Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Ctrl-Alt-Del => Topic started by: geraldc on August 07, 2008, 11:09:02 am

Title: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: geraldc on August 07, 2008, 11:09:02 am
This looks interesting, it's a mini wind turbine you can mount on your bike to charge things via a USB connector.

MiniWiz HYmini Wind Powered Charger Description - eXpansys UK (http://www.expansys.com/d.aspx?i=162001)

I came very close to ordering one...
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Polar Bear on August 07, 2008, 11:16:30 am
Looks interesting but I would like something that runs from a dynamo hub.

Like this for instance. (http://copycatsolar.com/)

Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Andrij on August 07, 2008, 11:29:48 am
Looks interesting but I would like something that runs from a dynamo hub.

Like this for instance. (http://copycatsolar.com/)


I've been wondering of something like this existed.  Looks tempting (once I set up a bike with a hub dynamo...)
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Polar Bear on August 07, 2008, 11:54:49 am
Looks interesting but I would like something that runs from a dynamo hub.

Like this for instance. (http://copycatsolar.com/)


I've been wondering of something like this existed.  Looks tempting (once I set up a bike with a hub dynamo...)

I'd like one that you can also put some AA/AAA cells into too.   That way I could charge my GPS/radio batteries as well if need be.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Andrew Br on August 07, 2008, 11:57:11 am
Looks interesting but I would like something that runs from a dynamo hub.

Like this for instance. (http://copycatsolar.com/)



I've got one of those (though an earlier model that doesn't fold). I haven't fitted it yet- I've been more concerned with sorting out the lights from the hub.
Another possibility is the Ixon Ride and Charge. It will charge the batteries in the light which you could then swap with the set in a GPS etc. Costs more but you get a good light as well.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 07, 2008, 12:50:27 pm
Make your own using a LM2940CT. It's not exactly rocket science !
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Polar Bear on August 07, 2008, 01:07:36 pm
Make your own using a LM2940CT. It's not exactly rocket science !

It might just as well be to me  :)
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Andrij on August 07, 2008, 01:10:52 pm
Make your own using a LM2940CT. It's not exactly rocket science !

I'm sure it's not (I've worked with rocket scientists).*  But at the moment I'd rather spend my time and effort becoming a stronger cyclist than learning about electrickery and kitting myself out to build chargers and other such things.  That's not to say I don't want to learn, but it's fairly well down my 'to do' list.


* But I did have to google LM2940CT.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Polar Bear on August 07, 2008, 01:15:33 pm
Make your own using a LM2940CT. It's not exactly rocket science !

I'm sure it's not (I've worked with rocket scientists).*  But at the moment I'd rather spend my time and effort becoming a stronger cyclist than learning about electrickery and kitting myself out to build chargers and other such things.  That's not to say I don't want to learn, but it's fairly well down my 'to do' list.


* But I did have to google LM2940CT.
[/b]

Me too.  And then I thought:  WTF do I do with that then?
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on August 07, 2008, 01:15:52 pm
Wonder would it charge a Garmin 705 via USB?

Very interesting device. I can't understand why the manufacturers haven't come up with a way to charge AAs.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 07, 2008, 01:38:31 pm
To clarify  ;D

The LM2940 has three pins - +ve in, +ve out and ground. It regulates a wide range of inputs to a 5v output. All you need is a rectified output from your hub dynamo (think 4 x 1n5818) into the LM2940 and bingo you have an output that can be connected directly yo a mini USB cable for charging a whole range of stuff. (A couple of tantalum caps in and out of the LM2940 might be useful to smooth)

Five minutes work with a soldering iron and a total cost of about £3
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Andrew Br on August 07, 2008, 02:51:42 pm
Wonder would it charge a Garmin 705 via USB?

Very interesting device. I can't understand why the manufacturers haven't come up with a way to charge AAs.

That's what the Ride and Charge does though the batteries have to be in the headlight.
Here's the B&M info:- Busch & Müller KG (http://www.bumm.de/index-e.html)
You can link the R&C info from there (how's your German ?)

Peter White has info as well:-
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/PDFs/B&M%20Ride&Charge%20Inst.pdf

Expensive option since you have to get a dynamo, headlight and the R&C, but it is a good light.

I haven't fitted the R&C yet- I'm waiting to get my new bike because some faffing will be required.

If anyone wants to borrow my Copy Cat Solar device (the one linked to by Polar Bear), they're very welcome- let me know.

And, like several of you, making my own really isn't a good idea  ::-) ;D


Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Regulator on August 07, 2008, 02:54:21 pm
This looks interesting, it's a mini wind turbine you can mount on your bike to charge things via a USB connector.

MiniWiz HYmini Wind Powered Charger Description - eXpansys UK (http://www.expansys.com/d.aspx?i=162001)

I came very close to ordering one...


I'm tempted.  It would be useful for touring at it's weight is relatively negligible compared to batteries.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Wendy on August 07, 2008, 03:02:42 pm
I reckon you could get more than enough solar cells onto the tailfairing of a recumbent.  You'd be in power a plenty.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: border-rider on August 07, 2008, 03:39:22 pm
To clarify  ;D

The LM2940 has three pins - +ve in, +ve out and ground. It regulates a wide range of inputs to a 5v output. All you need is a rectified output from your hub dynamo (think 4 x 1n5818) into the LM2940 and bingo you have an output that can be connected directly yo a mini USB cable for charging a whole range of stuff. (A couple of tantalum caps in and out of the LM2940 might be useful to smooth)

Five minutes work with a soldering iron and a total cost of about £3

Blimey.  That's neat, and remarkably easy to do.

I reckon a bit of cottage-industry work could net a tidy return if someone made a load of those up in nice neat packages. 

I think I shall have a go at making one.  It'd power my phone as well.  Damn useful on PBP or LEL :)
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 07, 2008, 03:43:31 pm
To clarify  ;D

The LM2940 has three pins - +ve in, +ve out and ground. It regulates a wide range of inputs to a 5v output. All you need is a rectified output from your hub dynamo (think 4 x 1n5818) into the LM2940 and bingo you have an output that can be connected directly yo a mini USB cable for charging a whole range of stuff. (A couple of tantalum caps in and out of the LM2940 might be useful to smooth)

Five minutes work with a soldering iron and a total cost of about £3

Blimey.  That's neat, and remarkably easy to do.

I reckon a bit of cottage-industry work could net a tidy return if someone made a load of those up in nice neat packages. 

I think I shall have a go at making one.  It'd power my phone as well.  Damn useful on PBP or LEL :)

Yup. I use one to power my phone/GPS on longer rides as the batteries only last about 4 hours when using the GPS. Also has the advantage of powering up the backlight so you can actually see it when riding.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on August 08, 2008, 11:00:05 am
No, it will not work with the 605 / 705.

Hymini are planning to bring out a charger that will use existing dynamo output to charge AAs or an internal Li cell, but there is no mention of a wind-powered AA charger, which is what I'd be interested in.

 
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 11, 2008, 10:57:35 am
Make your own using a LM2940CT. It's not exactly rocket science !

It might not work. The 2940 requires an input voltage greater than the output voltage.

Some extra fudging may be required to get it to work happily.

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: border-rider on August 11, 2008, 04:31:11 pm
Make your own using a LM2940CT. It's not exactly rocket science !

It might not work. The 2940 requires an input voltage greater than the output voltage.

Some extra fudging may be required to get it to work happily.

..d

Should be OK with a hub dynamo above a handful of mph. 
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 11, 2008, 07:09:27 pm
Make your own using a LM2940CT. It's not exactly rocket science !

It might not work. The 2940 requires an input voltage greater than the output voltage.

Some extra fudging may be required to get it to work happily.

..d

It works fine. I've made a few for various people including myself. The LM2940CT was chosen because it is a low dropout version - requiring only 0.5 volt above the output voltage (in this case 5.0v). As MV said it works from about 3mph up.

For extra oomph I usually add a tuning bipolar cap to the rectifier input (or two back to back electolytics), but this is only necessary if you really need all 500ma from walking pace - otherwise just a rectifier and 2940 is fine.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 11, 2008, 07:21:36 pm
Make your own using a LM2940CT. It's not exactly rocket science !

It might not work. The 2940 requires an input voltage greater than the output voltage.

Some extra fudging may be required to get it to work happily.

..d

It works fine. I've made a few for various people including myself. The LM2940CT was chosen because it is a low dropout version - requiring only 0.5 volt above the output voltage (in this case 5.0v). As MV said it works from about 3mph up.

For extra oomph I usually add a tuning bipolar cap to the rectifier input (or two back to back electolytics), but this is only necessary if you really need all 500ma from walking pace - otherwise just a rectifier and 2940 is fine.

is it really as simple as it sounds?

Bridge rectifier and the voltage controller, or isthere some assumed knowledge I am missing here? Any chance of a circuit diagram?

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 11, 2008, 08:36:03 pm
(http://www.chrimson.com/Stuff/dynamo1sbp.gif)

For hub dynamo

D1 - D4     1N5818
C1             2200uF   16v
C2, C3       470uF     63v   Low ESR
C4             .47uF      Tantalum bead
C5             22uF       Tantalum bead
R1             47K         .25W


This is the full monty, all singing, all dancing circuit. You can leave out C1, C2, C3 and R1 if you wish, though C1 is quite useful to smooth the rectifier output. If you leave out the input tuning circuitry (C2, C3, R1) then connect the dynamo input between D2 and D4.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 11, 2008, 08:59:05 pm
(http://www.chrimson.com/Stuff/dynamo1sbp.gif)

For hub dynamo

D1 - D4     1N5818
C1             2200uF   16v
C2, C3       470uF     63v   Low ESR
C4             .47uF      Tantalum bead
C5             22uF       Tantalum bead
R1             47K         .25W


This is the full monty, all singing, all dancing circuit. You can leave out C1, C2, C3 and R1 if you wish, though C1 is quite useful to smooth the rectifier output. If you leave out the input tuning circuitry (C2, C3, R1) then connect the dynamo input between D2 and D4.

