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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    Poor pethelman, he's probably going bananas now with everybody specifying different lens combinations and driver modes and all. He must be thinking, "What's next? Are they gonna make me anodize the light in a custom color? Why'd I start this project in the first place?"

    BTW, my next DesignShine, I want it in pink with white flowers, please.


    One step ahead of you, Azra.


    I'm sure I'm driving him crazy with the lights/lenses. I'm hoping to have the preliminary pictures up over the weekend at this point.


    He already said "no" to an acrylic green lense cover. Since I am a big Green Lantern fan, I wanted to cast a green light as "homage" to the character.


    I'm pretty confident once I post up the pictures of the lights and their beam, that he will be able to narrow down some options. I'm also trying to keep him in the loop for a modification that I am planning. It may or may not be of any use to him --- but I've decided to punish him by involving him.

  2. #102
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    Hey Azra.....

    Still waiting for those pics you promised You seem to have a very aggressive personality and not afraid of trucks flying by at 60 mph, yet you're afraid to post a few pictures of the light on your bike. What's up with that

    btw....do you have any knowledge of why my last few posts went missing ?

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by suba View Post
    Hey Azra.....

    Still waiting for those pics you promised You seem to have a very aggressive personality and not afraid of trucks flying by at 60 mph, yet you're afraid to post a few pictures of the light on your bike. What's up with that

    btw....do you have any knowledge of why my last few posts went missing ?
    suba, might be an idea to back off. If Azra wants to post pics, she will do. If she doesn't, she won't. There's no great conspiracy. There are enough pics of these lights on bikes for you to get an idea of what they look like, if they're not good enough it's unlikely Azra's will somehow satisfy your needs.

    You're already starting to come across as a bit of a troll/ stalker/ harasser - don't make it even worse.

  4. #104
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    mm...

    No, I'm not a troll/ stalker. There's something wrong with all of this. Azra doesn't speak or act like any female I've even known. This is the inter webs, where people can pretend to be anyone they want. I have my doubts Azra is a woman. If she is she's someone I would never want to meet.

    I'm out of here. You guys can fall all over her ( or him ) but not me.

    Everyone have a nice day...

  5. #105
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    who cares if Azra is a chick or not? This thread is about bike lights for Pete's sake and your only contribution has been to demand pictures of her bike, propose that her/his/it's refusal to do so is some kind of conspiracy, call into question her/his/it's sex and then start making aspersions as to her/ his/ it's character.

    so sum up for me the value that you've added to this thread?

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailBound29er View Post
    He already said "no" to an acrylic green lense cover. Since I am a big Green Lantern fan, I wanted to cast a green light as "homage" to the character.
    Huh? That's very strange. I know he has a yellow lens cover of which he's very fond. Maybe he's a Parallax fan... that thing is yellow, isn't it?

    Azra "Da Man"

  7. #107
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    The value is be an independent thinker and don't be a sheep.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    Huh? That's very strange. I know he has a yellow lens cover of which he's very fond. Maybe he's a Parallax fan... that thing is yellow, isn't it?

    Azra "Da Man"
    Love it... the "Parallax" lens cover.

    In any case, yes, I expected a bit of craziness in the early stages, getting feedback from folks, seeing what works best, playing with options, etc. But you're right, it's a logistical nightmare.

    Just for clarification, "TrailBound29er" has a special "1-off" version of the headlight were I did not affix the clear polycarb lens cover to the light housing, but instead, formed a thin "gasket-like" layer of silicon on the lens cover piece to allow him to remove the cover, swap out different lenses, then re-install the cover and still be relatively sealed against rain (probably not waterboard-proof like Azra's).

    The headlight was designed to allow a 1/8" thick piece of tinted Acrylic (separate from the lens cover piece) to be placed over the lens cover and held down by the center screw. I've been supplying a yellow "Parallax" filter with the headlight, but it's very much a matter of opinion as to whether it's a value added feature for the daytime strobe function. Green... now there's an idea. I'm sure nobody has ever seen a green flashing light coming at them during the day.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by suba View Post
    The value is be an independent thinker and don't be a sheep.

    oookay. So, repeatedly harassing someone for pictures of their bike, calling it a conspiracy when they're not provided, then saying that they're an aggressive "man pretending to be a woman on the internet" is independent thinking?

    Wow, just wow. Now I realise what I've been doing so wrong my whole life.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by suba View Post
    I'm out of here. You guys can fall all over her ( or him ) but not me.
    Do yourself a favour and leave this thread. Unsubscribe, ignore, whatever, but don't bother reading it or posting in it any more. It was funny at first, but now its just sad. Stop harassing Azra, whatever Azra is, should not matter and you are getting annoying.

    Nobody here is falling over anyone, we just interested in the product and the comments of people that have had first hand experience with the light.

    Your complain about your posts disappearing , but i still see them all, i just wish i could hide them as they serve no purpose in this discussion.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by BritOnTour View Post
    .....whatever Azra is, should not matter and you are getting annoying.

    Nobody here is falling over anyone, we just interested in the product and the comments of people that have had first hand experience with the light.
    Well said BritOnTour... Suba: For the record, a smart person will not reveal too much about themselves online. Some people actual "lie" in their profiles because they don't trust others. That's because they know there are some strange people out there. That's also why when people post pictures of lights they generally only show their hands or just the bars of their bike ( although there are exceptions ). Anyway, it's fine to ask for pictures or photos "IF IT SERVES A PURPOSE IN THE THREAD". In this case it is only serving your own misdirected curiosity. Whither someone is "Insert your personal bias of choice " or not has no bearing in the thread or the forum for that matter.

  12. #112
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    New DS-500 mount pics

    One of my recent customers gave me permission to use these pictures from his/her setup on the road bike. Better than my pictures for sure.

    Also, here is some feedback that was provided by the same person that was a nice surprise... started to get a little worried when I was first reading it, thinking "Oh great, here we go, people getting stopped because their taillight is too bright..." Thankfully that hasn't happened yet. Just keep it on level 3 or lower at night... pretty please

    "When out on my first ride a couple days ago and didn't even get two blocks from the house and was stopped by a local sheriff deputy. He was so impressed by it that he wanted one for his mtn bike, so I gave him your email."
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DesignShine... WOW!-ds-500_mount1.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds-500_mount2.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds-500_mount3.jpg  


  13. #113
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    Hi Folks,
    Stephen has emailed me to let me know my DS light set is in the mail. Should be here (in Australia) v/soon. There are lots of nice comments at his web site that are very encouraging. I can't wait!
    Savvas.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    One of my recent customers gave me permission to use these pictures from his/her setup on the road bike. Better than my pictures for sure.

    Also, here is some feedback that was provided by the same person that was a nice surprise... started to get a little worried when I was first reading it, thinking "Oh great, here we go, people getting stopped because their taillight is too bright..." Thankfully that hasn't happened yet. Just keep it on level 3 or lower at night... pretty please

    "When out on my first ride a couple days ago and didn't even get two blocks from the house and was stopped by a local sheriff deputy. He was so impressed by it that he wanted one for his mtn bike, so I gave him your email."
    Very nice !
    2012 Cannondale Trail SL 29ER 4

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  15. #115
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    Very impressive. I just ran across this link through a YouTube subscription so it is a belated hats off to the builder.

    I've been working on some budget tail lights for the every day cyclist. Some very competing priorities have come up in the development of such a beast. Obviously nothing rivaling this monster, but I have a few observations...

    Can a tail light be too bright? I think this has been answered, yes it can! But now you have me re-thinking the nominal levels. On non-bike forums I've even received threats of bodily harm if I were to even come close to the levels this DS-500 is pushing. The very fact that it is capable of pushing out this many lumens is impressive.

    I've looked but haven't seen what the beamshot of the tail light would look like on the "white wall". I do not have much experience with the optics you guys are using but I've always found them to be focused at some level although this is changeable with different optics. Do these optics have a specific "hot spot/zone" or is it well diffused?

    Runtime is of critical importance to many of us doing long rides or 4+ hours or specifically, when touring 10-12 hours. This is when you start trading off runtime with visibility. Has someone already looked into runtime based on modes and configurations?

    Just to give you an idea of where I am coming from is flashlights. I know, basic stupid simple why are we even talking about it... but it is the tech I am getting to here. As-is, XR-E Q5 on a single 2400mah 18650 is 4+ hours runtime on strobe (6-1/2 hours actually). You don't get to program these units and the only real plus to these things is that they can be zoomed (or defocused) for a lot of light transmission. The defocused beam eminates near the lens for minimal losses and a 60 degree cone of relaively even light. I bring this up because for a tail light, or even a be-seen front light, it is very noticable at higher angles. To add, when you are directly aligned with the light, the intensity is only a little more than at 30 degrees offset. It is the aspheric lens that allows for this and really is a simple solution for being-seen (no reflector needed). The last requirement is making the light red, which is easily accomplished with filters, in my case, Rubylith film.

    I fully understand that the Q5 on a single cell sucks for consistency in light output throughout the runtime. They rarely provide boost drivers in such cheap lights so the output varies from 240 to 160 lumens. With the intensity of the Q5, it is a usable light and it gains me significant respect day or night on the roads I travel. Trail peds look away or otherwise blind their eyes from the front facing blinkies and I usually reciprocate by turning off the front lights on the trail.

    Since these little lights have really been quite reliable (with my own tinkering and hardening), I wanted to take them to the next level. XM-L and a multi-mode driver - 9 unique modes. But I hamstrung the driver to match the Q5 at 700ma. With a red filter, this was a mistake. To equal the Q5, it will still need to run at 1 amp. I ended up limiting this output because of what I felt traffic would tolerate. Even an XM-L at 1.4 amps is a very blinding effect even behind an aspheric lens. Here too, programmability is of high value. 17mm drivers just don't have this luxury.

    Point is, can you see an aspheric zoomable blinkie running an XM-L full bore for say 90 minutes without traffic retaliating? I too have had great success with local law enforcement accepting what I'm currently running. To what level will they tolerate brightness? When will municipalities start regulating max output? We've been reasonably fortunate to not be regulated as yet, but with the new capabilities, I have no doubt that some cager will get upset and they might just have a voice in legislation. Has the cycling community pre-empted any such legislation with lobbying? Are there any useful studies in this regard from universities? I'm thinking that before we have too many DS-500 out there blasting people with 1000 lumens of flashing red lights all over the place (the pricepoint is sure attractive!) that it would be worthwhile polling the public here on MTBR of what, if anything might already be available. This is a serious request, so don't flame me for asking.

    Again, great job on the offerings. I wish you all the success and many many sales.

  16. #116
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    Thanks. It was definitely a long design process to get it to where it is today.

    To answer some of your very valid points...
    The DS-500 uses the MaxFlex boost controller. This allows the unit to be turned down to about the same intensity as the MagicShine taillight, although only consuming around 1 watt. Run time tables can be found here:

    https://sites.google.com/site/design...un-time-tables

    But just as a point of reference, it will run at the full 10 watts flashing for more than 12 hours on the 5200mAH pack.

    As far as beam pattern... it uses two different lenses. One is a pure spot for super long distance throw while the other is elliptical, giving a nice flat and very wide (43+ deg) beam that gives great coverage off-angle.

    So yes, it's a monster, but only if you want it to be. It is also infinitely aim-able so there is good flexibility there for managing intensity, especially at night.

    I'm in the process of making some comparison videos with the MS taillight as well as some white wall shots showing the beam pattern.

  17. #117
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    Cool! Those are some very impressive numbers and great options. Looking forward to the images.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'BentRyder View Post
    Cool! Those are some very impressive numbers and great options. Looking forward to the images.
    Here you go. All the shots were taken in full manual mode with identical settings. Taking RED beam shots is a very different animal than white! Also note that I made the necessary "shim" adjustments to the MJ818 to get it firing straight back from my "simulated" seat post mount.
    The shots are ordered as follows:
    1) MJ818 on High
    2) DS-500 spot only on level 1
    3) DS-500 spot only on level 3
    4) DS-500 spot only on level 5
    5) DS-500 elliptical only on level 1
    6) DS-500 elliptical only on level 3
    7) DS-500 elliptical only on level 5
    8) DS-500 both beams on level 5
    9) Test stand from slightly beyond 90 degrees from the side
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DesignShine... WOW!-mj818_high.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds-500_level1_spot_beam_only.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds-500_level3_spot_beam_only.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds-500_level5_spot_beam_only.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds-500_level1_elliptical_beam_only.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds-500_level3_elliptical_beam_only.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds-500_level5_elliptical_beam_only.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds-500_level5_spot_and_elliptical_beams_combined.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds500_vs_mj818_test_stand.jpg  

    Last edited by pethelman; 09-25-2011 at 11:22 PM.

  19. #119
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    I like that elliptical pattern. Have you considered running only one or the other in your mode selection or separate switch? The wide oval would be more efficient than a round diffused beam. Maybe running the elliptical at level 5 is more tolerable for night rides.

    Thanks for posting those.

  20. #120
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    Well I now have my DS front and rear lights. They are very small and very nicely made. These are the first battery lights I've had in years (since I bought a set of Night Suns about 15 years ago). So I don't feel able to compare them with anything else on the market. They are very small - about the same dimensions as a PBSF but a little deeper (front to back). They are light weight. They use the generic Cateye mount. They are dead easy to turn off/on and change modes. I bought two of Stephen's rack mounts and they too are very nicely made. It all seems practical, strong and sensible.

