Author Topic: Tout Terraine SPP  (Read 339 times)

Gilles

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Tout Terraine SPP
« on: October 22, 2021, 08:35:17 AM »
Has anyone else had aggro from Tout Terraine re: an SPP that is the power pack.
Im actually on my second one now. The first one I acquired from St Johns and this failed within the warranty period. Another on was sent out no questions asked and return not nessasary. Excellent service' just how things are done nowdays. It was shipped from a supplier down south somewhere.I cant actually remember what the fault was but I think it would not charge, maybe they were familier with the failure.
The one which replaced it has also failed but completly a differant failure. The smaller of the 2 USB sockets has come adrift from it's internal mounting so its all wobbly about!
They wanted it back' a reasonable request but not an easy task as it's classed as dangerous goods. Now in my opinion Tout Terraine are giving me the run around. After receiving it the contact point was constantly 'out of office'. They have accepted the failure and say they are waiting for the parts to come in to repair it! Maybe this is the right thing to do in this day and age but who repairs anything these days. Its just not cost efficient or good customer relations.
They have had it about 5 weeks now (at least) and when I enquired 2 days ago they said they hoped to have parts, in about 2 weeks time. I really think they will eventually send me a new replacement. It bloomin expensive to send it by courier, it would be far more efficient to ask SJS to send me one and reimburse them.
I've never been rude and cannot understand why the service has been so poor. I have tried to escalate the issue but it's been impossible to contact anyone else.
Thanks for reading, it's allowed me to let a  little steam off.
PS. As I still had the original failed unit here I have attempted to open it up. I never completed the project it appears boomb proof which gives me further thought to believe a new one will come eventually.
P.S I got lucky on ebay and picked a boxed new one and handlebar mount for 60, so when I do get it back I will have 2 YAY!
If anyone is thinking of buying one, I still rate it as a good but of kit. It does not need the lights built into it this just complicates things and it's not very water proof as is a failing of the CINQ5 USB charging socket. I always put the SPP in my top box when raining and cover the USB charging socket with a plastic bag
Once again, thanks for listening.
 

Danneaux

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Re: Tout Terraine SPP
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2021, 09:33:31 AM »
Hi Gilles!

I tested a Cinq5 (Tout Terrain) Smart Power Pack II back in 2014 and posted a writeup and discussion of its operation here:
http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=10387.0

Mine is still(!) working, a pleasant surprise after all this time.

I'm surely sorry you have had trouble with yours and I hope you will soon receive the warranty replacement. It can surely be frustrating to have something malfunction or break and then encounter a delay in resolution.

I can't speak to how things are going at Tout Terrain/Cinq5, but I do know the entire bicycle industry is currently struggling with severe supply-chain problems from manufacturing to transport/logistics to stock-location services worldwide. For some insights, see:

https://www.bicycleretailer.com/opinion-analysis/2021/06/14/jay-townley-supply-chain-nightmare#.YXJtQRrMJhE
...and...
https://corinspired.com/global-bicycle-production-is-hit-by-supply-chain-delays/
...and...
https://www.bike-eu.com/market/nieuws/2020/12/production-increase-alone-will-not-solve-supply-chain-shortages-10139402

If it is a comfort, I've found warranty replacements for everything are taking much longer than usual, thanks to Covid-related work-from-home schemes and reductions-in-force as the industry adjusts to new demands. I recently had to make a warranty claim on a wearable LED headlamp. Based on past claims with that same company, I had expected a reply the same day; instead it took nearly two weeks to hear from a human after receiving an automated reply that assigned a case number. They did not baulk at all on my claim and graciously told me to keep the (faulty) original while they shipped the replacement. Again, there was a delay and I received the replacement after a couple weeks -- in the wrong color, the only one they had available. So...four weeks total to resolve this last claim compared to about 10 days for the pre-Covid experience. They did make note of probable delays due to short-staffing and home-work in their automated email reply so this was expected. Like you, I've found it helpful to be polite and understanding no matter how frustrated, as folks at the other end are usually overtaxed and have had to deal with some unhappy customers. Being nice seems the best strategy to ensure a pleasant, speedy resolution despite shortages.

As for repair, a friend of mine in Aachen German operates a contract warranty-repair service for a number of manufacturers. When defective products are returned, they are the shipped to his firm where they are tested and repaired, then either sent directly to the consumer or sent back to the originating company to forward to the original consumer. This is cheaper for the maker and eventually provides feedback as to which parts are most likely to fail so changes in manufacture can be introduced to ensure greater reliability. Unfortunately, this can all cost time. I have no idea if TT/Cinq5 provides warranty repairs on-site, through contracted repair centers, or via exchange for new or remanufactured units. All three are possibilities for many firms. Particularly with international claims, there can be reimbursement, contractual, even regulatory problems with having a local seller or international distributor make the warranty exchange rather than the maker; some may not be authorized to do so.

This can even be true in the case of bicycle frames. I was able to complete the process entirely through a local dealer who handled everything on my behalf in one case. In another instance, I had to actually ship the frame to the maker for evaluation and eventual authorization for a replacement. In yet another case, a frame made in Japan to my specifications was defective -- the vertical rear dropouts were misaligned 1mm vertically, causing the rear rim to cant to one side. The bike had brazed-on centerpulls so the brakes could not be adjusted and one pad rubbed all the time/braked unevenly. The company whose name was on the bikes was really just the designer and distributor in my country with the frames made under contract in a series of places in Japan depending on the model. Some were made by large factories while my made-to-measure model was produced by a husband-and-wife team of hand-builders. Frame finishing was contracted out even further -- for example, some elderly ladies did the hand-lining/pinstriping using horsehair brushes, one frame at a time. Despite the promise of a lifetime warranty against frame defects, there proved to be no recourse in my case, so rather than mill through the chrome of the lower dropout, I machined a spacer for the higher one and bonded it in place using an etching epoxy. It solved the problem and has remained in place for the last 41 years.

