consumer foot power generator "WEZA"

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scottiej
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consumer foot power generator "WEZA"

Post by scottiej » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:59 am

recently ran across this whilst searching for hand crank lanterns.
Freeplay Weza
Image

The device was briefly discussed in the self-sufficient living forum in this Thread. Figured it might like some attention here.

Biggest draw back is it weighs in at 20lbs. I'll bet however that the on-board battery accounts for most of that weight. Ideally it would be more useful if the battery was removable. I wonder if one could modify this to be a stand alone generator with a voltage regulator and small capacitor for recharging small batteries or hand-held devices. This was the reason I found this device, while searching for a "wind-up" generator to recharge small batteries, unsuccessfully I might add. Not that crank generators aren't common, but rather they're so small it would take hours of cranking just to recharge one nimh AA to full charge. Brunton and Sunlinq both make compact folding solar panels capable of charging any 12V device, but you'd need sunlight for several hours. This would be fine unless your bugging out required stealth and mobility to evade the zombie hoards.

I will likely include one or two common car alternators in my BOL (paired with a bicycle), which should give me plenty of power potential once I get there, but while on the move a generator would come in handy (if anyone is interested in converting alternator to generators, check out otherpower.com)

Anyone have any thoughts?
"Now you see evil will always triumph, because good is dumb" -Dark Helmet

southalabama
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Re: consumer foot power generator "WEZA"

Post by southalabama » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:01 am

My brother has one...........and they are cool, I'm jealous.

Benbrutal
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Re: consumer foot power generator "WEZA"

Post by Benbrutal » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:19 am

http://www.batteryjunction.com/frwefrfopoge.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This is the best price I have found for the WEZA. There will times, sitting in your BOL, being serenaded by the softly moaning Zeds, where you could recharge some batteries by pumping away at your weza. You could even charge batteries as a PAW business. Before then you can charge \jumpstart your car.
As soon as they come in, I'm getting one.
Preparedness: The difference between can-of-food and cannibal.
The big feral hogs are only good for sausage, but the young ones can be made into bacon,
and once you have bacon, you win!

Johnsky
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Re: consumer foot power generator "WEZA"

Post by Johnsky » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:18 pm

While a foot powered generator might sound beneficial, it contains moving parts that I wouldn't trust to be around when I need them. The linear to angular distribution of force has never been mechanically reliable over time, except for in an engine, where each piston (imagine a bunch of these and a bunch of feet) is timed perfectly enough to ensure smooth transition from stroke (step) to stroke.
You're using your foot... you're bound to press on it while it's piston arm is at the TDC position a few times. (Remember, the piston I am referring to is not an actual piston, but the foot pump you are pressing your foot onto).
God help you if that arm is plastic.

At 20 lbs. the thing is using allot of your energy just lugging it around, and THEN you have to spend more leg energy to power it.
It might be great for household use during a power outage... but I can't see it being very desirable for on the move situations.
That energy is best spent on scavenging your next meal, rather than charging your cell phone. Am I right?


Now... I know not many people place credence in solar cells. But look up solar backpacks. You can even make one yourself if you like. Which is understandable as most solar backpacks are only intended for small devices, and as such, aren't anything the size of a rucksack which you'd need for survival.


So... if you don't want to buy a pre-made solar backpack, or pre-made solar charging case (they look like suitcases)...

You can buy flexible solar cells from many hardware stores. Canadian tire has them if you're in Canada. Pay attention to the peak wattage rating. Just because it has a large surface area, doesn't mean it provides more power. They sometimes use cheaper cells, making it look better... the Peak Watt Rating is important! (The higher the better)

After that, you'll want a battery... heck, if you really are hell bent on car batteries, fine, but me?, I'm keen on Lithium Ion.
I know Lithium Ion isn't exactly cheap... but guess what, the things people throw away are! And many household electronics use lithium ion cells, they last, even after being rained on for weeks in a scrap yard... If you don't want to go rummaging around a scrap yard there's a workaround.
Your local radio shack sells UPS units (Un-interruptible Power Supplies), crack the beast open, find the battery, and link your solar cell directly into the charge limiting circuit. (The charge limiter will typically accept any voltage, but will stop the incoming flow when the battery reaches it's ideal charge level. Do not bypass this limiter! The last thing you want to do is be charging the cells for years while your kit sits un-used. This will ruin the batteries... USE THE LIMITER!)
(Oh and, if you've never worked with electronics before, you might want to have someone who has do this for you... if you're persistent, on the inputs, red is + and black is - (might be substituted with green)... just don't forget that... no never mind, on second thought get someone who knows what they're doing with a soldering iron.)
These UPS units are getting VERY light-weight recently. The one I'm looking at to run my home electronics costs 28 bucks... and will run your standard PC (monitor and all) for approximately 8 hours. It's about a half foot, by a foot, by a few inches thick. It will fit nicely into even the smallest backpacks. (Heck, shove it in your wife's purse if she demands to bring it with her).

That's it. UPS units come with their own inverters and 120VAC sockets, ready to plug your typical electronics into it.
The solar cells drape nicely over your rucksack and do the work for you. No moving parts, no maintenance. (Unless you're abusive). You can leave the UPS at the bottom of your sack, and the solar cell over the top, or down the back, the side, stitched onto the fabric, whatever.
You don't need to stop to charge the batteries. It's ready at the end of the day when you need light, cause you were just carrying it with you during the day.

Now... pre-made kits...
Voltaic Systems : http://www.voltaicsystems.com/
These guys make solar backpacks. Most of them will be your typical school-boy sized backpack though, but the "Generator" series is in a suitcase style bag, which you can easily strap onto the back of your rucksack if you're so inclined.

Powerenz : http://www.powerenz.com/store/index.php ... t&catId=16
These guys are EXPENSIVE... BUT, these systems are intended for survival situations. They will generate enough power to run a 90 watt electronic device for over 8 hours. Imagine trying to do that with your foot.

HERE http://www.instructables.com/id/Buildin ... generator/ Is a very good step by step on building your own solar generator. (You don't have to use a portable cooler if you don't want... just substitute cooler for rucksack and you'll be doing fine.)

Now, I know some might be saying "Oh my god, if I wanted a lesson on how to go green, I'd ask an environmental nut"...
I'm not trying to get you to go green... solar is reliable. There are no moving parts. If it's there for you today, it will be there for you next year, or the year after that, excluding damage from abuse.
In an survival situation... reliable is key.
So while you're out scavenging your next meal, or hunting it... your generator is sitting back at base camp doing the recharging for you... without the need for your foot to be present.

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DryGrain
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Re: consumer foot power generator "WEZA"

Post by DryGrain » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:24 pm

scottiej wrote: I will likely include one or two common car alternators in my BOL (paired with a bicycle), which should give me plenty of power potential once I get there, but while on the move a generator would come in handy (if anyone is interested in converting alternator to generators, check out otherpower.com)

Anyone have any thoughts?
Awesome! I just had the same idea today.
Gerry Agnosia wrote:Zombie Squad: A lot of us are losers. Shut up.
Valarius wrote:War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Cake is Pie.
SKS, .45LC, Cheesecake

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