|Metal Rod||2x Magnet|
|String||Red LED (1.6v)|
|Optional Green (2.2v) and Blue (3.8v) LED|
- Hot Glue Gun
- Wire Stripper
- Electrical Tape
Step 1: Building the Housing
Step 2: Wrapping the Wire
If you don’t have another person with you, don’t worry, you can just do it yourself by holding tension with your one hand and wrapping it around the housing.
If you have a spool already cut to the right length then keep wrapping the wire around the housing until you are out. If you do not have a spool that is cut to the right length then you will need to count. The goal is to get at least 300 wrappings. If you have less than this it would be ok, you’ll just have to spin the magnets faster to create more volts. If you decide you want me volts then wrap more than 300. The number of times around the housing will determine the volts, the gauge of the wire will determine the amps.
How do you calculate how much wire you will need for your generator? First calculate the perimeter of the housing. In our case we know that this is 8 inches because that’s how long of a piece we cut.
So we would calculate 8 inches X 300 and we get 2400 inches, if we want to find out how many feet this is we then divide this by 12. 2400/12 = 200 feet of copper wire.
Once you have finished wrapping the wire tape off the end and leave some wire for the other lead as we did for the other end. Your generator should look like the following picture, except with more wrappings of copper wire.
Grab a piece of sand paper or something rough and start scraping the ends of the wires. You only need to sand an inch or two. We folded a small piece of sandpaper and place the wire in-between it and pulled so sand down two sides at once. Keeping sanding until the wire is so no longer shiny. Be careful to not sand too hard as the wire is very thin and can break.
When you have finished sanding the copper wire next you will insert the metal rod.
Step 3: Metal Rod and Magnets
Make sure to look at the position of the rod at different angles when pushing through the other side to make sure that it is in the center of the other wall as well.
Once you have pushed it through spin the rod around a bit until it is easier to spin and moves somewhat freely, but not too much that it wiggles.
Spin the rod slowly around checking to make sure that the magnets are centered and do not hit the sides or ends of the housing. When you have gotten the magnets in a good spot then go ahead and secure them to the rod. We used hot glue and dripped it down in-between the two magnets to the metal rod. The other way that might work is to use tape and wrap it around, this worked for a bit when we tried it, but wasn’t the best.
Once you have the magnets secured to the rod then your generator is complete. If you have access to a voltmeter or multi-meter then you can hook it up to it and see how many volts you are generating.
Step 4: Add LED and String
When you are done it should like something like this:
Go ahead and spin the rod and see if you are able to light up the LED. If it doesn’t light up right away, don’t worry. Try to spin it very quickly and check for a flicker of light. If you are not sure if it works you could hook it up to a drill and spin it with that to see if your connections are good.
Wind up of the string either by hand or by spinning the rod while holding tension on the string. Pull the string out quickly and watch the LED light up. You will notice that the string will want to start winding back up the other way, if you let it you can pull again and again and again.
If you would like to see a working version of this generator, watch: