CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote

    Just a couple weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to review the ( soon to be released ) Gemini Duo with "neutral white" emitters and wireless remote. Since I have a hard time turning down any offer that features NW emitters, I agreed and the lamp arrived just the other day.

    To get the ball rolling I did some preliminary observations. Right from the git-go as soon as I turned the lamp on I thought someone had made a mistake and sent me the normal set-up with "cool white" emitters. To be sure I starting comparing the Duo with some of my other lamps. While the Duo is not as warm as my Nitefighter BT40S I could tell it was indeed NW because the Gloworm X2 (v3) I have is obviously a much cooler tint. The Duo tint matches almost exactly the same as one of my NW torches which just happens to have a NW ( 5000K ) XM-L2 emitter in it. Personally I prefer a warmer tint but it is what it is so with that in mind I wanted to know how it might compare to some of the other two emitter lamps I own. Below is what I found.

    Five Meter Lux test

    Last night I did a quick comparison of lux output at the 5 meter range. This of course doesn't tell the whole story and is not an "Apples to Apples" comparison. All of the lamps have different types of optics that provide different beam patterns. All measurements were done at "initial start-up" ( before the lamps could warm up ). The results are below. *All lamps are using "neutral white" emitters unless otherwise noted.

    Gemini Duo-R ...................**393 lux.........wide TIR spot optics

    Nightfighter BT21...............520 lux..........one flood, one spot optic

    Nightfighter BT40S.............225 lux.........wide spot optics using 4 XP-G2's

    Kaidomain ( Duo clone ).......436 lux.........medium spot optics ( ? )

    Gloworm X2 (v3).................548 lux....*CW emitters, 1-flood /1-spot optic
    A quick comment on the above readings. The initial reading I got with the Duo was **422 lux but I have not been able to duplicate the same reading, even after the lamp had completely cooled down. I am very interested in how the Duo will read once I narrow the beam pattern. Tomorrow I might try to switch out one of the optics to see what happens.

    Tonight I did a quick ride on the paved trails near my home. I had the Duo-R on the helmet and the NF BT40S on the bars ( with a GW X2 on the bars as stand-by ). First I wanted to know how the different tints would work together, how the wireless remote would work and lastly how the Duo was going to fair as a helmet lamp. Admittedly I'm a bit biased because I already knew that the beam pattern on the Duo was much wider than I would have preferred. Still, I needed to give it a try to see how it would work.

    I started off with just the 40S on medium. When I started using the Duo I was quite surprised at "How much of the weaving trail system I was seeing. The beam pattern on the Duo is hard to explain. I have no other lamps that produce a similar beam pattern. The wide spot is very wide yet most of the output from the lamp is confined within the spot area. That said, with most of the output confined to the wide spot, there is not a lot of excess spill. ( not a lot of "close to the bike" illumination )

    Coming off the helmet the beam pattern first hits the ground at about 20 ft. and then begins to spread outward. From that point on it illuminates a very large area. While the distance throw is not very intense it is quite evenly spread in a very wide area and does have some reach. Surprisingly I found I could see very well for quite a distance. How far (?), hard to say for sure. I haven't done any measurements for distance yet.

    I was very glad to see it work so well with the NF BT40S. With both lamps going I was seeing a very wide swath of trail and seeing every turn well before I was even near them. ( these are windy paved trails ). There were no problems with the two lamp tints working together. This probably was because the Duo puts most of it's output into it's main spot and the 40S had most of it's output closer to the bike.

    I did however run into some problems with the wireless remote on the Duo-R. Every once in a while the remote would fail to activate a change when pressed. This had me scratching my head because the system seemed to work fine inside the house. I was beginning to question if the cold was effecting the coin battery in the remote when suddenly another idea popped into my head; Interference from PWM ( Pulse width modulation ).

    The NF BT40S while a very nice bar lamp is indeed controlled with PWM. The lower modes present the problem the most. When I kept the 40S on high or boost, no problems. The Gloworm lamp presented no problems at all but with the 40S on low or medium every once in a while the remote on the Duo would not work. 80% of the time though it would work but it's still a disappointment that it might have some problems working with the 40S.

    And speaking of the Gloworm X2; Since I had it with me I decided to see how the two ( different ) tints would fair together. The GW X2 lamp just has an outstanding beam pattern. This is probably due to the bigger and more refined optics they use. Surprisingly ( once again ) the two lamps seemed to work very well together. I could detect no major conflictions while using the cooler GW lamp. I figure the tint of the emitters used in the Duo's is truly a "Neutral" midway between the warmer NW emitters and the CW emitters used in the GW lamps. When the Duo is used with a warmer NW emitter you still get all the advantage of running a NW two lamp set-up. When run with a CW bar lamp the difference is so slight it is hardly noticeable.

    All of these observations are of course just my initial impressions. In the winter there is very little vegetation along any of the paved trails near me to help me judge the warmth of the beam tints. I have a feeling once the spring arrives I will have a better chance to judge the usability of the Duo's ( NW ) beam pattern. Unfortunately it's going to be quite a while before the single track trails near me are rideable. The big snow we had weeks ago will keep things muddy for quite a while.

    There was much discussion not long ago about potential "cooling problems" with the Duo. The Duo does get hot real fast if not moving. I was planning on doing a "Hot room" test to see for myself. I have a bathroom with a separate heating fan. If closed off and left on, the room gets REALLY hot. Sadly the thermometer I was going to use to measure the air temp has a dead button battery. Perhaps by next week I can buy a replacement battery. I'm anxious to know just how sensitive the thermal shut-down circuit really is. I'm pretty sure I can get my bathroom to 90F without problem.

    More tests and more discussion will of course follow. All of my reviews are done on a day to day ( progressive ) basis.

    Disclaimer: below

    To whom it may concern; The Gemini Duo was provided free of charge to me for purpose of review. I did not request the lamp but accepted the offer to review the lamp. I have no vested interest in Gemini or receive any compensation for my review other than that I get to keep the lamp. **Edit; note addition to disclaimer, post 14
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 02-11-2016 at 04:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hi Cat,
    Thanks for including other lights in the lux test. What optics were used in the BT21 and are the rest of the lights run with stock optics? Thanks!
    Mole

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    Thanx Cat for sharing your observations. It will be interesting to see the Duo's lux measurement after changing out the optics to something tighter.

    It's also very helpful that you have knowledge of PWM and how it could affect wireless applications. That been said,,, don't most use this technology?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Hi Cat,
    Thanks for including other lights in the lux test. What optics were used in the BT21 and are the rest of the lights run with stock optics? Thanks!
    Mole
    For the BT21; one stock medium flood and one tighter optic that I took out of one of my old duel emitter Ultrafire lamps. Back when I reviewed the BT21 I made note of the difference in throw when I replaced the one optic.

    All the other lamps are using stock optics.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by indebt View Post
    Thanx Cat for sharing your observations. It will be interesting to see the Duo's lux measurement after changing out the optics to something tighter.

    It's also very helpful that you have knowledge of PWM and how it could affect wireless applications. That been said,,, don't most use this technology?
    Yes that's true. Perhaps the difference lies in what components are used inside the lamp to achieve the modulation. (?) Some lamps will interfere with wireless computers and some don't. That's one of the reasons I stopped using wireless computers but that said a lot has to do with "What computer ( or wireless device ) is being used" as well. Some no doubt will work better than others.

    Now about the Duo's remote; I really like the design and the way it is designed to operate. It has two buttons, one to operate on/off and to operate the different modes and the other is just there for "momentary" press/hold on/off high beam ( or momentary "Dim" if the lamp is on ). The remote itself can mount almost anywhere on the bars ( or bike ) using a typical O-ring. The buttons themselves though are very sensitive to touch. This could cause some problems if used in a bumpy environment but I won't be able to confirm that until I'm able to ride some single track with it. There is a small clicking sound when you hit the switch but it is not very loud.

    All things considered I love being able to remotely change modes on my helmet lamp. I have two BT40S's so I will test both to see if both have the same problem. If they do I will consider trying to add some shielding to the driver inside the lamp.

