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Hub dynamo to USB charger

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Hub dynamo to USB charger

Old 04-13-20, 08:01 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I agree that battery plus solar panel is probably about the same weight as a dynamo. Plus it's far more useful. But I keep thinking they were built for different purposes. I don't do extended touring these days, and if I did, I'm not sure what I would do for power. I do like my dynamo for lights, because I just get on and roll without needing to think about how charged my headlight is.
Here are the two chargers I use. The first one is 65W total with a USB-C to charge my big battery at 40W and the rest for charging a USB-A device. Itís 2.56Ē high by 1.3Ē square and weighs 91g. Thatís a lot of utility in a small package. This would charge the Omnifcharge battery 50% in 45minutes while charging something else at the same time. Thatís pretty hard to beat as a package.

The second one is a 45W charger with foldable plugs in a smaller package.

65W
https://shop.slimq.life/products/wor...5w-gan-adapter

45W
https://shop.slimq.life/products/fol...5w-gan-adapter
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Old 04-14-20, 12:17 AM
  #77  
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Well on this weight discussion a crucial point is overlooked: any normal bike has a front hub. And those range between 170 and 250 grams (100 mm axle for quick release), depending on the amount of money spent.
Weights for the most important dyno hubs (all as 100mm axle versions):
SON 490 g
Shimanos LX equivalents at 550 g, the xt version is at 480g
SP Dynamos (8 Series) 400 g

SONdelux: 390 g
SP 9 series: 310 g
The latter two i wouldn't use if one wants to generate a lot of power, as they have less magnets so they generate at lower speeds less power. For any modern LED light still totally sufficient.

So the weight penalty for a (normal) hub dyno is between 150 g to 380 g, depending on the type of hub used before and on the hub dyno.....For the weight weenies there is still the velogical generator at 75 g additional weight. No solar panel/battery combo can top this
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Old 04-14-20, 07:27 AM
  #78  
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Wow, those slimq chargers are really something. With so much power going through so little mass, I wonder what the fire risk is.
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Old 04-14-20, 08:39 AM
  #79  
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There's a kickstarter for a 100-W GaN charger that's about the size of a credit card and about double the weight of that 65-W one.
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Old 04-14-20, 09:34 AM
  #80  
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That will be impressive when it comes into existence.
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Old 04-14-20, 02:19 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Wow, those slimq chargers are really something. With so much power going through so little mass, I wonder what the fire risk is.
GaN (Gallium Nitride) is so much more efficient than Silicon so generates far less heat and therefore can be packaged much tighter. Assuming the design is proper, I would not be concerned.
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Old 04-14-20, 08:18 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
Well on this weight discussion a crucial point is overlooked: any normal bike has a front hub. And those range between 170 and 250 grams (100 mm axle for quick release), depending on the amount of money spent.
Weights for the most important dyno hubs (all as 100mm axle versions):
SON 490 g
Shimanos LX equivalents at 550 g, the xt version is at 480g
SP Dynamos (8 Series) 400 g

SONdelux: 390 g
SP 9 series: 310 g
The latter two i wouldn't use if one wants to generate a lot of power, as they have less magnets so they generate at lower speeds less power. For any modern LED light still totally sufficient.

So the weight penalty for a (normal) hub dyno is between 150 g to 380 g, depending on the type of hub used before and on the hub dyno.....For the weight weenies there is still the velogical generator at 75 g additional weight. No solar panel/battery combo can top this
My standard hub is the DT Swiss 240s. In a centerlock disc version, thatís 126g.

And to be clear, weíre not just talking weight - itís going to be really a watts/kg number. The dynamos are both heavier and put out considerably lower power without even taking into account the increased power requirements at the crank. There is also the convenience factor - I donít have to pedal every day for 6 hours or more to get my daily power consumption replaced.

On the weight piece, weíre talking about a difference of about 100g give or take (Close to a wash for all intents and purposes). But for that 100g we get more power generation and that power doesnít depend on having have the bike in motion.

