Steps 4, 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 Car alternator DIY pedal generator

 

 

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Step 4 - Remove Rubber Retaining Ring From

The  Ascent Magnetic 3 Level Trainer Friction Roller Shaft

 

Use some needle nose pliers or some one who has really long & strong finger nails to remove the rubber retaining ring of the end of the metal support shaft.  Once this is off,  gently shake the friction roller around and push on the end of the support shaft with your finger.  It will then slide out.  Once it is fully off the stand, put the rubber retaining ring back on the shaft.  If your smart an lucky, you'll be able to get $20.00 by putting it on http://craigslist.com or eBay.

Bike trainer with car alternator use for bike generator 110V ac stand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Step 5: Cutting Your Super Strut / (AKA Universal strut or Uni-strut)

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Step 5

If you don't want to buy your Super-strut  off the web, you can drop by the local bricks and mortar hardware store like Home Depot to pick up what you need. 

 

Make your way through the tumult to the electrical area and find the spot shown in this picture "HERE" .  That is the Superstrut rack section.

  In search of super strut in the electrical section of the home depot store needed to build a pedal power bike generator

 

 Pick yourself out a fine straight piece of Superstrut and try to make it out the store without mishap because it's really long and awkward to carry around the store,  and if it happens to drop on the floor on accident like it did with me, it's so loud that people will  hear it from one end of the store to the other.

 

Pick a 10 foot long piece of superstrut to buy at Home Depot to build a pedal power bicycle generator

 

Since you are working to achieve a small energy foot print and trying to conserve, you probably drive a fuel efficient car like a 1990 Honda Civic.  This can present a challenge when you try to go to Home Depot to get your piece of Super Strut.  Namely because it only comes in 10 foot lengths.  You can see the piece below balanced on the shopping cart with the Honda Civic in the background.

At this point you reach into your front seat of your ride and grab your trusty hack saw.

 

 

After about 100 strokes of your mighty blade,  the Super Strut yields and you emerge the victor.

 

Cutting Superstrut with Hacksaw in Home Depot Parking Lot for Bike Genrator Project

NOTE: the piece you cut has sharp edges that can cut your hands.  Handle with care.  Bring a file with you to file off any sharp burrs that are there.   Now you can easily load the Superstrut into your car and head home. 

 

 

Now cut two 24" long pieces of Superstrut.

 

 

Next cut a 9" piece of super strut

 

Step 6: Drilling 1/2" Holes In Superstrut

 

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Step 3a - Mark your hole locations

Free DIY Bicycle generator plans Step 3: drill 1/2 inch holes into superstrut

 

Step 3b - Drill your 1/2" Holes

 

You have three options for this step.  (1) Use a small drill press to make your 1/2" hole  (2) Use a hand drill to make your 1/2" holes (3) Get some one else or machine shop to drill your 1/2" holes.   

If you use option (1) or (2) read the safety instructions in the manual that came with your tools.  You are liable for injury or damage caused by your failure to comply with safety and operating guidelines of your tool.

Option(1) is the best in my opinion.  For those of you whose modus operandi is to constantly try to justify buying more tools for your garage (like me) now is the opportunity to get a small drill press for $85 at your local hardware store.   A drill press is nice because it drills straight through the Superstrut.  With a hand drill this is a little harder.   Note that the holes need to be straight through the Superstrut  or your pieces will look crooked when they are mounted to the stand.    

 

For this step you have to drill completely through both sides of the Superstrut.  If you choose your drill press, set it to low speed.  Don't press too hard.  It should take about 1 minute per hole.  NOTE: The tills (shavings from the hole)  are HOT!  You must wear safety glasses when doing this.  You could get small piece of metal in your eye like I did on another project.  It caused a rust ring in my eye and I had to do to the eye doctor to get it out. 

Setup of drill press to drill 1/2 holes for pedal power bike generator

 

 

 

 

Use a larger bit to scrape the sharp edges from the hole.  If you don't have a larger bit, then use a hand file. 

