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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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That generator is just a DC motor attached to a large gear. The large gear is connected to the handle and makes the DC motor spin really fast. Any DC motor can become a generator. Rip apart an old toy, etc. Simple.

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I used the motor from an old electric drill. It has a gear reductor and you can easily adapt a crank to the chuck. It was capable of feeding a dc motor and some little incandescent lights.

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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.

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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'

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