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Author Topic: Battery-charging: Best computer for touring & buffer battery for dynohub  (Read 6353 times)
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Danneaux
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2012, 04:09:28 PM »

Richard,

I'm so pleased you're looking into this topic, too. I figure if one of us misses something, the other will catch it, and we share similar interests about where we want to go with regard to on-bike gadget-charging, computers for biking, etc.
You wrote...
Quote
If I could afford it I would say a MacBook Air 11" (small light powerful).
<nods> Yes, I lingered by that display for some time yesterday, looking and even holding. The leading edge on them is thin enough to shave with. Very nice, but the power requirements worry me a bit, and the price is beyond my means. It does look like a very desirable option if those barriers can be overcome. A drool-worthy device!
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Power for such a scenario (charging camera batteries, gadgets, MacBook Air) would require a descent solar panel and substantial battery...
Yes, solar is an appealing option 'cos it requires no additional work! I have not owned a solar panel, and my lack of direct experience has me wondering about the practical aspects:
1) A suitably high-capacity solar panel is rated at maximum output, under ideal conditions. How much power would be supplied on one of those flat-light, gray days, or when it is raining? Would there still be enough for a trickle-charge sufficient to make a difference or to directly power a device?
2) How best to array the panel while traveling? Atop the rear rack/rack-top load is the logical place, but what about angularity? There were many days in Nevada when I looked down and back in my eyeglasses mirror and saw a dark shadow in that same area (I was headed toward the sun at the time). How sensitive is the array to less-ideal positioning?
There is a man living by the river near me, who has an exceptionally large flexible-rollable solar array on his bicycle, used to power a boombox to ear-splitting levels. I would like to ask him about it, but he appears very antisocial and I'm not sure I could hear him over the noise (he has ignored the entreaties of path-users to turn it down). He had it perfectly aimed on a bright sunny day, and it looked to be producing power greater than I would need. That would be ideal!
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The two PowerTraveller batteries you mention Dan require mains adapter to charge, or have I missed something?
You sent me scrambling to check, Richard; a good thing! It appears the powermonkey extreme can be charged initially via mains power so you conveniently start with a full charge. It can also be charged via an available solar panel or via USB, according to http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=charge+powermonkey+extreme+via+usb&source=web&cd=8&ved=0CGkQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ecoark.co.uk%2Fdocuments%2F905.pdf&ei=qo9PT7vNEaOmiQK10bi0Bg&usg=AFQjCNEjgvzSY66jPsVmrap_kfS3rqgi4A&cad=rja which says...
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The powermonkey extreme charger (1) can be charged using either the international mains charger (3)*, solar panel (2) or via USB (4) from an alternative power source (e.g. a computer or powergorilla, solargorilla, minigorilla product
This is an appealing setup, but apparently does not produce enough juice to power most netbooks. That would require the minigorilla, which does indeed require mains power or a solar panel. No mention is made of charging it via USB, and this makes the prospect appear dim: http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2010/01/powertraveller-mini-gorilla-battery-review/ The lesson I am taking from all this is to read the specs and ad copy for all these devices carefully. Many can be read in several ways, and are often unclear so I go back a few times to check the claims. There have been some unfavorable reports about PowerTraveller products among tourists, but I am not sure if they reflect bad examples, or if the problems extend across entire product lines. See: http://www.goingslowly.com/gear/
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Another solution would be a 12V dynamo
It has been done, Richard, but the results are somewhat mixed. Drag seems to be higher, partly as a result of the output and partly as a result of the generator used (it is hard to beat a present Schmidt or Shimano hub dynamo or the late LightSpin in the drag department). There are ways to extract 12 volts from a 6v dynohub (i.e. running two halogen headlights, as was popular with randonneurs for years), and the unregulated output of a dynamo increases with speed. At this point I think the (nominal) 6v solutions are the most mature and offer the greatest compatibility with USB output with a minimum of fuss. However, like you, I'd like lots of available juice for my efforts. If some if good and more is better, too much is just enough!
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I think the HyperJuice Mini looks good.
Me too! I have looked at it, and it certainly does have the power. One thing to keep in mind with such a small charging source (dynohub, solar panel) is the time-to-charge. A large-capacity buffer battery is terrific, and with a pass-through, it is possible to get a true buffer effect, with power being replaced as it is drawn off. The problem comes when one uses more than they can replace. Large-capacity batteries take a lonnnnnng time to charge from flat by our means (and apart from topping off via mains), so one can be without much reserve in the meantime.

