Anybody using the DiNotte Ultralight?



G

Gooserider

Guest
Performance has this on sale for Team P members, and it looks like a well
made light with a very small footprint. Anybody have any experience with it?
 
Gooserider wrote:
> Performance has this on sale for Team P members, and it looks like a well
> made light with a very small footprint. Anybody have any experience with it?


I haven't used or even seen it (though I agree it looks very nice from
pictures), but the trend seems to be moving away from using higher power
LEDs (e.g. 5w Luxeons like the Dinotte has) to ganging together the
lower power LEDs (mainly 3w Luxeons). I guess yields on long life 5w
capable LEDs is lower?

--
I do not accept unsolicited commercial e-mail. Remove NO_UCE for
legitimate replies.
 
Gooserider wrote:
> Performance has this on sale for Team P members, and it looks like a well
> made light with a very small footprint. Anybody have any experience with it?


I haven't used or even seen it (though I agree it looks very nice from
pictures), but the trend seems to be moving away from using higher power
LEDs (e.g. 5w Luxeons like the Dinotte has) to ganging together the
lower power LEDs (mainly 3w Luxeons). I guess yields on long life 5w
capable LEDs is lower?

--
I do not accept unsolicited commercial e-mail. Remove NO_UCE for
legitimate replies.
 
On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 02:30:49 +0000, Victor Kan wrote:

> Gooserider wrote:
>> Performance has this on sale for Team P members, and it looks like a
>> well made light with a very small footprint. Anybody have any
>> experience with it?

>
> I haven't used or even seen it (though I agree it looks very nice from
> pictures), but the trend seems to be moving away from using higher power
> LEDs (e.g. 5w Luxeons like the Dinotte has) to ganging together the
> lower power LEDs (mainly 3w Luxeons). I guess yields on long life 5w
> capable LEDs is lower?


Actually I don't think there are any commercially produced lights using 5W
LEDs. A few cutting edge ones like the L&M Vega are using 3W+ LEDs, but
the rest use 1W and under. Higher powered LEDs are still very expensive,
not fantastically efficient or long-lived, and handling the heat they
generate can be tricky. Note the price of the 3W+ models. More will
come, but it may take another year or two.

To answer the question though, I haven't seen the Dinotte in person or in
action.

Here's a nice comparison of some other popular headlight beams:

http://eddys.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=493

Matt O.
 
"Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]...
> On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 02:30:49 +0000, Victor Kan wrote:
>
>> Gooserider wrote:
>>> Performance has this on sale for Team P members, and it looks like a
>>> well made light with a very small footprint. Anybody have any
>>> experience with it?

>>
>> I haven't used or even seen it (though I agree it looks very nice from
>> pictures), but the trend seems to be moving away from using higher power
>> LEDs (e.g. 5w Luxeons like the Dinotte has) to ganging together the
>> lower power LEDs (mainly 3w Luxeons). I guess yields on long life 5w
>> capable LEDs is lower?

>
> Actually I don't think there are any commercially produced lights using 5W
> LEDs. A few cutting edge ones like the L&M Vega are using 3W+ LEDs, but
> the rest use 1W and under. Higher powered LEDs are still very expensive,
> not fantastically efficient or long-lived, and handling the heat they
> generate can be tricky. Note the price of the 3W+ models. More will
> come, but it may take another year or two.
>
> To answer the question though, I haven't seen the Dinotte in person or in
> action.
>
> Here's a nice comparison of some other popular headlight beams:
>
> http://eddys.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=493
>
> Matt O.


Well, I exchanged some emails with a DiNotte sales rep, and he advised me
that Performance's price was very good, so I bought the light. The rep
offered to send me another set of batteries for free if I sent him a copy of
the receipt, and I had some Team P points, so I did it. I will post a report
after I get the light.

Mike
 
On Wed, 09 Nov 2005 22:32:18 +0000, Gooserider wrote:

> Performance has this on sale for Team P members, and it looks like a well
> made light with a very small footprint. Anybody have any experience with it?


I've been commuting with it since just before the time change. I'm quite
happy with it.

