New Convoy C8 – Clearly better

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KeepingItLight
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Should Bicycle Lights Blink?

Texas_Ace wrote:
Does this driver use the stutter or the flash? Same basic idea either way, except the flash only flashes once instead of "stuttering". I prefer the flash myself, the stutter is quite annoying as a driver IMHO.

First you think it is a cop, then you get distracted and keep watching the light. A proven fact is that you are FAR more likely to hit something if you are looking at it while driving. When racing on a track you learn to always look where you want to go and never at anyplace you don't. So I could actually see the flash being better for the biker as well.

This makes a certain amount of sense.

It is telling that German laws regarding bicycle lights favor non-blinking lights. IMO, Germany now has the most farsighted bicycle laws of any nation. Front and rear lights are required to be standard equipment on all new bikes. A short search led me to this quote: "Lighting: Non-blinking front headlamp to illuminate the road of white or pale yellow color. A red rear taillight that stays lit when stationary. [see § 67 StVZO in German.]"

Ultimately, these are issues that need to be given thorough scientific study. Anecdotally, you may prefer bicycle lights that do not blink. That, however, does not mean very much. Whether bicycles with non-blinking lights are involved in fewer accidents than those with blinking lights can only be determined by well-designed studies.

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Enigma_1977 wrote:
I don’t know if its in the OS, but i think so. anyway, are these driver have those features (pic below). its from the NEW C8 Cree XML2 U2-1A LED.https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Convoy-c8-strong-light-flashlight-cree-xml-u2-t6-torchy/330416_826040641.html

the C8 you linked there does not have the new driver.

The only Convoy light that uses the new driver right now is the clear anodized Convoy C8 which also uses XPL-HI among other changes. More lights will be getting the driver upgrade but the migration is going to take some time. Until then, you have two options to get the new firmware in many Convoy lights.

  1. If you’re handy enough to do a driver swap Simon has the drivers with the new firmware ready to go. The new driver boards with the Biscotti firmware are red and can be purchased here. .
  2. If you’re tech savvy enough (and have the hardware) to flash driver firmware yourself the files are available in ToyKeeper’s firmware repository.

In answer to your question about the Nitecore chargers in Simon’s store being authentic, yes they certainly are. As will34 and Texas_Ace said, you will not find fake products in Simon’s store. You can shop there with complete confidence. Keep in mind there are a few stores even on Aliexpress that have been caught selling fake Convoy lights. If on Aliexpress make sure the store name listed near the top of the page is “Shenzhen Convoy Electronics Co., Ltd”. Thumbs Up

Wildcat
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You need to fix PWM level in current firmware version. Now they are too high.

Texas_Ace
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Wildcat wrote:
You need to fix PWM level in current firmware version. Now they are too high.

Could you explain? What is too high? The amps?

Now sure how the PWM would be too high. high = better since it won’t produce any while or visible flicker?

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Texas_Ace wrote:
Strobe IS fun to play with due to the way people seem to go into stop motion on the other hand and the constant strobe does this better. I actually added a few different constant strobes to my version of bistro since I had some extra space left. Great way to have fun at night with kids!

My personal lights are usually loaded up with stop-motion strobes because I like the effect it has on moving water and other motions. I don’t generally include any tactical strobes at all.

Texas_Ace wrote:
it looks like TK simply edited out all the options for bistro to get the size down to Tiny13 sizes.

Yes, which is why it was initially called bistro-mini. Smile It was as much of bistro as I could fit on a tiny13. Actually, I still need to merge some changes back into bistro itself, since I found a few extra ways to save space.

Quote:
… safety of blinking headlights …

I picked a default bike mode based on what I liked, not based on actual research. If anyone has studies or polls showing that a different behavior would be better, I’d be happy to change it.

Wildcat wrote:
PWM … too high

I don’t understand either.

The attiny13a can generally do PWM from about 128 Hz to 16 kHz. The lower speeds make visible flashes, while faster speeds sometimes make an audible whine. Ideal would be about 22 kHz — fast enough to look smooth, too high to hear, and otherwise as slow as possible for efficiency reasons.

The PWM speed can be fine-tuned on a single-channel driver like Convoy uses, but I didn’t attempt to make it faster than 16 kHz because people usually seem pretty happy with that speed. By setting the PWM ceiling to 180 instead of 255, the pulses would be about 22 kHz. However, this would only work on medium and high modes because the moon and low modes actually had to be slowed down to make the pulses long enough to activate the LED. It could be an option for later though.

As is, the default 5 modes run at 1 kHz / 8 / 16 / 16 / none. With a few extra lines of code it could be made to run at 1/8/22/22/none. On nicer drivers (RMM FET+1) I’d normally do 8/16/none/16ish/none. (by “ish” I mean half PWM where it alternates between medium and maximum without ever turning off) But the code this time was a compromise to maximize compatibility on a wide range of hardware.

