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Re: Disposable battery taillights review

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  • speedub_nate
    There are some videos of the Radbot vs. the Superflash on YouTube. It certainly is brighter than the Superflash, but its flashing mode is curious. I ll have to
    Message 1 of 16 , May 1, 2010
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      There are some videos of the Radbot vs. the Superflash on YouTube. It certainly is brighter than the Superflash, but its flashing mode is curious. I'll have to check one out in person. I imagine Planet Bike will have a Superflash update in the coming months.

      The Cateye random mode is useless to me. I believe the two rows are on independent circuits and move in and out of phase. While this looks good in the store, out on the street at night is loses visual contrast and doesn't broadcast that "punch" of light to grab a motorists attention, which is why I love the Superflash so dearly.
    • Liam Casey
      The only one of these models I m familiar with is the Superflash, and I find them incredibly annoying: what might have been a calm, pleasant night ride with a
      Message 2 of 16 , May 1, 2010
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        The only one of these models I'm familiar with is the Superflash, and
        I find them incredibly annoying: what might have been a calm, pleasant
        night ride with a stranger turns into an overwhelming desire to pass
        them ASAP to get away from that blinding light. While I certainly
        understand the importance of being bright enough to be seen, I also
        think it's important to not blind the person behind you, and that you
        don't need the visual equivalent of a siren to get noticed. Doing so
        is as likely to make a driver want to pass you as quickly as possible
        as it is to make them hold back.

        Just my $0.02.

        Liam

        On Saturday, May 1, 2010, speedub_nate <speedub.nate@...> wrote:
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        > There are some videos of the Radbot vs. the Superflash on YouTube. It certainly is brighter than the Superflash, but its flashing mode is curious. I'll have to check one out in person. I imagine Planet Bike will have a Superflash update in the coming months.
        >
        > The Cateye random mode is useless to me. I believe the two rows are on independent circuits and move in and out of phase. While this looks good in the store, out on the street at night is loses visual contrast and doesn't broadcast that "punch" of light to grab a motorists attention, which is why I love the Superflash so dearly.
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      • speedub_nate
        If you re looking for a pleasant group ride experience, I agree, a little coordination might be nice to get an annoying flasher at the back of the pack; I m
        Message 3 of 16 , May 1, 2010
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          If you're looking for a pleasant group ride experience, I agree, a little coordination might be nice to get an annoying flasher at the back of the pack; I'm cool with not-as-bright solids for the rest.

          But AFAIC, that's not the primary purpose of the flasher. If I'm riding at 10 or 12 MPH and the car behind me is doing 35, I've got less than 10 seconds to get his attention inside of 250 feet. A driver isn't staring at a pitch black road; his eyes are acclimated to the 110 watts his headlights are projecting forward, and a small focused LED powered by a couple of AAA batteries isn't going to faze him.

          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Liam Casey <zyzzyva23@...> wrote:
          >
          > The only one of these models I'm familiar with is the Superflash, and
          > I find them incredibly annoying: what might have been a calm, pleasant
          > night ride with a stranger turns into an overwhelming desire to pass
          > them ASAP to get away from that blinding light. While I certainly
          > understand the importance of being bright enough to be seen, I also
          > think it's important to not blind the person behind you, and that you
          > don't need the visual equivalent of a siren to get noticed. Doing so
          > is as likely to make a driver want to pass you as quickly as possible
          > as it is to make them hold back.

        • lectroid94521
          Thanks for the reviews! I was about to go out and purchase 2 SFs for my new dummy, but I m going to pick up two radbot s instead. I like the built in
          Message 4 of 16 , May 1, 2010
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            Thanks for the reviews! I was about to go out and purchase 2 SFs for my new dummy, but I'm going to pick up two radbot's instead. I like the built in reflector.

            Also, I'd suggest submitting feedback to PDW and PB regarding including a lower power mode for group rides, that is a good idea and shouldn't be hard for voltage regulated software switch lights to include.


