Before you begin, it would greatly help if you review the following links:
1. Useful Dynamo/LED Circuits: http://www.pilom.com/BicycleElectronics/DynamoCircuits.htm
2. Voltage Regulator Circuit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSzVs7_aW-Y
Few Helpful links for novices:
1. Alternating Current (AC)
2. Direct Current (DC)
3. Full Bridge AC to DC rectification
4. Voltage Regulator
6. AC generator
7. DC Motor
(Commutated DC motor can also be used to as a DC generator)
8. Light Emitting Diodes
9. Soldering instructional video
And now...the Nut's & Bolts
(Components Required) :
The circuit modules I used have been out there for a while, but what I did is combine both the Full Bridge Circuit
& USB Voltage Regulator circuit
to make something useful out of it using a bicycle AC generator.
1. [Full Bridge Circuit Diodes]
2. Voltage Regulator Components
[Capacitors: Left to Right]
3. Voltage Regulator [7805 Transistor]
4. High Charge Capacitor
Note: I don't have it in shown the circuit diagram. I will have to try out some high capacitance capacitors to supply voltage to the LEDs when my bike comes at complete halt. It may take few trials to find a powerful capacitor that fits the Altoids box, and also holds ample amount charge to keep the LEDs lit for few minutes. I will update the instructions once i find the best match. Meanwhile, If you have any recommendations, please feel free to suggest.
5. Dynamo Generator:
For this project, I assumed you already have a dynamo generator for your bike, but no worries if you don't. I can help get you started.
If you want to play and get started with one without spending a fortune, the X Factor 3-Inch Bicycle Generator Light Set
from Amazon would be a great place to start. They sell for $13.11 at Amazon. A great & cheap little unit.
This is the one shown in my project.
if you are a more serious rider, you should probably switch to a Hub Dynamo
. You can gather much more information on Hub Dynamo's and lighting on Peter White's
I also highly recommend Anthony from Longleaf Bicycles. A very helpful fellow and awesome wheel builder. You can find great deals here: http://www.longleafbicycles.com
In my opinion, switching to dynamos may seem expensive to start off with, but in the long run, these units pay off and puts back money in your pocket. And, if you are like me, who enjoys cool evening rides during hot summer months, that can save you a lot of dough.
I personally prefer and use both the Bottle and Hub dynamos. The Advantage of a Bottle dynamo is that you can engage or disengage it as needed
, but with Hub Dynamos, you are stuck with it. It doesn't matter whether or not you need the electricity or not! This dynamo generators do add some resistance to the wheels, but not noticeable when riding.