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  1. #1
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    Solarstorm XT30 / XT40 - anyone?

    These were mentioned briefly in another conversation, but I don't seem to find detailed information about either one. Is there a specific reason? Too new (it says released Sept 2013 there), too boring, or what is wrong with them? Could they be any better than many of the other 3/4/xx cheap lightheads ?
    Featurewise, they seem to be ok, three usable modes, hidden strobe, temperature control, meaningful battery indication,... ?

    Anybody can shed some light to it ?

    Solarstorm XT30 2200 lumen 3 led colorful light bicycle light set, View bicycle light, Solarstorm Product Details from Shenzhen Blackshadow Technology Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com

    Solarstorm XT40 2800 lumen 4 led colorful light round bicycle light set, View bicycle light, Solarstorm Product Details from Shenzhen Blackshadow Technology Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com

    Assuming I'd have another decent battery with enough capacity, whould there be a downside of taking the 4 LED one vs. the 3 LED? Heat comes to my mind, but is that an issue, or more a 'keep in mind' item?

    luigi

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by luigi4711 View Post
    These were mentioned briefly in another conversation, but I don't seem to find detailed information about either one. Is there a specific reason? Too new (it says released Sept 2013 there), too boring, or what is wrong with them? Could they be any better than many of the other 3/4/xx cheap lightheads ?
    Featurewise, they seem to be ok, three usable modes, hidden strobe, temperature control, meaningful battery indication,... ?

    Anybody can shed some light to it ?

    Solarstorm XT30 2200 lumen 3 led colorful light bicycle light set, View bicycle light, Solarstorm Product Details from Shenzhen Blackshadow Technology Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com

    Solarstorm XT40 2800 lumen 4 led colorful light round bicycle light set, View bicycle light, Solarstorm Product Details from Shenzhen Blackshadow Technology Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com

    Assuming I'd have another decent battery with enough capacity, whould there be a downside of taking the 4 LED one vs. the 3 LED? Heat comes to my mind, but is that an issue, or more a 'keep in mind' item?

    luigi
    I'm wondering the same thing. From reading threads on the other triple and quad XML lights, the triple and quad models can be a crapshoot due to poor thermal management and/or bad UI's.

    These have a lot going for them- a good UI (L-M-H, hidden strobe), power indicator, and overheat protection. ("XT40 owns Temperature control system to support healthy working and protect itself, when the inner temperature is higher than 70 degree on high, mode will automatically change into Middle.")

    If these have decent thermal management, and you pair them with a 4 or 6 cell battery pack with Samsung or Panasonic cells, perhaps they could be viable poor man's alternatives to the Gemini Olympia and Lupine Wilma 7.

    There are similar models sold by DX as the Nitefire NFC-41 and NFC-31.

    These have threaded lockring type battery connectors, I'm not sure if these are compatible with standard Magicshine connectors.

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    I have a XT40 on it's way to me, but will likely be another few weeks before I can tell if it's any good or bad.

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    Keep us updated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by luigi4711 View Post
    I have a XT40 on it's way to me, but will likely be another few weeks before I can tell if it's any good or bad.
    Total lumen output will depend on what driver is being used and how well the lamp can handle the heat. I figure you will at least get somewhere around 1500-1800 lumen on high BUT, like I said...depends. As with all lamps this size I would make plans on finding a way to make it sit more stable on the bars. The O-ring system doesn't really work well on lamps this size.

    How much did you pay for the set-up?

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    I looked at those links and thought "those aren't real solarstorms". Clicking around the page made we wonder though. I think the "Shenzhen Blackshadow Technology Co" based in Guangdong China may be the actual manufacturer of the original Solarstorm X2 light. Particularly interesting is the number of lights they can produce a month.
    X2: 1000 pieces per month
    X3: 10000 pieces per month

    That's a lot of lights! I'm looking forward to their new stuff.

  7. #7
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    For mounting on the bar, I have already a Sigma mount waiting.
    I'm not new to electronics, so will investigate the driver and current it uses, if necessary might replace it with something else.
    Paid 59$ for the set on wallbuys with a promotion code. Recognized it's now also available at K/D for 58$ (?) but I didn't find it there back then when I ordered.

    Have two RC 2s LiPo batteries with 5200mAh each here which I am using at the moment for an old Halogen based light, so will not depend on the battery in the set (if it's crap, it will end up in the trash)

    fwiw... I have a Yinding ordered as well, so this might serve as a comparison then.

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    The XT40 just arrived. Took it off the hands from the postman and apart

    No seriously, just a quick first impression, outdoor pictures will need some time.
    Looks like decent quality, not perfect, but (if it lasts) certainly worth the money.
    Opening it, I found that there seems to be an aluminium plate in the middle, where the four LED pills are mounted to (see first picture below). That plate has only four, rather small places (the little black edges), where it connects with the outer body. These have thermal paste applied though.
    So unlike the Yinding, which is one piece of aluminium, heat transfer might not be ideal here. On the other hand, the outer case gets hot quite quickly, so it isn't entirely bad either.
    Since there is plenty of space remaining, one could easily fill everything around the central plate and the LED pills with thermal compound.

    Regarding build quality.. I couldn't open the front since two of the four screws seem to have their heads damaged. So until I find some replacement screws, I'm not going to open the front side.


    Power draw from a freshly charged LiPo battery, 8.4V 5.4Ah (not the one included):
    Low ~700mA
    Med ~1.5A
    High ~3A

    However these numbers above are when you just switch it on. Over a few minutes time these increase, I assume since the whole thing heats up and the LEDs change there operation point (don't know how to better say that in english).
    On high I have seen it go to 3.8A when I switched it off, because the case was real hot and I had no ventilation to cool it.

    Anybody can comment if that is a common behaviour, or suggests a rather bad driver design that can not keep current at a constant level?

    Beam has a noticable bright spot in the middle and the outer area gradually fading off. Real beamshots will take a while until I find time to do.

    Here are pictures of the inside from the back, I'll save you picture from the outside and the package content, that's the usual stuff. Maybe worth noting that it has the screwed connector between head and battery.

    Solarstorm XT30 / XT40 - anyone?-xt40_1.jpg
    Solarstorm XT30 / XT40 - anyone?-xt40_2.jpg

    And I certainly read the manual carefully... before taking it apart ;-)
    Solarstorm XT30 / XT40 - anyone?-xt40_3.jpg


    The original battery pack is connected to my charger at the moment (not the included one) to see what it's worth.

    Again I'd be curious to have someone comment on the crreping current phenomenon.

  9. #9
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    A few more observiations and two more pics...

    The current draw indeed seems to depend on the LED temperature. I took some measurements last night (still indoor, with room temp ~22C).

    When leaving the light on high, this time providing constant cooling from a fan, the current started at 3A and rose until 3.7A within ~2mins. [Voltage was around 8V from a good LiPo battery]. It did not go any further as long as I provided cooling. With an IR temp I measured ~50C on the backside of the LED PCB (had removed the lights backplate to measure it). At the same time the housing had an outer temp of ~41C.

    So as long as you don't overheat (means: don't leave it running on high without cooling), the current seems to stay in a good range.

