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  1. #1
    Ahhh the pain....
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    Waiting on Magicshine Replacement Battery...what to buy to get riding now?

    So, I know someone has probably went through this tradeoff already...maybe even posted it although I've read so many threads, my head is spinning. Here are the options I see along with advantages and disadvantages...by the way, DIY is out of scope...
    Oh, and I have a magicshine light with a battery that has pretty much died (30 min run time) and need capability of a helmet light and a bar mounted light...so, I need to buy another light...the question is what kind ?

    1. Buy another magicshine from Nova bike lights and spare battery. Advantages: batteries and lights all interchangeable. eventually, after geoman replaces my battery, I'll have a spare.. cost ~$150 . Disadvantage: although "improved" batteries from Nova, they still may have problem.
    2. Buy 2 light sets like the Gemini set, or Light and Go. Advantages: brand new everything Disadvantages: maybe $50 more, a magicshine light that someday has a replacement battery from Geoman.
    Others ?
    Is there an obvious choice ?
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  2. #2
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    I had the same dilemma, though I have a DiNotte 200L and Fenix to get me by. I'm down to ~45 mins run time on my MS900, and I'm sure it's rapidly getting worse.

    That being said, I had an old, not working Nite Rider Digital Evolution. Yesterday, 12-06-10, I sent it in to Baja Designs for the $100 trade-in credit toward the purchase of a BD Strykr. It's more expensive than the MS900, but puts out an honest 700 lumens, lifetime warranty on the light head, is dive rated to 33 feet so I know it's waterproof, and it's virtually indestructible. Another thing I really like about it is that it digitally controls the light output depending on how hot it gets. In other words, run it on high when you're moving and it'll stay on high. Run it on high when you're not moving and before it overheats, it'll ramp down the light output to reduce the heat to protect it from any heat related damage. Total cost for the light ($298 - $100 trade-in = $198), shipping (~$13), and optional quick release/o-ring mount (~$13), plus the ~$5 to send the NR to BD is about ~$230. Not bad for a top quality, guaranteed to not let you down light.

    On a side note, I've never done any night snorkeling, but this light may inspire me to try it next summer.

    The best part - I get rid of an old, broken light and actually get something for it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum
    So, I know someone has probably went through this tradeoff already...maybe even posted it although I've read so many threads, my head is spinning. Here are the options I see along with advantages and disadvantages...by the way, DIY is out of scope...
    Oh, and I have a magicshine light with a battery that has pretty much died (30 min run time) and need capability of a helmet light and a bar mounted light...so, I need to buy another light...the question is what kind ?

    1. Buy another magicshine from Nova bike lights and spare battery. Advantages: batteries and lights all interchangeable. eventually, after geoman replaces my battery, I'll have a spare.. cost ~$150 . Disadvantage: although "improved" batteries from Nova, they still may have problem.
    2. Buy 2 light sets like the Gemini set, or Light and Go. Advantages: brand new everything Disadvantages: maybe $50 more, a magicshine light that someday has a replacement battery from Geoman.
    Others ?
    Is there an obvious choice ?
    I can't see buying a new light just because the battery bellied-up. I've own lots of lights in my time and had to buy batteries lots of times. Assuming you've not had problems with the light head just buy a new battery pack from a place like All-battery, wire on the old connector and off you go. Another option would be to buy a 4-cell holder from LuminousDIY, buy some Tenergy 18650 2600mAh cells from All Battery and then buy a couple cheap twin bay 18650 Chargers from D/X or Kaidomain. Likely the holder will fit in your old MS battery pouch.

    Personally I like my second option because once you get that set-up it will only cost you $20 to replace the cells. Still, just buying a new ( packaged ) battery pack is likely the easier way to go. Once again, it should fit no problem into the MS battery pouch. Oh, I almost forgot to mention: If you get a new battery don't be surprised if your MS suddenly looks SO MUCH BETTER than it did before. If you were only getting 30 minutes runtime ( unless you live in Alaska..) something was definitely wrong with that battery.

