The Homebuilt Dynamo

by Alfred T. Forbes reviewed by Mark Newell

The Homebuilt Dynamo book presents complete details for what I consider to be the ultimate in homebrewed power projects—building my own low rpm (revolution per minute) generator. A low rpm generator is ideal for simple and efficient generation of electricity from sources that often are in the 100 to 800 rpm range such as wind, hydro or, as Alfred and Julia Forbes do for their daily electric needs, a bicycle. As Alfred says himself, "The Homebuilt Dynamo is not another 'do-it-yourself book, it is simply a careful diary with photographs, detailed working drawings, and text of how I built myself a low speed, low voltage, three-phase permanent magnet alternator with internal rectifier diodes which makes it, in effect, a direct current generator. To avoid a long winded description, I have substituted the word 'dynamo'."

Alfred and his wife Julia were "New Zealand back to the landers" in 1967. They lived for three years with kerosene and oil lamps before tiring of smell and danger. The idea for the book was born because of the high cost of bringing power to their door. Deciding to make their own, Alfred was unable to find any books on building small dynamos and decided to document the learning and building process as he built his own.

The result is a 182 page journal filled with over 300 photographs, charts, and drawings detailing the construction of a 1 kiloWatt (28 Amps and 36 Volts DC) generator at 740 rpm. In building this generator, no casting, welding, or soldering is required as well as no previous knowledge of electrical machines. Construction requires nothing but hand tools.

It's not, however, a project for the first time builder; if you have problems making a box out of wood and getting the corner to match up then I recommend practicing this first.

Precision and patience are required in the cutting of materials and winding the coils. For the mechanically adept there is plenty of information, a source list for materials, and patient explanations of the underlying physics that make it a challenging, educational and rewarding project.

Alfred Forbes includes descriptions of how he built some of his tools and construction equipment—a precision-cutting diamond saw for cutting magnets to size, a high power magnetizer to magnetize ceramic magnets, a small precision sheet-metal, wire winding jigs, and several test instruments. The appendix contains details of tests made on the Homebuilt Dynamo and data for scaling up the dynamo to obtain large increases in output and efficiency. The only drawback I can find is the $65 price (including shipping from New Zealand) attached to this plethora of practical knowledge. Overall it is a great lesson of the art of self sufficiency—the patience, resourcefulness and determination needed. This is what home power is all about!


The Homebuilt Dynamo, Alfred T. Forbes, ISBN 0 9597749 0 4 1987; 182pp. $50 ($65 postpaid) from Todd-Forbes Publishing, P.O. Box 3919, Auckland, New Zealand.

Reviewed by: Mark Newell, c/o Home Power, POB 520, Ashland, OR 97520 • 916-475-3179

Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (act of August 12,1970: Section 3685 Title 39, United States Code). 1A. Title of Publication: HOME POWER 1B. Publication #008699. 2. Date of Filing: September 30, 1992. 3. Frequency of issue: Bi-Monthly. 3A. Number of issues published annually: 6. 3B. Annual Subscription price: $15.00. 4. Mailing address of known office of publication: P O Box 520 (10000 Copco Rd.), Ashland, OR 97520. 5. Headquarters of general business office of the publisher: P O Box 275 (10,000 Copco Rd.), Ashland, OR 97520. 6. Names and addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor: Publisher and Editor-in Chief, Richard A. Perez, P O Box 520 (10,000 Copco Rd.), Ashland, OR 97520; Publisher and Managing Editor, Karen L. Perez, P O Box 275 (10,000 Copco Rd.), Ashland, OR 97520. 7. Owner (if owned by a corporation its name and address must be stated immediately thereunder the names and addresses of stockholders owning 1% or more of the total amount of stock: Home Power Inc., P O Box 275, Ashland, OR 97520. Richard and Karen Perez, P O Box 371, Ashland, OR 97520, Dale and Marilyn Hodges, 1525 S Ivy, Medford, OR 97501, Scott and Stephanie Sayles, 163 Kingswood Dr, McMinnville, OR 97128, Grace Walker Perez, 2400 Crystal Cove B308, Destin, FL 32541, Virginia Deano, 1515 Center St., Arabi, LA 70032. 8. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1% or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securities: None. 10. Average no. of copies each issue during preceding 12 months: A. Total no. copies (net press run) 15,327. B. Paid circulation: 1. Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors and counter sales: 3078. 2. Mail subscriptions: 7103. C. Total paid subscription (sum of 10B1 and 10B2): 10,181. D. Free distribution by mail, carrier or other means samples, complimentary, and other free copies: 691. E. Total distribution (sum of C and D): 10,872. F. Copies not distributed: 1. Office use, left over, spoiled after printing: 4098. 2. Return from news agents: 357. G. Total (sum of E., F1 and 2-should equal net press run shown in A): 15,327. 10. Actual no. of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: A. Total no. of copies (net press run): 15,000. B. Paid Circulation: 1. Sales through dealer and carriers, street vendors and counter sales: 3,215. 2. Mail subscriptions: 7750. C. Total paid circulation (sum of 10B1 and 10B2): 10,965. D. Free distribution by mail, carrier or other means samples, complimentary, and other free copies: 522. E. Total circulation (sum of C and D): 11,487. F. Copies not distributed: 1. Office use, left over, unaccounted, spoiled after printing: 3513. 2. Return from news agents: 0. G. Total (sum of E, F1 and F2-should equal press run shown in A.: 15,000. 11. I certify that the statements made by me above are correct and complete. Karen L Perez, Publisher and Managing Editor.