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Wow, those slimq chargers are really something. With so much power going through so little mass, I wonder what the fire risk is.
Yep. That makes for a very hard combination to beat if youíre anywhere near the grid. They donít get all that warm.

Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
GaN (Gallium Nitride) is so much more efficient than Silicon so generates far less heat and therefore can be packaged much tighter. Assuming the design is proper, I would not be concerned.
yep. This is the enabling tech for small high power chargers.
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Old 04-15-20, 12:51 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
My standard hub is the DT Swiss 240s. In a centerlock disc version, thatís 126g.
And to be clear, weíre not just talking weight - itís going to be really a watts/kg number. The dynamos are both heavier and put out considerably lower power without even taking into account the increased power requirements at the crank. There is also the convenience factor - I donít have to pedal every day for 6 hours or more to get my daily power consumption replaced.
On the weight piece, weíre talking about a difference of about 100g give or take (Close to a wash for all intents and purposes). But for that 100g we get more power generation and that power doesnít depend on having have the bike in motion.
Well i wasn't looking into standard hubs >200 $ when doing that weight comparison . I agree, that mentioned solar panel/battery combo has advantages and if it does the job good enough on rainy and cloudy days the extra weight is completely irrelevant, so why not use it, especially if you have other use besides bike touring for that battery/powerbank/charger.
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Old 04-15-20, 09:32 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
Well i wasn't looking into standard hubs >200 $ when doing that weight comparison . I agree, that mentioned solar panel/battery combo has advantages and if it does the job good enough on rainy and cloudy days the extra weight is completely irrelevant, so why not use it, especially if you have other use besides bike touring for that battery/powerbank/charger.
Thatís been kind of my plan after research. If you go back farther this thread, my question had been to see if increased solar panel efficiency and USB-C PD technology converging had become viable. So I procured the solar panel mentioned here and have been testing it. Then, because of the earlier discussion I posted what I had found out so far. More to come because as he sun gets higher in the sky here at 45N latitude, the panel should perform better. The weight penalty is <100g.

So I think for off-grid use, weíre seeing declining utility in dynamos both from power in from pedaling, the low power out, against rapidly improving solar panel efficiency. Alternatively, for on grid/near grid use, high power batteries that can be charged by high power density and small chargers over USB-C PD are really convenient if there is any proximity to the grid and are lower weight.
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Old 04-15-20, 06:30 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Thatís been kind of my plan after research. If you go back farther this thread, my question had been to see if increased solar panel efficiency and USB-C PD technology converging had become viable. So I procured the solar panel mentioned here and have been testing it. Then, because of the earlier discussion I posted what I had found out so far. More to come because as he sun gets higher in the sky here at 45N latitude, the panel should perform better. The weight penalty is <100g.

So I think for off-grid use, weíre seeing declining utility in dynamos both from power in from pedaling, the low power out, against rapidly improving solar panel efficiency. Alternatively, for on grid/near grid use, high power batteries that can be charged by high power density and small chargers over USB-C PD are really convenient if there is any proximity to the grid and are lower weight.
Pretty well my experience on tours is that you need a bit of everything. Solar panels are great if there is sun, but you often are in situations where there isn't enough sunshine (I try to ride and camp in the shade where I can, personally) and you can't leave them unattended at your campsite or on your bike in a lot of places. AC power is good, but it can be hard to find sometimes. Dynamo hub with a decent converter will do most things, but very slow off road or a day or two ring up a mountain pass sees it go backwards. So we use Forumsladers with large internal batteries, with an AC back up, and my partner carries a little just in case solar panel. Plus the dynamo lights are good in tunnels...
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Old 04-15-20, 07:42 PM
  #86  
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I keep hoping they will make lights that draw less power and dynohubs that provide less power, but it hasn't happened yet, except the ill-fated low-end Shimano hubs. I think it will eventually happen though, and they everyone will have to do something else for their USB supply.
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Old 04-16-20, 10:34 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I keep hoping they will make lights that draw less power and dynohubs that provide less power, but it hasn't happened yet, except the ill-fated low-end Shimano hubs. I think it will eventually happen though, and they everyone will have to do something else for their USB supply.
I understand the desire for lights that draw less power. But do not understand the desire for dynohubs to produce less power.

