Recharge Your Phone in an Emergency, MacGyver Style

What would MacGyver do when his Blackberry goes dead during a blackout? Well, if he did have a cellphone, he would probably build this effective homemade charger in a snap.

King of Random Charger 1

The King of Random posted his video on Instructables, and the directions seemed easy enough to follow. He started with some basic household items like a piece of wood, an electric drill, some wire, yarn, and egg beater, and a wooden spoon. By removing the battery of the drill and setting it to reverse, one can harness energy through its battery terminal simply by spinning the drill manually. He used the wooden spoon on the egg beater attachment as the handle for spinning the drill.

King of Random Charger 2

Basically, with his set up, King of Random was able to generate the 5 volts needed to start charging a cellphone. He had to test the voltage several times, and he also had to regulate the speed by which he rotated the wooden spoon. Crank up too slowly, then the battery won’t charge. Crank up too fast, then you might overheat the system. He posts some important reminders and warnings for readers to keep in mind, especially about possibly damaging your cellphone.

After a bit of muscle work and a lot of patience, he was able to fully charge the cellphone in 3 hours. Well, in an emergency situation, that doesn’t seem too bad. Interestingly enough, this same set up was effective in juicing up a rechargeable AA battery, and even illuminating an incandescent bulb and a small LED. In these times, one can never be too prepared, so it helps to know your options when energy supply is low. That’s a lesson MacGyver never fails to teach us.

Speaking of MacGyver, check out this Lego mouse trap submitted for an online challenge named after the secret agent. For another way of recharging your cellphone, try the One Puck which uses heat from a coffee cup to do so.

Via Tree Hugger