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Preface

Anti-gravity is the idea of creating a place or object that is free from the force of gravity. It does not refer to the lack of weight under gravity experienced in free fall or orbit, nor to balancing the force of gravity with some other force, such as electromagnetism.
Magnetism is fascinating, especially when it is used to cause objects to levitate or float or be suspended in the air, defying the gravity which keeps us on the ground. How can this be done? Well, look my self made magnetic levitator :-)


The floating sphere

 
Here I present a suspension device in which a neodym magnetic sphere levitates. The electronics are in the pedestal and on top is an electromagnet with sensor (SS495A). The voltage supply comes from an external power supply unit with 15V direct current.


The machanical structure

 
Left Picture: The coil (electromagnet) is the heart of the Levitron (see magnetic flow density in coils).

Right Picture: Here you can see the aluminium base plate with a 99 mm diameter and the two brass bearers.

View from below: Here is room for the electronics on the breadboard plate. The cables for supplying the cupola go through the boreholes (sensor & coil).

The dome: From aluminum milled. View inside the socket: The Hall sensor is fastened in the tip of the socket with a rubber disc.

A view on the inside: The electromagnet with magnetic field sensor and neodym ring magnet in the aluminium socket (left). On the right the circuit board.

Left photo: The circuit board was fastened from below with four M3 screws.
Right photo: Grooves in the brass bearers (6 mm deep, 2 mm wide) to hide the cables that run upwards.


The circuit diagram and schematic construction

 
Here the circuit diagram of the levitron. On the left side you will see a 5Volt-Regulator 78L05 ( see data sheet) this is the power supply for the hall sensor SS495 ( see data sheet) it is also used as referece voltage for the op-amp. With the adjustable resistor (R2) you can change the distance between flying object and coil.
The op-amp UA741 or LM348 ( see data sheet) is to see as differential amplifier.
The coil (L1) is attached to the high-power driver P-channel MOSFET IRF4905 ( see data sheet) to amplifying the output signal from op-amp. We should protect the MOSFET from the coil's kickback voltage. When its magnetic field collapses as the output MOSFET turns off, a high voltage spike is generated. This can easily overcome a MOSFET's maximum breakdown voltage. So we provide a protection diode (D1) across each coil, which passes current to keep its forward voltage drop down to about 0.7v.
I use a bench style adjustable regulated and metered dc power supply. The maximum switched current was 500mA.
With levitating magnet need this circuit 60mA only and without magnet the current increases to maximum. That is too much for this coil and she warm up. So you can´t use it for permanent operation. For a safe operated you will need a current limiting.

The functional principle:

An electromagnet (coil) is turned on. The magnetic sphere gravitates towards it. When the sphere gets near the magnet sensor (Hall sensor), the sensor reacts and turns off the electromagnet. In the following, the sphere descends again. The magnet sensor then turns the electromagnet on again and the cycle starts anew. This happens approx. 70 times per second (depending on the distance and the weight of the magnet). That's how the magnet levitates.



Photos

 
The cupola with the coil and the sensor is only lodged between the brass bearers. An o-ring (black) provides additional stability. The Hall sensor SS495 is situated in the small "bump" below. The cupola is closed with an aluminium lid.
Also playmobil character Bernd has fun with the Levitron.

Wow.

In the garden, already very decoratively!
Slightly larger!

Fascination floating: I can't get enough of this!


Circuit diagram








Video      My channel at YouTube

 




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Other constructions


   Levitron by Bernd:

- As frame a old microscope
- Larger coil (wire 0,28)
- Floating distance greater 1"
- Cool Gauss-Display
- Frequency 30Hz


Levitron by Mikado:
This Levitron is made from beech wood. The wood profiles are 0.78 inches in a square and in the middle a hole for the cable to connect the coil.


Comments and questions (59)


  • Comment by Daniele Cagnazzo 26.10.2018, 13.33

    secondo lei possibile inserire la luce induzione elettromagnetica per accendere una luce tenuta dalla sfera, quindi in sospensione?


  • Comment by Rudy Lemon 19.06.2018, 00.15

    We never charge for a call out. Blocked drains?