Brilliant.. I'll pop into Maplins next time I pass through Edinburgh (hopefully this week) and get the necessary parts.. I can then test it on my commuter bike.

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 12, 2008, 10:31:29 am
Brilliant stuff, thanks Simon. I've started ordering some of the parts from maplins.co.uk.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 12, 2008, 12:07:04 pm
Just a note of caution. When building the circuit make sure that C1 cannot be disconnected from the LM2940 and/or touched by any part of the body. When the dynamo is spinning fast with little or no drain on C1, it can easily charge up to 100v (the dynamo outputs increasing voltage in an effort to output 500mA). A discharge from this to the body would be uncomfortable at least and there is a genuine danger of death.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 12, 2008, 12:11:56 pm
Another point. It is reccomended to fit a small heatsink to the LM2940. Although this would be uneccesary in normal use, this part can get quite hot if accidentally short-circuited (I wonder how I know that  ::-)  ). You could use the hole in the LM2940 to fix the circuit to the bike frame and that would suffice.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 12, 2008, 01:05:39 pm
You can leave out C1, C2, C3 and R1 if you wish ... If you leave out the input tuning circuitry (C2, C3, R1) then connect the dynamo input between D2 and D4.

Like this? These are the bits I have at the moment:

(http://www.robshields.org/~rshields/2008/08/dynamo2sbp.gif)

D1 - D4     1N5818
C4             .47uF      Tantalum bead
C5             22uF       Tantalum bead
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 12, 2008, 01:16:49 pm
Another point. It is recomended to fit a small heatsink to the LM2940. Although this would be unnecessary in normal use, this part can get quite hot if accidentally short-circuited (I wonder how I know that  ::-)  ). You could use the hole in the LM2940 to fix the circuit to the bike frame and that would suffice.

This assumes that you are using a TO-220 packaged LM2940, it can come in many other packages.  If you do this also remember that the tab is electrically connected to the Ground, so if you use the bike as one half of the connection to the lights, make sure you use the ground connection on that side.

I think I'd put a fuse inline with the output of the regulator, shorting it out will make it damned hot, and stands a good chance of frying it permanently, which would be annoying.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 12, 2008, 01:42:14 pm
I think I'd put a fuse inline with the output of the regulator, shorting it out will make it damned hot, and stands a good chance of frying it permanently, which would be annoying.

What size fuse should I use? 1.5A?
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 12, 2008, 01:51:47 pm
The Nat Semi datasheet (http://www.national.com/ds/LM/LM2940.pdf) says that the short circuit current is typically 1.9A, although it supposedly has short circuit protection.  I still think I'd fuse it, if nothing else since with 1.9A going through it, unless it's very well connected to a heat sink (ie frame!) it will get hot very fast, and you shouldn't have a short circuit, so it implies something else is wrong.  Blowing the fuse is probably a better idea than melting the light or somesuch.  I'd say that 1.5A sounds around the right ballpark.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 12, 2008, 02:09:55 pm
Don't bother with the fuse. The absolute max current that you will get out of the vReg is 500mA ('cos that's the max the dynamo will provide), so the internal protection will be fine (but it will get hot as mentioned previously). I have 'tested' this using a 7.2v LIon battery pack at considerably higher current.

 Good point about grounding the LM2940 - I assumed we all had Schmidt dynamos  ;)

Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 12, 2008, 02:11:37 pm
You can leave out C1, C2, C3 and R1 if you wish ... If you leave out the input tuning circuitry (C2, C3, R1) then connect the dynamo input between D2 and D4.

Like this? These are the bits I have at the moment:

(http://www.robshields.org/~rshields/2008/08/dynamo2sbp.gif)

D1 - D4     1N5818
C4             .47uF      Tantalum bead
C5             22uF       Tantalum bead

Yes, that's it.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: JT on August 12, 2008, 02:29:24 pm
Any chance that someone could knock up an instructables style step-by-step guide for making one of these? I've never even picked up a soldering iron so while this sounds simple, for people like me, it's not.

Also, if it's so simple and cheap to make something like this, how come no one is making them commercially?

Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Polar Bear on August 12, 2008, 02:45:20 pm
Maybe one or two kind folks might consider contributing to a build your own project thread like this (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=818.0) for instance?  Please?
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 12, 2008, 03:05:07 pm
I will gladly write up a report if I can use Simon's images (with credit given, of course). This is subject to me not blowing myself up :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 12, 2008, 03:11:17 pm
Don't bother with the fuse. The absolute max current that you will get out of the vReg is 500mA ('cos that's the max the dynamo will provide) ...

Doh. <fx: smacks head>
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 12, 2008, 03:11:50 pm
I will gladly write up a report if I can use Simon's images (with credit given, of course). This is subject to me not blowing myself up :thumbsup:

Likewise..
My dynamo hub is not grounded. I don't suppose that will make much difference.

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 12, 2008, 03:15:52 pm
I've never liked relying on the structure of the bike to provide the return path for the lighting circuit, but if it is wired up like that (even partially, ie the dynamo is bolted to the frame) then you've got to be careful.  In fact if you are using a traditional bottle dynamo, that is directly electrically connected to the frame, then you must not bolt the LM2940 tab to the frame, as this will cause problems (in effect you'll be partially shorting out the bridge rectifier).  The proper approach would be to use something like a small piece of mica insulator, and a small plastic insulating washer thingy to keep the metal tab electrically insulated from the frame (ie heat sink) and still provide a reasonably good thermal path.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 12, 2008, 08:50:36 pm
Here's my effort:

(http://www.robshields.org/~rshields/2008/08/usb-front.jpg)

(http://www.robshields.org/~rshields/2008/08/usb-rear.jpg)

Unfortunately it doesn't work. I've probably wired it up wrong. FAIL.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 12, 2008, 09:18:28 pm
Well, looking at the images, the layout looks correct, but I think you've got the diodes the wrong way around.  The stripe is normally on the cathode, and the current flow is from the anode to the cathode, so the cathode end should be connected to the input of the LM2940 (which doesn't seem to be the case).

Plonking an avo between the ground connection and the input to the LM2940 will soon tell which way around you've got things.  The data sheet says that the LM2940 has reverse battery protection, so with a bit of luck nothing will have been destroyed.

I really hope you didn't have anything plugged into the USB port when you tested it.  The reverse battery protection may stop things going seriously wrong, but I wouldn't rely on it.

(Edit, some amendments made after checking the LM2940 data sheet).
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 12, 2008, 09:32:50 pm
I have taken note. I will learn from your mistakes. I'll be in Edinburgh next week so will pick the necessary bits up then.

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 12, 2008, 09:47:23 pm
I think you've got the diodes the wrong way around.

You spotted my deliberate mistake ;)

Quote
I really hope you didn't have anything plugged into the USB port when you tested it.

Only my phone, which is fine ;)

Anyway, I've reversed the diodes and it worked for a couple of seconds then stopped working. I think it might be b0rked. Will order some more bits and try again.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 13, 2008, 02:14:58 pm
Also check the polarity of the tantalum caps - they can't withstand a reverse voltage of over 5v. If they have popped then you may get away with just replacing them.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 13, 2008, 04:16:48 pm
Also check the polarity of the tantalum caps - they can't withstand a reverse voltage of over 5v. If they have popped then you may get away with just replacing them.

I can't find any 470uF electrolytic caps at Maplins (and RS want large quantities for the order which makes it quite pricey). Will tantulum or any other type of cap do instead?

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 13, 2008, 04:25:56 pm
Also check the polarity of the tantalum caps - they can't withstand a reverse voltage of over 5v. If they have popped then you may get away with just replacing them.

I'm guessing that if you're looking at the side with the writing on, then the left is negative and the right is positive. They have a + next to the RH bit anyway.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 13, 2008, 04:27:00 pm
I can't find any 470uF electrolytic caps at Maplins (and RS want large quantities for the order which makes it quite pricey). Will tantulum or any other type of cap do instead?

You want .47uF not 470uF. They have them at maplins.co.uk.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 13, 2008, 04:50:34 pm
I can't find any 470uF electrolytic caps at Maplins (and RS want large quantities for the order which makes it quite pricey). Will tantulum or any other type of cap do instead?

You want .47uF not 470uF. They have them at maplins.co.uk.

C2,C3 on Simon's original circuit diagram.
470uF. I can find everything else at Maplin.

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 13, 2008, 04:52:35 pm
C2,C3 on Simon's original circuit diagram.
470uF. I can find everything else at Maplin.

..d

Ah yes I see now.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 13, 2008, 04:58:20 pm
Maplin part DT67X
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 14, 2008, 03:48:58 pm
Having had a spare few minutes today, I started making another charger as above, but in a way that I could start with the really basic circuit and add components to gradually get to the full circuit.

The basic circuit works, but requires a fair turn of speed to get enough output. I think this is because there is hardly any load on the dynamo. The addition of C1 encourages the dynamo to output a little more and also significantly smooths the output ar slower speeds. I think I might go as far as to say C1 is required.

The addition of C2,C3 and R1 produces another significant improvement at lower to medium speeds and should be included if you have space.

If you have the inclination and requirement, the LM2940, C4, C5 can be replaced by (or switched to) a string of power LEDs (up to six LEDs) for a rather impressive headlight. I am currently using three SSC P4 (U bin) LEDs for a 500 lumen output.

Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 14, 2008, 04:50:19 pm
Having had a spare few minutes today, I started making another charger as above, but in a way that I could start with the really basic circuit and add components to gradually get to the full circuit.

The basic circuit works, but requires a fair turn of speed to get enough output. I think this is because there is hardly any load on the dynamo. The addition of C1 encourages the dynamo to output a little more and also significantly smooths the output ar slower speeds. I think I might go as far as to say C1 is required.

The addition of C2,C3 and R1 produces another significant improvement at lower to medium speeds and should be included if you have space.

