Friday, 8 April 2011

MINI TURBINE UPDATE.....

CHARGING THE GARMIN
 Last weekend while I was away on the short cyclopacking trip I started to test out the Uniross HY Mini Wind Charger that I featured in a recent post.
I have mounted the turbine on the front fork of my touring bike. The clamp fitting it was supplied with fitted the standard sized fork without any problem.
One small difficulty that I did encounter was concerning the bolt fitting that attaches to the clamp itself... It was too big. I found that once screwed up tight on the clamp with the turbine in the best position, the plastic finger grip of the bolt fouled the spokes. Luckily amongst my various bits and pieces in my spares box I had a similar styled bolt that was just that bit shorter. Once fitted it gave maximum clearance for the spokes. That was the only problem that I had with the fitting of the unit.

The clamp itself is attached to a mount that the turbine slots into. The mount  has a small catch that locks the turbine in position and stops it jumping out of the mount when you travel over rough or bumpy roads. This seems to work quite well and at no time has the turbine become loose in the mount.
TURBINE MOUNTED ON FRONT FORK OF TOURING BIKE
The turbine had a small charge in it before I set off on the trip...but not much...I would guess at about a third. I then cycled to Sixpenny Handley for the first nights camp...and then on the Saturday I cycled on the route I posted about last time to the second nights camp at Coombe Bissett.  The total distance cycled was about sixty miles. So on a proper touring trip this would be about equal to a days cycling. Over the sixty miles the little turbine was spinning it's heart out the whole time. When I cycle back from Gibraltar in September I will be cycling another forty miles a day on top of this...somewhere in the region of one hundred miles plus and it's that trip that I obtained the turbine for.

Anyway back to last weekends test ....how did it perform..? Well on the Saturday night I used it to charge up the Garmin. I had used the Garmin on a training run prior to the weekend trip, so the Garmin battery only had about a quarter charge left. The turbine actually recharged the Garmin FULLY. This is the first time that a charging device has managed to do this. When I have used my solar panel chargers in the past they manage to charge the Garmin but always fail to fully charge - usually managing to get it to about 92%.

So in a nutshell the initial test seems quite positive....However I wouldn't want anyone to rush out and buy one  just yet...The real test will be the ten day touring trip to Brittany in Northern France in about five weeks time. A proper multi day test like that will tell us all we need to know. If it passes that test I will give it the 'purple' seal of approval.......All will be reported here.........

15 comments:

Steve A said...

I look forward to further reports on this promising device. I'd use it to charge an iPhone rather than a Garmin...

rlove2bike said...

Very interesting. I will be waiting for your final analysis on this because I am tenatively riding a loop of about 1300 miles and this could be just what I need. Thanks

springfieldcyclist.com said...

Here's a question....Can you feel any drag from that as you ride?

PaddyAnne said...

That's a nifty contraption. It's great that it will power up your devices. I'm looking forward to your trip through France, somewhere I have always wanted to visit.

ADRIAN said...

This looks a useful bit of kit.

limom said...

Cool!
Does it plug directly to the USB port?
So you charge up the turbine and then use it to charge the whatever you need to charge?
Or do you have to ride around with the device plugged in?

Trevor Woodford said...

*springfieldcyclist*

There is no drag felt at all. The turbine spins very freely. The 'biggest' thing on the bike causing drag is ME..!

*Limom*
You can charge up the turbine direct from a USB port if you wish.
Yes...The turbine has it's own cell from which the power is downloaded to whatever it is you wish to charge.
You cannot ride with it plugged in to a device such as a phone or a Garmin .

Entre Nous said...

Yup, gotta have it. Pack it right next to my solar notebook charger!

MrDaveyGie said...

I'm thinking I'll be getting one. Thanks for the info.

taio said...

interesant

Chandra said...

Trevor,
I will be very interested in learning how the turbine performs, based on your longer tour!
Thanks for posting on this.
Peace :)

lavinka said...

O, garmin, Are you playing in geocaching? I love it :)

Cello-in said...

happy I found this blog!
it's fantastic!
I'm a keen cyclist and photographer (also amateur lol)

Following you, that's for sure!
Please come check out my blog and follow me too.

Cello

http://cello-in.blogspot.com/

GINETAS BIKERS. said...

hola trevor !!!! ¿como estas? siempre nos describes unas buenas cronicas y noticias en tu pagina es muy interesante poder seguir tus rutas ,comentarios y la gran amistad que tienes con el resto de los mortales.gracias por todo,en cuanto al tiempo que podras tener en españa cuando viajes,no te preocupes.españa es un pais calido y acogedor.te gustara!!!

daigo said...

nice bikes!