What is this?
Documentation, notes, resources, etc. about Phil's project to try and build a
coilgun (aka a Gauss gun).
Background Info / Resources
Wikipedia entry on coilguns
Barry's Coilgun Page
World's Coilgun Arsenal
Coilgun Technology @ UTexas (pdf)
Other useful discussion forums / boards
Other 4HV Forums
Make Magazine Forums
All About Circuits forum
Coilgun Videos on Youtube
Barry's Inductor Simulator
AWG (American Wire Gauge) Chart
For Love of a Gun - The tumultuous history of electromagnetic launch
Lots of EML Papers
IEEE Magnetics Society
University of Texas - Center for Electromechanics
Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory
Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT)
Fairchild Semi SGL160N60UFD IGBT
Fairchild Semi FGPF50N33BT IGBT
Fairchild Semi FGPF50N33BT IGBT @ Future Electronics
Silicon Controlled Rectifier
MIT OCW: Power Electronics
MIT OCW: Physics II - Electricity & Magnetism
GNU Scientific Library
Jakarta Commons - Math
Sources for parts / materials / tools/ etc
Radio Shack Magnet Wire Kit
- Red - 30 gauge
- Green - 26 gauge
- Amber - 22 gauge
Bulk magnet wire
Clear PVC Pipe
Clear PVC (again)
Surplus Sales of Nebraska
Skycraft Parts & Surplus
Big list of suppliers from mini-lathe.com
Northern Tool & Equipment
The Electro Store
Grainger Industrial Supply
Wholesale Electronics, Inc.
Emco High Voltage
HSC Electronic Supply
All-Spec dot com
Notes / Pictures / Documentation
A batch of photos of a very (very!) primitive prototype of the physical layout. What this is driving towards is a
version where the electromagnets are outside of the "barrel" and not directly in line with the projectile. The reason
for doing this is so we can use a ferrous core for the magnet, which greatly, greatly increases the field strength (all other
things: # of turns, wire gauge, current, etc., being equal). The hope is that the greater field strength will more than compensate
for not having the field directly aligned with the barrel.
Photo Gallery on G+
Got one electromagnet wound, playing around to see if it would move a small ball bearing without using a ton of current. Turns out, at 25-30 volts, you only get 1 amp of current through this thing (resistance), but that's enough to grab the ball bearing from about an inch away and get it moving. It'll be interesting to see how it works with the two magnets, one on each side.
What I'm quickly realizing about this, is that the power switching and the timing of the magnet pulses, is going to be crucial, especially if I go with a multi-stage gun. Relays are big, clunky, and possibly too slow, so I ordered a batch of high power SCRs (Silicon Controlled Rectifier) from Newark last night. From what I've seen, SCRs are how most people are doing the switching on these things. We'll see...
Another batch of pictures of the progress:
This shows the gun a little further along. The one magnet is wound and mounted now. After this picture was taken, the barrel was repositioned slightly to put the starting point of the project about an inch from the magnet.