Intro: Easy Crank Generator
This build is to show you how you can generate some energy from a gear motor so that you can use it to power a flashlight, charge your cell phone, or to run other small equipment. I know this project is short but that is because it is an easy to do project but, you should not underestimate the usefulness of this project. Someday it could save your life.
In my tutorial I use a gear motor out of an old Power wheels vehicle but, almost any gear motor will work for this project, or even a fan motor for that matter.
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Step 1: Parts
There are very few parts for this build so it is very easy for anyone to do and the opportunities for use are endless.
The motor was very easy to get off of the Power Wheels. I just took off one nut off the center of the wheel, then slid the motor off of the shaft. It took maybe 3 minutes.
Step 2: The Light
The light in my project was purchased from Harbor Freight but you can use almost any Led setup you want. You could only have 1 LED or you could have many. It all depends on what you can get your hands on.
First you want to open you flashlight and you will see that two of the battery terminals have internal wires going to them. These are the 2 contact point we need and you don't have to worry about the other 4 contacts.
Take the positive from the light and connect to positive on the motor. Take the negative and hook it to the negative on the motor.
You are now ready to clamp on the vise grips to the hub on the gear motor and use your Crank Flashlight!
Step 3: Store the Energy
If you want your flashlight to work when you stop cranking, you will need a storage device like a rechargeable battery.
You can take one of these from an old RC car or old cordless telephones.
All you need to do is add in the battery and hook it directly to the motor. So take the negative on the battery and hook it to the negative on the motor, take the positive on the battery and hook it to the positive on the motor.
Now when you crank for a while (took me about 10 minutes) you will store up enough energy so that you can use the light when you are not cranking the motor.
Step 4: Charge Your Phone
A very simple alternative to this is to take out the light and battery and attach a usb charger cord to the motor so that you can charge your phone. Since my motor produces about 5v when I really get cranking this is perfect for what I need. You don't want to get over 5v or you might damage your phone.
You just take cut the transformer off of the charger cord and hook the black wire to the negative on the motor and take the red and hook it to the positive on the motor.
Now all you have to do is crank and you can charge your phone anywhere!
I hope you have enjoyed this quick and easy build and I hope it helps some of you out. I apologize for some of the poor video, I skipped some parts that were noisy and didn't think you wanted to hear.
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Fourth Prize in the
MAKE ENERGY: A US-Mexico Innovation Challenge