Charging whilst cycling touring??

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
EuroV5
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Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby EuroV5 » 13 Jul 2019, 12:10am

Next month I’m cycling from London to Rome and still haven’t got my bike set how I’d like it. I want to keep my iPhone X, Garmin 820 and GoPro batteries charged while I’m cycling. I have a Shimano hub 6V- 3W. I bought a PowerBUG and connected it to my Dynamo but doesn’t seem to charge my phone up just stays the same level of charge (I tried on a 30 mile ride). I’m now looking at the Busch and Müller USB werk or the E-werk.. Would anyone recommend these or another brand maybe??

I will have a anker 10000 mAh power pack with me also

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby Tigerbiten » 13 Jul 2019, 1:07am

Your phone probably needs a higher/steadier charge rate than the dynamo can supply but the power bank probably doesn't.
So keep the power bank charged up off the dynamo then charge the phone from that.
That's the normal way of doing it.

YMMV ............ :D

pwa
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby pwa » 13 Jul 2019, 6:30am

I am not normally a big fan of throwaway single use batteries, but for exceptional events wouldn't it be practical to augment charging by use of something like this, a power bank using AA batteries bought en route?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/392313304394

m-gineering
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby m-gineering » 13 Jul 2019, 7:01am

EuroV5 wrote:Next month I’m cycling from London to Rome and still haven’t got my bike set how I’d like it. I want to keep my iPhone X, Garmin 820 and GoPro batteries charged while I’m cycling. I have a Shimano hub 6V- 3W. I bought a PowerBUG and connected it to my Dynamo but doesn’t seem to charge my phone up just stays the same level of charge (I tried on a 30 mile ride). I’m now looking at the Busch and Müller USB werk or the E-werk.. Would anyone recommend these or another brand maybe??

I will have a anker 10000 mAh power pack with me also


B&M chargers are pretty old, and the USB werk is not without it's troubles. More efficient modern designs which offer more power have taken over, but quite a few of those only available direct
Marten

Touring advice for NL: www.m-gineering.nl/touringg.htm

steve71ni
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby steve71ni » 13 Jul 2019, 7:54am

http://www.adeptelectronics.co.uk/page12.html

These guys do a usb charger ‘velocharger’ for both hub and bottle dynamos. I’ve use both with no issues. Currently on the hub based version. Can keep my iPhone on full charge even when using gps all day.
Steve


I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my stupid phone.

steve71ni
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby steve71ni » 13 Jul 2019, 7:55am

steve71ni wrote:http://www.adeptelectronics.co.uk/page12.html

These guys do a usb charger ‘velocharger’ for both hub and bottle dynamos. I’ve use both with no issues. Currently on the hub based version. Can keep my iPhone on full charge even when using gps all day.
Steve


I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my stupid phone.


Also will charge a power bank style storage battery.


I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my stupid phone.

jonk
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby jonk » 13 Jul 2019, 9:31am

I was initially disappointed that my sohn dynamo didn’t charge my phone, but as said above, use it to drip charge a power pack all day and it gives enough power to recharge all your bits and bobs when you stop.

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Sweep
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby Sweep » 13 Jul 2019, 10:40am

m-gineering wrote:B&M chargers are pretty old, and the USB werk is not without it's troubles. More efficient modern designs which offer more power have taken over, but quite a few of those only available direct


Through the kindness of some folks on here I have one of these. Can you elaborate on these "issues".

Am taking baby steps towards experimenting with this - have a cheapo Shimano dynamo wheel on the way for my experiments.

Hope to charge a powerbank. No desire to charge or run devices directly and no plan to run lights.
Sweep

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andrew_s
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby andrew_s » 13 Jul 2019, 11:48am

Phones mostly aren't really best suited for charging directly from a dynamo charger.
When first connected to a power supply, they will try out how much current they can take before the voltage drops, then stick to that charge rate. That works well to get high power from a wall socket and not more than a laptop running on battery is willing to give, but doesn't work well with a dynamo charger, as the phone will decide on a charge rate before you've really got the bike moving, which could be as low as 100mA. Some dynamo chargers (Igaro, Sinewave) will refrain from supplying any power at all for the first 10 or 20 seconds specifically to avoid this.

Garmins have their own problem, in that many of them will ask whether to continue on battery power when you disconnect the USB lead, and turn off if you don't select the "yes" option within a fairly short period. Since loss of power when you stop riding is interpreted the same way, that means you can negotiate a busy T-junction, only to find it's turned itself off when you check where to go next.

This all means it's often best to charge via a battery pack of some type.
The easy option is just to charge a USB power bank during the day, then use it to charge your gadgets in the evening.
If you want to use dynamo power during the day, you want a power bank that will accept charge from its input, and simultaneously supply power at its output. Most power banks won't do this, so care when buying is important. I use a Zendure A2.

I believe the problem with the USB-werk is that it has a built in battery to supply power to cover short stops and periods when you are going too slowly to generate the required power, but the battery is only small, so if you are riding slowly for too long (eg up a steep, long, hill) it will run flat. The USB-werk then prioritises recharging the battery over supplying power, so rather than getting low power at the USB port, you get none (see above about Garmins).
Last edited by andrew_s on 13 Jul 2019, 11:57am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sweep
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby Sweep » 13 Jul 2019, 11:53am

sorry - read too quickly.

