22, 1998 Design News
The Ultimate Human Powered Radio
Hand-wound spring transforms
human energy into electricity
by John Lewis, Northeast Technical
Hand-powered radio receives information and entertainment
virtually anytime, anywhere, and has proven effective
in enhancing communications in critical situations.
That's why it has won the acclaim of more than 30 international
humanitarian organizations and governments around the
world, including the British Red Cross, War Child, United
Nations Agencies, and the European Union.
Whether camping, boating, or simply
going to the beach, this radio requires no batteries
or outside power source. Rotating the fold-a-way handle
winds a textured carbon-steel spring around the torque
spool. As the spring unwinds itself back to its original
position on the storage spool, torque is applied through
a gearbox and belt drive to a dc generator. The generator
converts the stored human energy into electricity to
power the radio's receiver.
BayGenr recently introduced its extended-play Freeplayr2
radio, the FPR2. It provides a stylish, long-play option
to the original FPR1 short-wave model. While FPR1 played
for 30 min from a 30-sec wind, FPR2 plays for an hour.
BayGen has a solar-assisted radio, the FPR2S, in the
works. It combines solar power with the company's patented
Personal Power Generationr technology. The FPR2S delivers
continuous AM/FM reception. When exposed to direct sunlight,
the radio's solar cell can operate the radio exclusively.
With indirect sunlight, the combination power supply
extends the unit's playtime beyond an hour.