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  1. #1
    Junior Member rollzone's Avatar
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    powering an Iphone

    hello. i am newbie to power generation by bicycle. i have always shied away from the grunge aspects. nowadays, the hubs are higher output, less drag, and even have little plastic tubular capillaries {for technicians to microscopy out grease with nano snake threads- (somebody's gonna do it!)** so the dynohub can breathe; and will not seize. there is company making a battery to connect to the dynohub, to maintain the power output required to operate the Iphone. i see there is a Deluxe model that does not have the same output at slower speeds. I am basically ruling out bottle dynos for noise. i intend to stream XM/Sirius satellite radio into the iPhone as i ride. can no longer leave all my toys home. i ride what could favorably be described as a lope, unless going downhill. i will be riding moderately along , listening to satellite radio, streaming through my Iphone, while not draining its battery. what is wrong with me? which dyno do i need?

  2. #2
    mosquito rancher adamrice's Avatar
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    Pretty much all the dynos out there generate the same 3 V AC power. The iPhone needs 5 V DC to charge, so obviously that won't work as-is, although there are a number of connectors. The Schmidt hubs supposedly are more efficient, imposing less drag when on or off.

    There is one hub I know of that puts out DC power; the same company also makes a converter to give you the standard USB power you want from other dynos. There are other companies as well making similar converters (the plug, zzing, ewerk)

    Another option would be to get a battery extender for the phone.

  3. #3
    Flandrien
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    adamrice, I agree with your full story except for this part "Pretty much all the dynos out there generate the same 3 V AC power. The iPhone needs 5 V DC to charge, so obviously that won't work as-is, although there are a number of connectors."

    Any standard dynamo delivers 6V AC and there is a version of the B+M Lumotec I think that delivers 12V AC. But the 6V AC will be sufficient to power a 5V source. I have been reading up on this quite a bit myself as I'm planning to charge my standard car GPS over a dyno hub so that I can use it on my bike when touring. I must say that I was completely clueless about electronics and that I still have pretty low electronics skills, but 'mI pretty convinced by the following little circuit to power any USB device right away:
    http://www.arenddeboer.com/2008/12/2...d-usb-charger/
    You can find more info on this here
    http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6672.60
    and here
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...r-from-dynahub

    The only potential extra issue that I see with charging an Iphone is that some models won't charge on a standard USB 5V. I don't have an Iphone myself, but I'm sure that there are some solutions available.

    Any modern dynohub will do the job. Schmidt is the best and most expensive. The more recent Shimanos have caught up to a level that you cannot feel a difference anymore compared to the Schmidt hubs. I think the (huge) price difference is linked to the overall built quality and finish which is better for the Schmidts.
    The biggest difference in pedal resistance will come from building an efficient circuit. The one mentioned above should be pretty good.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that using intermediate batteries (4x 1.2V NiMH) will make the circuit potentially very easy, but your total efficiency will drop dramatically as charging batteries generally takes a factor 1.5 energy in/energy out. You loose out a first time when charging your intermediate batteries and the power that you have stored then is used in charging your Iphone (loosing out a 2nd time).

    One warning : this types of projects can get very addictif as you can see in my other post here http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...rom-dynamo-hub

    Have fun trying things, but be careful because frying an Iphone gets expensive (so test on an old phone or anything you are ready to see die).

  4. #4
    Junior Member rollzone's Avatar
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    hello.
    thanx for the reply.
    Pedalpower+ is placing a battery in circuit between the hub and the Iphone. the battery maintains the required level of voltage. the application appears to have tremendous applications. it is in the early stages of use and development.
    the Schmidt is what i am most leaning towards. their new Deluxe; over the Son28: has me in a quandary.
    as for the extender, constantly streaming radio would deplete a battery way too quickly.

  5. #5
    Junior Member rollzone's Avatar
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    hello carrefour
    i tried to respond and thumbed it up into the blogosphere. it must be getting crowded up there.
    i an sold on the Schmidt now because they claim to use a higher quality magnet, and they use a plastic capillary that allows the hub to breathe: so it will not seize. salesmanship aside, most everyone seems happy with their product. i am confused between the Son28 being the better application than the new Deluxe.
    about toasting a new iPhone 3Gs. can i tell them it was a lightning strike?
    my understanding is the battery needs to be charged first to 5 or 6 volts before i turn on the radio: to compensate for the 1.5 factor. or am i wrong, and need to pedal my buttocks off; to have the radio on: which would be impractical for me?

