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Magnets to Make Models Hover?
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Old 16 Jan 2006, 12:49   #1 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
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Default Magnets to Make Models Hover?

Not sure if this should be in the terrain or conversion board, so I'll stick it here.

After reading posts in another thread, and after witnessing the magnetic Night Spinner I bought, I got thinking about magnets in models.
Usually they are used simply to keep turrets/weapons attatched, but able to be removed so they can be replaced with an alternative.
However I got to thinking about how magnets can repel each other.

Would it be possible to attatch magnets to the bottom of a model (at as flat an angle as possible!) and have them hover above a 'carpet' of magnets that repelled those attached to the model? If so, this could be used either for display purposes (easiest) by putting them in a three-sided box with magnets below it (or would one larger flat magnet work better?)

The extremely devoted gamer could even make an entire board with magnets beneath it. These would hold metal models down (because they would not repel) but lift the skimmers about the surface. Again though, the magnets would have to be perfectly flat.

An interesting (but rather pointless) exercise would be to angle the magnets on the skimmer (all must be angled exactly the same though) so that it moves forward over the carpet of magnets. If it was long enough it would actually get to quite high speeds I would imagine, in a similar (but much more crude) fashion to the railgun.

Bear in mind I am not a physicist, so I'm not sure if this would work!

Discuss.
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Old 16 Jan 2006, 13:02   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magnets to Make Models Hover?

Very hard to make a model hover dude. You need a very powerful electromagnet to make it hover.
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Old 16 Jan 2006, 21:12   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magnets to Make Models Hover?

What you could do is to create a magnetic feild underneath the model that keeps it in the air. but still it would be VERY difficult
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Old 16 Jan 2006, 21:27   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magnets to Make Models Hover?

Just 'perfectly flat' wouldn't do it... magnetic fields are like... bubbly... if you try and feel how two magnets repel each other there's an almost spherical (well, not really spherical, but roundish) 'pillow' of force between them. Then, to balance something by having it floating on this antimagnetical 'pillow', would require first both magnets to be positioned perfectly, and your model to be perfectly symmetrical and the magnet positioned below the model's center of gravity, otherwise the model would just wobble off and fall over, and the magnets would go all crazy.

But... there's probably some way to make it work. Sounds cool. Good luck.
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Old 16 Jan 2006, 23:24   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magnets to Make Models Hover?

Wow. I thought about this the other day..

What I'm thinking of - an open core solenoid - basically just an coil - this goes in the base, with the hole facing upwards. Above it, you have a rare earth magnet, that will 'sit' on the magnetic fields generated at the end (not sure if this will work). Now you take three of these, mount the magnets on the bottom of a tank (so they're on a stable chassis and won't flip over) and arrange them in an equilateral triangle, and angle them inwards slightly.. so that the tank won't 'float' away.

For permanent magnets - you would need a lot of them, to have them spread out in some sort of grid, and they would need to be fairly big to generate enough repulsion. On the hovering model, you would need to make sure the magnets are arranged the right way etc.. I think it would work, you would just need a lot of magnets etc.
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Old 16 Jan 2006, 23:38   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magnets to Make Models Hover?

It sounds like it will work, but the problem is, even if you do get it to float, will it:
Drift? and therefore making it nearly unplayable without conversions...
Generate an EM field? therefore making all electronic devices funked around you and earing yourself the emnity of others...
Require large batteries that will make it really not worth it? Uhh... don't mind the 16 volt... It's just there to power my floating railhead....
Float away? just kidding on that point...
but still... these are just concerns you need to look out for
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Old 17 Jan 2006, 01:18   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magnets to Make Models Hover?

If there are only 2 magnets than it wouldnt work because the model will just slide around the field and crash into the board. The best way to make it stay anywhere close to the base is to make a bowl shaped contraption to levitate the model AND prevent it from moving anywhere, but moving the model in battle would be absolutely horrid. You can try of ya want...
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Old 17 Jan 2006, 01:53   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magnets to Make Models Hover?

Look we've got a heap of magnets at my work. I'll try a few setups and see what I can come up with. However I'd put large sums of money on it not working.
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Old 17 Jan 2006, 04:40   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magnets to Make Models Hover?

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Originally Posted by Tau Fanatic
It sounds like it will work, but the problem is, even if you do get it to float, will it:
Drift? and therefore making it nearly unplayable without conversions...
Generate an EM field? therefore making all electronic devices funked around you and earing yourself the emnity of others...
Require large batteries that will make it really not worth it? Uhh... don't mind the 16 volt... It's just there to power my floating railhead....
Float away? just kidding on that point...
but still... these are just concerns you need to look out for
I think it can be done for a diorama/display model, but not for on the gaming table. So you wouldn't have to worry about drift etc, all you'd need to concentrate on is levitating it and making it stay in the one place. With an EM field - it wont be big.
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Old 17 Jan 2006, 09:50   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magnets to Make Models Hover?

Glad you guys find this interesting, just a quick addition.

If you had a table of magnets (for simpllification I'll assume it's just one large magnet actually), it would create a 'bubble' field that pushed the vehicle off the side. (A bit like this).

Could you have smaller magnets around the edge of the board angled upwards that repelled the hovering model from the sides?
Here's a very bad paintshop job illustrating what I mean (although obviously the magnets at the side would be smaller than the board! It's so bad I'm pretty sure it won't help you understand unless you already did but meh... ;D

Just thinking that for this to work you would have to have magnets on the side of the model too. :

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