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  1. #501
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaang View Post
    A few day ago my solarstorm x2 XM-L2 from lightmalls burn one led on the first 10 minutes of a ride (I post a photo a few days ago), today I go to a night ride and after 5 minutes the other led burn to.
    Any one have this problems with this product from lightmalls?
    Fault products maybe?
    O Oh. Did you take it apart and look at it?

    I haven't ridden with mine yet.

  2. #502
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    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2

    The led have a black dot, and when I turn it on he make a small spark. It's burned

  3. #503
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaang View Post
    The led have a black dot, and when I turn it on he make a small spark. It's burned
    Yeah ... that sounds broken

    You have lost the Chinese light roulette. Please play again!

    Is there adequate heat sinking from the led to the body? I have a feeling that they cooked themselves to death.

  4. #504
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    Update on the ones I ordered.

    I ordered 4 X2 from light malls. Batteries are 2s2p. All of th are about 2000mah or the abouts. Pretty poor for 2s2p, but buy the fact they are all like.it I assume.they are.just low capacity cells. I did some cycle tests taking 0.7A down to 6v. And also testing one till the led flashed.on the head. One battery pack had a dodgy pcb. So that one will one get modified to remove the protection.
    What exactly is a rigid hard tail?

  5. #505
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    Sorry for typing/spelling. Used my phone to reply
    What exactly is a rigid hard tail?

  6. #506
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    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2

    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Yeah ... that sounds broken

    You have lost the Chinese light roulette. Please play again!

    Is there adequate heat sinking from the led to the body? I have a feeling that they cooked themselves to death.

    The photo of the second burned led XM-L2

    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2-imageuploadedbytapatalk1384613649.907874.jpg

  7. #507
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaang View Post
    The photo of the second burned led XM-L2

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I can't tell what's going on in that picture. I don't have that much experience diagnosing led problems. I don't think there is much you can do, is there? You can replace the led's, but how do you know it won't do it again?

    Can someone help out zaang?

  8. #508
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    Just received a SolarStorm X2 that I purchased from Newegg. Of course the supplied battery is subpar, but even when I attach the light to quality batteries ( Gemini Duo 2 cell, and Xecocon 6 cell) it draws down very quickly. Just did a test and I can get 1 hr on the Gemini battery and a little over 2 hrs on the Xeccon Both batteries are new and fully charged...

    What is causing the big draw of power? Light is run on HIGH power and in front of a fan...No real extreme heat on the unit.

  9. #509
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    One thing I noticed and don't like is the insulation of the both + and - cables - too stripped down. Seems to me that it was driven under conditions out of cree specs. Poinitng to the bad driver - excessive voltage. Some info here and also here. Also happened to one of my Cree XR-E torches driven at 8.4V and 0.9A - but the blue color of the led was noticeable ;-) Now it has some stains when working under normal conditions - but I experimented on my own to see what comes. If the driver is bad, they might burn again. If there is weak heat transfer they also might burn again

  10. #510
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    Its all very simple really - you're buying THE cheapest lights so you're getting THE worst quality. And whats even worse - some of you are saying things like:
    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    I planned to take mine apart...but why bother?
    I'll take it apart if it fails.
    Great light!
    If you're buying light for $20 - you should open it up and fix everything before using it...because it WILL need to be fixed.

    These wires are way too thin for 2+A current so you should replace them. Insulation is stripped too much so wires can short circuit on aluminium star and burn out the driver. These pills are supposed to be press-fitted into the case but that costs money - so they aren't. You should apply thermal paste between them and the casing to avoid led burnouts like on this picture (melted plastic spacer is a good indicator that led reached very high temp).

  11. #511
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kir View Post
    Its all very simple really - you're buying THE cheapest lights so you're getting THE worst quality. And whats even worse - some of you are saying things like:

    If you're buying light for $20 - you should open it up and fix everything before using it...because it WILL need to be fixed.
    To each his own.
    I bought a $20 light because it's disposable,
    Some ...like you...buy it for a DIY project.

  12. #512
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post

    I took it apart to see if it had the heat sink pill, and luckily it did!

    Are you able to show in your pics, where you applied the thermal compound?

  13. #513
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    Are you able to show in your pics, where you applied the thermal compound?
    There's a small lip (see pictures 10 and 11 on previous page) where the pill rests. I tried to cover that surface entirely. It's tough to see on the pictures because I couldn't get the camera to focus on that one spot. It's pretty obvious once you take it apart.

  14. #514
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    To each his own.
    I bought a $20 light because it's disposable,
    Some ...like you...buy it for a DIY project.
    I agree. When I buy I lamp for $25 I will use it till it fails. IF..something fails on the lamp I can then disassemble and try my hand at modding OR just buy another.

    Food for thought...These lamps are so inexpensive you can afford to buy an extra for back up.

  15. #515
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    Last edited by artzi; 12-02-2013 at 03:13 PM.

  16. #516
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I agree. When I buy I lamp for $25 I will use it till it fails. IF..something fails on the lamp I can then disassemble and try my hand at modding OR just buy another.

