Author Topic: tout terraine plug 2 help.  (Read 10629 times)

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2013, 06:01:48 PM »
Hi Richard!

Briefly, here...

You may have one of the faulty PAT units occasionally reported; the "blinking green indicator" can be a symptom if it flashes with no load attached. Somewhere along the line, you may wish to try the same setup briefly with the PAT removed. If your gadgets then charge (albeit at a higher speed), the culprit may be the PAT. The Plug2 can still be good even if the PAT is faulty.

Glad the lot installed without incident. Your testing methodology is sound and you'll know more After. Feel free to give a shout if you run into problems.

All the best,

Dan. (...who expects Richard will get a charge out of this new system)

StuntPilot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
    • Tour on a Bike
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2013, 08:46:54 PM »
Dan

Testing, testing!

I tried a couple of quick test with a couple of direct attach devices this evening.

1: eneloop USB charger with two AA batteries installed : The Plug II + green light constant and USB blue charger light flashing at 14 km/hr. Charging!
2: Ampercell Solar Razon (with solar panel obscured). The Plug II + green light constant and razor red charge light constant at 7 km/hr. Charging!

Results repeated and achieved with a different cable.

I then directly attached the PowerMonkey Extreme (PME) and at speeds of up to 25 km/hr the Plug II + light still flashed, except on one occasion where it seemed to work!!  ???.

Note: with no device attached (unloaded), the Plug II + green light is constant at 5 km/hr and above, so still not convinced the P.A.T. is faulty. I expect the PME to charge at 25 km/he - it does not when attached to the plug II + USB port  >:(

I have ruled out a faulty cable and PME as the PME directly charges most of my devices. It also charges well from it's solar panel (low full Winter Sun this afternoon with the solar panel showing a good, if low, charge).

Looking at the Plug II + documentation, I should get USB 5V/500mA at just under 14 km/hr, and without the P.A.T. (+) at just under 20 km/hr.

Dan, I think your idea of removing the P.A.T. from the equation is a good one.

What I plan to do is go to a long flat straight nearby and try direct attaching each of my devices (including the PME) and observing where I obtain a constant green Plug II + indication and a positive charge indication on the device. The speed will then be noted and tabulated.

I will probably then remove the P.A.T. (as you advise) unit and repeat the tests.

This should indicate whether the P.A.T. unit operation is at all in question.

Thanks for your continued enlightened advice Dan!

Best

Richard

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2013, 09:45:22 PM »
Terrific update, Richard; you're doing all the right things and should soon be rewarded with success!

If you have access to a cheap volt-meter, that would help greatly for checking output. If you were nearby, I'd give you one; the local Harbor Freight store gives them away with newspaper coupons occasionally.

There's a couple more things to check if all else fails...

• Despite appearance and careful workmanship, there can be a poor connection midway in the wire. Y'know how the wire arrives folded into hanks and then held with a twisty-tie? Those folds are done by machine, and sometimes the wired can get pulled-apart midway so just a few strands are passing electricity. [EDIT: Scratch that. Applies in some cases, but not this one; the behavior doesn't support it.]

• I'd sure like to see what the little bottle generator is actually putting out for voltage at a given speed. Hmm. You mentioned two connections...have you tried switching the leads for the charger and light? I don't think it is the case with your B&M, but I have seen some bottle generators where the second set of leads is intended for lower-capacity taillight duty.

Diligence will be rewarded! So sorry you're having problems; these are usually straightforward, no-problem installations, but every once in awhile... :-\

All the best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 10:02:13 PM by Danneaux »

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2013, 10:21:40 PM »
Richard,

I've put a bit more thought into this and re-read your posts...at last count, it appears your setup is working pretty consistently for most of your gadgets except for the PowerMonkey Extreme. You also mentioned...
Quote
I then directly attached the PowerMonkey Extreme (PME) and at speeds of up to 25 km/hr the Plug II + light still flashed, except on one occasion where it seemed to work!!
Hmm. Thinking aloud, I wonder if this is caused by the cutoff circuit in the PME. See comments below the video posted here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL8dXeZt1io

Typically, The Plug 2's green indicator will flash in cases where demand exceeds what it can supply. The PME changes it's own chanrging behavior when the battery charge reaches 30-50%.

