Introduction: Play "Magnetic Darts" a Whole New Way...

Tired of just throwing those magnetic darts at that board. Perhaps you need to look at it a new way. Ever tried playing while standing on your head? Perhaps you should play while looking through binoculars, first trying it forward, then through the other side. But this isn't what this instructable is all about.

I first came across this idea when I stumbled upon this site:

But I didn't feel like paying for something that I could just as easily make. I first tried this using a cardboard box as my base and it worked, but the box eventually tore. So now here I am to remake a better base and to show you how you can get more use out of those magnetic darts.

The materials you'll need are:
1. A Magnetic Dart set
2. A flat wooden board (8" is long enough)
3. A 3/32" and a 9/32" drill bit
4. A Drill of some sort
5. A wire coat hanger
6. Twine (string, thread, fishing line, etc.)
7. Scissors
8. A marker (optional)
9. Tape measurer

There is now a movie posted above the comments (it also can be found at the last step). The point behind this whole instructable (I feel obligated to mention this now) is to make a toy that both the young and old can enjoy. You move the magnetic fields (either repel or attract) around by deciding where you want each of the magnets, then let the pendulum swing to find out how the magnetic fields you've just created will cause the overhead magnet to react.

You could have just made a field to make it stand still which will be caused either by charges that are alike to the pendulum in a circle forcing it to stay between them or a magnet with an opposite charge of the pendulum that will attract the pendulum to it. You also could have made it do a dance around the base by placing magnets of opposite charges near each other and spread out making the pendulum swing randomly through the invisible fields.

Make one of these for a child to teach them about how magnets repel and attract each other (I suggest using a better board than I did and paint it). Could even be used as a science fair project if you feel like recording the locations of where each type of magnet was and how the pendulum reacted to each trial.

Forgot the all mighty WARNING label.
Warning: Scissors are sharp. Twine can tangle and choke. Small objects found within this instructable are not suitable for eating, so please do not give to small children nor shall you eat anything found within this instructable.
I will not be held responsible for the actions of others.

Note: There is now an improved paint picture below for making this ROMP. Some credit must be given to Stormed (see comments below).

Step 1: Steal the Magnets, Give Them Each a Pool

1. The first thing we must do is to unscrew the magnets off of the darts. Keep one magnet on one of the darts though. Test to find which ones attract and which ones repel. This part is optional, If you want you can mark which of the magnets are attracted to your to be pendulum with the marker around the edges.

2. Put the 9/32" drill bit into the drill (If you're brave, use the old hand cranking one like I did. My cordless "power" one is dead right now). Start drilling into the board. Space the holes about an inch apart (from the centers) and make a 4x7 pattern. Check each hole with one of the magnet heads to make sure they're deep enough (you could always drill straight through, but I think it looks better without the holes going all the way).

Step 2: Hanger Attachment

Now that you're finished drilling the holes, you're board should look similiar to mine.

1. Now take you're coat hanger and either bend until it breaks or cut it around 1'4". Bend the top into an "N" shape to make the hanging point.

2. Take the 9/32" bit out and replace it with the 3/32" bit. Drill a hole into the center (straight through) but along the side of the board. If you're confused look to the picture below to find out.

3. Push the hanger through the hole you have just made until about an inch is sticking out the other side.

4. Cut a groove into the bottom of the board (I used the drill sideways to cut the groove) and bend the wire over the side of the board and twist it around into the groove. You should now have a tight fit and a snug fitting hanger.

Step 3: Attach Pendulum and Enjoy...

You're base should now look like the main photo below.

1. Take the twine and cut off 6" (you can trim later if needed) with the scissors.

2. Using the 3/32" drill bit, drill a small hole near the top of the dart. Now thread the twine through and tie (I only tied it once, in case I feel like playing darts, it wouldn't be hard to undo the knot and is strong enough for this).

3. Tie the other end up around the hanger (pendulum's magnet should be about 1.25" away from the board). Trim extra twine off.

4. Install your magnets into the holes and create your own chaos. You can attach the pendulum to the hanger while you create your maze, so it won't stick to the magnets while you move them. Swing the pendulum from one side and watch to see what pattern it will follow.

