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  1. #1
    Candlestick Maker
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    Gemini Titan Light review

    After seeing my MagicShine battery dissection/testing thread, Gemini Rides (Vag) contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing/testing their battery pack. Sure...



    In addition to a battery pack, Vag sent the Gemini Titan LED Light System Full Package. Very nice! This package consists of: the Titan light, a battery pack, a smart charger, 2 o-rings, a helmet mount, a headstrap mount, a travel kit, and a 1m extension cable. The full-on deal.

    Titan box

    I plan to put the system through some testing and provide feedback here. I just received the package, so this will be a first-impressions style entry, with some photos...

    Titan contents

    Overall, the similarity to the MagicShine is high. Both are driving P7 leds, both use o-ring mounts, both use 8.4V li-ion 4 cell battery packs, etc.

    Gemini Titan

    They are definitely different though. The Titan is slightly heavier 117g vs 103g. The housing is shaped differently. The button is different (softer feel), the mount appears a bit beefier (wider), there is more room for mounting the o-ring, the cable exits from the rear of the light instead of the front, there is a substantial o-ring behind the non-scalloped bezel, etc.

    Gemini Titan

    The travel case is a nice touch, which some people will really like.

    Titan travel box

    Externally, the battery pack appears good. Nice tight shrink wrap, with less gap for water entry than my MS packs. Both Gemini packs were delivered at a charge state of 7.61V, which seems to be a decent storage charge (my RC charger discharges to 7.4V for storage). After some initial testing and use, I plan to dissect one of the two packs and expose the insides.

    4 cell 8.4V Titan battery

    I prefer the Gemini battery case over the MagicShine one. It is different (see pics) and a plasti-dipped pack slips right in and out, but there is an extra velcro flap to keep the battery in place.

    Titan battery cover

    Yes, the batteries are plug compatible with the MagicShine. And, they are the appropriate configuration 2S2P (8.4V).

    Titan battery

    Gemini's web page claims 5200mAh, which would imply 4x2600mAh cells. The box shows 5000mAh. We'll see about that once I dissect the pack.

    Titan battery

    The charger appears to be a standard "smart" charger. I'll check the termination voltage here shortly (when the first charge finishes).

    Titan  battery charger

    One thing I like about the Titan...when the battery is plugged into the light head it does not light up until you hit the button. I find the default on position of the MS to be annoying.

    Initial light ceiling bounce tests (with the same partially charged 8.08v Gemini battery pack) show:
    MS 900 unit 1: 90
    MS 900 unit 2: 91
    Gemini Titan: 102

    So, slightly more light coming out of the Titan. Not sure if this is a better LED or if the LED is being driven a bit harder. At some point, I'll try to grab some comparative run-times.

    That's it for now. Since the whole idea here is to put this package through its paces...please pipe up with questions and suggestions for testing. I'll do what I can...
    baker

  2. #2
    rmi
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    Good info so far. Keep us updated with your findings.

    I really like my Titan, but this is my first bike light. Can't wait to use mine tonight in the snow (something we don't get a lot of here in Athens, GA).

    Ryan

  3. #3
    Candlestick Maker
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    Charging update:

    After ~2.5 hours, I noticed the indicator had turned green. Measured voltage was 8.33V.

    0:55 after noticing the green light, measured voltage was 8.34V.

    1:40 after noticing the green light, measured voltage is 8.36V.

    So, it appears that the charger indicates full at a conservative value (good), but continues to trickle charge while plugged in (mabe not so good if it continues trickling forever and you are the inattentive type?). I'll check again in a bit...
    baker

  4. #4
    Candlestick Maker
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    + many many hours and the battery is at 8.37V. If this thing is still trickle charging, it is truly a trickle. With my habits of checking to make sure everything is unplugged prior to going to bed every night, I can't see myself ever overcharging the battery with the supplied charger.
    baker

  5. #5
    May the Force be with you
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    Nice review.
    I really enjoy my light

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    + many many hours and the battery is at 8.37V. If this thing is still trickle charging, it is truly a trickle. With my habits of checking to make sure everything is unplugged prior to going to bed every night, I can't see myself ever overcharging the battery with the supplied charger.
    Usually doing the first couple charges a battery will need time to equalize or balance. This is a function of the PCB of the battery with the charger kicking in to add additional current when needed. At the end of a charge a good charger will adjust the current to make sure the battery is topped off properly. I think this is a good sign.