  6. #6
    Flandrien
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    Hi rollzone,

    You cannot go wrong with any of the Schmidt hubs (nor with the higher end models from Shimano). They are definitely very well made and if you can afford the price, it is the best you can get. Just make sure that you never put grease on the quick release, else the grease may block the "breathing hole". This is clearly stated on their website http://www.nabendynamo.de/index.html (which is for the moment not available in English yet though).

    I don't fully understand what you mean with the new Deluxe. For the moment Schmidt sells 4 models : the standard hub for 28 inch wheels, a new hub designed for use in 20 inch wheels, a model for use in foldable bikes (shorter axle) and a model for Cannondale Lefty type of forks.
    I guess that what you call Deluxe is the new Son 20 R. The idea behind this hub designed for smaller wheels is that if used on bigger wheels it will turn slower, therefor generating less drag. All hubs that I know of are build to perform as per the German cycling light laws. As a consequence a standard hub has a sweet spot of efficiency around 10mph when laced in a 28 inch wheel. So anyone riding on average faster than this will gain (this means less resistance) by using the Son 20 R. This hub is also lighter (and slightly more expensive). The only disadvantage that you will see when using the 20 R in a 28 inch wheel is that the minimum speed for decent power output will be higher.

    I think we have a little misunderstanding on the factor 1.5. What I meant is that when you charge a battery, that a certain amount of the energy that you input through the charger is lost in the charging process. So if you input 1.5 into the charger, you really end up with 1 in your battery. Again some types of batteries are more efficient than others, but the general rule is that you lose part of your input.
    This is different from the voltage you need. Apparently (as stated) above, the Iphone needs 5V DC like any USB device. If your charging circuit between your dynamohub and your Iphone is efficient enough, you will not have any issues getting those 5V required to charge your Iphone. I have no personal experience with the pedalpower, but I have looked at their website and info and to me it sounds like their connectors are efficient (if their claims are true).

    I also am pretty sure that you will not have any problems generating enough power from your hub to use your Iphone with radio on and any other applications running. Again, i don't know the Iphone, but any dynamo hub generates at intermediate speed close to or slightly over 500ma and that is the maximum that is supposed to be delivered by USB. I would rather be careful at the moment your battery gets close to being full or when going at high speed down hill as I think that then the power from your hub might fry your Iphone. Personally I would be very interested to hear the experiences on this from people who have better electronics skills than I do. Until then I would play it safe and disconnect any sensitive devices in those 2 scenarios.

    I hope this is helpful.

  7. #7
    Junior Member rollzone's Avatar
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    hello and thanks again to both.
    carrefour, i did misspell the new hub. it is Delux. i tried to attach a page from Schmidt Maschinenbau Homepage and nearly exploded Urlene.
    i too was truly hopeful someone with any actual experience with either the Pedalpower+ battery, or running an iPhone off a hub: would be online and able to respond.
    i have appreciated the input, and feel confident the hub will perform as needed. the question about overload looms now, and i wonder if installing two batteries in a parallel circuit would solve that?

  8. #8
    Flandrien
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    The general practice seems to be to add 4 NiMH batteries.
    Those are to be charged at around 1.5V per cell which totals to the 6V officially available from a dynohub. From what I have read, those NiMHs handle this pretty well.
    On the other hand, they output 1.2V so you can directly connect them to any USB device (I do this myself to extend the battery run time of my car GPS on the bicycle for the moment or when hiking and it works pretty well).
    The batteries will smooth out the power from the hub, but the problem is that it is hard to impossible to guess how far those NiMHs are charged. My GPS incorporates a battery status indicator, so I can easily see how far I'm in the process and when I need to unplug it from the charger.

    What I'm hoping for is that I would be able to charge the GPS at normal flat road cycling speeds from the hub. Then when climbing the bigger Alps passes, I would disconnect the hub to minimize any resistance and charge the GPS from a pack of 4 NiMHs. When going downhill at high speed, I would run the GPS from its own battery (too risky to attach it to the charger then), but I would use the charger to juice up the 4 NiMH (for free). NiMHs are cheap so I'm less stressed about frying those a bit.

    I just hope that someone can confirm that I can connect a standard USB device to a hub at normal cycling speed without over-currenting it (this would mean powering it at over 500mah).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrefour View Post
    I just hope that someone can confirm that I can connect a standard USB device to a hub at normal cycling speed without over-currenting it (this would mean powering it at over 500mah).
    I'd say don't play with matches.

