2xAA for biking

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yyri
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2xAA for biking

Hello everyone! First post here.

As the days in Finland are dark at winter, I need some more light for bicycling. Now I have fenix ld20 at the handlebar, and as nice that is at ~150 ansi lumens it really isn’t powerful enough. Now I’m looking a 2xAA light to attach to my helmet, I already made a simple strap to hold it. Today I tested an old led lenser p5 and it was nice assistance, but really it lacks the power.

I am looking for something like 3-4 mode light, with max around 300-400 lumens and a mid of 200 lumens for longer runtime. I’ll be feeding this light eneloops. I would like the beam to be with fat hotspot so I can illuminate the turns where I am going nicely. Price, about around 40 euros, might flex some if needed.

Happy holidays!

Sirius9
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I highly doubt that 2xAA will give you more light and longer runtime than mentioned Fenix you already have, you need at least 4 x AA flashlight like Sunwayman D40A, but 4 x AA is not that greath for mounting on a helmet.
I would recommend that you choos Li-Ion 18650 route (sooner or later it is embeddable), thats the only way you will get enough power and runtime in small package and I am sure you can find good quality light like Olight or Niteye in 40€ budget.

P.S. welcome to BLF Big Smile

 

yyri
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I was thinking about 18650 light, but what about the safety of them with quality li-ions like protected keeppower/panasonic cell? Can I leave the light with tailcap unscrewed sitting on a self if I go like on vacation? Would also appreciate thoughts on a safe charger, that and cells are a thing I think can’t be relied on chinese crap.

Edit: Neutral white emitter if possible…

ohaya
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Hi,

A 2xAA would not give you more runtime than a 1xAA, since it’d probably be 2 AA batteries in series (which would give higher voltage, but approximately same capacity).

Also, you would only need to worry about batteries draining while idle if the light has an electronic switch. If it has like a mechanical clicky switch, then no parasitic drain. Also, if it does have an electronic switch (and thus parasitic drain) then look for lights that have “lockout” capabibility, i.e., where you can unscrew the tailcap slightly to prevent parasitic drain.

HKJ
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ohaya wrote:
A 2xAA would not give you more runtime than a 1xAA, since it'd probably be 2 AA batteries in series (which would give higher voltage, but approximately same capacity).

That would only be correct if it is twice as bright.

I have recently got a 2x18650 light for handlebar mount (Fenix BC30), it runs about 5 hours at 500 lumen and 11 hours at 200 lumen (Rated values, I have not measured it). At some really dark patches a 1200 lumen mode can be used.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

Sirius9
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If you get quality cells like keeppower on ncr18650b etc. you don’t have to worry about the safety. As per charger take a look at nitecore, xtar or opus chargers, they are all quite good.

 

yyri
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Convoy S2+ seems to have good reviews, floody beam it’s around 15 euros. For that cheap price is it low quality/unsafe?

Editing again, seems that it can’t run on full power “all day long”. Maybe a bit bigger light would help with thermals

Huh, this editing is getting out of hand! Now I’m thinking about the 3400mAh keeppower, xtar MC1 charger and convoy s2+ with 4x chips… Should get the job done?

SawMaster
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The 18650 is popular for a few reasons. First is energy density; it has a lot of power for it’s size. Second is that there are a lot of very good cells made in this size as well as ‘free’ ones taken from old laptop packs. Third is that there are more lights made for this LiIon size than any other so you have a lot to choose from and can get whatever you want. LiIons do require some special care but it’s not tough to do. The main thing with LiIons is to use only good chargers and good cells, lots of the cheap stuff is unsafe or on the verge of that.

Search “Bike” on these forums and you’ll find lots of information and testing done by riders who understand your needs. They will be glad to help steer you to a light you will like.

