I absolutely love interesting mechanical desk toys, so of course I had to buy one of these as soon as I saw it. Very happy with it overall. My only complaints:
1. Needs a considerable amount of light to work. Normal office fluorescent lighting won't keep it going. I set mine up directly under my desk lamp and it hums along all day there. On a windowsill on a sunny day, it really takes off. Enough to actually feel a bit of breeze off the fan.
2. Poorly balanced. At really slow speeds and really fast speeds, it stays pretty stable. However, at certain medium speeds, the wobbles start to resonate and compound enough that the solar panels will hit the base. The low speed I run it at with my desk lamp has it pretty stable, but I may play around with adding some counter balance weight to make it better at higher speed.
3. Weird shipping packaging. This is obviously a very minor complaint. The parts were wrapped in bubble wrap (as expected), but then under that, they were wrapped in aluminum foil. It looked like leftovers from a restaurant or something. It was boxed with a free fidget spinner though, so that was an interesting surprise.
This is the most entertaining item I have ever bought for myself. The time spent watching this fascinating motor has been so relaxing; it spins on cloudy as well as sunny days. It is well worth the less than $50. It was ordered from "stirlingkit" . Package was wrapped securely in bubble wrap (no horrible foam). All parts were there and in great shape. Hardest part in getting the motor running was peeling off the brown paper on top of the plexiglass base - a toothpick helped with that. The only suggestion I can think of for improvement would be a picture or drawing of what the motor would look like when running, and maybe some history, or even the name "Mendocino Motor". There was writing on the box, but only in Chinese. If received as a gift, I can imagine some people having a hard time trying to figure out what it is and how it should go together - even though there are only a few pieces. I love this motor and will be buying at least one more for a present.
I teach both math and science, and I often purchase items to inspire student curiosity.
I purchased this a few weeks ago and I have to say that it is totally amazing!
The small rectangular prism is made up of 4 solar cells that float on a strong magnetic field.
Giving the solar cells a slight push will start them rotating effortlessly, and if exposed to a light source they will continue to rotate and the brighter the light, the faster the cells rotate. The device will continue to spin indefinitely until the light source is removed. The only negative that I might mention is that, because the device is so light, it is also a bit delicate, and since it spins on such a strong magnetic field the solar cell portion of the device will shoot off the base if it is disturbed while it is spinning. For that reason, I let my students observe, but not touch the device.
This device is VERY COOL and it will keep you, or your students enthralled for hours!
Amazing, trippy, inconsistent, useless? Definitely.
I got it going on a 3 watt led gooseneck lamp but the placement of the Lamp is oh so vital. Turns out half(at least) of the fidget value is reeped from these adjustments!
With abundant lighting it will ramp up and eventually fly right off the base and launch respectable distance.. This is fun as well, turns out although I'm sure this doesn't help with the balance.
Spinning on the window sill the other day with added resistance from plant leaf caused one of the best spinning events yet and was rediculously fast for 45 min before another significant launch!
Very entertaining and sturdy overall happy
I bought this for my daughter the family electronics wizard, she loves it. She put it in the window by her kitchen table where she can see it running every day. What I noticed was if you put a flashlight directed on one side it would spin. Raise the flashlight to the top the motor would slow to a stop. Lower the flashlight to the other side and the motor would start spinning in the other direction. It didn't make sense to me but she knew exactly what caused the change.