There is one more thing I would like to do to improve this and that is to drill some holes in between the other holes so it'll look something like this (+ = the holes):

This will allow you to place opposite magnets closer together to cause more messed up fields.

Hope you've enjoyed this instructable and hope to hear some feedback. Don't forget to watch the movie below to see one of the patterns I made. Improvement ideas are always welcome.

And you thought I was going to teach you how to play darts...

Almost forgot to place the hanger protection up.
More or less all this will do is prevent the pendulum from sticking to the hanger while it's swinging.

Materials: Foil Insulation (a piece of plastic will also work) and tape

Put the foil around the bottom of the hanger and tape it there. Simple as that. Now the pendulum won't stick to the hanger while you're trying out your magnet maze.


Stormed made it! (author)2006-09-10

and my mini version is done, I might make a full size, but I'm not sure.

FrenchCrawler made it! (author)2006-09-10

New portable, pocket sized ROMP now available:

FrenchCrawler made it! (author)2006-09-07

I've added in a paint picture of the new improved design (much more similiar now to the ThinkGeek's ROMP), I thought that if you were to use different shaped magnets, it'd make the toy more interesting and fun. Stormed, if you have any further suggestions, go ahead and post them or just make your own instructable and display your improvement ideas for us to all see. Perhaps you can make up some games that can be played or a different design (like maybe have two pendulums, each having the same charge so they won't attract each other, instead of one. That'd make it interesting, since then they both couldn't go to the same magnetic field. Only problem I can see is that the strings would tangle, maybe some kind of large free spinning disk with a pendulum attached on opposite sides). I'll probably never get around to that though, so it's an open road for anyone else out there to try. Get creative...

Stormed made it! (author)Stormed2006-09-07

I will begin working tomorrow and expect to be done at latest, Sunday night. I considered a wooden dowel as it's wood(duh) and it's a dowel(oh wow) but I don't have any laying around, and like you, am going to work with what I have. I'm getting magnets from really old harddrives(can anyone say 8mb?) that my dad has scatterest everywhere. Break them up and you get unique shapes(sometimes sharp-ish so careful) as you also said. I will be using a bamboo stick from a Diabolo I got as a small little wee kid. It's basically a dowel, just looks a bit nicer, and free for me ;p.

I might use the side of an old computer case as the metal base/pad and possibly spray a design onto it like the ROMP for any little games. The overhang will be another piece of bamboo(to keep a little theme) that's hot-glued onto it. I'm going to use hot glue because a jig might not work too well with the strong magnets, in case anything should occur. This or a nail.

For a bit of fun, I'm also going to attempt a "mini" version, Featuring...
AN ALTOIDS CAN :O. and the plan is to use an old broken antenna(Aluminum so won't attract) I have because it can extend well and a smaller piece of antenna(the tip) as the overhanging piece. I will also drill a hole through the can on the side to hold the antenna when not in use. Magnets to be stored inside the can. Also plan to add a holder for the antenna on the side. ROMP-To-Go! And altoids _.

For the first version though, I have some really old "tech deck dudes" who have magnets on their feet, but are weak so I will attach a tiny NeoDynium one to both feet and "hang" him from the pendulum using a tiny noose! So it should add a bit more randomness into the already chaotic device. Plus you see a hangman struggling(so I hope)!

Any ideas would be nice also. And look out for another instructable: How to Tie a Noose, Do not harm your toys!

FrenchCrawler made it! (author)FrenchCrawler2006-09-07

Sweet, I can't wait to see the portable version. In fact, I may even try to make one (I have several empty "Bawls Mints" tins and an Altoids Sour Apple gum tin, but I don't think the Bawls tins will work for this idea, so I'll save those for other mini game ideas, once I can come up with some). Although, now that I look at my Altoid tin, it seems to be too narrow so the magnet would be more likely to be attracted to the sides unless I coat the sides with small magnets (Perhaps the slim fridge magnets. Cut them into strips, after making sure they're all the same charge, and glueing them to the sides. Hopefully they'll be strong enough to repel the pendulum and even be able to keep it inside the tin instead of pushing it out over the edge). I was thinking maybe a spring glued to the inside of the tin with something like a small nail or maybe a smaller spring glued (or soldered) to the top for the arm. For this version though, it'd probably be best to use all magnets that repel the pendulum, that way the spring won't bend to the magnets' fields and allow them to connect. The spring would be able to bend down into the tin when the lid was closed, making it easier to put the game away. Any thoughts about this idea? I'd still like to see your version since it's what just inspired my mind to come up with this design. You may also want to "coat" your tin's walls with something to prevent the pendulum from sticking (even if it's with something like Goop or Rubber cement).