  • Comment by paam 16.02.2018, 19.54

    Hi, I am wondering if this operation amp will still work in this circuit.

    https://leeselectronic.com/en/product/71032.html?search_query=ua741&results=1

    This one only has 4 legs on one side, yours has 7.

    Thanks


  • Comment by Paam 16.02.2018, 19.45

    How many watts are the 2.2K resistors? 2.2K resistors sometimes are 1/4 watts and others are 1/2 watts so which one did you use?


  • Comment by JOHAN 29.09.2017, 19.39

    AND MORE QUESTIONS..
    1.THE ONE R2 1K IN THE MIDDLE IS A TRIMPOT?...AND WHATS THE USE?TO ADJUST ...CALIBRATE THE LEVITATION?
    2.WHAT KIND ARE THE CAPACITORS ONE BY ONE..FROM THE C1 TO C5
    3.CAN I USE ANY P CHANNEL MOSFET WITH ABOUT THE SAME CHARACTERISTICS..OK THE ANSWER IS PROBABLY YES!
    4.THE RESISTORS ARE RATED 1/2 1/4 WATT??..WHAT IS THE VALUE?
    SORRY FOR THE SIMPLICITY OF QUESTIONS ..I DONT KNOW ABOUT ELECTRONICS...


  • Comment by JOHAN 29.09.2017, 16.12

    WHERE CAN WE FIND THIS ELECTROMAGNET...CAN WE GET ONE FROM EBAY?THESE ARE RATED BY THE VOLTAGE AND THE WEIGHT THEY CAN HOLD..CAN YOU RECOMMEND ONE FROM THERE..?WHAT IS THE MAX WEIGHT YOUR DEVICE CAN HOLD?20-30GR?ITS SURELY THE SIMPLEST PCB AND YOU DONT USE IR SENSORS THAT MAKE THE DEVICE UGLY AND BULKY!!
    P.S.WHAT TYPE AND SIZE IS THE TOP MAGNET ON THE COIL..??THNX IN ADVANCE!!


  • Comment by harshad darji 22.04.2016, 09.43

    Transistor IRF4905 is not available.For option with transistor is set in this circuit.Tell me sir.


  • Comment by Ramesh 27.11.2015, 16.26

    Greetings sir;
    Could you please send me the detail function and structure of the above circuit,because in the circuit you used741 but I can't find them on images on board,please guide me to do this ,I am doing my final year project
    My mail id:mrkintent@gmail. Com


  • Comment by Samuel johnson 06.11.2015, 13.07

    I don't know how to solder is their any way I can buy one all ready put together if so let me know my email is ericolympia53@yahoo.com


  • Comment by Karl 03.10.2015, 05.19

    Hello again.

    Can you describe your permanent magnet? Is it polarized sideways or vertically? And if vertically, is it attracting the ball (aiding the electromagnet) or pushing the flux of the coil downwards so as to extend the range it can pull the object?

    Thanks


  • Comment by Karl 03.10.2015, 05.18

    Hi, greetings from the Philippines.
    Nice work! I tried one without a permanent magnet on top and used only a steel to be levitated. It didn't work and my coil always gets hot. Very, very hot. So I'll revise it with a circuit that would kill the power if there is no object so that it won't energize the coil for too long.

    Thanks my friend!


  • Comment by wahid 24.11.2014, 02.04

    du bon travail mec c'est extraordinaire svp nous publier le shéma d'installation du projet ettape par ettape et merçi inffiniment


  • Comment by Samuel 03.10.2014, 05.57

    Hello Sir :

    Where to buy such sensor by online ?

    Can I order it from you ?

    Regards,
    Samuel


  • Comment by Ferit 12.05.2014, 12.10

    A3144 will this sensor work for this project??


  • Comment by Milo 15.03.2014, 23.38

    Hello,

    this is really a beautiful thingie :)

    How important is the 5V regulator? If I was to run the whole thing from a 12V regulated power supply with TLE4905, would I need it?


  • Comment by Jeremy 25.02.2014, 06.20

    Ich frage mich, wenn Sie mir sagen, was der Widerstand und die Drahtstrke (oder Drahtdurchmesser) Ihrer Spule ist? Entschuldigung fr mein schlechtes Deutsch.

    I was wondering if you could tell me what the resistance and wire gauge (or wire diameter) of your coil is? Apologies for my poor German.


