Author Topic: tout terraine plug 2 help.  (Read 10626 times)

StuntPilot

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Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #45 on: March 09, 2013, 06:53:43 PM »
We are working on the same wave length Dan! I have already started looking for a nylon chord and doing just as you say. Probably a better solution than the silicon glue approach.

I have also considered an 'extreme' Plug II + rain cover though I have tended to shy away from that so far due to my limited haberdashery skills!

The phrase 'extreme haberdashery' has just popped into my head! I have heard of 'Extreme Ironing' but ... oh dear!  :-\

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=extreme+ironing&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=splMUc6LLYzcPfbsgLgF&ved=0CDsQsAQ&biw=1440&bih=751

Still a waterproof cover for the Plug II + is a great idea!
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 06:50:34 PM by StuntPilot »

StuntPilot

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Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #46 on: March 22, 2013, 07:02:59 PM »
Further to the continued tinkering on this subject, I ordered a little plastic thing (Pisen for iPad) that was supposed to allow devices demanding more that 500mA to charge via a USB port. It was claimed that it would allow an iPad to charge from a normal computer USB port. Well for a small investment I thought it was worth a go.

There was a review of this adapter on Amazon which sort of sold it to me ...

Have used this for a while. True it does allow charging the iPad from low current USB ports, but false that it converts the 0.5 amp output to 2.0 amps. Unless the USB plug has native 2.0 amp output available, this violates a law of thermodynamics concerning perpetual motion!
What this item does do is to fool the iPad into thinking it is getting a 2 amp charge and allowing the charge, although slower by a factor of 4, to proceed.
So if you do not mind a slow charge vs a regular charge, then this device is for you. I have 10 of them, I like them, but I also know what they are and are not.

If your ipad takes 8 hours to recharge from zero, then using this from a low power USB port will take updwards of 20 hours. Does for my ipad 3.
But it does charge. Where other adapters will not.

I just wish they did not call it a switching power supply. That it is not.
UPDATE/CORRECTION(The switching power supply description is from other sources on the internet for this item. I have purchased these from Amazon as well as from other sources).


The results so far indicate that even at speeds of up to 30km/hr, the PowerMonkey Extreme does not charge from the Plug II + with this adapter. Interestingly, I found that other direct attached devices did charge at speeds of 1 or 2 km/hr less while using the Pisen for iPad adapter so may be slightly useful.

So not the solution to the problem of charging the PowerMonkey Extreme from the Plug II +!  :'(

'Pisen' in the Wind? (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pissing%20into%20the%20wind)

This is the adapter in question ...
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 07:15:54 PM by StuntPilot »

Danneaux

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Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #47 on: March 22, 2013, 07:09:53 PM »
Thanks, Richard!

As it happens, I was thinking along these same lines myself, so your research is invaluable. The review you quoted is a very fair description. So sorry it didn't do the needed job for you wrt the PowerMonkey Extreme.

I'll keep my eyes open for anything that might do the trick and report here immediately.

Best,

Dan.

StuntPilot

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Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #48 on: May 20, 2013, 02:21:56 PM »
The consensus seems to be that with the Tout Terrain The Plug II (with P.A.T.), a cache battery with 5V 500mA MAX input is required so that it can be charged at a lower speed (8-10 km/hr).

Bearing this in mind I went on a hunt with my (inter)net and 'captured' the Sanyo Mobile Boost KBC-L2B. I have not ordered one yet. Advantages seem to be:

1: 500mA MAX input
2: 2 x 500mA output (or one 1000mA output that can charge an iPad or tablet)
3: Good form factor
4: High 5000mAh capacity
5: Can also be charged via AC mains supply (adapter supplied)

http://www.eneloop.info/eneloop-products/mobile-booster.html

Specification and manual:

http://www.eneloop.info/fileadmin/web_data/Manuals/Mobile_Booster_KBC-L2B/L2B_manual_ENG.pdf

There is also a 2500mA version with one USB 500mA output available - the KBC-L3A model.