It is, indeed, a 5w LED. The 4-AA NiMH battery pack that comes with it
gives me between 1 and 2 hours on the bright setting (there are two
settings, bright and not-as-bright). I'm not real sure of the time since
I have a short commute. For me it lasts about a week before the red
indicator comes on and the light goes down to low beam.

When I first got it I did some side-by-side comparisons with my (failing
battery, but when it works it's as bright as ever) NightRider 15 watt.
The light of the DiNotte is not as tightly focused as the NightRider.
With the NightRider, your eye is pretty much glued to the circle of quite
bright light, and you have poor illumination of things to the side or
ahead of the spot. The DiNotte is, overall, just as bright, but with the
light spread out in a wider circle. Things like reflective signs up ahead
are better lit, and the patch of road ahead still has plenty of light to
see obstacles or potholes at 15-20mph. Looking at the bike from in front
the intensity of the DiNotte is much higher than the NightRider. Maybe if
you were looking at the Nightrider from where the spot of bright light is,
it would seem brighter, but the DiNotte is more noticeable to traffic in
front of you. I want drivers to look and think "what the hell is that
thing?" when I'm coming towards them, not "is there something there?" that
you get from a typical little light. The DiNotte does that well.

The low beam is still quite bright, but to really see you'd want to use
the high beam. The low is more than enough to be seen and noticed.

They warn about the light getting hot, but it doesn't really get more than
slightly warm on my commute. the NightRider, on the other hand, got quite
hot -- and if it got too hot, it would shut itself off. Just what you
need.

I'm sold on the DiNotte. It is pricey, but it gives enough light to
really see, is simple and rugged enough for everyday use, and is small,
quick and easy to attach. If the batteries go, I can (and will) get 12
more (three changes) for $16.95, rather than be told, as I was, that the
battery on my NightRider was irreplaceable (4.5V NiMH smart strap-on
pack). Heck, even if it could be replaced, it would be over $100 to do so.


--

David L. Johnson

__o | If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a
_`\(,_ | conclusion. -- George Bernard Shaw
(_)/ (_) |
 
On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 11:13:18 +0000, Gooserider wrote:

> Well, I exchanged some emails with a DiNotte sales rep, and he advised me
> that Performance's price was very good, so I bought the light. The rep
> offered to send me another set of batteries for free if I sent him a copy of
> the receipt, and I had some Team P points, so I did it. I will post a report
> after I get the light.


Yeah, let us know how it goes!

Matt O.
 
On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 11:08:07 +0000, POHB wrote:

> That's interesting, I've got one that looks identical to those Niterider
> 3-LED headlights, but mine is branded as Electron
>
>>
>> http://eddys.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=493


That doesn't surprise me. I'm sure there are several different brands
coming from the same factories in Taiwan or wherever.

Matt O.
 
On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 10:58:54 -0500, David L. Johnson wrote:

> On Wed, 09 Nov 2005 22:32:18 +0000, Gooserider wrote:
>
>> Performance has this on sale for Team P members, and it looks like a
>> well made light with a very small footprint. Anybody have any
>> experience with it?

>
> I've been commuting with it since just before the time change. I'm
> quite happy with it.
>
> It is, indeed, a 5w LED. The 4-AA NiMH battery pack that comes with it
> gives me between 1 and 2 hours on the bright setting (there are two
> settings, bright and not-as-bright). I'm not real sure of the time
> since I have a short commute. For me it lasts about a week before the
> red indicator comes on and the light goes down to low beam.
>
> When I first got it I did some side-by-side comparisons with my (failing
> battery, but when it works it's as bright as ever) NightRider 15 watt.
> The light of the DiNotte is not as tightly focused as the NightRider.
> With the NightRider, your eye is pretty much glued to the circle of
> quite bright light, and you have poor illumination of things to the side
> or ahead of the spot. The DiNotte is, overall, just as bright, but with
> the light spread out in a wider circle. Things like reflective signs up
> ahead are better lit, and the patch of road ahead still has plenty of
> light to see obstacles or potholes at 15-20mph. Looking at the bike
> from in front the intensity of the DiNotte is much higher than the
> NightRider. Maybe if you were looking at the Nightrider from where the
> spot of bright light is, it would seem brighter, but the DiNotte is more
> noticeable to traffic in front of you. I want drivers to look and think
> "what the hell is that thing?" when I'm coming towards them, not "is
> there something there?" that you get from a typical little light. The
> DiNotte does that well.
>
> The low beam is still quite bright, but to really see you'd want to use
> the high beam. The low is more than enough to be seen and noticed.
>
> They warn about the light getting hot, but it doesn't really get more
> than slightly warm on my commute. the NightRider, on the other hand,
> got quite hot -- and if it got too hot, it would shut itself off. Just
> what you need.
>
> I'm sold on the DiNotte. It is pricey, but it gives enough light to
> really see, is simple and rugged enough for everyday use, and is small,
> quick and easy to attach. If the batteries go, I can (and will) get 12
> more (three changes) for $16.95, rather than be told, as I was, that the
> battery on my NightRider was irreplaceable (4.5V NiMH smart strap-on
> pack). Heck, even if it could be replaced, it would be over $100 to do
> so.