If you have the inclination and requirement, the LM2940, C4, C5 can be replaced by (or switched to) a string of power LEDs (up to six LEDs) for a rather impressive headlight. I am currently using three SSC P4 (U bin) LEDs for a 500 lumen output.



Being moderately dense, what would the part numbers for those be? They sound very bright indeed.

I presume one could have a swwitchable headlamp that would let you either charge or illuminate.

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 14, 2008, 04:53:00 pm
Chaps, where did you find the 2200uF 16v capacitor? I can't find any at maplins.co.uk :(
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: tiermat on August 14, 2008, 04:54:20 pm
RS - Radio Spares (http://uk.rs-online.com)

try them

A range of 16V 2200uF caps, from 30p each upto £1.21 each (in packs of 5)
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 14, 2008, 06:31:01 pm
Having had a spare few minutes today, I started making another charger as above, but in a way that I could start with the really basic circuit and add components to gradually get to the full circuit.

The basic circuit works, but requires a fair turn of speed to get enough output. I think this is because there is hardly any load on the dynamo. The addition of C1 encourages the dynamo to output a little more and also significantly smooths the output ar slower speeds. I think I might go as far as to say C1 is required.

The addition of C2,C3 and R1 produces another significant improvement at lower to medium speeds and should be included if you have space.

If you have the inclination and requirement, the LM2940, C4, C5 can be replaced by (or switched to) a string of power LEDs (up to six LEDs) for a rather impressive headlight. I am currently using three SSC P4 (U bin) LEDs for a 500 lumen output.



Being moderately dense, what would the part numbers for those be? They sound very bright indeed.

I presume one could have a swwitchable headlamp that would let you either charge or illuminate.

..d

Indeed - I ran with a switchable output for six months earlier this year (before I changed to yet anothe type of circuit). The LEDs are not available at Maplin, or infact, in the UK . But they are easily avaiable from LED-Shop  by LED-TECH.de (http://www.led-tech.de) (Seoul 3.5W Star LED (P4 Version) by LED-TECH.de (http://www.led-tech.de/de/High-Power-LEDs-Seoul/-3.5W-Seoul-LEDs/Seoul-3.5W-Star-LED--P4-Version--LT-980_121_78.html)) or LEDs Shop by LUMITRONIX&reg; LED-Technik GmbH (http://www.leds.de) (LEDs Shop by LUMITRONIX&reg; LED-Technik GmbH (http://www.leds.de/product_info.php?id=Array&2ebc61b11b0b302b0af30831f4fffd15=yes&products_id=447))

Of course, you will also need lenses, heatsinking etc.

Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 14, 2008, 06:33:02 pm
Chaps, where did you find the 2200uF 16v capacitor? I can't find any at maplins.co.uk :(

Maplin part VH54J
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 24, 2008, 01:46:19 am
Chaps, where did you find the 2200uF 16v capacitor? I can't find any at maplins.co.uk :(

Maplin part VH54J

Thanks Simon.

Here's my second attempt, with the addition of C1 (but not C2, C3 or R1), and the diodes the correct way round this time (!). I can't test it at the moment as I've lost my USB charger cable. If it works then I'll try the all singing, all dancing version next.

(http://www.robshields.org/~rshields/2008/08/usb1.jpg)

(http://www.robshields.org/~rshields/2008/08/usb2.jpg)

Here are all the maplin part numbers (except R1, which I couldn't find), if anyone else wants to try. The price of these bits is £9.54 including postage.

Code: [Select]
LM2940CT                                  AV22Y
D1 - D4     1N5818                        JA47B
C1          2200uF    16v                 VH54J
C2, C3      470uF     63v   Low ESR       DT67X
C4          .47uF     Tantalum bead       WW58N
C5          22uF      Tantalum bead       WW72P
R1          47K       .25W                M47K
USB socket type A                         L51AZ
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 24, 2008, 06:23:54 am
Here are all the maplin part numbers (except R1, which I couldn't find), if anyone else wants to try.

I would have thought a M47K (http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=2162&doy=24m8) would do the job, although it is speced at a slightly higher power, I don't think the 15p cost will significantly increase the spend on the project, at least not for a single resistor (there is no reason why you can't use a higher power resistor, they just tend to be bigger than necessary).
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 24, 2008, 02:58:02 pm
Thanks TimO.

Tried it on an iPod and it shows as charging :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 24, 2008, 07:44:36 pm
Cool, I have all the bits now. All I need is to try to remmeber which end of a diode is which and the pin out for the USB socket.


..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 24, 2008, 08:05:05 pm
... and the pin out for the USB socket.

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#USB_cables) is probably helpful for that.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 24, 2008, 11:29:50 pm
OK, construction has commenced..

From this:
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3228/2794318986_d21360f8b6.jpg?v=0)

via this:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3135/2794321350_c547b368d6.jpg?v=0)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3037/2794326266_678e831902.jpg?v=0)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3229/2794327708_1826801353.jpg?v=0)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3155/2794329654_c90bc7f475.jpg?v=0)

to this:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3232/2793482035_40da6696e6.jpg?v=0)

Not yet tested - I will need to fix a flat tyre on a hub gear with coaster brake wheel first

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 25, 2008, 01:38:30 pm
Looking good :thumbsup:

I haven't tried using one of those boards with the copper strips. It looks like you have to be very careful with the soldering to avoid inadvertently joining two adjacent strips. With my shaky hands I'd probably do just that. They do look neater though.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 25, 2008, 02:22:55 pm
With veroboard it's a lot easier than it seems, the copper will tend to attract the solder (at least with good old traditional lead based solder).  The surface tension will keep the solder on the tracks, it's relatively hard to actually get the solder to jump between two tracks.  If it does, it's pretty easy to shift it away.

We mount devices with a much higher pitch, by hand, and so long as you use a very fine tipped soldering iron, and a suitable visual aid, there's no problem
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 25, 2008, 03:28:51 pm
It really isn't too hard. As TimO says, the copper tends to keep the solder in one place and it is easy enough to clean the grooves if needed - just run the iron along them.

I might get a chance to try it out this week.

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 26, 2008, 09:52:40 pm
Righty ho, have ordered some more bits and will give the veroboard a go :thumbsup: Just need to get my head around the component placement.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 26, 2008, 10:09:19 pm
Handy hints for vero;

You can cut it with a knive, if you need to break a track (although this may leave a tiny sliver connecting things if you're not careful).  Often people will use the end of a small drill in their hands to clean a holes worth of track away.  You used to be able get a little tool specifically for this purpose.

It's a good idea to clean it before use, ie very lightly rub it down with some fine sandpaper or wire wool, just enough to give it a clean copper look, especially if you've been handling it with your grubby hands, or it's a bit old.  The solder will stick to the clean pink copper much more easily.  Don't rub it down too much though, the copper is pretty thin and you could just remove it entirely!
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Adam on August 27, 2008, 08:50:19 am
I've been inspired by this thread, and have built my own version, to power my bodged 3W Tesco lights (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=4055.30) from my Shimano dynamo.

I had previously been using a power supply from Maplins (http://www.maplin.co.uk/Search.aspx?menu=1702&Mname=Electronic%20Kits&criteria=1A), that I built from a kit, although as that has an adjustable regulator I subsequently found it's not particularly efficient, plus it was only 1A.


(http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a239/FlyingDodo/DSCF0021.jpg)

I have however replaced the LM2940 with a L78S05CV which is a 2A regulator.  Also, instead of the 4 diodes, I used a W01 bridge rectifier.

It all fits on a copper strip veroboard 5 x 14 holes, so that it all then goes neatly inside a little box (http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=1681&doy=27m8), and then I've fitted a switch at the top.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 27, 2008, 03:38:46 pm
The problem with the L78SO5CV is that it is not a low dropout regulator - ie it requires the input to be at least 1.2v higher than the output, which in this case means it needs at least 6.2v to work properly - the LM2940 only requires 5.5v. The 2A rating is irrelevant as the dynamo will only produce 500mA.

The bridge rectifier is not as efficient as four Schottky barrier diodes, but will work OK.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: andrew_s on August 27, 2008, 06:11:59 pm
The bridge rectifier is not as efficient as four Schottky barrier diodes, but will work OK.
Not as efficient may be relevant in battery applications, but do you think you'd be able to detect the difference in pedalling effort between that required to generate 500mA at 6.2V and that required to generate 500mA at 5.5V?
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: border-rider on August 27, 2008, 06:16:30 pm
The difference may be the low-speed performance - I guess the barrier voltage will give you a low-speed cut-off.  Whether that makes any difference in this case I doubt, but it did on the home-brew LED light system I tried a few years ago.

Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: andrew_s on August 27, 2008, 06:37:09 pm
Last time I did a home-brew LED light, with just a bridge rectifier (may even have been W01), I could hook it up to the hub and get a flash each time I moved the axle round one notch with my fingers. You can't get much lower speed than that. I agree that the LM2940 is probably different.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 27, 2008, 07:31:18 pm
Yes, what MV said.

The FV drop over the Schottky barrier diodes is less than the bridge rectifier. This certainly makes a difference in lighting applications (and that is what I normally use this circuit for). It may not make much difference in the charging application, but in 'series' with the much higher dropout of the L78SO5CV, there may be low speed problems. I don't know this to be the case, but it seems to make theoretical sense.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Adam on August 31, 2008, 10:27:42 am
The main reason I went for the bridge rectifier was to save space on the circuit board, so that it would fit into the small box, making it a very compact design.

Re the low speed issue, it's not a problem in fact.  I get a strobe effect starting at exactly 2 mph, and at 5 mph, the lights are on constantly (or rather, as constantly as the human eye can determine). 

Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Porkins on August 31, 2008, 01:07:45 pm
What a tantalising thread. I have questions which may sound stupid, but one of these days I hope to pedal off into the wilderness away from mains electricity, but with a camera, small laptop, MP3 player, lights and phone. 

