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Homework Help: Electromagnetism Project

  1. Jun 4, 2007 #1
    I need to make a project for my physics summative (gr 12); and Im leaning towards electromagnetism...
    since my attempt in making a generator failed - and I paid a lot for the magnet and wires.

    I was thinking of making http://www.bizarrelabs.com/mag2.htm
    That... but then I'm wondering if it'll work with that design. Im confused on how we need to nail the can down to the wood, but then expect it to move back and forth between the magnets.

    But that's sort of my last option, because something similar to that was done before.

    Any other ideas? I want it to be good.

    And if you have a suggestion, maybe some directions or advice on creating it?

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2007 #2
    What went wrong with the generator you were trying to make? Also, what were you trying to make?

    A fun project would be to make some sort of mechanical motor from the electric stuff you have.
  4. Jun 4, 2007 #3
    Just that it was hard to rotate the magnet fast enough to make electricity and power a diode. Plus even though I rotated it with a power drill, something was wrong and I couldn't produce elec.
    ...even though I was following these directions: http://www.creative-science.org.uk/gen1.html

    Any ideas on how to make an electromagnetic car?
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
  5. Jun 5, 2007 #4
    Hmm. The principle of the generator is sound, but maybe there was something wrong with your materials or procedure.

    One way to make an electromagnetic car would be to use a track as a guide for the car, and then use magnetic fields for the guiding. There could be a lot of different approaches. I remember reading somewhere that a group is making a new apparatus for shuttle launching based on magnetism. You might try to find that as a starting point (I think it was in Wired if they have any online archives).
  6. Jun 9, 2007 #5
    So I've made an electric bell...
    Problem though,

    From the design I got from the internet, it's "can" in between the nail and the electromagnetic that's supposed to move.

    Except, it's not moving. I changed the design a bit and have the electromagnet held by a metal can that was cut out and folded, so it's somewhat flexible.

    Even if I hold the can/electromagnet down, the metal in between that the electromagnet is supposed to attract wont move.

    From my design, it's the 'nail' or whatever in the middle that's not moving, but the electromagnet thats going back and forth hitting it, making the noise. But I want to make it similar to the striker design, where the nail movies and strikes a bell, that way it'll be louder.

    Any ideas?
  7. Jun 10, 2007 #6
  8. Jun 10, 2007 #7
    How, exactly, do you have the experiment set up, and what are the principles behind why it works?

    I could see that if you mechanically stabilize the nail, and then have some kind of switch for the magnetic field that represented someone pressing the bell (you could use coils) that the setup would easily work.

    Maybe your experiment now isn't working because whatever material you have is not aligning its domain with the magnetic field.
  9. Jun 10, 2007 #8
    It's similar to that,
    except the coil is not fixed, but able to move because of the flexible stand (made from a coffee can) it's bolted on. Instead of the can between the coil and the nail, I tried to put a nail or can lid (metal) in between. But it's not the can lid or nail that's moving, just the coil.

    The priciple behind how it works is on the website, but in my case that's occuring, I dont understand how it's working because the nail or can lid is still touching the nail and it completes the circuit, but the electromagnet still hits back and forth every once in a while. I dont understand why it's releasing, but anyways, What I want to do is make it so that the nail or can lid is the one that's moving, so it can, in turn, hit a bell.
  10. Jun 11, 2007 #9


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    Homework Helper

    You are confusing everyone (probably even yourself) with your description.

    Your new bell project:
    (1) I guess the coil is mounted on the bottom of the can.
    (2) Is it on the in- or outside of the can?
    (3) Is the can fixed to some base or flexible material?
    (4) Is the stationary nail mounted on a base holding the can/flexible material fixed to the can?

    As far as an LED in your generator circuit goes:

    http://www.rmdtoytrains.org/TipsTechniques/Using%20LEDs.pdf" [Broken]

    usually the ac voltage from a generator is quite low - order of 1 volt (allthough if you run it from a drill this will go up) - while the current is sufficient to drive the LED ~10 mA. You also need a rectifier in your circuit to protect the LED - see the link above.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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