    Option 3...I like the Owlet offered by Light and Go ( D-bin P-7 ) but the Gemini is there as well ( and the dealer seems friendly enough FWIW...)

  4. #4
    Tree Crasher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum
    Buy another magicshine from Nova bike lights and spare battery.
    Is this the seller on Ebay? I'm starting from scratch regarding light kits and may go this route.
    CRAP... I'm in the wrong gear

  5. #5
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    I did the diy battery bit myself. Ordered two Y cables from Geoman (for the plugs), and the 4400mah battery from All-Battery. Got some liquid electrical tape and shrink wrap tubing at Home Depot, and grabbed the soldering iron. Soldered it up, then a layer of liquid tape, then a shrink wrap on each wire, then another liquid layer, then a bigger shrink wrap around the whole thing. Then another liquid tape layer over the finished cable. Maybe a bit much, but I wanted it as water proof as possible. I did not have time to plastic dip the battery as I needed to get it charged for my commute, but plan to do that this weekend. The magicshine charger worked fine with it.
    Tzvia.

  6. #6
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    Yep ordered another couple of batteries today http://www.all-battery.com/li-ion186...bareleads.aspx
    the ones i got last week are working out great I still don't trust those new and improved batteries that Nova is pushing I would rather have them made in the good old USA buy a company here that only makes batteries and can not hide 2000 miles away when there is a problem
    . I have faith that the batteries that Geoman is getting us will be good he,s got a lot riding on them being good and I think the MTBR DIY crew will go threw them with a fine tooth comb,
    I'm into him for 6 batteries so the sooner the better. but for the mean time I'm just going to keep soldering on some connectors to these all-battery packs and getting out on the trails
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
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  7. #7
    May the Force be with you
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    I rode with my normal group tonight and we were talking lights and found that the Gemini Battery will work on Magicshine, same hookup

  8. #8
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    Yep, I may need to get one of those Gemini batteries. My year-old MS battery doesn't quite hold the charge it used to.
    "Got everything you need?"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing
    Yep, I may need to get one of those Gemini batteries. My year-old MS battery doesn't quite hold the charge it used to.

    Good ride tonight , It was good to see you and I really like the new bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing
    Yep, I may need to get one of those Gemini batteries. My year-old MS battery doesn't quite hold the charge it used to.
    Guys, not sure how cold it gets out there in Ca. at night but once temps start to drop into the 40's(F) , don't be surprised if your batteries seem to not run as long as usual. This is typical for Li-ion cells. If you can still get two hours run time into the 40's that's not so bad.

    As for the Gemini batteries...well...I don't want to bash a new product but lets just say that it is coming out of China just like the MS. That doesn't mean the batteries are going to have problems but who's to say. I'm sure if the dealer reads this he will chime in and say that his batteries are different. Sure, what would you expect him to say, that his batteries come from the same factory as the MS batteries? Heck, no one right now would do that and expect to sell their product. Right now it might be better to error by being a bit cautious. After a year or so if no one complains about their Chinese made battery pack then changes were likely made in the quality controls at the factories. That would be a good thing. If it were me, I'd go the All-battery route for the time being...just saying.

    For the record, I would have no problem buying a Gemini or Light and Go system. However if I did I would not be holding my breath to see how long the battery would last. If I got two years use out of the battery I would consider it as having received more than my money's worth.

  11. #11
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    I think I'd just forgot to top the charge off before the ride, so it lasted about an hour. That was also a battery which was over a year old, so I expect some decrease in the run time. In this part of northern california, it can get down into the 20s overnight but it rarely gets below 40 in my garage. I think last night it was a balmy 45F or so. I'm going to fully charge the battery today and see how long it lasts. If run-time is not much longer than an hour, I'll pick up another battery from Gemini. Most of my night rides are in the 2 hour range, so a one-hour battery won't work.
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  12. #12
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    Cold Temps.....

    Know about this well living and riding in Anchorage AK. I routinely ride in temps down to about zero degrees F.

    I have two Geoman sourced MS lights (and of course 2 battery packs) that were purchased this last summer. Using both lights at the same time in the same conditions I don't get the same performance out of the packs. At this point, I can only assume one of my battery packs is not good. One will last 2+ hrs (at low temp) while the other will only last 45-min.