There are those of us that rely on dynohubs for our power for touring, and we also appreciate that they work on rainy days.
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Old 04-16-20, 02:47 PM
  #88  
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less powerful hubs should have less drag.
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Old 04-16-20, 03:43 PM
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The drag is roughly proportional to how much power is drawn out of the hub. If your lights or your USB charger draw less, then you would have less drag. And if those are off, even less.

If you look at the graph on page three on the left hand side of the page, the dashed lines are drag when light is turned off, solid for turned on.
https://www.cyclinguk.org/sites/defa...ub-dynamos.pdf

Also note that the solid black lines are equivalent to the feet of climb per mile in effort, thus the dynohubs have 1 to 2 feet of elevation drag per mile of distance (depending on which model) when not producing power. Thus, the drag for my SP PV-8 is about 1.5 feet of elevation effort per mile. At the speeds I ride, that is less effort than a half foot of elevation gain per minute of riding.

I suppose that some people can get concerned about that, using the PV-8 that I have, that would be the equivalent to adding roughly 185 feet of elevation gain to a 200k. That is not a big deal to me.
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Old 04-16-20, 03:56 PM
  #90  
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I suspect if SON came out with a hub that had substantially less drag, they would sell pretty well. This already happened when they came out with the small wheel hubs, they took over.
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Old 04-17-20, 06:36 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I suspect if SON came out with a hub that had substantially less drag, they would sell pretty well. This already happened when they came out with the small wheel hubs, they took over.
Not sure I can agree.
I was a relatively early adapter of the Sondelux (small wheel hub), though for my 20' wheeled Moulton APB.
It replaced a Sturmey Archer GH-6, I think it was called, which weighed over a kg.
On a small wheel, the Sondelux was ok for lights as well as charging system, but being utilised on a larger wheel, especially a 700c wheel, it was really only suitable for lighting due I believe to the slower rotation speeds.
Realising this, when I bought my large wheeled bike, I made sure to get a Son28, knowing I'd require not only lighting, but charging for my phone and Garmin unit.
I'm unsure that the Sondelux ever "took over", at least where I've ever resided, but concede it possible where you do.
I will give you that they were very popular with certain types of competitive cyclists partaking in events like Audax due to their low weight benefits.
As for drag, I've discerned no difference in either models and that is to say, no real noticeable drag ever noticed.
These aren't like the old bottle dynamos.
As for selling well, amongst the initiated they do sell well, partly due to their competitive 5 year warranty (valid when I bought mine) that their competition failed to offer (at least back when I bought mine back in 2012, if memory serves)

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Old 04-17-20, 09:27 AM
  #92  
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I have a range of dynohubs, ranging from a sondelux SL to some really crummy Sanyos and I can't say I feel the drag on any of them. Except when I'm truing the wheel. But it's there, and it adds up.

The sondelux only delivers about 20% less power than the 28, so I'm pretty sure there is room there to back off a little on the power supplied.
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Old 04-17-20, 10:24 AM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I have a range of dynohubs, ranging from a sondelux SL to some really crummy Sanyos and I can't say I feel the drag on any of them. Except when I'm truing the wheel. But it's there, and it adds up.

The sondelux only delivers about 20% less power than the 28, so I'm pretty sure there is room there to back off a little on the power supplied.
Sorry I hadn't realised I was preaching to the choir.
Baring my E-werk requiring a replacement usb connection cable and now two B&M cache batteries (thank you SJScycles UK), my latest charging system, built circa 2012, has been problem free.
So enamoured with it, I invested in a mirrored (same) system for my Extrawheel trailer, so can you tell I'm a big fan.

