Ever wanted to feel like Magneto? Well, now you sort-of can! Bring the ferromagnetic objects in the world under your control with an Electromagnet.
The simplest way to make an electromagnet is to get a solenoid, pass some current through it, and then get a piece of soft iron inside the solenoid. When the current is switched off, the electromagnet is no longer, well, magnetic!
What this means is that you just need to power this here electromagnet with about 5VDC (you don’t have to be exact, 4-6V will work fine) and ka-pow, it’s now a magnet. Turn off the power and it reverts back to a normal chunk of metal. Since its a coil, you’ll need to use a motor or solenoid driver with kick-back protection. Our Crickit boards will work great.
Please note: electromagnets are specified with “holding force”, say 10 Kg / 22 lb. This is not how much weight they can pick up!Divide the holding force by 5-10 to get a rough estimate of how heavy a thing it can pick up. So in this case, about 2 Kg / 4 lb max. Note that pick-up weight also depends on a flat surface and max surface contact, and the ferromagnetic metal content. A perfectly flat steel cube will work great, something oddly shaped or covered in rubber or plastic will not!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.