Author Topic: Ixon IQ battery bodge  (Read 8901 times)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Ixon IQ battery bodge
« on: November 24, 2011, 05:03:49 pm »
I orignally posted this in the fettling thread, but I've referenced it a few times now, so it probably ought to go somewhere more findable.

Back story:  The Ixon IQ is an excellent battery light, let down by a couple of major design flaws:  Firstly, the plastic catch that holds it shut is a bit flimsy, and secondly that the battery connection depends on no less than 12 spring steel contacts.  These have a habit of corroding or lacking sufficient springiness, leading to poor performance or intermittent failure.

Repeated re-bending of the rear contacts to achieve a reliable connection caused mine to fatigue and shear off.  I was able to fabricate a replacement contact using a dremel and an old cake tin, but this was fiddly and nowhere near springy enough.  It worked like this for almost a year, with me charging the batteries in situ to avoid upsetting the delicate arrangement, but eventually failed.


IxonIQ, which appeared to have battery dodginess.

Charged the cells properly in a individual-channel charger, but the cake tin battery contacts were playing silly buggers when I replaced them in the light.

Got pissed off.

Pressed the pin out of the battery compartment hinge using a vice, a small Allen key, strategically placed fingers and some foul language.

Prised the cover off the compartment containing the electronics (it's secured by a tab on either side, and can safely be attacked with a flathead screwdriver).  Noted yet another set of spring contacts between the battery clips and PCB (making a total of 12 spring connections to go wrong).  Soldered wires direct to the PCB in the appropriate places and applied some volts.  And there was light.

On the basis that I'm much happier wielding a soldering iron than I am attempting to molish intricate shapes out of spring steel, I decided to tape the AA cells together, solder the terminals in the appropriate places, and violently strip out all the superfluous gubbins from the battery compartment.  Had a minor "Electron Band Structure In Germanium, My Ass" moment attempting to solder to the terminals of AA cells.  Cranked soldering iron up past "Ow! Fucking bastard!", "Will solder high-current spade connectors", "What's that smell?" and "You didn't need insulation anyway" to "Fires of Hades" and completed the job.  Discovered that, astoundingly, this battery pack will fit securely within the compartment, so no need for plan B (which involved Tamiya connectors and a drill).  Successfully replaced the hinge pin using the corner of the desk and more foul language.

I now have a reliable light with a non-field-replacable battery, rather than an unreliable light with a non-field-replacable-if-you-want-it-to-work battery.




I intend to connect a remote switch to the Ixon for use as a 'dippable' main beam on the recumbent, so will come back and post better photos of the innards at some point.

Until then, I hope this is of use to those wishing to fettle their Ixon.  The tricky bit is getting the hinge open: use a ~2mm allen key or similar piece of rod in a vice, and press it out.  Pay attention to the pin having a wider head on one side - so it will only press out from one direction.  The curvature of the light makes this fiddly and annoying, but rest assured that it is possible.

Refitting is, unusually,  a *lot* easier than removal.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2011, 05:45:09 pm »
It took me a while to read this 'cos I had to mop up the blackcurrant cordial that inadvertently came down my nose when I read the soldering iron temperature guides  ;D

I haven't done much with my own experiment to fit a dip switch to my IQ Speeds apart from looking at soldering irons since I don't have one. Is that a shameful thing to admit ? I haven't even prised off the switch cover yet.

I'll watch your progress with interest  :)



Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2011, 06:06:57 pm »
Interesting, thanks for posting Kim.

My Ixon IQ failed at the main catch, so it won't stay closed.  I bodged a fix by whacking a rivet through the top of the body which allows me to wrap a cable tie around and hold it shut that way. It's not ideal because I don't have the charger which allows topping up in-situ. I keep meaning to post it back to the B&M for them to replace because that catch is clearly not fit for purpose.

I didn't have any trouble removing the hinge pin on mine, I just (gently) put my foot on the lamp on the floor to hold it steady, then tapped the pin out with a soft faced hammer and rivet. Tapped it partly  back in for reassembly, then sent it home with a pair of water pump pliers.

Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2011, 06:11:22 pm »
And btw, is that a de-soldering pump thingy in the picture? Are they any good?

