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Electro Magnetic Propulsion

  1. Jul 10, 2004 #1
    Ok , heres the deal , i would like to build a small electromagnetic train ..... ( not really a train , but you know what i mean...... no bigger than an "N" scale train , if you know anything about model trains) i just want a basic simple setup that goes in a circle ..... no bigger than a dinner plate, lets say 12 inches in diameter. I cant seem to find a thing about it on the internet , and dont have a clue where to begin ...... dont tell me to go to the local library or book store because there isnt a decent one within 100 miles of me. I suck at math , i dont know a thing about magnets , but i can learn. Any input on doing this would be greatly appreciated. Some of the things i need to know ... how much power might something that small need...... what kind of computing power would i need to run these electromagnets (to run the sensors and transfer of the poles).... and where in he** would i find these items?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2004 #2
    Math is for things you understand.Simple approach: Put train on circular track with magnet under locomotive. Under the table, a circular disc of plywood with a magnet glued on. As the disk rotates, it drags the locomotive around the track. What? Too simple? You want an electromagnetic drive? In that case, your "track" has to be a linear motor. That is, windings same as on a motor only laid out in a line instead of a (rotating) cylinder. There are 1000s of books on motors, motor design, etc. Allow a couple years to get up to speed. Now, if you want to support the train magnetically, or electromagnetically, that is step 2. Not that many books but the technology is getting fairly well established. I would allow a year or two more to get up to speed on that. Since you will be winding a lot of electromagnets, i guess it would be a good idea to get some experience there also. Get some old relays (or new ones if you prefer). Operate them and get familiar with how they operate. Now take them apart and see how the coils are wound. Try winding a coil with a different wire size, and see how the relay operates. This is also a whole field of technology.
    Re Books: There is no KNOWLEDGE in books. There are WORDS in books. Knowledge was in the person that wrote the books. But the process is not basically a reversible process. There are people who do not understand this. Watch out for them.
    I almost forgot: if you will be working with electromagnets, maybe you should learn something about electricity, circuits, etc.
    Reminds me of the story aboout the little boy that went to the hardware store to buy a switch. He said "I want a switch that will open my garage door and turn on the light".
    The clerk asked "do you have the door operator and everything else?" The kid said "Whats that?
    Modern hardware design can deceive people into thinking that something very complex is very simple- just a switch. End of lecture
  4. Jul 27, 2004 #3


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    Just to clarrify;

    When you say "electromagnetic train", do you mean a regular electric train, a train powered by a magnet, or a magnetic levitation (maglev) train?
  5. Jul 27, 2004 #4
    yes powered by magnet how do you make it move?
    :eek: :zzz:
  6. Jul 27, 2004 #5
    please can any one tell me how to get the train to stay in levitate
    i would really like to know?
  7. Jul 28, 2004 #6
    could one build a circular track. BUild small walls with N magnets on the outside and S mag. on the inside of the circle (both facing in towards the track. put magnets on the sides of the train opposite of the walls. And put a magnet on the bottom of the train which repels one placed underneath of the track that rotates like Freddie suggested?.. may be a little bulky but you could refine it as u like.


  8. Aug 16, 2004 #7
    Go to Google and look up Magnetic Levitation. Find the pictures in How Things Work or similar sites.
  9. Jun 22, 2005 #8
    can an asterisk (eight lines to this asterisk) configuration of rectangular electromagnets (each magnet about 2.5"x1") generate enough attraction to pull an earth magnet from one leg of the asterisk to the adjacent one? we are trying to make a slow moving magnetic drive system using electromagnets and earth magnets. our evenutal hope is for our object on a bearing in the center of the asterisk to be able to turn and hold above each stick/leg of the asterisk as the magnets are energized and de-energized.
  10. Jun 22, 2005 #9


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    I'm having trouble picturing that one. Any chance of a picture?
  11. Jun 22, 2005 #10
    Here is what I would do , start with a circular tube of plastic .
    put a cylindrical Neo magnet inside the tube.
    wind a bunch of coils around the tube , the more the better , as you energize each coil in sequence , the magnet will jump forward .
    use another Neo magnet inside a train car on a track above the coils , the magnet inside the tube should pull the car along the track.
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