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Okay, this is what my friends call a “Torronesque” project. This is where I usually come up with something and build it, and it really has no purpose or usefulness- but on further inspection it’s kinda neat. This is the iPod shuffle hand charger, actually recharger. There are many “crank powered” accessories floating around, so I thought I’d try a few and figure out if the iPod shuffle can be recharged with one. Well, it can, sorta. Here it is in action! I am still working out the best voltage regulator and wiring, as I figure it out, I’ll post the details, I don’t what to screw up everyone’s shuffles. What I’d really like to do is add little power generating motors to more things. Imagine getting a little power charge everytime you press a key or open your or phone laptop, maybe it wouldn’t matter that much, but multiply that by a billion people and perhaps it would…

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. ironwarrior says:

    WoW thats cool. I was thinking of making a science project like that but I have no idea how to make it. I saw a Nintendo DS and gameboy SP crank charger. I was wondering if you can tell me how to make one?

    NinjaSenshi loging out I mean Ironwarrior

  2. philliptorrone says:

    i need to get one of those nintendo chargers, i bet they’ll work (and are pretty cheap). i need to test a bunch of stuff out before i have people killing their shuffles.

  3. jonasyorg says:

    sorry, this is cool but useless if it only charges while you’re cranking…add a spiral spring such that you can crank it once, the spring will unwind at a constant rate and thus charge it for a little while, and you can then crank it again when the spring discharged (I think this is the technology used by that company with the wind up radios)

  4. ironwarrior says:

    I understand that but i cant find a acience fair project to do and this sounds great aint gona use it on a shuffle first ill try it on something else

  5. taloston says:

    Very interesting!
    I’m currently beginning planning on the development of a small electronic device powered by kinetically generated subtle-energy, or micro-energy.
    Drop me a line sometime, perhaps we can talk about it, I’m in dire need of someone who has a clue of how to materialize [or reveal the impossibility] of what I’m thinking of.

  6. taloston says:

    Sorry, the email address is trevor [@] exposedbrain dot com.

  7. angusg says:

    What’s really needed is a wind-up mobile phone charger. Just as there’s no electricity for radios, there’s no telecomm landlines so the cellphone networks are taking off bigtime in Africa and elsewhere. If you can charge your phone without a mains supply it would help African comms enormously. It would need a multipurpose tel adapters for different major cellphone manufacurers.

  8. macslut says:

    I would totally buy one of these if it wasn’t too expensive. I have a sailboat and always look for ways to do without comsuming battery power. How much time do you think it would take to hand crank a full Shuffle charge?

  9. jck0108 says:

    gorgeous, maybe if there were more crank-tronics, it might reshape the stereotype of geeks into “dudes with the really buff biceps.”

  10. mojomofo says:

    The company that makes the wind-up radios is Freeplay and I think they’ve got a charger for mobile devices…

    see

  11. Freeplay
  • mojomofo says:

    You know, on second thought, you could add a fairly large capacitor to store up charge. A big ol’ electrolytic with something in the thousands of microfarads. Hmm, let me go take a look in the junk parts bin and see what’s there…

  • Pat_Evans says:

    Nice first step, now make that a charger that works as you walk (a pedometer charger)

    Pat

  • Brandon_Dowell says:

    You know those little toy cars that you roll across the ground a couple of times and then they pull themselves across the ground? they make kind of a grinding sound? What you should to is attach the power generator to the centrifuge from one of these toy cars so that you could crank it a few times and then inertia would keep it spinning.

    Better yet, attach a string to the centrifuge so that you could just pull the string and let it spin. (like a gyroscope) you would get more RPMs and a higher voltage… and your arms wouldn

  • swatt says:

    What I would love is to be able to use all of that treadmill time as a charger somehow. Or other times, I just wish I could run some of my devices off *myself* – after all, I have extra stored energy, if you will. Now wouldn’t that be a breakthrough! :)

  • ironwarrior says:

    Well you could for some things. First those things you put on your bike you put it on one of those bikes that stae still. Then you have to have a energy converter to change the energy into what ever you wan to use it for. How they made this thing the energy goes throught a usb port.

  • geek_to_god says:

    I was wondering, would it be possible to have the one motor have a axle connevted to 4 or 5 motors to generate more power per crank, also using a pulley type crank might reduce the stress on your hand from cranking.
    This is just a dumb guess, but a pinwheel with a few force enhancers(spring systems, pulleys, levered weights) might be able to generate enough power to spin the motors on a windy day. Also, if a few magnets were inside the charger and on propellers attached to the motors , it might be posssible to make it spin solely from magnetic repulsion and attraction.

  • weirdo557 says:

    doesnt look like the data pins are pulled low, im pretty sure the ipod shuffle wont take a charge unless you pull the pins down.

  • RainboltArt says:

    Hey there! Very cool item. There is a company that makes cellphone chargers that you crank and they can charge Motorola (my Motorola has a mini-usb) so maybe that can be adapted to charge the shuffle. I don’t know what technology they use for the cranking. I have kicked around the idea of micro charging feeding into “the grid” and the only thing stopping me from developing some of these ideas is the housing cost in LA. I cannot hook into the grid from an apartment (If someone knows how please let me know!) rich at rainboltart dot com

    The URL for the cellphone crank charger:

    Cheapest I could find $14.00 http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showpage?saleitemid=280670&utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=free&utm_campaign=10611

    Manufacturers site: http://www.istdesigns.com/

  • Marshall says:

    I tend not to write a lot of responses, but I browsed a lot of remarks here Hand powered iPod Shuffle | MAKE.

    I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you don’t mind.

    Could it be just me or does it appear like a few of the remarks look like they are
    left by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are writing at other online social sites, I would like to keep up with
    anything new you have to post. Could you post a list of the complete urls of your social pages like your
    twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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