Sofirn SP33/SP36 BLF Magnetic USB Type C Charging from KD USB Power Bank- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Magnetic USB C Charging from Power Banks

    Hey these things really work!

    Good thing too because of course like the first move I made with my brand new Sofirn SP36 BLF Anduril was to accidentally pull the silicone rubber USB C charging port cover off along with the cable I was trying to remove, D’oh! At least now the USB Type C magnetic adapter can just stay plugged in there as a dust cap. Better not go riding in the rain though.


    Sofirn SP36 BLF Anduril Magnetic USB Type C Adapter
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Kaidomain 4 x 18650 Dual USB Power Bank DIY Components 90 ° Elbow Magnetic USB Type C LED Cable Sofirn SP36 BLF Anduril
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Sofirn SP33 V3.0 Copper Epileptical ™ Reflector Shield Magnetic USB Type C Adapter
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Sofirn SP33 V3.0 Copper Epileptical ™ Reflector Shield Kaidomain 4 x 18650 Dual USB Power Bank DIY Components 90 ° Elbow Magnetic USB Type C LED Cable
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Kaidomain 4 x 18650 Dual USB Power Bank DIY Components
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr

    Just ordered another bunch of the 1M cables in Silver, to go with the fork and frame of my Stratus XPC. Can fit two of those power banks in a frame bag, should be able to ride for hours with the little Sofirns on High (wouldn’t try that stunt on Turbo).
    Last edited by andychrist; 02-10-2020 at 05:43 AM.

  2. #2
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    I'm somewhat confused by your post. Why are you using a USB battery bank? If you want longer run times it would just make more sense to bring extra loose 26650 cells ( or 21700 / 18650 cells with adapter ). Besides USB battery banks tend to lose efficiency because of the voltage step up conversion. Better IMO to just bring extra loose cells and switch out the battery(s) when the output wanes. ( Isn't that the advantage of using a torch as a bike light?)

    BTW, I like your copper torch hood. Very well done. Still, I would think using aluminum would of been the better way to go simply because the inside would be more reflective than something that is copper colored.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Cat.

    The purpose of external battery banks is precisely so that I don’t ever have to stop and switch out batteries. Am rural and there are only two or three places along my three hour ride home where I can safely pull over along the side of the road. Also it’s difficult to unscrew the flashlights while wearing gloves and mittens and I don’t dare take them off for any length of time until I get home, my fingers freeze too quickly and warm back up too slowly.

    Inefficiency of USB is more than made up for by the power bank’s 13600mAh capacity (versus 5500mAh on the Sofirn 26650 cells.) Dunno whether I’ll ever have to use them though, runtime for the Sofirns on the second highest setting is 9 hours IIRC. Just that if I ever want/need to operate them on High they’d only last maybe two hours on the single cell, and probably step down a long time before then (FET driver rather than Boost.)

    Copper on the hoods for the Sofirn SP33 V3.0 is to compensate as much as possible for the 6800K blue tint. Works fairly well but is still no miracle cure. At least the effect is pretty strong in the near field, and my 4000K high beams blend in further out for a very well balanced natural white light. Do think I’ll go over the outsides with aluminum tape though, because the bare copper gets spotty from local acid rain (am across the river from a cement plant.)


    2x JKK03 4000K 38mm Bead Surface Plastic Plano Convex Lens d-c-fix Milky Aluminum Epileptical ™ Reflector Shield 2x Sofirn SP33 V3.0 32.5MM 5-DEGREE PMMA OPTICAL LENS d-c-fix Milky COPPER Epileptical ™ Reflector Shield
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr

    https://forums.mtbr.com/lights-diy-d...l#post14533075

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    Thanks Cat.

    The purpose of external battery banks is precisely so that I don’t ever have to stop and switch out batteries. Am rural and there are only two or three places along my three hour ride home where I can safely pull over along the side of the road. Also it’s difficult to unscrew the flashlights while wearing gloves and mittens and I don’t dare take them off for any length of time until I get home, my fingers freeze too quickly and warm back up too slowly.

    Inefficiency of USB is more than made up for by the power bank’s 13600mAh capacity (versus 5500mAh on the Sofirn 26650 cells.) Dunno whether I’ll ever have to use them though, runtime for the Sofirns on the second highest setting is 9 hours IIRC. Just that if I ever want/need to operate them on High they’d only last maybe two hours on the single cell, and probably step down a long time before then (FET driver rather than Boost.)

    Copper on the hoods for the Sofirn SP33 V3.0 is to compensate as much as possible for the 6800K blue tint. Works fairly well but is still no miracle cure. At least the effect is pretty strong in the near field, and my 4000K high beams blend in further out for a very well balanced natural white light. Do think I’ll go over the outsides with aluminum tape though, because the bare copper gets spotty from local acid rain (am across the river from a cement plant.)
    Okay, my bad of sorts. I was thinking more along the lines of MTB'n. You have this set up on a road set-up and an unconventional bike at that. If the lamp is mounted beyond easy reach that would certainly change things. I would imagine sitting lower to the ground would make it harder to see objects in the road also. Otherwise I think most people on a conventional road bike would have no problems switching out a battery on a 3hr. road or commute ride. Since we're talking about 26650 cells might even be able to go 3hr. without having to change a cell...( depending on what output is being used. ) ( My Wiz-1 using one 4500mAh 26650 is suppose to go 4hrs on the second highest level ~ 400 lumen...although I've never tested it for run time ) @800 lumen suppose to run 2.5 hr. Now if I used one of the newer Orbtronic 5750mAh 26650 cells I might actually get 3hrs running the 800 lumen mode.

    Of course running a torch on full output full time might also bring about thermal issues which might cause the lamp to drop in output ( assuming it has thermal regulation circuit which most newer high output torches have ) but all depends on the maximum output of the lamp and how well the lamp can dissipate heat.