    Food for thought...These lamps are so inexpensive you can afford to buy an extra for back up.
    Even for $25 it should last at least a few months, in my opinion. zaang's light failed very quickly and archie's friend's light was missing a key heat sink. That's total BS. I'm not in to wasting money and the disposable culture.

    I've been using a $30 MS 872 clone multiple times a week for the last six months. If it broke now, I would say it got my money worth and I wouldn't be too disappointed. Hopefully the X2 will have the same track record.

    I think most of the problems have been with the xm-l2 version also. I'm not sure that we are seeing the xm-l2 version straight from the factory. I think these have all been after-manufacture modifications. So maybe the best policy is to stay away from the xm-l2 version for now.

  17. #517
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    You can buy $25 light and use it till it fails on the road in a few days leaving you in darkness and a long distance from home.
    Or you can buy $35 light that won't have any thermal problems and will work for at least 1 year.
    Or you can buy $25 light, spend 10 minutes to fix it and it'll work fine for at least 1 year too.

    Choices, choices...

  18. #518
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    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2

    Yes I agreed and I maybe buy a XML U2 version from dx. A few friends have this one and no issues.....

  19. #519
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kir View Post
    You can buy $25 light and use it till it fails on the road in a few days leaving you in darkness and a long distance from home.
    Or you can buy $35 light that won't have any thermal problems and will work for at least 1 year.
    Or you can buy $25 light, spend 10 minutes to fix it and it'll work fine for at least 1 year too.

    Choices, choices...
    I think you've been sniffing too much solder....

  20. #520
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    No, he is right ;-) Kir just wrote some of the choices. I would take the third one.

  21. #521
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kir View Post
    You can buy $25 light and use it till it fails on the road in a few days leaving you in darkness and a long distance from home.
    Or you can buy $35 light that won't have any thermal problems and will work for at least 1 year.
    Or you can buy $25 light, spend 10 minutes to fix it and it'll work fine for at least 1 year too.

    Choices, choices...
    Although I enjoy reading your technical posts here....^^that is just bunghole dribble.

    There's a difference between a $25 light and $35 one? You can get the same light from 2 different vendors for very different prices....or you can get a poorer quality light for a higher price. It's a crap shoot.

    And you can't tell how long a light is going to last....whether it's untouched or if you mod it. I've had brand new high $$$ lights fail within a few hours.

    I always run 2 lights....so I'm not too worried about being left in the dark.

    I think it's great that you like to monkey with your cheap lights. Have at it.

    If I wanted a DIY project...I'd copy a lot of your ideas....or start from scratch.

  22. #522
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Even for $25 it should last at least a few months, in my opinion. zaang's light failed very quickly and archie's friend's light was missing a key heat sink. That's total BS. I'm not in to wasting money and the disposable culture.

    I've been using a $30 MS 872 clone multiple times a week for the last six months. If it broke now, I would say it got my money worth and I wouldn't be too disappointed. Hopefully the X2 will have the same track record.

    I think most of the problems have been with the xm-l2 version also. I'm not sure that we are seeing the xm-l2 version straight from the factory. I think these have all been after-manufacture modifications. So maybe the best policy is to stay away from the xm-l2 version for now.
    Even Zaang, ( who has posted only in this thread ) initially said that he had friends who owned one and that they had no problems. About Archie's friend; Any of us know him or know how much he knows about electronics and modding these kind's of lamps. Hey, whatever....Stuff happens. As I see it it's still "Business as usual". A Chinese lamp is still a "CHINESE" lamp.

    No one is claiming that the SSX2's are "above average" in design or reliability. Of the thousands that are sold there are going to be people getting them that will have problems. That said these are the most inexpensive lamps available. Since these continue to be popular I wouldn't let the misfortune of a few keep me from buying one if I were in the market for a cheap lamp and only had about $40 to spend. Even if you did get a dud ( the first time ) if you roll the dice again and buy a second I think it highly unlikely you would get another bad one...just saying. You can buy a better more reliable brand name light but that will mean more money up front. You can buy two of the cheap Chinese lamps and still not spend the money you did for a single brand name lamp. Choices, choices...indeed.

  23. #523
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    I'm thinking of buying a solarstorm x2, I'm thonking of buying from ebay: SKYRAY SolarStorm 2x CREE XML U2 LED Bike Bicycle HeadLamp Light +4x 18650 D0145 | eBay
    Do you think it has a good price? Do you think it has good quality for the price it costs?

  24. #524
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianhims View Post
    I'm thinking of buying a solarstorm x2, I'm thonking of buying from ebay: SKYRAY SolarStorm 2x CREE XML U2 LED Bike Bicycle HeadLamp Light +4x 18650 D0145 | eBay
    Do you think it has a good price? Do you think it has good quality for the price it costs?
    That's the U2 version. I picked up a XM_L2 version as a head only for $25. Buy a good battery and you're good to go.

  25. #525
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kir View Post
    You can buy $25 light and use it till it fails on the road in a few days leaving you in darkness and a long distance from home.
    Or you can buy $35 light that won't have any thermal problems and will work for at least 1 year.
    Or you can buy $25 light, spend 10 minutes to fix it and it'll work fine for at least 1 year too.

    Choices, choices...
    should always use two lights, even a super duper $500 light can fail.

