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-   -   What do I need for self-generated charging of all gadgets? (https://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/897994-what-do-i-need-self-generated-charging-all-gadgets.html)

SecondChildhood 06-29-13 01:17 PM

Yikes, I didn't mean to start an environmental debate. I should have never used the phrase "tree-hugging". I realize I'm not necessarily going to reduce my carbon footprint to zero or be as efficient as possible, that's not necessarily my goal. More for the pride of saying that I'm not reliant on any outside source (other than food) for my ability to get from Point A to Point B. I could do it without any crap-- excuse me, gadgets-- rely on reflectors, not taillights, live without the cellphone or GPS or even the Cyclocomputer, but since they exist and are useful, I'll use them. Relying on a power source other than myself, however efficient or inefficient that might be, just seems a bit like cheating go me. May as well get an e-bike or a motorcycle. I have nothing against anyone who does use batteries-- each to their own. I'd just rather not, simply to be able to say that it's all me.

Since there was a request for more information, the touring I'm thinking of doing (in about four years) is a coast-to-coast charity event, and so would want to have some way to blog about it. I don't plan on using a laptop (what I have now) or a tablet continuously, just figured I might be able to recharge it during the six hours or so of daily biking. I'd not normally take it with me for daily training runs. On the tour, I could use the AC outlet from a motel room, but it would be cool if I could write that even the power to post the blog was coming from me.

I want bright lights for daytime visibility, not for nighttime running. I'd likely just flash the headlight when oncoming traffic approaches, just to save power. The cellphone (I have a dumbphone, not a smartphone-- maybe I'll upgrade) is for emergencies; I haven't used the Garmin from my car yet, but figured for now I'd go for now with what I have. If I work up to 20 miles a day, I'd like to have a radio along for some tunes (no headphones)-- I ran into a guy who had a neat little radio strapped to his handlebars, and thought it would be nice to have. Cars have radios, why not bikes?

So I'm looking at a Luxos U and USB ports, maybe a second hub just for the taillight. Still wish I could figure out a way to handle the battery in the Cyclocomputer-- if it takes a battery, it takes a battery, I just need to figure out a way to substitute an external rechargeable battery and adjust the voltage and/or amperage. I haven't had a chance to read the Wayne Estes article, but thanks to 01 Cat Man Do for the link. Hopefully, my answers will be there. Thank you again for everyone who took the time to respond.

SecondChildhood 06-29-13 01:59 PM

For anyone interested, I stumbled across this-- a dynamo-powered USB charger. It might be useful if I decide to go with the original plan for the Dinotte headlight/taillight with its own hub dynamo.

01 CAt Man Do 06-29-13 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SecondChildhood (Post 15796741)
For anyone interested, I stumbled across this-- a dynamo-powered USB charger. It might be useful if I decide to go with the original plan for the Dinotte headlight/taillight with its own hub dynamo.

When I looked at your link I immediately said, "Whoa! That's a little too much". Something that is just a box of silicon chips shouldn't cost so much. This one here is a more realistic price and throws in a cheap dynamo and cell phone mount to boot. Not that you'll need those since you'll probably get a nicer dynamo hub ( I'm guessing ).

It would also be nice to know what maximum current output is possible with the charger that you buy. None of the ads mention this. It would also be nice to know if it works with an AC and/or DC input. Most dynamo's I believe output AC. A few DC. If you have a dynamo that outputs DC you might have a problem. Once again the ads don't mention input requirements, I have to hate when technical info is left out in ads.

01 CAt Man Do 06-30-13 05:28 AM

Continued from my last post: I took a look at your link again. The Revolution website had more info in the questions area. That USB dynamo charger is a pretty nice one. It will work on virtually any dynamo/battery hook up. ( including that nice Sunup Eco spoke dynamo ). Now I can't help but wonder if it's possible to combine both the Sunup and a Solar set-up in combo to pull off a 2A charge ( Now wouldn't that be nice ).

Richard Cranium 06-30-13 08:43 AM

Quote:

What he wants to do doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Yeah - sometimes the goal is actually resulting in more energy inputs than realized (saved) in use.

However, one of the most interesting aspects of cycling is the ever changing energy potential of the bicycle/rider matrix as it climbs and descends hills and or navigates windy areas.

How wonderful would it be if a rider could choose to "store" the energy gained from climbing a hill and use it as needed to power or charge accessories. (charge during downhill)

njkayaker 06-30-13 11:01 AM

The nomad: "Now I know this will come off sounding snarky but I really do think its a relevant issue."

