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Showing 1-10 of 43 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 48 reviews
on July 17, 2011
This bike generator is a gem! I have five (count 'em 5) of these puppies and they have been working for over 4 years and doing a bang up job of providing outstanding lighting for three bikes in our family. I just bought 2 more from Amazon's original vendor for future projects. No, the plastic wheels have not worn out but go ahead and put "O" rings on them if it will make you feel better. It is a good idea however, to "lock" the jam nut on that spinner with a drop of penetrating lacquer.
I finally decided to write a review because there were only 3 good reviews and a couple of crummy ones written by people who apparently, did not know a whole lot about the product they had purchased. At the risk of raising the price, I'm here to tell you that this is the best buy and the best performing bottle generator available ANYWHERE, bar none! Even with the extra six bucks for shipping, it is a bargain.
IT IS IMPORTANT to understand that this well-built unit has two generating windings and that they share a common ground point at the case mounting bracket. The 2 windings are NOT in phase and they are intended to drive two separate lighting circuits! There are THREE electrical connections to this generator. One, marked "H" is for the headlight and this delivers ~12 VAC between the "H" terminal and the case/mounting ground bracket. The other one marked "T" is for the tail light and delivers ~3.6 VAC between the "T" terminal and the case/mounting ground bracket. These windings cannot be combined in any simple way, so don't try. If you do, in series they will "buck" each other, and in parallel they will load down each other. Those two terminals that you see, go to two separate windings of different thickness wire whose other ends share a common connection at the case mounting bracket.

Granted, the instructions are inadequate, but the product itself is superb.

To reiterate, THIS IS NOT A SIMPLE GENERATOR. It is actually two generators of differnt voltages and different capacities, in one package. If you drive incandescent lamps (a 12 V headlight and a 3 V tail light), you will have no problems except periodically replacing the burned out bulbs. Just remember that this is a THREE wire, dual lighting system. The Bike frame is the SINGLE return "wire" for each of the two lighting circuits and connects to the generator through a pointed set screw on the mounting bracet. The set screw is cranked in until it shatters the paint and galls itself into the frame by dimpling it. When fresh, the connection offers a relatively low resistance to current flow but over time, it loosens and corrodes and needs to be cleaned and retightened. Similar connections are provided on the headlight and the tail light.
In practice, I like to attach two well soldered wires to a single large ground lug and, using plated star lock washers, compress it securely onto the main mounting bolt right at the generator, where it will stay put and not deteriorate. Then, with the "H" and "L" terminal wires, I now have FOUR wires leaving the generator, a pair for the headlight and a pair for the tail light. Expect 12 VAC at ~ 0.480 Amps from the headlight circuit and 3.5 VAC at ~0.100 Amps from the tail light circuit. I prefer to run double wires to the lights, say 18 gauge to the tail light and 12 gauge to the headlight rather than the old fashioned and shakey practice of using set screws and the bike frame as the return conductor. Since we are using low voltages, speaker wire works just fine. It is super flexible, easy to find, and looks really spiffy.

THIS IS AN A.C. GENERATOR. So if you are using LED's, when you build your lightoliers, you will be best served by employing Schottky diode rectifiers, super caps, 2 parallel full wave series strings acting as reverse voltage snubbers, proper heat sinking and all the rest of the good stuff that makes for decent engineering. In short, you should really know what you are doing.
The GOOD NEWS is that a generator is ideally suited to power LED's. LED's need to be current regulated, period! An LED is a current SINK. A generator is a current SOURCE. If you set up your LED lightoliers so that they can handle the current output of your generator, the generator will automatically voltage limit to provide it's maximum design current. In other words, an LED headlight assembly that can absorb 750 ma. at 10 volts, will keep THIS generator output (to the // LED strings) at 10 volts up to 750 ma. of current draw. Because this is more than 6 Watts, you can't burn it out! The same design goes for the tail light assembly. Now this means that you will not get all of the lumens out of your LED's that they are capable of producing but you will get all of the light that this 6 watt generator will deliver. Take it from me, with the new Luxeon Stars this is a WHOLE LOT more than you will see from incandescents and your LED's will last longer than many bikeframes.
Write me for particulars about sources and configurations for DIY bike lightoliers. If you build your own, you can light up any trail on the darkest of nights and all the pavement and road signs for a block ahead when you're cruising in town. With such a capability always with you, your 24 hour bike riding gains spontaneity, true safety and becomes more fun. Instead of merely being seen, you can see as well as with a single car low beam, even at moderate speeds.

