Building and Improving a Simple Electric Motor
In this project, besides demonstrating principles of magnetism to create motion, I wanted to get across how I improve upon similar projects. To do this I looked at how other people have designed this simple electric motor, discovering possible weaknesses, and trying to improve on those weaknesses in my design.
My Version of the Simple Electric Motor
The following are pictures and descriptions of the materials I used
to complete this project. I made an effort to find materials that could
be found in almost any city at a reasonable price.
I found a real deal on ceramic magnets, 51 magnets for $6 at a store that
sells mainly tools. Northern Tool + Equipment http://www.northerntool.com
Radio Shack also sells ceramic magnets in smaller quantities.
|Radio Shack sells 3-pack of enamel-coated magnet wire, I would suggest using the heaviest wire which is the 20 gauge.||I used craft beads to keep the armature (straight sections of the wire) from moving from side to side while running.|
These “Mounting Squares” which are double-sided sticky tape provided and easy method to attach the magnet yet the magnet could be removed later with some effort. Magnets could be glued to wood base also but would be harder to remove later.
|Wire Strippers can be found at Radio Shack or other stores that sell tools.||Low temp hot glue guns are normally found where craft supplies are sold.|
Building the Motor
The curved portion of the tube strap halves are easily straightened in a vise.
If you do not have access to a vise, the material could probably be straightened with a pliers or a hammer.
|Side view of two brackets that have been straightened.||Back of two brackets that have been marked for two slits to be cut so tabs can be bent.|
|Cutting one of two slits, stop at horizontal line.||Bending the tab back the same direction as the bottom part of bracket.|
|Tab has been bent over, now make sure the other two strips of the bracket are vertical.||Trim off some of the material, only about 1/8” needs to stick up above the tab.|
It is easier to strip the insulation off the wire when you have something to hold on the other end. I strip insulation off on one end, and then cut the wire. The wire should be around 3 inches long, ½ inch of insulation stripped off
on each end should be good.
|Wrap the wire 15 times around 5/8” wood dowel, leave around 3” extra on each end of
the wire. The number of loops is something that can be experimented with, try a few more or less, then observe change in speed.
|In the middle of the loop one each side, wrap the ire around the bundle of wires a couple of times.||This is what the coil should look like now.|
|Mark the block 3” from one end.||Cut across the wood. Hand saw cut through the pine wood very quickly.|
Mark where the bracket holes for the battery will go by using a D-cell battery as a guide. It will be a tight fit on the board. The holes in the bottom of the brackets are large enough that there is room to adjust the bracket some to get a tight fit to the ends of the battery.
|Drill the starter holes for the screws a little smaller than the screw and not all the way through the board.||Use a large enough screwdriver to fit the slots
in the screw head.
|It is a good idea to file any sharp edges on the brackets.||Screw in brackets so that they are tight to the battery.|
|The straight section of wire on one side of the coil can be sanded completely around the wire.||
On the other side only sand off the coating on half of the wire.
|Glue the bead being careful not to get glue on the outside edge of the bead where it makes contact.||The completed assembly should look like this.|
|Place the sticky side of the double-sided tape on the wood base between brackets, then peel the backing off.||Place the magnet centered on the sticky tape.|
Completed motor in action! You will probably need to give the coil a gentle shove with one finger to start it in motion.
You might consider:
- Make a new armature/coil with more or fewer windings.
- Adjust the gap between the magnet and the edge of the coil to be less but not touch at anytime.
- Try a stronger magnet such as a neodymium magnet.
If Your Motor Doesn’t Run
Don’t get upset, troubleshoot the problem. You will probably learn more if your project does not work perfectly from the start.
♦ All the connections between the battery and the motor are solid.♦ The armature wire is as straight as possible.
♦ The enamel has been sanded properly, half the diameter on one side and around the entire wire on the other side.
My First 2-pole Electric Motor Magnetic Switch Motor from Kit Darcy Whyte Dinky Motor
ScienceGuyOrg Blog Entries About Electric Motors
2-Pole DC Motor Project – Some Ideas to Get You Started
Getting the Gap Correct in Electric Motor Project
Two Pole Example Electric Motor
Magnetic Switch Motor Kit
Darcy Whyte’s Dinky Motor Kit – Order From This Link – Link updated 1/8/2016
Note: I received a request to include a link that might appear to be advertising but there is an animated video on DC motor operation that is well done on this webpage.