5K40.80 Genecon Hand Crank Generator


Electromagnetic induction, conservation of energy, Faraday's law, motors and generators, DC signal generation


The Genecon motor/generator is a motor or hand cranked DC generator that is used to drive another Genecon motor/generator and/or to light a series of LEDs.



  • [2] Genecon motor/generator (a handheld device that can be used as a motor or a generator)
  • [1] Breadboard with LEDs
  • [1] 6 V light bulb
  • [1] Bi-coloured LED
  • [1] 1 F capacitor

Important Notes

  • The Genecon motor/generators are fragile. Handle with care.
  • The capacitor has a polarity. Do not apply a negative voltage to the positive side of the capacitor.
  • The apparatus is small, but the handle motion and lights are visible in large lecture halls.


To drive another motor/generator:

  1. Connect the leads of two Genecon motors/generators.
  2. Crank the 'generator' handle. The 'motor' handle will rotate.
  3. Hold on to the 'motor' handle. Notice that the 'generator' now requires more effort to crank.

To light a series of LEDs:

  1. Connect a Genecon motor/generator to the circuit.
  2. Turn the crank of the generator at a speed that lights up the LEDs.
  3. Turn the crank faster, notice that the brightness increases.
  4. Reverse the crank, showing directionality of the LED operation.

To light a light bulb:

  1. Connect a Genecon motor/generator to the 6 V bulb.
  2. Crank the generator handle. The bulb will light up. Note the dependence of brightness on cranking speed and direction.

To light the bi-coloured LED:

  1. Connect a Genecon motor/generator to the bi-coloured LED.
  2. Crank the generator handle in one direction. Note which colour lights up.
  3. Crank the handle in the other direction. Note that the other colour now lights up.

To charge and discharge a capacitor:

  1. Connect a Genecon motor/generator to the 1 F capacitor taking care to account for polarity.
  2. Crank the generator handle again taking care to account for polarity.
  3. Ask students to vote on which way the handle will turn when released.
  4. Release the handle. Note the direction it turns.


Additional Resources


  • PIRA 5K40.80
  • "Adventures with the Genecon Hand Operated Generator"


  • Don't attempt this at home!

Last revised

  • 2020


  • Original construction: purchased.

Related AV

Related demos

  • Motor/Generator

If you have any questions about the demos or notes you would like to add to this page, contact Ricky Chu at ricky_chu AT sfu DOT ca.