Need advice on MS/Dinotte mix- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    nocturnal oblivion
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    Need advice on MS/Dinotte mix

    Currently I run a 400L on the helmet and a 400L on the bars using 2 2cell batteries. Should I consider a MS 900 helmet light and run both 400L on the bars?
    If so what'd be the best battery setup? I don't want any more weight on my head. Should I use a Dinnotte battery for the MS and just get the 900 head? Running the battery in the backpack is adding complexity.
    Is the Dinnotte 4c battery better/more reliable than MS batteries?
    Will the helmet mounted 900 overbear a single or two 400Ls?

  2. #2
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    First, tell us more about why you are looking at adding more light to your setup. Is 800 lumens not sufficient?

    I really like my MS, and have nothing but positive things to say about it. If I had your setup, I would not add the MS to the mix. For me, 2 x 400L would be plenty enough.

    I don't have a 400L so I can't say how one or two would mix with a MS.

    The MS battery has been good to me. However, I waterproofed it before getting it wet. I can't say if it's more reliable than a DiNotte battery, as my DiNottes use AA batteries.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    nocturnal oblivion
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper
    First, tell us more about why you are looking at adding more light to your setup. Is 800 lumens not sufficient?
    800 lumens is sufficient, but the MS is so cheap I figured why not. I work nights so 90% of my trail riding is at night. My big concerns are weight on the head and MS battery reliability though as stated.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble
    Currently I run a 400L on the helmet and a 400L on the bars using 2 2cell batteries. Should I consider a MS 900 helmet light and run both 400L on the bars?
    If so what'd be the best battery setup? I don't want any more weight on my head. Should I use a Dinotte battery for the MS and just get the 900 head? Running the battery in the backpack is adding complexity.
    Is the Dinnotte 4c battery better/more reliable than MS batteries?
    Will the helmet mounted 900 overbear a single or two 400Ls?
    My thoughts....MS on the helmet, one 400L on the bars. That should be enough. If you need more on the bars, maybe consider trading one of the 400L's in for a 600L and keep the other as a back up. Dinotte does accept trade in's when doing upgrades.

    Of course if upgrading the bar light is too much money, consider just mounting a P-7 torch to supplement your 400L. I used a P-7 torch all last year to supplement my 600L and it was awesome. IMO..the hassle of mounting two 400L's on the bars would be too much, not to mention trying to change the modes on both sets while riding.

  5. #5
    Do It Yourself
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    I think the beam on the Magicshine works best as a helmet. It has a nice bright hotspot with good peripheral spill. For a bar light, I would like a more uniform smooth spread. However the Magicshine helmet mount is seriously crap. First, it's really junky, probably the worst I've seen out of the dozen or more brands I've owned. And worse yet, it stands really high off the helmet which causes balance problems (tipping forward).

    The helmet mount is the biggest design flaw of the Magicshine system and why I'm still working on building a different light. My Cateye Double Shot head weighs about 20g more but is so much more comfortable on the helmet. The Cateye mount sits at least an inch lower. Comparatively, the MS helmet mount seems like an afterthought. I'm not sure how it compares with the Lupine it knocked off, but I can't believe the German engineering would be this bad.

    I'm not sure if anyone has done it, but maybe you can just upgrade your Dinotte lights with new LEDs. Some XPE R3 for the helmet or XPG R5 for the bar would be an inexpensive upgrade if they fit in with the current design. It would turn your 400 into a 500 or 600.
    Long Live Long Rides

  6. #6
    nocturnal oblivion
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    ^^^Good point, I'll hold out. The MS would be too much (weight) for me on the helmet. Thanks all, good thoughts.

  7. #7
    It ain't easy being Green
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    It's all in the eye of the beholder; I and many of my riding buddies use the MS900 as a helmet light, it's perfect for that usage as others have mentioned. I don't have an issue with the helmet mount ("niggles", but no "issues"); you can always mount the light directly to your helmet with just an O-ring if you get lucky with your helmet vent hole placement (Giro Xen is perfect for this).

    Waterproofing the battery is cake, just use some silicone sealant; yeah, yeah, you shouldn't have to but it's just an $80 light... and a darned good one too!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble
    ^^^Good point, I'll hold out. The MS would be too much (weight) for me on the helmet. Thanks all, good thoughts.
    ...assuming you don't mount the batteries for the MS on the helmet ( or the 400L ) what is the weight difference between the MS and the 400L ? I do agree with others though that the mounting solution for the MS is not what I would ideally want BUT the beam pattern is great for helmet mounting and there are other options for adapting the light to other mounting solutions. One such other solution has been mentioned and you can adapt the MS to a Marwi helmet mount using the adapter that EL34 sells. The hardest part in mounting a helmet lamp is figuring out how to deal with all the strange vent configurations.

  9. #9
    nocturnal oblivion
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    ^^^True true, running the battery in the backpack is an option, though a nuisance at times (I don't do it now) The other valid point is the high profile of the MS. More than once while climbing I've caught the 400L on a branch with my head attached.

