re: Stripped Down Generator

From: On-line Snack discussion (snaktalk)
Date: Wed Feb 09 2000 - 18:12:15 PST

Dear Eulene --

Sorry to hear you're having problems. Here are a few things to check:

. Is the wire you used insulated? If it isn't, and you're using bare
wire, you will just have a massive one-turn coil, rather than
hundreds of
turns. (The insulation may be lacquer, which still leaves the wire
coppery, but if you scrape the ends, you'll see the difference where
insulation scrapes off.)

. Did you strip the insulation off the ends of the coil? If you don't
this, there will be no electrical contact between the coil and LED.

. Is it possible that some of the insulation got scraped off in the
someplace? This may cause a short circuit in the coil, which again
reduce the effective number of turns in the coil.

. When you wind the coil, be sure you deon't start winding the
opposite way
as you go back and forth. If you do this, you will cancel out some of

. You might try a different LED. Try an ultra-bright (although
they're a
little more expensive).

. You have to shake VIGOROUSLY, so the magnets move rapidly back and
through the coil. Just letting the magnets slide won't do it.

. Try it in a dark room, just in case the LED isn't very bright. Some
are hard to see unless you're looking right into the end of them.

Hope this helps. If it doesn't, let me know, and I'll try to think of
something else. You can either email me or phone me (see below). (If
a handout with the Exploratorium phone number, don't call me there,
only there one or two days a week.) Also, if you do get it to work, I
really like to know what the problem was, so again, please let me

Good luck!

Don Rathjen

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.3 : Mon Apr 24 2006 - 11:34:47 PDT