    Then I removed the fan, the temperature rose and with it the current. When the PCB had 65C (and the outer case 55C), it took already ~4A of current. This is when I stopped this experminent, since I didn't want to fry the LEDs. The lights description said it has an overheat protection, but that must then kick in only at higer temperatures (or has not kicked in here, since I had the backplate still removed to measure the temp on the LED PCB backside). May leave that for someone else to try (fry).

    There was a fairly constant difference of about 10C between the LED PCB and the outer case. I think it demonstrates that in principle the heat sink is working, but there is room for improvement.

    Having seen light shinning through at the backside of the PCB, I got curious what it looks like from the front, so went ahead and openend it.

    Solarstorm XT30 / XT40 - anyone?-xt40_4.jpg
    Solarstorm XT30 / XT40 - anyone?-xt40_5.jpg

    After removing the front plastic, with some black rubber mat behind it, that has the four smaller openings for each LED, it offered four massive aluminium reflectors. Not pretty from the outside, but the inner reflector being quite fine. Behind those, the four LEDs all sit on one PCB, which is directly attached to these four edges on the housing one can see from locking into the back. So I guess heat transfer is as good as it can be under these circumstances, but could be improved if there was more contact of this PCB with the outer shell. The PCB has a diameter of ~37mm.

    Sidenote: You can't see on the PCB how the LEDs are arranged, but from measuring voltage on the two cables going to it with ~6.25V on high, the LEDs must be in a 2S2P mode on this PCB.

    The three LED 'power indicator' on the back seems to work ok (still need to get a good reading of the individual votage levels it shows), but there does not seem to be a hard low voltage cut off. Still to be determined with a real test drive, but as the voltage fell below ~6.6V, you could see the LEDs starting to dim (driver going out of regulation I guess you call that). On my power supply I went down as far as 5V when the light was then only drawing ~60mA on high, with the LEDs still on but very dim. Might warrant a note of caution, don't leave it accidentially switched on, since it may deep discharge your battery.

    Will still take some time until I can take this one outdoor... but I like to dissect things first, to know what I got

    All in all, I am still pretty satisfied with the light so far - from having looked at it on the working bench... may add more after a test ride. Does not seem as bad as some other cheap crap being sold out there. And I can live with the few imperfections so far.

    PS: The mount you see on the pictures above is not the original one. It's a Sigma mount I slightly modified to fit on this light.
    Sigma Ersatzhalterung fr Karma / Karma Evo / Powerled Evo / Quadro - Bike-Components

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by luigi4711 View Post
    That plate has only four, rather small places (the little black edges), where it connects with the outer body.
    Quite bad design. Seems that the case was intended for some different internals...

    Thanks for sharing!

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    It does look pretty awful from the heat removal perspective. Sounds like something isn't right with the driver either. Thanks for the detailed pictures. I would probably stay away from this light based on what you have posted. If you add some thermal paste or glue maybe it will work for you for a little while. There does appear to be a large gap there, but I can't quite tell what's going on in the pictures. I can't tell if the led board is resting on some sort of lip or if it's just hanging there.

    Nice detective work!

  12. #12
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    This blue piece behind the driver board is a single piece of rubber, that is also providing cover for the clicky switch on the backside, plus waterproofing the backplate. The driver board itself fits into the case quite nicely, so it's not falling around. Between the driver and the LED PCB, there is plenty of free space, which may allow for additional heat spreading improvements.
    Does anyone have suggestions for good thermal epoxy or something similar?

  13. #13
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    It is interesting that it eats nearly 4A - the leds might go very hot if they are driven that hard.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK96 View Post
    It is interesting that it eats nearly 4A - the leds might go very hot if they are driven that hard.
    I assume that 4A is from the battery, which is a 2S2P configuration so 8.4 volts at 4 amps is not that much really. Probably each LED is driven at 2 amps or less. There could be an issue with the battery pack cabling at that amperage though... most of the Chinese light battery pack cabling is quite thin... 26AWG or 24AWG... neither is really thick enough for 4 amps of current, so there will be a lot of voltage drop and power wasted as heat in the cabling.

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    If the voltage sagged to ~4.6V then it is obvious due to cheap cell pack, but if not, it still draws some decent power - 8V * 4A = 32W

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    Boost and buck drivers increase current as voltage depletes, which is great as it regulates the lumens a lot better and maintains performance. Sounds like this driver just takes a while to ramp up initially, and increases current as the voltage of the batteries decrease like any normal boost/buck driver.

    Adding thermal paste is a poor solution, the reality is, while thermal paste will improve thermal transfer, it isn't that much better than air. You should be using as little paste as possible and as it should only be used to fill in minute air pockets, the smallest of drops under a led star is all that should be used. Any design that requires thermal improvement is a poor design. The properties of thermal paste have been grossly over-estimated.

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    I'm really disappointed to see the insides of this light after being impressed with the X2 (before the clones started skimping on proper pills and the like). I just don't see any justification for such a poorly though out thermal path... does it make manufacturing easier or save significant money? A bit of a puzzle what happened with this one given SolarStorm's previously good designs.

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    Small update: On the first ride, after initially impressing the others (having single XMLs as the brightest lights in the group), it went dark after just five minutes. Luckily I had the Yinding on the helmet, which was plenty of light to finish the ride (2hs), even on medium. When coming back home I opened the XT40 to find one of the two cables going to the LED PCB loose from a bad soldering at the driver board. Easily fixed in 2mins, but another point to maybe not recommend this light to someone who is not willing to open it and have some tooling handy.
    Might be able to take it to another ride this week, let's see how it will perform then...

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    The body seems to be made for another type of led attachment. Does it get somehow hot when powered on full? The minus wire seems to be a cold solder join if that was one that loose. Good old china stuff, all of them you need to open and check them

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    As mentioned in the second detailed posting (#9), I did test it with a fan on the workbench. On high, the outer case got to ~40C, when in the inside, the backside of the aluminium LED plate seemed to be ~50C. It seems to keep this ~10C delta between the LED plate and the outer case.
    So yes, heat is taken to the outside, it warms up pretty quick, but the difference also confirms that things could be better.

    I do have epoxy and aluminium powder here. Maybe I will give it a try to improve the thermal path. But time is short at the moment... that's likely not any time soon.

    PS: Given last time I was fine with just running the Yinding (2xXML) on medium on the helmet, I likely won't be running this one on all-time high for the ride anyhow...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by whokilledJR View Post
    Boost and buck drivers increase current as voltage depletes, which is great as it regulates the lumens a lot better and maintains performance. Sounds like this driver just takes a while to ramp up initially, and increases current as the voltage of the batteries decrease like any normal boost/buck driver.

    Adding thermal paste is a poor solution, the reality is, while thermal paste will improve thermal transfer, it isn't that much better than air. You should be using as little paste as possible and as it should only be used to fill in minute air pockets, the smallest of drops under a led star is all that should be used. Any design that requires thermal improvement is a poor design. The properties of thermal paste have been grossly over-estimated.
    Thanks WKJR for your post. Everything you said, absolutely true. People who think they can fix major thermal issues by using gobs of thermal paste fail to understand what thermal paste does and how it is properly used.

