Author Topic: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging  (Read 19981 times)

Danneaux

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #45 on: May 23, 2013, 09:58:41 PM »
Hi Niki, and welcome to the Forum!

My, what a valuable contribution with your first post, generously sharing your correspondence with B&M; congratulations and thanks all at once!  ;D

What you have run into are the same issues that have bedeviled me in my quest for reliable, practical, on-bike charging of my gadgets. It is now easy to find a setup that will charge or at least top-off low-demand gadgets (those geared to the desktop USB 2.0 standard of 5vdc @ 0.5A), though with many chargers, to accomplish this in a reasonable timeframe -- or at all -- the device must be turned off while charging.

Things really come up short when attempting to either a) power *and* charge a device or b) attempting to charge a high-drain/high-draw device -- and devices are becoming more power-hungry by the day. A buffer battery can accomplish the task or awhile, but can't keep up indefinitely if demand is high. Yes, a bigger accumulator/buffer battery helps extend the time you can charge a device, but then you ultimately still have the "robbing Peter to pay Paul" scenario where at some point you either have to top-off the big storage battery with some dedicate dyno charging of its own, or replenish it from mains current.

And, too, the larger your battery, the longer it takes to replenish. This is not so bad if you start your trip with the battery fully charged and then top-off as necessary to replace losses due to slave-charging other devices. What really kills things is having to charge the Big Battery if it has become fully depleted. It can take a long, long time and with some devices may not be possible if fully depleted.

Another snag one runs into with a larger battery is the demands either overwhelm the charging unit outright or the dyno-charger cannot produce sufficient initial voltage/current to initiate charging in the battery. Our own Forum member StuntPilot has run into this very problem with his PowerMonkey Extreme (PME) in trying to charge it from Tout Terrain's The Plug2/2+.

Some higher-demand gadgets come supplied with a small wall transformer to supply mains charging at 5vdc @ 1.0A or even 1.5A, but will "allow" charging from a computer at standard USB 2.0 rates (5vdc @ 0.5A) "when necessary". That last phrase takes on real meaning when it means an effective doubling or tripling of charging times. At least charging at the lower rate is still possible for those devices so designated; they're a dying breed, and the higher charging rates made possible by wider adoption of USB 3.0 standards will seal the seal against low-power charging unless something Big takes place to amp-up (sorry) on-bike dyno-charging. These may now be the Good Old Days. I predict human-powered generation may go by the board if e-Bikes assume a greater role in the marketplace and/or spill over to the touring in future. It would be far easier to simply tap into the e-Bike's main battery for charging as well as lighting.
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the question was quite simple: how quickly (with what current and voltage) can cache battery be charged by dynamo, with limited amperage of 0.5 A. Will it charge quickly enough to power the smartphone, given that the wall plug charges it with 1 A at 5 V. Will 0.5 A be enough for it to charge but more slowly?
I suspect it would charge, and more slowly -- provided of course, the battery's initial requirements can be met to initiate charging. Some devices (Apple is a prime offender) are really picky about having adequate initial "trigger" power, while other batteries simply try to grab for all the power they can from the get-go, exceeding what the dyno-charger can supply.

The whole process of on-bike charging is very much hit-or-miss at present. I'm hoping it will improve in time, but am a little bit pessimistic as the gadgets seem to have every greater demands for energy, as noted above.

The speed at which maximum charging takes place is important, too -- moreso if one if tootling along on dirt roads or off-road, where speeds aren't as high as on pavement. You asked...
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Does providing more volts by cycling quicker matter at all?
Well, it can, but still might not make enough difference to matter, depending on the demands of the gadget hooked up to a given charger.
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But can the battery (circuit) transform those volts into more amps for the usb?
That is the question, for sure, and B&M's answer is candid: It really does "depend on how much your individual smartphone needs... You cannot charge the phone and use apps the same time, as the energy is not enough". Usually, the best one can usually hope for is to recharge a device that is turned off while charging. The demands of actually powering a device while charging it can overwhelm 'most all dyno-chargers currently on the market if the device draws a lot of power -- and sometimes even if it does not.

