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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

I just found all the pieces to my old NiteRider Digital Pro 12 light... Here is what I have:
Wall Charger w/Micro-Brute piece
Rear LED Taillight
Digital Pro 12 Headlamp
Nickel Metal Halide (spelling?) battery
Handlebar Mount

So I found all of these parts in different parts of my garage and house... I just plugged in the battery into the charger and it immediately light up and started charging. I got antsy to see if it was working okay and I plugged the light into the battery and it turned on and all seemed fine.

Is there anything special I should do to the battery? I haven't charged this thing in probably 6 years... Anything else I should do to get everything running again?


Thanks,

Mike
 

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Are you sure it's a NiMH battery? If it is, it might just work for you, with a decent run time. They tend to be pretty forgiving if stored in a cool place. I thought most batteries of that time were NiCad. Those tend to degrade rapidly if not charged. What I'd do is either run it during the day to see what the run time is, or bring the bike into the house and put a fan on the light head to keep it cool and check it (don't leave unattended). You may need to charge/discharge it a few times to get maximum run time.

Edit: And if the battery isn't shot, give it a charge about once a month. That will increase its life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup, it is a Nickel Metal Hydride... That's what it says on the bottle at least.....

I think a charge takes 5 hours so I'll charge it up and run it down and then plug it in again right when I go to bed.


Thanks,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Great... Everything seemed to be working fine and I brought it all to my buddies house. Now when I plug the Micro-Brute thingy into the charger, it flashes red/green, indicating some sort of error.... FIGURES!

Whats the charge time without the Micro-Brute? Any ideas on what could be wrong?

I'm going to cycle it as many times in the next two days as possible to get the battery back in tip-top shape.


Thanks,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay so the Micro-Brute went from a red light to a green light so I tried the light out... I got it into SOS mode once and both beams on once too. After that all that would come one was the spot beam and the red light on the digital battery charge indicator thingy.

Any ideas on how to get this light running again? I don't even remember how to switch modes and what not on the light lol


-Mike
 

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Rex32 said:
Okay so the Micro-Brute went from a red light to a green light so I tried the light out... I got it into SOS mode once and both beams on once too. After that all that would come one was the spot beam and the red light on the digital battery charge indicator thingy.

Any ideas on how to get this light running again? I don't even remember how to switch modes and what not on the light lol

-Mike
Charge it again. When fully charged put it in the SOS mode- I'm assuming this is a flashing (and lowest power) mode. Let it run down. Don't put it in any other mode. Repeat a couple of times. Make sure you run a full charge cycle each time. You may coax the battery back, but it's unlikely if your former experiment only got a few seconds of run time.

I did read somewhere that you could get replacement batteries from Battery Space dot com for NR systems that are a fraction of the price of the originals, but they don't have the 'smart chip' in them, so the fuel gauge won't work. I don't know if it's possible to 're-cell' the original battery pack, which would be a DIY project involving a soldering iron. Has anyone ever done this? It depends on whether you can get into it.

You could theoretically make your own if you know the original battery's voltage and can cannibalize the original cable, and are somewhat handy You've got to consider the benefit of getting this running again with going with a new system.

I noticed Salem Cycle selling the Dinotte 200L Pro for $120 without batteries/charger. A pair of those would give 400 lumens of smooth white light. (See my preferred way of using them in a message to you on your other thread.) If your old NR is halogen, you'll notice a difference. I replaced my 30 watt halogen system with a pair of 200Ls, and while the halogen may have been a bit brighter, the LED is better, more even, better color. 400 lumens isn't enough to blast down single track, but is enough for road and fire road riding. The nice thing about the Dinotte Pro system is that it uses off the shelf NiMH AA batteries, which are easy to replace, easy to find, easy to carry backups for. 'Precharged' batteries such as the Eneloop have a much longer lifespan than standard NiMH batteries, but you can get a set of 4 standard NiMH, with a charger, for sometimes as low as $20 at hardware stores, and even some supermarkets.

I use the 200Ls on my road bike, and my old 30 watt Cygolite on my mountain bike. But when the battery packs for it fail, I'll be going with LED.
 