    ( Long pause )

    Well I just now tested both of my BT40's inside the house. I can hear the high pitch whine of the PWM working on both lamps ( when on low ). The problem only seems to happen with the lamp I was using last night. I did notice ( with the one that has the problem ) that when I move my head ( with lamp ) towards the right of the bars ( away from the remote ) that the remote would begin to have problems. If I lean to the left ( the side with the remote ) the remote seems to work fine. I had no issues with the other BT40S lamp. However, that one is on my MTB so I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the whole issue.

    I'll switch lamps tonight and try to get a quick ride in to see if the other lamp has the same issue. Crossing my fingers right now hoping that the problem is only with one lamp.

    ( quick note ) While testing the Bt40S on my MTB I noticed that both the 40S and the Duo seem to produce the same size spot on a wall. The 40S is notably more yellow. Other than that the Duo has the same typical ( squarish ) beam pattern as other lamps using optics designed for XM-L ( L2 ) LED's. When I compared the beam pattern to my KD-2 ( Duo clone ) the clone lamp has a spot more than half the size of the Duo-R so that explains the higher lux output of the clone.

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    Did you test the range of the remote from the lamp head before your ride? If so how many feet between the two before the lamp head started responding poorly to the remote commands?

    Also if it turns out that the tint of the Duo grows on you, I guess you could keep the stock optics or even go wider if available and delegate to the bars,, then get the new NW Olympia for your lid??? If I remember correctly you prefer the brighter lamp on your lid right? Then run both lamps off one remote if you like and hopefully have no response issues with the lamp heads.

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    Great info. My cross bike has a wireless computer on it. Does the PWM affect gps devices as well?
    Last edited by Dirt Road; 02-07-2016 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Sent invomplete

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    For the BT21; one stock medium flood and one tighter optic that I took out of one of my old duel emitter Ultrafire lamps. Back when I reviewed the BT21 I made note of the difference in throw when I replaced the one optic.

    All the other lamps are using stock optics.
    Thanks!! Looking forward to seeing how the Duo responds to tighter optics.
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by indebt View Post
    Did you test the range of the remote from the lamp head before your ride? If so how many feet between the two before the lamp head started responding poorly to the remote commands?

    Also if it turns out that the tint of the Duo grows on you, I guess you could keep the stock optics or even go wider if available and delegate to the bars,, then get the new NW Olympia for your lid??? If I remember correctly you prefer the brighter lamp on your lid right? Then run both lamps off one remote if you like and hopefully have no response issues with the lamp heads.
    I didn't test the range per say but while mounting the remote on my MTB in the other room the lamp came on while in the adjoining room about 25 ft. away.

    The Duo-R has options. ActionLED is stocking both a dedicated flood optic and a tighter spot optic for the Duo. I plan to order and test the following combinations; spot/spot, stock/spot, flood/stock , flood/spot. I'll be placing the order tonight after the S-bowl. In the mean time I'll try to see if one of the optics I have on hand will work.

  10. #10
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    Cat, leddna optics minus the white holders . I knew they looked familiar. At least we can get them in the states now. Price is a little high imo but much more convenient vs waiting a month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Road View Post
    Great info. My cross bike has a wireless computer on it. Does the PWM affect gps devices as well?
    I can't answer that with certainty but I do know it doesn't effect mine and I mount my phone ( with GPS app ) almost right next to the lamp

    Not everyone has problems with their wireless computers but it is a potential problem if you have an LED lamp with a poorly designed driver or a driver that is poorly shielded. It is also a potential problem with other wireless devices. ( ie..Bluetooth devices, wireless remotes..etc. ) Not all LED lamps that utilize a PWM circuit have problems with excess high frequency transmissions. Obviously the Duo doesn't have a problem with it because it houses both PWM ( more than likely ) and a wireless device within itself.

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    Well I switched out one of the optics with another optic I had laying around. ( cheap optic off of D/X Ultrafire lamp ) The optic was almost exactly the same size so a good fit. The LED's look to be Cree XM-L2 U2, ( no fakes ) Very clean look to the emitter board.

    Once I had it done I turned the lamp on and looked at the wall beam pattern. Sadly I could detect only a "slightly more intense center" to the original beam pattern but really hardly noticeable. When I checked the 5M lux with the meter, the meter didn't even register a change I'm sad to say. I haven't had a chance to check it outside yet but more than likely there won't be much of a discernible difference. Looks like I'll have to wait to see what the replacement Duo spot optics will do if I want to see a change in throw intensity. Of course the flip side of this observation is that the stock optics do a fairly good job of lighting things up considering the width of the beam pattern.

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    Continued from last post: Getting some real F'd up weather right now. I took the Duo with me to work today hoping to shine it around a bit but started to rain. At my last stop I had a nice dark road, dark but wet, what the hell I tried it anyway. Damn, the Duo still had some range even on wet roads. The optic I put in did in fact change the beam pattern but not the way I expected. Turns out the optic I used turned the Duo into a very nice little bar lamp. With the new optic in place suddenly the lamp had some nice fill very close to where I was standing and yet with the same distance range as before ( maybe a tad bit more ). Hard to tell with the wet road. I was standing midway on a down-up segment of a hill. Not only could I see down the hill but all the way up the the other side of the hill a good ways....impressive. Things got a little hazy towards the top of the hill but than again it was drizzling a bit.

    If I were to use this lamp with this optic it would no doubt be awesome as a bar light ...But...For a bar light I really do prefer a warmer tint. Still I might give her a try as a bar light once the spring hits. Tomorrow it is suppose to snow 3-6". Likely be a wet slushy snow. Looks like another fun day planned for tomorrow.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 02-09-2016 at 01:01 PM.

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    Disclaimer upgrade

    Sorry folks, I forgot something when posting the initial disclaimer ( see post #1 ). The Gemini people threw me a very nice IRIS rear lamp when they sent me the Duo. I never requested or agreed to review this lamp so forgot about it when doing the initial post. Since this might be construed as some form of compensation I have to make mention of it. However this is not the first time I have received "an extra" when doing a review. I just figured it was something that the companies did when they sent out a product for review. Since this wasn't something new per say to my reviewing experience I really didn't pay it any mind.

    Anyway I needed to get that out because I thought it needed to be said so others know how this stuff usually goes. Now comes the SAD part: I lost the IRIS on the first ride I did while checking out the Duo. I wasn't using it at the time, just had it mounted on the back of my helmet. I could swear that when I got home I still had it on back of the helmet. After I got home I started using the helmet mounted Duo for further light testing when suddenly I noticed that the IRIS was gone.

    Well as things go my home is quite cluttered ( total man-cave ) It might have fallen off the back of the helmet ( into the abyss of clutter ) after I got home but my initial searches have not been successful. Anyway, it was a very bright / nice little light. Suppose to be 180 lumen. Not sure it was an actual 180 lumen but the triple led configuration was indeed quite bright and very wide. My plan was that it was going to replace my Cygolite Hotshot on back of the helmet but unless I find it I guess that's not going to happen. The IRIS is about $69 so not cheap. Oh well, you win some, you lose some...

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    Just ordered of set of the Duo-R spot optics. Should have them by next week ( along with a Gloworm X2 refurbished with NW emitters. ) Should make for an interesting comparison.

    I just tested my bathroom heater for maximum output. I've gotten it up to 95F. That should make for a good "desert simulation" test for thermal cut-off. I'll use a small fan to simulate a moving bike. I'll try to do that test over the weekend.

    With all the cold and nasty weather we've been getting lately in my neck of the woods I've been having to cover a lot of jobs usually done by other people. Hard for me to find time for my hobbies this time of year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Just ordered of set of the Duo-R spot optics. Should have them by next week ( along with a Gloworm X2 refurbished with NW emitters. ) Should make for an interesting comparison.

    I just tested my bathroom heater for maximum output. I've gotten it up to 95F. That should make for a good "desert simulation" test for thermal cut-off. I'll use a small fan to simulate a moving bike. I'll try to do that test over the weekend.

    With all the cold and nasty weather we've been getting lately in my neck of the woods I've been having to cover a lot of jobs usually done by other people. Hard for me to find time for my hobbies this time of year.
    I'm already liking your findings with the optic change you did on the Duo. Cant wait to get your feedback once the new optics arrive and hear your perspective between the Duo's color rendition vs the X-2's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Just ordered of set of the Duo-R spot optics. Should have them by next week ( along with a Gloworm X2 refurbished with NW emitters. ) Should make for an interesting comparison.

