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Old 08-30-17, 07:57 PM   #1
Shadowx
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Dynamos

hey, thought about the electronics forums but though you guys would have more experience. Looking into a dynamo. I found a couple that use the chain (gear and a guide) on the back of the frame. I found a couple that are a front hub unit. Any exerience with these, any other options? What is working well for you guys for the long hauls.

I am primarily looking to power my phone for GPS. also wanting to be able to power a front and rear light as backup. was hoping to run it through a small pass through battery. That said i trust equipment, like a dynamo, more than a battery, less of a disposable item.

update 9-5-2017 Well for now I am going to HAVE to get a battery pack pronto. Did a 34 mile ride today started at 98% was down to 10% by the time I got home, thats no good.

Last edited by Shadowx; 09-05-17 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 08-30-17, 08:17 PM   #2
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Front hub dynamos work very well. I have two SON dynamos and an SP. They work well to charge my front and rear lights. I have not tried them for charging other gadgets.
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Old 08-31-17, 07:24 AM   #3
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Front hub dynamos are the best.

There are other options:

Rear hub dynamos are almost as good, just harder to connect up, being less accessible. Also not nearly as common.

Side wall dynamos; they push a little wheel against the side of the tire. Easy to install. It feels like they slow the bike down.

Bottom bracket dynamos: they fit where the kickstand goes, and they push a little wheel against the tread of the tire. Basically a more attractive alternative to the side wall dynamo. I've had bad luck with the ones made by Sanyo in the 80's. The Soubitez one seems okay.

Pioneer used to make a dynamo that attached to the left side of the rear hub, basically turning it into a hub dynamo. Cool item, not available now.

There are also flashing lights that get power from a magnet in the spokes... google "Reelight."

There are a few other clever dynamo options... chain driven dynamos... geared systems that attach to the front hub... you see them on eBay. I have no experience.
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Old 08-31-17, 09:58 AM   #4
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I too have hub dynamos, German Schmidt is more reliable ... than the cheaper. Shimano.

6v,3w.. there are 2.4w headlight only ones too. battery tail lights are low current demand.


Seen, a mention of a cassette dynamo rear hub, from Shimano, never in person or general bike shop parts supplier's offerings.

Target marked probably tadpole recumbent trikes ..


....

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Old 08-31-17, 11:17 AM   #5
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I've been using front hub dynamos for years. No problems.

The only reason I've ever considered another typo of dynamo is when considering a wider hub for a fat bike. Although now I think there may be a couple of dynamos available in other widths, or, at least, I think some manufacturer was discussing it. But if your front hub spacing is standard, I'd go with a hub dynamo.
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Old 08-31-17, 12:43 PM   #6
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any other options?
On a touring bike? Well, how much touring (not commuting, not randonneuring - there are other, better forums for those fun things to do with a bike) are you going to do in the dark?

I pack a small flashlight - useful for all kinds of touring situations. For the rare twilight ride, I have a mount.
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Old 08-31-17, 02:43 PM   #7
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True, High summer, in the 45th parallel area & North or, in Austral summer, south..

there is plenty of daylight time .. get started early ride to lunch

pick up camp food and stop before dark ..

battery headlight that can function, double, as a camp flashlight should be fine..

September its starting to get darker earlier.. here.
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Old 08-31-17, 03:34 PM   #8
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On a touring bike? Well, how much touring (not commuting, not randonneuring - there are other, better forums for those fun things to do with a bike) are you going to do in the dark?

I pack a small flashlight - useful for all kinds of touring situations. For the rare twilight ride, I have a mount.
Excellent advice indeed, for anyone for whom the only battery powered item they take on tour is a light. For others, I submit that a dynamo could be worthwhile during the day as well.

For the OP, hub dynamos seem to be the most widely available, and suitable for the majority of uses. Velological make a lightweight rim dynamo, which has the advantage that you can turn it off (or at least I think you can). You also don't need a wheel rebuild to fit one. Possibly this option may become more widely used in future, but right now the hub type have the ascendency.
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Old 09-01-17, 07:56 AM   #9
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I have two dyno's Schmidt and Shimano on two Surly touring bikes. I am addicted to iPhone and Garmin GPS, because I can get lost in my own driveway. I use the dyno's to keep a small battery pack charged, and this in turn charges my gizmo's. The dyno's also provide power to head and tail lights as needed.
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Old 09-01-17, 08:17 AM   #10
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My Sturmey Archer XL-FDD has 22,000+ miles, 4,200 on tour, with only a sealed bearing change at 17,000. Been set and forget the whole time for both the power and drum brake, zero busted spokes too. It has near zero effect on speed. Vietnam in winter needs lights every day, they are on 100% of the time now anyway. My hub cost about $130 for 100% reliability. Only SA hubs are easily serviceable. Those other brands with loose bearings are goofy IMO. Using battery lights is a laughable concept. Rim rub gizmos are 100% STUPID.

