USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Talk about anything.

Moderators: Bearbonesnorm, Taylor, Chew

jameso
Posts: 3630
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by jameso » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:39 pm

Difficult to do this remotely I'm sure, but through a process of elimination with 1 fully functional dynamo to USB-Werk system on one bike and 1 non-functioning replica system on another I wonder if the points below show something I'm missing. I have a multimeter but my electronics ability is minimal. Much gratitude and debt to anyone who can get me further on than what I've done so far...

1) Bike A works. USB-Werk charges phone and Garmin as normal.
Bike B, the new one, didn't charge anything yesterday on a test ride. So I turned the lights off and rode ~2hrs today, more than enough to charge the cache battery in the USB-Werk so it can begin to let charge through to devices. Nothing coming through when I tried it at the end of the ride though.

2) Checked all bike B connections with the meter. No broken wires. Power can go from hub to USB-Werk power in cable ends.
3) Swapped out bike B's USB-Werk power out USB line only with the one from bike A. Nothing.
4) Swapped the Garmin lead from bike A onto bike B. Bike B now has all the power-out side cabling from Bike A. Still nothing.
5) Checked the USB-Werks themselves, unplugged on the bench. Both are reading 5V power out on the meter (Bike A, 5.01V. Bike B, 5.5V ... is that significant? idk)- so there must be charge in the cache battery to get that reading, right? - this corresponds to there being no dynamo resistance on bike B with USB-Werk lined in when the wheel is spun, since I think it's topped up and is not drawing power.

- but if the cache battery of bike B is full and reading 5V+ out, with all functional leads attached why would there be nothing going into either a phone or Garmin plugged into it?
- If I swap over only the USB-Werk itself, bike B works fine. So tempted to say I have a duff USB-Werk.. yet it reads 5V+ on the meter?

Is this about Amps as well as Volts? Both USB-Werks read 0.05 microamps when unplugged, I suppose there's no current pushed through from the dynamo, but it's hard to spin the wheels and measure the output (should be 0.5A).

Stumped.

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 18791
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:55 pm

You're right that the obvious thing would be a duff werk unit. However, did you swap the dynamos / wheels over? It's easy to assume they're okay given that the werk unit had 5v in the cache but you never know.
#corporate shill for hire

Lazarus
Posts: 1535
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:49 am

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by Lazarus » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:00 pm

What he said - if you a have a working system just swap bits over from the broken set up test it works and repeat with next part. If it still does not work and whatever you added last is broken /requires investigation - might help to use tapeto code the workign system first as I am the sort of idiot who would end up with a collection of parts that do work if i just get them back in the correct order!

jameso
Posts: 3630
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by jameso » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:05 pm

Didn't swap the wheels, no - didn't think I needed to check that as the new wheel (new SON hub) is lighting the front and rear lights as normal. I didn't include that before did I, sorry :grin:

Just can't think why I'd have a 5V+ out reading and with good cables still get no charge response from the devices. Gah.. electrics. If I can see what's going on I can usually fix it but electrics are a ghost hunt to me.

User avatar
PaulB2
Posts: 908
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:32 pm
Location: Stafford

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by PaulB2 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:11 pm

Silly question perhaps but is there a mode button on the USB-werk? ie is it in a different setting to the other one?Beyond that I've just got 'is it plugged in' and 'have you turned it off and on again'?

jameso
Posts: 3630
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by jameso » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:13 pm

PaulB2 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:11 pm
Silly question perhaps but is there a mode button on the USB-werk? ie is it in a different setting to the other one?Beyond that I've just got 'is it plugged in' and 'have you turned it off and on again'?
No, there is on the E-Werk model but the USB-Werk is a simple black box with In and Out wires. Simple, or so I thought :smile:

(just posted the Q on the Cycling UK forum, there's a few really experienced engineer-tourer types on there, will report back if anything comes up).

