Author Topic: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter  (Read 57877 times)

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #150 on: December 17, 2016, 05:03:08 pm »
Micro USB is flimsy, it's important to use a 90 degree USB cable, to ensure it's not pulling on the port and that the cable isn't able to move.

Water must never be allowed into the device port when charging - the micro usb pins are tiny and electrolysis will eat them in no time at all.

We've put a bulk order in for these as they're reversible. You may wish to check them out:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Brand-New-180cm-6ft-Micro-USB-Cable-Fast-Charging-Data-Sync-Cords-for-Samsung-S3-S4/32472866439.html

Andrew

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #151 on: December 17, 2016, 05:13:44 pm »
The eTrex series still use *mini* USB.  Which is an even worse choice, in some ways (at least with micro USB the part most susceptible to mechanical damage is in the cable, not the socket), and similarly intolerant of getting wet.  Fortunately the eTrex also uses AA batteries, so there's no real need to feed it external power while riding.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #152 on: December 17, 2016, 05:20:25 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

Technically it's only rated to 1.5W, though reviews indicate it gives out more. The D1's digital monitoring may fail to work correctly due to the likely AC frequency difference over a hub dynamo so you may have intermittent power when setting off or slowing down (this may cause problems with some cache batteries and phones). If it doesn't work correctly just send it back - you'll only loose the £2.09 postage (assuming you're in the UK).

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #153 on: December 17, 2016, 05:43:47 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

Technically it's only rated to 1.5W, though reviews indicate it gives out more. The D1's digital monitoring may fail to work correctly due to the likely AC frequency difference over a hub dynamo so you may have intermittent power when setting off or slowing down (this may cause problems with some cache batteries and phones). If it doesn't work correctly just send it back - you'll only loose the £2.09 postage (assuming you're in the UK).

OK - probably worth a try - I'll stick it on my post Xmas present list to myself !
Get a bicycle.  You will not regret it if you live  ~Mark Twain

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #154 on: December 19, 2016, 05:50:42 pm »
So my device was shipped 8th December arriving next day but I haven’t had much time to give it a try out until this weekend, so only 2 rides to test it out.
I decided to temporarily mount it on my main Audax bike, this already runs a SON dynamo and Busch + Müller IQ2 Luxos U light with a complimentary Toplight View Brake Plus Rear Light.  The more permanent plan is for this to be on my single speed bike as an alternative to having a Luxos U installed on that too.

I opted for the SON compatible piggy back spade connectors to save on faff for trying this device out.  They arrived attached to the D1 dynamo end of the cable.  Probably would be nice to have some heat shrink on them to neaten them up and dispel the worry of anything shorting them out.

Also in the box are some foam mounting bridges/spacers and a couple of black cable ties.
The unit itself is very light, there is an external capacitor mounted on a fly lead which is then held to the ‘out’ cable using heat shrink. in addition to the ‘in’, these enter in to the ends of the metal housing, the ends of which are sealed with heat shrink and some form of glue (epoxy/hot melt?). This heat shrink isn’t the most cosmetically pleasing solution giving a look more akin to a prototype device rather than a ‘retail’ unit, but appears so far to be functional for sealing the unit.

Installation:
Installation was quite easy, I just fitted my existing light wires to the piggy back portion of the D1 connectors, then pushed the whole piggy back assembly on to the connectors of the dynamo.

The cable was then fed up the fork following a similar spiral as the existing installation, a small cable tie ensuring the risk of any tyre rub on lose cable is avoided.



I managed to purchase the recumbent version of the IQ2 lamp, but in over a year I still haven’t got round to shortening the cable, so this bunch of cable made a good location to mount the D1 from, which was achieved using a couple of black cable ties.




This mounting location leaves the USB socket in a suitable position to sit inside my bar bag when fitted.



Try-Out 1:
The first run out with this was 70km ride with about 3 hours moving time, bike light on all the time.  The only thing I had to hand at the time to test was a 5000mAh power bank, this was showing 2/4 LEDs on the charge indicator, I will assume these relate linearly to the stored charge, so after the 3 hours of moving at an average of around 24kph, the power bank showed ¾ LEDs, so one could draw an assumed increase from 2500mAh to 3750mAh, so 1250mAh increase over 3 hours, circa 416mA of current provided over that time. (as a very, very rough estimate!)

(power bank)



Try-Out 2:
The second time out was the Santa Special 200km Audax, again with the bike lights on, here I have no real measure other than perhaps extrapolating from the battery level of the Garmin Edge 1000 it was powering.  I put the Garmin on charge when it was around 67% left, and in 2 hours it was up to 100%.  The standard Garmin Edge 1000 battery is 1100mAh, so that’s 33% in 2 hours@21kph ave (assuming 1% is 11mAh) then that’s 363mAh put in over 2 hours, so 181mA current drawn. 
The device then kept the Garmin charged for the remainder of the 7 hours left of the ride (the exceptions being where I took the Garmin off the bike for control stops etc).  Remember, this current is an indication of what the Garmin required, not what is possible to be supplied by the D1, which could be a lot more.
I didn’t see any noticeable dimming of my lights but once the Garmin was charged, there is minimal current draw to maintain it, the data from my Garmin prior to charging it shows it is about 127mA current, but that will depend on what you are doing with it (screens, sensors etc).

(Garmin Battery data)



(calcs)



Conclusions:
Early doors, but it appears to do what it says on the tin, it seems happy to provide 400mA of current and will happily keep the Garmin charged. Obviously the caveat here is the assumptions in my calculations of course!