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ballbuster
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I would be very surprised...

Rex32 said:
Hey Guys,

I just found all the pieces to my old NiteRider Digital Pro 12 light... Here is what I have:
Wall Charger w/Micro-Brute piece
Rear LED Taillight
Digital Pro 12 Headlamp
Nickel Metal Halide (spelling?) battery
Handlebar Mount

So I found all of these parts in different parts of my garage and house... I just plugged in the battery into the charger and it immediately light up and started charging. I got antsy to see if it was working okay and I plugged the light into the battery and it turned on and all seemed fine.

Is there anything special I should do to the battery? I haven't charged this thing in probably 6 years... Anything else I should do to get everything running again?

Thanks,

Mike
... if the battery was good. Do a run test to be sure it won't leave you stranded in the woods in the dark. NiMH have horrible self-drain... like 15% in a week. If you leave the battery flat for any length of time, it goes bad. Newer LiIon batteries are like 8% a month self-drain, IIRC

I have one myself. It was a great light for its day. These days, LEDs are king.

For the price of rebuilding the battery yourself (about $50-60) you are very close to getting a Magicshine that smokes it for $90 with more light output, 1/4 the weight and 2-3x the runtime.... not to mention replacement batteries are like $45 complete.

If it works, great. If not, I wouldn't invest any money into refurbishing it.

BTW, there is nothing smart in the battery. The charge circuit and battery fuel gauge is actually all in the light head. Some model years, they put a thermal cutoff resistor in there.
 

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ballbuster
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That's...

Homebrew said:
There is a good chance your battery is shot. Here is a thread on building DIY NiMH packs in case you're interested:

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

However, rather then spend $50+ on a new battery, I would just get a Magicshine for $85. The MS will be easily twice as bright, 1/4 of the weight and burn twice as long.
... what I said! :thumbsup:
 

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Its got what plants crave
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A few years ago I converted a 6 volt NR halogen to 12 volts, and upped the wattage to a 20 watt bulb. I got a lithium battery pack from Batteryspace and it ran well over 3 hours without problems, and the 20 watts of light it put out was as good if not better than the Magicshine I'm running now. Still, unless you can convert this thing over for pretty cheap, I wouldn't bother unless you just want a project to mess with. You may be able to get some cheap battery cells from DealExtreme or something and rebuild it yourself for not a ton of money, I'm not sure.
 

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Bandolero
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Centralia

pimpbot said:
For the price of rebuilding the battery yourself (about $50-60) you are very close to getting a Magicshine that smokes it for $90 with more light output, 1/4 the weight and 2-3x the runtime.... not to mention replacement batteries are like $45 complete.
$30 for DX. http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.32756
$38+SH from the guy in CO.
 

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ballbuster
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Hmmmm

Jim311 said:
A few years ago I converted a 6 volt NR halogen to 12 volts, and upped the wattage to a 20 watt bulb. I got a lithium battery pack from Batteryspace and it ran well over 3 hours without problems, and the 20 watts of light it put out was as good if not better than the Magicshine I'm running now. Still, unless you can convert this thing over for pretty cheap, I wouldn't bother unless you just want a project to mess with. You may be able to get some cheap battery cells from DealExtreme or something and rebuild it yourself for not a ton of money, I'm not sure.
I ran 12/20W Halogens overvolted to 14.4v... Magicshine still beat it.
 

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gotta love it,....

pointing him to a MS battery,....
his light is 12V ,... nimh

MS battery is 7.4V , li-ion,
even is he takes 2x,... now its 14.4v overvolt,
the connectors are different,.... the batteries, protection circuit, will just blow,
maybe even permanent, since those halogens , want something like 30A+ on startup,

and 2x ms are over $80,... and still not working,.....

suggestion could be:
- sell niterider, what-ever amount,
- put money for replacement battery + niterider $ towards new light

cheers
note: my buddy replaced his mimh battery with a 13.2V, added a 20W bulb,
is using it as a helmet light, has niterider hid on handlebar,....works for him,
and he has no intentions to upgrade,... thought he has about $18k in bikes.