    While I agree the design on these XT-30/40 lamps could be better they at least look better than the SSX2 clones. My main concern is the beam pattern. While I'm sure the lamp is very bright ( ~1800-2000 lumen ? ) I don't think I would like the beam pattern. I say this because like the other lamps I see using the same mini-reflectors, all the light is "likely" thrown forward. Not enough light to the sides. If these lamps came with optics ( like the Duo clones ) there would be more side spill. Not to mention there might be other optics available to dial the beam pattern in you want. Two 10 and two 15-20 optics might give you a really nice beam pattern for the bars. Sure would be nice if someone would sell a mini-version of the flood lenses used on the MS clones.

    If the Chinese are reading these reviews they need to take them to heart. Some of the needed improvements would be real easy to implement and really not cost that much money ( if any at all )

  22. #22
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    what mount are you using?

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    Can anybody tell me if the XT40 can be used from a 11-12V battery pack? I use a dynamo charger with 3s2p 18650 batteries and a microprocessor that puts out up to 5v/3A or 12V/5A which is probably more like 9-11v depending on battery state.

    I can drive my fenix bt20 without any problem but it's driver officially supports up to 12v input.

    Thanks

  24. #24
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    The XT40 I bought could not be used on my (enduro dirt-bike) 12V system. Burned a 5A fuse, and on a second try it desoldered a cable on the circuit. Bummer as I prefer to have everything running straight from bike battery

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    Solastrorm XT40 :<<<<<<<<<<"explosion" (short circuit)>>>>>>>>>

    Hello guys, I accidentally reversed polarity to the batteries for Solastorm XT40.Someone can tell me what components?After opening head Light, Please someone can tell me what components? .Thanks to all.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Solarstorm XT30 / XT40 - anyone?-explosion-short-circuit-solastormxt40.jpg  


  26. #26
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    X6 New version of XT40?

    http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S024183

    Name:  635689682140877362_med.jpg
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    I wonder if the heat path is improved over the XT40?

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    Was just looking at that, wonder whether Kaidomain got the specs right. Says XM-L U2, not XM-L2; only 3600mAh battery pack: 4x 18650 though picture kinda looks like a six pack. Weird. Also says SMO reflectors though clearly shows TIRs. And not offered in Neutral White (yet) either.

    Edit: Yeah, Ali Express has XM-L2 U2, as well as XM-L T6: both available in either 4x or 6x 18650.

    Aliexpress.com : Buy Solarstorm X6 Bicycle light XM L2 U2; 6 * 18650battery pack Manufacturer store sales from Reliable Bicycle Light suppliers on Solarstorm Manufacturer store | Alibaba Group

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    GearBest is also selling it
    SolarStorm X6 Cree XM - L T6 3000LM 4 Modes LED Headlight Bicycle Lamp + 18650 Battery Pack-31.52 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com

    It's XML-T6 and they can get XM-L2. I'm asking if XM-L2 3C is possible

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    GearBest is also selling it
    SolarStorm X6 Cree XM - L T6 3000LM 4 Modes LED Headlight Bicycle Lamp + 18650 Battery Pack-31.52 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com

    It's XML-T6 and they can get XM-L2. I'm asking if XM-L2 3C is possible
    $31.52 for a complete light with battery pack is crazy cheap. At that price point I'd be very surprised if it has a good internal design.

  30. #30
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    to me it looks liek an attempt to copy the bt40. Im guessing the thermal issue is going to be combined with way underdriven but we wont know anything till someone gets one,lol

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    I agree. The bezel design looks similar. I wonder whether it now has a solid plate to mount the leds to? A shame there is little in the way of cooling thins. I am still curious. Superficially it looks nice especially with the inclusion of what appears to be a TIR lens. I wonder whether Gearbest would send one of these out for review?

  32. #32
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    I will say it looks mean, XM-L2s have solid output, odd to see optics that fit them (I want one of these just to find out the specs in my hands). Size looks sufficient with some front to back finning. Definately one that will require good air flow to run on high. Nothing new for lights though, all of them will get hot as all get out without airflow (hence why most decent lights have thermal stepdown)

    I hope that gearbest got the one with xm-l2 u2, not the one kd has with xml u2. Based on rated specs emitters would be getting around 1.6A on high. which really isnt bad at all. More emitters at less current still equals far more light for less heat.

  33. #33
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    Kaidomain is listing a XM-L2 3C Neutral White version now.

    www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S024184

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    Should we start a new thread for this one? Surprised there isn't more interest. I guess we have had all had an expensive winter with the number of quality of lights that have come out.

  35. #35
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    everyone is just busy working and riding,lol. Winter is talk time, summer is ride time

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    From the teardown posted here of the SS XT40, the thermal path did not look too good. If that problem is shown to be resolved in the SS X6 I'd be all over it but am not holding my breath.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    Kaidomain is listing a XM-L2 3C Neutral White version now.

    www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S024184
    Okay...Now the real question needs to be answered; What kind of beam pattern does the quad optic on the SSX6 provide? I was thinking of buying an XT40 with neutral LED's but I'm intrigued by the new X6. My CAt gut though is telling me that the new X6 is going to more "FLOOD" oriented. If I'm right about that it could make a really bright bar light.

    Personally though I'd like something with a beam pattern more like the XT40 but with a slightly tighter beam pattern ( for just a little more throw ). The weight of both the X6 and XT40 look to be the same. I'm not willing to buy an X6 though just to find out what kind of beam pattern it has ( unless I was hoping for a great bar lamp ).

    Yeah, I think a new thread is in order, that is if someone want's to review the lamp. I've asked to review the Nitefighter BT70 but so far I've not gotten any feedback from the original source.

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    My hope is the internals are similar to the BT40S with the leds mounting to a base plate that is part of the light body and therefore improving the heat transfer. If it was adequately driven then this would make a good bar light.

    I wonder if Kaidomain or gearbest would send one out for review to someone here on the forum?

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    Hmm I may know someone who may be on top of it already

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    Lol I wasn't saying anything but it ain't me but someone will be doing it.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlSto View Post
    My hope is the internals are similar to the BT40S with the leds mounting to a base plate that is part of the light body and therefore improving the heat transfer. If it was adequately driven then this would make a good bar light.

    I wonder if Kaidomain or gearbest would send one out for review to someone here on the forum?
    Likely the internals are more similar to the XT40. Never did get a look-see inside the XT40 but the one I have seemed not to get too hot when using. ( but that was during the spring ).

    Yes, with the right output and right optic it might very well make a good bar light. Since Solarstorm already has the XT40 I'm figuring that the X6 is suppose to be the bar ( floody ) version. Still, if the output is very close to the BT40S I'd rather go with a BT40S because I like the spacing of the four modes and the up/down switch. The Solarstorm lamps are known for having problems with the button/switch. ( sometimes if you press the button too fast nothing will happen ). I could overlook that though if the overall output were brighter and the lamp had more throw.

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    Ok, GearBest will be getting the 3C and if there's interest I will put one to the test. They also guarantee a good price. Does the group prefer 1A or 3C?

    I'm hoping for an improved XT40, which to me is the best helmet light out there right now. The throw is much better than the BT21 and it's very light weight.

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    It's got to be 3c,

  44. #44
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    There are NW XM-L2 U3 emitters out now, recently scored a bunch rated 4000-4500K, guessing they must be 5S. Would be a bit warmer and supposedly even brighter than the current U2 3C, which can appear somewhat greenish. Wonder whether SolarStorm could get their hands on these.

