Author Topic: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter  (Read 55271 times)

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #125 on: December 15, 2016, 11:46:58 pm »

Will send pictures as I thought some of the unit was unduly exposed to elements.

All in all a thoroughly decent bit of kit.

The external capacitor is sealed, the black heatshrink is little more than for cosmetic purpose - it's fine if water gets in the top.

The main unit is sealed and filled - no water can get into it. If it could, we wouldn't be offering a lifetime warranty.  :thumbsup:

Regards,

Andrew

keeks

  • shooting from the hip ... because I am
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #126 on: December 16, 2016, 11:01:12 am »

Will send pictures as I thought some of the unit was unduly exposed to elements.

All in all a thoroughly decent bit of kit.

The external capacitor is sealed, the black heatshrink is little more than for cosmetic purpose - it's fine if water gets in the top.

The main unit is sealed and filled - no water can get into it. If it could, we wouldn't be offering a lifetime warranty.  :thumbsup:

Regards,

Andrew

Arr ok that was my concern

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #127 on: December 16, 2016, 01:43:34 pm »
My D1 arrived promptly and was packed in a neat little cardboard box with no space for any Haribo   :(   The unit itself is tiny and has a slightly home made look to it.  This is merely an observation and not meant as a criticism.  In practice this helps it to blend in with the homemade nature of the rest of the wiring on my bike.

I installed it on my commuter bike which has a Shimano 3N72 dynohub in 26" wheels, a Philips Saferide (?) front light and a Herrmans H-track rear light.  The D1 input wires were twisted around the existing front light wires and were then re-inserted into the Shimano 'lego block' connector.  I am not sure how these connectors ever work but they just do.

DSC01007 by jwilton634, on Flickr

I know that there is corrosion, mildew etc but the bike lives outside all year round so hopefully it will make a good testbed.

The wire was wrapped around the fork leg a couple of times with random cable ties used to hold it in place.  The D1 body was then tie wrapped to the head tube using the supplied mounts and temperamental double-sided tape.

DSC01008 by jwilton634, on Flickr

The USB output had a couple of bits of self adhesive foam stuck to it (from an Aldi puincture repair kit) and this meant that a cable tie could get purchase on it when it was attached to the stem.  It was angled down to (hopefully) allow the water to drain from it.

DSC01010 by jwilton634, on Flickr


The first ride was a 0730 commute so the lights were on.  I plugged a 'USB Charger Doctor' into the D1's USB socket to help monitor what was happening and then plugged in my Samsung Galaxy Ace4.  At just above walking speed the display came to life and the phone proceeded to take charge.  The front light flickered a little as the D1 cut in but I am quite happy to blame that on the lego block connector.  I was a bit surprised that the current display on the Charger Doctor seemed to be all over the place.  It updates about once per second and was flipping around between 0.1A and 0.6A.  I had not seen this sort of behaviour when charging from a computer or a wallwart USB.

In an attempt to take any USB negotiation confusion out of the system I then tried charging a 2600mAh powerpack but this gave similar results.

I contacted Andrew who rapidly responded to tell me that the voltage drop on the monitor was probably confusing the USB circuitry.  It would have been good to get some quantitative charging rates but as the devices were charging I wasn't too worried.

Further experiments this morning showed that with the bike lights off my Etrex 30X takes current at speeds above about 9kph.  My phone does so at speeds above about 11 kph.  These speeds increase by 1-2 kph if the lights are on.

When I have felt the D1 it has always been stone cold but I haven't really tested it with sustained high speed.

Now that my monitoring plans have been thwarted I need to do some longer rides to get a feel for how fast I am putting charge in.

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #128 on: December 16, 2016, 02:12:55 pm »
I've used my D1 on my commute every day this week charging various devices using the D1 in isolation and also testing the D1 in combination with the lights.

I use an SP PD-8 dynamo in a 26" wheel. It normally drives an Exposure Revo light and an Exposure Redeye rear light. The rear light is powered from an output on the Revo, rather than directly from the dynamo.

To wire up the D1 I split my existing cable from dynamo at the head tube and soldered the D1 cable (in parallel). I then sealed it all up with heatshrink. I inserted a small piece of cable tie to form a splint across the join to avoid any flexing at the weak point.
Overall a neat and unobtrusive join.
I will mostly change this at some point as I would like the option of being able to move the D1 between bikes and remove it when not required. I have ordered some of the waterproof connectors mentioned up thread.
A was able to fit the D1 out of the way under the stem.
I suppose my preference would be to be able to place it inside a top tube bag. I did note the warnings about overheating.
Unfortunately there aren't any alpine passes on my commute so I wasn't able to test this. I have one short hill where I reach up to about 50km/h for a minute or so. I checked the D1, but couldn't feel any heat at all.
That said it's out of the way under the stem, so I'm probably happy for it to remain there.


