Alternative Energy Flashlight – A Goofy Little Project

I take apart printers. There’s often a lot of useful gears, belts, brushed motors, and such within them. I took one apart nearly a year ago, and had a motor sitting in a basket of pens on my desk ever since. I was recently fidgeting with it however, and had the idea to attach an LED to the terminals of the motor. When I spun the motor the correct direction, wonder of wonders, it lit up!

Fast forward a few weeks. I was playing with my free flashlight once again, and had the idea to attach some sort of rubber band and winding system.

I was about 5 minutes into it when I decided to start taking pictures. Here’s what I did after that point.

Front View 01 - Alternative Flashlight

I installed a ratcheting lock system on the side so that the rubber band could be wound without the motor turning.

Top View 01 - Alternative Flashlight


I could then install the rubber band and the crank system.

Crank System - Alternative Flashlight


The rubber band simply wraps around part of the motor’s gear, and because of the teeth, it stays on fairly well.

Rubber Band - Alternative Flashlight


The crank is simply a piece of galvanized wire bent to have a hook and a crank. It is passed through a wood block so that it doesn’t wear down the foam board.

Here it is all closed up.

Finished - Alternative Flashlight


And the post would be quite anticlamactic without a video:

So, is it useful? Not really. But it took me all of 10 minutes, and it’s rather funny to use. And hey, it might even demonstrate a bit of creativity and ingenuity.



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