    Are the lights too bright? The rear light is much brighter than a MS tail light - I don't know how much brighter - maybe 2 or 3 times. But I think it's tolerable (just!) My PBSF just gets lost in the 'red flood' and glow from the DS. I think the PBSF (and similar rear lights) are all great. But I bought the DS because I have to negotiate a busy set of slip lanes on my way home from work and I want the cars approaching from behind to remember I'm there! I think it'll do the trick.

    The front light is another matter. As I've said, I can't compare it to another contemporary front LED light as my experience is limited. It does however light up my whole street from fence to fence for around 200 metres with a white, very even beam. It's like a powerful car head light on high. I've kept it pretty well aimed on the road in front of me as I'm quite concerned about dazzling on coming drivers. I'm not yet confident that I'm fully in control of the upward spill. And did I mention that I've only used it on low? I just wish there was a generic lense available to small-scale light builders like the one that B&M make that gave more control over where the light goes! Stephen did send a yellow supplementary filter which I've been using during the day. It reduces the glare I think and makes for an extremely 'attention-getting' flasher!

    So these are undoubtedly great lights. I suspect that they are pretty cheap for what you get but I do think that you need to approach the whole question of need carefully. The tail light is just plain outstanding and I find is a great confidence booster in heavy commuting traffic. The headlight is probably ideal for off-road nightriding, but do you need an aircraft landing light for your commute? I haven't quite figured this out yet but I suspect that once I get the right, traffic tolerable angle worked out it will be great.

    I'd add that I'm really only a commuting bike rider these days. Where these lights - both front and rear - would really shine I think is on the open road for touring cyclists or those doing Audax or early morning solo training rides. These often present very specific hazards as drivers are often dealing with fatigue and difficult lighting conditions. The sheer grunt of these two tiny lights may be ideal in such circumstances.
    Sam.

  21. #121
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    Hi Azra~!
    please email or send me pm. Thank you.
    info@bikerayusa.com
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    LED Bike Lights

  22. #122
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    I've been meaning to post for some time. I was likely one of the early designshine customers, having randomly found the youtube video about the time he first decided to offer them. I got both the headlight and taillight. Of course, I was a little reluctant to be one of the "guinea pigs". The business end of the transaction was excellent. All emails were answered and promises kept.

    As to the product itself, the taillight is stunning! I have PBSB and two dinotte 140R's. I ride on rural roads during daylight mostly. Under these conditions the super blinky is totally ineffective, and the Dinotte 140R provides a minimal attention getting light. The DS-500 on level 5 is perfect for this in my opinion. Not too bright. Under cloudy conditions or in town, I do reduce the power. The headlight is a very nice product too, but there are other alternatives available so the "wow" factor is not as great as the taillight.

    A few posters make good points about bicycle lights becoming bright enough to become hazardous. I'll leave the bulk of that discussion for another thread. I treat these Designshines like bright headlights on the car - don't drive around with them on high just because you can. Effective lights are bright enough to be clearly seen without blinding. With a little good sense by the user to fit the conditions, these lights are about the best available. My only two suggestions for improvement are for more blinking rates/patterns to choose from, and a better battery charge indicator. These are minor points, and overall I strongly recommend either the Designshine head or tail light.

  23. #123
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    It is nice to see testimony to the effect that tail lights in fact can be too bright.
    Definitely a welcome capability for bike tail lights.

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by vswope View Post

    ...As to the product itself, the taillight is stunning! I have PBSB and two dinotte 140R's. I ride on rural roads during daylight mostly. Under these conditions the super blinky is totally ineffective, and the Dinotte 140R provides a minimal attention getting light. The DS-500 on level 5 is perfect for this in my opinion. Not too bright. Under cloudy conditions or in town, I do reduce the power. The headlight is a very nice product too, but there are other alternatives available so the "wow" factor is not as great as the taillight.
    I can see one of these lights being real useful in remote rural areas. I do lots of driving in areas like that and you rarely see anyone bicycling on roads in places that are remote. In places like that you would definitely want something to make you stand out at a distance for traffic approaching you from the rear. Wearing high visibility yellow helps a bunch but having a strobing light that can draw a motorist's attention from a quarter mile away ( or more ) ( in broad daylight ) would be a big asset.

    Next year I plan on doing some road rides in areas like that and I want to make sure all the truck drivers ( as well as others ) see me well before they even know that I'm a cyclist. I'm thinking about adapting an XM-L torch and using it on SOS mode. **It won't be red but it will draw attention. Since a five mode torch has memory I can easily turn it off/on with just a click ( mounted near or under the seat. Once the sun starts setting my twin SF's are well enough to be seen from a distance.

    (** I do plan on using some automotive red lens tape to adapt one of my spare torch lenses. It will dampen the output a tad but I bet it will still be bright and in the 500 lumen range. Since a torch can't be adjusted for intensity while in flash modes this set up is planned only for full daylight use in a dangerous or rural ( 40+mph speed limit ) setting. )

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    I'm wondering if there's any difficulty operating the DS1300 switch with gloved hands (spring or winter gloves) since the switch looks pretty small?

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellerbro View Post
    I'm wondering if there's any difficulty operating the DS1300 switch with gloved hands (spring or winter gloves) since the switch looks pretty small?
    Yes, it's definitely not AS easy to operate with gloves, but still very doable. I actually recently used it on the helmet on a night hike and was wearing some pretty thick gloves. There's enough of a recess in the case that I could "feel" it through the gloves. It helps that it's a micro-switch, so not much pressure is required to make it "click." This thing runs so long on high (3hr 45min), that you may only need to click it once to turn it on, and then press-and-hold it once to turn it off when you're done.

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    ...I'm thinking about adapting an XM-L torch and using it on SOS mode. **It won't be red but it will draw attention. Since a five mode torch has memory I can easily turn it off/on with just a click ( mounted near or under the seat. Once the sun starts setting my twin SF's are well enough to be seen from a distance.

    (** I do plan on using some automotive red lens tape to adapt one of my spare torch lenses. It will dampen the output a tad but I bet it will still be bright and in the 500 lumen range. Since a torch can't be adjusted for intensity while in flash modes this set up is planned only for full daylight use in a dangerous or rural ( 40+mph speed limit ) setting. )
    I'm not sure about where you are, but in Washington state, having any color other than a red light to the rear is illegal with certain, specific exceptions (turn signals can be amber, back up lights should be white; also exceptions for police/EMS vehicles). Bicycles can have a flashing rear red tail light. Any other color, including the pink that shows when you put automotive red tape over a very bright white light, is illegal.

    Using a non-red rear light may draw the attention of drivers - which is what you want. But, it could also earn you a ticket.

  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    I'm not sure about where you are, but in Washington state, having any color other than a red light to the rear is illegal with certain, specific exceptions (turn signals can be amber, back up lights should be white; also exceptions for police/EMS vehicles). Bicycles can have a flashing rear red tail light. Any other color, including the pink that shows when you put automotive red tape over a very bright white light, is illegal.

    Using a non-red rear light may draw the attention of drivers - which is what you want. But, it could also earn you a ticket.
    Yes, I've considered all that. Some laws were designed to be challenged and this is one of them. If I ever was to get a citation for such a thing, I would proudly march into court and state the following argument to the judge: Years ago it was illegal to have T.V's in the front seat area of a car. Then there are cyclist that ride at night with no lights or reflectors. Now for some reason all this is completely ignored by all....times change as the technology changes. Bikes use white led flashers all the time, usually in the front...however, many riders ride against traffic and are rarely ( if at all ) stopped by police. School buses in my state are equipped with 360 degree white strobes that are on at all times. This was done for safety reasons. Now if a strobe light is used to protect children on a school bus shouldn't a cyclist be given the same respect seeing they have no metal around them to protect them in an accident. I figure good for the goslings, good for the goose when his neck is sticking out begging to be picked off.

    If a cop wants to pull me over on a rural high speed road and give me a ticket for using a bright flashing white light during daylight for safety, I'll take my chances with what the judge has to say on the issue. Now with all this said, I'll deal with the issue if I start getting fines. Since I won't be doing this on a regular basis anyway I'll take my chances.

    Update: I just ordered an XP-C RED 5-mode drop-in tonight so all this might be a moot argument if I feel the SOS mode is bright enough to draw attention during the day.

  29. #129
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    Really like this lights - just a few questions

    Hello,

    Just found this thread and so far I really like what I see, but I do have a few questions.

    Tail-light: I love the DS500, however I am wondering if the flashing mode can be programmed more than just brightness levels?

    Two things.

    1. Flashing lights only at night can be difficult to judge distance, which is why I ride with a full on light and a flasher. However, if this light could be programmed to be a combo say both lights flash from half-on to fully-on or have one light flash while the other is fully on - then you have the best of both worlds in one light.

    2. Random flash interval. It does not have to be much, just something that is inconsistent. From a physiological perspective a person cannot help but to see that light, even from the corner of their eye, they will be drawn to it. Regular blinking patterns, people can learn to ignore, but there is something about a slightly irregular pattern that makes it nearly impossible for people to ignore.

    I have hard a lot of talk board and all the programming modes, but I don't think it has either of these. I know the vis-180 has the half-on flash mode and I have seen other taillights that have a random pattern, so I know it is possible, just maybe not on this light. However, if they are possible, it would be great.

    Headlight: Is this thing programmable? I would like to use it for road-primarily, but I would like to use it off-road too. For road-riding being able to set it up like the exposure Strada would be optimal. Have your regular riding mode and a dimmed mode for traffic and a thumb switch like the strada to quickly switch between the two. However, I would personally like to go one step beyond the Strada. I would like to be able to choose my full power mode 3,4,5 and have the switch always dim the light to 2,3. This way in heavy commute traffic I can ride at a 3 without offending anyone, then switch it to 5 for my decent down Claremont or Southpark where I have hit 50+ at night. The switch would give me a quick way to turn down from high power mode with one click while keeping my attention fully on the road.

    Beam Patterns: I have seen several forum posts elsewhere where people like the flood on their helmet and spot on the bars. I can't stand that. On my bars I want a good flood light and a consistent light intensity from the top of the spot down to my front tire, even further if possible. If I see a rock or some other thing in the road, I don't want to lose it. I also like the beam to have enough flood to be able to see far enough off to the sides to be able to pick-up a dog or a cat or a little kid running into my path. Those of you that ride at night know what I am talking about, the farther out to the side you can see some animal coming out from under a car or running across a lawn, the better off you will be. Animals do funny things in lights and if they get right in front of you, they will stop. So my question is, can I get my wish and be able to have a courtesy switch that would take my 5,4,3 level beam down to a 3 or a 2?

    On my helmet I want a spot and very little flood. Flood on the helmet is fine for off-road, but not on-road. Too much flood means when I turn my head, I can hit drivers with a beam I don't want too. It is too noisy. With a spot, I can hit the car's windshield that is turning in to me and no one else. I live very close to Oakland, and though I hate to say it, you can really tell the difference in driver's awareness in certain areas. The helmet light has saved my life a couple of times and stopped a car from left turning right into me. So for me, I like to look around when I with a good spot, I only light up what I am looking at. However, I am curious, I see people wanting the flood on their helmet and spot in front, why is that?

    So for these lights, I see that pethelman will configure them to your liking which I really LIKE. I just hope that some of my extra wishes that I see in other lights can be put into this light because I would by them today if they could be so configured. And they would really make these lights the most flexible on the market.

    - Roger

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    A lot of good feedback here Roger, thanks...

    To address some of your questions:
    Concerning nightime use of the taillight. Yes, steady mode is best, turned down to at least level 3 or lower. Until I get George to give up his firmware... I'll have to stick with the flashing function as is. Seriously though, for daytime operation (which is where this light earns its keep) the current flash pattern is very good. It can easily force someone to look up from their cell phone or whatever else they may be doing from a LONG way off. At night, you have to really be careful to keep it at level 3 or lower, preferably in solid mode for good depth perception. Combine it with a low power flasher and you have the near perfect solution.

    Being a roadie myself for most of the year, I really tried to make this light satisfy the needs of the serious night road cyclist (I ride almost exclusively at night now). With some valuable feedback from some of the users here, I tweaked the lens combination to yield a good combination of throw and width. You won't be able to "out-ride" the the light, even on high speed descents, yet you'll still have full illumination of both lanes of a two lane road all the way to your front wheel with a very even distribution of light. Because of the clear lens cover, you actually get light all around and even a little behind your front wheel, so there really aren't any "blind" spots.

    As an unexpected bonus (and I had no idea how nice this was till I tried it) you have about +/- 10 degrees of left/right aimability. So, if you don't have a helmet light, and you're coming up to a high-speed 90 degree turn, you can just nudge the light hard over to the stop in the direction you're turning well before you get there (I'm talking 150 ft before you get there), and have full illumination of the turn. The beam is wide enough that you still have plenty of straight forward illumination, but you now have the center of the beam right at the apex of the turn. The mount essentially has some built in friction that allows you to position it left or right on-the-fly without effecting the elevation adjustment. So after you make the turn, just nudge it back to straight. Easily accomplished with just your thumb while riding on the bars.

