Author Topic: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0  (Read 11309 times)

huuub

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I read and read and read. About the monkey extreme and others. Some say it works, but I have the impression it doesn't.
I myself have now a bike with the SON 28 wide hub and The plug 2. It doesn't charge my Samsung Galaxy S4. Nor does is charge both of the battery packs I tested.
It just blinks. It does however charge my Garmin 800 even at low speeds... Which is nice.
Anyway, as I read it here the way to go seems a buffer battery.

Who has one that is able to load at low speeds so doesn't need a 500 or 1000 mA input? (or maybe 500 is ok...)
In other words what does actually work!

I must say I am quite frustrated that the seller didn't mention this. As most modern devices won't charge...

Danneaux

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 07:30:42 PM »
Hi Huub, and welcome to the Thorn Cycling Forum!

In answer to your question, I am in the process of detailing my own setup, which has now proven to work reliably on my Nomad.

I'm busy today exploring and mapping a new touring route by car through some very rough country and will give more details later in the week. In the meantime, here is a thumbnail sketch of what I am using successfully on the Nomad:

SON28 (new) > Tout Terrain PAT cord (lowers the speed at which max charging takes place) > Tout Terrain the Plug2+ > 2200mAh buffer battery > my Garmin Oregon GPS or cellphone.

This works very well, and The Plug2+ starts supplying full power (5VDC @ .5A/500mA) at speeds as low as 12kph/7.5mph.

I usually use this setup without the buffer battery, since I usually use it to charge AA or AAA Eneloop cells in an Eneloop USB charger or to directly recharge my other gadgets with embedded batteries (my Panasonic electric shaver, for example, or my "dumb" cellphone, or flash vidcam).

However, when I wish to power the GPS continuously (~20 hours) for track-recording and map-making, then I use the buffer battery, or I use the buffer battery to power the cellphone continuously in places where I want the phone on but battery consumption would be unusually high because of my distance from cell towers. In both these cases, the device(s) operate continuously and I wish to either maintain charge (as much as possible) while they are operating or minimize loss of power (amounts to the same thing). It is extremely difficult if not impossible in my present experience to create a charging system that will operate a high-draw/high-drain device *and* result in a net charge of the device at once. The most I have been able to accomplish in such circumstances is to extend operating life by coupling a buffer battery with charging. I made my own patch cords and connectors to accomplish my goals.

To replenish my batteries during extended travel away from mains power, I supplement my SON28 (new) dynohub with a Joos Orange solar charger and accumulator battery (the 5400mAh battery is inside the case for the solar panel). I use the dynohub during the day (with or without the 2200mAh buffer battery) to power my gadgets in real time and to charge AA/AAA cells in the Eneloop charger. Of course no charging takes place at night when I am at rest and sleeping.

The Joos Orange solar panel *only* charges its own 5400 accumulator battery during the day, and is then used to recharge other devices when I arrive at camp or overnight while I am sleeping. If I used it during the day to charge other gadgets or batteries, I couldn't keep up with demand, since it requires a maximum of 12 hours' sunlight to charge its own battery from flat.

I did convert my Extrawheel traier with its own SON28 Klassik hub and a B&M e-Werks charger set to nominal USB 2.0 voltage and used it as a supplementary charger for keeping another set of AA/AAA cells going or for charging my other (powered off) gadgets while riding. It worked very well, but full-power charging did not take place until slightly higher speeds of around 15kph/9.5mph, and so was not as well-suited for charging when crawling up steep hills. When I do not take the trailer with charging system, then I may supplement my existing setup with another Joos Orange solar panel/accumulator for my extended journeys away from mains power.

In my own use, I have found a few rules of thumb for charging high-draw/high-drain gadgets:
Most bicycle-powered devices output USB 2.0-standard 5.0vdc@500mAh. This is sufficient for older devices, but woefully inadequate for newer devices that are really designed to be charged in 1.0A/1000mA or even 1.5A/1500mA. The result is ether very slow charging -- or none at all, if the batteries for those devices incorporate a minimum-current threshold for charging to initiate. This can vary depending on whether the battery to be charged is fully depleted or partially charged; in other words, it depends on the device.
Charging is most effective if the device can charge while in the powered-off state. Charging will be slow or not occur at any appreciable rate while the device is operating.
A device may still be powered by the dyno-charger, but it may (more slowly) deplete its internal batteries while doing so.
A buffer battery can power a high-draw/high-drain device longer than the device's internal batteries alone, however, it is also true that a bicycle dynohub cannot recharge a buffer battery (much or at all) while it is charging/operating a high-draw/high-drain device. This is not a problem if you can occasionally top-off the buffer battery from mains power, but for extended time away from mains power, it is a losing battle.
Solar can be an effective supplementation for dynopower, but is not enough by itself to substitute for dynopowered charging.
A small *~2200mAh buffer battery can be charged by dynopower and/or solar power and still serve as a shorter-term buffer to extend the operating life of a high-drain, high-draw gadget.
The classic conundrum of charging/capacity is this: High-capacity batteries are wonderful for powering gadgets, but they take longer to recharge themselves.
If you can periodically recharge your gadgets and buffer battery from mains power you'll do much better than if you spend extended time away from mains power. My own goal is to be entirely independent of mains power, and it appears I've achieved it for my needs and gadgets. -- except the netbook, whose charging requirements exceed what the bike can supply.
The Tout Terrain The Plug 2+ needs the "Plus" part (the PAT cord) to be most effective at charging such devices at realistic touring speeds. I have also found The Plug will still charge (albeit it at a much slower rate) while its green light is blinking. At a certain point, the green light will come on solid once the battery has reached at least a minimal charge.