I have to learn to solder soon  (see here: http://www.ladyada.net/make/mshield/solder.html)  and I thought one of those might help me recover from the many mistakes I'm going to make.

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
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Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2011, 06:15:45 pm »
And btw, is that a de-soldering pump thingy in the picture? Are they any good?

Yes.  Useful sometimes.  Also get solder wick.

Thread on soldering irons/stations: http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=52562

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Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2011, 06:32:34 pm »
Yes.  Useful sometimes.  Also get solder wick.

Right, solder wick, sounds good. Thanks. I'll go find your other thread on soldering irons and ask for more advice on starter kit in there.

Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2011, 10:14:34 pm »
My Ixon Q self ejected from its mount and snapped the rear catch so I just wrapped insulting tape round the rear body to keep it shut.

I did find it became unreliable after I left the batteries in it all summer and the contacts lost their springiness.  The the cure was to tweak them with a knife blade which worked well until I dropped it out of the cupboard and the batteries started rattling around.  I know what this is I thought!  However as I tweaked the contacts one sheared off.

A few years ago I emailled B+M regarding a mounting bracket that was not available in the UK and they were kind enough to send one foc so I thought I would contact the nice German lady and ask if I could buy a new spring contact as a spare part.  My mistake was replying to the mail about the bracket so now I have another bracket rather than the spring contact!  I'll try another mail asking in plainer English and see what happens.

If nothing is forthcoming I thought I may try soldering in a coil spring contact from, say, a remote control to see if that works.

So if anyone wants one of these I may have one going begging!

http://www.amazon.de/475D-492GAPB-Gabelhalter-f%C3%BCr-Ixon/dp/B002OBB5XY

Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2011, 10:50:01 pm »
I hope this helps:-

TGL's Ixon was rendered hors de combat when it fell from its perch at high speed.  Functionally fine, but tiny plastic catch broken.  No reasonable bodge available for us (YM(and resources)MV)

If you've still got the light, get in touch with B&M and ask for a new clip.
I know of at least 3 other people who have done this (it really is a weak spot) and B&M sent replacement clips free and very quickly. They wouldn't accept any payment from me.

(Slightly OT, I did my IQ a lot of damage when it fell off the bracket and wedged under the back wheel; they repaired it for free and, when I had a dodgy lead on one of my IQ Speeds, they sent an FOC replacement. On both occasions I offered to pay them but they wouldn't have it. Can't fault their customer back-up  :thumbsup: ).


Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2011, 11:02:10 pm »
So if anyone wants one of these I may have one going begging!

http://www.amazon.de/475D-492GAPB-Gabelhalter-f%C3%BCr-Ixon/dp/B002OBB5XY

This is by far the best bracket for the Ixon (and compatible lights like the Smart), assuming you have a suitable bolt to mount it to.  The plastic part is a single moulding, without a self-untapping screw to work loose over time and eject the light.  I highly recommend it.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2011, 11:03:46 pm »
If you've still got the light, get in touch with B&M and ask for a new clip.
I know of at least 3 other people who have done this (it really is a weak spot) and B&M sent replacement clips free and very quickly. They wouldn't accept any payment from me.

OTOH, I had no response from them when I asked about replacement battery springs.  Twice.   :(
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2011, 12:44:31 am »
A few years ago I emailled B+M regarding a mounting bracket that was not available in the UK... ...So if anyone wants one of these I may have one going begging!

http://www.amazon.de/475D-492GAPB-Gabelhalter-f%C3%BCr-Ixon/dp/B002OBB5XY

Now available in the UK from SJS... http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/b-and-m-dynamo-ixon-front-headlamp-bracket-for-front-fork-bmd40-prod15642/

If you do have one going begging I would be happy to buy it from you (although my own Ixon IQ is starting to suffer contact problems)

Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2011, 09:27:57 am »
I have an Ixon IQ and it has also failed at the clip holding the body together - a couple of replacements where post foc. I also have a Hope One AA battery light. I'd would replace the IQ with another hope - far superior build quality, brighter beam, flashing mode and made in good old England. Owe and I think it is a bit cheaper also.

The IQ is in my opinion of a rather poor build - the bolt holding the light onto the bracket is also a weak point, the clip at the back and now the battery cage - not a lot left to go wrong after all that!

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2011, 02:15:00 pm »
Going off at a tangent. Sorry.

