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Charging devices?

Old 09-13-23, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdwmth
why do you think these are not well suited to touring?.
1. Two summers in a row I've damaged the charger's connectors during air transit. Wide tires pulling cable; crunched usb connector when putting handlebars back on the stem. Both user (me) errors. Still... didn't want something similar to happen again.

2. You don't generate meaningful current if you ride at less than, say, 12kms/h. Over hilly terrain, it is not uncommon to spend most of the time making very slow progress, and then barreling downhill just a few minutes, therefore generating almost no electricity.

So I've considerably reduced my energy requirements and now rely on small solar + wall charger w/o battery bank. Works well for me
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Old 09-13-23, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
1You don't generate meaningful current if you ride at less than, say, 12kms/h. Over hilly terrain, it is not uncommon to spend most of the time making very slow progress, and then barreling downhill just a few minutes, therefore generating almost no electricity.
It's just a question of what's meaningful current to you. Dynamo hubs generate current even at very low speed. You can see this when you walk with your bike and the LEDs emit light. That wouldn't be enough to supply your phone but a power bank might be able to trickle charge. And hopefully your tours aren't happening solely at that pace! That sounds like it would be a bad time to me.

My normal usage on tour is to have my phone in airplane mode while playing media and viewing offline maps. In that context the dynamo can get me to full charge in a few hours. I still carry a power bank to meet my needs in camp - usually reading, watching movies, audio/video calling, etc.
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Old 09-14-23, 04:33 AM
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Interesting thread.

A couple thoughts:
1. The only time I will plug in to an outlet with anything is if I am sitting right there. I have stayed at campgrounds with power available near/in the campsites. In that case I run an extension cord in to the tent and can plug what ever in and leave it going without fear of something sitting outside the tent getting legs and walking off while I'm inside.

2. Commercial dynamos don't provide enough power for my uses. I briefly looked at them, but when I realized how little power (wattage and voltage) they put out and the rather significant investment required - they just won't work in any application for me. I need a 12 volt base system and dynamos are 6.

3. Solar is your easiest option. It requires more gear and if you want charging ability while riding - some creativity to try to capture photons on-the-go. There are downsides - like solar doesn't work well in the woods or when it is cloudy.

What I am working on is an idea to incorporate a Hugh Piggot style wind turbine alternator to bike trailer wheels with a twist - staged phases so you can vary the resistance/wattage output. When cruising down a hill you can generate all the power you want. When pedaling on flat ground you don't want much resistance. So having the ability to tailor that would be nice.
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Old 09-14-23, 09:47 AM
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Satisfy my curiosity here. What do you need 12v for and what kind of wattage? Charging and ebike battery or something?
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Old 09-14-23, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
i din' no dat!

standard usb charger cables don't fit the phone, i assumed it had something to do with the waterproofing on the port. if it ever broke, thought i might have to trim the plastic plug housing on another cable. that was wrong.

replacement is $8 on amazon
https://www.amazon.com/PwrON-Univers.../dp/B08YK39NTP

but it's just a longer standard-profile usb. looks like the type-C is a new shape with no up/down.
https://www.amazon.com/UNIDOPRO-Exte.../dp/B07SSPY7RL

the charger tip that came with the BV4900 looks like a regular USB connector, but about 1mm longer than standard.
IIRC, standard USB c tips are 6mm, whereas the extended ones are 10mm.

I have modified a standard tip by carefully Dremeling off the excess material, and then reinforcing things with epoxy.

As for charging, when bicycling I carry a 20k mah external battery with a solar panel. I have not used this on an extended trip, but even in cloudy conditions over the course of the day I should be able to recover about 50% of the charge I need. I've only used it on overnight rides and have been able to bring the battery back to 100% each time. Watching several videos of others touring and their experiences, I've learned the downsides to dyno hubs are generally that they only charge when moving at a minimum speed (I have a Brompton with a SON dyno, and that's around 7mph). If I stop for lunch, the dyno stops charging, whereas the solar panel continues to work.
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Old 09-14-23, 11:54 AM
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How long between times when you can charge things from an outlet? A few days? Over a week? Over a month?

