For more projects like this, check out www.thekingofrandom.com
Step 2: Household Items
1. A cordless drill
2. Anything you can find to help secure it in place and spin it by hand.
* A piece of wood 2"x4"
* Some yarn
* 1 mixing beater
* 1 salad fork
* A piece of aluminum foil
* Some Scotch tape
Step 3: One More Thing You'll Need
Look for an old phone charger you might have, and cut it in half. We just need the piece that plugs into the phone. You could even use a USB charger cable like the one I found.
Inside the cable you should see 4 wires. White, Green, Red and Black. The Red and Black ones are the only ones we'll need for this project.
Note: For this project I used an old Blackberry Pearl. If you are using a smart phone, the white and green wires may need to be shorted out or connected to a "dummy load" to get a successful result. (I haven't tested this method yet but have had feedback from other viewers suggesting this is the case)
Step 4: Making a Hand-Crank Generator
Step 2: Use the aluminum foil to fashion make-shift wires that connect to the terminals. (Salvaged copper wire is even better if you can find some).
Step 3: Secure your drill to a surface like a piece of 2"x4" with the trigger pressed "on". I used plenty of yarn to hold it down tight.
Note: The trigger needs to be on, and the torque setting at it's highest.
Step 4: Insert the mixing beater into the drill chuck and make sure it's tightened so the beater won't come out.
Step 5: Add the salad fork through the mixing beater to act as a crank handle, and hook up your charger cable. Hook the red wire to the positive lead, and the black wire to the negative lead.
Note: Polarity DOES matter! If your battery isn't charging, you've probably got the polarity reversed. You can either switch the cables, or set your drill to reverse and crank the opposite direction. This will reverse the polarity you generate and should fix the problem.
Step 5: We've Got Power!
The little plug symbol on this phone appears at around 5 volts, and shows that it's charging. I decided to crank just fast enough to keep the charging symbol displayed, to reduce the risk of over voltage. On my drill, a cranking speed of 100 RPM yielded about 5 volts DC.
I used some clamps to secure the device to a desk for better leverage. Shorting out the leads on my multimeter returned a value of 5-6 volts at 7-8 amps. That's a 40 watt human powered hand crank generator!
The faster and harder you can crank the drill, the higher the voltage, and more amperage you can extract.
Ideally, this could be hooked up to a bike, water power, or even a windmill to generate effortless energy. And if done carefully, the energy could be stored in a battery for later use!
Step 6: Results
In retrospect, I think it would have been more efficient to spend 15 minutes cranking a larger current into a large 6 volt battery, and then charging the phone from that. But hey, you do what you can with what you have.
The charger illuminated an incandescent flashlight bulb, a super bright white LED, and there was even enough power to convert water into fuel with the OxyHydrogen generator made in a previous project!
Step 7: Other Projects
If you missed the video, you can still see it here!
If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others. Check them out at www.thekingofrandom.com