Introduction: Electromagnetic Levitation Device

Hello, today I'll show you how I made levitron. So the idea of device is very simple, the electromagnet lift into the air a piece of magnetic material, and in order to create the floating effect, it is connected with a high frequency, lifting and dropping the subject.

Step 1: Devise Circuit

Step 2: Assembly

Let's move on to the assembly, first we need to make a frame for the electromagnet around these parameters, 6mm diameter, winding length of about 23mm and a diameter of plugs with a margin somewhere 25mm, as you see I built it from a notebook sheet, cardboard and super glue, naturally previously spilled half a bottle on hand and table. So, now we fix the beginning of the wires in the frame, relaxing and starting to wind about 550 turns, no matter in what direction, and can wind in bulk, I have decided that it is for wimps and made 12 layers turn to turn killing one and a half hours.

Step 3: Soldering

Fix the end of the wire, put off the coil and pass to the soldering, all under the circuit without any nuances. Hall sensor soldered to wires because it will be located inside the coil and in fact we done. We can only set it up, as I said We put sensor inside, fix it, suspended coil and apply power, by bringing the magnet feels that it is attracted or repelled, depending on the pole and at a distance trying to fly, but does not.

Step 4: Tuning

After spending half an hour trying to to find an answer to the eternal question, "well, why this **** does not work!?" I'm desperate and decided to resort to extreme measures - to read the sensor's datasheet, which is specially for the idiots like me, in pictures, showing which side of it has sensitive area. Take it out, bends here in such a way that with inscriptions flat side was eventually parallel to the ground and put back - this time it's much better, but still not floating, what the problem is now I realized surprisingly quickly, tablet form - not the most successful thing to levitate and just enough to shift the center of gravity to the bottom, I made it of a piece of thick paper scribbled with the logo of the project, by the way do not forget to look which side of the magnet is attracted to the coil. Actually, now everything is more or less running and we need only align and secure the sensor. What else are nuances ... at first I wanted to use 12V adapter, but an electromagnet wildly warmed up, had to switch to 5V, I did not notice any worsening of work, and the heat was almost completely cured, the transistor then the way is surprisingly cold, I thought I'll have to use a heat sink, LED and limiting resistor were almost immediately disabled, the meaning of which 0. And as the final touch - a blue paper tape seemed not enough sexy, take it off it, I was right - a copper wire coil turn to turn looks much better.

Step 5: Final

Actually, if I would have done the housing for my handicrafts, levitron first

in the list - definitely, and by the simplicity of the circuit and showiness it can compete with the Tesla coil,

probably even I'll recommend it as the first device. Also I have YouTube channel :)




; D

PeterB920 (author)2017-02-08

Very nice project indeed, but I have a couple questions.

First of all, you wrote that the led is optional, does that mean that this circuit is going to be completely fine without it?

And secondly, if I make a bigger coil with more wire, can it make a stronger magnet at the same voltage, thus increasing the gap between the coil and the permanent magnet? And also, if I used a bigger/stronger magnet, could I increase the gap as well?

Thanks, looking forward to building this!

mmccracken (author)2017-01-12

Hi, Constantin,

This is a very nice project! Thanks for putting together this Instructable. I had an undergraduate student build it, and it worked very well. We were both quite excited. We made four component substitutions:

1) for the diode, we used a 1N4007

2) for the MOSFET, we used a IRFZ44NPBF

3) for the Hall Effect sensor, we used a A1104LUA-T

4) rather than a dc charger, we used a very stable DC power supply

Check out

Thanks again!


osterac (author)2016-12-06

I tried to build this but had trouble. I couldn't find the same hall effect sensor so I bought a couple of them but couldn't get either to work. The circuit diagram was a bit confusing to me. I wasn't sure about which way positive and negative were supposed to go, and I really had no idea which way the hall effect sensor was meant to be hooked up by looking at the diagram. The mosfet part of the diagram confused me as well. You have 2 leads hooked up to pins 1 and 3 with what looks like 2 of the pins shorted together, then another lead connected to... The heatsink? The heatsink is connected to one of the pins (2 I think). So the way I'm looking at the diagram, 2 of the leads of the hall effect sensor would be shorted together and connected to 2 of the pins of the mosfet as well as a resistor and either positive or negative power. Can you clarify?

Also, I used .3mm magnet wire and it took more windings than I could count. I'd estimate about 300 feet of magnet wire.



wernert (author)2016-11-05

Very cool project. :)

I am wondering if it would be possible to eliminate the need for the Hall effect sensor if you simply control the on/off times of the coil very precisely. From my quick calculations, when you switch off the coil magnet for about 15 uS, then the small magnet would fall about 1 mm. If you then switch on the coil to attract it back about 1mm exactly then it should also stay in this permanent state of falling and being attracted.

The cool thing about doing it with just time control would be that you can possibly increase the distance between the two magnets to absolute maximum and especially if you have a really strong electromagnet. Or what do you think?