To recap, this generator will deliver the goods. Mechanically, the bracketting is twice as heavy as any 6 V bottle or those cheapy (but more expensive) 12 V combo packs you see. So disregard the naysayers and grab one of these babies while you can (the price keeps going up but the supply seems stable). Find a Radio HAM to help you if you need it, you won't be sorry and you'll make a new friend. A little timid? Consider the following: By adding approximately $80 in parts to the $34 you spend for AC power, you can easily put those $1600 OTC lighting systems to shame and have a bunch of fun in the bargain. The money and aggravation you would spend on batteries and charging schedules is soon repaid and you can feel as green as the eyes of those who watch you light up the night as you speed on by. KI6W
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on July 5, 2013
I wanted a bicycle headlight system that wouldn't eat batteries, so I read all the reviews and purchased this alternator (dynamo). I have not been disappointed. I have been using it for approximately two months with no issues at all.

The alternator is spring mounted to gracefully follow the irregularities of a tire, even on a crooked rim. Once mounted, this unit can be engaged and disengaged from the tire easily, meaning no light switch is needed. The instructions aren't real specific about how to do it. Disengagement is accomplished by pulling the alternator body away from the tire until a retaining latch clicks into place. Then there is a bare metal trigger which, when pushed, releases the alternator back against the tire. Be sure the alternator friction wheel is aligned true with the tire to prevent excess wear and drag.

The alternator puts out AC (alternating current) so make sure the light being used with it will work on AC. There are two separate circuits, 12 volt for headlight ('H' terminal) and 3.5 volts for a tail light ('T' terminal). The alternator case is the ground and the design was intended to ground through the bicycle frame. I recommend running dedicated ground wires from the alternator case to the lights, as I have done.

For my headlight, I gutted a cheap flashlight and replaced it's reflector with a 12 volt MR-16 LED outdoor spotlight. Then I hardwired it to the alternator. I uploaded photos to this product's page for anyone wishing to see them. I haven't used the tail light circuit yet because LED technology has become so good, the batteries in my present tail light last for months.
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on April 23, 2010
This is a Tung-Lin generator of the same style as that used in the Tung-Lin "bullet" headlight/taillight set. The bearings are of very good quality, and the body of the generator is metal--not plastic painted to look like metal as in cheaper units. I have two of these generators, one of which has been in use for well over a year. Its bearings feel just as smooth and friction-free as those of my second Tung-Lin, which I bought about a month ago. I had bought this second Tung-Lin generator replace a cheap (non Tung-Lin) generator with plastic bearings that had eventually melted!

There is only one shortcoming to the design of this generator: the drive wheel is made out of plastic, instead of metal. This means that the little ridges will wear out in normal use, and traction to the bicycle tire will be lost. To avoid this, I have used faucet repair o-rings (available at local hardware stores for about $0.25) stretched around the drive wheel to form a little "tire." This way, the o-rings make contact to the bicycle tire, instead of the generator's plastic drive wheel. The o-rings will wear out, but they are cheaply replaced. Had Tung-Lin put a metal drive wheel on their generator, I would have given the product five stars.

With the lights connected, I measure 16 VAC at the headlight terminal and 4 VAC at the taillight terminal at a frequency of about 150 Hz.
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on September 26, 2011
UPDATE4:
A tip. I found that to prevent the plastic friction wheel from wearing out, you need to align the friction wheel properly against the bike wheel.
Make sure that the vertical grooves on the friction wheel is aligned with the radius of the wheel. The problem is, depending
on your bike frame, sometime this is not possible.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE 3:
A warning! if your bike frame has an oval cross section instead of circular, you may not be able to properly install this dynamo.
One of my bikes has an oval cross section in the back and I could not install this dynamo there. I had to install it in the front.
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UPDATE 2:
I discovered that in the rain, the plastic friction wheel will wear much much faster than riding without the rain.
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UPDATE:

