Have you ever wanted to shoot disks of aluminium forty five feet into the air at the press up a button? Do you like experimenting with high energy physics, and learn about things such as impulse generators, charge circuits, Lorentz force, electromagnetic induction, and how to build this all in a form which is safe, and looks sharp. Well if you are like me, the answer to all of these questions is yes. Which is why I set out to build a ring launcher demonstration project, which I have named Hathor, named after the Egyptian goddess of the sky.
Project Hathor is a 2kV ring launcher, built for SYN Shop. It's designed to launch rings, i.e. aluminum hard drive platters, by generating a large magnetic pulse.
Microwave Oven Transformer (MOT) HV supply
2000 volt 1560 uF main capacitor bank
Operation from a remote pendant
Case made from 1/2 clear acrylic
Theory of Operation
A ring launcher works by slowly charging, a large capacitor bank to a high voltage, and then discharging all this energy quickly through a coil of wire. For a brief moment it's a really big electro-magnet, as electricity flowing through a wire produces a magnetic field. The rings, in this case hard drive platters, and essentially just a big flat wire, and if you sit them in this magnetic field, you induce electrical current in this "wire". that then generates it's own opposing magnetic field. And since the two magnetic fields will repel one another, the hard drive platter is propelled skyward.
Inspiration for this project was derived from The Geek Group's desktop ring launcher, as well as some of their larger impulse generator projects.
2014-12-02 - Project Introduction
2016-01-20 - Capacitor Bank and Contactor update
2016-02-23 - First Light
2016-02-25 - Coil Failure
2016-02-26 - Ramping Up
2016-02-27 - 2000 Volt Test Firing
Since people have asked, the design files can be downloaded from here: