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  1. #1
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    electricity? dymano, solar or ??

    ok, i'm about to undertake my longest adventure yet, to bike from the Arctic in Sweden to Africa.
    one area of concern is how am i going to keep all of my electronic gear fully charged and ready to use?
    solar power is great but why not harness the pedal power, after all, your on the bike all day right?

    i've heard of dynamo's but have only seen them used for lights, not really for hooking up to a battery (to charge) or to a mobile phone, laptop, camera etc.
    does such a device exist?
    what do you do for power when your out touring?

    all advice is welcome and appreciated, thanks

  2. #2
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    I have used the Sunlinq 12 watt solar folding panel.

    brilliant

    george
    ---------------------------------------------------
    https://sites.google.com/site/imjibi/home

    Photos of present tour of South East Asia
    http://picasaweb.google.com/georgeidf50/southeastasia

  3. #3
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    I have been pondering the same. I had a look at www.silva.de they have two options, solar 1 AA, or solar 2 12v.

    ideally i would like a combination unit where i could have a dynamo and/or solar panel working in tandem

    i would be interested to see how long it might take to charge up a notebook battery




    Quote Originally Posted by liquidmonkey
    ok, i'm about to undertake my longest adventure yet, to bike from the Arctic in Sweden to Africa.
    one area of concern is how am i going to keep all of my electronic gear fully charged and ready to use?
    solar power is great but why not harness the pedal power, after all, your on the bike all day right?

    i've heard of dynamo's but have only seen them used for lights, not really for hooking up to a battery (to charge) or to a mobile phone, laptop, camera etc.
    does such a device exist?
    what do you do for power when your out touring?

    all advice is welcome and appreciated, thanks
    ... keep on keeping on...

  4. #4
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liquidmonkey
    i've heard of dynamo's but have only seen them used for lights, not really for hooking up to a battery (to charge) or to a mobile phone, laptop, camera etc.
    does such a device exist?
    Since you're only putting out a couple of hundred Watts while riding, that doesn't leave much to charge anything with a dynamo. It would take hours with _all_ of your energy going to the battery, and none to moving.

    I'd love to be wrong, though. That would be cool.

  5. #5
    Gone, but not forgotten Shiznaz's Avatar
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    I have a Pocket Power Bank, which is a battery recharger for 4AA Ni-MH batteries. When there are charged batteries in it, you can plug a USB device directly in to it and it will start recharging the attached device. If theres no outlets within a long distance, you can stock up on some regular AA batteries, stick them in the charger and use those to power your phone/mp3 player/personal massager/etc. Cheap and light, and it means you can leave all your heavy proprietary power adapters at home and just bring the power bank along with whatever specific coupling wire you need for your device.

    http://www.semsons.com/pocpowban.html

  6. #6
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liquidmonkey
    ok, i'm about to undertake my longest adventure yet, to bike from the Arctic in Sweden to Africa. one area of concern is how am i going to keep all of my electronic gear fully charged and ready to use?
    Ahh, modern living.

    I leave almost all the electronic garbage behind. Put fresh batteries into your cycle computer, get lights and a radio that use AA batteries (available all over), what more do you need? A microwave? If you must, use a digital camera that also takes AA's.

    There are plenty of Internet cafes all over, so it's not like you need to haul a laptop with you....


    solar power is great but why not harness the pedal power, after all, your on the bike all day right?
    Personally I dislike dynamos. You're basically wasting energy on a lamp.

  7. #7
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    Ahh, modern living.

    I leave almost all the electronic garbage behind. Put fresh batteries into your cycle computer, get lights and a radio that use AA batteries (available all over), what more do you need? A microwave? If you must, use a digital camera that also takes AA's.

    There are plenty of Internet cafes all over, so it's not like you need to haul a laptop with you....



    Personally I dislike dynamos. You're basically wasting energy on a lamp.
    +1

    If you must have a charging circuit for a cell phone or something similar you can fabricate one easily. Here is how to do it.
    First and foremost you must have a bicycle dynamo and as most modern devices only accept 12 VDC as the charging voltage most standard 6-volt bicycle dynamos will not work. Here is where you can purchase a 12-volt 6-watt bicycle dynamo.
    http://www.bikeworldusa.com/product_...roducts_id/394

    Bicycle dynamos supply AC or alternating current, which is not suitable for charging a DC or direct current battery. You need to convert the AC voltage of the dynamo to DC. Modern silicone diode rectifiers make this easy. Your local Radio Shack may have one in stock. Here is a site that will show you how they work and how to hook it up to your rechargeable battery. You will want to use the Full Wave Bridge rectifier circuit, which is a single device.
    http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_3/chpt_3/4.html

    In the circuit above your rechargeable battery will be the load.

    Charge time will be dependent on the size and type of battery you plan on using. In any case your not going to be a happy biker peddling with the additional drag of the dynamo.

  8. #8
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    When it comes to generators there are good ones and bad ones.
    Most hub generators are high efficiency and totaly reliable, ideal for extended regular use, but they add rotating weight when you are not using them.
    For occasional touring use I carry a high quality bottle sidwall style fixed to a permanent braze-on mounting. The mount contributes to the efficiency, those seatsay clamp fixings are useless. Canti-brake mountings are OK.
    I wouldnt mind charging up my mobile during a long descent but I wouldnt run a sidewall generator as a mater of routine.

  9. #9
    Senior Member velo2000's Avatar
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    I'm thinking about getting something like this: http://store.sundancesolar.com/5wahisprosob.html for my upcoming 3 month tour. I like the "high speed" aspect of its charging ability. I'm not sure what makes it more "high speed" than other chargers though. It's also small and I can probably tie it on top of my rear rack for on the bike charging.

    I'm also thinking about getting a wi-fi enabled smart phone like the Nokia e61i or n95 instead of bringing a laptop. That should be easier to re-charge and a charge should last longer than a laptop (and it's a lot lighter!). I'll also get a camera that uses AA batteries.

  10. #10
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    I put a 12v/7Ah lead acid battery with two 12V 1.5W solar pannel on my bike.
    The 12V AA/AAA battery charger can be linked to the system, and with a cigarette to usb converter I can get 5V to power the MP3 player and Speaker.
    Please see
    http://blog.yam.com/pintau/article/9426912

  11. #11
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    loads of great advice everyone, thanks!
    after seeing that circuit design i'm definetly going with some solar panels (i'm useless with electronics).
    there is the solio and there is this suggestion here

    i'm looking for something inbetween. bigger panels than the solio BUT coming with a similar rechargeable battery which can store electricity for those rainy days.

    any further ideas??

  12. #12
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    there are others other than those two there is a company that designes bags specifically to recharge your electronic gear they are even developeing one to recharge your lap top... not sure it this will work but i will try it... here is the link http://www.eclipsesolargear.com/ i hope

  13. #13
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    We have friends who have made one of those AA battery dynamos and use it to charge their GPS and camera batteries. We have a laptop that gets about 4 hours to the full battery and a camera that lasts just about forever (Nikon D80), plus a Sony compact digital and an Ipod. We manage to keep all of these charged pretty much all the time, using a combination of campgrounds and the occasional hotel. You may even be allowed to plug your laptop or whatever in while you eat in a restaurant, if you ask nicely.
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

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