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Thanks, Keith. You are right - that explains it.
Then, I'm just going to have to build one and do further testing to understand why. :)
Really neat. Being a retired (and tired) physicist, when I analyze the magnetic fields, it looks like it would run better if the magnets were put on the battery as so: S N -Battery+ S N . Have you tried that?
However, it might only run one way through the "track" in that case.
Oh, I forgot to add, for the composite quarters, I dip the ring in clear polyurethane, spin it to get the excess off, and hang up to dry. This is to protect the skin from reacting with the alloys in the rings. I have made 2-3 silver ones that don't need that. You can also spray them with a clear coat, but the dipping is so much less wasteful.
Some of the first ones I made
These steps are about what I do also. One hint I would add, since I too use a vise to "squeeze" the coin in the doming block, to keep it strictly aligned, I use a few drops of hot glue, which easily comes off after the doming.
Corinbw: I make coin rings from composite quarters (mostly nickel metal, I think). I tried Krylon Spray clear coat and that works, but spray paint is wasteful. So I switched to a small can of clear (brand: Min Wax) polyurethane. I dip the rings in the solution with a thin wire hook, and then hang up to dry. I think this coating will last longer - still awaiting results from my "customers". (I give them away for free). :)
In Step 4, did you mean "sanded it with 1000 grit then 2000 grit"?Good instructable. Thanks.