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FAQs The Plug III

General Use

1. What is the Plug III?
The Plug III is an independent USB power supply which is powered by a bicycle hub dynamo.

2. What isn't the Plug III?
The Plug III is not a battery charger. The charging functionality is made available by the respective user device. Nevertheless, device operated with two battery cells or batteries (model AAA) usually do not support charging but only operating via the USB port.

3. How can I use the Plug III?
The Plug III is very easy to use; you only need to connect your devices power cable (USB type A) to the connector of the Plug III.

4. What is the Plug III's range of application?
The ranges of application are bicycle tours of all kind. There are no restrictions of usability, it can be installed on trekking-, city-, road-, racing- or mountain bikes.

5. Can I use the Plug III on my E-bike?
No. The Plug III is powered by alternating current delivered by a dynamo hub. Therefore it is not possible to connect it to the direct-current supply of an e-bike battery.

6. Why doesn't the Plug III come with an integrated buffer battery?
Batteries tolerate neither very high nor very low temperatures and therefore shouldn't be used or kept outside in cold winter or blazing sun. That's why we developed a mobile buffer battery, the Smart Power Pack II that can interconnect the Plug III and your device. It can also be charged at a wall socket and can be easily removed from your bicycle to be taken for example into your tent on longer journeys.

7. Is there a buffer battery?
Yes. The cinq buffer battery "Smart Power Pack II" has been developed to perfectly work with the Plug III. More information can be found on our homepage.

8. Can I use the Plug III and a dynamo lighting system at the same time?
Yes, if light and plug are connected in parallel. However it is important to consider the doubled need for power if Plug and light work at the same time. We therefore recommend to operate them in "either or" mode.

9. Is the Plug III protected against theft?
Yes. Due to its bolted connection to the ahead expander, it cannot be taken away easily.

Mobile Devices

1. With which devices can I use the Plug III?
The Plug III works with basically every gadget that can be charged or operated via USB. This is the bigger part of mobile phones, mp3-players and GPS-gadgets. Unfortunately it is not possible for us to test every device, due to the high number of different brands and types. Please determine your devices characteristics on USB charging with the manufacturer.

2. Can I charge more than one gadget at the same time?
Yes, but you need a multi-plug. Further, the power demand of all devices combined cannot be higher than the power provided by the Plug III at given speed. See the diagram below for further information.

3. Do I need a special cable to charge my gadget?
No. Any cable with a type a connector that fits your gadget as well can be used if you can also charge your device from a USB PC-port or wall socket with it.

4. Is my gadgets state of charge of any relevance?
Yes. A fully charged smartphone needs significantly less power than a smartphone that charges itself at the same time. Therefore you can use the Plug III from lower operating speeds on.

5. Can I just charge my gadget without using it?
Yes. If you are only charging your gadget, we recommend turning it off to accelerate the charging process. The charging capacity depends on your device and its battery cell.

6. Can I operate the Plug III incorrectly and damage my device?
No, as long as your device meets the USB standards.

7. Does an interrupted charging process (stop and go traffic) damage my battery cell?
Not if your gadgets battery is a recent lithium-ion or -polymer cell. They indeed have a certain amount of load cycles, but it is irrelevant if you charge them in one go or in little steps. If recurrent gadget requests however annoy you, we recommend using our buffer battery "Smart Power Pack II", which allows uninterrupted charging of your device. For more information see our homepage.

Technical Information

1. Can I turn off the Plug III?
No. The Plug III needs practically no power if you disconnect your gadget.

2. What does it mean when the green LED is on?
The continuously shining green LED indicates an applied voltage of 5V at the USB connector, i.e. the Plug III is provided with enough power from the dynamo and either working or ready to work.

3. What's the meaning of a flashing LED?
The Plug III checks the power provided by the dynamo in certain intervals, and whether it's sufficient to power your end-gadget. If this is not the case, the Plug III will turn off and check again after a few seconds. Generally, a flashing LED indicates that you are driving to slow to power your gadget. Also pay attention to the increased amount of power needed if your lights are turned on.