Stormed made it! (author)Stormed2006-09-07

Sorry if this wasn't clear, I am sticking the magnets on the bottom of the can, not inside. Although either will work, with strong magnets, an open side(the bottom) seems more useful. I'm also using the Altoids sours ;p. Can still smell some year old altoids! I would've started this today, but I had homework and can probably only do this on the weekends or so. Good luck on your version as well.I like the spring idea though.

FrenchCrawler made it! (author)FrenchCrawler2006-09-08

Since my mind seems to work best at night, I'm writing this at 3:49 am. I've decided to discard the spring idea (even though in theory, it'd work). I'm instead going to use some electric wire that I cut off of an old computer's power supply. It's flexible enough to bend, but strong enough to stand on its own and retain the shape it is positioned in. I also cut a small fridge magnet (the round kind) into smaller sections, but I'll explain it later when I finish it.

Stormed made it! (author)2006-09-07

I like this, I'll have to obtain these presented darts through some sort of method that involves my friend's possession of this said material.Jack Daniels, the point of a ROMP is to be a pendulum that, when affected by the magenetic fields, will swing around much more eratically and randomly than a normal pendulum. Kind of a little past time, table decoration(well, if it was much better looking) for yourself. A good idea would be to add more holes, therefore, more possibilities. I might try this and post some results sometime. Maybe trade in your "pendulum" for a little toy to make it look more unique ;p. Might use some broken up NeoDynium Magnets I have laying around and other fun stuff _. I might improved the overall look as well, and use it as a table piece. Thanks for the idea!

FrenchCrawler made it! (author)FrenchCrawler2006-09-07

As I said in the last step, improvement ideas are welcomed. I thought of drilling more holes in between the others, but haven't gotten around to it. Right now my "ROMP" is sitting on our kitchen table where everyone interacts with it. In fact my grandfather came over last night and he was playing with it for some time (until we all left to go see my sister and my newly born nephew, born Sept. 4). Hope to see your ideas come to life. You don't really need to use the magnets from darts, but they were the only strong kind that I had and they worked so well the first time. You could always use regular magnets with a metal base instead of wood (I needed the wood base to prevent the darts' magnets from sticking together) like the picture from ThinkGeek.

Stormed made it! (author)Stormed2006-09-07

Say hi to the kid for me =]. I might try adding some foil inside the holes(maybe from soda cans) for insulating it as well as inserting a tinier, weaker magnet onto the bottom of the drilled hole to keep the magnets secured. Although, now that I think about it, a metal base could do wonders, without holes or anything to alter it. You can use it to kind of freeform your magnets around instead of the restriction of holes. I'll also probably use aluminum material for the stand. I just simplified my building process! _. Again, thanks for giving me some ideas ;p. Hope your nephew grows up nicely and plays with it often.

FrenchCrawler made it! (author)FrenchCrawler2006-09-07

If you ever get around to making your design, post it as a new instructable (Don't foget to give some credit :P ) to show another approach to making a ROMP. That way you can receive your own comments instead of getting them mixed up here and people can praise the newer design and if they have trouble understanding they can always look back to this one (also would help to link to the ThinkGeek's ROMP). Also instead of the wire hanger, you could probably screw a wood dowel onto the metal base and attach a metal piece across the top to hang the pendulum from. If I have time later, I'll try to make a picture in paint to clarify what I mean. Here's to hoping to seeing your improved version soon.

Jack Daniels made it! (author)2006-09-06

sorry i don't really see what the point of it is..... correct me if i'm wrong but it's just to watch the thing swing back and forth?

FrenchCrawler made it! (author)FrenchCrawler2006-09-06

It's a toy. You mess with the fields to see how they'll interact with each other and if you place the magnets correctly you'll make the pendulum do different types of "dances", like mine if you watched the movie in the last step. In fact I'm going to now add it into the beginning intro, so you won't miss it.

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