Thanks for the opportunity to own and provide a review, hope it helps :)

Potential areas for improvement:
  • I like the solution B&M have for the attachment of their USB connector, using the weather proof barrel connector, this allows the charger lead to be left with its cap installed and less obvious about what it is, so perhaps less chance of being stolen?  Also this facilitates different lead types or lengths to be added.
  • Some heatshrink on the piggy back connectors would be a good idea.
  • I recognise there might be a weight penalty to this, but perhaps consider epoxy potting the D1 internally and using heat shrink as strain relief for the cables rather than the present glue/heat shrink solution?
  • The piggyback connectors are a plug and play solution, but fiddling with them on/off the dynamo in the dark at the start and end of an Audax wasn’t great – on a more permanent solution, I’d probably splice them further up the fork to keep it neater and less wires running to the dynamo.
Regards,

Joergen

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #155 on: December 19, 2016, 06:19:35 pm »
Thanks for the feedback. Regarding your points;

I like the solution B&M have for the attachment of their USB connector, using the weather proof barrel connector, this allows the charger lead to be left with its cap installed and less obvious about what it is, so perhaps less chance of being stolen?  Also this facilitates different lead types or lengths to be added.

>> it's coming up, in the form of a power and accessory port (retrofittable)

Some heatshrink on the piggy back connectors would be a good idea.

>> agreed, we heatshrink them in two places but need a little over the top where it's been soldered. This will be done for the SON power lead.

I recognise there might be a weight penalty to this, but perhaps consider epoxy potting the D1 internally and using heat shrink as strain relief for the cables rather than the present glue/heat shrink solution?

>> we do potty the inside and that is heat shrink for strain relief. It's actually heat shrink with a glue liner which acts as a second water barrier and prevents it falling off the D1 body (a problem we found during assembly). It's not the neatest due to the shrinkage and glue seepage but it works very well.

Regards, Andrew

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #156 on: December 19, 2016, 06:24:13 pm »
Thanks for the feedback. Regarding your points;

I like the solution B&M have for the attachment of their USB connector, using the weather proof barrel connector, this allows the charger lead to be left with its cap installed and less obvious about what it is, so perhaps less chance of being stolen?  Also this facilitates different lead types or lengths to be added.

>> it's coming up, in the form of a power and accessory port (retrofittable)

Some heatshrink on the piggy back connectors would be a good idea.

>> agreed, we heatshrink them in two places but need a little over the top where it's been soldered. This will be done for the SON power lead.

I recognise there might be a weight penalty to this, but perhaps consider epoxy potting the D1 internally and using heat shrink as strain relief for the cables rather than the present glue/heat shrink solution?

>> we do potty the inside and that is heat shrink for strain relief. It's actually heat shrink with a glue liner which acts as a second water barrier and prevents it falling off the D1 body (a problem we found during assembly). It's not the neatest due to the shrinkage and glue seepage but it works very well.

Regards, Andrew

Cheers Andrew  :thumbsup:
Regards,

Joergen

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #157 on: December 20, 2016, 09:51:16 pm »
As with others on this thread, I received an Igaro D1 2 days after ordering, neatly packaged with the simple installation instructions. I installed mine without the foam supports, just cable tied directly to the side of the head tune, the heat shrink at the ends of the device providing adequate ‘support’.

Dynamo is an SP8 in a 700C wheel.

Devices tested:
•   Garmin etrex HCX Vista
•   Olympus TG850
•   Pebble smartstick battery pack (2,800mAh, 1A charge)
•   Ravpower RP-PB17 battery pack (6,700mAh, 2A charge)

All charged OK from the Igaro D1 when directly connected to the dynamo. Charging started about 1s after moving, and above 10km/h. This is the most likely use for me, to charge devices during the day when lights are not needed. I would not normally run the etrex off anything other than AA batteries (getting a good 40 hours from AA lithiums which I use for 600km+ events), but it did run quite happily when above 10km/h (but the switch back to batteries when stopping for junctions, etc. would annoy me).

The second test was with the Igaro wired in parallel with my light, which is a ‘homemade’ Philips Saferide 80 with battery electronics removed and replaced with the electronics from a Cyo; this draws 1A 6V at about 30km/h (and is still by the far the best dynamo light I have ever seen). This test was conducted on rollers in my dark garage, at 30km/h, with a light meter fixed to the garage door:
•   etrex worked fine and there was no reduction in light intensity, which is what you would expect with such a small current draw by the etrex.
•   Pebble smartstick reduced the light intensity to about 80% of the intensity when nothing was connected to the Igaro USB output.
•   Ravpower battery pack reduced light intensity to about 10% intensity when nothing was connected to the Igaro USB output.

I have not attempted to measure the current provided by the Igaro to any of these devices. From this result with a 6W front light, anything drawing any significant current from the Igaro would not be a workable solution for me, but as mentioned about, that is not a use case that I would employ.

After this short testing, I did notice that the Igaro was quite warm to the touch, maybe 50°C (no airflow on the rollers), which confirms the FAQ not to put it in a bar bag.

I have used it on my daily commute for a few days, to charge the Pebble Smartstick (easiest thing to use), which it seems to have done quite happily. With an air temperature of 3-5°C I would say that the Igaro is at about 20°C when I arrive at work after 25 minutes. A couple of times I have run it with nothing connected to the USB outlet, but the Igaro still connected to the dynamo. To my surprise, it has also ended up at a similar temperature. It would be interesting to know how it would fair in warmer air conditions, for example the 34°C I had in Provence in September.

In terms of use, if I was going to mount this permanently I would run a single cable from the dynamo to close to my front light, and then insert a switch to allow me to switch power to either the light or the Igaro (in fact my light has a 3 position switch of which only 2 are used, so it would be easy to run the Igaro cable from the light using the 3rd position to give off or front light or Igaro with the light switch.

