hamster wrote:Consider swapping the solar panel for a front dyno hub?
That was my original plan but I can get what looks like a descent solar panel for £50 whereas a hub costs a bit more. Plus I can hang a solar panel on my tent when not on the move (I'll probably be on shorter distances than most seasoned tourers here!). Timescales as well. But I'm very open to being told solar panels are daft or anything else I'm doing wrong (I'd rather learn from other peoples' mistakes rather than repeat them myself!).
As for the solar/hub debate...A lot of it depends on your needs and your touring style as well as how many electronic devices you bring and use.
Short tours with stops at pubs/cafes/restaurants means that you can just bring a powerbank and charge that when you stop.
A solar panel is finnicky in that you're depending on the weather and the mounting on the bike. They work best when facing the sun directly - not always possible on a bike. Don't know about you, but in hot, sunny weather I'm looking for the shady roads!
They do have the advantage that if you stop frequently you can charge up as well as when you set up camp. That's when it comes into its own.
A Dynohub of course, is generating so long as you're moving at a reasonable pace. And that is important - a reasonable pace.
They are a lot more complicated though. You need the hub and a system for channelling the power to your device or battery pack. There's a number of options on the market some more expensive than others. The choice in this area opens up a whole new set of decisions to make!
In my case, I just used a battery pack when I was staying in hotels/B&Bs. All I needed was to charge a phone & tablet. Didn't use it, other than the comfort factor of having the juice if I needed it.
When I went on a 3 month tour to Spain I brought a 3 panel solar panel that I strapped on the back of the bike. It worked, but optimally when I was stopped. (I stop a lot!
)That time I was powering a phone, tablet & kindle.
Now I've added a Dynohub because I love the sensation of being totally independent. I was upgrading my wheel, so the cost wasn't as excessive as it could have been.
It powers my front light or is charging a powerbank. I generate enough juice every day to power my gear - phone, tablet, Wahoo Elemnt as well as a reserve to top up kindle and rechargable batteries on an average speed of 18 kph and distance from 70-100 km, 26 inch wheels.
Now, for a longer tour where I want to be independent I have both options covered. Dynohub for on the move, panel for when stopped or at camp.
Something I noticed in Spain and am seeing it more often around here -NL, Belgium, Germany is that access to powerpoints in campsites are becoming less available (I stayed in a campsite near Leuven in Belgium recently and they had no working powerpoints in the public areas) or you have to pay a small charge to charge phones/powerbanks in reception (quite common in Northern Spain). You can, of course, pay for an electrical connection at your tent.
For reference, I use a Son 28 hub, Cycle2Charge usb adapter, RavPower Solar Panel (9W) and RavPower powerbanks.
Hope this helps!