To keep the lights on and the PC running I have cooked up a couple of pieces of custom electronics.

FIrstly I have a multi-charger which can take power from almost anywhere and deliver it to any of the gadgets I have with me. Primarily it takes power from a solar panel and a Schmitt dynohub.

Secondly I have a back light with knobs on. It is continuously (when it's not raining) recharged by a small solar panel and incorporates a charging circuit for a PP3 battery or my digital camera battery, plus it has a really pathetic motion alarm that squeaks pitifully if someone gets on the bike and rides off without disarming it!

If you are interested in doing something similar, see my related ideas page.

The pictures above show me consuming my hard earned daily power running my laptop computer. In the beach picture the solar panel is in sun while I have to sit in the shade so I can see the laptop screen (and to protect my delicate skin!). The panel provides 5W which is about half the computer's requirements, the extra coming from the batteries within the multi-charger.

And finally when the sun doesn't shine and we don't pedal far enough to generate much power, I find a campsite hookup lead invaluable. All the French campsites had hookup points.

And when staying in a hotel without sockets, or with weird foreign sockets, these are handy too. The lead on the left I made myself and should be treated with extreme care! On the right is a light fitting adapter that I bought in China for 15p.


Home Equipment index