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Propelling a model maglev train

  1. Aug 17, 2009 #1

    I have managed to make model maglev train that uses permanent magnets and metals for levitation. It levitates all right but i need ideas to propel it forward. I have attached a picture showing how the model works. Please reply if you have any ideas.


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  3. Aug 18, 2009 #2


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    If it's only the lift component that has to be magnetic, you could just put a propellor on the back to push it around. Real maglevs use pulsed magnetic polarity changes for propulsion, but I don't know whether or not you have the ability to achieve that.
  4. Aug 18, 2009 #3
    I can build electromagnets and manually change the polarity to propel the train but the problem is that I am not able to build strong enough electromagnets to actually cause any motion I have tried it out. As for the propeller idea I don't know how to make a propeller (other than one which is a fan attached to a motor with dc supply). So I'll google propeller models and see if it is feasable for me.

    Thanks for the reply danger. Any other suggestions are welcome.
  5. Aug 23, 2009 #4


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    One of the real commercial systems uses powered wheels that contact the underside of the track. Maybe you could sneak one of those in underneath, attached to the plate holders.
    The other thing, though, is how you have your permanent magnets oriented. Every second one (linearly) should be a north. You then place pulsing (alternating pole) electromagnets where you have your steel plates. You'd need something fast, like optical switching, to make it work.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  6. Aug 15, 2011 #5
    I am ready with a perfect aglev train model
    it levitates gud and well
    the oly problemis how to propel the train with needed speed
  7. Aug 20, 2011 #6
    I can actually think of a fairly simple way to make this work: Consider that maglev trains are simply fancy linear electric motors, and that using a brush is always an option.
    My proposition is this: Use wound electromagnets with an iron core attached to the train. Then power the rails with a salvaged PC power supply; I've used power supplies for high current applications before and the 5V line can handle upwards of 30A. Then use brushes: If you can manage to find a -5V supply as well, you could use 3 rails with the train contacting them by brushes. The left rail would be at -5V, the right at 5V, and the center connected to ground. One side of the electromagnet would be permanently connected to the ground brush; the other would be connect to a brush on both the left and right sides of the train. The rails on the left and right sides would alternate, so that when the train was over a north magnet the magnetic field of the electro magnet would be north, then when it moved to the next segment, the rail would be the opposite polarity, and so would the field created. It would be up to you to figure out the right amount of offset so that the fields switched such that you would repel off the end of a segment and be attracted to the next.

    As for the construction of the interface, I'd use a thin sheet of aluminum foil for the rail, and a metal tab for the brush, with one end fixed to the train, and the other contacting the rail. A spring half way between would provide pressure against the rail.
  8. Aug 24, 2011 #7
    Hi.. I am currently doing a project exactly like what you are doing now..

    I have read through quite a number of articles relating to Maglev propulsion system, I think a synchronous stator linear motor would be the solution. But I am having trouble in finding the 3-phase linear stator motor..
  9. Aug 29, 2011 #8
    what's wrong with a prop? Are you trying to demonstrate a scaled version of the real stuff? In that case get brushed up on your electrical engineering.

    If you just want to push the thing, a prop will do just fine.

    You might also fiddle around with rotating the magnets to change the direction of the magnetic force/repulsion on the train.
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