World's Simplest Electric Train





Introduction: World's Simplest Electric Train

With just three everyday items, you can make the "World's Simplest Electric Train!" This is a fun, simple, yet great science experiment.

Materials needed:

20 gauge copper wire (non-insulated).

AA Battery

Two 5/8" x 3/8" neodymium magnets (our product DA6).

Step 1: Coil the Wire

The first thing you'll need to do is coil your copper wire! You can do this by hand, but it will take a long time and it gets tedious.

We used a 5/8" diameter dowel rod attached to a drill to quickly coil the copper wire. The video shows how. We used 20 gauge wire, in 50ft spools.

If you use the method we did, you'll want to drill a small hole through the diameter of the dowel, then feed the wire through this hole and bend it around the dowel. This will create a good starting point for the coil!

Step 2: Make the "train"

This step is pretty simple. Take your AA Battery and your magnets and put the magnets on either end of the battery.

IMPORTANT: You want to make sure that the magnets are repelling. So that means the south poles of each magnet need to be facing out, or the north. It doesn't matter which, but it does matter that if the battery wasn't there, the magnets would be repelling. (For help, watch the video at the end)

If your batteries are oriented incorrectly, you will know because the battery will just vibrate once placed into the copper wire.

Step 3: Make Your Track and Have Fun!

That's it! Truly simply.

You can make your track into all sorts of different shapes and can really have fun with it. Watch the video to see what we did!

Step 4: Experiment

We tried out different batteries, magnet sizes, and different gauge copper wire. We highlighted what we found worked best, but there are other options. Check out the table for some other options. This could be a fun, science experiment to see what works best.



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    Please be positive and constructive.




    i am a long time fan of K& J magnetics and a customer. The magnet stuck to the negative end of the battery is obviously going to stick quite well, but the positive end could possibly come out of position and increase friction due to the much smaller size of the positive terminal.

    Why not put a small steel washer big enough to fit over the positive end that is smaller than the battery's outer diameter and stick the magnet to that, to provide a more stable base and more mass for the magnet to stick to?

    I hasten to add that i have not built this as yet, so this is just appoint of of conjecture on my part.

    Will it work on n50 neodymium magnet on AAA battery?

    I am doing a science project with changing the distance between the coils, however I have a question. How do I measure the velocity of the train?

    Awesome technique. I loved it, my kid loved it. He is choosing this for his science project. He also came across another tutorial - . He is asking if he I can combine both and show in a project but he is confused wether one say electric and another one says magnetic. When i read both have similar concept but I am not very good at science. So asking if he can combine both.

    Can the train climb up on a supported angle? I mean really steep

    ive done this before and it cant go that steep

    No, it doesn't have enough power

    What if we use two batteries in series?

    If you put them batterys in series you'll get battery1 + battery2 +battey3 =

    1,5V +1,5V +1,5V gives you 4,5V Comprende?

    If you put put them parallel you got the accesibilty of that them Amps they can provide, still 1,5V in output

    Actually, the efficient "work" named "P" is as power in a factor in electricity, (and ower all), P=U*I, Hmm... to define "P" ..I think the "P" is about the same thing as lifting a weight of 1Kg from a niveau of 0 to 1meter in 1 second. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    As in electricity we allways talk about "Watt's and Amp's", Com'on "Watts" are the product, (Power), delievered by Volts*Amps, how hard can that be to understand, (not you).