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How does a wind-up generator work?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Don A. Gilmore, Jun 10, 2005.

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  1. Hi guys:

    How does a wind-up generator (like in a wind-up radio) work? Is it
    simply a dynamo that charges a NiCd battery, or is energy stored in a
    power spring (or neither)?

    Thanks for any replies.

  2. ....Just to clarify. I realize that a power spring can't produce
    electrical power. I just wondered if the mechanism truly winds up
    (like a wind-up toy) and then this mechanical energy is converted into
    electrical energy somehow.

  3. John

    John Guest

    I have a FreePlay radio with both wind-up and solar power sources.

    The wind-up mechanism on this radio works like a clock. You wind the
    spring and it drives a small DC generator (via a speed control
    mechanism) to power the radio for about 30 minutes.

    Other "wind-up" radios may have NiCad/NiMH cells and either use the
    spring mechanism / DC generator to charge the batteries, or use a
    crank-driven DC generator to charge the batteries directly (not
    exactly "wind-up", but does use a hand-crank ;-)

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