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Homework Help: Designing a driven spring mass system for school project

  1. Apr 17, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I have a math project due in a month. The topic i chose to present was second order differential equations, so i felt like making a driven spring mass system to demonstrate resonance and nice things like that. I have a few questions about materials and design and such and would like to bounce some ideas off of you all. any input is appreciated.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Here is a link i found that looks pretty compact, and i wonder if it would be possible to cut down on the price of some of the materials used in this with replacements or kits.

    I also don't mind if the demonstration is less sophisticated and requires that I do some manual tweaking (mechanical vs electronic controls), as long as it is good enough for me to demonstrate resonance nicely. Heres another link, just for ideas (looks way too expensive harhar:

    Goals: the frequency will always be in the range of 0-10 hz
    1) to be able to find the resonant frequency by adjusting the vibration frequency
    2) to measure the said frequency
    3) draw some connections between spring frequency, signal frequency, resonance and stuff. [intentionally vague]

    Goals that aren't necessary but i would like to do:
    1) graph the path of the spring system, onto computer or onto paper (by being ghetto and attaching a pencil or brush to the mass or something or tracking it and plotting it with some software, throw any ideas at me)
    2) have the vibrational frequency be displayed while im adjusting (would require some sophisticated stuff)

    I could always ask my friends/adult friends whether or not they have some of the more sophisticated things like vibration generators and signal (function?) generators...

    thanks for your time.

    I also wonder if it is possible to do something like this for very low frequencies and very accurately, maybe with accuracy of 0.05 hertz in the range of 0-10 Hz.

    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2016 #2
    Thanks for the post! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
  4. Apr 23, 2016 #3
    You can practice by helping this guy https://www.physicsforums.com/index.php?threads/867500/

    you can pull a subwoofer from a surround sound system or better yet someones car and just put double sided tape or velcro in the Centre of the speaker. Subwoofers are just easier to deal with than speakers. And if damaging the speaker with tape is a no no then put a wieght thats heavy relative to the LIGHT spring you will use. Connect it to your phone and use that frequency generator. Speakers might be really annoying but I thought it would sound fine at low frequency.

    Try to find the highest speed camera with a player that's easy to slow-mo and play in forward and reverse with a ruler or something behind the spring and then plot a graph by hand.

    If power is an issue then borrow someones car battery. The rednecks around my woods always have an extra battery in their trucks so if you know someone with a diesel then thats a good battery and a good bet.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
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