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Thread: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

  1. #1
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    Default Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    After reading the attempts to build disc-drive-motor-powered torches, I thought it would be fun to gather together a gallery of torches powered by means other than primary (non rechargeable) cells.
    I want to set a few ground rules that will define what an Eco torch should be:

    1. In English parlance, "torch" refers to a hand-held light source usually with a directionl beam. Therefore the lighting device in question musst be hand portable and contain its own mans of producing light.

    2. The power must comee either from the environmnt or from the human using it.

    3. Non electrical light sources may be used but not nazked flame.

    4. No commercial torches (interesting as they are). A commercial torch suitably modified to eco power will be allowed. The torches need to be the work of truly committed torchaholics!

    Matt.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    sorry about the typo's lads. Maybe my keyboard's batteries need replacing shortly!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Fuel Cell? Ultra capacitors followed by a hand cranked dynamo? LEDs? The possiblities are endless...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    If anyone has examples of eco-torches let's see them! Photos and comparisons with conventional battery powered torches!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    I remember seeing a hand cranked torch some time back. It's blue in colour, a 10 second crank is suppose to produce 5 mins of light

  6. #6
    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    probably this one... [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

    Freeplay Sherpa

  7. #7

    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    The best I have seen are Tritium torches. They are continuously ON all the time, for dozens of years. The half-life of the Tritium is 12.5 years, but that in that time the light output only diminishes by 1/2.

    Nothing to wind, nothing to charge, just light.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Any links or pics to the triytium torches, Avatar?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Here is a pic of a tritium torch

    Beta light

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    OOOHH!!! UK $99.95 per light for 12 years of light is cheap...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    How about those flashing antennas on cell phones? They light up off the radiation the phone gives out right??

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Originally posted by Saaby:
    How about those flashing antennas on cell phones? They light up off the radiation the phone gives out right??
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">As long as you put batts in them...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Originally posted by Nerd:
    OOOHH!!! UK $99.95 per light for 12 years of light is cheap...
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I know I'm giving some people here ideas [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] , but from looking at the site, U.S. buyers will only pay £87 ($121.USD) for that light-without the VAT tax. [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    flashing aerials were all the craze a few years ago, until we had nokia models which don't have removable aerials!
    You used to be able to get CB aerial lights too!
    Not very practical as a torch!
    keeping the aerial idea alive though... if you happen to live adjacent to a very powerful radio or TV transmitter you may be able to make an aerial powered torch. Crystal Sets directly used the signal power of radio stations to drive a pair of high impedance headphones! No batteeries, no mains....just a very long aerial and an earth connection (I used to use central heating pipes for my earth as they are required by law to be well adequately earthed.)
    I don't know how this power could be harnessed to power an LED but it's there for the taking!
    Another idea is to harness the power of mains hum using a pick-up coil. Any heavy-current-carrying AC cable will create an alternating magnetic field. This normally plagues our audio and hi-fi equipment with that familiar 50Hz or 60Hz humming sound which gives this signal its name...mains hum. Giving a large enough pickup coil with ,many turns to pass through the magnetic fields repeatedly, one should be able to devise a circuit which would harness the energy to do something useful such as lighting a LED.
    The cable carrying AC current to a typical domestic cooker can carry 50 amps (possibly a lot more in the UJSdue to the lower 110V AC supply.
    Also, National Grid cables overhead and underground will produce thier own alternating electrical fields. Very high voltage cables such as are supported by metal pylons produce electrostatic fields which may trigger a discharge in a fluorescent tube, held in an upright position by somebody on the ground underneath the cables. Certain weather conditions are required to allow for the discharge to take place, which incidentally, isn't harmful providing you don't try to get close to the wires by climbing the pylons!
    ASnyway, I digress. Maybe I could class some of the ideas as "torches", but not others!
    I domn't think I could light my way home using a flashing aerial for example!
    Regards

    Matt.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    There was that Russian handcranked dynamo torch that many of us modded to run LEDs and have a super-cap as a interim storage. Then there is the Nightstart type of torch that works on the same principle (and was our inspiration) but uses a slightly more vulgar hand movement.