My overall goal is to reduce the number of spare batteries I carry, and to keep power available to my gadgets. In the past, my mix of spare batteries and chargers weighed about 1.5kg -- a lot. And, once down, I had no way to recharge them except from rare mains sources. I did find it really paid to devote the last few days at home before departure to making sure the batteries were fully charged before leaving. The Tout Terrain The Plug 2 and the SON28 dynohub present a sea change for me, offering the possibility to recharge fewer batteries while away from the mains.

Apart from direct lighting, here is the direction I seem to be headed with my dynamo charging:
1) Use the Tout Terrain The Plug2 (TTTP2) to power my Garmin Oregon 400T GPS directly, relying on the internal AA cells (which cannot be charged in the GPS) for reserve power when stopped). As it happens, this won't occur often, as I generally use the GPS only sporadically to check my position, rather than running it continuously. However, there are times when it would be extremely handy to have it available continuously, so I am in-process on making a cable to allow it (the "State-named" Garmins require either a change of charging mode or a specially-wired cable to avoid going into data-transfer mode; I'm going with the cable and learning a bit about nonstandard USB wiring).
2) Use the TTT2 to top-off the embedded rechargeable batteries in my gadgets (cell phone, electric shaver, MP3 player).
3) Use the TTTP2 to charge AA/AAA cells to work as reserve power for my gadgets that use them (GPS, SteriPen, LED blinkys, LED headlight for camp use.
4) Use the TTTP2 to charge camera batteries (a special case for me and very problematic, as the chargers I have will need to be internally modified. I really want to charge my camera batteries, as shooting in HD video pulls them down very quickly, and I shoot a lot of stills every day as well).
5) Use the TTTP2 to top-off and maintain a level of charge in a buffer battery that would be used to power a netbook in camp for journaling, photo editing, and GPS track-transfer.
6) Use a solar array to supplement the TTTP2. To be honest, I can feel the drag of the SON28 when it is charging heavily and it would be nice to avoid that. I have thought about placing little flags on the wheels for wind-charging overnight in camp, but this has so far proven impractical (the bike has to be on its side; inverted would be better and I don't want to do that. Also, the charging SON28 requires an amazingly high effort to start it spinning from rest when it isn't being ridden. Once spinning, resistance drops due to magnetic hysteresis, but it is hard to start on its own...). The other problem comes from being in camp so little of the day. I basically start at first light, and by the time I stop for the night, it is nearly nighttime, and light levels are low. If I go solar, it has to be chargeable on the way.

The other problem I face that greatly complicates things is my extended time away from mains sources. If I stayed in a motel even once a week, I could top off a buffer battery and use that to tide me over, but I can't count on that. On the few times I've used formal lodging, I was grateful I remembered to pack a lamp-base-to-outlet adapter, as there weren't enough wall outlets in the room for all my AC chargers.

Keep the ideas coming! I'm surely interested to see how others would approach the problem!

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 07:02:34 PM by Danneaux » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2012, 08:59:37 PM »

Quote
1) A suitably high-capacity solar panel is rated at maximum output, under ideal conditions. How much power would be supplied on one of those flat-light, gray days, or when it is raining? Would there still be enough for a trickle-charge sufficient to make a difference or to directly power a device?

My understanding with the PowerFilm and Brunton panels (two of the best rated solar panels and used by scientific research when off-grid) is that sunshine is not necessity for it's productive generation of electricity. The new panels rely on UV radiation so can even charge on cloudy days (someone correct me if I am wrong!). I have not done any testing however ... input anyone with experience of these panels?