    I just tested my bathroom heater for maximum output. I've gotten it up to 95F. That should make for a good "desert simulation" test for thermal cut-off. I'll use a small fan to simulate a moving bike. I'll try to do that test over the weekend.

    With all the cold and nasty weather we've been getting lately in my neck of the woods I've been having to cover a lot of jobs usually done by other people. Hard for me to find time for my hobbies this time of year.
    I got those optics yesterday and they perform very well (within 1% of my best-to-date Gloworm XS spots) Will be interesting to see how they transforms your 2016 Duo. Big thanks for your hot temp. test on the Duo too, big concern of mine because of where I live (Computer says it's sunny and 84 outside currently). Congrats. on your new toy (X2), should make a good tool to compare the 2016 Duo to.
    Mole

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    While at work yesterday I had more of a chance to shine the lamp around some secluded areas with natural terrain. The problem is at this time of year even natural terrain looks very cold.

    After work I decided to quickly check out what the output would look like on a trail. So at 1:00AM I very quickly drive to one of the local trails to do some fast observations. The results were very encouraging. I just wish it hadn't of been so late or so cold. No time to do any distance measurements because I didn't want to be caught having my car parked in a place it shouldn't be at that time of night.

    I took a quick photo with my the cell camera but it didn't turn out as good as I was hoping. Hard to take a photo while holding the lamp/battery/camera in your hands at the same time. I have to work today unfortunately. The trails looked good but very, very cold right now.

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    Duo-R with Spot optics!

    My ActionLED order arrived! I measured the 5M lux output and it's measuring at 534 lux ( on high ). That is SO much better than the previous output using the standard lenses.

    Surprisingly the beam pattern is NOT super narrow. When aimed at distance it is still quite wide so I have a feeling I'm going to like it once I get it outside. Initially I was afraid a duel spot might make the beam pattern too narrow but thankfully I don't think that is going to be a problem. Now all I have to do is to see how well it works in the field. I can't wait to see how well it will perform at distance. Right now where I'm at it's 3:00am and I'm tempted to throw on the bike clothes to take a spin on the local paved trails ( lol )...but I'll wait.

    Sorry about not getting to the thermal test. I've just been overworked lately because of the bad weather so when I get home I'm pooped. I'll try to do the thermal test by Friday.

    This weekend I might be able to get a ( MTB ) ride in. Depends on trail conditions though. We had another snow on Monday ( 3") but most of that is melted now so hopefully trails aren't too muddy. I would love to be able to get some good trail beam shots in.

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    Extreme Heat Environmental Thermal Test

    This test was the fastest test I've ever done. I turned the fan-heater I have in my bathroom on and waited till it got really hot. I then sat the Duo almost directly under the heater about 5' away. Temperature where the Duo sat was reading over 100F ( ~38C ). Temperature on the Duo directly was 93.7F at start-up. I also used a small fan to simulate a moving bike.

    Things were happening so fast I almost couldn't take notes fast enough.

    elapsed time ( on high ) before power down > ~ 6 minutes

    Duo temp at power-down > ~ 157F ( 69.4C )

    The lamp was so hot I couldn't touch it to turn it off. I had to pull the plug. Can we say, "Branding Iron"...

    After I turned it off and turn off the heat-fan the lamp returned to normal operation. Probably wasn't a good idea to sit the lamp right under the heat fan but the bathroom is small and at the moment I felt I really had no choice. I noticed before the test that when I moved the thermometer from the sink to right next to the Duo the thermometer went from ~94F to over 100F in less than a minute! My guess is that if the Duo hadn't of been directly under the heat fan that it would of ran longer before the thermal cutoff limited the output. Looks like I need to do this test again. Next time I'll set the Duo inside the tub ( away from the directed heat source ) so it's only exposed to the ambient temp of the room and then see how that works.

    I'll also need to do a standard thermal test under normal temps, which in my opinion is the most important for how most people will be using the lamp. Not everyone rides in night time temps greater than 90F

  21. #21
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    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-004.jpg

    GoPro adapters for bike lights

    As with my older Duo I'm guessing that this heat-sink Gopro mount will be a necessary/popular accessory for 2016 Duo Riders who live in warmer climates and technical riders who do a lot of very slow speed stuff. Thanks Cat for including the warm weather simulation test!!
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    My ActionLED order arrived! I measured the 5M lux output and it's measuring at 534 lux ( on high ). That is SO much better than the previous output using the standard lenses.

    Surprisingly the beam pattern is NOT super narrow. When aimed at distance it is still quite wide so I have a feeling I'm going to like it once I get it outside. Initially I was afraid a duel spot might make the beam pattern too narrow but thankfully I don't think that is going to be a problem. Now all I have to do is to see how well it works in the field. I can't wait to see how well it will perform at distance. Right now where I'm at it's 3:00am and I'm tempted to throw on the bike clothes to take a spin on the local paved trails ( lol )...but I'll wait.

    Sorry about not getting to the thermal test. I've just been overworked lately because of the bad weather so when I get home I'm pooped. I'll try to do the thermal test by Friday.

    This weekend I might be able to get a ( MTB ) ride in. Depends on trail conditions though. We had another snow on Monday ( 3") but most of that is melted now so hopefully trails aren't too muddy. I would love to be able to get some good trail beam shots in.
    Has the weather and work schedule allowed you any time to try the Duo outside yet with those new optics??

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    Duo-R with Duel Spot Optics; Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by indebt View Post
    Has the weather and work schedule allowed you any time to try the Duo outside yet with those new optics??
    Oh yes it has. Today with temps in the upper 60's I took the road bike out for a quick night ride. Not on trails though, basically paved trails and some roads. I also had the Gloworm X2 on the bars but because this is a review for the Duo no comment about the GW for the moment. Those comments will be on another thread.

    Things started out very good today. Temps in the upper 60's, great day for a ride. Not to mention when I walked out today onto my my balcony I discovered to my delight that the Gemini IRIS ( rear light ) I thought I lost on my last ride was sitting outside right by my sliding glass door. ( Sweeeeet! LOL ).

    The ride went very well. I do have to mention that the remote on the Duo did go into "fritz" mode but this time it only did it once. After that it worked fine the rest of the night. BTW the combo of Duo and GW X2 work very well together. I just love being able to control each lamp separately from the bars. I am SO going to love that once I start doing trail rides. No more reaching up on the helmet as I start to make my way up hills through rock strewn terrain.

    First photo; photo on a paved trail on high. My phone camera app sucks so I have to go back to do some slight editing but since I'm not using a fancy camera or a tripod ( to keep the camera stable ) I do need some very minor editing so the photo represents more of what I'm actually seeing. The "Y" tree to the left is ~ 150 ft. away.

    The second picture is on a local field ( on high ). The fence from where I'm standing is ~ 175 ft. away. Notice all of the rungs on the fence are very easy to see. When you can see small details like that, that is what I refer to as "Usable throw". Also notice how wide the beam pattern actually is! These are suppose to be spot optics but believe me the beam pattern is still quite wide. Actually I could see that fence quite easy just on the low beam I had programmed in. My phone camera doesn't do the lamp justice unfortunately. Oh, almost forgot to mention; I'm using the Duo with the 2-cell on the helmet and it seems to work very well. No weight or shifting helmet problems.

    Looking ahead, I'm going to see if I can find more narrow optics. Not that I don't like these. I think these are going to work great, especially with two lamps going. I just want to see if I can tighten the throw just a tad more. If anyone has suggestions on some tighter optics ( < 10 ) please let me know.

    Tomorrow I plan to take a look at some of the local trails but more than likely they will be too muddy for a decent ride.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duo-1-copy.jpg  

    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duo-3-copy.jpg  

    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 02-20-2016 at 09:52 PM.

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    Extreme Thermal Heat Test; Redo

    Once again I set the Duo in my bathroom with the heat fan. This time the Duo was not sitting in the direct path of the heat fan. A secondary fan was used ( as before ) to simulate a moving bike. Ambient room temp was 93.4F at the time of the test.

    Run time on high before auto thermal power down; 11 minutes 56 sec.

