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  1. #1
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    BLT Replacement batteries

    My BLT Light system battery bottle has expired. Does anyone know where I can find an online store where I can purchase a new one?

    Thanks in advance.

    Pat

  2. #2
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    Assuming they are CR123's then there are a couple of places

    In the US
    All-battery
    www.all-battery.com

    Battery space
    www.batteryspace.com

    Overseas (YMMV)
    www.dealextreme.com

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your quick reply. I'll give them a try.

    Pat

  4. #4
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    Since the battery's expired, cut open the bottle to verify what's in there. You can buy raw cells, solder a new pack together and use a new bottle... easy and economical.

  5. #5
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    BLT Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil View Post
    Since the battery's expired, cut open the bottle to verify what's in there. You can buy raw cells, solder a new pack together and use a new bottle... easy and economical.
    Do you have to cut it open or is there a way to look at the battery without wrecking the plastic cover?

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    The battery is dead, so there's no reason to save the plastic cover: you're going to make a new one. Besides, no, you can't see inside without cutting it open. So, cut it open with a box knife or whatever, then wire up your new cells in the same format and insert any rectifier or whatsit they may (or may not) have soldered inline, too. Drop it all in a water bottle or use heat-gun shrink wrap, and you're done.

    If you go the water bottle route, put the new cell rig into a ziplock, then fill the area in the bottle around the ziplock with self-expanding foam. Just squirt some in there, let it expand up and out of the top if it needs to, then slice off the excess before putting the cap on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil View Post
    The battery is dead, so there's no reason to save the plastic cover: you're going to make a new one. Besides, no, you can't see inside without cutting it open. So, cut it open with a box knife or whatever, then wire up your new cells in the same format and insert any rectifier or whatsit they may (or may not) have soldered inline, too. Drop it all in a water bottle or use heat-gun shrink wrap, and you're done.

    If you go the water bottle route, put the new cell rig into a ziplock, then fill the area in the bottle around the ziplock with self-expanding foam. Just squirt some in there, let it expand up and out of the top if it needs to, then slice off the excess before putting the cap on.
    I've got the exact same issue... My original BLT Lightset (which was uber expensive in it's day!) has also got an expired battery in the water bottle.

    I'd like to save mine, as the bottle is an original BLT black bottle, and I can see that there is some of sealant around the bottom edge of the base of the bottle, which I had always presumed is how the battery was installed from new, and then sealed to keep it all in.

    I had figured, that I would just cut through the sealant on the base of the bottle (carefully) to get access inside. Change it out, and then look to reseal it again.

    I had wondered if anyone knew what glue/sealant type material is used to seal the base up when the batteries are fitted? I seem to recall that my battery has been changed once before by what used to Evolution Imports in Bromley, who used to be the UK distributors for BLT bitd?

    Many thanks for any thoughts...

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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by rjsdavis View Post
    I've got the exact same issue... My original BLT Lightset (which was uber expensive in it's day!) has also got an expired battery in the water bottle.

    I'd like to save mine, as the bottle is an original BLT black bottle, and I can see that there is some of sealant around the bottom edge of the base of the bottle, which I had always presumed is how the battery was installed from new, and then sealed to keep it all in.

    I had figured, that I would just cut through the sealant on the base of the bottle (carefully) to get access inside. Change it out, and then look to reseal it again.

    I had wondered if anyone knew what glue/sealant type material is used to seal the base up when the batteries are fitted?
    I understand why you want to maintain the OEM look, since it's an old lightset. I did that with one of my NightSun rebuilds, by doing exactly what you describe: I circumscribed the base of the bottle with a razor knife and extracted the cell back from the bottom. When I put it back together, I tacked it in place with a hot-glue gun and followed that with a narrow bead of two-part epoxy from my RC plane box. That's held up fine and has not yellowed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil View Post
    I understand why you want to maintain the OEM look, since it's an old lightset. I did that with one of my NightSun rebuilds, by doing exactly what you describe: I circumscribed the base of the bottle with a razor knife and extracted the cell back from the bottom. When I put it back together, I tacked it in place with a hot-glue gun and followed that with a narrow bead of two-part epoxy from my RC plane box. That's held up fine and has not yellowed.
    Many thanks for this - sounds like a project for the longer, darker Christmas nights!

    Does anyone know if an upgraded battery can be purchased to upgrade this since I'm going to be doing the work anyway. I am guessing that there's an old Ni-Cd battery in there, so ideally you'd want to upgrade to L-ion to get a longer burn time and a likely longer life from the new cell. (I wouldn't risk Li-Po given what I've heard about R/C Li-Po's catching fire during charging!).

