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L AY it down, turn it over, stand it up,

raise it high, turn it around, move it


back, push it forward—but the Amazing
Ever disassemble your electric drill’s
motor? You end up with a pile of
washers, bolts, screws, bearings,
Mystery Motor keeps on going. brushes, springs, dirt and oil. It’s pretty
Astounding? It sure is. Especially complicated. A motor need not be,
when you consider the way most other though.
motors work. Get their armatures the The mystery motor has only five
slightest bit out of whack and everything parts! With less effort than it takes to
stops. They just sit there and growl. Not replace the brushes in a hand drill’s
so with the mystery motor. It runs when motor you’ll have a mystery motor spin-
held in virtually any position over the ning up a real breeze.
power coil, Want your own? Wind the mystery
MOTOR’S coil (left) is wound on plastic film reel.
Solder AC cord to wires and cover with tape. Insert
soft-iron ring with a slit cut in it (below) in the hub.

ABMATURE ring (below) is plastic.


Be sure to drill hole for shaft
through center of piece of mag-
netic strip to prevent vibration.

FINISHED and ready to spin (above). Install coil in


soft-iron cover and use rubber grommet to protect AC
cord. Armature in holder is at right. Be sure it spins
freely and does not rub against ring. Use a longer
shaft if armature is to drive a cardboard fan blade.

motor’s power coil on a plastic form, in. The l 3/16-in.-long armature is made
such as a 100-ft., 16mm movie film reel. from a piece of flexible magnetic strip,
The coil is 3,600 feet of No. 38 enameled available from Lafayette Radio Corp.,
wire. Inside the hub insert a ring of soft Ill Jericho Turnpike, Syosset, N.Y., 11791.
iron. Cut a slit in the ring as shown. The price for a minimum length of 3 ft.
After winding the coil, remove the is $1.69 plus postage. The stock
enamel insulation from the wires and No. is 14 C 3307K.
solder an AC cord to them. Then put the Drill a l/16-in.-dia. hole through the
coil in a soft-iron case, leaving the top long axis for the shaft. Then drill holes
open. in the ring and slip a piece of wire
The armature’s plastic ring is 3/8 in. through the ring and armature. Lubri-
thick and has an inside diameter of 11/4 cate the shaft.
Plug in the coil. Hold the ring near the coil’s edge with
S BEST POSITION FOR
SELF STARTING

the armature’s axis parallel with the coil’s top. If the


MAGNETIC

armature doesn’t turn, start it manually. How does it work?


N STRIP

In mysterious ways, for sure.


Take a look at the lower half of the top diagram which
A A

shows the magnetic field above the motor’s coil. Note that
the lines of force (for the moment we’ll assume they’re
AXIS OF

produced by DC) con- centrate around the edges of the


ROTATION

coil.
Put a piece of magnetized iron in this field and it will
TOP OF
COIL

turn so its N-S axis is in the same direction as the lines of


force. It turns to establish equilibrium with the coil’s lines
POS 7 POS 1
POS 6 POS 5 POS 3 POS 2

of force.
Consider the armature and coil shown in the bottom
POS 4

sketch. When the armature is oriented as shown, every


N S + N S S S N+ S N

time the field reverses, a pole (arbitrarily, S, here) of the


+ + + + +
S N N N S

armature tries to turn to follow. You might think that the


armature would move back and forth in step with the AC
N S S N
SOFT MAGNETIC

field reversals. It doesn’t because the S pole tends to move


IRON FIELD
COVER

to an area of greater magnetic flux density. Therefore, it


COIL

moves counterclockwise toward the coil’s edge and


WINDING

assumes an equilibrium position.


SECTION A-A SOFT-IRON POLE

What you have just seen is the armature turning to provide


117 VAC.

a position of equilibrium for the coil’s lines of force as the


armature is moved across the top of the coil to Pos. 7.
To get the armature to turn, we feed AC to the coil. Now
NOTE in sketch in upper left comer (hot N

the mystery motor’s armature is not just an ordinary piece


and S poles are on sides of magnetic strip.

of iron. It has a strong magnetic field of its own.


Profile diagram shows how armature

Feeding AC to the coil causes the coil poles to change


turns to provide position of equilibrium to

from N to S. If the armature is free to spin and is started


lines of force. At bottom, as armature

manually it will try to lock onto the rapidly-changing field


starts to turn to line axis up with lines of

and turn in synchronism with the AC frequency.


force, the momentum keeps the armature

Plug the coil into an AC outlet and place the armature in


turning.

Pos. 1 as shown in our drawing. Try to turn the armature


away from the position it first assumes. Note that it tends
to lock itself in this position. When turned too far it snaps
DIRECTION OF

180° to the next position. Now move the armature across


ROTATION TO

the coil face as shown and notice how it turns.


EQUILIBRIUM
POSITION

Why does it keep spinning? Because the armature has


MAGNETIC FIELD

mass and, therefore, inertia and it continues spinning once


N

+ started.
AXIS OF ROTATION

When turning to a new position (or with some help from


(PERPENDICULAR

your fingers), the armature picks up enough speed and


TO PAGE)

momentum to keep it going. It then continues to turn in


S

step with the alternating field. The things which cause


spontaneous starting are vibrations and normal armature
unbalance. By the way, Pos, 3 is best for self-starting.—
Vemon J. David *
COIL
COVER