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  1. #1
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    question about magicshine's battery replacement claim.

    I had bought a magicshine light from geomangear years ago, and got a replacement battery because it was one of those that can randomly combust and kill you. I have one or two problems with it, though, and was hoping someone could explain them to me or give me advice.

    The red/green battery indicator on the lamp never turns green with the new battery. The problem might be that it just can't tell how much charge the new battery has. But the charger also turns green fairly quickly, as if to tell me it's done charging. The problem could be that once it's green, it stops charging. so the battery isn't actually charging all the way.

    I guess I could leave the light on, on max, and time it. but I was hoping someone could tell me what's going on.

    Also I would like a second light before this saturday, should I order this?
    Amazon.com : MagicShine 2013 Model MJ-808U Bicycle Light with Improved Battery Pack, 1100-Lumen, Black : Bike Headlights : Sports & Outdoors

    it's the new version of what I bought years ago, I believe. I never got a chance to test it on trails and see if that light alone was sufficient on the easy trails around this area.

  2. #2
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    I've decided to go ahead and order one while I wait for an answer from here or from magicshine about my old one.

    question though: is there a way to safely use this light on the road? In its default form, it's too bright to use with cars on the road. Very blinding on lowest setting. I usually just drive with it, and then cover it with my hand so it's not shining on the car if there's one passing by. which is kind of dangerous.

    I might have to have secondary lights to use on the road.

  3. #3
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    Your old battery pack is probably unbalanced. You should open the pack and measure voltage of each pair of the cells to be certain. Then you should balance them using hobby charger or charge each pair separately with reliable ordinary one cell (Li-Ion) charger. If cells aren't bad this should help for some time.

  4. #4
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    If you're using the original charger, mine at least is a little funky. You have to plug into the battery pack and turn the connector from the charger a bit until light turns red. I also have one of the replacement batteries. There's some guy that has been linked to here, Hung Lee or something that makes battery packs that seem to be regarded well-quality cells and good build quality. When mine finally dies I'll go that route.

  5. #5
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    ok I'm not sure how I'm going to charge them, but I can't get the pack open. Any idea how? I took two screws out, but I guess the whole thing is clamped together on the inside somehow.

    I turned the light on and it died after about 15 minutes, after charging all day. It's definitely not working.

  6. #6
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    this looks harder to do than I'd like. And I'm getting married this saturday. It looks like I'm down a light, unless there's a way to quickly fix this. I might not have time to.

  7. #7
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    It was pretty well known that the older MS chargers were crap right along with their batteries. Geoman replaced many of those chargers during the recall he ran. Getting a better charger as a first try would be my advice.

  8. #8
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    If the batteries are ubalanced no new charger would help, as the protection circuit would prevent to charge the pack. First is to measure the voltage of each pair of cells, then we can tell where the problem is.

  9. #9
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    I'm getting the new light today, so I'll be able to at least test the new charger. I'm thinking that's not the problem, though.

    But I don't know how to get the battery open. I think there are plastic clamps inside of it or something. I did email magicshine to see if they could tell me anything. the response was in engrish but at least they're trying to help.

  10. #10
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    Can you tell exactly which battery you have, picture, link, ....? You didn't provide any detail, so we can't help.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmik View Post
    But I don't know how to get the battery open. I think there are plastic clamps inside of it or something. I did email magicshine to see if they could tell me anything. the response was in engrish but at least they're trying to help.
    Magicshine did not make the Geoman replacement batteries. Geoman sourced those from somewhere else.

  12. #12
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    All of this is why I use loose cells. As a maker of lights, you'd want to put $0.50 into the charging circuit and display, and that's not enough for an accurate reading. Laptop batteries costing $60 sometimes don't get it right. You want a good reading from a cheap-a$$ Chinese lamp?

    The only indicator I don't ignore is my gloworm XS blinking the light when the pack voltage has dropped to whatever voltage they have it set at. I then know I've got about 30 minutes left, and I can't miss it. It would suck to look down and see a red indicator, and not know if it just changed, or changed 20 minutes ago. Same with the voltage readouts, those are all cheap, none of them are equivalent to even a cheap Fluke. As I often change out batteries at set times and rarely get to the point of a low indicator, the flash informs me without having to remember to check and indicator, leaving me free to be in my zone at all times. IMO, any other method is just mfg's trying to value-add with flashy distractions.

    But I digress as none of this really answered any of your questions...

    If the chinese knockoff is going to cost $80, it's time to spend a bit more for a much better product. I've used a lot of their products, and that $80 light has the same head as the $20 lights, and the 1100lm rating is the LED mfg's rating, not the actual rating of the unit. Most magishines come in at half their clamed lumens, under-driven to protect the LED from abysmal cooling characteristics, and the pattern on most is useless for cycling (thrower beam).

    For the same cost per lumen, a gloworm X2 head + a loose cell pack + high quality cells will you 3x output, a lot more reliability and durability, and a truly useful beam pattern for cycling.

    Not willing to spend that much? I'd shoot for a Fenix BT-20. Same cost, more useable light, and if you purchase from Amazon you can easily return it at no cost if it doesn't suit your needs. I don't suggest using Amazon as a try-it-out option, but I returned a BT20 because I felt the images Fenix provides were adjusted a bit to exaggerate the output, and I was looking for a bit more light. Very nice light, otherwise.

    Good luck! So many options out there these days, it's nuts looking for a light.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmik View Post
    I had bought a magicshine light from geomangear years ago, and got a replacement battery because it was one of those that can randomly combust and kill you. I have one or two problems with it, though, and was hoping someone could explain them to me or give me advice.

