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View Full Version : Somewhat OT : GravityLight



batt-man
12-13-2012, 04:24 AM
Came across this project last night, thought it was cool and so wanted to share here.

http://deciwatt.com

There is some machining (you see one of the inventors using a lathe) but what struck me was the basic simplicity of the idea - ie use gravity to drive a generator and so power an led light...

Cheers
Batt..

flylo
12-13-2012, 08:17 AM
I clicked on it & got Godaddy saying it's an expired domain?

Arcane
12-13-2012, 08:28 AM
I think this is it.

http://www.wimp.com/illuminatewithout/

batt-man
12-13-2012, 08:32 AM
Sorry - that should have been deciwatt.org :o

A.K. Boomer
12-13-2012, 09:04 AM
I think its a unique idea for a light - I mean - we been using it for clocks for years, and nothing is more dependable than gravity.

BUT,,, allot has been learned from clocks over the years also, and when they started using springs it made things far more compact and "clocks" actually became more practical to where you could even wear them on your body and move around and such,

And even though the first springs were not all that dependable they got them down pretty good,

yet this is an electrical device - and we don't even need a physical "spring" we got these things called capacitors that are the electrical equivalent to the mechanical spring - and I might add extremely efficient and dependable.

So - I guess what im saying - is rather than picking a little weight up for a brief second and having some pretty lame light output for just a half hour - why not wind a hand crank generator for one minute and have even better light that last for close to four hours? And also light you can pick up and take with you if needed,

and that my friends has already been done, so im not seeing anything groundbreaking here, and in fact im kinda seeing a couple steps backwards... Not as good of light - and limiting it to only one spot, but unique? I'll give you that, till it falls off its mount into the dirt and jams up.

just my two lumens

A.K. Boomer
12-13-2012, 09:32 AM
New thought and one that could make more sense for a unit of this nature,

Don't try to compete with a unit that can be hand held and mobile, its just not practical.

If your going to do it then DO IT.

build a unit that you centrally locate in your room that powers and entire LED lightbulb. get serious, maybe a 50lb weight, now the hand cranks can't compete with it, think of it as kinda a grandfather clock, a place where people gather and listen to the gears turn...

Forrest Addy
12-13-2012, 09:49 AM
There's been wind-up radios for years (Costco used to sell them) but the spring and other mechanizm is complex and sensitive. Third world stuff has to take shoch, drowning, dust, etc. If they can make a $5 weight powered light, fine. If it will survive a suite of practical trials military for military equipment, even better. Here's my own refinement: if the LED has to emits light that will not attract insects or , dare we hope, repels them.

A.K. Boomer
12-13-2012, 10:49 AM
Here's my own refinement: if the LED has to emits light that will not attract insects or , dare we hope, repels them.

Hmmmm, now you got me thinking, don't repel the bugs, throw in some extra weight - or extra winding time to support another capacitor and zap them - not all of them - just enough of a zap to kill the malaria carrying mosquito's...

michigan doug
12-13-2012, 01:43 PM
I chipped in $60 to fund their experiment--get 1000 units into the hands of 3 world folks and test the concept. Then make a gen 2, even better.

At the $60 level of support, I get one of the gadgets some time in the next few months. I'll give a review if people are interested.

I have a bay gen wind up radio. Not cheap either. almost a hundred bucks if I recall. And heavy, and bulky. It broke I am sad to say. I have a good shakelight:

http://the-gadgeteer.com/2005/05/13/shakelight_nightstar_led_flashlight_review/

But, to make a product that has a really good capacitor, and other quality hardware, cost $40 to purchase at retail and are barely making it. I can't imagine high quality springs and bearings and capacitors for 5 bucks.

But if you can do it better and just as cheap, I'll support your kickstarter campaign too.

doug

Fasttrack
12-13-2012, 01:53 PM
yet this is an electrical device - and we don't even need a physical "spring" we got these things called capacitors that are the electrical equivalent to the mechanical spring - and I might add extremely efficient and dependable.



That depends largely on how much you want to spend. Your typical el'cheapo aluminum electrolytic capacitor is neither efficient or dependable. The type of energy storage capacitors you are referring to are pricey. People living at/below poverty level don't have the luxury of "green" technology. For instance, a surprisingly large percentage of the world population still heats and cooks with coal and you can be certain that this isn't "clean coal", it's burned in the least efficient, sootiest stoves or pits you can imagine.

malbenbut
12-13-2012, 03:01 PM
Quote by A.K. Boomer
"why not wind a hand crank generator for one minute and have even better light that last for close to four hours"
To use that method you would need rechargable batteries that could be costly to third world in habitants. I think the gravity light runs without them.
MBB

michigan doug
12-13-2012, 04:00 PM
Correct, no batteries and no capacitors. This is supposed to translate into a longer life and no upkeep costs.

doug

A.K. Boomer
12-13-2012, 09:11 PM
If that's the deterrent then make it a mechanical spring (sealed and oiled) of overwind-proof design,

done deal - and it's mobile... meaning you can take it to the outhouse at night and be assured of a clean wipe, I mean - I guess you could still do it with a swinging bag of weight but things could get a little messy that way for sure...

achtanelion
12-13-2012, 09:27 PM
I think the concept is great, but they're not taking it far enough. Use it as a central power device, and have LED bulb modules you can string to where you need them. If the central device with one bulb can be sold for 3 months kerosene budget, then each additional bulb should be in the 1/2 month range. Sold on a subscription basis (make a monthly payment for 3 - 4 months, get device and 2 remote bulbs) it should be affordable for everyone.

J

dp
12-13-2012, 10:14 PM
It isn't gravity powered, it is human powered just the same as a cuckoo clock. Springs were found to be more effective.