    The battery that seems to "discharge" quickly also seems to "charge" quickly. Hmmm? Would you interpret this battery is not good?

    Also, would you recommend that I "wear" the batteries below 40 degrees F inorder to keep them warm? I've never had to do this before.

    Regards,

    EndUser
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    Know about this well living and riding in Anchorage AK. I routinely ride in temps down to about zero degrees F.

    I have two Geoman sourced MS lights (and of course 2 battery packs) that were purchased this last summer. Using both lights at the same time in the same conditions I don't get the same performance out of the packs. At this point, I can only assume one of my battery packs is not good. One will last 2+ hrs (at low temp) while the other will only last 45-min.

    The battery that seems to "discharge" quickly also seems to "charge" quickly. Hmmm? Would you interpret this battery is not good?

    Also, would you recommend that I "wear" the batteries below 40 degrees F inorder to keep them warm? I've never had to do this before.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    Wearing the batteries is always good in the cold, just be careful you don't get burned skin syndrome.

    On a side note, i'm wondering if the MS light responds well to the cold.. i don't have the ability to check the output but when wearing the battery i have also received the low-voltage signal - well actually the signal led rotates in a kaleidoscope fashion between green, red, orange very quickly... If i turn it to a lower setting the green led comes back on i think the cold is somehow affecting the circuit perhaps? We are talking -15C to -20C.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser

    The battery that seems to "discharge" quickly also seems to "charge" quickly. Hmmm? Would you interpret this battery is not good?
    Sounds like it is really far out of balance.
    This seems to be the trend that causes the short life of most MS packs.
    How long does it take to charge?
    Like a third of the time as the good pack?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    Sounds like it is really far out of balance.
    This seems to be the trend that causes the short life of most MS packs.
    How long does it take to charge?
    Like a third of the time as the good pack?
    Yep, the one with the 45 min run time sounds like it's done.

    This idea about wearing the battery sounds like it might work, at least as far as helmet lights go. No so sure for bar lamps. All of my bar lamps have short cords. If you have a long cord though it could work.

    During the years I've tried isolated the battery using a couple layers of insulating foam and then in a nice pouch. The problem is the battery still gets cold pretty fast. This is because the power cord draws the heat from the pack. I rarely ride in the cold anymore anyhow. Still, an interesting stategy might be to use torches and rotate batteries every half hour or so. Keep the spares close to your body to keep them warm.

    Right now it is colder than a witches upper mid-section where I live. I'm not going outside for nothing. I used to ride into the 20's(F). I don't do that anymore.

  16. #16
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    Has anyone discected the new MS Battery with the LED power/v indicator, is it the same balancing circuit and cells with just a spangly new case.

    I have all three types of battery now, my original (from geoman) is so tiny and light i really dont want to give it up, for walking duties the battery and case with clip work perfectly.

    For those who want a battery for their MS and arent too fussed about money check out

    http://www.open-light.de/en/Batterie...20DealExtreme/

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzvia
    I did the diy battery bit myself. Ordered two Y cables from Geoman (for the plugs), and the 4400mah battery from All-Battery. Got some liquid electrical tape and shrink wrap tubing at Home Depot, and grabbed the soldering iron. STOP HERE!!!!!!

    Soldered it up then a layer of liquid tape, then a shrink wrap on each wire, then another liquid layer, then a bigger shrink wrap around the whole thing. Then another liquid tape layer over the finished cable. Maybe a bit much, but I wanted it as water proof as possible. I did not have time to plastic dip the battery as I needed to get it charged for my commute, but plan to do that this weekend. The magicshine charger worked fine with it.
    Not sure if the MS charger is to blame or the board that is directly connected to the batteries but they aren't working perfectly together.

