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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I run my vistalite 15W lighting system on my commuter bike most of the time. Haven't had any theft problems or anything since I moved to Flagstaff. However, the other day I noticed my battery was missing and I can't find it anywhere, so I think it was stolen.

Anyway, it's not a real great lighting system, those Nightstick batteries only last 45 minutes each. I'm looking to invest in something nicer, but in the mean time I need to replace this battery to just get me by for a while.

So does anyone have any suggestions as to any replacements? Does anyone know where to get Nightstick batteries for cheap? Can anyone tell me where I can get some other batteries that might be compatible? Seems like people put together some nice lighting systems pretty cheap, so what are the sources for batteries?

Thanks,
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ratt, now I know "where", all I need to know is "what".

I guess to narrow it down, is there somewhere I can get these nightstick batteries for cheap or perhaps a better option is what type of battery (voltage, ect) do I need to replace a nightstick? I guess I wouldn't mind splicing some wires to get the plug to match, but, well, I'm not exactly an electrician.

The current battery is 2200 mH/h, something significantly stronger would be nice. I don't know the voltage of the system but it uses "NR-15" (I think) or "MR-11" bulbs any thoughts?
 

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Do It Yourself
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5,720 Posts
What are your key priorities? Cost, burn time, size?

I don't use it much but have a VistaLite as well. Your system is a 6V so you'll need 5 recharage cells wired in series. My preference is for 4/3A NiMH cells for their relative high capacity, small size and low weight. This is what most of the battery companies have been using for a few years. They go up to 4500mAh at full capacity. However, BatterySpace.com has the 4000mAh for 4 bucks each cell. That's $20 per battery (5 x $4). You could easily build the battery in a water bottle or PVC pipe with endcaps if you want it for a bar mount or just a flat pack for a helmet mount. For the cable and connector, I used one of these...

2.5mm x 5.5mm right angle connector with 18 AWG cable part # CP-2200-ND
https://dkc3.digikey.com/PDF/T041/0253.pdf

Wire it up like this...



I posted more info on building batteries here...

https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=52685
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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2,440 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Homebrew said:
What are your key priorities? Cost, burn time, size?

I don't use it much but have a VistaLite as well. Your system is a 6V so you'll need 5 recharage cells wired in series.
Thanks for the key info Homebrew, it's been extremely helpful!

Burn time followed by cost are probably my key considerations. Like I said I use this light mostly for commuting now and for that a long burn time is key, weight is unimportant. And of course, cheap is always good.

How big are these 3/4A cells? I'm thinking also that if it will fit, I could try your PVC suggestion and make my own "nightstick", but the batteries and PVC would have to be the right size to fit in the same mount as my current nightstick (which would be 1 1/8" to 1 1/4"). I think this would be best for me for MTB night riding

Oh, and what does the "3/4" mean there? is that 3 to 4 amperes?

If that won't work, I may just go with the pre-made options at batteryspace.com and maybe try to fit the 9500 mAh model (http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1303) into a water bottle. Looks like it comes with the charger and several plugs which would be worth an extra couple bucks to me.

Do you know how big the batteryspace 9500 mAh and 12 Ah batteries (http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1270) are? The 12 A model is only a few dollars more, and if I could fit that in a bottle cage, or some other convenient place, that would be a prime set-up for commuting.

Thanks!
 

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Do It Yourself
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The 4/3A cells are four-thirds (1.33) times the size of a standard "A" cell. They are each 17mm diameter x 66mm long or the FAT version is a bit bigger at 18x66. You definitely have to find another way to attach the battery though unless you use sub-C cells. The 9500mAh pack you listed are D cells (think 5 big flashlight batteries) and the 12Ah F cells pack is a monster block same size around as D but 50% longer. Anyway you go, you'll probably need a new charger since you'll be using a much higher capacity batttery. Personally, I'm not a fan of trickle chargers. It's just about impossible to get it fully charged but not overcharged without a smart charger. But they are an economical way to get by.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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2,440 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
smart charger?

Thanks for clearing all that up. I'm probably going to stick with the cheap trickle charger, but just in case I decide to anti-up for the smart charger, are there any in particular you would suggest?
 

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Do It Yourself
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I have a Maha MH-C777 II+. It will charge NiCad, NiMH, and Li-Ion batteries up to 14.4V and gives digital display with charge capacity. I use it for more than just bike light. It will also charge 4 x "AA" batteries for my camera. It's about $75 though. You can get the lower end model MH-C777 for about $50 but it won't do 14.4V in case you're interested in Li-Ion later on.
 
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