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Old 04-18-20, 01:19 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
less powerful hubs should have less drag.
Let's assume SON came out with a 1.5W hub. With an efficiency of 60% one would need 2.5W. Thats roughly 4W less than the standard SON requires. Any bad lubricated or dirty chain or loose clothing causes much more drag. I personally do not consider this important and i don't think SON will come up with such a hub, i guess they rather make a more powerful one for off-grid use.
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Old 04-18-20, 01:28 PM
  #95  
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I sorta looked for the specs on my SON fatbike hub. It's a monster.
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Old 04-20-20, 12:10 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I sorta looked for the specs on my SON fatbike hub. It's a monster.
That fatbike version of the SON has the same electrical design and interieur as the standard SON28 (both versions have the same StVZO certification: ~K834), it's just heavier due to a wider body And that means 6 W (mechanical) energy required (with light/ 12 Ohm load) at 15 mph for an (electrical) output between 3 and 3.5 W. And the additional energy energy (compared to a good front hub) required at those speeds with the light off/load disconnected is only 0.5 W - 1 W. Your fatbike tires cost you significantly more energy

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Old 04-20-20, 06:51 AM
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I would definitely trade off a little drag on the fatbike for more low-speed performance from the hub. But I guess it doesn't make sense for them to work on that aspect of the design too much. I have an SP on the mountain bike, and I have to turn on my battery light when the trail gets twisty.
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Old 04-29-20, 02:42 PM
  #98  
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I'm surprised how many dyno users here say they can't feel the drag of the hub when it's charging. I've got a Son28 on one bike with a Sinewave Revolution converter on the stem. I noticed on my first tour with it that under a certain speed (~6mph IIRC) it would stop putting out enough power to charge my iphone. On long slow loaded climbs, I would hear the "charging initiated" chime over and over as my speed varied around the threshold. That seemed like bad news for the phone, so I got in the habit of unplugging it when climbing (the converter was ziptied to the stem, so this wasn't too fussy). The reduction in drag when unplugging the load was not subtle! It didn't take long to realize that the drag from the charging system was always there, even when the output was not high enough to trigger the phone charging cycle. Pretty annoying to have that extra drag and get nothing from it. So I spent a lot of brain cycles plugging and unplugging and kicking myself when I realized halfway up a mountain that I'd forgotten to unplug, and likewise forgotten to re-plug on a descent.

Next tour, I wired up a switch into the computer mount to connect and disconnect the hub from the converter and it was awesome. Flick on, flick off - I found I used it all the time. Sometimes I just wanted more speed on a descent, or to chase down some roadies after I'd ridden myself into top shape, and definitely on every climb. With a switch at your fingertips, the drag is very palpable. I mean, you can feel the ~3/4 seconds it takes for the converter to charge up and activate the output and trigger the charge on the load end; it's so obvious.

I guess if you plug it in, forget about it, and never try this kind of A/B ride test, it's just part of the background and you won't ever notice it. Maybe with squishy draggy tires, sitting bolt upright in the wind, never lubing the chain, rarely checking tire pressure, or any number of things we all do that make bikes slow - the relative drag of the hub is missed.

I don't think I would ever tour without the convenience of a dyno (got another pair of Son28 disc hubs I need to build into wheels for my newer bike and the GF's) but I would also never ride a tour without the switch, because it's great to have control. I purchased and built a Forumslader to use on the next tour, and I'm very curious what its increased charging rate and corresponding increased drag will feel like over time. With a switch on the hub input, 3x18650 battery cache, and tons of info in the highly detailed phone app I expect I can figure out how much of the time I'll need to run it for: phone, Garmin, front & rear USB rechargeable lights, airpods, etc.

PS: I haven't tried solar on a bike trip yet, but my experience in 2013 on a long trek in Ladakh with a small Goal Zero panel was not great. Best I could do with the panel on the backpack while hiking, and optimally placed in camp, was a slow net negative on my phone I used for music and ebooks at night at minimum screen brightness. Needed a heavier panel I guess.

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Old 04-29-20, 03:59 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by fourfa View Post
I'm surprised how many dyno users here say they can't feel the drag of the hub when it's charging. I've got a Son28 on one bike with a Sinewave Revolution converter on the stem. I noticed on my first tour ... ....
You are the first person I have heard comment that you can feel the drag with a Sinewave.