Just heard this morning that Panasonic is to cut back its Sanyo staff and is considering closing it completely. I hope this does not happen
as in my experience the eneloop batteries are some of the best rechargeable batteries around.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 02:25:41 PM by StuntPilot »

Danneaux

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Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2013, 07:21:29 PM »
Hi Richard!

I'm moving forward in this direction as well, with some interesting results.
Quote
The consensus seems to be that with the Tout Terrain The Plug II (with P.A.T.), a cache battery with 5V 500mA MAX input is required so that it can be charged at a lower speed (8-10 km/hr).
In a word, "Yup".
Quote
Bearing this in mind I went on a hunt with my (inter)net and 'captured' the Sanyo Mobile Boost KBC-L2B. I have not ordered one yet.
A really nice unit to be sure, Richard. Do keep in mind the bedeviling problem attendant to bike-charging high-capacity batteries -- it takes forever and three days, generally, to replenish these "bigger buckets" (I tend to think of the whole matter of on-bike battery charging in terms of buckets and paper cups of water. Makes it much easier for me to visualize). Sometimes, the initial demand needed to activate charging is too much for a bike-charger to overcome. More about all this in a bit.

The one hitch I can see involves Sanyo's current (sorry) uncertainty -- indeed, survival -- in the market. They have not filled dealers' orders for their outstanding USB AA/AAA charger for the last six months, at least, and now all stocks are depleted with no expected order-fulfillment in sight. I love mine, but wish semi-desperately I had purchased another. What made it really special was Sanyo's "pulse-charge" design that works in partnership with their absolutely superb Eneloop design. They have been producing batteries for Sony's label and I yet hold hope Sony may bail them out, but their corporate ownership by Panasonic works against that: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/17/us-sanyo-divest-idUSBRE94G0S020130517

Meantime, I have purchased a little 2200mAh buffer battery from an eBay vendor in an attempt to replicate Tout Terrain's storage battery on the cheap. It cost less than USD$8 including shipping. See: http://www.ebay.com/itm/350752301805?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649 I just got my TTTP2 + PAT hooked up on the Nomad and will see how it charges. Hopefully, its initial charge demands won't exceed what the TTTP2 can supply; I was careful to keep to the same rated capacity as the TT buffer battery, but the charge-triggering/initiating circuitry may differ. I will be testing it this week as time allows. The square case is hugely helpful to prevent rolling when you lay it down on a flat surface.

That said, the early results with it are disappointing, not in absolute terms, but in terms of meeting my needs. Remember the water bucket and paper cup analogy above? Well, the little cache battery offers an output of 5vdc @ 0.5mAh (or 500mA), so I'm set there. The trouble comes when I hook it up to the Eneloop USB charger. The Sony-branded Eneloops I'm using have a capacity of 2500mAh *each* compared to my Eneloop-branded versions at 1900mAh, and the charger is pretty fast for its capacity. There are some charging inefficiencies in Ni-MH batteries (as much as 1.6x difference), so when I hook the charger up to the buffer battery, it drains the buffer dry in a wink if the AA cells are truly flat -- and it takes 3 *hours* to charge the buffer battery to capacity even from mains current at 5vdc @ 0.5mAh. In comparison, my little Kyocera SE47 "dumb" phone's battery pack is only about 910mAh, so it charges up fine. Given I can get about 2.4 phone charges from the buffer battery, this pencils out pretty well in that use. For recharging these AA cells in this charger...not so much.

Week's end should see a Joos Orange solar charger/buffer battery in my hands. On paper, it looks to be the hot ticket, thanks to a replaceable Li-po (lithium-polymer) buffer battery and a very efficient monocrystalline solar cell. Except for some reported fragility issues in the mini-USB connection on some examples, it appears to be otherwise robust and adapter tips promise it capable of recharging an iPad. There are some problems for my use. It weighs about 1.4 lbs. It has only one hanging/tethering loop (why not more?!? Four or at least two would have been such a help) and it requires their bespoke pigtail at the panel end to work properly. Unfortunately, I don't have an iPad, and the netbook is at the moment undergoing its second round of warranty repairs at the hands of HP (its battery drains in storage when in the machine but stays charged indefinitely when out of the netbook. They keep saying it is a battery issue, but it sounds like a short in the machine's charging circuit to me...Oh! The doorbell just rang and FedEx has delivered it back again. Fingers crossed it will be okay. For USD$228 new with 2GB of RAM, a 320GB HD, and Win7Pro, it was a bargain...but only if it works) so I can't directly test claims of iPad charging. The netbook does have higher charging requirements than the iPad, beyond what I can readily replenish on the bike, but I can carry a spare battery and the built-in keyboard needs no separate power supply. Dual-booting on my own customized version of Linux should extend battery life a bit beyond the rated 9 hours maximum -- enough service life to work for journaling, wifi 'net surfing, light photo editing, and video storage if I play Power Vampire and top-off at mains power outlets along the way.