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Old 09-01-17, 09:05 AM   #11
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No need to insult people who find something else functional. Batteries work for me. Personally I'm not interested in dynamos, mostly $$ & wt. But to each their own.
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Old 09-01-17, 09:07 AM   #12
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Front Hub

Shadow, you don't say what you intend to use your dynamo for - that info would help the replies, I'm sure.

I use a Son 28 front hub dynamo on my touring wheel, coupled to a front light and a cycle2charge unit to charge electronics. I don't use it for a rear light, simply because the cabling would be too messy, althought he power output would be more than enough.

I prefer not to charge my electronics directly from the hub, instead using a battery pack to charge from the dynamo, then charge the electronics from that.

Until recently, the hub was a luxury in that I didn't really need it because there was always the opportunity to charge my pack at a wall. But for the last few months I've been testing the "system" using only the dynamo and it works fine. I can generate enough power to charge my new toy (GPS), my phone and my kindle.

Hope this helps

Frank
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Old 09-01-17, 09:09 AM   #13
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I don't have a hub dynamo but have been using side wall dynamos ever since I was a child. I commute by bike and only need good lights in winter or when I get home late. So far I have shied away in spending the big bucks on a new front wheel with hub dynamo. Yes the hub dynamo has less resistance but both types deliver 3W and two years ago I changed my lights to B&M lights. On the front I am using a B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo which works great with a side wall dynamo.

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Old 09-01-17, 09:31 AM   #14
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Glad you found a sidewall bottle dynamo that did not slip in the rain, on a wet tire..
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Old 09-01-17, 11:44 AM   #15
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Shadow, you don't say what you intend to use your dynamo for - that info would help the replies, I'm sure.

I use a Son 28 front hub dynamo on my touring wheel, coupled to a front light and a cycle2charge unit to charge electronics. I don't use it for a rear light, simply because the cabling would be too messy, althought he power output would be more than enough.

I prefer not to charge my electronics directly from the hub, instead using a battery pack to charge from the dynamo, then charge the electronics from that.

Until recently, the hub was a luxury in that I didn't really need it because there was always the opportunity to charge my pack at a wall. But for the last few months I've been testing the "system" using only the dynamo and it works fine. I can generate enough power to charge my new toy (GPS), my phone and my kindle.

Hope this helps

Frank
I was hoping to run a dynamo to a small pass through battery mostly to run my phone which i am using for gps currently. I also want to be able to power front and rear lights if needed. one is none, 2 is one. i want backups.
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Old 09-01-17, 12:46 PM   #16
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I was hoping to run a dynamo to a small pass through battery mostly to run my phone which i am using for gps currently. I also want to be able to power front and rear lights if needed. one is none, 2 is one. i want backups.
I run an SP dynamo with a Forumslader setup. My light is a cygolite expelion rechargeable that is okay at best as a headlight which is fine because I don't ride at night often, but doubles nicely as a camp light. I keep my phone plugged in and charging while riding, use the cygolite as a very occasional headlight and as a camp light in the evening then plug into the battery pack to charge overnight then repeat the following day. I average between 13 and 17 MPH with my long distance average being a solid 15 MPH and find at 15 MPH I can bring my iphone from 70% and Forumslader from ~85% to a full charge in around 2 hours of riding, that's with the forumslader app running and screen on 100%. As an aside I also have a Sinewave Revolution and though I like it for being waterproof, have to say it's not nearly as efficient or nice as the Forumslader with Bluetooth. If you are planning on purchasing a USB charging outfit to go with it give the Forumslader a long hard look as it really is worth the extra $$ over a Sinewave or similarly priced USB charger. Having ridden a couple of seasons now with a Dynamo Hub I have to say I wouldn't own a touring/distance bike without one but do plan on building up a traditional hub wheel over the winter so I can swap between dynamo and non dynamo during my 30 mile commutes to see how much my average speed decreases when I use the dynamo.
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Old 09-01-17, 12:57 PM   #17
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I was hoping to run a dynamo to a small pass through battery mostly to run my phone which i am using for gps currently. I also want to be able to power front and rear lights if needed. one is none, 2 is one. i want backups.
you have to choose.. lights off, to have sufficient charging current thru a USB adapter, to charge
an external battery pack, while you ride..

