Sunday 29 April 2012

6th June 2012 draws ever closer!

With 6th June fast approaching I've been reflecting on what might or might not happen.

If my own model works, then I guess the news will spread quickly and who knows how things will develop.  Whether it turns out to be of any use, I don't know and I doubt anyone can possibly know, until people have built models for themselves.  At least it will be a interesting curiosity if nothing else.

If my model fails then I am even less sure of the future.  I have always said that designs on paper will never convince anyone and only a working model will do that, so my fondly predicted solution, because it's on paper, will probably be nothing more than a damp squib.  However I think (hope?) that perhaps a few of those members of the Besslerwheel forum and those who read my blog, and others of a similar ilk, will read it and understand why I am so certain that I am right, even if I am unable to get the mechanism's proportions right.  One or more among them may achieve what I failed to do, using my own insights, I hope.

I put a time limit on my research as the 6th June this year, and now that that time is nigh a part of me is regretting tying myself down to a date, but I made a promise and I shall stick to it, just in case I am theoretically right and am merely holding up progress towards a working solution to Bessler's wheel by some other more perceptive engineer.

Due to personal circumstances entirely unconnected with Bessler I will not be writing anything for two or three weeks after the 6th June.  As I say, this has nothing to do with anything connected with Bessler so please wait for two or three weeks before assuming anything has befallen me, good or bad.


Saturday 28 April 2012

LONDON Olympics 2012 - and my clues to be explained.

Many years ago,I used to be something of an athlete, and also did four London marathons, and I always hoped that one day the Olympics would be held somewhere closer to home and I would be able to attend some of the events.  This year it's happening right here in little old England and will I be attending? No.

I would love to be there but getting a seat is harder than winning the lottery. But anyway, I believe that the tickets only give you a four hour slot to watch the events you've chosen, so my dreams of sitting there all day have blown away.  No surprise, given the huge demand for seats.

But actually I shall be sitting at home watching on TV and I'll get a better view than any seat could give me - just the crowd atmosphere that will be missing, but I'll enjoy it where ever I am.

BTW, just received some emails asking if I will be explaining the clues at some point.  So yes, the clues I post will be referred to and listed again, closer to the publication day, and the relevance of each one will be explained.


Thursday 26 April 2012

Bessler found the answer where everyone was looking.

Third clue.

Bessler said in Apologia Poetica, "These foolish ravings of my enemies will be held up to total ridicule by all intelligent people, who, with true understanding, have sought the Mobile in a place no different from that in which I eventually found it."

To paraphrase the above, Bessler said intelligent people had already looked for the solution where he found it.

In hindsight this clue reveals something so astoundingly obvious that I find it hard to believe that no one has independently thought of it - I certainly didn't.  The history of overbalancing wheels shows that the same designs are repeatedly 'discovered' by each person who comes fresh to this subject.


Monday 23 April 2012

Parametric oscillation holds the key to working Bessler's wheel.

Second clue.

A swing has its centre of gravity below the pivot, unlike a perfectly balanced wheel whose centre of gravity lies at its axle or pivot.

With a child standing on the swing's seat,  the centre of gravity is lower and is closer the seat.  If the child bends his legs he lowers the centre of gravity even more and if he straightens them he raises it again.  If he rocks the swing a little he can make it move back and forth a greater distance by timing the straightening and bending of his legs

But the swing moves to and fro whereas we seek a solution in which the swing moves only in one direction, around and around the pivot. There is a sport known as ‘Kiiking’ in the native language of Estonia where it is practised as a national sport.  In kiiking the ropes are rigid steel bars, enabling the swinger to build up his swings until he passes over the top of the pivot - his feet are of course attached to the seat.

Yes, I know, another elementary clue, and yet a vital ingredient in making Bessler's wheel work.


Saturday 21 April 2012

No wheels exist in nature.

Throughout history, most inventions were inspired by the natural world. The idea for the pitchfork and table fork came from forked sticks; the aeroplane from gliding birds. But the wheel is a one hundred percent homo sapien innovation. As Michael LaBarbera—a professor of biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago—wrote in a 1983 issue of  "The American Naturalist", 'only bacterial flagella, dung beetles and tumbleweeds come close. And even they are “wheeled organisms” in the loosest use of the term, since they use rolling as a form of locomotion'.