    My advice to anyone else doing this; ^look where i wrote stop here, STOP THERE! Check the individual voltages of each cell(if you have a individual cell charger, charge them all to full or the same voltage) write them down and make sure the cells are marked so you know which is which. Now discharge the battery with your light, i'd say to when the light noticeably starts to fade. If you normally run your battery completely dead( well i'd try to stop doing that, the more deep discharge cycles the more the pack will come out of balance) but if you aren't going to stop then run yours completely dead. repeat 2 or 3 times. Check the voltages on each individual cell, if they are not aligned with the original numbers you'll eventually have the same issues as the MS battery.

    The way to fix this is buy an individual charger and pull the pack apart after every 10 or so cycles and charge each cell back to the same voltage.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Guys, not sure how cold it gets out there in Ca. at night but once temps start to drop into the 40's(F) , don't be surprised if your batteries seem to not run as long as usual. This is typical for Li-ion cells. If you can still get two hours run time into the 40's that's not so bad.

    .
    Yup, I am getting about 45 minuts on a 2200mah battery (14.8v) on my triple soul lights running a 1000ma buckpuck. I could get closer to 1-1.5 hours when the temps were in the 60-70 degree marks. Wed night is was low 30's. I think I may have had it on for all of 30 minutes. I was cutting it one and off and running with my helmet light on to conserve.
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  19. #19
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    I don't want to thread jack, and but at the same time I don't think another thread is needed.

    I have a 24hr race coming up in February, and had plans to buy extra batteries for my 2 magicshines. Anyone willing to speculate that geoman will have new batteries by presidents day weekend, or am I going to be in the build my own light group?

  20. #20
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    ajmelin: geoman is not the only seller of magicshine. theres another seller in the states you can find the seller online with the "updated" battery packs since Nov'10 that do not have the same faulty batteries sold by geoman
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajmelin
    I don't want to thread jack, and but at the same time I don't think another thread is needed.

    I have a 24hr race coming up in February, and had plans to buy extra batteries for my 2 magicshines. Anyone willing to speculate that geoman will have new batteries by presidents day weekend, or am I going to be in the build my own light group?
    I'd say yes


    Quote Originally Posted by illnacord
    ajmelin: geoman is not the only seller of magicshine. theres another seller in the states you can find the seller online with the "updated" battery packs since Nov'10 that do not have the same faulty batteries sold by geoman
    Updated...I bet they have a slight change but will still go out of balance if you kill the pack continuously between charges.

    Geoman is going to be the first with 100% fixed batteries.

  22. #22
    Gemini Lights
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    Hello,

    The batteries used for Gemini Lights can be also used with Magicshine Lights. The connectors are the same.

    We are confident that we offer the best quality, 100% safe, Battery Cells. For more information you can check our news section: http://gemini-lights.com/news

    Thanks,
    Vag
    On Behalf of the Gemini Team

  23. #23
    Arrrghhh!!!
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    Warranty

    Sorry if this has been asked before-- What does Gemini offer in terms of warranty for the batteries? For example, If I purchase a battery pack and after 9 months I'm getting 60% run time, what does Gemini offer?
    Thanks,
    Josh
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by insighter
    Sorry if this has been asked before-- What does Gemini offer in terms of warranty for the batteries? For example, If I purchase a battery pack and after 9 months I'm getting 60% run time, what does Gemini offer?
    Thanks,
    Josh
    Good question.

  25. #25
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    You know, I've been night riding for a long time...had Marwi, Light and Motion, Niterider, Schwinn-branded lights before the MagicShine. No batteries lasted over 2 years except the Schwinn, which was a huge 12 volt lead acid battery (best light I've owned, btw- who cares about weight sometimes?) and lasted about 4 years. No company ever warrantied a battery and the direct replacement cost was over 100 dollars from some.

    What I'm saying is that based on my experience, expecting any company to warranty batteries is expecting the exception, not the rule. Power tool companies usually won't warranty their batteries, either; basically, they have no idea how you treated the battery when it was in your possession and don't (and, in my opinion, shouldn't)feel responsible for replacement.
    A manufacturing defect (a la MS) is a different story...that should be a warranty.

    Oh, and manufacturer's looking at this stuff- I think a lot of consumer's would not care if a manufacturer gave up on the lightweight war for lights and tried to win the brightness/durabilty war. I'd love to see how long a LED hooked up to 12 volt LA batterty would last...

