This is an improvised DC generator I built from an old gas-powered lawn edger and a permanent magnet DC motor. The inspiration behind this generator was to have a cheap way to charge up my battery banks on days when the weather is cloudy and calm, and my solar panels and wind turbine aren't providing much energy. It was a really quick, easy and cheap project. I got the lawn edger for only $5 at a yard sale. The permanent magnet motor came from an auction for another $5. The total cost of the project was only a little over $20! So far I have the output of the generator up to 10 Amps at 12 Volts. Further tinkering may improve that. This instructable will explain how I built it.

My eventual goal is to convert the generator to running on wood gas from my home-made biomass gasifier project. Stay tuned for that.

You can learn more about this project and all my other projects on my web site.

Step 1: Obtaining the Gas Engine

Below are two photos of the 3 Horsepower edger I bought at a yard sale for only $5! It's not much of a looker, but it starts easy and runs great. I would have preferred to have about a 5 Horsepower engine, but at only $5, I couldn't pass this thing up.

I wanted a gasoline engine I could experiment with converting over to running on wood gas from my wood gasifier. Aside from just getting the motor running on wood gas, I wanted it to do something useful, do I decided to build a generator. I'll keep my eyes open for a cheap 5 horse or bigger engine to play with in the future. 

The edger is rusty and dirty, but basically sound. I almost didn't buy it because I couldn't get it to start at the yard sale. It seemed to have good compression though, so I took a chance for only $5. It tuned out I had the choke lever in the wrong position. Once I figured out the choke, it starts every time on about the 2nd pull and runs strong. It does vibrate pretty badly though. Something is out of balance on it. I'll live with it, considering the price