User:Brian P. Josey/Notebook/2010/12/28

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==Beginning to Build==
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==Helmholtz Coil Construction==
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I decided to just build a Helmholtz coil, and not get stuck in analysis paralysis as Andy calls it. I wouldn't be surprised if whatever I make doesn't generate a strong magnetic force, but I will try to create the best one possible, and just see what happens. Today, I'm going to do some preplanning, and then build the device.
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Even though I know the forces from Helmholtz coils are pretty small, I decided to just move forward on building it. I looked through the optics lab trying to find something that I could use for my build. I originally offered up using some of the lens holders, since they were circular and close to the dimensions that I want. But they have the problem of being made out of aluminum, and if something I create shorts out, it will energize the whole structure of the coil.  
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==Building the Helmholtz Coil==
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I was originally going to build my electromagnet out of two lens holders from the optics lab that were about the dimensions that I wanted. However, the lens holders are much more useful fufilling their original purpose, and there was a slight safety concern with the construction. The holders are made out of aluminum, and if there was a short they could become energized. In place of this potentially dangerous build, I decided to just build it out of Legos as per Andy's suggestion. Now, I picked Lego as a building material not just because they are amazing, but because they are made out of plastic, relatively cheap, easily replaceable and close to the the sizes that I want.
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To build up my Helmholtz coil, I used eight pieces:
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* 2 5-long pieces for inserting connectors in
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* 4 cross beam connectors
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* 2 short cross beams
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The first step was to create an opening in the piece for inserting the connectors into. I did this by using a saw with a thin wire blade to cut out the ruff chunks, and a needle file to smooth it out a little so the slides can go in and out easily. This is what the final product looked like:
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<center>
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[[Image:Helmholtz Lego Cut.jpg|400px]]
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</center>
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Revision as of 16:12, 29 December 2010

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Helmholtz Coil Construction

Even though I know the forces from Helmholtz coils are pretty small, I decided to just move forward on building it. I looked through the optics lab trying to find something that I could use for my build. I originally offered up using some of the lens holders, since they were circular and close to the dimensions that I want. But they have the problem of being made out of aluminum, and if something I create shorts out, it will energize the whole structure of the coil.


Building the Helmholtz Coil

I was originally going to build my electromagnet out of two lens holders from the optics lab that were about the dimensions that I wanted. However, the lens holders are much more useful fufilling their original purpose, and there was a slight safety concern with the construction. The holders are made out of aluminum, and if there was a short they could become energized. In place of this potentially dangerous build, I decided to just build it out of Legos as per Andy's suggestion. Now, I picked Lego as a building material not just because they are amazing, but because they are made out of plastic, relatively cheap, easily replaceable and close to the the sizes that I want.

To build up my Helmholtz coil, I used eight pieces:

  • 2 5-long pieces for inserting connectors in
  • 4 cross beam connectors
  • 2 short cross beams

The first step was to create an opening in the piece for inserting the connectors into. I did this by using a saw with a thin wire blade to cut out the ruff chunks, and a needle file to smooth it out a little so the slides can go in and out easily. This is what the final product looked like:




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