    Mike

  26. #26
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    After a considerable number of folks have noted longevity issues, and a new vendor is introducing a product, I'd suggest that it is reasonable to ask for accountability. I know that ymmv, but this is about, as you stated, a defect. Before I drop cash on a new vendor, I want reassurance that the product will be covered. If a bunch of folks complain that the Gemini batteries are fading after 45 minutes, what will Gemini do (wwgd? I'm not talking the one or two outliers, I'm talking about a number that exceeds what would be considered normal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown
    You know, I've been night riding for a long time...had Marwi, Light and Motion, Niterider, Schwinn-branded lights before the MagicShine. No batteries lasted over 2 years except the Schwinn, which was a huge 12 volt lead acid battery (best light I've owned, btw- who cares about weight sometimes?) and lasted about 4 years. No company ever warrantied a battery and the direct replacement cost was over 100 dollars from some.

    What I'm saying is that based on my experience, expecting any company to warranty batteries is expecting the exception, not the rule. Power tool companies usually won't warranty their batteries, either; basically, they have no idea how you treated the battery when it was in your possession and don't (and, in my opinion, shouldn't)feel responsible for replacement.
    A manufacturing defect (a la MS) is a different story...that should be a warranty.

    Oh, and manufacturer's looking at this stuff- I think a lot of consumer's would not care if a manufacturer gave up on the lightweight war for lights and tried to win the brightness/durabilty war. I'd love to see how long a LED hooked up to 12 volt LA batterty would last...

    Mike
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  27. #27
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    Insighter,

    Thank you for your question.

    The care of your battery pack is very important. This depends on different factors such as the number of times you completely discharge your battery, the temperature and charge level you are storing it, the life cycle of the battery.

    By sourcing the battery cells from CBAK (www.gemini-lights.com/news) and by taking special attention to its architecture we confident to provide 12 months warranty and to assure our customers that our battery pack is 100% safe. This warranty covers battery failure. We are also sure that there will not be any case as the one described (battery fading after 45 minutes) if somebody is following our battery care instructions. Even if something like this happen be sure that Gemini will stand 110% behind our product. Consider that we cannot be sure of how is somebody taking care of his/her batteries and that is the reason that some outliers will always exist.
    Also note that our battery is 5200 mAh.

    On Behalf of the Gemini Team,
    Vag
    Last edited by Gemini Lights; 12-14-2010 at 02:19 AM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini Rides
    Insighter,

    Thank you for your question.

    The care of your battery pack is very important. This depends on different factors such as the number of times you completely discharge your battery, the temperature and charge level you are storing it, the life cycle of the battery.

    By sourcing the battery cells from CBAK (www.gemini-lights.com/news) and by taking special attention to its architecture we confident to provide 12 months warranty and to assure our customers that our battery pack is 100% safe. This warranty covers battery failure. We are also sure that there will not be any case as the one described (battery fading after 45 minutes) if somebody is following our battery care instructions. Even if something like this happen be sure that Gemini will stand 110% behind our product. Consider that we cannot be sure of how is somebody taking care of his/her batteries and that is the reason that some outliers will always exist.
    Also note that our battery is 5200 mAh.

    On Behalf of the Gemini Team,
    Vag
    I don't know about anyone else but I think this is probably the best warranty offer on a battery I've seen to date. You could of course buy a decent battery from a place like All-battery ( 30 day warranty ) and wire it with your old connector but the Gemini battery comes ready to go and is competitively priced. I don't own a MagicShine but if I did I would definitely consider the Gemini battery. For those riding the fence on what battery to buy: I'd jump on this before Vag changes his mind and changes the warranty.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 12-15-2010 at 04:23 AM.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    I don't know about anyone else but I think this is probably the best offer warranty offer on a battery I've seen to date.....
    Depending on where you look, Baja Designs has a great battery warranty --

    From their general website (all products): Li-Ion or Li-Po Batteries carry a 2 year warranty
    From the Stryker section: Lifetime Warranty – We are so confident in our construction standards that we will warranty the light head for as long as you own it. The battery carries a 1 year warranty.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini Rides
    Hello,

    The batteries used for Gemini Lights can be also used with Magicshine Lights. The connectors are the same.

