Sean McIntyre · designing technology to create art

Bike-Powered Illumination

My bike is bright and shiny!

This past semester I had a bicycle wheel built with a hub dynamo for a class project. After the project wrapped up, the dynamo was left to look pretty on my hub without much of a job. So I decided to put it to use with some forgotten EL wire.

Inside an Altoids tin, I put a rectifier to convert the dynamo's AC output to DC, DC-DC converter to change 9-36V to 5V, and a small EL wire inverter to change the DC back to AC. I drilled two small holes in the tin and fed through the input and output wires.

Altoids tin with components

The dynamo output is hooked up to the rectifer input, and the inverter output is hooked up to the EL wire.

When I generate less than 9V, there's a neat blinking effect which I think is because it's outside the expected range of the DC-DC converter.

Next, I'd like to learn how to replace the project tin contents with a transformer to take the dynamo hub AC output and step it down to 3-5V for which works with the EL wire.

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