If you've even included digital logic, analog chips, or a microcontroller into a project there's a good chance you've had to find a way to provide 5V DC to your circuit. There are few primary sources of 5V, so you can use a wall wart to convert AC power (which obviously limits where you can take your new gadget) or you can spend extra time building a regulator circuit to get multiple 1.5V batteries to the needed voltage. These solutions are required for some circuits, but for smaller gadgets, wouldn't it be nice to have an always-ready supply so you can go straight to working on other aspects of the project?
By adding a few electronic components to a widely available dynamo flashlight, you can power small devices for short periods without using up outlets or batteries. The improved dynamo is great for the workbench or showing off new projects just about anywhere.
This Instructable covers how to assemble and install a step-up DC-DC converter that turns the varying low voltage of the keychain dynamo's generator into a constant 5V. The step-up circuit charges a large capacitor which provides energy storage and some power even when the dynamo isn't turning.
By following the steps in this Instructable, you can accomplish all this without manufacturing a special circuit board or using hard-to-solder surface mount components. To get the electronic parts inside the keychain case requires some circuit origami, but after about an hour of tinkering you will have a neat device that can source up to 50 milliamps of current at a constant 5V DC while winding and milliwatts of power for minutes after!