Thanks to the Smithsonian, there's a lot more there. -

The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.  There is an ongoing hoax about the hoop snake which is supposed to exhibit similar propensities.  It is reputed to be able form itself into a hoop and roll after its prey at speeds up to 60 miles an hour! They can alter their shapes as they go, and even roll up hill.  This reminds me of Fletcher's post on the besslerwheel forum about suggesting to Bessler that he tried out that idea with his own wheel to see if it would roll uphill.


Thursday 19 April 2012

To enable a gravity-wheel to rotate.

First clue.

To make the gravity-wheel react to gravity you need to create an overbalanced situation.

You can do that on a clockwise rotating wheel, by placing each weight further outwards at some point between twelve o'clock and six o'clock, and closer in, between six o'clock and twelve o'clock.

To make the wheel continue to overbalance you need to bring the weight which is further out, back in again, at or close to six o'clock.  Then you have to make it move out again, between twelve o'clock and six 'clock. Elementary my dear Watson.


Monday 16 April 2012

Bessler's wheels, out-of-balance and set to spin spontaneously.

There's been some talk about whether Bessler's wheel was out of balance and if it was balanced when stationary.  It seems obvious to me that because the first two one-way wheels began to spin spontaneously as soon as the brake was released it must have been out of balance while stationary and it was only the brake or lock or ties which held it motionless. 

I ignore suggestions that the wheel was stopped at an opportune moment so that at that point it was out-of-balance.  It would be too difficult to arrange for those who tested it to stop it at that particular spot - if there was one.  And anyway many people commented on the evenness of its rotation and any unevenness would indicate flat spots and high spots which would be suitable for stopping in an unbalanced position.

If you suspend an object from any point, let go of it and allow it to come to rest, the centre of gravity will lie along a vertical line that passes through the point of suspension. The centre of gravity will generally lie below the suspension point.

So if we wish to make the overbalanced wheel continue to turn, then we have to find a way of raising that point which generally lies below the suspension point. 


Saturday 14 April 2012

A wheel is a circular component that is intended to rotate on an axle. (thanks to wikipedia)

I've moved my half-built mechanisms onto a slightly larger MDF disc as they were protruding from the edge at one point and catching on the supporting frame. I have continued to use the same disc for some time and really it's a bit too small for my design. I find that getting relative sizes right can be a problem.  I have the design on paper but there are often compromises to be made when the actual build begins.  Sometimes parts that ideally work within certain parameters don't always obey my requirements!  Just kidding, actually I did not anticipate just how much range of movement a certain part would be capable of until I built the mechanism, off the supporting structure.  The result is that I need a bigger supporting structure, which is not a problem as I had one prepared for an earlier version.

Despite my fear of my wheels being judged as of inferior quality, I shall post pictures of both failed and/or successful current and future models, should I build any more.

I'm going to post some comments about my theory and perhaps some hints on the design.  I know that as these appear some critics will dismiss them out of hand and others will argue logically against them, but I would like to suggest that until the complete picture or at least more of it becomes available, it might be thought better to refrain from at least completely dismissing them, because I have one or two surprises to post later on which might just convince otherwise.


Thursday 12 April 2012

My last wheel build?

I've been actively persuing the solution to Bessler's wheel for many years but I haven't felt it necessary to publish pictures of the many, many failed models I've made over a number of years.  

To be honest I would be ashamed to put them on public display given the professional-looking models I see other people post.  Mine are made out of pieces of MDF, used and reused over and over again until they are so full of holes I fear that they will fall apart; pieces of mild steel amd aluminium; stiff-nuts so used and reused that they are no longer capable of holding fast; some bolts cross-threaded so I have to clamp them in a pair of pliers and force the nuts round to get them past the crossed threads; weights of various materials, mostly pieces sawn from a mild steel bar, or bunches of steel or lead washers; levers of mild steel only a quarter of an inch wide or thicker pieces of aluminium and also so full of holes that they too are fast approaching their demise. 

The axle is a length of screwed thread with two nuts on it clamping the MDF sheet.  This rests in a couple of plastic fixings meant to hold copper plumbing pipes to the wall, which are screwed onto two upright wooden pillars which in turn are screwed to a base board - it works, don't knock it!