  10. #10
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rollzone View Post
    i have appreciated the input, and feel confident the hub will perform as needed. the question about overload looms now, and i wonder if installing two batteries in a parallel circuit would solve that?
    Not to rain on the parade, but any solution is likely going to be more expensive and heavier than an external battery pack for the iPhone (there are some nice ones). My Hub wheel adds 500gm over my standard wheel, thats a lot of AA batteries!
    If you're going to be away from power for days or need a lot of power then dyno hubs are great.
    Kiwi Randonneurs Gran Turismo series. March 1-8 2015
    Ride a Super Randonneur series in eight days in the scenic NZ South Island and qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris.
    https://www.kiwirandonneurs.org.nz/rides/gt

  11. #11
    Flandrien
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    2i : I agree, that is why I would always first test things out with for example an old phone that I don't use anymore. I'm a very cautious person. That is why I'm still working it out in theory before I get myself a hub and all the parts necessary to build the charger of my choice.
    Last edited by carrefour; 01-24-10 at 05:25 AM.

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    Flandrien
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    znomit : I have seen all the work you have done with dynamo hubs. You have extensive real life experience, my little knowledge is still purely based on theory and based on reading about what other people have done (including yours, thanks for that). So I can only agree with what you bring up here. What is the most economical and practical solution does indeed depend on the conditions it will be used in. An external battery pack or even 2 will be cheaper than a hub plus charger. The only disadvantage I see is that with external batteries, you still have to make sure that they are charged when needed. The hub and charger is hassle free.
    Last edited by carrefour; 01-24-10 at 07:18 AM.

  13. #13
    Junior Member rollzone's Avatar
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    hello.
    an external battery pack requires charging. i do not know how to start this again from the beginning. allow me to proceed from where i am now at.
    i want to ride a bicycle across the country again. it requires complete independence from an electric plug. that is much of the attraction.
    i have now decided upon the Schmidt SON Delux hub. i have never relied upon a hub dynamo before this adventure. previously i would enjoy pre-taped music playing from a Sony cassette player in my back pack, with an ear bud in one ear. while riding along the coast, i could hear the seals barking at the seashore, while listening to Lynard Skynyrd singing Freebird. it was more enjoyable than life should ever be. i would stop in town and purchase new batteries when needed.
    now with the IPhone app, i will be able to stream not only classical rock- but live talk shows, bluegrass, comedy, etc. from Sirius/Xm radio as i ride. i may never come in off the road for a very long time.
    so having a hub to power the IPhone excited my possibilities. all the input has been appreciated. still i am not hearing from anyone with any experience using an iPhone away from an electric plug for any extended period of time. i do not want to be dependent upon going into a fast food restaurant, and plugging into their electric wall socket, and having to sit there until i have recharged my batteries. i want complete independence.
    i have received correspondence from the president of Pedalpower+. that has been very convincing, with salt. when a president writes to you personally, it says a couple of possible things about the company. the company is either successful with hands-on personal service; or unsuccesful because of a bad product being desperately sold to recoup investment.
    he has written about a battery specifically developed to handle gadgets alike the IPhone 3Gs. i was confused through translation about some of his reply. if i knew how to attach the letter here i would. he was saying the battery would have enough juice to recharge the IPhone possibly 5 times were i to take a day off from bicycling. i began thinking he meant i had to recharge the battery in the IPhone every time the battery in the IPhone went low. i wanted to simultaneously operate the radio and maintain the charge in the battery while i am riding. so i asked about the two batteries. he has assured me the new battery will perform as requested. HUB>BATTERY>IPhone to my earbud while i ride. i am guessing it will be up to me to try it.
    i have been balking at proceeding hoping for reinforcing experiential knowledge that heretofore has been missing. this has given me confidence about the hub, so i will try to be brave. it is only money, and i have lost much more than this.

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    Flandrien
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    Rollzone, you are in the same situation as me, which means that you need a dynohub charger indeed. The only question that is still open in my opinion is whether your IPhone follows the USB standard or not. If it does, then you can charge your Iphone with a batterypack or a Pedalpower toy or the DIY charger which I referred to in my first post.

