Single cylinder solonoid engine design and build

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AllThumbs

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I drew this one up last night. I need a diversion from a stubborn twin 4 stroke I am trying to start so here it is:



I teach electrical to college students so this one could be used as an object lesson when teaching electromagnetism.

The coil is located under the aluminum cyclinder cover. Cast iron piston and cylinder. Bronze flywheel, the rest aluminum.

E
 

DICKEYBIRD

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OK, now you've started something. It is officially your solemn duty to detail EVERYTHING about this engine. Coil wire gauge & turns, switching, timing, the works.

I'll be watching. ;D
 

AllThumbs

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Ok I will try. This is new for me so we can learn together. The plan is to use whatever wire I can find, wind it onto the cylinder, measure the resistance and figure out a safe voltage to use.

E
 

cfellows

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Aaah, great minds think alike! Here are drawings of a 3 cylinder Fairbanks I'm starting on that will be powered by Solenoids. I'm planning to use ready-made Ledex solenoids that are 3/4" diameter and 1.5" long. According to the nearest specs I can find, each of the three solenoids has 1904 turns of #31 copper wire. I plan to run the engine in 4-stroke mode which means the solenoids will be energized about 25% of the time. With a 25% duty cycle, I should be able to run the engine on up to 31 volts which would be a little less than 1 amp. Amp turns at that voltage would be about 1700.



 

DICKEYBIRD

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cfellows said:
Here are drawings of a 3 cylinder Fairbanks I'm starting on that will be powered by Solenoids. I'm planning to use ready-made Ledex solenoids that are 3/4" diameter and 1.5" long.
Mornin' Chuck, where does one get solenoids like that? Are they reasonably priced?

Also, what are you fellows going to use for switching...points, transistors? Anybody have any details yet? I think I have some old Lucas MG points around here somewhere. I guess they should work.

Milton
 
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Bogstandard

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Milton,

In the UK solenoids are fairly easy to get hold of. Your Radio Shack or similar might stock them. A search on google will usually give you enough leads.

You should be able to use standard micro switches for the switching, but they usually only have a guaranteed life of about 3 million cycles, so a couple of spares would be called for if it was to be run for prolonged periods.

John
 

AllThumbs

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I was planningon using a standard set of points and a cam. KISS.

E
 

cfellows

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I bought my solenoids on eBay. They usually cost 3 or 4 USD apiece. I'm still undecided on what to use for switching. I'd prefer to have something hidden or not out of character with the engine. I've also thought about using push rods with some kind of contact points closed by rocker arms.

Chuck
 

cfellows

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AllThumbs said:
The coil is located under the aluminum cyclinder cover. Cast iron piston and cylinder. Bronze flywheel, the rest aluminum.
Allthumbs,

You have to use some kind of nonferrous cylinder liner or the engine won't work. If you wrap the coil around the outside of a cast iron cylinder liner, the cylinder will conduct the magnetic lines of force and there will be no attraction for the piston. You could use aluminum, brass, or even plastic for the cylinder liner. Also, you should try steel or cast iron casing on the outside of the coil. I believe that will increase the attraction for the piston.

Chuck
 

cfellows

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I have an Excel spreadsheet with copper wire tables and formulas. You can input the wire size you want, coil length, form diameter, overall diameter and input voltage. The sheet will provide answers to overall resistance, length of wire required, current, and amp turns. I can upload this to the files section if anyone is interested.

Chuck
 

rake60

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I've always been fascinated with solenoid engines.
They've been around for longer than many realize.
The switch on this old model is nothing more than a
kink in the crankshaft that make contact with spring steel
tab. It might add to the thought process.
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aWobDU0Cm0&feature=related[/ame]

Rick
 

AllThumbs

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cfellows said:
Allthumbs,

You have to use some kind of nonferrous cylinder liner or the engine won't work. If you wrap the coil around the outside of a cast iron cylinder liner, the cylinder will conduct the magnetic lines of force and there will be no attraction for the piston. You could use aluminum, brass, or even plastic for the cylinder liner. Also, you should try steel or cast iron casing on the outside of the coil. I believe that will increase the attraction for the piston.

Chuck
Wait a second here. The plan is to use cast for the liner to increase the magnetic flux. The coil will be wound around the back half of the cylinder. The forward half is just a guide for the piston as it extends out of the coil. Iron cores are used all the time because they are great conductors of magnetic lines of force. As far as I know the more iron, and the less non ferrous material between the coil and the piston the better.

Eric
 

cfellows

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Eric,

I believe that most if not all the magnetic lines of force will be conducted by the cast iron cylinder wall and none will get through to attract the piston. However, I could be wrong and perhaps the best thing would be to try it.

Chuck
 

shred

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rake60 said:
I've always been fascinated with solenoid engines.
They've been around for longer than many realize.
The switch on this old model is nothing more than a
kink in the crankshaft that make contact with spring steel
tab. It might add to the thought process.
Rick
Yeah, I was thinking it would be trick to do something with a spring finger running on the flywheel as a switch and either do some clever cuts or conductive/non-conductive treatments to direct the current.


 

AllThumbs

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"Piston" and aluminum coil cover. This part is mostly cosmetic, alto it will help cool it a little and provides a means to mount it.

 
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