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 18791
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:27 pm

Random thought ... do all SON hubs produce 3w? Some Shimano only kick out 1.5w.
#corporate shill for hire

User avatar
sean_iow
Posts: 2753
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:08 pm
Location: Isle of Wight

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by sean_iow » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:29 pm

jameso wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:05 pm
Just can't think why I'd have a 5V+ out reading and with good cables still get no charge response from the devices. Gah.. electrics. If I can see what's going on I can usually fix it but electrics are a ghost hunt to me.
I'm no expert but... it's current that charges stuff not the voltage, you might have 5V but nearly zero current?
Adventure without risk is Disneyland - Bikemonger

jameso
Posts: 3630
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by jameso » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:55 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:27 pm
Random thought ... do all SON hubs produce 3w? Some Shimano only kick out 1.5w.
This one does, SON deluxe, slightly lower output that the 28 at lower speeds but full German 3W standard stuff.

Sean, thanks - that's something to check then, somehow need to look at the current out when the wheel's turning. Should be close to 0.5mA. edit, no, 500mA and 0.5A :oops: Both units show same output unplugged but that may be irrelevant.
Last edited by jameso on Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lazarus
Posts: 1535
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:49 am

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by Lazarus » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:08 pm

it's current that charges stuff not the voltage, you might have 5V but nearly zero current?
the current is the voltage
that said you can have current without much amps

the way I always remember it is picture a river
Volts is how fast it is flowing- current -
Amps is how wide the river is
watts is how much water is flowing through [ so is votls x amps] POWER
I can rewire but i dont really get electrics or do electronics - as that no doubt shows

User avatar
whitestone
Posts: 6019
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:20 am
Location: Skipton(ish)
Contact:

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by whitestone » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:10 pm

Voltage is just a difference in potential, think of it as the height difference between two lakes, it's that height difference that causes current (electric or water) to flow. Your meter actually puts a small current into the circuit when measuring voltage so that 5v is the potential drop across the circuit. The two devices are likely to show different values as they'll have different circuitry inside.

Did you put the USB-Werk onto bike A but left all the "working" wiring? Not sure from your initial post if you'd done that.

I've a Muker USB multimeter - they cost about a tenner - they sit inline so you plug one end into the USB-A socket and then battery or whatever plugs into the other end. A much easier way to measure the output. I tend to plug a powerbank into it then go for a ride and see if it's accumulated any charge - the meter logs how much charge has passed through it.
Better weight than wisdom, a traveller cannot carry

jameso
Posts: 3630
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by jameso » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:45 pm

Did you put the USB-Werk onto bike A but left all the "working" wiring?
- yes, no output, that was when I started thinking it was a duff USB-W.

So if I understand what you're saying Whitestone the meter could give a 5V-ish reading whether the battery is full or empty?
I looked at the amp output on both, can get from zero with a stationary wheel to 0.05 reading on the 20 microamp setting (ie 1 microamp - that's nothing?) with a quick spin of the wheel. I get that 0.05 reading with either USB-W fitted to either bike.

I'd expect 0.25 on the 2mA setting for good USB out but get nothing on that setting. Wheel speed or something else - must be wheel speed if both units give the same at 'quick spin' rotations?

User avatar
whitestone
Posts: 6019
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:20 am
Location: Skipton(ish)
Contact:

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by whitestone » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:10 pm

micro or milli? Most likely the latter TBH. milli-Amp will be marked 'mA' and micro-Amp as µA (hope that comes out, it's the Greek letter 'mu'). Still it's not very much.

I've found that even a vigorous hand spin of the wheel isn't enough to generate enough current for it to appear downstream of the converter/ewerk, you need to be riding for that. Some converters also have a "lag" in that you need to be above a minimum speed for x number of seconds before any output is generated. Don't know if that applies to the ewerks.

