Bike That Charges Your Cell Phone As You Ride!

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Introduction: Bike That Charges Your Cell Phone As You Ride!

My friend Jack and I wanted to make a bike that charges his cell phone as he rides, so we decided to use a small DC motor to power it!

For the peeps who don't know why it saves energy: 1st, you charge your phone without electricity from a power plant, obviously, because you are creating electricity by riding. 2nd, it gives you a reason to ride to wherever you want to go, reducing your carbon footprint drastically.

Note: the video is on the last step

Step 1: Get Your Parts!

OK, so the parts list is pretty basic.

1 Bike that you are willing to do some stuff to (every thing is reversible)
1 Small gear that will fit into your chain
1 Small piece of wood
1 Smallish DC motor
1 Cell phone
1 Cell phone charger that you are willing to destroy
1 Solder
A crap load of duct tape
Hot glue
Assorted washers, nuts, and bolts

Tools:
Soldering Iron
Socket wrench
Hot glue gun
Coke and Dr. Pepper
Good music to listen to
A friend to help you out

Step 2: Mounting the Gear Onto the Motor

OK, now you need to mount your gear onto the motor. Our axle was little too small to fit into the gear, so we wrapped it in some duct tape. We then used a copious amount of hot glue and some washers to hold it in place.

Step 3: Mounting the Gear and Motor Onto the Bike

Gee, we sure are doing a lot of mounting today! OK, this part is easy, you just need to put the motor setup on the bike in a way that the chain will catch on the gear and spin the motor. Its easy to do this with some hot glue, zip ties, and duct tape.

Step 4: The Wires!

OK, now for the electronics, just cut the head off of your charger and strip the wires off of it, and then solder them to the motor. You may have to use some resistors depending on the voltage that your cell phone takes. You can also wrap the finished product in some colored tape to match the bike like we did!

Step 5: Connect the Cell Phone and Ride Off Into the Sunset!

OK! You are done! Just put your chain on the gear and ride off into the sunset! Thanks for reading!


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    52 Discussions

    You can just get a $15 bike generator complete with head and tail lights. Simple voltage regulator if you like.

    Alternatively, a decent, cheap product that does this (and way more) is finally on the market: http://sivacycle.com/products/the-atom

    This is a great idea. If I could still ride a bike I'd be thinking about a way to modify it to charge a 12V motorcycle battery so I could run a CB radio or something from it.

    The derailleur sprocket works beautifully. My main concern is the stability of mounting it using hot glue and duct tape. Wouldn't it eventually jiggle out of position because of bumps and changing gears and so on?

    Also, the dynamo is a great idea (we used them for bicycle lights when we were kids), and it gives enough voltage to charge a phone no problem, but I'd use a bridgerectifier to change it to pulsating DC, and a proper capacitor filter it out to smooth DC. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't need to regulate the voltage, but I don't know what to do with the extra amperage so charger doesn't burn out the battery. Hmmmmm

    Has anybody thought of putting the motor on a short portion of slider (like from a drawer) so that it can move laterally when changing gears?

    When I get myself a bicycle, will go through all of this.

    Also thinking of slapping the rectifier in there with a regulator and rechargeable batteries. Thanks TheWelfareWarrior and flaresam for all of this.

    nice one dudes,now this is exactly what DIY is all about

    Not a good idea as the motor will spin only when the rider peddles.you must attach the motor directly with the wheel so that it generates voltages constantly

    9 replies

    maybe it is not a big problem, I don't know exactly if there's a matter with charging/not charging/charging/not charging.. for the phone. One biggest problem may be to regulate the current as it will only depend on how fast you peddle... the author (sorry, i can't find he's name on the instructable ??...) may need to test it a whole ride, wit a multimeter attached to it to know how much max/min voltage/current it can deliver anyway, i'm pretty surprised how the idea is so simple... in the past we used to have a "dynamo" (it may not be the correct English name) to light the bike. It was a kind of motor pushing pretty hard on the pneumatic, and making harder to peddle. This solution, using the chain, may be lower constraint.

    It is interesting, when we started, the battery was out of power, and when we biked the phone did not say it was charging. But afterwards, we checked the battery with a multimeter, and it was fully charged.

    Great Idea!!! But I want your help to take it to the next level...

    Here's what i have in mind, add a battery system (something like a Powerizer 12v 4200 mAh NiMH Battery for RC Car Boat should work and fit under seat). this battery would be used to run headlights, tail lights/turn signals and also power my droid phone (running a dash board app to give me speedometer, odometer, compass and gps. This would be accompanied by a 80cc slant head engine. Well that is my idea... Any help would be great!

    Thanks

    Penru

    Today I use a cycle with a dynamo. It is very effective. I used a 4 NiMH pack of batteries, but the connectors I used were of such poor quality that I had to remove the batteries because they caused many problems.

    The author is flaresam - it is to the right of the page, and was under the image that you clicked to get here.

    We could not mount the setup directly on to the wheel. The wheel spins freely of the axle it is on, so we could not mount it onto the axle, we figured that the only way to get enough power out of it was to use the chain.

    connect a small wheel to the motor and put the wheel rolling on the outside of the tire

    even if you could somehow do that, it would not generate electricity constantly due to stop lights. i like welfare warrior's idea. that way at stop lights you can continue your charging.

    one more thing. like most serious riders, i peddle while going down hill, so the only time i would not be peddling would be at a stop light. for a lot of idiot bikers, however, stop signs aren't even a problem because they don't pay attention to them, which annoys the crap out of me.

    Excellent! Just to clarify, any old DC motor would work, right?