electromagnetic levitator circuit

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

This circuit creates a stunning display of the `magic` of magnetism by suspending a small metal object in mid air. Using an electromagnet, photo sensor and closed loop control, small and light metal objects can be floated just underneath the magnet, enclosed in a decorative arch. `No strings` are easily demonstrated by the ability to pick the meta

electromagnetic levitator circuit
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l object out of the air and place it back under the magnet at will. With the object floating about 1/4" under the magnet (exact distance will depend on the weight of the object), an LED and photo transistor arrangement let a feedback circuit know it`s position. The circuit controls current to an electromagnet to maintain an equilibrium between the force of the magnet and gravity. Thus, the object floats. Impart a bit of a spin to the object and momentum will carry it for quite a long time as the only friction working against it is between the object and the air. This project is built in two sections; the circuit and then the enclosure/base. Assembly of the circuit should take place on a printed circuit board to minimize the chance of oscillation and to keep the assembly need and compact. A printed circuit board pattern is provided below. Before using it as a template for your board (using either a photographic or laser process) it is important to check its dimensions when printed. Make a test print on regular paper and then measure the result, comparing it to the measurement shown on the board pattern. If they don`t match, you will need to adjust your printing settings or scale the pattern in the photo editing software of your choice. While a tiny amount of variance will not make much of a difference, about 1MM is enough to make fitting ICs very difficult. Once you are satisfied your pattern is correct, etch the board using...

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