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Whats Better Volts or Amps?

I know the two are completely different, just so you guys don't leave any I'm an idiot comments.  I was wondering if anyone knew what makes a better electromagnet for my coil gun.  Should I look for higher amps or just as many volts as I can find

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jimc45676 years ago
You're trying to make a coil gun. I believe you are interested in creating the strongest magnetic field you can, so you're trying to determine whether more volts or more amps is better. Current or amps is actually dependent on two other factors, Volts and Resistance. You can't simply increase the current (or amps) to something.

If you have a coil of wire that is 10 ohms and you apply 10 volts to it the coil will "pull" 1 amp. Ohm's law I=E/R. Leave the coil of wire unchanged, and increase the voltage to 20 volts and the current pull or draw will not be 2 amps. You can increase the strength of an electromagnet by either increasing the voltage to the coil, or increasing the number of turns of wire that make up the electromagnet. You can also add an iron core to the center, but I think that defeats the purpose of your coil gun.
JariR4 jimc45677 months ago

what if you use a boost converter? i saw somebody make a spark gap from a 9 v battery. isn't that enough to make really strong magnet?

shawneegeek6 years ago
I think what your trying to ask is; would it be better to use alternating current (AC the stuff that comes out of your home electrical socket) or Direct Current (DC the stuff that comes out of batterys) correct?

If you use alternating current you will get a better electro magnet, then direct current because an electrical socket usually runs 110v whereas most batterys top out at about 12v.

The wattage, however, in a small 12v motorcycle battery, can run about 24w and this would make a good current for your electro magnet, and is mobile.

Be careful with AC if you decide to use that, it takes a small .5 amps to stop your heart.
A coil gun has to be d/c otherwise the projectile would just sit there and buzz.
seandogue6 years ago
Well, if you had a near-super-conducting wire, then Amps would be you primary concern.

Since real world wire (for the most part) has real world impedance, you need both volts (electromotive force) and amps (current).

That is, if you had a 1inch high puddle of 20 million gallons of water, how many turbines could you power? none I'll bet, unless your turbines were microscopic.

They are not completely different and in fact are tied together quite tightly.

Most coil guns are using somewhere above 300-400V sources to drive the coils and force enough current through to generate a sufficient magnetic impulse to propel the projectile.

Most serious ones work up in the kV range.