I have not used any other dynamo USB chargers, but I like the look of the form factor, robustness and apparent smooth output of the Igaro. My only question at the moment is the amount of heat generated with no load attached.

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #158 on: December 21, 2016, 10:51:58 am »
I think you mean:-

"Pebble smartstick reduced the light intensity to about 80% intensity when connected to the Igaro."

Heat

There is an electrical trade-off for over-voltage protection, either;

a) parallel clamp - which offers greater efficiency when device is used (which is why so many of you are having success running the D1 alongside lights) or
b) a load based clamp which induces a voltage drop penalty (works out at around a 18% efficiency drop) but which produces no heat when no device is used.

The D1 had extensive research and real-life testing prior to it's final circuitry being mass produced and option a. was found to have the greatest success for most people. That does mean it's less suited for a small proportion of riders - those that don't run lights or a USB device and which ride faster than the average rider. Under these circumstances some power will be lost as heat. It is one of many considerations when designing these power converters. If we'd gone with b. there'd be people complaining their devices don't charge at lower speeds or that there's zero chance of charging with lights on.

D1 currently being used in Central America, 30-35c weather: https://ourbikerideblog.wordpress.com/product-reviews/

Regards,

Andrew

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #159 on: December 21, 2016, 11:40:41 am »
Fortunately the eTrex also uses AA batteries, so there's no real need to feed it external power while riding.

I've found the same with the Edge 510, even though it has an internal battery - just plugging it in to a battery pack when stopped at controls is more than sufficient to keep it topped up for a 600.

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #160 on: December 21, 2016, 12:19:24 pm »
I think you mean:-

"Pebble smartstick reduced the light intensity to about 80% intensity when connected to the Igaro."

Heat

There is an electrical trade-off for over-voltage protection, either;

a) parallel clamp - which offers greater efficiency when device is used (which is why so many of you are having success running the D1 alongside lights) or
b) a load based clamp which induces a voltage drop penalty (works out at around a 18% efficiency drop) but which produces no heat when no device is used.

The D1 had extensive research and real-life testing prior to it's final circuitry being mass produced and option a. was found to have the greatest success for most people. That does mean it's less suited for a small proportion of riders - those that don't run lights or a USB device and which ride faster than the average rider. Under these circumstances some power will be lost as heat. It is one of many considerations when designing these power converters. If we'd gone with b. there'd be people complaining their devices don't charge at lower speeds or that there's zero chance of charging with lights on.

D1 currently being used in Central America, 30-35c weather: https://ourbikerideblog.wordpress.com/product-reviews/

Regards,

Andrew

Thanks for the explanation Andrew, that's really helpful to understand your design choice, as well as the review of use in hot conditions.

(Yes, I didn't write that sentence very well, now corrected).

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #161 on: December 22, 2016, 09:58:52 am »
In terms of charging things on the bike I have really simple needs, I don't even need that much power. I like many others have a Garmin Etrex for navigational duties as I like being able to use AA batteries (readily available and easy to store spares). However I had bought myself a Polar M400 Running / Cycling Watch which I use for tracking my performance data, this has an internal battery that's life when using the GPS is not that great, a fair trade off as it's not much bigger than a digital watch.

The D1 arrived a couple of days after I ordered and on first impressions I was surprised how small it is. I mounted it on the side of my head tube with the foam mounts and ran the cable down the fork where I twisted the ends together with the lead for my lamp. For comparisons sake the bike I've fitted it to has an Exposure Revo lighting system which comes with an exposure branded SP dynamo. This is different to my other bikes which have SON units but this is my daily commuter stead so the best to test the D1 on.

I modified a Polar handlebar mount and a short micro usb lead to allow me to plug the watch in while riding and gave it a go, alas the watch has no power or charging indicator but on arrival at work some 24km later it had gone from 50% to 100%.  As I live in the Cotswold's I had the opportunity (read no choice whatsoever) to ride up and ride down some pretty steep inclines.  When climbing my observations show that anything below about 10km /h results in no power and the 50km /h plus descents did not result in any undue overheating.

I decided to make the fitting more permanent by making a dynamo tail from a short length of Schmidt coaxial dynamo cable and connecting the lamp and D1 at the top of the fork with a solder joint insulated with shrink wrap cable outer.

Am I happy with the unit, yes it meets my simple needs and looks unobtrusive on the bike though there is enough wire and mounts on this ride no one would notice, At this point I'm considering buying another one to go on my tourer and possibly one for the tandem rather than make plugs and things to swap them around.

Frankly it just works.

d.
Somewhat of a professional tea drinker.


Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #162 on: December 22, 2016, 12:52:12 pm »
A picture if possible would be great.  :thumbsup:

We have power and accessory ports coming soon which would be a cheaper way for you to swap over the unit between bikes. We'll have a service to retro fit them to your existing D1 too. ETA about a month.

Regards,

Andrew

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #163 on: December 23, 2016, 02:08:59 pm »
My Igaro D1 Review

My Igaro was delivered within 2 days of ordering,  It came packaged in a small carboard box and came complete with fitting instructions and a FAQ.  I ordered the version for the Shimano Hub as I wanted the bare wires rather than piggy back spade connectors.

It’s taken me a while to get around to fitting the unit.  To cut a long story a bit shorter - The original plan was to fit it to my commuter to test and write this review and then re-fit it to it’s intended home on my Audax bike.  However things changed when I decided that my Luxos U was getting too unreliable.  It kept randomly switching itself on and the light was flashing while on standlight.  I’m already on my second lamp after a warranty replacement for the first one and my Audax bike needs to be reliable.
So I decided to bite the bullet and replace the Luxos with an B&M IQ-X and while I was changing and rewiring my new lamp, I might as well wire in the Igaro too. 

