DIY project about electromagnets

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Hi there and thanks to anyone who responds.

I am creating a DIY project that is getting a little complicated for my knowledge. Specifically, I need to have three electromagnets hooked up to a sequencer or a timer of some sort that supplies equal power to one electromagnet at a time, then diverts the same amount to the another magnet and creates a cycle of this between all electromagnets. I also want to be able to adjust the amount of time between when one magnet turns off and the next one turns on. Basically, I need to have one light bulb turn on, then after a few seconds, it shuts off and the light bulb next to it turns on at the same time, wait some more, turn off and the next one turns on. Then the cycle just repeats itself but instead of light bulbs, replace them with electromagnets and I need to be able to adjust the time that each electromagnet is on for then turns off and the next one turns on. As far as power, I want the electrical components to run on about 5 Watts or greater.

I need to know how to do this in very basic terms. I know pretty much nothing about electrical things and I am too young to take a class on electrical engineering. What I need to know is what are the names of the components and/or the electrical items that go into making this. For example, the item that supplies electricity to the electromagnets that has an adjustable timer. I would guess that would be called an electrical timer of some sort but if I were to try to find that online, I would only find digital clocks. I need to know the names of the components and where to find them specifically. I would like to be able to spend less than $200 on this project, if that's even possible.

Thank you to anyone who responds you will be an awesome help. :)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
CWatters
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One way would be to use a series of six monostables (perhaps based on the 555 Timer IC). Each one triggered by the previous one in the chain. Three would control how long each electromagnet is ON. Three would control the duration of the gap between the electromagnets.

Another way would be to used a Raspberry Pi and do all the timing in software.

Either way you will need additional parts (power amplifier or drivers) to go between the 555 timers or Pi and the electromagnets.

Im afraid it would take a lot of time to provide all the info needed to build this. Your best bet is to find someone local that can help you. Perhaps an electronics club?
 
  • #3
CWatters
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A cheap source of small electromagnets might be to take apart relays.
 
  • #4
Borek
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I strongly suggest you try to make this using an Arduino. It is a universal microcontroller board with tons of tutorials and libraries (start at arduino.cc), programming it with the task you have explained will be quite simple, you will not limit your system to this particular project, and it will be very easy to modify.

Basically you need the Arduino, power supply, 6 transistors capable of surviving 5W and a bunch of resistors.
 
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Without real experience... Well, you are lucky. Just look up everything about 'three phase motor driver Arduino'. That will give you decent hardware and software to tinkle with.
 
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  • #6
berkeman
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Welcome to the PF. :smile:
Then the cycle just repeats itself but instead of light bulbs, replace them with electromagnets and I need to be able to adjust the time that each electromagnet is on for then turns off and the next one turns on. As far as power, I want the electrical components to run on about 5 Watts or greater.
Can you say more about your project, and what you are hoping to build? Is this meant to be a simple motor with about 5W of input electrical power? What mechanical system will the motor be driving?

Or are you hoping to adjust the timing of the electromagnets so the machine runs on its own without sustained power input? Like, runs perpetually...
 
  • #7
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You can use a watering computer with 4 or 6 stations and put to the input of its station relays to give controlled electric power to the electromagnets. I made a similar circuit to control an automatic door for my chiken coop. Otherwise toy can use a controller with arduino. ΅ Watch here:
 
  • #8
Tom.G
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