Electrical gatgetry on tour

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
rualexander
Posts: 2484
Joined: 2 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Contact:

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by rualexander »

I'm just back from two weeks away in Wales and Normandy and kept my new Motorola Defy charged from AA rechargeables via a PowerChimp, the batteries were charged during the day in my B&M Ixon IQ light connected to a Shimano hub dynamo via the B&M Ride & Charge unit which converts the dynamo output to the correct voltage to charge the Ixon IQ batteries.

I don't think the PowerChimp is a very efficient means of getting the power out of the AA rechargeables but 3-4 hours riding was enough to put a 60% charge into my phone which was enough for me.

Phone used for a few texts and maybe 20 -30 minutes internet each day plus the occasional call and some gps use.

The only day when I didn't generate enough power was a really hilly day in Wales when my speed was pretty low for most of the day.
Hilde
Posts: 40
Joined: 15 May 2011, 11:58pm
Location: Germany, Thuringia
Contact:

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by Hilde »

Some people of the German Rad-Forum.de constructed and built a charger, e.g.: http://www.forumslader.de/1-Schaltplan- ... .html#c737

some pics:
http://www.forumslader.de/Montage-und-B ... 129.0.html
and more, some descriptions are in English or brush up your German

Best,
Hilde
Hypocacculus
Posts: 316
Joined: 23 Mar 2010, 2:00pm

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by Hypocacculus »

syklist wrote:I feel the devils advocate in me rising. It must be a full moon.

Maps can be a b*gger to re-fold in a gale, and push back into the essential waterproof map holder. Even the ones printed on waterproof paper with waterproof ink suffer from getting soaked. Or you make your own maps, printed on A4 paper, and just as you need to make a vital navigational decision the wind gusts, grabs the paper out of your hand and takes it far away from you. Your maps have to live in a waterproof bag. The same applies to the book you write your journal in. Even then, on a fine dry morning, as you are reviewing your journal entry for the day before, you accidently spill your morning coffee on the book and you're in trouble.

Then there is the weight of maps. In 2009, we cycled the NSCR from Nieuweschans to Hirthals (three guide books and three maps) before crossing to Larvik in Norway to cycle two routes across the south. That was another two guide books and one map. Then we picked a short guide to cover three days cycling in Oslomarka at the end of the trip. That's a lot more weight than a modern smartphone or GPS system that can be used for the same navigational tasks. Plus you can charge a smartphone or a GPS from a hub dynamo at negligible extra drag. Certainly a lot less effort powering an efficient hub dynamo than carrying a library of maps with you.


it was the devil in me that made me post in the first place - I didn't think I'd get away without any abuse.

Your comments are fair, although I wouldn't say a guide book is an equivalent substitute for a GPS. Maps can be annotated, just like a GPS can be programmed and the guide book left at home. The chances of being let down by a map are no greater than being let down by a GPS. Or I'm much luckier than you - I've never lost a map to the weather, although they might come back looking a little unhappy. I would choose a wet map over a sulking/confused GPS any time and I'd feel very uneasy travelling entirely without a map (I've used a GPS a lot whilst sailing by the way so I'm not totally ignorant, but I still prefer charts). But I guess that is an age thing.

But that wasn't really why I made my comments. It was more a vote for the romance and simplicity of maps. Nobody got wanderlust looking at a GPS receiver.
User avatar
syklist
Posts: 1229
Joined: 19 May 2008, 6:43pm

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by syklist »

Hypocacculus wrote:
it was the devil in me that made me post in the first place - I didn't think I'd get away without any abuse.

Your comments are fair, although I wouldn't say a guide book is an equivalent substitute for a GPS. Maps can be annotated, just like a GPS can be programmed and the guide book left at home. The chances of being let down by a map are no greater than being let down by a GPS. Or I'm much luckier than you - I've never lost a map to the weather, although they might come back looking a little unhappy. I would choose a wet map over a sulking/confused GPS any time and I'd feel very uneasy travelling entirely without a map (I've used a GPS a lot whilst sailing by the way so I'm not totally ignorant, but I still prefer charts). But I guess that is an age thing.