    The temperature on the Duo lamp body got up to 160F. It maintained that temperature for at least 2-3 minutes as the test neared the end. When the temp on the lamp head started to go over 161F that was when the lamp powered down.

    The way I figure it if I do the test at normal ambient temperatures ( 70-80F ) it will likely run much longer. Still, I don't think it's ever an good idea to run a lamp on high for long periods. No doubt if you choose to use the Vanc Gopro adaptor recommend by Mr Mole this will most likely help extend the lamp's ability to dissipate the heat.

  25. #25
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    Maybe I need to start doing that test for the small lights. There is occasionally nights I'll ride that the temperatures are in the high 80s.

    Nice idea there Cat, how r you heating your bathroom, space heater or???

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Maybe I need to start doing that test for the small lights. There is occasionally nights I'll ride that the temperatures are in the high 80s.

    Nice idea there Cat, how r you heating your bathroom, space heater or???

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    My bathroom just has a separate heater-fan in the ceiling. I do occasionally ride on a warm night ( 80-85F ). I tend not to use the high setting on the helmet though unless I'm doing a short downhill run.

    One thing I forgot to mention about the thermal test is that I couldn't help but notice that once I turned the Duo off the lamp head cooled off very quickly. This would lead me to believe that the thermal pathway from emitter board to outer lamp body is indeed very good.

    ~~ We got a little rain today where I live so trails are wet. I don't do beam shots on wet trails so no trail beam shots tonight unfortunately.

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    Not only the internal thermal path but shows that the thermal design works on the outside, a good amount of surface area.

    Only thing holding these little lights back is the fins being perpendicular to air flow during use instead of being cut parallel.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Oh yes it has. Today with temps in the upper 60's I took the road bike out for a quick night ride. Not on trails though, basically paved trails and some roads. I also had the Gloworm X2 on the bars but because this is a review for the Duo no comment about the GW for the moment. Those comments will be on another thread.

    Things started out very good today. Temps in the upper 60's, great day for a ride. Not to mention when I walked out today onto my my balcony I discovered to my delight that the Gemini IRIS ( rear light ) I thought I lost on my last ride was sitting outside right by my sliding glass door. ( Sweeeeet! LOL ).

    The ride went very well. I do have to mention that the remote on the Duo did go into "fritz" mode but this time it only did it once. After that it worked fine the rest of the night. BTW the combo of Duo and GW X2 work very well together. I just love being able to control each lamp separately from the bars. I am SO going to love that once I start doing trail rides. No more reaching up on the helmet as I start to make my way up hills through rock strewn terrain.

    First photo; photo on a paved trail on high. My phone camera app sucks so I have to go back to do some slight editing but since I'm not using a fancy camera or a tripod ( to keep the camera stable ) I do need some very minor editing so the photo represents more of what I'm actually seeing. The "Y" tree to the left is ~ 150 ft. away.

    The second picture is on a local field ( on high ). The fence from where I'm standing is ~ 175 ft. away. Notice all of the rungs on the fence are very easy to see. When you can see small details like that, that is what I refer to as "Usable throw". Also notice how wide the beam pattern actually is! These are suppose to be spot optics but believe me the beam pattern is still quite wide. Actually I could see that fence quite easy just on the low beam I had programmed in. My phone camera doesn't do the lamp justice unfortunately. Oh, almost forgot to mention; I'm using the Duo with the 2-cell on the helmet and it seems to work very well. No weight or shifting helmet problems.

    Looking ahead, I'm going to see if I can find more narrow optics. Not that I don't like these. I think these are going to work great, especially with two lamps going. I just want to see if I can tighten the throw just a tad more. If anyone has suggestions on some tighter optics ( < 10 ) please let me know.

    Tomorrow I plan to take a look at some of the local trails but more than likely they will be too muddy for a decent ride.
    Nice to experiment, but IMO this Duo with the optics you put in is very impressive. 175 feet with that detail,,,,,,, well done Cat/Gemini. Not to narrow of a beam either, at least for me.

  29. #29
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    These are the optics many of us have been using, work great in many lights. And make for some great beam patterns.

    Nice to see another company using easily available, inexpensive, but good quality/performance optics. Makes options more available and the lights fitting to a wider range of people.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

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    Trail Photos

    This weekend looks like I might get an actual trail ride in. I took a couple trail shots tonight with the Duo-R while checking out trail conditions. The trail I was using was pretty much dry. Not much color to be seen though. The trail itself was covered in dead leaves so pretty much just a lot of brown.

    First picture is the Duo-R on medium. I'm using a couple of 44 oz. plastic cups for markers. One is at the very top of the slight incline, almost out of sight ( 150 ft. ) and the other is about at the halfway point.

    Second picture; Duo-R on high.

    Third picture; same as second ( on high )... only the photo is cropped and expanded so you can see the cup at the top of the hill a little better. Of course if I were using a tripod and better camera the photos would be much better. Still, basic hand-held cell camera photos are better than no photos.

    Now comes the "Fun" part; "Where to ride tomorrow"... where I won't have to run the "mud-bog gauntlet". Decisions, decisions.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duo-t-med.jpg  

    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duo-t-hi.jpg  

    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duo-t-hi-copy.jpg  

    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 02-28-2016 at 01:57 AM.

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    Winter Trail Ride Test; Duo -R

    Well I did get my first trail ride in although because of trail conditions I had to limit the ride to trails that I knew would not be too muddy. We had a lot a rain last week and because of the 2' of snow not more than a month ago the ground is so saturated with water right now that water is springing up out of ground in various places even though the past 4 days have been completely dry. So, I was lucky to get what I got I guess. It ended up being a short ride, only about 40 minutes.

    Another problem with riding this time of year is that the places I ride are very close to housing. Not a problem most of the time but in the winter there are no leaves on the trees which means it is more easier to see if anyone ( like me ) is back in the woods. I figure if I can see the house lights they can see me. Keep in mind I usually ride places that are off limits at night so if I'm more visible I'm not real comfortable being there for long periods of time.

    It was a good night for a ride though. Temps in the upper 50'sF. If only we had not had a two day deluge last Tuesday and Wednesday likely the conditions would of been much better.. Still, it's rare to get a chance to ride this time of year unless the ground is completely frozen. Today was like a nice Spring day. I even got to wear shorts ( in February, who would of thought ).

    Gemini Duo-R on the helmet, Gloworm X2 ( NW ) on the bars. The combo was working very well together. It was one of those rides though that the neutral white emitters really don't add much to the ride. In the winter there really is not a whole lot of color to get much benefit from the warmer tints. Dead brown leaves and trees devoid of leaves. In the winter trail surface reflectivity is at an all time low. That's one of those reasons why I still keep my lamps with CW emitters on standby.

    Both lamps worked very well in combo. I had no problems seeing anything and most of the time I ran the GW X2 on the programmed low setting ( ~400 lumen ) with the Duo on my programmed medium level ( ~ 600 lumen ). The wireless remote on the Duo was flawless tonight. Tonight I happened to notice that if you ran the Duo alone ( on the helmet ) that it actual works very well as a one lamp system. That's assuming though that you don't make a lot of sharp turns. If you start making turns you point your head in the direction you plan to go and suddenly there is no light in front of you anymore. Yep, two lamps is always the better way to go.

    Anyway, with house lights visible almost everywhere I rode I still decided to take a couple quick beam shot photos. These turned out pretty good but only because I could lean the bike and phone/camera against a tree for stability.

    First Photo: Gemini Duo-R ( helmet mounted ) on high. ( Gloworm off ) There is slight rise in the trail going forward. The top of the rise is maybe ~150- 175 ft. away. Duo has Spot/spot optics, Gloworm has standard flood/spot.

    Second Photo: Expanded distance view of first photo

    Third Photo: Duo-R on Hi , Gloworm on 400 lumen setting.