    Headlight operation modes. Thanks to Azra, I came to see the "light" so to speak on the more simple mode of operation for road use. It's pretty much as you're hoping it would be. You have three settings, LOW/MED/HIGH. HIGH is always the maximum drive, but MED and LOW can be programmed to correspond to level 1,2,3,or 4. What works really well is the THREEmode operation, where a single click takes you from LOW to MED. Then, once you're at MED, subsequent clicking toggles back and forth between HIGH and MED. A slightly longer press-and-hold takes you back to LOW. So it really is just like being in your car. If you like having 1300 lumens on the road, then by all means use it, but if a car approaches, you just do a quick single click and you're down to MED, which is around 640 lumens (if you use level 3 for medium). In practice I've found L3 to be suitable for road use without causing any blinding problem for oncoming cars (haven't gotten bright-lighted yet). There are a couple of other modes at the user's disposal (one even more simple LOW/HIGH only, another tri-mode where you cycle through all three levels, and one mode where you have access to every power level). The power adjustment modes work the same whether you're flashing or not.

    I have a couple of nice upgrades to the next round of lights, one of which is 150 more lumens on the XP-E triple, which is the "thrower" half of the light. Also, the lens cover will be user-removable and you'll be able to play around with different lenses for different applications. Although, I haven't tried it yet, a dual XP-E triple with spot lenses would make a heck of a spotlight for helmet use if someone was so inclined. Even with the spot beam, you'll still get the same "spill" light out the sides of the lens cover, which would be doubly nice on the helmet at night.

    I'm shooting for availability of the next round of lights in Mid-December time frame.
    Last edited by pethelman; 11-10-2011 at 10:11 AM.

  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    ...I have a couple of nice upgrades to the next round of lights, one of which is 150 more lumens on the XP-E triple, which is the "thrower" half of the light. Also, the lens cover will be user-removable and you'll be able to play around with different lenses for different applications. Although, I haven't tried it yet, a dual XP-E triple with spot lenses would make a heck of a spotlight for helmet use if someone was so inclined. Even with the spot beam, you'll still get the same "spill" light out the sides of the lens cover, which would be doubly nice on the helmet at night.

    I'm shooting for availability of the next round of lights in Mid-December time frame.
    Oh how I do love to hear you go on about your lights. You certainly do know a thing or two about bike lights. You also seem to know what we folks in Forumville dream about when we think about "The perfect light system".

    I'm glad to hear about your plan for user replaceable lenses. Need I even say, more throw is always a welcome commodity. Although you didn't mention it, I hope somewhere along the line that you figure a way to offer a remote option. I just love the remote on my triple XPG, K-Lite. The button assembly is very small and nothing like the bulky plastic stuff you see on the MS lights. I don't know where Kerry gets his remotes but they are compact and really nice. It really is a big PLUS to be able to keep both hands on the bars when making a mode switch, especially at higher speeds. To tell the truth I'm surprised that you haven't made one for yourself yet. Once you go remote it is so hard to go back to " one-hand-steering-mode-changes"....

  32. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Oh how I do love to hear you go on about your lights. You certainly do know a thing or two about bike lights. You also seem to know what we folks in Forumville dream about when we think about "The perfect light system".

    I'm glad to hear about your plan for user replaceable lenses. Need I even say, more throw is always a welcome commodity. Although you didn't mention it, I hope somewhere along the line that you figure a way to offer a remote option. I just love the remote on my triple XPG, K-Lite. The button assembly is very small and nothing like the bulky plastic stuff you see on the MS lights. I don't know where Kerry gets his remotes but they are compact and really nice. It really is a big PLUS to be able to keep both hands on the bars when making a mode switch, especially at higher speeds. To tell the truth I'm surprised that you haven't made one for yourself yet. Once you go remote it is so hard to go back to " one-hand-steering-mode-changes"....
    Hey Cat,
    Yes, actually I have done a remote, bar-mounted solution for a recumbent rider with under-seat stearing. It's a bit more custom work, but totally doable. The switch on the case remains and operates in parallel with the remote switch. I fabricate a small 1/8th inch thick aluminum plate which holds the micro-switch and can be innocuously zip-tied to your handlebars to be in a convenient under-thumb location. The length of the remote wire would be customized for the particular application... like in the recumbent case, it was 84 inches long. For most of my night road riding, I find that the beam and output on level three is very adequate and not too bright for on-coming cars, so I'm rarely touching the switch. If you were using a light that had 3hr 45 min run time on high and 9+ hours on level 3 (medium), I'm just curious what scenarios you're finding that would require mode change while riding, except possibly to dim for approaching riders? Thanks for your thoughts!
    Last edited by pethelman; 11-10-2011 at 10:19 AM.

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    I wouldn't ever need a remote for the road riding I do (commuting really) as the single XM-L@1.5A is enough for me. However, for off-road riding it's amazing to have a remote for the bar light - med for climbs, high for the flats/DH - and not having to take your hand off the bar to change levels is a huge boon. For the riding around here, taking your hand off the bar at the wrong moment will have you in the rocks!

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    hello mattthemuppet and pethelman,

    I tend to use my rides as a workout instead of commuting. My issue is when I am coming down a large hill, large enough that I have to keep both hands on the breaks (for those of you who know the East Bay near SF that's Moser, Claremount, Marin, Centennial, South Park, etc) it is difficult at best to reach up and dim the lights if a car suddenly appears coming up hill or out of driveway or side street. At least with a helmet light, you can angle it away, but a bar light on max for those 30+ mile an hour downhills, not so easy to adjust a light under full brakes or in tight turns.

    Why a remote switch? For all those times when removing either hand from the bars is not an option.

    - Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    To address some of your questions:
    Until I get George to give up his firmware... I'll have to stick with the flashing function as is.
    George who? Let me call him

    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    Seriously though, for daytime operation (which is where this light earns its keep) the current flash pattern is very good. It can easily force someone to look up from their cell phone or whatever else they may be doing from a LONG way off. At night, you have to really be careful to keep it at level 3 or lower, preferably in solid mode for good depth perception. Combine it with a low power flasher and you have the near perfect solution.
    Yep, I need to combine it with another light to get a near perfect solution. But I can dream for a perfect solution where a light can do both, can't I. I agree, daylight will be fine and I will keep it in steady mode for night-time. Just need a good flasher. Maybe that Exposure light will work for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    Headlight operation modes. Thanks to Azra, I came to see the "light" so to speak on the more simple mode of operation for road use. It's pretty much as you're hoping it would be. You have three settings, LOW/MED/HIGH. HIGH is always the maximum drive, but MED and LOW can be programmed to correspond to level 1,2,3,or 4. What works really well is the THREEmode operation, where a single click takes you from LOW to MED. Then, once you're at MED, subsequent clicking toggles back and forth between HIGH and MED. A slightly longer press-and-hold takes you back to LOW. So it really is just like being in your car. If you like having 1300 lumens on the road, then by all means use it, but if a car approaches, you just do a quick single click and you're down to MED, which is around 640 lumens (if you use level 3 for medium). In practice I've found L3 to be suitable for road use without causing any blinding problem for oncoming cars (haven't gotten bright-lighted yet). There are a couple of other modes at the user's disposal (one even more simple LOW/HIGH only, another tri-mode where you cycle through all three levels, and one mode where you have access to every power level). The power adjustment modes work the same whether you're flashing or not.
    Seems like that will work for me. Just thinking it may be nice to go from a steady medium to a high flash mode for emergencies, especially when I am traveling anywhere near the Oakland border. But then again, I can yell very loud when needed and yelling STOP at someone usually does the trick too.

    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    I have a couple of nice upgrades to the next round of lights, one of which is 150 more lumens on the XP-E triple, which is the "thrower" half of the light. Also, the lens cover will be user-removable and you'll be able to play around with different lenses for different applications. Although, I haven't tried it yet, a dual XP-E triple with spot lenses would make a heck of a spotlight for helmet use if someone was so inclined. Even with the spot beam, you'll still get the same "spill" light out the sides of the lens cover, which would be doubly nice on the helmet at night.

    I'm shooting for availability of the next round of lights in Mid-December time frame.
    Keep me on that list. I may need to order a tail-light before that time, but I am certainly interested in your headlight units too. I would like to see more helmet mounted shots before deciding to go that route. I think it would be cool if you made a single light to be use alongside the dual version for those people wanting a more specialized use.

    - Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Huston View Post
    hello mattthemuppet and pethelman,

    I tend to use my rides as a workout instead of commuting. My issue is when I am coming down a large hill, large enough that I have to keep both hands on the breaks (for those of you who know the East Bay near SF that's Moser, Claremount, Marin, Centennial, South Park, etc) it is difficult at best to reach up and dim the lights if a car suddenly appears coming up hill or out of driveway or side street. At least with a helmet light, you can angle it away, but a bar light on max for those 30+ mile an hour downhills, not so easy to adjust a light under full brakes or in tight turns.

    Why a remote switch? For all those times when removing either hand from the bars is not an option.

    - Roger
    yeah, I can see that My commute is on a flat cycle path so it's not as challenging, but the mtbing I do is analogous to the situation you describe - when you just can't take your hand off the handlebar.

  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post

    I have a couple of nice upgrades to the next round of lights, one of which is 150 more lumens on the XP-E triple, which is the "thrower" half of the light. Also, the lens cover will be user-removable and you'll be able to play around with different lenses for different applications. Although, I haven't tried it yet, a dual XP-E triple with spot lenses would make a heck of a spotlight for helmet use if someone was so inclined. Even with the spot beam, you'll still get the same "spill" light out the sides of the lens cover, which would be doubly nice on the helmet at night.

    I'm shooting for availability of the next round of lights in Mid-December time frame.
    I am so tempted to get one of these lights, but with the upgrades you mention, Now I want to wait a little longer.

  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by BritOnTour View Post
    I am so tempted to get one of these lights, but with the upgrades you mention, Now I want to wait a little longer.
    Hey Brit...
    It's an easy choice now. All of the first run lights have been sold. Francois has the last set for the shootout, and when he's done with those, I think I may have to keep them myself just for posterity (and to do some comparison shots with the new headlight).

    Another upgrade, although not really major, is that the new lights will be a few grams lighter. Turns out after really putting them through the temperature evaluation, that I had a little wiggle room to trim some mass and still maintain a conservative thermal design.

    One of the big new things that (as an engineer) I'm really excited about is the new battery pack PCB. This one will incorporate on-board balance taps (which you can see over on the right hand side of the PCB)! I'm not sure how many have this, but it's a nice safety feature and helps prolong the life of the pack. In the case of the DS packs, I essentially have 3 "banks" of cells in series and this PCB will keep each "bank" at exactly the same voltage. Costs just a tad more, but totally worth it in my opinion. No scrimping on the cells here either... only the good stuff, Samsung.

    You can keep up with the new build over at the blog on the new website:
    Design Shine Lighting Forums - Recent Blogs Posts - Blogs
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DesignShine... WOW!-3s-balance-.jpg  

    Last edited by pethelman; 11-11-2011 at 07:55 PM.

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    So this includes the tail-light too? We should hold-off on everything until mid-December?

    - Roger

    P.S. I saw some pictures on your site that looked like custom mount work. Where a customer sent you a mount and you made it work with your light. I wonder if you have mounted your light to a Night Rider mount. I really like my double lights to be mounted center line, over the stem.

    Unfortunately my new bike has Shimano instead of Campy, older where the brake lines come out of the breaks and interfere with the light. Took them forever to follow Campy and they did it the model year after I got my bike. But still, got the bike for like 50% off as it was last years model.

    Still this means that I will have wire shadows in my lights and anything I can do to minimize it, even a little will help.

    - Roger

  40. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Huston View Post
    So this includes the tail-light too? We should hold-off on everything until mid-December?

    - Roger

    P.S. I saw some pictures on your site that looked like custom mount work. Where a customer sent you a mount and you made it work with your light. I wonder if you have mounted your light to a Night Rider mount. I really like my double lights to be mounted center line, over the stem.

    Unfortunately my new bike has Shimano instead of Campy, older where the brake lines come out of the breaks and interfere with the light. Took them forever to follow Campy and they did it the model year after I got my bike. But still, got the bike for like 50% off as it was last years model.

    Still this means that I will have wire shadows in my lights and anything I can do to minimize it, even a little will help.

    - Roger
    You've got a lot of options with this mount. I normally use an extender bar for the headlight that's about 1/2" shorter than the taillight bar, but if you use the taillight bar on the headlight, you might be able to get past some of the wires? You may not have seen some of the images here:
    https://sites.google.com/site/design...ting/build-log

    In particular, look at the entries for June 23 and May 19. You can mount low, in-line with the bars, using the extender. Or you can mount high with or without the extender bar. When you see the image looking down on the light from above, there are two angles of adjustability: the mount itself, and the light body on the bar. If you want to get the light out in front of the stem, you can angle the mount bar to the right, then turn the angle the light body to the left to get it back pointing straight again. But to answer your other question, yes, I can definitely entertain custom mounting options. The bottom of the light has a nice deep threaded hole (6/32 thread) and a flat surface, so it's fairly adaptable.

    The other good thing about this light with respect to your problem is that because there are 6 different point sources of light, even if you are behind one of the cables, there is NO hard shadow. The main distraction would be the reflected light off the cable coming back at you.

    I'm really scrambling trying to have the new batch of lights ready before Christmas
    So far "Murphy" has stayed away, but I've been in engineering long enough to know that he's never TOO far away

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    Helmet mount specs

    Just wanted to put out a feeler to the forum on the idea of a helmet-specific DS-1300.