4. At what speed does the Plug III start working?
This really depends on various elements, e.g. your hub dynamo. The USB voltage of 5V is provided from the speed of about 5km/h if you use a 6V/3W hub dynamo and 26" wheels. The actual functionality strongly depends on your end-device and its power consumption. The approximate speed for GPS-gadgets is 10km/h, but some of the tested, power hungry smartphones started charging at around 20 km/h. The adequate speed for your gadgets power requirement can be taken from the diagram under point 6. If you still want to use the amount of power delivered at low speeds or if you have an extremely power demanding device, we recommend using our buffer battery "Smart Power Pack II", which can charge itself from 7km/h! For more information see our homepage.

5. How much power does the Plug III provide?
The power provided by the Plug III depends on your bicycles speed and the resulting output of the dynamo. You can see the speed and the corresponding output power in the diagram beneath. A Standard 6V/3W hub dynamo and 26" wheels were used for this chart.

Note:

  • The Plug III's output Voltage is always 5V (USB nominal voltage).
  • The USB nominal current of 500mA at 5V is provided from 12km/h. For most gadgets, this is the maximum charging current. Higher speeds will not charge them faster.

6. Can I charge my IPhone or other smartphone on the Plug III?
Yes, without any special cable. The exact functionality of your device depends on its power requirement. If your smartphone shouldn't charge, please see point 8. Tablet computers are often not suited for charging via the Plug III, due to their enormous power demands.

7. How long does it take to charge my smartphone?
As long as it would charge via your computers USB connector. The Device orients itself towards the USB standard of 500mA at 5V. You can also charge your smartphone on the Plug III in its high-speed mode (like on a wall outlet) by using a customary USB adapter with bridged data lines as for example EAN: 4260220076827 respectively ASIN: B004IKTYXM (Amazon). Please pay attention to the fact that the output power needed for your specific device has to be provided by your riding speed. (see point 6).

8. My smartphone doesn't charge on the Plug III, even at adequate speeds!
It rarely occurs that a single Smartphone model cannot be charged at all or only very slowly, due to the manufacturers USB configuration. In this case, we recommend using a customary USB adapter with bridged data lines as for example EAN: 4260220076827 respectively ASIN: B004IKTYXM (Amazon).

9. Is the Plug III splash proof or water proof?
The Plug's electronics are waterproof sealed, the USB connector is protected against spray water. Steam-jets must not be used to clean the Plug!

10. Is the Plug III with plugged in device waterproof?
Water- or splashproofness is not given if a device is connected to the Plug, due to the open connectors on both sides of the cable.

11. Is it a problem if my Plug III's USB-connector shows a little surface rust?
No. The metal part of the connector can start to oxidize, depending on weather conditions and area of use. However, the appearance of a rust film does not affect the connector's functionality. For cleaning purposes, a cotton bud soaked with alcohol can be used. Further, always protect your connector with the dust cap if no cable is plugged in.

Assembly

1. In which bicycles can I install the Plug III?
It can be mounted on any bicycle with 1 1/8" stem and a hole in the fork crown to route the cable. The Plug III is not compatible with "Speedlifters", as they prevent proper routing of the cable.

2. Which hub dynamos can be used to power my Plug III?
The dynamo should provide a power of 3W at a voltage of 6V. Hub dynamos with the mentioned specifications work best with the plug, whereas older sidewall dynamos or models with an output of 1,5W should not be used.

3. How do I connect the Plug III to my dynamo?
The Plug has to be installed in parallel to your front light, as it won't work with turned off lights otherwise.

4. Can I carry out the assembly myself?
Yes, with a little bit of craft talent and the tools according to the installation instructions this should be no problem.

5. What's important about the assembly?
The Plug III should be mounted with the USB-connector facing the front. This ensures maximum protection of your Plug III in case of your bike falling over. You also need to hold the Plug III in its position if you turn your handlebar for transportation. If the Plug is turning together with the handlebar, the cable might be damaged or snap.

6. Do I need special tools to fit the Plug III?
No. Just pay attention to our YouTube tutorial on retrofitting / removal of the star fangled nut.

7. Is there a special star fangled nut available?
Yes. There is a headset expander with a cable tunnel to route the cable inside the steer tube included in delivery. Please pay attention to the retrofitting / removal of the star fangled nut.

8. Can I still adjust the headset easily?
Yes, you can adjust the headset as usual.