Electric soup, part 2

When Mood Music
2013-02-23 12:44:00

Although I installed the USB-WERK on the 16th, I didn’t get to test it until the 20th. During that time I only commuted to university and spinning, but I thought that would be enough to charge the USB-WERK’s cache battery. (The manual instructs Cycle for approximately 10 minutes at 15 km/h with [no load on the USB-WERK] to ensure a basic charge of the cache battery.] So I was quite concerned that that the system appeared not to work.

I emailed the vendors (Rose), asking how I could check

  1. Whether the dymano was generating power
  2. If so, whether that power was travelling up the fork cable to the USB-WERK. (Assuming the cable wasn’t broken, had I attached the clips correctly?)
  3. If so, whether the USB-WERK had the correct output power
  4. If so, whether the power was travelling through the USB-WERK’s coaxial-to-USB extension cable
  5. If so, whether the power was travelling through the USB-to-iPhone cable.

Rose replied There are special tools to measure it. But I think that is not your job, you can send us the USB-WERK and we will switch it. The USB-WERK is a new product and mistakes can be possible. While I appreciated this, I didn’t fancy waiting for the original to get back to Germany and for a replacement to reach me. I also realised that I could partially test item 5: while I knew that the short 3rd-party USB-to-iPhone cable seemed OK when used to attach iPhone to my mac, Apple kit can be quite sniffy about 3rd-party accessories. (G5 macs in particular are very sniffy about the brands of RAM they’ll recognise.)

So I tried a genuine Apple cable. I happened to be wearing my bluetooth headphones and I heard the ‘I am now charging noise’ when I connected the iPhone. I tried again and momentarily saw the ‘I am charging’ battery-graphic. This was very quickly replaced by the normal lock-screen. This behaviour recurred with the short cable. So, for fractions of a second, power was reaching iPhone. I guessed that the USB-WERK’s cache battery had received just enough charge to begin output but not enough to sustain it.

Next steps
I then cycled to university. So long as Lev was moving, iPhone received charge but when Lev stopped (there are at least 10 sets of traffic-lights in a 2-mile journey), charging stopped. So my next test will be to cycle fast for an hour or so with no load on the USB-WERK to fill its battery. Then I’ll connect jPhone: if it charges continuously on the return journey, even when I stop, this will be proof to me that the USB-WERK werks. If not, I’ll ask for a replacement.

And finally
Once I have a functional USB-WERK, I’ll still need to solve this:


And how I wish I’d had the nerve to do it all myself.


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