 

 

Step 7: Assemble the Superstrut frame

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This is the Alternator  mounting cross piece.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 8: Mount the 14.8 Volt DC Alternator

 

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Drill mounting holes in L-Brackets for 68 AMP  Car  Alternator

 

Drill press with 3/8" bit for car alternator Mounting Brackets

 

Bracket hole dimensions 3/8" Drill bit for alternator mounting to bike generator

 

pedal power cell phone charger L-brackets for car alternator mounting

 

Put the L Brackets on the Alternator  as shown below with a 3/8" bolt or threaded rod.

 

 

Side view of the 9 Inch Long Superstrut Alternator  mount -cross piece

 

Leave all the mounting bolts hand tight for now.  You will need make adjustments to optimize belt tightness and rear tire alignment.

 

Step 9: Putting belt on your rear tire

 

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Turn your bike upside down and remove the rear tire.  The ascent bike stand comes with a spare quick release axle.  It has hardened ends in the optimal shape to fit with the Ascent Bike stand.  If you quick release axle has plastic ends, don't us it!  Use the axle that comes with the bike stand. 

 

NOTE: Make sure that your quick release handle is on the opposite side of your wheel that your gears are on.  It must be that way to work in the Ascent Bike Stand!

 

Remove the tube and tire from your rear wheel so it looks like this. You can leave the rubber liner thing on if you want.  It doesn't seem to make a difference.

 

Now put the belt on.

 

Put the wheel back on the bike frame.

 

Make sure the wheel is equi-distant from the frame.  This is a very common mistake.  Notice in the picture below how the gaps between each side of the wheel and frame are the same size.  you need to do the same comparison check.

 

 


Step 10: Mounting Your Bike To the  Ascent Magnetic 3 Level Trainer

 

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Follow the instructions that came with the Ascent Trainer to mount your bike.  

 

Unscrew the tension knob out all the way

 

Insert the axle end first that does not have the handle on it as shown below. 

 

 

 

Adjust your quick release handle so that it is on the top of the axle.  Next adjust the landing cup of the bike trainer so it's wide opening is also facing upward.  This will allow you set the axle end right into the cup as you tighten the tension knob.

 

 

Step 11: Aligning the belt to the wheel

 

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Now you need to align the Alternator  to the rear wheel.

 

In this picture you can see the belt is not aligned, it is too far to the right.

 

Since you only hand tightened the bolts, you can know adjust the car Alternator as shown below.  By doing a proper alignment, you have a more efficient bike generator because there will be less friction.  And it will keep the belt from jumping off when you are pedaling.

 

 

Don't not start pedaling until you have a load or a large capacitor on the Alternator .  It may cause damage to it.   Congratulations, you are know half way done!

 

 

Step 11.5- Installing a protective load resistor across car alternator terminals.

WARNING: At this point people want to jump on the bike and give it a spin.  But you can't do that without first putting an electrical load of some kind across the positive and negative terminals.   IF YOU FAIL TO DO SO, IT WILL KILL THE ALTERNATOR. If you want to safely run your pedal power bicycle generator then you can hook the alternator up to a car head light, or a 12 Volt light bulb, or a digital capacitor, or a 220 Ohm 10 Watt Resistor.   

Below is how the protective resistor may be installed.  It's worth the $1.00 investment!

 

 

 

Step 12: Electrical Wiring to the Alternator

 

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Prepare the In-Line Fuse Holder wire by crimping on a 1/4" inner diameter ring terminal on one end and a female spade connector on the other.   Next prepare a 9 inch black wire with a large 3/8" inner diameter crimp terminal ring on one end and a crimp on male spade connector on the other.  These need to be YELLOW which means these connectors are rated for high current up to 20 Amps.

 

 

Use lock washers when you put these on to help make sure they don't get loose.

 

Make sure you have a 20 Amp Fuse in the fuse holder.  This 12 AWG wire is only rated for 20 Amps. So do the right thing and play it safe.  Even though the fuse holder comes with a 30 Amp fuse it's not ok to use it.

 

 

Step 13: Assembly of Digital Capacitor and Cobra 800 Watt Inverter

 

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| Step 1 |  | Step 2 |   | Step 3 | |Step 4 |  |Step 5 | |Step 6 | |Step 7 | |Step 8 | |Step 9  | |Step 10  | |Step 11 | |Step 12 | |Step 13|  | Specifications |   | Test Results |

OBSOLETE

These Free DIY BYO Plans are now being replaced by these plans which involve less steps.

