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Thread: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

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    Default hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    hi all

    i'm building a shimano alfine 11s road bike for dad, (gates belt drive), he's asked for the hub dynamo,

    i was planning on running the cable for the rear light through the downtube, and through the left hand chainstay, using dura-ace DI2 grommets each end,
    what hole size will i need for the grommets ?

    for the fork, i don't yet feel confident with internal routing, so i was thinking of using an old SS spoke and making small U shaped loops to use with zip ties,
    that is just one thought i've had, yet if there are any other ways anyone has used to good success, i'd really like to hear from you :)

    btw the fork is to be lugged steel, with a disc brake, and the lights will be supernova, with the front mounting at the fork crown

    many thanks

    NBC
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    there was just a discussion of this (on the email list, I think). I see no reason not to run it up through the fork. Put the holes on the neutral axis and you should be good to go. I'm about to do that for the first time, I'm sick of having wires all over the outside of my bike, especially the fork.
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    eric,

    by the neutral axis, do you mean the side of the fork blade ?

    i don't feel too confident with internal wiring yet, never even done it to a top tube, so feel that doing a fork blade might prove a disaster !

    thanks

    nbc
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by NBC View Post
    i was planning on running the cable for the rear light through the downtube, and through the left hand chainstay, using dura-ace DI2 grommets each end,
    what hole size will i need for the grommets?
    That's the best cable routing path, I use it myself where possible

    The Di2 grommets are meant for a 6mm flush hole in the tube, which'll need a pretty careful reinforcement, but they do have a very nice exit angle

    I highly recommend using coaxial cable instead of the normal scraggly wall-wart wire that comes stock with most non-Schmidt lights. I tracked down some awesome Mogami stuff meant for custom microphone wiring, it's normally a pain in the ass to get in small quantities, but a friend bought a big roll and is parting it out as a mitzvah: Coaxial Lighting Wire | Ocean Air Cycles


    Quote Originally Posted by NBC View Post
    for the fork, i don't yet feel confident with internal routing, so i was thinking of using an old SS spoke and making small U shaped loops to use with zip ties,
    that is just one thought i've had, yet if there are any other ways anyone has used to good success, i'd really like to hear from you :)
    You figured out one of the best tactics: cut the head off a spoke, stick that end in the lower vent hole on the inside of the blade, and either braze a little socket for the other end or make it reach all the way to the top vent hole with another little hook, making it just long enough that it's under tension while installed. Attach the cable to the spoke using little sections of heatshrink.

    Internal routing loose in the fork is a massive timesink, and means you need connectors outside the upper portal or inside near the bb shell if you want to be able to take the fork off without starting over.

    Brazing in a little tube as a tunnel thru the blade tempts us all, but is oh so tragic when the insulation on the cable gets funky from trapped moisture, don't do this to yourself.


    Quote Originally Posted by NBC View Post
    btw the fork is to be lugged steel, with a disc brake, and the lights will be supernova, with the front mounting at the fork crown
    The Supernova Multimount is absolutely terrific for putting a light there

    The Supernova lights themselves are unfortunately pretty awful compared to everything that's come out in the last 3-4 years, and quite unreliable. Sucks that they're the only euro company with mainstream distribution here.

    If getting your own Peter White account is not in the cards, you can easily order B&M lights from xxcycle.com — I highly recommend the Luxos U or Cyo Premium for the headlight, and the Secula taillight (or Toplight Line Plus if you're using a rear rack). The Supernova taillight is sleek but unfortunately doesn't work with anyone else's headlights.
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    bladself,

    that idea of yours with the spoke running all the way up the blade sounds pretty interesting, do you have any pictures ?

    with the supernova lights, we currently have 2 pairs, and they seem pretty awesome, we have the e3 triple, wired to the top of the range nexus hub dynamo
    what reliability issues have you had with them ?

    many thanks

    NBC
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by NBC View Post
    that idea of yours with the spoke running all the way up the blade sounds pretty interesting, do you have any pictures ?

    Spoke used as dynamo headlight wire guide. by Passhunter, on Flickr
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by NBC View Post
    with the supernova lights, we currently have 2 pairs, and they seem pretty awesome, we have the e3 triple, wired to the top of the range nexus hub dynamo
    The E3 triple at least puts out a solid amount of light unlike the single-LED ones, but since the beam is unshaped most of it is wasted on the sky, treetops, and the eyes of oncoming traffic — good for singletrack but not for the road

    The Luxos U puts out fewer lumens, but 95% of that output ends up on the ground in a broad distribution with no hotspots, at 20m the patch is more than 4 lanes wide, and on a clear dark night I catch reflections off of street signs a km away!