  26. #526
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    Mine has arrived from LM but DOA - connect the battery & the lights around the button illuminate but nothing from the LEDs, awaiting a reply from LM.
    Anyone else had this?

  27. #527
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    About Archie's friend; Any of us know him or know how much he knows about electronics and modding these kind's of lamps.
    While I'm agree with most of your message, the quoted statement really surprised me... In your opinion, his electronic skills could have any relation to the missing components in delivered light?

  28. #528
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    I got my SS x2 xm-l2 from Lightmalls yesterday (3 weeks delivery to Sweden). My lamp do HAVE those heat sink pills! I was thinking of doing a semi Kir modification and add some thermal paste / grease / compound / glue between the pill and the casing . However, I'm just a DIY newbie in china lights and I was wondering what kind of compound (paste, grease or glue. Is there a difference?) I should use for these pills?

  29. #529
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Archie- View Post
    While I'm agree with most of your message, the quoted statement really surprised me... In your opinion, his electronic skills could have any relation to the missing components in delivered light?
    Arch, I'm not intending to offend anyone. I'm just expressing doubt. Now if the person mentioned has taken many of these apart and has clearly seen a difference between the others and the one with the so-called missing part...well, I'll owe your friend an apology. In the mean time there is a big difference between missing parts and a potential design difference. Only real way to know for sure is to order another from the same place. If they are the same then it is by design ( for better or worse ). Keep in mind different sellers will sometimes order stock to certain specifications. Different drivers, LED bins, buttons, O-rings, wire gauge, etc...etc.. Wouldn't surprise me to see a lamp ordered by the seller with a *lousy heat sink design in an attempt to save money. ( *see Kir's review of the D99 )

    Oh and Arch, skill and knowledge are two different things. My comment pertained to knowledge. Since I don't know your friend personally it's understandable to question the person's knowledge. Just because you can tear something apart doesn't mean you understand what the manufacturers had in mind when they built it. Now if your friend just wants to say it's a poor design with lousy heat sinking...THAT I can accept at face value but only because it fits what is already known about these kind of lamps.

  30. #530
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    I'd suppose, in some cases knowledge and expirience is required indeed - but we are talking about quite simple matters here.

    As yet another example, I remember a photo of opened chinese "2s2p" battery where half of cells were substituted by hollow tubes: in such case, one don't have to be an expert with background of thousand previously opened batteries to recognize piece of junk - and it doesn't matter whether it was done "by design": it's clearly still the attempt to sell garbage, looking identical to the 'real thing' at first glance.

    Abovementioned SSX2 without pills is the same story...

  31. #531
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Archie- View Post
    I'd suppose, in some cases knowledge and expirience is required indeed - but we are talking about quite simple matters here.

    As yet another example, I remember a photo of opened chinese "2s2p" battery where half of cells were substituted by hollow tubes: in such case, one don't have to be an expert with background of thousand previously opened batteries to recognize piece of junk - and it doesn't matter whether it was done "by design": it's clearly still the attempt to sell garbage, looking identical to the 'real thing' at first glance.

    Abovementioned SSX2 without pills is the same story...
    Not disagreeing about the lamp issue but the battery example you mention is a horse of a different color. A battery is a battery. There are good ones and not so good ones BUT they are still batteries either way. Adding wooden pieces or sand in an attempt to deceive is obvious fraud. Now if you buy a cheap Chinese battery claiming to be 6600mah and it's only 3500mAh you got a poor battery using poor cells...But...it's still a battery, just poor quality. If you buy a battery and half the cells aren't batteries but wood or something else, in all likelyhood it isn't even going to work. In this case you clearly got ripped off. Then again batteries and lamps are two different things and it has been well known for sometime that there are deceptive battery markets. This is why I am always wary on where I buy batteries from...( although from time to time I am known to roll the dice if I think I'm getting a good deal ).

    The D99 came with the LED's just mounted on a circuit board. The circuit board sat on a thin lip that only supported the board on the sides. The way I look at it you can't get much worse than that as far as poor thermal paths go. Still the lamp works. Will it last? Anyone's guess. All depends on how it's used. Would I buy another? On this I have to speculate. If I used it on a regular basis and it continued to work without problem or other issue...probably...unless of course someone else sells another $25 light I like more...

    We do of course disagree on what is "junk"..Hey, to each their own.

  32. #532
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Not disagreeing about the lamp issue but the battery example you mention is a horse of a different color.
    -snip-
    If you buy a battery and half the cells aren't batteries but wood or something else, in all likelyhood it isn't even going to work.
    Mentioned battery worked perfectly - exactly like SSX2 we're speaking about! In 2s2p configuration, you can safely omit half of cells: just be careful which ones to replace by dummy ones. Resulting 2s1p battery will accept charge and provide power to the load: everything fine, everyone happy.

  33. #533
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    Well my "Ebay" light lasted about 5 minutes, 2 of those where shining stuff around the house and 3 where in a bike ride! The pics show some real shady work. This is the SolarStorm 5000 Lm 2 x CREE XM-L U2 LED from Ebay.