    Forth Photo: Expanded distance view of third photo. Notice the leaves on the trail in the distance really don't give much reflective carry over ( or feedback ). This is why it usually helps to use more light in the winter ( in my area ).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duo-t2hi.jpg  

    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duo-t2hi-copy.jpg  

    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duo-gw2.jpg  

    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duo-gw2-copy.jpg  


  32. #32
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    Hey Cat, I know you said both lights worked well together (in tint?) What are your impressions between the two on color rendition as I know you have mentioned the NW Gloworm was perfect for your tast. I remember in another post you mentioned the Duo's tint was a bit cooler,,,,,, how do you feel about it now? If you have already elaborated on this,,, my apologies. Or as you mentioned is it just to grey out there this time of year for you to get a good read.

    Although you have a nice inventory of lights,,,,, Gemini should be starting their production of NW Olympia's,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, just throwing that out there!!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by indebt View Post
    Hey Cat, I know you said both lights worked well together (in tint?) What are your impressions between the two on color rendition as I know you have mentioned the NW Gloworm was perfect for your tast. I remember in another post you mentioned the Duo's tint was a bit cooler,,,,,, how do you feel about it now? If you have already elaborated on this,,, my apologies. Or as you mentioned is it just to grey out there this time of year for you to get a good read.

    Although you have a nice inventory of lights,,,,, Gemini should be starting their production of NW Olympia's,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, just throwing that out there!!
    Since the output of the Duo doesn't over-power the output of the GW X2 ( or other neutral bar lamp over 1000 lumen ) I don't see too much conflict at the moment. Of course once the trails begin to fill in with the foliage typical for my region my opinion on that matter might change. If that happens it will probably be because I will be seeing how the two lamps work together as I point the lamps more closely together when going over more technical terrain.

    A about a week ago I wrote the Gemini representative and recommended a change in the tint of the emitters being used. Although I didn't place a big emphasis on the Duo per say I did highly recommend a warmer bin for the new release of the Olympia. My reason for having that opinion is because I feel the Olympia will have a much higher output and in order to prevent excessive glare closer to the bike a warmer neutral bin emitter would be more appropriate.

    For the present, I'm very impressed with the Duo. It has quite an impressive reach for a two emitter lamp that projects such a wide spot. Still my gut is telling me that I might like a warmer bin in the Duo as well. That said it would be "really interesting" to see what a of set of warmer neutral binned Cree XP-L HI emitters would do in the Duo.

    As for the Olympia; With the proper neutral tinted emitters ( more like what the Gloworms are using ) the new Olympia could possibly corner the market for lamps that offer a 3 emitter configuration "in the round". Gloworm and ITUO will of course be battling each other with their 3-up straight configuration setups. Too bad DiNotte is still not choosing to acknowledge the popularity of the neutral binned emitters. A DiNotte XML3 with neutral emitters could possibly be the best bang for the buck if it were to exist.

    Anyway, I'm waiting to see what Gemini does with the Olympia. I've had no feedback from Gemini on any of my recommendations.

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    April Ride with Duo-R

    Finally got a chance to ride trails with the Duo on the lid. Weather was perfect, trails were bone-dry and busting with greenery. Just got my bike back from the shop so the brake issue has been fixed.

    Started the ride in the late evening and by the time I was returning it was time to use the lights. Once again GWX2 ( neutral Leds ) and the Gemini Duo with wireless remote on the lid ( along with 2-cell on the lid ). The combo once again was working very well. Been a while since I've been on a bike. While I've lost some weight over the past couple months I still have a ways to go to get back into acceptable shape. At least I wasn't huffing and puffing or sweating bullets but I was having to rest more than I wanted to. The old legs got a good work-out today. No doubt I'll be hurting tomorrow.

    I was able to get a better perspective on how the Duo works vs. the warmer beam tint of the Gloworm. Because the trail conditions were very dry I was getting much more reflective feedback from the Duo. It's very obvious to me now that when I'm looking at the trail just using the GW ( with it's neutral emitters ) that the GW highlights more trail features with it's warmer emitters. The Duo on the other hand is still too cool-white for my taste even though the emitters are suppose to be neutral white.

    The good news is that Gemini has informed me that they plan to use the warmer emitters in future editions. Regardless, I'm really liking how the Duo with wireless remote is working. I just can't wait to see the warmer editions because once that happens, no doubt I am going to be using the Duo on the lid as my *helmet lamp of choice. ( *until something brighter comes along with wireless remote... )

    Now to people who might want this lamp NOW with the warmer neutral LED's I believe there is another option. I believe Jim from ActionLED ( vendor for Gemini ) has offered to switch the LED's on the Duo's to the same ones used on the Gloworms ( for a nominal fee of course ). If true, I will at some point be sending the one I have back for the warmer upgrade. Hopefully he will see this post and add his own comments if I'm wrong about that.

    Had a great ride today/tonight. The smells of the woods were at their best. I was even rewarded with an unexpected surprise. On my way back I heard something I haven't heard since I was a boy, the call of the whippoorwill. The whippoorwill used to be indigenous to my region of the State. Somewhere during the passing years they went away. Goodness how I miss their call! I'm hoping to hear more of them in the future. Perhaps they are moving back into the area.

    Quick note on how the lamp was working on the helmet: During the whole ride I never once noticed any unusual heaviness with the two cell on the helmet. No sliding or unusual movement as well. Likely I only used the lamp for maybe an hour on the way back but once again the Duo lights up a good portion of the trail. Like I mentioned before, if someone were so inclined they could very well use a Duo on a helmet as a "one lamp" system ( not that I recommend doing that...two lamps are always better ).

    When I got home I was amazed at how fast the battery recharged. I guess when run on just low or medium the lamp doesn't use a lot of battery juice. I only used high a couple times since most of the trails I rode were constantly weaving through slow turns. I also kept tabs on how hot the lamp was getting but for the most part only when run on high did the lamp get hot ( although not "branding-iron" hot ). As long as I powered down when going slower the lamp maintained moderate warmth and worked like a champ.

  35. #35
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    Hey Cat,

    Just wondering: Did the remote on the Duo work consistently? Are you still considering the Wilma R?

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    Quote Originally Posted by stu06 View Post
    Hey Cat,

    Just wondering: Did the remote on the Duo work consistently? Are you still considering the Wilma R?
    Absolutely. No problems with the remote at all. Since I'm going to be off the next couple of days I'm hoping to get more rides in. Last night I got thinking and likely I'm going to reprogram the UI to > M-H-L. To me this makes sense. When I start out it's usually on level ground more or less. If I approach a downhill section...one click and I'm in boost mode. Then once I start climbing ( once I reach the bottom ) one click and I'm in low for the slower climb....then once I reach the top I can leave it low while recovering or one click to medium. Since this is usually the way the rides I do go it makes sense to me to set ( both ) of my programmable lamps this way. Of course if I'm using the medium mode ( level ground ) and approach a steep climb I'll have to double click to get to low for the slow climb...no problem, I can deal with that.

    Yes stu, I am still considering the Lupine Wilma R. It's big money though. Gemini has offered to give me the new warmer version of the Olympia for review purposes but so far they haven't responded to my acceptance email. ( Maybe they're having second thoughts (?) ) An Olympia-R with warmer LED's could very well be a real sleeper for helmet use especially if the beam pattern is not too overly wide. That said the Olympia ( while likely not as bright as a Wilma-R ) will be much easier to afford.

    Anyway, got to get moving. Some potential rain moving into the region. Looks like I might have to limit my riding tonight. ( **Drat! Ride cancelled. Storms moving in too fast. Looks like I'll just get a road ride in close to home. )

  37. #37
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    Hey Cat,

    You're right about Lupine costing big $$$. I think if I were to do it all over again I wouldn't buy Lupine, especially considering that Gemini has reasonably-priced lights with wireless remotes. I'd likely get the Titan for the bar and the Olympia for the helmet--both in neutral white, of course. To be honest, I've had a few issues with my Lupines that should not have occurred in such expensive products. It's like buying expensive German cars with questionable reliability.

  38. #38
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    That is exactly why I won't spend big bucks on a light. No one talks about issues they have with high end anything even though it happens plenty. Mid range stuff is where it's at. High end lights seem to not be any better besides more bells and whistles that we really don't need.

    I've seen only a couple lights where all the effort was put into the actually light and not the endless extra bs. If I was to ever pay big bucks for a light, it's be a DS or XXX.

