HandCrank Radios & Flashlights

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TailorMadeHell, Jan 5, 2007.


  1. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    First off, I don't know if this is the right thread. I think it is so I'll keep going. Haha.

    The question is, Do any of your handcranked radios or flashlights make a whining noise when you are charging them?

    I bought a radio/flashlight set and when I am cranking them, there is a whining noise. I don't think this is safe as it could alert others to my position. I am just wondering if this is common with all handcrankers or just the cheap ones. Any thoughts?
     
  2. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Mine makes a little noise, not a lot. It's a handcrank AM/FM/Weather Channel/TV channel/siren/flashing light/flashlight/etc. type. It does get good reception though.
     
  3. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I had one broke the crank off,I think you are hearing the geartrain whine you may be cranking at 30-60rpm but the generator is probably turning at least twice th (that's why they feel stiff to crank, besides the load created by the generator.).
     
  4. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    So I should slow down on the cranking to get less of a whine?
     
  5. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I dunno man wrap that rascal in a towell or something try slower but less rpm is less electricity generated...can you charge it from an external jack? Put together a lead with a couple of alligator clips and charge it off a car battery in the basement..Or have the saw gunner cut loose while you're cranking...
     
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I think, but do not know, that there is a slipper clutch in most of them that keeps you from over cranking (meaning turning the generator so fast that it puts out too much voltage.) There are two noises probably, one is the slipper (if you are really spinning it up) the other is the gear train that steps up the crank speed so the generator turns fast enough to put out enough voltage to charge the cell. There is a minimum crank speed to put out charging voltage and a max that won't damage the cell. The last cranking thing I dealt with, you could hear the start of the slippage, so you could slow down a bit and avoid wasting muscle power on the clutch.[booze]
     
  7. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    I'll try to charge it slower and see. It is realtively cheap as far as I know. It's an innovage that I bought at Walgreens. It will do me until I get a better one with more stuff built in. My flashlight does the same noise so maybe it is some kind of clutch or something. Maybe I can open it up and put some kind of insulation inside to soak up the whine. If I can't bypass this little thing, I'll get me a solar charger and a batt operated radio. Can't have the noise going if you are trying to be quiet.

    And Tango, my SAW gunner got hit by a liberal pamphlet and he's out of commission. Haha.
     
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Most any of them will make noise while you are cranking them. The good news though is that there are a lot of them available with multiple power sources. The radio I have (kind of like ELs with everything on it) can run off an AC cord (sold seperately) that will also charge the rechargable battery in it while it is pluged in, the rechargable battery that is like one from a cordless phone, 4 AAA batteries or the crank whick can power it while being cranked with NO batteries or if the rechargable batteriy is there it charges it. So you can choose a time when you dont have to worry about being totaly silent to crank it up and have it ready for times when you dont want to crank on it as long as you have the rechargable batterie in it.

    I think most of the hand crank stuff has a rechargable battery in it so it should be able to be cranked up when silence isnt a priority then used anytime, but I also have to wonder, since while they make SOME noise the ones I have delt with dont roar or anything, if you are concerned enouph with noise and being noticed that the whine thats not as loud as a conversational voice is a problem, then why would you be running a flash light that makes you easier to spot or a radio that even with ear phones would make it harder for you to hear others and more likely for them to hear it than the cranking? Even with ear phones we have all been in quiet areas where you could hear someone elses music from their head set even if it wasnt way up especialy when the suroundings are quiet.
     
  9. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    The flashlight use is for times when you know you won't be seen or it doesn't matter if you are seen. I can crank it without the glow being on and was just wondering about the noise. As far as the noise of the radio goes, I guess I could use it at certain times though I want to be able to have info at any time. With the earbud, I will keep the noise to a minimum which there is no thing as total silence, except in space. It all is the difference in keeping it to a minimal level.

    It may just be my hearing when I listen to the thing crank, though it sounds like a 'loud' noise. To others it may well be a lot more quiet. I don't know. Maybe it's paranoia playing into my hearing the 'noise' or it could be the drugs. Haha.
     
  10. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    [LMAO] [fnny] [LMAO]
     
  11. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    Most if not all of the hand crank flashlights, radios etc use a small generator to charge a battery and the battery to power the unit. If you wish to have it be usable in a SHTF situation, either have one that can use replaceable batteries that you charge with the crank unit, don't know of one, or charge ever few weeks and leave on and discharge the internal battery and then fully recharge it with the generator. Someone should have more expertise here than me and figure just what to do. I know that most of the year 2000 generator type flashlight batteries will no longer take a charge and you would have to take them apart and change the battery to make them work. The situation is simular to the chargers for power tools. A good Bosch or Dewalt charger cost $90 or so and the batteries are about the same. The charger compensates for the memory in the battery and they often last several hundred charge - discharge cycles. If you buy one of the $40 Skill or B&D screwdrivers with a tool, two batteries and a charger. You may get 20 -30 charge cycles out of them and most people won't get 20. I doubt if you can expect a lot more from that $15 hand crank flashlight. Will tell you more in about 6 months.
     
  12. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Dynamo whine. Normal and will vary from model to model. personally, I think that most of them are junk. I've broken off 2 cranks and have now gone to a solar charging rig for a better quality radio.

    I don't think you can find a US Made crank radio... :(
     
  13. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    I'm currently doing a search for a solar powered radio. That may be beneficial if I can find one. It's all up in the air for the moment. When I run across something I like I will use it until such time as it makes me mad and then I'll get rid of it. Haha.
     
  14. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    Recently bought a charger for AA AAA batterys that that will recharge them from a 12 volt battery. Am wondering if a motercycle type gell cell and a solar charger isn't the way to go. If your radio uses those cells, the solar unit I saw was $33 for a 5 watt folder or $94 for a 15 watt unit and $28 for the charge controller the 15 watt unit needs. That would give you batteries for your LED's, radio and other things with no fuel and no real effort. Added benifit, could try out and use now for lights, motion alarms, tv remote, digital camera etc. Might be nice to have a system that you know works and if TSHTF, you can recycle all of those AA and AAA batteries around the house into a headlamp, radio, light source for a wepon sight, motion detector etc and know that the charger works and the batteries are fresh. If not solar, at least that you can charge them in your BOV or from a generator.
     
  15. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Sounds good to me. I'd like to have equipment that I knew worked before the world upends. Would hate to try to get something to work when everything is going off around you. Haha.
     
  16. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    One option (I didnt say great option lol) is the solar yard lights. Most of them have AA or AAA rechargable batteries in them that are charged by the solar pannel int hte day then power the LED lightsfrom them at night. If you had a couple of these then you could stick the batteries in durringthe day and unless useing them for the light at night remove the batteries at night so they would charge and not be used up but could power other stuff.

    Like I say, it wouldnt be ideal for most situations but have seen them for like $4 each andmight beat no chargeing system at all and if you took out the light then you would just have a solar charger.
     
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    One might also just add a switch to the light --
     
  18. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    I like that idea. And adding the switch to it is a simple matter. Did it for putting in toggle switches on radios in cars. Maybe two units if weight isn't an object. One for light and charging, and one for just charging.
     
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