    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2-1.jpgSolarStorm/FandyFire X2-2.jpgSolarStorm/FandyFire X2-3.jpg

  34. #534
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    No one is claiming that the SSX2's are "above average" in design or reliability. Of the thousands that are sold there are going to be people getting them that will have problems. That said these are the most inexpensive lamps available. Since these continue to be popular I wouldn't let the misfortune of a few keep me from buying one if I were in the market for a cheap lamp and only had about $40 to spend. Even if you did get a dud ( the first time ) if you roll the dice again and buy a second I think it highly unlikely you would get another bad one...just saying. You can buy a better more reliable brand name light but that will mean more money up front. You can buy two of the cheap Chinese lamps and still not spend the money you did for a single brand name lamp. Choices, choices...indeed.
    I see where you are coming from, and I agree with you for the most part. I do draw the line on missing parts, such as the crucial heat sink pill in this light. You are still spending money on something, and it should at least work out of the box. I think we should at least hold Chinese manufacturers to that standard.

  35. #535
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    Seems to be the third version of the driver at minimum The soldering is of a very poor quality indeed - just check the main red power wire and resistors R100 R010.

    Quote Originally Posted by OPC View Post
    Well my "Ebay" light lasted about 5 minutes, 2 of those where shining stuff around the house and 3 where in a bike ride! The pics show some real shady work. This is the SolarStorm 5000 Lm 2 x CREE XM-L U2 LED from Ebay.

  36. #536
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    That's what I'm not sure off... Checked voltage at the transistors Q1, Q2 (SOT-23) with Oscilloscope and we had 8V+, checked voltage at the soldering points for the LED (L1, L1-, L2, L2-) and did not get the same, We had 6V and 8V, now for Resistors R100 and R010 they seem to be in parallel and the soldering job as terrible as it looks seems to be making pretty good contact. As far as the LEDs go, one is lit fully but extremely weak (maybe half a lumen if that) while the side that is not lit has one tiny section the size of pin head that lights and nothing else. That side rotates so So i'm thinking that its just fried due to the heat and since it seems to be lose it did not have good heat dissipation.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK96 View Post
    Seems to be the third version of the driver at minimum The soldering is of a very poor quality indeed - just check the main red power wire and resistors R100 R010.

  37. #537
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    If L1,L1- and L2,L2- is each for one LED, they should be about 2.8-3.5V each. If you measured 6 and 8V the second LED will also burn quickly.

  38. #538
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK96 View Post
    If L1,L1- and L2,L2- is each for one LED, they should be about 2.8-3.5V each. If you measured 6 and 8V the second LED will also burn quickly.
    Checked again... "good" side has +2.45Vdc and "Bad" side +5.85Vdc this is at the highest setting. Looking under a microscope the board is extremely dirty, probably some type of "no clean" flux and soldering but I do see possible tin whiskers around every component including the "no name" IC or it could be external contamination of some sorts. It really looks like every component is fuzzy . Will try to clean it with DI water although I'm not sure if I should proceed since I already contacted the seller about it, however I can aim the thermal camera at it and see if I detect any heat spots. Either way I'm ordering one from Amazon so Amazon.com: SecurityIng® Super Bright 3 X CREE XM-L T6 3600Lm 4 Modes White LED Bike Lamp Cree LED Headlight Solid Bicycle Light and Powerful Headlamp with 8.4V Battery Pack and US Plug Charger Set For Outdoor Hiking, Riding, Camping and Other Activi that way I can deal directly with them instead of the Chinese company.

  39. #539
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    Do you have loose led's pills too?
    http://fcdn.mtbr.com/attachments/lig...l2_smaller.jpg - these ones, can you lift them up like this after removing the reflectors?

  40. #540
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    SecurityIng was one of the better makers ( if they really do make them) of the 3x lamps. Although, they have changed the body ( and who knows what else inside).
    I have seen their head only for around $25. If it's as good as the 1 I've had for about a year....it's a great light. IF being the operative word.

  41. #541
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kir View Post
    Do you have loose led's pills too?
    http://fcdn.mtbr.com/attachments/lig...l2_smaller.jpg - these ones, can you lift them up like this after removing the reflectors?
    Both are like that! It seems I'm not the only one with that issue then.

    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2-4.jpg

  42. #542
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    Well, even if this is a little more expensive ($43) I rather buy from Amazon since I have Amazon Prime I will get the 2 day free shipping and If anything happens I can return to amazon instead of dealing with the ebay vendor in China... It's what I probably should have done in the first place but some of my coworkers purchased them from ebay and they had no problems, so it's whatever random shop they get them from that has the bad QA.

    Only thing is how to hide it from the wife hahaha.

  43. #543
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    Well this is your problem - pills like this don't offer good thermal transfer by themselves, you have to add thermal paste on them to avoid led overheating and burnout.
    Driver pcb looks ok...yes, the soldering is horrible but it should work fine. Problem is that new SSX2s have such horrible "improvements" to keep the cost down that leds are overheating in most of them.

  44. #544
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    Great! Are we talking about the thermal paste that you would add to a CPU Heatsink? They are going to send me a replacement Lamp minus the charger and battery so I can "fix" this one before the same problem happens again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kir View Post
    Well this is your problem - pills like this don't offer good thermal transfer by themselves, you have to add thermal paste on them to avoid led overheating and burnout.
    Driver pcb looks ok...yes, the soldering is horrible but it should work fine. Problem is that new SSX2s have such horrible "improvements" to keep the cost down that leds are overheating in most of them.

