Almost truly hovering Training Remote

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Gigatron, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Well gang, I've been working and working and working on this thing to see if I could get it to truly hover. The short answer is - no. I have tried every and any thing I could think of to make this work. I have a shelf full of rare earth magnets in every strength from 14 pull pounds all the way up to 127 pull pounds.

    This picture represents the only solution that even remotely works


    You'll notice there is something between the remote and the stand. It's a toothpick acting as a standoff. It's pushing the remote away from the top magnet. It's NOT hanging - that much I can swear to. So it's somewhere between floating and being statically mounted.

    I know this is a major letdown as this had potential to be one of the coolest projects the board had ever seen. Trust me, no one feels worse about it or more diappointed than I do. I can't help feeling that I let everyone down, but I guess there's a limit as to what's physically possible with this.

    Perhaps one day, someone smarter than myself will be able to work out the bugs and share the information.

    Until that day, this will have to suffice. I'll post more pics one is painted and completed.

    Thanks - and sorry,

    P.S. thanks to WC for hosting
  2. Sumatra

    Sumatra Sr Member

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    Any chance you could weight down the remote? Add lead shot to it or something?

    It's such a cool idea.
  3. Walter

    Walter Sr Member

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    Yeah, you will have to read the old thread and the trials of this project. Fred literally tried everything.

    You know that the toothpick rig you have there isnt that bad... so maybe you have a stand off... It is still better than fishing wire or sitting on a regular stand because the display still looks unique. The project had a lot of potential and you tried just about everything. I dont think anyone can say that you didnt try to get this thing to work.

    I am still impressed.

  4. eaviii

    eaviii Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Out of curiosity, have you tried an elemental mercury weight/reservoir in the bottom. Easily measured, will seek gravity (i.e. act as a plumb), and should not be distorted by the magnet-

    Reading the other thread again so, if it has been suggested already, I am a moron-

    Still one of the coolest projects I've seen

  5. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Sr Member

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    I had an idea about this last night, don't think its been suggested either. Let me just go away and do a quick sketch...

    Here we go:


  6. Westies14

    Westies14 Master Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Sidewinder @ Jun 3 2006, 04:06 PM) [snapback]1255439[/snapback]</div>
    Very clever. Have you tried this yet? I still feel sure that this could be made to work somehow.
  7. Howard

    Howard Sr Member

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    Fred - I really hope you get this off the ground, and no pun intended.
    I've been following your work on this with great interest.
    Perhaps SAS has a solution?
    Keep us dreamers updated.
    The very best of luck.

  8. Rotwang

    Rotwang Sr Member

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    I recall seeing an ad in a science magazine for a special "hovering" display a few years ago. They had a soccer ball hovering inside a semi-circular magnetic ring. I could try to dig up the reference if you are interested.
  9. Rabittooth

    Rabittooth Well-Known Member

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  10. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the ideas - and the support :) .

    I've tried the counterweight idea, just doesn't want to work. I don't know why. Theoretically, it should, but it doesn't :( .

    As far as moving the magnet, the original setup comes with a spacer bar (1 1/2" thick piece of wood) so that you don't have to guess where to put the globe in the magnetic field. I used the spacer on the remote as well, but the field doesn't hold. So I know the magnet in the remote is at the same vertical distance from the electromagnet as it was in the globe. I've also made spacers of all different widths to try and compensate for the heavier weight of the remote and also the larger magnet - no dice.

    Rabittooth, while that thing is pretty * nifty, it really is all that's inside the base - just on a smaller scale. They designed that one to lift small items like coins and pens and foam globes. I have a feeling the biggest problem is in the software. It's most likely designed to calculate fluctuations of a particular weight range. It would be nice if they made it programmable so that it could be adjusted.

    Anyways, thanks again guys. I haven't given up all hope, just hoping for that eureka moment.

  11. hollywoodhardware

    hollywoodhardware Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Rabittooth @ Jun 3 2006, 11:27 PM) [snapback]1255566[/snapback]</div>
    From the website:

    - Standard product as shown can levitate up to 12 grams.
    Show us what you want to float. Place an order, we deliver.
    - Custom products designed to your specifications.
    - We are open to licensing discussions.

    12 grams is not much....

  12. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(hollywoodhardware @ Jun 3 2006, 09:50 PM) [snapback]1255576[/snapback]</div>

    Now those two lines are interesting, I hadn't seen those earlier. The remote, not including the weight of the magnet, is now about 250 g. Figure with final coat of paint and rims glued in about 275 g. The magnet has a pull weight of 127 lbs. Hmmm...maybe I should talk to them. The manufacturer of the stand didn't want to be bothered.

  13. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Well, here it is - painted and still almost hovering. I still need to work on the red rings around the emitter, but that'll take some time.



    I haven't decided if I'm going to weather it or not. I sort of like the "as first built" look, but also like the used look of the SW universe.

    Anyway, let me know what you think.

    Thanks to WC for hosting.

  14. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Go for the weathered look, you can't go wrong ;)
  15. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Sr Member

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  16. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great project .

    I am sure you figured that out already, but did you actually weigh the globe and the training remote, to see how much difference there is in weight ? I guess the position of the globe´s magnet is kind of related to the weight.

