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Old 10-05-12, 02:00 PM   #1
gordyb
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Dynamo hub

Has anyone used one of these on a tour for the purpose of charging lights, iPhone (and maybe handlebar speakers?)??
Just wondering if any brands are recommended?
Do they cause any drag?
Do they keep said electrical items charged easily?
Would a solar charger be a better idea?

thanks
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Old 10-05-12, 02:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by gordyb View Post
Has anyone used one of these on a tour for the purpose of charging lights, iPhone (and maybe handlebar speakers?)??
Just wondering if any brands are recommended?
Do they cause any drag?
Do they keep said electrical items charged easily?
Would a solar charger be a better idea?
You can't charge devices directly from a dynamo hub, because the voltage varies with speed. You need a voltage regulator. Until pretty recently, these basically didn't exist, but I notice that Peter White sells them now:

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/pedalpowerplus.asp

I would also be interested to hear from anybody with experience with these.

With respect to the hubs themselves, the gold standard is the Schmidt. Mine does not cause noticeable drag, and puts out plenty of power for a bright LED headlamp. A wonderful device.
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Old 10-05-12, 03:05 PM   #3
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There is also the new Supernova dynohub that can be mechanically switched off when you don't need it, reducing the drag.

In addition to the Pedalpower linked above Busch & Mueller have a couple of charging devices, the E-Werk and the USB-Werk. http://www.bumm.de/produkte.html

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Old 10-05-12, 04:42 PM   #4
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There is good DIY project for an USB interface/loader based on a simple but quite effective cirquit:

http://www.forumslader.de/12V-Versio...USB.209.0.html

It's in german, but at least the schematic is international:
http://www.forumslader.de/fileadmin/...an_Z-Diode.jpg

If you'll need a translation of a dedicated part, just send me a message...
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Old 10-05-12, 06:34 PM   #5
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I have used them to power lights and nothing else...yet. The drag will vary with the load and the quality of the hub. However even on the less expensive hubs on the market now the drag is not that noticeable. IMHO a dyno hub is going to be a better choice than solar, it will put out power as long as it is moving. With solar you have to have a certain angle and no clouds to get maximum output. The other option is to use the rechargeable battery packs. I know a couple of people that have used these with good results. They only have to recharge them once a week or so.

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Old 10-05-12, 08:27 PM   #6
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intellectually, I know there is drag, but I can't really see any evidence of drag. I ride a dyno hub all the time now, I'd rather have lights available to me than worry about a minuscule amount of extra work. B&M is coming out with a light that has a usb port on it, but AFAIK, it isn't released yet and I haven't seen any tests of it.

The dynohub with a clutch is available under a number of brands, it's made by Shutter Precision and Velo Orange sold it for a while. It weighs quite a bit more than their other hub, and I don't see the advantage of the clutch.
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Old 10-05-12, 09:57 PM   #7
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It is funny when you get a new set of uber hubs with cartridges in them and you turn the axle, they are sticky. But build them out, and you don't feel them when they are being turned by a big wheel, is that the kind of drag we are feeling here, or are we talking feeling it in the pedals? if slightly.

I don't care about light for touring. It is never enough for my potential uses, like driving at night. I get by with the simplest of LED lights for what I do get up to. I don't use a lot of electronics, but if I could recharge my stuff I would think about using more, so a USB hub of the rolling kind would be cool. Since they are fat anyway, a USB dyno hub with the same spoke length as a Rohloff would be pretty neat.
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Old 10-05-12, 10:14 PM   #8
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An OT question, but I think the people who know the answer may be here. Pre-LED the hubs developed X potential to drive those lights. Now people want to charge their USB stuff, so I doubt there will be a desire to drop the potential much. But if you just ran the generator system for lights, you could get the same amount of output we had with incandescent lights out of LEDs, for maybe 1/10th the electrical load. So the question is, what are the new LED generator light systems like. Do they just blow the old incandescent systems out of the water, or are they the same general light level, and the same general resistance on the pedals?

I used to have a fancy German system on a recumbent bike, and it ran off the tire. That would be a perfect technology to run at normal light levels, but with LEDs and with very much reduced drag, because those systems do let you know they are there, and they can badly wear your tire. But if they had near zero drag, they would be a real option for someone who just wanted to run lights.
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Old 10-06-12, 03:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by corvuscorvax View Post
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/pedalpowerplus.asp

I would also be interested to hear from anybody with experience with these.
I don't have one of the PedalPower+ units sold by Peter White but I do have a PedalPower+ Super-i-Cable. Whilst I haven't had the greatest run with mine; I am waiting on my second replacement, when it is working it is working great bit of kit.

