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Bicycle/peddle-powered computer?

Scott R Ehrlich wrote:
> If the computer/laptop comes with a battery, I'd remove it to ensure
> it is peddle-powered only.

So you want it to crash any time the peddle generated voltage drops 
below the operational threshold? (Which could be quite often, unless you 
plan on building a filtering circuit made from one or more super caps.)

That sounds impractical to me. If you want to be green, recharge the 
battery from your cycle. If you want to provide peddle incentive, run 
just the laptop's backlight from the generator voltage.

With that aside, what you're looking for is just a matter of hunting 
down a suitable DC generator or alternator and mechanically attaching it 
to the cycle, while running its output through an appropriate regulation 
circuit (which may not even be needed on a well designed laptop).

An automotive alternator might be an option, but it'll be big, bulky, 
and require a more complex circuit. I've seen small, portable hand-crank 
generators on the market lately intended for light tasks like recharging 
cell phones. If one of those produces adequate current to drive the 
backlight, that might be the cheapest/simplest option. Otherwise I'd pay 
a visit to some of the online merchants of electronics surplus.


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
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