesn't seem to cut off anymore. Maybe this is a non-issue. I dunno.... I'm still curious of the 2000-5000 (Chinese rated) lumen lights. 1000+ actual lumen would be fine. You could say I'm Chi-curious.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 01-30-2014 at 10:35 AM.

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    ... or, are those wide angle lenses worth anything? I see them on fleabay for $5. Might be worth it to try. I thought I read somewhere on these boards that it diffuses the light too much, and makes things kinda dim.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    dual 808's on my bars drove me crazy with their spottiness when I experimented with my 816 on the helmet. I solved the problem with a $5 wide angle lens for one of them. now I have a bright spot from one with a oval "halo" overlay from the other. I run them on my helmet as i put the 816 back on the bars, but still a cheap short-term solution.
    Dang, MJ808s are spotty! Alternatives?-img_0116.jpg

  4. #4
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by arphaxhad View Post
    dual 808's on my bars drove me crazy with their spottiness when I experimented with my 816 on the helmet. I solved the problem with a $5 wide angle lens for one of them. now I have a bright spot from one with a oval "halo" overlay from the other. I run them on my helmet as i put the 816 back on the bars, but still a cheap short-term solution.
    Swank! Looks like a good cheap solution... which works for me, being a cheapskate and all.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    if you can crack the lens of 'insert light here' and toss in about 1/3 full of aerogel granules (who doesn't have a jug of these sitting around? I have lots of it) you can turn any power-led into a smooth partial floody artifact free light. 90% of it settles to the bottom of the light head and static holds chunks around the orange-peel or relector and aerogel is completely translucent and improves the beam on many a crappy light. I am not making this up...I use it on my fast bike at night because it has the best beam of anything I ever tried.

    I learned the optical wonders of loose aerogel crumbs in my high power flashlight fixation. skyray king, thrunite TN11, Klarus xt11, and my McGizmo all have had experiments and optical tests done with various loads of aerogel in the head and I discovered 1/3 or 1/4 full bike light does a great jorb and doesn't harm anything and you can just dump it out if you don't like it.

    united nuclear can sell you a jug of aerogel crumbs. or if you have an old 'elite ' insulated water bottle (they use aerogel) go bust in a swipe a sugar-cube worth...worked GREAT for my Shadow BL21 single XML 3x18650 4.2 volt 800 lumen.

  6. #6
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    So could a SASE and a couple of bucks get me some.....?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by arphaxhad View Post
    So could a SASE and a couple of bucks get me some.....?

    this one time to the first person asking, sure. pm sent

  8. #8
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    I think the $5 wide angle lens works great. Makes the 808 and it's knockoffs very usuable at night.

    For a more "floody" beam I like the Cree 3x lights.
    2013 Stumpy Evo
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    this one time to the first person asking, sure. pm sent

  10. #10
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    The 808 was too spotty for me as well. I bought this light, an 872 clone, that I used for 8 plus months and am really happy with.
    USA Stealth Black 1600 LM 4 CREE XP G LED Bike Light Light Head Only 872 A | eBay

    It's a nice flood light, that is also brighter than the 808e. I doesn't have the reach of the newer dual led lights, i.e Solarstorm X2, yinding etc, but it has a nice even beam.

    I paid around $32, but now they are down to $23. That's a crazy price! A couple of other guys bought them and liked them. Here's a thread about it:
    Good Chinese flood for bars

    The wide angle lens only expands light in one direction, which I didn't care for. The 872 has a wide cone, which I preferred .

  11. #11
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Dang, MJ808s are spotty! Alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    I decided to whip out my original Magicshines for a ride last night. My NR Dual 700 has been acting up with random shutting off. So, I have two Magicshine MJ808s, strapped to my bars with a Y-cord. I figure this can give me two side-by-side spots for a wider field. Even that wasn't enough to see anything on the trail other than... well, the hot spots right in front of me. I brought the NR D700 with me as a backup in my Camelbak since I had no idea of the condition of my MS battery.

    It was so bad, I just had to switch back to the NR light. Oh, and I have a Lumina 650 on the lid. That has a fairly narrow spot as well, but on the lid that works.

    So, what low rent Chinese light heads have a wider beam? I was looking at the SolarStorm, or the Gemini knock-off. I don't need a metric crapload of lumens, just a good beam pattern... and enough lumens.

    Then again, I reflowed some of the solder joints on the NR Dual 700, and it doesn't seem to cut off anymore. Maybe this is a non-issue. I dunno.... I'm still curious of the 2000-5000 (Chinese rated) lumen lights. 1000+ actual lumen would be fine. You could say I'm Chi-curious.
    Put one of the lights on your helmet.
    Spots are marginal on the bars, especially without a helmet light. But on the helmet a spot works great.
    I have been using an 808 on my helmet for many years. Have a higher lumen MS on the bars with a flood. It is less effective than the 808.
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  12. #12
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Put one of the lights on your helmet.
    Spots are marginal on the bars, especially without a helmet light. But on the helmet a spot works great.
    I have been using an 808 on my helmet for many years. Have a higher lumen MS on the bars with a flood. It is less effective than the 808.
    Gotcha... but I already have my Lumina 650 cordless on the lid. I hate having my lid tethered to my body. For a while, I used my MJ808 with a 2 cell homebrew battery pack I strapped to the back of my lid. I'm using the NR MinewtX2 Dual 700 on the bars, and that is nice and floody while also being able to kick out enough light to see what I'm doing while going fast down a hill. IMO, the beam is much nicer on the NR stuff, but yeah... at 4 times the MS price (at retail, but I got this at an REi Scratch and Dent sale for $50! ).

    I like having two lights on the bars. I can just reach down and point them to suit conditions better... on the fly.

