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Author Topic: Newman - from the ground up.  (Read 1929 times)

Offline Conductor

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  • Posts: 4
Newman - from the ground up.
« on: January 26, 2019, 07:52:01 PM »

the fundamental operating principle of Joseph Newman's machine is this, take two inductors, both with the same resistance but one with much higher inductance, supply them both with the same amount of power and, when you switch them off the counter electromotive force (CEMF, back-EMF, whatever you like to call it) will be larger in the inductor with the highest inductance.

The formula for the stored energy in an inductor is :

W=1/2 L I^2 (stored energy = 0.5 x inductance (L) x Current (I) to the power of 2, or squared.

This is an interesting formula in that it says that, for the same input current, a coil with higher inductance will return more energy.

This is easy to investigate, i made 2 coils of equal resistance but one with much larger inductance, hooked them up in turn to a DC PSU supplying 10 volts and put a switch in the circuit for turning the power on and off and a Neon bulb in the circuit for power comparison and indeed, the coil with the larger inductance delivers more power to the Neon bulb, making it flash much more brightly.

The obvious question is, is there an upper limit to this returned energy? If it's larger in coil number 2 than in coil number one, then what about coil number 3 etc ... ?

So my second test compared much larger inductors :

Coil 1 :

R=102 O
L=0.5 H

Coil 2 :

R=102 O
L=4.6 H

I was lucky enough to get coil #2 on ebay for £91, it's worth £200 to a scrap dealer and £350 if bought from my usual supplier (

The results were the same, coil 2 delivered much more power to the Neon than coil 1, and both were brighter than the first pair of coils even with the increased resistance.

I spent many hours trying to translate Newman's commutator to solid-state switching but you simply don't get the large spikes that you do with mechanical switching, you get spikes but they are orders of magnitude smaller, so my next step is to make a commutator for high-speed switching.

I've made a YT channel and am uploading a video of the first coil-pair test just now, in the meantime i've attached a pic showing both coil pairs.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 08:41:13 PM by Conductor »

Offline Conductor

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  • Posts: 4
Quick video.
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2019, 08:17:39 PM »
So here's the test with the first coil pair, the camera doesn't always catch the flash in the Neon but it does it well enough so that you can visually compare the two.

I'm waiting on my x100 scope probe so that i can do proper comparisons.

Offline Conductor

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  • Posts: 4
Re: Newman - from the ground up.
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2019, 04:38:53 PM »
A quick analysis of the commutator, using Newman's original dimensions.

Circumference of rotor = 316.78mm
Diameter = 100.8342mm

60 segments :

20 firing = 7.9375mm
20 blank = 4.7265mm
20 shorted = 3.175mm

Current reversal every half rev.

firing segment = current from power source goes into coil
blank segment = no current from battery, collapsing field, 
shorted segment = current circulates in coil only

Newman's measurements were for the timing of his coil/magnet combo so will need adjusting for mine, so i need to translate his measurements, analyse teh wiring then cut a disc for the commutator then embed or attach the fire/blank/short segments.

For anyone that hasn't read it, i found a copy of his book online :

« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 08:03:09 PM by Conductor »