    You can test this easily yourself. But to be safe first check your official IPhone charger. What is its output? 5V, 500mah or less? If yes then you can try the following : Connect 4 NiMH batteries (rechargeables in series). You can do this in one of those little batteryholders that you can find in any electronics shop-they cost less than a dollar. This will give you around4.8V (4x1.2V) or slightly more. A freshly and completely charged NiMH can potentially reach 1.4V, but after 1 day this will definitely be down to 1.2 or 1.25V, so then your are always safe. attach a nini-USB cable to it. Make sure you connect the + and the - correctly. Just google "mini USB wiring". If you get this wrong you may fry your IPhone. But if you are sure you connected it correctly, then plug it in and if it shows it is charging then you are ready for the pedalpower or the circuit I mentioned. No need to worry about the data wires in the mini USB connection. Just leave them out. All you want to do is supply electricity.
    The only thing that may be a pita is if your IPhone does not use a standard connection cable, but uses some Apple specific plug. But I'm sure you can google that down.
    PS : I just received my LM2940 regulators today, so I will build my first charger very soon.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rollzone View Post
    still i am not hearing from anyone with any experience using an iPhone away from an electric plug for any extended period of time. i do not want to be dependent upon going into a fast food restaurant, and plugging into their electric wall socket, and having to sit there until i have recharged my batteries. i want complete independence.
    I did the west coast with a dynohub, a $10 ebay powerpack that accepts AAs, and my iphone. The dynohub charges the batteries through the busch&mueller ride&charge, connected to an ixon iq. The batteries are then used to charge the phone. I get about 1.5 iphone charges from four batteries. Not a cheap solution, but it works, and I don't have to stop to charge, or hunt for wall outlets. I also use AAs in my taillight (very important in Oregon fog!), and camera.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rollzone View Post
    [cut out]...
    ...
    so having a hub to power the IPhone excited my possibilities. all the input has been appreciated. still i am not hearing from anyone with any experience using an iPhone away from an electric plug for any extended period of time. i do not want to be dependent upon going into a fast food restaurant, and plugging into their electric wall socket, and having to sit there until i have recharged my batteries. i want complete independence.
    i have received correspondence from the president of Pedalpower+. that has been very convincing, with salt. when a president writes to you personally, it says a couple of possible things about the company. the company is either successful with hands-on personal service; or unsuccesful because of a bad product being desperately sold to recoup investment.
    he has written about a battery specifically developed to handle gadgets alike the IPhone 3Gs. i was confused through translation about some of his reply. if i knew how to attach the letter here i would. he was saying the battery would have enough juice to recharge the IPhone possibly 5 times were i to take a day off from bicycling. i began thinking he meant i had to recharge the battery in the IPhone every time the battery in the IPhone went low. i wanted to simultaneously operate the radio and maintain the charge in the battery while i am riding. so i asked about the two batteries. he has assured me the new battery will perform as requested. HUB>BATTERY>IPhone to my earbud while i ride. i am guessing it will be up to me to try it.
    i have been balking at proceeding hoping for reinforcing experiential knowledge that heretofore has been missing. this has given me confidence about the hub, so i will try to be brave. it is only money, and i have lost much more than this.
    Hello Rollzone.

    Sorry, reading your post is a little confusing but I think what it seems like is that you want to directly connect your dynamo to the said device. I am not very familiar with the dyanmo electricity generating hubs (never owned one but planning on building a touring wheel+dynamo) but I think that direct connection is not the best option for the target device. One way to think of these hubs is as literally a generator; the difference between commercial and household generators vs. a dynamo hub is that the output is steady and stable, whereas a dynamo hub's output may be dependent upon your speed and revolutions of the wheel (please correct me if I'm wrong, someone, I am just assuming here).

    Charging a device that is not designed to handle varying inputs can be bad for the device or its battery and I believe that what the "company owner" who sent you an email was trying to say is that he has a battery that connects directly to the dynamo hub and acts as a buffer. Once that is charged or charging you may plug your ipod or iphone device to that battery (via usb cable) to charge the ipod/iphone. This buffer is good because it provides the same output (input into the phone for charging) everytime. Here is one from Dahon that I have been checking out (the Reecharge) but I am still not quite set on what I will actually do, or even the price of it.

    http://www.dahon.com/accessories/201...ogic-reecharge

    I also believe I read a few posts of some gentlemen talking about some of the same "buffer" batteries of a different brand.

    **edit** Quester above me said something similar but its about rechargable AA batteries and then charging the device via that buffer medium. **

    I personally think this buffer battery is a much better solution to directly plugging the dynamo to my own iphone. I also have some friends who dont care much for their iphone and perhaps if the price of the external buffer battery is higher than what they value their phones to be then I would suggest to just straight plug it into the hub without the buffer battery.

