busch muller ewerks alternatives

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
timbob
Posts: 22
Joined: 24 Dec 2012, 4:36pm

busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby timbob » 29 Apr 2013, 10:07am

Hello,

Getting ready for my cycling trip across France in June. And thinking about adding an ewerks to my bike. However wonder if there are any other cheaper and recommend alternatives around?

Seen a few from China that some people has used.

mrjemm
Posts: 2933
Joined: 20 Nov 2011, 4:33pm

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby mrjemm » 29 Apr 2013, 10:33am

No idea if anyone knows anything about it, or even if it's available in the UK, but I saw this on CGOAB the other day, and it looks OK-

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/reviews/ ... sted=0&v=X

The Bright Bike Revolution. http://www.brightbikelabs.com/

Otherwise, the Tout Terrain Plug 2 is another similar thing that did have a good reputation but it's also pricey, and folk here never talk about it (I think it's the black sheep of the family that they're all in denial about).

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17179
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby [XAP]Bob » 29 Apr 2013, 10:51am

I use a Biologic ReeCharge.

Apparently the rectifier isn't well protected, and therefore shouldn't be left connected to an unloaded dynamo if it has no output load, but that's not an issue for me (permanent lights, and a switch for the rectifier)

Works very nicely to keep my phone on and navigating - or to run my dual cameras for commuting...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Elizabethsdad
Posts: 1158
Joined: 15 Jan 2011, 7:09pm

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby Elizabethsdad » 29 Apr 2013, 11:21am

I don't think it is any cheaper but the Exposure Lights dynamo light has a smart port that you can plug their USB booster cable into to charge up mobile devices.

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby meic » 29 Apr 2013, 11:34am

timbob wrote:Hello,

Getting ready for my cycling trip across France in June. And thinking about adding an ewerks to my bike. However wonder if there are any other cheaper and recommend alternatives around?

Seen a few from China that some people has used.



It does depend somewhat on what you are hoping to power and how much equipment you have already invested in.

If you can live with just USB then the most expensive model of the new Luxus headlight is a compact and simple way of providing excellent light and USB take off (with a standby function to stop irritating interruptions to the power supply).
There is another cheaper light with a USB takeoff but I dont remember if it has a standby.

If you just want AA batteries then an Ixon IQ and a ride and charge is a relatively cheap way of getting a good light and AA battery charging but with a spaghetti mess of heavy wiring and oversize connectors.

The Ewerks provides all different sorts of power but is expensive.
Yma o Hyd

tim_f
Posts: 248
Joined: 12 Oct 2009, 10:37pm

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby tim_f » 29 Apr 2013, 1:04pm

Kemo-M172 is inexpensive.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kemo-M172-Bicycle-charge-controller/dp/B003JBAX8Q

it has a mini usb plug on the so one can use it with the many battery packs that have this as an input.

more info here http://fahrradzukunft.de/12/steckdose-unterwegs-2/

davebike
Posts: 3
Joined: 29 Apr 2013, 3:46pm

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby davebike » 29 Apr 2013, 3:49pm

The Bright-Bike Revolution is available in the UK - they have an option for international shipping on their website.

I think it's a pretty new product, which explains the lack of reviews out there.

User avatar
andrew_s
Posts: 5072
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 9:29pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby andrew_s » 29 Apr 2013, 4:56pm

The obvious alternative to the B+M e-Werk is the USB-werk - a cheaper version that does 5V USB output only, and has a small cache battery so you don't lose power at traffic lights. You won't get the same variety of connectors supplied, but it's reliably waterproof (as far as the USB socket anyway), efficient and won't blow up if you leave it connected with nothing plugged in, which has been a problem with some devices.
Lights with USB sockets built in are the B+M Luxos 179U (about £130) AS ALREADY MENTIONED, the Axa Luxx 70+, and the Axa Nano 50+ (I think this is the small Axa). The B+M has a cache battery.

User avatar
BeeKeeper
Posts: 1265
Joined: 29 Apr 2011, 6:45am
Location: South Devon

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby BeeKeeper » 29 Apr 2013, 6:09pm

I hadn't seen the USB-Werk before, but it is a bit cheaper than the full version and to be honest I think is all most people would probably need - everything I charge I do through the USB adaptor. It is just over £60.00 from these people (where I bought my E-Werk last year): http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/k341/a ... rk-ac.html (You can change languages and prices from the top right hand corner of the page.)

davebike
Posts: 3
Joined: 29 Apr 2013, 3:46pm

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby davebike » 29 Apr 2013, 6:52pm

A couple quirks I noticed from the USB-WERK manual -
  • once the small internal battery is discharged, the USB output is shut off unit the battery charges up a bit
  • It only works with a dynamo. Most others work with cigarette outlets and E-Bike batteries, but the USB-WERK removed that capability. AC only...

User avatar
speedsixdave
Posts: 693
Joined: 19 Apr 2007, 1:48pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby speedsixdave » 29 Apr 2013, 9:54pm

I fitted an Axa Luxx 70 Plus at the weekend. First impressions are that (a) it's rather ugly compared to the B&M Cyo it's replaced; (b) it's a bit heavier; (c) the switch is rubbish; but (d) it charges my phone above about 10mph. Which is nice. That's with a SON delux. If you're generating power anyway, you might as well use it!

I don't know yet whether the thing will provide enough power to keep my massive phone running all day with the GPS and the screen bright, but it will certainly be better than not at all. Will report back further in the future.