    Imagine they are saving on both yuan and weight by using the TIR array in the X6 rather than the four individual SMO reflectors of the XT40, which are aluminized copper.

  45. #45
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    I dont see this light having the same throw as the xt40 because optics versus reflectors. noticed this alot, reflectors/lenses always end up with a more throwy spot than optics do.

    Got my interest peaked though. The reflectors thing is what kept me off the xt40 and i dont need retarded throw where I ride,is useless for me.

    ANdy where are you finding the new u3 series NWs I havent seen them yet?

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    Yeah tigris the reflectors kept me off the XT40 too, don't like the rings/color separation that you get with NW. But find this new SS X6 intriguing.

    Got my NW XM-L2 U3s on eBay:

    CREE XM L2 U3 Bin 10W 3A 1260LM Neutral White Light LED Emitter 16mm Star PCB | eBay

    CREE XM L2 U3 Bin 10W 3A 1260LM Neutral White Light LED Emitter 20mm Star PCB | eBay

    If you put in a request, both vendors will combine shipping on multiple items.

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    I might be getting NW version of SSX6 from KD without battery pack and charger. I agree it might be quite floody usable on the bars only. Since shippments to me takes 3 weeks on average, don't expect to see review soon.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    Ok, GearBest will be getting the 3C and if there's interest I will put one to the test. They also guarantee a good price. Does the group prefer 1A or 3C?

    I'm hoping for an improved XT40, which to me is the best helmet light out there right now. The throw is much better than the BT21 and it's very light weight.
    You mean best "inexpensive" helmet light with the best throw that provides a wider beam pattern. There are lamps with more throw, just not very wide beam patterns. Since I've used both the Solarstorm X3 and XT40 I can't go back to using lamps that provide great throw with a narrow spot. For me the compromise is 150 ft of "useable" throw with a medium wide spot. Give me that and I'm happy. Give me MORE and I'm dancing in the street.

    I've pulled the trigger on another XT40, this time with neutral emitters. I'm hoping it's going to be as good as the original XT40.

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    [QUOTE=GJHS;12017548]Ok, GearBest will be getting the 3C and if there's interest I will put one to the test. They also guarantee a good price. Does the group prefer 1A or 3C?

    3c gets my vote
    Goatman
    - It's not the destination that counts but how you get there -

  50. #50
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    I know another member is already working on the whole thing, 3c is going to be what most if not all of us prefer.

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    Any news on the x6 yet?

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    Not on my side, still waiting for it. It is way to soon, to be expected. I'm not in the US

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    Kaidomain just released the X6 as a stand alone lamp head, at a Discount Price of $22.86 for the Neutral White version ($22.46 for the Cool White.)

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    Kaidomain just released the X6 as a stand alone lamp head, at a Discount Price of $22.86 for the Neutral White version ($22.46 for the Cool White.)
    What the heck, at that price point I'm in for one.

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    Awesome! Can't wait to see a review on it!

    -Garry

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    I've posted in another thread the question below, but maybe the thread isn't active anymore...

    Since that I'm looking for a high beam light (I've opened even a thread for this), many people recommended me this light, and now I know why...

    I was looking for a high beam light (80% throw/20% spill), because I have a modded dynamo light that puts around 300 lumens, with a sharp cut-off, and DRL's.

    I want to know a few things about this SS XT40.

    1. What is the REAL output in each mode (low/mid/high)?
    2. What is the tint of the light? Blueish (6200-6700K) or pure white (5500K)?
    3. How hot does it get on high at let's say 15-20km/h, and for how long can it run at this speed?
    4. Any thermal protection?
    5. What is the run time on each more (low/mid/high)?
    6. What should I expect from the battery? Will it hold at least 40-50 charges?

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khrystyan27 View Post
    I've posted in another thread the question below, but maybe the thread isn't active anymore...

    Since that I'm looking for a high beam light (I've opened even a thread for this), many people recommended me this light, and now I know why...

    I was looking for a high beam light (80% throw/20% spill), because I have a modded dynamo light that puts around 300 lumens, with a sharp cut-off, and DRL's.

    I want to know a few things about this SS XT40.

    1. What is the REAL output in each mode (low/mid/high)?
    2. What is the tint of the light? Blueish (6200-6700K) or pure white (5500K)?
    3. How hot does it get on high at let's say 15-20km/h, and for how long can it run at this speed?
    4. Any thermal protection?
    5. What is the run time on each more (low/mid/high)?
    6. What should I expect from the battery? Will it hold at least 40-50 charges?
    I don't know if what I'm going to say can answer all of those questions but I'll give you my opinion of the XT40. Total output is hard to say. I'd estimate around 1800-2000 lumen. Mid mode is about 50% and low perhaps 15%.

    The emitter tint on mine is very white. Perhaps in the 5500-6000K range. I detect no bluish tint. No comment on what battery it comes with as I use my own batteries. As for run time, ehhh...I'm no help there. I've only used the lamp a couple times but I do know that on high it does use some juice.

    As to how this lamp handles heat, well that to is hard to say because I've not taken mine apart to see how the emitter board is situated. I will say the lamp head doesn't get real hot as long as you are moving but then again I've not used it in hot weather. As lamp heads go the XT40 is rather large so the size helps dissipate heat. Surprisingly though it is not heavy. That's why many of the people who have one use them on the helmet. The emitters on the XT40 are not driven as hard as they could be. With more output current this lamp could has the potential to be much brighter ( although modding would indeed make it run much more warmer ).

    The four mini reflectors provide a lot of forward throw. More or less the beam pattern is a VERY LARGE SPOT. There is also a ton of spill but most of it is cone shaped.

    All things in perspective, I like the XT40 as a helmet lamp. On high it puts out a very nice amount of light that throws quite a distance. At distance the beam pattern ( although still is spot ) is a very WIDE spot. If you hate narrow spots you will like the XT40.

    Currently I use the SSX3 ( neutral emitters ) on the helmet. It does a decent job but I decided a couple weeks ago to go ahead and order the XT40 with neutral emitter because it is, "quite a bit brighter" and heck, for $30 for the lamp head only, "Why not"? Hopefully I'll have it by next week.

  58. #58
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    Thanks a lot for your oppinion @Cat-man-do.

    You're always a good help for us.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    Kaidomain just released the X6 as a stand alone lamp head, at a Discount Price of $22.86 for the Neutral White version ($22.46 for the Cool White.)
    Interesting. Great price. Interesting that KD is claiming 3000 lumen on high. Not sure I can believe that. I'll also point out that KD shows a wall beam pattern photo of the X6. Judging from that the beam pattern is very different from the XT40 ( which I own ). The X6 looks to be a very smooth flood pattern. It might make for an awesome bar lamp. Since they are also offered with neutral emitters it might give the new Nitefighter BT70 a run for the money. ( My CAt gut though is telling me the BT70 will be the brighter... ) The SSX6 should be able to beat out the BT40S but that too remains to be seen. I'm tempted to buy one just to do the comparison.

  60. #60
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    Well I can say there is no way the x6 will beat the bt70 .