    I hope this helps, and if not feel free to message me or send an email and I can try to elaborate further.

    Happy and safe riding
    JF





    Last edited by reedpride; 02-01-10 at 01:07 AM. Reason: clarity about other posts in this thread

  17. #17
    Junior Member rollzone's Avatar
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    thanx reedpride

    hello. ok.
    i am looking into the Dahon Biologic Recharge. i am in the United States and they have not gotten back to me yet. the battery is similar to the one i mentioned by Pedalpower+ . there are no customer reviews yet, but i am happy to read it will operate the IPhone GPS app while going down the road. this is what i am looking for; except i will be listening to radio.
    i agree and understand the buffer between the hub and the phone, and do not want the AA battery solution.
    your suggestion has given me another product to compare as the buffer. thanx

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    No problem. Best of luck and please let everyone know what you choose, and a review on it after some usage.

    JF

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    Quote Originally Posted by rollzone View Post
    hello. ok.
    i am looking into the Dahon Biologic Recharge. i am in the United States and they have not gotten back to me yet. the battery is similar to the one i mentioned by Pedalpower+ . there are no customer reviews yet, but i am happy to read it will operate the IPhone GPS app while going down the road. this is what i am looking for; except i will be listening to radio.
    i agree and understand the buffer between the hub and the phone, and do not want the AA battery solution.
    your suggestion has given me another product to compare as the buffer. thanx
    I like that as well, but note that the battery is NOT like pedalpower. The recharge battery (1600 mAH) is just there to buffer the power as you charge the phone while riding. The pedalpower is 5600 mAH, and you charge later.

  20. #20
    Senior Member johnr783's Avatar
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    I see all this talk about hubs. What about an external battery pack. I have two of the same kind that I plan on using on my tour. It is about the lighter than my 80 gig IPOD and can charge any usb powered device for hours on end. I think I have had 25+ hours of use before charging. These were in 5-8 hour blocks, mind you. The device is called Portable Power and is made by Hyperkin. You can find it on Amazon.

    If you are going to be away from electricity for a long time, consider using a solar charger. I have a Solio that will charge my power packs, which will in turn charge my usb devices. The Solio also has an internal battery that stores its solar charge.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnr783 View Post
    I see all this talk about hubs. What about an external battery pack. I have two of the same kind that I plan on using on my tour. It is about the lighter than my 80 gig IPOD and can charge any usb powered device for hours on end. I think I have had 25+ hours of use before charging. These were in 5-8 hour blocks, mind you. The device is called Portable Power and is made by Hyperkin. You can find it on Amazon.
    The amazon reviews here raise some questions. 10,000 mAH for $38?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnr783 View Post
    If you are going to be away from electricity for a long time, consider using a solar charger. I have a Solio that will charge my power packs, which will in turn charge my usb devices. The Solio also has an internal battery that stores its solar charge.
    The solio is way too weak to get power in a reasonably amount of time unless you are: in direct sunlight, not moving, and have it aimed properly at all times. And then it's still hideously slow. Maybe if you're camping and leave it on the picnic table and go on a day-long hike.

    This thing, however, looks good.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrefour View Post
    Rollzone, you are in the same situation as me, which means that you need a dynohub charger indeed. The only question that is still open in my opinion is whether your IPhone follows the USB standard or not. If it does, then you can charge your Iphone with a batterypack or a Pedalpower toy or the DIY charger which I referred to in my first post.

    You can test this easily yourself. But to be safe first check your official IPhone charger. What is its output? 5V, 500mah or less? If yes then you can try the following : Connect 4 NiMH batteries (rechargeables in series). You can do this in one of those little batteryholders that you can find in any electronics shop-they cost less than a dollar. This will give you around4.8V (4x1.2V) or slightly more. A freshly and completely charged NiMH can potentially reach 1.4V, but after 1 day this will definitely be down to 1.2 or 1.25V, so then your are always safe. attach a nini-USB cable to it. Make sure you connect the + and the - correctly. Just google "mini USB wiring". If you get this wrong you may fry your IPhone. But if you are sure you connected it correctly, then plug it in and if it shows it is charging then you are ready for the pedalpower or the circuit I mentioned. No need to worry about the data wires in the mini USB connection. Just leave them out. All you want to do is supply electricity.
    The only thing that may be a pita is if your IPhone does not use a standard connection cable, but uses some Apple specific plug. But I'm sure you can google that down.
    PS : I just received my LM2940 regulators today, so I will build my first charger very soon.

