Keeping your headset powered.

#1
Hi all,
I am starting my preparations for next year's RBLR1000 and want to get my kit in order.
I have Shark Evo ES helmet with the Shark built-in speakers kit. It only quotes an 8 hour run time and you can't change the battery.
I'm also considering a helmet-mounted Gopro. The battery in this will definitely not last for 18+ hours worth of highlights, no matter how little I run it.
Both of these have USB (C and mini) charging ports.
Has anyone tried carrying a USB battery pack in their jacket, or on the bike and run a permanent feed cable up to their helmet?
If so, can anyone recommend a suitable pack or other solution that they have found lasts and is robust enough?
Cheers
Ralph
 

Bugs

New Member
#2
I carry an Anker 20100. At 12.4 oz, it's aptly named ("anchor"). Dimensions: 6.5" x 2.5" x 0.875". It has 2 USB outputs and a microUSB charging input. I've read that newer versions come with a USB-C output port. It includes a form-fit mesh case that I use to carry the cables. The model number is the energy rating: 20,100 mAh.

Though it's big and heavy, it will power my Cardo Packtalk Slim for days and still charge my Samsung 8S+ smartphone several times. One downside is that if the battery is low, it takes half a day to charge up. The smooth rounded edges are more comfortable than smaller square (sharp-cornered) units I've tried. While riding, I don't notice it sitting in an inner jacket "vest" pocket.

This model has been around since at least 2018 when I got mine. There probably are better options available now, but this Anker has been very reliable.

I have a GoPro Hero 7 Black. GoPro says it uses a 1220 mAh battery that will last ~90 minutes recording 1080p60 video. At that power consumption rate, the Anker could power the GoPro for about 24 hours.
 

EricV

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#4
I don't see any reference to it in the Shark user's manual that's online, but some internally helmet mounted systems will not allow charging during use. (Caution over the lithium battery getting too hot, etc.) Over the life of your unit, the battery will perform better over time if you only charge it when it's low, rather than leaving it plugged in, but that's sort of a variable and minor issue, imho.

Test your Shark comm set up in the garage if you can to see if it will operate while being plugged in for charging. At that point, the external battery, (power bank), would not need to be that large to re-charge it while riding.

On the GoPro - Have you worn that on your helmet for 18-24 hours strait? You may discover the added weight and wind drag will add to fatigue levels over that extended period. I would offer that you mount it to the bike and power it from the bike.

I use a Sena 20S Evo mounted on the outside of the helmet and when I get the low charge warning, I stop briefly and plug it into the bike. I have not found the cord to be an issue while riding. You can get 90º plug end cords from a variety of sources as well, if that would work better for your set up. Typically it charges well while being used. The Shark suggests 2 hour charge time, 8 hours run time. Meaning you would use it until it was charged, plug in and a couple hours later be fully charged again and could un-plug for another ~8 hours before repeating the process. On rally time, I would preemptively plug in when I was already stopped for a bonus or fuel and knew I was getting close to end of charge to avoid a separate stop.
 
#5
I've been using an Anker Astro E1, 6700 mAh battery bank (3.8 × 1.7 × 0.9in, 4.4oz), since 2019. When I get an indication that my Bluetooth battery is getting low, I plug it into the Anker, which I keep in my pocket. When the BT is recharged, if necessary, I plug the Anker into the bike to recharge. I typically never lose BT capability.
 

Stephen!

Fly Guy
Premier Member
IBA Member
#6
I've been using an Anker Astro E1, 6700 mAh battery bank (3.8 × 1.7 × 0.9in, 4.4oz), since 2019. When I get an indication that my Bluetooth battery is getting low, I plug it into the Anker, which I keep in my pocket. When the BT is recharged, if necessary, I plug the Anker into the bike to recharge. I typically never lose BT capability.
We used to it that way (wait until the warning to start charging) until the time we were just getting into a frog choker of a thunderstorm when the internal battery on the Sena said "I have had enough". Now we start the day plugged into the pocket battery and only unplug if the rain starts pouring hard. That still leaves us with ~6 hours of internal battery life to find a way out of the worst of the rain before we need to plug in again.