Bleedin' lights :-( Cateye HL-RC230

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Fred Fragger, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. Fred Fragger

    Fred Fragger Guest

    Any RC230 owners out there who can give me some advice?

    I recently got my lights out of storage but the first two night rides were
    blighted when the lights failed much earlier than usual (in the woods and it
    was dark mummy!). Tonight I got changed, got the bike out, fitted the lights
    (battery having been recharged for exactly the recommended time) only to
    realise as soon as I turned them on that I wouldn't be going out. The lights
    were weak and became too dim to use after 10 minutes.

    Bugger, I only agreed to a steaming great pile of fish and chips tonight
    because I knew I could ride the calories off later!

    I bought the lights last winter and I know they're at the budget end of the
    market with an SLA battery but they worked well enough for quite a few
    rides. The lights have 2 x 10W lamps and if I don't use one of the pair for
    half the ride (about 12 miles / 1 hour) they usually easily last for the
    whole ride. Part of my night route is on roads with street-lights so one
    lamp is fine for those sections.

    During the summer I discharged the lights a couple of times (not completely)
    and recharged the battery per the instructions (the charger is not a "smart"
    charger) so I think I've treated the kit well.

    So, I don't really want to spend loads of cash on new lights - are there any
    replacement batteries / chargers out there worth looking at? Will the
    battery "recover" after a few recharging cycles?

    Later

    Fred

    Sitting at the pooter in his lycra when he'd rather be riding :-(
     
    Tags:


  2. Edward Holt

    Edward Holt Guest

    "Fred Fragger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Any RC230 owners out there who can give me some advice?
    >
    > I recently got my lights out of storage but the first two night rides were
    > blighted when the lights failed much earlier than usual (in the woods and
    > it was dark mummy!). Tonight I got changed, got the bike out, fitted the
    > lights (battery having been recharged for exactly the recommended time)
    > only to realise as soon as I turned them on that I wouldn't be going out.
    > The lights were weak and became too dim to use after 10 minutes.
    >
    > Bugger, I only agreed to a steaming great pile of fish and chips tonight
    > because I knew I could ride the calories off later!
    >
    > I bought the lights last winter and I know they're at the budget end of
    > the market with an SLA battery but they worked well enough for quite a few
    > rides. The lights have 2 x 10W lamps and if I don't use one of the pair
    > for half the ride (about 12 miles / 1 hour) they usually easily last for
    > the whole ride. Part of my night route is on roads with street-lights so
    > one lamp is fine for those sections.
    >
    > During the summer I discharged the lights a couple of times (not
    > completely) and recharged the battery per the instructions (the charger is
    > not a "smart" charger) so I think I've treated the kit well.
    >
    > So, I don't really want to spend loads of cash on new lights - are there
    > any replacement batteries / chargers out there worth looking at? Will the
    > battery "recover" after a few recharging cycles?
    >
    > Later
    >
    > Fred
    >
    > Sitting at the pooter in his lycra when he'd rather be riding :-(
    >
    >
    >


    I had a similar problem - the battery went dead after it's first year and
    had to be replaced.
    I don't know if it's because I didn't follow the instructions correctly or
    not (I thought I had).
    There seems to be some very strict guidelines to recharging of those
    batteries.
    You can actually unscrew the screws on the battery case and buy a non-cateye
    lead actetate battery to replace it - that worked out cheaper for me.

    I've now ditched the lights for the Cateye EL400 as I don't need all that
    power or weight or hassle to recharge - I just cycle about town.
     
  3. Doki

    Doki Guest

    Fred Fragger wrote:
    > Any RC230 owners out there who can give me some advice?
    >
    > I recently got my lights out of storage but the first two night rides
    > were blighted when the lights failed much earlier than usual (in the
    > woods and it was dark mummy!). Tonight I got changed, got the bike
    > out, fitted the lights (battery having been recharged for exactly the
    > recommended time) only to realise as soon as I turned them on that I
    > wouldn't be going out. The lights were weak and became too dim to use
    > after 10 minutes.
    >
    > Bugger, I only agreed to a steaming great pile of fish and chips
    > tonight because I knew I could ride the calories off later!
    >
    > I bought the lights last winter and I know they're at the budget end
    > of the market with an SLA battery but they worked well enough for
    > quite a few rides. The lights have 2 x 10W lamps and if I don't use
    > one of the pair for half the ride (about 12 miles / 1 hour) they
    > usually easily last for the whole ride. Part of my night route is on
    > roads with street-lights so one lamp is fine for those sections.
    >
    > During the summer I discharged the lights a couple of times (not
    > completely) and recharged the battery per the instructions (the
    > charger is not a "smart" charger) so I think I've treated the kit
    > well.
    >
    > So, I don't really want to spend loads of cash on new lights - are
    > there any replacement batteries / chargers out there worth looking
    > at? Will the battery "recover" after a few recharging cycles?