    The total light returned back to your eyes is far greater, and not in a big rosebud in front of your wheel that makes it harder to see stuff far away.


    Quote Originally Posted by NBC View Post
    what reliability issues have you had with them?
    I've seen a bunch where the standlight just stopped working altogether (not that it lasted terribly long to start with), causing the light to flicker incessantly and go completely dark when you stop

    Supernova has great warranty support, and back in the day when there were huge advances every year they would install new LEDs for you on request, but you hope not to have to send your light back to Germany
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    Can post pics this evening the way I do with cable running outside, then you can have an idea how to run it inside the frame/forks
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    @Bladself:
    can't see the need of connectors.
    The wire from the hubdynamo does reach the fr. lamp where the connectors for the re. lamp will start, disconnect from there and that's it. Around the headtube you're gonna have the wires out of the frame and forks anyway.

    As far the wire from the hubdynamo to the fr. lamp; the solution with the spoke looks neat, but I wonder if it's very steady, too.
    I prefer to have the wire running more on the side-back of the fork blade, rather than properly on the inside

    Dynamo_wiring16.jpg

    Dynamo_wiring15.jpg

    Dynamo_wiring13.jpg

    Dynamo_wiring14.jpg

    Dynamo_wiring12.jpg

    Dynamo_wiring11.jpg

    Dynamo_wiring9.jpg

    But if you ask me, I'd rather depart from zip-ties. To minimize where possible, you see I run the wire+FD wire inside a sleeve that runs along the down tube.

    As long as the wire is of good quality, moisture and passing the cable inside are a one-off job
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    Route path sounds good. Definitely use good wiring, blasdelf thanks for the great lead on that wire. Running on a spoke on the inside of the blade is slick, I bet it's bombproof.
    If I were getting a new light today, it might be the edelux II, Schmidt Maschinenbau Homepage English
    I've sent my supernova to germany for the latest led and it's been perfect running year round commuting for 5 years straight. I always leave it on.
    Even though my avatar shows internally routed fork mounts, I chose not to do it on my last fork build, worried I'd weaken a disk fork. Better safe than sorry, and if the wire ever rotted out it'd be a pain.
    cheers
    andy walker
    Walker Bicycle Company | | Walker Bicycle Company
    Flickr: afwalker's Photostream
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    the condition of the wires on my rando bike is still pretty good after lots of water, sunlight and 3 x 1200k. Plenty of people run the wire through the fork blades without issue. The discussion on the framebuilders email list convinced me to go without an internal tube. For one thing, it would be nearly impossible to run a tube all the way to the steerer. The wire is not going to rot in such a way as to be inaccessible from both ends.
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Gattonero View Post
    can't see the need of connectors.

    The wire from the hubdynamo does reach the fr. lamp where the connectors for the re. lamp will start, disconnect from there and that's it. Around the headtube you're gonna have the wires out of the frame and forks anyway.
    Oh you're right, I was thinking back to the last time I did it where a friend of mine wanted a million ridiculous features all wired up nicely (his Karate Monkey ended up with 20 new brazeons!)

    It certainly also helps for people wiring internally in forks that the new generation of B&M lights (Eyc and Luxos so far) have connectors for everything instead of having the primary wire built into the light


    Quote Originally Posted by Gattonero View Post
    But if you ask me, I'd rather depart from zip-ties. To minimize where possible, you see I run the wire+FD wire inside a sleeve that runs along the down tube.
    I've tried that before and it never turned out anywhere near that good!

    What did you use for the sleeve?
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by blasdelf View Post
    ....
    I've tried that before and it never turned out anywhere near that good!

    What did you use for the sleeve?
    Is actually not one of the neatest I've done.
    We buy standard PVC sleeve and heat-shrink sleeve.

    The one you see there is the soft type of heat-shrink, good for electronics but expensive and not strong for a bike. Had run out of the PVC type.
    The PVC heat-shrink is perfect.