    The red/green battery indicator on the lamp never turns green with the new battery. The problem might be that it just can't tell how much charge the new battery has. But the charger also turns green fairly quickly, as if to tell me it's done charging. The problem could be that once it's green, it stops charging. so the battery isn't actually charging all the way.

    I guess I could leave the light on, on max, and time it. but I was hoping someone could tell me what's going on.

    Also I would like a second light before this saturday, should I order this?
    Amazon.com : MagicShine 2013 Model MJ-808U Bicycle Light with Improved Battery Pack, 1100-Lumen, Black : Bike Headlights : Sports & Outdoors

    it's the new version of what I bought years ago, I believe. I never got a chance to test it on trails and see if that light alone was sufficient on the easy trails around this area.
    If you still have a Geomangear battery pack it's got to be at least 5 years old. It's time is up and I wouldn't put any effort into it. The button on the light won't turn green because the battery won't take a full charge. Most likely at least one cell is completely dead. Take it to Home-Depot and drop it in the battery recycle bin.

    The light you linked to is not the newest version, This is - MJ-808-L2.

    The stock BAK 4400mAh pack that now comes with the MJ-808 is very dependable but I recommend the MJ-6030 upgrade which is a 5600mAh Samsung pack. It will give you longer runtimes and longer life.

    You mentioned in a separate post that you got complaints from oncoming traffic with the 808 on high. You might try one of our wide angle lenses with the light. They spread the light out horizontally over 3 times the area so it's only 1/3 the intensity. It makes it a much nicer beam for many uses.
    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

  14. #14
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    How does the weight compare between the 2 battery options? Mine is a helmet mount.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmik View Post
    I've decided to go ahead and order one while I wait for an answer from here or from magicshine about my old one.

    question though: is there a way to safely use this light on the road? In its default form, it's too bright to use with cars on the road. Very blinding on lowest setting. I usually just drive with it, and then cover it with my hand so it's not shining on the car if there's one passing by. which is kind of dangerous.

    I might have to have secondary lights to use on the road.
    All depends on where you are riding and how fast you can ride. If you are riding on a typical two lane road without overhead lamps you have nothing to worry about as long as your lamps are aimed properly. Your ability to see the shoulder of the road is very important and should be your #1 priority. It is also very important that on-coming traffic or traffic entering from a side road see you. This said, you have a right AND a responsibility to see and to be seen. Dinky lamps with low output aren't going to do this well.

    Since motor vehicles use much brighter lights than the typical bike light, most people who drive cars at night are accustomed to being annoyed by the occasional overly-bright light from other on-coming vehicles. As a professional who drives a lot of miles at night, I have to deal with this situation all the time. While annoying at times I deal with it and take it stride because it makes no sense to stress out over something that is NOW the status quo. This being the case, it is my opinion that you are not thinking the issue through to a proper conclusion.

    Since your bike is on the shoulder ( or side of the road ) most of the light produced by your lamp is pointed where you are going and therefore is not going to have a big detrimental effect to either on- coming traffic or to traffic passing you. The MagicShine lamps produce a medium spot with an OP reflector. Most of that light will shine in front of you if you have it aimed properly. Whenever I use my LED lamps on the road I only use the amount of light that I need for the moment. That said if I'm riding at speed I need to see more road. Road shoulders can be very dangerous places to ride. Road cracks, potholes, debris, dead animals, live animals...these things can take you out real fast if you don't see them or you don't see them in time.

    Your right to safely navigate your bike on a road is more important than someone else's pet peeve or minor annoyance. As long as you aren't pointing the lights directly into someone's face you should be fine. If you're still uncomfortable with using your lights you might be better off not riding at night. When riding the road at night you have to be bold, you have to visible. The road at night is no place for the uninitiated.

    Well, far be it for me to go out on a sour note. If you still are uncomfortable with using standard LED lights you may want to check out the lamps sold by Busch & Müller, namely the Ixon Core 180 or the *Ixon IQ ( self-contained battery lamps ) (*note: there is a dynamo version of this lamp as well ). Both of these lamps use optical reflectors designed to produce a beam pattern with upper cut-off, similar to what cars use for low beams. If you wish you may read a discussion about these very lights. Buyer beware though, opinion on this type of lighting varies. My opinion is that more needs to be said on just how well this type of lighting works.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderstruck View Post
    How does the weight compare between the 2 battery options? Mine is a helmet mount.
    Both the MJ-6038 and MJ-6030 are the same size and weight. The Samsung cells are just higher capacity. Most people carry the 4 cell packs in a camelback or rear jersey pocket though it can be helmet mounted. If you want I can setup a custom package with a 2 cell battery.
    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

  17. #17
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    I did end up buying a new battery, and the charger it came with fully charged the battery. apparently the old charger was broken.

    now i have two working lights!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmik View Post
    the charger it came with fully charged the battery. apparently the old charger was broken.
    No surprise there. As previously posted the older MS chargers were pretty much crap.

    The Geoman replacement packs were decent items. Just because it has a few years on it is no reason to junk it yet. I regularly use Li-ion cells that I got ~7 years ago. Yes, they are down some on runtime compared to new but still plenty good to use.

  19. #19
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    mmik, good to hear the problem was simple and you still have some life in your pack.

    Vancbiker - Li-ion battery life depends of course on number of cycles and years. I cycle mine probably 200 times a year so 3 or 4 years is doing good. If I can't get 1 1/2 hrs. it not of much use to me any more. I forget not all people use theirs that much.
    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

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