Can anyone recommend a good replacement for the oversize handle bar mount that B&M ship for the IQ?

The one they supply is "back to front" so that the the screw clamp is towards the cables rather than facing the rider. The result (on my cranky old grid) is a fouled cable and unsightly bodges with bits of inner tube to stop the cable outer wearing.
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2011, 02:22:39 pm »
I have an Ixon IQ and it has also failed at the clip holding the body together - a couple of replacements where post foc. I also have a Hope One AA battery light. I'd would replace the IQ with another hope - far superior build quality, brighter beam, flashing mode and made in good old England. Owe and I think it is a bit cheaper also.

Last time I looked the Ixon was significantly cheaper than the Hope when bought from one of the German suppliers, even after factoring in the increased cost of shipping.  It also has a much better beam shape, and sensible behaviour when the battery gets low.

I'd agree that the Hope is superior in all other respects.


These days I'm mostly using dynamo lighting anyway - something B&M seem to be capable of designing properly.  Its amazing how much of an afterthought the battery-specific features of the Ixon IQ seem to be.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2011, 02:27:29 pm »
Can anyone recommend a good replacement for the oversize handle bar mount that B&M ship for the IQ?

This any good?

http://www.dotbike.com/p/5706

(I can confirm that Smart Polaris and Ixon brackets are interchangable)

Otherwise, consider the fork crown bracket linked to above (if the bike setup will allow it) - it's a lot sturdier than the handlebar ones.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
  • Twit @iceblinker
    • My stuff on eBay
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2011, 02:41:24 pm »
http://www.dotbike.com/p/5706

It's not enough less bulky than Lurkio wants at the back bottom.  Oo er.

Probably with a B&M or old-style Smart bracket, the top part could be modified and reversed.  I could have a go, if you like, L.  I have suitable parts already.  Let me know if interested, and tell me what handlebar diameter it's for.  nb. Side-to-side swivel adjustment would be lost.
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TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2011, 12:04:13 pm »
Thanks both,  I'll investigate the Polaris option.    <--- That should wake Echelon up. :)

ETA.
Especially as their warehouse is less than 10 miles from home.
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2012, 08:37:35 am »
For those that may be interested.  Managed to get to SiV on the Thurs. before Xmas. (dotbike warehouse not open weekends).  Owner seems like a friendly sort.  Polaris bracket bought. 

If you're considering using the polaris clamp rather than the B&M part then it's worth noting that it's a good fit but not perfect and you'll have to find a way of stopping/minimising rattle.  I've used a splodge of Fernox LX, but I don't have to leave my cranky old grid in areas frequented by scrotes*.



*For all their fauts my colleagues aren't quite that bad. :)
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2012, 12:12:09 pm »
My IQ light fell off about (*thinks*) about a couple of years ago and does not close anymore without the application of many rounds of insulation tape.

They are good lights for illumination though.

H

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2012, 03:28:31 pm »
Done the bodge suggested by Kim for our Ixon, which had had an unscheduled tarmac interface incident and no longer closed.  Batteries charged, body glued shut



It works atm, and I have a charger (actually two, for some reason) for the external port.  All I need to find now is the mount.
Getting there...

Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2012, 05:38:43 pm »
If it's the problem that I think it is ie the plastic catch at the back of the case, then Busch and Muller have supplied them foc to at least 3 other users AFAIK.
That might be worth a try.
I can supply B&M's contact info if you need it.


clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2012, 05:43:24 pm »
It was the catch, but that is so weak it wasn't really worth replacing.  I hope the batteries (B&M) last out pretty well.

ETA: I should have overcome the spring plate before gluing :facepalm: :-[

Chocolatebike, could you please furnish me with the contact details.  It was too late, but it isn't now :-\
Getting there...

Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2012, 01:03:25 am »
Whilst I admire the ingenious fettling described upthread, I would note that following my own light developing dodgy contacts and switching itself off I returned it to Bike24 under warranty.

Today I received a brand new light and batteries.  No charge, no quibble, and postage to Germay refunded.

CrinklyUncle

  • #TCRNo6cap23
Re: Ixon IQ battery bodge
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2012, 02:52:11 pm »
Does anyone know what size plug I need to make a charging lead for one of these?