A few days, get a power bank. More than a few days but under a week, get two. Maybe three.

Longer trips, Gauvins and Happy Feet (he appears to have stopped posting on this forum) were happy with solar panels.

I use a dynohub. I used to use Sinewave Revolution to convert the dynohub output to USB power, but now use a Cycle2Charge.

Here is a post that Happy Feet wrote.
What's the most reliable hardware choices?

I did a two week tour in April this year, was fully self sufficient with a dynohub and USB charger (the Cycle2Charge). That said, my phone is typically off. I use a GPS while riding. Battery powered taillights (two lights, each has a pair of AAA batteries), headlamp for my head (one AA battery), and a camera (Li Ion camera batteries). I carry a AA/AAA NiMH rechargeable battery charger when touring, charge things up with a power with a pass through power bank. And use a Li Ion battery charger for my camera batteries from the pass through battery pack.

If you are a power user, phone always on, etc., you may need more power than those of us making suggestions here.
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Old 09-14-23, 07:08 PM
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My solar panel is the Big blue

Amazon.com: [Upgraded]BigBlue 3 USB-A 28W Solar Charger(5V/4.8A Max), Portable SunPower Solar Panel Charger for Camping, IPX4 Waterproof, Compatible with iPhone 11/XS/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad, Samsung Galaxy LG etc. : Patio, Lawn & Garden
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Old 09-15-23, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by hopperja
IIRC, standard USB c tips are 6mm, whereas the extended ones are 10mm.

I have modified a standard tip by carefully Dremeling off the excess material, and then reinforcing things with epoxy.

As for charging, when bicycling I carry a 20k mah external battery with a solar panel. I have not used this on an extended trip, but even in cloudy conditions over the course of the day I should be able to recover about 50% of the charge I need. I've only used it on overnight rides and have been able to bring the battery back to 100% each time. Watching several videos of others touring and their experiences, I've learned the downsides to dyno hubs are generally that they only charge when moving at a minimum speed (I have a Brompton with a SON dyno, and that's around 7mph). If I stop for lunch, the dyno stops charging, whereas the solar panel continues to work.
i don't much bother with electronics on tour.
point-n-shoot digital camera with rechargeable AA batteries and charger.
no blogging, no vlogging, no tikky-tokky, no facebook, no email, no online maps, no strava, no bikehub, no gps, no solar, no dynamo, no power bricks.

sometimes take a phone, but usually throw it in the sock drawer before heading out.
when carrying the blackview, battery will last about a week before needing a recharge.

don't bother camping any longer, not when hotels are available for $5-10.
i get satellite teevee and AC and hot showers, and a town/village to explore in the evening.
check email at a local internet cafe once a week.
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Old 09-15-23, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
Satisfy my curiosity here. What do you need 12v for and what kind of wattage? Charging and ebike battery or something?
I don't own an E-bike of any kind.

Think everything you can run/charge plugged in your car/truck/suv.

- Power inverter for 120v AC (run laptop)
- 12v to USB adapter for phone/tablet/GPS/bike computer/etc etc
- 18650 battery charger

I also am a ham radio operator and take radios. I can run my handheld charger on a normal 12v accessory plug. My HF radio is 12v (I could stack AA batteries in it, but plugging in to 12v is a ton more convenient, more power (output wattage of radio and electrical power = longer run time).

I used to use SLA batteries. I ran through several of them from about 7Ah to 12Ah. Several years ago I upgraded to a 12Ah LiFePO4. When I did my Ohio to Erie tour a couple years ago this was my power source. It worked OK, but for the amount I ran - after a full charge it would only get me through a bit over a day. I don't have any watt-hr numbers to illustrate that with. That trip was also wet and cloudy for about 80% of it. Though I did have solar panels along, the ability to capture photons when it was convenient - around camp - was few and far between. I needed to conserve power quite often.