    Many thanks..

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjsdavis View Post
    Does anyone know if an upgraded battery can be purchased to upgrade this since I'm going to be doing the work anyway. I am guessing that there's an old Ni-Cd battery in there, so ideally you'd want to upgrade to L-ion to get a longer burn time and a likely longer life from the new cell...
    Yes: I used NiMH batteries, which come in the same sub-C cell size and use **the same charger you have from the NiCad days**. They're not as great as LiPo, but they will put out about double the burn time as your NiCads did...they're also very inexpensive on eBay.

    The first of the NightSun rebuilds I did is still in use today...not often, but they work great. We're down to a 2hr burn time on high. This isn't much by modern standards, but the lights have that (ha ha!!)old-timey halogen glow to them.

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    I see no reason to waste money on an old halogen light set if this is something to be used on a regular basis. Halogen is dead. Put it in a box and store it for old-times sake if you want then go out and buy a better, newer, more compact ( less weight ) LED lamp for less money than it will take to build a new battery. The days of riding with just 150-200 lumen are over. Time to move on.

    Now if you just want a more retro-look to complement an older bike I understand but otherwise trying to make an old outdated halogen light work again really makes no sense.
    Now as to the old-time-halogen-glow, you can still have that with LED's. You just need to be able to use a lamp that can be fitted with a warmer tint LED. Of course if you do that it won't be just a, "Glow" but more like a "Glowblaster".

    Maybe buy one of the Amoeba light sets from Scar. If you want it built with a warmer LED I'm sure he could probably accommodate that.

    You know it's funny, I have a mini ( single ) AA LED torch ( using XP-G2 led ) that puts out about the same amount of light as my old 10 watt halogen Marwi bar light used to put out. The difference is the torch is about the size of my middle finger, weighs practically nothing and is the EDC torch I take with me every day when I go to work ( fits real nice in my pants pocket ). It has a nice wide beam too. If I had to I could ride with this torch ( ~ 180 lumen ) without too much problem. ( maybe 40 minutes on high with one rechargeable AA or 1hr with non-rechargeable lithium cell )

  12. #12
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    If you guys have the handyman in you, you can convert your system to leds. I converted my helmet light and it works great. Here's the info 15w-blt-blitz-conversion
    "By Your Command"

  13. #13
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    "No reason I can perceive, so there must be none." That's funny!

    For some of us, mountainbiking is about freedom. Freedom in the outdoors, and freedom to ride the gear we want to ride even you don't like it. Bummer for the style police.

    Sure, halogen lights are way off the back in terms of output, weight, size and durability. This thread dates back to a time before that was entirely true, however. Furthermore, there are riders out there that own old stuff and derive some satisfaction from "makin' it work". That is clearly the type of rider who revived this thread and I salute them.

    Don't worry about the thought police. Fix it, ride it, grin.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil View Post
    Yes: I used NiMH batteries, which come in the same sub-C cell size and use **the same charger you have from the NiCad days**. They're not as great as LiPo, but they will put out about double the burn time as your NiCads did...they're also very inexpensive on eBay.

    The first of the NightSun rebuilds I did is still in use today...not often, but they work great. We're down to a 2hr burn time on high. This isn't much by modern standards, but the lights have that (ha ha!!)old-timey halogen glow to them.
    Thanks EBasil.

    Having read some of the posts below yours, there's no way I'm not fixing the BLT's - retro is and will remain cool.

    I don't know what the lumens rating of my dual-spot BLT's is, but I can remember many night-time rides with the guys from Yellow Jersey bikes in Epping Forest bitd. The lights were excellent, and plenty bright enough to run the trails at near full speed.

    Can't imagine why I'd dump 200 notes on a new Hope R4 lightset, when there's a perfectly serviceable and useable lightset here - waiting to go... which would look so much cooler on my 1990 Litespeed Ocoee too. Will defo take the opp to upgrade to NiMh's to get a longer burn time too. (will take pics as I go too to post a repair how-to)

  15. #15
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    RJS, the newer, LED lights are so much brighter than the old halogen could ever be that you will be surprised when you see them, on-trail. However, a man on an Ocoee should be on halogen!

    I run the NightSuns on my Manitou HT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil View Post
    RJS, the newer, LED lights are so much brighter than the old halogen could ever be....
    Am sure you're right. Without having looked into this yet, is there is a simple Halogen to LED bulb upgrade available which would require no bastardising of the actual light unit? I.e. just a screw bulb replacement?

    Would be interested in comparing the two, so that sometimes, when performance demands overrule nostalgia, the change could be made...

