Video: OS: MYLOW’s Magnetic Motor based on Howard Johnson’s Design

By | April 7, 2009

OS: MYLOW's Magnetic Motor based on Howard Johnson's Design

YouTube user “MYLOW121363” (hereafter “Mylow”) of Chicago has apparently successfully replicated the late Howard Johnson’s all-magnet motor, Stonehenge model, that Johnson worked on in the early 1980s to demonstrate to the U.S. Patent Office (patents now expired). Mylow purposely kept his replication as close as possible to Johnson’s design — per the photos, not the patent.

Mylow claims it has run ~26 hours continuous in one setting. His replica begins to turn once the single stator horseshoe (U-shaped) magnet comes close to the rotor magnets on the perimeter of the rotor.

The rotor spins up to a certain speed and does not go any faster. The speed limit could be due to an eddy current interaction between the stator magnet and the rotating aluminum rotor.

Mylow says he has seen some deceleration over time. One possibility is that the energy supporting continued rotation is a function of the magnet gradually giving up its magnetism, like a battery. He had the stator magnet remagnetized, and the motor worked again.

The rotor consists of sets channel alnico magnets attached to an aluminum disc with crazy glue. There is a gap between each set. The aluminum disc rides on a high-precision ball bearing that was machined at his brother’s workshop. The single stator magnet (also U-shaped) is glued to the bottom of an aluminum bar that is mounted on top of two wooden stands.

Mylow has conveyed essentially all the info needed to replicated this device. In addition to the compilation here at this site, a consice version of those is available for sale from

On April 2 and 3, 2009, Mylow was visited by someone from the NSA who confiscated his motor and papers, then returned them, warning him to post no more videos and to not pursue this technology. [1]

Open Source Caveat

In open sourcing this design, we only request that if you go commercial with it (selling plans, kits, or finished units in volumes of 5 or more), that you include a 3% royalty to be split three ways between Mylow, Howard Johnson’s heirs or assigns, and PES Network, Inc. (which is coordinating this project here). There is no patent, and Howard Johnson’s patents are expired, and there is no copyright on the contents of these PESWiki pages, so this request is one that is not enforceable. But out of an appeal to ethics, we expect that you honor the request. The royalty percentage is purposely low so that you will not be placed under an unreasonable burden in competing with those who will not honor this request. Contact PES Network, Inc. to work out reasonable licensing arrangements. See OS:MYLOW:Legal.

via OS: MYLOW’s Magnetic Motor based on Howard Johnson’s Design – PESWiki.

Here is a video:

From what he has shown, there could easily be a battery and motor hidden in the base. Here is a video that shows the base in more detail. Interesting…

3 thoughts on “Video: OS: MYLOW’s Magnetic Motor based on Howard Johnson’s Design

  1. Xeno

    I call shenanigans. He is hiding too much by being zoomed in when he starts it spinning. If someone else is able to replicate it, I’ll sit up a bit more and take notice. I have seen some attempts, but no person on YouTube has been able to recreate this. According to one comment:

    “In a static field, the magnetic field integrated around a closed loop (the line integral) is equal to the current flowing through, and normal to, the loop.”

    That’s one of Maxwell’s equations. The “loop” is the path the stator and any magnet take with respect to each other as it turns. There is no current, therefore the integral through the loop equals zero. In English, all the forces cancel out for net zero force.

  2. Bill

    surely a simpler version could be made – with fewer magnets on a smaller disk, just to demonstrate the principle ? Having felt the magnetic force between to hand held magnets as they push away from each other – this should be feasible and quite elementary to make. The same principle was used in executive desk toys in the eighties with the pendulum toys and ‘perpetual’ motion kinetic sculptures – ok, they didnt run endlessly, but they did run! I need to try this myself.

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