Mad Teddy's electromechanical models

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Electromechanical models

If you've just come from my Electrical stuff menu, you'll know how, as a school-kid, I discovered a "science experiments" book in the school library which I now refer to as Book X (because I've forgotten its title and the name of its author).

One of the projects in Book X was a simple two-pole electric motor. I was taken with the idea that it should be fairly easy to build such a thing from bits and pieces which might be lying around in the basement/garage. So I started digging around, and asked my Dad for some help. The result was my first home-made motor. I've still got it, and it's the first item on the sub-menu at the bottom of this page.

When I found "Model Making for Young Physicists" by A.D.Bulman in the same library, perhaps a year later, I discovered that there were other types of motor that a kid could build (with a bit of help from his Dad!). One of these was called a "synchronous wheel" by Bulman. The present incarnation of my own model features as the second item on this sub-menu. Simple though it may be, it is in some ways the most interesting of all my little home-made motors.

Yet another "moving parts" electrical gizmo in Bulman's book was a "Solenoid Motor". This looks more like a small steam engine than an electric motor; again, it seemed that it should not be too onerous a task to create such a thing - and, yes, it turned out that my Dad had an old solenoid lying around, so that the work could be considerably simplified. As we say in Australia: "Beauty, mate!".

The resulting little machine didn't work terribly well, and didn't stand the test of time and was ultimately dismantled. Eventually, in 2002, the solenoid turned up again (among my old Meccano parts!), and became part of item 4 on this page's sub-menu: a weird contraption which in fact features two selenoids.

What about item 3? Well, eventually (shortly before item 4, above), I did indeed build a single-solenoid motor, this time with a home-wound solenoid. It works heaps better than the old original from the late sixties, and has all sorts of additional silly "bells and whistles". So - get into this sub-menu and read all about it!



Two-pole electric motor

Synchronous wheel

Single-solenoid electric engine

Dual-solenoid electric engine

Sometime in the future, I may get inspired to create more projects of this type. Possibilities include Triple- and Quadruple-solenoid engines with switching systems for reversing direction. Also, somewhere among my "junk" is a partly-constructed three-pole electric motor. If it ever turns up, I may finish it and post the result here. Stay tuned!

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