Velocharger?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Blue Hills, 1 Jan 2018.

  1. OP
    OP
    Blue Hills

    Blue Hills Guru

    Location:
    London
    Thanks for the advice. Will check it out again. Though it does have lots of switching options which I don't need. I will be using raleighnut's system of charging a powerbank and then recharging from that. That approach seems to avoid lots of complications with neurotic devices switching on and off because they don't like what they are being fed.

    Ah raleighnut, i guess that you have (so far) ignored the siren call of the smartphone :smile:

    Me too, I use a nice Samsung which i can easily recharge from the anker powerbank. "Smart" touring comms is via a tough as boots 7 inch tab which is pretty good on battery use. It has osmand on it to complement the Garmin running from rechargeable AAs.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jan 2018
    raleighnut likes this.
  2. OP
    OP
    Blue Hills

    Blue Hills Guru

    Location:
    London
    Name and shame dogtrousers. What was that system? What was the problem with it?
     
  3. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall Guest

    Location:
    Crawley
    You might already be aware, but just in case you're not, there's a thread on yacf about it, started by one of the people from Igaro.

    https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=100575.0
     
    Blue Hills likes this.
  4. OP
    OP
    Blue Hills

    Blue Hills Guru

    Location:
    London
    Thanks tim. Had come across it but veered away as it was so long. Will apply myself and read through it.
     
  5. HobbesOnTour

    HobbesOnTour Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Hi all,

    New member here, so take what I say with a large pannier full of salt! ;-)

    I researched all this a couple of years ago, and like the OP was not overly impressed with the cost and bells and whistles of some of the more expensive items. I try to follow the KISS system as much as possible.


    In the end I got the Cycle2Charge unit from Germany.
    I didn't want a unit with a built in battery because I figured that if the battery ever failed, then my unit was useless. Furthermore, I couldn't charge it from a wall outlet if the opportunity presented itself. Finally, it was something that was always on the bike and there are times when I want my bike to look as inexpensive as possible.

    For waterproofing (when not in use) I simply turn the dome covering the usb port. I like that simplicity.

    I am not an expert in electronics or electricity (and nor do I wish to be), I just want something that will work. I'm sure from reading around that there are other units that are more efficient - but if I wanted to be efficient I probably wouldn't tour the way that I do. I bike slowly and like my comfort so I'm not ultralight.

    My set-up is this:
    Son 28 hub in 26 inch wheel. The cycle2charge unit mounted on my handlebar (size of a big bell), usb cable to my bar bag charging one of 2 small battery packs. My front light is dynamo operated (rear light is battery) which I switch off when charging.

    On a daily basis this system will generate enough power to recharge my phone and Wahoo Elemnt with power over. I have tested this several times and am comfortable with it.
    I'd average anything from 50km to 100 km per day, typically average speed of 18 kph.
    I was pleasantly surprised that on a week long tour in the hilly border areas of Holland/Belgium/Germany in wet weather with lots of climbing (avg speed 13 kph) that this held true.

    It will charge my gps/phone as I cycle, but I prefer to use the battery for safety. Varying speeds can mean the phone will start up & shut down frequently, seemingly using the power I had worked hart to put into it. In emergency, it will power my gps, but I tested out a Garmin Touring last year and it went nuts when connected. No problem with the Wahoo, although the location of the connection point (underneath) is not ideal.

    I also plan to use the battery packs to charge my kindle and rechargeable batteries for my taillight, headlamp & camera.

    Hope this helps

    Frank
     
  6. John Peel

    John Peel Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cheshire England
    You had me thinking about my wheel size there, as mine are 29", which will obviously make some difference. How much I don't know, but less revolutions to cover the same distance 26" would do. My Son 28 would probably better suited to slow charging a battery bank, I will try that.
     
    raleighnut likes this.
  7. HobbesOnTour

    HobbesOnTour Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    You might be on to something with the wheelsize. Before I had the dynamo I used a solar panel (a fold out 3 panel one). Strapped across the rear rack it worked, but not great (and that was in Spain with lots of sun). However, set it up properly at camp and it worked brilliantly. Mine is a 7 Watt unit (I think), but the latest version is 15 Watt, I believe. Might be a bit heavy if you're looking to cut weight, but may be a useful backup.
     
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  8. John Peel

    John Peel Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cheshire England
    I have looked into Solar and it is a great idea, but your right about weight. To complete my tour will involve 6 flights to countries around the world, and as it stands now I'm looking at a bike box and enough gear to fill 2 suit cases, so not cheap transfers. I would like to be able to get all my gear in one suit case and the pannier bags in the bike box with the bike. In fact, I haven't even looked into how people pack all their gear for a flight, I will do that now.

    But yes wheel size must make a difference. If I switched my front wheel from 29 to 18, I'm in no doubt that this would create power much more easily, but would look really stupid and have me going over the handlebars :smile:
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Blue Hills

    Blue Hills Guru

    Location:
    London
    :smile: Yes that logic leads inescapably to plans to rollerskate it.

    6 flights? Must have a closer look at your route.
     
  10. John Peel

    John Peel Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cheshire England
    Cyprus - India, Bali - Australia , Australia - New Zealand , New Zealand - Argentina , Bogotá - San Diego , Miam - Liverpool
     
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  11. froze

    froze Well-Known Member

    I just use a solar panel charger I have strapped to the top of my panniers, works great, cheaper then a gen hub, no watts required to make it work. Mine puts out 5 watts which is more then enough for my needs since I don't carry a laptop while touring.
     
    John Peel likes this.
  12. woodenspoons

    woodenspoons Über Member

    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    I’ve got a Sineave Cycles Reactor charger and it’s great for phone and Garmin on the move. Runs from Son hub and give one ampere at 9 mph. Only need 5 mph to charge, and will work with a power bank. Can run dc input up to 52 v.
    Speedy, but wiring is clever if you know what you’re doing. Thankfully the chap who fitted it did - I would’ve made a right pigs ear.
     
    John Peel likes this.
  13. OP
    OP
    Blue Hills

    Blue Hills Guru

    Location:
    London
    Cripes that is expensive, though the spec does look VERY good. I would be put off spending anywhere near that much by worrying about the ability of the USB port to withstand weather. Do you find it a problem?

    Must admit that the more I read about these things I am tempted to wait to see if prices fall/the things get better and just continue with my Anker 21,000 powerbank and maybe get another. I'm very impressed with it.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2018
    RealLeeHimself likes this.
  14. woodenspoons

    woodenspoons Über Member

    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    Weather hasn’t been a problem so far, and I’ve been through some horrendous rain with it. Got a trade price as part of a bike build; yes it’s expensive relatively. But for off-grid touring and adventuring it’s ideal - there’s no worrying about where to stop to charge up. No carrying other kit either, or bother with power banks. In Uk I run OS maps on phone to navigate and set routes, so a reliable power supply is essential. I’ve run a fully charged iPhone all day on OS maps and, with it plugged in, phone was 95% charged at end of event. Have noticed some depletion in charge rate of course when using lights which are wired in to the hub too, but that hasn’t proved problematic yet. The Igaro is cheaper, but much bulkier. I’ve no experience with other systems, so I can’t say this is better.
     
    Blue Hills likes this.
  15. OP
    OP
    Blue Hills

    Blue Hills Guru

    Location:
    London
    Can I ask which one?
     
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