Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The real purpose of Bessler's pendulums.

Work on my wheel has stopped, currently, due to unexpected developments within my family circle.  I may have to leave things 'til my return from holiday.  Unfortunately I will be away on the 300th anniversary, and because finishing the wheel will be delayed, that means my intention to publish everything will also be delayed, but I will get back to work on it as soon as I can.  

I'm sure there may be some who think I'm welching on my promise to share what I've been working on and in order to try to satisfy those who think that way, I will post a few more clues before I go on holiday.  Upon my return I shall try to finish the document and the video asap and publish both freely.

It has often been said that we won't know if a successful wheel was the same as Bessler's or not.  But I think we will know.  I, for one, have based my design on some drawings he left and it will become very clear which ones.

Johann Bessler left dozens of clues about how his wheel worked and  expected that someone would eventually work out all the clues and make a working wheel.  But there have been mistakes, and incorrect assumptions and mostly a complete dismissal of his clues.

(5th clue)
The commonest error is the belief that his comment on the front of His Maschinen Tractate applied strictly to the drawings it contained.

“N.B. 1st May 1733. Due to the arrest, I burned and buried all papers that prove the possibility. However, I have left all demonstrations and experiments since it would be difficult for anybody to see or learn anything about a perpetual motion from them or to decide whether there was any truth in them because no illustration by itself contains a description of the motion; however, taking various illustrations together and combining them with a discerning mind, it will indeed be possible to look for a movement and, finally to find one in them.

In fact only the toys drawings in MT contains useful information.  There are additional hints in MT137 and in the letters 'A' which he used in MT, and there are hints too in some of the illustration numbers.  The remaining drawings he was referring to are the four which appeared in his Das Triumphirende and of course Grundlicher Bericht and in a small way the one at the end of Apologia Poetica.  These four drawings which contain the infamous pendulums also hold almost everything you will need to build his wheel.

It is a source of continual amazement to me that no one seems to have grasped the real reason for the presence of the pendulums. They are there to help you construct Bessler's wheel as he designed it.  I can't put it more plainly than that.  Now I have suspected this for almost the whole time I've been studying Bessler and I have a feeling that I'm not alone.  I think that the others who, like myself, have suspected the true purpose for the pendulums have kept quiet in the hope that they might succeed through tireless experimentation of the many many variations available using the visible clues.


No pendulum was ever described by a witness.

Bessler said that they were required to even out any inconsistencies in the rotation of the wheel, but the truly equable nature of the wheel's rotation was commented on in writing more than once.

I suggested that the pendulums were there to make the rather dull illustrations more interesting, but even as I wrote that I in 1997 I was already convinced that the true reason was so that someone "with a discerning mind etc etc."

I have other clues of a more specific nature concerning the drawings which I will post in the next few days.

PS There is a copyright notice at the bottom of the page but I have no objection to these pages being commented on elsewhere and the material copied and pasted as long as proper acknowledgemetn to me is given.  A reference such as  http://johncollinsnews.blogspot.co.uk/   will suffice.



  1. Why don't you bring your commodore 64 computer with you on holidays .

    1. Maybe for the same reason you don't either?

  2. It seems to me that all of these assertions would be of more use after the fact.

  3. I'm kind of in agreement with Chris.
    If someone built a wheel that ran on gravity (or gravity facilitating an energy/mass transfer between descending and ascending side weights - for Ken), then he could say "this is what the pendulums were for; this is where the discerning mind should look, this is why gravity works", etc.

    But no one has.

    Looking forward to more specific clues.

    The paradox referred to in the last entry is shown here with a balance:


  4. @ JC

    Sorry to read that your research has bogged down. Yes, LIFE has an annoying habit of getting in the way of our hobbies!

    "But there have been mistakes, and incorrect assumptions and mostly a complete dismissal of his clues."

    Only the most "profound" of Bessler researchers will be able to recognize and PROPERLY interpret the MOST important of Bessler's clues. It's been my experience that only "right track" Bessler mobilists are doing this currently. This is why I am VERY curious to see how you have interpreted the MANY DT portrait clues which are the ULTIMATE key to solving the Bessler wheel mystery.

    I wouldn't completely dismiss the illustrations in MT. The first 20 DO illustrate SOME of the mechanical principles used in Bessler's wheels. As the Master said, they are the place to BEGIN to "look for a motion". Yes, the "toys page" is certainly important because it shows the actions of INTERCONNECTED levers and it was the careful interconnection of weighted levers inside of Bessler's wheels that coordinated their motions during drum rotation so that their weights' CoM would continuously remain on the drum's descending side to produce a stable driving torque.