So the full set up is a SON delux hub built into a 700c wheel, a B&M IQ-X front lamp and a secular rear lamp & now of course the Igaro D1.  I will be mostly using it to charge my Garmin 1000, occasionally my Sony Xperia Z3 Compact phone & even less occasionally my Anker powerbank.

I decided that the best place for the Igaro was under my stem.  I run a long 13cm stem and it fitted under there quite nicely.  I used the supplied self-adhesive sponge mounts and secured the Igaro to the mounts and the stem with a couple of zip ties.  I only need the USB wires to reach a few centimetres to the Garmin on my stem or the phone or powerbank in my top tube bag.  So I used the shortest micro USB lead I could find, but there was still an excess of cable, so I coiled the excess around and secured it to my stem with another zip tie.  In the future I’m thinking I’ll chop off the USB socket and wire in a shorter micro USB cable instead (everything I’m likely to charge will be via micro USB).

I ran the wires for both the Igaro and the IQ-X down to the front hub where I terminated them directly into 2 spade connectors for the SON hub.  On my set up, the wires of the Igaro were just long enough to reach from my stem to the hub (I’ll edit this post later when I get home and add my bar to hub height here).  The wires were placed next to each other and taped to the inside of the fork leg with insulation tape and secured at the top and bottom with a zip tie to stop the tape unpeeling.  The bottom end of the wires and the spades were covered in heatshrink to give them some protection.  Using one pair of spades rather than piggy back spades gives a neater appearance, no different to running the lamp on its own and doesn’t interfere with wheel removal, but does not give the flexibility of being able to remove the charger from the lamp.

A quick 2 minute ride up and down the street showed that everything was working and that the unit was delivering charge to my Garmin at anything above about 12-14kph without the lights on.  With the lights on, I was getting charge, but the lights were flickering, but it was also trying to charge the standlight capacitors of both front and rear lamps too at this point.  A longer ride will tell me more. 

I knew I was going to be testing the Igaro, so before I removed the Luxos from the bike I did a benchmark test where I timed how long it took to charge my Garmin 1000 while out on a typical ride with no significant stops (i.e. only waiting at T junctions etc).  I then repeated the test with the Igaro. Both tests were done without lights on.
The test was to charge my Garmin from 40% to 100%, in both cases the screen brightness was set to 2 bars, displaying the map screen and navigating to a location and route recalculation switched on.  I had it navigating me to home, but I wasn’t heading that way so it was regularly recalculating.
What I found was:-

Luxos U. 
Time to charge from 40-100%: 1hr 15min
Distance covered: 32.6km
Average moving speed: 25.9km/h

Igaro.
Time to charge from 40-100%: 1hr 18min
Distance covered: 39.7km
Average moving speed: 30.3km/h

I consider these two results to be essentially the same.  In that they both took a similar length of time to charge my Garmin.  The 3 minute difference between the Luxos and Igaro is well within the accuracy of my timings and the battery reporting of the Garmin.  Also note that the cache battery of the Luxos was already full charged when I started that test.  I don’t think the different average speeds mattered too much as I’m assuming that I’m above the speed needed to for the hub to give the maximum electrical power, or maybe it’s the limit of the current that can be taken by the Garmin.

Other observations while out on the road.  I found that I could run my lights and charge the Garmin while the Garmin’s charge was above about 95%, although there was a slight reduction in the lamp brightness which was only really noticeable when plugging/unplugging the charging lead while riding along.  Below 95% charge on the Garmin the front light would flicker, even at highish speeds, i.e. above 30 kph.  This isn’t really a big deal, when using this bike I tend to keep the Garmin plugged in all the time anyway, so It would usually be on full charge when I switch the lights on.  The Luxos used to struggle with lights and charge too, the light beam would be much dimmer while charging and while powering the Garmin at 100%, more so than with the Igaro.  I’m asking a lot to be able to charge and run lights at the same time with my SON delux hub, I imagine a SON28 or Shimano would be better for this.

I also tested charging my phone.  This wasn’t a thorough test, I haven’t ridden in daylight enough recently for that, but I did ride with the lights off and the Igaro plugged into my phone for about 10 minutes at 25-30kph and noticed that during that time the battery had charged by about 3%.  I didn’t notice at what speed I needed to be riding at for charging to commence however.  I’m very impressed with this as the Luxos struggled to charge my phone, it would cycle from charge to not charge as the cache battery would discharge and recharge which was very in efficient at the back light would come on at each cycle.  The Igaro only seems to cycle the charge when I slow or stop which on a long ride would not be very often.

A tip with charging android phones is to use the “Solar Screen Off” app which vastly reduces (almost eliminates) the screen switching on when charge is connected/disconnected.

Overall , I’m impressed by the Igaro, it does what it says on the tin & seems to be a very efficient charger.  It’s a neat little unit which I can hide discretely under my stem.  I think my only criticism is the capacitor on the USB lead is a bit ugly/messy , I think I would rather have this located internally in the charger, even if this meant that the case of the unit was bigger, maybe there’s good reasons for this?   

I am thinking of shortening the USB lead and doing away with the female USB socket in favour of just a male micro USB plug.  Will this void the warranty?  Also Is the capacitor potted? Will I be able to solder a new cable to this or am I best cutting the cable and joining a micro USB plug on the end?

