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This project is from the Summer of 2010 and is now archived. Visit the IMA Island page for the next related project.

another trip

Biked the generator to the island. A picture of sustainability.



Lots of progress on the generator today. I think we are ready to go.  Superman Greg Hull helped so much putting this together. He is an electronic whiz so it really helped having him on board.  The site we got the plans from is called Pedal Power Generator. The site is really nice about telling you all the parts you need and how to put them together.  The battery we are using is essentially a car battery charger. At a steady clip its easy to generate 12v. Everything went smoothly except for one little mix up, we thought we were going to charge the battery in the wrong spot and wound up turning our generator into a motor.  I wasn’t expecting this to happen and when the wheels started moving i jumped.  It would be nice if this was a self generating thing, but that sounds too easy.


generator progress

Things are going pretty smoothly with the new design.  I spent all day chopping steel and welding, manly stuff indeed.  working on the generator has afforded me the opportunity to work with some tools in the shop that i never get to  use.   The sand blasting station is a lot of fun. It feels like a radioactive chamber and it’s nice seeing all the crusty paint come off the frame.  I think i’ll strip it down and let Jess have her painterly way with it.  My personal favorite of new machines is the Porta-Ban.  It’s like a crazy weapon from the terminator movies and makes cutting steel tubes a piece of cake.

It’s nice when things turn out just like you pictured them in your head.  I’m excited to be working on this and i’m looking forward to seeing it actually function.


old bike-new power

I started taking apart the bike to re-purpose the parts for the generator.  I bought this bike for an old girl friend, I feel a little bad saying that it felt good to cut it in half. It’s been sitting in my garage for 3 years and it’s nice that it’s being put to use.

The design of this contraption has been a little fuzzy, but i think we are on the right track now.  Instead of the generator being built onto a chair it will be a separate device that folds up for storage and when being used can attach to any chair.  I drew a diagram because that always helps me understand things, but i’m afraid my scattered sketches may only aid in the confusion. The only thing i’m using from the old bike is the back half of the frame with the gears and rear wheel.  While playing with how this part of the bike would work in space it quickly became obvious that flipping the frame upside down and sitting more in a recumbent position would not only be more comfortable but give us more power.  The back half of the frame will be welded upside down to steel supports which also hold the generator and power converter that charge the battery pack.  Horizontal supports will slide into square steel tubing at the front and back of the base. These are needed because there will be a lot of side to side motion through peddling. To keep the generator from being pushed away there will be another bar that slides from the front and latches onto the chair of choice.  Got it?

To store the generator the chair latch slides back in, the horizontal supports are removed and the battery pack can be disconnected.  I feel really good about this new design and i feel confident that it will work well.


new friend

The parts for the generator got here today.  They look really cool and complicated. I have no idea how to use them but superman/ Greg Hull and I are going to put it together this week.  I love learning about new toys.


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