The PME specs indicate an input voltage/current of 5V 0.5A-3A, but I wonder if that remains constant. It would sure be interesting to hook up the PME to the Plug2 and see if the PME's state-of-charge affects the apparent power draw on the Plug2, and if/when the Plug2 power indicator light flashes to indicate over-demand.

Best,

Dan.

StuntPilot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
    • Tour on a Bike
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 04:12:57 PM »
Dan

A few results just in!

First thing I did as you suggested and switched the leads of the lights and the Plug. Lights working as before and The Plug II + green light coming on as before at about 5 km/hr. I think the B&M Dymotec 6 treats the two connections as the same. There is no mention of any difference in the detailed manual.

I loaded up my handlebar bag with all the devices and set off. First I connected the PowerMonkey Extreme (PME) as I live at the top of a hill!

I freewheeled to a speed of 26km. The PME green light still flashed. The PME was switched off before starting the roll down hill. On accelerating, the PME display comes on, and turns red as the green light of the plug flashes, then the PME display goes blank as the plug light goes off. The cycle repeats itself at a constant speed of 26 km/hr. In other words the Plug ii + does not charge the PME.

To put myself in a better mood ( :-\) I attached some devices directly. The results so far ...

Steripen Freedom - Begins charging at 12 km/hr
eneloop USB charger and two AA batteries - begins charging at 14 km/hr
Freeloader Pro unit - begins charging at 18 km/hr
eTrex 30 GPS - power received at 7 km/hr and above (unable to charge the unit due to its design)
Ampercell razor - begins charging at 7 km/hr

In other words, I am happy with the dynamo, lights, and the Plug II + (with respect to direct attached devices tested so far). In respect to the PME and Plug combination I am not happy.

I viewed the video and repeated the test with my Steripen Freedom and PME battery. The PME had about 60% charge and plugging the power in caused the  PME to charge. The Steripen did not stop charging. Same with the PME solar panel supplying power to the PME. No problem. I will try again when the PME capacity drops below 30%.

The consolation of all this so far is that I can use the Freeloader Pro as a cache battery. I did however buy the PME specifically as my cache battery so tests and research will have to continue. I do think however the PME is an excellent unit but don't want to rely totally on solar or mains power for recharging.

Will probably remove the P.A.T.unit next and let you know what happens. Next stage may have to be the voltage meter.
Cheers for now

Richard

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2013, 05:11:43 PM »
Terrific report, Richard. "Science" (and scientific method) would be proud of you!

Fingers crossed for success with the PME ahead...

Best,

Dan.

StuntPilot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
    • Tour on a Bike
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2013, 07:27:58 PM »
Interesting article about The Plug II + here ...

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?page_id=272869

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2013, 08:21:37 PM »
Quote
Interesting article about The Plug II + here ...
Indeed! I have seen this, and think it a fair appraisal overall. The one thing I would clarify is the impression that Supernova has replaced Tout Terrain as the maker. In fact, TT is still the active maker, and has also licensed The Plug2+ to Supernova for marketing.

Richard, I have spent part of the morning doing some experiments myself, and I have an additional suggestion you may wish to try for charging your PME: Leave the PME unplugged till you get up to speed and have a solid green light from The Plug2...then plug it in. The Plug 2 takes a bit to get "up to speed" in producing full voltage and current. In my morning's experiments with high-draw/high-drain gadgets, I found if the gadget is drawing near or past the upper limits of the TTTP2 at start, it can trigger an initial overdraw indication (flashing green LED) if it is plugged in at startup. If you wait 'till it shows a full charge available, it seems to better tolerate the higher load.

I don't know how one would manage with the stops and starts of cycling if that proves to be the case with your PME...maybe a little inline SPST switch you could flip once up to speed?

Best,

Dan. (...who can never resist a good puzzle of this sort)

StuntPilot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
    • Tour on a Bike
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2013, 09:17:17 PM »
Dan

Me too ... I need to find the solution to this puzzle!

Will give your tip a try tomorrow. Thanks!

After a bit of time on Google I found an interesting PDF file on Tout Terrain's site. It appears to have no link from the main pages. I have basic German
but what I see looks a bit of bad news (if I have translated correctly!). The PowerMonkey Extreme is listed near the bottom of the page as tested device.

I have attached the PDF file. How's your German?!! ;)

Feeling a little smug about my detective work by the way!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 09:23:47 PM by StuntPilot »

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2013, 09:49:55 PM »
Quote
Feeling a little smug about my detective work by the way!
You can be real proud; y'done good! This will be very handy for others in future, me included.