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How awesome would it be , if it had the bistro batt check instead of strobe (for me at least) Wink .

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Replied in the firmware thread to keep this thread semi-on topic. http://budgetlightforum.com/node/38364?page=33

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giorgoskok wrote:
How awesome would it be , if it had the bistro batt check instead of strobe (for me at least) Wink .

Sorry, the volts+tenths method uses more room, and Simon wanted something simpler for a wider audience. So it does the 4-blink method instead. Otherwise, I agree.
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I love it , even with the current setup.
Already using it in 2 fet drivers and 1 8×7135(+4 7135 chips).

Wildcat
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I didn’t say anything about the PWM frequency Wink I was talking about the levels of the PWM.

Now you use the following values:

Quote:
#define RAMP_FET 1,10,42,75,122,133,255

With them, the driver has the output power levels 0.2% / 1.5% / 12.5% / 25% / 46% / 48% / 100% (instead 0.1 / 1 / 10 / 20 / 35 / 50 / 100%%)
I propose to change the values on
Quote:
#define RAMP_FET 1,9,34,61,99,137,255

With them, the power levels will be closer to stated values.

ToyKeeper, you did a brilliant software, thank you. I now use it in all my flashlights.

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Wildcat wrote:
Now you use the following values:
Quote:
#define RAMP_FET 1,10,42,75,122,133,255

With them, the driver has the output power levels 0.2% / 1.5% / 12.5% / 25% / 46% / 48% / 100% (instead 0.1 / 1 / 10 / 20 / 35 / 50 / 100%%)
I propose to change the values on
Quote:
#define RAMP_FET 1,9,34,61,99,137,255

With them, the power levels will be closer to stated values.

Oh, I had it closer to that initially… but then I measured the power draw on each mode and adjusted the PWM values until the power measurements matched the spec. The PWM-to-power-usage curve was less linear than I expected, and it was consistently non-linear on the drivers I tested.

I’ll measure again when I get a production light, and adjust the levels if they’re not right. Maybe even make a new slow-ramp testing mode which goes through each PWM level one at a time while I log the measurements, so I can graph the shape of the curve.

On drivers with a more linear response, the default PWM levels will be a bit weird.

blueb8llz
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Still no option to buy with 8-10× 7135 chips yet huh?

mapache
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8x is already available, didn’t know there was going to be a 10x. Chip number can be selected where it says Emitting Color.

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Thanks for the info/clarification regarding the authenticity of the Nitecore D4 charger… did helped me alot! Big Smile

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blueb8llz wrote:
Still no option to buy with 8-10× 7135 chips yet huh?

10x would have to be stacked chips and a DIY job. Although honestly at that point you would be better off getting a host and swapping the driver for something more advanced.

DB Custom
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Lol, I’m sure I still have lights here with 20-32 7135 chips on the Qlite….

Mak 88
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First post..I’m wondering if anyone knows for sure if the KeepPower 3500 cells will fit this flashlight. I have read a few conflicting posts – either a tight fit or not fitting. This light is on the way and I’m wondering if this battery will work or if I should order a different battery (suggestions?). Thanks in advance.

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Mak 88 wrote:
First post..I’m wondering if anyone knows for sure if the KeepPower 3500 cells will fit this flashlight. I have read a few conflicting posts – either a tight fit or not fitting. This light is on the way and I’m wondering if this battery will work or if I should order a different battery (suggestions?). Thanks in advance.

If the advertised measurements of that battery, 68.90mm (L) x 18.60 mm (D) are correct; they should fit just fine.

Welcome to BLF…….. Thumbs Up

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khas
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Welcome to BLF.

The Sanyo NCR18650GA http://www.illumn.com/batteries-chargers-and-powerpax-carriers/18650-san..., is the same battery that’s inside the Keeppower in you link, It’s not protected like the Keeppower, but the flashlight have build in protection.
I don’t know about you knowledge with Lithium-ion battery safety but here is a great tread to get some info http://budgetlightforum.com/node/45314

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I am using the NCR18650GA is basically everything but my show lights now days. Great battery for general purpose use.

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I agree that the NCR18650GA is a great general purpose cell if you don’t need crazy high drain. Just keep in mind if you’re buying the protected version of that cell it may be too tight a fit. I have the EVVA protected version and it’s too fat for many of my Convoy lights. The unprotected version should fit fine though. KeepPower is slimmer than EVVA sometimes on the same base cell so they may be fine too. EVVA protected cells are sometimes double wrapped where KP are not.

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With any modern driver that has LVP there is really no need to use protected batteries anymore. I have actually never owned or used a protected battery, but then i might be a tad more capable of knowing how to use them then some people.