  17. #17
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    There are such bulbs for other applications, so they might be out there for halogen fixtures, too. I have to say, however, when the time comes for more performance it has become time to buy an LED system on LiPo and be done with it. They're smaller, lighter, brighter and longer than halogen ever was.

  18. #18
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    Have to admit - it's going to be a long time before I trust Li-Po technology:

    Black Museum - Lithium Polymer (LiPo) rechargeable battery on charge

    L-ion is proven and trusted. Li-Po: I've heard too many RC guys who have had their battery melt or combust for the tech to be trustworthy... (yet).
    Last edited by rjsdavis; 11-17-2014 at 01:02 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil View Post
    There are such bulbs for other applications, so they might be out there for halogen fixtures, too. I have to say, however, when the time comes for more performance it has become time to buy an LED system on LiPo and be done with it. They're smaller, lighter, brighter and longer than halogen ever was.
    Seems I recall such ideas somewhere else. As such there is nothing wrong with expressing ideas that are different or counter intuitive. That is what brings innovation and progress. If one chooses to progress slower, eh...that is their choice. To each their own. The only policing of thought is what occurs in your own head. As for me the police in my mind are always on donut breaks.

    Yes, there are perhaps direct led replacement bulbs for lamps like the old MR-11 halogen bulbs. Back in the day I remember seeing some of those somewhere but back then they were not too bright. I would imagine there are better and brighter led replacements now. Thing is if you just replace the bulb you still have a one-mode lamp. If that's all you need than you are good to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sszczerb View Post
    Do you have to cut it open or is there a way to look at the battery without wrecking the plastic cover?
    the bottles just unscrew - they are glued but it is fairly easy to unscrew them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjsdavis View Post
    Am sure you're right. Without having looked into this yet, is there is a simple Halogen to LED bulb upgrade available which would require no bastardising of the actual light unit? I.e. just a screw bulb replacement?

    Would be interested in comparing the two, so that sometimes, when performance demands overrule nostalgia, the change could be made...
    Yes you can easily find LED bulbs online

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leyland1980 View Post
    the bottles just unscrew - they are glued but it is fairly easy to unscrew them.
    Actually, this isn't correct.

    There are various versions of the bottle battery that you might have - the 1st gen, original black bottles, do have a flip-up lid (like a standard water bottle), but they're filled with expanding foam, so you won't be able to see anything useful.

    The batteries are inserted from the bottom, and then the base is sealed up with what appears to be hot glue from a glue gun. The only way you're getting into this is to gently cut out the glue, remove the old battery and glue back up afterwards. It's a tricky, time-consuming job.

    I'm giving some thought to combining the Hope batteries that I've acquired recently to the old BLT lights, that I've still got. It's not purist, but there would be an obvious, massive weight advantage over the original Ni-Cd batteries.

    The 2nd gen, grey BLT batteries (without on/off switch) are even harder to get into. They only have a plush joint down both sides and are extremely tricky to undo (I haven't really pursued it yet).

    There's no unscrewing of either BLT battery though :-(

  23. #23
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    ....adding to the last post...If you go back to post #14 the original OP said he was going to post photos of the battery rebuild. That was last year. Photos never appeared. That said, why reopen an old post...whatever.

    If it had of been me and I truly wanted to maintain the retro look of the light set I would of tried my best to get the bottom off of the bottle even if that meant I had to cut into it. Then I would of tried to replace the Ni-Cads with C or D-size low-self discharge NiMh cells and tried my best to get it back together without it looking too obvious. The battery bottle was black so at least that helps. I can think of a number of ways this could work and not look too obvious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjsdavis View Post
    Actually, this isn't correct.

    ...

    There's no unscrewing of either BLT battery though :-(

    BLT Replacement batteries-img_0511.jpg

    Looks pretty much like a BLT battery bottle to me, looks pretty much like it unscrewed!

    Anyway the reason I dredged up this old thread was that I was looking for parts to get my lights back in action. The crux component is brackets, the bike onto which the lights were mounted was stolen hence i have no brackets, Any suggestions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    ....adding to the last post...If you go back to post #14 the original OP said he was going to post photos of the battery rebuild. That was last year. Photos never appeared. That said, why reopen an old post...whatever.
    I will do, when I actually do it. Presently busy with a Litespeed build and using Hope in the meantime. It's on the to-do list.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leyland1980 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0511.jpg 
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    Looks pretty much like a BLT battery bottle to me, looks pretty much like it unscrewed!
    That's because this is neither of the batteries that I described previously. I have them here if you'd care to see.

    Wish mine were as simple to work on that - I'd have done them a year if they were...

  27. #27
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    Alright. You've had enough time. Show us the completed refit!

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