New Revolution review

Thanks to Doug Migden for relying on his Revolution during the Giro Ciclistico delle Repubbliche Marinare, a 2200 km brevet in Italy!  You can check out his review on crazyguyonabike.com:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/reviews/board/message/?thread_id=582103

or just read it here:

On June 1 of this year I completed the inaugural Giro Ciclistico delle Repubbliche Marinare, a 2200 kilometer brevet in Italy. In 2012 I finished the 1625 km 1001 Miglia without GPS navigation. Navigating that 2012 event by cue sheet alone was a nightmare so I decided to use GPS navigation in 2014. After purchasing a Garmin 800 it became apparent that powering the Garmin for 2200 kilometers would be an issue. Fellow Seattle Randonneurs had bad experiences with another brand of USB charger frying their Garmin due to excess power output. However, David Dean, the owner of Sinewave who is also an electrical engineer, assured me his charger would not harm my GPS or any other device because it was designed to prevent excess power output. I then purchased a Revolution primarily to charge the Garmin 800 in Italy. For me the Revolution was perfect. The Revolution weighs a mere 37 grams and measures 14x35x54 mm in size. It was easy to use, small, lightweight, durable, and completely reliable. On my 2200 km brevet it was worth its weight in gold so I think the $120 price tag is quite fair. Additional product specifications are available on the Sinewave website at http://www.sinewavecycles.com

My Revolution has been mostly used with a Schmidt SONdelux dynamo and Anker mini lipstick sized external battery, with pass through charging, in conjunction with an Edelux II headlight which is piggybacked onto the Revolution. I have also used the Revolution with Schmidt SON 28 and wide body SONdelux dynamos. I have not found any practical difference in using the Revolution on these three models of Schmidt dynamos. I was concerned that the SONdelux might not have enough power output to charge and use the light at the same time based on information from Peter White, the US distributor for Schmidt. However, the SONdelux did just fine powering both the Edelux II and Revolution at the same time, even when climbing, throughout the 2200 brevet in Italy and on a prior 1000 km brevet. I was also concerned that the wide body SONdelux might not allow for enough room between the hub and fork for the piggyback connector set; however, I used a wide body hub on the 1000 km event and this was not a problem.

I do recommend using an external battery and pass through charging in conjunction with the Revolution for two reasons. First, the Garmin 800 has visual and audible warnings when an external power source turns off. When one stops or slows down below the power output threshold these warnings are activated which is both annoying and distracting. Pass through charging eliminates this issue. Second, it's nice to have a fully or mostly charged external battery ready to go at all times if a smartphone or other USB charged device needs juice when the bike is not moving.

The Revolution has gold plated contacts and is sealed in epoxy so water is not a problem with the charger itself - although getting the Garmin's connection contacts or innards wet is a concern. The same concern applies to external batteries. The work around is to disconnect the Revolution and external battery from the Garmin during periods of heavy rain and hope the rain stops before the Garmin's charge is depleted. I'm currently having a custom vinyl cover made that will act as a type of protective awning and attach to my handlebar bag. Time will tell how that works out. Another rain option is to carry a back-up Garmin for the all day and night type of prolonged downpours. There were only a few downpours on the 2200 km brevet and I only had to disconnect power a few times, for a few hours or less each time, in order to keep the Garmin completely sealed up and dry. However, the Revolution USB charger itself will not fail when wet.

The Revolution performed flawlessly throughout the 2200 km brevet which was completed in just under 7.5 days. The event was long and hard and it was totally sweet to not have any GPS or phone charging worries. As such, the Sinewave Revolution USB charger gets my highest recommendation.




David Dean
David Dean

Author