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QUOTE So why over the last 10-15 years has there been a move to 5-pole?
Given components of equal quality a five pole motor is preferable to a three pole because there is less "cogging" at slow speed. An electric motor develops its maximum torque when the electric field in a motor coil is at the strongest point of the opposing magnetic field. The repulsive force is less either side of this point. In effect it is like comparing a 3 cylinder engine with a 5 cylinder one. The more cylinders or poles, the smoother the torque delivery. I don't know anything about skew wound coils but I am guessing that these are improvement over straight wound ones in that the electric field has a more even "spread" and so is repulsed by the magnetic field for longer.

Basically the more fields and the more even spread of the repulsive forces results in a more even torque output. It is this desire for an even torque distribution which lies at the heart of the Maerklin Sinus motor design.

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