    While I'm building lights, I could easily put together a double-triple XP-E with the new higher-output R4 bin (aka "throw monster"). This wouldn't be just an ultra narrow penetrating beam, but a very usable spot light with complete trail coverage, easily out to 200ft. Light head with mount would be sub 130 gram range. Color temp in the neutral range. 4 hour runtime on high. On-the-fly vertical adjustment. Visual indication of the battery status would be provided by the front LEDs, so you wouldn't have to take off the helmet to know where you stood in the battery life cycle.

    I'm just wondering if there is a pent-up need for something like this? Or if that much power on the lid is just overkill?

    Would look pretty much like the picture here, although this shows the smaller battery with a 2hr runtime on high.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DesignShine... WOW!-headlight_helmet_mount_new.jpg  


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    Hello,

    I might be interested in such a light. Is it too much power? Depends on the handlebar light. In my opinion they should be evenly matched so your eyes don't have to adjust to the darkness. For example, if the light is too weak, it gets lost in the headlight and when you look to the side, the low light conditions means your eyes have to adjust to match the light and on the trail that time can be dangerous. Same is true for a too strong light, you move your head to the side, now you have the weak light in your direction of travel and in your peripheral vision. Good luck in that situation.

    For me, I have HID lights now, I run in a stacked configuration. I turn my handlebar lights down so the whole spot is visible on the road and trail in order to get the most light on the road in front of me. It also helps keep it out of driver's eyes. Then for my head mounted light, I put the bottom of the spot on that light on the top of the spot on my handlebar light (natural position). This doubles the sweet spot for me and give me max distance.

    With your LED lights I am not sure how this will change. I like your medium frosted DS-1300 with almost no center spot effect.

    As for the headlight, I think you could make a new light, half the size of the DS-1300 with only 1 lens and have a great light. The picture looks a bit bulky to me, especially with the battery mounted on the helmet, I prefer a longer cord and mounted in by back-pack.

    So, yes, I am interested, but I would prefer a smaller helmet light and if the batter was on the helmet, perhaps something along the lines of the Exposure Diablo.

    - Roger

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    Hello,

    Would it be possible for you to put one together and show some beam pics and videos like you do for your other stuff? I would be curious to see how much spot this would be. Personally, I would like you to show it with the DS-1300 on the bars, both on at the same time and move the head mounted light around so I could see how much extra light it produced and how well it matched the DS-1300. I would also like to see them turned on at each of the 5 light levels, both on the same matched setting. For example, both on 3 for road riding, what would that look like?

    Thank you and I am looking forward to your new lights!

    - Roger

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    Thanks for the feedback Roger. I had thought about a single-triple, but for the approach that I wanted to take with the transparent lens retainer, it just wasn't very feasible. Several other considerations that factored in were that the single-triple has to be driven VERY hard to produce enough light for my taste. I preferred the more conservative approach by using more LEDs and less drive current. And in that respect, I've crammed about as many lumens as you can into the smallest volume possible while still retaining enough mass to run at full power for several minutes with no air flow. I've found that I can run the light on full power on the helmet with barely more than a walking pace without heat buildup becoming a problem.

    Of course, the major benefit of using two separate banks of LEDs is the ability to use different optics on both and make a good single bar-light solution.

    I'll plan on building at least 1 double-triple XPE and seeing how well it plays with the wider beam version on the bars.

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    p-man, I love the idea of a Double/triple XP-E R4 narrow! I don't think I would use something like that on the helmet though...a little too much weight for my taste. If I did buy one I would likely want a triple XP-G R-5 combo with a XP-E R4 with an array of optics so I could figure which set-up I like the best and then mount that sucker on a center bar mount.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. These lights of yours cause me to bring out the drool bucket.

  46. #146
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    some feedback from my point of view, as a mtber only:

    1) I'd try and limit yourself to a 2 cell pack. My helmet light has a 3 cell pack and it's right at the limit of comfort for me, especially on rocky trails. I've ridden a few times with my commuter light (single LED) and its 2 cell pack on my helmet and the difference is noticeable. I'm pretty tolerant of weight on my helmet, so if I'm not 100% happy with a 3 cell, I'd guess that alot more people would be unhappy with it. One of the guys I ride with won't even strap his Minewt battery on his helmet, although that does weigh closer to a 3 cell than a 2 cell (due to the driver, hard plastic shell etc)

    2) These XP-E R4s aren't HEWs are they? I guessing not (those are R5s), but worth avoiding if they are, for a thrower at least.

    3) I'd still recommend going for a single LED/triple board for a helmet light. Gonzo output is less necessary IMO and being unable to mix'n'match optics will be more than outweighed by the reduction in weight of the light head. I do like my twin LED helmet light (built in the XP-G days) but if I were doing it again I'd think long and hard about doing a single instead. With those R4s it'll still be ~900+lm theoretical too.

    4) I know that you have a lot of experience using triples and are probably very comfortable with them, but the XM-L is more efficient and there is a far wider range of optics/ reflectors to tailor the beam to an individuals preference. Cheaper too.

    5) I would ditch that lens cover with the clear sides - that'd bug the hell out of me if someone on a ride had a light like that, given that it would be impossible to avoid blinding someone with it at a stop on the trail. It's hard enough to avoid shining lights in peoples eyes when the light goes straight out of the front

    6) is there a way to get the light to sit lower on the helmet? That would both avoid tree branch clipping problems and the high CoG that makes helmet lights more noticeable.

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    Hey Matt,
    Thanks as always for your insight!

    Let me see if I can address some of your comments here.

    >>I'd try and limit yourself to a 2 cell pack.

    I agree, the 3-cell is just OK, but probably too much for some if mounted on the helmet. The light connects directly to and will work fine with the very minimalistic Magicshine 2-cell pack (picture attached), but in that case, you'd want to stay on level 4 or below, treating level 5 as a short-use "boost" mode.


    >> These XP-E R4s aren't HEWs are they? I guessing not (those are R5s), but worth avoiding if they are, for a thrower at least.

    I am evaluating the XP-E High Efficiency White (HEW) in combination with the XP-G to see what kind of blended beam I can achieve. Since the die size hasn't increased for the XP-E HEW, the spot optics work almost as well as with the non-HEW versions. The main difference being the lack of the dark band around the primary spot and just every so slightly less throw. However, I'm betting that the increased output will make up for the difference in throw compared to the old XP-E Q4 bin that I was using... which, I thought, still had very nice throw.

    >>I'd still recommend going for a single LED/triple board for a helmet light.

    I'm with you on that one. Coming mainly from the road-bike world, the idea of this light was primarily envisioned for bar-mounted road use, but turns out to be really good bar-light on the trail as well. However, it's still quite usable on the helmet in a lot of situations. Recumbent road riding is a good option, since often the bar mount is impractical, and in that riding position, you can position the light on top of the helmet for good balance. In those situations where you don't want to have anything sticking up above the top of the helmet to avoid catching branches, the light has to be moved way to the front of the helmet. This of course makes low weight an even bigger priority, and in that respect, the NiteFlux guys have everybody beat. Not sure I want to try and compete with that... or even should, since there are so many "flashlight" helmet lights out there.

    >>... XM-L is more efficient and there is a far wider range of optics/ reflectors to tailor the beam to an individuals preference. Cheaper too.

    Believe it or not, the LED's themselves are a very small portion of the total cost of the light. It really is amazing how much it takes to produce a good housing, and then it happens again in the labor and in the assembly/testing process. So the cost for me was totally not an issue. The efficiency boost is almost not a factor as well, since to get the same usable output from 2 XM-L as compared to 6 XP-E/G, the XM-L have to be driven very hard, compared to the 6-LED scenario, where I can drive them in the peak of the efficiency curve. In the end, the form-factor being very compact and low-profile was most important to me.

    >>I would ditch that lens cover with the clear sides - that'd bug the hell out of me if someone on a ride had a light like that, given that it would be impossible to avoid blinding someone with it at a stop on the trail.

    I definitely see your point. However the light coming out the side of the lens cover is nowhere near the focused blinding level. It's just a nice diffuse point source of light that can be seen from any direction. You can look directly at it from the side even in the dark without any problem. However, I do have some very thin metalized reflective material with adhesive backing that I cut to size to go over the sides for anyone that wants to block that portion of the light. From every other perspective, however, the clear lens cover is what makes this light unique. On the trail, with the light mounted on the bar, the diffuse light coming out the bottom and sides of the cover, make a very nice ambient environment. You can completely see everything on the ground directly around and even underneath the bike. On the road, the clear cover makes very usable side lighting at night, which is particularly good on the taillight.

    >>is there a way to get the light to sit lower on the helmet? That would both avoid tree branch clipping problems and the high CoG that makes helmet lights more noticeable.

    I'm using the standard Cateye helmet mounting system, which is quite flexible. You can move it as far forward on the helmet as your vents will allow, to get it "lower." However, if I were using it off-road and knew that low-hanging branches weren't going to be an issue, I'd actually move it closer to the top of the helmet. The rotational inertia (yes I am a geek) is much higher with it on the front, plus if your leaning over slightly in your normal riding position, the out-front position puts more strain on the neck. With it on the top of the helmet, and battery in the jersey pocket, I barely notice it. The Cateye mount is nice because it has small de-tents in the aiming adjustment where you can reach up and click it up or down a notch or two for trimming the aim. When you're stopped and talking to buddies on the trail, you can just ratchet the light nearly straight up and out of everyone's eyes.

    Keep those comments coming! Love hearing others opinions.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    you're welcome, glad I can offer some insight

    Of'roadbent built a simple sled light with one of Quazzles L333 XP-E HEW boards and he thought it sucked. Compared to a standard XP-E Q4(5?) L333 and XM-L+Regina it neither threw as far as the XP-E nor was as bright as the XM-L (which I think even out threw it). There are some good beamshots on the DIY forum beamshot thread which illustrate it better. He told me that if it was his light (he built it for a friend) he would have swapped it out for either of the other 2 options. Not my own experience, obviously, but he's built enough different lights to know what he's talking about.

    I do believe you about the relative cost of the LEDs vs. everything else. The parts are the easy bit, it's the housing that's the hardest part. I can see where you're coming from re. the efficiency argument, but I'd counter that, for a light weight helmet light, you wouldn't be running the XM-Ls (or the XP-Es) at full bore anyway - I run the 2 XM-Ls in my helmet light at 1.5A as that's the most the b2flex will spit out, but around 1.5-2A would be the sweet spot for 2 XM-L. 2 XM-L @1.5A is still A LOT of light and the throw is as much as I could ever want (not sure about 60mph descents on the road, as I don't do that). Plus the added optics options would make a big difference. Something to think about anyway, perhaps as a test rig in the future..

    Neat to see the Cateye helmet mount in use. I'm just about to get my hands on my first one (not for lack of trying) so I'm quite excited to try it out. Sadly it wont work for my helmet light as I built it before I knew about the Cateye spacers, but I can use it for my commuter light. I agree that having the light right on top of the helmet and the battery in the jersey pocket (if your jersey has pockets..) is the best option if there aren't branches around, but I find that with the light head on the front (92g) and battery on the back vents (~150g?) it does balance out pretty well, although a 2S (~100g) pack would be sweeter. More polar moment of inertia for sure, but the helmet at least stays put!

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    Thanks VERY much for the tip on the HEW. I've looked at some of the beam shots, and it's hard to make a definitive call. I'll definitely drop back to the R3 or below if I don't like the throw that it generates.

    I think you'll like the Cateye mount a lot. Very minimal weight and low profile. I especially like that you can torque down on the bolt that it rotates about and change the friction level. This way you can get even finer aiming ability, if you find yourself needing to aim between two of the detents. That would be my only gripe that the spacing between each detent could be a little finer.

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    Hello,

    Just checked out your new build blog. Cool stuff. BTW, it would be handy if you could post the weights of your products on your website in the list. I think people may think that the unit is much heavier than the 130g you have listed above. I know I did.

    As for helmet lights, I would think your main competition in the States would be with the new Dinotte XML-3 as this light is a little smaller and at the same price point as the DS-1300 (Sub $300), and close in output. The review just posted on it yesterday or today. It looks much smaller than the DS-1300 unit, but since the weight is 102g, so maybe not. For me, I will probably get the DS-1300 and DS-500 combo and once I try them out, will decide what I want on my head. I have an old HID light that works fine for now for that and I can put the battery in my back pocket.

    As soon as you get closer to shipping, let me know so I can place my order.

    - Roger

  51. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Huston View Post
    Hello,

    Just checked out your new build blog. Cool stuff. BTW, it would be handy if you could post the weights of your products on your website in the list. I think people may think that the unit is much heavier than the 130g you have listed above. I know I did.

    As for helmet lights, I would think your main competition in the States would be with the new Dinotte XML-3 as this light is a little smaller and at the same price point as the DS-1300 (Sub $300), and close in output. The review just posted on it yesterday or today. It looks much smaller than the DS-1300 unit, but since the weight is 102g, so maybe not. For me, I will probably get the DS-1300 and DS-500 combo and once I try them out, will decide what I want on my head. I have an old HID light that works fine for now for that and I can put the battery in my back pocket.

    As soon as you get closer to shipping, let me know so I can place my order.