the Wizard Speaks...

the Wizard Speaks...

Pyramids, Crystals,

& Other Space-Distorting Matrices

With all the recent interest in pyramid power and crystals it is necessary to ask if there is any basis for their apparent effects. These effects are thought to be due to their geometric arrangement. Are there any scientifically recognized effects which depend on geometric arrangements? Two examples are superconductors and permanent magnets. In both cases the geometric arrangement of atoms and molecules is a significant factor. This implies that some of the phenomena of pyramids and crystals may be rationally explainable.

One set of ideas feasible for explaining these phenomena seems to be that of spacial curvature. The micro and macro distributions of mass and charge inherent in pyramidal and crystalline structures affect the spacial curvature in and around such structures. This effect may alter the electronic and electromagnetic paths in these areas enough to produce the perceived phenomena. The fact that these phenomena are often affected by the structure's orientation to the Earth's magnetic field lends credence to this idea.

Space-distorting matrices may be helpful in creating THE MAGIC BOX. The Magic Box would produce continuous and virtually unlimited power. It might do this via a dynamic space-distorting matrix whose topological properties twist space in just the right dynamic manner to produce a continuous source of power.

The most famous space-distorting matrix is of course the black hole. The brain is also a potent space-distorting organic crystal matrix. The geometric topologies of the brain tend to condense and focus five-dimensional space/time realities into our normal space/time continuum. It is quite possible that evolution is aiming at a state of technology without tools. Our bodies may eventually contain all the matrices necessary for survival and existence under any and all conditions. Shades of Childhood's End.

Change in the Air

Eric Westerhoff

There's a change in the air You can see it everywhere Chicago down to Houston Boston to Bellaire

The answer's coming to a long lived prayer Just how much can Gaia bear Pollution once fast on the rise Is about to meet its demise In a world of people who care

Just wait and see what's gonna come A little work has got to be done Yesterday's Gomorrah is tomorrow's paradise It'll be there because we opened our eyes The people of the Earth are soon to become one

Air quality, rain forest and environmental groups Our special kind of fighting troops Have started changing the country's mood Now we've got to consider the world's attitude With all our resources do we need more proof

It isn't that hard when you know what to do It's basically up to me and you

We'll need strong leadership and a dedicated following The big rock moves easier once it starts rolling If we work hard we can pull it through

It's gonna take time to mend our ways So let's start today

Cultural habits are not going to die overnight So let's take it slow to be sure it's done right You'll have to do your part, what do you say

Clean fresh flowing water and aqua-blue sky Recycled goods are right to live by Teach the children that they are a link Show them and society, we gotta think And we can't let anything hamper our tries.

Eric Westerhoff POB 3341

Breckenridge, CO 80424

Above: STI's basic PV class culminated in the hands-on installation of a local system.

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