10 November, 2012

Mini Dynamo Hand Crank USB Emergency Charger review

OK, I admit it, I was geek enough to order one of these gizmos from ebay. It was only 1$ so no harm done, right? Well.. rolled myself laughing when I saw the same thing for 20$ (twice reduced, from 49.99 and then 25) on amazon here. Luckily there's also another version here  for only 3.59$ :)) There are things about economy I just can't figure out.

But back to our little toy, if you haven't figure it out yet, let me explain it to you. It's a small crank driven dynamo that generates just enough juice to power an USB charging device like a cell phone, mp3 player or any other small type electronic, don't dream about tablets or other power hungry beasts. The key phrase there was "just enough" because it won't get to 100% but a charge or even a discharge to 10% and that's because the voltage out of this thing at "nominal" speed is lower than the standard 5V used on USB ports.

I knew from the start that it's a good for nothing toy but I couldn't help getting it and the first thing I did after unpacking was opening it up.

 It's pretty amazing what 1$ can bring you: intricate lubricated plastic gears, a DC motor, a small PCB with the voltage stabilizer, not to mention the plastic housing and the strap. Pity for all the work those asian manufacturers put in it. Seeing that PCB made me think that maybe some of you want to see the schematic also and with a little help from digikey's Scheme It here you have it in all it's glory:

Quite rudimentary but it's good enough for the budget involved.

- It has a red LED that lights up when you spin the crank
- It also has a strap that you can.. do whatever you want with it

- Gave me something to write about in this article

- It's a "junk out of the box" kind of thing

1 comment:

  1. lol.. i, too, bought that just to fulfilled my curiosity.. i got a lot of attention by spinning the crank in public pretending it worked :P