    - Roger
    The XML-3 is definitely another smart light...very similar to the DS-1300 in performance.
    The next DS-1300 will likely end up being sub 120 gram for the light body and clamp mount. The extension bar, which you would probably want to use for bar-mounting adds a few grams, but while mounting on the bar, it probably doesn't matter.

    Here's just some of my random observations from comparing the two the backyard shots (attached side by side here just for fun, DS on left, XML3 on right)
    Only two really noticeable differences stick out to me.

    DS - slightly more neutral (warm) color index
    XML3 - tends toward the cool side (nothing really wrong with that, just different)

    DS - slightly tighter spot projection and nearly identical near-field width
    XML3 - because of the faceted lens, it produces a very wide slightly more diffuse pattern.

    You can definitely see more "UP" light toward the top of the tree with the XML3.
    With the DS being a little tighter, there might be a slight advantage for road use.

    From the trail shots, the main difference is the color temperature. Browns will be more brown with the warmer light. And if you use your imagination, you might think that you have more discrimination of detail among the leaves with the warmer light, but this is an extremely subjective thing.

    I'm not sure I could make a decision just on the beamshots. What we're seeing with the mix of backyard and trail beamshots is that the content of the shot (color of background, terrain, depth, nearfield objects, etc.) can have a real impact on how the reflected light is viewed by the camera. In the backyard shots the DS looks "brighter" (I really don't like to use that word), while on the trail the XML3 looks "brighter." It really is very hard to judge between two very similar lights without having them both in your hand for real world comparison, and even then you can drive yourself crazy looking critically at aspects of the light that really may not matter when you're actually riding. When I'm out testing a new light, I really do have to tell myself to "stop looking at the light" and just ride. When you finally get to this point, and like Francois says, the light becomes "transparent" then you know you've got a good usable light, and there are plenty in the shootout that can do it.

    It's such a hard decision in some cases for a semi-major investment, which is why I consider all my lights to just be a "demo" until you really decide you want to keep it.

    OH, and just as an aside, you can run the DS-500 with any of the Dinotte batteries. I just need to provide a short "adapter" cable.

    DS-1300 on left, Dinotte XML3 on right.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DesignShine... WOW!-ds_xml3_side_by_side.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds_xml3_side_by_side_trail.jpg  


  52. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    Thanks VERY much for the tip on the HEW. I've looked at some of the beam shots, and it's hard to make a definitive call. I'll definitely drop back to the R3 or below if I don't like the throw that it generates.

    I think you'll like the Cateye mount a lot. Very minimal weight and low profile. I especially like that you can torque down on the bolt that it rotates about and change the friction level. This way you can get even finer aiming ability, if you find yourself needing to aim between two of the detents. That would be my only gripe that the spacing between each detent could be a little finer.
    no worries. I remember Quazzle hyping the HEWs up amid much skepticism on the DIY forum and no favourable feedback from users after they were released. I think it's also a consequence of the lack of HEW specific optics (something about weird emission angles and phosphor on the HEW dies), but I'm not going to grind my 20mm triple optics axe

    tried the mount out last night and was very impressed. Even with the spacer on the wrong way round on all my lights (doh!) I still managed to get a good angle with it right at the front of my helmet (still snagged it though). Unfortunately the beam got completely washed out by my bar light (2 XM-L at even 2A will do that to 1 XM-L at 1.5A) but I think I'll keep my commuter light on there permanently. Also, out of curiosity I weighed my commuter light:
    - light head 68g
    - helmet mount 24g (23.561g to be precise )
    - 2S battery 148g

    I was surprised that the battery weighed that much, guess the Digikey 18650 holder didn't help. Either way, felt very balanced and didn't notice the weight last night or this morning on the ride into work

  53. #153
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    Stephen,

    Thank you for the pictures, I did check them out. I will definitely get your light package for the bars and back and once I have it in hand, check it out for use on the helmet. I believe strongly in matching lights as best I can, both in strength and color if possible. For the better part of a decade I rode with Nightrider HID lights on both head and bars and I know the importance of keeping light sources of equal strength so your eyes don't have to adjust to varying light levels.

    For me, I am a bit sensitive to the weight on my head and the lighter the better. Until I get to see the thing in my hand and try it out, I am just guessing. But, what I do like about you, more than any other manufacturer is that you stand behind your lights and are willing to help us make it right. I like your "demo" philosophy. I will order, just wish the new lights were ready now and I really hope they are ready before Christmas instead of after.

    - Roger

  54. #154
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    Roger, according to the latest on the Designshine build blog, he said its looking like it's going to be "a new design for a new year..."

  55. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Roger, according to the latest on the Designshine build blog, he said its looking like it's going to be "a new design for a new year..."
    Yes, I'm pretty bummed about it myself. But I think the time that I take now in finding a good CNC partner will ultimate be well spent, as I'm getting bids from several shops and even looking at a custom extrusion option for the lids. I'm hoping that I can do enough quantity to at least get down to the price-per-unit machining cost of my local guy who's a one man show and semi-retired and owns his own shop (i.e. no overhead). His work is second to none, but to get into increased volume for him might be tough.

  56. #156
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    New Headlight Beam Shots

    OK, just finished up a test rig to try out one potential new XP-E variation. I also put together the "throw monster" (double triple XP-E) just for fun. Let me know what you think about the slightly cooler color temp.

    The orange cones are +30, +60, +90, +120, and soccer ball at +150 ft
    Fence in the far background at 300 ft.

    Shot setup: Same settings as for the shootout this year.
    4 sec exposure
    100 ISO
    4.0 Aperture
    Manual focus
    Daylight white balance

    I used two different lenses to try to give a better perspective on "throw" vs. "width."

    The first three shots all use the telephoto lens in this order:
    1) Original DS-1300 XP-E (single triple) minimum 5000K color temp
    2) New XP-E (single triple) probably in the minimum 6000K color temp range
    3) New XP-E (double triple), aka "throw monster"

    The last two shots show the importance of having a second lens of the frosted variety by using the wide angle lens and showing everything back to a few feet in front of the wheel.

    4) New XP-E (double triple). Notice the lack of spill light in the near field (it's why they work so good for throw).
    5) Add in the XP-G (R5) with a narrow frosted lens coupled with the New XP-E and you get "almost" as good on throw, but far better wide angle coverage and a nice smooth beam all the way out. For my eyes it's almost the perfect beam pattern.

    I'll post the full res shots over on the DesignShine Blog.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DesignShine... WOW!-ds_1300_original_xpe_spot.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds_1300_new_xpe_spot.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds_1300_new_dual_xpe_spot.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds_1300_new_dual_xpe_spot_wide_angle.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds_1300_new_xpe_spot_xpg_frosted_narrow_wide_angle.jpg  


  57. #157
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    Stephen,

    I noticed you said that on a helmet, if you limited the light to 3 or 4 you could run it on a magicshine 2S pack? Does that mean I could run it sufficiently well on a 2S2P magicshine pack? You said it 'wasn't recommended' in a post somewhere earlier... Could you elaborate? Would it
    A) damage the battery
    B) damage the light/controller
    C) reduce the brightness
    Click the thumbs up button if you have a thumb...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Stephen,
    You said it 'wasn't recommended' in a post somewhere earlier... Could you elaborate? Would it
    A) damage the battery
    B) damage the light/controller
    C) reduce the brightness
    You could spend a little time and read this thread, including link to Design Shine website to answer your own questions.





    It's because it's so bright at night that he recommends only level 3 for both tail light and head light unless you ride where there's no cars and less population.

    Level 4 and 5 use during the day.
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  59. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Stephen,

    I noticed you said that on a helmet, if you limited the light to 3 or 4 you could run it on a magicshine 2S pack? Does that mean I could run it sufficiently well on a 2S2P magicshine pack? You said it 'wasn't recommended' in a post somewhere earlier... Could you elaborate? Would it
    A) damage the battery
    B) damage the light/controller
    C) reduce the brightness
    Sure, let me clarify on those points.

    A)
    No problem for the battery. At 14 watts (level 5) and 7.4V, the current will be fairly high out of the battery (1.9 amps), but this shouldn't be a problem for the typical 18650-based li-ion pack. The only time you really have to worry about damaging a battery is if you over discharge or alternately overload and pull too much current (sustained). The over-discharge scenario is taken care of by the light controller, since it is programmed to shut off well before the battery reaches dangerous discharge levels.

    C)
    Since the light controller is a fully regulated boost mode current controller, it will necessarily maintain a constant current to the LEDs for a particular power level, regardless of the input voltage, so the lower voltage will not affect brightness in any way.

    B)
    This is the only area of concern for using 7.4V as the source for the headlight. To drive all six LED in series (lots of reasons for using the series configuration that I won't go into), you need upwards of 18 to 19 volts. As a rule of thumb, the larger the gap between the input source and the output drive level, the more inefficient the controller and the more power is dissipated in the components of the controller since it is now having to "work harder" to boost the voltage up to the necessary level. This is my sole concern for running the light for extended amounts of time at the highest drive level with the 7.4V input. The taillight, being lower power, does not have the same concern. I do plan on getting the 2-cell pack and doing some thermal testing with the headlight, just to definitely characterize the limits.

    Hope that helps.

  60. #160
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    Stephen,

    That is the info I was looking for.

    It would be nice to know some run times/efficiencies for driving your light at various levels with a 7.4v pack.

    I know how busy u must be, but it might be nice data to add to your runtimes chart.

    Thanks as always for the rapid response!



    CDA:

    No need for the lippy attitude.
    I've "read the posts", been to both his old and new websites and still had that question.
    Click the thumbs up button if you have a thumb...

  61. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Stephen,

    That is the info I was looking for.

    It would be nice to know some run times/efficiencies for driving your light at various levels with a 7.4v pack.

    I know how busy u must be, but it might be nice data to add to your runtimes chart.

    Thanks as always for the rapid response!
    You bet. That's a really good suggestion. Based on my experience with instrumented run-down testing on the 11.1V packs. I went back and made some estimates for the 7.4V pack. In practice, I've measured efficiencies in the controller that were on average 4 to 6% lower with the 7.4V input. Based on empirical data, I've found that I can "de-rate" the calculations to account for the fact that input current from the battery does not increase linearly over the full discharge cycle, so the estimates should be pretty good. I'm sure there's a margin of error, probably in the +/- 10% range, but that's really just a guess.

    Bottom line is that for the penalty of carrying around one extra 18650 cell, you can get essentially the same run times out of a 4400mAH 7.4V pack as you can a 2800mAH 11.1V pack. The only other caveat being that I would not recommend the full 700mA drive on the headlight with the 7.4V pack. If you just really wanted to use the 7.4V with the headlight, then the best option would be to reduce the maximum drive down to 500mA (via MaxFlex programming). After doing this, the maximum output of the light will be reduced down to the 900 to 1000 lumen range, but then you'd have slightly higher output compared to just limiting yourself to level 4 with the 700mA drive.

    I've updated the run time tables on the website.
    Also updated to reflect the measurements made with the newer version 6 Maxflex, but subject to change as I make more measurements to get a good average.

    Do note that I've observed some issues with the GeoMan 4.5AHr battery when running in high power flash mode, and I can elaborate on those if need be.

  62. #162
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    Stephen,

    Wow... This is the difference when dealing with an individual/small company! Response speed!
    Can't believe you've already updated your website with a full set of graphs... smashing!

    That's just what I was looking for. I have four of these packs, so it's nice to know that I can reuse them in emergencies....

    I notice, you said that the voltages involved with the rear light are less than those with the front light, but I see on your data that the "penalties" for running a 2S pack are the same as for the front light, i.e. 3S1P ≈ 2S2P.

    Still, it's really nice to see that the run times with s 2S2P are entirely practical and run for longer than the Magicshine 816 (1.8h at - rarely used- full power) which is what I'm currently running with.

    On a different note, how difficult is the reprogramming, say, were I to swap between an 3S and a 2S pack in order to set protection switch off voltage?

    I know that the maxflex has some user programmable aspects, but accessing all the function menus though a one button interface sounds about as much fun as punching out programme cards with my bare fingers :-)

    Also, could you explain to us a little more about the cell balancing aspect of the new build? That sounds like a really high-end feature that no $300 dollar light currently boasts. That would really put your new build "in the spotlight" so to speak...

    As always, keep us posted. I'm really enjoying hearing your progress.

    Craig.

  63. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Stephen,

    Wow... This is the difference when dealing with an individual/small company! Response speed!
    Can't believe you've already updated your website with a full set of graphs... smashing!

    That's just what I was looking for. I have four of these packs, so it's nice to know that I can reuse them in emergencies....

    I notice, you said that the voltages involved with the rear light are less than those with the front light, but I see on your data that the "penalties" for running a 2S pack are the same as for the front light, i.e. 3S1P ≈ 2S2P.

    Still, it's really nice to see that the run times with s 2S2P are entirely practical and run for longer than the Magicshine 816 (1.8h at - rarely used- full power) which is what I'm currently running with.

    On a different note, how difficult is the reprogramming, say, were I to swap between an 3S and a 2S pack in order to set protection switch off voltage?

    I know that the maxflex has some user programmable aspects, but accessing all the function menus though a one button interface sounds about as much fun as punching out programme cards with my bare fingers :-)

    Also, could you explain to us a little more about the cell balancing aspect of the new build? That sounds like a really high-end feature that no $300 dollar light currently boasts. That would really put your new build "in the spotlight" so to speak...

