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  1. #1
    Senior Member thatcher's Avatar
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    bicycle powered tv

    how much output do i need to be putting out to power something like a tv. i want to rig my rollers up to generate power. anyone done this?

  2. #2
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    i saw the same question come up once before the electronics forum here existed.

    Small electric generators lose a very substantial amount of power in the process of converting motion to electricity and TVs are pretty power hungry. One alternative another forum member mentioned was to wire a generator to a transistor or switch, so that when your pedal generator is making enough power the TV stays on and when it isn't, the TV turns off. You don't really power the TV with your bike, but you still have to exercise to watch TV.

    This site has a list of electricity consumption for a bunch of TV models.
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  3. #3
    Guy on a Bike TreeUnit's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    It depends on the size of the TV. There's no way you'll be able to generate enough power for a 42" plasma display, but you could run a 20" LCD with ease.

    Now, as for how to rig up those rollers... You'll probably start with a 12V DC motor, hooked up to a capacitor bank and a voltage regulator. That might be able to power the TV if it is 12V compatible (ie portable camping TVs), otherwise you'll need an AC inverter as well.

    The motor will need to spin at a certain rpm to generate 12V, so make sure that for a set cadence (ie. 80rpm), the motor is geared to spin at the optimum speed.
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  5. #5
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    I experimented using a hub motor in a wheel that e bikes use and spinning it on rollers. You can output a lot of amps that way but the best way would be to run the DC tv off a battery and charge the battery by pedaling on the rollers. You'd need a wet cell lead acid battery with a pretty large amp hour rating. With slow pedaling I could easily run a CD boom box and radio directly, with more effort I managed to run a 75 watt incandescent lamp through an inverter for a while. It would be really hard to run an AC tv directly because it pulls a whole lot of amps at start up and nobody can pedal that fast to provide them.

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