In my ignorance I imagine the perfect setup being something like this:

- a single type of rechargeable battery which can be connected somehow to any of my appliances.  Don't want to lug around 6 different shapes and sizes of batteries

- a fairly big solar panel - say 12" x 8" - which has no protective casing and is hence very light. Attachable to a saddlebag or a pannier.  Maybe a flexible one like this: Power Pocket - flexible solar power in your pocket - imported to the UK by ESC Outdoor (http://www.esc-outdoor.co.uk/pocketinfo.htm)

- a wind turbine

- a dynohub

- a gauge to tell me how many amps or whatever I'm getting. (So if the solar panel is doing well I can switch off the turbine and dynohub and go faster)

Is this feasible?
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 31, 2008, 01:36:41 pm
What a tantalising thread. I have questions which may sound stupid, but one of these days I hope to pedal off into the wilderness away from mains electricity, but with a camera, small laptop, MP3 player, lights and phone. ...

The guage and only using a single battery is just a matter of appropriate electronics, although you may need to custom design some of this, which might be a bit of an issue if you don't do electronics.   

A dynohub is likely to be the most efficient way of generating power.  A bigish solar panel could be useful in a sunny clime (ie not the UK so much!), but I suspect would be better to put out when camping, since it'll be difficult to orientate most efficiently on a bicycle.

A wind turbine would only be sensible if you were cycling into strong wind.  If there is no wind, converting movement into energy is most efficiently done with the dynohub, using your motion to produce wind, and in turn power a wind turbine and generator is guaranteed to be less efficient than a directly driven generator (ie dynohub).

Of course, powering or charging multiple devices could be a bit draining on your power sources.  This will progressively become more realistic as devices become more efficient, although modern devices have already pushed things quite a lot in that direction.

Look up Steve Roberts (http://microship.com/) and his Nomadic Research Labs, for a guy who has been doing a lot of this sort of thing for over a couple of decades.  I think he has changed from bikes (Behemoth) to a ship, since it proved impossible to carry everything he wanted to with a bike!
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: GruB on August 31, 2008, 01:56:06 pm
This thread is an example of why I love yACF and the community we have going here.

The drawings from Simon were like double dutch for me.  The photos were much better. 

Can someone show how big the actual units are and where you are putting them on the bike please?
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 31, 2008, 02:00:18 pm
You can get some idea of the size of the ones shown in the photos by knowing that the distance between hole centres is 0.1" ie around 2.5mm, or to put it another way, there are ten holes to an inch.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Deano on August 31, 2008, 02:01:30 pm
I've been watching this thread in the vain hope that it would start to make sense at some point.

Can anyone recommend a good electronics primer? ;D
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Polar Bear on August 31, 2008, 02:10:50 pm
Further to Grub's comments and David's pics below, could somebody please perhaps ...

OK, construction has commenced..

From this:
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3228/2794318986_d21360f8b6.jpg?v=0)

via this:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3135/2794321350_c547b368d6.jpg?v=0)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3037/2794326266_678e831902.jpg?v=0)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3229/2794327708_1826801353.jpg?v=0)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3155/2794329654_c90bc7f475.jpg?v=0)

to this:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3232/2793482035_40da6696e6.jpg?v=0)

Not yet tested - I will need to fix a flat tyre on a hub gear with coaster brake wheel first

..d

Place the components on a drawn circuit diagram so an idiot like me begins to understand how this works.  Even better, perhaps lay out the components and then add in the lines so that the components replace the symbols on the diagram, please?

Many many thanks btw for all the contributions to date.  I find this very interesting.

I have two more questions if I may, please?

Is it possible to build something like this without soldering?   Soldering for me is definitely out though I guess I can find a willing assistant if absolutely necessary.

I have a plan to have an on-off-on rocker switch so I can flip the output manually between charging batteries / phone, etc. and powering the lights.   Does this sound feasible?   


Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: border-rider on August 31, 2008, 03:07:16 pm
Quote
Is it possible to build something like this without soldering?   

Difficult, as all the components are designed to be soldered. 

TBH I think it'd be easier, quicker and cheaper to deploy your willing assistant than find a way to build reliably it without solder ;)

Quote
I have a plan to have an on-off-on rocker switch so I can flip the output manually between charging batteries / phone, etc. and powering the lights.   Does this sound feasible?   

Yep

That's what I'd do

There are 2 options - one is to get all clever and have  a switchable DC output powering a home-brew LED lamp; the other is just to switch the input between this circuit and standard dynamo lights
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Porkins on August 31, 2008, 08:13:49 pm
Thanks for the encouraging reply. Another question for you, prompted by this:

A wind turbine would only be sensible if you were cycling into strong wind. 

I came across this thing: http://hymini.com/html/HYmini.html   It seems tailor made for cyclists. You can connect a panel to it as well. Maybe you could connect a dynohub too?

It's supposed to start generating power with more than 9 mph of wind. So if you were cycling along at 15 mph on a windless day wouldn't it work rather well? Or is the output too puny compared to a dynohub?  Or does it create so much drag that it's not worth the pedalling effort?

They claim 200-850 mA, which they say will charge a phone in an hour.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on August 31, 2008, 08:29:34 pm
If you are converting motion into electrical energy, the most efficient way to do it is with a generator directly connected to your wheels.  A wind turbine which is taking energy from your motion through the air is going to be a lot less efficient, ie it'll create more drag for a given amount of energy than a dynamo will, the relatively "loose" coupling of energy onto an air turbine will lose a lot, and be relatively inefficient compared to the fairly tightly coupled mechanical connection of a dynohub or even a bottle dynamo.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Simon Galgut on August 31, 2008, 08:34:27 pm

Quote
I have a plan to have an on-off-on rocker switch so I can flip the output manually between charging batteries / phone, etc. and powering the lights.   Does this sound feasible?   

Yep

That's what I'd do

There are 2 options - one is to get all clever and have  a switchable DC output powering a home-brew LED lamp; the other is just to switch the input between this circuit and standard dynamo lights

I have built both types of circuit for different people. If you are using a standard bike light then switching the input between that and the charging circuit is preferable, and much less stressful for the electronics. I use a homemade light containing 3 Seoul P4 LEDs in series and I therefore have to switch the output of the rectifier part of the circuit (ie before the LM2940 and the tantalum caps) between the LM2940 and the light. If you do this you have to be careful not to switch whilst on the move and not to switch from 'off' (ie switched to neither output) to either output or the high voltages that may be present in C1 could fry the LEDs or the LM2940. Really a crowbar circuit should be introduced if output switching is to be used (only a zener diode and a power transistor), but this may be beyond the scope of this thread.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Andrij on August 31, 2008, 09:02:31 pm
I know next to nothing about electrikery, so I'd be grateful if the experts here could supply some enlightenment.

These (http://copycatsolar.com/) say they run off a 6v3w dynamo.  My dynamo is 6v2.4w.  Does this mean the two are incompatible or just that the device would take longer to charge?  ??? 

And I'll second the request for a pointer to an "Idiots Guide to Electrickery".
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on August 31, 2008, 09:54:19 pm
Further to Grub's comments and David's pics below, could somebody please perhaps ...

OK, construction has commenced..

Not yet tested - I will need to fix a flat tyre on a hub gear with coaster brake wheel first

..d

Place the components on a drawn circuit diagram so an idiot like me begins to understand how this works.  Even better, perhaps lay out the components and then add in the lines so that the components replace the symbols on the diagram, please?

Many many thanks btw for all the contributions to date.  I find this very interesting.

I have two more questions if I may, please?

Is it possible to build something like this without soldering?   Soldering for me is definitely out though I guess I can find a willing assistant if absolutely necessary.

I have a plan to have an on-off-on rocker switch so I can flip the output manually between charging batteries / phone, etc. and powering the lights.   Does this sound feasible?   


What I did was to go through the circuit and label the various connections. I started with the USB connector which sits between rows 2-5 of the strip board. Row 2 is the +5v, 5 is the -5V. Rows 1 and 6 are empty. I then added in the voltage regulator. As the positive row is 2 I put the positive leg in that row, the middle leg is now row 3 and the input is row 4.
3 is connected to 5 with a bridging wire link (the tagend off one of the other components - waste not, want not.

From there I figured that the two 470u caps would span up to two rows, and the big one has to span 3/5 and 4. Numbering all the distinct connections then identified where all the ends of the components should go. Ground is 3 or 5. Positive in is 4. Positive out is 2.  The Zener diodes then get connections numbered 9 and 10 for the dynamo input and the intermediate connections 7 and 8 - doesn't matter which gets which number as long as they then all join up OK.  It sounds complex but is actually really easy once you sit down with the diagram and start labelling it.

BTW, it appears to work. I connected it across the dynamo, and the output to my pocket DV camera, and it flashed up the 'are you charging from the USB' dialogue when I span the wheel, and didn't burn out. So I am happy.

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: border-rider on August 31, 2008, 10:17:04 pm
These (http://copycatsolar.com/) say they run off a 6v3w dynamo.  My dynamo is 6v2.4w.  Does this mean the two are incompatible or just that the device would take longer to charge?  ???

Longer to charge, I think.  A 3 W dynamo and a 2.4 W dynamo are jut the same, except one gives 20% less current.  Simon's circuit operates on voltage, so that;d work with either.  I expect the device you link to is the same.

Quote
And I'll second the request for a pointer to an "Idiots Guide to Electrickery".

Quite a big subject :)

Maybe better to ask some questions
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: David Martin on September 01, 2008, 08:37:03 am
For a beginners guide to lectrickery, try 'Starting Electronics' by Brindley - ISBN 9780750663861

Takes you through what each of the major component types does up to building simple digital circuits.

I'll take some more pics with a ruler (though the size of the USB socket should give you some idea, and knowing the stripboard is 2.5mm pitch between the holes.)

..d
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: rower40 on September 01, 2008, 08:50:05 am
For a beginners guide to lectrickery, try 'Starting Electronics' by Brindley - ISBN 9780750663861

Takes you through what each of the major component types does up to building simple digital circuits.

I'll take some more pics with a ruler (though the size of the USB socket should give you some idea, and knowing the stripboard is 2.5mm pitch between the holes.)