notaknob said:
 

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ballbuster
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No, wait, you misunderstood

mtb_robs-x said:
gotta love it,....

pointing him to a MS battery,....
his light is 12V ,... nimh

MS battery is 7.4V , li-ion,
even is he takes 2x,... now its 14.4v overvolt,
the connectors are different,.... the batteries, protection circuit, will just blow,
maybe even permanent, since those halogens , want something like 30A+ on startup,

and 2x ms are over $80,... and still not working,.....

suggestion could be:
- sell niterider, what-ever amount,
- put money for replacement battery + niterider $ towards new light

cheers
note: my buddy replaced his mimh battery with a 13.2V, added a 20W bulb,
is using it as a helmet light, has niterider hid on handlebar,....works for him,
and he has no intentions to upgrade,... thought he has about $18k in bikes.
we were suggesting that for the dough one could invest in rebuilding the battery, you could just about get a MS light. Comparing the cost of ownership, the MS comes out to be much cheaper to own because the replacement batteries are way cheaper too, not to mention LiIon batteries don't self destruct like NiMH batteries do if you leave them off the charger for months on end.

Nobody suggested grafting a MS battery on to a NR light. A) wrong voltage b) not enough Amp Hours to make it work even if you got the voltage to match unless you stack up a bunch of MS batteries and put it through a voltage regulator that can kick out like 4-5 amps... the cost of making it work and the hassle is far exceeding the benefits.

What makes LEDs so cool is that they kick out tons of light for very little current, meaning you can get away with a much smaller and cheaper battery. Plus, they don't burn out and fail like HID and Halogen do. Halogen and HID are both dead, IMO.
 

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'Sub-C' batteries are selling for $3-$4, so for $30-$40 he could make his own battery pack with 10 (exactly the way the factory did), though he'd have to cannibalize his connectors and hopefully, fuse or circuit breaker. The more expensive ones are 3800 mAh. I don't know what the original rating for the factory battery was, and for a bit more you can get 4600 or 4700. Solder tab are easier to work with, but you do have to have soldering skills.

http://www.google.com/products?q=sub+c+nimh&hl=en&aq=2&oq=sub+c+

Only Batteries is selling a 4200 mAh version for $2000 each, so a full pack would cost $20,000. I'd recommend one of the other suppliers.

http://www.onlybatteries.com/showitem.asp?ItemID=15558.112&cat1=52&uid=2037

Edit: 10 batteries is assuming a 12V pack. I don't have NR, so I don't know what voltage they ran.

Edit 2: The OP would also need some basic electronics skills (very basic) to know to solder the batteries in series, but information on that should be widely available on the web.
 

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MtbMacgyver said:
The niterider batteries, as is the case with most bike lights, use 4/3A nimh cells typically in the 4000-4500mah range. The 4/3A cells tend to have better discharge characteristics relative to cost for bike lights than sub-c cells.
Never had a NR. My old halogen Cygolite used 6 sub C cells, both in the original, and the aftermarket pack I bought from BatterySpace or a similar online store. They provided 7.2 volts for a slight over-voltage on 6 volt lamps. The aftermarket was definitely rated at 5000 mAh. I think the factory pack was rated about the same. This provided about 3 hours at 10 watts, and 45 minutes at 30 watts (upgraded the 15 watt bulb with a 20 shortly after buying it). When I did a Google search I couldn't find any 5000 mAh sub Cs. They may be going the way of halogen lights. Everything seems to be using multiple 2500 mAh+ AAs, or Li now.

I believe the 3800s I saw said they could be discharged at up to 30 watts, and that should give 30 minutes + run time at that rate. If the OP doesn't use both lamps, he'd naturally get more run time. Of course assuming he's got the technical chops to do it, he still has to weigh the cost/benefits of staying with the old technology. Money is tight for some folks right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay you guys convinced me to get a MS light...

Where can I get a solid handle bar mount for it?

Any upgrades to beef up the output or improve the quality?


Thanks,

Mike
 
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