I miss the 1980s Radio Shack

While building the bicycle generator, I wished I could find an electronics component store. I needed a couple parts, a diode and an inline Volt/Amp meter.  I checked the phone book for electronic parts and components and an older phone book had a few stores, but in the new phone book, the section no longer existed to be replaced by e-cigs.

The elusive diode…  After several phone calls and a store drop by, to no avail, I succumbed to ordering online.

In the video, I am feeling a sort of dread and disappointment that my generation will no longer see the brick and mortar specialized stores.  Instead, we must shop online exclusively for specialty items.   Ordering online for us means a minimum of a 4 day wait and that is with 2 day Amazon prime.  If the component is the wrong size, does not work as anticipated, or is made so cheaply it would be unwise to use it in the system, the return of another 4 days with another 4 day wait for the replacement could postpone a project over 8 days. Plus, the initial 4 day wait to begin with is a dozen days and don’t forget weekends.  I could have finished the bicycle generator in one day, if I could have purchased all the parts I needed at a localized store.  Gone are the days.

Gone are the days… The inline Volt/ Amp meter, I was surprised even my auto parts store didn’t have this one.

What does this mean for our society? Patience is a virtue? Or, progress is only as fast as the postal service.  Perhaps, with the death of these corporations a new demand will inspire people to start their own brick and mortar businesses to replace them, and the cycle will begin once again.  We can only hope.  I wonder if I could start a successful electronics store.

It Really Works… Introducing the Bicycle Generator.

For the past few months, I have been trying to build our own bicycle generator.  Soon it became a sort of obsession as I tried to take an old exercise bike and convert it to a human powered generator.  These past few weeks, I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  With help from a follower of this website, author of Random Thoughts [of an engineer] who pointed me in the right direction.  A bicycle generator, producing 6 Volts cannot charge a 12 Volt battery.  The Volts are like force and force the current Amperes through the system.  A 6 Volt generator couldn’t push its way through a 12 volt system.   It would be like a snowball trying to push back an avalanche, well maybe not that extreme, but since it’s winter, I needed a winter simile.

I tried to use a 24 Volt alternator, but that too failed.  The physical human force to power it was beyond our physical limits for any measurable amounts of time.  I tried using a small DC charge controller which could not be integrated into the system.  I debated buying a DC booster and went with an extra DC motor added in series instead.

Unfortunately, I have little to know knowledge of electronics. However, I plan to do another post and video about the deceptions on the Internet concerning these so called bicycle generator plans, and how people believe certain laws of physics don’t apply to them.  That is fine if people want to create their own religion, but please don’t put blueprints on the Internet and claim they work when they don’t.  I wonder if the authors who wrote the bicycle generator article actually built the bike. Hopefully,  they’re not spreading false information because they want a “blog article” paycheck even if it means their is no factual basis in the article.

Moving on… How do you like the music?  This song “I Believe You” comes from a used record I purchased years ago, Made in America, 1981.  I finally got to play it with a record player I received for Christmas.  I grew up listening to Karen Carpenter, and I love her voice.  To avoid a copyright strike on YouTube, I altered the song 4 different ways. First, I placed a slight echo, next I upped the bass, I sped up the tempo by 15%, Lastly, I added a slight reverb to give it an auditorium feel.  I have learned that altering older music for people to listen to online has been called VaporWave.  I am not a big fan of it and didn’t push this song so far out that it would be almost unrecognizable.  Plus, like electronics, I know even less about mixing music. If the video gets taken down by YouTube, it will disappear here as well until I can find another song to replace it.

Update:  The video was flagged as copyright infringement by YouTube’s algorithm within a few seconds of the first of the upload. So, I had to pick an open source song completely different from the one I had.  All that work mentioned above wasted.