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If the clear C8 is bored the same as a regular C8, the battery should fit even if it is an over-wrapped protected. That is what I checked the C8 with, and while it is a snug fit…. it does fit. The EVVA protected fit also, snugly.

Like J-Dub74 said, there are several Convoy lights the over-wrapped cells will not fit because of the “fatter” diameter.

Hope this helps. Smile

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

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Texas_Ace wrote:
With any modern driver that has LVP there is really no need to use protected batteries anymore. I have actually never owned or used a protected battery, but then i might be a tad more capable of knowing how to use them then some people.

Mmm idk if I’d go that far.

I always recommend protected cells to a person who has never used lithium’s before. Not because of what happens in a light, but what happens outside of the light. People are conditioned to Alkalines and stable rechargeable chemistries that you can just toss in a bin altogether and they won’t vent because of a “little short”. Also Many people will buy good batteries then put them in the terrible charger that came with their cheap light and just leave it plugged in all night while the charge never terminates. That kind of stuff. A name brand cell also gives them something to google if they decide to buy extras without asking me. That way they have a better chance of getting good batteries instead of just googling “18650”.

I also keep a few protected cells for myself . When I build a light the first time I power it on I use protected in case I have a short somewhere I didn’t realize, from tightening down the reflector or something. It saves me melted springs and burned traces. I also have a 4.35v protected cell I use to test chargers, like ones built into a light.

They have their purposes.

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khas
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I also use protected cells in some of my flashlights, the lights I have with two or more batteries in series gets protected batteries.

DB Custom
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<—- don’t use protected cells.
<—- have melted down some springs in my time.
<—- Blushing

Some great ideas on how/when/why/where to use the protected cells. Several years ago, when I got my Solarforce S2200 MT-G2 flashlight, I bought protected AW’s for it. And those are pretty much the only ones I have. I got the first one of these lights shipped, and it came on the day my wife went into the hospital for surgery. (was I sitting in the hospital room with her, playing with my new light? You bet your a** I was! Silly )

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pilotdog68 wrote:
Texas_Ace wrote:
With any modern driver that has LVP there is really no need to use protected batteries anymore. I have actually never owned or used a protected battery, but then i might be a tad more capable of knowing how to use them then some people.

Mmm idk if I’d go that far.

I always recommend protected cells to a person who has never used lithium’s before. Not because of what happens in a light, but what happens outside of the light. People are conditioned to Alkalines and stable rechargeable chemistries that you can just toss in a bin altogether and they won’t vent because of a “little short”. Also Many people will buy good batteries then put them in the terrible charger that came with their cheap light and just leave it plugged in all night while the charge never terminates. That kind of stuff. A name brand cell also gives them something to google if they decide to buy extras without asking me. That way they have a better chance of getting good batteries instead of just googling “18650”.

I also keep a few protected cells for myself . When I build a light the first time I power it on I use protected in case I have a short somewhere I didn’t realize, from tightening down the reflector or something. It saves me melted springs and burned traces. I also have a 4.35v protected cell I use to test chargers, like ones built into a light.

They have their purposes.


I actually agree with much of both quotes here. Personally I don’t use protected cells for my own lights very often. I do get people into this hobby though and I always give them a bunch of info and set them up with one of the cheaper Xtar chargers and good protected cells in their “starter package”. They’re just much safer for the uninitiated. I also use them in the lights I give to my kids and even my wife.
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Most all of my many 18650 batteries (except 2 ) are protected, probably because I got into 18650 lights first and thought that was the thing to do. Then after a while, enter the 26650 lights……… all of my 26650 cells (except 2) are not protected.
Go figure………. Wink

But, like several have said above; when I give a light and charger to the uninformed….. I give them the important info about Li Ion cell along with a protected battery………. Thumbs Up

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Mak 88, I forgot to tell you this. The dimensions of the largest 18650 battery I tested in the C8 was 70mm x 19mm. It was a button top.
So the one you referenced should be just fine.

(The absolute largest cell my particular C8 would take would be about 19.1mm x 71mm )

YMMV, but most likely not by much. Wink

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

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pilotdog68 wrote:
I always recommend protected cells to a person who has never used lithium’s before. Not because of what happens in a light, but what happens outside of the light.

Definitely. Especially outside the flashlight community, I’ve often found people really have no clue at all about batteries. A protected cell might not stop the abuse these cells are often subjected to, but they do at least prevent errors bad enough to hurt someone.

It’s still depressingly common to see people over-charging cells constantly, always leaving them in a charger which doesn’t actually terminate, so that it keeps going until the protection circuit kicks in at ~4.35V. I’ve even seen companies recommend this type of behavior with their products. Or charging a 3.4Ah cell at 3A, with the cell insulated inside a product with no way to shed heat.

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