Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Firing on two magnets

I've got all the kinks worked out of the second magnetic accelerator. The video is firing at essentially full power with two of thirteen gates. The ballistic timer reads 36 m/s, up from the 25 m/s with just a single magnet. If you do the math, it shows that the projectile picked up double the power it had before (~1.55J to ~3.1)

This linear increase in the energy makes sense given that the magnets are applying a constant force on the projectile. The projectile moves in that force and acquires energy regardless of how quickly it moves in that force. Of course there's the complicating factor here that our force actually varies with time (the magnets are only on for a moment) so I was prepared for some non-linear interaction.

The fact that the increase is linear so far is quite optimistic about the performance of the device when we have all the magnets online. Perhaps they will all just add and not decrease in performance as the projectile is moving faster.

Otherwise, I'm still waiting on the 3d-printer to arrive before I can print the brackets to hold the circuits. I'll also be trying my hand at writing circuit boards for printing. This will ultimately be less work than hand wiring wrapping 11 more such accelerating gates.

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