Problem Cause Solution
Newly assembled motor does not work. The insulation on the coil ends is not removed correctly. Carefully study step 3 of the assembly instructions. Pay attention to the pictures. Properly removed insulation leaves shiny copper on one end. Half of the other end should also have shiny copper color while the other half should be the color of the original insulation. Make sure that the coil was in the vertical position if the magnets are located at the bottom and at the top, and it was flat on the table if the magnets are on the sides.
The coil is not balanced. Take your time to balance the coil – it is very important. Well balanced coil should spin freely. Ideally it should stop in random positions.
The battery is dead or battery voltage is low. This motor consumes a lot of electricity and could drain the batteries quickly if the rotor is stalled. Replace the battery with the fresh one.
Bad contact between battery holder wires and the stands. Make sure that you removed the plastic insulation from the battery holder wires and make a tight connection.
Batteries inserted incorrectly. If you use 2 or more batteries in the battery holder make sure that they are inserted properly. Refer to the pictures in step 6.
Incorrect orientation of the magnets. If you use two magnets make sure that the North pole of one magnet faces the South pole of another magnet.
Motor worked fine for a while but then stopped working. The coil is not balanced. The coil ends could be bent. Balance the coil again.
Bad contact between the coil ends and the stands. When the motor works for a while the little spark between the coil ends and the stands creates a black deposit that prevents the current from passing through this connection, especially if you used higher voltages. Time to time you need to clean the ends of the coil, and the stands where they contact the ends, with the knife, fine sandpaper, or rubbing alcohol. Be careful not to destroy the remaining insulation on one of the coil ends.
No insulation on both coil ends. After some time the friction between the coil ends and the stands may rub off the insulation completely creating a short circuit. You should make a new coil.
The coil jumps off the stands too often. The coil is not balanced. Balance the coil.
crossbarYou may add a little crossbar to each of the stands that will prevent it from happening, using, for example, a little piece of wire.
You may also use paper clips as shown below:

Paperclips 1

Paperclips 2

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