  10. #10
    nocturnal oblivion
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    Price and battery compatibility are still compelling. I don't know much about LED technology, but where does the dramatic price difference come from?
    Last edited by stumblemumble; 04-13-2010 at 08:52 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble
    Price and battery compatibility are still compelling. I don't know much about LED technology, but where does the dramatic price difference come from?
    ...my two cent answer, The Chinese. Just like they can make a bike frame cheaper than in North America they can make lights too. I suspect within a couple years they will get better making LED lights and put a lot of the North American companies out of business. Adding to this "Price difference" will be the added F- factor of charging more to ship any light in North America that includes Li-ion batteries. ( * sometimes the law makers in our government can be their own worse enemy... )

    The Chinese won't really have to worry about our Hazmat shipping fees. Even if they did, they will simply construct a hazmat box that cost about $ 0.50 and roll the cost over to the product side. In our country the people who market stuff try to nickel and dime the comsumer so much that it should soon be referred to as a mental illness....ie..." I'm not feeling well today, I have Nickel and dime syndrome". I can say that because I pay $1.25 for a 16 oz. bottle of water. Since water is free I'm paying $1.25 for the throw away plastic bottle....you catch my drift? You can equate this to buying $10 worth of Li-ion cells and paying $35-$45 to ship them via UPS or FedX.

  12. #12
    It ain't easy being Green
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble
    ^^^True true, running the battery in the backpack is an option, though a nuisance at times (I don't do it now) The other valid point is the high profile of the MS. More than once while climbing I've caught the 400L on a branch with my head attached.
    Yep, there's no getting around that; I have "bash tested" my MS more than a few times! It still hasn't broken yet....

    If you want lo-profile lights on your helmet there is nothing lower-pro than Ay-Up, but you may not like the $$. NR Minewt can be mounted fairly low too if you use just an o-ring, but the light output is nothing compared to MS.

    And it's also true that the MS battery is too heavy to be helmet mounted. No biggie for me, I just run the wire under my cb and put the battery in my jersey pocket.

  13. #13
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    I used a 1 inch chunk of 1 inch OD PVC conduit. I taped that to my helmet using vulcanized electrical tape (should be available at any hardware store for about $4 US), wrapping it around the conduit, through a vent hole, then back out and around the conduit X 2 or 3 times. I mount the MS to that using an O-ring that is larger than the large one that came with the MS, and it is very stable (for those detail oriented, I use the large O-ring that came with my DiNotte 200L).

    The vulcanized tape gives a rubbery base for the MS to sit on, making it virtually non-slip. The only drawback I can think of is that the PVC is mounted semi-permanently (yes, I could cut the tape, take it off, and then put it back on with tape each time I wanted to use a helmet light, but that would be a PITA).

    BTW, unrelated, but I thought I'd share: I use vulcanized electrical tape for many bike related things. It's basically a roll of non-slip, self-sticking rubber tape. I've wrapped cable housings with it where they might rub the frame to prevent paint damage. I've used it under where rack and fender eyelets contact the frame. I put a wrap or two on my handlebars to make my bar mounted light have a virtually non-slip base. I wrapped some around my DiNotte 140L mount when the rubber fell off the bottom of the DiNotte to make the mount non-slip. I put some under a cycle computer base to make it non-slip. I used it to secure the end of my bar tape on my Cross Check. I've even used it to re-wrap sports racquet handles. I find having a roll around to be indispensable.

  14. #14
    nocturnal oblivion
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    J Hopper, I second that tape. Great stuff. Did you ever try using your Dinnotte 200 helmet mount on the MS? I have one of those helmet mounts and hear it works, maybe still not well enough though?

  15. #15
    nocturnal oblivion
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    A follow-up. Got the MS 900, run my two 400Ls on the bars and use one of the Dinnotte 2C for the MS, helmet weight therefore isn't an issue. Just have to keep the MS on low for the climb.
    Secondly, the old Dinnotte 200 helmet mount works fine with the MS 900.
    Overall I'm very happy now.
    One problem that we all know of is catching the light on branches. A branch caught the MS on a flat section at about 5 mph and just about ripped my head off. Beside being cautious of this, I'm looking to streamline/foam wrap the mount area to give branches less to catch on.
    I'm I hope no one in Rider Down will have a bad wreck from this, could be bad.

  16. #16
    nocturnal oblivion
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble
    One problem that we all know of is catching the light on branches. A branch caught the MS on a flat section at about 5 mph and just about ripped my head off. Beside being cautious of this, I'm looking to streamline/foam wrap the mount area to give branches less to catch on.
    I'm I hope no one in Rider Down will have a bad wreck from this, could be bad.
    Looking into this I found the cable was kinked with some tree bark residue on it. The cable was the culprit, easy fix. It'd be better if the cable didn't exit the front though.

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