My goal with it is to supplement the *two* SON dynohubs (one on the bike with TTTP2+PAT, the other on the Extrawheel trailer with a B&M e-Werk chosen for mounting in that application and because it has adjustable voltage *and* current) by charging the Joos Orange's storage battery to capacity during the day...and then using it in turn to top-off my gadgets while in camp when I'm not riding/charging by dynamo.

Part of the bugaboo I/we face is the long on-bike charging times. Sure, if the device is within the bike charger's capacity to allow charging to initiate at all, then recharge times are identical to mains recharging times for a given voltage/current. And that's the downside, too. If the device has a huge battery, the days may not be long enough to keep on top of needs. One either as to ride more, use less, stretch charging over a couple long days with rationing, take a vacation from gadget use, or top-off immediately to compensate for use (most devices can't be charged *and* powered at once; the energy requirements for that are well beyond what a dyno-charger alone can supply, and begin to push the capacity of a buffer battery. Remember the water analogy...even the buffer battery will eventually go flat if one is away from mains-replenishment long enough, as in the case of touring areas).

Part of the problem with on-bike versus mains charging is you only have one charging outlet. At home or in a motel you can have three, four, or more gadgets on the boil attached to each electrical outlet/wall-wart charger. I carry three cube chargers for this purpose and start plugging in and swapping devices as soon as I reach a motel. I usually just stay the night, and that sometimes means setting the alarm to get up and swap devices as they charge overnight. On the bike, they have to queue up and wait their turn one at a time. Here's an example of how long charging can take for some of my carried gadgets, assuming all appliance batteries are completely flat:

3 hours = 2200mAh eBay buffer battery
8 hours = (2) 2500 mAh AA cells in Eneloop charger
2.5 hours = 910mAh cell phone battery (it has an unusually slow charging circuit *in* the phone, where charging must take place as there is no external charger available. I made the pigtail USB adapter that allows dyno-charging).

This means 13.5 hours of charging to bring these three items up to full charge from dead flat if each uses the single available bike outlet in turn. That's a pretty long day of actual cycling -- remember, charging only takes place when actually rolling above the required speed, so no charging during lunch, rest stops, or during "Breaks Naturelle". What it means, practically, is something has to always be on-charge while moving to top-off and account for any losses in use. My goal in "electrifying" the trailer (in this case, that means equipping it with a charging system of its own) is to overcome the limitations of a single outlet (a buffer battery does that to a degree as well). In the same amount of time, I have doubled my charging capacity, and so made it easier to keep up with demand. I may also come to feel like a hamster on an exercise wheel.

The idea of supplementing all this with a solar-buffer combo is to get a *third* outlet that will allow charging in my off-times, while lounging around camp, while cooking dinner, while sleeping in my tent. The idea is to partially discharge the solar-buffer during downtimes to top-off and replenish my gadgets' use during the day.

