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creating a piezoelectric power supply - music related

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by oniman7, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. I don't know a lot about electronics, but I had an idea. I realized the massive amount of energy that is spent playing drums, and I wondered if you could harvest it somehow.

    I'm wondering if I could attach some piezoelectric generators to the bottom drum heads (the outside one in the case of the bass head) and use it to pick up electricity to send to a battery and finally to a power supply of some sort. I'm think it would be really awesome to have drum kit lighting that was self contained -- hook a couple generators up to one drum, send them to lights, and theoretically the light would flash every time a drum was hit. All without a power supply. Failing that, maybe send the energy to a big battery where you could store electricity and power effects pedals or something.

    I'd look for other uses too if this worked. Can anybody tell me if this is possible/how I would go about doing it relatively cheap? Where could I go to learn more of the electricity principles I'd need for this?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    It can be done, but the voltage output of each piezo will be in the millivolt range, in a short spike. So for example if you connect each piezo to a single high-efficiency LED, you can indeed get the LED to flash with each beat of the drum. But you would not be getting enough output from the piezos to power anything more bright or complex, and the voltage spikes would not be sustained enough to provide a "worthwhile" charge to a battery.

    The principles really are "electronics 101", so googling an online introductory electronics tutorial will get you what you need to know. And I'm not saying "do a search" as some snooty thing, but because the basic info you need really is available that way. :)
  3. What if I were to put, say, 10 generators on the head of a bass drum. Linked, would these be enough to power something like a small Par can?
  4. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    NO. Piezos can put out voltage, but almost no current at all. Maybe after pounding all night you could like a bulb for a couple of seconds.
  5. With all the force drumheads put out, is there a more efficient way to capture the energy?
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Piezo aren't the right tool for this job.
    Now, if you hooked up a generator to the kick drum with a small battery, you'd get more electricity than you need to light up your drums.
  7. How would this work/
  8. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    Rigging up drum-triggered momentary switches would be easier.

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