    Before any more testing is done on the Gemini I have to take my hat off to Vag who has represented his product very professionally. He not only volunteered one of his lights to Fransocis for review but has supplied Baker ( a fellow poster ) with one as well, "Knowing that the product is going to be dissected and put up for criticism". Not only that but he has contacted people and asked for their opinion on how he can make his product better. I was one of those people. At no time did he try to "Sell" his product to me. All he wanted was input. A class act if I do say so.

    To sum up, hats off to both Vag and BajaShannon who are taking time out to represent their companies. Yes, they are both Sales people but they are far from hucksters. Very much in Geoman fashion they are both crossing over to become true customer service/sales representatives ....and to that I take my hat off and say thank you. Very well done.

  7. #7
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    any beam shots?

  8. #8
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    No beam shots yet. I need to read up on the mtbr standards and see if I can grab some decent shots.

    I did a discharge test on the first battery pack with my RC charger. It measured 5099mAh while discharging from 8.37V down to 6.00V. Pretty decent results, I'd say.
    baker

  9. #9
    Candlestick Maker
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    OK, grabbed some beam shots. My camera is incapable of the mtbr official settings, but I used the same manual settings for each shot: F3.5, 4 seconds exposure, iso100, and "fine" white balance (I think daylight?).

    Lights are vaguely aimed at a pile of rocks, which is 50 feet. Tree is at 126', red barn is at 163'.

    Control shot
    Control
    ------------------------------

    Titan High
    TitanHi
    ------------------------------

    MS900 1 High
    DX1Hi
    ---------------------------------

    MS900 2 High
    DX2Hi

    -------------------------------
    Kaidomain XM-L drop-in High
    KaiXMLHi

    I'm unsure what conclusions to draw from the beamshots. The one MS900 has always seems to be a greener tint to me and the beam shot solidifies that gut feel. I think the Titan is putting out a hotter hotspot, while still maintaining a huge amount of spill. The XM-L is way way tighter than I perceived through just using my eyes.
    Last edited by baker; 12-30-2010 at 08:06 AM.
    baker

  10. #10
    www.airbornemtb.org
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    are you using 2 different ms-900s?
    Quote Originally Posted by HamfisT
    I understand that engineering has value in and of itself. But in the end, it's still just a pile of aluminum tubes.

  11. #11
    Candlestick Maker
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick d
    are you using 2 different ms-900s?
    Yes, one is a 5 mode and one is a 3 mode.
    baker

  12. #12
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    Very good review so far. Looking forward to reading more.

  13. #13
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    Any indication of this being UL approved? I only see 'CE' on the charger.
    It's better to burn out than fade away

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paydirt
    Any indication of this being UL approved? I only see 'CE' on the charger.
    Unless it's in invisible ink or on the other side I don't think so. Not a real biggie though. Even if it did have a UL mark....ummm...never mind, I'll not go there again. For what it's worth, a little info about the CE mark. ( see link )

  15. #15
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    Continued from my last post:

    Now here's something interesting that I discovered, the charger for the Gemini and the charger for the Bikeray look the same and have the same model number..
    The only difference I see is that one has the UL label ( bikeray ) and the Gemini doesn't. I'll step back and let the reader decide what this means.
    ( Here I go, starting trouble again... ... )

    Charger for bikeray



    Charger for Gemini

    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 12-30-2010 at 04:18 AM.

  16. #16
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    SSDD

    Same Sh*t, Different Day

    That's what it means to me. I don't trust any of these lights - they all appear to be clones and I don't know what to believe, so without local dealership/accountability, I won't go near them. I am not a fan of MagicShine, but I do trust Geoman as a distributor for other products. I am willing to wait until Baker is done with his review on this light however. It would also be nice to get the official mtbr review from Francois as confirmation.
    Last edited by betweenrides; 12-30-2010 at 07:45 AM.