My approach is to use mine in combination with my SON 28 on my Surly Long Haul Trucker to power my Garmin Edge 800 during the day and in camp to boost charge my iPod Shuffle/Samsung Galaxy S2 phone/iPad as necessary. This was working okay on my last tour until the PedalPower+ Super-i-Cable starting playing up.

If you are interested my review of the PedalPower+ Super-i-Cable can be found at Aushiker.com and my approach to touring with an iPad at the same blog.

On the question of drag. Well my SON 28 is built into the front wheel of my touring bike. If there is any drag I am not noticing it given the bike weight etc. I also have a Shimano dynamo waiting to played with in anger on my mountain bike. That hopefully happens next week.

Regards
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Old 10-06-12, 04:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
An OT question, but I think the people who know the answer may be here. Pre-LED the hubs developed X potential to drive those lights. Now people want to charge their USB stuff, so I doubt there will be a desire to drop the potential much. But if you just ran the generator system for lights, you could get the same amount of output we had with incandescent lights out of LEDs, for maybe 1/10th the electrical load. So the question is, what are the new LED generator light systems like. Do they just blow the old incandescent systems out of the water, or are they the same general light level, and the same general resistance on the pedals?

I used to have a fancy German system on a recumbent bike, and it ran off the tire. That would be a perfect technology to run at normal light levels, but with LEDs and with very much reduced drag, because those systems do let you know they are there, and they can badly wear your tire. But if they had near zero drag, they would be a real option for someone who just wanted to run lights.
The LED lights are much, much better than the old incandescent and even the halogen. I have several vintage bikes with the Sturmey Archer dyno hubs on them. The output on those hubs ranges from 1.6-2.0 watts. With the old lights it was more of a be seen that really see where you were going. I put LED lights on a couple of those hubs and I have as good a lighting as I get out of a car or motorcycle. IMHO some of the best LED lights on the market come from B&M I have 4 different LED headlights from them. The Lumotec Cyo is the best of the ones I have. Edelux is another one that puts out an amazing amount of light.

Another huge advantage to the LED lights is no burned out bulbs, or blown bulbs because you over powered them on a downhill. On my city bike the light actually powers up enough at a walking pace to provide lighting to see by.

Aaron
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Old 10-06-12, 05:34 AM   #11
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Thanks Aaron, that is what it should be, but I had not experienced it myself.
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Old 10-06-12, 08:05 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=MassiveD;14812113]It is funny when you get a new set of uber hubs with cartridges in them and you turn the axle, they are sticky. But build them out, and you don't feel them when they are being turned by a big wheel, is that the kind of drag we are feeling here, or are we talking feeling it in the pedals? if slightly.

I just had a SON 28 rim built by Peter White. When you spin the wheel it will barely spin a complete circle and you can feel the grabbyness of the magnets in the hub.. The hub has numerous magnets inside the hub that have opposing polarity magnets and as you spin the wheel unloaded you can feel the drag very easily.. but once the wheel is on the ground and spinning I cannot feel any difference over a standard non-generator wheel.
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Old 10-06-12, 09:17 AM   #13
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I don't care about light for touring. It is never enough for my potential uses, like driving at night.
Modern LEDs such as a Schmidt Edeluxe run by a generator hub are incredibly bright, and quite sufficient for lighting up pitch-black roads. And they are light enough that it is reasonable to carry a light even when you don't think you'll need one.

Did a short tour along the Danube on the Serbian/Romanian border last year, and didn't figure I would need a light, as I was planning on short days, all in daylight. I brought my Edeluxe anyway, and I was glad I did: the route is punctuated by half-kilometer long, curving highway tunnels with no lighting. Scary enough with the light, but it would have been really dangerous without. And there was no alternate route.
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Old 10-06-12, 06:08 PM   #14
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If going for convenience, and charging at low speed, best I've found is the Plug 2+:

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/tout-terr...ice-prod27695/

Get a USB socket on the headset, charges at low (though not mountain-climbing-low) speeds.
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Old 10-07-12, 09:29 AM   #15
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I used a hub generator coupled with an E-Werk and a small storage battery for all of my power requirements while riding the Northern Tier in 2010 -- I never plugged in. This included my camera batteries, an iPad from which I wrote a daily blog entry and my cell phone (in addition to some headlight and tail light use).

Here's the blog, if interested, which includes a complete parts list and a description of how I did the power management: http://hpscott.wordpress.com

I did this at least partly just to see if I could, and there were many times for which things would have been far easier had I just plugged in while eating at restaurants and staying in campgrounds. That said, it did indeed work.

Were I to do this over again, I'd probably use the charging equipment again, but I wouldn't be so strict about never plugging in.
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