Max USB output is 500mA @ 5v. A SON will produce 500mA @6v, i.e. 3 Watts, at its optimised maximum rating but there's some losses plus the converter uses a little bit and also won't let the output get above the USB max.
Better weight than wisdom, a traveller cannot carry

jameso
Posts: 3630
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by jameso » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:02 pm

µA
- definitely that one, thought it was odd. 0.25 on the 20µA setting.
I've found that even a vigorous hand spin of the wheel isn't enough to generate enough current for it to appear downstream of the converter/ewerk, you need to be riding for that.
Usually a few spins will be enough to make the Garmin kick into life as a test that there's juice in there, but there's probably a simple answer to all this - for some reason the USB-W didn't charge today, a connector was loose maybe and it'll need another ride to top up. Workstand spins won't charge it much. A few times in the past I've plugged the Garmin in or expected it to be charging and there's been no charge coming through - usually because I left it plugged in when I stopped, the Garmin standby then drained the cache. Takes a few miles at a decent pace to get it full and pushing charge through. Fingers crossed anyway.

Thanks for all the input :-bd

jameso
Posts: 3630
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by jameso » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:17 pm

:sad: nothing after another ride post-cables check. Oddly the instructions say it can sit for 'a several months' with a depleted cache battery and put out power again after some time riding to recharge, so that's one possible cause of failure cancelled out. But it's done at least 90 min now at a decent pace ~25-30kph and is still not charging the garmin. New ones aren't silly money and I've had the working one since summer '14, they can last well, I just want to know the answer to all this more than being particularly bothered about replacing it :grin:

User avatar
Wotsits
Posts: 1098
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:49 pm

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by Wotsits » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:37 pm

Didn't Karl diagnose & repair his Igaro en-route to North Cape? He may have some experience worth sharing.
He may have said that it was a capacitor that failed, think you can test those (if the circuitry allows) by charging it up via an ohms setting, then discharging if your multimeter doesn't have a Farad setting..

jameso
Posts: 3630
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by jameso » Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:16 pm

Wotsits wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:37 pm
Didn't Karl diagnose & repair his Igaro en-route to North Cape? He may have some experience worth sharing.
He may have said that it was a capacitor that failed, think you can test those (if the circuitry allows) by charging it up via an ohms setting, then discharging if your multimeter doesn't have a Farad setting..
One problem with the USB-Werk is it's a sealed unit so all I have to work with are the co-axial in and out leads (ha.. 'work with' as in waft a meter around like a chimp fishing ants from a hill with a stick :grin: ). The unit charges off AC also which would make applying a test input difficult. There's a local man-in-shed electronics guy I might try, thing is £25 of his time is almost half a new item.

User avatar
Wotsits
Posts: 1098
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:49 pm

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by Wotsits » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:25 pm

jameso wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:16 pm
One problem with the USB-Werk is it's a sealed unit so all I have to work with are the co-axial in and out leads (ha.. 'work with' as in waft a meter around like a chimp fishing ants from a hill with a stick :grin: ). The unit charges off AC also which would make applying a test input difficult. There's a local man-in-shed electronics guy I might try, thing is £25 of his time is almost half a new item.
I know a few electricians who'd be better off with a ant stick than a multimeter!! 😂

The Igaro is also sealed James, think Karl got round it by warming it up with (maybe) a hair drier in order to open it up..
If it is the capacitor, depends how it's configured in the circuit, but I'd try your meter on ohms, & maybe even diode, across various combinations of wires & compare with the working one, there shouldn't be any danger of you damaging anything..

slarge
Posts: 1874
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:49 pm
Location: MTB mecca (Warwickshire)

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by slarge » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:57 pm

You need a USB voltage and current measuring device. Cheap and easy to use (so you're not waving a multimeter around poking wires into holes and trying to decipher uA vs mA.

Something like this:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-Charger- ... dffd366a48

oops - doesn't look like a good link pasted....

Go and search on ebay for "USB current voltage tester" and for £3.89 you can solve a lot of stress.

You do need a load (a light or GPS or something) on the output of the eWerk / USB tester though to draw the current through the circuit. If open ended (open circuit) there is no current draw, except what the USB tester is consuming, which is hopefully 20mA or so.

It is quite possible for a circuit to fail in a way that supplies voltage when open circuit, but as soon as you demand current from it the voltage collapses. (A failed car battery does this - it might measure 11.5 V open circuit (across the terminals) but as soon as the ignition is turned on the 30Amp current draw causes the voltage to collapse to 5V and it is never going to start the engine).