    "It is a source of continual amazement to me that no one seems to have grasped the real reason for the presence of the pendulums. They are there to help you construct Bessler's wheel as he designed it. I can't put it more plainly than that."

    Mechanically, the pendulums are NOT necessary for the operation of Bessler's wheels and I suspect they were probably only attached during public demonstrations in order to mesmerize the audience and make them feel they had gotten value for the money that they paid for admission. Swinging motions are always more visually "exciting" than merely rotating ones! Bessler was an excellent showman in the ranks of P. T. Barnum and Houdini!

    I notice that in the diagrams, the pendulums are always shown at the limit of their oscillations and, again, this was probably done to convey to a reader a sense of motion for an otherwise static picture. Yes, you probably can find some notable angles formed by projected lines from the pendulum arms and their intersections with other objects, such as the drum's rim, in the illustrations. Most likely Bessler did this on purpose, BUT that does not necessarily mean they have any relevance to the internal mechanism of his wheels. However, I shall continue to remain "receptive" to having my mind changed about this.

  5. So what of one that looks where Bessler said to look for the answer ? In the MT and the Bible and at the same time considering his clues . You are accusative in your assumption that everyone is limiting themselves except for you . Your wheel better work John or I'm gonna give you a noogie .

    1. Wagner makes reference to certain interesting remarks that Bessler alledgedly made, probably in interviews for local newspapers of the time.

      In one he says that Bessler claimed the working principle of his wheels was described in the words of Jesus! I have looked through various "red letter" editions of the New Testament trying to find ANYTHING Jesus might have said that would describe the operation of the weights within Bessler's wheels. So far, my search has not been successful.

      Wagner also mentions that Bessler said the principle of his wheels was used by children playing street games. I can only imagine that it would have been a game in which kids balanced each other on a board placed onto a fulcrum or made a metal barrel hoops (placed on barrels to hold their wooden staves tightly together) continuously roll along by periodically applying torque to them with sticks. Anybody else have any other ideas for a kids' street game to which Bessler might have been referring?

  6. Primemignonite30 May 2012 at 04:54

    John, what you wrote just after "(5th clue)" is on-fire I think.

    Honestly, I've also suspected this and for a while now. In the Merseberg drawings, some aspects of certain things there are just plain weird.

    Perhaps it was that he designed the large pendulum set mainly to serve as a hook upon which to hang some really "juicy", telling clues.

    And, pertinently, you suggest that many "have kept quiet" regarding this.

    Yes, I think so too. (But, unlike some others that do not enough, and shout, puff, cheekily declare and YELL their way to the attention of the overly patient/enduring.)

    I believe you are on the dextral path, all right.


    And speaking of this, now that I have self-animated into action . . .

    To-present, we see for this topic's page, all this following

    "LIFE"; "PROPERLY"; "MOST"; "VERY"; "MANY"; "ULTIMATE"; "DO"; "SOME"; "BEGIN"; "INTERCONNECTED"; "NOT"; "BUT" and, I am sure, to be continued on, and on, and on.

    It would make an interesting study to actually hear this most peculiar, way-too-present and forward personage actually speak, and, to listen for all the inordinate emphases of verbal ejaculating as doubtless would done, if @technoguy's writing to-present might serve as any indication of future performance. The audience would be in stitches with he oblivious completely to the sad dynamic.

    What a terrible, impudent child this whatever must have been.

    Yes, what is it, actually?




    Young, overly-wordy pup?

    None of the above?

    Perhaps we will never know.

    Well, we surely will not until it steps out from behind the curtain of it's safe anonymity.

    Speaking of that, as for myself, I am over at B.W.F., to be seen there in the "Gallery of Rogues" in Community Buzz, first put together and maintained still by J.C. himself, and with a real name too, just as below.

    To close this round, this following one was especially puffy and delicious, as a declaration of some asserted truth or whatever

    "Only the most "profound" of Bessler researchers will be able to recognize and PROPERLY interpret the MOST important of Bessler's clues. . . ." - @technoguy

    Now really, are we not lucky to have been informed so? I guess we'll all be sleeping better for it tonight.

    And, this one cannot be left just dangling without reflection

    "Mechanically, the pendulums are NOT necessary for the operation of Bessler's wheels . . . " - @technoguy

    Without having an actual operating wheel, how could this possibly be known by such a one, as our wordy androgine?

    This is stated absolutely and without qualifying, that following not doing the so-needed trick. (Sorry.)

