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  1. #1
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    Schmidt SON Dynamo Hubs… HELP

    The idea of producing my own power and not having to seek out power sources every couple days appeals to me. I have been devouring information for weeks trying to figure out if a Schmidt Dynamo will provide me with what I need. Oddly enough I don't care about lights or a phone or my iPod losing charge. My main concern is camera batteries. I admit up front that I know very little about electricity. I do know (now) that a straight USB connection is not going to do the trick. Have been focusing on the Busch & Müller e-Werk as a converter but am not sure what I am looking at for voltage and current needs. I am shooting with a Olympus PEN E-P5 which takes a 7.6V battery and has a two-prong wall charger. Excuse my ignorance but can I just get a female plug, tie it into the system and go?

    Other converters? Cache batteries?

    Any light you can shed would be greatly appreciated. Need to order my parts ASAP but wondering if this is going to be a viable solution? Don't want to invest big $$ if it won't address my biggest need.

    Stressing me out.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I've never charged anything other than a phone, but I think a cache battery is good to keep the volts flowing more consistently. The E-werk might be OK by itself though, since you can adjust it.

    Check the DIY light forum. Some of the engineering types will have more definitive info

    Good luck
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  3. #3
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    Thanks! I'll try over there too.

    Scott

  4. #4
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    What charger are you using? I have the same issue -- my charger takes 12 V DC which is not what the hub produces. I need some sort of battery in between so I am interested to see what you come up with. I use the aftermarket chargers from BH Photo. Cheap, light and seem to be reliable, and also work off wall plugs.

    Watson Compact AC/DC Charger for BLN-1 Battery C-3512 B&H Photo
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for that link. I have been looking for a reliable charger that is smaller than the OEM. I will keep you posted on feedback from other posts.

    Scott

  6. #6
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    This any good,

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...=1&s=computers

    ..as above, same type of charger. In the same position myself.
    Have a Luxos U ans SON hub. Luxos U has a cache built in so should be OK.
    Hopefully.

  7. #7
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    Boy did that get me excited. Unfortunately it isn't compatible with my batteries. Thanks for the response though.

    Scott

  8. #8
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    On closer inspection..............not compatible with mine either. Dang!
    I'm looking to recharge a battery for a Panasonic Lumix DSLR.

  9. #9
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    This is the one I want to charge off a USB plug.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilroy A View Post
    On closer inspection..............not compatible with mine either. Dang!
    I'm looking to recharge a battery for a Panasonic Lumix DSLR.
    What about this one?

    Ex-Pro Panasonic CGR-S006, CGR-S006A/E/1B/6E DE-993, DE-994AB EZi-Power USB Charger with USB Cable & Mains Charger [See Description for Models]: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    Accepts a USB input which the dynamo can produce with the help of this not-cheap but highly praised gizmo:

    Sinewave Cycles Revolution | Sinewave Cycles

    Thanks for the Ex-Pro link, that will work with my EN-EL15 Nikon batteries. But unfortunately for onebadcat there doesn't seem to be one for the BLN-1 Olympus battery, it is the same charger as the Watson one which requires 12 VDC input.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ex-Pro-Olymp...s=Ex-Pro+BLN-1
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  11. #11
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    Yeah, I linked that in post 6 above. Battery not compatible it seems.
    Cheers.

    ....maybe wrong though.......what you think?

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  13. #13
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    Duh... it's early in the morning... But it says it's for the Panasonic CGR-S006E right? That's the battery you have. That charger only has 2 pins but for charging I think that may be all you need.
    All I am saying is give pizza chants

  14. #14
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    Ah, I've got 5:15pm. Time for dinner.

  15. #15
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    Ok, guys, I got a pretty great response over on the Adventure Cycling Forums. Schmidt Dynamos for charging batteries? HELP!

    He says that we should be able to use a battery charger that has a car charging option? The Watson ill work, I guess. I have asked whether all that takes is splicing the cables together.

    His general post was also worth a read:
    Review: charging batteries with a SON hub

    Scott

  16. #16
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    Great, I think that gives some solutions. Where are you going for weeks on end?
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  17. #17
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    The plan that is in my head is to ride from Prudhoe Bay, AK to Banff, AB then pick up the Divide Route to New Mexico then possibly pedal on down to Argentina if our asses aren't tired of the saddles. Asia, Africa? All still a dream at this point.

  18. #18
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    Saw a review on that charger where the reviewer stated he was only getting a partial charge from the Watson. Have you had shorter battery life than using the OEM charger?

    Scott

  19. #19
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    I have been using them without issue, but I haven't really compared scientifically to the OEM charger. They won't work for some batteries like Canon camcorders because they are "smart" batteries. But for regular camera batteries they seem to work OK. Maybe those people got a lemon.

    Sounds like a fun journey, kind of my dream too. This summer I hope to ride around central and northern BC via the east side of the coast mountains, following the trails and logging roads, and packrafting down rivers where possible.
    All I am saying is give pizza chants

  20. #20
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    That sounds like an awesome trip too. I have friends that have been trying to get me into packrafting. Always something. More gear, more money. Some day.