But that wasn't really why I made my comments. It was more a vote for the romance and simplicity of maps. Nobody got wanderlust looking at a GPS receiver.

Yes, I actually was agreeing with you :) Too much technology (edit) but all alternatives have downsides.

I've been following a Norwegian course to improve my skills and discovered that I find it very much easier to create Norwegian texts with a pencil and paper than when using a computer. Unfortunately most of the course material is web based, and I've not been able to get on with it at all. Give me a grammar book and an exercise book any day.

There is a tremendous freedom that comes from being able to annote maps and books. Doodles, comments, how good a campsite was etc. I've not, as yet experienced the same freedom when using an electronic device.
So long and thanks for all the fish...
User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by meic »

syklist wrote:
dmhouse wrote:My experience with dynamos has been limited to rim ones that powered a lamp, and were pretty non-favourable. Do they not make it much harder to cycle? My phone take ~3hrs to charge from the mains, could a hub dynamo really output that amount of energy over the day?

I have a SON hub dynamo hooked up to a B&M Ixon IQ via a (modified) Ride & Charge. In flatter areas it will charge a set of four 2000+mAh AA batteries in a day's cycling (6-8 hours). The efficiency of the system drops as average speed drops. So on tours in Norway it might take up to three cycling days to get reasonably charge. About enough to keep a GPS and one camera in batteries. I do take an AA battery fast mains charger as well just in case.

I doubt you'd notice the drag of a SON or the newer Shimano hub dynamos whilst touring. I certainly don't.


You have got my curiosity here, as a Ride and Charge owner (not much of a user though :oops: ) what sort of modification and why?
Yma o Hyd
User avatar
syklist
Posts: 1229
Joined: 19 May 2008, 6:43pm

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by syklist »

meic wrote:
syklist wrote:
dmhouse wrote:My experience with dynamos has been limited to rim ones that powered a lamp, and were pretty non-favourable. Do they not make it much harder to cycle? My phone take ~3hrs to charge from the mains, could a hub dynamo really output that amount of energy over the day?

I have a SON hub dynamo hooked up to a B&M Ixon IQ via a (modified) Ride & Charge. In flatter areas it will charge a set of four 2000+mAh AA batteries in a day's cycling (6-8 hours). The efficiency of the system drops as average speed drops. So on tours in Norway it might take up to three cycling days to get reasonably charge. About enough to keep a GPS and one camera in batteries. I do take an AA battery fast mains charger as well just in case.

I doubt you'd notice the drag of a SON or the newer Shimano hub dynamos whilst touring. I certainly don't.


You have got my curiosity here, as a Ride and Charge owner (not much of a user though :oops: ) what sort of modification and why?

I have added a switch to the cabling placed next to the gear shifter on the handlebars. The switch is two pole: in one position the IXON IQ is charging, in the other the dynamo lights come on. This is useful when passing through long tunnels as I have the B&M IQ Fly headlight plus the IXON IQ on at the same time. It doubles the light output. Once out of the tunnel I switch the IXON off and then flick the switch to turn off the dynamo lights and carry on charging the batteries. It is also useful if there is a lot of light but poor visibility (spray/rain on a summers day). I can turn on my dynamo lights manually and be certain that they will stay on.

The minor disadvantage of this modification is that the Ride and Charge cannot easily be moved from one bike to another. So I've ordered a couple more and will do the same on some other bikes :)
So long and thanks for all the fish...
User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by meic »

Did you dispense with the Trailermatic switch at the same time?

It is meant to perform the same function by unplugging the lead but I can see that this is more fiddly than just pressing a switch. Especially if its excessive bulk means that it has to be mounted out of reach while riding the bike.
Yma o Hyd
User avatar
syklist
Posts: 1229
Joined: 19 May 2008, 6:43pm

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by syklist »

meic wrote:Did you dispense with the Trailermatic switch at the same time?