    I'll probably end up keeping the MS light as a backup lights, or buddy lights.... or just sell it. I haven't decided. I was looking for a way to make it more useful. At almost twice the lumen of my NR light, I was still able to see and ride better with the NR light. I'll get one of those wide angle lenses and see how that goes. It's only five bucks. Hard to lose at that price.

    I don't think this is a case of 'get what you paid for', but more of a case of 'right tool for the job'. They just chose to make the focus too tight for my use on the MS light.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
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    I run 2 808s and use the wide angle lens for the bar one...works well..I have no trouble riding fast. Does tend to dim it a bit but I use an older version (P7)..I am sure if you used the newest version it would be fine. Back in the day I ran 2 lights on the bar with one on the helmet..these were the older halogen deals. One bar light was a flood and one was a spot..worked well as I remember in combo with a spot on the helmet.


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  14. #14
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    Here are some beam comparo of 808s with the standard and wide-angle lens. These are older models, but the effect should be the same on the newest gen of this light. To reiterate, I think the spot on the standard lens is perfect for a helmet light as you are trying to see (at least I do) way ahead and around corners. The wide-angle (aimed downward) works fine for the bar, but is a little dimmer than I would like due to the way the lens disperses the light...just needs more lumens and it would be fine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dang, MJ808s are spotty! Alternatives?-808_comparo.jpg  

    Last edited by TiGeo; 01-31-2014 at 09:05 AM.
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  15. #15
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    I think I am the only nutjob out there who knows and raves about the optical qualities of aerogel. but damn if it doesn't work awesome.

    https://unitednuclear.com/index.php?...products_id=89

    aerogel in a light head pictures, flashlight.

    note: these first two pictures the light is off. that glow is how aerogel captures ambient light and bounces it all around the reflector





    --------------------------------------------
    compared, both pictures 750 lumen XML-U2 thrunite tn11

    no aerogel, you see the tn11 is mostly a thrower



    aerogel diffuser, tn11 becomes Mr. Floody
    (this is 100% filled, on a bike light it would be 1/4 full so aerogel crumbs sit at bottom area of lens and reflector, and some crumbs stick via static around the reflector...more throw vs flood as a result)


  16. #16
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    Is that small bottle (120cc) enough to do a single light? I have a 3X that I would love to make the lower emitters flood without losing output and this sounds like just the ticket. And at 5.50 is worth a try. Any idea what shipping is?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by robs31 View Post
    Is that small bottle (120cc) enough to do a single light? I have a 3X that I would love to make the lower emitters flood without losing output and this sounds like just the ticket. And at 5.50 is worth a try. Any idea what shipping is?
    dunno about shipping and yes...small bottle would be ok ...you really only put a teaspoon in there, if that. light that hits the bottom 1/4th bounces everywhere providing some flood without blocking throw...sort of like a partially frosted lens

    here is my Shadow BL21 as i ride it today. so maybe a bit more than 1/3 full and you can see some random bits stuck by static. those help diffuse and wash out any artifacts as well as the bottom pile which adds flood without nuking throw much at all



    thing about loose aerogel is no matter what angle you mount the light the 'frosted' part will always be down, as aerogel does want to pile up at the bottom...self regulating so to speak

    hey it works for me and it works even better since the concept is oddball to begin with

    I initially thought, gee this will be weird actually riding with the bumps and chatters messing with the beam...umm, nope. I don't ever see any artifacts in the beam...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    The 808 was too spotty for me as well. I bought this light, an 872 clone, that I used for 8 plus months and am really happy with.
    USA Stealth Black 1600 LM 4 CREE XP G LED Bike Light Light Head Only 872 A | eBay
    I have that exact light. Mine wasn't constructed particularly well. The switch wasn't aligned correctly, the back wasn't tightened, and the lens was loose. I had to take the lens out and install an O-ring behind the refector assembly so it didn't rattle around. The internals looked decent to my untrained eye. Still, not bad for $23. It's definitely not spotty.

  19. #19
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    They have three shipping options, cheapest is 5.40. For 10 bucs I'll give it a try since I cant find any diffusion lenses in the size I need.

  20. #20
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    First ride last night with my aerogel'd 3X and all I can say is WOW! I filled the lower two lenses and left the upper lens empty. In my opinion this changed the light from a so so bar light to the perfect bar light. Lots of flood close in with a smooth transition to the less hot spot throw. The beam is almost a triangle in shape when viewed on the fireroad. It used to have a dead spot between the floody halo and the hotspot, but no more. Just a perfect transition from near to far. I'll have to try some in my old 808 clone and see what that looks like.

  21. #21
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    Darn Robs31, you beat me to it! I got my aerogel a few days ago and havent had a chance to put into my 808's yet. I'll try to beat you with beam shots...

  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    Looking forward to the 808 beam shot.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
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    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  23. #23
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    So I was able to get some beam shots tonight of the 808 with and without aerogel filled to different levels. All photos were taken with it on high using the MTBR settings. Pool filter is at 30', end of sidewalk 60', fence at 90' and block wall approx 180'. Sidewalk is about 5' wide.

    First is the 808 T6 clone with the wide angle lens.


    Next is clear lens


    Next with 25% Aerogel fill


    Next 50% fill


    Next 75%


    And finally 100%


    I'll also throw in my 3X Stepless XML2 U2 with lower two lenses filled. The upper lens has a little aerogel in it also so I need to take a little out to get some more throw back.


    And last is my Yinding XML2 T6 3B with no mods.
    Last edited by robs31; 02-15-2014 at 08:59 AM.

  24. #24
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    Wow...that Yinding is BRIGHT!!!
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  25. #25
    ballbuster
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    Wow, that thing is bright! I'm super tempted to blow the $34 on the Gemini Clone head only. I have batteries and chargers already. I really should be saving for some carbon rims, tho.... I already have a lot of good working lights.

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