Another issue facing the person wishing to charge multiple gadgets on-bike is the presence of only one USB outlet. It can be a real challenge to keep up with the demands of charging more than one heavily used gadget -- and it gets worse the longer one is on the road away from mains power. To try and address this limitation, I'll soon be running a dyno-charger on the bike, another on the trailer, and augmenting both of those with a solar panel/buffer battery so I can have three chargers on the boil. I'm also going to take a subsidiary buffer battery for off-bike charging when I reach camp. It takes three hours to recharge from flat and is only 2200mAh, teetering on the nether edge of usefulness between my gadgets' demands and what my Plug2+ can supply.

Fun stuff, if a bit frustrating at times.

Best,

Dan. (...who may have made a few typos 'cos his eyes are still dilated after a glasses exam)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 08:37:18 AM by Danneaux »

Etienne

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2013, 03:46:17 PM »
 ;) ::)  oh nice of you - Falks
  Now I am back and not furious/suspicious anymore about USB and electricity.

We visit SON factory in Tubingen; 2 weeks ago !   
And it sounds I am close to an extra Wheel and and a Lumotec with USB.
Many thanks to your legendary topics.

Cheers,
Etienne   (still struggling to build my third Thorn !)

jags

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #47 on: May 27, 2013, 04:01:09 PM »
Any info on how this new B&M iq2 light preforms Ian is keeping quiet on this one. ;D
so nobody bought the new baby except our Ian ,but i'm thinking you ned a tester that already has a couple of older  lights to get a true reading on how much better the new light is.
surly sjs cycles have tested this new light out and could give an honest  review on it ,its a lot of money to go spending on a light that no one knows nothing about. ???
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 11:31:07 AM by jags »

Etienne

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2013, 01:04:21 PM »
 :D :D
 ;)  My light is installed  - impressive on a Raven fork  (the bulb is larger than a normal light).

Monitor switch installed on the handelbar.

 :-\But need to wait 1 week for the SON wheel.   will keep you posted !

Danneaux

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #49 on: June 06, 2013, 01:43:01 PM »
Yay, Etienne!

But oh! The agony of waiting!

So looking forward to your reports.

Best,

Dan.

Slammin Sammy

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #50 on: June 06, 2013, 05:44:39 PM »
FWIW - I've got a SON and IQ2 ordered as well. I promise a review, (or commentary on Etienne's review, as he is way ahead of me).

I will need to build the wheel, and the bike, before testing the lights (B&M Topline Brake Plus as well).

Sam

jags

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #51 on: June 06, 2013, 06:24:09 PM »
the more reviews the better ;)

Danneaux

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #52 on: June 06, 2013, 07:27:27 PM »
What will move me off the peg to buy are two things:

1) The absence of large hotspots and sizable artifacts in the beam pattern. <-- I despise the hotspot in my Cyo. It was perfect before B&M "improved" it. I -- and many Disappointed Others still wonder at the change.
2) Some long-term usage to reveal whether the lithium storage battery (used to power the flood-effect and to serve as a buffer battery when charging) develops a memory effect, when, and whether it is user-replaceable. The current super-capacitors employed for the standlight function have no such ills.

If B&M can address those two issues, I'm putty in their hands.

All the best,

Dan. (...who really, really wants to Believe...but has enough tempered enthusiasm from past purchases to put the brakes on for now)

Danneaux

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #53 on: June 07, 2013, 05:56:31 PM »
Hi All!

The reviews are coming in...and I've saved them as they did so I can begin to build a better picture of how the B&M Luxos works in practice.

It is still early days -- apparently the first run was subject to recall to address some problems -- but some general user impressions are forming:
The light (on the U model) sounds really bright, and there is a noticeable hotspot on the distance setting.
The speed-adjusting nearfield flood works very well, and a boost is available for short-term use that draws on the cache battery.
The unit won't charge well when the lights are in use (no surprise there; this is typical for dyno-charging systems that charge most efficiently when both lights and the device being charged are off).
The charging port is not intended for use while it is raining (again, typical for dyno-charged USB ports). There have been a number of anecdotal reports of water ingress if the remote switch/USB port are not firmly plugged into the light, or if the remote-charging port/switch jack connection is not covered with a supplied plug when the remote switch is not in use -- and some reports of water entry even with the plug/cover in place.
There have also been some reported problems on some units with the switch not responding consistently to finger pressure.
Apparently, charging can be interrupted if the cache battery becomes depleted -- until it fills and then depletes again, causing an on-off-on charger cycling.

