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"Easy" but cool electrical engineering projects

  1. Jul 3, 2016 #1
    Hello, Im looking for an "easy" but cool electrical engineering project. Ive tried to make a mini tesla coil, but I keep messing up the coil part itself, so im taking a step back from it for a while. Are there any relatively easy (I am beginning) electrical projects that you have heard of, seen, or done yourself?

    I would like to learn something from the project so I can apply that concept to future projects and help me understand the properties of electricity better. I also have an interest in magnetism, so a project that has to deal with electromagnetism would be cool too!

    Also, Id rather not spend too much money. My limit would probably be around $20.

    Thanks alot!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    How about making your own battery powered motor? Just search for DIY electric motor on youtube, and you should find several videos showing how.
  4. Jul 3, 2016 #3


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    Some sort of electro mechanical clock?
  5. Jul 3, 2016 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    My dad once had a clock like that powered by a battery.

    It was a pendulum clock. But instead of a main spring it had a little solenoid coil located close to the bottom of the pendulum's swing. A circuit gave that coil a pulse of current once each swing and the magnetic force gave the pendulum a tiny kick. One tiny kick each tick (a kick per tick :smile::smile::smile:) is all that is needed to keep a clock running. You could start with an existing pendulum clock and modify it.

    I found a video of something similar.
  6. Jul 3, 2016 #5

    jim hardy

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  7. Jul 6, 2016 #6


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  8. Jul 7, 2016 #7


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    It is slightly above your price range ($35 + shipping), but an arduino is a great choice.


    this set comes with an arduino (programmable micro-controller) , breadboard (see jims post), resistors, switches, etc.

    You can use these to make countless projects. you can also spend some more cash to buy motors and other things to control with the arduino. This would teach you a lot about software, and give you the ability to rapid prototype and control other larger projects in the future.
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