..d
[Pedant's Corner]  Stripboard is 2.54 mm pitch.  Except in the former USSR, where they really did try 2.5mm.  The normal one is 10 strips to an inch, innit?  What with electronics being dominated by the 'mercans.  [/Pedant's Corner]

Near the start of "The Wrong Trousers", Gromit is reading "Electronics for Dogs".  Where can I get a copy?
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Polar Bear on September 01, 2008, 08:56:55 am
For a beginners guide to lectrickery, try 'Starting Electronics' by Brindley - ISBN 9780750663861

Takes you through what each of the major component types does up to building simple digital circuits.

I'll take some more pics with a ruler (though the size of the USB socket should give you some idea, and knowing the stripboard is 2.5mm pitch between the holes.)

..d

Thanks for the book reference and all the other advice David.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: tiermat on September 01, 2008, 01:10:28 pm
I know next to nothing about electrikery, so I'd be grateful if the experts here could supply some enlightenment.

These (http://copycatsolar.com/) say they run off a 6v3w dynamo.  My dynamo is 6v2.4w.  Does this mean the two are incompatible or just that the device would take longer to charge?  ??? 

Depends upon the device and what it is expecting.  For example a few years ago Nokia, in their infinite wisdom changed the design of the 6210 phone (the bog standard business candy bar one)and this design change meant it now need a few (as in <1.0) more watts to charge, if it didn't detect that value or above it assumed that the charger wasn't working correctly and thus didn't charge the phone.  Unfortunately for Nokia the car cradles that every sales rep and his dog had fitted to their car gave out the smaller value that the old design used...

Cue lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Deano on September 01, 2008, 08:46:28 pm
For a beginners guide to lectrickery, try 'Starting Electronics' by Brindley - ISBN 9780750663861

Takes you through what each of the major component types does up to building simple digital circuits.

I'll take some more pics with a ruler (though the size of the USB socket should give you some idea, and knowing the stripboard is 2.5mm pitch between the holes.)

..d

Very kind, David - I've ordered it from the library :)
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on August 20, 2010, 04:12:57 pm
I bought a cheapO 2 AA battery USB charger from fleabay last week and I am very pleased with it! I can now charge my Garmin Edge and my iPhone wherever I want, and if I run out of rechargeable AAs I can always buy a couple. I can now use my phone to surf the web on trains etc with no fear of ending up with a flat battery. Truly the most useful £3 I think I have ever spent!
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Gotte on January 16, 2011, 06:04:54 pm
I know this is an oldish thread, but thought I'd resurrect it with a question.

Will this work with a HTC hero which will charge from a USB port:

GENUINE NOKIA DC-14 BICYCLE CHARGER KIT CR-124 HOLDER on eBay (end time  09-Feb-11 16:07:16 GMT) (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/GENUINE-NOKIA-DC-14-BICYCLE-CHARGER-KIT-CR-124-HOLDER_W0QQitemZ130473870035QQcmdZViewItem?rvr_id=198993488436&rvr_id=198993488436&cguid=0b3dcb9d12d0a0aa12860fa6fea06fca)

Here's the technical spec:

Compatible with bottle type bicycle dynamos with 6V/3W and 12V/3W output
5.0V/450mA/15km/h. Maximum current 70mA
Charging starts at ~6km/h and maximum output is achieved at 25km/h. Charging stops when the speed reaches 50km/m
Charging time depends on cycling speed, for example a Nokia 1202 with a 860mAh battery can be charged with about 20 minutes of cycling at a speed of about 10km/h (for the Nokia 1202 this would mean approximately 57 mins talk time or 74h standby time)


I know little about electrics, though suspect there might be a typo where it states:

5.0V/450mA/15km/h. Maximum current 70mA

I'm guessing for a maximum current it should read 700mA, rather than 70mA.

I like this solution because it uses a bottle dynamo which is independent of lights ( don't want the lights and what to be able to switch the setup between 700c tourer and 26 in mountain bike tourer). I also have a different lighting setup I want to run independent of a dynamo. I know this uses a 2mm jack to charge, but you can buy an adaptor to make it mini USB.

Thanks
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: andygates on January 16, 2011, 09:11:39 pm
I've just seen this The Plug thingy, which is a head-tube battery with wires up its jacksie and a USB port on top.  Chuffy (rarely of this parish) has it to test, but is, alas, Ned Ludd and will probably blame it for soggy folding maps and a failure of his sundial's nightlight.  ;)

the plug, dynamo hub phone charger from tout terrain.de | Padded Shorts (http://www.paddedshorts.co.uk/2009/10/the-plug/)
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: MattH on January 16, 2011, 09:43:59 pm
I know this is an oldish thread, but thought I'd resurrect it with a question.

Will this work with a HTC hero which will charge from a USB port:

GENUINE NOKIA DC-14 BICYCLE CHARGER KIT CR-124 HOLDER on eBay (end time  09-Feb-11 16:07:16 GMT) (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/GENUINE-NOKIA-DC-14-BICYCLE-CHARGER-KIT-CR-124-HOLDER_W0QQitemZ130473870035QQcmdZViewItem?rvr_id=198993488436&rvr_id=198993488436&cguid=0b3dcb9d12d0a0aa12860fa6fea06fca)

Maybe, but you'd have to hack cables.

Quote
Here's the technical spec:

Compatible with bottle type bicycle dynamos with 6V/3W and 12V/3W output
5.0V/450mA/15km/h. Maximum current 70mA
Charging starts at ~6km/h and maximum output is achieved at 25km/h. Charging stops when the speed reaches 50km/m
Charging time depends on cycling speed, for example a Nokia 1202 with a 860mAh battery can be charged with about 20 minutes of cycling at a speed of about 10km/h (for the Nokia 1202 this would mean approximately 57 mins talk time or 74h standby time)


I know little about electrics, though suspect there might be a typo where it states:

5.0V/450mA/15km/h. Maximum current 70mA

I'm guessing for a maximum current it should read 700mA, rather than 70mA.

That does look like a typo, the Nokia site claims it will charge an 860mAh battery in 20 minutes at 10km/h. The figures don't add up somewhere.

I quite like the idea of the plug (http://www.tout-terrain.de/2/products/components/the-plug/h-bar.html?start=2), and it is very neat looking, but

It's also not clear how well it smooths the power; ideally it'd have a reasonable sized battery (or big capacitor) on board so that it can continue to charge your device during short stops or whilst grunting slowly up hill. Some devices really don't like having the external power continually connected and disconnected.

The B&M e-werk (http://www.bumm.de/docu/361e.htm) gets around this by having a fairly expensive 1400mAh cache battery (http://www.bumm.de/docu/461a-e.htm) option.
The ReeCharge (http://www.dahon.com/accessories/2010/biologic-reecharge) has a 1600mAh battery built into one reasonably priced (about £70) unit, but it is fugly.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Gotte on January 17, 2011, 01:51:32 pm
Do you know if the Reecharge will work off a bottle dynamo, that is, is there any difference between the output of a 5v bottle dynamo and hub dynamo?
I'd be very interested in the Reecharge, but I want it to run off a bottle dynamo so I can switch it between bikes with different wheelsizes.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on January 17, 2011, 02:33:15 pm
I was a bit torn between the plug, ewerk and reecharge. I've decided to order the reecharge as the cheapo option since Evans have it for £65 free delivery. If it is too fugly I will hide it in my bar bag  ;D

I will report on how well it works with my iphone 3GS and Garmin Edge 705 (and Schmidt dynohub).

The info on the ewerk site suggests that Garmin Edge's may only power from it or recharge the battery but not both and possibly not while the device is in use. I am not sure how correct this is, and the chart seems to suggest it depends what version of the firmware you have as to which of the two it will do. This I found a little off putting as on PBP and long audaxes I will definitely need it to both power and charge my Garmin Edge during the day so I can use it at night when my dyno light is being powered by the hub instead.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Greenbank on January 17, 2011, 02:59:24 pm
The info on the ewerk site suggests that Garmin Edge's may only power from it or recharge the battery but not both and possibly not while the device is in use. I am not sure how correct this is, and the chart seems to suggest it depends what version of the firmware you have as to which of the two it will do. This I found a little off putting as on PBP and long audaxes I will definitely need it to both power and charge my Garmin Edge during the day so I can use it at night when my dyno light is being powered by the hub instead.

It'll be fine. Older versions of the Edge 705 wouldn't charge whilst in use (regardless of what the power source was).

Looking at the table it seems that v2.6 couldn't charge whilst in use, whilst 2.9 (and later) can. I bought my Edge 705 last year (v3.1 firmware) and it happily charges whilst in use. The firmware can be updated.

Last June I started a 400 with the Edge 705 fully charged. At 8pm it was starting to get dark so I plugged the Edge 705 (now with only 15% or so of charge left) in to the Portapow battery pack. I then rode through the night with the backlight on. When it got light in the morning I unplugged the Portapow battery pack and turned off the backlight, the Edge 705 was fully charged.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: MattH on January 17, 2011, 04:20:34 pm
Yes, I'm sure the ReeCharge will be fine for the 705 too. I've been eyeing it up on the Evans site, hovering over the buy button.

I've been running the 705 since it first came out, and can't say I've ever had any issues powering/recharging from an external battery, regardless of the software version - I'm pretty sure it was V2.20 when I got mine, the oldest file I have on Garmin Connect is from sw V 2.40 (back in 1998). As long as it has 5V into the USB port (with a small caveat about connecting the data pins together, which the ReeCharge should do, to stop it going into the mode where it thinks it is connected to a computer) then it will both operate and charge simultaneously.

I'm slightly hesitating as that price would buy me another couple of portapower batteries. Three of those would be more than enough for PBP for the phone and GPS, and have neater cabling on the bike. But being fully self-sufficient power-wise also has its attractions.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on January 17, 2011, 04:35:59 pm
Yes, I'm sure the ReeCharge will be fine for the 705 too. I've been eyeing it up on the Evans site, hovering over the buy button.