It's important because there are many ways to answer the question. Knowing why might allow people to give more useful answers. Also, if the "why" makes no sense, why should people waste time providing an answer?

Rob_E 07-01-13 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do (Post 15796937)
When I looked at your link I immediately said, "Whoa! That's a little too much". Something that is just a box of silicon chips shouldn't cost so much. This one here is a more realistic price and throws in a cheap dynamo and cell phone mount to boot. Not that you'll need those since you'll probably get a nicer dynamo hub ( I'm guessing ).

That does seem a little high, but I've gone through some searching on this subject, too. If it's well built, like you say, then it may be worthwhile. I've seen plans for making these fairly inexpensively, but it requires soldering and some degree of know-how that I don't have.

The other option you mention looks interesting. Having used some cheap, bottle dynamos in my day, I would definitely favor a dynamo hub, but I hear there are decent bottle dynamos on the market. I just haven't used any. To me the advantages of a bottle dynamo are: zero drag when not in use; no need to build a new wheel; cheaper. For the OP's purposes, the dynamo seems like it will have to be running most of the time to keep enough energy flowing to charge everything during a day's riding. So I agree that hopefully the OP will be getting a better, hopefully hub-based, dynamo solution. Also I'd want to be sure that the device in question would work with a hub dynamo, like CAt Man Do is saying. I see that it comes with an AC/DC converter. I just don't know enough about electricity to know where that comes into play, but I am thinking you get different flavors of power from a hub vs. a bottle dynamo, so it's just something to keep in mind when considering equipment sold with bottle dynamos in mind when planning to use them with a hub.

I see that the OP is considering using multiple dynamos. I don't think I'd be tempted to go that route. Even with a low-drag, hub dynamo, it seems like you'd start to feel it once you started stacking them up. But perhaps this bottle dynamo set-up might play a role as an emergency backup. But in my experience, bottle dynamos have considerably more drag. If you really needed more energy than you could get out of one dynamo hub, I'd look at scaling back on the electronics, or finding some other back up solution, like the solar solution listed on the Crazy Guy site. Also don't discount the weight that you gain by adding redundant systems. I'm no gram counter, and certainly pack heavier than many folks, but I have noticed that dropping some heavier items can make travel a little easier. I've also noticed that a significant amount of my gear weight is attributed to electronics and ways to power them. Redundant charging systems could certainly add to that weight

As far as expense goes, one reason I have a Luxos U on my wish-list is because when pricing decent generator lights and USB charging solutions, it seems like the combination ends up costing close to, if not more than, the Luxos U. Plus when combing lights with a charging solution, I assume you have to pay some attention to how everything wires together. Seems like the combined unit takes some of that worry out of the equation.

As far as how much sense it makes, that's up to the OP. Everyone has a different threshold. Some people eschew taking electronics on tour at all. Some people think traveling by bike is silly in place where cars are so prevalent. I understand the OP's desire to be completely "off the grid." For my own purposes, I like the idea simply because when I travel, I don't like looking for open outlets and letting the availability of electricity determine where I camp or eat. So, while I would never take it so far as to try and convert the power source of my speedometer from a two year battery to dynamo or a rechargeable battery, I can certainly understand the rest of it, and I look forward to seeing how the OP solves the problem.

daviddean 07-01-13 11:56 AM

Thanks for finding Bright-Bike! If you have any particular questions, I can answer them here or you can email me - [email protected].

There are some cheaper alternatives out there, but they do tend to be poorly designed (and of course Made in China). For example, I can tell you that the "Human Creations" charger has no overvoltage protection - if you connect it to a hub dynamo and go over 25 MPH, it's going to overheat and quickly fail.

As you noticed, we do have a lot of additional information on the FAQ page (and yes, the Revolution does work with DC, all the way up to 52V). A cheaper product could be nice for riding around town, but the Revolution will hold up for touring, randonneuring, long day rides, etc. It's also waterproof and made in the USA.

Anyway, I hope that helps to differentiate the two chargers. Again, feel free to email me with any questions!

- Dave

Nick The Beard 07-02-13 05:40 PM

How about throwing solar into the mix?

While attempting to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail I met a couple diff hikers that were using this setup pretty successfully:
http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/79/Gu...Plus-Solar-Kit

The Appalachian Trail is pretty shady with all the tree cover but they were still able to get enough juice to keep their gear charged and offer me a boost from time to time. They seemed the right blend of light/durable to work for backpacking so I figure it should be fine for touring too. I picked up some Serfas USB rechargables I think would be awesome with that setup. I figure you could easily drape it and tie it down over a rear rack or trailer.

