During the last class to finish my project, my plan consisted of 4 steps. Firstly, to check if my LED lights were functioning properly. The second step would be to fit the dc motor inside the can so that it would be snug in place. This would prevent it from moving around too much and disconnecting itself from the hand crank. After this step, I planned to connect the hand crank to the dc motor. Finally, I would decorate my flashlight and make it more aesthetically pleasing if I had any time remaining.
- I attached the LED lights to the DC motor by connecting the red wires on one side and the black wires on the other side. To secure the wires in place, I used the soldering method and added some tape as well just in case. Then, I span the metal very rapidly to check if the LED lights were functioning properly, which they did, as you can see in the video inserted below.
Vania Dussizza 2019-01-01 21.53.32.mp4
2. Next, I adjusted the dc motor in place. I placed the metal cylindrical section of the dc motor through the hole at the bottom of the can that I had created the previous class. Then, to make sure the dc motor wouldn’t move around, I stuffed approximately 12 cotton balls around the dc motor. I used a wooden dowel to push the cotton balls inside the can since my hand would not fit inside.
3. The third and most difficult step was connecting the hand crank to the dc motor. My initial idea was to use a wooden dowel. So, I drilled a hole inside of it, approximately 1 cm long. Then, I inserted the metal cylinder sticking outside of the can into the hole I had just produced. After waiting for it to dry and connect together, I span the dowel around very rapidly. However, the sparks that were produced were very limited and almost nonexistent. For this reason, the dowel was not suited to make a flashlight. Next, I tried to use an actual hand crank; a yellow piece of plastic. I repeated the same steps involving drilling a hole, but this did not work either. Finally, I repeated the same steps with a big drill. This did not work either, however.
So, in the end, I realized that not enough energy was generated in the spinning process. I think that more powerful LED lights would have been useful but would have still not solved the problem because the problem actually existed within the hand crank and dc motor. When spinning the actual dowel or drill or yellow plastic product, not enough energy was transferred to the dc motor. A possible solution would have been to drill a smaller hole in the hand crank so that the dc motor’s cylinder would have been fit inside really snugly. This would have allowed it to spin with the hand crank, rather than just fitting inside which could have possibly been the case in my flashlight.
The things that I learned and did well were soldering. This was a new technique for me and I was able to use it effectively. Previously, I had been using tape which had been very ineffective as the wires did not fit securely in and would keep detaching themselves from the dc motor.
If this flashlight had actually functioned properly, the client would have been a person who lived in a less developed country or did not have constant access to electricity. Alternatively, people who go on trips such as hikes would find this product useful as well. This is a cheap and simple project that can be made by anyone if instructions are followed properly. So, if a person is not able to buy an actual flashlight, they can always construct one of these.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable project. I would try constructing a flashlight again and would be able to use all my knowledge gained to make a new and improved version. Next time, I would use different materials and find a different website to follow the instructions from.