Instructables
Picture of Make a basic electromagnet
Electromagnets are very useful tools. They have the ability to gain a magnetic field with the introduction of current and to lose it once the current ceases. We will be building a very simple one that works with these principles. It is also a very cheap project, I had everything needed to make it lying around my house.


Update 1/27:
I added a better video, it isn't great, but it is an improvement.
 
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Step 1: Gather Materials

For this project we will need:

One large nail
Around 5 feet of 16 gauge wire.
One D cell battery
Some electrical tape (optional)

All of this can be bought at a hardware store for under $4.

Tools:
Wire stripper
Pliers

Step 2: Start Wrapping!

Start wrapping your wire tightly around your nail. If you need to compress the coils, just pust the wire against the head of the nail. Keep in mind that the tighter the coils are, the stronger the magnet will be.

Step 3: Connect your battery

Picture of Connect your battery
DSC00228.JPG
Now we will get power into this. Strip both ends of the wire and connect them to your battery. I used electrical tape to hold down my battery, but you don't need to.

Step 4: The Finished Product and Video

So now we have our magnet finished. Lets take it and test it out!

**WARNING**
This will get very hot if you leave the battery connected for to long. Please be careful! I am not responsible for you if you are burnt.


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electronicz2 years ago
Is it possible to direct the electromagnetic field. If so how?
chalky6 years ago
hey that's pretty cool!!! so technically the more voltage the stronger the magnet??
Kiteman chalky6 years ago
And the more turns on the coil and the closer together they are as well. That's why commercial transformers (in wall-warts and the like) use very thin enamelled wire, because the enamel is thinner than PVC insulation, so the wires can be crammed closer together.
Greetings wiseman: I've read that overheating is a common problem when using electromagnets, is there a way to keep them cool or just turn it on and off when they get too hot???. Thanks. AL.
i bet u can make a card board ice holder that u can hot glue or something to the side. maybe the side that is next to the batteries/device should be 3-5 peices of paper. if so, put the ice in a bag.
Fan blowing over a heat-sink? Turn the power down?
Greetings Kiteman: Just a quick question, how are the wires on both ends of the battery supposed to be secured???. Does it matter if they are taped or do they need to be secured in another manner????.. Thanks. AL.
Kiteman: Would using an earth magnet instead of a nail to make an electromagnet be a good idea??. I know from what I've read here that dealing with the overheating of an electromagnet is a problem but please give me your advise. Thank you wiseman. AL.
Not for making an electromagnet, no, mainly because you can't switch a rare-earth magnet off.

Why didn't I think of that?? You don't have to answer that wiseman and thank you for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. AL.
Any time.
But, Kiteman, I thought it was the amperage that induces magnetism, and not the voltage. That's why, even though the voltage is high, a wall transformer that puts out 10kV DC and 23mA won't have the same effect as a car battery that can put out 20(?) amps at twelve volts.
Any electric wire carrying current has an associated magnetic field per unit length. You only notice it when you coil the wire to concentrate the field. The more coils, the greater the length of wire is gathered into the magnet. The greater the length of wire, the more field is concentrated in the magnet.
Well, then why is it that these coil-gun makers use capacitors (which up the amperage, not the voltage) to increase the shot-length of their guns?
When did I say it was only the number of turns that affected the strength?

Read my first reply above - "And the more turns on the coil and the closer together they are as well."

The three main variables are power (current x voltage), number of turns and the closeness of the turns in the coil. The diameter of the coil will also affect things, but not so much.
I took your saying "Any electric wire carrying current has an associated magnetic field per unit length" as a completely literal statement and understood what you were saying as any electric wire carrying current has an associated magnetic field (regardless of voltage/amperage) per unit length." and I didn't understand why you'd be saying that, especially with the obvious knowledge I've seen you display in the past. Excuse me for my misconception.
Ah! Confusion sorted.
chalky Kiteman6 years ago
- .... .- -. -.- | .... . .- ...- . -. ... | ..-. --- .-. | - .... .- - | .-.. --- .-..
Kiteman chalky6 years ago
Show-off!
chalky Kiteman6 years ago
I thought,seen as though i started off the confusing debate on electro magnetism it would be appropriate for me to end it with more confusion lol:) ps/ did you manage to decipher my cryptic Morse code message Kiteman?
Kiteman chalky6 years ago
Good grief, how old do people think I am??
Old? Many of the licenses for short wave radio still require the knowledge of M.C. and at a certain speed (send / receive). or did I just miss the entire context of the discussion?
chalky Goodhart5 years ago
lol no it started straying off topic a long time a go so i just thrown in some morse code for more confusion lol:)
Derin chalky5 years ago
_ _ _ _ _ . _ . . . . . _ . _ . _ _ _ _ . . . _ . _ . _ _ _ _ . . . . _ . . _ . _ . . _ . . . . . . . . . _ _ . _ . . . . . . _ _ . . . . _ _ . _ _ . . _ _ . _ _ . _ _ . _ _ _ . _ . . . _ . _ . . . _ . _ . . _ . . . . _ _ . _ _ . _ . . _ _ . _ . _ _ _ _ _ . . . _ . _ . . _ . . . . _ _ . _ . . . _ . _ . . _ . . . . _ _ . _ . . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . _ . . . . . . . . . . . . _ _ _ . _ . . . _ _ _ _ _ . _ . _ . _ . _ _ _ _ _ _ . _ . . . . _ . . . . _ . . . . . . . . . . _ _ . _ . . . . _ _ . . . . . _ _ . . . . _ . . . . _ . . . . _ . _ _ _ . _ . _ . . . . . . . . . _ _ . . . . . . . . _ _ _ . . EXPLANATION: you dont need explanations
vela.u Derin3 years ago
)))))))))))))))))))))))))(((((((((((((((((((((((((||||||||||||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \ \ \\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ bad
this i s d worst info on electro magnet i hav seen till now
Goodhart vela.u3 years ago
really ?
Goodhart chalky5 years ago
Oh I know, I just wondered where Kiteman got old from, since a lot of Ham operators still use it and it is still required in some instances (although it is fading fairly fast).
Morse code is no longer an "official" system for sending messages, though - military and commercial radio operators don't need to learn it, and naval officers don't get forced to learn it to "flash" messages ship-to-ship.
. I'm rather surprised. Seems like it makes an effective low-tech solution in a lot of emergency situations. Good exercise for the mind. &c, &c. . It's tradition dammit! If you're going to call yourself a ham, you need to be able to pound a key. ;)
Have the Ham licenses changed since I checked into them a year or so ago?
chalky Goodhart5 years ago
CQ CQ CQ DX PJ2/K8ND lol:)
Goodhart chalky5 years ago
I have tried multiple times....and I seem to have a mental block in that area...I could learn German, and some Hebrew, but Morse code just wouldn't take :-)
Well, when I was a newbie, I thought you were around 65-70ish, not going to lie. :D

Sorry.
I was chatting to a colleague who draws comics - I mentioned that I was re-reading Watchmen after a gap of over twenty years, and had he ever read it?

He coughed, and pointed out that he is twenty three...
XD Hmmm, I wonder if you ever forget my age when speaking to me... :D
Usually - it's easy to do when I've never seen what you look like.
Maybe, when I do my makeup ible, perhaps...
I thought you were going to use ~~decapitated corpse~~ plastic dummy?
>Cracks up<

It's a good idea, but I can't find one free, and my natural lovely face being so much cheaper (free, to be exact), I am considering it...
chalky Kiteman6 years ago
Everybody knows kiteman is as old as his tongue and a little older than his teeth:)
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