Battery Maglev Train

Introduction: Battery Maglev Train

This train is an inexpensive and super cool thing to build! It is a great science project to do with your kids or even just on your own. Kids should not do this unattended.

Supplies

For this project you need:

20 gauge unshielded copper -- I used 250 feet and ended up with 4 feet of tightly round track

6 1/8" thick neodymium magnets with 1/2" diameter

AAA or AA batteries, AAA worked best for me

A 5/8" wooden dowel to wrap the copper around -- I used one that was 4 feet long

Optional -- power drill, whittling knife and work gloves

Step 1: Wind the Copper Wire

Option 1:

This option requires the power drill, work gloves, copper and a whittling knife. (It does help to have a second person who can pull the trigger on the drill.

To start, grab the dowel and whittling knife. You need to make the end of the dowel small enough to fit in the drill head. Once it fits, tighten the drill head on so it spins when you pull the trigger.

Next put on your gloves and fasten the end of the copper to the dowel and as close as it can get to the drill. Then pull the trigger on the drill (set to drill in) and hold the copper in place as it winds around the the dowel. It needs to be wound as close as possible without overlapping. Once it is wound as far as you would like you can cut off unused copper and pull the coil off of the dowel.

Option 2:

For this option you need a wood dowel and copper.

First, do one wrap around your dowel, make sure the copper is touching and is tight around the dowel. Then continue wrapping tightly around the dowel until you have as much as you want and then cut off extra copper and pull off of the dowel. Make sure that as you wrap you are wrapping the coils close together but not overlapping.

Step 2: Spread the Copper Coils

This step is just spreading the copper coils a little bit to make the track longer, they shouldn't be very far apart though. You don't even have to spread them at all, just make sure the coils are not overlapping.

Step 3: Assemble Your Battery Train

To put together your battery train you need to separate your 6 magnets into 2 stacks of 3 magnets.

Put each stack on each end of the battery, making sure they are facing away from each other (they need to be rejecting each other to make the train work.)

Step 4: Test Your Maglev Train!

Now it's time to play! Try sending your battery through the copper track. If it is trying to push back at you it means that it is facing the wrong way so all you have to do is turn the battery around. If it isn't moving at all try flipping one of your magnet stacks.

Have fun with your awesome maglev train!

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