Even with a buffer battery, many gadgets won't charge from flat in a reasonable timeframe before their use is needed once again -- and they can't usually be charged and used at once. That means a specified downtime without use unless you're faithful about topping-off the charge on your high-use/high-demand gadgets. I've tried to acquire as many gadgets as possible that use AA/AAA cells to allow charging batteries outside the device so I can still use my gadgets while charging, and plan to use my charged battery spares as my buffer batteries for those gadgets. After all the batteries can be swapped between gadgets and charger as need demands. It is also most efficient to charge them by pairs (the bike charger can handle *a* pair, but not 2+n for charging, and only charging 1 AA/AAA battery alone is an inefficient use of time). Right now, here's what I have:
AA Cells:
GPS (2) *critical item* Terrible battery life depending on use.
SteriPen (4) - I decided against the CR123-powered model due to the charge times and difficulty in finding rechargeable spares. *critical item* when needed, but use/demand varies with availability of potable water. Swills batteries in use.
AAA Cells:
LED head-mounted camp light (3) 65 hours' use.
LED blinky for bicycle (2) 65 hours' use.
MP3 player (1) 11 hours' use.
AM/FM/Weather radio (1) 23-65 hours' use depending on band.
All these need to be charged in (1) Eneloop charger with a capacity of (2) batteries at a time. I have other AA/AAA chargers, but they're far less efficient than the Eneloop, which is why I've been trying so hard to source a second one...or a third.
Embedded battery:
Panasonic rechargeable electric shaver (probably the most energy-efficient on the market for this purpose, allowing 2 weeks of quick-shaves on one charge...and no need for water or soap/foam, a plus in the desert when I also have to conserve water).
Flip digital video camera About 35 minutes' recording time on a fresh charge.
Removable batteries requiring in-device charging:
GoPro vidcam batteries. Battery life depends on use.
Sony and/or Panasonic camera batteries (both are primarily still digicams, but the Sony shoots 1080P full-HD video and does GPS geotagging and auto-tracking and the Pana does 720 HD video, and all of this simply swills batteries. CIPA ratings for still photos is about 320 shots/charge.
Kyocera SE47 "dumb" CDMA phone *critical item* with analog emulation for use with older cell towers I am likely to encounter. Battery life depends on distance from towers (the phone ramps up to full power when trying to establish a distant connection or when searching if entirely out-of-range. I usually leave it off when not talking for this reason). Standby is 2 weeks in an urban setting, with about 7-8 hours' talk time in those conditions.

I do have a Chinese-sourced clip-on battery charger that will allow me to top-off at least the Pana batteries outside the camera and possibly the Sonys as well...and maybe the GoPros; I am still sorting this out. To keep on top of use, I will pre-charge all my batteries from mains power at home, and carry spares for these. I will have 3-6 spares for each camera and a half-dozen or so for the phone. Cumulative battery weight is a real issue for me, but is critical to avoid downtime in sometimes heavy use or as a reserve for critical-use items like the GPS, water purifier, or the phone. Hopefully, the solar-buffer Joos will help there by adding a *third* charger and outlet and allowing me to charge while off the bike or at rest.

The Joos Orange reviews well, but there are some potential problems, and the primary question remains as to practical capacity for my needs, particularly with regard to bringing a pair of my high-capacity AA cells up from flat on a given single charge of the Joos. From all I can see, the Joos can only be brought to about 85% capacity by pre-charging on mains power, and requires solar to get it to 100% (The Word, secondhand from Joos, though it is unclear why). If the Joos' buffer Li-po buffer battery is flat, it will take a good 12 hours to bring it alone to full charge. Slave-charging from a partially flat Joos makes it hard to stay on top of (dual) demand. Again, it is a practical matter of available charging-hours during a given day. While the Joos claims the Orange will charge even under water or in rain, it charges at its fastest rate only in bright sunshine. And there is that potentially weak connector to worry about as well...

Here are some links for the Joos Orange:
At MacWorld expo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp1MsXNvUFs
In operation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPkVUkePmPI
Charging in rain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnk-3R5IbFM
Versus GoalZero: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnk-3R5IbFM
Tech specs: http://solarjoos.com/tech-specs
Wikipedia entry on the company: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SolarJOOS#The_company
REI user reviews: http://www.rei.com/product/837625/joos-orange-portable-solar-charger
Amazon user reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Solar-Joos-Orange-Portable-Charger/product-reviews/B005NK7ZAA/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

As Andre has pointed out, I never used to consider such things. Decades of my touring took place before cell phones were invented, and my cameras had no need for a battery beyond the light meter. I took a flashlight and a couple spare AA cells and called it good, letting the old Union 9814 bottle generator serve dual duty as power for my bike lights and as a drag brake going down steep hills (I came to think of it as my Portable Headwind). Careful pre-planning, map, and compass took care of navigation duties and pills or boiling fixed the Bad water. I was amazingly happy and never gave Bicycle Power a second thought. Ah, Progress; it comes at a price, doesn't it? That, and being Connected. Humph. Bringing it all to get away from it all!