  45. #545
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    Yes, this same thermal paste that CPU use.

    @Kir isn't the voltage on the bad side too much - 5.8V? Or this number is just because the bad side is not under load?

  46. #546
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    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2

    Can I use this thermal paste from coolermaster?
    I received today the solarstorm x2 XM-L2 (headlamp only) from lightmalls and I hope this one don't burn the leds...... (Another version of the driver I think)


  47. #547
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    Of course you can :-)

  48. #548
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    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2

    Done

  49. #549
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    So your pills were loose in that light from LM?

  50. #550
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    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2

    Yes, exactly like the photos on post #541

  51. #551
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    I think that most of them have loose pills. Also mine were loose, ordered from aliexpress when first cheap SSX2 appeared.

  52. #552
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snakes View Post
    I think that most of them have loose pills. Also mine were loose, ordered from aliexpress when first cheap SSX2 appeared.
    I think they are made to be loose. I think they become tighter when you screw in the front bezel.

    Is that what you are guys are talking about?

    Also, I think the back of the pill has a certain shape which does not exactly match the shape of the lip.

  53. #553
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    I think that when you screw in the front bezel, reflectors push the pills to the lip.
    If I am not wrong Kir wrote in his review that he got light with press fitted pills, they were not loose.

  54. #554
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snakes View Post
    I think that when you screw in the front bezel, reflectors push the pills to the lip.
    If I am not wrong Kir wrote in his review that he got light with press fitted pills, they were not loose.
    I haven't taken the time ( yet ) to pull the front off of mine but if these lamps have loose pills it was probably decided by the manufacturer to do it this way just to save money. This probably explains why they're going for only $26 for a lamp head.

    If the pill is loose ( when the front is removed ) I wouldn't consider this too unusual. Not the ideal situation but it will still work as long as the pill is pushed tight enough against the back of the lamp when assembled. It just won't be as efficient if the pills were sealed to the back with thermal paste. Seeing these lamps are pretty easy to take apart adding a little thermal paste might not be a bad idea. On the few times I've used my SSX2 I've noticed that the output drops once the lamp heats up. Most lamps do this so once again this is not unusual. It was just more noticeable with the X2. Getting better thermal transferal could perhaps lessen this effect.

  55. #555
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    got my stuff from lightmalls today, had to pick it up at the post office. Somehow the postage translated to USPS registered mail, which requires a signature. I got 2 xml2-u2 solarstorms - heads only, 1 red 1 black. I don't have a battery yet, I got the 4 cell cases shown here from dx.com(the panovo ones), just waiting on my panny cells from amazon. It took 20 days from order date for me to get it, technically 19 when usps left a notice, not bad(i did not order with batteries, head only). I ordered from fasttech before hand on a package a full week earlier, and I still haven't received it - but it went through san fran usps instead of east coast, and it's still lurking in sf.


    I took mine apart, 1 is solid, the other (red) is a little iffy. It seems on my red one they used 2 different size reflectors, and tried to shove in 2 pieces of glass in there to make up for it, and no rubber gasket. I probably should see if I can get another properly size reflector and another gasket and put it together properly, but it should function just fine.

    Both units seems to have a solid secure heat sync in them tho, and judging by the 2 leads to the led chip vs 3 according to the cree wiki, they are indeed xm-l2 cree leds.

    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2-20131121_212100.jpgSolarStorm/FandyFire X2-20131121_212233.jpg

    Can't wait to get my cells to try it!
    Last edited by rvanderwerf; 11-21-2013 at 09:42 PM.

  56. #556
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    I got my SSx2 XM-L2 complete battery & light in today from fasttec (ordered nov 16th). Opened it up to check the pills and there does not appear to be any, as it looks exactly like the one pictured earlier in this thread here. same star shape and everything. Each side had two clear circular lenses with a small o-ring between them, i'm guessing they put the second lens there to take up the space that the pill would have used.

    I'm planning to try to rig up a pill before using it so it won't overheat, and I've only turned it on briefly when I got it so hopefully it is still ok. The inside of the casing appears to have two sets of lips on each side, a small one just above what looks like the main lip- in which the star was resting against when I opened it. Trying out some coins to use as a pill, I found that a US nickel was close, but got caught on the first smaller lip so it wouldn't go in far enough to sit against the main lip. I then found some foreign coins and that a mexican $1 peso coin will fit past the first and perfectly on the second rim!

    So if i go this route, I'm guessing I will have to drill two holes in the coin, then cut or de-sodder the wires to put through the hole, then sodder the wires back in place? If so, would it be better to cut the wire in the middle and put it together, or desodder from star? I don't want to damage the led so am worried to work too close to it. I was also thinking of maybe cutting a notch out on opposite ends of the coin to slip the wires in place witout taking any of them apart, would this work? There would be slightly less contact with the case, but might be much easier. I would then put some thermal paste between coin & the star, and along the coin edge/casing for either route... Are there any other simple solutions?