    Not sure what the issue is. Iphones will charge when connected to USB. You can take the 6v generator, connect it to a full-wave rectifier, connect a 5.1 v zener (and a capacitor) across the output, and have pretty smooth 5.1 volt source that will charge the iPhone. To run the iPhone when the bike's stationary, have a battery instead of the capacitor. Might not need the zener here; I'm not sure if the iPhone input has a series diode or not. It probably should ...


    You just need to look at what happens at high running speed, if the zener or the rectifier will heat up.

  23. #23
    Junior Member rollzone's Avatar
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    Good Grief I Love This Website

    hello.
    a zener? crossing wires and frying my brain? it happens. i get my blood pressure too high and get goofy.
    i went ahead and ordered a wheel with a Schmidt SON twenty something from the prick in New Hampshire. how somebody can be so impressed with them self over so little amazes me.
    i have felt the same way regarding the battery pack/solar charging all along. thanks for the reinforcement. i recognize the value of solar cells, especially while at rest: but i believe they are still in their infancy and need hormones.
    the Dahon people have gotten back to me, and they have a good looking buffer that they expect to be marketing in March. i still have not decided between theirs and PedalPower+ .
    the inline batteries and getting my wires crossed: i would color code the two adjoining plugs for my own safety.
    i understand pumping a capacitor in circuit, installing a fan, etc.... capacitors are coming of age in the electric automobile market, and will be huge in supermarkets for storing energy from low generator periods [(such as 1AM-4am) i am getting old- the thought gives me a headache], and supporting vanadium batteries;etc. now i have to research a ?zener? thanks.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Look, rollzone, if you're responding to my post, please look at the links in Post #3. There are links there to some examples of the circuits that can be used to charge iPhones. As an EE I sympathize with the range of electronics knowledge that's out there, but they look like pretty good designs to me.

    If you have a charging circuit you'd like to build but need help in picking parts, please ask me questions. I can certainly help with some of it.

    If you don't like DIY, there are a lot of products on the market that could help. In the Touring thread there's a lot of discussion of charging iPhones with solar power sources that are commercially available.

    I think someone needs to (and I can in my spare time) look up what the USB voltage limits are. I'd expect the iPhone to at least survive exposure to voltages within that range, and to accept charging power when the voltage is high enough but in that range.

    Did you buy your hub from Peter White Cycles?

  25. #25
    Junior Member rollzone's Avatar
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    Thumbs up iPhone 3Gs Rock Out

    hello.
    thanx again for all the response. yes i bought the Son28 from Prick White, i have the wheel on the bike (should be by now, the shop owner has had the wheel for a week).
    what most people are missing is that i am planning another ride on a comfortable, cross country trek; that involves me sitting on my saddle for sometimes 6 hours without a dismount. i want to listen to radio constantly during this timeframe, when it is my desire. there are such a variety of listening choices on Sirius/XM: that i may listen more than i used to.
    i do not want to stop and hook up a battery and charge the iPhone. that's burning sunlight. i want to pedal along and play the radio, without draining the battery.
    in response to wiring my own circuit- forgettabouttit. let me point out to those of whom are referring to the devices i am investigating, and are referring to them as toys: Motorola corporation introduced the unit being sold by PedalPower+. i am an individual more comfortable with other peoples' intelligence regarding their chosen fields, than my own simpleminded thumbing through life. although i do respect your abilities and comfort in sharing, you are ignoring the incompetent denominator- me.
    in response to Questor, i have reexamined the Dahon biologic ReeCharge, with their patented technology, and i note the difference you correctly pointed out regarding 1600 milliamp whatevers. i believe i will be ordering the PedalPower+ from Australia.
    as for the 'zener', thanks again. i think the zener is incorporated by Motorola, and this is how the buffering occurs. i read the zener is a voltage regulator, which can be achieved in a variety of methods. my question remains that, although the Dahon advertised being able to ride along and view the GPS app on the iPhone, their deficiency has been noted: and only experimentation will answer whether or not i will be draining the IPhone 3Gs battery, while streaming satellite radio.
    you have helped me decide on getting a Schmidt hub, and the PedalPower+ system (which also has a solar attachment for down time). i will report back when i get it on the road. i am not well, so that may yet be awhile.

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