Dynamos: I have been searching the internets and

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by robfindlay, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. robfindlay

    robfindlay Monkey++

    cannot find what I am looking for.

    A handcrank/solar dynamo that presents a 12VDC auto-lighter type socket.

    I've found the small flashlight version that DOES have this, but i'd like something that also gives me Light, NOAA, AM/FM and perhaps even shortwave!

    The beauty of this would be you could in theory charge anything you have an auto charger for.

    Anyone seen one around? Have any names to try?


  2. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

  3. robfindlay

    robfindlay Monkey++

  4. QuietOne

    QuietOne Monkey++

    You need something bigger than a hand crank to do all that. Do a Google search for "freeplay weza".
  5. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe Guest

    About the only thing I've seen that comes close it the Eton FR500. It has AM/FM/NOAA/SW and a flashlight. It does not have the cigarette lighter plug, but it does have an USB output that would allow you to charge things, but I'm not sure the output voltage of this thing, but I'd assume 5vdc.

    Only thing I can't understand with this thing is why you would build an "emergency" radio and put on in digital tuning? The problem with this is you can't move the dial slightly to pick up the weaker signal when there are 2 overlapping signals.
  6. QuietOne

    QuietOne Monkey++

    The display is digital, the tuning is analog. Cheaper that way.

    Look at the bottom of the last page of the manual. "Assembled in China". Big problem with hand-crank rechargeable radios and flashlights from China; sometimes the "rechargeable" button cell isn't. They run for a while, then die and don't recharge. Then you have to keep cranking to run the radio. Second problem: the "dynamo" is a small DC PM motor, the gears turning it are plastic. They always break after a while. Don't depend on this kind of equipment in emergencies.
  7. robfindlay

    robfindlay Monkey++

    I'm really liking the solar cell 12VDC chargers you can get on ebay....it might take it a day or two to recharge your batteries but all you have to do is wire it up to a car socket and you can re-charge anything that has a car charger --in theory.
  8. QuietOne

    QuietOne Monkey++

    If you're in a sunny area it's a great idea. For after SHTF the setup should be someplace strangers can't see it.
  9. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe Guest

    For the issue with the battery, I'd probably have this thing torn apart right away to see what was inside. If it's a non-rechargeable, I'd replace it, probably with circuit instead of a battery.

    As for radios to depend on in emergencies, any suggestions?
  10. robfindlay

    robfindlay Monkey++

    If your mobile a trunking scanner to pick up police/fire etc, and a FRS/GMRS with at least a 10 mile radius to keep in touch with others in your group.

    I'm lucky having my HAM ticket and a Yaesu VX-2R I can TX on pretty much the entire amat VHF/UHF spectrum and have wide-band receive for anything in the entire HF/VHF/UHF/SHF. For the non-radio monkeys that means AM/FM, Shortwave and all of the ham/CB FRS/GMRS freqs. Though I'd have to rig different antenna configurations depending on what part of the band I'm on.

  11. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Something else you could look at for charging batteries would be the solar landscaping lights like folks put along the sidewalk. They generaly run on 2-3 AAA batteries (which you can find running most types of stuff now) and charge them in the day from the solar pannel. If you have a few of them and remove the light from all but the 1 or 2 you want for light then you can put batteries in them and leave for a day or 2 to recharge and they wont drain at night.
  12. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe Guest

    The 10 mile radius won't do me any good, I work about 15 miles as the crow flies from home. I am keeping an eye on Freecycle to grab a couple CBs for emergency contact. I figure that after TSHTF, initially, they won't be overly crowded. That is until others figure it out. But come that time, I won't be worrying about the FCC, and I'll make use of whatever I can to communicate.

    My main interest in these radios is to find out what's happening. The idea of a dynamo powered radio is so appealing. Maybe I'll give it a shot making my own.
  13. robfindlay

    robfindlay Monkey++

    The distance is relative to the POWER / antenna and line of site. These are UHF radios, those waves don't bounce much.

    By all means buy a CB but don't rely on it, that band is ALWAYS going to be crowded with the millions of them out their and will become MORE crowded as people grab them.

    PLUS belive it or not CB is in the HF spectrum 11 meters that means your have skywave AND groundwave bounce depending on propagation you could hear someone two states away but not two miles. PLUS they are low powered.

    Recommend EVERYONE get a ham ticket 1. Most places wont sell you ham gear without one. 2 It lets you practice BEFORE [shtf].

    With a car battery and a 100 foot wire I can talk to people in other states or other countries, hell I saw a load up his chain link fence as an antenna and use it to make contacts.

    You can see the benefit, shortwave will only give you official news, hams will tell you whats going on!

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