    Beyond that these mid priced lights, the companies listen to the users, make adjustments etc where they can. Lupine is for the people that have more money than knowledge. A "status symbol" of sorts. Just like having to have the latest and greatesg i(fill in the blank) whatever from Apple. Built for the "elite" but actually nothing to justify the price tag.


    Basically:

    " I just went and bought a (fill in German or other super car for $1mil here) 6 months ago and had it in the shop 3 times already, what a POS!"

    Never ever see or hear a guy driving a Ferrari say that
    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Lupine is for the people that have more money than knowledge.
    Hey, I resemble this statement! Actually, what we consider "mid-priced,"(e.g. Gloworm, Gemini, et al.) others consider "high-end." When I bought a GT2, friends who owned "regular" 911s said the same thing about me! And the beat goes on...

  40. #40
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    Lol. I didn't say any people were. But looking at Lupine lights, that's exactly what I see with them. Nice lights, but bang for bucks is so lost.

    I drive a cobalt....

    One thing I have learned since I got back into riding. Hard earned dollar can go really far with a little research. Most I've paid for a light, $100 for a gloworm xs on the refurbished sale. That was a completely unnecessary impulse buy cause my inner 'light geek" was screaming at me.

    After the reviews and such that I've done from cheap to quality lights, I don't think I'd get another cheap Chinese light ever again. Don't think I'd ever touch magicshine lights either. But as of right now if I broke a light once a month (that I couldn't fix) it'd still take close to 2 yrs for me to run out of lights lol.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

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    More rides with the Duo-R ( helmet mount )

    Continued from my last post: Turns out the weather wizards were wrong. Never did rain yesterday as the approaching storms stalled. Instead it rained just a little, late during the early morning hours. Damn, hate when that happens. Called off a ride for nothing. Of course if I rode last night it would of rained like hell..

    I manage to get a nice little ride in today. Got to the trail head just as the sun was sitting. Today's ride though was a bit more technical. I found out rather quickly how ones riding skills quickly deteriorate when not being used. While wheeling over a small log I accidentally caught a pedal on the log and began a slow endo. The funny thing about the whole incident was that as I was disengaging from the pedals and jumping over the bars I ran headlong into a small sapling which acted like a springboard. Instead of falling on my face I ended up bouncing off the sapling and ended up without even touching the ground...lucky me.

    After that I realized that I needed to get my feel for the trail features. Most of the time I was riding at a good pace but the trail I was on was filled with lots of protruding rock and lined with small trees. One wrong move and I was going to be eating bark. The Duo was doing a good job of spying out the changing terrain. Since I recently changed the mode sequence on the Duo it was taking me a while to get used to it.

    Unlike the trails I rode on my last ride the trails I rode today were not dry or "light-colored" at all. Most of the trails were covered with dark dirt and some still covered with last years leaf cover. In this environment the Duo was working very well.

    Thankfully as I rode along I began to recover some needed skills. I could of rode a bit longer but decided since I didn't bring a back-up two cell for the Duo I would cut the ride short. Besides I didn't charge the battery for the Gloworm since the last ride so it was likely the right thing to do. Strange though, as I approached the trail back to the car something in me wanted to keep riding. Oh well, always tomorrow.

    Lastly, I couldn't help but notice that when I got home the Duo's battery was still reading green! Damn, those batteries must be damn good for 2600mAh's!. Anyway, when I got back to the car I was shining the Duo on the road. On the road the Duo's throw is really, really far. Not real surprising as all lamps usually do better on the road but even on the low ( which I programmed in ) the throw had to be near 200 ft.. ( Duo is using spot/spot optics ) I love the wireless remote and I love how I can easily turn the Duo off with a quick hold of the button. I wish I could turn the GW off that easily.

    The Photo's: (#1) On a particularly straight section of trail this is with both GWX2 and Duo on high. The last tree on the left is roughly 200 ft. away. ( I paced off the distance )

    (#2 and #3 ) See if you can tell which one is the Duo and which is the Gloworm X2. Both have about the same output. ( hint ) The Gloworm brings out more color.

    ( #4 ) The Duo-R by itself on high. Not sure on the distance to the bridge, maybe 150 ft, maybe more.

    ( #5 ) Distance close up of photo #1
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-gwapl-hi.jpg  

    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duoapl-hi.jpg  

    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duo-gw-hi.jpg  

    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duor-hi.jpg  

    CAt User Review: Gemini Duo / NW 2016 version / Wireless remote-duo-gw-hi-copy.jpg  


  42. #42
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    Great photos, Cat. The tint difference between the Duo and Gloworm is quite noticeable; I can literally feel my eyes relax (as they do on the trail) when viewing the warmer Gloworm tint. And I definitely agree that the Gloworm UI needs a significant upgrade. Timing the requisite "double-click" to change the intensity levels can be maddening.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by stu06 View Post
    Great photos, Cat. The tint difference between the Duo and Gloworm is quite noticeable; I can literally feel my eyes relax (as they do on the trail) when viewing the warmer Gloworm tint. And I definitely agree that the Gloworm UI needs a significant upgrade. Timing the requisite "double-click" to change the intensity levels can be maddening.
    I agree completely. The tint of the Gloworm let's me see more of the trail detail. Even though the difference is minute it's amazing how much it makes a difference and yes there is a noticeable comfort level to the warmer tint as well.

    The problem with the Gloworm UI has been talked about before. Matter of fact I did the doodie just last night as I approached a hard technical turn. "Double clicked" too fast and got into the " 10-level " programming mode. Of course I forgot how to exit the mode using the remote and thankfully remembered that someone mentioned that if you just unplug the battery you keep your previous settings. PITA but it works. Yep, Gloworm needs to change the "double click" to something else ( maybe a fast five click? ). Problem is I'm not sure it's fixable unless there's some way to reprogram the firmware. In any case if it continues to bother me I might have to go back to using one of the older GWX2's and just have the emitters upgraded to "neutral white". I'll lose the ability to reprogram the UI but I can deal with that. At least with the older ones you can double click to your heart's content.

    Anyway, with the Gemini's you don't have any of those problems.

    And speaking of remote's and such; If there is an upgrade I'd like to see for future editions ( and this applies to both Gloworm and Gemini ) I'd like to see the remote include a couple small mini leds to indicate mode. When using two lamps sometimes you forget which lamp is in "which mode". This is a problem sometimes because in order to check it you have to point one lamp away and cycle the modes to see if you are in the mode you think you are in. ( I'm sure I'm not the only one that has had to do this on occasion )

    A good fix for this would be two really small led indicators on the remote itself. Green for low, red for high, no led for medium, that would work. Real important though that the leds on the remote's not be overly bright. Not having to second guess which lamp is in which mode at times would be really nice. I'm sure the "Race People" would love it as well.

  44. #44
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    Duo-R, still going strong

    Tonight I took my "Hunk-Lee" two cell along just in case I needed it. It seems the ride I had last night brought some of my skills back. The trails I rode tonight were much the same as last night but the section I rode tonight was much different. Goodness, I was clearing almost everything technical tonight. Rocky sections that usually having me stalling halfway I was popping right over.

    While on the first section I decided to stop in order to change the low on the Duo so it was a bit lower. After that it was much easier to tell the difference between low and medium. Not to mention that I was wasting power with the low set too high.

    Sometimes rides don't always go the way you plan and tonight was one of those nights for me. After I completed the first section ( a long rocky moderate climb ) I was contemplating on whither or not I wanted to complete the whole loop because it was starting to get a little cold. ( me'sa hate being cold ). Not only that but the following section was notorious for being torn up by ATV'ers. After a couple of minutes I decided to double back and take another trail that I've never used before that ( according to the GPS OSMcycle map app I was using ) showed a couple trails that could be used to cut the loop in half...sort of.

    Usually I'm not one to explore new stuff at night but the trails were so nice and dry I couldn't help myself. God I love finding good/new/rideable trails! Just made my night. On the way back once again I was clearing sections that I had never cleared before. Gosh it feels good doing that.

    At the very end of the loop is a very nice/fast/winding downhill section. With both lamps on high I'm moving along at the usual fast pace. As I rail around a sharp turn suddenly I hear a train in the distance. The train is going the same direction as me only on the other side of the river. I'm thinking to myself, "Can I beat him to the bottom?" I don't know why but just hearing the train itself was the perfect soundtrack to what I was doing.