Unless you add another dynamo, such as towing an extrawheel trailer with a second front wheel with a second dynamo-hub.


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Old 09-01-17, 01:05 PM   #18
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No need to insult people who find something else functional. Batteries work for me. Personally I'm not interested in dynamos, mostly $$ & wt. But to each their own.
Squeezebox?
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Old 09-01-17, 02:38 PM   #19
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$.02 dynos are great for commuter bike lights. Always there and reliable. I have them on both my bikes.
For touring on a budget I'd be inclined to stick with an extra battery pack and use devices judiciously. Batteries can be rechargeable like your phone. Nighttime riding is unlikely while touring and batteries last a long time in tailights.
That said it's good info hearing from folks who use theirs for charging a battery or phone.
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Old 09-01-17, 03:03 PM   #20
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$.02 dynos are great for commuter bike lights. Always there and reliable. I have them on both my bikes.
For touring on a budget I'd be inclined to stick with an extra battery pack and use devices judiciously. Batteries can be rechargeable like your phone. Nighttime riding is unlikely while touring and batteries last a long time in tailights.
That said it's good info hearing from folks who use theirs for charging a battery or phone.
Yeah I guess I'm a bit odd in that I use rechargables for my front and rear lights while commuting with a dynamo. FWIW I believe but don't hold me to it, the Forumslader can run a 12v light while charging a USB...

https://translate.googleusercontent....eOsuf7s8abdHdQ

edit: re reading the page I'm thinking it won't simultaneously charge and power a light.
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Old 09-01-17, 03:20 PM   #21
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Might as well throw my experience up. I've got a Garmin 1000, iphone, front and rear Niterider lights with internal rechargeable batteries on my touring bike, with a Son28 front hub, Sinewave Revolution converter, and a standard USB power pack. I run the Garmin 100% of the time and poke at the phone a lot for navigation and photos. Lights aren't for night - but for inattentive stupid and texting drivers using strobe modes when I feel it necessary (I noticed an immediate decline in attempted murder by Uber drivers on my San Francisco commute when I did).

The battery pack has a charge-through capability, though when I plug the hub into the battery pack and other devices into the pack, nothing actually gains charge, just holds more or less steady. Must be some efficiency loss in the pass-through, because anything I plug directly into the converter gains charge steadily. So I mainly charge the Garmin until it gets 100%, switch to charging the phone until it's adequate (going to airplane mode and/or turning off Bluetooth and wifi speeds it up a lot), top up the powerpack, back and forth as needed. I usually unplug from the converter on climbs, as below ~8mph it doesn't produce enough power to charge anything, but the drag is unquestionably noticeable. The lights, I tend to charge from the powerpack at the campground (or a wall outlet when such luxury is available).

At the moment I'm starting to build a waterproof switch circuit that lets me switch from off, to Garmin, to two other USB outs to consolidate and simplify the works. And before you tell me to simplify by throwing it all out - save your breath.
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Old 09-03-17, 10:05 AM   #22
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Squeezebox?
My thoughts exactly. Pitch perfect tone and content.
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Old 09-03-17, 10:19 AM   #23
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M.......
At the moment I'm starting to build a waterproof switch circuit that lets me switch from off, to Garmin, to two other USB outs to consolidate and simplify the works. And before you tell me to simplify by throwing it all out - save your breath.
Are you 3d printing the housing? If so care to share the design? I've been kicking something around along the lines of the AWOL rig that would go in the bar end but first I need to acquire a 3D printer for prototyping.
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Old 09-03-17, 02:00 PM   #24
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Are you 3d printing the housing? If so care to share the design? I've been kicking something around along the lines of the AWOL rig that would go in the bar end but first I need to acquire a 3D printer for prototyping.
Actually I'm trying to fit it into the underside of a plastic outfront Garmin mount, and pot it in place to weather seal it once I'm happy with the function.

But you certainly don't need to acquire your own 3D printer, nor is one you acquire likely to be great for this purpose. Lately every UPS Store I go into has one, and prints from Shapeways and Sculpteo etc are very reasonable. Nonetheless, if I end up with something shareable, I'd be happy to do so
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Old 09-03-17, 02:22 PM   #25
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any other options?
Solar charger. Cheap, light, small, widely available.

Or for anyone who wants to let their inner geek out to run wild, there's the AeroCharge.
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