I've been running the 705 since it first came out, and can't say I've ever had any issues powering/recharging from an external battery, regardless of the software version - I'm pretty sure it was V2.20 when I got mine, the oldest file I have on Garmin Connect is from sw V 2.40 (back in 1998). As long as it has 5V into the USB port (with a small caveat about connecting the data pins together, which the ReeCharge should do, to stop it going into the mode where it thinks it is connected to a computer) then it will both operate and charge simultaneously.

I'm slightly hesitating as that price would buy me another couple of portapower batteries. Three of those would be more than enough for PBP for the phone and GPS, and have neater cabling on the bike. But being fully self-sufficient power-wise also has its attractions.

Which ones are the data pins? This could actually be a very useful caveat as I could carry a cable of both types which would enable me to make the Garmin save whenever I wanted on long rides so I don't lose any data.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: MattH on January 17, 2011, 04:52:51 pm
On the big (computer side) USB connector, +5V and 0V are the outer pins, the two in the middle are data.

Part of the USB charging spec says that a charger should connect the data pins together (or via a low value resistor, but shorting together is fine) to indicate to the unit that it is being charged rather connected. So, if you build a cable that only connects the power pins, then the 705 goes into "connected" mode. This was a problem with some external battery packs - they only connected the power pins, so you couldn't use them to charge the 705 on the go. I knocked up special cables for a couple of people to allow them to use their old external batteries with the 705.

EDIT: see Re: Garmin 705 Extending Battery life (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=16781.msg314479#msg314479)
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Greenbank on January 17, 2011, 05:05:02 pm
I'm slightly hesitating as that price would buy me another couple of portapower batteries. Three of those would be more than enough for PBP for the phone and GPS, and have neater cabling on the bike. But being fully self-sufficient power-wise also has its attractions.

A £3 ebay power pack that takes 4xAA batteries and pumps out USB 5v would be even cheaper. Indeed, I'll be carrying one as a backup should be SON die during PBP. (The backup light is powered by 4xAA batteries).

Je voudrais beaucoup des piles s'il vous plait...
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Gotte on January 17, 2011, 05:30:53 pm
So anyone know if any of these USB chargers will work off a bottle dynamo as opposed to a hub? If not my only option (I think) is to get the Nokia charger and a 2mm to mini USB converter.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on January 17, 2011, 05:33:42 pm
So anyone know if any of these USB chargers will work off a bottle dynamo as opposed to a hub? If not my only option (I think) is to get the Nokia charger and a 2mm to mini USB converter.

I'm afraid I don't know. The last bottle dynamo I owned was in about 1980 and I seem to remember it created an awful lot of rolling resistance and didn't give out a very steady current. Of course they have no doubt improved since then!
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: MattH on January 17, 2011, 05:37:12 pm
A £3 ebay power pack that takes 4xAA batteries and pumps out USB 5v would be even cheaper.

That's what I used on LEL. The thing I disliked about it was the number of sets of part-used AA cells I ended up with; ISTR there was some problem with letting them run completely flat, so I'd always start a ride with fresh ones. But, it does have the advantage of being able to "recharge" from any little shop or garage (or PBP control; I'm sure somebody said that they sell AAs at them).

On Mille Cymru I used a combination of the portapower pack for on-the-bike charging, and a 4 cell 4000mAh LiIon pack (that I use for powering my transmitter when doing SOTA (http://haigh.org/cycling/index.html))  with a cigar lighter socket attached so I could use my Garmin car charger. That's got a lot more power in it the portapower pack, as long as it is stepped down using a reasonably efficient switching supply. I did half consider using this on the bike, but it's quite bulky.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: MattH on January 17, 2011, 05:40:56 pm
So anyone know if any of these USB chargers will work off a bottle dynamo as opposed to a hub? If not my only option (I think) is to get the Nokia charger and a 2mm to mini USB converter.

Electrically is should be fine as long as it is a reasonable quality dynamo. They still have the problem of slipping on the tyre when wet and causing bad tyre wear (though some tyres, such as the Marathons, have a dynamo track on them to try to mitigate both of these).

What are you intending using this for? Multi-day touring, or just topping up the phone on a long ride/commute? For the latter, one of the portapower batteries would be cheaper and more reliable.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Gotte on January 17, 2011, 07:06:09 pm
I'm interested in it for longer touring when there's no way of charging my Hero via mains. I'm going on a wild camping tour of the highlands of Scotland later this year and we'll be out in the wilds for about ten days. I'd like to be able to charge my phone while riding, not only so I can read (got kindle on it), but also listen to music at the end of the day. GPS would be good, also. My battery last about six hours when I use GPS. I figure that I'd happily trade off some resistance for a charged battery.
Ideally, I'd go with a hum dynamo, but I have a 700c tourer that I'd probably also want to use it on when away in Europe, and two dyno-hub wheels for both bikes just make it too expensive.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on January 17, 2011, 08:53:19 pm
I'm interested in it for longer touring when there's no way of charging my Hero via mains. I'm going on a wild camping tour of the highlands of Scotland later this year and we'll be out in the wilds for about ten days. I'd like to be able to charge my phone while riding, not only so I can read (got kindle on it), but also listen to music at the end of the day. GPS would be good, also. My battery last about six hours when I use GPS. I figure that I'd happily trade off some resistance for a charged battery.
Ideally, I'd go with a hum dynamo, but I have a 700c tourer that I'd probably also want to use it on when away in Europe, and two dyno-hub wheels for both bikes just make it too expensive.

Is there no way you can share a 700c wheel between the 2 bikes? My dyno hub wheel is soon to be a shared one. I can't ride both bikes at the same time and it is very quick to swap it over when needed. I'm very impressed with how little weight and resistance the Schmidt hub has added to my bike and the light it powers is very powerful. It's such an awesome fit and forget solution.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Greenbank on January 18, 2011, 09:48:45 am
I share the dynohub wheel between all of my sporty bikes but I can't use it on the 700c hybrid as the 42mm Marathon Winter tyres are too wide for the Open Pro rim (max recommended 28mm, can risk 32mm).

I don't think there's a sporty 700c rim that will cope with a range of tyre widths of 25mm to 42mm.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: border-rider on January 18, 2011, 09:58:32 am
Exal LX17 (http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m2b131s116p1565)s will.

are they "sporty" ? Dunno.  They're a tad wider than an OP but not that much,   but they're claimed to work with 25-54 mm tyres.   I'm sceptical of the upper end; they aren't that much wider than OPs.

I've used 35 mm tyres on OPs and they were fine. I did once run a 47 mm tyre on one but the profile was a bit odd.

Very nice rims, too.  Dead easy to build with.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Greenbank on January 18, 2011, 10:09:30 am
Exal LX17 (http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m2b131s116p1565)s will.

are they "sporty" ? Dunno.  They're a tad wider than an OP but not that much,   but they're claimed to work with 25-54 mm tyres.   I'm sceptical of the upper end; they aren't that much wider than OPs.

Hmm. 17mm internal width and Sheldon (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html) says: 25mm to 37mm. (Note: This chart may err a bit on the side of caution. Many cyclists exceed the recommended widths with no problem.)

I did forget to look at that chart before posting.

19mm internal width would be better, but then it'll be weighing a bit more than the 'sporty' 425g of an Open Pro.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: border-rider on January 18, 2011, 10:17:59 am
You might struggle with a 25 mm tyre on a 19 internal width

I've got one on the back of the TinOne and I split the tyre at the start of a 300 last year and scrounged a spare off the organiser.  It was a 25, and though it worked it had a very odd profile.

I'm fairly relaxed about fat tyres on narrow rims (within reason) - it's what a lot of MTBs have - but narrow tyres on wide rims is not so good in my view.

Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Gotte on January 18, 2011, 12:19:57 pm
Is there no way you can share a 700c wheel between the 2 bikes?

Not really - the two bikes in question are 700c and 26 inch. True, the 700c will fit, but I won't have any braking as the v-brakes don't fit the rim, and the wheel is more a road wheel than off road, and I'm looking to take my mountainbike tourer on more inaccessible routes.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Panoramix on January 18, 2011, 01:06:11 pm
A £3 ebay power pack that takes 4xAA batteries and pumps out USB 5v would be even cheaper.

On Mille Cymru I used a combination of the portapower pack for on-the-bike charging, and a 4 cell 4000mAh LiIon pack (that I use for powering my transmitter when doing SOTA (http://haigh.org/cycling/index.html))  with a cigar lighter socket attached so I could use my Garmin car charger. That's got a lot more power in it the portapower pack, as long as it is stepped down using a reasonably efficient switching supply. I did half consider using this on the bike, but it's quite bulky.

This SOTA thing is awesome, we should put a motion at the next AGM to allow DIY to be validated by gonio just to see the reaction!
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Gotte on January 18, 2011, 02:12:00 pm
Here's another question, more about dynamos - if i get the Nokia bottle dynamo kit, will I be able to fit it to a dynohub later. What I mean is, I suppose, are the voltage outputs different with bottle and hub dynamos?
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: MattH on January 18, 2011, 02:25:57 pm
A normal dynamo - including most common hub dynamos -  is 6V/3W. Occasionally you'll find 12V dynamos, but these are usually very well marked.

You should just be able to use a hub dynamo in place of a bottle - but remember that a hub dynamo is running all the time, so you'll have to figure out some way of disconnecting the load (e.g. dynamo driven lights usually don't have a switch for bottle dynamos, but do have one for hub dynamos).
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Kim on January 18, 2011, 02:30:17 pm
The voltage from a lightly-loaded hub dynamo varies so greatly with speed that it's fairly safe to say that any device designed to work with a hub dynamo will be fine on a bottle, and presumably vice-versa.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Gotte on January 19, 2011, 01:33:23 pm
Thanks for that info. Much appreciated.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: border-rider on January 19, 2011, 02:42:00 pm
With one proviso - if you use a Litespin bottle dynamo it has all sorts of weird conditioning electronics that make it look quite unlike a hub dynamo.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on January 22, 2011, 10:42:58 pm
My Biologic Reecharge hub dynamo charger arrived today. I haven't tried to fit it as yet, but have had a good look at the instructions and all the bits.