  17. #17
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    I.m waiting for Baker to dissect these batteries to see if they are legit I still need a few more batteries to replace my magicshines
    for $65 bucks shipped and a higher mAH it make more sense on getting these rather than doing what I have been doing by getting a battery from all-battery and a cord and case on ebay and the time to solder it ends up being about the same amount with a little more ride time.
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
    For the Rich there is therapy!!!! for the rest of us we have Mountain Biking


  18. #18
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    I noticed that here in Victoria that the Gemini Titan is also being sold through a LBS:


    Still cheaper to buy via the web site (odd given the LBS in question isn't that far from Gemini's Victoria office).

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...=UTF8&t=h&z=15

    Quote Originally Posted by betweenrides
    SSDD

    Same Sh*t, Different Day

    That's what it means to me. I don't trust any of these lights - they all appear to be clones and I don't know what to believe, so without local dealership/accountability, I won't go near them. I am not a fan of MagicShine, but I do trust Geoman as a distributor for other products. I am willing to wait until Baker is done with his review on this light however. It would also be nice to get the official mtbr review from Francois as confirmation.

  19. #19
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    Maybe a good start for Gemini to gain our trust is to give us the real lumen output of the light.

    We already know the MS is well overstated which should be a big red flag to start.

    Has one been sent to Francios for a review.

  20. #20
    Diagnosed with MTB.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323
    Maybe a good start for Gemini to gain our trust is to give us the real lumen output of the light.

    We already know the MS is well overstated which should be a big red flag to start.

    Has one been sent to Francios for a review.
    Hello and Happy New Year!,

    Francis already has one in his hands. I suppose that soon he will be posting his review and opinion. My suggestion is to all wait for his independent opinion on output.

    As you know the majority of our competitors using P7 claim 900 Lumens which is the maximum output a P7 can have. My personal opinion is that Titan is a bit more bright than the MS.

    We are very happy for the review made by Baker and looking forward to the battery testing part.

    Thank you,
    Vag
    On Behalf of the Gemini Team

  21. #21
    Candlestick Maker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini Rides
    Hello and Happy New Year!,

    Francis already has one in his hands. I suppose that soon he will be posting his review and opinion. My suggestion is to all wait for his independent opinion on output.

    As you know the majority of our competitors using P7 claim 900 Lumens which is the maximum output a P7 can have. My personal opinion is that Titan is a bit more bright than the MS.

    We are very happy for the review made by Baker and looking forward to the battery testing part.

    Thank you,
    Vag
    On Behalf of the Gemini Team
    I'll try to get some battery dissection going this week. I've run the batteries through a handful of charge/discharge cycles, but don't have anything too exciting to report yet. No alarming behavior, not that I'd expect to see anything strange in that short period of time.

    Interestingly, I see that my hobby charger appears to consistently undercharge the battery packs compared to the charger provided by Gemini. When complete, the RC charger shows that it is at 8.40V, but when I measure the pack on a multi-meter, it shows 8.30V.

    The Gemini charger does not overcharge, seeming to go "green" at 8.33ish volts, while continuing to trickle thereafter. I have let the Gemini charger continue overnight and the resulting voltage was still only 8.37V.

    Discharge cycles appear to validate that the Gemini charger is actually providing more capacity (~5000-5100mah) versus ~4700-4900mah for the RC charger. My thoughts are that the RC charger is more conservative and will provide longer pack-life, while the Gemini charger will provide slightly higher runtime at the risk of reduced battery life expectancy.

    One niggling quality control complaint (which I've already alerted Vag to) is that my light mount is slightly off center. This can be fixed by loosening the mount screw, straightening the mount, and re-tightening. A simple fix, but would be nice if these issues were caught in QC.
    baker

  22. #22
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    Battery dissection

    OK, managed to open up the battery and get some decent pics. Overall, the battery pack looks quite a bit more professional than the MS one I dissected in an earlier thread. The pack is double shrink wrapped (see pics for what I mean), the ends are protected with nicely shaped foam pads, the positive battery ends are isolated, etc. I have no idea if these will lead to a truly better battery, but the attention to detail seems good.

    Before disassembly the pack was reading 8.36V. After disassembly, I measured the individual cells and recorded 4.18v, 4.18v, 4.17v, and 4.17v. Nice. Of course, this pack has barely been used, so I have no idea if the balance will remain in the long run.