    As always, keep us posted. I'm really enjoying hearing your progress.

    Craig.
    Thanks Craig.
    Let me see if I can clarify on few of those points.
    First off on the 11.1V vs. 7.4V issue. Yes, there is a small decrease in controller efficiency as the input voltage drops. This, in and of itself however, is not a large contributor to the total power consumption, but since it's all manifested in the controller board itself, then from the controller board's perspective, it can make a big difference. From the studies that have been done on the Maxflex, the general rule of thumb is to avoid exceeding 2 watts in the controller unless you can provide a method of heat-sinking for the power inductor. In a package like this, it's virtually impossible to do that, so the only recourse is to just hold the power down.

    The "penalty" aspect of dropping the input voltage comes from the fact that this is a constant power device. As you drop the input voltage, more and more current is required to maintain the same power level. And as current goes up, so must the battery capacity to maintain the same run time. It just so happens to work out that the 2800mAH 11.1V and 4400mAH 7.4V are nearly equal with regard to power capacity. In fact, just look at these numbers. They could be considered to be "power" capacity. We're just not used to seeing a battery described this way.

    2.8*11.1 = 31.08 Amp-Hour-Volts
    4.4*7.4 = 32.56 Amp-Hour-Volts

    Now we need to penalize the 7.4V pack by about 5% (the difference in the controller efficiency) and we have:

    32.56 * 0.95 = 30.93

    Which is practically identical to the 11.1V pack.

    Concerning programming... I must say, when I first starting working with the Maxflex, it was a bit daunting to get my head around all the options. However, once you distill it down to just the few functions that are required for this particular application, it really is pretty easy. I plan on making some tutorial videos just to help folks get past the learning curve, so they can quickly be able to perform the operation exactly as you describe. Say for example you find that your 11.1V pack is dead and you want to use your 7.4V pack. If you don't re-program the cutoff limits, then as soon as you try to use the 7.4V, the light will think it's dealing with a seriously depleted battery and go into shutdown.

    So, you'd then break out your cheat sheet with just a few lines of instructions telling you which menu to select. You'd then enter the new cutoff voltage by tapping out the number for each digit XY.Z. So for a 6V cutoff, for example, you'd be entering 06.0 in a process like this:

    no-click = 0, followed by a PRESS to enter,
    6 clicks, followed by a PRESS to enter,
    no-click = 0, followed by a PRESS to enter.

    In this case, a video is worth a thousand words. If it was something you did often, then you'd easily be able to change between each voltage standard in a matter of minutes.

    Now, on the flip side, if you were programmed for 7.4V operation and needed to use a known good 11.1V pack for a while, you could do it straight away without the need to reprogram.

    Concerning balancing... I know that some packs say that they perform this function, but I'd certainly not assume that all packs do. If you look at any of the lithium polymer packs typically used in RC-airplane applications, they are literally bare cells. They have no hard metal case, and they have no on-board circuit protection (except for the speed controller), so when you charge a battery like this, you really NEED to use a balancing charger. This means that each cell will be monitored during the charging process and the charger's "brain" will compare each and make adjustments (discharging some if necessary) to insure that each cell is at the same voltage. This prevents any individual cell from becoming over charged or over discharged over time, which is not only a safety factor, but will also prolong the life of the pack. All of the 11.1V packs that I've spec'ed out, have to pass a quality test before they get to me. And I run each one through a full charge and load test before letting them go.

    As an aside...
    I posted a few more user-pics over on the new web site today if you're interested.

    Thanks for all the great questions!

  64. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    CDA:

    No need for the lippy attitude.
    I've "read the posts", been to both his old and new websites and still had that question.
    No need for getting your panties all twisted .

    That was a genuine response/post. Lighten up Francis; this is the internet...
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    Stephen,

    Now THAT'S what I call a comprehensive answer! Yes, with driver inefficiencies taken into account I can see that the Watt Hour ratings come out even, I guess due to the higher quality 2800mAh(?) cells used in your packs.
    It's good to know that reprogramming is only a few minute rather than half an hour job.


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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Stephen,

    Now THAT'S what I call a comprehensive answer! Yes, with driver inefficiencies taken into account I can see that the Watt Hour ratings come out even, I guess due to the higher quality 2800mAh(?) cells used in your packs.
    It's good to know that reprogramming is only a few minute rather than half an hour job.
    Yes, I spec'ed out the higher capacity 2800mAH batteries for my triangular 11.1V packs. They're pretty unique. A lot of energy in that small package and easy to strap to about anything. To my knowledge L&M is the only other outfit that has a similar battery, but it's crazy expensive. My new packs are using the new 2900mAH cells, but I'm not going to get too excited until I can do some full run-down tests and compare. They're supposed to be shipped to me this Monday, so we'll see soon.

    So did you escape anything serious from the Tsunami? I sure hope so!

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    Excellent news! High qual batteries with balancing are sure to be a winning combo.

    Just out of interest, why did you say that you should limit the current to 500mA rather than the already conservative 700mA at which you drive your LEDs?
    So say 14W output with, let's say a 20% inefficiency case. That would be about 17W input. At, even 6V that would be less than 3A, which with 2.2Ah cells is less than 1.4C current discharge. That doesn't seem particularly outrageous. Does the Magicshine battery pack limit output current?

    I have lived in Japan for the better part of 13 years now and as such have experienced numerous earthquakes of magnitude 5 and a couple of magnitude 6 or so. But the massive magnitude 9 earthquake that struck in spring was thousands of times more powerful than those and was actually more than 200 times more powerful than the infamous Kobe Earthquake of '95 which killed thousands.

    My school, which I was in with my students at the time of the quake, shook violently from side to side like a boat on stormy water. There was a lateral movement which peaked at about 8 yards, backwards and forwards once a second or so, for over 5 minutes. It was impossible to remain standing and for a minute there, we honestly thought we were all going to die.

    It was perhaps one of the most terrifying moments of my life and since that time, every slight tremor sets my heart off.

    But, on the other hand, the earthquake has brought our community together for the first
    time literally since the war and I have made more friends since March than I made since coming to Japan until that point.

    Moreover, because of the Earthquake, I have started riding around Tokyo, 20km or more per day, in order to visit all of the wonderful places my city has to offer because, if one believes the news, a massive, Tokyo earthquake is on its way...

    And I guess, indirectly I have the earthquake to thank for my interest in bike lights, since 90% of my riding is done after 9pm...

    Sorry for the long post.

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  68. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    My school, which I was in with my students at the time of the quake, shook violently from side to side like a boat on stormy water. There was a lateral movement which peaked at about 8 yards, backwards and forwards once a second or so, for over 5 minutes. It was impossible to remain standing and for a minute there, we honestly thought we were all going to die.
    8 metres! Back and forth! Once a second! For 5 minutes! That I think Craig is the most telling description of a major earthquake I have ever read! For those metrically deprived I'll remind you that 8 metres is about the height of a 2 level block of flats or about 25 feet! I find it very, very hard to imagine such an experience. See Tokyo while it's there...

    Back to bike lights - I use my DS lights for commuting only. I find the original 3 cell batteries very adequate for my 40minute commute. I use the lights day and night (different settings). I've never run out of juice and I only charge them about 1 X week.

    Incidentally I seem to get much more of what I think is referred to as 'respect', especially at T-junctions where previously it was not unusual for waiting drivers to pull out, completely disregarding my approach (or perhaps misjudging my speed). I've also lost count of the shouts 'your lights are on'... But being a long-time dynamo user I'm used to that!

    BTW, I use my DS lights without Stephen's extension bars. I just relocated the Cateye mounts directly to the light bodies. I use them on the bars at the front and at the rear of my pannier rack with no problems at all (using the special DS rack mount at the rear). I find it a neater and more compact set up for my purposes. For those with 'bare' road bikes I think the DS500 might be better served by a seatpost mount that made better use of the Cateye sliding shoe with the light in a horizontal position (as the mount was designed to work). I believe the top part of the handlebar mount (the bit that slides into the 'spacer' attached to the lights) is removable and could be mated to an alloy adapter which in turn could be maybe fitted to a standard Cateye or other) seatpost clamp - maybe a Smart-style clamp like Dinotte seem to use.

    Just an idea...

    Savvas.
    Last edited by savvas; 11-25-2011 at 01:58 PM.

  69. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Just out of interest, why did you say that you should limit the current to 500mA rather than the already conservative 700mA at which you drive your LEDs?
    So say 14W output with, let's say a 20% inefficiency case. That would be about 17W input. At, even 6V that would be less than 3A, which with 2.2Ah cells is less than 1.4C current discharge. That doesn't seem particularly outrageous. Does the Magicshine battery pack limit output current?
    I agree, I've never heard a description in those terms before. Just amazing! Very cool to hear how the tragic experience is drawing people closer together.

    To answer your question... The total power nominally consumed by the light on high is around 14 to 14.5 watts (don't have my spreadsheets in front of me at the moment). This includes the controller losses. So you are correct, it's not too hard for a 7.4V pack to run either light. Running both (head and tail) off of a single 7.4V might not be the best idea though. The power dissipated in the LEDs themselves at a maximum drive of 700mA is around 12.6 watts (give or take), so the issue is how well does the controller handle it's own power dissipation?

    One of the super-nice things about the TaskLED driver boards is that George really went out of his way to provide a large area on the board for heat sinking. But, one of the tricky balancing acts is getting heat out of the controller while also "sensing" and protecting the LEDs. At the same time that your trying to get heat out of the controller, you're also raising the temperature of the "sink" itself. Its just HOT in there. This is where the design of the housing is really important. In reality, the only area of concern for the 7.4V input is where the controller happens to be running right on the "edge" of needing to throttle back. Since the efficiencies of the controller drop by another 6% or so with the lower voltage input, some of that excess power gets burned in the "flyback" inductor, which is whole reason for concern. Because of thermal gradients in the board itself, it's possible for the inductor to get "hot" very rapidly before the thermal detection has a chance to kick in. The big question is HOW HOT will it get and is it too hot? I have a hard time answering that question empirically right now, so I can only go by the math and the recommendations that George has made, based on his own studies. You can find his white paper here:
    http://www.taskled.com/leds/max4_thermal_guide.pdf

    Or just the summary quoted here:
    "At power levels with driver heat losses in the 2W range, it is sufficient to utilize a single heatsink attached to the gold thermal attachment area. As heat losses increase beyond 2W it may be necessary to provide heatsinking of the inductor to prevent shutdown and possible damage of the switcher IC."

    SO... the reason I recommended running at a 500mA drive was, 1) just to completely avoid the borderline region of operation with the 7.4V input (especially when it's near the end of the charge), and 2) to give slightly higher output than if using the 700mA drive and running on level 4 instead of level 5.

    Long answer I know... and I'm still not sure I explained it adequately, but I hope that helps a bit.

  70. #170
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    Just saw your build blog. The battery packs look excellent. How are you going to waterproof them? And balancing, yay! Should give decent lifespan.

    I have a lens question.

    It's nice that even an elliptical lens could be retrofitted/swapped in to your #2s

    But I remember you mentioned the elliptical lens suffers a lot of loss. Is it a significantly greater loss than the wide frosted?

    Because I'm presuming that the frosted lenses are omnidirectional rather than directional, by which I mean, they scatter light in an even sphere rather than a horizontal plane such as a cylinder.

    Why I'm asking is, I love a good wide flood, but it's really annoying that in doing so, half of the light ends up in the trees. Since I spend practically no time in the bush.

    I would love some sort of lens that spreads light horizontally more than vertically but doesn't have the huge losses of the elliptical lens. Any options available?
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  71. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Just saw your build blog. The battery packs look excellent. How are you going to waterproof them? And balancing, yay! Should give decent lifespan.

    I have a lens question.

    It's nice that even an elliptical lens could be retrofitted/swapped in to your #2s

    But I remember you mentioned the elliptical lens suffers a lot of loss. Is it a significantly greater loss than the wide frosted?

    Because I'm presuming that the frosted lenses are omnidirectional rather than directional, by which I mean, they scatter light in an even sphere rather than a horizontal plane such as a cylinder.

    Why I'm asking is, I love a good wide flood, but it's really annoying that in doing so, half of the light ends up in the trees. Since I spend practically no time in the bush.

    I would love some sort of lens that spreads light horizontally more than vertically but doesn't have the huge losses of the elliptical lens. Any options available?
    You're assessment is essentially correct, but I may have miscommunicated a bit on the lens efficiencies. The elliptical is actually quite efficient. For comparison, here are some efficiency numbers:
    Spot Lens (XP-E, 88.7%); (XP-G, 87.3%)
    Elliptical Lens (XP-E, 88.1%); (XP-G, 86.5%)
    Narrow Frosted (XP-E, 85%); (XP-G, 85%)

    The elliptical lens makes a nice "flat" and wide beam, far wider than the "round" lenses. Here are the angles for the elliptical:
    43° X 16° FWHM - XPE
    43.6° X 23.3° FWHM - XPG

    Now, the one lens where you really get clobbered on the efficiency is the "wide" frosted lens. To me this lens is just too "lossy" for this application. Here are the numbers:
    Wide Frosted (XP-E, 80%); (XP-G, 78.3)

    The elliptical really does work quite well (you can see some wall shots of the red taillight earlier in this thread that show the general shape). I only have a few misgivings for using it on the headlight:
    1. It's so wide (I'm talking way past the edges of the road), that you do give up some forward intensity.
    2. With a wide flat beam, it's important to mount the light lower to the ground. A helmet mounted elliptical just doesn't work at all. It projects almost a horizontal "line" on the ground.
    3 With the lowered intensity of the wide spread from the XP-G ellipitcal, the combination with the XP-E spot is a little abrupt. In other words, you have this nice spread of light, practically covering your entire field of few, then you have a really intense SPOT in the middle without a nice transition between the two.

