No outlet in sight? Do not worry pull out your very own USB Dynamo (wind up) Charger! Going Green could not have been so easy! This is a step by step guide on how to Build, Test, and Perfect your Green USB Dynamo! Please don't forget to Rate and Vote on the Pocket-size Contest.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 2: The Options:

Options are good. Looking online there are many ways to build a dynamo charger. Some good and some bad. (very very bad) Here are some of the best options:

1) Dynamo charger plus an Any volt micro step up step down voltage regulator (picture below). On Ebay there are many windup chargers for prices as low as $2.50 shipped.
Advantage:Low cost and easy to buy. Micro Any volt is a great little circuit that can take 2.6-14 volts and step up/down to 2.6-14 volt output.
Disadvantage:Some are poorly made and have bad electronics.

2)Dynamo Charger plus 7805 voltage regulator.
Advantage: Cheap and easy to build.
Disadvantage: Excess electricity is made into heat and has to be dissipated with heat sink. (hot hands?) Have to build a 7805 regulating circuit. (Google 7805 voltage regulator for more information)

3)Dynamo Charger plus USB Car Charger
Advantage: Very easy to build, All parts can be bought locally. Two wire connection
Disadvantage: Cases have to be modified to accept each other

Option one is the best in my option, But due to back orders I was not able to build this model. In this instructable I will guild you to building the easiest of the options, Number 3 and hopefully post the others in a later edition.

For more information about the any volt Micro please visit:
1-40 of 57Next »
up4info8 days ago
Just starting out I originally wanted to make a charger for work when I'm in a bind out on the water (marine construction ) 5 min into researching in realized I need to learn more about electronics started researching ohms law ext if there's any info anyone can give to help it's appritiated
tridrles1 year ago
So, have you posted an instructable for option #1? Using the dynamo hand crank with the Any Voltage Micro? I'm interested!
kondzio291 year ago
Holy crap! awesome finsh! I didn't expected that neat design at the end!
Teach me master! you should do an instructable about finishing that
Vindos551 year ago
It's a nicely narrated and illustrated project! For an emergency boost, it is certainly practical. Most of us won't find 100 minutes to fully charge a phone. During hurricane season here in Florida, that would be very desirable. Could a capacitor and some mechanical tweaks like gearing, larger diameter dynamo/crank arm, more powerful magnets etc. be added to enhance efficiency to just a few minutes?
olesgreb1 year ago
I like this Idea a lot .... Ever think about puting this in production mode if so I'd like to buy....please contact me if so.
At: TheRealDutchOwner: That is a great idea... Especially for those who ride a lot! Buuuuuuuut what kind of bicycle do you have that has a steering wheel? ;-)
nmoraga1 year ago


i had this idea but i never knew how to do it and now someone has done it. congrats it looks very good.
neiled_it2 years ago
How could you use use it to charge some batteries that charge the iphone? Kinda like the minty boost but without the solar panel?
egriff2 years ago
I plan on making one of these for my Nook so I can still access all my pdf text books on engineering, chemistry, biology etc during the zombie apocalypse. Also I'll get a solar charger too, but its not sunny all the time and I never know when I'll have to hide out underground. ;)
If you bike alot, you could do this with a bike dynamo. You still need a holder for your phone on your steering wheel, but especially if you forgot charge your phone at home you still can charge it a little on the road.
great idea but wont that be tiring but still what people do for technology
you could use that if there are power failures
mrmerino2 years ago
Could you make a windmill for this, like a wind-powered iPhone?
mrmerino2 years ago
Nice gams bro.
pikky_team2 years ago
Thank you for your idea. If the stepping motor was replaced ,are there more some current ?
aduffield2 years ago
would this work with any mobile? or just the iphone. i want to know because i just finished building a steam engine and im thinking of using the idea for a phone charger
Triworm4 years ago
i had an idea for a car. put a solar panel on the top of the car and and a USB port in it for charging phones
jsamson Triworm3 years ago
Great idea dude
drulex Triworm3 years ago
several hundreds of dollars worth of 15% efficient panels to provide a couple of watts to charge a phone, when the car battery does the same job... for free
this is cool man! nice job :D
rpvanpatt4 years ago
 Hey I was wondering if you have a picture of the wiring set up?  Think it'd help some if so
 could model/hobby cement be used instead of melting it with a soldering iron?

  Awesome! this works great for my ipod 3G!
p0g0684 years ago
 there ought to be a law about having toes pictured on an instructable!  shhhh!  very reprehensible! or at least paint them first ! ....... L O L.  great instructable dude ! thank you. 
mattdias4 years ago
is there a way to do this for an ac outlet? (regular wall plug thing)
Would be very difficult to start, better get a small inverter.
kosbon4 years ago
Tried to make it both with Griffin usb charger, which supports IPhone 3gs and the cheap usb charger, which supports only IPod.

Both worked fine for IPod, but give an error with Iphone 3gs (charging device is not supported by Iphone). 

Not sure what I've done wrong and how to make it work with an Iphone too.

Please somebody help!!!

dan and kon4 years ago
 ya i would gladly pay you to make me one of these
phoenixjen5 years ago
Could you just make one of these for me? :)
Justin Lam5 years ago
hey kudos to this project! how would you wire up this in addition to a solar cell?
Rose1235 years ago
Great idea! Mr. Fuller, you are a genius! :)
Javin0075 years ago
I have to admit, despite being pitted against you in the contest, I voted for this. As a camper, a pocket-sized dynamo phone charger is probably about the most sensible, and brilliant concept I've seen on here. This should totally take 1st.
*heh heh* I just read your test results. Wonder how fast you'd have to wind the thing to keep a phone alive during a phone call.
To clarify my last post, I wasn't trying to "trash" this entry at all. Was just simple musing. This would (very literally) be a life-saver for people who manage to get lost, but still have their cell phones. 911 can use the GPS built into cell phones (required as of Oct of 04, I believe) to find people lost in the woods or mountains. This draws very little current, and just keeping your phone "alive" by winding this every few minutes could very literally save your life.
brokengun5 years ago
Nice! I've been wanting to build pretty much exactly this for a while now. I like how you just used the USB plug because it's so general and works with everything. Pretty sweet stuff, you should get some more numbers on exactly the power output your getting.
2robotguy (author)  brokengun5 years ago
This is one of my first prototypes. I plan on doing testing when I'm back at College mid Aug. Should have some good data to post as well a Diy circuit to build. I hope I can just modify the circuit that comes inside the Dynamo to begin with and make some with direct Iphone/Ipod plug. Then the next round both USB and Iphone plug. If you have any ideas please post. (Also I', working on at School Savonius turbine Research that I will post in the near future. Do you know anything about wind turbine to battery chargers? (need help))
I was thinking about making a generator from scratch then hooking it up to a gearbox from one of these dynamos to see if I could mess with it and get some more power out of it. I am not sure how exact those hand crank generators are, but I have a suspicion that they are just a motor running backwards and could be improved. Then again, I could be completely wrong. I would love to see work on your savonius turbine. I know a little bit, depends one what you want to know. If you've got questions feel free to message me or I can send you my e-mail address if you like.
I really like the 'going green' idea, and it fits in your pocket! great idea!
1-40 of 57Next »