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Pedal Power Computer?

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Mercur

New Member
Hello All.

Right this is the idea as it stands, I have a laptop which is worth nothing and I considered connecting the power cable for the lappy to a dynamo running form an exo-cycle.

I have done some research, and I know that the power generation isn't an issue.
My problem is I have very little experience when it comes to designing a circuit of this nature and would appreciate any suggestions, reccomnedations or ideas.

Thankyou
 

Sceadwian

Banned
You'd be surprised how hard it is to generate that much power for a continuous period of time. Even a low power laptop computer.
I can almost guarantee that the dyno isn't going to put out enough voltage for the laptop, most laptops are in 14 volt range. Your dyno probably only puts out 5-10 and it's also not likely to be able to supply enough current. They're meant to power LED's or simple flash circuits not put out 20+ watts of power continuously.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Pedal power can continually generate 60-100W - presumably you were assuming he meant a small bicycle dynamo?, he didn't say that, and I presumed a much larger dynamo.
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Keeping that up that kind of energy generation on a constant basis is a lot of work. It's like peddling up hill all the time. You'll find out real fast how good in shape you are =) Then again that's a bonus too, working out and generating energy.
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Pedal power can continually generate 60-100W - presumably you were assuming he meant a small bicycle dynamo?, he didn't say that, and I presumed a much larger dynamo.
Such as an automobile alternator?
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Can you peddle and type? How about while doing it at a fair pace under a load?

I have trouble typing and navigating the mouse while sitting still!
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
That's probably a bit on the large size, but perhaps worth a try to see if you can move it?.
A significant factor would probably be just the friction in the drive connection to the alternator. If you used a belt you would probably want one with a timing type flat belt which should have less friction than a V-belt. Or perhaps you could just friction drive it from the edge of the tire, if the exo-cycle has one.
 

Mercur

New Member
Hmmm thanks guys, I didnt realise the dyno stats I was looking at must have been a large one.
Ideally I would pedal the Bike to charge the Battery except the laptop is availiable mainly because aside form being fairly bone in the computing department it's battery does not retain charge.
However The major point of the exercise is to see if I can make it work, then I may be allowed to purchase a new battery or use a different machine.
I probably should have clarified that earlier.

Additionally I could generate more power by placing a crank set onto the bike or modifying it to use a single set on a high gear setting.
 
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Thunderchild

New Member
at the end of the day the power you can output will always be the same at whatever speed your running, the more gears you add the more mechanical friction you have to overcome
 

Mercur

New Member
Well thanks for all the help and advice guys, myself and friend tried to put it together the other day.....
I think we need to work on our practical skills, nearly blew ourselves up battery started getting WAY too hot and stuff began melting.
Doused the lot with an extinguisher and trashed it.
Thanks again.

Mercur the very nearly burnt.
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Haven't you guys seen Soylent Green?
 

arhi

Member
just partly related to the theme but ... in the mid '90s there was a project (computer art) by guy named Vuk Cosic in Slovenia that was similar to this. The training bike that already used induction to change the load was modified to produce voltage, that signal was fed into a small device that was depending on the voltage setting different brightness level on the CRT monitor.

The whole contraption looked like a computer stand (keyboard, mouse and monitor) with bike sticking out .... in order to use the computer you had to pedal :), the faster you pedal more brightness you have, if you stop pedalling the screen goes 100% dark

IIRC the project also won some awards at the time but cannot say for sure, I'm not into art :)
 

Mercur

New Member
As in the movie?
What is the relevance I don't see the connection?
 

arhi

Member
What is the relevance I don't see the connection?
relevance .. bike, computer, pedalling, cannot work unless you pedal, practical use == none, interesting ....

so in many ways the 2 projects are the same, only one is 10-15y old and was done as part of the art exhibition and another one is considered as part of "I do not know what to do with this bike and this old laptop, let's merge them" project..
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Nigel offered a good solution a ways back, very practical.
Charge a battery with the bike and use the laptop during your cooldown periods =)
 
I've done this exercise bike powering stuff before - powered a TV to watch and a fan to keep cool. I got tired very quickly and couldn't watch tv anymore! I would suggest disconnecting the 3-phase bridge on the alternator and connecting a transformer to step-up the voltage, then feed that into the laptop charger. Although, you said that the laptop battery is nackered, you would be relying on this to hold the charge when you get tired. Alternatively, get someone else to pedal while you play on the laptop!
 
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