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  1. #1
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    Battery options for Nightsun lights

    I didnt use my light system (Nightsun XC Pro) for about 5 years. It is currently charging but I have no idea if it has any life in the battery. It is the bottle type battery (NiCad?) 12v
    My guess is the battery will be junk. I am looking for anybody who has found a less expensive option for replacing the battery. The Nightsun replacement battery is 150.00.
    Has anybody dealt with this and found a reasonably priced solution/replacement?
    thanks

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by flakey
    I didnt use my light system (Nightsun XC Pro) for about 5 years. It is currently charging but I have no idea if it has any life in the battery. It is the bottle type battery (NiCad?) 12v
    My guess is the battery will be junk. I am looking for anybody who has found a less expensive option for replacing the battery. The Nightsun replacement battery is 150.00.
    Has anybody dealt with this and found a reasonably priced solution/replacement?
    thanks
    I don't know what kind battery pack the night sun uses but it doesn't really matter. You just need to match the voltage and type. If you had Nicad then make sure you use NiCad batteries so they will match your charger. I purchased eleven 1.2v NiCad "C" cells with solder tabs and connected them in pairs then carefully stufffed them into a water bottle shown in the picture. Once they were all in there nice and neat and working good I sprayed some of the foam filler from home depot to keep them from rattling. This fix still cost me around $55 dollars but it was much cheaper than buying a new battery pack.

    With all of the electronics stuff going through the roof there are many battery supply places on the internet to sell you replacement batteries and even make you a replacement pack but it still gets quite expensive. Let me know if you have any more detailed questions.

    John
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  3. #3
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    thanks for that info. Here is the info I could find on their site and on the charger:
    10W lamp with a 35W spot lamp.
    12 volt Nicad battery
    charger says 120VAC 60hz 8w 14.1 VDC 220mA

    Is this enough info to figure what to buy and make?
    thanks again

  4. #4
    Unrepentant Mountainbiker
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    Lightbulb Just get ten 1.2V sub C cell Nicad batteries.

    You can find these at any hobbie shop. They will even have Solder tabs available so that you can put them together. Be sure to assemble them in series (negative to positive to negative to positive) so that they will come to 12V. If you hook them up in parallell, then you have created a 1.2V battery with lots of capacity.

    When looking at batteries, pay attention to the capacity of the cells. When I last raced RC cars, they were up to 2000 milliamp hours (MAH). The higher the number the longer the run time for the cell. Also the higher the cost. I can get almost 2 hrs of run time from the 2000 MAH cells that I use in my homemade headlight. But I am only running 6 cells (9-10V) with a lamp designed to work with 12V (10 cells), so YMMV.
    It's no fun unless it hurts!

  5. #5
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    Check out this page which just happens to be the first one that I clicked on when I did a search for Nicad batteries. As you go down lower on the page you will see 2100 ampHr SubC Nicad batteries with solder tabs.
    http://www.megabatteries.com/items.asp?cat_id=29

    That is just an example of what you want to look for, you could also use D cell NiCad batteries if you wanted more capacity however then you would end up with a much larger battery pack which would be heavier.

    If you look around and do some searching sometimes you can find exactly what you want in pre assembled battery packs that are all shrinked together that you just need to attach your wirest too that you will used between your lamp and charger. Here is an example of some of the ways they do this.
    http://www.hobby-lobby.com/nicads.htm

    Hopefully this will give you some ideas of how much you will have to spend to rebuild your battery pack with new NiCad batteries. Keep in mind you want to get the highest amp hour rating as possible, the lower the rating the shorter the runtime will be.

    This might be a really good time to take a good look at the light system that you currently have and decide if you really like it any more or not. You may find that the options available now may only cost a little more than fixing your old system and you could end up with a new light with a better charger, better batteries, better bike attachment, and better lamp to boot.

    Two years ago, I decided to just buy a new system with a 10W lamp which I feel is plenty adequate for city commuting. This allowed me to have a much smaller system overall with new NiMH batteries which were much smaller than NiCad and lasted longer than the old system.

    Good Luck

  6. #6
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    You need a 12v battery. As others have noted, that means soldering 10 1.2v cells.

    Playing the contrarian, I'd do the following:

    a) DON'T go with something with as little capacity as 2 amp hours (same as 2000 miliamp hours). I'd go with at least 4 amp hours for decent run time.

    b) Those C cells others are recommending are big. Only reason that big is better is if you get more capacity. You don't unless you buy the most expensive ones.

    c) I'd run 10 4/5 cells rather than Cs. 4/5s are a little bigger than AAs. Look at http://www.batterystation.com/configurations.htm, configuration 18 in particular. That one should be about the size of two decks of cards sitting on top of each other. You can put it in your jersey pocket or seatpack and still have room for a water bottle. 10 cells at $4.00 ea, and you are paying $40 for parts. Figure another 15 for shrink rap, leads, solder and shipping and you are still ahead of the game.

    d) finally, if you don't have a "smart" charger, you seriously risk overcharging your batteries Your current charger, putting out 220 miliamps per hour would take approximately 20 hours to charge the configuration I've suggested. The cheap way to prevent overcharging is to plug the charger into a timer that goes off after a designated number of hours.

  7. #7
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    Nice lights, Nightsun.

    I've been running NightSun team issue since '95. I like the way they mount with straps around the handlebars, so you can put them on and take them off quickly. The downtube is the perfect place for a heavy battery, requiring no mounting hardware, velcro straps, etc. The 10 watt low beam light is perfect, even with no ambient light around, because it allows your eyeball night vision receptors to come into play. It'll last over an hour, although I've never been out that long. I only need the high beam light occassionally at sandy intersections or to call attention to my presence.

    Around 2000, the original battery died. I went to Radio Shack, bought 10 of their rechargeable C cells, and built a battery like Dorf411 did, but it didn't last more than a year or so. I may not have used it enough to keep it charged, or the Radio Shack batteries were a low current rating.

    So last year, I broke down and mail ordered a battery from NightSun. NightSun has two available, one for around 110., another for 150. I got the cheaper one.

    Just my .02 for those contemplating going the hand-made route.

  8. #8
    Daily Commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawndoggy
    You need a 12v battery. As others have noted, that means soldering 10 1.2v cells.

    Playing the contrarian, I'd do the following:

    a) DON'T go with something with as little capacity as 2 amp hours (same as 2000 miliamp hours). I'd go with at least 4 amp hours for decent run time.

    c) I'd run 10 4/5 cells rather than Cs. 4/5s are a little bigger than AAs. Look at http://www.batterystation.com/configurations.htm, configuration 18 in particular. That one should be about the size of two decks of cards sitting on top of each other. You can put it in your jersey pocket or seatpack and still have room for a water bottle. 10 cells at $4.00 ea, and you are paying $40 for parts. Figure another 15 for shrink rap, leads, solder and shipping and you are still ahead of the game.

    d) finally, if you don't have a "smart" charger, you seriously risk overcharging your batteries Your current charger, putting out 220 miliamps per hour would take approximately 20 hours to charge the configuration I've suggested. The cheap way to prevent overcharging is to plug the charger into a timer that goes off after a designated number of hours.
    a: I agree, 2 Amp Hrs is pretty low but what else is available in NiCad?

    c: I wouldn't want wires running all the way from my bars across the frame and into my jersey or seat pack. But that would make a nice little pack that could maybe strapped to the frame if you were resourceful. I was looking for a page like this that illustrates some options of prefabricated bunches of batteries.

    d: This is where I get concerned with your recommendation, since he is already configured with a NiCad system if he now buys NiMH batteries as you suggest isn't he risking damage to the batteries by using his old charger? Doesn't this have something to do with charge rate? I guess I am not so knowledgeable in this area.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorf411
    a: I agree, 2 Amp Hrs is pretty low but what else is available in NiCad?
    ...
    d: This is where I get concerned with your recommendation, since he is already configured with a NiCad system if he now buys NiMH batteries as you suggest isn't he risking damage to the batteries by using his old charger? Doesn't this have something to do with charge rate? I guess I am not so knowledgeable in this area.
    Thanks for making me clarify... sometimes I get ahead of myself. Yes, I'd use NiMH cells (which are available in 4.5 A/h in the 4/5 size I referenced), and in my experience using the std cheapo "wall wart" chargers, NiMH and NiCD charders are interchangeable. Can't use sealed lead acid charger with NiMH/NiCD, but otherwise should work. That charger he's got trickling out at 220 mA/h is VERY slow, so I don't think there are any overcharging risks except leaving the battery on too long.

    Perhaps a real battery geek can correct me if I'm wrong.

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