Thanks for the report, and the good description. That sounds really good.
All the LED lights I've seen so far, except the Vega, are too narrowly
focused. A lot of this is trickery, to be able to say they're as bright
as a halogen unit, but there's no free lunch. Even the Vega could be
wider.

My favorites are the L&M ones, which have custom reflectors (not generic
MR) and a much more even beam. The better L&M lights are focusable. But
the standard one is about perfect for most riding, IMO.

Again, various beam patterns for comparison:

http://eddys.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=493

I like the Vega because it's even simpler to use than a Cateye Micro. It
goes on and off just as easily, and just plugs into its charger -- no
taking the batteries out and putting them back in. No worries about the
bulb burning out either. The Dinotte promises more light still, in an
even smaller package, but maybe not as convenient. I imagine you have to
take the batteries out to charge them, plus the mounting system looks a
bit fiddly.

Other than that, it looks pretty neat.

Matt O.
 
On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 10:58:54 -0500, David L. Johnson wrote:

> On Wed, 09 Nov 2005 22:32:18 +0000, Gooserider wrote:
>
>> Performance has this on sale for Team P members, and it looks like a
>> well made light with a very small footprint. Anybody have any
>> experience with it?

>
> I've been commuting with it since just before the time change. I'm
> quite happy with it.
>
> It is, indeed, a 5w LED. The 4-AA NiMH battery pack that comes with it
> gives me between 1 and 2 hours on the bright setting (there are two
> settings, bright and not-as-bright). I'm not real sure of the time
> since I have a short commute. For me it lasts about a week before the
> red indicator comes on and the light goes down to low beam.
>
> When I first got it I did some side-by-side comparisons with my (failing
> battery, but when it works it's as bright as ever) NightRider 15 watt.
> The light of the DiNotte is not as tightly focused as the NightRider.
> With the NightRider, your eye is pretty much glued to the circle of
> quite bright light, and you have poor illumination of things to the side
> or ahead of the spot. The DiNotte is, overall, just as bright, but with
> the light spread out in a wider circle. Things like reflective signs up
> ahead are better lit, and the patch of road ahead still has plenty of
> light to see obstacles or potholes at 15-20mph. Looking at the bike
> from in front the intensity of the DiNotte is much higher than the
> NightRider. Maybe if you were looking at the Nightrider from where the
> spot of bright light is, it would seem brighter, but the DiNotte is more
> noticeable to traffic in front of you. I want drivers to look and think
> "what the hell is that thing?" when I'm coming towards them, not "is
> there something there?" that you get from a typical little light. The
> DiNotte does that well.
>
> The low beam is still quite bright, but to really see you'd want to use
> the high beam. The low is more than enough to be seen and noticed.
>
> They warn about the light getting hot, but it doesn't really get more
> than slightly warm on my commute. the NightRider, on the other hand,
> got quite hot -- and if it got too hot, it would shut itself off. Just
> what you need.
>
> I'm sold on the DiNotte. It is pricey, but it gives enough light to
> really see, is simple and rugged enough for everyday use, and is small,
> quick and easy to attach. If the batteries go, I can (and will) get 12
> more (three changes) for $16.95, rather than be told, as I was, that the
> battery on my NightRider was irreplaceable (4.5V NiMH smart strap-on
> pack). Heck, even if it could be replaced, it would be over $100 to do
> so.


