[Lab] human powered art

Andrew Plumb andrew at plumb.org
Mon Jan 17 12:28:46 EST 2011

Hey Richard,

Since you have a few steppers kicking around, something to try is wiring them up in parallel.  If you turn one, the other may turn in-step.

Not sure what might happen if you wired three up in parallel, or maybe in a triangular arrangement with one phase wired to each neighbour.  Get two people to crank steppers with/against each other, attach a fly-wheel to the third stepper and see what happens.


On 2011-01-16, at 8:38 PM, Richard Guy Briggs wrote:

> On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 06:12:24PM -0500, Richard Guy Briggs wrote:
>> On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 07:14:29AM -0500, Darcy Whyte wrote:
>>> I would like to make a human powered generator for an art project.
>>> I am curious if a couple of NEMA 34 motors is large enough to capture all
>>> the power that a human can generate.
>> Do you have a link for your NEMA 34 motor specs?  I've seen anywhere
>> from 50W up to 500, so it sounds like those might work!
>>> I'm suspecting that a stepper motor is a good candidate to make the
>>> electricity. I think the first part of the project is to make up some BOMs
>>> that show what motor to use, the RPM that it would require and parts for a
>>> rectifier and whatever else is necessary to operate in these applications.
>> I've got lots of small ones, so I can try some tests and see.  I
>> wouldn't have thought they would work because the rotor I thought was
>> unmagnetized steel.
> I now understand that NEMA 34 is a mounting plate standard.
> So, looking through my box, I have one NEMA 34 motor and four NEMA 23,
> plus about eight NEMA 17 or smaller as well as a bunch of other smaller
> assorted steppers.
> The NEMA 34 is a Matsushita 1HHS-486CS, 6V, 2.2ohm, 1.8 deg/step 6-wire
> unipolar.  I can't find any info about it on the net.  My guess is it
> its max rating is around 36W, maybe double that depending on how they
> rate them.
> Hooking up a bridge rectifier across each coil, using a cordless drill,
> I was able to get .5A short circuit and beyond 12v out of it open
> circuit.  Using various loads, I think I was able to get as much as 12W
> out of it.  It wasn't exhaustive, but I think that was somewhere near
> the peak.  I may have been able to get more with a higher speed.
> One of the NEMA 23 motors is a Matsushita 1HHS-457CH 24V, 26ohm,
> 1.8deg/step 6-wire unipolar.  Didn't find anything on it either.  Again
> my guess is 48 or maybe 96W.
> Short: 0.16A, Open: 170V  Most I was able to get was about 8 Watts out
> of it.
> These motors look pretty underpowered compared with some of the specs
> I've seen on the net...  This isn't surprising since I think these are
> 20 years old.
> Darcy, do you have any part numbers or specs for your steppers?
>> 	slainte mhath, RGB
> 	slainte mhath, RGB
> --
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