A few of the early PAT cords proved to be defective and would result in either no charge or reduced charge with a blinking green green light. The problem has since been corrected and there is now a Tour Terrain The PlugIII with the corrected PAT cord.

I will make a full report in a separate topic later, but hopefully something in the above will prove helpful in the meantime.

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2013, 07:33:53 PM by Danneaux »

huuub

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2013, 07:54:33 AM »
Thanks for this elaborate answer on how to use this!!! This is very helpful!

Now I am afraid as my buffer batteries would not charge if you know of which companies and types of chargers are known to work/charge.

il padrone

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2013, 11:29:42 AM »
I have a Powermonkey Extreme and use an ewerk to charge. Using the ewerk to charge my Samsung Galaxy S2 is useless as the tiny plug for the phne falls out in my handlebar bag, so I usually charge the Powermonkey Extreme then use it to charge the phone. The battery takes 2-3 days of riding to charge fully with the ewerk. I believe The Plug has a lower power output than the ewerk.

An even better way to charge the Powermonkey is the solar panel - if it's sunny it will keep charging at lunchtime while you're stopped. In 3 months around Italy I hardly ever used the ewerk, used the solar panel a few times, but mostly charged at night using hotel/camping ground outlets. Even the Powermonkey was really a bit unnecessary. Next time I'll be travelling a good deal lighter.

mickeg

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2013, 01:27:48 PM »
Keep in mind that when you put power into a storage battery and later use that battery to charge your device battery, that you will lose some of the power that you put into the system.  I can't say how much your loss would be with Lithium Ion, but with NiMH batteries the best case is that you probably only get half the power out of the storage battery that you put into it.  I suspect but can't confirm that Lithium Ion may be slightly better, but there still would be some losses.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 01:29:27 PM by mickeg »

huuub

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2013, 02:33:05 PM »
Ok, I know that the Ewerk can charge it, but The Plug 2.0+ does not. So I can't use the powermonkey...
Isn't there really any passive (same time loads/unloads) buffer cache battery that works? Somebody must use it succesfully? :s

il padrone

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2013, 03:09:11 PM »
Powermonkey Extreme is 9000 mA so it has a lot in reserve. Yes, definitely it is better to use mains power to charge it overnight.

huuub

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2013, 03:23:34 PM »
I believe I am not very clear?  ???
I can't use the powermonkey extreme. I am looking for devices I CAN use with "the plug 2.0" that charge.

Danneaux

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2013, 04:21:30 PM »
Hi Huub!

I have had success using this buffer battery (I purchased two; the price was very reasonable): http://www.ebay.ca/itm/2200mAh-USB-Power-Bank-Portable-External-Mobile-Battery-Pack-for-Mobile-phone-/350752300780?ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:US:3160 Cost to me was only USD$6.58 including shipping.

It charges fine with my Tout Terrain The Plug2+ or can be recharged from mains power if you plug it into a small USB transformer (also available inexpensively from eBay) or computer USB port. These buffer batteries are originally intended to serve as battery extenders (boosters) for cellphones and smartphones, and there are many variations offered on eBay and Amazon.

Tout Terrain are now offering a 2200mAh buffer battery for use with The Plug2+. It is weatherized and includes a mount for the bicycle, but it is more expensive than my eBay find. I decided to first get the inexpensive eBay model to see if it worked and -- happily -- it does fine! I simply store it in my waterproof handlebar bag. Standing upright, it requires very little space.

I hope this helps.

Best,

Dan.

huuub

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2013, 09:06:13 AM »
Ok thanks. That was the info I was looking for. Now I have some new info... I have a USB cable that is just regular mini USB. And I have a small converter mini-to-micro usb. When I use one particular mini usb cable (certainly doesn't look like the best one, together with the mini-to-micro I almost instantly get a green light at the plug 2+ and my galaxy s4 (that asks 1A) starts charging.
(With my other mini USB cables I have the blinking problem again...)

