Introduction: Electromagnet

In this Tutorial, i will explain how to create a basic gauss cannon with various materials. This can be very dangerous with high voltages. Be careful. The higher the power, the faster the projectile. This is my first instructable.

Step 1: First Step

FIrst, Get a tube, it doesn't matter what material, and get some wire. Take some black wire tape, and tape an end of the wire onto one of the ends of the tube. Start wrapping the wire around the tube, and keep the wire close together and very tightly wound. Once you get to the other end, start wrapping the other way, and stop about two-thirds down the tube. Move down the tube about one third of the way down the tube and wrap the wire until the end of the tube. Now cut the end of the wire, leaving about 5 inches of wire off the tube-coil. Now tape the end of the coil, so it doesn't go loose. Make sure your finished result looks like the picture below.

Step 2: Step Two

Now, attach some wires to your two wires coming off your coil, and then attach the two wires you just attached to your coil, and attach them to a power source.

Step 3: Step Three

Now put a metal object in the end with the thinner coil, and it should fly out with a changeable speed.
Now you have an effective gauss cannon that can shoot various metal objects with great speed. Enjoy!



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    34 Discussions

    Hi, I am interested to make it
    but how to rolling direction of the cord, whether clockwise or opposite the clock?

    how thick doe sthe pipe have to be
    can i use magnet wire
    can i use a pizeoignitor as a power source
    and can i use a pentube

    2 replies

    a piezoelectric ignition (which I assume you meant by pizeoignitor) would be a sub optimal power source.

    the electromagnet is only polarized when electricity flows through it

    a piezoelectric source only produces a single electrical discharge, rather than a continuous current

    your piezoelectric electromagnet (piezomagnet?) would only last as long as the electrical discharge. you probably would not even notice it.

    cool idea im making it with magnet wire  i think it would work better

    no it has to be thicher at the firering end and thiner at the inlet

    how can you make an electro magnet, push things and pull things?

    I think the magnet may have a greater effect if the coil is all wound the same way . read up on the "right hand grip rule" it helps with the basics.
    FIrst, Get a tube, it doesn't matter what material
    The material actually does have an effect actually in a sense some materials "amplify" a magnetic field. So a iron tube may produce a stronger magnet .
    however since its hollow i'm not to sure.

    Anyway nice instructable
    7 replies

    nooo not iron will just become a magnet!!!!!! you don't want, that u need something that is thin and is not able to become magnetic. and what is happening with the steel projectile down the barrel is it is getting drawn to the center of the coil where the magnetic field is strongest, and then the power supply to the coil is cut and the projectile is not stopped at the center, the projectile would continue it path down the barrel and to on.............. please look the theory on this other wise your cannon will not work!!!!!! 1 or 10 9v batteries will not power a cannon........... try massive capacitors! and look up how capacitors works and the properties of them discharging.......

    I think the magnet may have a greater effect if the coil is all wound the same way . read up on the "right hand grip rule" it helps with the basics.

    I think you're right. I don't know all of the specifics, but I am pretty sure that the one layer that you wrap the oppisite way will provide an electromagnetic force in the direction opposite that of the other two layers, canceling out some of the power. If, when you finished your first layer you went back to the end you started wrapping and then wrapped in the same direction, then repeated for the third wrapping, you should get the optimum force

    An iron tube would actually concentrate the field in the walls of the tube. The tube should be non-magnetic, and the projectile should be magnetic, so that the projectile acts as the core and the field is concentrated therein.

    IF you use bare copper wire, the electrons won't go in the spiraly way around the tube and just go straight to the end. It needs to be somehow insulated.

    1 reply

    arrrrg=( i got half way thru and the wire is too short

    Despite what bart416 said awhile back, the voltage DOES matter (indirectly). I=V/R, so, given the same resistance (same coil), the higher your voltage is the higher your current is. You should ideally use a battery capable of supplying a lot of current (one with a high C-rating) such as an RC car battery. Maybe hook a few of them up in series :) Make sure you have enough distance of wire though.. if your wire is too short, the resistance is smaller, and therefor current is higher with a constant voltage. So if you have high voltage and a short wire, things will get pretty hot!