    Now, one option that I haven't tried, which might really be the flood-lovers dream, is the elliptical on the XP-G, and the narrow frosted on the XP-E. I'll definitely have to try that one out and post some shots once I get my new stock of XP-G boards.

    Hope that helps!

  72. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    ....Now, one option that I haven't tried, which might really be the flood-lovers dream, is the elliptical on the XP-G, and the narrow frosted on the XP-E. I'll definitely have to try that one out and post some shots once I get my new stock of XP-G boards.

    Hope that helps!
    This is what I like about your set-up...All the great options!

    At this point I'm beginning to figure that the Aliens have implanted a mind-reading device into my brain and are linking it to the one in yours.

  73. #173
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    It just gets better! Thx for the lovely data! Its a descerning light buyer's dream!

    When Francois (?) did his video he stated that what impressed him enough to review your light was the clear way you explained your lights' functionality and the copious excel spreadsheets to sent him with various data!

    A nice balance might be spot on the XP-G and elliptical on the XP-E that would be somewhat like the MJ-816 which uses a P7 with orange peel reflector and 2 XP-Es with elliptical lenses.

    Or would that just be a compromise of both spot and flood!

    Oh for a range of elliptical lenses...
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  74. #174
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    Good News

    Learned today through my LED supplier that the XP-E that I'll be getting for this current build is really and truly an R4 XP-E, NOT High Effeciency White (HEW). Apparently CREE had a low enough yield of these "super" XP-E that they didn't even make the datasheets. They really are good, and I'm not sure how I was lucky enough to get my hands on them?

    On an unrelated note, I discovered tonight that the little right angle bracket that I ginned up for a recumbent mount concept works really well for the problematic aerobar mount. Pretty cool. I think I'll make a few and throw them in with the anodizing run.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DesignShine... WOW!-ds_aerobar_mount1.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds_aerobar_mount2.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds_aerobar_mount3.jpg  

    DesignShine... WOW!-ds_aerobar_mount4.jpg  


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    Would driving two 1300's from a single six cell battery be possible/unadvisable?


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    Just speculating/dreaming, but have you experimented with running a single XML instead of either the xp-g or xp-e triples?

    If you are only getting 650 True lumens from one half of your light, couldn't you easily achieve 700lm at only 2.4 amps, like the magicshine 808E?

    Have you tried two, single XMLs? In the same body?

    Or even a triple XML instead of the XPGs for the wide beam?
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  77. #177
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    Dual 1300

    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Would driving two 1300's from a single six cell battery be possible/unadvisable?


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    Yes, it's OK to run two from a single 5200mAH, 11.1V battery.
    Nominally, at full power, the DS-1300 is drawing about 1.2 amps from the battery. When you're getting down to the last 20% of the battery, the current goes up a bit as the controller is working harder to maintain the same drive to the LEDs as the battery voltage sags. In this case, worst case current from the 11.1V battery is around 1.35 amps.

    So with a 5200mAH battery, the 2C discharge amp rating is 5.2/2 = 2.6 amps.
    So worst case with two lights from one pack is right around 2.7 amps.

    Keep in mind that at the higher discharge rates, you do give up some of the capacity of the battery due to internal resistive losses. To complicate matters even more, you can't treat these bike lights as a "constant" load because of the internal controller. In practice, I've found that roughly a 0.9 de-rating factor works pretty good to estimate battery life off of the nominal load current. In this case the de-rating factor will be a bit higher because of the higher current.

    So for the dual DS-1300 with the 5200mAH, I'm going to estimate:
    5.2*0.85/2.5 = 1.77 or approximately 1hr and 45min on high.

    I'm here to tell you though, that two DS-1300s on one bike is pretty crazy. If you had two on the bars, each aimed slightly outward, you'd have a FAR better high-lumen solution than any single 3000+ lumen light.

    Here's a picture of just that, although the light on the right had a spot/spot combo, which is why it's a bit dark in the near-field right side. With 4 lenses to play with, I'd probably run:
    XP-E 1, Spot
    XP-G 1, Narrow Frosted
    XP-E 2, Spot
    XP-G 2, Elliptical

  78. #178
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    XML musings

    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Just speculating/dreaming, but have you experimented with running a single XML instead of either the xp-g or xp-e triples?

    If you are only getting 650 True lumens from one half of your light, couldn't you easily achieve 700lm at only 2.4 amps, like the magicshine 808E?

    Have you tried two, single XMLs? In the same body?

    Or even a triple XML instead of the XPGs for the wide beam?
    I've looked long and hard at the XM-L from every possible angle, and at the end of the day, compared to the current DS-1300 design, I just can't come up with any good reasons to try and switch. The difference between the 3XPE+3XPG compared to a 2-XML, with regard to total lumen output and run time is basically negligible.

    I spent an awful lot of time designing/testing/refining the current design, and it works so well, that I'm very hesitant to try and make any changes. To make these lights available, even on a relatively small scale, I have to make a pretty large investment in materials in large enough quantities to get the cost-per-unit down to reasonable numbers. So at a minimum, once I have a viable design in hand, I'm locked in for a while.

    Since I also had the road bike market in mind with these lights, I really like the lower compact profile (right at 1.125" x 2" x 1.85") compared to the round body designs. I also spent an immense amount of on time on the clear lens cover, which, to me, is a fairly unique feature of these lights. The amount of effective side lighting that comes through this cover is also somewhat dependent on the characteristics of the small triple-optics. Lastly, the ability to swap out multiple optics (that are inexpensive and readily available) on both the XPE and XPG triple is a really nice feature.

    With the XM-L, I would end up compromising on the size of the case as well as some of the side lighting. Not to mention, I would lose the commonality with the taillight, which helps me achieve some economy of scale and keep the prices as low as possible. Also, not to mention, everybody and their brother is building a double XM-L now, and I kind of like having something that stands out a bit and offers some unique characteristics over and above the XM-L.

    So, yes, I like the XM-L, I just don't think it makes sense in the current design. Maybe someday.... but of course by then, the XM-L will be old news and everybody will be racing to the next "best" thing. To my eyes, I wouldn't have a need for more light than the DS-1300 offers. Now that we've achieved these kind of light levels from a single light, the best option for more light really is a second light with different lenses and/or aiming. Just my 2 cents worth

  79. #179
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    Smile

    Stephen,

    Do you think you could offer a pack of optional lenses for sale to save us from having to hunt them down on the internet?

    Yes, two would be some serious lumens but I was also thinking of two for the front because there are some hair-raising junctions in Tokyo.
    A hair-raising junction...
    ...where I would really enjoy having a flashing front light as well as constant light and at just such a junction, i could change one to a flasher to make me more noticeable.

    As always, thank you for all the informative comments. I'm really looking forward to your new build.

  80. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Stephen,

    Do you think you could offer a pack of optional lenses for sale to save us from having to hunt them down on the internet?

    Yes, two would be some serious lumens but I was also thinking of two for the front because there are some hair-raising junctions in Tokyo.
    A hair-raising junction...
    ...where I would really enjoy having a flashing front light as well as constant light and at just such a junction, i could change one to a flasher to make me more noticeable.

    As always, thank you for all the informative comments. I'm really looking forward to your new build.
    OK, that's just insane...makes me a little crazy even thinking about trying to cross that one. Yes, one step ahead of you on the lenses. For the online store, I'm going to have two different options, the simple one-click system purchase, but also the Ala-carte pick and choose whatever component you may want option. You'll have the option of picking out any additional lenses of any type. They're only $2 a piece, so it'd probably be good just to pick up a spare set to have on hand in case you ever needed to make a repair.

    If you were going to run two headlights at night with one flashing, I'd probably keep the yellow filter on the flashing side at the lowest power level and aim it higher than you would normally for illuminating the road. This way you're not constantly looking at a flashing light on the road in front of you AND the cars get a very clear indication of something to look out for. Never really thought about it before, but It's a really good idea!

  81. #181
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    Great news about the lenses!
    Is the gasket (o-ring) long-lived? Will it survive x amounts of lens changing?

    Yes, a power flasher pointing directly forward would also obviate the need for removing the yellow filter every evening and putting it back on in the morning...
    I'd probably use the high power flasher in the daytime and at lower power in conjunction with a steady light at night.

    I'd also be curious to see what the visibility of the yellow filtered light is in poor weather... Since it is thought that the eye can focus more easily on yellow tints than blue.

    I'd be tempted to mount it as low as possible with an elliptical lens.

    $250 bucks is a reasonable price to pay for 3+ years of daily convenience and safety, because I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn't bother with the filter after a couple of weeks!

  82. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Great news about the lenses!
    Is the gasket (o-ring) long-lived? Will it survive x amounts of lens changing?

    Yes, a power flasher pointing directly forward would also obviate the need for removing the yellow filter every evening and putting it back on in the morning...
    I'd probably use the high power flasher in the daytime and at lower power in conjunction with a steady light at night.

    I'd also be curious to see what the visibility of the yellow filtered light is in poor weather... Since it is thought that the eye can focus more easily on yellow tints than blue.

    I'd be tempted to mount it as low as possible with an elliptical lens.

    $250 bucks is a reasonable price to pay for 3+ years of daily convenience and safety, because I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn't bother with the filter after a couple of weeks!
    Yes, the o-rings that seal off against the lenses themselves are super cool. Very soft durometer (20 Shore) silicon, so they are very resilient and impervious to heat/weather/ozone etc. Really, the only precaution would be to insure that they are clean, when and if it comes time to remove the lens cover and replace lenses. These o-rings are soft enough that they work great even when dry, so there's no need for any extra coating on the lens o-rings.

    Slightly different story for the o-ring that seals off between the lens cover the housing. It's a black neoprene material, and will have a bit of silicon grease on it to help the lens cover pop on easily and also help with the sealing. As long as the light is clean before you remove the cover, it should be a non-issue just to put the lens cover back on without having to worry about the o-ring.

    I've been told that the yellow filter works particularly well in fog/rain, but I haven't tried that yet for myself.

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    Split Yellow/Clear Lens

    Hey Stephen... it's Bryon (we've been going back and forth via email-thanks for all of the quick, highly informative and useful replies as seems to be your MO with your lights). I was wondering if you had considered a split colored lens... yellow and clear, either split horizontally or vertically, depending on the benefits each orientation could offer? Across the width (horizontally), you could shade the top half of the light to oncoming traffic (avoiding dazzling on higher settings and to provide more "be seen" type light attraction) yet keeping the lower half fully lit to the road. I imagine you would take a hit in output, but the safety factor potential is high. Or maybe consider splitting the two lights into separate colors (vertically) so that one lamp is clear and the other (potentially flashing) side could be yellow. best of both worlds without all the second light cost/bulk/etc.? Just a thought...

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    @Bedubya I saw in an earlier message that someone wanted a sold and a flash rear light in one unit, but due to the driver, Stephen can't make one flash and one steady...

    I'm really hoping that with these insanely bright lights these days that someone will come up with a road reflector that doesn't waste half of the light in the trees: like the Philips one reviewed in the shootout but with a "proper" kilo-lumen class output.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    @Bedubya I saw in an earlier message that someone wanted a sold and a flash rear light in one unit, but due to the driver, Stephen can't make one flash and one steady...

    I'm really hoping that with these insanely bright lights these days that someone will come up with a road reflector that doesn't waste half of the light in the trees: like the Philips one reviewed in the shootout but with a "proper" kilo-lumen class output.
    Shhhhhh... don't tell anyone. I'm secretly modifying (translate - gutting) a Philips SafeRide to use Dual XM-L, TaskLed driver, and external battery. Should be interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedubya View Post
    Hey Stephen... it's Bryon (we've been going back and forth via email-thanks for all of the quick, highly informative and useful replies as seems to be your MO with your lights). I was wondering if you had considered a split colored lens... yellow and clear, either split horizontally or vertically, depending on the benefits each orientation could offer? Across the width (horizontally), you could shade the top half of the light to oncoming traffic (avoiding dazzling on higher settings and to provide more "be seen" type light attraction) yet keeping the lower half fully lit to the road. I imagine you would take a hit in output, but the safety factor potential is high. Or maybe consider splitting the two lights into separate colors (vertically) so that one lamp is clear and the other (potentially flashing) side could be yellow. best of both worlds without all the second light cost/bulk/etc.? Just a thought...
    Hey Bryon,
    Yes, all very good ideas... and believe me, I tried the "shading" approach. There's just no shading the small triple optics. The only way that shading works is if you've blocked the direct line of sight to the emitter AND you really need to have the remaining light collimated off of a reflector. The way that you handle this with the DesignShine is that you have a Medium/High setting that you switch (toggle) between with a single click of the power button. On medium, the output is just over 600 lumens. Plenty bright to navigate by, but not bright enough to dazzle oncoming traffic. When you're on your own and IF you need the full 1300 lumen, then just bump it back up to high. The light is also easily aimed right or left, so that's also a quick and easy option if you're on high and need to take the full straight-on intensity down a bit.

