Going for a Twirl

Look! No hands! The permanent slipring/runner assembly now complete. When steve said that would be the biggest challenge in creating the sliprings, boy was he right. In the picture, the hub generator is powering the lights on the wheel. Here are some close ups of the runners.

Notice the contacts. They were harvested from a hairdryer we have to take apart for How Things Work and are just the perfect size for the slipring. They are made of phosphor bronze with a silver coated head. The phosphor bronze is a highly conductive, springy material that is perfect for our application and the silver coated heads allow it to glide across the copper rings (and hopefully reducing wear).

The assembly is conveniently mounted to fender holes on the fork. Making sure the contacts were the perfect distance and spaced evenly was the difficult part. But it works! Hopefully it will stand up to the rigors of real world testing later this month.

Oh, and notice the color change? It happens due to the amount of current the hub outputs. It appears that the red channel requires less current that the blue and green, meaning that as the bike will slow down, the wheels will glow red. Brake lights anyone?