I am under the impression (although it is a guess) that the negotiate process about asking more power can not be done and the S4 accepts whatever power it gets.
I also read somewhere about a modified USB cable that accomplishes the same.
Now, my device still discharges, but it seems to go slower! But still nowhere like keeping it charged while navigating and the screen on. However there is a constant charging symbol.

Anyone has more info about this?

I think a buffer battery is still the way to go to be able to navigate a whole day...

huuub

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2013, 10:02:37 AM »
I believe this is maybe what we need?!
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1984838&nocache=1
Anyone who tried this?

huuub

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2013, 01:07:55 PM »
Ok, I made that cable myself an hour ago and tested it. To no result :(. That didn't work... I wonder what that one cable of me does...

Danneaux

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2013, 04:00:54 PM »
Quote
(With my other mini USB cables I have the blinking problem again...)
Huub, I've found the quality of USB cables (patch cords) can have a huge effect on charging success. So many are hastily or carelessly assembled and the result is often increased resistance, broken connections, and poor charging. In my experience, most of the problems occur at the pin-to-wire connections inside the molded plastic sleeves at the ends where not much can be done to correct the problems.

If you have a volt-ohm meter, you may wish to measure the resistance of your cables at the connecting pins. I'm guessing that one "successful" cable may indeed differ from the others.

USB cables with poor internal connections can often result in The Plug 2 giving a blinking-green "overload" indication.

Best,

Dan.

StuntPilot

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2013, 08:38:55 PM »
Wading back into this project at least a little!

Dan ... you provided a link above specifying the inexpensive cache battery you found that works with the TT The Plug 2+. The link leads to a range of batteries. Can you specify the spec the make and model of battery you find that works (and its input and output)?

The reason I ask is that the input to the battery I think you are referring to states an input of 5V 1000mA. I have found with that input, I cannot charge my similar cache battery from the Plug II+. I thought that only 5V 500mA would work at slow speeds with The Plug 2+?

Good to see the Plug III is on its way, and especially the Cinq5 cache battery (expensive!) it looks like it will be good with weatherproofing and variable input current for charging at different speeds (100mA/500mA/900mA).

I still need to play with different USB cables as I am sure this is significant as you say. On a summer tour I successfully used the Plug II+ to charge AA (with the eneloop USB charger), run the GPS (eTrex 30) and charge my phone.

Mainly though I found mains charging or solar charging of the Powermonkey Extreme battery was a more effective solution (until it got stolen from a camp site toilet). Why the thief took my Powermonkey Extreme battery and not the mobile phones hanging around I don't know!). I can confirm that the Powermonkey extreme does not charge from the Plug II+. I will be ordering another PME battery soon though for solar and mains use. (It is possible to order the separate parts by phone from PowerTraveller).
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 05:53:44 PM by StuntPilot »

Danneaux

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Re: Buffer battery that gets charged on the SON Hub28 + The Plug 2.0
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2013, 09:11:54 PM »
Hi Richard!

I bought mine from the vendor called "Campus111", who no longer seems to carry the booster batteries I purchased. I bought two and paid USD$7.77 each. They carried no name or model designation, but had a square case with rounded corners made of extruded anodized aluminum. At the time, they looked like the similar ones with round cases, but I feared a round one might roll off a picnic table and break, I went for square.

Both work like champs. I pre-charge them before leaving home, then top them off with the Tout Terrain The Plug2+ while riding or the Joos Solar with 5400mAh accumulator battery in camp at night. Each of the two buffer batteries does a fine job of keeping my Garmin GPS going continuously...I just place it inline between The Plug2+ and the Garmin and the Garmin stays "live" and recording my tracks continuously while stopped for rest breaks, lunch, etc. Just what I was hoping for, and the price was surely right. I don't think these batteries are remotely waterproof, but they stay dry and safe from weather riding inside my Ortlieb HB bag.

My little buffer batteries seem to start charging between 7.8-8.4mph/12.5-13.5kph and just fills from there. If completely flat, the little charge light on The Plug2+ blinks for a kilometer or two, then kicks on solid and all is fine from there. All this leads me to believe the label on the battery may be in error; it charges fine with The Pug2+' 5vdc @ 500mAh/.5A, and that was how it was advertised in the original eBay BuyItNow listing.

I've attached a photo showing the printing at either end of the case, hoping that will help you in finding one. If I can be any help, please PM me and I'll see what I can do. So sorry someone pinched your PME battery; what a rotten thing to do!

All the best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 09:22:34 PM by Danneaux »