It sounds pretty straightforward except for one thing, there is an extra A4 sheet with it with some further instructions contradicting what the manual says. It states that you musn't leave the regulator bit connected to the hub when you are not charging the Reecharge with it or it can be damaged by the current that has nowhere to go.

I am going to need to work out a way of switching the dyno output to either go to the light or to the Reecharge, but not both at the same time. I certainly don't fancy fiddling with spade connectors on the hub every time I want to turn the thing on or off. I was wondering if I ran a cable up the fork from the hub into some kind of switch that can select between light or charging (maybe an 'off' setting as well?). I could then connect the switch to both the IQ Cyo and the regulator unit of the Reecharge. Unfortunately I lack electronics-Fu so I am blissfully ignorant of the ins and outs of 6V switches that are weatherproof available on the market. If anyone has any ideas they would be gratefully received!
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Gotte on January 25, 2011, 05:34:38 pm
Here's another question.

Would it be possible to simply attach a car mini USB charger or specific phone car charger to a 12v dynamo?

I suppose what I'm asking is, is the output the same from a 12v car output as a 12v dynamo, or does something else have to be added to make it work.

I only ask because I saw this one, which seems just that:

Pedal & Power (http://www.ikonglobal.com/)

Only trouble is, no one stocks it, and the site doesn't sell it, which is not very enrepreneurial (or however you spell it)
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Kim on January 25, 2011, 07:24:49 pm
Would it be possible to simply attach a car mini USB charger or specific phone car charger to a 12v dynamo?

I suppose what I'm asking is, is the output the same from a 12v car output as a 12v dynamo, or does something else have to be added to make it work.

AIUI, the 12V dynamos also output unregulated AC, so it'll still need a rectifier and probably some regulation (the definition of '12V' when applied to vehicle electrical systems is fairly loose, but still not as extreme as the range of voltages you can get from a lightly-loaded bicycle dynamo (indeed, the nominal 6V dynamos will easily output 12V at reasonable cycling speeds if not driving a tungsten lamp - modern LED lights make use of this)).  The main advantage to a 12V dynamo would be more voltage available at lower speed.

In other words, no.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 26, 2011, 10:00:35 am
I am going to need to work out a way of switching the dyno output to either go to the light or to the Reecharge, but not both at the same time. I certainly don't fancy fiddling with spade connectors on the hub every time I want to turn the thing on or off. I was wondering if I ran a cable up the fork from the hub into some kind of switch that can select between light or charging (maybe an 'off' setting as well?). I could then connect the switch to both the IQ Cyo and the regulator unit of the Reecharge. Unfortunately I lack electronics-Fu so I am blissfully ignorant of the ins and outs of 6V switches that are weatherproof available on the market. If anyone has any ideas they would be gratefully received!
Multi-position switches are the spawn of the devil. I've used, broken, cursed at and binned several on boats.

There are two main types; 'make before break' and 'break before make'. The difference is that, when switching position, does the switch make the new circuit before breaking the old.


TBH, I think you would be better off using some sort of connectors. More reliable and less likely to make a mistake. The sorts of connectors used for remote control toys are much easier to manage with gloves on and last longer.
These sorts of things:
(http://images.maplin.co.uk/300/jg04&jg05f.jpg)

You don't even need special tools to put them together. Easily bought from ebay, maplins etc.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: andygates on January 26, 2011, 10:54:19 am
I'll take a switch with a nice rubber hat, any day.  That looks easily fumbled, sworn, and connected while full of rainwater.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on January 26, 2011, 02:50:20 pm
I'll take a switch with a nice rubber hat, any day.  That looks easily fumbled, sworn, and connected while full of rainwater.

Your Kinder surprise suggestion was genius :)
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Polar Bear on January 26, 2011, 02:58:24 pm
I have a three position toggle switch from Maplin which is on1 / off / on2.   I also have the 'condom for it.

All I need now is a nice little box to mount it in and to be able to mount the switch on or near the bars.   
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on January 26, 2011, 03:00:07 pm
I have a three position toggle switch from Maplin which is on1 / off / on2.   I also have the 'condom for it.

All I need now is a nice little box to mount it in and to be able to mount the switch on or near the bars.   

We have awesome ideas so far from Kim of one of those little plastic cyclinders that 35mm film came in, and andygate's idea of kinder surprise egg inner plastic thingy!
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Polar Bear on January 26, 2011, 03:02:22 pm
Hmm. 35mm cannisters.   I used to have some of them...

Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on January 26, 2011, 03:11:56 pm
I'm actually having great trouble finding 4.8mm piggy back spade connectors. I've decided to wire up my Cyo direct from the hub since it has it's own switch anyway and I really don't want to have any problems with it during the long rides. This means I want to piggy back the wire that will run up to my switch straight from the dyno hub. Try as I might no one seems to stock piggy back spades in this medium size that they need to be to fit the Schmidt hub. I would have liked to have the option of separating the 2 wires at the hub without having to rewire anything, but unless I find some I may have to just connect both wires to one spade.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 26, 2011, 03:16:15 pm
I'll take a switch with a nice rubber hat, any day.  That looks easily fumbled, sworn, and connected while full of rainwater.

Nope

They only connect one way round (the 'male' plug bits are U shaped). The wires and connectors are entirely separate - you can pour water over them and you won't get a short.  Oh, and they won't retain water, it runs through them. These connectors are used with 35A currents in dirty conditions.

Trust me, I used these connectors on a home-made light for 18months, riding in the most horrendous weather. Never let me down.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Kim on January 26, 2011, 03:43:05 pm
+1 to this.  The only issue I've had with them was forgetting to disconnect the cable *before* removing the pannier.  And it was sturdy enough that nothing got broken.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: andrew_s on January 27, 2011, 12:54:30 am
I'm actually having great trouble finding 4.8mm piggy back spade connectors.

Where else? (http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/schmidt-schmidt-cable-connector-non-insulated-48-mm-female-with-piggyback-connector-pack-of-20-prod23165/)
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: andygates on January 27, 2011, 08:03:38 am
Hm, I may be convinced...
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on January 28, 2011, 09:09:11 am
As an alternative to the more or less extinct film cartridges, I've now got a supply of a very similar dimensioned container, although a little smaller.  My glucometer test strips come in a little plastic pot, which is very similar to the film cartridge pots except they're white (so get grubbier easier), and the lid is on a little hinge instead of entirely loose.

I would have thought Feline must have access to similar sorts of things through her work. Wouldn't some pill containers also be suitable?
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Panoramix on January 28, 2011, 11:13:42 am
Would it not be be possible to mount a switch on a handlebar plug so that the elctric bit is inside the handlebars? There is always the risk of a bit of humidity inside the handlebar but protecting the contacts with shrinking stuff would work. The only negative is that it would lengthen the cable run but oversize it a bit and electrical losses will be minimal.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: border-rider on January 28, 2011, 11:22:01 am
You need a fairly robust switch to do that (you knock it all the time, believe me) and a very rigid bar-end plug. But yes, it's possible.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 28, 2011, 11:50:29 am
You could, but unless you are a fair weather rider, your electrical contacts and switch *will* be subject to damp.

That's why I suggested the Tamiya plugs. These don't need to be protected from the weather. You can use them in the rain with 35A flowing and they'll be ok.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: frankly frankie on January 28, 2011, 12:22:19 pm
+1 (or is it +2 or +3 by now) for those connectors illustrated above.

Neat they are not, but they really are foolproof, locking, weather-resistant* and the best thing for the job, IME.

* as in, water passes straight through, which is a very good 2nd-best to being sealed to IPX-whatever.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Panoramix on January 28, 2011, 12:31:26 pm
You could, but unless you are a fair weather rider, your electrical contacts and switch *will* be subject to damp.

That's why I suggested the Tamiya plugs. These don't need to be protected from the weather. You can use them in the rain with 35A flowing and they'll be ok.

I am sure that the Tamiya plugs work but electrical contact spray + silicone works also. This is one way of wiring navigation lights which are exposed to seawater spray.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 28, 2011, 12:39:27 pm
Maybe.

My experience of electrical connections on boats is that they are a freaking nightmare (remember that I lived on a boat for years). If I were rewiring my nav lights now, sod the 'marine' connectors and 'watertight' boxes, I'd use Tamiya connectors.

The design means that even when wet, the wires and connectors are kept separate. Water will just pass straight through. You can even extract the male and female contacts completely from the plastic surround for cleaning.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Panoramix on January 28, 2011, 12:52:28 pm
My experience of electrical connections on boats is that they are a freaking nightmare

Oh yes, I think that the best option is to leave water come out as quickly as it entered and make sure that the water can't create a short.

I'd use Tamiya connectors.

The design means that even when wet, the wires and connectors are kept separate. Water will just pass straight through. You can even extract the male and female contacts completely from the plastic surround for cleaning.

That may be worth trying, what I like about silicone is that even when the bow goes through a wave there shouldn't be a short circuit but may with the Tamyia one the distance is too great to be a concern.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 28, 2011, 12:54:16 pm
I've had some success using rubber self-amalgamating tape - if it's applied to clean surfaces it seals well.

Over time, the damp just seems to get in anyway, so I prefer connections I can take apart and clean.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Kim on January 28, 2011, 04:17:05 pm
If I were rewiring my nav lights now, sod the 'marine' connectors and 'watertight' boxes, I'd use Tamiya connectors.