I don't think that it's a good idea to expose the USB output to the elements so I placed that inside the toptube back, along with the device being charged.

Here's a list of the devices that I was able to successfully charge and the impact that they had on the light.
It should be noted that the Exposure Revo is a very bright light (800 lumen) and therefore probably draws a lot of current.

Garmin Edge 800: (My commute is 20km - 25km/h avg, 48min moving, 1hr 2min total) Commute without the lights took the Garmin from 6% to 35%.  Backlight was on high.
The same commute done with the lights on took it from 35% to 68%. There was no real noticeable drop in the light output while the D1 was connected.

Exposure joystick: Charged ok. It takes a lot of power from the light (estimate at least 75% only one LED functions)

Samsung Galaxy S5: Charged ok. It takes power from the light (estimate at least 50% only two LED function)

Olympus TG-850 camera: Charged ok. It takes a lot of power from the light (estimate at least 75% only one LED functions)

iPhone 6: Charged ok. It takes a lot of power from the light (estimate at least 75% only one LED functions)

Lezyne Micro Drive rear light: Charged ok. It takes power from the light (estimate at least 50% only two LED function)


In summary I am very happy with the performance and form factor of this device. It's exactly what I was looking for.
My tests have proven that it can successfully charge all the devices that I am lightly to want on the road.

The only "mission critical" device is the Garmin and it's a bonus that it looks like I will be able to charge this at night while using the lights. The other things can be charged during the day. Even the most power hungry devices still allow the light to function enough for it to be used as a "be seen" light.

I will most likely get a cache battery with passthrough and use that to power the Garmin to stop it beeping and turning on the light when it looses power when stopped.

It looked like the charging kicked in at around 14km/h. I was using 26" wheels, so maybe a km or two faster is to be expected when using 700C.
As I mentioned I will most probably put a cable connector on the input wire and possibly also the output wire.
I would assume that the majority of people who have chosen a dynamo solution are comfortable with bit of basic electrical wiring. Everyone will have different requirements regarding wire lengths, routes, D1 & light locations so it would be difficult to make a solution that caters perfectly for all. For me I was happy to solder my own connections and have a good length of wire to work with. Offering a pluggable option ala e-werk might not be a bad idea though.
I also liked that the USB connector, which is the component most likely to fail is not integrated into the device like a Sinewave or one of the chargers integrated into the steerer tube. This should be easy for most to repair/replace and this has been identified and offered as a future service which is nice.

...the only downside to all this wizardry is that I will no longer be able to use the excuse of stopping somewhere for a rest to charge my devices.

Thank you for the discount Andrew. I'll provide an update in future once I've managed to live off it in the wild for a few days (not expected until the summer)

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #129 on: December 16, 2016, 02:30:41 pm »
I got one from sjsc. It waits for me at the post office. Not going to have time to play before xmas now.

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #130 on: December 16, 2016, 03:02:54 pm »
So am I right in thinking that in some circumstances and with some device combinations the D1 will reduce the brightness of your lights?

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #131 on: December 16, 2016, 03:17:30 pm »
So am I right in thinking that in some circumstances and with some device combinations the D1 will reduce the brightness of your lights?

Correct. The dynamo can only output a finite amount of power. Depending on how fast you are going/what type of dynamo you have/what type of lights you have/the power requirements of device you are charging. If you are not producing enough power something has got to give.

The SP dynamo that I have (and something like a SON delux) is designed to be used with LED lights. I believe if you have a dynamo like a SON 28 they produce a lot more power.

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #132 on: December 16, 2016, 03:24:44 pm »
So am I right in thinking that in some circumstances and with some device combinations the D1 will reduce the brightness of your lights?

Correct. The dynamo is only outputting a finite amount of power. Depending on how fast you are going/what type of dynamo you have/what type of lights you have/the power requirements of device you are charging. If you are not producing enough power something has got to give.

The SP dynamo that I have (and something like a SON delux) is designed to be used with LED lights. I believe if you have a dynamo like a SON 28 they produce a lot more power.