  21. #21
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    FYI, I had a question about voltages I posted for Old Guy New Hobby on Adventure Cycling Forum:

    Old Guy New Hobby, I can only find specs for the SON 28 hub that show it produces 6 V (AC I presume), with one reference to a 12 V hub being produced in the future. Will the E-Work be able to still produce 13 VDC with a 6 VAC input?

    Schmidt Brochure

    SON 28 neu

    Thanks
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  22. #22
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    What about a small solar power charger ?

  23. #23
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    Any recommendations for small form factor/high output? Honestly, I have been so focused on the hub as a solution that I haven't done much research on the solar options.

    Thanks –

  24. #24
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    I have a marine grade rollup solar panel that produces about 14 V and charges all my stuff (good for kayaking). You can't use it while riding obviously but if you are in a sunny spot for a few hours you could get some charge. It isn't too small when rolled up, but not too heavy. I can wrap my mattress around it and it fits in there.

    Rollable solar panels

    I think mine is equivalent to the R14. I had to do some wire cutting and soldering to make all the plugs work, I don't know how good you are at that.
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  25. #25
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    By far the most energy is produced by 12V Automatik + USB: Forumslader , no commercially available solution even comes close. It might be hard to get the parts to the US and you need to know some stuff about electronics to build your own. Or you ask the creator directly, he might ship complete units to the US as well: Kontakt: Forumslader (english spoken).

    All german long distance cyclists who care about maximum energy output use that nifty device. It gives you around 10 Watts max (at very reasonable speeds already) with any SON/Shimano/ShutterPrecision hub. Features 12V output voltage besides USB as well, so you could use every car charger.

    Solar? Forget it. Not on a moving bicycle.

    But seriously... this only makes sense if you plan on using a lot of energy, like keeping a gps/smartphone powered all the time for track recording and whatever. If you only want to charge your camera battery once in a while, don't bother with all that. It's much cheaper and much lighter and much less hassle if you simply take a few spare batteries and the wall charger. You will need "civilization" for food resupply anyway and they will have power too.

  26. #26
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    Thanks again. I'll check that out.

    Scott

  27. #27
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    Well after more research I have gone from the SON to solar and back to the SON. My solution, for the time being, will be to purchase the PowerMonkey Extreme 12V which is the only USB chargeable 12V out cache battery I have found. I can charge the battery while riding and top off with the small included solar panel when at camp. Unfortunately I haven't found many reviews on that system. If you have experience with that product or have seen it reviewed let me know. Also, if you know of another USB in/12V out cache battery I would be all ears.

    Thanks to everyone for their input.

    Scott

  28. #28
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    Looks like a good solution. It seems to get good reviews at REI

    Powertraveller Powermonkey Extreme 12V Solar Battery Charger - Free Shipping at REI.com
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  29. #29
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    Will you also use the e-werk to make DC voltage from the hub suitable to charge the Powermonkey? (it says it can accept a USB input as charge, which is 5 V DC but the hub produces 6 V AC) That's another $200...

    But since you'll just be inputting that to the Powermonkey, you may be able to find a simple rectifier that turns AC to DC without any voltage level adjustment. The e-werk seems overkill for that.

    When you're done this you'll be able to survive the zombie apocalypse.
    All I am saying is give pizza chants

  30. #30
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    Funny how much money I am spending just to 'simplify' my packing list. Truly wish I wasn't so damn committed to bringing that camera. True simplification would involve one change of clothes and a sleeping bag. Chuck all the rest. Yeah, right?!

  31. #31
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    No. Will either go with a cheaper option converter or possibly the Busch & Müller Luxos U headlight. I reason that at least with that setup I get a supre-sweet headlight with the USB converter. Have to admit that deep down I want the simple solution at this point. I am getting very tired of the endless research and just need to move forward with building bikes and planning the trip.

  32. #32
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    Good logic there with the light / USB out in the Luxos U. If I needed a light I might even consider it!

    Yeah I'm getting tired of working on my bike, I enjoy it but it never ends. Next week I go into the Mexican desert for 2 weeks, possibly a month, and I have been mounting all the Gopro mounts in various locations which is hard because you have to brace them to prevent vibration.

    And I'll have to desalinate water, that was a challenge getting that sorted out, along with a backup campfire distiller system in case the RO pump breaks.

    And I'll use my solar panel for charging my Nikon batteries, Gopros, iPhone (with Google Earth cached on it), AA's and AAA's. I got that figured out last trip.

    And it all has to fit on my packraft too... and fishing gear I'll need because I won't bring enough food to last a month...

    It's coming up pretty fast.
    All I am saying is give pizza chants

  33. #33
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    Sounds like a very cool (hot) trip. If (when) I go I will have ample opportunities for change and adaption but am trying to keep that to a minimum. Would like to spend the money while I'm at work vs. having to make too many expensive adjustments on the road.

    Have a great trip. Post some pics when you get back!

    Scott

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