    This doesn't appear to be a wide-spread problem from reading though this post, so maybe I am one of the few that lost the 'chinese light lottery' but hopefully I can still make it work! So if you have a ssx2 on the way it might be worth taking a look under the hood before you use it! I will post pics when i can, but this is my first post (i've been a long time lurker though) Any other advice on what to do is appreciated! Thanks!

  57. #557
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    That sucks that you got one of the bad ones, especially from fasttech. I thought it was a lightmalls problem only. What a bunch of bums! It's good you took it apart before turning it on.

    I would just cut two notches in the coin instead of messing around with the desoldering and soldering. That's just me though.

    I think you have probably found the best solution with the Mexican peso. I would try to smooth out the surface of the coin so that you get the best thermal connection.

  58. #558
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    That sucks that you got one of the bad ones, especially from fasttech. I thought it was a lightmalls problem only.
    Both of them are resellers, not manufacturers. I'm pretty sure you have chances to get a lemon from any Eastern web shop...

  59. #559
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    They restocked from a bad source

  60. #560
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Archie- View Post
    Both of them are resellers, not manufacturers. I'm pretty sure you have chances to get a lemon from any Eastern web shop...
    Yes, you are right.

    I was hoping that fasttech purchased direct from the manufacturer unmodified. My theory was that there was a third party that modified the lights to add the xm-l2 emitters, and these were the people that messing up the lights by removing the pill etc. Obviously that's not the case. Whoever is making these bad modifications is selling them all over the place, i.e lightmalls fasttech and probably others. Maybe these guys just made a bad batch, or maybe there are multiple groups making batches and only one group who makes the bad ones. I would hope the bad ones aren't coming directly from the original manufacturer. I guess there's no way of knowing.

    Anyway, if you are getting a bad ones I hope you leave massive negative feedback on the sellers page. Make them learn the hard way.

  61. #561
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    Guys I have done a review of two X2 SOLARSTORM bought from two different e-bay UK sellers, first one had a faulty battery, second one had a better battery but the head had less output. I have posted some run times with green led recording as well as some outdoor shots. See
    SOLARSTORM X2 5000 Lumens - e-bay purchase - mini review
    I am looking for a better 4 cell battery pack to give me 2 hours on full, can anyone advise as what to get here in the UK, This is to be mounted on an helmet so would prefer pack in a soft bag instead of hard box. Falling this I may have to build my own pack out of Panasonic batteries, as anyone done this and could advise on the build.

  62. #562
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    Mine have loose pills too.

    Just used it for its first proper ride (with the faulty battery protection pcb bypassed), I like the beam for helmet use. I even mounted the battery on the helmet too to avoid the wire round the neck tied to my bag irritations . worked quite well.
    What exactly is a rigid hard tail?

  63. #563
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    This might suit your needs:

    PANNOVO B-C04 Water Resistant 4 x 18650 Battery Pack Case for Bike Lamp - Black - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

    $16.36 3.7V 3400mAh NCR18650B Protected Rechargeable Lithium Battery(Panasonic Battery Cell)-2 pack

    4 cells have about 6800 mAh, if the light takes 2A on high, you get about 3 hrs runtime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyraider59 View Post
    I am looking for a better 4 cell battery pack to give me 2 hours on full, can anyone advise as what to get here in the UK

  64. #564
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK96 View Post
    Thats the holder i have on the way. My X2 takes about 1.44A on full power at 8.44V on a bench power supply.
    What exactly is a rigid hard tail?

  65. #565
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK96 View Post

    I had my eyes on this holder but I understand that there is no protection circuit build in the holder, but I presume this would not be a problem if I use protected cells? Can someone confirm, also would I be able to charge it as a pack with the X2 1 amp charger or would I need to remove the batteries to charge them individually??? I have a Jetbeam I4pro charger as well, but it is easier to charge as a pack.
    A negative point about the Pannovo box is the usual super slow service from DX, at best of time we are talking a month from order to delivery to the UK!
    I have also read that li-ion batteries are no longer accepted by royal mail, causing some of the Chinese retailer not to send batteries anymore??
    I have also found a samsung battery pack here in the UK. kind of more money that I would really want to pay, but this is an other option. As anyone used them?
    Mountain Bike Batteries - mtb batteries - Portable Power Solutions & High Perfomance Sports Lights
    Thanks

  66. #566
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    I purchased a solarstorm xml-U2 off ebay. (seller william20131788 from Hong Kong - arrived in 10 days) I opened it up to check for pills, and proper assy.
    What I found was interesting, I do have pills, and they are threaded in. (see the pic of the back)
    The LEDs have round boards, and have XML-U2 lettered on the board, but they are the whiteish emitters, that were identified as XML2 earlier in the thread (XML-U2 are greenish?).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails SolarStorm/FandyFire X2-sam_1240.jpg  

    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2-sam_1235.jpg  

    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2-sam_1237.jpg  


  67. #567
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    Beware that william20131788 does charge shipping, so bid accordingly if you buy from him on ebay.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails SolarStorm/FandyFire X2-threads-copy.jpg  


  68. #568
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    ... and you have got the 4th version of the driver I have seen among SS X2 lights

  69. #569
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerdawg View Post
    Beware that william20131788 does charge shipping, so bid accordingly if you buy from him on ebay.
    I've browsed his items for sale: the SS X2 offered in several variants, ranging in price from $25.80 (free shipping) to $47.36 ($35.00 + $12.36 shipping). Why not to indicate exact item number you've got?

