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Magnetic Animal Repellent Lab Notebook III

Sidney Boakye, Michelle Miller, and Joaquin Valda

Senior Physics Mentorship


Dr. Psaker Lab

Governor’s School @ Innovation Park


To find the best method to make a magnetic field

To make an electromagnet with a substantial magnetic field


Materials and Methods

The biggest event in the six-week period since our last progress report was our semester

project presentation. This presentation was conducted in the presence of our peers and allowed

us to obtain useful feedback. Even though we were graded favorably by our peers they had

thought-provoking suggestions for our project. One of the suggestions saw repeatedly was the

streamlining of our focus to smaller animals, specifically birds. This way we would not waste

resources building a device that would need to be stable in multiple environments. Another

suggestion given by an adult was our group utilizing standard high-strength magnets instead of

an electromagnet. This is something we are currently researching as a high-strength magnet may

increase cost but would be much less time consuming than building an electromagnet.

After testing with the two AA batteries on our first electromagnet we noticed that we

need more amps to increase the magnetic field. So we connected a six volt Duracell lantern

battery, it did increase the field but it made the wire too hot to use for long periods of time. We

decided to use fourteen AWG wire and a steel spike with the lantern battery to better control the

heat output and obtain and stronger magnetic field. The steel spike is 13.5 centimeters in length

and has a diameter of 0.9 centimeters. The spike was wrapped two times with the cable so that it

has 140 turns. The original design was for the spike to be wrapped three times and have about

220 turns but we miscalculated the amount of wire we needed.


Data and Results

The new data that we have is from testing our old and new electromagnets with the

lantern battery. We collected the data with a Vernier magnetic field sensor. We attached our old

electromagnet to the lantern battery and measured the magnetic field produced. We then made a

new electromagnet with a steel spike and a thicker wire. After we finished making it, we counted

and recorded the rod’s dimension, the turns of wire, and the current through the wire. We then

connected the electromagnet to the lantern battery, placed it on a table, and measured the

strength of the field produced at various distances away from the electromagnet.

Trial Number Numbe Length Diameter Current Magnetic Magnetic Magnetic

r of of Rod of (A) Field (0 Field (2 Field (5
Turns (cm) Rod(cm) cm) (mT) cm) (mT) cm) (mT)
1 (Double-layer) 230 20 0.5 4.18 2.48 0.864 0.161
2 (Spike) 140 13.5 0.9 0.27 0.487 0.176 0. 072

Table 1. This is the new table outlining the data collected from our old, double layer electromagnet

and our new spike electromagnet using the lantern battery.


Future Goals

With the next two weeks that are given to us, we plan to finalize our method for creating

the magnetic field within the device. So far we have mainly used electromagnetism to generate a

magnetic field. However, we have come to find out that the fields produced by the

electromagnets are relatively weak. This is not necessarily a bad thing; all we need to do is make

a change to the surrounding magnetic field to affect the birds. But, we will like to see what other

options are out there. Three options we have found are to using microwave transformer coils, a

natural magnet, or to modify our own magnets to oscillate in the magnetic field strength. Once

we find our final method, we will design and finalize the device at a later date.


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Patent US5884426 - Magnetic device for repelling birds. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2017,

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