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Well I can say there is no way the x6 will beat the bt70 .
    If it could supply 3A to each emitter it might ( )... but with that said I'd I don't see that happening . I think the Solarstorm quad lamps get ~400-450 lumen per emitter ( on high ). Any more and the lamp is likely to have thermal issues.

  62. #62
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    Ya the light head couldn't handle 3A x 4 emitters. At 500mA per, ill beat out a bt40 but not by a lot. I could see the head handling 1A per emitter if there was enough mass. But SS goes light weight. Something they seemingly tried to do on the bt70 because my exploration has discovered something new, a machined massive puck that sits between the driver and the wall the emitter PCB sits on. I have to desolder the driver to get pics....if ss is smart and worries less about weight and more about functionality (which is the opposite of every company in cycling, everything about light weight) this x6 could be an awesome light. Just wish it wasn't a round light head

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    I've got BT40s so I can compare it to the SSX6 when it arrives. Given BT40s has XP-G2 leds beam with stock optics should be more narrow than SSX6, ie. more throw and it would look brighter because of this. Of course SSX6 should produce more lumens if driven properly. Lets wait and see....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Interesting. Great price. Interesting that KD is claiming 3000 lumen on high. Not sure I can believe that. I'll also point out that KD shows a wall beam pattern photo of the X6. Judging from that the beam pattern is very different from the XT40 ( which I own ). The X6 looks to be a very smooth flood pattern. It might make for an awesome bar lamp...
    Well KD also claimed that 4x Cree XM-L2 U2 "Mothra" I bought from them was 5000 lumen. Ha. But the four separate TIR optics do give it a very smooth beam pattern, though with a pretty tight hot spot. Kinda similar to the SS X3, would make an even better helmet lamp were it not so abominably heavy (and limited to Cool White). If the SS X6 has a comparable beam then I think it might also be as good for that purpose as the XT40 (which I do not own so can't really compare.)

    Mothra 4x CW XM-L2 U2 TIR
    Solarstorm XT30 / XT40 - anyone?-image.jpg

    Other thing I like about Mothra is the interface, really the best I've seen in a single button lamp. Four brightness levels, Long Press for Off. Charge indicator has four colors, like MagicShine and NiteFighter, but only stays on for a number of seconds before flashing and going out, both when initially conneted to the battery pack and when lamp is turned off. Wish SolarStorm copied this, can't believe they are still making lamps with Off included in the regular brightness cycle. Guessing though that the X6 will draw below 2.8A max, so I'd most likely just run it on High anyway, were I to pick one up for the lid. But will certainly wait for ledoman's teardown before pulling the trigger on this one.

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    Just been reading the discussion on surface area to dissipate heat over on the BT70 thread. Anyone else think the X6 has a lack of surface area for the potential heat it will be produce?

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    Personally I'm more concerned about its thermal path (i.e. solid wall connected to main body directly behind emitters) than its surface area. I doubt it's driven hard enough to worry about surface area.

    -Garry

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    I do hope they have improved upon the flawed design of the XT40! Something like the inside of the BT40s for mounting the leds would be much better.

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    My X6 3C shipped from Kaidomain today. Not bad for an order placed 2 days ago especially when compared to the slow ordering processing of others like *cough* Gearbest.

    When I get it you can be sure I'll be popping it open to see how the internal construction is and will post the pictures here.

  69. #69
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    Ya ive been working with gearbest to fix their system so stuff that's "pre order" shows that way. But kaidomain really is no different. I got shipping confirmation just over a day after order, but took them 2 weeks to get it actually shipped out. come to find out the stuff wasn't in stock, so they flat out lied. At least gearbest I get shipping confirmation when its really shipping. Their only delay is when not in stock, but website doesn't show it ever. Really annoying sometimes but now I just ask to avoid any issues.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Ya ive been working with gearbest to fix their system so stuff that's "pre order" shows that way. But kaidomain really is no different. I got shipping confirmation just over a day after order, but took them 2 weeks to get it actually shipped out. come to find out the stuff wasn't in stock, so they flat out lied. At least gearbest I get shipping confirmation when its really shipping. Their only delay is when not in stock, but website doesn't show it ever. Really annoying sometimes but now I just ask to avoid any issues.
    Yeah, I've had the same quick "shipped" notification but then it doesn't show up at the post office for a week or more, so I'll be keeping my eyes on this one for sure.

    I hadn't ordered from Kaidomain for over a year due to them previously taking money for items they don't have in stock and then waiting 30+ days before I had to ask to cancel the order and get my money returned.

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    Finaly got some info about SSX6 shipment and I'm bit disapointed:

    "The item (RT........HK) left Hong Kong for its destination on 27-Jun-2015"

    Chinese had another small festival last week and some shipments might get delayed a bit was an explanation. Which means I have to wait at least another week. Well, that's reality if you don't live in the US. kwarwick might get it before I do.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    Finaly got some info about SSX6 shipment and I'm bit disapointed:

    "The item (RT........HK) left Hong Kong for its destination on 27-Jun-2015"

    Chinese had another small festival last week and some shipments might get delayed a bit was an explanation. Which means I have to wait at least another week. Well, that's reality if you don't live in the US. kwarwick might get it before I do.
    Sounds like you'll get it first... I'm in Canada so we generally get treated like the rest of the world (as in not the US of A). No ePacket service to Canada unfortunately.

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    I really hope you're both right ;-) Looking forward to read the review!


    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Personally I'm more concerned about its thermal path (i.e. solid wall connected to main body directly behind emitters) than its surface area. I doubt it's driven hard enough to worry about surface area.

    -Garry
    Quote Originally Posted by SlSto View Post
    I do hope they have improved upon the flawed design of the XT40! Something like the inside of the BT40s for mounting the leds would be much better.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    Sounds like you'll get it first... I'm in Canada so we generally get treated like the rest of the world (as in not the US of A). No ePacket service to Canada unfortunately.
    Dragon boat Day. I don't think it's a week long event but no doubt like most Chinese holidays things come to a stand still for a number of days. Even we privileged American citizens have to deal with the Chinese holidays. I ordered a couple LED's sometime last week and I'm just now getting the "Your order has shipped", notice. Maybe this is why some of my e-mails have not been responded to.

  75. #75
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    Man why is it so many countries get so many more holidays than the rest of us. Be nice to have more than a week off every year (paid vacation). Lol

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    Continued from my Last post:

    Oh Crap! For the past couple days I've been checking the mail box for my XT40 ( neutral ) which I ordered a couple weeks ago, expecting it to arrive any day. Today I see I have an e-mail from Gearbest dated yesterday. It is informing me that my XT40 has just been shipped! WTH! How the hell did that get by me? I thought it already shipped! I guess it must of been back ordered. This is the first time I've had something delayed this long. Next time I'll add an instruction to my order, "You must notify me ahead of time if you intend to back order". I hate when this kind of crap happens.

    Not been a good week. Rain every other day, hard to find good trails to ride on.

  77. #77
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    I feel sorry about it, Colleague.. And I will ask for a support about product availability, before pay next time))

  78. #78
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    Well hopefully they keep at what they are working on and all products out of stock say "backordered" on the product page. That's y I keep saying im happy to see these posts, now they'll listen to me and gjhs that changes need to be made. Though only 2 of the known sites actually do this (and obviously are well regarded because of it)

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    XT40 Neutral ; The Slow boat from China has arrived.