  70. #570
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    Okie dokie.
    3200 LM 2X CREE XML LED Bike Bicycle Headlight Flashlight Light X2 Solarstorm NE | eBay
    I paid $6.99 + $12.36 shipping.
    This one was in the "Flashlights" catagory, not bike lights catagory.
    Quote Originally Posted by -Archie- View Post
    I've browsed his items for sale: the SS X2 offered in several variants, ranging in price from $25.80 (free shipping) to $47.36 ($35.00 + $12.36 shipping). Why not to indicate exact item number you've got?

  71. #571
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    Thank you!

  72. #572
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerdawg View Post
    Okie dokie.
    3200 LM 2X CREE XML LED Bike Bicycle Headlight Flashlight Light X2 Solarstorm NE | eBay
    I paid $6.99 + $12.36 shipping.
    This one was in the "Flashlights" catagory, not bike lights catagory.
    Head only, what battery pack do you use?

  73. #573
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyraider59 View Post
    Head only, what battery pack do you use?
    I picked up one of the Panovo battery boxes that use 4 individual 18650 cells. I charge them independantly, not as a pack.
    I use Panasonic 18650 cells.

  74. #574
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    Can you do me a very big favour and let me know what weight is the pack inc batteries is and pack dimensions. This is to be mounted on my helmet and I fear this will be too big and heavy!

  75. #575
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    Well, the battery is a lot heavier than I would want on my helmet. My cheap digital scale has the Panovo box, 4 x 18650 cells and the battery bag weighing in at 11 1/4 oz or 320 grams.
    The solarstorm SSx2 is 107 grams or 3.75 oz

  76. #576
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    Threaded in led pills! That's very nice. Probably second only to the press fit models in terms of heat transfer. That seems to be too nice to be a clone. Maybe this is version 2.0 from the original manufacturer.

  77. #577
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    Thanks, this is exactly what I did expect , ideal as a bar battery but to heavy for a lid battery, I think I am back to building my own pack from scratch or going for mtbbatteries.co.uk samsung battery pack! Anyone of you guys used the Samsung batteries?

  78. #578
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    some samsung cells are 4.35V so watch that and buy a proper charger for them if you get these ;-)

  79. #579
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    Is the wire for the light/battery long enough that I can put the light on my helmet and put the battery in my CamelBak?

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    The ine i got from fasttech and it is long enough to put pack in jersey pocket.

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  82. #582
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    Quote Originally Posted by toto408 View Post
    I don't really like the rubber used to attach the lamp to the bar, so I'm looking for a better mount... Anybody tried that one? Hope Universal Handlebar Mount | Chain Reaction Cycles Could'nt find anything on that thread...

    Cheers!
    Yeap, I use the hope handlebar mount on a bunch of different lights I've built and I would highly recommend it.

    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2-dsc_0022.jpgSolarStorm/FandyFire X2-dsc_0185.jpg

  83. #583
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    Yeap, I use the hope handlebar mount on a bunch of different lights I've built and I would highly recommend it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks

    Is it the same screw dimension, compared to the solarstorm x2?

  84. #584
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    Hope uses a bigger bolt thread, but you can reuse the screw that comes with the X2 and it fits into hole in the bracket no problem.

    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2-p1010247.jpgSolarStorm/FandyFire X2-p1010246.jpg

  85. #585
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    Just got my Fandyfire X2 from DX this week.
    I waited for it quite some time (2 months).
    It arrived in a big enveloppe "Per Avion", by airmail.
    This week iI used it a few times for commuting, so far so good, I'm impressed.
    Because of the findings in this thread I opened it this evening.
    The screws on the front are drilled out / damaged, so I opened it at the back.
    Soldering looks ok.
    There are traces of thermal paste visible. At least someone did make some effort to keep things cool.
    Not shure if this is the back of the star or the pill we're looking at...
    I have to take out the leds from the front, have to find me a pair of pliers to unscrew the front srews.

    Here are some pictures.


    Belgian beer and Scotch whisky.

  86. #586
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    Hard to tell for sure from the photos, but looking at the 2nd one it seems like the back of an LED MCPCBs showing.

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    ^^ +1

    it seems we are looking at the MCPCB, at least I think you have the original driver.

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    Based on the second photo, I don't think the leds are heatsinked.

  89. #589
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    Quote Originally Posted by toto408 View Post
    hI TOTO408, from your links, they come from Alixpress, how long did the shipping take to ? UK
    What kind of run time do you get out of them?
    Thanks

  90. #590
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    < I waited for it quite some time (2 months).
    It arrived in a big enveloppe "Per Avion", by airmail.>> Two months this must be a record!, I think they need to change their envelope to read (Slow Boat from China!!!) Last stuff I orded was over 2 years ago took over a 5weeks to arrive, the result is I have not orded anything from them since! And I hope I won't have to. Most of my stuff I get from china do take around 2 weeks.

