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Best way to charge your phone while cycling

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Best way to charge your phone while cycling

Old 05-17-19, 12:42 PM
  #1  
valeriano
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Best way to charge your phone while cycling

Hi all,

normally when I'm cycling to places I don't know, I use my phone to route the way.
The problem is that the battery doesn't last the whole way, so I have to charge my phone during the ride.
Normally what I do is to carry a fat powerbank (between 15.000 and 30.000 mah) with me, leave it inside the panniers and extend the cable circling the frame, all the way to the stem (where my phone stays, using Quadlock or SP Connect).
I have bought an e-werk to charge the phone while cycling, but it doesn't charge as fast as the phone is discharged, so in the end it still dies.

Is there any other device similar to the e-werk, to charge the phone while riding?
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Old 05-17-19, 01:14 PM
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Before investing in ways to charge your phone, you may want to maximize your battery-saving setup first.

Are you:

>leaving the screen on, and bright to be able to see it in the daytime, for long periods of time?..don't as it pulls lots of power. Use a turn-by-turn voice nav option (Osmand) with a bluetooth earbud if you need it.

>in areas where your phone is search for a cell signal?..don't as it pulls lots of power. Put the phone in airplane mode to prevent incoming and outgoing signals. Use offline maps(maps.me, osmand) with imported GPX tracks or routes planned within either map app.

>using an active-cell tower sourced nav app like google maps?..don't as it pulls lots of power. Use one of the above mentioned offline apps in airplane mode. Your phone is then only bringing in the GPS signal(minimal power).

>use your phone settings to put it into batt-saving mode as much as possible
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Old 05-17-19, 01:39 PM
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Also, consider getting a dedicated GPS unit such as the Garmin Edge 1030. On a recent trip, I was able to run a 1030 with the screen on all day and had plenty of power left. The phone also had plenty of power left by reducing power consumption.
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Old 05-17-19, 01:46 PM
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I've got a dynamo hub and a Sinewave converter unit to keep my I-phone 7 plus charged.
I don't use a battery pack.
I'm a big music listener and internet radio uses a lot of power. The dynamo keeps up, but barely at times. Depends on how far away from the cell tower.

My favorite way to charge my phone is at the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant .
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Old 05-17-19, 01:59 PM
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I usually do not use my phone for GPS purposes, but the few times I tried it to see how it worked, it consumed very little power. I only had the GPS app running, GPS on but airplane mode so cell part of the phone was disabled. And my screen time out setting kept the screen on only briefly. Because my phone is hard to see in bright light, I have the backlight on full when I use it outside which in part is why I have the time out setting very short.

I am not sure your system, you have both an Ewerk which I assume you are running off of a dynohub. And you have a large powerbank to power things. Is your powerbank setup like a pass through cache battery so when you are rolling the hub puts power into the battery while the phone is simultaneously taking power out of the battery?

You do not say what kind of phone it is, if it is an Android phone you might want to get this app (the free version) and enable the overlay setting for battery current, that way you can actually see how much power is going into or out of your battery.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...es.accubattery

You need to have more detail on what you are doing for us to offer much help.
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Old 05-17-19, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
>leaving the screen on, and bright to be able to see it in the daytime, for long periods of time?..don't as it pulls lots of power. Use a turn-by-turn voice nav option (Osmand) with a bluetooth earbud if you need it.

>in areas where your phone is search for a cell signal?..don't as it pulls lots of power. Put the phone in airplane mode to prevent incoming and outgoing signals. Use offline maps(maps.me, osmand) with imported GPX tracks or routes planned within either map app.

>using an active-cell tower sourced nav app like google maps?..don't as it pulls lots of power. Use one of the above mentioned offline apps in airplane mode. Your phone is then only bringing in the GPS signal(minimal power).

>use your phone settings to put it into batt-saving mode as much as possible
+1

Osmand, Maps with Me and other apps don't require anything other than a pertinent map file and GPS signal for voice-prompted navigation. No cellular signal/data usage required.

Additionally, if you have a route where you travel 25 miles between waypoints, there's really no need to run your phone for those 2 hours of bicycling. I use a Cateye cyclocomputer for backup, and in this example I'd turn the phone off until I got to mile 24 based on Cateye reading, then turn it back on. This strategy doesn't work if you are not focused on mileage, and it's impractical for high-waypoint routes (urban), but for rural, low-waypoint routes it can extend battery life by a factor of 10. Of course in these scenarios pencil and paper and a few turn notes may suffice, no phone or huge battery required.

https://www.bikeforums.net/18252446-post3.html

As previous post noted, utilize meal stops to recharge - this works best with rapid-charging-capable devices (15 or 18 watt vs 10).
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Old 05-17-19, 03:57 PM
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I toured many Foreign countries Before any of this stuff was invented...

even got a map of Poland from a fellow passenger on a Baltic sea ferry, from a passenger while underway there in 91..

generally now, hub dynamo > Rectifier USB converter like the plug 3 > phone charge cable...


lots of stuff alrady to be read here: https://www.bikeforums.net/electroni...hting-gadgets/
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Old 05-18-19, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Before investing in ways to charge your phone, you may want to maximize your battery-saving setup first.
First of all this.
Second of all is your ewerk set correctly? I don't have one, but my understanding is that there are various settings to optimise generation.
My own experience with charging phones from a hub is very mixed. Some phones stop charging when speed drops and don't start charging again even when the speed is faster. Different phones reacted differently.


Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Also, consider getting a dedicated GPS unit such as the Garmin Edge 1030. On a recent trip, I was able to run a 1030 with the screen on all day and had plenty of power left. The phone also had plenty of power left by reducing power consumption.
This!! There should be no problem keeping a dedicated gps device charged from a hub, but research carefully - some Garmin units don't cooperate well with dynohubs.

My charging system is very simple. Son Dynohub, Cycle2Charge unit which I plug a powerbank into. On a typical day's touring I'll charge the powerbank and use that to charge phone/kindle/tablet/batteries at night. For the last couple of hours I'll charge my Wahoo and that is normally enough to bring it back to 90% power or above. I can go weeks fully self sufficient.

My gut reaction is that your solution lies in your phone settings.
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Old 05-18-19, 05:40 AM
  #9  
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One more thing, I have bought some cables that had high resistance to them, that meant that it took a LONG TIME to charge. Finally got around to measuring how much power was going into my devices through different cables. Some cables got discarded as a result.

Get one of these, shipped from asia, shipping can take a month. You can measure how much power is going through your cable. Bigger numbers are better.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/168059/i.ht...doctor&_sop=15

The clear plastic ones are easier to read than the blue ones outside in brighter conditions but in direct sunlight all are impossible to read. But for checking cables, you can do that indoors. Some of the more expensive ones offer more detail, like milliamp hours, minutes of charge, etc. But the cheapest ones will give you a one-time reading of amperage.

Even if you find all your cables work well, for only a couple bucks you can learn that your cables were not the problem which is also worth knowing.
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Old 05-18-19, 05:51 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I usually do not use my phone for GPS purposes...
+1. I should have mentioned this above. It's sort of ingrained in me(from fishing open water- Lake Michigan) that a communication 'widget' is a safety device..that being a VHF radio on the water.

On land, the VHF functionality is the cell phone. A smartphone is a safety device that's reserved for the bailout call for help, if needed & when it's needed..it's a must-have. If the battery is depleted by navigation then there's no optional call for help. Of course, if you're out of cell range..then it's more iffy, but often texts come through even when a phone call isn't possible.
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Old 05-18-19, 10:16 AM
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I've been (successfully) using the forumslader to that end. It generates enough power to actually recharge a depleted phone battery, while riding with the screen turned on. The forumslader is rated at 3A (vs typical 2A for a wall charger).

Interestingly, like many have advised above, I've moved away from this. I now prefer to use minimal navigation electronics (ex: garmin forerunner, if at all) and no longer ride with a dynamo hub. IMHO phone navigation is useful in large cities, not so much on open roads.
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Old 05-18-19, 10:45 AM
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I generally leave my phone off while touring, turing it on when I need it. Even if using it for mapping, I really do not see the need to have it on continually. You are not going fast enough on the bike to need turn by turn directions, unless going through town perhaps.
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Old 05-18-19, 11:21 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
I've been (successfully) using the forumslader to that end. It generates enough power to actually recharge a depleted phone battery, while riding with the screen turned on. The forumslader is rated at 3A (vs typical 2A for a wall charger).

Interestingly, like many have advised above, I've moved away from this. I now prefer to use minimal navigation electronics (ex: garmin forerunner, if at all) and no longer ride with a dynamo hub. IMHO phone navigation is useful in large cities, not so much on open roads.
Wow. You went from having one of the most powerful charging systems to ... ... none.
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Old 05-18-19, 11:39 AM
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A modern cycling GPS will last the entire ride, and probably several. Even touring all day it should last through the day without a charge. I have a Garmin Edge 820, which is as large as I am willing to put up there in the cockpit. But a 1030 is also a fantastic option if you don't mind having a larger device mounted. With its larger screen for mapping it would be a good choice for touring. The Edge 820 is adequate, but navigation isn't my primary use case for having it. Nevertheless it's great for helping me find reasonable routes to or from places I don't typically ride.

