Author Topic: Cycle2Charge charging unit  (Read 38542 times)

PhilD28

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Re: Cycle2Charge charging unit
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2020, 12:33:40 pm »
Yes I forgot to mention using a neutral silicon sealant, I always do, we use lots of different types of sealant in industry. The tube Iím currently using came from one of my electronics engineer friends. Thanks for the nudge there Dan.
The DeOxit D5 is superb stuff for keeping usb contacts in good condition, the price puts a lot of people off at £25 a tin,  much cheaper than new devices though. My electronics engineer friend repairs  high end audio equipment and he swears by it.

mickeg

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Re: Cycle2Charge charging unit
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2022, 12:17:31 pm »
Just a quick note.  I recently bought a Cycle2Charge.  Since this is such a complete thread on the topic, I decided to add to this thread instead of posting a new thread in case someone is interested in researching it and getting one later.

Previously in this thread I had stated I was happy with my Sinewave Revolution, but would consider buying the Cycle2Charge if my Sinewave died.  The Sinewave still works, but I decided to get the Cycle2Charge anyway.  The Cycle2Charge puts out more amperage than the Sinewave.  And another deciding factor was that I am in USA, the US Dollar has been very strong against the Euro for the past few months and the Cycle2Charge essentially was on sale since I am paying for something priced in Euros with US Dollars.  I bought it from Amazon.de in Germany.  Amazon listing suggested it was the plus version, but the bottom of the unit indicates it is a V3.  Apparently there is minimal difference between the output for both, so that is ok with me if I got the non-plus version.

Output curve for both (and some others) attached.

Initially it did not seem to work, but after some unplugging and plugging plugs into it, it worked fine.  Might have had dirty contacts?  It is also possible that I was not going fast enough for it to turn on when I thought that I was?  There were a few times when I had to fiddle with the USB plug to get power going through it.  I think on tour I will need to check my powerbank each time I start riding to make sure that the indicator lights on my powerbank indicate that it is charging.

I have some USB power meters, used one of those for my electrical measurements and my Garmin 64 GPS for moving time and distance.

For this I used a 700c wheel with an SP PD-8 dynohub.  My measurement is from part of an exercise ride that was 13.6 miles in 59 minutes moving time, average speed of 13.8 mph.  During that time my meter indicates that it produced 0.86 amp hours, at a voltage of about 4.85v that calculates to a rate of 4.2 watt hours during one hour of moving time.  This was on a bike trail that is quite flat, thus speed was fairly constant but I had to slow down each mile for a road crossing.  This of course is a faster speed than most people tour at, thus do not assume over 4 watts of output during a bike tour.

While riding, I often looked at my meter at different speeds, in all cases the voltage reading was about 4.85v.  I was charging up my powerbank with it.
   6.5 mph to get any power at all, below 6.5 it did not turn on.
   9 mph was about 0.6 amps, or 2.9 watts.
  11 mph was about 0.8 amps, or 3.9 watts.
  15 mph was about 1.0 amps, or 4.8 watts.
  22 mph (shallow downhill, briefly) about 1.25 amps, or 6.1 watts.

My readings were slightly less than the manufacturer performance curve, but my cable to my powerbank is a cheap aftermarket cable and it might not be the best, so I would say that my results are in the right ballpark.

It does not appear to provide any power at all if you have your lights turned on.  The Sinewave provides a small amount of power when lights are on.  This is not a deal breaker for me, but if you plan to always have your lights on while also charging your phone, this won't work for you.  I had previously measured the output on my Sinewave to be roughly one fourth as much power with my lights on (B&M IQ-SX and Spanninga Pixeo) as with my lights off on my rando bike while on an exercise ride.  That was so little extra power that I assumed it was pretty close to zero, and with the Cycle2Charge, it will be zero.

For now I put the Cycle2Charge on my road bike, I have the Thorn Accessory Tee Bar (55mm) on that bike for my handlebar bag bracket, I bought the optional handlebar mount for the Cycle2Charge and installed that on the Tee bar, first photo.  On all my bikes, I use the 2.8mm spade connectors to connect and disconnect wires on my dyno powered lighting, and on all my bikes I have a pair of those connectors at the fork crown.  This makes it easy to add or remove something from the circuit, second photo.  The wiring looks a bit busy, but that is not a problem for me.  Third photo has the wire connectors (not included with it) that I added so that I can easily add or remove this from my wiring.


ADDENDUM: Aug 9, 2022.  I did a comparison ride on my rando bike with my Sinewave Revolution and SP PV-8 dynohub on a very similar route that I tested the Cycle2Charge on.  Rode 13.9 miles in 59 minutes, average speed 14.1 mph.  The Sinewave produced 0.545 amps of power into my powerbank. The Sinewave is mounted where I cannot see it while riding, thus I could not see the meter and therefore could not measure amps and watts at different speeds.  If the Sinewave also put out 4.85 v like the Cycle2Charge during that test, that would calculate to 2.7 watt hours in one hour on that exercise ride at a bit over 14 mph. 

Thus, the Cycle2Charge which put out 4.2 watts clearly puts out more power than the Sinewave at 2.7 watts at similar speed.  The Sinewave however will put out a small amount of power with the lights on while the Cycle2Charge will not.  When touring, I almost never use dyno powered lights, so for me that is a non issue, but for some it could be an issue if they want both light and power out of their dyno system simultaneously.

My conclusion from this is that for future touring, the Cycle2Charge would be the one to use, as I could be a bit more careless with my power management.

ADDENDUM:  Aug 17, 2022.

I use a Garmin 64 as my GPS on my bike.  It is a non-cycling model, it is a general recreation GPS that I can use for backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, etc.  Runs on two AA batteries.  Garmin makes  a proprietary battery pack that has two NiMH rechargeable AA batteries in it and those batteries can be charged in the unit with a USB cable (mini, not micro).  I use a work around to make my Garmin 64 think that the battery pack is installed when I use regular rechargeable NiMH batteries in mine, that way I can charge my NiMH AA batteries in the GPS while it is operating.

My Sinewave Revolution will not charge my GPS without a pass through cache battery.  But I found that my V3 Cycle2Charge will charge it without a pass through cache battery as long as my lights are off.  I have to be going at least 8 mph (~~12.5 km/hr) for it to charge, below that speed it does not and the GPS will shut off if I do not press a button on it or speed up to over 8 mph.  (My description of charging my GPS should not be considered equivalent to a cycling GPS, as those use different types of batteries and charging systems for those batteries.) 

If I have my Garmin plugged into the Cycle2Charge and my lights are on, occasionally enough power comes through the cable to make my GPS quite unhappy, as it is not enough to charge it but enough to make it aware that there is a power source there, and I get lots of warning beeps out of it until I finally get annoyed by it and unplug it. 

Thus, if I am in hilly terrain or in an urban setting where I am often going slower than 8 mph, it is best to not to try to charge up the GPS, but in flatter terrain where I would only rarely slow down below that speed, charging the GPS while riding without a pass through cache battery would be viable on a bike tour.

I am now even happier that I have bought the Cycle2Charge since I occasionally would like to charge the GPS without using a pass through cache battery. 
« Last Edit: August 17, 2022, 01:55:10 pm by mickeg »