    For this use is ø6mm inside, good enough to have the cable going trough pretty easy, and the connectors (one by one) too.
    On the D/T you see the sleeve runs with the FD wire and the Re Lamp wire inside it. Once both wires are in, an even use of the heat-gun to shrink the sleeve and make it less bulky.
    I run the sleeve on the FD wire as it's got less travel, used less and needs less precision (relative bigger movement for one shift); one is not supposed to shrink the sleeve all the way, and the pvc makes the FD wire slide well enough
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    I posted my routing in another Dyno thread

    If using a cable rear disc the brake housing is a convenient place to hide the wiring for the rear light.
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    Apologies for the thread necromancy but better to keep the knowledge in one place.

    The last thing I have to do on the new bike is sort out the cabling and I was wondering if anyone had any other tips. Probably seems like I'm splitting hairs but if you're a real dork about it, the benefit of all the obsession is a setup that just works and pays back the effort put back into it for a very long time. I've got most of it worked out with a few gaps:

    1. Dynamo to front light - I plan to try the spoke idea mentioned above. My bike has full mudguards and a light mounted to the side on a small front rack (Nitto M12) so I will run the wire up the fork leg on the spoke, then inside the mudguard, then out of the mudguard adjacent to the light mount. The rear light wire coming from the front light will go back the way it came, inside the mudguard. There's a lot of going in and out so I'm going to have to find some nice small inline connectors.

    2. Front to seattube- previous bikes have had the cable routed down the downtube and then under the BB, which works fine but does require intermediate mounts / cable ties which I am keen to avoid where possible. Also the third bottle cage will get in the way. So my plan was to route the cable along the rear brake cable, which runs underneath the TT. It's a fixed gear so there are no derailer cables it could run along instead. I can't quite work out a neat way of getting the wire from the fork crown area to the rear brake cable. I could wind it around the front brake cable housing and then jump over to the rear one where the cables cross (using non-aero levers so the cables cross about level with the stem) but this could be messy. Alternatively, I did put a zip tie hose mount braze-on on the rear of the headtube with the thought that it would be a good place to fix the light cable, but it's also a good pump peg so I'm not bothered if I decide not to use it.

    3. Seattube to rear light - I will probably run the cable along the brake cable until the canti hanger, then run it vertically into the mudguard. It'll then run internally to the mudguard-mounted rear light.


    My own tips to help others afflicted by similar bouts of overthinking:
    • Aluminium sticky tape is the only thing that really works to stick wires inside of mudguards
    • If you wrap the cable tightly around a pencil it makes a nice little spring which is a good way to get from the fork crown to the downtube if you're routing it that way.
    • I always like to use a tiny cable tie to attach wires coming out of the lamp to the lamp mount with a little slack, for strain relief in case something gets yanked.
    • Have the cable running down the fork leg be a little too long, and cable tie it to form a small loop that hangs below the hub connection (which points downwards, rather than up). This way water running down the wire will drip off the end of the loop rather than gathering in the connector. This doesn't work so well with Shimano dynamo hubs which have an off-centre mount point which ends up awkwardly positioned when it's inverted, but is good for Schmidt ones.


    That's enough dorkery for now.
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    I think that if you're so keen, you should either get a frame made for this job, or update you existing one with braze-on entry/exit points for the wire. Won't cost much and the area to respray is limited
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    As I am doing my first build with Doug Fattic I am going to run my wife (meant, wire) inside the fork blades. But I need an "exit strategy"! How to exit the top of the blade and how to snake the wire. Thanks!
     

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Norton View Post
    As I am doing my first build with Doug Fattic I am going to run my wife inside the fork blades. But I need an "exit strategy"! How to exit the top of the blade and how to snake the wire. Thanks!
    Welcome Thomas. I fixed that for you in your post!

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    Welcome Thomas. I fixed that for you!
    A Freudian Slip, I think.

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    Default Re: hub dynamo wiring - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Norton View Post
    How to exit the top of the blade
    However you want. Out the top of the crown, through the crown and into the steerer, under the crown, through a brake boss. The convenience of each location depends on where the light where be mounted. Some dyno hubs can be run in either direction, think about that. You might find some inspiration here - Flickr: The Generator Hub Bicycle Lighting Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Norton View Post
    how to snake the wire
    Trial and error. Do be sure to make the hold big enough to use a grommet which will make things easier. If you get into a pickle you can use compressed air to blow a piece of thread through all sorts of twists and turns but I'd recommend planing the most direct route possible to avoid this frustrating step.

    Good luck!
    Jon Kendziera
    Jonny Cycles

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