When I use my bike GPS the phone lasts as long as a phone can last when not in active use. When I need extra power I carry along an Anker 6200MAh battery bank. It's small enough to fit into my crowded saddle bag, and has enough power to charge my phone, with still enough left over to charge up a tail light and GPS, or headlight. If I need more than that, I probably also need a rest, myself, and wherever I take that rest I could plug in. But it's really never come to that for me.

So I'm in the "Get a bike GPS." camp. They're not cheap, but where a phone is pretty good at many things, a dedicated cycling GPS is optimized to be as good as possible at one thing.
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Old 05-18-19, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Wow. You went from having one of the most powerful charging systems to ... ... none.
(or is it :/)

A few reasons I believe :
  1. a phone has some kind of hypnotic effect on me. I'll (stupidly) stare at the screen while I should look at the scenery;
  2. experienced cabling problems. I tend to strongly prefer "unbreakable stuff". Cabling + the fact that in downpours a phone is less than optimal and I was questioning why;
  3. a tendency to prefer minimalism. A repurposed Forerunner does everything I need, is rugged, and consumes next to nothing (longing for the 935 with something like a week long autonomy ).
  4. there is no such a thing as free Watts. I'd rather go a bit further, or easier than providing energy to a phone
This being said, our last tour was circling the Grand Canyon. No need to "navigate". Odometer was enough. No current plans (unfortunately) so I don't know. I might reinstall this stuff, then again, I'd think that a watch is enough, and that a power bank is simpler.
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Old 05-18-19, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
(or is it :/)

A few reasons I believe :
  1. a phone has some kind of hypnotic effect on me. I'll (stupidly) stare at the screen while I should look at the scenery;
  2. experienced cabling problems. I tend to strongly prefer "unbreakable stuff". Cabling + the fact that in downpours a phone is less than optimal and I was questioning why;
  3. a tendency to prefer minimalism. A repurposed Forerunner does everything I need, is rugged, and consumes next to nothing (longing for the 935 with something like a week long autonomy ).
  4. there is no such a thing as free Watts. I'd rather go a bit further, or easier than providing energy to a phone
This being said, our last tour was circling the Grand Canyon. No need to "navigate". Odometer was enough. No current plans (unfortunately) so I don't know. I might reinstall this stuff, then again, I'd think that a watch is enough, and that a power bank is simpler.
I have never relied on a phone GPS for anything, but I am a retired Geological Engineer, I worked with maps every day of my professional career. Thus, I have a stronger interest in knowing where I am on a map than most people. I have half a dozen regular GPS units of varying vintages.

When rolling, I have a GPS turned on, but usually when touring the screen is set to time out every 30 seconds. Not a cycling specific GPS, a general recreation one that also works well for hiking or canoeing. I currently am using a Garmin 64 on the bike, uses AA batteries, I use NiMH rechargeables that I can recharge in the Garmin from my SP dynohub. I use the Sinewave Revolution for USB power off of the dynohub, the GPS will not charge directly from that, it needs a pass through cache battery in line to charge the GPS. Only once have a had a water intrusion problem with a GPS, my vintage Garmin Etrex Legend (with black and white screen) went swimming in Lake Superior last September, it became quite obstinate after that and died later that day.

Recently bought a Voltaic V44 power bank, at 44 watt hours I could probably go several days without recharging, but that also functions as the pass through cache battery to charge my Garmin. You say a powerbank might be simpler, that is why I bought such a large battery to use as a pass through cache battery, if it is more than 75 percent charged in the morning I might not bother to plug it in that day while rolling.

I carry the phone but it is typically in airplane mode with no background apps running. The 5.5 inch screen on the phone will be much better for planning and routing than the small GPS screen is. When I am not touring, I will go for days at a time without looking at my phone.

My taillights are AAA powered as is my headlamp (for my head in the campsite), I also need the dynohub for charging up the NiMH AAA batteries. And a charger for the Li Ion camera batteries for my waterproof point and shoot camera.

I am sold on dynohubs for charging, but other than wanting to have a GPS running, I am quite content with a minimum of electrics.

Canoeing and kayaking, I carry a marine band radio, mostly for weather band. But biking I usually just get weather forecasts when I have wifi on a phone or tablet, marine band radio stays home.

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Old 05-19-19, 06:57 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by HobbesOnTour View Post
First of all this.
Second of all is your ewerk set correctly? I don't have one, but my understanding is that there are various settings to optimise generation.
My own experience with charging phones from a hub is very mixed. Some phones stop charging when speed drops and don't start charging again even when the speed is faster. Different phones reacted differently.



This!! There should be no problem keeping a dedicated gps device charged from a hub, but research carefully - some Garmin units don't cooperate well with dynohubs.

My charging system is very simple. Son Dynohub, Cycle2Charge unit which I plug a powerbank into. On a typical day's touring I'll charge the powerbank and use that to charge phone/kindle/tablet/batteries at night. For the last couple of hours I'll charge my Wahoo and that is normally enough to bring it back to 90% power or above. I can go weeks fully self sufficient.

