A pedal-powered generator

Ever wanted to use pedal power to run small appliances like a TV or sound system, or to provide a little power during emergencies?

This article from Steward Wood explains the general principles and requirements.

The main difficulty in building a pedal-power project is in finding a suitable generator. A variety of ideas for finding/making/using generators is at OtherPower.com (the same kinds of generators that work well for wind power can also work for pedal power).

One possibility is to use an old tape drive motor as a generator. You can find such motors on auction sites such as EBay by searching for "permanent magnet".

Working examples of useful pedal-powered appliances can be found here (TV), here (made from a 3-speed bike), and here (a variety of projects; see especially the laptop computer project, which has many details of construction).

The "Rinky-Dink" is a pedal-powered mobile sound system.

The East Van Chopper Fest (a bicycle-oriented block party) had a sound system powered by three cycles. You can view photos or a 5.7meg movie (MOV format).

Green Trust has an interesting collection of links to ideas about and examples of useful pedal power projects.

Trailside Dentistry (!?) has a couple of interesting pedal-powered units that you can buy for about US$75 or just look at for inspiration.