Rinky Dink

The Story

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 was born.

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?

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