  • Comment by Paolo 14.02.2014, 09.49

    Hi, I have a question:
    Which material is the coil's ferromagnetic core made of?


  • Comment by Luiz Cosme Reis 31.01.2014, 17.50

    HALLO, OK, ich bin brasilianische Physiker, und ich habe schon ein Haus Levitator ich mit infraroten gebaut, aber ich wei, tolles Design, sehr gut. Ich habe versucht zu replizieren, verwendet der Hall-Sensor SS 41, und es hat nicht funktioniert. Nur funktioniert gut mit SS 495 A. Meine Levitator in Betrieb, wenn die Spule ist verschwommen und ich war der Transistor 2N 3055, denn ich fand Ihre vorgeschlagen. Gre, Luiz Cosme.


  • Comment by mamal 31.01.2014, 11.55

    Hi,
    Where can i buy such a product?


  • Comment by mamal 31.01.2014, 11.55

    Hi,
    Where can i buy such a product?


  • Comment by Eric F 29.01.2014, 02.24

    What was the electrical you used for your core?


  • Comment by Rahulkumar 18.01.2014, 16.03

    levitron Casero tutorial 1-2


  • Comment by Luiz Cosme 18.01.2014, 14.35

    Sou do Brasilc e construí um levitador, não consegui o sensor de efeito hall ss495a estou usando ss41, e não deu certo. Só vai funcionar com o SS495A?


  • Comment by Laby 29.11.2013, 04.49

    I am fasinated by this. Can I buy one from you.


  • Comment by Laby 29.11.2013, 04.47

    I am fasinated by this. Can I buy one from you.

    Thanks,
    laby


  • Comment by HHX 17.11.2013, 03.06

    Hi I have a question, would this power supply work for this project:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-15V-1500mA-1-5A-AC-DC-Power-ac-adapter-Power-supply-/290372975606?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item439b93fbf6

    If not is it possible for you to link me to a power supply on eBay (I live in Canada)?

    Thanks!


  • Comment by HHX 15.11.2013, 21.06

    Architecture student from Canada here. I need to make this as a part of a final project. Your scheme is by far the simplest/elegant I found online. Just want to say thanks for this great article :)


  • Comment by Sebastukk 05.10.2013, 01.59

    Hi, very nice and interesting project,please i have two questions...would change if you don't use a sphere, but a magnetic neodymium disc..do you believe that levitate the disc? How much does sphere weigh? it's 3/4'', does not it?

    Greetings from Ecuador


  • Comment by Nicolas GRONDIN 19.09.2013, 13.59

    I\'m a big gay and I love dick ;) ! I research I big boy :p


  • Comment by Visitor 12.09.2013, 12.38

    http://www.electroschematics.com/6306/magnetic-levitation-circuit/
    is a simpler project for beginners


  • Comment by Mrudul 08.09.2013, 13.51

    Can you please mail me at patelmrudul352@yahoo.in

    Answer: You need to build yourself a bobbin. Take a plastic pipe (ballpoint) and glue two plasic discs on it. Now wind the copper wire around ;-)


  • Comment by Mrudul 08.09.2013, 13.49

    Please help me..... I have to submit my project in 5 days.......


  • Comment by Mrudul 08.09.2013, 13.47

    Can you shown me the way I can make the same project but using ir led receiver and transmitter and I am not getting an electromagnet can you help me to make it at home with something else ?


  • Comment by Mahesh-vu2iia 03.09.2013, 09.00

    Hi Giorgio,

    I too had same problem, I added R,C suggested by you, for me it works great. I have put LED across coil and it glows when object is in levitating range(good for kids).

    Thank you,
    vu2iia


  • Comment by Giorgio 23.08.2013, 19.53

    I had a problem: when the magnetic sphere is not floating, sometimes the MOSFET is always on and the coil warm a lot because it sink 0,9A @ 18V (16W). To avoid this behaviour I put a 1uF 63V between PIN6 IC4 and gate T1, I also add a 100Kohm resistor between gate-source of T1. In this way IC4 can\'t keep T1 always on but it can drive it on and off.
    It worked also without these components but few times the coil became very hot.
    Thanks for you great project and for sharing information.