And welcome to BLF (where flashlight knowledge is huge and wallets stay thin!)
Phil

264
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A quality flashlight that is not super expensive is Convoy. A M1 whitch would give you both throw and side spill. Get 8* AMC7135 drive. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Free-shipping-Convoy-M1-Cree-XM-...LED-Flashlight/330416_826041552.html

Look at: http://www.xtarlight.com/05-chanpin/p-001-1.asp?styleid=371&style=Charger
or VC4. You just can not go wrong with Xtar chargers.

yyri
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The M1 looks nice, now I’m battling between M1 and s2+. The s2+ would be lighter and floodier but m1 would have more throw… Would like to see them on a beamshot photo outside between some trees… Local store in finland is selling xtar chargers and keeppower so I’ll order them from there. Thanks for your time so far Smile

264
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Look up the title in the subject line. Krono posted the link a week or so ago. Can not cut and past at the moment. Beamshots for M1 and S2+ can be found in the list.

siata94
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Once you go with liion, you’ll end up with many more lights eventually.

For helmet, I’d start with the smaller and lighter like the S2+, which I have and tried on both helmet and handlebar. Go for the 8×7135 model.

You might try searching for bike light threads, there’s been many this past year.

1dash1
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I do not recommend the M1. A significant amount of output is lost when the flashlight is zoomed in. Zoomed out, the flood is just too broad.

My understanding from discussions with bicyclists is that they need a “throwy” flashlight, to see obstructions far ahead. How far ahead depends on how fast you’re traveling and what type of obstructions you may be encountering. I have an S2+ and the beam is too floody for such purpose. The S2 has a deeper reflector is slightly more throwy and might be usable. (I do not have an S2, so I cannot verify.)

My D80 has not yet been delivered, but it sounds like it would be suitable for your purposes. 1300+ lumens max output and 20kcd beam intensity. Small, compact form (not as small as either the S2 or S2+, but comparable to M1). $20.59. See discussion: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/36983

You can choose output levels from any one of 5 modes (message no. 1690): http://budgetlightforum.com/node/36983?page=56#comment-864715

DB Custom wrote:
1dash1, I’ll test the levels here directly and see if they’re the same or better spaced. I think they addressed that but really don’t remember the result, easier (and more accurate) to test this production sample… be back shortly…

quick and dirty with the same rested cell…

1359.3
690
272.55
165.6
12.28

Ok, not optimized like ToyKeeper does but then, this isn’t her UI. We’re spoiled. Smile

See beamshots (message no. 1813): http://budgetlightforum.com/node/36983?page=60#comment-868619

There are much throwier flashlights (such as the C8) in the same price range, but they have even larger heads. The D80 strikes a good balance between output, beam intensity, size and cost.

As to choice of tints, my understanding from previous discussions with bicyclists is that they need the high contrast offered by cool white beams. If that is so, choose the 1A version. However, if eye comfort is your preference, then I would suggest the less harsh neutral white 3C version.

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

264
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1dash1 you must be thinking of a different M1 because the Convoy M1 does not zoom. Fixed foucus.

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Free-shipping-Convoy-M1-Cree-XM-...LED-Flashlight/330416_826041552.html

I think you are thinking of this M1:
http://www.ledlenserusa.com/m1-377.html

Peace and Happy Holidays. Smile

yyri
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I’m mainly biking at dark forests around 15-20 km/h. I think the neutral white would bring ruts, roots and twigs nicely to the view, and I need mainly to see to 80-100m, at 6 meters per sec that should give plenty of time to react to obstructions.

1dash1
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264 wrote:
1dash1 you must be thinking of a different M1 because the Convoy M1 does not zoom. Fixed foucus.

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Free-shipping-Convoy-M1-Cree-XM-...LED-Flashlight/330416_826041552.html

I think you are thinking of this M1:
http://www.ledlenserusa.com/m1-377.html

Peace and Happy Holidays. Smile

Sorry, I was going by the Item Specifics description:

I rescind my comments on the M1. It appears to be throwy enough based on the following discussion: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?363196-A-comparison-f...

However, I’d still recommend the D80 over the M1 for its greater output, brighter spill, more intense center spot. The only downside to it is its larger form.

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

Boro
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Neutral light, bright, batteries, charger and great mount included.
Why hobble together a half measure. I train easily over 100 times a year using all kinds of bike lights, BC30R best package. The display is most valuable.

Any extra weight on head is unwise. Manufacturers use the lightest weight possible on helmets to minimize Stress.

Save yourself money and time.

Paul321
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Does the Fenix BC30R come with a helmet mount?
I have the BC30 on my handlebars, works great . On the helmet I think it’s too heavy.

