Electric motors come in many size and types, but the homopolar motor is without a doubt the simplest motor in the world. While the efficiency and torque is lower compared to ordinary motors, the ease of construction and small size makes it a very interesting build and a possible perfect fit for small-scale mechanics. All you need is a battery, neodymium magnet and copper wire, that’s it! In this video from Nicole Zavi a normal double A battery is used, but there is not reason why a button cell can’t be used instead and result in a motor that only measure a couple of millimeters in width and height. This video is the best we have found so far, since it not only shows many variations of wire design and how to use it for a practical purpose, but also the importance of adjusting the tightness of the wire and balancing it on the battery. To make it easier to balance it, we recommend making a small dimple on the top of the battery with any metal tool, like a screwdriver. We believe that this type of motor has more potential then it has gotten credit for in the past, and we would love to see how you use this in your project, so be sure to send us your homopolar pictures or videos!
Electronic schematics can be a bit intimidating for a beginner, but it is not that hard. It´s like learning a new language, as long as you know the terms and symbols used, it will not seem as weird anymore. So, where do you start? Well why not start by watching this basic tutorial from RimstarOrg about the symbols associated with common electronic parts in a schematic? We promise that electronic schematics will not seems quite as intimidating afterwards.
We really like this video, because it is so inspirational. In this lecture from Maker Faire 2014, Emiko Soroka walk us through her experience from knowing basically nothing about crafting, to making her own Portal turret robot and learning a lot from her mistakes. And no words we say can ever top her own youthful wisdom:
Emiko Soroka – “What i´m really trying to say is that everyone can be a maker. It´s ok if you don´t know what you are doing, because you can get help. It´s OK if you don´t have a proper workshop or fancy equipment, or a hackerspace down the street. It´s OK if you don´t have a college degree. You have the internet and somewhere out there is an expert, happy to share knowledge with you. So don´t say “I can´t”, say “I’ll try!” because chances are you´ll succeed!”