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How to create a simple electric train using magnets

Simple electric train made from a battery and magnets inside a copper coil

In this article, we are going to show you how you can create the simplest (possibly), but by far the most awesome (definitely) DIY electric train by using nothing more than  a battery, some bare copper wire and two magnets. Before you stand aghast in disbelief and tell us it can’t be done, make sure you check our article on how to make a basic electric motor with almost identical materials.

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5 ways magnets can help you hang your Christmas decorations

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Christmas is fast approaching and it’s the time of year when we risk life and limb to retrieve the old Christmas decorations from the back of the shed or that store cupboard that nobody ever seems to go in from January to November. While we can’t help you untangle the entwined mass of tinsel or figure out why the perfectly functioning lights of last year won’t now work, we can help make putting up your decorations much easier.

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Google Cardboard

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Google, the name synonymous with cutting-edge technology, introduces a new exciting platform, Google Cardboard. No, the Internet gurus at the Googolplex have not decided to diversify into origami, in fact they have developed a device that can be made out of cardboard (and a couple of magnets) that makes virtual reality affordable and accessible for anyone with a smartphone. In this article, we take a look at what all the fuss is about.

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What is a reed switch, and which magnets operate them?

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A reed switch is an electromagnetic switch used to control the flow of electricity in a circuit. They are made from two or more ferrous reeds encased within a small glass tube-like envelope, which become magnetised and move together or separate when a magnetic field is moved towards the switch. The switch effectively works like a gate, or a bridge, in an electric circuit so when the two reeds are in contact, electricity can flow around the circuit operating a device. Unlike mechanical switches they do not require something or someone to physically flick them on or off, they are controlled completely by invisible magnetic fields! Continue reading