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In our latest Weekend Project powered by RadioShack you’ll build a simple charging circuit housed inside an enclosure box. This circuit will receive electricity from a bicycle generator producing alternating current (AC). The charging circuit will first rectify and then regulate the output voltage to a steady stream of direct current (DC) at 5V. This is a suitable charge for your mobile phone or any other mobile device that requires 5V DC.

The adaptaplug system will allow you to quickly swap out the plug for whatever device you want to charge, while keeping the same circuit mounted to your bike frame. The circuit is able to charge a battery or power a live system, such as a boombox, for portable pedal-powered tunes while you ride.

We call this project the Pedal Power Phone Charger! Ours is attached to a bicycle frame, but the generator could be attached to anything that receives rotational energy. If you build your own version of this project, or find some other application for it, be sure to take pictures of your build along the way and send us a story about your project.

http://youtu.be/eJKvnJ78aeM

Nick Normal

Nick Normal

I’m an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!


  • shadow

    This looks amazing. However, buying everything on this list would land you close to $75.00. Yikes!

    • http://gravatar.com/itsthedoc itsthedoc

      Exactly my feeling. I love the project and it seems like it’d be fun, but I found retail products for the same price or even less. Hard to justify when you add your tinkering time to not just buy it off the shelf.

  • chuck weiss

    I’ll check it out!

  • Lew

    Hi guys, I’m a super fan of MAKE in China. However, the photos in your website is invisible for us, leaving blank areas here and there. Please could you kindly see to the issue…

  • http://brinnopeephole.com Nosey Parker

    What a simple yet very powerful little idea especially as we all have these small devices that need powering up often.

  • http://lifelockreport.com steve pickford

    Not a bad little gadget for gadgets sake but as a practical item I think technology has leaped forward enough to allow us things like solar chargers which would work better I think.

  • The Wrong Cop

    Hi, from what I remember from the time I had a dynamo on my bike, it was hardly enough to power to small bulbs. So, I’m a little sceptical about charging a phone with the same thing.
    Are you able to half/fully charge it in a reasonable time ?
    Thanks.

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