Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.

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Clockwork bathroom fan

No plug. No batteries.
  [vote for,

Bathroom fans are nice. But usually they are only needed for short periods of time. Plus one must rig up some power for them - if not built in but added after the fact, one must do real electrical work to wire them.

I propose that a weight-drop driven bathroom fan would be easy and effective. Firmly attached to the wall, the fan allows a heavy weight to be used for the power source. The bathroom user lifts the weight. On releasing it, the fall of the weight drives the fan via a series of gears. When the weight reaches its nadir the fan stops. All mechanical parts, this would be robust and durable. One could include a little light as well, using the turning fan mechanism as an electrical generator.

Such a device could be used anywhere. First world hippies would like them. They could go into outhouses or buses. The ones with lights might be especially useful in those parts of the world where electricity is sporadic.

bungston, Dec 15 2010


       Why can't the sitting action of the user account for the needed weight? Need some more fan? Just stand up and sit again. I vision a seat that lifts a foot or two when not sat upon, springs and belts, and a fan overhead.
daseva, Dec 15 2010

       I like this idea, but I think proper ducting of the bathroom fan is generally a more arduous task than running power to it.
MechE, Dec 15 2010

       If you have a bathroom so internal to the building that it requires ducting then this fan is probably not ideal. It is to augment passive air recharge via a window or other opening.
bungston, Dec 15 2010

       //The bathroom user lifts the weight.//   

       I suggest instead using the flush-water as a descending counterweight to lift the main weight, in preparation for the next user. Once it reaches bottom, the flushwater drains into the sewer, and the empty bucket's raised back into position by the main weight, which descends only a short distance in so doing, because the bucket is lighter when empty.   

       (Requires complex gearing, but that seems fully in the spirit of the idea.)
mouseposture, Dec 16 2010

       And you could gear in some grandfather clock gadgets to ring a chime based on some bathroom humor formula.
normzone, Dec 16 2010

       //sitting action// I assumed this referred to the Commonwealth usage of "bathroom", meaning a room for bathing in, typically containing a bath and a shower, rather than the North American usage as a euphemism for a WC.
spidermother, Dec 16 2010

       //euphemism for a WC// euphemism for a euphemism.
mouseposture, Dec 16 2010

       //euphemism for a euphemism// Yes, but WC (water closet) is descriptive of the piece of hardware (or at least, of its mechanism of odour exclusion) and was the least ambiguous term I could think of.
spidermother, Dec 16 2010

       North Americans bathe in the toilet pan? eew!
pocmloc, Dec 16 2010

       No. However, bidets are regarded as strange and exotic pieces of plumbing hardware, alas.
gisho, Dec 16 2010


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