Jaycee and my kinetic project took various directions, which we have documented below.
The Protest Sign Phase
We originally wanted to create a protest sign that is powered by the up and down motion a protestors arm motion when marching with a sign. This would work similar to the magnetic powered flashlight After doing some research, the energy that the sign would require would far surpass the energy generated by the arm motion. Simply put, it wouldn’t work as we would have wanted it to.
The Spinning Disks Phase
We then pivoted our idea from that to working wood disks, which we found in the junk shelf. We played with a few idea here, one being a ribbon that spun the wood disk roughly 270 degrees each way and was able to generate some power through it. The main issue here was having a consistant kinetic motion that was able to provide a smooth power band and power the light.
Tring to solve this ‘smooth power’ philosphy of ours, we dug through some more goodies and found some well-machined printer gears. The objective here was to see if we could mount and connect a couple of them together to reduce the amount of effort from the user to generate power.
We used the same wood disks and mounted it on the stepper motor. We had to use spacers to give the disk enough offset to poke through the hope just enough to force mount one of the printer gears on.
After we mounted the gear, we had to develop a method to mount the other gear. The secondary gear wwoould either have to spin in place to the turn the gear mounted ln the stepper or it would after to rotate around the fixed gear, in a ‘churnning’ fashion.
We decided on the latter. We found a wood handle on the junk shelf and drilled a hole big enough for the secondary gear to snap into it (with a little help from some hot glue).
We also tried to reduce friction as much we could, knowing that the secondary gear would be rubbing on the wood. a quick look into the kichen yeilded us some slippery wax paper, which we then cut and tapped on.
There were two issues with this round of kinetic motion. One, the actual motion by the user can rip the fixegear right off the stepper axis. Two, the power / effort ration was way too high.
The Magnet Phase
But wait, there’s more. Magnets. This idea cane at the 11th hour as we tried to harness the power of magentic power generation. Using a few videos we found online as a guide, we attached magnets, attraction side down) to the metal tin lid.
We then took the large maget that was inside the flashlight (repel side facing the disk) and rotated it around the tin lid. It spun!!
Enough though it soun, we can across several technical issues.
1) The big maget was to strong for the little magnets. We solved this issue by stacking the magnets on top of each other, which multiplied the magnetic field.
2) We purposely chose to keep the human element part of this project. The optimal distance of the magnets was between 1.5-2 inches. The user would have to hold the magnet in such a way that they would be able to prevent the large magnet from instantly attaching to the magnets on the tin lid.
3) The ‘smooth power’ issue was still apparent in this phase. it would be effectively be smooth depending on who was usin the magent to spin the tjn, which would then spin the stepper.
Magnetic Powered LED from Jesal Trivedi on Vimeo.