My Audax bike needs to be reliable, I could be in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. I’m very happy that I now have a system which due to the separate charging and lamp units I now have some redundancy built in.  In the (unlikely) event one of these fails, at least the other should keep working, this is less likely to be the case with all in one systems like the Luxos U

I’ll take some photos of my set up tomorrow in daylight and up load them to this thread.


Eddington: 110 Miles

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #164 on: December 23, 2016, 03:12:59 pm »
Hi PeeJay,

The Garmin 1000 consumes low charging current so it's expected any unit will be able to power it. As you found out, when the current requirement nears the available dynamo power the extra efficiency of the D1 begins to matter. As you mention, this is even more problematic with a SON Delux.  :thumbsup:

Re: capacitor

Originally the D1 concept was to use several MLCC capacitors inside the tiny case, however performance testing exposed weaknesses in the MLCC's performance at higher capacities (I'll not go into it here). There is no other solution but to add extra capacitance externally to the case (or inside it but that would enlarge the case by quite a bit and there'd be a bit of unused space in there, plus Titanium costs quite a bit). The main reason for not adding electrolytic capacitors inside the case is reliability. They don't last forever, more so for this application as the dynamo hub gives out such low frequency AC they have a hard workout and that would have meant we couldn't offer a lifetime warranty. The D1 capacitor is the best there is, a Japanese unit with a 10X working life, and we estimate it will last 10-15 years before replacement is required. The further away the capacitor from the unit the worse the D1 performance will be. You could install a smaller 100uF capacitor in its place which in theory will allow for the main capacitor to be further away. Make sure this capacitor is minimum 25V rated and connected with correct polarity - failure to do so would likely end in the D1's destruction. As long as you get this right there shouldn't be a problem honouring the warranty.

I strongly recommend not replacing the USB port with a micro USB cable. These degrade very quickly when wet. Consider buying a short USB to micro cable (15cm's are possible) and using it as a sacrificial part.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/15cm-Gold-Plate-USB-2-0-A-Male-left-Angle-to-Micro-Male-Right-Angle-Short-Cable-/321608143306

The D1 is as small as it gets without sacrificing every day performance. If you go ahead with changing the capacitor you may wish to consider boosting it to 20,000uF (2x 10,000uF 25V capacitors fit well under the fork crown). We'll be offering this as an accessory next month to boost high current out at low speed. It may however result in less power for lights. The capacitor fitted to the D1 generally gives the best overall outcome for most setups.

Hope that helps and many thanks for your review.

Andrew

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #165 on: December 23, 2016, 05:22:12 pm »
Ordered mine late on Wednesday 7 Dec and very small package arrived on Sat 10 Dec after being posted on 8 Dec.  Very impressed thus far.

Opened package and very similar response to others who have posted thus far; albeit a little concern initially regarding the capacitor being slightly open to the elements and considered the use of black electrical tape, but then read reply at post #125 to a similar concern and realised all was well.  Remaining impressed.

Fitting was straight forward to a SON Deluxe and no more fiddlesome than existing SON connections to the light; agree that it might be worth having intermediate connectors that would also be good for a light only option.  Might use USB extension to lengthen cable to device and give the join a good wrap in tape to make it waterproof and allow the connector end to remain in the bar or top tube bag.  No idea how much losses would result in such additional connections but doubt whether it would be catastrophic!  Remaining happy with product.

Test was in daylight with Garmin 800 and all well.  Quick swap to external powerpack and charging took place.  Trying it with phone also resulted in charging.  As my intended use would be for charging in Garmin/powerpack/phone in daylight hours, as opposed to attempting charging when using the light, it meets my needs in every respect.

Overall, very happy and impressed with the product.  My comments very much reflect those of others who have reviewed the product and could no doubt be summed up by "wots not to like!"

Many thanks to Andrew at igaroo for both the product and fantastic discount.

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #166 on: December 25, 2016, 07:50:58 pm »
A bit late getting round to this, I ordered at the last possible moment, then had to find time to pick up from the post office.

Review:

Fitting was a doddle, apart from initially peeling the tape off the foam spacers instead of peeling the cover off the tape. Despite that, it was pretty secure when fitted, but I added a cable tie as well just to be sure.

It was dark the first chance I had to take it out for a test ride, so I wasn't expecting much. Actually, I wasn't expecting anything: I have a Luxos U on the touring bike and that will charge, or run the light, but definitely not both together. So I was amazed when it started charging my phone almost straight away, even with both lights on.

In stop-start traffic the charging also stops and starts, which is to be expected as there's no buffer storage, but was a bit disconcerting at first - the Luxos has an internal battery which means it doesn't do that, but it also doesn't start supplying power for a while. When out of town the power cycling stopped and I checked how it affected the lighting. With the igaro D1 charging my phone the headlight was slightly dimmer, not enough to be a problem, but the light did flicker quite noticeably. I don't think I would use it in this way for long night rides, as I find the flickering very irritating, but it's good to know it's an option if needed.

The other thing that had concerned me was the fact that it is said to warm up when plugged in but not charging. This must mean it's drawing current, so will be adding drag even when nothing is being powered from the dynamo. A few minutes with the "wheel spinning test" shows that whatever power it's drawing the effect on drag is too small to be of any consequence.

Verdict: I'm incredibly impressed with the Igaro D1, it has far exceeded what I was expecting of it.

Equipment: Igaro D1; SON Classic; SON eDelux II; SON tail light; iPhone 6.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #167 on: December 28, 2016, 12:50:59 pm »
My rather non-technical review based on one outing. :)

My dyno setup is an oldskool SON28 and a newskool B&M IQ-X, the 100 lux jobbe. I have a AAA battery powered rear light, and a AA powered GPS, and for the time being at least my main concern is to keep my phone charged on extended Audex events. The phone is a HTC One M8 with a 2600Mah battery. Under normal use it gets through about 75% charge daily.

