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Old 08-30-2011, 10:01 AM   #1
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Clockwork Fan?

As a child I was always fascinated by a neighbor's cuckoo clock - the birdie got my attention, but what really interested me was that the clock ran because there were weights that hung down on chains.

It might not be practical in an Airstream, but the hurricane has inspired me to ask this very diverse group of techies - has anyone seen a manual fan that can either be wound up or have some other mechanical method of running. I've also had visions of my grand mother's old treadle sewing machine, and simply putting a shaft with a set of fan blades on the big wheel.. (A few years ago, lots of of exercise bikes had fan blades at 90 degree angle in the rear wheel to create wind resistance equal to the force exerted on them... but I don't want to work that hard in another hurricane).

And yes, I did watch that Antiques Roadshow episode where someone had a fan that ran on a spirit lamp. Not very practical as the lamp would put out a lot of heat.

Eagerly awaiting your wise or whacky replies, Paula
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:10 AM   #2
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Consider a solar powered fan, I have seen ads for them in several places, also a small 12 volt solar cell will run a automotive type fan. I think pumping a treadle to run a fan is self defeating LOL
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:13 AM   #3
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Darn, got a brain storm, find a old crank victrola, replace the turn table with a pulley, the run a belt to a fan blade. It would run for several minutes between cranks.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:16 AM   #4
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A friend of mine has a battery powered fan that works great. she got it a couple of years ago at a big box store. it has about 6 in blades and runs several hours on D batteries, I havent ever noticed any but I wasnt looking for them . I dont know if they are still mfg or not. She got hers after IKE hit Texas Kay
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:20 AM   #5
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We go 30+ hours without power when a big storm hits, I need something that doesn't depend on solar (cause there's no sun during a hurricane) or batteries because we can't store enough to keep a fan going.

Keep those cards and letters coming folks. I may find a cheap cuckoo clock to dissect. Betcha it would work if the fan blades were light enough - now I'm thinking carbon fiber!
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim in Pima View Post
Darn, got a brain storm, find a old crank victrola, replace the turn table with a pulley, the run a belt to a fan blade. It would run for several minutes between cranks.
Might wind up being an expensive way to power a fan; those old units, especially the ones in good working order, go for big bucks!
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:30 AM   #7
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I have an emergency flashlight and weather radio combo that has a rechargable battery in it. It is recharged by turning a small crank on the side. You could probably cobble together a small fan to run off the battery. It would be kind of like Gilligan's Island, but might work.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:49 PM   #8
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Schwin makes an exercise bike that uses a human=powered fan to provide resistance. You could store the air you moved and then use it whenever you wanted.

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Old 08-30-2011, 01:55 PM   #9
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Something like this?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
We go 30+ hours without power when a big storm hits, I need something that doesn't depend on solar (cause there's no sun during a hurricane) or batteries because we can't store enough to keep a fan going.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
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Paula

You have way to much idle time on your hands to be asking these kinds of questions. But I guess that is how some brilliant ideas are conjured up that nobody else ever thought of before. Are you also out of gas? I would just start up my little 1,000 watt Honda genny and plug in my 50 watt fan that can be purchased at Lowes for about $50 (fan is the one on the right in the photo). When you run out of gas and you are still warm, I suggest the little chinese paper fans to keep cool.

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Old 08-30-2011, 02:40 PM   #11
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get a dog to ride a treadmill :-)

some of the fans mentioned in the refrigerator cooling threads (bearing type & permanrent magnet type) would probably be the best simplest solution. i use old computer power supply fans. it depends on how much air you need. it seems that an endless breeze (Fan-tastic) fan has what you need.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:51 PM   #12
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What ouring Dan said. Get that gen set going. Sal.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:59 PM   #13
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Build a windcatcher? Windcatcher - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MSI built a prototype of an "air" power cooler for computer fans. MSI Reveals "Air Power Cooler" at CeBIT

Personally I like Minstral Blue's solution
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
As a child I was always fascinated by a neighbor's cuckoo clock - the birdie got my attention, but what really interested me was that the clock ran because there were weights that hung down on chains.

It might not be practical in an Airstream, but the hurricane has inspired me to ask this very diverse group of techies - has anyone seen a manual fan that can either be wound up or have some other mechanical method of running. I've also had visions of my grand mother's old treadle sewing machine, and simply putting a shaft with a set of fan blades on the big wheel.. (A few years ago, lots of of exercise bikes had fan blades at 90 degree angle in the rear wheel to create wind resistance equal to the force exerted on them... but I don't want to work that hard in another hurricane).


And yes, I did watch that Antiques Roadshow episode where someone had a fan that ran on a spirit lamp. Not very practical as the lamp would put out a lot of heat.

Eagerly awaiting your wise or whacky replies, Paula
Ok, it's a hurricane....just go outside...60 mph winds should be enough moving air to cool off. Just kidding, appreciate your situation, probably a generator is you best bet for the situation
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