    FINALLY!....After one month and 23 days from my initial order, my Solarstorm XT40 neutral ( lamp head only ) has arrived from Gearbest. Can't wait to try it out on a ride. Out of curiosity I did a quick 5 meter lux test and compared it to the XT40 cool white lamp. As expected the cool white is slightly brighter ( ~ 10% ). That's okay, I can live with that. While doing the comparisons I figured, "What the Hey"!, I'll test the SSX3 as well. To my surprise the SSX3 is no where near as bright as the XT40's. Heck, when I was using the SSX3 on the helmet I was fine just using low most of the time. Low on XT40's is way brighter than the SSX3's.

    I will say though, the XT40's heat up really, really fast when using high. On the highest setting lumen output probably drops 10% within a matter of minutes. That's just an estimate. I've not tested that theory using a fan to simulate a moving bike.

    Thinking out loud, "The XT40 could really use a Vanc GoPro adapter" to help with the heat build up. Then again it would probably make it heavier. (?)...hummm. Anyone know if there's a GoPro ( strap on ) helmet mount ?

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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Okay, thanks. That's just the strap. Looks like you have to buy the mount separate to use the strap. I thought maybe there was a strap with just a smaller metal piece built onto the strap. These straps are designed for the two-way adjustable mount to slide in. I really don't need all that. That type of mount looks like it has some weight...okay never mind, I see a smaller mount but only with a kit. I'll keep looking.

  82. #82

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    Cat I think you can get that part separately . I think this is it
    Quick Release Chest Buckle Clip Mount Adapter Screw for GoPro HERO1 2 3 3 New | eBay

    or
    2X Helmet Accessories Mount Base Adapter Buckle for GoPro Hero 3 3 2 1 New | eBay

    Gopro also sells a spare parts kit (grab bag). I believe it's in there also.

  84. #84
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    Can get the clips on amazon too for fairly cheap. Get a helmet strap and a couple of those clips with thumb screws and your good to go.

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    GoPro and other Helmet options for XT40

    Thanks everyone for the links and feedback. Right now I'm trying to figure out the best options for mounting an XT40 to the helmet. Currently I'm using just a standard plastic MS-type of mount and setting it up in the middle of my helmet. I could set it up more forward but this tends to make the feel of the helmet a bit more unbalanced.

    I have two goals here; one, primarily to get it all to sit a little lower and second to add some better functionality. If I go with a GoPro set-up I'm not sure anything will change as far as the height. I'd have a better set-up and maybe a little better function for sinking some heat but otherwise the Gopro set-up might end up adding more weight than I'm willing to accept. As much as I hate the bulk of the plastic MS mounts they are very light-weight.

    On the Action LED website there is a MS "tilt" mount that looks interesting. Assuming the clip would work with the XT40 it might only lower the height about 0.25". I'd hate to spend the $24 only to find out the clip won't work with the XT40.

    Anyone know if there is a Gopro adapter for the XT40?

    Just had another idea: I have lots of MS type helmet mounts. I could try cutting off part of the MS mount and then try mounting the lamp directly to the flat portion of the mount using industrial Velcro. This would lower the height more than an inch and more importantly lower the center of gravity and reduce the "pendulum effect" of a taller mount. I'm pretty sure I could get this to work but I would lose the ability to adjust the lamp on the bike once I have it dialed in. Decisions, decisions.

    Anyway, ( shifting gears )....I'm geared-up and ready to test the neutral XT40 tonight. I'll likely be using the single BT40S on the bars and XT40 on the helmet. I'll bring the BT21 along but right now I just want to experience the added throw of the XT40. No rain all week! Conditions should be prime time. Always fun to test new toys. Yeah, I'll test the upgrade optics on the BT21 and test my neutral upgrade to my back-up torch...fun stuff! ( Am I a light nerd or what?.. )

  86. #86
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    Cat, vancbikers magicshine adapter. All these lights start their life with the same mount with the same screw to hold them on (except yinding uses larger diameter head but same thread size).



    So get vancs standard ms mount since I doubt your concerned about heat sink ability (I only ever am on the small 2 emitter heads). I use the standard magicshine adapter for my bt70, bt40, ssx2 and x3. It literally fits any light I have just peachy.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Cat, vancbikers magicshine adapter. All these lights start their life with the same mount with the same screw to hold them on (except yinding uses larger diameter head but same thread size).
    I'll have to take a look at his website again...anyway...The XT40 was rocking tonight. Unfortunately the trails I were on tonight were not in the best shape. That was keeping my speed down. Not to mention I was bummed because I forgot my S-phone. Not that I really needed it but if something did happen where I hurt myself I wouldn't be able to get help so that was playing in the back of my mind.

    It was a nice night for a ride though with temps in the 70's F. Damn if the XT40 doesn't get HOT! Most of the ride I had to keep the lamp on low just to keep the heat down. The good part is the XT40 on low is equivalent to the SSX3 on medium. A couple weeks back the trails I rode tonight were included in a local endurance event. That might help explain why I was seeing so much loose rock and rutted trails. Not to mention that I saw evidence that someone ( local? ) had taken an ATV back on one of the really sensitive trails and really tore it up. ( sorry but when I see stuff like this I gets really irate. ) Who ever it was took the ATV on the muddiest trail and completely gouged it. Now I'm going to have to contact the park service and local trail advocates to see what they can do about this.

    Anyway...with all the debris and rutting I was seeing I had to keep my speed down on some of my favorite trails. This meant I really didn't use the high mode too much. I did however get to use it on the last downhill of the night and that was one sweet downhill. The XT40 on high was doing it's magic. Tomorrow I hope to find some trails that will let me better use the extra throw of the XT40.

    Tonight was a night for some odd things. When I first started my ride I was climbing a moderate hill that was strewn with baseball size loose rock. If I thought the golfball stuff was bad the baseball stuff is worse. So I'm riding along wondering where all the loose rock came from when suddenly I see something ahead of me reflecting back light. I figured it was a left over sign from the event. Turns out it was two WOMEN...in full hiking garb hiking up the trail. This was a first. I've never seen ANYONE on these trails at night! I must of scared the piss out of them. Funny too because they were just walking along trying their best to dodge all the muddy spots and using just those pitiful little hiking led head sets ( think 25 lumens LOL ). Of course they saw me coming and surprisingly did the smartest thing; they moved off to the sides and DIDN'T TURN TO LOOK AT ME! I can't help but wonder what they thought when I passed them. Probably something along the lines of, "OMG, look at those lights"! LOL.

    So I pass them and keep moving. With temps only in the upper 70's I'm moving along and making good time, all things considered. I finally get to one section that is known for it's fast pace and multiple obstacles. As I'm riding along fully concentrating on the crap that's in front of me I start hearing some strange howling noises in the distance. I stop to listen. For the life of me I don't know what it was but it sounded like a group of people hooting and hollering not too far in the distance...AND in the SAME direction I was now headed. This gave me reason to hesitate to consider my options. After a couple minutes things fell silent and I continued on the ride. I had no desire though to pass a large group of rowdy drunk people while back in the woods and while thinking on that thought I also wondered what those women must of been thinking when ( or if ) they heard it. LOL. If they heard that I bet they will think better about hiking at night. LOL. I continued on and finished the ride, happy I had no more strange encounters of the third kind.