  91. #591
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    Well I just finished taking my X2 clone ( Manafont version ) apart at the front just so I could see how the emitters were mounted. For the record mine has no "Solarstorm" logo or other markings.

    First I'll note is that my clone has the loose emitter boards like some of the others. There is no pill and no metal base plate for the board to rest on. For that matter there is only a small indented lip that holds the MCPCB in place. It is so small that I'm amazed there is any thermal transfer at all. No thermal paste was used to keep the board in place. Looks like I'll have to buy some thermal paste to get the boards to hold tighter to the indent lip. What a crappy set-up. The original Solarstorm X2's were built much better. At least this explains why mine seems to drop in output so quickly when used on high. Heck the lip is so small I have a hard time seeing it. That being the case I may be wrong but I don't think thermal paste is going to make a big difference.

  92. #592
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I agree. When I buy I lamp for $25 I will use it till it fails. IF..something fails on the lamp I can then disassemble and try my hand at modding OR just buy another.

    Food for thought...These lamps are so inexpensive you can afford to buy an extra for back up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Even Zaang, ( who has posted only in this thread ) initially said that he had friends who owned one and that they had no problems. About Archie's friend; Any of us know him or know how much he knows about electronics and modding these kind's of lamps. Hey, whatever....Stuff happens. As I see it it's still "Business as usual". A Chinese lamp is still a "CHINESE" lamp.

    No one is claiming that the SSX2's are "above average" in design or reliability. Of the thousands that are sold there are going to be people getting them that will have problems. That said these are the most inexpensive lamps available. Since these continue to be popular I wouldn't let the misfortune of a few keep me from buying one if I were in the market for a cheap lamp and only had about $40 to spend. Even if you did get a dud ( the first time ) if you roll the dice again and buy a second I think it highly unlikely you would get another bad one...just saying. You can buy a better more reliable brand name light but that will mean more money up front. You can buy two of the cheap Chinese lamps and still not spend the money you did for a single brand name lamp. Choices, choices...indeed.
    So I am curious, are you following your own advise and have a couple more on order (for back-up)?


    ****

  93. #593
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    Hope uses a bigger bolt thread, but you can reuse the screw that comes with the X2 and it fits into hole in the bracket no problem.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looks great I'll order that

  94. #594
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyraider59 View Post
    hI TOTO408, from your links, they come from Alixpress, how long did the shipping take to ? UK
    What kind of run time do you get out of them?
    Thanks
    I just received 2/4 lamps from Aliexpress, lithium batteries are not allowed anymore from China... I get refund for the 2 lost lamps, but it takes 2 months or more... I received the 2 first lamps in about 2-3 weeks I think. I recommand more Lightmalls, there's a shipping option to ship batteries
    And I have about 1h15 running at high, don't know in other modes

  95. #595
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Well I just finished taking my X2 clone ( Manafont version ) apart at the front just so I could see how the emitters were mounted. For the record mine has no "Solarstorm" logo or other markings.
    Yours is the XM-L U2 version or the one with XM-L2? I am curious if this happens to XM-L or XM-L2 clones ...

  96. #596
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    Quote Originally Posted by toto408 View Post
    And I have about 1h15 running at high, don't know in other modes
    Bang one, got also 75mn out of the solarstorm "ok" battery!

  97. #597
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    So I am curious, are you following your own advise and have a couple more on order (for back-up)?
    I don't need back up at the moment as I have other lamps. Would I buy one again? Yes, but one of the original ( better made ) SStorms. Still, I knew mine was a no-name clone going in. I accept the lesser quality for that reason. Doesn't mean I don't wish it was better made. At least it works. How long it will last if used regularly?...any one's guess.

    The nice thing about the forum is the quality feedback. Because some people are willing to poke around inside the lamps we are able to get more information, whither it be good or bad. Armed with this knowledge we can chose to buy a better product and send a message to the manufacturers of the cheap clones that if their product(s) suck it will cost THEM money ( through lost sales ).

    **edit: Seven years ago I rode with halogen lamps. With those lamps with NiMH batteries... I never knew when the batteries would crap out ( usually after two years ) or a bulb would burn out. Those set-ups cost me at least twice as much as the newer Chinese clones. In retrospect, if you don't have a lot of money the clone lamps are still worth the money ( ~$40 ) as long as the lamp works and the battery gives you two hour run time.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 12-01-2013 at 06:29 AM.

  98. #598
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK96 View Post
    Yours is the XM-L U2 version or the one with XM-L2? I am curious if this happens to XM-L or XM-L2 clones ...
    ...XM-L ( U2 )...haven't seen the SSX2 with XM-L2 yet unless I'm missing something. So far I think the loose emitter board issue is only for certain SSX2 clones.

    **edit...Solarstorm X2 does come in a XM-L2 T-6 version ( fasttech)
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 12-01-2013 at 03:18 PM.

  99. #599
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    Archie's friend has XM-L2 version but not from Manafont and some riders in this thread have also XM-L2 version without the pills. SO it happens to both XM-L and XM-L2 SSX2 clones.

  100. #600
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    Sorry you got the not-so-great version Cat.

    Those hope mounts look awesome. The shipping to the US is almost as much as the item with the total around $20. Not a good deal.

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