Quote
2) How best to array the panel while traveling? Atop the rear rack/rack-top load is the logical place, but what about angularity? There were many days in Nevada when I looked down and back in my eyeglasses mirror and saw a dark shadow in that same area (I was headed toward the sun at the time). How sensitive is the array to less-ideal positioning?

The panel will of course provide best performance when directly facing the sun/light. As above, angle may not be so important (of course I do not yet have any of these mouth-watering devices!). Just going by info on the internet. The idea then would be to get a panel of a suitable size physically that could be laid over your rear pannier bags, but of a size power-wise that can recharge your cache battery to meet your daily needs. Perhaps a 14 watt panel may fit the bill, and I would not go any lower than that. Using the 14 watt spec. the search is on for the smallest panel!

Quote
That would be ideal!You sent me scrambling to check, Richard; a good thing! It appears the powermonkey extreme can be charged initially via mains power so you conveniently start with a full charge. It can also be charged via an available solar panel or via USB, according to http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=charge+powermonkey+extreme+via+usb&source=web&cd=8&ved=0CGkQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ecoark.co.uk%2Fdocuments%2F905.pdf&ei=qo9PT7vNEaOmiQK10bi0Bg&usg=AFQjCNEjgvzSY66jPsVmrap_kfS3rqgi4A&cad=rjawhich says...This is an appealing setup, but apparently does not produce enough juice to power most netbooks.

I read it that it provides 5 volt USB output only. I think charging is by mains only?

http://travellingtwo.com/resources/laptop-review

Lots of useful comments under this post too relating to touring with a laptop.

12V dynamo -
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It has been done, Richard, but the results are somewhat mixed.

OK, dumped the idea of a 12 volt dynamo system!

In summary I think that the discussion falls into two parts with the second part as yet relatively immature in terms of technology.

1: 5V USB powered device (happy with the numerous options to charge small gadgets using The Plug 2 as the source).
2: Laptop charging (12 volt solar panel/mains seems the only option at present).


I would consider the iPad 2 but it has no USB port (external drive for photos (see link below to what I use) but I notice that you can attach the Hyper Drive for iPad AND you can charge the iPad 2 from The Plug 2. mmmm... Need to look at iPad 2 apps that support the photography aspect.

http://www.hypershop.com/HyperDrive-iPad-Hard-Drive-s/183.htm

Quote
My overall goal is to reduce the number of spare batteries I carry, and to keep power available to my gadgets. In the past, my mix of spare batteries and chargers weighed about 1.5kg -- a lot. And, once down, I had no way to recharge them except from rare mains sources. I did find it really paid to devote the last few days at home before departure to making sure the batteries were fully charged before leaving. The Tout Terrain The Plug 2 and the SON28 dynohub present a sea change for me, offering the possibility to recharge fewer batteries while away from the mains.

5V USB

Agree - with some high quality rechargeable battery sets (Uniross or Sanyo Eneloop) and The Plug 2, problem solved. It would also provide power for the devices I already have ...

Head Torch - http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/headlamps/compact-tikka-2/tikka-core
Camera SD Card Backup - http://www.hypershop.com/HyperDrive-COLORSPACE-s/23.htm
Battery Pack I use for walking to charge camera battery - http://www.solartechnology.co.uk/shop/freeloader-pro.htm
GNSS Unit - uses GPS and Russian GLOSNAS system - http://www.garmin.com/uk/new-etrex-series#2

Would do for charging rechargeable batteries and lots of other things too. Still looking for the best USB electric razor!

Laptop Charging

This seems at present to need a 12V system. The Plug 2 will simply not provide the watts required. That leaves solar panels or a wind turbine or mains supply. So off-grid remote tours will require solar or wind (US/European tours - mains top-up?). Solar panels are lighter so thats the way to go (excuse me why I think out loud typing!).

Panels are getting better and there are many new players so the efficiency should improve. I think we are approaching the launch pad of wide-spread solar generation acceptability. Finally!

If the world does not adopt the technology soon, then at least Thorn owners will be able to get through when electricity bills and petrol becomes too expensive!!! In fact may sell my car to buy all this exciting stuff!!!