Fingers crossed your replacement will arrive soon.

Best,

Dan.

Gilles

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Re: Tout Terraine SPP
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2021, 09:50:58 AM »
Thanks Dan for your reply.
I run 3 bikes with Son dynamo's Cinq5 USB sockets and the SPP backup.
Even though I don't feel I can run a touring bike without the Tout Terraine kit now, I do have a couple of reservations. I think I said before, but I dont understand why they have fitted the lights into the SPP just something else to go wrong. I also feel both the Cinq5 and SPP are not the best in wet weather. In fact the slightest sign of moisture they are packed away into my handle bar bag.
Hopefully I should hear later this week from TT and I still think it will be a new unit, but I will let you know.

mickeg

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Re: Tout Terraine SPP
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2021, 01:24:29 PM »
... I also feel both the Cinq5 and SPP are not the best in wet weather. In fact the slightest sign of moisture they are packed away into my handle bar bag. ...

I have not used those particular devices.

I use the Sinewave Revolution to convert dynohub power to USB.  I does a great job of making 5v DC power, but it has no pass through cache battery.  Previously I used a light with USB charger built in that was poorly waterproofed.  I bought the Sinewave for a trip where I expected wet weather (Iceland) because I think the Sinewave has better waterproofing than any others. 

Someone several years ago on a different forum commented that a lot of battery packs that were made for solar power systems have pass through capability, meaning that they can; be charged, can be discharged (charging something else), or can do both at the same time.  And on that forum that person specifically cited the battery pack he had, the brand name was Voltaic.  I paid about double what a typical powerbank that did not have pass through capability to get a Voltaic that had 44 watt hours of capacity.  Very happy with it.  The size that I bought, they no longer make that size but they make both bigger and smaller ones.

None of this fits in a steerer tube, I attach the Sinewave to my handlebar bag bracket and the Voltaic goes into my handlebar bag.

Works for me.  I wrote up a piece on this forum on what I use for electrics when I tour on my S&S coupled bike, the link to that thread is at:
http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13696.0

I should note that someone on this forum had a Sinewave go bad, I think it was corrosion somewhere that could not be fixed.  But that is the only Sinewave Revolution failure I have heard of.

The attached photo is not of one of my touring bikes, it is my rando bike.  The Sinewave Revolution is the white box with some printing on it.  And you can see how I attach the Sinewave to the bracket, the  USB port is facing down so that rainwater does not collect in it.


« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 06:06:20 PM by mickeg »

Andre Jute

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Re: Tout Terraine SPP
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2021, 05:17:07 PM »
In thermionic tube/valve audio amplifiers with dangerous voltages I found that small (flashlight) rechargeable batteries were reliable constant current devices, which is the sort of pass-through described above. It's the battery installation in the cathode of the WE417A tube on the circuit at https://www.audio-talk.co.uk/fiultra/T39-KISS-300B-Ultrafi-crct.jpg, and those who care can read more about it passim at Jute on Amps at https://www.audio-talk.co.uk/fiultra/JUTE%20ON%20AMPS.htm. The relevant detail is that at one end the battery provides a charge at the same time as at the other end it is charged by whatever current is on the circuit, and thereby regulates the amount of current on the circuit to what is safe. (For those who know nothing of electronics: a component or a circuit doesn't consume all the current presented to it; instead it offers a resistance which consumes only the current it is designed to consume. The circuit isn't damaged by excess current but by the heat of the excess current being shed against the resistance of the circuit.)

Such a simple passthrough/regulator device should be easy to install on a bicycle lamp/dynamo circuit as it consists only of the resistance, supplied by the LED of the lamp and the battery itself to make the current flow through the battery, and another resistor (on my audio circuit the part in the negative circuit of the battery of the  DACT Swiss medical grade variable resistance switch used as a volume control) to ensure there is no over-current to the battery. It can be done without the batteries, but a couple of AA rechargeable nicads are a safety device in my circuit against blowing up exceedingly expensive tubes which are no longer in production, and of course to protect people against the mishaps of the alternative "direct" circuit which uses high power capacitors instead. If you visualize the stand-light circuit well known to B&M's clientele, but magnified ten thousand times in power, that's the direct circuit; lethal. The batteries in the constant current device reduces the power at the pressure point to bicycle electrical safety levels.

I see no reason -- except for the difficulty of getting into the gubbins of Tout Terrain's machinery -- why a similar circuit, consisting of enough rechargeable AA batteries in series-parallel to drop the 6-7.5V from the SON to the 3.7V of the LED lamp, and/or near enough to the 5V USB circuits expect, with one or two resistors for voltage dividers, cannot be built in by the rankest amateur for less than a tenner.

If you try this, it's at your own risk of personal harm and, worse, damage to bicycle components.

PS I don't have any ideas about how you can do this tidily, given that the attraction of the Tout Terrain installation is its neat absence of too much visible wiring. It does seem a pity to pay for a tidy installation and then to require to muss it up to rectify an oversight by the original designer.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 05:21:02 PM by Andre Jute »