Dynamo set up - going for a SON, what else do I need?

sabian92

Über Member
Afternoon,

As above really. I've decided on a SON dynamo for my Disc Trucker but I don't know what else I need to charge things.

It'll be for charging my phone (Nexus 5) and powering front/rear lights - that's about it really. Is it one or the other or both at the same time?

Cheers.
 
Location
Loch side.
You'll also need a charge plug of sorts to give you a USB port. SuperNova makes one that fits inside the steerer tube and uses a modified expander and cap. Don't expect to get a fast charge for the phone from that. The dynamo only puts out 3W and smartphones phones require much more. Since you have chosen a great dynamo, why not get a SuperNova front light as well, It has a capacitor inside that keeps a little bit of a charge so that when you stop, the light doesn't stop immediately but shines for another minute or two.
 

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
All decent dynamo lights include a standlight function.

For the USB power, there are two ways to do it. First, some dynamo headlights have a built-in USB socket. Second, there are devices like the E-Werk which connect in parallel to the dynamo hub and provide a range of plug-in adapters, one of which is a USB socket. The latter is the setup I have on my Brompton:

brompton-ben8-17.jpg


brompton-ben8-04-2.jpg


brompton-ben8-05.jpg


In my case, powering a Garmin Virb, but you can obviously power anything you like.
 

fossala

Veteran
Location
Cornwall
I have a cinq5/tout-terrain/supernova (why so many names?) plug III. It charges AA batteries by usb for my garmin etrex 30 and also charges my phone. It works and looks clean. I've heard of problems with iPhones though.
 

Cringles

Well-Known Member
Location
Northern Ireland
I have a cinq5/tout-terrain/supernova (why so many names?) plug III. It charges AA batteries by usb for my garmin etrex 30 and also charges my phone. It works and looks clean. I've heard of problems with iPhones though.
Also have the same set up. I find some models of smart phones require you to charge when the phone is off, as the output of the Plug is only 5V, which isn't enough, when the phone is on, at least in my experience, Samsung S3 & S5. . Apart from that, yup, nice tidy set up. I just use a separate battery pack for my phone, or charge it if I'm in a cafe or something. Galaxy S5 has a good ultra saving mode, can get close to a week if I use the phone in that mode. Very basic functions, txt & calls only really.
 

fossala

Veteran
Location
Cornwall
Also have the same set up. I find some models of smart phones require you to charge when the phone is off, as the output of the Plug is only 5V, which isn't enough, when the phone is on, at least in my experience, Samsung S3 & S5. . Apart from that, yup, nice tidy set up. I just use a separate battery pack for my phone, or charge it if I'm in a cafe or something. Galaxy S5 has a good ultra saving mode, can get close to a week if I use the phone in that mode. Very basic functions, txt & calls only really.
You can use a battery pack from cinq5 to charge up the s5. It's around 100 quid though.
 

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
I find some models of smart phones require you to charge when the phone is off, as the output of the Plug is only 5V, which isn't enough
5v is the correct output for USB; I think you mean the amperage, rather than the voltage, is insufficient.
 
OP
S

sabian92

Über Member
Righty-ho, I reckon some sort of light/USB combination is the way to go then.

Presume it's essentially like this:

Dynamo - some sort of device like the E-werk - Light/USB?

Also - is it worth splashing out for a cache battery? Keeping in mind that it'd only give my phone (as an example) half a charge if it was fully charged? That is without pedaling mind, so very worst case scenario.
 

fossala

Veteran
Location
Cornwall
Righty-ho, I reckon some sort of light/USB combination is the way to go then.

Presume it's essentially like this:

Dynamo - some sort of device like the E-werk - Light/USB?

Also - is it worth splashing out for a cache battery? Keeping in mind that it'd only give my phone (as an example) half a charge if it was fully charged? That is without pedaling mind, so very worst case scenario.
I use a piggyback connection to the dynamo. http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/schmidt-cable-connector-non-insulated-48-mm-female-with-piggyback-connector-pack-of-20-prod23165/ I'll take pictures if needed.

I'm going to be buying a battery pack but I don't have one yet.
 
OP
S

sabian92

Über Member
That's what I have. Alternatively, you can do: dynamo > light with USB socket > phone, which will be cheaper but won't give as much power.
Can you power both lights and a phone if you have a system like the E-werk though? Rather than having Dynamo - lights/USB output?
 

andym

Über Member
Can you power both lights and a phone if you have a system like the E-werk though? Rather than having Dynamo - lights/USB output?
I'm assuming that that's the idea of the piggyback connector. (But I'm just a curious bystander so I don't know nothing).

It's the same amount of power to go round, so for me the ideal would be the ability to have dynamo-powered lights when you need them and turn them off when you don't. I'm sure there must be at least one way of doing that.
 

andrew_s

Guru
Location
Gloucester
You can connect the dynamo to both the E-werk and the light using either the piggyback connectors that fossala linked, or by permanently wiring both into the same plugs.
However, you have to bear in mind that the available power is limited, so if you try to use both at once you'll get a lower charge rate and a dimmer light. It's OK for a GPS backlight and your bike light though.
 

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
There's no noticeable dimming of the light when using USB power simultaneously, which isn't surprising: SON dynamos are so efficient that the light is at full brightness even at around 5mph.
 
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