For this project I refined some of the lessons I've learned building (or trying to build) bike generators in the past in an attempt to build one that was quiet, less obtrusive in our living space, and capable of being used by a bicycle without any modifications or additions to the bicycle. The Table is flipped over onto its side when you need to use the generator and functions as a front wheel rest to stabilize and balance the bike. I built the pedal generator and the table cover from scrap wood and a treadmill that I found in the trash out on the street. For power storage and use I used a Deep Cycle Marine Battery and a 400 Watt Inverter I purchased from Harbor Freight. I also built a voltage regulator using some electrical components from scraps and  I realize that painting it wasn't quite as green as leaving it au naturale, but I figured the paint would help prevent the wood from rotting and having to build another one. While the generator stand is made from scrap materials I found I did buy the battery and the inverter, as well as some of the components for the Voltage Regulator I couldn't find in E-Waste. I connected the generator input voltage to a Deep Cycle Marine Battery and Inverter through a diode and Voltage Regulator that I made.

I attached the Voltmeter where the Battery typically would be. I did the little backwards pedal hiccup halfway through to show why a heavy flywheel sort of thing is great to have an a pedal powered generator, it helps get the spinning smooth. The reason the Voltage stays up after I finish pedalling is the inverter holding a bit of the charge in a capacitor somewhere I guess. The beep at the end is me turning the inverter on so it drains the little bit of residual it had in its system. Normally the plastic tub with the battery and electronics is inside the house, I just moved it out so the video would be easier to shoot, the cord goes in a slot under the door usually. 
Finding The treadmill a while back was definitely the impetus for this project. While they aren't something one sees everyday out in the trash, they aren't too hard to come by if you keep your eyes open(and watch craigslist too).I have built bike generators before with broken cordless drills and they are very noisy(best case scenario as loud as a drill), also the drill can't support or balance the weight of a bicycle and that required a stand of some sort to rest bicycle pegs in. I fixed both those problems in this iteration.

I hope in the future to build a charge controller to add to the system so I can add some solar panels and/or a wind turbine generator to power the battery(or in future batteries). I'm currently working an a charge controller design I found at http://mdpub.com/555Controller/ . My electrical work is pretty novice so if you notice any ways you feel the voltage regulator could run better please feel free to let me know.

Step 1: Materials and Tools Used


Scrap Wood (I used mostly 2X4's, some 1X6's, some 2X6 scraps and 1X4's, a scrap piece of plywood, and I made the legs of the table from scrap 2X6, it was based mostly on what I could find in dumpsters/outside construction sites)

EverStart 12VDC Deep Cycle Marine Battery 101 Amp Hours

Parts from Treadmill
   -DC Motor (motors vary from treadmill to treadmill, this one is rated for 90V continuous duty so it will definitely be able to take the spinning of the bicycle. I hope one day to use this in some sort of wind powered generator, but for now in our small apartment scenario its the bike generator
   -Freewheel that screwed onto the shaft of the motor. If the DC motor from your treadmill has one attached to the shaft that the belt sits on ( and most I've seen do) then you're in luck. The freewheel helps the wheel keep spinning if you "hiccup" while pedalling, and smooth out the spin.
   -2 rollers (the rollers that came off the treadmill can support of a lot of weight, and also one is already set up to spin the rubber belt that the motor used to use to turn it.)
   -rubber belt
Paint- Get Creative with it! I painted mine with some cans leftover from other projects, so it it would look better and also be protected from the moisture and sun here in New Orleans
Assorted Screws

Parts for Voltage Converter
LM317 Adjustable Voltage Regulator
100 ohm resistor
1K ohm resistor
Processor Heat Sink and Fan taken from broken Desktop Computer Motherboard

Tools Used
Cordless Drill with bits
Pencil for marking Holes and Cuts
Hand Saw
Table Saw (You can do the project with just a hand saw but I had the opportunity to use a Table Saw to Cut the Boards for the Table to go over the generator so it definitely saves some time/energy)

<p>if the treadmill doesnt work or if belt is removed will it work for this system?</p>
<p>what is the O/P voltage of this entire project and what are the house hold appliances that can be run with this</p>
<p>is the wattage output dependent on the inverter or the wattage rating of the motor?</p>
Great project. Last time we had a Hurricane, we lost power for a week. Looks like I've got another project to add to the Que. I like the dino watering can in the last photo, too!
<p>If you've got a car alternator, that can work also and it has a built in regulator.</p>
hmm. I've been wanting to mod one of my old bikes to work as a stationary trainer...Wife says if I want a stationary bike, I have to get rid of the treadmill first....Pretty sure she means &quot;craigslist it for a couple hundred bucks....&quot; but she didn't specifically *say* I couldn't break it down and modify it (in the process, killing roughly three birds with one stone). <br> <br>...Isn't your voltage regulator about the size of a (square) nickel, tho? That's a pretty big heat sink if so...I guess you need to go big to mount that fan on it...I'd be curious whether you could do it with a smaller sink &amp; no fan. <br> <br>I have an old Triton charger in my toolbox (looks like this one http://www.rctech.net/forum/r-c-items-sale-trade/497824-fs-triton-battery-charger-nimh-nicd-lipo-pb.html) from when I had time to build RC planes...wonder if I could replace the whole breadboard contraption with something like that...Although, if I recall, if power drops out to the Triton, it forgets the active configuration... <br> <br>Anyway...you've got me thinking about tearing things apart, so nice project. :)
Thanks! Yea the heat sink is pretty large for the voltage regulator, but I was concerned with heat dissipation from the smaller ones I've dumpster dived( dumpster dove?) so I went to the next bigger one I had, and figured the fan would be a plus. perhaps I'll pick up another regulator next time I'm at the store and try charging it with a small heat sink and see if it pops it or not, because as I learned when my cat attacked a prototype was i charging and knocked the sink off, it definitely needs some form of heat dissipation. and also to be properly shielded from feline interference!
So after building this I realized there are some other adjustable voltage regulators that maybe better for this project than the LM317 because they allow for a higher current flow out to the battery. While they aren't as easy to get as the LM317, they can still be orderd online. I'll have to try getting my hands on one and switching it out at some point in the future and report how that affects performance.
Plus fav for the colors. This build will come in handy for the next blackout or ehh zombie apocalypse :D
wow! This is really too cool!
I know my comment will seem pointless but I love the colors you you used for this project. <br> <br>Thanks for posting.
Not pointless at all! thanks!

About This Instructable




More by KlockworkKevin:DIY Prescription Safety Goggles! (plus a few extras) Glove Mounted Soldering Station Bike Generator Patio Furniture Made from Recycled Materials w/ Voltage Regulated Battery Charging System 
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