I'm just curious why my answer was removed. I asked the poster some questions about his problem then provided two principles to solve his situation.

Q: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/75809/help-making-a-solenoid-engine

A(deleted):Do you have something in series with the wire to limit the current? A 2m wire connected directly to 12V should pull a lot more current than 20 mA. What kind of 12V battery is this? Is the battery voltage staying at 12V when you connect it? Batteries tend not to survive long with wires connected directly across their terminals, perhaps it is dead or dieing.

Two ways to increase the magnetic field: more current and/or more wire.

Anyway my second concern is that this is just one example where someone is obviously trying to experiment and learn something without help. Yet rather than just let the question stand they see some back and forth about the site policy and the question gets closed. I've seen this on other questions too. It bothers me because I would rather encourage people to try rather than just close their questions.

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    $\begingroup$ You have 1.2k rep. When Olin Lathrop said "This is a comment, not a answer," he probably assumed, based on your rep, that you knew all about how physics.SE worked and that answers were supposed to be answers, while requests for clarification should be made in comments. $\endgroup$
    – user4552
    Sep 1, 2013 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ Did I assume incorrectly that increasing the current or adding more wire was an answer? Should I have written a paragraph and posted images? We are talking about someone asking for very basic help. $\endgroup$
    – user6972
    Sep 1, 2013 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


As for your answer, It does not majorly contribute to answering the question in any way. I appreciate that you were trying to encourage the OP into researching some more, but your answer looks more like it is asking for clarification. We have comments for that.

As to why the question was closed, the close reason specifically says that the question is about engineering, something which is off-topic on this site. There is another SE site :Electrical Engineering for such questions. According to me, the question would be answered better there, as the users there must be having hands-on experience about making such things work.

PS someone should have left a comment telling the OP about such a site, and instead of closing, the question could have been migrated.

  • $\begingroup$ My answer might have been terse but I did directly answer his question. Deleting my answer ends up helping noone, likewise so did closing it. $\endgroup$
    – user6972
    Sep 1, 2013 at 18:21
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    $\begingroup$ I didn't think the question would be on topic for EE, as they mostly deal with higher-level electronic components. But I can check. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Sep 1, 2013 at 18:43
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    $\begingroup$ My question was not specific to this one post, but rather the issue of policy first content second. If half the energy spent worrying about policy was just spent writing a simple answer (or not deleting them) it would go towards encouraging people to explore physics and/or electronics more. However I seem to have the minority opinion on this. $\endgroup$
    – user6972
    Sep 1, 2013 at 19:19
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    $\begingroup$ @user6972 The point is that we don't want to encourage certain types of questions on this site. Putting a question on hold is a way of preventing answers until the question can be fixed. The answer was not deleted because the question was off topic, it was deleted because it was really a comment. $\endgroup$ Sep 2, 2013 at 4:18

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