I'm a land-lubber with no experience of such things, but I was under the impression that crimped connectors were preferred over solder in a corrosive environment.  Of course there may be a crimp version of the Tamiya connector (or at least some similar modular connector) available.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: frankly frankie on January 28, 2011, 04:41:37 pm
<pedant> Rain water and sea water are two very different things, electrically. </pedant>

Rain water isn't worth worrying about, in the short term (it won't create a short-circuit).  Longer term of course it does lead to corrosion, which is why the next best thing to waterproofing a light is to drill a drain hole in the bottom.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 28, 2011, 04:45:12 pm
All the tamiya connectors I've used could be crimped.

solder is frowned on in marine environments because it creates a hard spot that is prone to breaking under vibration and flex. Damp in the bit of wire adjacent to the solder also encourages corrosion. OTOH, I've had great success creating soldered rings for screw-on battery connections; forming the bare wire into a ring and running solder into it.  Solder + heatshrink + wiring box is a good way to join wires. Permanent and safer than proprietary junction box.

A lot of marine electric wiring components are overpriced rubbish (lighting, pumps). The marine electronics are often very good.


Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Panoramix on January 28, 2011, 05:02:12 pm
Over time, the damp just seems to get in anyway, so I prefer connections I can take apart and clean.

The elctrical connection spray is effectively a water repellent, so it should mitigate this.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on April 01, 2011, 02:53:46 pm
In readiness for some longer upcoming rides, I have got my Dahon Reecharge set up strapped to my headset spacer area with a hand-fettled switch made from a Maplin sub-micro switch wearing a waterproof condom-like cover (and the back of it all sealed up with self amalgamating tape).

I decided to take Kim's advice and keep the wiring for the lighting completely separate from the Reecharge wiring just in case a fault was to develop in either. I'm using piggy back spade connectors at the Schmidt hub end for the IQ Cyo light, and then plain spades for the Reecharge wire attached to them.

The Reecharge wire comes up the inside of the fork and at the level of my light bracket I fitted spade connecters in line just in case I ever want or need to detach the whole thing. The cable goes through my Maplin switch before the Dahon current regulator gadget so I can turn it off either at night when the light is running (this has it's own senso switch) or when the Reecharge battery is full. It also needs to be off if the Reecharge isn't there because the regulator thing can be apparently damaged if it is getting current but has nowhere to send it.

The whole set up is working a treat and a nearly-flat Garmin Edge 705 can be fully charged whilst being used in about 2 hours riding time. I haven't yet used it to charge up my iPhone to see how long that takes.


I have however discovered something annoying that I think is related to where I have the Reecharge mounted, when it is 'on' in either receiving charge or giving charge modes it seems to interfere with my wireless Cateye signal and also the wireless signal from my Garmin cad sensor. Both of these sometimes give a correct reading, but sometimes give no reading at all. When I had the Reecharge set up on my other bike I had it located inside a bar bag, and I didn't notice any problems like this. However I did have the problem of not being able to tell if I had the thing turned on or not because it was inside the bag. My new set up is much better for being able to see it's working by looking at the red and green light and you can turn the output off and on while on the move. Having the Reecharge easy to use is probably currently more important to me than having an always working Cad sensor so I will probably leave it where it is for now while I think of possible solutions. I have a nice little carbon bar extender thingy I could try sticking the Cateye on to see if being a few inches further forward than the Reecharge solves it. Thought I would describe the problem here though just for information for anyone else thinking of setting up something like this!
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Kim on April 01, 2011, 03:58:51 pm
I have however discovered something annoying that I think is related to where I have the Reecharge mounted, when it is 'on' in either receiving charge or giving charge modes it seems to interfere with my wireless Cateye signal and also the wireless signal from my Garmin cad sensor.

Good point.  Wireless sensors and LED dynamo lights (and indeed some of the battery ones) are generally considered to be a bad idea, as they tend to be rather sloppy about noise emissions.  Stands to reason that the Reecharge, which undoubtedly also contains a switching regulator, is going to cause similar problems.  I suspect just having more wiring around to radiate is an issue.

The textbook solution is to stick to computers with wired sensors, but that isn't going to help for a Garmin, so I suppose you're left having to play with moving things around.  I hate these sort of intermittent problems, and it's why I generally try to avoid wireless things whenever possible (and I have a house full of cat5 cable to prove it).   :-\
 


Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Greenbank on April 01, 2011, 04:05:28 pm
In readiness for some longer upcoming rides, I have got my Dahon Reecharge set up strapped to my headset spacer area with a hand-fettled switch made from a Maplin sub-micro switch wearing a waterproof condom-like cover (and the back of it all sealed up with self amalgamating tape).

I'd be interested in any photos of your Reecharge setup on your bike...

I'm still deciding between the Reecharge and the eWerk...
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: MattH on April 01, 2011, 04:29:23 pm
I generally try to avoid wireless things whenever possible (and I have a house full of cat5 cable to prove it).   :-\

You are me! When we moved into this house, our stuff was in storage. I told my wife and kids that we wouldn't have our stuff (including furniture) until the day after we got the house, because I wanted to run cat 5 everywhere without the hassle of moving furniture  :)

I'd be interested in any photos of your Reecharge setup on your bike...

I'm still deciding between the Reecharge and the eWerk...

Same here. I know I've described the Reecharge as fugly, but the eWerk isn't that much better (and much more expensive).
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on April 01, 2011, 05:52:18 pm
In readiness for some longer upcoming rides, I have got my Dahon Reecharge set up strapped to my headset spacer area with a hand-fettled switch made from a Maplin sub-micro switch wearing a waterproof condom-like cover (and the back of it all sealed up with self amalgamating tape).

I'd be interested in any photos of your Reecharge setup on your bike...

I'm still deciding between the Reecharge and the eWerk...

Here it is ... and yep, it's fugly  ;D

The battery pack with my home made switch
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v171/feistyfeline/IMG_1630.jpg)

The modulating unit thingy. I could shorten some wires but want to make sure it's position is final before I do that!
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v171/feistyfeline/IMG_1629.jpg)
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Kim on April 01, 2011, 05:55:55 pm
That's a pretty good advertisement for bar bags  ;D

How waterproof do you reckon those USB connectors are?  I gave up on the idea of powering my eTrex on the go because I couldn't see how it wasn't going to end up wet...
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on April 01, 2011, 06:00:27 pm
That's a pretty good advertisement for bar bags  ;D

How waterproof do you reckon those USB connectors are?  I gave up on the idea of powering my eTrex on the go because I couldn't see how it wasn't going to end up wet...

The port for USB under the Dahon is very rubbery and probably pretty waterproof. Garmin seem to think it is OK to use the mini USB port while on the move since it is underneath the device and facing downwards with a little rubber flap in front of it. To be honest I'm not sure how waterproof any USB cable actually needs to be if no data is involved and small DC currents are involved. It would only really be the Garmin port I would worry about and in really heavy rain I would always have the option of disconnecting it.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: MattH on April 01, 2011, 06:16:33 pm
I've been running the 705 since 2008 (i.e. when they were initially released). I've ridding in all kinds of weather, and never had a problem with the USB connector. I do try to avoid charging in the rain, but frankly that isn't always possible. Being on the underneath of the device means you'd need water spraying upwards to get into it. With mudguards and horizontal positioning, I think it's OK.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Kim on April 01, 2011, 06:17:01 pm
The port for USB under the Dahon is very rubbery and probably pretty waterproof. Garmin seem to think it is OK to use the mini USB port while on the move since it is underneath the device and facing downwards with a little rubber flap in front of it.

Same arrangement as on the eTrex then.  I decided that it would probably work okay on an upright bike (especially if I added a collar to the cable to keep splashes from the wheel off it), but it wasn't going to happen on the 'bent as it's mounted vertically and will get the full force of the driving rain and less gravitational drainage.


Quote
To be honest I'm not sure how waterproof any USB cable actually needs to be if no data is involved and small DC currents are involved. It would only really be the Garmin port I would worry about and in really heavy rain I would always have the option of disconnecting it.

It's corrosion of the contacts (or worse, corrosion of the Garmin's innards) that bothers me rather than the water having any effect electrically.  
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: DoctorRad on December 19, 2011, 09:07:22 am
I tried the Tamiya plugs for cycle lighting. They were okay on the road, but with the vibration of off-road riding, the connection was far from reliable. I replaced them with plugs similar to these, which have been 100% fine, if a little bulky: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/170745821791

Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Biggsy on December 19, 2011, 10:56:03 am
Yummm, I'm having a geargasm looking at all that gear.  That white thing looks ugly though.  :(

I too wouldn't feel happy about using ordinary USB connectors.  I would Do Something about them, via experimenting with various Stuff I have at home or could buy.  #vaguepost
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: TimO on December 19, 2011, 05:15:12 pm
Most kit that needs to be charged via USB, is going to have to use a standard USB connector, unless you want to do some fairly serious modding.  After all half the point is that the USB connector is broadly fairly standard (even if I do have devices which use USB, Mini-USB and Micro-USB for power).

For in-line connections away from the device being powered, and assuming that equipment is put somewhere waterproof (assuming it isn't waterproof anyway, like my Garmin), then I can see the usefulness of a fairly heavy duty, waterproof two pin DC connector.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Kim on December 19, 2011, 05:24:17 pm
The ReeCharge does a reasonable job of splashproofing a USB A connector by squeezing it through a slit in the rubber casing.  But that's the easy end - all that gubbins can go in a waterproof bag.  It's the back of your bar-mounted GPS/phone that's the problem.  I can't help thinking the old serial port eTrex had the right idea.
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Feline on December 19, 2011, 06:43:33 pm
My fugly Reecharge got relegated to hiding inside a Topeak frame bag in shame in the end. However it performed flawlessly on PBP keeping my Garmin charged throughout. I've never bothered to unplug the Garmin in the rain and (touch wood) so far had no problems. I haven't done the vaseline round the connection thing either, since I don't like getting sliminess on my leather Rapha gloves  ;D
Title: Re: Bike mounted USB Charger
Post by: Mena on December 13, 2017, 06:52:25 am
I'm a stronger cyclist but a cycling lover. Last year, I just got a bike cellphone holder and it is cool to play music and offer GPS. But the phone often died halfway. the bike mounted USB charger is a good idea. I'm now using a bestek bike cellphone mount holder that comes with a USB charger.