 

First lay out your electrical box the way you want it.

 

 

Next Mark your holes with a sharpie

 

 

 

Get a scrap piece of wood to put under the electrical box so you don't drill a hole into the nice table below like I did.

 

Drill your holes in your box.  Use a 1/4" bit. 

 

 

Use a shop vac to vacuum out the tillings.  These are very sharp and can get into the inverter or wiring and cause problems. Make sure  clean them up.

 

 

These holes have very very very SHARP pieces of medal around the.  You MUST de-burr these holes!  You are responsible for your safety!  Use an over sized drill bit by hand to push firmly against the hole and turn the bit. This will remove the sharp burrs around the hole.

BEFORE                          AFTER

 

 

Use some 8-32 machine screws that are 3/8" long.  Also you need some lock washers.

 

You need two people to make this go quickly without dropping parts.  Tile the electrical box up on end.   Have one person hold the Cobra 800 Watt Inverter part being mounted while you stand at the rear of the box and  put the lock washer and the nut on.

 

   

 

 

Next mount the 2.0 Farad Digital Power Capacitor using the clear plastic mounting brackets it came with.

  

 

 

 

 

 

Gently tighten all four screws on the Digital Capacitor brackets.  REMEMBER - plastic easily cracks, so if you over tighten, it will ruin the brackets.

 

 

Now mount your terminal strip

 

At this point your panel should look something like this:

 

 

Now cut the ends off of your Astro Flight DIGITAL WATTS/VOLT METER

 

 

Now strip the ends of the wires so you can crimp some connector terminals onto them.

 

  It should like the picture below when you are done.

 

Now connect the right side (Also known as the supply side) of the Astro Flight  DIGITAL WATTS/VOLT METER to the terminal strip.  Tighten the screws firmly to get a good solid electrical connection that will handle 20 Amps.  Don't over tighten! It may strip the threads of the screw.

 

 

Next take off the male connector of the cigarette lighter plugs.  These are used for low current charging of cell phones or game poys, or portable play stations or I pod devices.  Strip the ends of the wires so you can put crimp on ring terminals onto them.

 

 

 

Use an ohm meter to make sure you know which wire is positive and which is negative.  If you don't do this right, you could end up blowing fuses or damaging your bike generator.  Set you  $10.00 volt meter from radio shack to a resistance measurement.  Next put one hand probe on the end of one wire and the other Ohm meter hand probe on center contact post of the cigarette lighter plug.  You will see it when you look down into the barrel of the cigarette lighter plug.   If the ohm meter shows 0.2 to 1 ohms then you know the wire you are holding is connected to the positive terminal.  GET a piece of tape and mark that wire so you make no mistake when putting it together.    If the ohm meter doesn't show any measurement change when you touch the two ponts, then switch your hand probe to the other wire end to confirm that it is the positive voltage wire.

 

 

Do the polarity check described above on both of the two cigarette lighter sockets.  Now twist their wire ends together.  Make sure the positives are twisted together.

 

Now crimp on the ring terminals to the ends of these wires.

 

Now to make extra sure you don't get mixed up, mark the conectors positive and negative with a permanent marker as shown below.

 

 

Now prep an  In-Line Fuse Holder  with two crimp on ring termals as shown below.  This will hold a 10 Amp fuse for whatever you plan on providing power to.  The reason why it has to be 10 Amps is because the wiring fo the cigarette lighter plugs can only handle a max current of 5 Amps each.   So 5 + 5 = 10 Amps.   After you prepare the In-Line Fuse Holder  cut a black wire of the same length and put crimp on ring terminals on both ends of it.   Connect one end of the black wire to the negative (Black) terminal of the Cobra 800 Watt Inverter terminal along with the negative (black) wire from the Astro Flight  DIGITAL WATTS/VOLT METER as shown on the picture on the right.

     

 

 

 

Now connect the   In-Line Fuse Holder to the positive post of the  Cobra 800 Watt Inverter. And the other end to the terminal shown in the picture below.

 

 

Now attach the cigarette lighter plugs to the terminals as shown in the picture below.