    Anyway, I have no issues with stopping while on road rides. I sometimes pull off the road ( or on the shoulder of the road ) just to mess with the play list on my phone or to look at a weather app if I think rain is imminent. Yeah, I can do this on the fly but sometimes just better to stop if in heavy traffic. Wow...Three hours is one long commute ( and my God in the winter cold to boot.....I am not worthy.... )

  5. #5
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    Update!

    Thanks Cat but this isn’t a daily commute for me, only my shopping run so I just wait for relatively mild weather (above freezing) to head out. Biggest challenge is that with all the panniers and trailer fully loaded my rig can exceed 150lbs, one of the reasons it’s so hard to find a place to pull over. Need a lot of space and level ground so the bike doesn’t tip on its kickstand — or worse, break it in twain. Rural highway has no lights, barely any shoulder and is laid out like a roller coaster. Not to mention that this new (to me) recumbent with a 26” front wheel (as opposed to the 20-incher found on most similar long wheel based bikes) is not such a good climber when loaded. Fortunately though its taller steering mast makes it much easier to push up hills when necessary.

    Yeah, with its proprietary 5500mAh cell the SP33 V3.0 is advertised to have a run time of 9H21M on the second highest setting of 450lm and 2H21M on High at 1600lm. Says 1H53M on 3500lm Turbo mode but I have trouble believing that. Mole here found the actual runtimes noticeably shorter and IIRC they included step downs? Anyway somewhere between mid level and high would be fine with me, just that under [the default] ramping mode it’s pretty much impossible to know how many lumens it’s putting out and calculate a runtime from that. Think the Anduril software allows the user to program steps but haven’t had the time so far to fully digest the ten pound manual. Did purchase an additional pair of 5500mAh 20A Vape Cells from the 18650BatteryStore but have yet to use (or even charge) them.

    Also you are correct Cat, the flashlights’ low position is sub-optimal. Unfortunately was necessary to clear the WindWrap fairing that was slated to mount above. Turned out though that the WERX I purchased sits too high over the chopper bars for me to see over, so I tossed it. Now should be able to move the Sofirns maybe a few inches higher up the fork so their beams are less oblique. Will have to swap out the shims on those swivel clamps you recommended to accommodate the increase of width on the chromoly tubing in that superior position (new silicone rubber pads scheduled for delivery today.) Thanks again for sharing that link, was the only solution that allowed mounting of a 26650 cell flashlight. Happy to find that the angle is adjustable on the fly too, makes it possible to drop in or slide out a battery without having to remove the whole flashlight from the bike.

    Anyway with the external USB power banks, should be able to run these suckers on High long enough to make it home without stopping. Just one little problem I ran into, turns out the USB Type C recess on the SP33 is a cut out a bit differently from that on Sofirn’s SP36 BLF so that it won’t allow a magnetic adapter to really lock in. (Way these things are designed, should require pliers to remove ‘em.) Was lucky that neither of the ones I’d somehow managed to stick in ever fell out during my ride home last night. Was probably because I hadn’t bothered attaching the charging cables — their weight would have been too much for the loose adapters to support.

    Was lucky to score possibly the last remaining pair of 4’ 90º non-magnetic USB Type C cables on eBay shipped from within the USA. They have oblong (rather than circular) bases that should fit the recesses on any corresponding port. Bonus point, USB A end is also 90º so can cram power banks into frame bags without crushing the cables where they plug in. No need for for magnetic connectors in this situation so should all work out swimmingly.

  6. #6
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    Another Update

    Found another magnetic, double elbow Type C charging cable on eBay, from HK.

    Bases on these are also oblong so should fit the USB port recesses in the Sofirn SP33. Too bad they only have one Silver 1M left in stock after I bought a pair, could use two more. Also they are right angle only and don’t rotate like the other’s I’d purchased, though that shouldn’t be a problem for my setup.

    Anyway in the meantime, managed to file down (quite crudely) the edges on one side of the bases of a couple magnetic adapters that came with double elbow cables from Ali, so that they fit pretty well inside the Sofirn’s ports now. Ridges through the black plastic undersides made the job relatively easy, wouldn’t attempt the same operation on the single elbow brand from eBay with the solid round plastic adapter base.


    Twitch 90 Degree Magnetic cable usb type c adapter [Unmodified]
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Twitch 90 Degree Magnetic cable usb type c adapter modified for Sofirn SP33
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Twitch 90 Degree Magnetic cable usb type c adapter modified for Sofirn SP33
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Twitch 90 Degree Magnetic cable usb type c adapter modified for Sofirn SP33
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Twitch 90 Degree Magnetic cable usb type c adapter modified for Sofirn SP33
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Twitch 90 Degree Magnetic cable usb type c adapter modified for Sofirn SP33
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr

    Not absolutely, perfectly flush but tight enough to necessitate pliers for removal and the charging connection works reliably. For some stoopid reason though I’d only ordered a single 1M cable instead of the pair needed for my Sofrins, D’oh! Takes months to get here so probably won’t bother ordering another.

  7. #7
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    90º Double Elbow Magnetic USB Cables, Oblong Adapter Plugs

    So found these 90º cables on eBay with oblong plugs that fit into the Sofirn SP33 USB-C port recess. Support pass through charging and with elbows at both ends can be plugged into power banks placed in Rhinowalk frame bags without stressing the connectors. Seems I must have bought the last ones though because the vendor is currently sold out, guess the factory hasn’t been able to start back up.


    Sofirn SP33V3 90 Degree Double-Elbow Magnetic Type-C USB Adapter Plug
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Sofirn SP33V3 90 Degree Double-Elbow Magnetic Type-C USB Charger Cable Kaidomain DIY 4-Cell USB Powerbank
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr

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