Electrical

I’ve been trying to define what electrical devices I want to carry and how I want to power them.I have generation capacity built into the bike. I have an SRAM i-Light Dynamo 730 Front Hub. If I load it with 12 ohms the alternator is designed to output 6 volt at 3 watts from about 8 or 9 mph.

I have a lighting system ordered including:

  • Lumotec IQ Cyo N Plus
  • Toplight Flat Plus Tail light

I will also carry other safety flashers to make me visible on the road. Many of the flashing lights I already own run from AA batteries, some run from AAA batteries.

My list of wants include:

  • Camera – gotta get those pictures for the web
  • Electric Shaver – gotta keep up my rugged good looks
  • Radio – Hand held transceiver – receive AM/FM/Weather emergency communication
  • Cell Phone – Speak to loved ones
  • LED Head harness phlashlight – for reading at night
  • LED pocket phlashlight -for finding your way in the dark
  • Netbook – Journal writing
  • MP3 player – various brands run on AAA batteries

If I wait a while, I may be able to combine the cell phone and netbook, into one device.

I’m investigating a device called a tunecharger, which I read about in a couple of online sources. One of the most interesting is this Crazy Guy On A Bike article entitled The electronics: Alternator-battery-lights-accessories, like a car The author’s approach is to have one humungus LiON system battery to store all the energy and run everything from that.

I was curious what would be available to run my system. So I sent email


Where can I purchase a Micro Tunecharger (MTC) and how would I spec it? I want to add charging capabilities to my hub dynamo on my bicycle.


and received the following response:


Unfortunately, the MTC4.3, as is, isn’t any more available.
Fortunately, the MTC6.0 will be issued in next months with enhanced features:

– battery state display
– battery diagnosis
– user parametrization of EOC and battery technology (SLI Lead-acids, Nixx and Lixx) – no more PICKIT programmation
– preprogrammed charging profiles according to the battery technology
– user activation of the CLEAN mode, now known as VHP technology for battery regeneration
– higher power throughput up to 30W instead of 8W formerly

The charger-tester-regenerator bearbones card will address batteries from small rechargeable cells up to car’s batteries.


My working hypothesis is to standardize on as few kinds of batteries as possible and try to buy devices to fulfill my wants, powered by those batteries. Some devices have accessories that allow them to be run on AA batteries. There is a netbook available from Thailand made to run from AA batteries. There are several MP3 players available that will run from a single AAA battery. I’ll start by using a USB ouput circuit. I can find ready made holders that will charge from this circuit. Over time I plan to continue to refine this system, perhaps adding the MTC later once I’ve gotten more experience with the circuit.

Share