Back to topic ... in my humble opinion from all my internet trawling, at present I would go for a Brunton or PowerFilm 14 watt or 28 watt depending on size rollable panel (weatherproof, relatively efficiency in relation to others in poor light, rollable, damage resistant, good reviews) and a Brunton Impel 2 (rugged and splashproof, provides standard USB power as well as 12V for camera batteries, 16V and 19V for laptop/MacBook Air/iPad 2, good capacity, good reviews)

http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/rollable-solar-chargers.php
http://store.bruntonoutdoor.com/portable-power/portable-power-packs/impel2-trade-black/

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I have thought about placing little flags on the wheels for wind-charging overnight in camp, but this has so far proven impractical (the bike has to be on its side; inverted would be better and I don't want to do that.

Dan - already been playing with the idea but it would require the bike to be inverted unless you could use 2 Click-Stands to support the front wheel off the ground to allow the dynamo can spin freely?

Quote
Also, the charging SON28 requires an amazingly high effort to start it spinning from rest when it isn't being ridden.

The wind here would overcome any dynamo resistance I can assure you! Spin the wheel by hand and let the wind take over?!!!

Food for thought!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 09:27:48 PM by StuntPilot » Logged
Danneaux
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2012, 09:19:00 PM »

Boy, this is fun!   Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin

Richard, I'm digesting your links and thoughts and pondering. I think your bold-faced summary of the two sorts of charging philosophies is a good one -- little gadgets are the easy province of the TTTP2...and then the Big Gadget (a computery thing...whether that be a laptop, netbook, tablet, or some sort of hybrid). It is just possible one might (eventually) top-off the right sort of buffer battery for the computer over the course of time, even using the TTTP2 or that and a Solar option.

The news of UV-based energy accumulation opens up all sorts of ideas. I want to look into this further.

<squints, casts appraising glance toward bike> Hmm. Lookin' at Sherpa in a whole new way for some of these ideas...

Where is my free lunch? Everyone tells me there's no such thing...  Wink

Best,

Dan.
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2012, 01:25:38 PM »

Cache battery thought ...

Dan ... some more 'thinking-out-loud'. Might be repeating myself here!!!

I currently have the Globetrotter Pro setup that I have used successfully for backpacking trips to keep the camera battery and 5V USB devices going.

http://www.solartechnology.co.uk/shop/globetrotter-pro.htm

Just been having a closer look at a cache battery that could be used with the TT The Plug. My previous post listed the HyperJuice battery with 7200mAh capacity which I thought was pretty good. The PowerTraveller products look good, especially the PowerMonkey Extreme as the battery is rated at 9000mAh!

https://powertraveller.com/iwantsome/primatepower/powermonkeyextreme/

The included solar panel would keep you going during non-cycling days, and the battery can be mains charged too. What I like about the Extreme battery is that it allows pass-through charging where you can charge the battery from The Plug while charging 5V USB gadgets (like the HyperJuice Mini), but it can charge TWO at the same time. You can keep your GPS going all day as well as charging another USB device or two AA batteries using a USB attached battery charger ...

http://www.solartechnology.co.uk/shop/scotty-pro.htm

The Extreme battery has automatic cut-off when the device is fully charged. It is also 'ruggedised' being rated at IP67 (dust proof and waterproof to 1m for up to 30 minutes). The reviews suggest that under-cloud performance is good. PowerTraveller are based in the South of England so I guess they have looked at the units low light performance and 'UV gathering' abilities in detail.

I would continue to use the Freeloader battery to charge the camera batteries (as it has a 9.5V setting for this, and a universal 'camcaddie' for all camera battery types), the Freeloaded Pro unit itself could be charged directly from The Plug or from the Extreme battery.

In short the waterproof construction and high capacity of the PowerMonkey Extreme battery gets my vote for the best cache battery for 5V USB devices.