Of course you're consumption level will make a big diff in whether something like this would work for you, but I could get my iPhone 4s to last for about 4 days in the woods by being smart about how I used it.

zacster 07-02-13 05:51 PM

This is pretty cheap, from a guy that sells on Candlepower forums: http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...2-panels-added

I don't know any more about it than what you see.

ksisler 07-18-13 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SecondChildhood (Post 15785108)
I'm trying to be completely self-sufficient in my approach to biking. That means using my legs to generate not only motion, but all the juice needed to power lights, computer, GPS, radio, cellphone, laptop or tablet, and anything else I might add down the line,,,,,I'm not that electronically inclined,,,,So what do I need to do to accomplish this? Anything I'm overlooking?

OP; You frankly can't get there from where you are. Kinda have to decide if you want to go biking or play with a bunch of electronics. Choose one path.

Realistically a dyno can just barely power a good LED headlight and a LED taillight. A dyno gets you about 6volts and 3.2watts output to use. If you want to, you could maintain the change on a cell phone or (not and) a small smart phone during the day if not using the headlight then. You can buy little power management boxes for that purpose.

If you have a dyno front hub and aren't using a disc brake rear, then you could add a SunUp rear dyno (look on ebay) for $125 plus $80 for the power management box to get the ability to run one or two additional small devices, but not a laptop.

/K

Booger1 07-23-13 11:19 AM

This will work:
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...500_AA300_.jpg

50 watt foldable panel

Hub generator will only charge small electronics.

PlanoFuji 07-24-13 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaulRivers (Post 15786048)
P.S. From Peter White -
"The Luxos U won't charge a car battery, or an iPad, though it will charge an iPhone or a Garmin Edge 810. The larger battery in the iPad needs too much current; more than the Luxos U can provide. If you need to charge an iPad on the road, you'll need to find another solution. Hub dynamos just don't have enough power output."

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/b&m-hl.asp

It's not specific to the Luxos U either - any dynamo is just not going to provide that much power...

A bicycle dynamo produces 3W or 500 ma at 6V which is a pretty close match to the USB power standard for one device.

That said, you can use one to charge a more power hungry device like a iPad if you use the dynamo to charge a second battery pack like this; http://www.voltaicsystems.com/v39.shtml To fully charge this from a bike dynamo will take about 4-5 hours of pedalling (5V/0.5A x 4 hours is about 10 watts of power). Of course they also offer a couple of small (suitable for use on a bike) solar panels that can be used to charge other devices as well. Larger battery packs are available from them (and others, notably goal zero), which take proportionally longer to recharge from a bike dynamo.

LucF 07-25-13 11:05 PM

Don't see why you need the Bright-Bike thing if you get the Luxos U. BTW, the Luxos U can also provide USB current when the headlamp is on (in my experience at least, using an SP PD-8 hub), although charging then turns off every few minutes while its small battery recharges. Note that you can also use the Luxos U USB output to recharge batteries. The only problem with the Luxos U is getting your hands on one.

Bicycle365 07-28-13 06:18 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do (Post 15796937)
When I looked at your link I immediately said, "Whoa! That's a little too much". Something that is just a box of silicon chips shouldn't cost so much..

You are absolutely right , this box in the link is crazy expensive. I have also contacted them about the source of their "invention". Here is the one I built for my charging needs. Total parts bill is under 25$ paying full retail on small quantity. If I were to build 25 of these the cost would be less than 12$ . Not real difficult to build either....

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=331658http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=331659

This was the original one, I have since built one that integrates with the wiring of my Ixon headlight and Busch & Meuller taillight.

I would be happy to post the schematic if anyone wants it, (Ill have to make one since it's all in my head right now)

Joe

Bicycle365 07-28-13 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PlanoFuji (Post 15884604)
A bicycle dynamo produces 3W or 500 ma at 6V which is a pretty close match to the USB power standard for one device.

CAUTION !!!!
Most dynamo output is AC current, including my SON28 hub. In order to use the output as a USB source you need to run it through a bridge rectifier to get DC then add a capacitor to filter out any remaining AC ripple. An active rectifier is recomended as there is less loss. You can do it with a matrix of 4 diodes but you will lose 1/2 the power since you are not actually converting it but "grabbing" every other half of the cycle so the polarity remains the same.

DO NOT TRY AND JUST USE A USB CONNECTOR ON YOUR GENERATOR OUTPUT

My SON28 will charge and run my Nexus 7 tablet. I use it in my map case for navigation it is on all day while on tour without issue. It asks for 1A (1000mA) but it WILL take whatever you give it. Apple has a propriatary (surprise, surprise) circuit to not allow under currents or even some 3rd party chargers.