  88. #88
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    Can someone post a pic showing an XT40 next to some other lights? I'd prefer to see it next to a BT40s, Yinding, or 808 clone (since I own those).

    I'm thinking to buy just one more light (yeah, funny I know) for helmet use and keep coming back to the XT40 for its great throw. It's the XT40, Yinding, or BT21 (possibly swapping optics for better throw pattern in Yinding/BT21). I like the idea of the smaller lower profile lights but keep coming back to the XT40. On the negative side is the XT40's lack of thermal path but it sounds like it's holding up. On the BT21 it seems low is too low and therefore just in the way in the mode sequence. Ugh decisions!

    Great story Cat!

    -Garry

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Can someone post a pic showing an XT40 next to some other lights? I'd prefer to see it next to a BT40s, Yinding, or 808 clone (since I own those).

    I'm thinking to buy just one more light (yeah, funny I know) for helmet use and keep coming back to the XT40 for its great throw. It's the XT40, Yinding, or BT21 (possibly swapping optics for better throw pattern in Yinding/BT21). I like the idea of the smaller lower profile lights but keep coming back to the XT40. On the negative side is the XT40's lack of thermal path but it sounds like it's holding up. On the BT21 it seems low is too low and therefore just in the way in the mode sequence. Ugh decisions!

    Great story Cat!

    -Garry
    I know that someone said that the thermal path on these wasn't great but truthfully it must not be too bad because the lamp body gets hot really, really fast. On high without adequate air movement the lamp body quickly becomes too hot to touch.

    There are other things I don't like about the XT40 as well. No press-hold off button. Nope if you want to turn it off you have to cycle the modes to off. For me that's a PITA because I sometimes ride with just the bar lamp on. While the lamp is not overly heavy it is borderline heavy. This means you have to pay attention to the mounting set-up and make sure it is tight enough or it will start to wobble.

    Last night when I first started out the lamp began to wobble a bit and I had to stop to tighten the straps. Turns out though that the strap where it is attached to the mount had started to tear on one side so that explains that. I have a lot of these types of mounts so no problem.

    Nope, the only reason I'm running this is because of the width of the beam pattern, the fact that it has decent throw and that the weight of the lamp acceptable for helmet mounting. Right now it's still a toss up what is going to be my go-to helmet lamp. The SSX3 is smaller but not as bright. Being a Solarstorm product it too has the same mode pattern as the XT40 so no brownie points earned there. Still, the SSX3 is a good choice if your bar lamp has better than average throw.

    Garry, I don't think you can count out the BT21 as a helmet lamp. If you retro-fit the lamp with two good spot optics my bet is that it will make a very good helmet lamp. When I get around to up grading my Gloworm X2 to neutral tint LED's I'll probably give the BT21 a try with two spots on the helmet and see how that works for me. With both lamps having better throw my bet is that I won't miss too much of what the XT40 has to offer.

    Anyway, last night when I did my finally downhill run I was able to evaluate the usefulness of the XT40 a bit more. Most of that section of trail was fast and constantly weaving through trees. In order to see what was around the next bend ( or line of trees ) I needed a lamp that had enough throw ( by itself ) to be able to show me what was coming up outside the direction and/or range of my bar lamp. The XT40 was able to do just that and THAT is a major help when you're at speed, dodging / hopping over multiple obstacles, all the while trying to see through a line of trees to see what is coming up around the next bend. Without a strong enough helmet light you end up having to make faster decisions on what is your best line or whether or not you need to slow down. With a good helmet lamp the beam pattern will momentarily find holes between the trees that will give you a heads-up.

    (Example one> ) Last night I'm flying down the trail, weaving back and forth over trail rocks and roots....For a moment I look farther up the trail and happen to notice the trail is going to make a hard banking right turn. In that moment I was able to see ( because of beam width and intensity ) that I needed to position myself far right and then veer left while leaning into the upper bank of the hard right turn. Because the beam pattern was wide enough to illuminate a good portion of the turn ( in that previous quick second ) I knew there wasn't going to be anything in the turn to give me cause to slow more than I needed to. More speed = more fun. More light = safer riding.

    I know I can talk a good talk but I'm 60 years old and still think I'm a kid when I get on a mountain bike. That said I'm smart enough to know most of my limitations. I don't like taking dangerous chances ( day or night ). The more useable light I have the better chance I have of not killing myself.

  90. #90
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    Spot optics in the BT21 - you're referring to those $8 Gloworm optics, right? That's quite a bit more expense on top of the cost of the light. I feel like I might as well stick with the Yinding I already have instead of considering the BT21.

    -Garry

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    Leddna 15deg optics is plenty, glowworm optics are a bit larger spot than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Spot optics in the BT21 - you're referring to those $8 Gloworm optics, right? That's quite a bit more expense on top of the cost of the light. I feel like I might as well stick with the Yinding I already have instead of considering the BT21.

    -Garry
    If you want more throw you can get marginal gains on your Yinding with a spot optic upgrade but the lights limited power will prevent you from taking full advantage of the optics potential. Using the same optics in the BT21 will give you a substantial throw increase over the Yinding because of its additional 33% (my measurements) power advantage. Leddna 15 work fine, Gloworm XS spot works better but cost a lot more. No experience with the XT40 but I hope this helps narrow down your choices.
    Mole

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    XT40 Neutral LED's; Second ride

    Tonight the ride went very well. I rode my usual regular trail only this time the trail was much drier and much faster. Gone was the mush I had to struggle through last week. This particular trail has a lot a straight away downhills. The perfect test for a wide throwing helmet lamp. Although gnarly and steep in spots when dry it makes for some real challenges. Once again without a good helmet lamp these kinds of trails can be very dangerous. At least because conditions were dry no slimy muck was loading up my tires. Dry tires are much safer at speed especially if you combine that with wet, loose rock. Yep, tonight was the night for some speed and the output from the XT40 was carrying very well along the lighter color / drier trails.

    I also noticed that the XT40 was running a bit cooler than the other night. Undoubtedly the faster speeds were more to it's liking. Sorry, no photos yet. I probably would have taken some but when I started to make my way back to the car I discovered I had inadvertently entered a race with mother nature. Moments before that I was just kicking back, chewing on some Nutra-grain bars during my planned halfway point / lakeside rest spot. It was a beautiful night. Nice three quarter moon in the sky. Lightning bugs ( Fireflys ) blinking around me while the regional annual Cicadas were singing to me from the trees. Complete summer bliss...until I got the Android out.

    As is my habit, I opened the "Weather Underground" app to check the local radar. That was when I noticed that the storm cell I saw earlier in the evening had made a good deal more progress in headed toward my position. Even though it was still 20 miles west of my position, it was headed toward me and with the nice breeze I was enjoying at the moment I knew I better saddle up and start back.

    From where I was it usually takes me about an hour to get to my car. When I'm about half way back I notice that I can see the flashes of lightning in the distance. Not long after I start to hear the rumble of thunder. I check the app again. Damn, Mother nature has shifted gears, undoubtedly trying to earn "Wet CAt" points. After that I knew I had to move. MN was NOT going to catch me.

