Dan Smythies ('Danny Dink'), the inventor of the RinkyDink, started taking bits
of machinery apart when he was 5 years old. He began, appropriately enough, with
an electricity meter "one of those old ones with all the wheels in... we had one
in the flat..." he remembers.
He continued taking things apart to find out how they worked for the next 20-odd
years, until he started putting them back together again, and the RinkyDink Mk.1
The first step to cycle power was simply to attach a car alternator to a bicycle
wheel - and it worked! The Mk.1 Dink was only efficient enough to power a small
ghetto-blaster, but soon it was mobile...
The breakthrough came when Dan met Bill Wright, who had been working for years
designing super-efficient generators to power radio equipment for Flying Doctors
in Africa. Bill had designed a unit with an (unrivalled) efficiency of 70% (most
generators manage only ...%); Dan bought his prototype moving magnet generator,
and it powers the RinkyDink to this day.
From that moment, the RinkyDink Sound System has become a familiar and welcome
sight at festivals, environmental showcases and street events throughout Europe
as well as Britain. On one occasion they even stopped a riot...
It was a hot afternoon on one of London's anti- Criminal Justice Bill demos, and
the Dink arrived in Hyde Park just as people were getting a bit worked-up after
a long afternoon's march, and a few scuffles were beginning to turn serious...
But with RinkyDink favourites like 'Sugar Sugar' and 'Dancing Queen', smiling
and dancing seemed to be a better idea than fighting; the Dink ended up leading
the party out of Hyde Park again, dispersing a happy crowd in its wake.
Over the last couple of years, through being so visible, so audible, the
RinkyDink has gathered attention and a group of fellow-travellers which extend
the concept and the possibilities much further.
yes, but how does it work?