PlanoFuji 07-28-13 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bicycle365 (Post 15898212)
CAUTION !!!!
Most dynamo output is AC current, including my SON28 hub. In order to use the output as a USB source you need to run it through a bridge rectifier to get DC then add a capacitor to filter out any remaining AC ripple. An active rectifier is recomended as there is less loss. You can do it with a matrix of 4 diodes but you will lose 1/2 the power since you are not actually converting it but "grabbing" every other half of the cycle so the polarity remains the same.

DO NOT TRY AND JUST USE A USB CONNECTOR ON YOUR GENERATOR OUTPUT

My SON28 will charge and run my Nexus 7 tablet. I use it in my map case for navigation it is on all day while on tour without issue. It asks for 1A (1000mA) but it WILL take whatever you give it. Apple has a propriatary (surprise, surprise) circuit to not allow under currents or even some 3rd party chargers.

I believe all dyno hubs are AC output, which is why USB charging requires additional devices. However, my post was concerning the power output and how it compares with the USB standard of 5V at 500ma max for a standard USB device. In short the dyno hub provides just enough power for a single standard USB level device charging and then only if no light is also being powered. If a USB charging circuit can take higher currents (as your Nexus) it can still be charged at a slower rate; however, many Apple products have other issues with lower current charging so they design there devices to only accept the charge current they were designed for. Which is why I suggested using the USB to charge an external battery which is designed to charge a full range of USB products.

Also you are incorrect about using diodes. First most USB device require regulated power of 4.9 to 5.1 V whereas the 4 diodes will produce 0 to 5V dc in a wave pattern (and it doesn't loose 1/2 the power). This can be improved with the addition of capacitors, but it still will not be a safe charging source for usb devices.

kleng 08-02-13 04:50 PM

why not go solar, with a power monkey extreme and use all rechargeable battery power lights

lhendrick 10-06-13 05:37 PM

My practical experience in the past year is that a hub dynamo will charge a battery that can then be used to charge a smartphone like Samsung galaxy Note 2 or an Apple iPad battery. I was using a BioLogic Reecharge rectifier and a 5000 mah LiIon battery pack. It worked great, until I taco'd my wheel and lost all power generation when I replaced my rim.

Road Fan 10-07-13 05:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 15786472)
I think my kindle fire sneers at the normal usb current of 500mA max. Seems like I had trouble charging an iPad with an iPod charger. Not sure why they need so much current to charge, I would think they could just charge slower.

Backing up what was said above, most dynohubs nowadays are limited to around 500mA, so I'm guessing those larger devices aren't going to be happy charging from that.

I've been able to charge an iPad with an iPhone charger, it just takes a while.

Road Fan 10-07-13 05:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PlanoFuji (Post 15898427)
I believe all dyno hubs are AC output, which is why USB charging requires additional devices. However, my post was concerning the power output and how it compares with the USB standard of 5V at 500ma max for a standard USB device. In short the dyno hub provides just enough power for a single standard USB level device charging and then only if no light is also being powered. If a USB charging circuit can take higher currents (as your Nexus) it can still be charged at a slower rate; however, many Apple products have other issues with lower current charging so they design there devices to only accept the charge current they were designed for. Which is why I suggested using the USB to charge an external battery which is designed to charge a full range of USB products.

Also you are incorrect about using diodes. First most USB device require regulated power of 4.9 to 5.1 V whereas the 4 diodes will produce 0 to 5V dc in a wave pattern (and it doesn't loose 1/2 the power). This can be improved with the addition of capacitors, but it still will not be a safe charging source for usb devices.

Can you say more about Apple required charge currents?

cyclingYEG 10-22-13 08:56 AM

I use to have a coleman 7.5w solar panel on my bag rag and it fit perfectly and discretely. It then fed into a 12V 5AH SLA battery powering my lights and a 5A 120dB car horn. The only problem is the whole set-up drained current much faster than the solar panel could replenish even in full sun (0.5A at 12V) so I started just using a wall charger when I got home. The panel could however output to USB (5v) at 1.5A making it useful to charge a phone or even a tablet, so it would be something to consider using in conjunction with a hub generator.

cyclingYEG 10-22-13 09:01 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's the one I was talking about. Fold that 1/3 made of cloth underneath and it fits a bike bag rack with mounting rings too! outputs to car cigarette plug and/or USB.
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=347234
http://www.northerntool.com/images/p..._3_700x700.jpg


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