    Sneak peak... I just finished up a tutorial video series, and you can see Tutorial no.5 that talks about aiming on YouTube.

    As GraXXor mentioned, the one side flashing, one side solid scenario is just not an option with the drive electronics that I'm using. These things are so small, you could easily put two on the bars running off the same battery, and have one dedicated flashing yellow at lower power.

    Thanks for the feedback!

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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    Shhhhhh... don't tell anyone. I'm secretly modifying (translate - gutting) a Philips SafeRide to use Dual XM-L, TaskLed driver, and external battery. Should be interesting.
    Whispering: Fandabidozie! Now That's what I'm talking about...

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    Dude... 2 weeks no update.... It's a new year.... New products to compare with... What's the status?

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    Progress update

    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Dude... 2 weeks no update.... It's a new year.... New products to compare with... What's the status?
    Ah yes... progress is definitely being made, just somewhat behind the scenes at the moment.

    120 mounting tabs cut and drilled and adhered to Maxflex boards.
    Internal wiring cut to length, stripped and in the process of being soldered into Maxflex boards.
    Battery packs being wired and sealed.
    Housings are still being cut. I don't have a good feel for when they will be complete yet, but hopefully in the next 2 weeks.
    Once I get the housings anodized, then the tedious process of adhering the LED boards to the housing begins.
    Lens cover drawings are at the CNC shop and 300 of them should be finished by the end of this month. (In order to get any kind of relief on the price of this part, I had to go with a higher quantity in an anticipation of future builds.)
    I've been working with an individual who is a professional CNC operator and owns his own equipment. I have a sample in hand from him of the headlight housing, and let's just say it's VERY good. We'll be working out a schedule for future housings (Build #3).

    In case you haven't seen them, I've also put together a series of tutorial videos that might be helpful.
    The first one is a general introduction to the lights.
    At the end of each video is a link to the next in the series.
    The most recent is a detailed description on how to get into programming mode and change things like Superlock.

    Happy New Year!

  90. #190
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    Your level of professionalism is outstanding. One of the banes of 'open source' and 'minor players' has been a lack of clear, concise information for the end user and while the product might be good, info regarding said product is often lacking.

    You have somehow managed to cover even that tedious aspect of the design process!


    ---
    I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=35.753993,139.738310
    Click the thumbs up button if you have a thumb...

  91. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Your level of professionalism is outstanding. One of the banes of 'open source' and 'minor players' has been a lack of clear, concise information for the end user and while the product might be good, info regarding said product is often lacking.

    You have somehow managed to cover even that tedious aspect of the design process!


    ---
    I am here: Google Maps
    Thanks very much! With a full time day job and young family I certainly can't crank out great quantities of lights at this point, but what I'm lacking in volume, I try to make up for in quality and good communications with the customer. Definitely looking forward to getting more of these lights out on the road and trails soon!

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    Have you got a ballpark price yet sorted out yet? Or maybe a "preorder price"

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Have you got a ballpark price yet sorted out yet? Or maybe a "preorder price"
    I'm trying to simplify the purchasing process as much as possible. The on-line store (when it becomes available, hopefully later this month) will allow the standard cart shopping experience and users will be able to check out via PayPal, whether you have a PayPal account or not. There will be simple standard package options as well as "buffet-style" for buying individual piece-parts as needed.

    I've been toying around with the idea of a small pre-order deposit, followed by full payment after the hardware is ready to ship, but the logistics of that are becoming a bit daunting. So maybe the pre-order pricing is the way to go. Margins on these lights are already razor thin, so probably what I'll do is offer a pre-order price on the first 15 headlights and 15 taillights. Right now, I'm thinking $10 off per light head. So if you ordered the head/tail combo you'd get $20 off + the $5 discount that is already built into the combo. Shipping will be free (in the USA) for any orders that include lights. For international, I just pass along the actual USPS costs, usually in the $25 to $35 range. I'll have to leave myself a little wiggle room, but at this point, I don't expect any major changes.

    Here's the newly updated Price List.

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    These lights look really nice. Looking to purchase a new light soon and this is one of the lights on my list. Has anyone had any issues with this light?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomchiles View Post
    These lights look really nice. Looking to purchase a new light soon and this is one of the lights on my list. Has anyone had any issues with this light?
    Hey Tomchiles, I'm finding that the folks in this cycling/lighting community are absolutely the best folks in the world to do business with. Several of my early customers are on the boards here, but it's a small number, since I only built 30 taillights and 20 headlights for the initial product test. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and I've tried to collect some of the comments on the website feedback page. So far, I haven't heard back from anyone on a single reliability issue over the last 10 months. I fully test and burn-in every light, including a full charge cycle on the battery to insure that the charger works properly and is actually putting a full charge on the battery.

    As a result of the good initial response, I'm working on building a larger run of lights (with a few nice improvements) and will be making them available in the coming weeks. Since I hand-build each and every one these lights, I stand by them 100% if anything ever goes wrong. If you ever manage to hurt one in a crash, I'll get you back up and running for the cost of parts.

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    I got a Dinotte 400R in '08, then after testing it out, I bought two more (plus Dinotte bar and helmet lights).

    If I were starting the hunt today for a seriously bright taillight, I'd try Mr. Pethelman's DS 500. The youtubes show the difference between 500 Lumes and 240 Lumes. Frontlight mfrs are in a war to light up the road/trail to SEE, but have ignored the benefits of BEING SEEN.

    Rob DiNotte will always be revered, perhaps by a tiny coterie, as the guy who came up with the idea of a taillight that changed the behavior of cagers, in daytime. For the first time, they could, if not completely "awake", see "Something is ahead of me at 200-400 yards," I have time and distance to figure out how to go around it, instead of panic-braking and riding my horn to show my adrenaline-fueled frustration." With a Dinotte 400R, I went from at least one horn-blarer on my butt every ride to one every several months. Daytime. Nighttime, none, because even inattentive drivers were alerted I was a half-mile ahead. Rob saw something no one else did in the taillight-manufacturing business. He was kind of like the Steve Jobs of taillight designers.

    Mr. Pethelham has raised the ante. Mr. DiNotte invented the highly-visible-to-daytime-drivers taillight. So he gets named to the Bicycle Safety Inventors Hall of Fame, when that gets created. He was a visionary.

    I'm not going to discard my 400Rs. They are satisfactory to me, even in their 5th year. They affect drivers' behavior, i.e. the drivers see me well ahead of them, and relaxedly figure out how to go around me. Now, if I'm in the right lane at a stoplight, and some drivers behind me are turning right, the drivers behind them going through, can't see my light, but the DS-500 would have the same problem.

    I suspect that Rob can boost taillight power to whateverlumens he wants. His original 400R used Seoul emitters. Newer Crees are more powerful.

    Mr. Pethelham's taillights can be down-powered for nighttime use. That's a nice feature. For side-visibility, I aim my Dinotte a bit leftward, since I mostly ride in the right lane, so side visibility is not a problem.

    I think that with the much more energy-efficient Crees, now XL-M, Rob should use these. A lot of drivers today are increasingly looking down at their smartphones. Brighter taillights are better at getting their attention. Rob DiNotte invented the high-visibility-in-daytime taillight. Stephen Pethelham has used brighter LEDs to improve upon Rob DiNotte's bike-ride-experience-changing concept, a "night light" that works on bright sunny days to give drivers advanced notice that something is ahead, and time to cooly deal with it, and riders a lot more comfort and safety.

    I was hit by a car, uninsured, for the first time in over 50 years of riding, last November. It was a "left hook". I had my Dinotte 400R on, but no headlight, even though I had one. Late afternoon riding, I had gotten "too complacent". Fortunately, the car T-boned me, and I was heads-up enough to jump high and roll onto the hood and into the windshield. My Giro Ionos protected my head, while making a major "orb-weaver spider" crack in the drivers' windshield, and my shoulder did another set of cracks. Also hood dents. I was unable to ride for 6 weeks, and intimidated from riding for several more weeks. Anyway, I'm back to riding, now with a helmet light I'd put into the drawer. I'm riding with it again.

    The DesignShine 500 is the brightest taillight on the market. But rear collisions aren't your only probem. New-tech car-mounted collision-warning systems are cool. But universal implementation is at least a decade away.

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    Whew!

    Very sorry to hear of your accident, but I'm very glad to hear that you're back riding again!!! I can't even imagine the mind games that must result after an experience like that. The 400R was indeed my inspiration for creating the DS-500. I wanted something that went beyond really bright and into the levels of ridiculously bright, but at the same time, small, and smartly mounted with good night side visibility.

    Statistically, I think the "left hook" is the most common occurrence, so yes, an equally good "be seen" daytime headlight should be standard equipment these days. I added a neat feature on the headlight to be able to add a "fluorescent" yellow filter to the front of the headlight during the day that can be easily removed at night. It's very "other-worldly" looking, so it really stands out from sunlight glints and reflections. I also put a lot of time into optimizing the flash modes for day and night use, but the controller also has fully user-programmable flash timing for those that like to experiment.

    If these lights could ever prevent one incident like yours from happening, all the long hours and work will have been worth it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Your level of professionalism is outstanding. One of the banes of 'open source' and 'minor players' has been a lack of clear, concise information for the end user and while the product might be good, info regarding said product is often lacking.

    You have somehow managed to cover even that tedious aspect of the design process!
    I'd just like to second these remarks regarding Stephen's efforts to get his small lights to market. For someone utilising existing optics he has done an outstanding job and is a pleasure to deal with, even from halfway around the world! He's obviously technically adept but I think we are also seeing the positive results of a great deal of effort! For those interested, put your names on his list and start saving - it's worth the wait!

    I note the comparative discussion of the Design Shine and Dinotte lights in this thread. I actually don't see them as competitors - they are significantly different in a number of ways, particularly in mounting options. It happens that the DS really suited my bike and my budget so that's what I went with. Although I've never seen or used a Dinotte, I reckon both are 'up there'.

    I can also vouch for the marked impact of both the DS head and taillights on the daytime behaviours of drivers. You would have to be blind drunk or asleep to miss them!

    Savvas

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkinKS View Post
    ...I was hit by a car, uninsured, for the first time in over 50 years of riding, last November. It was a "left hook". I had my Dinotte 400R on, but no headlight, even though I had one. Late afternoon riding, I had gotten "too complacent". Fortunately, the car T-boned me, and I was heads-up enough to jump high and roll onto the hood and into the windshield. My Giro Ionos protected my head, while making a major "orb-weaver spider" crack in the drivers' windshield, and my shoulder did another set of cracks. Also hood dents. I was unable to ride for 6 weeks, and intimidated from riding for several more weeks. Anyway, I'm back to riding, now with a helmet light I'd put into the drawer. I'm riding with it again.

    The DesignShine 500 is the brightest taillight on the market. But rear collisions aren't your only probem. New-tech car-mounted collision-warning systems are cool. But universal implementation is at least a decade away.
    I have two weapons against the inattentive motorist ( daytime )...One is the strobe mode on my new Gloworm X2. ( 1200 lumen pulsing flash ) Very, very bright if I do say so. The only problem is that it takes a couple moments to turn on as it is a "special mode". That means no "Instant on feature". My second weapon though has this issue handled. I have a 5 mode XP-E torch on my helmet that has an excellent strobe mode ( about 300 lumen ) and it has a very tight beam. Very intense, I only use it for moments at a time. The good part is that it can be set for strobe and turned on/off at an instant.. Point your head at anything with this on and you WILL be seen. The only down side is that you have to take one hand off the bars to reach your head but it does only take a second to turn on.

    I would like a third weapon though. A while back I started looking for an electric bike horn that could rival the horns that you hear on the VW's. Unfortunately I have not found anything that is small enough that will work. The Air horns they sell for bikes are too big and clunky. I'd like to see something about the size of a matchbox that you could easily mount under the stem or bars AND include a wired remote for fast access.
    Batteries could be small as runtime is not an issue since a horn mostly sits idle till needed. Still, I want something that will make your skin crawl sitting in a car 100 ft. away! Whoever can market a product like that will not only save 100's of lives a year but will likely become a millionaire.

    Oh BTW, very good post and a very good story. You make some good points. Keep riding. Don't let the *astards win.

    (edit: Just had a thought. Some of the buzzers on smoke detectors are incredibly loud. Somewhere I have one sitting in a box waiting to be dismantled. )
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 04-10-2012 at 04:33 AM.

  100. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    A while back I started looking for an electric bike horn that could rival the horns that you hear on the VW's. Unfortunately I have not found anything that is small enough that will work. The Air horns they sell for bikes are too big and clunky. I'd like to see something about the size of a matchbox that you could easily mount under the stem or bars AND include a wired remote for fast access.
    Batteries could be small as runtime is not an issue since a horn mostly sits idle till needed. Still, I want something that will make your skin crawl sitting in a car 100 ft. away! Whoever can market a product like that will not only save 100's of lives a year but will likely become a millionaire.

    Oh BTW, very good post and a very good story. You make some good points. Keep riding. Don't let the *astards win.

    (edit: Just had a thought. Some of the buzzers on smoke detectors are incredibly loud. Somewhere I have one sitting in a box waiting to be dismantled. )
    A while ago, I bought one of these horns from Dealextreme. Its so loud, I have not wanted to install it on my sons bike for fear of scaring the neighbours!!

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