Paul-

KeepingItLight
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I just got my BLF Special Edition D80 yesterday! My initial impressions are good.

One concern I have for the OP is that the D80 does not have any circuits to help guard against over-discharge. That is significant, because attempting to recharge a Li-ion battery that has been severely over-discharged can be dangerous, especially if the battery has been stored in that state.

I own neither the Convoy S2 nor the Convoy M1, but I believe they both flash the main beam on and off when a battery gets too low. If you see that, you know it's time to change the battery. Afterwards, you should recharge the old one as soon as possible. Li-ion batteries can degrade when stored in a fully discharged condition.

Other flashlights, such as the BLF Special Edition A6, have a low-voltage cutoff that turns off the flashlight completely when its battery gets too low. This is an effective way to guard against over-discharge. First, the A6 steps down to lower levels, for instance, from High to Medium, and then from Medium to Low. You get some runtime at these lower levels. The final step-down, from Moonlight mode, turns off power completely.

The D80 is in a strange middle-ground. It uses a high-amperage driver. To get the best performance, therefore, you want to use a high-draw IMR or INR battery such as the Samsung 30Q. Typically, those batteries are unprotected. On the other hand, the complete absence of any system to warn you when a battery is too low argues for using a protected battery such as the protected KeepPower 3500mAh or the protected Evva 3500mAh. A protected battery has a circuit that turns off the battery when voltage is either too high or too low, and also when discharge current is too high.

Of course, the main line of defense is the flashlight user. The D80 will dim to the point of being useless as battery power wanes. When the operator sees that, it is his job to change the battery before it gets too low.

The bottom line is this: if the OP will learn proper care for his Li-ion batteries, he can minimize the risk of having any problems with them.

At present, I have a 30Q battery in my D80. I am confident that I have done my homework on both the flashlight and battery. I am comfortable, therefore, running "naked" (i.e., without any protection circuits). Nevertheless, I am planning to try a protected Sanyo/Panasonic NCR18560GA at some point, probably the Evva brand that is selling for $9.95 USD in the USA at Mountain Electronics. If performance of the D80 is "sufficient" using the GA, I will probably stay with it.

264
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If you chose a Convoy S2+ make sure you are not buying a S2. One of the differences between the two is that the S2+ can take both protected and unprotected 18650 cells.
From Simon’s website:
! photo 2015-12-27 1_Fix_zpsyockdqcb.jpg!

Boaz
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264 wrote:
If you chose a Convoy S2+ make sure you are not buying a S2. One of the differences between the two is that the S2+ can take both protected and unprotected 18650 cells. From Simon’s website: ! photo 2015-12-27 1_Fix_zpsyockdqcb.jpg!

S2 takes protected too I just stuck a 70mm battery in mine easily ..Actually i think the s2 took it easier than the s2+ but both definately take protected cells ,,
(great bad info here Silly ) i think both the s2 and s2+ are both too floody to make good bike lights .i’d run a light with a little bigger head like a x6 eagle eye and I’d put the smaller xpe ? fenix on your head . i think any xml with have lots of flood and plenty of spill. probably enough to just run the one light ..you might also consider running both lights on the bars if you have a second mount ..maybe buy a 2$ mount just to try two lights but i’m not a biker so take my advice with a grain of salt

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1dash1
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If the D80 is too cumbersome, then this one might be your best option: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42959

Small, lightweight, rechargeable, side switch, NW tint option available.

(Send a PM to dazed1 for discount code. My guess is that the price will be somewhere between $45 and $50.)

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

a1penguin
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There are a number of 1” diameter cylindrical 18650 lights about 4” in length that will work well as a helmet light. I have a Shiningbeam S-Mini which I’ve had for years and am happy with it. It’s not blindingly bright (400 lumens max) I can turn my head and shine the beam at drivers approaching an intersection from a cross street without blinding them.

On the bars, I have a XinTD C8 V5 which is probably 700-900 lumens on high. It will run for 1.5 hours on high, maybe more depending on environmental conditions/batteries.

I would be scared to death riding at night with just 150 lumens!

I like single battery flashlights because they are safer than multi-battery lights, I can’t stand more cables, and no cluttering up the frame with battery packs on smaller size bike frame.

If I had to start over, I would go with the same XinTD and a Convoy S2.