    This baby needs attention, and by gosh is he to get it (as in diapers changed?).

    Perhaps, as would be ideal, he might develop just a modicum of humility?


    Given this personality type (as previously discussed) it is likely 'not in the cards'; so, it will just have to be the sledge hammer! So-be-it.)



    1. Thank you, yet again, Primemignonite (James) for your devastingly astute observations. They help to elevate this humble blog to truly stratospheric heights.

      You wrote:

      ""LIFE"; "PROPERLY"; "MOST"; "VERY"; "MANY"; "ULTIMATE"; "DO"; "SOME"; "BEGIN"; "INTERCONNECTED"; "NOT"; "BUT" and, I am sure, to be continued on, and on, and on."

      I assure everyone that my emphatic words do NOT contain a secret code that, when properly decrypted, will reveal the FINAL secret of Bessler's wheels. When I have that secret, totally, I will be happy to reveal it and you will not need to decode anything (mainly because I will have ALREADY done all of the decoding for you!).

      "Yes, what is it, actually? Man? Woman? Teenager? Young, overly-wordy pup? None of the above? Perhaps we will never know."

      I MAY eventually reveal my true identity. But for the moment I can only say that I can PROVE that I am NOT a robot. No, not a full robot, but, rather, a more advanced "cyborg" whose organic brain has been "integrated" into a one-directional Bessler's wheel! As a cyborg the concepts of gender and age are, of course, inapplicable as far as I am concerned.

      "Without having an actual operating wheel, how could this [that the wheels could operate without the pendula] possibly be known by such a one, as our wordy androgine?"

      If you study the various wheel illustrations, you will notice that the pendula are always attached to the axles via cranks such that the two pendula are counter poised or balanced AGAINST each other. They in no way apply any NET torque to the wheels when the latter are stationary or turning. Also, there was NO transfer of energy / mass between the pendula weights as they oscillated and their individual energy / masses remained constant (accept for a very small amount lost to the surrounding air molecules due to aerodynamic drag with each swing) as they oscillated from one side to the other side of the axle's vertical support members.

    2. That's assuming, TG, that these pendulums were connected to the same solid wheel axle. I could imagine that one pendulum was connected to one part of the mechanism -i.e. regulating or influencing that part needed for rotation in a given direction- and the other, opposite pendulum for the other.

      I have a feeling that John is right in that the pendula were there to help (to construct) as they very well may illustrate part of the *internal* mechanism and are not just "show". Possibly, to help erect/detract the internal overbalancing armatures (the John Worton armature). Normally these pendula would be internal to the wheel and invisble. There's a very good reason he shows them deliberately on the outside in that drawing - a big fat clue in plain sight. But that's just my subjective opinion. I did find, in my humble experiments, that pendula can help with the armatures and do considerably lessen the force required to shift them quickly in and out.

      That is not to say that I don't agree with your interconnected-levers concept, which may very well also have been used, but I do doubt if that was the only principle used.

  7. As I've said before about the Weissenstein wheel, there is a large discrepancy in the periodic time of the physical pendulums as drawn (3.7 to 3.8 seconds; not sensitive to reasonable changes in the pendulum weights), and the periodic time of the wheel, which was reported to be 2.3 to 2.4 seconds per revolution (i.e. 25 to 26rpm).

    The only possibilities are i) the drawing is wrong, ii) the pendulums were not connected, or iii) the pendulums were being overdriven way past their resonant frequency. I think ii) is most likely.

    1. Hmmm - I remember you mentioning that. Is it possible, in your opinion, that the pendulums were internal to the wheel (as I asserted) but shown for illustration of principle only? In other words, if they were internal to the wheel (and their size/period modified) they were indeed connected?

    2. Yes, if they were a lot smaller, to bring their natural periodic time up to about the same as was reported for the wheel, they could have been connected.

    3. Thanks Arktos, that's important information.

  8. Guys,..Those external pendulums had to be speed limiters.The cranks that drove them were to flimsy to be involved in any kind of power output.

    1. I agree - they may have acted as speed limiters as well (remember the box of weights descending and the wheel speed remaining constant) but I think they were in reality internal to the wheel (and of different dimension/period).

    2. Don't forget that Bessler could ADJUST the oscillatory frequency of a wheel's pendula by merely sliding their larger weights up and down their vertical support rods by the SAME amount. Most likely, the weights had holes through their diameters and the rods had small holes drilled in them at various locations along their lengths. He could move a weight up and down its rod and then secure it at a particular location with a pin.