I did find some power outlets along the route, when I was trying to make miles it was hard to stop and sit for 4 hours to get some charge back in the battery. Some stops I paralleled with a food stop or laundry so I could multitask a bit too, but it was still inconvenient when I could have been moving.

Therein lies the point of the wheel alternators on the trailer. By being able to charge on-the-go that accomplishes a couple things:
1. Ability to charge on-the-go
2. Some base level power while moving that can offset consumption, or possibly counteract it entirely = the battery charge state may not deplete at all = if I take a day off from riding I have juice to carry me through.

Another tidbit is I upgraded my battery a couple years ago. I ordered a 40Ah but the place I ordered it from had significant delays. After a month and inquiring as to the ETA of the battery the company made a decision to bounce customers up to the next bigger size battery if it was available. So they sent me a 50Ah. I'm not complaining. The 40 was picked by dimensions, but in the end the difference in size really isn't going to matter. With the upgrade to the trailer (instead of panniers/bags) space isn't much of an issue.

The LiFePO4's are also about 1/2 the weight of equivalent SLA/AGM. So in perspective when looking at 40-50Ah batteries I don't consider those "heavy", no where near what an SLA/AGM of the same size would be. When compared to a feather, yea they have some weight. It's all a matter of perspective. The way I see it is the amount of power I get from it is well worth it - hence why I've upgraded to that over time.
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Old 10-18-23, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by annlopez
If you're not using solar panels or staying in hotels, you can charge your electronics by utilizing public charging stations, cafes, or restaurants.
A.I. post, IMO.
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Old 10-18-23, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
A.I. post, IMO.
Don't you hate it when you cite a post that resurrected a thread, and then that post gets deleted so it looks like you were the one that resurrected it? Been there, done that too.
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Old 10-18-23, 02:15 PM
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I am planning a trip for next spring. After researching this post and some YouTube videos I can see that using a wall outlet somewhere can be problematic. I have a Schmidt Son hub and my current light setup allows charging or lights. This appears to be good enough for the charging of a passthrough battery for the phone with frugal phone use. I have looked into Solar panels for charging and saw a video by Nomads
. They purchased a semi flexible solar panel that is not over marketed garbage. You see these kind of panels on the surfaces of boats. The solar cells themselves are actually made in the USA. The panels are assembled in europe. I am going to try one of these panels out. Items to charge will be my phone, camera batteries and a set of daylight visibility lights. In addition a book reader and camp headlight. If i have a problem I can charge the passthrough battery somewhere, but prefer to avoid doing this like the plague.
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Old 10-18-23, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick
I am planning a trip for next spring. After researching this post and some YouTube videos I can see that using a wall outlet somewhere can be problematic. I have a Schmidt Son hub and my current light setup allows charging or lights. This appears to be good enough for the charging of a passthrough battery for the phone with frugal phone use. I have looked into Solar panels for charging and saw a video by Nomads Trails . They purchased a semi flexible solar panel that is not over marketed garbage. You see these kind of panels on the surfaces of boats. The solar cells themselves are actually made in the USA. The panels are assembled in europe. I am going to try one of these panels out. Items to charge will be my phone, camera batteries and a set of daylight visibility lights. In addition a book reader and camp headlight. If i have a problem I can charge the passthrough battery somewhere, but prefer to avoid doing this like the plague.
After your trip, let us know how that worked out, info on the panel, how much stuff you charged, etc.
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Old 10-19-23, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Don't you hate it when you cite a post that resurrected a thread, and then that post gets deleted so it looks like you were the one that resurrected it? Been there, done that too.
Three obvious AI posts in three separate threads. Profile deleted.
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Old 10-19-23, 07:56 AM
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[QUOTE=Rick;23045875]I am planning a trip for next spring. After researching this post and some YouTube videos I can see that using a wall outlet somewhere can be problematic../QUOTE]

Indulge my curiosity. What problems do you foresee plugging a charger into a wall outlet?
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Old 10-19-23, 08:03 AM
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[QUOTE=pdlamb;23046417]
Originally Posted by Rick
I am planning a trip for next spring. After researching this post and some YouTube videos I can see that using a wall outlet somewhere can be problematic../QUOTE]

Indulge my curiosity. What problems do you foresee plugging a charger into a wall outlet?
[not the person you quoted, but...]