Here's links to some reviews; it is best to read through them all to gain a total picture of light performance:

CTC Forum: First Impressions
http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=74806
Bike Forums: First Commute (with the Luxos B, nit U):
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/868117-B-amp-M-Luxos-B-First-commute
Luxos U video taken from a recumbent:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1fJ6ol9KGc
Comprehensive Luxos B test, notice of problems with early U models; Corrected U shipping since April 2013:
http://swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tests/verlichting/koplampen/BM_luxos/index_en.html
YACF Review with lots of photos and commentary on mounting, hardware, and troubleshooting, starting at the page linked below:
http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=63183.100
There are some useful cautions -- and apparently a revised brochure insert included -- that warn of switch placement to prevent wetting, and advising to make sure the switch jack is fully plugged in in wet conditions else the rubber cover must block the jack to prevent water ingress:
https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=63183.msg1469114#msg1469114
I hadn't realized the speed at which the panorama near-light is switched on can be programmed fairly easily to meet individual needs and preferences -- yay!
Asmentioned above, it apparently won't charge in the wet...but that isn't unusual; neither will/should The Tout Terrain The Plug2. In any case, most device USB ports are not waterproofed, so it would be wise to charge devices under cover in a waterproof handlebar bag -- with any dyno-charger.
Another review wrt charging:
Original German: http://www.teltarif.de/lumotec-iq2-luxos-u-test-usb-handy-laden/news/50760.html
GoogleTranslated to English: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&prev=_t&ie=UTF8&eotf=1&u=http://www.teltarif.de/lumotec-iq2-luxos-u-test-usb-handy-laden/news/50760.htm
...and here (German): http://www.rad-forum.de/showflat/Number/900170/page/7
GoogleTranslated to English: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&prev=_t&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http://www.rad-forum.de/showflat/Number/900170/page/7
Actual light dimensions and comparison to Cyo: http://oceanaircycles.com/2013/05/21/busch-muller-luxos-and-lumotec-cyo-comparison/
User review (snowy conditions).
German: http://bike-eldorado.blogspot.com/2013/04/praxistest-mit-dem-neuen-b-luxos-u.html
Google-Translated to English: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fbike-eldorado.blogspot.com%2F2013%2F04%2Fpraxistest-mit-dem-neuen-b-luxos-u.html&act=url
User reviews for randonneuring, with GPS and more: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/randon/Dxr_nrjyfz8
Comments section here (on blog of member Aushiker): http://aushiker.com/busch-muller-lumotec-iq2/
Recumbent use with water entry: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageboard/showthread.php?t=97474
Rando water fail on long brevet: http://positivo-espresso.blogspot.com/2013/01/led-headlight-reviews.html
Size comparo with Cyo, mounting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13469967@N02/with/8640320529/
New install and user review by Rivendell Groups member: http://tinyurl.com/oyfghnw

According to the manual...
The light can deliver a maximum of 1A USB power (when drawing on the cache battery).
The cache battery provides constant power when going slowly or stopping -- unless it is exhausted.
If/when the cache battery's power drops too low, then USB charging stops while the cache battery charges.
B&M recommend riding for a few minutes before using the USB charger; this allows the cache battery to accumulate a charge of its own before a device is plugged in for charging. It requires about 10 minutes' riding at 15 km/h with the lights off and no USB device connected to fully (pre)charge the cache battery.
Once the cache battery is fully charged (and with the lights off), there is enough capacity to charge a device for about 4 minutes while at a standstill.
If charging is attempted with the light on, charging is limited to 100mAh; this limit is lifted if the light is turned off so all available power can be directed to charging.If one insists on charging while the lights are running, the light will be dimmed down to 20lux before disabling USB power.
For a limited time you can use the USB charger while having the light on, depending on speed, dynamo quality, and power consumption by your device. This is done so that some lighting remains available for safety/visibility, preferred over charging.