    Just when you least expect it, a mechanical. Mother Nature must of loosened one of the screws on my right shoe cleat while I was resting. Being unaware of this I'm lucky I didn't kill myself.
    Halfway up a climb I had to stop to rest. That was when I discovered I couldn't disengage my right foot from the pedal. ( F'n Mother Nature! )... It took me a while but I got it out....Oh crap, now I have to get it back in. Don't know how I did it but I got it back in, but not before losing precious minutes trying to fix the cleat...( which I couldn't ).

    Once out of the woods it's a mile and half climb up the road to where my car is. I turned on the afterburners. When I got to the car I quickly started loading up the bike. Moments after that I started to feel the first rain drops. It didn't matter, I had touched the car before the rain started so I won. ( this is similar to the 5 second rule that states that if you drop a piece of food on the floor you can still eat it if you pick it up in less than five seconds ).

    Yep, that's right I won my first night race...me, my Android phone and my new XT40..

  94. #94
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    LOL! Cat, you must be awarded some sort of points for best story telling!

    Mole, thanks for the info. So how about if I crank up the Yinding's output a bit with a current sense resistor mod. If that's all that's needed to be pretty equal with the BT21 I'm willing to do that. I can't remember right now, but is the Yinding driver one that is a "press-n-hold" to turn it off so that "off" is out of the mode cycle? Are the LEDDNA 15 degree optics better than the Yinding stock optics?

    -Garry

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    Lmao Cat, you need to start your own blog just of the stories, im with garry, you deserve an award for the stuff that happens to you and the stories that make it here!

    Ps: That's why I use good flats and skater shoes, 1x10 hardtail, minimize my chances of mechanicals

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    LOL! Cat, you must be awarded some sort of points for best story telling!

    Mole, thanks for the info. So how about if I crank up the Yinding's output a bit with a current sense resistor mod. If that's all that's needed to be pretty equal with the BT21 I'm willing to do that. I can't remember right now, but is the Yinding driver one that is a "press-n-hold" to turn it off so that "off" is out of the mode cycle? Are the LEDDNA 15 degree optics better than the Yinding stock optics?

    -Garry
    Hi Gary,
    If you post your questions in the Yinding thread I'll be happy to share what I know and we won't bore the XT40 owners.
    Mole

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Lmao Cat, you need to start your own blog just of the stories, im with garry, you deserve an award for the stuff that happens to you and the stories that make it here!

    Ps: That's why I use good flats and skater shoes, 1x10 hardtail, minimize my chances of mechanicals
    Na....I mean really, who reads other people's blogs?...The only reason I share some of the stories here in the "Night riding forum" is because the only people who might appreciate them are people ( like myself ) who like to ride at night.

    Never ever had a cleat come loose before. I guess it happens. I'll be checking out a good pair of flat pedals for the winter. Winter mountain bike shoes are just too expensive and usually don't work that well anyway. For moderate weather I still like riding with a cleated shoe/pedal. Just works better for climbing.

    Anyway, glad you like the story. I tell a couple other good ones over on the, "Tales of Terror from the trail" ( thread ) Matter of fact the one I just told here happened on the same trails that I used in the other story ( see link ). The stories I tell are on pages 88 and 89 of that thread. Anyway I guess the area still has a "spook factor" but I try my best not to let it scare me too much.

    OH...and I forgot to mention that Mother Nature was kind enough to reward me ( after I won ) by cleaning every speck of dirt and mud off of my bike. Since I have no access to a hose I very much appreciated the gesture. Name:  waving-hat-smiley-emoticon.gif
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    XT40 and Nitefighter lamps in combo

    More good riding with the XT40 on the helmet tonight. Tonight I also used both BT40S and BT21 on the bars in combo. No big story tonight. Just a really good ride. For some reason you have one of those rides every once in a while where you are just clearing every technical feature. Well tonight was one of those for me so I was having some fun. It did take a lot out of me though. I just wished my endurance level matched my skill level.

    I couldn't help but notice though that the XT40 continues to heat up quite a bit when used on high. It was quite a cool night too, temps in the lower 70's F. Tonight on a fairly fast moving technical down hill I couldn't help but notice how hot the lamp head got after just about 10 minutes on high. Not sure it's something to worry about but at least I wasn't noticing any diminishing output. When I got to more level ground I turned it down to low and after about 5 minutes or so it cooled off.

    The BT40S and BT21 on the bars worked great in combo. During the downhill I set the 40S to medium and the 21 to high, great combo of flood and throw. The funny thing was that when I finished the section I turned the 21 off and really didn't notice a big difference. Of course with the XT40 on the helmet that could help explain that. It seems to me as long as I have the 40S on medium and the XT40 on low I can see everything I need to see as long as I'm not going real fast. That's good to know and also helps conserve battery power ( a helpful win, win ).

    It's getting dark earlier now so I get to start my rides sooner and end them earlier than I usually do. Next week I'll be getting some days off so I'm looking forward to some good riding.

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    Got a late start last night because I had to watch some of the pre-season football game that was on. At half time I decided I had seen enough and headed out the door to get a late night ride in.

    I once again was using the XT40 on the helmet and the BT40S on the bars. With the trails in prime condition, a full moon over head and crystal clear skies it was a great night for a ride. On nights like this I tend to ride faster and clear technical features with more exuberance.

    About 20 minutes into the ride I was approaching a nice little quick down hill section and decided to switch both lamps to maximum for some more high speed fun. Fifteen seconds into the drop the XT40 cut out. I noticed this immediately of course and knew I had to stop at the top of the next hill to see what the problem was.

    After pulling the battery and trying it on another lamp ( BT21 ) I saw that the BT21 worked without problem. I then switched back to the XT40. On low and medium the lamp worked fine but when switched to high...fifteen seconds of light and Boom, no light.

    Since I never had a problem with the XT40 before I quickly figured out what the problem was, "the battery". This was the first ride where I chose to use the Nitefighter 5200mAh battery with the XT40. Usually I use one of my Xeccon batteries. Apparently the NF battery can't handle the current draw of the XT40 on high. I found that very interesting. This means the XT40 must draw quite a bit of current on high and explains why they get so hot when on high.

    Rather than continue just using the lamp on low and medium ( which would of been fine ) I decided to switch the BT21 to the helmet to see how it might work there. The battery had no problems with the BT21 on any mode. My BT21 has one optic from an old DX lamp so is not a standard set-up. Didn't take me long to figure out that my BT21 still has quite a wide beam pattern. While I didn't have any problems seeing I could clearly tell that on the helmet the lamp needed a tighter beam pattern. The BT21 is an interesting lamp with great potential. With the right optic set-up it can make for either a nice bar or helmet lamp. Seeing this I want to get better spot optics for the BT21. With a more confined beam pattern I thinks it's going to make a great choice for the helmet.

    BTW, nothing wrong with my XT40. With the right battery setup it works fine.

  100. #100
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    Has anyone posted current draws on the XT40? I find it hard to believe that it draws more than 2.8A (what the BT21 should be drawing) and also that the NF battery can't keep up.

    -Garry

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