Bikepacking Dynamo Setup: Charging my GPS + Phone AND Powering a Proper, Off Road Li- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bikepacking Dynamo Setup: Charging my GPS + Phone AND Powering a Proper, Off Road Li

    earlier in the year I got a proper, off road capable dynamo up and running for winter riding, and was sufficiently chuffed enough with it I posted it on the DIY lights forum. I've finally got my bikepacking set up with an updated dynamo powered LED light, with improved low speed light and a higher power, longer burning standlight, power (and standlight) to a rear light in case of road sections and charger and I'm super chuffed with it. Now I've been riding it a while and am happy it's all working reliably it's bye-bye batteries for me! I thought it best to share it on the bikepacking foum.

    Next week the bike takes on all 1300miles of the UK's inaugural E-W-E race and I'll be using this to provide all the power I need for lights and to charge the GPS and head torch in the day.

    The Bike:


    The power from the SP PD-8 hub can be switched, via a little switch on the bars, from the front light to a USB carger, that happily charges my GPS or my smart phone, while they're on and working and faster than they use power.

    The cockpit setup:



    The USB cable can also be used to charge my joystick head torch if needed for multi-day rides involving camping.

    Power is provided by a tiny, light weight dynamo hub from Shutter Precision:



    The light is a pre-production (available soon) Exposure dynamo light, with off-road-capable standlight. The standlight also powers the rear light, which is the standard, and well proven, exposure redeye should you want one for the on-road sections:

    FRONT LIGHT


    REAR LIGHT


    The charging can then be done by one of the many dynamo chargers available on the market, which just attach to the main power cable from the hub. Most of them come with selectable outputs either to the light or USB plug, to keep the intervention required to install it all minimal.

    Forseeing the nay-sayers, here's a couple of FAQs I answered earlier:

    1) So, dynamos are heavy, right? No! The Exposure light comes in at a flyweight 112g, with the SP hub another 390g, A total weight of 502g. Yes, a MaXx-D is only 337g, but you still need a front hub, and with a Hope Pro 2 coming in at 190g, that's a total weight of 527g, 25g heavier. And that's without factoring in having to run my battery light on a low light setting or the weight of carrying alkaline batteries as spares for the GPS or some form of battery charger.

    2) Isn't a dynamo draggy? Well, Please excuse the maths, but if you rode at 20mph for an hour the light would pull about 6W from your legs during this time, this is equivalent to approximately 5.2kcal. There are approximately 72kcal in a McVites Digestive biscuit, enough to power your light for just under 14hrs and that's assuming you pedal down the hills and around every corner! So yes, it does draw a tiny bit of power, but I certainly can't tell the difference and it's a damn good excuse to eat an extra biscuit every few rides ;-)

    There's a bit more detail on the details of my setup, some pretty pictures of my bike and the rather special wheels Reynolds helped me out with ON MY FULL BLOG POST HERE (CLICKY).

    Enjoy..... Dynamo power FTW!
    Last edited by robdeanhove; 07-06-2012 at 11:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Cumbria, England.
    Reputation: D45yth's Avatar
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    Nice setup! Good luck with the EWE. I wonder if someone will fetch out a dynamo hub that works with a 15mm bolt-through fork?
    - The seasons blow away, but the love is just the same -

  3. #3
    Fail again. Fail better.
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    Looks good, I'm interested how the dyno hub will perform - excelent I hope, since it's much cheaper than SON hubs - looks a bit like Supernova hubs. Did you buy it in the UK or is it imported?
    Godspeed with EWE!

  4. #4
    www.bigrobracing.co.uk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusza View Post
    Looks good, I'm interested how the dyno hub will perform - excelent I hope, since it's much cheaper than SON hubs - looks a bit like Supernova hubs. Did you buy it in the UK or is it imported?
    Godspeed with EWE!
    I've been lucky enough to have two of the SP dynamo hubs; a PD-8 disc hub on my MTB and the PV-8 on my road bike. I've run them through the winter and I'm very impressed so far.

    I agree the Supernova hubs look "suspiciously" like the SP hubs, I've no experience of the Supernova part, nor do I know anyone with one so can't comment on the function or durability. But the price....ouch!

    I got my SP hub through Intelligent Design Cycles on eBay, who I believe have a direct relationship with SP, the prices were great and the parts are supplied with full warranty and they have been very helpful with my questions and product support, so much so I now have a second PD-8 and one of their PV-7 switchable hubs too!

    Hope that helps& cheers for the EWE, I'll need it!

  5. #5
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    Nice setup. I have a dynamo (Shimano) wheel build on order for my MTB which I use for touring. I am using a PedalPower+ Super-i-Cable to provide the power to my Garmin Edge 800 and Samsung Galaxy S2. I find that with my current setup on my Surly Long Haul Trucker that I can put power through to the Super-i-Cable when I am not powering the lights.



    Hopefully the same will apply with the Shimano dynamo.

    Andrew

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aushiker View Post
    Hopefully the same will apply with the Shimano dynamo
    Yes, I am sure it will, I started off with a Shimano dynamo from eBay before I found the SP hubs existed. The Shimano hub will work just as well, it will just weigh more (the amount will depend on which one you have ordered) and it will be a little less efficient, drawing a little more power both when providing power or free wheeling with everything off.

    P.S. both my Shimano hubs and SP hubs are trucking along just fine after many many miles on and off road.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by robdeanhove View Post
    Yes, I am sure it will, I started off with a Shimano dynamo from eBay before I found the SP hubs existed. The Shimano hub will work just as well, it will just weigh more (the amount will depend on which one you have ordered) and it will be a little less efficient, drawing a little more power both when providing power or free wheeling with everything off.

    P.S. both my Shimano hubs and SP hubs are trucking along just fine after many many miles on and off road.
    I have gone with a Shimano Deore XT DH-T785 dynamo hub Centerlock black 36H which has a claimed weight of 483g.



    I went with the Shimano as I don't use this bike that often so really couldn't justify a Supernova or SON 28 dynamo.

    Andrew

  8. #8
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    Great set up; thanks for sharing. Can you provide a close-up picture or a better description of the switch that you're using to direct power between the lights and units being charged? Is this switch something that you made, or is it available for purchase? Thanks!

  9. #9
    www.bigrobracing.co.uk
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierre meux View Post
    Great set up; thanks for sharing. Can you provide a close-up picture or a better description of the switch that you're using to direct power between the lights and units being charged? Is this switch something that you made, or is it available for purchase? Thanks!
    The switch actually came as part of the charger, so I just had to connect the dynamo to one end, the light to the other and the switch to select between light and USB and the USB output cable were already wired up, I believe several chargers use this arrangement (softhema & Kemo for example)

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