            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > I have what I believe are the four highest regarded "high output" AAA and AA taillights currently available in addition to the Dinotte Lithium rechargeable battery pack powered taillight I reviewed recently. These are as follows.
            >
            > Cateye 1100 (AA)
            > Planet Bike SuperFlash (AAA)
            > Blackburn Mars 4.0 (AAA)
            > Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 (AAA)
            >
            > Based on light reflection tests off of a white surface in a dark room I would rate them as follows for output, max to minimum. All were tested with new batteries.
            >
            > 1. Radbot
            > 2. Mars 4.0
            > 3. Cateye 1100
            > 4. SuperFlash
            >
          • Liam Casey
            Heh. Sorry I have to keep reminding myself that this is a worldwide group, and that not everyone on this list rides primary in dense urban areas where there
            Message 5 of 16 , May 1, 2010
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              Heh. Sorry I have to keep reminding myself that this is a worldwide group, and that not everyone on this list rides primary in dense urban areas where there are often as many bikes as cars, everyone's going about the same speed, the streets are often to narrow for cars to safely pass bikes, and the drivers are generally familiar with the concept of sharing the road.

              So yes, turn down the lights on the city streets. If you're in the 'burbs or boonies, though, crank 'em up!

              Liam

              On Sat, May 1, 2010 at 8:44 AM, speedub_nate <speedub.nate@...> wrote:
               

              If you're looking for a pleasant group ride experience, I agree, a little coordination might be nice to get an annoying flasher at the back of the pack; I'm cool with not-as-bright solids for the rest.

              But AFAIC, that's not the primary purpose of the flasher. If I'm riding at 10 or 12 MPH and the car behind me is doing 35, I've got less than 10 seconds to get his attention inside of 250 feet. A driver isn't staring at a pitch black road; his eyes are acclimated to the 110 watts his headlights are projecting forward, and a small focused LED powered by a couple of AAA batteries isn't going to faze him.

              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Liam Casey <zyzzyva23@...> wrote:
              >
              > The only one of these models I'm familiar with is the Superflash, and
              > I find them incredibly annoying: what might have been a calm, pleasant
              > night ride with a stranger turns into an overwhelming desire to pass
              > them ASAP to get away from that blinding light. While I certainly
              > understand the importance of being bright enough to be seen, I also
              > think it's important to not blind the person behind you, and that you
              > don't need the visual equivalent of a siren to get noticed. Doing so
              > is as likely to make a driver want to pass you as quickly as possible
              > as it is to make them hold back.


            • Rich
              One thing I would add about the Radbot. On opening to check it out I noted that there is no rubber seal or O ring sealing the two halves, though they are a
              Message 6 of 16 , May 1, 2010
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                One thing I would add about the Radbot. On opening to check it out I noted that there is no rubber seal or O ring sealing the two halves, though they are a snug fit together with some overlap. If using it in wet weather I would seal the joint with a application of electrical tape all the way around the seam.

                Also it does require a Philips screwdriver for separating the two parts for battery replacement.

