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Power on tour (and generally)

Dr_NickcpDr_Nickcp Posts: 53
edited May 2010 in Tour & expedition
Electricity, that is - I'm not planning to fit SRM cranks to test my power output.

A few years ago I bought a solar mobile phone charger, but it never worked terribly well (possibly because there was never enough sun). I've seen chargers that use a sort of miniature wind turbine you attach to the bike, and just the wind resistance of travelling along turns it round.

I don't have all that much gadgetry (or maybe I do - a phone, GPS, radio, MP3 player), but it would be handy to be able to charge batteries rather than carrying lots of spares.

Does anyone have any experience with any particular devices?

Posts

  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    The most popular source of mobile power is the dynamo. However, using it for anything other than lighting is only recently starting to catch on.
    You would be best off with a decent hub dynamo.
    Power sources range from the cheap to the expensive.
    There are also options that have internal batteries that charge from the dynamo so you can charge other devices later, like you would with a powermonkey (Zzing, Pedalpower).

    Note that a GPS has a comparatively heavy use of power (3Wh per day), which will take about 2 hours worth of USB output.
  • Magnus ThorMagnus Thor Posts: 239
    I saw something that might work at SJS recently. You need a hub dynamo for it, so it's going to be a sizable investment but it should allow you to charge devices during longer tours.

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-Busc ... -21393.htm
  • psmiffypsmiffy Posts: 236
    http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/lh/photo/yMAaacFfVJy7G81gp7wHTw?feat=directlink

    I use one of these when I am camping at sites- takes away all the worries of leaving your stuff in exposed places - I am more than happy to pay for the electricity - has cost me a lot less than what I have wasted buying solar panels etc - though my next move will be a SON and a B&M thingy
  • ralexralex Posts: 85
    Dahon are producing this, it says available from March 2010 but I couldn't find it anywhere so I emailed them and they said it will be available in the UK around end of May 2010. Same sort of idea as the Zzing by the looks of it. They didn't say what the price would be though.[/url]
  • Flash 72Flash 72 Posts: 76
    I found this a few weeks ago it looks interesting
    http://www.bumm.de/index-e.html?docu/361e.htm
    If I only scrape a livin, at least it's living worth sraping for
  • ralexralex Posts: 85
    Flash 72 wrote:
    I found this a few weeks ago it looks interesting
    http://www.bumm.de/index-e.html?docu/361e.htm

    Thats the third link to the same B&M E-Werk device in this thread, see Magnus Thor and andrew_s above.
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    ralex wrote:
    Dahon are producing this, it says available from March 2010 but I couldn't find it anywhere so I emailed them and they said it will be available in the UK around end of May 2010.
    A couple of places (Fudges, DiscountCyclesDirect) are taking pre-orders at about £75.

    Everything except the E-Werk seems to be based around the USB specification (5V, 0.5A). This is plenty for keeping phones and MP3s going, and will cope with a GPS, but a laptop/netbook would probably be too much (as may be an over generous combination of devices).
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    SJS are selling the pedalpower as part of a package, but you can simply buy the cable. I'm planning to use mine with a B&M bottle dynamo and PowerChimp.
  • CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
    ralex wrote:
    Dahon are producing this, it says available from March 2010 but I couldn't find it anywhere so I emailed them and they said it will be available in the UK around end of May 2010. Same sort of idea as the Zzing by the looks of it. They didn't say what the price would be though.[/url]

    I really like the look of this product. I am leaving on a tour on 4th June and would like to get hold of one before I go if possible. I have emailed Dahon to find out if I will be able to get one in time.

    Am I right in thinking all I need to acompany the Dahon unit would be a Dynamo hub? How do I connect that to the unit it's self? Does a wire come out of the wheel somehow?

    If so what Hub would people reccomend?

    Thanks
  • ralexralex Posts: 85
    Ben,
    Take a look at the Zzing as mentioned above by andrew_s, it is more or less the same idea as the Dahon but has a higher capacity battery and is available now.
    http://zzing.de/New-Shop/catalog/produc ... ece3a7ac48
    Any hub dynamo (or indeed bottle dynamo) generating 6v, 3w, should work with these devices. You just connect the dynamo contacts to the device using the supplied cables.
    Spa Cycles do a range of dynamo hubs and build wheels with dynamo hubs, as do other suppliers.
  • CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
    Thanks Ralex. I will have a look at that. Is the power output of the Zzing and the Dahon Reecharge likely to be enough to charge my Garmin 705, Camcorder and Iphone? I appreciate it depends how much I ride and need to recharge etc but in principle should it be sufficient to do one every day when off the bike?
  • flesterflester Posts: 464
    By the way, are your phone, GPS, radio, MP3 player all seperate devices? Can't you get all these in one device? Alternatively, leave all or most of them at home...

    'I do not believe in the three-speed gear at all', the sergeant was saying. 'It is a newfangled instrument, it crucificies the legs, the half of the accidents are due to it.' (From 'The Third Policeman')
  • pimptovimtopimptovimto Posts: 56
    Hi, I bought a zzing a week or so ago, the German seller is great, I got it without paying for it first and when it arrived I tested it before deciding to buy it using pay pal. It does exactly what I expected and a little more.

    You connect it to your hub dynamo which takes about 5 minutes to figure out, it comes with SON connectors but I have a shimano so just followed the instructions as best I could but it worked and was very straight forward in the end using the leads supplied. You plug the lead supplied into the hub and the other end into the zzing. when you spin the wheel the little led light turns on so you know you are charging the zzing. to turn on the output from the zzing to the device you want to charge you just flick the on switch and it starts to charge your device.

    The best thing is that even if the zzing doesnt have any charge in it, it will control the feed from the hub and allow you to power your device directly from the hub.

    I am pretty sure all the others(e-werk,dahon) will work exactly the same as this but this was pretty cheap and I am really impressed with the build quality so far.


    Hope this helps

    PV
  • Never find it a problem - most hotel rooms have sockets
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