Fitting the D1 was straightforward, using the D1 integral SON connector doubler and Zip tying the the D1 to the headtube. I don't have a bar/toptube bag for the phone so I ran a 1m USB cable along the top tube of the bike into my saddlebag where I stashed the phone. I put some tape round the USB connectors to weatherproof them, though that seemed rather redundant as the forecast was dry, and I was good to go. Easy.

I was interested in the D1's claims to deliver power with minimal losses which rather contrast from user reviews of the B&M Luxos U in particular. As it happens I'd had a MKII Luxos U for a while... I liked the light well enough but for various reasons (a long lay off riding/laziness/you know how it is...) I never got around to trialing the 'U' before I binned it because of failing electronics and corroded terminals. I'm hoping the metal bodied IQ-X will fare better.

I left home before dawn with my phone showing 25% charge and my light on. I immediately noticed the reduced brightness of the light, though it was hard to quantify because of the street lamps and damp rough tarmac roads round my way which seem to eat light. Once I reached the wild unlit country roads past Windsor (...)  I could better take stock and figured the light was in the 40-50 lux band, say equivalent to the soft unfocused light of the early Solidlight. Perfectly rideable but well off the hard bright beam of a fully powered IQ-X. I was ticking over around 25 and made a stop in Windsor - call it an hour moving time - to see how the charge was progressing. The charge had moved from 25% to to 35%, so it was working! I gave it another couple of hours of the same, and the charge move on to 55%. It was light by now so I turned the light off and also had the bright idea of turning the phone off, to see if that impacted the charge time (I had previously turned off off Wifi & BlueTooth though mobile data services were still enabled). I gave it another couple of hours and the charge moved on to 75%. At this point I disconnected the D1 to finish the journey. I'd like to report that without the additional power drain I immediately started riding 10kmph faster but I find the extra 'load' of the charging dynamo imperceptible.

So what are my conclusions?

Well, it demonstrably worked and was capable of powering a light and charging at the same time. My perception is the light output was about halved but still effective. I was generally moving around 20-25kmph (I ride fixed and am a cautious descender so rarely exceed ~45kmph even under ideal conditions). The light is B&M's latest and possibly more power hungry than others, so its plausible that lower spec'd lights might fare better whilst the D1 is charging but I really don't know; doubtless the efficiency of the electronics in the light have an impact. Like many others, the IQ-X has a capacitor to power standlight and daytime running lights.

Ref: Pickled Onions comments about flickering lights. The IQ-X flickers like mad at low speeds, say, <5kmph, but that stops as soon as the bike is moving properly. My perception is that the D1 had no impact on the lamp flickering at low speeds.

TBH given the impact on the light I felt somewhat underwhelmed by the charge rate of my phone. Doubtless I had unrealistic expectations but the D1 literature does emphasise higher charge rates compared to other products. Some real world examples would help here. My limited research indicates that for all these mobile charging technologies, including photo/solar, the reality is always, 'less than you might think', and the fact is my phone takes 'real-time' (hours...) to charge through a regular PC USB port. My Phone has a 2600Mah battery. Overall it was charging about 10% an hour. It didn't seem to make much difference whether the phone and/or bike light was on or not which I found surprising.

I don't know if the 1m cable I used - a regular USB to micro USB cable - had an impact on charge rate. If I had a bar/top tube bag then I would have used it, replacing the 1m cable with a small adaptor, though that's something else to lose on the road. I suspect the approach of using a cache battery that can be plugged straight into the D1 is the way to go.

In summary, I found the D1 compact, easy to fit and remove and I could comfortably charge my phone from cold during the day and have full power during the night, or run a phone like device, i.e., a gps, through the night with reduced but adequate lighting and that's exactly what I need for an upcoming tour where I'll not have time or inclination to worry about charging  kit at controls or buying additional batteries, so I'm a happy camper. Thank you, Andrew, for inviting us to take part in this review.

One very minor point... I suspect I'll tend to fit the D1 as needed, i.e., at most two or three times a year, and possibly to different bikes. On that basis, another set (or two) of the foam mounts would be useful.

bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #168 on: December 28, 2016, 09:37:21 pm »
I finally got around to fitting the unit today to my touring bike. I have an old Shimano DH-3N71 dynamo, with a newish B&M Cyo IQ Premium (and a battery rear light). I have been reading some of the other reviews so far and based on this one.....

1. Fitting
Keeping it simple, I intended to attach it in parallel to the cable powering the lights. I disconnected the lego block and opened it up. I took the cable ends of the light and the Igaro and twisted them together intending to insert them into the lego block but the holes were too small to take a pair of cables. So I took a 5 cm piece of household 2-core cable and a small connector block so the lego block was connected to one end and and the 2 pairs of wires connected to the block at the other.

.......I didn't bother fiddling around trying to wire both the light and the D1 into the lego block, but employed the same tactic of putting a new section of cable and connector block in. By effectively lengthening the cable run from dynamo to unit, this also gave me the opportunity to install the D1 in a different location to the recommended front of head tube position. I weighed up two possibilities - one being at the back of the tube (I have a nice CR badge at the front which I rather like and the head tube being tall has a space behind it which is just about long enough) and the other being underneath the handlebar/stem. I opted for the latter as to my mind it gave a neater look with the cable following the brake cable line, and the unit being virtually invisible. It seemed easy enough to cable tie the D1 into position (I will try to post a picture tomorrow). This means that I can neatly pop the USB end through the handlebar bracket when not in use which should keep it the right way up, and route it into the bag when in use for charging. 
@Andrew - is this likely to be OK longer term?  If so it would be really useful if the cable from the unit to the dynamo came a bit longer as standard, given it can easily be shortened if appropriate.