That's what I thought and possibly an argument for using the B&M Luxos (yes I know some people including myself have had reliability problems) and not the D1.  When the Luxos is lit and you have something plugged into the USB output and you ride slowly (hill climbing is a good example) the red LED on the handlebar switch goes out to indicate the cache battery is flat but as far as I can tell it still powers the device connected to the USB.  I say "as far as I can tell" and I think I am right as often I am powering my Garmin E30 off the USB and if the external power fails the unit tells me. 

But the crucially point is that at no point does the light dim.  I'd far rather sacrifice USB power than maintain it at the expense of light brightness.

Or am I missing an important point?

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #133 on: December 16, 2016, 04:49:40 pm »
The most simple solution to this would be to charge only during daylight hours.


Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #134 on: December 16, 2016, 04:54:58 pm »
The most simple solution to this would be to charge only during daylight hours.

That's a simple but not a complete solution. 

You can't charge a Garmin E30 as it runs on AA cells.  But it will take an external power source (USB in this scenario) which means you aren't chewing through the AA cells and (this is the best bit) the back light stays on when the unit is externally powered.  Very handy indeed at night, and I ride a lot in the dark.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #135 on: December 16, 2016, 04:56:14 pm »
Occupational hazard of using a charger that's independent from the lights.  It can't do much to prioritise lighting over USB power, except gracefully dropping out at low speeds.  The flip side of that is the non-linearity of both LEDs and the human eye: it takes quite a change in power to the lighting before there's a perceivable difference, so you can probably keep an eTrex ticking over without a perceivable effect.

Personally, this doesn't bother me, as my main use for USB power is to recharge a battery pack when touring, which is mostly a daytime activity.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #136 on: December 16, 2016, 05:02:34 pm »
The most simple solution to this would be to charge only during daylight hours.

That's a simple but not a complete solution. 

You can't charge a Garmin E30 as it runs on AA cells.  But it will take an external power source (USB in this scenario) which means you aren't chewing through the AA cells and (this is the best bit) the back light stays on when the unit is externally powered.  Very handy indeed at night, and I ride a lot in the dark.

I also do a lot of night riding. With a device with replaceable AA cells, I don't particularly want to use external power. You can ride a 400km with an E30 on a single pair of AA cells. Backlight on all the time of course makes this much shorter - so I don't do that.

I'd like to be able to record more data, such as using the Edge 1000. Or using my phone. But each of these has no replaceable batteries so I need to carry a fairly bulky Li-ion cache battery. By the sound of it the D1 can replace this with something smaller.

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #137 on: December 16, 2016, 05:04:10 pm »
Occupational hazard of using a charger that's independent from the lights.  It can't do much to prioritise lighting over USB power, except gracefully dropping out at low speeds.  The flip side of that is the non-linearity of both LEDs and the human eye: it takes quite a change in power to the lighting before there's a perceivable difference, so you can probably keep an eTrex ticking over without a perceivable effect.

Personally, this doesn't bother me, as my main use for USB power is to recharge a battery pack when touring, which is mostly a daytime activity.

Yes I do sometimes use a power pack which can power the E30.  I have the Luxos USB plugged into the pack too which keeps it topped up.  But, the power pack requires the use of a bar bag which I don't always need.  Obviously I could find another power pack carrying solution like a top tube bag.

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #138 on: December 16, 2016, 05:09:07 pm »
The most simple solution to this would be to charge only during daylight hours.

That's a simple but not a complete solution. 

You can't charge a Garmin E30 as it runs on AA cells.  But it will take an external power source (USB in this scenario) which means you aren't chewing through the AA cells and (this is the best bit) the back light stays on when the unit is externally powered.  Very handy indeed at night, and I ride a lot in the dark.

I also do a lot of night riding. With a device with replaceable AA cells, I don't particularly want to use external power. You can ride a 400km with an E30 on a single pair of AA cells. Backlight on all the time of course makes this much shorter - so I don't do that.

I'd like to be able to record more data, such as using the Edge 1000. Or using my phone. But each of these has no replaceable batteries so I need to carry a fairly bulky Li-ion cache battery. By the sound of it the D1 can replace this with something smaller.

Sure, all that makes sense. 

Despite favouring the Luxos for my own usage (assuming the bloody thing doesn't fail - fingers crossed - I've been OK for a while) I think the  D1 seems to be an excellent solution for many riders.  Having choice is the key thing here.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #139 on: December 16, 2016, 05:24:44 pm »
Another option would be to use the D1 to charge up a power pack during the day and use that to power the E30 at night.

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #140 on: December 16, 2016, 05:42:11 pm »
Another option would be to use the D1 to charge up a power pack during the day and use that to power the E30 at night.