You need feedback.

What you're describing might work for a moment, but only a moment.

If the magnet gets a tiny bit too far away, it falls. A tiny bit too close - click - it's stuck to the nail.

Your technique is like controlling the heat in your house by timing the furnace on/off cycle times. It would work for a moment.

As soon as the outdoor temperature changes, the wind changes, the sun comes out, someone comes in the front door etc....... Things collapse.

You can see that in almost any control system, you need feedback - in the furnace case, the thermostat has a thermometer that provides that feedback.

A sophisticated heating system might cut back on the heat as you approached the target so it wouldn't overshoot.

Your car's cruise control doesn't "floor it" when you're below target speed, then drop the throttle to zero when you hit target - treating your throttle like the furnace on/off switch. That would be a rough ride!

Look up "PID controllers". Proportional/Integral/Derivative

For your car's cruise control:

Basically, we're way under target speed? Floor it. As we approach target, start to ease off.

The further from target, the more it pushes the throttle (P=proportional).

How quickly are we approaching the target (I=integral, D=derivative) - how quickly/how much do we ease off.

If we do it right, we'll end up with the throttle right where it needs to be to maintain target speed.

KraftyKeilbart (author)2016-10-24

Is there a way to make this portable. I have an idea for a costume piece and this seems like the right idea to get started. I am also curious if item can be pushed up into the air from a table or other surface rather than held between a surface and the magnet

osterac (author)KraftyKeilbart2016-10-28

@KellyKeilbart - If you wanted to make it portable, 4 AA batteries with a holder should do the trick. The author said that turning it upside down makes it a lot less stable.

Also, I have a question for the author. You said we could use a similar hall sensor to the A3144. What should I look for? I've been having trouble finding an A3144 here in the US. It'd be nice to get all the parts from mouser.

laith mohamed (author)2016-10-23

I like it .

Leonardo2016 (author)2016-10-20

Sorry to be pedantic, but this is a straight forward levitator, not a Levitron.

A Levitron uses no power, just permanent magnets and suspends the spinning object above the main part of the kit.

However, your is good too, just not a Levitron.

dokcal (author)Leonardo20162016-10-20

Seconding Leonardo2016's comment. I love this; it's brilliant and so simple... but it's not a Levitron, which is, after all, a legally-protected name. You could get in some trouble.

jellmeister (author)dokcal2016-10-20

Agreed about the trademark, although any trouble for theft of Levitron IP would be ironic given their theft of the entire product proposition! Have a google on it as the inventor isn't getting anything from the producer.

How-ToDo (author)jellmeister2016-10-20

So do you recommend to change the title, just in case?

jellmeister (author)How-ToDo2016-10-21

I'd change it purely based on the association of Levitron with the floating spinning top.

I don't give out legal advice as I am not a lawyer and I don't have the insurance to cover any bad advice;)

bpark1000 (author)Leonardo20162016-10-20

It "is a Levitron". Levitron makes a variety of products that levitate magnets, and some of them involve actively-controlled levitation, such as shown here.

supernoodle2014 (author)2016-10-20

good job, just watch out where you put it so it doesn't affect other electronics.

Laral (author)2016-10-20

I came here expecting to see a homemade Levitron-like passive levitator, with permanent magnets, but as others have pointed out, this is not that, and has nothing to do with it. So why the copyrighted name? This is a very simple active electromagnetic levitator, which is fine, just not a Levitron. There are a couple of Instructables on how to make a true Levitron-like device but not very good ones. There are better examples on YouTube. I have made one that doesn't require any weights at all.

KimS11 (author)2016-10-20

BRILLIANT..well made, well instructed, simple project, Congrats!

space_pac (author)2016-10-20

Go and write it in a contest i want to vote

oland1 (author)2016-10-20

It is nice, and simple, but even though I appreciate it, I would like to see an explanation of how the circuit works and the principals involved. We could learn so much more if you gave us some insight on the operation of the circuit, why it is able to levitate the magnet at a set distance and what it depends on. Interesting that the higher voltage melted some parts but why does the lower voltage work better?

Great project to copy. BUT, please instruct us on the principles so we can take it from there and appreciate this more.

Thank you.

anjoze (author)2016-10-20

Very nice

pehughes (author)2016-10-20

A really neat idea for the physics classroom. Like GregoryL20 said, there are a lot of lessons for the physics lab, undergrad, non-major level.



lukeuser (author)2016-10-20

I love your video, you've done a great job with it

GregoryL20 (author)2016-10-20

Even though the circuit looks simple, it has a lot of interesting lessons, like the Hall effect sensor, and inductance, and magnetism, and the use of super magnets. Makes me want to relive my mad scientist days from 25 years ago.

Anirudh Ralhan (author)2016-10-19

So cool!! and yet amazingly simple...

tomatoskins (author)2016-10-18

Very cool instructable! I would have never through that this project would be this simple!

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