Thanks for the report, and the good description. That sounds really good.
All the LED lights I've seen so far, except the Vega, are too narrowly
focused. A lot of this is trickery, to be able to say they're as bright
as a halogen unit, but there's no free lunch. Even the Vega could be
wider.

My favorites are the L&M ones, which have custom reflectors (not generic
MR) and a much more even beam. The better L&M lights are focusable. But
the standard one is about perfect for most riding, IMO.

Again, various beam patterns for comparison:

http://eddys.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=493

I like the Vega because it's even simpler to use than a Cateye Micro. It
goes on and off just as easily, and just plugs into its charger -- no
taking the batteries out and putting them back in. No worries about the
bulb burning out either. The Dinotte promises more light still, in an
even smaller package, but maybe not as convenient. I imagine you have to
take the batteries out to charge them, plus the mounting system looks a
bit fiddly.

Other than that, it looks pretty neat.

Matt O.
 
"David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]...
> On Wed, 09 Nov 2005 22:32:18 +0000, Gooserider wrote:
>
>> Performance has this on sale for Team P members, and it looks like a well
>> made light with a very small footprint. Anybody have any experience with
>> it?

>
> I've been commuting with it since just before the time change. I'm quite
> happy with it.
>

David--

Thanks for the information. I am looking forward to getting this
light. I have a fairly dark commute, but I think this light plus my LED
vest, two blinkies, reflective ankle strap, and maybe a helmet light should
have me covered. :)

Mike
 
David L. Johnson wrote:

> I'm sold on the DiNotte. It is pricey, but it gives enough light to
> really see, is simple and rugged enough for everyday use, and is small,
> quick and easy to attach. If the batteries go, I can (and will) get 12
> more (three changes) for $16.95, rather than be told, as I was, that the
> battery on my NightRider was irreplaceable (4.5V NiMH smart strap-on
> pack). Heck, even if it could be replaced, it would be over $100 to do so.


FWIW, inside the NiteRider battery pack are probably some
standard size of NiMH cell, that could be replaced. I have a
Niterider NiMH pack that is held together with screws that look odd,
but are actually just obnoxious tamper-resistant hex cap screws
(pin in the center). I haven't had to take mine apart yet, but when
I do, tamper-resistant hex wrenches are not hard to order, or I
could probably just find a locksmith who already has the wrenches.
 
[email protected] wrote:
>
> FWIW, inside the NiteRider battery pack are probably some
> standard size of NiMH cell, that could be replaced. I have a
> Niterider NiMH pack that is held together with screws that look odd,
> but are actually just obnoxious tamper-resistant hex cap screws
> (pin in the center). I haven't had to take mine apart yet, but when
> I do, tamper-resistant hex wrenches are not hard to order, or I
> could probably just find a locksmith who already has the wrenches.


Seems more and more manufacturers are using such abominations. I just
found those on a just-out-of-warranty Black & Decker coffee maker I
wanted to fix.

Actually, they were security Torx screws, not allen screws. But here's
what I did:

I heated up a Torx bit to red hot, then slow cooled it. This annealed
it enough to allow drilling a hole in the end, to clear the pin.

Since the offending screws were just screwed into plastic, I didn't
bother re-hardening the bit. It worked fine.

However, Black & Decker said the broken part is not available. "We
don't sell internal parts." (Think about that when you're next
shopping for appliances.)

- Frank Krygowski
 
On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 17:57:49 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

> David L. Johnson wrote:
>
>> I'm sold on the DiNotte. It is pricey, but it gives enough light to
>> really see, is simple and rugged enough for everyday use, and is small,
>> quick and easy to attach. If the batteries go, I can (and will) get 12
>> more (three changes) for $16.95, rather than be told, as I was, that the
>> battery on my NightRider was irreplaceable (4.5V NiMH smart strap-on
>> pack). Heck, even if it could be replaced, it would be over $100 to do so.

