Magnetic Levitation

How Long Does It Take To Build?

How long? Your mileage will vary! All I can give you is my wild guess...

Build Time

An educated person working in their spare time (i.e. they have a job or go to school) under good conditions will take a week to get all the parts, a weekend to build the wooden frame and wind the coil, a weekend to wire the breadboard, then one more week to get things working and make adjustments. So call it a month just in their spare time. It could be done quicker if they spend an hour or two every day, or if they're very experienced with electronics. It can be done much slower if any step runs into problems.

It took me almost sixteen weeks, but most of it was a month of late nights trying out different circuits that didn't work. How long will it take a beginner? I'm sure you can easily finish it by the end of your junior year of electrical engineering in college. :-)

I've heard from a few electrical engineering graduates. They can generally build this in a few weeks. One very experienced engineer built it in three (very) long days! However, it is very unusual to have enough various spare parts on hand to do this.

I've heard from a few high school students. More often than not, this is too difficult to get completely working. The typical problem is to have it almost working -- it can hold an object for a few seconds before it flies off. I'm not sure what the causes may be, and it is almost impossible to debug this situation via e-mail.

Printed Circuit Boards

There is a generous volunteer in England that has built a PCB for this levitator. He's checked it out and it works great! This can save you time building the levitator, and minimize the chance for errors.

E-mail Amadeus if you're interested, or jump ahead to my Printed Circuit Board page.

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