Hope this helps. For me, I think I'll wait awhile. I'm so very much attracted to the big, wide, adaptive beam...but leery of reported hot spots, and there seem to be some wet-weather and other reliability issues I'd like to see banished before I commit. I got kinda burned when B&M changed the Cyo's perfect beam to something less than that by the time I purchased. People who saw the first iteration are still screaming at the second.

Best,

Dan. (...who is very much looking forward to our own Forum members' reports)
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 06:11:52 PM by Danneaux »

Andre Jute

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #54 on: June 07, 2013, 06:20:41 PM »
Massive thanks for a massively useful post, Dan. I think I'll recklessly follow your example and wait for BUMM to solve some of those problems. Problem is, though, that the last time some folk waited for the CYO to be "improved", the "improvement" was the hotspot that bothers you. This may be as good as it gets. The charging isn't a big deal for me, but the panaramic light would solve a problem that I've long excoriated BUMM for, so I wish they would hurry up with their solutions. For those new here, the reason I want the pano light is that I ride in narrow lanes with broken edges and the ditch right beside the edge of road, so you can fall over the broken verge onto the road if you're lucky, or you can fall into a ditch full of freezing water, if you ride too fast for lamps that cast too narrow a beam, which includes all earlier BUMM lamps.

Andre Jute

Danneaux

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #55 on: June 07, 2013, 07:16:22 PM »
You're welcome, Andre; I'm continuing to watch this closely as well.

I know what you mean about narrow beams, *and* far beyond the practical aspects of being able to see, there's a fatigue factor as well. When you're riding through the night -- overnight -- and night after night, there's something awfully tiring and a little surreal about riding in what seems to be a tunnel. If the beam is diffuse and very, very wide as well as long, it seems less onerous and much more natural. On a recent 400K ride last year, I found myself riding in a total of 13 hours of darkness (started late and rode through the second half of the first night, then the fist half of the second night). Most of this was on heavily tree-lined roads and forest on moonless nights and it was stygian. What gets to me after awhile is the light becomes my ground plane, and when I bank into a corner, the world tilts with me and I kept getting the sense I might "auger in". Hitting a fist-size rock in an active rockslide put me down, and it is really disturbing to brace for an impact when you have no idea where or how far away the ground is (my elbow and knee informed me shortly).

Just like you, I'm still awaiting the grail of lights. Hmm. Perhaps a non-USB version of the Luxos U (not B) with no cache battery and a supercap for standlight duties. Couple that with a Tout Terrain The Plug2 and a user-replaceable cache battery, and it would come awfully close.

One of the things that strikes me about such things (and all innovative bike-electrickery) is the expense. In one of the links above, a German rider opined the Luxos' actual production costs likely hover around 15Euro, with 20Euro if you count development and molding costs to be amortized, making for profit margins exceeding Apple's. Certainly, bespoke bike-intended cache batteries cost a fortune compared to near-identical general-use items from the Far East. My recently purchased 2200mAh booster/cache battery was less than USD$8 postpaid -- and works beautifully riding in my HB bag as a buffer between The Plug2 and my GPS or phone. Part of what we are seeing is pricing as perceived value -- if some component or product costs more, it must be better, right? As bike charging becomes more commonplace, we should see a general reduction in prices due to competition. Right now, it is still a niche market but heading more mainstream by the day -- yay!

Best,

Dan. (...who still really, really wants the Luxos of his dreams)

Andre Jute

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Re: New B&M IQ2 headlight with 'bar mounted remote USB charging
« Reply #56 on: June 07, 2013, 10:45:18 PM »
I don't have much hope of BUMM prices ever becoming reasonable, Dan, but generally I buy my BUMM lights from Ebay or German discounters, and pay about half recommended retail. That's still pretty steep, when you consider where BUMM prices start. But I'm too scarred to run out like a fashion victim and buy another BUMM lamp just because it is new. The only lamp I've ever bought from them which gave unalloyed satisfaction was the Line Plus rear lamp. Even the first series Cyo, while clearly marking the maturity of bike lamps, has the serious problem of too narrow a beam, and not enough overspill to the top for necessary functions such as recognizing road signs and and low-flying branches.

Andre Jute