Hobo Enginuity (1 Viewer)

Tonkor

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I want to hear your Hobo engineering inventions. I think if everyone contributes their ideas and home made Hobo inventions so that its all in one spot, it would make a great sticky to refer to in times of need and inspiration (especially to the new dirty kids on the block). I think we could all take the time to share some wisdom (no matter if you invented it or not, small or grand ideas alike) to have a single place to go for Hobo Ingenuity. I want to hear from all the Hobo McGyvers out there! *Side note*- I searched for a similar all inclusive DIY type thread that was active but couldn't find one. If someone can point me to one I will take this one down.
 
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Tonkor

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I will start -Im in the process of completing a Hobo Rail Wind Turbine Generator. On the rails you have access to tons of wind but (of course) no power for a Techy Hobo to charge his/her gadgets so I decided to build a compact, rugged, lightweight and reliable portable wind turbine generator. I am still in the process of getting it perfected with my current supplies but thought I would share thge basic idea and set up to get the thread started, to get the idea out there and to inspire others to start a similar project. I will upload the complete plans when finished and good enough to charge at least an mp3 player with hopes to charge a 4g smartphone on demand. I started with a magnetic base (an old cab antenna mount), old Erector set metal pieces and bolts/nuts for the small tower that's collapsible to fold away for easy storage, permanent magnet motor from a hard drive, small Erector set pulley (one small and one big, an old charger cord as and fitting for most smart phones, USB double female end extension cut in half to charge two USB devices, 4 recharable AA batteries, old RC car rechargable battery pack, strong O-ring to connect the big and small pulleys (to gear up the rpms so the motor spins much faster than the propeller), an old RC airplane propeller, misc wires to hook it all up, large altoides tin to keep the electronics circuit, 555 timer, misc capacitors; resistors and other parts, small breadboard to mount the circuit and a few misc things I'm trying to make the altoids tin water/weather proof. Mount the motor with the SMALL pulley on the shaft and then find away to mount the propeller to the large pulley that you can attach to the top of the tower with the motor to the side enough to keep the O-ring tight enough to spil the motor well. Build a base tall enough to keep the propeller from hitting what you have the base sitting on, plus atleast a couple inches. Build a top section that will accomadate the motor and propeller... you can add a long back piece with a tail/Rutter to keep it in the wind if you want but it shouldn't be necessary since it will easily be placed and positioned in the wind. The electronics part is more complicated and is what I'm figuring out now but basic all you need to regulate the voltage and either have two battery storage banks or one battery bank and a dummy load for if/when it generates more than your desired voltage. You can try to just hook up a cord from the motor to an electrical devise and it may work fine. I don't think the motor will generate enough peak power to damage most electronics but there is a possibility so do so at your own risk. So far it weighs about 18 ounces (a little more than a pounnd) and can fit in a hair trimmer case for sturdy, neat and compact portability. The best motors to use are ones that have a voltage of about twice as much as you want to generate (about 5v for smart phones) and ones that have the lowest rpm at rated voltages. I am researching better motors and bigger, more proper blades (you can make your own blades from cans or bottles) blades to use but so far this show a lot of promise and practicality. This hasn't cost me a dime because I had all of the parts but with using common dumpster treasures you should be able to build this for no more than $15 so long as you can find an old hard drive or other motor. Electronic parts at radio shack will be less than $10. If anyone else has a similar project or ideas, feel free to share them.-Tonkor
 

Tonkor

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Thank you. I can't wait to get it going... I'm sure it would be marketable but I will just upload all the plans on here so everyone can build it for free or at least really cheap. I'm working on a power antenna motor right now with a bigger prop to produce more realistic power. Its a bit larger but still will fit in a clipper case if you take the blades off the hub.-Tonkor
 

Tonkor

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*UPDATE* I have now turned the motor and turbine mounting points vertical and blades horozontal to take stress off from the mounting surfaces of the wind turbine. I opted for a quicker and more solid substitute to harness the power of the wind by using a hub with spoons attached to it. The end result is very similar in appearance to a wind guage. The reasoning behind this design change is as follows: Its easier and cheaper to acquire spoons than sufficient blades, the rounded shape of the back of the spoons allows it to move through the wind with fluidity while the inside cup of the spoon will react more quickly and have more stability than blades, the structure of spoons are more rigid than blades and the verticle mounting orientation will allow for a more rigid structure allowing more abuse, faster set-up, stronger winds (which directly equates to more power ability), a much shorter overall height and more compact footprint. I feel this is a far better design permitting a more rigid structure, longer lasting bearings/bushings/mounting points, easier and cheaper to design and build for anyone to be able to be successful, more concealable, easier and faster set-up, lighter, more compact and allows a higher power output. I will paint it all semi/low gloss black to keep it low key and not draw attention. That's it for now. Let me know your thoughts and ideas.-Tonkor
 
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I have always wanted a friction type generator, simmilar to bicycle lights in the 50s-60s. Attach via magnet to ride along the wheel of a freight car. Unsure what it would require (inverter etc) to charge cell phones etc but think it would be cool.
 

Tonkor

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Its funny you say that, I was going to make something very similar to that before I started this project. I just figured that it was too noticabke, it had more of a chance of getting damaged from falling off or from weather and it would be harder, more dangerous to set-up (if its moving) and much more noticeable. Its a great idea but I just opted for the above idea over it because it seemed like a better fit for the purpose. Its good to see others thinking and thanks for sharing. Have you looked into anything else for generating energy or any other ideas?
 
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I've dreamed of having a 74VDC inverter, not really green but power nonetheless. Should be easy enough to make.
 

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