Lazarus
Posts: 1535
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:49 am

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by Lazarus » Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:13 pm

link works for me - there are a number of vicarous fixing of bikes threads going on hope it gets sorted [ and the rohloff one too]

jameso
Posts: 3630
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by jameso » Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:17 pm

Thanks Jase, though that already sounds like more than I have the understanding for - me comparing my electronics diagnostic skills to a chimp's tool use is an insult to our primate friends :grin: Maybe one of those fairground wire and loop buzzer games would be a better analogy..
You do need a load (a light or GPS or something) on the output of the eWerk / USB tester though to draw the current through the circuit.
The duff unit seems to not be hitting a charge level where the battery can then allow pass-through charging - would riding with a near-empty Garmin pull charge through to charge the duff unit? I think it's duff because the battery is dead and that means no charge can pass through, but :???: really not sure.
The USB ebay meter looks generally useful though, thanks. That would tell me what's coming out of a normal unit, but I can see there's nothing of use coming out since the Garmin or phone isn't showing any charge. Would knowing whether 10mA or 500mA is coming out give a next step in fixing it?

User avatar
whitestone
Posts: 6019
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:20 am
Location: Skipton(ish)
Contact:

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by whitestone » Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:32 pm

You have to be wary with batteries, some charge from dynamo systems some don't, charging from "dead" is also hard work. Also phones, especially iPhones, can be very snotty about being charged from a variable source. Get a small battery (3000mAh or so) that works with the good system and is about 50% charged and use that.

The USB tester I have is basically this one https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KWE-V20-In-l ... 3457236888 gives you voltage, current, total charge and time running. So you can reset the counter, go for a ride without having to keep looking at the meter and when you get back you should see the total charge has a non-zero value.
Better weight than wisdom, a traveller cannot carry

jameso
Posts: 3630
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by jameso » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:49 pm

whitestone wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:32 pm
You have to be wary with batteries, some charge from dynamo systems some don't, charging from "dead" is also hard work. Also phones, especially iPhones, can be very snotty about being charged from a variable source. Get a small battery (3000mAh or so) that works with the good system and is about 50% charged and use that.
Sorry, RE batteries, when I said The duff unit seems to not be hitting a charge level where the battery can then allow pass-through charging, I mean the unit has a battery inside (I don't use an inline or separate battery) so if that internal battery's dead and not allowing any pass-through it would explain why there's no output. As soon as the cache battery in the USB-W is full, the Garmin will power up in response.

Though if charging from dead takes effort, maybe the riding I've done so far just isn't enough. Would expect an hour or 2 to have done it though, the cache battery inside is only 150mAh capacity.

User avatar
Wotsits
Posts: 1098
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:49 pm

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by Wotsits » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:56 pm

jameso wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:17 pm
Thanks Jase, though that already sounds like more than I have the understanding for - me comparing my electronics diagnostic skills to a chimp's tool use is an insult to our primate friends :grin: Maybe one of those fairground wire and loop buzzer games would be a better analogy..
James i honestly think that they're not that complicated, as Lazaras said, just think of the electrickery as the flow of water- diodes as one-way valves & capacitors as tanks that need to be filled..

The circuit is probably pretty basic, have a look at the diagram here, but think of your dynamo as the transformer.

https://circuitdigest.com/electronic-ci ... it-diagram

You may need to open it up to check it properly, but hopefully someone (Karl) will be along soon to explain things betterer!

Lazarus
Posts: 1535
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:49 am

Re: USB outputs, USB-Werk and fault diagnosis - any electricians on here?

Post by Lazarus » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:27 pm

Would expect an hour or 2 to have done it though, the cache battery inside is only 150mAh capacity.
yes - they should provide toward 500maH from a 3 w hub - even a poorly efficient one has to b doing 150mah per hour as the hub will do about 600mah but there will be somelosses through the system.
Possibly not get this on hike a bike but if say doing 10-15mph then it should charge
FWIW gogling to see their claimed output - I did not find this -
i did find a reddit thread that says if the internal battery dies the unit is dead
All batteries eventually die

https://www.reddit.com/r/bicycletouring ... r_usbwerk/

Post Reply