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Self Powered flashlight

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by _DD, Dec 20, 2005.

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  1. _DD

    _DD Guest

    I've seen a lot of these things lately: coil with movable slug in a
    cylinder. Supposed to charge up a cap or maybe a nicad if you shake
    it long enough (I won't go there).

    1: Some of the cheap ones look like they use a nonmagnetic slug,
    straight Li calculator batteries, and no diodes or other parts. I
    can't think of how that would work. Anyone?

    2: Does anyone know of a source for one that actually works?
  2. SQLit

    SQLit Guest

    2 for 5 bucks at the Walgreen's check out. Smaller ~2 c cell size. I shook
    it back and forth for a couple of seconds and low and behold light. I
    passed, cause the led was barely visible in store light at a range of 3
  3. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    BTW, a flashlight *cannot* power itself; thermodynamics does not
    allow that, and flashlights do not have sufficent awareness in any case.
  4. I have seen and even purchased such things from a dollar store, and
    determined after I got home that these were imitations. The batteries
    in these imitations are CR2016, which i surely believe is a
    non-rechargeable type. The coil's leads in these imitations are shorted
    together. The "magnets" in these imitations are not magnets but merely
    chunks of steel rod.
    Since the packaging makes actual claims of never needing replacement
    batteries and to shake in a specific direction and to shake to recharge,
    my opinion is that these fakes are something truly dishonest. I wonder if
    a specific law was broken where I could get a DA or a law enforcement
    agency involved.

    The dollar store where I got them has a return policy posted on their
    door: No refunds, returns only for exchange of factory defects, and then
    only with receipt and a time limit. So I left one of these on for a week
    to drain the battery and went back to the dollar store to return one.
    Someone there took my return, shook it and was unsuccessful at recharging
    it by shaking it, then pulled another from its box on a display rack,
    found it dead and was unable to charge it by shaking it, and pulled
    another that was good from the box, so I get a replacement rubbish fake
    shake-to-recharge flashlight with at-least-somewhat-good cheap CR2016
    calculator batteries for my time and effort of making the return and my
    $1.99-plus-tax that I originally spent on the one returned.
    I have seen them (non-fakes) at Upper Darby True Value, a hardware store
    in the 6900 block of Marshall Rd, Upper Darby PA USA. Where in PA - in
    Delaware County, in the zip code 19082. I found ones there that did not
    light before I shook them and did change to working in my response to
    shaking them.

    Web references to true such things, not necessarily any specific model
    that I personally experienced:

    (A review page by a notable LED flashlight reviewer, Craig Johnson AKA
    "LED Museum".)

    - Don Klipstein ()
  5. Yes! I'm a bit surprised by this thread. Many of these
    shake-to-recharge flashlights are the real thing. I can't
    quite believe that some people (not you) think all or most
    of these are fake.

    However, some people have obviously decided to cash in with
    fakes and I am surprised you have any reluctance at all to
    call this what it is.
    Since I'm not a lawyer and I'm also not sure which state you
    live in this is my non-professional answer - YES! This is
    fraud. Based on your description the product clearly claims
    to do something it does not. This is not even subtle. It is
    an outright fraud. This is a criminal offense. If you lived
    in New York I can just about guarantee that a call to the
    Consumer Protection Bureau of the office of the New York
    Attorney General would produce results. If the city or
    county where the store is located has a consumer protection
    bureau, you might want to try them first.
    Did you explain to these fine people that they were selling
    a product that does not function as described on the box and
    this opens the store owner to possible criminal penalty if
    he or she knows that the product is not even designed to
    perform the functions designed on the box?

    Vic Roberts
    To reply via e-mail:
    replace xxx with vdr in the Reply to: address
    or use e-mail address listed at the Web site.

    This information is provided for educational purposes only.
    It may not be used in any publication or posted on any Web
    site without written permission.
  6. TKM

    TKM Guest

    One that appears to work is the "Forever Flashlight" made by Excalibur
    Electronics in Miami, FL [ ]. I've had one for
    about a year. It uses a single white LED, copper coil, metal slug and a PC
    board. The case is semi-transparent, but I can't get it apart without
    breaking something to check the circuit.

    You shake the thing horizontally for about 30 seconds and that results in
    about 3 minutes of light. The instructions warn about placing the unit
    anywhere the magnetic field might damage video tapes, credit cards or
    pacemakers, so that says it has a working dynamo.

    But for quantity of light, I still prefer my Mag-Lite.

    Terry McGowan
  7. If it's anything like mine, then unscrewing the lens cap will allow the
    entire guts to be slipped out the front with ease. By popping the end
    cap off, the whopping big neodymium magnet can then be removed for high
    power magnetic foolishness. :)

    (And it all goes together again easily too.)
  8. Providing you didn't get the magnet stuck to something
    whilst playing with it ;-)
  9. TKM

    TKM Guest

    Maybe a yank with a pipe wrench will do it. I'll get out the big dude I use
    for sewer pipes and burglars. I'd like to see that
    circuit board up close.

    Terry McGowan
  10. One of the fake ones says the same thing! I just saw a different
    package at a different dollar store with the same light!

    Looks like my state attorney general's office will be getting a call
    from me soon!

    - Don Klipstein ()
  11. TKM

    TKM Guest

    Good idea, Don. I've been working with residental lighting fixture
    manufacturers lately and they are all complaining about the fake products
    being sold to say nothing of the forged UL and other safety marks. Canadian
    Standards Association now offers a service where they inspect containers on
    the dock before they leave Asia for forgeries. UL told me recently that
    complaint reports had jumped by 50% over the last year.

    Terry McGowan
  12. Zak

    Zak Guest

    My parents bought oen for fun years ago that had gears and a real bulb.
    It gave real light. Sadly it was made of plastic and I destroyed it as a
    kid by squeezing to hard.

    The category is called 'knijpkat' in Dutch - squeeze-cat.

    More efficient than shaking, I'm sure. And available in LED models these

  13. I had a similar hand-powered flashlight when I was a child
    about 55 years ago. Squeezing the handle turned a small
    generator which powered the lamp. There as no energy storage
    other than the inertia of the a flywheel that was part of
    the drive chain. In those days the gears and other working
    parts were made from metal and the flashlight lasted quite a
    long time.

    I few years ago I purchased a modern version for a class I
    was teaching. The gears were made from plastic and the
    device broke after a short time.

    Vic Roberts
    To reply via e-mail:
    replace xxx with vdr in the Reply to: address
    or use e-mail address listed at the Web site.

    This information is provided for educational purposes only.
    It may not be used in any publication or posted on any Web
    site without written permission.
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