What happened in the lighting world????
After being off the forum for 2.5yrs, thought it was time to upgrade my old DIY NiMh powered "Achesalot' inspired XPE R2 lights, so popped back on the forum here and have realised the bike lighting world has really moved ahead in the last few years!
It's good to see Troutie's still producing and Scar's still banging out the Amoebas, but having browsed around the site I think i've realised for me it's not really worth the DIY effort anymore with the chinese clones now available. Whilst I enjoyed spending time in the mancave building my old lights (espically my Trimeoba), the time and cost doesn't seem worth it anymore.
Has anyone tried this 872 clone on Ebay here?
I really like the look of the 872 and the way you can change the light output with the up/down button at the rear, and the way the button changes colour to reflect the battery status. Does that feature work reliabily or is it more just a gimmick?
I understand a clone 856 would be better, but I can't seem to find any.
Also looking at the XML 'Triclone' and the Mini Cree XML with great interest for a bar + helmet combo.
The bang for your buck these days is staggering, looks like I've got alot of catchup reading to do!
In the brief browsing i've done, it does look like DIY battery building is still the go, with the clone chinese packs being a lucky dip lottery, so possibly the soldering iron will still get some bench time.
Looks like the MTBR link is back up on my favourites bar again
Since you have done the DIY thing you'll be able to tidy up one of the Chinese lights to improve the performance and reliability. As you noted it is likely that the battery will need upgrading. Beyond that would be making sure there is a good heat path, good watertightness, good solder connections, good cable strain relief, and glue the inductor to the driver PCB.
That 872 clone looks pretty awesome. Thanks for the link. The original has heat problems that cause it put out far less lumens than when first turned on. One of the best things about the magicshines, in my opinion, is that they indicate the battery consumption with a status led that changes color. I don't think any of the clones do this.
The 856 are available from brighstoneports.
MagicShine MJ-856b O-ring mount 1600 lumens LED Bike Light Set
I was thinking of getting the 856, but you probably need a better battery than what comes with it. If you upgrade to a 6600 mAh, you end up spending $160. At that point it might be better just upgrading to an 880 for $200.
G_Mozz, Just pointing out that the 872 Clone you linked to makes no mention of what kind ( in any ) modes are on the lamp. That is usually a deal breaker as far as I'm concerned. This type of lamp is not bad but is not known for having great throw. Also don't assume it has led battery indicators if there is no mention of such.
The Tri-Clone on the other hand has better throw but a flash mode you have to cycle through. It is also known to have a crap battery in most cases if bought off of ebay. Most have no led battery indicators.
If I had no bar light I would be looking real hard at one of these. Unfortunately it looks like they are sold out right now.
Oh, almost forgot to mention; a good 6600mAh battery can be had for about $50
Thanks guys, for you replies.
Cat, I was concerned about the same thing with the 872 clone so contacted the seller yesterday and just got a response that it is completely identical to the MJ-872, and supposedly even from the same factory but just not branded. I notice the housing is not exactly identical so I take that info with a grain of salt.
It doesn't come with a battery pack, but my thoughts are I would get a Mini Cree XML for the helmet and custom build a battery for that as I would want to mount the head + battery on the helmet. Given the current consumptions listed in the Mini thread, using one of these with a set of these batteries should give me 2.5-3 hrs runtime for $10. I've bought those batteries before and found they have a real capacity of around 2000maH. The weight of 2 18650's on the helmet wouldn't be noticable.
That then leaves me with the leftover Mini pack to use for 872 clone.
Of course a triclone may also need to be purchased, purely for experimental purposes of course... If the battery is crap, 2 sets of the DX batteries for $16 and some bench time with the soldering iron will give me a trueish 4000mah capacity battery, which will most likley be alot higher than a 'claimed' 4400mah battery.
That 2x XML light on DX you listed does look very nice, but might never be available again.
I have 2 of the 872 clones and love them. Superb beam pattern. I run one on the helmet and one of the bars and they are perfect for the trails I ride. I'm using the 5200mah Gemini battery packs and get over 3 hours of runtime on high. No problems with heat.
I did replace the screw that mounts the mount to the light with one a few millimeters longer. The stock one is short, and an attempt to tight it up a bit to reduce slop stripped the first couple of threads.
For mode options, all 4 LEDs are lit in all modes. There are 4 different steps, I think - I usually just go straight to 'high' and leave it there. I'm away from home right now so I can't verify. There's a dedicated switch for 'up' and 'down' - no silliness like 'off' or 'strobe' in sequence.
I don't expect these lights to be the most durable things in the world, and water sealing seems pretty poor, but you get what you pay for. In terms of light output and beam quality, I couldn't be more pleased. I'm tempted to buy a few more to keep as spares...
FWIW - it's not exactly the same as the 872. The casing is different. The cable is longer. The beam pattern is different. It doesn't over heat, and it doesn't drain the battery as fast. The seller used to list them as 'genuine' magicshines, but finally backed away from that after negative reviews. That said, for my use, the clone is better than the original.
The prices are crazy now for what you get.
I started with a Vista twin set up back in the early 90's that I think cost $150....and had the power of a birthday candle.
Up graded to a NiteSun...then a NiteRider HID....both were pretty expensive.
I just ordered a 3X clone and a HiMax U2 and a Kaido battery for around $125 total