How to Coil Wire Around an Ammeter How to Coil Wire Around an Ammeter

What You'll Need
Magnet wire (22 gauge or higher is recommended because using a finer or thinner wire is very hard to wind and work with)
A cardboard tube (a toilet paper or paper towel roll works great)
Sandpaper
Glue gun
Hot melt glue
Aluminum foil
Marker pen

An ammeter is a test device that can be used to detect an electrical current. It is easy to create your own ammeter by using some readily available materials and a few items from around the house. However, the major obstacle to the successful completion of an ammeter, for many DIY enthusiasts, is the proper wrapping of the wire coil on the device. Therefore, this hand step by step guide will show you how to coil magnetic wire on an ammeter.

Step 1 - Purchase Magnetic Wire

First, you will need to obtain some magnetic wire. As mentioned above, get a wire that is 22 gauge or higher (the thicker, the better). you can buy the wire at a hobby store or at your local Radio Shack.

Step 2 - Create Coil Roll Base

Cut a section from the cardboard paper roll that is about 1 1/2 inches long. This section of cardboard will sever as the coil roll base.

Step 3 - Wrap the Wire on the Coil

Begin wrapping the magnetic wire around the coil. However, make sure that you leave at least 4 or 5 inches of slack on the interior end of the coil wire. Wrap the wire around the cardboard tube slowly, and make your way up and down the surface length of the tube. Try to coil the wire as evenly as possible and make at least 100 to 150 turns in the wire coil. Finally, leave about 4 to 5 inches of slack on the outer end of coil as well. The added lengths of magnetic wire on the inner and outer edges of the coil will be used to create polarity caps.

Step 4 - Secure Wire to Coil Roll Base

Once you have completed wrapping the wire coil, you should use the glue gun and some hot melt glue to secure the coil to the cardboard tube. You can run glue along the edges of the coil to keep it from sliding up and down on the tube and hold it in place.

Step 5 - Attach Coil Roll to Support Base

Stand the tube coil upright and use hot glue to secure to the wood base. Allow the glue dry completely before continuing.

Step 6 - Remove Enamel Covering from Wire Ends

Use the sandpaper to sand the ends of the wire on the coil at both ends. Sand away the enamel finish until you can see the exposed copper wire.

Step 7 - Create Loops in Wire Ends

Take the ends of the coil (where you created slack in the wire) and create loops by twisting the wire back on to itself. Make loops that are about 1/2 inch by about 1 inch in length.

Step 8 - Affix Aluminum Foil

Fold the aluminum foil in several layers around the loops on the coil wire. Fold the aluminum in a rectangular shape about the same size as the loop. 5 or 6 layers of aluminum foil should be sufficient.

Step 9 - Create Polarity Symbols

Use a marker pen to create "+" and "-" symbols on the two loop ends that you covered with aluminum foil. It does not matter which symbol you create on either end of the coil.

You can continue creating your customized ammeter, now that you have learned to create the all important wire coil.

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