 

 

Now remove the nuts from the 2.0 Farad Digital Power Capacitor

 

Prepare the end of a size 12 AWG Stranded wire with a yellow crimp on ring terminal connector as shown below.  Attach the ring connector to the negative side of the 2.0 Farad Digital Power Capacitor .  You have to look very carefully at the markings in the plastic housing.  Make sure you see which one has the plus sign and which one has the negative sign before moving forward.  Cut the black wire to about a 6 inch length as shown in the picture below.  REMEMBER:  if you want to power up a TV set, having short thick wiring to the Cobra 800 Watt Inverter is the key. This is because a TV set has a very large current spike when it turns on.  So make the wiring short, and the crimps of a good quality.

 

 

Now crimp a ring terminal connector onto the end of the black wire you just cut and attach it to the terminal as shown below.

 

 

 

Now cut a 10" piece of Red wire size 12 AWG stranded.

 

Strip the ends of this wire as shown below.

 

 

Now put on ring terminal connectors as shown below.  One terminal has a inside diameter of 3/8" .  This is for the big post on the   Digital Capacitor.

 

Attach the red wire to the Digital Capacitor  and the terminal strip as shown below.

 

Now get 10 feet of size 12 AWG black wire and red wire.  Prepare one end of the wires as shown below.

 

 

 

Feed the wires through the opening in the electrical box and tie a not in the wires. This will make a strain relief so that if some one walking buy trips on the wires to the bike, it won't ruin your connections.

 

 

Attach the ring terminals to the posts on the Digital Capacitor as shown below.  MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RED wire on the Positive terminal. If you don't it cause damage and personal injury! Use a 1/2 inch deep socket wrench to tighten the nuts down.  Tighten them down until they are nice and snug.  But don't over tighten!

 

 

Install safety cover over terminals. When this 2.0 Farad Digital Power Capacitor is charged, it has tons of power stored in it.  You definitely need to put the cover on to avoid an accident!!!

 

 

 

Now cut the other ends of the red and black wires at your desired length.  Should be at least 10 feet long to provide enough resistance to allow the generator alternator to charge the 2.0 Farad Digital Power Capacitor capacitor without bogging you down. 

 

Next put the ends of the wires into a hand drill as shown below.

 

Now slowly turn the hand drill and twist the wires as shown below.

 

It should look like this when you are done.

 

 

Next strip and prepare the ends of the red and black wires as shown below.  The red wire needs to have a male yellow crimp on spade connector.  And the black wire needs to have the opposite- a female yellow spade crimp on connector.  This will help to  ensure  you hook up to the bike generator with the right polarity.

 

 

 

Install a 4 Watt night light into the Cobra Power Inverter

  This will make sure that the inverter has some kind of load on it so that bike generator won't over shoot the inverter's operating range of 15 volts. 

 

Now hook up the wiring form the electrical panel to your car alternator. Now you are ready to test out your bike generator!  Make sure the 4 Watt night light is on by first plugging it into a regular wall socket.  Then put it hack into the inverter.  Make sure the AC inverter is turned on. 

 

 Now get on your bike and start pedaling up to 300 RPM or 23 miles per hour.  You must put your bike in high gear.   The capacitor should show a voltage of 14.8 DC.

 

 

Now you can hook a cell phone charger to the cigarette lighter plugs and see if it works.  And hook up a sony playstation or TV television set or laptop personal computer to the ac inverter see if it works.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Car alternators are a little bit less efficient then a DC Permanent magnet motor used as a generator. I have had people contact me after building the alternator bicycle generator complain to me that  "...it's too hard to pedal when I hook it up to a 100 Watt light bulb through an inverter".  So beware, you will have to work very hard to pedal a 100 Watt load with a Bike generator that uses a car alternator.   

If you try hooking up something that requires more than 40 or 50 Watts, you can use a design that uses a permanent magnet motor as a generator with a voltage regulator like the one shown in these  free plans   here

 

 

 

 

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Note: For this photo the bicycle powered generator is hooked up to a Sony Play Station PS2 video game.  It runs at only 34 Watts while playing a Harry Potter game.  This is easy for most teenagers to supply for an hour. Bike Powered Video Game Pedal Power Generator DC / AC output