    At the end of the hill is a short technical rocky section that I've only cleared two or three times. Didn't matter. I was riding like fear didn't exist. In the back of my mind the opening riff from the song "Train, Train is playing inside my head. As I come up on the rocky last short hill I fly over all the rocks without hardly hitting the brakes.

    After that it was level ground and smooth sailing as I was paralleling the river with the train approaching on the other side. I could see the train now. As the train is approaching I could swear the train slowed for a moment just because the Conductor was probably wondering what the hell the lights were on the other side of the river. I did flash the Duo over his way so maybe I woke him up from his boredom.

    Back at the car once again I noticed that the Gemini battery was still showing green. True I probably only used the high for maybe 10 to 15 minutes but the ride was about 1.5 hrs long. Not bad for a two cell battery. Tonight the Duo-R got a good test on a fast moving downhill run. It performed very well for a two emitter lamp and I had no problems seeing anything I needed to see.

    Folks, sorry if my posts tend to sound "blog-ish". Stuff happens on rides at night so I figure it makes for better reading if I include the ride details....Well, back to work Monday. I enjoyed the nice 4-day spring break and a chance to put the Gemini Duo-R through some paces. Real glad I got the good weather too. I hope it continues.

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    Sounds like a great ride! Nice to get in the zone, great feeling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Folks, sorry if my posts tend to sound "blog-ish". Stuff happens on rides at night so I figure it makes for better reading if I include the ride details....Well, back to work Monday. I enjoyed the nice 4-day spring break and a chance to put the Gemini Duo-R through some paces. Real glad I got the good weather too. I hope it continues.
    Cat, your posts are always very interesting and informative. I, for one, welcome such sharing. Night riding is simply awesome in so many ways. My wife firmly believes that I ride at night for the sole purpose of playing with lights. She may be right!

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    Just got my 2016 duo in neutral white. Love the light and will post up thoughts later, but had some issues with the switch as well.

    As soon as I unboxed the light and put it together, I eagerly gave the remote switch a go and, nothing! Tried from numerous locations and kept unplugging the battery as directed to get a connection, but still nothing.

    Anyway, took it for a ride and suddenly the dimming button began to work, but still no mode button. The dimming button wouldn't always work when depressed, but I found if keeping the button depressed after hearing a click, pressing even harder would actually get it to function.

    The best way to describe it was it was like having a missing key on a keyboard. There's a certain art to pressing your finger all the way in the hole until you hit the spot..

    To get the mode button working I had to press down hard, swivel my thumb around to try and get at the spot and then finally,she's turned on!

    I've noticed that after more use the dimming button is functioning a lot better, although the mode button still seems hard to impress. I'm getting the impression it takes a certain "bedding" in process, but rather than being a pairing issue, it's actually an issue with the mechanical switch in my brief experience.

    Just my 2 cents if anyone else has the same issue. Apologies for the cheesy puns, I must be getting tired.

  48. #48
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    Hey just wanted to add a couple things to this since I have a new Duo in the NW version now (along with the Olympia):

    Remote was finicky at first for me as well, but works beautifully now, including controlling both lights with 1 remote. Stay synced quite well. Best I've seen yet.

    Output is true to rating, the one I got is actually running a fair bit high till the head really warms up.

    In testing I did find the thermal step down issue, it steps down alot which can be an issue. But if you don't try to slowly spin up a hill at max then it seems to be ok for dealing with the heat and avoidng the step down.

    Also here's the run time out graph I did for it as well:



    I did find part of the issue being that it pulls rather high current for the output, around 2.5A (avg, watched it push close to 3A during the full test for the graph) vs 2A or less from other lights producing same output. Fair bit weak in the driver efficiency as optics are good. Compared against "better" and output differences were very minimal.

    Great little light, could use a couple improvements (thermal step down design and driver efficiency). Definitely in love with the remote system. I'm fine with band mount for the remote and the huge buttons are really nice.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by whokilledJR View Post
    Just got my 2016 duo in neutral white. Love the light and will post up thoughts later, but had some issues with the switch as well.

    As soon as I unboxed the light and put it together, I eagerly gave the remote switch a go and, nothing! Tried from numerous locations and kept unplugging the battery as directed to get a connection, but still nothing.

    Anyway, took it for a ride and suddenly the dimming button began to work, but still no mode button. The dimming button wouldn't always work when depressed, but I found if keeping the button depressed after hearing a click, pressing even harder would actually get it to function.

    The best way to describe it was it was like having a missing key on a keyboard. There's a certain art to pressing your finger all the way in the hole until you hit the spot..

    To get the mode button working I had to press down hard, swivel my thumb around to try and get at the spot and then finally,she's turned on!


    I've noticed that after more use the dimming button is functioning a lot better, although the mode button still seems hard to impress. I'm getting the impression it takes a certain "bedding" in process, but rather than being a pairing issue, it's actually an issue with the mechanical switch in my brief experience.

    Just my 2 cents if anyone else has the same issue. Apologies for the cheesy puns, I must be getting tired.
    Well after reading your post I have to scratch my head. I wouldn't of thought there would be a problem when first trying it out of the box. Playing with it in my hands I had no problems. Out of the box mine worked fine. Problem came when I did the first ride as the lamp seemed to do all kinds of strange things when I first tried to change modes. After I unplugged the lamp and started again everything was fine. Odd but maybe since the lamp had not been used long it needed to re-sync. ( whatever(?))....I also noticed that if the remote is not properly seated on the bars it can act wacky. This might have something to do with the plastic construction or just might have to do with not getting a good complete push on the button, who knows. All I know is if it starts to act up I unplug/re-plug and then just make sure I have the remote set-up/seated right and then usually the problem goes away.

    The Olympia I have did the same thing but so far it's been a one time thing. Of course that doesn't mean it can't happen again. That said I'll be watching to make sure this isn't something that I would consider to be a major problem. Since it is something wireless I just hope that it doesn't develop into something major. So far I'm good with it but when it does act up it is usually right as I start to ride. That wouldn't be good if you were racing. Let's just say if I were going wireless and racing with these I'd make sure I did a couple test runs with the remote before the race starts. If it doesn't act buggy right away you should be good to go.

    The second button is not for dimming but for "momentary boost". Basically only useful if you use it on the road. Also keep in mind the "programming mode" is only activated using the button on the lamp. If you haven't properly left "programming mode" on the lamp the remote isn't going to work. Just saying...FYI.

  50. #50
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    Hi Cat,

    It seems my experience has been a little different, I haven't experienced any issues with the bluetooth connection, it's all down to button feedback. Put simply I have to press the buttons fairly hard to get them to work, in particular the mode button. Looks like I may have gotten a slightly off switch.

    At any rate the service from Jim at actionleds has been great and he's already offered a solution.

    The other button actually does both, boosts and dims. If the light's off it boosts, if on it dims. Really cool feature that is very handy when cycling amongst traffic, although I would rather the light dimmed permanently rather than having to hold down the button.

    It's a shame the xera flashlight and lighthead don't have a remote switch with dimming feature, the xera flashlight with the wide horizontal-flat lens would have made a fantastic self contained road light.

    Neutral white is in the 3 range (either 3C or 3B) which as you mentioned is at the lower end of the spectrum for NW, although still 2 levels warmer and light and day compared with a cold white tint. If I were to guess without checking the data I would say these were XML 2 U3's and the warmer tint of a 4C or 4B wouldn't be available at this bin level. So extra lumens traded for a slightly cooler NW tint, a good trade off in my opinion.

    Aside from that I love the light, even if the buttons are a little bit of a nuisance at the moment.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by whokilledJR View Post
    Hi Cat,

    It seems my experience has been a little different, I haven't experienced any issues with the bluetooth connection, it's all down to button feedback. Put simply I have to press the buttons fairly hard to get them to work, in particular the mode button. Looks like I may have gotten a slightly off switch.

    At any rate the service from Jim at actionleds has been great and he's already offered a solution.

    The other button actually does both, boosts and dims. If the light's off it boosts, if on it dims. Really cool feature that is very handy when cycling amongst traffic, although I would rather the light dimmed permanently rather than having to hold down the button.