    The bigger globe looks a bit more promising, though :)

  17. Mxlplx

    Mxlplx Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Gigatron @ Jun 3 2006, 05:47 PM) [snapback]1255574[/snapback]</div>

    Programmable = Hyperdyne

    Give Jim a ring and see what he thinks can be programmed. It's worth a try. great effort in this project Fred, you have done a fine job.
  18. tripoli

    tripoli Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    They have a programmable/adjustable globe base through Read through the globe selection, it might be the best way to solve this.

    " These electromagnetic suspended globes are actually high-tech instruments. A magnetic field sensor permanently measures the height at which the globes are suspended. This sensor feeds that data into a micro computer in the base of the unit. This computer than calibrates the electronic magnets at the top of the frame based on the distance between the globes and the top magnet to keep the globes correctly positioned. All in the blink of an eye. So not only do these look great on your desktop levitating in thin air, they are also technology marvels.

    When you initially get your globe and plug it in, it may take you a few minutes to correctly position the globe in between the base and top magnets. You'll figure it out quickly enough and before you know it, you'll be able to set it up in just a few seconds every time. Once it's levitating, you can even spin it slightly and watch the globes rotate for extend periods of time. Just like the real thing, except you get to control gravity "
  19. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    No matter if it hovers or not, I'm still impressed with your dedication to this project. Looks great.
  20. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Boba Frett and Darth Khant, Thanks for the compliments guys :D. For a project that could have been so simple, it has taken a long time to finally get close to finished. I may do the weathered look after all. While it looks good in person, it appears kind of bland in pics; so I may just have to jazz it up a bit.

    Sidewinder, I've seriously considered larger globes as an experiment. Until this one, they've all been priced in the $80+ range. The one you posted comes to about $55 or so shipped but I wonder if they ship to the US for that price (most likely not :( ). I'd go for one of the U.S. based ones but between purchasing a new telescope, having gotten the brakes replaced on the car yesterday and saving for one of Propsculptors ANH mystery helmets, I am flat broke at the moment.

    ManfromNaboo, the original globe weighed 120 grams. The training remote weighed 270 grams. The manufacturers website says that the stand could levitate up to 300 grams. They seem to be a bit off and they're not willing to talk.

    Mxlplx, I've considered the same thing. As much as I love Jim's work, a one-off from him would be beyond my financial capabilities. Not that his work isn't worth every penny, but for that kind of money, I could probably develop true levitation :lol .

    Tripoli, unfortunately, as magical as they make it sound, that's how they all work. There's some sort of sonsor in the base (either IR visual or sonar based) and it determines how far from the base the globe is holding. Too close, it switches the magnet off, too far and it turns it back on.

    I'm sure once funds replenish, I'll be able to start experimenting again.

  21. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Fred, looks good. Your base color and the rust look just about right.

    If you're going to go back in (say, to weather it or whatever) you may want to revisit tiles. I'm not certain they're all supposed to be the same color tone...

    Here's a shot of the original (on the left). Note how the perimeter tiles are almost the same as the base color....
  22. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Hey PH,

    Thanks for those pics. I've never seen anywhere where anyone has identified the correct colors. Frank C's tutorial suggest that they may be a light blue and in those pics it looks like they're the base color.

    My feeling is that they were the same gray as the the little rectangles and have just worn off over the years. Once I figure out how to do a wash to weather it, I'll give the equatorial rectangles a light sanding and see how they look.

    The red is just krylon red oxide primer from a rattle can. I sprayed it into a cup and brushed it on. I'm not entirely happy with the way it brushed on. I only had a crappy brush (I didn't want to ruin any of my good ones) to work with. I may go and buy a decent brush just for this job. I wonder if the primer would clean up with regular enamel paint thinner. Anyone know?

  23. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    I think you'd be right on track with the light sanding approach...

    For the red, just get yourself a little bottle of basic Testor's Rust. That's what I used on mine (the one on the right). Works beautifully. :D
  24. DarthCalibar

    DarthCalibar Well-Known Member

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    dang that is sweet. It reminds me of a science experiment i once saw where there was a paper clip with a string tied to it and then a magnet just out of the reach of the string so the paperclip was hovering there. A setup like this might cost cheaper if this one doesnt work. Its still looking awesome, dont give up im sure theres some way to get the bugs out.

    good luck :thumbsup ,

  25. Corbin_Das

    Corbin_Das New Member

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    Hi there
    If pulling it up with a magnet doesn't work, how about pushing it up with magnets in the base that have the same polarity? You'd have to either use a large ring like magnet or several smaller ones in a circle, but then you'd just have to find the right weight to push ratio for it to hover.
    I'm not sure if this part would work, but if you had several smaller magnets in the base and a few in the remote, perhaps having the ones in the base be on a platform that rotated would impart a slow spin to the remote. I'm guessing on this though.

    Corbin Das
  26. boatbuilder1

    boatbuilder1 Well-Known Member

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    has someone thought of doing one like the antigrav pens out there you know the pen is suspended between 2 opposing magnets that would be a truly hovering remote

  27. yodaman

    yodaman Sr Member

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