Uncle Bobs Tips: Generator Guide

Hand Crank Generator

With a hand crank generator, you literally produce your own electric power in order to run whatever appliances you are using.

Crank 'em up, with a hand crank generator!

With a hand crank generator, you literally produce your own electric power in order to run whatever appliances you are using. As you turn the crank, the hand crank generator transforms your muscle power, or mechanical power, into electrical energy. In fact, hand crank generators are highly utilized educational tools that help demonstrate to students the principles of electromagnetic forces.

When a wire cuts through a magnetic field, a potential difference (voltage) appears at the ends of the wire. If the wire is connected to a device such as a lamp, a current flows and the lamp is lit. With a hand crank generator, as the crank is turned, a current is generated in pulses as the magnets pass the coils. Hand-Crank Generator Activity Kits are available for teachers and students, by which students provide energy by operating the hand crank generator, and see the resulting transfer of mechanical energy into light. They can also use their cranking power to discover how much energy it takes to light up two different light bulbs.

However, hand crank generators are not merely abstract educational devices. Hand crank or "wind-up" generators provide real-time emergency power when regular utility is not available. For example, a hand-cranked modern portable cell phone charger never runs out of power and never needs to be replaced. While turning the handle may not be much fun, this hand cranked generator is an ideal emergency standby power source, utilizing the lowest tech solution to powering high-tech cell phones! (With this modern device, turning the hand crank generator handle at a speed of about two revolutions per second generates power that is used to recharge your cell-phone battery. At 1.5 revs per second, the unit gives about 5V of power, and at 2 revs per second, it gives close to its full rated 6.2V. Most regular chargers tend to provide between 4.5V-6V, so this output voltage is completely satisfactory).

A hand-cranked solar radio is another useful application of hand crank generator technology, in high demand by both the UK and US army. While the hand crank generator charges the internal NI-MH batteries, the radio can also be played with direct sunlight. Of course, 3 AA batteries allow you to play the radio the old fashioned way!

Yet another versatile product powered by a hand crank generator is the Maxxima EGF-7218 emergency handheld battery-free flashlight and mobile phone charger. An on board internal generator operated by a hand crank recharges a built-in battery which powers its functions. This product combines an LED Flashlight and a mobile cell phone charger in one compact sleek body design. This device does not require external power, or auxiliary batteries to operate. It is simply recharged by spinning the built-in generator using a hand crank, which recharges an internal battery for normal flashlight illumination as well as to make phone calls on your mobile phone. When the battery becomes completely discharged, just use the hand crank generator for 3 minutes at no less than 130 revolutions per minutes. Let it rest for 60 seconds and then start to use. For mobile phone charging and function: Hand winding the hand crank generator for 1 min. will provide approximately 2 min. of talk time.

Hand crank generators provide a built-in generator for all your emergency needs. Even in the most desperate situations, you can still have access to local news and information as well as broadcasts from around the world, across AM/FM and even short wave frequencies. Never worry about being without a working flashlight or a radio again with this unique power source. At home, in the car, or on the trail, depend on hand crank generators to provide you with the power to go on!

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