    It's a shame the xera flashlight and lighthead don't have a remote switch with dimming feature, the xera flashlight with the wide horizontal-flat lens would have made a fantastic self contained road light.

    Neutral white is in the 3 range (either 3C or 3B) which as you mentioned is at the lower end of the spectrum for NW, although still 2 levels warmer and light and day compared with a cold white tint. If I were to guess without checking the data I would say these were XML 2 U3's and the warmer tint of a 4C or 4B wouldn't be available at this bin level. So extra lumens traded for a slightly cooler NW tint, a good trade off in my opinion.

    Aside from that I love the light, even if the buttons are a little bit of a nuisance at the moment.
    Your right on the emitters except their 3D tint. And can't go warmer as not available in warmer tints beyond T6 bin right now.

    As for the remote thing, went to do a full run on the sphere with the Olympia using the Duo's remote (Olympia's remote is on my bike, runs both perfectly) and this one was a bit finicky at first. Seems these remotes really don't like being around a bunch of electronic equipment. I had to hold the button for a second to get it to engage high mode.

    I do have a question, why are you worried about permenantly dimming off the second button when you can cycle to low via the regular button. Kind of redundant isn't it?

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by whokilledJR View Post
    ....The other button actually does both, boosts and dims. If the light's off it boosts, if on it dims. Really cool feature that is very handy when cycling amongst traffic, although I would rather the light dimmed permanently rather than having to hold down the button.

    It's a shame the xera flashlight and lighthead don't have a remote switch with dimming feature, the xera flashlight with the wide horizontal-flat lens would have made a fantastic self contained road light.

    Neutral white is in the 3 range (either 3C or 3B) which as you mentioned is at the lower end of the spectrum for NW, although still 2 levels warmer and light and day compared with a cold white tint. If I were to guess without checking the data I would say these were XML 2 U3's and the warmer tint of a 4C or 4B wouldn't be available at this bin level. So extra lumens traded for a slightly cooler NW tint, a good trade off in my opinion.

    Aside from that I love the light, even if the buttons are a little bit of a nuisance at the moment.
    I see what you were saying about the second button. When in high mode the second button dims. Basically the second button is there to provide momentary "flash duty". In that sense it works perfectly. If the lamp is off you can press the second button as many times as you want if you are trying to attract attention. As soon as you stop it goes back to the original setting. Believe me, that is exactly what you want it to do. If it stayed high ( or low ) when pressed it would no longer function as an "intermittent flash". The beauty of it is that it is perfect for someone on the road who just wants to quickly flash a vehicle to attract their attention. The rider has the choice at that point to use the second button to manually flash the vehicle or he can press and hold the mode button ( 1st button ) for "auto flash".

    About the degree of NW that you were talking about; Yes, at the current bin level being used for the Duo-R a warmer NW emitter is likely not available at this time. That's unfortunate but all is not loss. Someone willing to take the loss in lumen output can op for another lower bin NW emitter. Jim from ActionLED is willing to do that but you have to request it and pay for the retro-refit. I'm still on the fence trying to decide whether or not I want to go that route. If I send mine in he's willing to use the same LED's that are being used for the Gloworms being retro-fitted.

    Yes likely there would be a loss of throw if I went for the NW's but on the other hand since the lamp is programmable you are really only going to notice the loss when in the highest mode and likely that really won't make that much of a difference. Keep in mind you lose a small amount of throw/efficiency but you gain some visual clarity by having less reflective feedback glare. Something to think about. I've all ready experienced this effect with other NW lamps so I know it can be a positive trade off.

    Oh, and lastly, if you wanted a self contained flashlight with remote you might consider the Wiz20. ( **edit, sorry, Wiz20 doesn't have a remote ) About the same price range and should be what you are looking for. ( another option is the Gloworm Urban or Trail with remote for a little more money )
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 05-30-2016 at 04:44 PM.

  53. #53
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    Wiz20 doesn't have a remote, just the xp2 does so far. Discussion has been had about a remote switch for the wiz20 though.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Wiz20 doesn't have a remote, just the xp2 does so far. Discussion has been had about a remote switch for the wiz20 though.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Oh crap! ( slap! ) I thought I remembered seeing it as having a remote... I must of gotten the WizXP2 and 20 confused. My bad. Damn, Wiz20 with remote would of been nice.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Your right on the emitters except their 3D tint. And can't go warmer as not available in warmer tints beyond T6 bin right now.

    As for the remote thing, went to do a full run on the sphere with the Olympia using the Duo's remote (Olympia's remote is on my bike, runs both perfectly) and this one was a bit finicky at first. Seems these remotes really don't like being around a bunch of electronic equipment. I had to hold the button for a second to get it to engage high mode.

    I do have a question, why are you worried about permenantly dimming off the second button when you can cycle to low via the regular button. Kind of redundant isn't it?

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Thanks for the info Tigris99! Good to know the actual bin is 3D.

    My light switch is now working perfectly 3 rides in. The general impression I got was it was more of a physical thing, perhaps the inner nipple of the button cavity compressed due to high altitude pressure via flight (overseas shipping) and took a while to reform it's shape. Just a wild stab in the dark.

    When I mentioned permanent dimming, I more or less mean one press for dimming, and one press for returning to the previous mode, like a high mode/low mode setting. Of course this is just a preference and I could just change modes with the mode button. Otherwise I still appreciate the ability to dim the lights instantly which is still a great feature.

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    Thanks Cat. I agree with what you're saying in relation to the second button acting as a flasher, bear in mind I'm referring to the other function of dimming while the lights on. The button is capable of dimming to an ultra low level no matter what mode you're in when on. To explain my preference more clearly, whilst the light is on I'd prefer a single press high mode/low mode functionality rather than a press and hold for dimming, so one press dims, one press returns to the previous mode as opposed to a press and hold for dimming. Flashing for attention when the light is off is very practical and I wouldn't change that side of things.

    I've got 2 bikes and do both road biking and mtb, so for the mtb setup I have the fenix BC30 as my bar flooder and the duo as my headlight which is working great, both are NW tinted.

    For the road bike the battery pack of the duo and duel leds is a little overkill and I'm really in the market for a simple self contained, compact, convenient to mount, single led bike light, and I'm either going to go with the gemini xera flashlight with wide degree optic or the fenix bc21r, or probably both. The reason being is they would both provide a beam with a horizontal cut off and would work well by not blinding people. The wiz20 looks cool but I already have the BC30 which I consider to be a bit too bulky for the road bike and a pain to keep moving back and forth between both lights, in particular as the mounting system interferes with the cabling /bar tape, I know I'm being a bit of a nancyboy. The xera flashlight looks kinda cool and as I have multiple optics to use, would also be kind of fun to play around with the set-up.

    The new self contained gloworm lights look cool as well, just not what I'm looking for on the road bike.

  57. #57
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    Received! Vancbiker Duo GoPro Adapter

    Just got my Gopro adapter from Vancbiker. Looks sweet! Can't wait to try it out with the Duo. Now I'm gonna have to get one for the Olympia. Of course it might be a while before I use the Duo again since I've yet to give the new Wiz XP3 I have a decent trail test.

  58. #58
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    Duo with vancbiker Gopro mount

    I took the Duo-R out with the vanc GoPro mount tonight hoping to see how well the add heat sinking abilities of the custom GoPro mount affected the lamps ability to dissipate heat.

    Sadly tonight I picked the wrong trail to try it out on. My plan was to let the light run on high as long as I was moving. Unfortunately the trail I was riding was the same trail I tried to ride last week ( the one with major trail damage from extreme flash flooding ). Just on the first section ( usually an moderate easy climb ) had three places where the trail had completely washed out, resulting in three huge 15-25 ft. wide / 5-6ft deep crevices. Debris was everywhere ( and boy did it beat me up trying to ride over it all ). This kept my speed down to half of what I normally do. To get through the crevices I had to portage the bike a number of times. When walking I always turn the lamp to low.

    The first half of the ride ended up being slower than usual. The Duo of course was getting very hot. It never did self-power down during the time I was using it but like I said, "If I had to walk a section I would power down to low". At the half way point I switched lamps so I could run the ITUO XP3 on the return. ( see XP3 thread ).
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 08-21-2016 at 02:10 AM.

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