    We are confident that we offer the best quality, 100% safe, Battery Cells. For more information you can check our news section: http://gemini-lights.com/news

    Thanks,
    Vag
    On Behalf of the Gemini Team
    Any concerns using the MS charger with the Gemini Battery??

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by indebt
    Any concerns using the MS charger with the Gemini Battery??
    +1

    and would the use of the battery with another lighthead or charger affect the warantee?
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by indebt
    Any concerns using the MS charger with the Gemini Battery??
    Seems like the MS charger may be of dubious quality as well? The Gemini charger is only $9....

  33. #33
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    If both chargers have the same stats,, do you think a $9:00 Gemini charger will be any better?

  34. #34
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    Hello,

    Our warranty is valid if you use our battery with an other lighthead

    As the charger has direct effect to the battery life and may result a defective battery pack our battery warranty will not be valid once the battery is used with a charger coming from an other manufacturer.

    This is one of the reasons why our charger is priced so low.
    We are aware of the current needs of riders and we want to provide the most cost effective solution.

    On behalf of the Gemini Team
    Vag
    Last edited by Gemini Lights; 12-16-2010 at 11:58 PM.

  35. #35
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    Yeah, listen just unplug your battery after it's done charging....

  36. #36
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    Tearing apart my battery pack to charge the cells is more trouble than I want to deal with. I just don't run them all the way down before I charge them fully and remove 'em from the charger as soon as they are full. My riding temps did go down into the upper 40s' about two weeks ago, which is rare out here- had to buy a ski mask LOL. Probably won't need it again for commuting. Typically it's in the mid 50s when I leave the house in the morning so the pack does not get totally frozen.

    I just fell in love with the Dinotte 300r... and ordered it about 5 minutes ago. I will order another MS rear light, and a higher AH battery from All-Bat. The 4400mah can power the two MS rear lights, facing the sides, the 300r can hold up the rear, and the higher AH battery can take care of the MS front light. This should get me through Jan/Feb/March, and the Dinotte can also be used on my road bike since it is QR.

    I hate spending the money, but I hate hanging out in the ER too.
    Tzvia.

  37. #37
    inner peace to make peace
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    I hate my Magicshine, for $80 more I could have had a Jetlite LED.

    Supposed 900lumen Magicshine's may be 1/2 as bright as my Stryker's 700lumen
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  38. #38
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailNut
    I hate my Magicshine, for $80 more I could have had a Jetlite LED.

    Supposed 900lumen Magicshine's may be 1/2 as bright as my Stryker's 700lumen
    Well, you must take into consideration the lux of the light, magicshine has a lower lux. I'm sure the magicshine brightness isn't 900 lumens, but the brightness and light isn't and wasn't something to scoff at until the battery issue.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailNut
    I hate my Magicshine, for $80 more I could have had a Jetlite LED.

    Supposed 900lumen Magicshine's may be 1/2 as bright as my Stryker's 700lumen
    How much do you want for it?
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
    For the Rich there is therapy!!!! for the rest of us we have Mountain Biking


  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailNut
    I hate my Magicshine, for $80 more I could have had a Jetlite LED.

    Supposed 900lumen Magicshine's may be 1/2 as bright as my Stryker's 700lumen

    You must have a dodgy magicshine, i have a genuine 700 lumen light and the lux of the magicshine is about 80% of that, giving 550 lumens at a rough estimate, which is where most integrating sphere test have put it.

    The MS lighthead is much smaller than the Stryker too. Id love a styker for the bars, but for my head, where my Ms goes its out of the question.

  41. #41
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    vote for lead acid

    I think Mike Brown's post is dead-on. As someone who has been doing this for years, bike light batteries need to be thought of as consumables. It's just the nature of batteries with current technology. You use them up a little every time you ride. Just budget buying a new battery every 6 months and you are all set.

    I would LOVE a lead acid battery -based lighting system, at least as an option.

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