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Bottle Generator

Old 12-23-16, 08:03 AM
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Bottle Generator

I was wondering if any one could recommend a Bottle generator. My apologies if this thread has already been addressed. What I wanted was a bottle generator and LED light set that would stay on while stopped, and if possible be able to switch to flashing on the front for day time use. I could probably build the capacitor circuit, but would like the off the shelf model if it exists. Don't want a dynamo hub at this point. This is more of a measure to get me to use lights during the day than anything. I'm not concerned about the extra drag so that isn't an issue. I also realize this is old technology but wondered if there was a latest and greatest version of this or maybe the Generator could be used with lights originally meant for dynamo hubs. Any advice would be highly appreciated, so thanks in advance.
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Old 12-23-16, 08:45 AM
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The only domestic source that comes to mind is Peter White. He sells a variety of dynamos and lights and is the USA importer for Schmidt. He sells a B&M bottle dynamo...
Dymotec


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Old 12-23-16, 10:28 AM
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You can find lights cheaper on eBay. For what you want an axa pico30 with stand light might work. I use the one without stand light I've bought several for friends and installed generators as well. I can say you will be much happier with a dynohub than a bottle. But bottles are a nice place to start.
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Old 12-23-16, 12:20 PM
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I've bought a few antique bottle generators on ebay. They were cheap! Union and Miller and Soubitez are good brands, and I believe they are all out of business now. Some Union generators had the Schwinn name on them. They work well as long as you understand how much drag and noise they make. That generator from Peter White is likely to be nicer, if you're willing to pay the extra.

Most modern LED headlights designed for generators have standlight circuits, so just look for one with that feature. I've tried several B&M lights and one Philips and one Taiwanese brand. I like B&M best.

I don't know of any generator-powered headlight that flashes, unfortunately. If you need flashing, you get it from a battery-powered light.
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Old 12-23-16, 12:23 PM
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In fact, I recommend you get the cheapest bottle generator you can find. You can use it to decide if generator lights are for you. You can probably spend as little as $15, maybe less. Installation is quick and easy, and they are lightweight. If you want to go further and install a front wheel with a generator hub, your lights are already installed, and you just have to add the wheel. You can get 700c wheels with hub for as little as $100. I bought one of those from Intelligent Design Cycles (on ebay), and it is flawless, if slightly heavier than the higher priced wheels.
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Old 12-23-16, 12:26 PM
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You can get a busch and muller bottle generator at a pretty reasonable price direct from a German mail order company like this,

Busch & Müller Dymotec 6 light travel dynamo

I haven't used one but I've been thinking of getting one as well. I used bottle generators in the past and they weren't bad. This, at least according to the reviews I read, is pretty decent quality as are B&M products in general.
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Old 12-23-16, 04:58 PM
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Just remember, if your frame/fork is carbon, without a place to mount the bottle already, the mounts almost universally have some kind of grub screw that pushes in the frame to keep it from rotating. Obviously, you can't mount those on carbon.

Just a thought, since you didn't mention what you wanted to mount it on.
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Old 12-24-16, 12:35 PM
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Hub dynamos will be un perceivable in Drag, while riding the B&M bottle IDK, I had an AXA on my Mk2 Brompton, It was noticeable ,
As was the ZZZZ sound it made as the wet tire hydroplaned under the non rotating Bottle drive wheel. [& so No lights]

I dont know any Blinking option Dynamo headlight other than Planet Bike's 1W. Blaze Dynamo SL

the German made ones comply with local Requirements, so don't blink. Dutch Axa also ?

Red LED draw little power so A Battery lasts a Long Time.




...

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-24-16 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 12-24-16, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by baldilocks
wondered if there was a latest and greatest version of this
Velogical is, as far as I know, the latest and greatest

Their 3-phase generator is meant to power the forumslader USB charger. It delivers more power than a hub generator at speeds above 12 kms or so (the pink line is the output of a SON hub dynamo; the green line is the output realized by the 3-phase velogical).

Expensive as the generator + charger will cost more than $400 USD.

I do not have this -- both the 3-phase and the proper version of the charger have been released last summer, and by then I had committed to a hub solution. But will most likely try it next year.
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Old 12-25-16, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by wschruba
Just remember, if your frame/fork is carbon, without a place to mount the bottle already, the mounts almost universally have some kind of grub screw that pushes in the frame to keep it from rotating. Obviously, you can't mount those on carbon.
the grub screw is actually to make sure the light is grounded to the frame. Bottle dynamos only have a positive terminal, you have to complete the circuit through the body of the dynamo, and generally through the frame. I wouldn't put one on a carbon frame, but I'm sure there is some way you could hook the negative wire up to the body of the dynamo.
Carbon is conductive, but I don't think it would make a good negative return circuit.

The currently available dynos from Europe are a lot better than cheap ones, I think I would spend the extra $20 and get a good one.
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Old 12-28-16, 09:46 AM
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Thanks for all the awesome suggestions. I probably will hold off till I figure what lights to run off them. Who knows, maybe I'll spring for the dyno hub by then. Thanks again.
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Old 12-29-16, 08:10 PM
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[MENTION=342047]baldilocks[/MENTION], xxcycle in France sells a ton of different B&M models, and if you read really carefully, you'll see the different features, such as standlight, ambient light sensor, etc. I love the standlight feature, but I have no need for the auto sensor, since I want my light on all the time.

Get the best headlight you can afford, for sure. The rest you can figure out. Your budget should revolve around the headlight, and you get the rest with the money left over.

My wife has . It's pretty bright and sharp, and it is incredibly tiny. You can barely see the light when it's mounted and not on. It's only about two or three cubic inches.

I'm not sure if this is the model I have, but I have one very much like it, and it's working very well for me. It's a pretty good value at 50€.

Check XE for exchange rates. a Euro is about $1.05.

Shipping from xxcycle has a reasonable delay for Europe. I've bought from them quite a few times, and it has worked flawlessly.
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Old 12-30-16, 12:40 AM
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Axa HR Traction has good reputation but is somewhat bulky.
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Old 12-31-16, 10:34 AM
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B&M lights and associated gadgets are distributed in the USA by Peter White Cycles. He sells them direct, and he keeps some retailers going as well.

Soubitez, Union, and a bunch of other vintage bottle dyno companies were bought by Marwi in Germany, and live on under that flag. Other assimilated brands include AXA, Basta, and (I think) Spanninga.

I've found a lot of those vintage dynos still work quite well. A lot of the drag can be mechanical, based on too-tight bearings with grease that is congealed and gooey. Cleaned up they can become really nice. Don't damage the actual wires when you have it taken apart!

When you install and wire up a system, there's no reason not to use a return wire to close the circuit back to teh generator, as long as you can electrically attach the wire to the generator body and to the actual negative connection of the light. This is actually a ground loop but there's really no way interference can result if it's just a dyno and a headlight, so electrically it's ok to do this.

For a carbon frame, yes, carbon fiber is conductive, but it's a much worse conductor than steel is. Problem is that fiber structures for bike frames are not designed for conductivity, so if the current loop is actually closed it might not stay closed. So I think wired grounds are necessary with a carbon frame.

Last edited by Road Fan; 12-31-16 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 01-03-17, 09:35 PM
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Bottle dynamos are OK for short rides at night IMO, but not for all day rides. Altough drag may not be a concern to you, they spin fast and don't have great bearings (just plain bushings) and tend to develop play if used constantly.
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Old 01-04-17, 11:36 AM
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Sanyo and soubitez both made bottom bracket generators; unfortunately Sanyo discontinued its model in 2012, and Soubitez is no longer around. Maybe you could find used ones on E Bay.
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