I've only done the wiring in a rough and ready way, if all goes OK will try to neaten up with crimps etc rather than the choc block connector wrapped in insulation tape and secured to the fork. However I wanted to give it a try before committing too much alteration of the existing lighting cable. Interesting dilemma as to whether to go for a permanently wired installation which I think would be neat, or to try something which allows for swapping between bikes (I have one with an SP dynamo).... given the comments earlier I think I will hedge my bets until I see what new options are available.

Like Manotea, my charging needs are really simple - just a phone, and particularly for cycle camping tours. However it's good to have something capable of charging a GPS should I succumb in the future.  I've only done one very short and cold ride today with the light on, so not really a fair trial yet - but I did manage to get my Motorola from 35% to 37% charge in just 2.5 miles so obviously something was happening. Impossible to tell whether the light was much dimmer as it was all on lit streets/paths. Hopefully I will get out for a daylight ride this week and will report back.







Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #169 on: December 29, 2016, 11:58:58 am »
>> Additional mounts

Can be ordered on the website, we've implemented a proper shopping cart now to allow for pick 'n' mix.

>> Lights

I'm impressed the D1 works at all with such a powerful light. Even a 20 lux light will take much of the power away from the D1, enough to make charging a hit or miss depending on the USB device.

>> Charging Current

"Smart" USB devices (phones, powerbanks) do not redetect current availability. If your lights are on and the USB device detects a 300mA availability it will pick the next level down (i.e 250mA) and not rise above it. I wrote about this phenomenon here: http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=11774.0. Thus turning the lights off won't make any difference - you'd need to disconnect the power and reconnect it.

We have a stability bank accessory coming out soon (retrofittable and low priced) which will help some high current devices achieve a higher level of charge at higher speed by allowing the detection discussed above to move to a higher charge point at lower speed. It is expected lights will suffer however as electricity always takes the path of least resistance. Unfortunately there's just not enough juice coming out the dynamo to do everything.

Regards,

Andrew

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #170 on: December 31, 2016, 05:15:44 pm »
Received the unit promptly from order, first reaction..where's the rest of it..it's tiny.
Mounted with a cyo plus lamp in place of Luxos U with SON 28/20. I have only temp assembled with the D1 taped to the front brake cable housing, but having tried that for a few rides I think that's actually quite a choice, so will leave in place. The good news is all devices charge as expected , Garmin 810, Samsung S7 and Anker Astro reserve battery. All still charge when moving briskly with the lamp on. Lamp seemed quite flickery with the Garmin though, and all stopped charging when the speed dropped down when climbing as expected.
This still leaves the same Garmin issue I have with the Luxos U. When externally powered the Garmin charges, but when the USB power supply falls the Garmin recognises this and stops....but it also the turns itself off after 15seconds (unless I respond to the screen prompt not too).. very annoying. I stress this the Garmins power management firmware not the Igaro per se. My approach is to carry on using the USB charger to charge an external reserve battery and then use that to feed the Garmin when needed, bit fiddly but it works - unless anyone has a better answer?
So a good functional little unit, and it frees me from the LuxosU which I think too complicated and that I don't really trust on a wet, windy , Welsh 600. Repeated BCM's have killed all my lighting systems at some point over the years, including variously 2x SON hubs, Schmidt Edelux lamp, B&M lamp, cateye battery lamps, and memorably the mounting bracket for a Hope1 backup light that unscrewed itself on the descent from Snowdon sending the light bouncing across the road at about 40mph.. that too some finding. Let's see what Igaro is like.

Barry

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #171 on: December 31, 2016, 06:30:14 pm »
Hmm. Well, first impressions count, so let's start there. Sent and delivered promptly, though signed-for post meant I had to pick it up from the sorting office rather than it just dropping through my letterbox: as others have said, packaging details (handwritten address and the like) confirm that it's from a small company, which I quite like - personal service etc - but others might find less reassuring.

Looks - yes, it's tiny, and I confess to a touch of disappointment at the crimped rubber seals at each end of the main unit rather than the ostensibly cleaner look I was expecting from the pictures I'd seen online. (Of course, if I'd looked properly at the Igaro website rather than the (presumably) older photos at SJS, I'd have expected what I actually received ...) Like jiberjaber, I think a bit more heatshrink on the SON connectors would have looked better and been good - I always have an irrational fear that bare contacts so close together are going to go wrong in some indefinable way - probably that the electricity will leak out of them or something, just like it does from unshuttered mains sockets.

Installation - a supposedly temp job which will probably last for months - took minutes, admittedly with liberal use of insulating tape to hold the wiring to the fork leg, and a complete disregard for aesthetics. I've just zip-tied the unit to the headtube at present, relying on the rubber ends as a standoff rather than using the foam mounts supplied, and that seems fine - again, it's a functional look rather than one prettied up for the cameras.

As for use, I've not been riding enough to say much more than 'it works,' even toddling round town. Phone and GPS (an Etrex 30x) both receive power, and don't seem to dim the light (an old-school Cyo) noticeably. Of course, it's on-again off-again with low, town speeds: that's not a criticism, more an acknowledgement of expected behaviour, and use with a pass-through battery (as Andrew suggests) is the obvious counter - I have an Anker powerbank, though it's worth noting that the Etrex seems unhappy with the 'smart' USB ports and prefers connection to the dumb one. A couple of longer rides will give me a better feel for how this works out, and I'll update as appropriate.

