A good year ago I bought a cheap dynamo from eBay. The lights that came with it were utter garbage and I chucked them. The dynamo got installed and left to linger on the bike.
Over the past couple weeks, I have been tinkering around with the idea of getting the dynamo running and producing useful power for when I'm riding. The first generation system was simply a bridge rectifier and the largest capacitor I had in my parts crate. Pedalling by hand produced a healthy 20+ volts with no load attached.
Yesterday, my buddy Scott and I had a day off and it was decided that this project would step up a gear. We decided that the best course of action would be to get a proper power supply setup rather than a cobbled together mish-mash amalgamation of random components. There are a number of things suitable for power generation but nothing really suited 100%. We decided that a kit from Maplin was the best route to go down. It provides for potential expansion in the future, just need to swap out the regulator. Currently it is capped at 1 amp at 5 volts. If I decide I want more amps, it will cost about £2 to upgrade. Not bad.
We opted to alter the configuration of the components from the kit defaults. The large capacitor is moved off to the side so that it will fit in the project box and the regulator is now fitted outside the box with a heatsink for better cooling.
After fiddling with the adjustment potentiometer (tiny movements are needed to get to the right voltage) and testing with a sacrificial device, we test rode the setup.
Need to get the box fastened down properly and everything tidied up, as well as get a proper mount for my phone but for all intents and purposes, job done! Not bad for an afternoon's work.