      He did not actually need to use the pendula to limit the speed of a drum's rotation. That would happen automatically as the drum reached its maximum terminal velocity (this was due to CF acting on the ascending side weights as discussed in previous blog entries). However, IF the pendula's "natural" oscillatory frequency was adjusted to a value LESS than a drum's maximum terminal rotation rate when unloaded, then that would result in the axle experiencing a sort of continuous inertial drag as its two axle cranks tried to force the pendula to oscillate at a frequency higher than they were set for. This would certainly alter the maximum terminal rotation rate of the drum.

      Why attach the pendula to a drum's axle cranks, aside from providing one's audience with a more interesting demonstration? Most likely, because it allowed a drum to rotate "unloaded" for extended periods of time at a lower terminal rotation rate. If one could use the pendula to halve a drum's maximum unloaded terminal rotation rate, then, for any given duration test, the drum would only complete half as many rotations and its internal components would only experience half as much "wear and tear". Thus, the pendula could be used to STRETCH the maximum amount of time that a drum could rotate before it experienced a critical part failure that would stop it. Indeed, the pendula might actually allow a wheel to run for twice as long before its internal mechanism failed!

    3. "He did not actually need to use the pendula to limit the speed of a drum's rotation". I agree to a large degree, TG, but that's only true for a load that tries to stop the drum (countertorque), i.e. lifting a weight or driving machinery. When the opposite happens, i.e. lowering a box of rocks or weights, as in one demo, the terminal rotation rate would not prevent the load (lowering the weights) the drum from spinning out of control and perhaps even self-destructing from centrifugal forces.

      The documented fact that the wheel/drum rotation was stable once at speed and used to lowering weights, is very impressive and IMHO proof of some regulating, limiting mechanism. I suspect that indeed the pendula were used to just that, and maybe also to limit wear and tear in order to minimize part failure, as you suggest.

  9. The most important thing about the pendulums is they were never witnessed.
    If bessler said they were to regulate the rotation, but never used them, then obviously, he didn't need them for that purpose. They couldn't have been inside the wheels, there would be no way to mount them on the axle.
    Trevor is right, they couldn't have been for power output, but not because the cranks were too flimsy. Pendulums don't have any power that hasn't already been given to them. They are like any weight in a gravitational field.
    So they weren't used and weren't necessary.

    If they held clues to construction of an interior mechanism, for instance, then why the need to "keep quiet" about it? *Anything* can be a clue if you want it to be, it depends on your understanding of how it relates to physics.

    1. The fact that they were not witnessed, but very prominently depicted in the drawing, is remarkable and in my eyes all the more proof that they were in fact internal to the wheel. Likely in different dimension, and period, but nevertheless used. Likely not directly connected to the axle, but to regulate/activate other parts - I think the "armature".

    2. Then each "armature" ( a confusing way to refer to a lever) would need its own little regulating pendulum. Pendulums don't activate other things.
      Unless you're Milkovic.
      Do you really think each mechanism needed its own regulator? That would be a nightmare of an engine to "tune".
      I'm highly skeptical of internal pendulums.

    3. Doug wrote:

      "The most important thing about the pendulums is they were never witnessed."

      Just because we do not have written testimony about the pendula being sighted, does not mean no one saw them (or as they say, "Lack of evidence is NOT evidence of lack"). At best, our knowledge of Bessler, his wheels, and their demonstrations and tests is fragmentary.

      I suspect that the REAL reason we haven't, so far, found any written descriptions of the pendula being SEEN in use is because they were only used during PUBLIC demonstrations where mostly uneducated people would attend. Such people would not be writing letters about the demonstrations or be interviewed by newspaper reporters.

      Now consider the situation of the educated people who could read and write and SOME of whose letters we have (thanks to JC). These people would have been the "big wigs" (literally!) who showed up to "examine" Bessler's wheels and then render their "expert" opinions about them. The last thing they would have wanted was to be trying to examine a drum's axle bearings while two oversized pendula were whizzing past them! They might even have viewed such as encumberance as Bessler's DELIBERATE attempt to avoid having them examine the axle bearings and would then have had any suspicions about him and his wheel that they had further heightened. Bessler, to avoid this issue and possible prevent the sale of his invention, simply removed the pendula. Perhaps if questioned about them at official examinations, he simply said they were "for show" and were not really needed and that would end any further discussion of them. Technically, he was telling the official examiners the truth, but I bet that he did not also mention that the pendula allowed a wheel to run for a much longer period of time before critical internal part occurred. A "good" salesmen never mentions the negative aspects of what he is trying to sell!