Someone on the touring forum board has commented that he could feel the drag from the Forumslader, but that charger can produce a lot more watts than the Sinewave at touring speeds, so that does not surprise me.

Riding near home, I have dyno powered lights on several bikes, and I usually leave them on during daytime because I can't feel any drag from them so it does not noticeably slow me down. I know there is drag, but it is so minor, I can't feel it. My Sinewave is on my randonneuring bike, that has 32mm tires that have very low rolling friction,

I think the additional drag on my SP PV8 hub wtih lights on is about 4.5 watts more than with lights off at about 20 km/hr, but that is a small enough amount of extra drag that I can't feel it.
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Old 04-29-20, 04:03 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by fourfa View Post
I'm surprised how many dyno users here say they can't feel the drag of the hub when it's charging. I've got a Son28 on one bike with a Sinewave Revolution converter on the stem. I noticed on my first tour with it that under a certain speed (~6mph IIRC) it would stop putting out enough power to charge my iphone. On long slow loaded climbs, I would hear the "charging initiated" chime over and over as my speed varied around the threshold. That seemed like bad news for the phone, so I got in the habit of unplugging it when climbing (the converter was ziptied to the stem, so this wasn't too fussy). The reduction in drag when unplugging the load was not subtle! It didn't take long to realize that the drag from the charging system was always there, even when the output was not high enough to trigger the phone charging cycle. Pretty annoying to have that extra drag and get nothing from it. So I spent a lot of brain cycles plugging and unplugging and kicking myself when I realized halfway up a mountain that I'd forgotten to unplug, and likewise forgotten to re-plug on a descent.

Next tour, I wired up a switch into the computer mount to connect and disconnect the hub from the converter and it was awesome. Flick on, flick off - I found I used it all the time. Sometimes I just wanted more speed on a descent, or to chase down some roadies after I'd ridden myself into top shape, and definitely on every climb. With a switch at your fingertips, the drag is very palpable. I mean, you can feel the ~3/4 seconds it takes for the converter to charge up and activate the output and trigger the charge on the load end; it's so obvious.

I guess if you plug it in, forget about it, and never try this kind of A/B ride test, it's just part of the background and you won't ever notice it. Maybe with squishy draggy tires, sitting bolt upright in the wind, never lubing the chain, rarely checking tire pressure, or any number of things we all do that make bikes slow - the relative drag of the hub is missed.

I don't think I would ever tour without the convenience of a dyno (got another pair of Son28 disc hubs I need to build into wheels for my newer bike and the GF's) but I would also never ride a tour without the switch, because it's great to have control. I purchased and built a Forumslader to use on the next tour, and I'm very curious what its increased charging rate and corresponding increased drag will feel like over time. With a switch on the hub input, 3x18650 battery cache, and tons of info in the highly detailed phone app I expect I can figure out how much of the time I'll need to run it for: phone, Garmin, front & rear USB rechargeable lights, airpods, etc.

PS: I haven't tried solar on a bike trip yet, but my experience in 2013 on a long trek in Ladakh with a small Goal Zero panel was not great. Best I could do with the panel on the backpack while hiking, and optimally placed in camp, was a slow net negative on my phone I used for music and ebooks at night at minimum screen brightness. Needed a heavier panel I guess.
Thanks for this. I know I can tell a 5-10W difference. My road bike has a power meter and itís pretty easy to tell the difference. Great idea to put in an off switch!

The efficiencies on solar panels have been steadily increasing and especially so over the last 7 years. There is a lot of money pushing a lot of R&D into increasing solar efficiencies.

Iíve been testing out a panel I bought that is rated at 20W. I have been testing it as the sun goes higher in the sky (Iím at 45N latitude, so pretty far north) as we edge toward summer. I have been able to routinely get 8-9W out of the panel without orienting it at right angles to the sun or doing anything special. On full overcast days I get 4-5W out. I have gotten as high as 13W and I suspect I will see higher power as I get closer to the spring equinox on June 21. I also expect that I will get better performance at lower latitudes (which will be where my next several tours are).

This panel weighs about 500g.
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