Keeping to the original topic re. laptops, the other PowerTraveller PowerGorilla ...

https://powertraveller.com/iwantsome/primatepower/powergorilla/

... and the SolarGorilla ...

https://powertraveller.com/iwantsome/primatepower/solargorilla/

... would keep your laptop in juice. Just a shame that the Powergorilla battery can'be be charged from the TT The Plug. That would be the bees-knees. Maybe one day!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 02:34:43 PM by StuntPilot » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2012, 06:35:46 PM »

Hi, Richard!

I'm delighted you're continuing to evaluate buffer batteries for use with on-board charging schemes. I'm doing the same, with a little detour off to the side as I refine my take-along computer choices. I am beginning to conclude that a laptop/notebook computer with 10in screen may well be more useful to my needs than a netbook, and has the potential for nearly the same "battery economy" if I correctly enable the power-saving options and core-switching. I had seriously considered one of the Asus convertible tablets/netbooks, but those are Android-powered, rather than Windows or Linux. I usually make my own custom Linux distros and then virtualize other OSs within, so I can do what I want with them, or I virtualize my Windows installations and dual- or triple-boot to Linux as needed. A stripped-down and virtualized TinyXP or Win7 Starter/PuppyLinux-derived combo is not a bad way to go. Either work nicely to avoid picking up nasties when using free wi-fi at restaurants or cafes. Android can be hacked so easily, and does not as readily allow on-the-road photo editing and even some low-level video editing as Linux or Windows. A little Mac would be nice, but is more costly to reach the same ends.

I need a notebook (keyboard, available RAM) for content creation; tablets are perfect for consuming content.

Once I find the right notebook, then I can home in more accurately on my power needs.

That said, I agree with you completely on the power outputs you've referenced; it may sound a bit simplistic, but energy density is where its at and if some is good, more is better, and too much is just enough.

Already, I've found and enjoyed the benefits of pre-charging. In advance of each tour, every wall-plug in the house is full of something charging, and when I leave, everything is topped-off and ready to go. That same strategy is just as sound when it comes to a buffer battery. As you've pointed out, if you start with a brick of juice large enough to charge (and recharge) your toys, then there is less need for on-bike charging and it allows for layover days when you aren't riding. You're absolutely right -- solar supplementation helps on off-bike days (or as a a boost to other gadgets when the prime ones are being charged by the dynohub), but nothing beats the mains when it comes to filling the Big Battery Bucket quickly. That's why I've gone with three dedicated 1A USB wall chargers for when I'm near an outlet -- my toys charge in half the time they do from the .5A output of The Plug2 (with the PAT cord, The Plug2 just reaches the full .5A output at a lower speed, putting one in the "sweet spot" of max charging sooner).

The downside of a really big buffer battery (as with all high-capacity batteries) is if you're away from the mains and dependent only on pedal- or solar power to recharge them, it can take forever.  It is a bit like filling a rain barrel with a teaspoon.  Still, I really think a big buffer battery is the way to go and that's what I'm looking for as well.

I agree the ratings on the PowerMonkey Extreme look like the business. The one thing that makes me hesitate with PowerMonkey are persistent reports in user reviews of poor reliability. Apparently, their customer service is very good, but I am concerned about the apparent inconsistencies. The PowerGorilla looked like the logical choice for powering the travel laptop, but I ran into the same snag as you...it apparently can't be recharged from The Plug2.

We're so close to a the ideal "do-all" solution. If I were in charge, we'd have mini-laptops powering color e-ink screens with 18-20hr battery life, powered by a Baygen-like clockwork generator with a pass-through to charge a phone, MP3 player, and other gadgets in camp. Quanta computer already did something like this with a clamp-on hand-crank generator for their XO-1 laptop, developed by the One Laptop per Child Association, Inc).