Just to let you know, this dynamo can handle the heavy rain very well. It just get better as I use it. You will never find
any bottle dynamo like this one.
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Wait for the price to come down before you buy. It should be about $17

I had a good feeling about this generator and it was confirmed when I received it. This generator has
that classic traditional look, so it does not look slick or high tech but it is rugged and it does deliver.
Everything the other reviewer B. E. Sharrow said about it is true. The metal bracketts that is used to mount
the bottle generator is maded of steel and is very strong. It has just the right voltage, Amps, and Watts
that it claim and is also what I am looking for. Yes, the drive wheel is made of plastic and other reviewers
fear that it will wear out but the plastic is hard and tough that I am not concern. Beside for my purpose
I want the drivewheel to spin as fast as possible so the "O" ring or the cap protector will not work for me.

And also No, there is no instruction but it is very obvious how to install this. But if you need help, there is
a blog for this purpose. I can not post a link here so just Google "Tung Lin Dynamo" and pick the link
that says "Bless This Bike: Do It Yourself, and if you CAN't...".. Also make sure you read B. E. Sharrow
review here. There are some useful info. there. Anyways one thing you might want to pay attention to is the
spring loaded lever that engage the dynamo. When you press that lever, the dynamo drivewheel should make
a quick snap, swinging it toward the tire. If it swings away from the tire, then you are not installing
it correctly. In this case, by switching the generator to the other side of the "fork" and fliping the
brackett over, you may arrive at a more correct orientation.

I have identified three different points on the bike that satisfy the above requirement. Of these, only
one is on the back wheel and it is on the left side of the bike - the side without the chain.
On the front wheel, if you mount it on the right, the generator must be in front of the front fork.
But if you mount it on the left front wheel, the generator must be behind the front fork.

Also to mount the generator on the front wheel, you must buy two longer bolts and nuts, if your front fork is too thick.
In my case, the size of the bolts is: Crown Bolts, Hex Bolt M6-1.0 x 40mm Zinc Plated CB# 35828
and the size of the nuts is: Crown Bolt, Hex Nuts M6-1.0 Stainless Steel CB#00188

This generator is the only brand that I found that is rated at 12V 6W. Most bike generators including the
hub ones are rated at 6V 3W. And with all the high tech stuff, I got the feeling these generators will not
be around for long.

-----------------------------------------------UPDATE----------------------------------------------------
I have been curious about the electrical characteristics of this dynamo. I decided to settle the issue. I deviced a way to
temporarily mount a multimeter on my bike and attached the test leads to the output terminals of the dynamo. In this way, as
I am ridding my bike, I can measure the AC voltage of the dynamo. Also with my bicycle computer, I can read off the speed at
the same time. Here is the results:
At 15km/hour, I got about 15V AC. At 20km/hours, I got about 24V AC (both without load). As far as the Amps, my meter does not
support AC Amps below 1Amp so I could not measure. Note, with a load connected, the voltage will drop considerably

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I mounted two of these on a mountain bike and connected them in parallel to get enough voltage (12V) and
Amp (1A) to charge a big laptop battery pack. It works like a charm. It will take about 8 to 10 biking
hours, but it does work.

So if you don't have access to the grid, and you must charge your power hungry laptop while biking and have it
ready for use at your destination, this is the best way (maybe even the only way) to do it.

Here is some dimensions of the generator bottle just in case you need them:

weigh: 0.75 lb. or 0.34Kg

Drive Wheel diameter: about 19mm or 0.74" which means at biking speed of 15km/hr or 10mile/hour it will
spin at about 4200 RMP

Lower Diameter: 4.46cm or 1.75"
Smaller Upper Diameter: 1.37cm or 0.54"

Total Heigh: about 11cm or 4.33"

Heigh of lower generator body: about 4.5cm or 1.77"
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on January 8, 2012
The Tung Lin Dynamo is top notch. The key to making it work is to understand how to connect wires to it. A shot in this video shows how to connect 2 wires so as not to use the bike as a ground. This video also contains lots of data on amperage and voltage output as comported to mph on 700cc wheels. Finally, at the end, A short clip shows you that a 3 4w LED light bulbs wired in parallel off of the headlight port makes a fantastics bicycle light. Buy this, build a light, you'll love it!
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on February 1, 2013
Ok, this will a triple hitter review for Amazon and merchants.