    GemBatt1
    Double (sorta) shrink-wrapped. Should provide more protection against water intrusion. The circuit board is under that paper-like strip in the middle of the two exposed batteries.

    GemBatt3
    Battery markings.

    GemBatt4
    I think I can make out BAK A04 on the backside of one of the batteries.

    GemBatt5

    GemBatt6
    Peeled off the end protectors and circuit board protector strip.

    GemBatt9
    Protectors/isolation strip.

    GemBatt7
    Notice the orange circles on the positive ends. I think these are to isolate the batteries and prevent short circuits, but I am not sure.

    GemBatt8
    Showing backside of circuit board and what I assume is the part number: LP9971 R1 with a manufacture date of 11-25-2010.

    All in all, the pack looks good to my untrained eyes, but that says nothing in particular about long term performance or cell quality.
    baker

  23. #23
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    From what I've read, the problem with the Magicshine battery packs has been that two of the batteries do not get recharged completely. Could you possibly do several charge/discharge cycles and then test the voltage on all batteries after a charge to verify this is not a problem with the Gemini batteries?

    Thanks for the detailed review BTW!
    "Got everything you need?"

  24. #24
    Candlestick Maker
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing
    From what I've read, the problem with the Magicshine battery packs has been that two of the batteries do not get recharged completely. Could you possibly do several charge/discharge cycles and then test the voltage on all batteries after a charge to verify this is not a problem with the Gemini batteries?

    Thanks for the detailed review BTW!
    I have heard the similar stories. I have cycled the batteries several times, but see no significant imbalance. Who knows when or if it might arise... I'll continue to use the batteries and will check the voltages when I get a chance.
    baker

  25. #25
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    there is nothing wrong with this battery construction.
    the basics are covered, except ...

    magicshine failed due use of unmatched, different batch cells.

    in this picture, you can seen 00310 and 002705 ,
    what would raise a question.

    than again, some of the OEM cells I got , even from big japan manufacturer,
    have no labels on them at all. but you do get a material data sheet, and production run cross-reference.

    than again, these suppose to be used for mtb, bicycle use, where things , to bounce around, and get wet.
    so from that aspect alone, it does not meet my minimum.

    for the waterproof test,
    If you piss on it, wash it afterwards, if it still sticks, you wanna live with that ?

    my basic usage, after a real nasty, dirty ride, I have the bike on a hitch rack,
    and just drive to the car-wash, to pressure wash the whole thing.
    (yeah I don't hold the nossle 1/2" from the bearings, so yes, it's fine)
    usually I took the battery out of the water bottle holder, so I don't loose it on the highway,
    but sometimes, I washed the whole kids and caboodle , mtb bike, lights and battery.
    just don't like the horse manure smell in my house, and the trail have all kinds of flavor.

    cheers, Rob
    http://mtbl.robs-x.com


    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    OK, managed to open up the battery and get some decent pics. Overall, the battery pack looks quite a bit more professional than the MS one I dissected in an earlier thread. The pack is double shrink wrapped (see pics for what I mean), the ends are protected with nicely shaped foam pads, the positive battery ends are isolated, etc. I have no idea if these will lead to a truly better battery, but the attention to detail seems good.

    Before disassembly the pack was reading 8.36V. After disassembly, I measured the individual cells and recorded 4.18v, 4.18v, 4.17v, and 4.17v. Nice. Of course, this pack has barely been used, so I have no idea if the balance will remain in the long run.

    GemBatt1
    Double (sorta) shrink-wrapped. Should provide more protection against water intrusion. The circuit board is under that paper-like strip in the middle of the two exposed batteries.

    GemBatt3
    Battery markings.

    GemBatt4
    I think I can make out BAK A04 on the backside of one of the batteries.

    GemBatt5

    GemBatt6
    Peeled off the end protectors and circuit board protector strip.

    GemBatt9
    Protectors/isolation strip.

    GemBatt7
    Notice the orange circles on the positive ends. I think these are to isolate the batteries and prevent short circuits, but I am not sure.

    GemBatt8
    Showing backside of circuit board and what I assume is the part number: LP9971 R1 with a manufacture date of 11-25-2010.

    All in all, the pack looks good to my untrained eyes, but that says nothing in particular about long term performance or cell quality.

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