                Rich Wood

                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "lectroid94521" <rkt88edmo@...> wrote:
                >
                > Thanks for the reviews! I was about to go out and purchase 2 SFs for my new dummy, but I'm going to pick up two radbot's instead. I like the built in reflector.
                >
                > Also, I'd suggest submitting feedback to PDW and PB regarding including a lower power mode for group rides, that is a good idea and shouldn't be hard for voltage regulated software switch lights to include.
                >
                >
                > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@> wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > I have what I believe are the four highest regarded "high output" AAA and AA taillights currently available in addition to the Dinotte Lithium rechargeable battery pack powered taillight I reviewed recently. These are as follows.
                > >
                > > Cateye 1100 (AA)
                > > Planet Bike SuperFlash (AAA)
                > > Blackburn Mars 4.0 (AAA)
                > > Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 (AAA)
                > >
                > > Based on light reflection tests off of a white surface in a dark room I would rate them as follows for output, max to minimum. All were tested with new batteries.
                > >
                > > 1. Radbot
                > > 2. Mars 4.0
                > > 3. Cateye 1100
                > > 4. SuperFlash
                > >
                >
              • poppamando
                Rich, while this is nice, you missed the opportunity to include the Dinotte 140L-AA-R. This unit uses rechargeable 4 AA batteries. I own this model and it does
                Message 7 of 16 , May 1, 2010
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                  Rich, while this is nice, you missed the opportunity to include the Dinotte 140L-AA-R. This unit uses rechargeable 4 AA batteries. I own this model and it does a fantastic job. I'm sure it would blow most of the others listed away, given how it makes my Superflash look dim by comparison. I use this at night and by day. No matter if it's dark at night, have the sun in the eyes of drivers behind me, or if I disappear into the shadows of trees on a bright sunny day, I'm seen without any problem. I've had numerous compliments about how I can be seen a quarter of a mile away during the day. A co-worker recently told me, "I thought you were a moped!" in the early morning light.

                  http://tinyurl.com/Dinotte140L-AA-R

                  Read the reviews at the bottom of the page.

                  To clarify: I use two Superflash units at night in addition to the Dinotte 140L-AA-R. One of the Superflashes is on the back of my helmet and is left on steady mode. The other is under the rear of my Xtracycle deck and is also left on steady mode. The Dinotte is set on rapid-flash mode. I've never had any driver come close to me in 2 years of pre-dawn riding commuting.

                  -Phil


                  --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I have what I believe are the four highest regarded "high output" AAA and AA taillights currently available in addition to the Dinotte Lithium rechargeable battery pack powered taillight I reviewed recently. These are as follows.
                  >
                  > Cateye 1100 (AA)
                  > Planet Bike SuperFlash (AAA)
                  > Blackburn Mars 4.0 (AAA)
                  > Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 (AAA)
                  >
                • Jeff Snavely
                  5 times the price would fall well outside of comparable product range for most. The Superflash seems to be to be a really poor choice for a light you re
                  Message 8 of 16 , May 1, 2010
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                    5 times the price would fall well outside of "comparable product" range for most.

                    The Superflash seems to be to be a really poor choice for a light you're leaving in steady mode. The flash patten has always been what this light had going for it. It's never been the brightest - despite the desire of many to crown a successor based on brightness alone.





                    On Sat, May 1, 2010 at 5:31 PM, poppamando <b4kids@...> wrote:
                     

                    Rich, while this is nice, you missed the opportunity to include the Dinotte 140L-AA-R. This unit uses rechargeable 4 AA batteries. I own this model and it does a fantastic job. I'm sure it would blow most of the others listed away, given how it makes my Superflash look dim by comparison. I use this at night and by day. No matter if it's dark at night, have the sun in the eyes of drivers behind me, or if I disappear into the shadows of trees on a bright sunny day, I'm seen without any problem. I've had numerous compliments about how I can be seen a quarter of a mile away during the day. A co-worker recently told me, "I thought you were a moped!" in the early morning light.

                    http://tinyurl.com/Dinotte140L-AA-R

                    Read the reviews at the bottom of the page.

                    To clarify: I use two Superflash units at night in addition to the Dinotte 140L-AA-R. One of the Superflashes is on the back of my helmet and is left on steady mode. The other is under the rear of my Xtracycle deck and is also left on steady mode. The Dinotte is set on rapid-flash mode. I've never had any driver come close to me in 2 years of pre-dawn riding commuting.

                    -Phil



                    --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I have what I believe are the four highest regarded "high output" AAA and AA taillights currently available in addition to the Dinotte Lithium rechargeable battery pack powered taillight I reviewed recently. These are as follows.
                    >
                    > Cateye 1100 (AA)
                    > Planet Bike SuperFlash (AAA)
                    > Blackburn Mars 4.0 (AAA)
                    > Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 (AAA)
                    >


                  • poppamando
                    Actually, the 140L-AA-R is on-sale right now for about $89.00 (I have no financial interest in this product - just noticed the sale moments ago). I m simply
                    Message 9 of 16 , May 1, 2010
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                      Actually, the 140L-AA-R is on-sale right now for about $89.00 (I have no financial interest in this product - just noticed the sale moments ago). I'm simply thrilled with this product.

                      By the way, we still use the Superflash on flash mode on our other bikes. I bought the Superflashes for my helmet and Xtracycle before buying the Dinotte. I keep them on steady mode when I have the Dinotte running so drivers don't get distracted/confused. One single point of bright flash and two steady points provide attention getting and reference points in the dark.




                      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Jeff Snavely <jsnavely@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > 5 times the price would fall well outside of "comparable product" range for
                      > most.
                      >
                      > The Superflash seems to be to be a really poor choice for a light you're
                      > leaving in steady mode. The flash patten has always been what this light had
                      > going for it. It's never been the brightest - despite the desire of many to
                      > crown a successor based on brightness alone.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > On Sat, May 1, 2010 at 5:31 PM, poppamando <b4kids@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Rich, while this is nice, you missed the opportunity to include the Dinotte
                      > > 140L-AA-R. This unit uses rechargeable 4 AA batteries. I own this model and
                      > > it does a fantastic job. I'm sure it would blow most of the others listed
                      > > away, given how it makes my Superflash look dim by comparison. I use this at
                      > > night and by day. No matter if it's dark at night, have the sun in the eyes
                      > > of drivers behind me, or if I disappear into the shadows of trees on a
                      > > bright sunny day, I'm seen without any problem. I've had numerous
                      > > compliments about how I can be seen a quarter of a mile away during the day.
                      > > A co-worker recently told me, "I thought you were a moped!" in the early
                      > > morning light.
                      > >
                      > > http://tinyurl.com/Dinotte140L-AA-R
                      > >
                      > > Read the reviews at the bottom of the page.
                      > >
                      > > To clarify: I use two Superflash units at night in addition to the Dinotte
                      > > 140L-AA-R. One of the Superflashes is on the back of my helmet and is left
                      > > on steady mode. The other is under the rear of my Xtracycle deck and is also
                      > > left on steady mode. The Dinotte is set on rapid-flash mode. I've never had
                      > > any driver come close to me in 2 years of pre-dawn riding commuting.
                      > >
                      > > -Phil
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com <rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>,
                      > > "Rich" <astronut1001@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > I have what I believe are the four highest regarded "high output" AAA and
                      > > AA taillights currently available in addition to the Dinotte Lithium
                      > > rechargeable battery pack powered taillight I reviewed recently. These are
                      > > as follows.
                      > > >
                      > > > Cateye 1100 (AA)
                      > > > Planet Bike SuperFlash (AAA)
                      > > > Blackburn Mars 4.0 (AAA)
                      > > > Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 (AAA)
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • Rich
                      Phil; I do not have the Dinotte 140. I did recently purchase the Dinotte 400R taillight and it is totally outrageous. I mounted it on my bike with dynamo hub
                      Message 10 of 16 , May 1, 2010
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                        Phil;

                        I do not have the Dinotte 140. I did recently purchase the Dinotte 400R taillight and it is totally outrageous. I mounted it on my bike with dynamo hub as a secondary light with blinking capability in addition to the Supernova dynamo taillight already on the bike. If a driver claims they did not see me it will be due to the Dinotte blinding them!

                        My review was trying to cover the PB Superflash and similar size, and price, taillights with integral batteries. For small and relatively inexpensive taillights with reasonable light output the PBSF has become practicaly the standard among knowledgeable cyclists. I wanted them to know that there are even brighter similar priced alternatives now available.

                        BTW Light & Motion is supposed to be coming out with a 35 Lumens rechargeable 1 piece taillight later this year. The announced name is the VIS 180.

                        Rich Wood

                        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "poppamando" <b4kids@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Rich, while this is nice, you missed the opportunity to include the Dinotte 140L-AA-R. This unit uses rechargeable 4 AA batteries. I own this model and it does a fantastic job. I'm sure it would blow most of the others listed away, given how it makes my Superflash look dim by comparison. I use this at night and by day. No matter if it's dark at night, have the sun in the eyes of drivers behind me, or if I disappear into the shadows of trees on a bright sunny day, I'm seen without any problem. I've had numerous compliments about how I can be seen a quarter of a mile away during the day. A co-worker recently told me, "I thought you were a moped!" in the early morning light.
                        >
                        > http://tinyurl.com/Dinotte140L-AA-R
                        >
                        > Read the reviews at the bottom of the page.
                        >
                        > To clarify: I use two Superflash units at night in addition to the Dinotte 140L-AA-R. One of the Superflashes is on the back of my helmet and is left on steady mode. The other is under the rear of my Xtracycle deck and is also left on steady mode. The Dinotte is set on rapid-flash mode. I've never had any driver come close to me in 2 years of pre-dawn riding commuting.
                        >
                        > -Phil
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > I have what I believe are the four highest regarded "high output" AAA and AA taillights currently available in addition to the Dinotte Lithium rechargeable battery pack powered taillight I reviewed recently. These are as follows.
                        > >
                        > > Cateye 1100 (AA)
                        > > Planet Bike SuperFlash (AAA)
                        > > Blackburn Mars 4.0 (AAA)
                        > > Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 (AAA)
                        > >
                        >
                      • larry_swartz
                        My thoughts... I ve used the SuperFlashes for years, ever since they came out, and at the time they were the most intense of the stand alone affordable lights
                        Message 11 of 16 , May 2, 2010
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                          My thoughts...

                          I've used the SuperFlashes for years, ever since they came out, and at the time they were the most intense of the stand alone affordable lights out there. I commute year round, and I needed a light to make sure that I was safe from behind. I tried some others, but always went back to the SF. Now I have the Radbot 1000, and I won't go back. Yeah, it is annoying to another cyclist, but in terms of cars, no doubt that they can see you. I mount my on my snapdeck, by this means: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grizphrog/4539979285/in/photostream/ and it works great. Also, it uses the same mounting hardware, so the lights are interchangable, so you can switch out the lights with each other at will. PDW also makes a Radbot 500, not as bright and with a burn time closer to that of the SF.

                          From what I understand, the guys from Portland Design Works used to work for Planet Bike, so they know what they are doing, and are a good bunch of guys.

                          larry

                          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I have what I believe are the four highest regarded "high output" AAA and AA taillights currently available in addition to the Dinotte Lithium rechargeable battery pack powered taillight I reviewed recently. These are as follows.
                          >
                          > Cateye 1100 (AA)
                          > Planet Bike SuperFlash (AAA)
                          > Blackburn Mars 4.0 (AAA)
                          > Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 (AAA)
                          >
                          > Based on light reflection tests off of a white surface in a dark room I would rate them as follows for output, max to minimum. All were tested with new batteries.
                          >
                          > 1. Radbot
                          > 2. Mars 4.0
                          > 3. Cateye 1100
                          > 4. SuperFlash
                          >
                          > Beam width on the Radbot was the widest and it fell off least quickly from the center of the beam. Next was the Mars 4.0 with a narrower beam and faster edge light falloff. The Cateye was third and the SuperFlash fourth.
                          >
                          > In side visibility the Cateye is best as it has two LEDs in each side cap. Next is the Mars 4.0 with one LED on each side. IMO the side facing LEDs on both should have a wider cone of light output. The Radbot comes in third in this category, just a bit more visible from the side than the SF.
                          >
                          > The Radbot wins in visibility with dead batteries as it incorporates a claimed european legal red rear reflector in the cover. This does make it larger and a bit heavier than the SF or Mars 4.0. With it's use of AA batteries the Cateye is the largest and heaviest.
                          >
                          > For those with PB SuperFlash taillights already the Radbot uses exactly the same mounts so they are interchangeable on any bike. The Radbot case screws together too so it should not have the light module pop off as has been reported by some users for the SF. It does require a Philips screwdriver for battery changes.
                          >
                          > No testing has been done for battery life but per tests reported in BF the SuperFlash wins as compared to either the Cateye 1100 or the Mars 4.0. The Mars 4.0 had the shortest battery life. The Radbot claims 50 hours life but I suspect that is to totally dead as AAA batteries do not have the energy density to run a claimed 1 watt LED for anywhere near that time at full power.
                          >
                          > The Cateye has the most modes available with each of it's two rows of LEDs selectable for a different pattern of 4 available for each row. The Radbot has two blinking modes and a steady mode. The PBSF and Mars each have a blinking and steady mode. The PBSF blinking mode is quite distinctive and more noticeable than the Mars blinking mode as it incorporates two additional LEDs not used in the steady output mode.
                          >
                          > The PBSF has been a very popular and good quality battery taillight for some time but based on my tests it is no longer anywhere near the brightest disposeable battery taillight available as it was when introduced.
                          >
                          > Rich Wood
                          >
                        • poppamando
                          Rich, thanks for the reply and for all your work! I can certainly understand the need for being budget minded these days given the tight economy and it s
                          Message 12 of 16 , May 2, 2010
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                            Rich, thanks for the reply and for all your work! I can certainly understand the need for being budget minded these days given the tight economy and it's impact on many of us (our family included).

                            On the note of being budget minded, good reflectors and reflective tape placed well can be life saving when your batteries go.

                            -Phil

                            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Phil;
                            >
                            > I do not have the Dinotte 140. I did recently purchase the Dinotte 400R taillight and it is totally outrageous. I mounted it on my bike with dynamo hub as a secondary light with blinking capability in addition to the Supernova dynamo taillight already on the bike. If a driver claims they did not see me it will be due to the Dinotte blinding them!
                            >
                            > My review was trying to cover the PB Superflash and similar size, and price, taillights with integral batteries. For small and relatively inexpensive taillights with reasonable light output the PBSF has become practicaly the standard among knowledgeable cyclists. I wanted them to know that there are even brighter similar priced alternatives now available.
                            >
                            > BTW Light & Motion is supposed to be coming out with a 35 Lumens rechargeable 1 piece taillight later this year. The announced name is the VIS 180.
                            >
                            > Rich Wood
                            >
                            > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "poppamando" <b4kids@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Rich, while this is nice, you missed the opportunity to include the Dinotte 140L-AA-R. This unit uses rechargeable 4 AA batteries. I own this model and it does a fantastic job. I'm sure it would blow most of the others listed away, given how it makes my Superflash look dim by comparison. I use this at night and by day. No matter if it's dark at night, have the sun in the eyes of drivers behind me, or if I disappear into the shadows of trees on a bright sunny day, I'm seen without any problem. I've had numerous compliments about how I can be seen a quarter of a mile away during the day. A co-worker recently told me, "I thought you were a moped!" in the early morning light.
                            > >
                            > > http://tinyurl.com/Dinotte140L-AA-R
                            > >
                            > > Read the reviews at the bottom of the page.
                            > >
                            > > To clarify: I use two Superflash units at night in addition to the Dinotte 140L-AA-R. One of the Superflashes is on the back of my helmet and is left on steady mode. The other is under the rear of my Xtracycle deck and is also left on steady mode. The Dinotte is set on rapid-flash mode. I've never had any driver come close to me in 2 years of pre-dawn riding commuting.
                            > >
                            > > -Phil
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > I have what I believe are the four highest regarded "high output" AAA and AA taillights currently available in addition to the Dinotte Lithium rechargeable battery pack powered taillight I reviewed recently. These are as follows.
                            > > >
                            > > > Cateye 1100 (AA)
                            > > > Planet Bike SuperFlash (AAA)
                            > > > Blackburn Mars 4.0 (AAA)
                            > > > Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 (AAA)
                            > > >
                            > >
                            >
                          • Rich
                            Nate; I suspect that the Radbot flashing mode is designed at least partly to conserve batteries. AAA batteries have very little capacity compared to AA size,
                            Message 13 of 16 , May 2, 2010
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                              Nate;

