Windbelt From Hard Drive Voice Coil and Magnets





Introduction: Windbelt From Hard Drive Voice Coil and Magnets

About: Working my dream job in the Telecom industry, so chances are, i'll never have time to respond to comments or messages, nothing personal.

This is a Proof of Concept version of Shawn Frayne's Windbelt built from hard drive parts. I knocked it out in a couple of minutes because I got tired of waiting for someone else to do it ;-)

This is a quick and dirty instructable.

Step 1: You Will Need ..

A hard drive
magnet wire

Step 2: Salvage the Voice Coil and Magnets From a Hard Drive

We'll skip the disassembly step, it's simple enough.

Step 3: Assembly and Operation

Use a nail through the ball bearing in the voice coil to attach the coil to a piece of wood.

Mount the magnets around the coil just as they were in the HD.

Tie a long length of ribbon to the heads on the voice coil.

Solder a couple of pieces of magnet wire to the contacts of the voice coil.

Solder the other ends of the magnet wire to a LED.

To operate, hold the wind belt in front of a fan with one hand and dynamically tighten the belt with the other, to light the led takes a fairly low frequency ( And consequently high amplitude).

Future steps, frame, rectification



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    where on the voice coil do i solder the magnet wire ?

    1 reply

    When you look closely you should see two fine wires coming from the coil to the circuit board, where they are attached to the board is where you need to solder too.

    hey are all these parts from a hard drive ?

    you could add a 5 volt capacitor at 1 f to store the power then you will have longer bursts of light

    In the video it looks like the ribbon is not at its most efficient length. From what I remember from Physics, there should be an optimum length for any given wind speed that creates a standing wave harmonic in the ribbon which would be the most efficient power generator. Also, theoretically there is an optimum tension the ribbon should be at.

    What are the other two wires coming out going toward the left? (The ones that are not connected to the LED)

    1 reply

    That's just the connection cable from the HD, I couldn't remove it without tearing up the contacts. I'd suggest you check out my more current windbelt instructable.

    windbelt redux

    What if you made added a full-wave bridge rectifier before the LED, since I'm assuming the coil creates an AC current since it oscillates.

    4 replies

    then it would probably stay lit pretty continuously I would imagine. I've got a box of old dead hard drives that are waiting to have their magnets pulled, now I have a use for the coils if i can convince them to leave the casing without the need of a pair of pliers. I'd like to set up several of these in series to see what kind of output would be practical with something like this.

    it's a bit more complex than that, a proper power condition unit is more than just any old bridge rectfier.

    But not that complex either. Micro power generation generally has low expectations, like charging the batteries that power the devices. Not directly power devices that would be upset by the ripple of rectified AC of a varying frequency. A battery is an effective power conditioner it's own right, nothing simpler than a battery. Perhaps a MOV to clamp down spikes.

    This is cool. I can imagine wind flag farms might be even more efficient than turbines (without having looked it up yet.)

    Kudos! This is exactly what an instructable should be! What voltages did you get? Peak-to-peak or RMS? Anyone else replicate this? Can you tell us what your voltmeter said? And what hard drive you used? (make and model?) And what ribbon or string materials worked best for you?

    2 replies

    Thank you. Honestly, I'm a dilettante, I got bored after I saw it worked. The ribbon was whatever I pulled out of the xmas supplies that vibrated best, the hard drive was either a maxtor or western digital, under 20 gig size. I was hoping to inspire some others to try this and improve upon it, there had been lots of talk but........

    Exactly what I meant. Before the internet, people like us invented something and then wandered off bored and it was forgotten till someone else reinvented and published! Now we can do our little bit and spin it off for others to build on. You did say you got a voltmeter, though. Did you never measure?

    does it produce AC or DC power, and could i shock people with it??

    2 replies

    AC and no, the power output is measured in milliamps.