>
> FWIW, inside the NiteRider battery pack are probably some
> standard size of NiMH cell, that could be replaced.


Of course they are. There are even people who will rebuild these for you,
if you don't want to do it yourself.

I've seen a couple of outfits who
will solder the cells together, put leads on, and shrink-wrap the whole
package for only $5-10 more than the price of the cells. At that rate
it's hard to justify fiddling with yourself. I bet even the shrink-wrap
would cost you more, in small quanitites. (That's if you can even get the
good rubber stuff.)

Yes, I've built a bunch of these.

Matt O.
 
On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 17:57:49 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

> FWIW, inside the NiteRider battery pack are probably some
> standard size of NiMH cell, that could be replaced. I have a
> Niterider NiMH pack that is held together with screws that look odd,
> but are actually just obnoxious tamper-resistant hex cap screws
> (pin in the center).


Amazing how many hacks have been suggested to resurrect the Nightrider.
But my battery pack has no screws whatsoever. Moot point, anyway.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | Accept risk. Accept responsibility. Put a lawyer out of
_`\(,_ | business.
(_)/ (_) |
 
On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 14:40:42 -0500, Matt O'Toole wrote:

> I like the Vega because it's even simpler to use than a Cateye Micro. It
> goes on and off just as easily, and just plugs into its charger -- no
> taking the batteries out and putting them back in. No worries about the
> bulb burning out either. The Dinotte promises more light still, in an
> even smaller package, but maybe not as convenient. I imagine you have to
> take the batteries out to charge them, plus the mounting system looks a
> bit fiddly.


Yeah, you do have to take the batteries out to charge them. But they fit
into a standard holder; you could have some on hand for quick changes.

The mounting system looks worse than it is. Easy and quick to mount the
light itself, and while it will not hold the setting if you bang the bike
around like I did tonight, it's a simple matter to re-aim. The batteries
come out for re-charging without removing the strap-on holder.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | Become MicroSoft-free forever. Ask me how.
_`\(,_ |
(_)/ (_) |
 
[email protected] wrote:

> Actually, they were security Torx screws, not allen screws. But here's
> what I did:
> I heated up a Torx bit to red hot, then slow cooled it. This annealed
> it enough to allow drilling a hole in the end, to clear the pin.
> Since the offending screws were just screwed into plastic, I didn't
> bother re-hardening the bit. It worked fine.


The Torx variety are pretty common too. However, no need to go
that far. Although the tools are probably not at your local Sears,
the Bondhus tamper resistant torx set is $9 or so on the web:

<http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=6970&productId=200230074&R=200230074>

(No experience with this vendor, it's just someplace Google found.)

> However, Black & Decker said the broken part is not available. "We
> don't sell internal parts." (Think about that when you're next
> shopping for appliances.)


I haven't really thought about buying an internal part for a small
appliance from the maker in some time. If I fix something, I just
bodge it. In an era of $20 imported appliances, I don't really expect
makers to have a stock of spare parts for small appliances (washing
machines would be another story). It may be sad, but that's how it is.
Just pretend everything comes with a "No User Serviceable Parts
Inside" sticker and enjoy the frisson of doing something slightly
forbidden when you open it up.

Although people like to complain about bicycle parts manufacturers,
they're probably better than average as far as spare parts go.
 
Gooserider wrote:
> "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:p[email protected]...
> > On Wed, 09 Nov 2005 22:32:18 +0000, Gooserider wrote:
> >
> >> Performance has this on sale for Team P members, and it looks like a well
> >> made light with a very small footprint. Anybody have any experience with
> >> it?

> >
> > I've been commuting with it since just before the time change. I'm quite
> > happy with it.
> >

> David--
>
> Thanks for the information. I am looking forward to getting this
> light. I have a fairly dark commute, but I think this light plus my LED
> vest, two blinkies, reflective ankle strap, and maybe a helmet light should
> have me covered. :)
>
> Mike


Mike: Have you had a chance to try it out yet? Nashbar has them on
sale now, so I'm contemplating a purchase. Does anyone know anything
about cost and availability of replacement bulbs?

Thanks,

Bruce