I was aware that the USB werk could have issues.

It's the ewerk I have.

Don't need a cache battery as I will only be using the dynamo to charge a battery.
Sweep

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andrew_s
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby andrew_s » 13 Jul 2019, 12:24pm

Sweep wrote:It's the ewerk I have.

That's what I use, there not having been much choice at the time I got it.
Both 4.9V or 5.6V should be OK for USB charging (I tend to use 5.6 for power banks and 4.9 for direct charging).

The ability to vary the voltage and current is much less useful than it used to be, now that USB charging is ubiquitous.
It did allow the charging of (eg) 3.7V or 7.2V lithium camera batteries (or AA), at a time when you otherwise had to carry a dedicated mains charger, but most cameras will now charge the battery inside the camera via USB, and you can get AA and 18650 batteries with a USB charging port in the side.

Note that charging via a battery involves a significant efficiency hit for the extra voltage conversion steps compared to charging directly. That may mean that you have to ride 20% further to get your gadget charged using an intermediate battery than when charging direct. If you have enough gadgets to run near the limits of what the hub and your route are good for supplying, it's worth considering direct charging.

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Sweep
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby Sweep » 13 Jul 2019, 12:36pm

andrew_s wrote:
Sweep wrote:It's the ewerk I have.

That's what I use, there not having been much choice at the time I got it.
Both 4.9V or 5.6V should be OK for USB charging (I tend to use 5.6 for power banks and 4.9 for direct charging).

The ability to vary the voltage and current is much less useful than it used to be, now that USB charging is ubiquitous.
It did allow the charging of (eg) 3.7V or 7.2V lithium camera batteries (or AA), at a time when you otherwise had to carry a dedicated mains charger, but most cameras will now charge the battery inside the camera via USB, and you can get AA and 18650 batteries with a USB charging port in the side.

Note that charging via a battery involves a significant efficiency hit for the extra voltage conversion steps compared to charging directly. That may mean that you have to ride 20% further to get your gadget charged using an intermediate battery than when charging direct. If you have enough gadgets to run near the limits of what the hub and your route are good for supplying, it's worth considering direct charging.

Many thanks for the reply andrew with the real world experience.
For I have never been sure whether these things work - you read so many variable reports.

Can I ask what size of wheel you are charging from and what your dynamo is?

Also, say on a reasonably flat, say 50 mile ride (typical day touring distance) how much charge do you think you can get into a powerbank?

Am aware of the inbuilt losses of putting power into a powerbank and then taking it out - can live with it.

And I will also be doing a bit of mains charging in spoons - in this country at least :)

I don't really intend to try to run things direct - too much complication - my power needs are simple - smartphone only on intermitendly, have a standard low consumption phone, and the Garmin Etrex takes recharegeable AAs. So on top of that I just need to charge a tablet. May carry a chromebook sometimes but that has to be charged from the mains anyway - and I can do that over a pint including when using it.
Sweep

zenitb
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Another real touring experience ...

Postby zenitb » 13 Jul 2019, 1:29pm

My Busch und Muller Luxos USB/Headlight directly charged my Samsung Galaxy S5 by about 25% per hour at moderate (10-12mph) speeds. I had the phone turned on but in aeroplane mode (so power sapping GSM phone radio turned off) but I had GPS enabled and was running a navigation app (Orux maps - superb Android app btw but not available on iPhone).

If I was climbing steeply I woud hear a beep as the voltage dropped and the phone stopped charging, then another beep as I sped up and the charging recommenced - perfect.

For my French tour I took spare S5 phone batteries and a power brick but never used them since I could just charge "on the go". One thing you had to remember with the Luxos was to push the handlebar switch to turn the headlight off...diverting the power to the USB. Sometimes I forgot this.

When I wired up my Garmin Edge Touring, in contrast, the Garmin just kept resetting every time the voltage dropped - eg at a junction - and demanded I set the GPX route up again. I couldn't be bothered trying to pander to the fussy Garmin so I just slung it in the bottom of the barbag for the rest of the trip and used Orux Maps on the phone . I guess if you really wanted to use the Garmin you would need some sort of buffer battery setup.

I didn't try charging the power brick so not sure quickly that would charge.

Obvs I dont have an iPhone. It's possible they are more fussy about non Apple chargers.

Trip sounds great BTW. :-)

EuroV5
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby EuroV5 » 13 Jul 2019, 1:50pm

I have seen the VeloCharger online. It has some good reviews and some not so good reviews on Amazon.
I’m going to give my PowerBUG another long run and try and charge my Anker battery pack this time.
My touring bike has 28” wheels so I guess I’m getting less revolutions into the dynamo also compared to most smaller wheels..

Gontlib
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Re: Charging whilst cycling touring??

Postby Gontlib » 13 Jul 2019, 1:58pm

I use iPhone 6 and charge it directly from my Dynamo/ewerk. Works well with none of the problems I read about with iPhones.
I tend to charge the phone until 100% then charge my powerbank for the rest of the day.