Yes, that would work.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #141 on: December 16, 2016, 05:42:59 pm »
Another option would be to use the D1 to charge up a power pack some AA batteries during the day and use that to power the E30 at night.

FTFY
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #142 on: December 16, 2016, 05:57:28 pm »
Another option would be to use the D1 to charge up a power pack some AA batteries during the day and use that to power the E30 at night.

FTFY

Yes, sounds sensible if you're using a device with replaceable batteries. I was thinking in terms of my own set-up with an Edge 510 (non-replaceable battery).

Andrew made a good point upthread about power packs with pass through (eg Limefuel) - so you could have the D1 > power pack > Garmin in series. I thought my Anker power pack had this feature but I tested it and it doesn't.

Phil W

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #143 on: December 16, 2016, 07:19:06 pm »
E20 with backlight on low will last about 22 hours on a single set of AA's. Beware of having it plugged in to external power on the bike. I did that (all the time off a Luxos U)  and it wrecked the USB port and I had to get a reconditioned unit after it broke.  My preference now would be to plug in cheap charger to charge some AA and swap them over as required. If touring and you have access to a power socket at night you can of course just carry a charger to use in the evening.

thing1

  • aka Joth
    • TandemThings
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #144 on: December 17, 2016, 06:36:26 am »
Am I to understand there will be no Official Kim Review of this product?
This thread is useless without Kim's report *


* with all due respect, and gratitude, for those already investing time in making reviews

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #145 on: December 17, 2016, 01:36:04 pm »
E20 with backlight on low will last about 22 hours on a single set of AA's. Beware of having it plugged in to external power on the bike. I did that (all the time off a Luxos U)  and it wrecked the USB port and I had to get a reconditioned unit after it broke.  My preference now would be to plug in cheap charger to charge some AA and swap them over as required. If touring and you have access to a power socket at night you can of course just carry a charger to use in the evening.
Apologies for the 'thread hijack' but may I ask , did you mean the USB port on the Luxos or the E20? and in what manner did it get wrecked ? 
I've run my Vista off the Luxos USB for a long time now with no problems, and no doubt will on day have to move with the times and get an E20/E30, so I'm wonderign if there is something new I should be looking out for?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #146 on: December 17, 2016, 02:14:32 pm »
Am I to understand there will be no Official Kim Review of this product?

Sadly not.  I don't need any more chargers.  Indeed, I can barely ride a bike at the moment.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Phil W

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #147 on: December 17, 2016, 02:27:53 pm »
E20 with backlight on low will last about 22 hours on a single set of AA's. Beware of having it plugged in to external power on the bike. I did that (all the time off a Luxos U)  and it wrecked the USB port and I had to get a reconditioned unit after it broke.  My preference now would be to plug in cheap charger to charge some AA and swap them over as required. If touring and you have access to a power socket at night you can of course just carry a charger to use in the evening.
Apologies for the 'thread hijack' but may I ask , did you mean the USB port on the Luxos or the E20? and in what manner did it get wrecked ? 
I've run my Vista off the Luxos USB for a long time now with no problems, and no doubt will on day have to move with the times and get an E20/E30, so I'm wonderign if there is something new I should be looking out for?

The USB socket on the E20. A connection between the USB port and the circuit board clearly got damaged in the unit. It would no longer be detected by the PC or recognise when external power was connected.  The Luxos USB output continues to work and I charge the small lipstick battery chargers from time to time off it. Those chargers cost under £10 so no big deal if I need to replace them if the port connections fail.

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #148 on: December 17, 2016, 03:02:12 pm »
The USB socket on the E20. A connection between the USB port and the circuit board clearly got damaged in the unit. It would no longer be detected by the PC or recognise when external power was connected.  The Luxos USB output continues to work and I charge the small lipstick battery chargers from time to time off it. Those chargers cost under £10 so no big deal if I need to replace them if the port connections fail. 
OK - thanks.
I've had Etrex (HCx generation) USB ports fail, both completely, and failing just the data element - but not (AFAICR) though having them externally connected like this.  I do have mine  somewhat protected at both ends of the cable with bits of sugru in a bid to limit water ingress.

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #149 on: December 17, 2016, 05:00:28 pm »
Hi Andrew,
I'm running a velological rim dynamo on my recumbent. Would be interested to know if the D1 would work with this ? I wouldn't be looking to run lights and charge at the same time, most likely be using to top up Garmin and a cache battery for I phone.
Adrian
Get a bicycle.  You will not regret it if you live  ~Mark Twain