I installed a 35 cc Honda motor for motor assist on a trike. (3 wheel bicycle, which is legal in Arizona) When I priced some of the better LED lights for bikes, was rather appalled at the prices. After thinking a bit, I ordered from BikeWorldUSA the "2" Bike | Bicycle Dynamo Generator 12V 6W", (manufacturer does not recommend using this for motorized bicycles, but my speeds will not be above 15 mph) then for lights I purchased some of the Torchstar 4x LED MR16 7000K Cool White Spotlight 12V 4W (330 Lumen - 50 Watt Equivalent) 45 Degree.

The 12 V LED lights are rated for 4 watts each, the 12 V dynamo/generator produces 6 watts. So for three of the 4 watt LED lights, there is no danger of too many watts over powering the 3 LED lights. Once in hand, I tested the three LED lights powered by the dynamo/generator with a multi tester at 15 mph and all was within rated parameters.

I now needed housings for mounting the LED lights, after research on Amazon, ordered from Amazon LLC three of the "Paradise GL22724BK Low-Voltage Cast-Aluminum 20-Watt Halogen Spot Light with Glass Lens, Black". I could not be happier with them, removed the halogen bulbs and the MR16 LED lights inserted and fit like a snug glove, with the lens tightened and just touching, preventing any forward movement of the light.

With the Paradise's rugged cast aluminum housing and their angles being adjustable, they will be a snap to mount 2 on the front with clear glass lens and 1 in rear with a darkened red lens for tail light

My thanks to Vinh Vuong and other's reviews for pointing me in the right direction for obtaining a great set of bike lights: http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A17DBZB18Y7QLW/ref=cm_cr_pr_auth_rev?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview
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on February 13, 2015
This is kind of a poor picture of what you get because I actually received the full Tung Lin 12V/6W Dynamo kit, including headlight, headlight bracket, tail light, tail light bracket, and wiring. Now, the lights themselves are not GREAT like the bulbs just kind of jam in next to wires and they're not really weatherproof at all BUT they do work and they're kind of attractive.
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on March 8, 2017
works awesome. lights up all my leds on my bike.
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on July 6, 2015
Very happy with this. They sent me the package that included front and rear lights. I'll be pairing it with a circuit board to charge external phone batteries. One of a half dozen pending projects, no, wait, more like a dozen . . .
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on August 18, 2012
Bought this generator and three of these:
LED MR16 7000K Cool White Spotlight 12V 4W (440 Lumen - 50 Watt Equivalent) 45 Degree Beam angle

Mounted the Generator on the Rear Frame.
Mounted TWO of the 12v 4w LED lights on the Front on the handle bars.
Modified the Rear Reflector and inserted the third 12v 4w LED into it.

Note: The LED lights don't come with any type of mounting hardware.
Use your imagination. Create your own housing or mounting solution for the lights. =)

Note: Marked on the back of the generator are the letters "T" and "H"
H is for Head light, 12v Positive.
T is for Tail light, 3v Positive.
For Ground (-) negative, run a wire from the mounting brackets or the tap screw (none hex) of the generator.
Or you can connect it to your bike frame, but running a direct wire from the generator's mounting brackets or tap screw
is more reliable.

I ran network cable from the generator, along the frame, and to the handle bar of the bike.
(Why? because I had a spare network cable laying around.)
A network cable has 4 pairs of wires.
I connected two pair to the "H" for 12v.
I connected one pair to the "T" for 3v.
The last pair I connected to the screw on the mounting bracket for my ground (-) connection.

With this setup, I still had extra connections available if I want to expand.

Note: These 3 LED lights have peg type terminals, but it does NOT matter where the positive or negative wires connected to.
As long as there is one positive to one terminal and one negative to the other terminal, the LED will come on when power
is generated. No worries about reversing the polarity.

I connected all 3 LED lights in parallel, which allows turning off each light individually if a switch is added to the setup.
All 3 LED lights come on even when riding at low speeds.
While riding at night, the lights provide good visibility in front of the bike.
This setup also makes the bike highly visible by others at night.

I would recommend this product to anyone who likes DIY projects.
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