I will be using the Cyo on another bike, so nothing is lost, but overall the SON delux and the Axa is a lovely but quite an expensive way of keeping your phone charged. There are of course cheaper hub dynamos. But you could buy a lot of batteries for £200.

I suspect a more cost-effective plan would be to buy a set of rechargable AAs plus a charger, then a device which will charge your phone from the AAs when the phone dies. Then charge both from the mains overnight. But this does obviously require electric sockets, and is not as elegant.
Big wheels good, small wheels better.
Two saddles best!

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17179
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby [XAP]Bob » 29 Apr 2013, 10:15pm

cheaper dynohubs are generally an option. I'd run a shimano hub if they did a stub axle version (maybe even two)

With current technology I'm happy with my lights, I do have a rear flasher on batteries, but that's treated as a fog light...

The BIG benefit is that the lights are just always there and ready...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

User avatar
interestedcp
Posts: 309
Joined: 5 Jan 2012, 3:34pm

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby interestedcp » 30 Apr 2013, 12:29am

timbob wrote:Hello,

Getting ready for my cycling trip across France in June. And thinking about adding an ewerks to my bike. However wonder if there are any other cheaper and recommend alternatives around?

Seen a few from China that some people has used.


I would go with the B&M USB-Werk if it is something you want to rely on. It is probably the one of the best hub chargers on the market. Some of the cheaper USB chargers are very inefficient, may self destruct in fast descents (overload), only charge at +15 km/h, not waterproof, unable to charge while the light is on etc.

A word of caution: the standards for charging power hungry USB devices are a bit of a mess, with several different standards. The main point is, that you can't necessarily use any standard computer USB cable between the hub charging device and the device. A so called "charging USB cable" is highly recommended (is has pin D+ and pin D- shorted). http://www.dx.com has a wide selection of charging cables for different smartphones and GPS devices.

It may be necessary to change options in the USB devices firmware /configuration, to make things work. Eg. some GPS devices won't work while charging. Changing the setup to "work while charging" or similar may solve the problem.

Some devices really misbehave when charging straight from a hub charger; The variable power output and the stopping and starting, may freak it out, so it stops charging, or the screen gets filled with error messages about power lost etc. Sometimes a correction can be made in the devices setup so it work properly. But a good general solution is a so called "cache/buffer battery". Such a cache battery ensures a steady power output to the connected USB device.

Even if the hub charging device is completely waterproof, the standard USB connection between the charging cable and the USB device will never be. So if you want to charge a device in the rain, the USB device and its connection must be physically protected from the rain. A good bar bag may give adequate protection, so include this possibility when running the cables.

Some charging devices, like the Basta Nano, uses a standard USB female socket. Since this isn't waterproof, it can't charge devices when it rains, and the USB socket must be covered when the cable is out, or water ingress may happen.

Other devices, like the Kemo M172 uses a fixed proprietary cable, so the charging device can be waterproof. But this can be a very inflexible solution, eg. the Kemo M172 terminates in a USB Mini B plug, while many modern devices now uses Micro USB plugs. Adapters between different USB plug standards is something to avoid on a moving and shaking platform like a bicycle.

IMO, a good check list for hub charger that works with the maximum number of devices are:
1. The charger terminates in a female USB socket. That way the connected device can use its own, perhaps non-standard, charging cable.
2. The charger is waterproof, also when it charges a device (though the device it self must be protected from the rain by eg. a bar bag).
3. It has a in-build cache battery, or a cache battery is attached to it.
4. The lamp will function partially when charging.

Efficiency and other electrical measurements are of course difficult to know. For people who understand German, the free online magazine, Fahrad Zukunft, has three article with lots of factual measurements of many hub chargers:
http://fahrradzukunft.de/13/steckdose-unterwegs-3/
http://fahrradzukunft.de/12/steckdose-unterwegs-2/
http://fahrradzukunft.de/11/steckdose-unterwegs/

The B&M USB-Werk isn't tested, but the E-Werk is, and it pretty much beats the commercial competition with a fair margin.
Last edited by interestedcp on 30 Apr 2013, 12:50am, edited 1 time in total.
--
Regards

User avatar
interestedcp
Posts: 309
Joined: 5 Jan 2012, 3:34pm

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby interestedcp » 30 Apr 2013, 12:49am

davebike wrote:A couple quirks I noticed from the USB-WERK manual -
  • once the small internal battery is discharged, the USB output is shut off unit the battery charges up a bit


This is best possible behaviour. Some devices require a steady charging load, or else they start to give trouble. Eg. riding up hill, may produce a very variable power output, so the device may freak out and fill the screen with "power lost" messages every second, or may simply shut down any charging attempts, because it sees the varying output as a failed charger.

Such devices behaves much better with a cache battery that ensures a steady voltage and load. So if the cache battery runs dry, it is better that chargers partially fills up the battery first, instead of just feeding variable power directly to the device.
--
Regards

davebike
Posts: 3
Joined: 29 Apr 2013, 3:46pm

Re: busch muller ewerks alternatives

Postby davebike » 30 Apr 2013, 3:03am

interestedcp, I do have to agree with you - the behavior of the cache battery is pretty good. I still am disappointed by the lack of DC compatibility, though.

I've actually owned and tested a lot of the chargers that have been mentioned in this thread, and I do have to give credit to the Bright-Bike Revolution. I don't have a USB-WERK yet, but the Revolution actually came in a few ticks above the E-WERK, at least in my testing.