reference mark to gauge if the rotor always droops to the
same side. If one side is heavier than the other, trim a little
off the edge of the rotor that always dips until a reasonable
balance is achieved.
The coil assembly is positioned on the base plate so
that the rotor passes fully between the pole pieces. The
rotor height must be adjusted so that the rotor will spin
freely through the pole faces without touching them.
When you are sure of the positioning, place some epoxy
on the base and locate the coil assembly permanently.
Again, be sure the surfaces to be glued are roughened
Once the coil assembly is secured to the base, the
coils may be wired. A thin, 18 gauge appliance cord can
be used to supply power. Because the top coil is driven out
of phase with the lower coil, the line is connected to pin 7
of the lower coil and pin 8 of the upper coil. Similarly, the
neutral is connected to pin 8 of the lower coil and pin 7 of
the upper coil.
Because the top coil is turned over from the position
of the lower coil, pin 7 of the lower coil is on the same side
of pin 8 of the upper coil. The electrical connections
should be insulated with silicon rubber sealant placed over
all exposed connections. While the motor draws little
power, it is connected to 120 VAC and deserves respect.
For safety — if a metal base is employed — the base should
also be electrically grounded through a three-pronged
When the coils are energized, the rotor will spin in the
direction of the shaded pole (the shaded pole lags the
main field). The rotor speed is about 20 RPM. Very little
torque is developed by this design, since the electrons can
slip within the aluminum rotor. The 1/16” aluminum rotor
is heavy enough that a light wind should not bother the
operation. Thinner, lighter rotors will require shielding from
air currents. An acrylic hemisphere for displaying models
or the bottom third of a plastic 2 L soft drink bottle can
provide a suitable cover.
The cover for this model was fabricated from a sheet
of 0.020” Lexan (polycarbonate) that I had available. The
3” diameter top circle and lower circular ring were scribed
with a compass and cut out with a pair of scissors. These
circular pieces are used to form the 2” tall strip into a
circular tube. The seams were glued with a solvent cement
supplied by McMaster Carr Supply Company (www.
mcmaster.com), part number 7528A13. The top has a
support hanging down that is terminated about 1/16”
above the top of the brass bearing to prevent the rotor
from coming off the pivot pin if the motor is jostled around
at your next science fair. NV
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