My gut reaction is that your solution lies in your phone settings.
EXACTLY, Put it on/in airplane mode, and... viola, you still have GPS, maps, and a record of where you go/went, using the ride with GPS app... Works for me anyways...
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Old 05-19-19, 07:41 PM
  #18  
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I am a pretty big proponent of having 12v electrical power with me. I am very unconventional when it comes to this, however, so my method certainly is not for everyone.

I use a 12v battery and traditional 12v plug for a USB converter. That is what I charge my phone and GPS off of. I run a Garmin Edge 1000.

For my day rides in the past a 9Ah SLA battery has done an adequate job.

I have a set of solar panels from PowerFilm that I put together for charging when I'm stopped. Any extra photons I can scrape to put in the battery the better.

I don't worry about charge controllers. I just monitor the voltage of the battery manually. I have never run in to a situation where I was at risk of over-charging. Just floating the battery voltage in full sun is about the most I expect, but I keep an eye on it regardless.

I am replacing the 9Ah SLA with a 12Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate battery - bigger case, more capacity, but substantially lighter weight than the 9Ah SLA. The usage and charging is going to be identical to what I described above.
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Old 05-19-19, 09:19 PM
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Hi
i go on day rides but sometimes I run low on power. I usually have a Garmin 500, iPhone se, and a small shuffle. I use the later for music through sennhieser $25 headphones. The shuffle has run out of power twice because of user error. But it’s great bc it’s simple. The garmin has never but I don’t use the route function much. The iPhone has run down to 20%. Between the 3 I don’t see the reason for a hub. Nor do I see a reason for running turn by turn color directions that drain battery. I live in Taiwan so the phone coverage is 95%. Why run a bunch of electronics on a bike ride? I think I’m running too many. I agree with the user who wrote about using a vhf radio and phone for emergency. By the way it’s also good for me to leave them all behind on rides to prove my addiction.
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Old 05-19-19, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by meyers66 View Post
i go on day rides but sometimes I run low on power.
That's the perfect use case for an everyday portable charger. Basically an 18650 cell and a boost converter in a little plastic case ending in a USB jack. Hold about one phone charge worth, maybe a little more.

My one day rides have occasionally been long enough I bring the equivalent of several. For someone touring the situation is different as they can't necessarily plug those in each night to charge.
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Old 05-20-19, 01:26 PM
  #21  
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Tangentially related (i.e. using less energy).

Garmin has introduced a new set of speed/cadence sensors. One neat feature is that the sensors store up to 300hrs of activity data between syncs with a bluetooth device (bike computer, smart watch or phone). Great for commuting, when we don't need nav/stats but may want an odometer. Or for touring.
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Old 05-20-19, 01:43 PM
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Re: Best way to charge your phone while cycling

Best?, definitely while having a nice long lunch at a good restaurant..

Bon Appetit!
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Old 05-21-19, 06:03 AM
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A few things that help a lot:
  1. Choosing a phone that has a removable battery helps a lot
  2. Buy extra phone batteries if your phone has that option. I have generally found them cheaply from somewhere other that the phone vendor (at a fraction of the cost)
  3. Most days on most trips there is some opportunity to plug in somewhere along the way anyway. Yes there have been quite a few days where I have gone all day with no stores, gas stations, or diners but I usually know ahead of time and can plan on them.
  4. Either turn off the phone entirely throughout the day or at the very least turn off the features you don't need (hint, you don't need to send or receive calls, you don't need wifi on, etc, airplane mode is a good start)
  5. Set low expectations for contacting home. Then use texts rather than calls when away from power.

I can generally go quite a few days with no need to charge and if going really low usage might go weeks. It depends on how GPS dependent I am on a given trip though. On some routes all I really need is the odometer on the bike and a map, on others I might want/need constant guidance/reassurance from the GPS.
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Old 05-21-19, 06:59 AM
  #24  
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Forumslader, the matching USB-12V charger and a 60W multi port usb charger like this https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3285...27424c4dvBSs9i for giving everything a top up when there is a chance
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Old 05-21-19, 02:28 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
Tangentially related (i.e. using less energy).

Garmin has introduced a new set of speed/cadence sensors. One neat feature is that the sensors store up to 300hrs of activity data between syncs with a bluetooth device (bike computer, smart watch or phone). Great for commuting, when we don't need nav/stats but may want an odometer. Or for touring.
A couple days ago my bike computer was not working, I had bumped it and it was no longer close enough to the spoke magnet to be readable. Without instant feedback like I get, you could easily get home and find that the sensor had shifted on the fork or stay and the result was that you went zero distance.
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