I'm interested in a hand powered generator similar to the one in this Gakken Helicopter Kit.
Are these easy to come by? Easy to make?
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Most electrical motors generate electricity if you wind them, There are examples of people using old treadmill motors for wind turbines... etc. If you did a bit of research and went down to the second hand shop, grabbed a cheap old motor out of something, made a crank, it might be quite a cheap alternative to buying one.
I made one once from taking apart three completely busted RC cars. It had three simple DC motors, enough gears were salvaged to make the crank turn all three, after adding several larger (2") gears that I had laying around.
Thanks for the question, it brought back memories of a HS Science project :)
For the morbidly curious, it was a 'field rechargeable battery recharger'