    Giorgio

    Answer: Thank you for your good idea.


  • Comment by mahesh - VU2IIA 18.08.2013, 07.38

    Thanks! I made it and it works. In future, I plan to make slayer exciter to light a small CFL bulb while being levitated.

    Do you have any plan to make maglev cradel circuit in future? I look forward for it.

    Good work and thanks

    vu2iia


  • Comment by Thibaud 23.07.2013, 09.03

    Hello,

    I'm french and I would like to realise your magnetic levitator. I can order the components on the website conrad.fr. Could you please tell me if the capacitor " MKS02 100nF 63V Pas 2,5mm Wima" (reference 455008-62) can be used for the three 100nF capacitors. Moreover, I can't find a soft iron cylinder for the coil. If I replace it by a rod magnet, will it work or not ?

    thanks

    Thibaud


  • Comment by Skori 26.04.2013, 20.37

    Original version (2007 feb.):
    http://skory.gylcomp.hu/levitron/levitron.html


  • Comment by Jackma 05.04.2013, 18.30

    Why did you choose to power this with 15v? Why not just use 5v and skip the voltage regulator?


  • Comment by Fabian 03.04.2013, 05.44

    How does the hall effect sensor measure only the magnetic field of the ball? how do you discard the varying field of the coil?


  • Comment by Theo 23.03.2013, 15.10

    OK!! I finally managed what I wanted! 3.5 cm from the sensor, 5 cm from the electromagnet. The new coil is made with 0.4 mm wire and the core is many i cores from a transformer. Read the description of the video for more info:
    http://youtu.be/D9B5yeTFISI


  • Comment by Chris 27.01.2013, 11.53

    Hello from South Africa.
    I am trying to wind the coil, so far without success.
    What is the resistance of your coil?
    Thank You.

    Answer: Sorry, but I don't know the resistance of the coil.


  • Comment by Vladimir Trois 08.01.2013, 16.12

    Hello, I'm a french student, I would like to have information about the electromagnet, because we have electromagnets but they can't attract thing from very far, or yours can, my question is: How did you make your electromagnet ? number of spires, the diameter of the copper wire, and any other details that you may have.
    If you could e-mail me all the informations to vladimir-trois@gmail.com

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Answer: The number of windings of coil is unknown. The wire diameter is 0,35mm and the dimensions of the coil are 32mm diameter and a length of 32mm. The inner hole is 12mm. So you can calculate how much windings we have :-)
    I had a coil body from a scrap electric and wrapped the coil itself (Drilling Machine).
    It is important, you have an iron core for the best results!



  • Comment by Gautam Mullerpatan 20.11.2012, 15.54

    Please share details of the electromagnetic coil that you recommend, what is the supply voltage to the coil. also if you can share the detailed dimensions of the aluminium piece which holds the electromagnetic coil. Is the magnet sensor that you refer to is actually the Hall effect sensor ?
    Please share an exploded picture of the aluminium cuppola
    Thankyou and look forward to your help

    Answer: Yes, the magnet sensor and the hall effect is the same.



  • Comment by Vtech 16.09.2012, 16.38

    Thank you for sharing. I did replicate you circuit but used solenoid coil from dishwasher. Works just fine. Youtube - blackchisel97.

    Regards
    V


  • Comment by leco dcx 07.03.2012, 20.53

    I dont undertand how mount the coil,
    Explain in english please?
    diecavallax@yahoo.com.br

    Answer: The plastic pipe - secondary coil - is inserted to a steel flange and are self-retaining. The flange is screwed to the base plate.


  • Comment by Francesco 01.03.2012, 16.54

    quanto costa?

    Rispondere: Inestimabile :-) Quindi invendibili!



  • Comment by dario 09.02.2012, 19.22

    hello again, thanks very much for you reply...
    I only have here the UGN3132U or KMZ41 or SS549AT or TL172

    Answer: Hello, it is really difficult. I don't understand the datasheets from your components.

    For the best results you need a analog output. The SS495 has a supply from 5V and a output from 2,5V (without magnet field). That ist the half of supply power. Comes a magnet field in the near, the output change to high or low, depends from magnetic pole. The sensity is 3,125mV per gauss and the absolutly range is -670 to +670 Gauss or -67 to +67mT. In the datasheets from your components, I missing this information. So I'm not sure if it works.