                              I suspect that the Radbot flashing mode is designed at least partly to conserve batteries. AAA batteries have very little capacity compared to AA size, about 30 to 40% as much. If run continuously at full rated power of the LED, 1 watt, the run time of the Radbot would be about 1 hour. The flashing mode is distinctive though probably less so than the Superflash with the secondary LEDs that are only used in flashing mode.

                              This makes me suspicious of the actual driving current to the LED in continuous burn mode. The LED cannot be running at anything near full rated power. Still quite bright though.

                              BTW these power comments also apply to ALL of the AAA battery high power taillights. None are having their LEDs driven at full power or their bttery lives would be unacceptably short.

                              To me the ideal consumablle battery taillight would have the following characteristics.

                              1. Bright
                              2. Distinctive and clearly noticeable blinking pattern(s) available. Use secondary LEDs if required, as in the Superflash, for the most noticeable flashing modes possible.
                              3. Broad beam to the rear.
                              4. Very wide angle of view secondary LEDs positioned on the sides for side safety lights.
                              5. Preferably use AA batteries for longer run time and more power available.

                              All current battery lights fall short in respect to items 3 and 4 IMO.

                              Rich Wood

                              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "speedub_nate" <speedub.nate@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > There are some videos of the Radbot vs. the Superflash on YouTube. It certainly is brighter than the Superflash, but its flashing mode is curious. I'll have to check one out in person. I imagine Planet Bike will have a Superflash update in the coming months.
                              >
                              > The Cateye random mode is useless to me. I believe the two rows are on independent circuits and move in and out of phase. While this looks good in the store, out on the street at night is loses visual contrast and doesn't broadcast that "punch" of light to grab a motorists attention, which is why I love the Superflash so dearly.
                              >
                            • Rich
                              Here is a link to a write up of the Light & Motion Vis 180 rechargeable one piece taillight assembly.
                              Message 14 of 16 , May 2, 2010
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                                Here is a link to a write up of the Light & Motion Vis 180 rechargeable one piece taillight assembly.

                                http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/sea-otter-brighter-emitters-more-commuter-oriented-models-from-light-and-motion

                                No price listed but I bet that it will be in the close to $100 range.

                                Rich Wood

                                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "poppamando" <b4kids@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Rich, thanks for the reply and for all your work! I can certainly understand the need for being budget minded these days given the tight economy and it's impact on many of us (our family included).
                                >
                                > On the note of being budget minded, good reflectors and reflective tape placed well can be life saving when your batteries go.
                                >
                                > -Phil
                                >
                              • speedub_nate
                                ... characteristics. ... I think this item is overrated. I mean, sure, a wide beam is good if there is plenty of light to project rearward. But this is always
                                Message 15 of 16 , May 3, 2010
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                                  --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@...> wrote:

                                  > To me the ideal consumablle battery taillight would have the following characteristics.
                                  >
                                  > 3. Broad beam to the rear.

                                  I think this item is overrated. 

                                  I mean, sure, a wide beam is good if there is plenty of light to project rearward. But this is always a compromise resulting in reduced visibility.

                                  An approaching vehicle is going to be in that "sweet spot," the slender cone within a couple of degrees directly centered behind your bike, right up until it's passing, at which point it had better have already seen you. 

                                  If the beam is being scattered sideways in the name of side visibility, the amount of light being projected directly back at approaching vehicles is being diminished. I don't see the usefulness in that.

                                  I'd rather have a wide beam up front, so that vehicles at cross streets have a better chance of seeing me. But that's where my helmet light comes in handy.
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