How Mylow Replicated Howard Johnson's Magnet Motor
Story of how a garage tinkerer's 30-years of persistence finally paid off in apparently replicating one of the first publicly announced all-magnet motors. He doesn't seem to realize how much of his own inventiveness came to bear.
After years of trial and error, pouring over everything he could find on the subject, he said that he noticed that there were differences between the Howard Johnson patents and the photos that exist of the actual devices. He decided to go with the photos rather than the patents.
About ten years ago, his brother machined an aluminum rotor wheel and a high-precision bearing for it to turn on. In trying numerous variations, gluing magnets on, then scraping them off and trying again, he said he's actually whittled down the original thickness of the rotor. That's why he uses Crazy Glue, not something more permanent.
Then, about a month ago, he was in the Science and Surplus store in Chicago and he stumbled into a box of U-shaped alnico magnets. "These look familiar", he thought, then realized that they resembled Howard Johnson's magnets, but a lot smaller, at just 2 cm long by 1 cm wide and 1 cm on each leg.
Mylow thought they looked like they may have been used in old 8-track players to erase the tape. The key was that they were magnetized in the right orientation, with north on the two tip ends and south being on the long, back side. And the price was right at just $25 for the entire box of magnets.
Not realizing this find was perhaps fortuitous, he assumed one could find these anywhere. That's why he made a comment to that effect in one of the earlier videos.
In one of the first videos he posted to YouTube about a month ago, his prototype had sets of 7 of these rotor magnets spaced about 1/4 inch apart, placed around the perimeter of the rotor, with gaps of around three inches between each set of seven. However, he did not have enough magnets to complete that last set of seven.
When he went back to the Science and Surplus store, he was chagrined to learn that they had no more of them, and that the manufacturer no longer makes them. What was he going to do?
In a "what happens if I do this?" approach, he removed the middle of each of the sets of seven magnets, leaving 3&3, followed by a larger space (around three inches) before the next set of 3&3. He was then able to fill in the last set of 3&3, with one exception.
In doing this, he had one magnet left over. Seeing the larger gap between his last set of 3&3 and the first set, he thought to put that last magnet in there for a 3&4 arrangement on the last set, in order for the gap between the last two adjoining sets to not be too great.
It turns out that this non-symmetry of the last 3&4 set may be a key to the operation of the
motor. He tried removing the 4th magnet, but the motor did not
work. There is still a little wobble with the 4th magnet, but at least it works.
Mylow said that there is a shop near him that he takes his stator magnet to
re-magnetize it. He said they have a big electromagnet, and the process
includes quenching the magnet in a hydrogen bath for five minutes. After
it is recharged, the magnet works best for about two to three hours, after
which it begins growing weak.
The aluminum wheel part of the rotor is 17-1/8 inches in diameter and has a thickness of 1/8 inch (within 1/16 inch accuracy). Mylow thinks the weight of the aluminum wheel provides a flywheel effect that helps the system work (possibly helping the magnets get past gate, to then be pushed through the next set hard enough to make it through that gate again [my conjecture]).
The stator-suspending, aluminum bar is supported on each end with wooden supports, fastened with aluminum screws. Mylow said he had tried stainless steel screws, but they affected the movement of the rotor, making it jiggle.
One thing that I've noted with a bit of paradoxical humor is that Mylow seems to be tape-measure challenged. As I was trying to get dimensions from him in our phone call, he didn't know that the smallest lines on his tape measure were 1/16 of an inch. I had him count how many lines there were between an inch. And the initial dimensions he gave me, as hard as he tried to give them to me accurately, were not right. So last night (3/19/09) he posted a video of the magnets next to a Data Scan Ruler so we could read the dimensions for ourselves. He is also a bit challenged in his spelling, punctuation, and grammar, but none of these things seems to slow him down. He is glad to share and answer questions people have. Remember that some people who appear to be challenged in easy things, are usually compensated by superior talent in other areas, such as intuition or following hunches.
It may be thanks to his measurement ability challenge that he visually spaced the sets of seven magnets with gaps in-between, but ended up with the last set not fitting in symmetrically. If it were easy for him to make and calculate measurements, he probably would have had everything symmetrically arranged, and it would not have worked. So his handicap was actually part of the serendipity that enable him to stumble onto this success.
As I spoke with him last night, he said that the stator magnet had now diminished enough in strength that the motor was no longer working. He may try a different magnet (e.g. alnico) so that he doesn't have to keep remagnetizing his magnet.
He stopped by the place he goes to get the stator magnet remagnetized yesterday afternoon to get permission to give out their name and address as part of our reporting. They preferred that he not do that since they are doing this as a favor to him, and they only want to receive commercial orders. But if that point is made clear, they may permit him to reveal their identity. They also told him (paraphrasing), "We can't keep remagnetizing your magnet for you. It costs us a lot of money to run that machine and to maintain the hydrogen bath."
I encouraged him to let them know what he is doing, to see his videos, to inspire them to continue to help him out and be part of history in the making.
At this point, I think we have all the information we need for someone to replicate what Mylow has done. They're on it over at the Overunity.com forum, along with our PESWiki page.
Mylow told me this morning, "I hope everyone can replicate this better than I can."
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Camilo Urbina (ASITEC) first brought this development to our attention on March 18. New Energy Congress member, Sepp Hasslberger provided editorial input.
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