    BTW, I don't believe that tritium torch is really as bright as the photo shows. But I could be wrong. Anyone seen a live one in action? Is it as bright as the original CMG-Infinity?

    Another two lights are also from the guys at Freeplay. As shown above there is the Sherpa a.k.a Coleman Sentinel. But there are also the 2020 and the old FPSL which, I believe, is no longer in production.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    the MB-Microtec site states that "A visual range of 50m can be obtained when used remotely."

    sorry I can't find any more info...

  17. #17

    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Ok, here is the Roithner Laser website's dish on the Tritium light sources:
    http://www.roithner-laser.com/tls.htm

    They won't lite up a room, but the make the ultimate light discipline devices. Perfect for accessing your gear at night, reading maps, etc.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Okay folks I think I have a good one for here. I seen one of these flashlights when I was out in New York at the Hammacher Schlemmer search for invention contest. Heres a web link for you to see it too http://www.hammacher.com/publish/660...promo=hc_tools

  19. #19

    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Originally posted by EMPOWERTORCH:
    The cable carrying AC current to a typical domestic cooker can carry 50 amps (possibly a lot more in the UJS due to the lower 110V AC supply.
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Minor point I should make to our overseas brethren- 'normal' US AC outlets for appliances are 110-120v. High-current devices (especially non-movable ones, like electric ovens) will often use 220-240, and REALLY big ones will use 400+. Normal US residential wiring has 3 wires come into the house, 2 hots (each 120v away from the neutral, and 240 away from each other) and a neutral, with the ground provided by a water-pipe, or a ground-rod. 3-phase (208v between hots, 120v between any hot and neutral, each hot 120degrees off the others, instead of 180 for the residentail) is used for industrial/commercial applications (partly because motors like it).

    Sorry if that was off-topic. I may start an 'Internation Mains wiring' thread that I can just point a link to, rather than babbling...

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Avatar. Can you find a price at Roithner for the Tritium Torch? I looked and cannot find it.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Hi Dana,
    here is the pricelist for Tritium items.

    TORCHES
    Standard, green, 3.0 Ci, 20mm, dimable $77,00
    Big, green, 5.0 Ci, 30mm, dimable $139,00

    prices without V.A.T. and shipping costs.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    The torch with the German sounding brand name is a variant of what I've previously seen on this web site. It definitely qualifies as a HPT, but is definitely a commercial product, rather than the work of a dedicated torchaholic! Its a well made torch, though! Another one for the Africa aid workere or for long term military use...

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    I'm still looking for the most novel torchaholic-built batteryless torch!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Another idea is to harness the power of mains hum using a pick-up coil. Any heavy-current-carrying AC cable will create an alternating magnetic field.

    So what do you think of a ferris alloy cable that has been magnatized for this job?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    Man it took forever to get this post right! I thought we had a little ac going on here and then I went back to EMPOWERTORCH's post and realized I was way out to lunch. I had U.S. current written up from the 1250 volt out at the street through 480 commercial down to the residential 240 feeders and the difference between the commercial cookers and residential ranges and reasons for and the tayloring of electrical demands. I was a little confused by your post PsycoBob I hope the English followed you.
    So any way now that I have touched down again I am with the belief that EMPOWERTORCH's thoery is correct and the post I made above about the flashlight I seen at Hammacher Schlemmer without any batteries could very well be right along the same path he has mentioned. Maybe working on a little different scale though.
    <a href="http://www.gaijindesign.com/lawriemalen/jedi" target="_blank">
    :: how jedi are you? ::</a>

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Eco friendly batteryless Torches

    http://www.windup-powerup.co.uk/proto_torch.html
    A prototype here. I found through BBC Science Shack program.......
    Andy

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