I see 2 things : (1) plug compatibility -- if you travel, you may need adapters; (2) loose connexion -- quite often the charger/adapter fits loosely in the outlet, so it'll fall from the weight of a dangling battery/phone unless it is supported, i.e. cable long enough to reach the floor or some kind of improvised support.

This being said, these "problems" are minor at best.
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Old 10-19-23, 09:04 AM
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I would suggest using a pass-through battery with any solar panel. The battery will continuously collect the charge (until full, of course) and level out any power fluctuations.
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Old 10-19-23, 10:45 AM
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Indulge my curiosity. What problems do you foresee plugging a charger into a wall outlet?
I prefer to be self sufficient were I travel. I avoid having to be around lots of people. I keep an 18watt power adaptor in case my methods don't work.
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Old 10-19-23, 11:08 AM
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I would suggest using a pass-through battery with any solar panel. The battery will continuously collect the charge (until full, of course) and level out any power fluctuations.

I mentioned using a passthrough battery in my post of witch I currently have two. I had an old flip phone that worked well with my old USB charger. When I purchased my first smartphone I found that I had to reset my phone everytime I stopped for a light. I have the Klite setup now. I haven't tested it yet. It has two USB charging ports of which one has some capacitor and circuitry to help charging a phone. On my setup you can charge or run the lights. There is a switch for this. If this doesn't work the smaller passthrough battery will be used for charging the phone. I intend to travel in the dirt above the cities and resupply once a week or there about. Schmidt has a new edelux light setup coming out next year with a high beam function and a USB charger with a buffer battery so charging a phone is not problematic.
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Old 10-19-23, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick
I mentioned using a passthrough battery in my post of witch I currently have two. I had an old flip phone that worked well with my old USB charger. When I purchased my first smartphone I found that I had to reset my phone everytime I stopped for a light. I have the Klite setup now. I haven't tested it yet. It has two USB charging ports of which one has some capacitor and circuitry to help charging a phone. On my setup you can charge or run the lights. There is a switch for this. If this doesn't work the smaller passthrough battery will be used for charging the phone. I intend to travel in the dirt above the cities and resupply once a week or there about. Schmidt has a new edelux light setup coming out next year with a high beam function and a USB charger with a buffer battery so charging a phone is not problematic.
For me it's the quality of the electricity that can be an issue. I am not an electrical engineer, and I don't understand why it's an issue, but I do know it can be.

During a poweroutage I had an iPhone plugged in to an outlet that was powered by a high-end, high quality generator, using an iPhone charging block between the outlet and the phone. The generator power fried the phone's motherboard. I'd rather find out the power is problematic through damaging a cheap portable battery than an expensive phone.
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Old 10-19-23, 12:48 PM
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For me it's the quality of the electricity that can be an issue. I am not an electrical engineer, and I don't understand why it's an issue, but I do know it can be.

During a poweroutage I had an iPhone plugged in to an outlet that was powered by a high-end, high quality generator, using an iPhone charging block between the outlet and the phone. The generator power fried the phone's motherboard. I'd rather find out the power is problematic through damaging a cheap portable battery than an expensive phone.

