Longboard Generates Light While You Ride

Longboard Generates Light While You Ride

ITP student Danne Woo modified his longboard with strips of LED lights that illuminate when a wheel-mounted generator spins. In short, a stepper motor is run through a bridge rectifier followed by a one farad supercapacitor and then into the LEDs. The resulting project is suitably called “The Circuit Board.”

This self-contained unit gives the rider increased night-time visibility, but also looks wicked cool as it’s rolling down the street.

Note the thoughtful mounting of the stepper motor to the skateboard’s truck, and the spring-actuated tensioner that keeps the motor’s shaft mated snugly to the wheel. Also, a bit of Plasti Dip on the shaft keeps a suitable amount of friction to optimize power generation.

Danne has further documentation on his site. Maybe the next iteration can implement some rugged enclosures to protect the board from the elements and even utilize power to do something else. Perhaps to charge a cell phone?


10 thoughts on “Longboard Generates Light While You Ride

  1. Goli Mohammadi says:

    sweet ride and smooth execution! wonder what kind of LEDs they used. looks like they can stand to be a tad brighter, but looks rad nonetheless.

  2. Rocketguy1701 says:

    Neat, but points off for the breadboard. That’s not gonna hold up too well. But the plastidip hack kinda makes up for it.

    1. Nilson_K says:

      +2 points for the breadboard! Shortest route to a working prototype, and a working prototype is worth it’s weight in gold. Plenty of time to make it rugged, or to move onto the next cool thing.

      Hanging so many fragile part under a skate board deck reminds me of Bre Pettis’s Cult of Done Manifesto. .

      I’m curious about the drag. Does it pull very hard to the side?

  3. Name Required says:

    I saw “Longboard” and I thought “surfboard.”

    Two different worlds.

  4. Light Generating Longboard | Mud and Mayhem says:

    […] http://blog.makezine.com/2012/03/13/longboard-generates-light-while-you-ride/ This entry was posted in Arduino, Fun. Bookmark the permalink. ← knock sensor […]

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In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens' educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

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