I'm still wondering if Baygen/FreePlay might have something that could beat solar for camp use. Instead of a clockwork winder, if one could hang it from a tree branch and dump rocks into a fabric pouch and let gravity do the work, so much the better. My father's Baygen FreePlay (now FreePlay Energy) radio from 18 years ago works for a long, long time on just a few cranks of the clockwork generator. A really great solution would be a SONdynamo built into the rear hub so it could be powered-up in camp by cranking an overturned bike. I'm still playing with detachable spoke sails to use wind, but it is hard to overcome the SON28's high initial starting torque.
Quote
...some more 'thinking-out-loud'. Might be repeating myself here...
Not at all! Thinking aloud is one of the better ways to approach the problem of powering gadgets on-tour, and part of the process is revisiting prior ideas as new information comes to light. We know pretty much what we want and a general way to get there. The problem is there's no tailor-made perfect solution, and we all have (gadgets with) slightly different requirements that make a given solution more or less ideal. I think we've already gone quite a ways toward finding workable solutions, and I think we'll get there soon!

Great ideas, good research, and I appreciate your efforts and love the discussion; I'm really grateful someone else is interested in the topic and by looking for solutions together, we'll get there more quickly.

All the best,

Dan.

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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2012, 11:14:33 PM »

Dan,

It's quite refreshing to find others who obsess even more than I about these things.  Cheesy.

I have the 11" MacBook, as well as a cheap NetBoot that I got primarily for touring.

So far, however, my setup has been iPad, Mac Bluetooth keyboard, and iPhone. I do have a new paper white kindle on order, and I will definitely take that on next tour. I also use the new Trent 11000 battery (they now have a 12000, 2amp output for the ipad), charges up the iPad at least once.

Pete.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 02:00:08 PM by keleher » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2012, 05:16:08 AM »

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It's quite refreshing to find others who obsess even more than I about these things.

My goodness, you're in good company, Pete!  And, in turn, I'm just tickled yet another person is interested in these things. If a person is into this sort of thing, it adds whole new dimensions of fun to cycling and touring.

Thanks for detailing your setup. I'm moving more and more toward an iPad with keyboard for my own bike-touring-computing needs. I put in long 15-17 hour days on bad roads, and my hands are often pretty well toasted by the end of the day and there's no way I can journal with a pen and paper (tried...even *I* can't read it afterwards). A keyboard is the way to go for me, though I have heard Apple has included a variation of the iPone's Siri voice-recognition engine in the latest iPad and that it will work reasonably well for transcription/dictation. I've gone through three or four versions of Dragon Naturally Speaking (voice recognition software) for Windows machines, and it had worked pretty unevenly. I finally got myself trained to speak "naturally" while making formatting commands ("Paragraph, Dear Fred, comma, paragraph..."), but it's recognition was sometimes really good and then moments later, it figured I was speaking Swahili rather than English.

I suppose I should also go the Kindle route. I always take a book, but limit it to one paperback for space and weight reasons, and then ration myself to one chapter a night in camp so I won't finish it too fast. It is kind of frustrating, and I get tired of dwelling on just a chapter a day (though it is not so bad with mysteries). With an e-reader like the Kindle, you're only carrying the equivalent of a single physical book...no matter how many "books" are stored in it's memory/library. Can't beat that.

That Trent battery is a pretty nice setup, too. Wonderful toys you have there, Pete!

I have a corker of an idea for on-road charging I will soon reveal; not quite there yet, but will be very, very soon.

Best,

Dan.
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« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2012, 10:38:27 AM »

I'll chip in with my 2 pence worth while I've got a few mins. My solution for my World tour may not fit the bill for cycling off-grid but hopefully it all adds to the conversation.
My goal on my Liverpool - Istanbul trip last year was to be power self self-sufficient. I had a shimano hub dynamo connected to the e-werks and that connected to the B&M cache battery. This went to whatever gadget I wanted to charge. A full days riding would usually charge the cache battery fully and it would charge one gadget from empty. I was using a Garmin Edge 705, an iphone 3g, a kindle 3g keyboard (still the best cycle gadget available for the price by a million miles in my humble opinion) a lumix TZ7 camera and a 99p usb li-ion universal charger. This unfortunately broke quite early on. It did work fine ,just very delicate construction. Add to this an aa/aaa battery charger.
The theory was great however in practice I was using my garmin all day recording my route and sometimes navigating. This took priority everyday and used at least 1/2 of the cache battery if not all. It didn't take long  to realise my gadget use to power generation ratios were out of line.
As the tour progressed I spent less time hiding away from busy Western European land owners and more time camping and staying at much more approachable Eastern European farms and houses. I started to use  mains electricty to charge everything overnight from then on.
Although I had a small notebook with me my goal was only to use that as and when I found mains power.