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 08:58:48 PM by Danneaux »

StuntPilot

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Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #50 on: May 21, 2013, 07:30:52 PM »
Dan

So much to digest as usual! Thanks for your input. I can see this topic is one of your passions. We need a modern electrical system for bicycles!

Quote
The one hitch I can see involves Sanyo's current (sorry) uncertainty -- indeed, survival -- in the market.

I have just noticed that the eneloop.info web site is no longer mast-headed with Sanyo. Its now Panasonic. I am sure the site said Sanyo yesterday!
I love the eneloop products so much, as others do, that I am sure they will be continued even if they are called Panasonic eneloops!

Quote
Meantime, I have purchased a little 2200mAh buffer battery from an eBay vendor in an attempt to replicate Tout Terrain's storage battery on the cheap.

They are available here too on the UK eBay site and at that price, I may go ahead and order a couple (after your test results which I await with bated breath!) I recently purchased the Nokia DC-16 but of course it has an input rating of 1000mA so does not start charging until about 21km/hr. Your find certainly looks better.

I already have the Powermonkey Extreme (PME) battery with the small 3W solar panel. I also have a Goal Zero Nomad 13.5W which is a fantastic panel. I use this larger panel to charge the Powermonkey Extreme and it works well. Perhaps the small battery you have connected to the The Plug II PAT, in turn the Powermonkey Extreme connected to the small battery. If you leave home with both batteries charged, The Plug could keep it topped up, together with a good solar panel, and the occasional motel, or long lunche in a 'powerful' restaurants and cafes!

On a windy night you would of course utilise the 'front wheel sail' and dynamo  ;) (how is that project going Dan?)

I see your point on the bucket and cups of water. For any given increase in bucket size an increase the paper cup size is required. Two dynamos will indeed help!

Quote
Week's end should see a Joos Orange solar charger/buffer battery in my hands.

I look forward to your findings on that one. Solar would be an obvious choice for your desert rides Dan. I had a good look at the site and it does seem a great unit. It seems to only be available in the US and Canada at the moment. I will not be rushing on that as the PME and Nomad solar panel is good for me so far.

Yep - may just have to reduce the gadgets on tour!

All the best

Richard






« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 07:42:13 PM by StuntPilot »

Danneaux

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Re: tout terraine plug 2 help.
« Reply #51 on: May 22, 2013, 05:09:41 PM »
Hi Richard!

Plummeting temperatures and torrents of rain have temporarily halted my on-bike electrical testing 'cos everything is laid out in the open Ortlieb HB bag where I can monitor results as I ride -- several meters, patch cords, unshielded connections, and the like -- and the lot doesn't get along well with water. I'm dying from anticipation here, awaiting results on how the little eBay storage battery will charge, among other things.

I'm also awaiting arrival of the Joos Orange; it should arrive no later than Friday the 24th. As for tethering it to the bike, the leading candidate at the moment is self-adhesive zip-tie/cable anchors affixed to the back side: http://images3.cableorganizer.com/adhesive-clips-bases/images/01-adhesive-base_red-cable-tie.jpg The're available in big-box DIY chain stores and electronics/wiring suppliers here in 'Merka. I'll have to test and see if the pad adhesive will withstand the high temperatures they'll see in my use; I'd hate to have them come free and lose the thing somewhere on the road behind me.
Quote
I love the eneloop products so much, as others do, that I am sure they will be continued even if they are called Panasonic eneloops!
Me, too! Wonderful little batteries. Remarkable capacity and they keep their charge for a long time in storage!
Quote
may just have to reduce the gadgets on tour!
Oh, the horror! :o Today's luxury is tomorrow's necessity! ::)

Updates as soon as weather allows.

All the best,

Dan.