    AFAIK, SLAs are like car batteries. Once they're dead, they're dead. Plates
    sulphate and things.

    If I were you, I'd unscrew the battery casing, get down to your local RC
    model shop / electronics supplier, and make up a NiMH battery that'll fit in
    the old casing. Get a suitable charger whilst you're at it, and you'll have
    batteries that last longer, and can be recharged *very* quickly. And be
    lighter too.
     
  4. Fred Fragger

    Fred Fragger Guest

    "Chris Phillipo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    > says...
    >> Subject: Bleedin' lights :-( Cateye HL-RC230
    >> From: "Fred Fragger" <[email protected]>
    >> Newsgroups: alt.mountain-bike
    >>
    >> Any RC230 owners out there who can give me some advice?
    >>
    >> I recently got my lights out of storage but the first two night rides
    >> were
    >> blighted when the lights failed much earlier than usual (in the woods and
    >> it
    >> was dark mummy!). Tonight I got changed, got the bike out, fitted the
    >> lights
    >> (battery having been recharged for exactly the recommended time) only to
    >> realise as soon as I turned them on that I wouldn't be going out. The
    >> lights
    >> were weak and became too dim to use after 10 minutes.
    >>
    >> Bugger, I only agreed to a steaming great pile of fish and chips tonight
    >> because I knew I could ride the calories off later!
    >>
    >> I bought the lights last winter and I know they're at the budget end of
    >> the
    >> market with an SLA battery but they worked well enough for quite a few
    >> rides. The lights have 2 x 10W lamps and if I don't use one of the pair
    >> for
    >> half the ride (about 12 miles / 1 hour) they usually easily last for the
    >> whole ride. Part of my night route is on roads with street-lights so one
    >> lamp is fine for those sections.
    >>
    >> During the summer I discharged the lights a couple of times (not
    >> completely)
    >> and recharged the battery per the instructions (the charger is not a
    >> "smart"
    >> charger) so I think I've treated the kit well.
    >>
    >> So, I don't really want to spend loads of cash on new lights - are there
    >> any
    >> replacement batteries / chargers out there worth looking at? Will the
    >> battery "recover" after a few recharging cycles?
    >>
    >> Later
    >>
    >> Fred
    >>
    >> Sitting at the pooter in his lycra when he'd rather be riding :-(
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    > When you store lights you should charge the battery fully and again
    > every 6 months if you don't use them. So if you put it away half dead
    > it probably will never be the same. You can rebuild your battery with
    > new cell(s) relatively cheaply. While your at it you might even be able
    > to get cells with more capacity that are the same physical size.
    > --
    > _________________________
    > Chris Phillipo - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
    > http://www.ramsays-online.com



    Thanks for the replies chaps

    I've been considering buying this battery as an alternative, looks like I'd
    get about 2.5 hrs with 2 x 10W which would be nice but it's a bit on the
    expensive side - especially as I'd have to buy a charger as well.

    http://www.therush.uk.com/catalog/p...d=293&osCsid=de746749eb537871d2d13cd097dd6302

    There is a model shop in town so perhaps I'll go and see them first.

    Later

    Fred
     
  5. Doki

    Doki Guest

    Fred Fragger wrote:

    > Thanks for the replies chaps
    >
    > I've been considering buying this battery as an alternative, looks
    > like I'd get about 2.5 hrs with 2 x 10W which would be nice but it's
    > a bit on the expensive side - especially as I'd have to buy a charger
    > as well.
    >
    >

    http://www.therush.uk.com/catalog/p...d=293&osCsid=de746749eb537871d2d13cd097dd6302

    That looks like a decent price to me - at a first glance, 6x1.2 9ah cells
    would cost me £50 or so, and i'd still have to mangle the battery pack.

    > There is a model shop in town so perhaps I'll go and see them first.
     
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