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Making Circuit Boards

Pete's step by step guide to
making printed circuit boards.

Build a Gauss Meter

Handy for measuring magnet
strength and polarity.

Magnetic Levitation Project. Page 1 | 2 | 3

Back to Page 2.

PCB. Note these files can be downloaded as PDF's, see last page.

Note:- the points marked “TP” were Test Points where I had header pins for the Cro to attach to during development, and can be disregarded in the final circuit.

A few tip and notes....

The coil wires needs to be connected the right way around or the coil will produce the incorrect magnetic pole for the circuit.
This will be a trial and error to work this out, so if the circuit don’t work to start with than swap the coil wires around.

The magnet size is not overly important but it do need to be a reasonable strength magnet and the small Neo (rare earth) magnets work best.

A heat sink will need to be fitted to the voltage regulator as it will run quite hot.
Also keep the power supply voltage as low as possible, from 7 to 12 volts as the higher the input voltage the greater the temperature generated by the 5 volt reg to lower the voltage.

The hall sensor has a maximum input voltage of 6 volts and is why the circuit is operated by a 5 volt supply.

If you find the magnet gets the jitters and falls out of levitation, this can be caused by several reasons, the main one is the metal plate is not thick enough and try adding a few more washers.
OR.. the sensor is not mounted near the centre of the coil.
OR..the setting on the pot is too high and needs to be decreased to lower the magnet away from the coil a little. (this is a fine adjustment)
OR.. the coil is mounted crooked and is not close to vertical.

Adding flashing RGB leds above and below the magnet creates a nice effect if a shiny object like a ball of alfoil is levitated.
It is best to file the top of the led off to give a broader light for the top led, as it is close to the object.

A different effect is to make a small windmill fan and attach the magnet to the centre.
I used a coke can cut up for the material to make the fan.
Then place a small “Tea candle” or scented oil burner under it and the rising warm air will make the fan spin in levitation.
It takes very little heat to spin the fan, to the point in a cold air room once the coil has warmed up the thermal conduction passed the coil will spin the fan slowly,(if the surrounding air is warm this will not work)

A coil salvaged from a solenoid should work, ok but just watch the power consumption of the coil so not to overload the circuit, as many solenoid coils are very power hungry.

The use of inductor coils for the coil will NOT work.

PDF of the Schematic here.

PDF of the PCB here.

Circuit board as zipped up Express PCB filed
Note the circuit board was designed in ExpressPCB which is a free software package and can be downloaded off the net, and the original artwork file opened and printed ready for making a PCB.

© TheBackShed 2011