You should have used a passthrough battery instead of that overpriced Iphone stuff. I use android and only carry a phone at my wife's request. I have managed to get along without some of these modern conveniences. I doubt that I will ever encounter your problem. If I fry the circuit board on a phone then that means more peace and quiet.
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Old 10-19-23, 03:21 PM
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[QUOTE=pdlamb;23046417]
Originally Posted by Rick
I am planning a trip for next spring. After researching this post and some YouTube videos I can see that using a wall outlet somewhere can be problematic../QUOTE]

Indulge my curiosity. What problems do you foresee plugging a charger into a wall outlet?
It can be a hassle if your electronics are running low and you are camping. When I rode the Pacific Coast, the Hiker Biker campsites in Oregon and California state parks did not have any power outlets. If you trusted leaving your stuff in the can, you could plug in there but that was a theft risk if you plugged it in for hours. So, when you went to a restaurant, you were looking for seating next to outlets, etc. I also carried a 3 into 1 adapter so I could plug three of my devices into one outlet plug.

On one of my foreign trips, they were doing some work with tools near my campsite, they said I could plug into the outlet at night if I wanted to at the campground. I have two pass through cache batteries and two NiMH battery chargers plugged into this outlet. I brought a USB charger that I could plug into an EU plug to avoid the potential for adapter issues.




The next morning, all of the above were fully charged up.

Some people prefer solar panels, some use USB chargers powered by dynohubs. I lean towards the dynohub solution.

My last tour, I was fully power self sufficient with a SP dynohub and an Cycle2Charge USB charger. There was one night where I had access to an outlet, I was trying to be self sufficient, and trying to see if I could meet all my power needs with the dynohub, so I chose to not use the outlet to see if I could finish the tour with just dynohub power, and I could. But, I only used dynohub for power for charging, only used dyno powered lights on the first day when I did not need to charge anything, after that day I never used dyno powered lights.
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Old 10-24-23, 09:42 AM
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When you cycle with your whole household like the two in the video you can also bring two 540W solar panels ( one is only 2,20m x 1,13m small) and maybe a little converter or 500W 230V



modern smart phones do not charge enough with a dynamo hub, at least off road, maybe on tarmac all day downhill they get some charge.

a simple battery pack 10.000-15.000mA/h does the job.

Last edited by str; 10-24-23 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 10-24-23, 11:21 AM
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When you cycle with your whole household like the two in the video you can also bring two 540W solar panels ( one is only 2,20m x 1,13m small) and maybe a little converter or 500W 230V
They did it with two 18 watt solar panels.

​​​​​​​modern smart phones do not charge enough with a dynamo hub, at least off road, maybe on tarmac all day downhill they get some charge.

a simple battery pack 10.000-15.000mA/h does the job.
I manage by keeping the phone off and charging through a passthrough battery. I don't want to be dependent on an electrical outlet. This could give someone the opportunity to steal my property. I had to retrieve my phone from a tenager once. I nailed her in the head with a 27oz Klean Kanteen. I did request her to leave it but she insisted by yelling **** and running. Don't worry, I made sure she was still breathing before I left.
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Old 10-24-23, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by str
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modern smart phones do not charge enough with a dynamo hub, at least off road, maybe on tarmac all day downhill they get some charge.

a simple battery pack 10.000-15.000mA/h does the job.
My phone is off on a bike tour almost all the time. Gets turned on to check e-mail once a day, weather forecast, maybe a few short phone calls, etc. I do not have to charge it for almost a week that way. Battery is about 8 watt hours.

My SP PV8 hub and Cycle2Charge V3 charger puts out this output according to the USB current gauge I used to measure with:
- 6.5 mph to get any power at all, below 6.5 it did not turn on.
- 9 mph was about 0.6 amps, or 2.9 watts.
-11 mph was about 0.8 amps, or 3.9 watts.
-15 mph was about 1.0 amps, or 4.8 watts.

Thus, my phone would need 3 to 8 hours a week, depending on how flat or hilly the terrain is. I put the charger output into a pass through cache battery, then charge things from there.

I use a separate GPS, do not use my phone for that purpose. My phone is 4g. And I use a real camera, not a phone camera.
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