Pulse Motors: SNOT Update 1

Erratum: When talking about the pulse width I mistakenly said “60 microseconds” when I should have said “60 milliseconds”. Sorry about that…

Simple Non Overunity Toy experimental testbed : the SNOT pulse motor.

By carefully levelling the platform, stiffening it to take out warps in the board, and smoothing the track joints with filled epoxy sanded smooth, I have been able to improve the speed around the track so that the ball makes loops in 2 seconds or under (if I can keep my fingers out of the way.)

It is amazing how much just a little dust on the track affects performance though.

For all SMOT builders out there, I hope this setup can teach something: if your tracks aren’t smooth, it means that much more “free energy from magnets” you will have to produce in order to overcome the system’s losses. We are talking about mere milliJoules per loop, not a lot of energy at all, and a dusty track or a rough ball adds considerable loss to the system.

Also, I hope it’s clear by now that you absolutely must use some kind of reliable instrumental method of monitoring your ball or rotor performance. Tiny changes in operating conditions can make the difference between an accelerating ball and a decelerating one, and without some realtime display of parameters you will be shooting in the dark. For example, I have a 10-turn precision potentiometer that controls the pulse width in this test bed’s electromagnet system. (It actually controls the sensitivity or setpoint of the comparator reading the photodetector looking at the ball’s shadow.) Less than 1/8 of a turn on this pot, around the “sweet spot”, makes the difference between speeding up and slowing down during the approximately 2 second loop times.

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