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Re: Disposable battery taillights review

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  • 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 1 of 16 , May 2, 2010
      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 2 of 16 , May 2, 2010
        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 3 of 16 , May 2, 2010
          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 4 of 16 , May 3, 2010
            --- 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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