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Burn peanut butter not fossil fuels.
September 6, 2001 5:36 PM   Subscribe

Burn peanut butter not fossil fuels. Great little piece on a new cell phone charger that you windup to recharge and the promise of a windup charger any application. I always thought the windup flashlights were great but the windup radios with one speaker leave a lot to be desired.
posted by skallas (10 comments total)

 
Windup flashlights are an excellent idea in cases of emergency where batteries might be dead or unavailable, and I can see similar utility in keeping a hand-crank charger in the car if one is stranded with no way other way to power the phone. However, I think human laziness will win out over energy efficiency for anything more than occasional use.
posted by disarray at 5:47 PM on September 6, 2001


I read about this last week in the Circuits section of NYT. I couldn't help but wonder what Victor Papanek would think were he still alive.
posted by xiffix at 6:35 PM on September 6, 2001


That sounds like this product recently spotted in the Real Goods catalog. Genius!
posted by bizstone at 7:52 PM on September 6, 2001


hmm... having just become a 'cellie' user, i'd have to agree, using a handcrank would be kick ass. specially since i keep forgetting to recharge it each night. :P
posted by jcterminal at 7:52 PM on September 6, 2001


I have to agree regarding the shittiness of windup radios. I could never get anything beyond 30 minutes at very low volume (listenable at 6' in a quiet room) on a full charge with mine. That was until the coil spring started loosing tension and caused the power-transfer elastic to jump of it's pulleys and wrap around the gears. Good idea, lousy implimentation.
posted by dithered at 8:29 PM on September 6, 2001


Now if I could get a windup-PC that was powered by me pedaling my ass off in order to read and post to MeFi, I wouldn't have this glorious but highly embarrassing beer belly I'm developing....
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:23 PM on September 6, 2001


> the windup flashlights were great but the windup radios
> with one speaker leave a lot to be desired.

I think those radios were invented (by Englishman Trevor Baylis) for people with no access to electricity -- poor folk in the third world, not guys with home PCs (and homes) and web access and so on. If they don't compare to your home stereo, well, they weren't meant to, were they? Are they now selling them to gadgetheads?

As for the wind-up flashlights: they sure beat the solar-powered models.
posted by pracowity at 10:55 PM on September 6, 2001


If they don't compare to your home stereo, well, they weren't meant to, were they? Are they now selling them to gadgetheads?

They've been available for some time, heck most radio shacks carry them. The design, like you mentioned, isn't exactly taking westerners by storm but expanding the technology into other areas is a good idea.

If this catches on I wouldn't be surprised to see a newer windup design that might power a radio suitable for the beach. Case in point: a lot of the newer flashlights use new white LEDs and have a battery that's recharged by hand. That's a step up both in price and compexity than the first windup flashlights. Someone saw a market for these things in homes, camping, etc and made a better product.
posted by skallas at 11:19 PM on September 6, 2001


Trevor Baylis has been working on a piezoelectric shoe sole, which may be able to charge your cell phone or PDA. There has been research in this area at the MIT Media Lab as well.
posted by gimli at 7:33 AM on September 7, 2001


Damn. Where are all the windup sex toys?

I'm always running out of batteries.
posted by ewwgene at 10:42 AM on September 7, 2001


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