    Or you can take a digital output (Schmitt trigger) like the TLE4905L/TLE4935L. This switches on at 18 mT. I think the TL172 is good but this need 7V. The UGN3132U is also a candidate for testing.


  • Comment by Dominic 03.02.2012, 18.26

    I saw a large version of this at Cal Poly (college) in San Luis Obispo (central coast of California, USA) in the late 1960's at their annual festival 'Poly Royal'. Thanks for showing me what they did. Theirs was 4' high, and the suspended item was a steel globe of the earth. Weighted at the bottom, it sat there spinning slowly. Even got the direction of rotation right. Very clever. Thanks for the diagrams.

    Answer: You're welcome


  • Comment by dario 02.02.2012, 18.05

    hello again, I can get the AH211 TWO PHASE HALL EFEECT is possible put this

    Answer: No, the AH211 is not suitable but you can take the TLE4905.


  • Comment by dario 01.02.2012, 20.22

    hello from argentina bs as, south america, thanks for this grat projet, here is very dificult to find the SS495A sensor is possible put some other do you have ideas?


  • Comment by Roy 22.12.2011, 00.35

    Hi

    The resistor R1 and capacitator C2, what is it for?
    Has it something to do with the frequency ??
    Sorry i am just curiuous :P.


  • Comment by Ramon 21.12.2011, 09.57

    Hello.

    Where I can get the coil.?

    In the event that the build myself, where the ferromagnetic core bag?

    Thank you and congratulations on the project.

    Answer: A coil to find , that is really a problem. You must be creative. Either self made or looking at ebay.
    The ferromagnetic core is very simple. You can take a big nail or other magnetic steel.


  • Comment by Eric 16.12.2011, 23.31

    Hello,
    May i ask you why there is a feed back?
    I dont know what it really does.


  • Comment by Damien 13.12.2011, 00.30

    How much is it cost ??

    Answer: Its unsaleable :-)


  • Comment by Catalin 18.03.2011, 09.32

    Hi! Nice project. Very simple circuit compared to others I have seen. Could you explain me the role of the magnet on the top, and the role of R1, C2?
    I have tried it without the magnet on top (I didn't have one), but the flying magnet strongly oscillates at low frequency (just a few Hz) and does not stay into a fixed position.
    Thanks!

    Answer: Well, its not easy to explain the role of the magnet on the top. First, it will work without this magnet but the floating distance will be smaller. For the best result you must try it.
    The resistor R1 and the condensor C2 are a feedback-loop and stabilized the work of the coil.
    If your magnet oscillates is your magnet too heavy or the coil to small. Take one a smaller magnet and the frequency will be higher or you boost the power supply.


  • Comment by Willem 13.02.2011, 10.32

    Great project. I could not find the connections of the SS495A in datasheets available on the Internet.Could you tell me which leads (1-2-3) correspond with +V - GND - OUT?

    Answer: That's really a problem. I also couldn't find it in datasheets and I try to found the connection at the time.



  • Comment by Luis email 04.01.2011, 21.04

    Oh, my email is ttnemk@hotmail.com
    thanks!


  • Comment by Luis again 04.01.2011, 21.03

    Hi, its me again, I found the english version. How about posting a video showing how to make the coil connection to cables and the circuit board? Im actually interested in building a floating Globe, with just a base magnet and a magnet holder inside the Globe. I dont think the upper part of your device is needed if you have a flat top. Thanks.

    Answer: The connection is very simple. I have it hidden in the brass bearers. One side is the cable for the coil and the other side for this sensor. You can see it on my pictures. A tutorial video is too many work :-)

    Now to your floating globe project. Thats right, you need only any base magnets and coils to floating a globe (and one into the globe). This is one of a future project for me. Are you interest? i have a good site (check this).
    First i would tried floating a magnet (two or four magnets on a plate), like my mendocino-motor (check my other projects). Now the plate with this magnets will brake out to a side, now you take a coil with sensor (one of each two sides) and use this circuit, i have used, to regulate the position. Thats all! I hope so, i dont have try it.
    Have you the first results of this, let me know it. Good luck!

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