It is meant to perform the same function by unplugging the lead but I can see that this is more fiddly than just pressing a switch. Especially if its excessive bulk means that it has to be mounted out of reach while riding the bike.

Yes in effect. I did make sure that when I cut the cable that I retained what looks like a small electrical component in the middle of the cable. I decided early on that the Trailermate plug was good for a trailer but useless for what I wanted. I will be fitting a similar system to Mrs Syklists bike soon. I got the parts from a good electronics store in Utrecht, including the waterproof switch cover. I will be buying a larger box for the switch next time.
Light/charging switch modification. Central wire comes from the dynamo other wires go to the dynamo lights and the IXON IQ.
Light/charging switch modification. Central wire comes from the dynamo other wires go to the dynamo lights and the IXON IQ.
So long and thanks for all the fish...
User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by meic »

So did you cut off most of that ridiculously long and heavy coil of wire on the Ride n Charge cable?

Was the inner wire nice and thick enough to work on with soldering iron or crimping tools?
Is it a co-axial cable or just covered in a lot of protective rubber?
Yma o Hyd
User avatar
syklist
Posts: 1229
Joined: 19 May 2008, 6:43pm

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by syklist »

meic wrote:So did you cut off most of that ridiculously long and heavy coil of wire on the Ride n Charge cable?

Was the inner wire nice and thick enough to work on with soldering iron or crimping tools?
Is it a co-axial cable or just covered in a lot of protective rubber?

Yes I cut off the excess when I was sure I didn't need it. Can't remember if the cable was coaxial or not, in any case I had no problems making the connection to the switch. One problem is that I was unable to source the long narrow plug that plugs into the IXON. Not from Conrad, Maplin or RS. It might have worked with a shorter plug but it was easier to take the Ride & Charge and cannibalise it.

It has worked fine for a couple of seasons, except my IXON IQ just died on the last outing :( The electronics seem to have gone. I have ordered a new one to cheer me up :)
So long and thanks for all the fish...
User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by meic »

My electronics board failed on my Ixon IQ, we phoned up B&M in Germany and they asked us to post it back, it was inspected and a new one sent out to us.
No questions were asked about purchase dates, receipts etc etc.

My wife spoke to Frau Mai at customer services as my German isnt too good and my wife got the feeling that they know there is a problem (my problems started immediately after using the RnC but I did mis-use it!) and they just sort it out with no more hassle to the customer than postage costs to Germany.

The letter with the new light did say the old one had been inspected and found to be faulty.
Yma o Hyd
jmrees
Posts: 15
Joined: 22 Sep 2010, 9:54pm

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by jmrees »

I'm going camping for three weeks in the summer, some cycling some walking, and need to keep my smartphone charged. I took up a recommendation from an earlier post and bought one of these battery packs on Amazon: New Trent Extreme Pack IMP1000 11000mAh. When it arrived I charged it up fully and it took about 5 hours. Since then I have only charged my phone from that to see how many charges I can get. i have fully charged my HTC Wildfire from empty to full 6 times so far, and the battery pack is still showing 2 of the 3 LEDs, so there is clearly plenty more charge in it. The phone charges in about the same time it takes from the mains. If I get another 2 charges of the phone off it, I reckon that will get me through three weeks of camping, though I may need to recharge the pack once, certainly not more. It's heavy at 270gm and quite bulky, and also not cheap, but will certainly do the job for me. Comes with mains charger, neat drawstring bag and two adaptors, neat retractable USB cable.
User avatar
syklist
Posts: 1229
Joined: 19 May 2008, 6:43pm

Re: Electrical gatgetry on tour

Post by syklist »

meic wrote:My electronics board failed on my Ixon IQ, we phoned up B&M in Germany and they asked us to post it back, it was inspected and a new one sent out to us.
No questions were asked about purchase dates, receipts etc etc.

Thanks for the tip. I'll send them an email. B&M have been quick to answer queries in the past.
So long and thanks for all the fish...
Post Reply