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Page history last edited by Noah Vawter 5 years ago

  Complete Instruments      Instrument Bodies

   Generators    Generator Electronics  Switching Power Supply



        Synthesizers         Synthesizer Controls



          Amplifiers     Loudspeakers   Resonances        Horns

 Electrical Generators for Electric Eel Instruments



Slider - the quickest way to get going building an Electric Eel



Electrical Generators on Wikipedia

Electrical Generators on Wikipedia



Suggested Parts for Making a Slider from Scratch

Part Number
Price Catalog Page at http://SDP-SI.com
Timing Belt 1MM

705 Groove, 6mm width,

polyurethan + fiberglass,

pitch length=705mm

A 6G18M705060 $6.23 http://sdp-si.com/ss/pdf/80502020.pdf
Timing Pulley 1MM

60 Grooves, aluminum alloy,

6mm width, 5mm bore size,

2 flanges and hub,

19.1 mm pitch diameter,

13mm hub diameter,

set screw: M2.5

A 6A18M060DF6005 $12.41 http://sdp-si.com/ss/pdf/80502025.pdf


Dual Nema 17 with Belt

Dual Nema 17 with Belt



Stepper Motors Used in Making Electric Eels



Places to buy Surplus Stepper Motors






Belt-Driven, e.g. "Slider" generators


General belt info:



Good formula for calculating belt size:



Polyurethane vs. neoprene belts:





Places to buy belts:









Belt Information









Stick-Bowed Generator by Noah Vawter and Jeffrey Warren



  • This generator has the highest power output!  Not only is the stick-rubber tire interface very efficient, but there are two motors for double the power. 



  • The Lego wheels are hard to come by and expensive.
  • Two motors makes it heavier.  You might want to use two smaller, lighter motors if you go this route.






Motor and Lazy Susan for Cello-Style "Bowed-Stick" Generator






 String-Bowed Generator, inspired by Jeffrey Warren






For Exertion Instruments, the best motors to use as generators are stepper motors, or synchronous motors.  DC motors need to turn too fast.


The company with one of the best reputations for making stepper motors is Lin Engineering.  Unfortunately, they tend to be expensive, but fortunately, you can get them surplus.  My favorite source so far for surplus steppers is Alltronics.  So far, I have been concentrating on steppers using the NEMA 17 frame.  Alltronics sells them for about $6-9$.  This is a terrific value. 


In all cases, the best generator motors are the ones with the smallest internal impedance.  Especially, if it is below 2 Ohms.  Also, low inductance is useful.  It is believed that motors with higher torque are also capabile of putting out more power as generators.


CAD Models of Stepper Motors and other parts:





Generator Test Reports


  1. Generator Test Report

  2. Generator Test Report 02 - Cogging Friction

  3. Generator Test Report 03








Unproven Generator Concepts



"Bobble" Pendulum Generator

This is a weird, experimental generator that hasn't been proven to work....yet!






Joystick-Style Generator


This is a 2-Dimensional Generator Design which is based on an analog joystick, such as this one below.  Where the joystick uses two potentiometers, mounted along the X and Y axes to sense position, the Joystick Generator will utilize a generator motor on each axis to produce electrical power for synthesizing music.  Attempts have been made to build this generator, but it requires lots of mechanical design acumen.  Any volunteers?






Two Dimensional Gantry Style Electrical Generator


The device below is an X-Y table for drawing with magnetic filings.  It, like many other gantry robots, utilizes stepper motors for its positioning. Therefore, it can be backdriven to generate electricity for musical instruments.  This structure is especially interesting because it allows players to make electricity-generating gestures in multiple dimensions.  When cleverly coupled to the synthesizer, this should inspire new types of gestures and timbres.





Delta Robot Generator






YouTube plugin error  


possible sources on inverse equations:







More beautiful videos of delta robots:




Generators on Google Docs



         Generator Electronics





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