Power Banks

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
steady eddy
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Power Banks

Postby steady eddy » 12 Mar 2018, 2:57pm

As an alternative to buying a Garmin I have been playing around with apps on my phone, particularly the OS app with offline maps downloaded as part of a paper map purchase and also using Ride with GPS. With the os app I can download audax GPX files straight in to it and the route appears as a plot which is really useful but only if the phone lasts the day!

However neither of these have proved very successful over a whole day as my 4 year old I phone runs flat too quickly. I see that the newly opened B and M home store here in Lowestoft has Goodmans power banks for £6-99. They are about the same size as the phone and apparently hold sufficient power to recharge the phone twice.Is this the answer to my problem. How well do they work? Can I leave the phone plugged in to a power bank all day to provide enough juice to run these power hungry apps or do I have to wait until the phone is "on its knees" before I plug in.

Help please?

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Mick F
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Re: Power Banks

Postby Mick F » 12 Mar 2018, 3:25pm

My iPhone works fine when connected to a power bank.
I did it like that only last week. I was halfway through a long phone call using the speaker when I noticed I was down to 16%, so rather then fish out the power USB socket thingy, I connected up to the power bank that sits on the shelf fully charged.

I connected up, and dropped the unit into my pocket on then of the lead, and was able to carry on the call whilst powered by the power bank whilst remaining "mobile" and being able to walk round the house.

Therefore, I see no reason at all that the power bank cannot be used permanently to expand the useable battery.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Vantage
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Re: Power Banks

Postby Vantage » 12 Mar 2018, 4:57pm

You'll be perfectly fine. The power bank will power your phone whilst charging the built in battery. When fully charged it'll just continue to power your phone.
Bill


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david7591
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Re: Power Banks

Postby david7591 » 12 Mar 2018, 5:41pm

What’s the problem using a Garmin?

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mjr
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Re: Power Banks

Postby mjr » 12 Mar 2018, 5:51pm

david7591 wrote:What’s the problem using a Garmin?

Expensive, buggy, closed, user-unfriendly and it's more kit to cart around, attach/detach and charge.

The biggest power consumer on most phones is the screen, so I tend to use voice prompts or at least the settings to only illuminate the screen around turns.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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nirakaro
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Re: Power Banks

Postby nirakaro » 12 Mar 2018, 8:02pm

Most power banks seem to have a stated capacity, in milliamp-hours. However when I ran a brand new one down through a meter, I found that its actual output was around 60% of that – it seems the 'capacity' is what you can put into it, not what it will give out. Making an allowance for that, you can compare its capacity with that of your phone battery, to get a sense of how long you'll get out of it.

Postboxer
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Re: Power Banks

Postby Postboxer » 12 Mar 2018, 9:41pm

I got one from eBay which works, the hard part is making sure it stays plugged in the top of my top tube bag, it has two different USB ports for 1A or 2.1A outputs, I tend to set off without it for a bit and see how it's going, then plug in to the 1A socket then occasionally check to see how the battery life is going, it's usually slowly increasing so I leave it, if I then find it going down for whatever reason, I can use the higher output to charge the phone quicker. I'm not sure if this is the best way of using it, or whether it's best to start with it plugged in with the phone charged already.

Vorpal
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Re: Power Banks

Postby Vorpal » 12 Mar 2018, 9:48pm

We have a couple of power banks. I find them quite handy. The smallest one (about the size my phone, only thicker) fully charged has recharged my phone several times (3?) before I had to plug it in. I used it camping. Mr. V has recharged his tablet computer a couple of times on it, as well. I don't know the brand, but it seems quite good to me.

Also, if you have lunch, or just a snack, in a cafe or something, you can often charge a phone, there.
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Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Power Banks

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 12 Mar 2018, 9:53pm

Whenever I’m in a mission, I carry 2 or 3 power banks, and a usb lead for the Garmin. I’ll attach one to my phone, and keep the spares for whatever needs them most. I got a couple of lower power store ones, from Poundland, and a couple of more substantial ones from a gadget shop, and a Primark ( oddly ) they have saved my bacon on more than one occasions.

Psamathe
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Re: Power Banks

Postby Psamathe » 12 Mar 2018, 10:09pm

Or, depending on the model of phone (and your own abilities) check out e.g. amazon/eBay/etc. to see if there are 3rd party replacement batteries for your phone. Often (depending on model of phone) low cost and not to difficult to install (I did an iPod Nano many years ago and it was pretty straightforward).

Ian

cjchambers
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Re: Power Banks

Postby cjchambers » 12 Mar 2018, 11:09pm

Be careful with the very cheap ones . . . they tend to have either over-stated capacity (as nirakaro mentions) but worse than that, some have poor charging control and can overcharge, overheat etc. EE gave away over a million cheap ones and ended up recalling them all at huge expense after someone got burned :?

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Cunobelin
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Re: Power Banks

Postby Cunobelin » 13 Mar 2018, 6:42am

Marcus Aurelius wrote:Whenever I’m in a mission, I carry 2 or 3 power banks, and a usb lead for the Garmin. I’ll attach one to my phone, and keep the spares for whatever needs them most. I got a couple of lower power store ones, from Poundland, and a couple of more substantial ones from a gadget shop, and a Primark ( oddly ) they have saved my bacon on more than one occasions.



Beware of the leads with Garmin....

There are power and data leads, the live terminals deciding which it is

The former will power your Garmin with no problems, in fact they used to package the Power Monkey in some cases

However if you have a data lead, then the Garmin will think it is a computer and switch into "Storage" mode making it useless

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Mick F
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Re: Power Banks

Postby Mick F » 13 Mar 2018, 7:02am

mjr wrote:
david7591 wrote:What’s the problem using a Garmin?

Expensive, buggy, closed, user-unfriendly and it's more kit to cart around, attach/detach and charge.
Yes, no, no, yes.

............. but it depends on which one you have.
Mick F. Cornwall

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tykeboy2003
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Re: Power Banks

Postby tykeboy2003 » 13 Mar 2018, 8:37am

steady eddy wrote: Can I leave the phone plugged in to a power bank all day


According to my son (he's doing a Chemistry PhD concerned with electro-chemistry) Lithium batteries last longer if you don't let them completely discharge too often (exactly opposite to the old NiCads) so yes, plug the power bank in and enjoy your ride.

steady eddy
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Re: Power Banks

Postby steady eddy » 13 Mar 2018, 9:49am

In response to the "what's wrong with a Garmin" question - probably nothing - I simply don't have one, but I do have a phone which seems to offer me the same thing - but with a poor battery life - without the expense of buying another gadget.

With a power bank and a Lezyne phone caddy I can have my phone visible all the time, instead of in my pocket and I have spent £30 instead of £180 on an eTrex 30 or nearly £300 on a more upmarket model. So that's at least £130 to spend on cake.

Isn't that why we go cycling or have I got something wrong here?