Lights and charging my Iphone- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Lights and charging my Iphone

    My Iphone 3GS goes with me whenever I am on my bike - I use if for music, podcasts, navigation, tracking my fitness levels, measuring the grades of hills I climb, and sometimes as a phone.

    Problem is, it on long rides it tends to die too soon. I used to carry a separate AA powered charger, but got tired of carrying extra batteries and weight, as well as the limited juice.

    Why not plug into the big 14.8 v 5700 Ah lipo battery I use for my headlights? It has plenty of juice for powering both, even on very long rides. Hmmmm...... anyways, long story short, I had an extra car charger that could take up to 16 volts, so I got a cheapo cigarette lighter extension plug, hooked it up to the battery in parallel with the lights and voila, an integrated charger!

    Each leg gets 15 volts and 3.5 amps, far more than needed, and after testing, it works darn well.

    Here is the set up with the battery and extension plug:
    IMG_0061.JPG

    (Yes, I do like Deans connectors!) and with the car charger hooked to the iphone. The free Deans is for my lights and charging the battery.
    IMG_0064.JPG

    I have a cheapy usb charger that will work as well for other stuff. Now I don't worry about how long I'll be out as long I keep tabs on the main battery charge.
    I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming.
    Mitch Hedberg

  2. #2

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    damn dude how long DO you ride? doesnt the battery in your phone last AT least a day?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappomatt
    damn dude how long DO you ride? doesnt the battery in your phone last AT least a day?
    I also use it for work and don't get a chance to recharge before the evening rides. Plus, if you have ever used the GPS, it sucks. Juice, I mean. Sucks a lot of juice...
    I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming.
    Mitch Hedberg

  4. #4
    viva la v-brakes!
    Reputation: FishMan473's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slappomatt
    damn dude how long DO you ride? doesnt the battery in your phone last AT least a day?
    Mine lasts less than 3hrs when the GPS is running. They really need to put bigger batteries in those things.

    Thanks for the idea Tiny, great way to use an old battery pack!
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    I have a car. I made a choice. I ride my bike.

  5. #5
    aka RossC
    Reputation: ocean breathes salty's Avatar
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    Nice work tiny

    I will confess.... I like Dean connectors too.

    I have recently abandoned the heat shrink over the soldered wires and used 90 second epoxy to cover them in a big blob. That way I can be as ham fisted as I like and I won't break the solder join. I learnt that one from Troutie.

  6. #6
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    I like my simple phone. That's all it does. OK, I couldn't get just a phone it has a camera too. I get a much a five days on a charge.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocean breathes salty
    Nice work tiny

    I will confess.... I like Dean connectors too.

    I have recently abandoned the heat shrink over the soldered wires and used 90 second epoxy to cover them in a big blob. That way I can be as ham fisted as I like and I won't break the solder join. I learnt that one from Troutie.
    Dang good idea - I hate shrink wrapping the deans'
    I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming.
    Mitch Hedberg

  8. #8
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    First thing, I like your charger set up. I think I'm going to adapt something along that line for my GPS reciever. I also like some parts to be specialized. I have a Garmin Edge 305; HRM, mapping and all the rest. It's battery is good for 9 hours (can be augmented). The iphone uses triangulation of the cell repeaters (called AGPS by Apple). If you are out in the hinterlands, you will not get tracking. An example of this 1) a ride at Raccoon Mountain (good phone reception, good tracking); 2) a ride at Ocoee Whitewater Center (only 50 miles east of Raccoon Mt.) NO cell service, no tracking. The other gotcha (if your getting good reception), is a call or text turns off tracking (iphone only does one thing at a time)(no multi tasking). This is not a iphone slam. I feel some things, (GPS tracking for one) is better done by a dedicated device. Yes I have owned an iphone, now have a nice phone that the battery goes for a week without charging.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMTBfreak
    First thing, I like your charger set up. I think I'm going to adapt something along that line for my GPS reciever. I also like some parts to be specialized. I have a Garmin Edge 305; HRM, mapping and all the rest. It's battery is good for 9 hours (can be augmented). The iphone uses triangulation of the cell repeaters (called AGPS by Apple). If you are out in the hinterlands, you will not get tracking. An example of this 1) a ride at Raccoon Mountain (good phone reception, good tracking); 2) a ride at Ocoee Whitewater Center (only 50 miles east of Raccoon Mt.) NO cell service, no tracking. The other gotcha (if your getting good reception), is a call or text turns off tracking (iphone only does one thing at a time)(no multi tasking). This is not a iphone slam. I feel some things, (GPS tracking for one) is better done by a dedicated device. Yes I have owned an iphone, now have a nice phone that the battery goes for a week without charging.
    Glad to hear you found my idea useful.
    I have to agree that some things are best left to dedicated units - the iphone does have off-system gps capability as long as you have on-board maps - I used mine this summer in the wilds of the Salmon River in Idaho, far out of cell tower reach - however, it does not have the consistent accuracy of your Garmin unit, and certainly not the battery life, hence the need for a charger.
    I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming.
    Mitch Hedberg

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