And so I have come to the solution/compromise for my next longer tour.
A power gorilla.
I too had read the somewhat unreliable tales but found a new one cheap on ebay and thought i would give it a go. I did get it to charge from the hub dynamo by setting the e-werks to 12v. However I believe it will take about a month to fully charge!
I did have an issue with my gorilla out of the box where it would not charge my laptop and the unit at the same time. I sent it back to powertraveller and they exchanged it. No problems since then.

My approach is now to top up the gorilla and laptop whenever I have access to mains power. And use the hub/ewerks/for the gps/emergencies. I don't think I will ever be anywhere for more than a week without passing some sort of power and I'm happy to compromise and adjust my power usage accordingly.
The power gorilla weighs 500g ish and will charge my laptop fully from empty or about 8 iphones.
I can leave the laptop mains power unit behind and just use the single gorilla unit and daisy chain from the gorilla to the laptop. It also charges from a car 12v socket. It fits into my Ortlieb bar bag with room to spare.
I may look into a solar panel to top it up but its not my priority. 
Will it last without going wrong? I shall soon find out:)
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« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2012, 08:24:25 PM »

looks like powertraveller are up to something on the remote power and solar power scene (and a funny video)! Or just fancy marketing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSd2sS3CdWI&feature=plcp

Waiting ...

« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 08:26:47 PM by StuntPilot » Logged
Pavel
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« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2013, 06:25:38 PM »

Reading this thread ... I'm struck how cyclists now want to take it all with them.  It seems that we all need that trailer pulled behind, and a nice big one - just for the electronics! Cheesy

How was it that cyclists ever toured before the cel phone was invented?  That must have been crazy! Like getting away fer real.

Speaking for myself, I toted a iPad and cel phone with us on our 2200 mile summer tour.  I've had three tries with the iPad and find something about them that just does not sync with me.  First of all it bothers some deep core of me, that no matter if I cycled at twice the speed that I do and for 16 hours a day, I could not get the iPad, nor my 11" macbook air charged.  Yeah, I know that it is a consctruct of my mind, to be self sufficient, but I like lying to myself that way and want to be ... self sufficient.  That is why I dragged, and will continue to drag around, a cooking kit and food around, even though it was too hot to cook, and restaurants too tempting.  So it is with gadgetry.  I want to be able to get off the grid ... or die lying! Wink

We have ATT on the devices and found that the cel reception was so terrible much of the time that it was more trouble than it was worth.  Next time the ipad stays home and if I take the 11" MacAir (which fits into the front grab pannier - while my 15 retina does not - though the retina is a much more powerful laptop with a longer battery life) I will make myself only use it once a week or so.

I've even had days where I thought I will leave it all at home - including the cell phone.  Simplify.  You know.  But I know that just is not done nowadays.  We escapee, only a little it would seem. Sometimes, just sometimes,  I wonder if that does not take the soul out of "getting away".  

This is off topic ... but a great read, written by a cycle tourist who really inspires me (and sometimes shames me too Smiley )
http://www.skalatitude.com/2012/04/just-traveler-on-bicycle.html
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 06:46:14 PM by Pavel » Logged
StuntPilot
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« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2013, 05:10:32 PM »

Pavel

Yep ... we can all get carried away with the techie stuff. I will not be touring with computers etc. My main requirement started with the need to charge my camera battery. Other essentials would be for a camping light and head torch. I am trying to keep it simple!
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2013, 07:48:11 AM »

Pavel

Yep ... we can all get carried away with the techie stuff. I will not be touring with computers etc. My main requirement started with the need to charge my camera battery. Other essentials would be for a camping light and head torch. I am trying to keep it simple!

Well said  Cool
KISS

Pete
 Wink

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