How Crank Radios Work?
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How Do Crank Radios Work?
Hand crank radios operate the same as any standard radio. The difference is that while a standard radio will use batteries and/or AC wall outlet for power, the hand crank radio uses a dynamo generator to generate its own power and then stores this self generated power into a small bank of rechargeable Lithium batteries.
The hand crank generator works like an electric motor in reverse. The generator, which was invented by Michael Faraday (physicist), generates electricity by transforming kinetic energy provided by you and converting it to AC electricity current. This is possibly by passing a conductive wire through a magnetic field. The magnetic field is created when you spin a coil of wire, usually copper, around a magnet. This creates an electrical current that is transfered to the wire and used to power the radio and components.
Newest hand crank radios have multiple sources of electricity:
- Hand Crank Generator
- Wall Electrical Outlet
- Lithium Rechargeable Battery Pack (for storing electricity from generator)
- Solar Cell Panel (for Lithium battery pack trickle charge)
Here are the most common components of a Hand Crank Radio:
Crank Motor:This is the power plant of the machine. The crank mechanism works with a magnet and coiled wires to generate electricity.
Rechargeable Battery Pack: Stores the electricity generated by the crank motor.
Capacitor: This device has two conductive plates separated by an insulator. Electrical charges are stored in each plate.
Integrated Circuit or Microcircuit: The integrated circuit is an electronic chip in the circuit board that consists of many interconnected transistors.
Circuit Board: Printed circuit boards that connect the electronic components of the radio without wires.
Transistor: Used mainly as an amplifier. It also controls and generates electrical signals.
Antenna Connection: Collects radio waves from the air and basically acts as the radios ears.
Speaker: Turns electrical signals from waves to vibrations to sounds the human ear can hear.