#97: Flux alarm

We are surrounded by more (magnet-containing) motorised devices than ever before. From cameras to pedal bins to door mirrors to catflaps (I haven’t mentioned these for a while, so I thought I’d grab the opportunity).

We are also increasingly reliant on magnetic storage devices, but these two technologies tend not to work well when in close proximity to each other.

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Today’s invention is an alarm which is activated when a significant magnetic field moves near to your credit card or your laptop’s hard drive. It takes the form of a low-cost, stick-on patch containing a copper wire coil.

If someone happens to dump an alternator on the desk beside your patch-bearing wallet, the magnets it contains would induce a small current within the coil: enough to trigger another circuit of the type used in those annoying musical christmas cards so that an alert note sounds (or a quick burst of Silent Night, if you are doubly unfortunate).

This would be made sufficiently sensitive to the arrival of a strong magnetic field that the alarm sounds before damage can occur to the (usually less sensitive) system which is to be protected.

A variant on this patch might also be developed which reacted to high levels of magnetic flux variation; such as that which is sometimes suspected of damaging cell development in young children living near electricity transmission pylons.

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