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What does it mean to 'drive' a coil?

  1. Dec 8, 2013 #1
    I hear this term a lot but couldn't find much from a google search

    My initial guess is that we put a AC current through a inductor coil to create a magnetic field.

    Am I close?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    your audio signal is amplified and run through the speaker coil "driving" it to move the speaker membrane back and forth crating vibrations in the air which reach your ear vibrating the typanum and other parts and thus producing the sound your hear.



    So yes the audio signal induces a varying magnetic field that causes the magnet attached to the speaker membrane to move back and forth.
  4. Dec 9, 2013 #3
    I don't think it is typical for the magnet to be attached to the cone (speaker membrane if you like). The voicecoil is a much lighter part of the assembly. Logically for high frequency response, this would be the part you would engineer as the moving part.
  5. Dec 9, 2013 #4


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    Science Advisor
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    2017 Award

    This is just about use of words in a particular context. The OP didn't specify a speaker coil. The term 'drive' is just a general engineering term which means to feed anything with energy. You can 'drive' an LED or Data display of some sort, a relay coil, the output stage of an RF or Audio amplifier. The term is often used when the power level is increased above what would be regarded as signal level.

    @JustStudying. I suspect that you are new to the field of EE and there will be a lot of terms that turn up for you which are not formally defined but which are commonly used. This is the same as in many other fields - Sport, Computing, Music etc.. Get immersed in the topic by reading all sorts of stuff and they will begin to mean something. If in doubt and if you can't Google a meaning then get a clue from the context. If you stick to proper text books, you will encounter less jargon but miss out on the 'flavour' of the subject.
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