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Summary:

What happens when a hardware modder finds spare parts in his shop? He cobbles together an old-fashioned, hand-crank method to charge one of the latest and greatest 4G smartphones, of course. It’s not the low-tech solution that makes this video entertaining, it’s definitely the cackling joy.

hand-crank-battery-charger

It’s hard to deny that smartphone hardware is maturing quickly. I remember the ARM chips in smartphone precursors that were clocked at 133 MHz, and now we’re talking about next-generation architecture with multiple 1 GHz cores in our handsets. Radio capabilities are expanding as some smartphones can take better advantage of 21Mbps mobile broadband networks here in the U.S. And small QVGA, non-touchscreen displays have morphed into high-resolution panels that can sense multiple touchpoints. The list of technical advances goes on and on. Yet, the one aspect that constrains mobility the most has advanced the least. I’m talking about battery technology.

Perhaps that last point is the reason I fell off my chair watching this video by way of Geek.com earlier today. Über-hacker Ben Heckendorn elicits nothing but sheer joy from the viewer as he hand-cranks a charge into his high-tech HTC EVO 4G smartphone. I’m not sure if it’s the simplicity of the method or the hysterical cackling and excitement from Heckendorn as he cranks away and slowly charges his smartphone. For a man who’s created ingenious hardware mods such as an Xbox laptop and various one-handed game controllers, this charging solution shown on video was ironically refreshing. Still, maybe Heckendorn should read our tips to prolong battery life on the HTC EVO 4G. In any case, enjoy!

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  1. I love Ben Heck but this video has been posted on some the blogs I respect the most and no seems to have done a Google search for “hand cranked cellphone charger”. These things already exist. He created something that’s been available for 4 or 5 years. It is cool to see the glee in his eye when he realizes that it does what he planned though.

    1. No doubt there have been hand crank chargers for several years. I’ve tried a few of those as well as some solar chargers. This certainly wasn’t a news item; more of a fun look at how Ben presents old tech meeting new tech. :)

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