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Magnetic Levitation

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Richard Ferguson, Jan 10, 2016.

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  1. Richard Ferguson

    Richard Ferguson

    Jan 10, 2016
    Years ago, I saw a demonstration of a metal plate (probably aluminum or something else non ferrous) which was floating on a magnetic field. Normally, the plate was relatively cool but if it was forced deeper into the magnetic field, it would heat up. I think the magnetic field was made using a bunch of welding rods, maybe dipped in lacquer or something, and formed into a core about 1.5 (??) inches in diameter. The coil, around the base of this core, was connected to 115 VAC. The coil and the base of the core were contained in a protective enclosure leaving the majority of the core projecting above the enclosure, like a tether-ball pole.

    I cannot remember if the plate had a hole in the middle to keep it from sliding off the field or not, I suspect it did but that is one of my questions. My other question is: How do I design the coil to get enough impedance to make sure the thing doesn't catch fire when I turn it on? I don't know the characteristics of the core, which I'm sure must be critical and I need to figure out how many turns of wire to put into the primary of this transformer.

    As I understand it, the plate (with a hole in the center ??) forms a shorted secondary on the transformer. I don't understand why it floats but as you force it down closer to the primary coil, the transformer coupling increases and the current in the secondary increases causing the plate to heat up.


    1) How big should I make the core?
    2) How many turns of wire in the primary?
    3) How do I figure the primary impedance:
    A) with no plate
    B) with the plate forced down into the field
    4) Why does the plate float?

    I have a pretty good electronics bench but my background in magnetics is pretty weak.

  2. Osmium


    Jan 28, 2013
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