One thing I've still not found a satisfactory solution for is what to do with the USB port when parked. This bike lives outside and, mindful of Andrew's warning about not allowing the connector to get wet, I've got a cut-down plastic bag taped over it. The Luxos U's rubber plug feels to me a more integrated response and I may get round to trying to make something neater out of Sugru (or more likely, an old inner-tube - I've got old tubes, I'll have to buy some Sugru ...).

I like the D1: it's easy to use, it's easy to install, and it's nice to have a power source that's independent of the light unit, so you can make your own choice of headlamp. It's also simple enough to transfer from bike to bike if that's important - with a plentiful supply of zip ties or insulating tape, you could have it off one bike and onto another inside five minutes.

But against that, I like the integrated nature of the Luxos I've got on my main bike, and the fact that its built-in cache battery smooths the supply to phone or GPS in most circumstances. Perhaps I'm lucky in that I haven't (yet?) had any of the trouble that other riders have reported with their Luxoses, perhaps I'm simply a fairly undemanding user. In any case, I'm lucky to have both a Luxos and a D1 available to use.

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #172 on: January 02, 2017, 10:14:08 am »
Received the unit promptly from order, first reaction..where's the rest of it..it's tiny.
Mounted with a cyo plus lamp in place of Luxos U with SON 28/20. I have only temp assembled with the D1 taped to the front brake cable housing, but having tried that for a few rides I think that's actually quite a choice, so will leave in place. The good news is all devices charge as expected , Garmin 810, Samsung S7 and Anker Astro reserve battery. All still charge when moving briskly with the lamp on. Lamp seemed quite flickery with the Garmin though, and all stopped charging when the speed dropped down when climbing as expected.
This still leaves the same Garmin issue I have with the Luxos U. When externally powered the Garmin charges, but when the USB power supply falls the Garmin recognises this and stops....but it also the turns itself off after 15seconds (unless I respond to the screen prompt not too).. very annoying. I stress this the Garmins power management firmware not the Igaro per se. My approach is to carry on using the USB charger to charge an external reserve battery and then use that to feed the Garmin when needed, bit fiddly but it works - unless anyone has a better answer?
So a good functional little unit, and it frees me from the LuxosU which I think too complicated and that I don't really trust on a wet, windy , Welsh 600. Repeated BCM's have killed all my lighting systems at some point over the years, including variously 2x SON hubs, Schmidt Edelux lamp, B&M lamp, cateye battery lamps, and memorably the mounting bracket for a Hope1 backup light that unscrewed itself on the descent from Snowdon sending the light bouncing across the road at about 40mph.. that too some finding. Let's see what Igaro is like.

Barry

A small powerbank with passthrough will resolve the Garmin issue (i.e Limefuel L60x). Touring cyclists have been berating them for years over this 'feature' and they haven't listened. Eventually the Igaro G1 (D1 accessory) will be released which will give 4 minutes of stop power for smaller USB devices (specifically targeting the 8*0, 1000 etc Garmin units).

Thanks for everyone's comments and feedback. It's good to see and hear about the D1 doing its job. Little tweaks (we have a label printer but the niche demand hasn't warranted its use) will be incorporated. Going forward we will release;

1. power and accessory ports (a service will be on the website to retro fit if you want them) - eta 2 weeks
2. stability bank accessory - eta 2 weeks
3. internal mount bracket (hides D1 up the fork crown with USB cable out the top) - eta 8 weeks
4. solar panel input accessory - eta 8 weeks
4. Igaro G1 - 4-6 month

Thanks again,
Andrew

Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #173 on: January 03, 2017, 08:35:55 am »
A quick review on the Igaro D1, given that there's been so many excellent reviews up thread and my knowledge on the more technical areas is quite limited compared the what others have written.

Overall
The Igaro D1 is a sleek device that provides on-the-bike charging in a fuss free manner.

My Previous Setup
Dynamo: Son 28
Front Light: IQ-X
Rear Light: Secula Plus

Positive Thoughts
Purchase experience and delivery was very pleasant, the device arriving in 2 days.
For a simple setup, the device would be easy to install.
The device worked as expected, charging a Garmin 820 on a trial ride without issue.
The device is small and has a pleasing appearance, therefore getting a neat installation on tubing is not too difficult.

Food for Thought
My initial intention was to mount the Igaro D1 at the rear of the bike, but I've not been able to work out how I should cut my front light wire to fit some sort of connector to allow the Igaro D1 and front light to operate in parallel. This is obviously an unconnected issue to the standard fitting and functionality of the Igaro D1, but the provision of guidance (perhaps in the FAQ) on how to install mid-wire rather than at the dynamo would be useful, including how to achieve this and what parts would be required. For now, I have temporarily attached at the dynamo.

What's next
I've only used the Igaro D1 on a single trial ride. Over the coming months I will be using it on rides of ever increasing distances, and fully expect it to replace the battery pack that I would usually carry on rides of 300km and upwards for keeping my Garmin charged.
 

bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: Igaro D1 USB Dynamo Power Converter
« Reply #174 on: January 03, 2017, 01:50:32 pm »
Hopefully I will get out for a daylight ride this week and will report back.
I did in fact go out last week but have been a bit slack about reporting back. I only cycled about 14 miles and it was a real pootle around local roads and the Olympic Park so I didn't spend much time riding above about 10-11 mph. Even so I managed to charge my phone from 24% to 37% which seemed OK to me. Any half day ride, especially one at slightly higher speed should be enough to keep it topped up.

I am still interested in a longer cable on the dynamo side and would be happy to pay for a retrofit if it was available....any chance of this please so I can tidy up my wiring? I don't think any of the options mentioned in Andrew's last post would really be of use to me (although I am sure they will be to others).