Looking at the entry for the PowerMonkey Extreme, the headings translate as follows (thank you, GoogleTranslate):

Wheel size: 26"
Plug version
Organizing type (i.e. kind of device): Accumulator (storage battery)
Model: PowerMonkey Extreme
Functionality...
Invites (?): No "X" <-- Uh-oh
Operation: No "X" <-- Really uh-oh
Device status (state approach)... Nothing <-- Not lookin' good
Approach: "keine Ladung möglich funktioniert ab ca. 32 km/h mit und ohne PAT" which very sadly translates to "No charge can work from 32 km / h with and without PAT".
What happens when (by exit speed) km/h: "No charge can work from 32 km / h with and without PAT" <-- Waaah.  :'(
Stop: No entry
Reapproach (Resume): No entry
...and three nulls for each version of The Plug

Oh noes! Sad day! Richard, it does not look good. Waaah. Crying right along with you!

Best and sadly,

Dan. (...who thinks knows Life is not always fair, but would still try plugging the PME in once underway to see'fitwerks)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 09:52:02 PM by Danneaux »

ajbenie

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2013, 09:58:48 PM »
I think you're going to have to give Dan's idea ago, as the text translates as
No charging possible, works at above ca. 32 km/h with or without the PAT cable.

Which probably means that the PME draws too much power or is very much borderline with this regard.
/Andy

StuntPilot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
    • Tour on a Bike
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2013, 10:14:37 PM »
mmmm ... thought so though I think 'x' denotes that it will function. All devices with an 'x' have a minimum charge speed indicated, and based on my limited tests, The plug II + matches up with these figures for other similar devices.

It was the lack of an 'x' next to then PowerMonkey Extreme that grabbed my attention!

I agree - the small fact of the three 'o' markings next to the entry. 'o' for 'oh no' maybe, when other devices get a star rating!!!

Next to the PME it says 'keine Ladung möglich funktioniert ab ca. 32km/h mit und ohne PAT' which I translated as 'no load or function up to about 32km/h with and without PAT'.

Well I just better plug it in and find a really steep hill, get over 32 km/hr, and note when the green light comes on! May require some concentration to avoid a crash!

After I found the PDF I sent an email to Tout Terrain to ask if they had any detailed results of testing with the PME. Stay tuned for the reply!

In the mean time this evening I have established that I can charge the PME from the Freeloader Pro. So using the Freeloader Pro as a cache battery I can top up the PME (as well as using solar or mains power when available). Shame to carry two cache batteries but I need the Freeloader Pro with its 9v setting and CamCaddy device to charge camera batteries.

Sadly realising that charging the PME from The Plug II + may not work after all  :'(
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 10:22:22 PM by StuntPilot »

StuntPilot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
    • Tour on a Bike
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2013, 10:15:43 PM »
Andy - you posted as I posted! Yes, a bit more playing about required before admitting defeat!

StuntPilot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
    • Tour on a Bike
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2013, 03:59:30 PM »
Well it does not look good for the Plug II + charging the PME. Email just received from Tout-Terrain ...

Hello Richard,

we have a tried a PowerMonkey Extreme battery and it needs a relative high speed to be charged. We got it to work from speeds of 32 km/h. To give you a comparison, a different model of the Powermonkey series started charging from 12 km/h or higher.
The Powermonkey Extreme is listed with an input of 5V 0.5A-3A, which sounds alright. But the problem with many batteries is that they always go for maximum power. They check how much the power source can generate and the maximum they want is more than a dynamo can produce. That means you get into an infinite loop and no charging will happen.

Kind regards
Felix Mücke


I am currently searching the internet for an inexpensive cache battery that will allow devices to be charged while the cache battery is being charged from the Plug II + at low speed. At lease I know my Plug II + is working properly!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 04:01:58 PM by StuntPilot »

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2013, 05:55:34 PM »
Thanks for the followup, Richard; sad news indeed, but you're right -- at least now you know it is not the fault of the TTTP2+, so that is encouraging. I so wish things had worked out to charge the PME as you'd hoped.

As for cache batteries...I have been considering a small one to handle the "tiny charging" duties in rotation to free up The Plug for charging other things...something like this, but a bit larger in capacity:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/251169279828?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

Best,

Dan.