So, do I buy more new material and set to work again building and rebuilding new designs?  Or do I just share what I know and hope that someone else finds something useful in my work and goes on to achieve the success I looked for?

In a way this is an 'aha' moment a small revelation, because if I do share what I know, instead of having to continue to build I can just keep posting my ideas here and let someone else do the work!  No contest!  But I'll just finish this last model.


Monday 9 April 2012


I've received several emails asking why I'm leaving everything 'til the 6th June before revealing what I've been working on.  Originally I planned to reveal my working wheel and an explanation of how I got there, timing it to around that date, but writing everything out is taking far longer than I anticipated and now I just want to finish it and put it out for people to see and comment on, whether for or against. 

The explanation is long and complex because I am explaining how each feature relates to a clue from Bessler's huge collection. I'm also justifying each one to the best of my ability and including explanatory drawings based on Bessler's originals.  I will transfer what I've written to one or more websites and include a downloadable pdf of the same, I'll try to make a video of it too, to put across anything that does not come across clearly in the other publications.

Immediately following publication I may be unavailable for a couple of weeks, I need some sunshine!  And perhaps it's just as well, I can let the dust settle before responding!  I'm not naive enough to think that everyone will be completely convinced by my work, but hopefully enough serious students of Bessler's wheel will take notice and look into what I have to say to either verify it or explain why they can't.

In the mean time, in between times, I'm working hard to finish my model made according to my design and based on what I believe Bessler did.  Whether or not my model works, the other stuff will be published.

As I'm going to share what I've done so far I might as well put the occasional clue from my work on my blog from time to time.


Thursday 5 April 2012

Bessler's wheel as an electricity generator

This can be no more than speculation until we know what kind of potential output Bessler's wheel might generate, but when his wheel is proven and accepted, I think there will be many versions appearing, offering home electricity generators.  I don't know how large a wheel will have to be constructed but I guess that something powerful enough to provide all domestic requirements will have to be quite big.  Bessler's wheels were built very narrow but he did say they could be built with more than one on an axle, so we can imagine something with a lot more width on a single axle. The question then is what size of generator would be required to fulfil all of one household's demands, then we might have some idea of the size of wheel needed?

I found it difficult to discover  on the internet, how much electricity a home needs.  I realize of course that there are many variations in how much we use so some kind of working average would suffice.  I note that to calculate it you need the total square footage of living space, disregarding open porches, garages, and basements or attics, plus you  must list all electric appliances, including any AC, or heating, and the voltage and load of each in amperes or wattage.  As a short cut I looked at standby electrical generators suitable for home use.

For about £24000 you can get a unit which will power a complete house of 4000 plus square feet, weighing about 8141 pounds and providing 200 kVA.  I'm sure there are smaller cheaper units available but that is one I found.  Its length is 11 feet, width four feet, and height about seven feet, a pretty big beast. We don't know how much a suitable Bessler wheel would weigh but its cost could be lower due to the simplicity of its design, compared to a diesel engine.  On the other hand its size could be equally daunting and weight probably similar to traditional generators.

I know that some disagree with me, but let's consider what we think we know.  The only weight described was one from the Merseberg wheel which was estimated to weigh about four pounds. That wheel turned in either direction and I remain convinced that it had duplicate mechanisms, one for each direction.  In which case we can discard half the width and half the number of weights.  Against public opinion I am also satisfied that there were five mechanisms and Bessler said the weights worked in pairs, so lets assume five pairs of weights at four pounds each.  

We are left with a twelve foot wheel of six inches diameter, and ten weights of four pounds each, totalling 40 pounds, capable of turning at 50 RPM.  To bring the total weight/power ratio up we can increase the width but we don't know if it is possible to increase the mass of the individual weights.  We could extend the width of the wheel to say five feet, so multiplying the six inch width by ten and increasing the number of weights by ten gives us a total weight of 400 pounds rotating at 50 RPM.  In the traditional example quoted above, it includes the alternator so we'd have add that to the wheel which would make the comparative sizes roughly the same, although the weight could be less.  Even so I think the comparison works quite well and I think a wheel turning at that speed with that amount of weight would be more than capable of producing enough electricity for our individual needs.

I have deliberately ignored any flywheel effect possibly inherent in Bessler's two-way wheels as we know too little to form any judgement on the likely outcome. 


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