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drawing of generator
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CONSTRUCTION

  PARTS:


First make the hollow-ended box. Score the cardboard strip like so:

   ___________________________________________________________________
  |       8cm      | 3.5cm  |       8cm       | 3.2cm |      7.7cm    |
  |                |        |                 |       |               |
  |                |        |                 |       |               |
  |                |        |                 |       |               |
  |8               |        |                 |       |               |
  |cm              |        |                 |       |               |
  |                |        |                 |       |               |
  |                |        |                 |       |               |
  |                |        |                 |       |               |
  |                |        |                 |       |               |
  |________________|________|_________________|_______|_______________|


NOTE: this page must be displayed in COURIER FONT, otherwise 
these pictures will be wrecked and unreadable.  Most browsers 
do this automatically.

       _____8_________
     _|______________ \
    |\      7.7      | \ 3.5
    | \3.2           |  \
    |  \_____________|___\
    |  |         8        |
    |  |                  |
    |  |                  |
    |  |                  |               Fold it like this and tape
    |  |                  |               it securely.
    |  |                  |
    |  |                  |
    |  |                  |
    |  |                  |
     \ |                  |
      \|__________________|




        ________________
      _|_______________ \
     |\                | \
     | \               |  \             Use the nail to poke a hole 
     |  \______________|___\            perfectly straight through the 
     |  |                   |           center of the box, going through
     |  | \               / |           both sides and all three layers
     |  |   \           /   |           of cardboard.  Then pull the nail
     |  |     \  (hole)     |           out and use it to widen all the
     |  |       \   /       |           holes slightly, so when you put
     |  |         O         |           the nail back through, it will
     |  |       /   \       |           be a bit loose and able to spin.
     |  |     /       \     |  
     |  |   /           \   |         ( You can find the exact center 
      \ | /               \ |           by drawing an "X" to the corners
       \|___________________|           using a ruler. )

At this point you should clamp your four magnets around the nail and give it a spin. This makes sure the box is large enough. The nail and magnets should spin freely. The corners of the magnets should NOT bump the inside of the box as they spin. If the box is a bit too small, start over and make it a little bigger. Either that, or try a thinner nail. (Also, be sure to use the right magnets. Small ones won't work.)
[YES, you can build a plexiglas box instead if you wish. However, don't make it any larger than this. The wire must stay very close to the spinning magnets, so keep the box as small as possible. It should be slightly more than 3 in. wide and slightly more than 1 in. thick.]
                                      Pick the spool of number-30 magnet wire from
           _______________            the kit of spools. This is the thinnest.
         _|______________ \           Tape one end of the number-30 magnet wire
        |\               | \          to the side of the box, then wind all of the
        | \              |  \         wire onto the box as shown. This gives 250
        |  \_____________|___\        turns. It's OK to cover up the nail hole.
        |  |                  |       Pull the taped end of the wire out, then
        \  |                  |       tape down both of the wires so the coil 
        \\ |                  |       doesn't unwind. You should have about 10cm 
        \\\====================|      of wire left sticking out.
        \\\====================/___
        |\\====================/   \
   -----+-\====================/    \
  /     |  ====================      \
 /      |  |                  |       \   Use sandpaper or the edge of a
|        \ |                  |        |  knife to scrape the thin plastic
|         \|__________________|        |  coating off 2cm of the wire ends.
|                                         Remove every bit of red coating,
                                          so the wire ends are coppery.

 (note: the five lines of wire shown above are not real, that's
 the 'equals signs' I used to draw with.  The real wire can just 
  be wound up in a big wad in the center of the cardboard box.)

           _______________
         _|______________ \
        |\               | \
        | \              |  \
        |  \_____________|___\           Spread the wire away from the
        |  |                  |          nail hole and tape it in place.
        \  |                  |          Stick the nail back through the
        \\ |                  |          holes and make sure it can spin.
        \\\====================|         Take your four magnets, stick
        \\\========---=========/___      them face to face in two pairs,
        |\\========(\\)========/   \     Then stick the two pairs inside
   -----+-\==========(_)=======/    \    the box and on either side of the
  /     |  ====================      |   nail so they grab the nail.  Push
 /      |  |                  |      |   them around until they are some-
         \ |                  |      |   what balanced and even, then spin
          \|__________________|      |   the nail and see if they turn
                                         freely.  If you wish, you can
                                         stick 2cm squares of cardboard
                                         between the magnets to straighten
                                         them, and tape the magnets so they
                                         don't move around on the nail.


             _____ magnets
            |_____|                    _____________
            |_____|                   |_____________| 2 magnets
     =================|| NAIL         |_____________|
            |_____|                    ______O______
            |_____|                   |_____________| 2 magnets
                                      |_____________|
         SIDE VIEW OF THE
         NAIL AND MAGNETS             VIEW FROM THE END

TWIST THE WIRES TOGETHER

Make sure that each end of the generator's wires are totally cleared of red plastic coating. If there is a bit of plastic left, it can act as an insulator which turns off your light bulb circuit.

Twist the scraped end of each generator wire securely around the silver tip of each wire from the small light bulb. (If necessary, use a knife to strip more plastic from the ends of the light bulb wires.) One generator wire goes to one light bulb wire, the other generator wire goes to the other light bulb wire, and the two twisted wire connections should not touch together. In the twisted wires, metal must touch metal with no plastic in between.

           _______________
         _|______________ \
        |\               | \
        | \              |  \
        |  \_____________|___\           
        |  |                  |          
        \  |                  |          
        \\ |                  |          
        \\\====================|         
        \\\========---=========/___      
        |\\========(\\)========/   \     
   -----+-\==========(_)=======/    \    
  /     |  ====================      |   
 |      |  |                  |      |   
 |       \ |                  |      |   
 |        \|__________________|      |   
 |                                   |    
  \                                  /      
   \                       twist    /       
    \      {} twist          {}    /              
     \     {}                {}   /           
      \____/\______   _______/\__/                     
                   \_/                      
                   ( )                   
                   ( ) tiny                  
                   (_) light bulb


STUPID BILL B. VIDEOS! educational too. But no less stupid!

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DANGEROUS MAGLEV!
 

TEST IT

Spin the magnet REALLY fast and the bulb will light dimly. If it doesn't work, try spinning it in a dark room so you don't miss the dim glow. If needed, adjust the position of the magnets so they don't hit or scrape the cardboard. This thing has to spin *fast*, and if the magnets whack the cardboard and slow down, you won't see any light. Spin it faster than eight revs per second. (IF IT DOESN'T WORK, SEE "DEBUGGING")

Once you get it to work, try clamping the point of the nail into the chuck of a hand-crank drill. Spin the magnets fast with the drill and the bulb will light brightly. Don't go too fast or you'll burn out the bulb, or maybe fling magnets all over the room. You can try this with an electric drill as well, although electric drills don't spin as fast.

Note: your generator produces Alternating Current, not Direct Current. The output voltage is about 2 volts max, so there is no electric shock hazard at all.

NEXT: HOW IT WORKS

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