      Apparently, the Weissenstein wheel's nearly two month long duration test WAS performed without the pendula. This was Bessler's last "big" wheel and, obviously, he had learned much from his earlier, more failure prone models. Now he had stronger cords and an improved method of attaching them to the levers more securely. With these improvements, the Weissenstein wheel sailed through almost two months of continuous running and, quite possibly, could have run much longer! I wonder if it could have made it to the 6 month mark?

    4. Doug, the term armature is not just a confusing way to refer to a lever. It is indeed an armature - it expands and contracts, after all (and fits the "storks bill" clue). It acts like a lever, yes, but that's something else.

      Milkovic doesn't simply use pendulums, he uses parametric oscillation, which is quite another kettle of fish - and remarkably powerful as I have verified myself. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Bessler had stumbled across the same phenomenon.

  10. Look's as if I'll have to do a little more to convince you; tomorrow.


  11. Go ahead try me!

  12. Internal pendulums indeed ... five in my view . Still one is two and two are one and then two are one and one .

    1. There's that five again... They work in pairs, right? Three or four to provide drive and one or two to regulate/limit. Am I close?

  13. "Unlike all other automata, such as clocks or springs, or other hanging weights which require winding up, or whose duration depends on the chain which attaches them, these weights, on the contrary, are the essential parts, and constitute the perpetual motion itself; since from them is received the universal movement which they must exercise so long as they remain out of the centre of gravity; and when they come to be placed together, and so arranged one against another that they can never obtain equilibrium, or the punctum quietus which they unceasingly seek in their wonderfully speedy flight, one or other of them must apply its weight at right angles to the axis, which in its turn must also move."
    " Must " . What does this imply ? The weights must exercise and the axis must also move in its turn . What this means to me is that at the extension of the movement the weights find themselves in a precarious position in which at the next possible preponderant moment one will be lifted and the other will fall . In this scenario if they can avoid the middle the cycle can continue .

    1. In the design I am pursuing, the weighted levers always align with their drum radial supports and rest their attached weights on their rim stops by the time their pivots reach the 3:00 position of a CW rotating drum. If the CoM of the drum's 8 weights is to be continuously kept on the drum's descending side during its rotation, then this action MUST happen and, indeed, will always happen somewhat BEFORE the 3:00 position is reached. I believe that it was this action which Bessler was describing when he wrote "...one or other of them must apply its weight at right angles to the axis, which in its turn must also move."

    2. Again , the design I am pursuing/promoting is not an overbalanced wheel but a wheel driven a by force created by an ingenious arrangement of weights whereby a pound is causing the raising of more than a pound . If the principle could be built into a wheel that is continuously heavy on one side and light on the other that is what I would be talking about ...but again I am not . Bessler alluded to " heavy and full on one side , empty and light on the other , just as it should be " but I don't think he was talking about the wheel but the mechanism driving it .

  14. I think if someone gets a working wheel it should not be considered good enough unless they can prove it is the Bessler wheel .

    - Ealadha

    1. Why, Ealadha? Proving that it is possible -using Bessler's concepts or not- will at the very least provide proof of principle and automatically vindicate Bessler.

    2. @ Ealadha

      Obtaining ANY type of WORKING wheel would be a MAJOR achievement and news around the world overnight. However, as a "purist", my focus is on BESSLER'S wheels EXCLUSIVELY.

      I have, literally, DOZENS of clues that NO ONE, other than myself, is even aware of yet let alone "decoded". They have not appeared anywhere in print, but they ALL point to a PARTICULAR internal mechanism that Bessler used. I will, consequently, NOT accept any design offered as being the one Bessler found, whether it is a runner or not, UNLESS it is in agreement with the clues that I've found.

  15. John ,
    I too am considering publishing my whole concept, what it is based on and the videos along with the additional aspect I have made reference to . It seems that what people actually believe in their hearts, that no feat of engineering or any principle can be built into a wheel to make it continue to rotate without consuming something as a fuel, is impenetrable . I am about to give up and give the world everything that I have as far as Bessler is concerned . If it is not valid and not worth anything then so be it ... I am tired of all of these opinions , secrecy and games .

    1. I applaud that, Chris. My hat off. Consider this: even if it turns out not to be completely functional, it can/should always contribute to better understanding and aid others. I am convinced many of us may have parts of the puzzle. Together, we can make it happen - or at least stand a better chance.

    2. http://www.besslerwheel.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5296

  16. Go for it Chris, and good luck.


  17. I personally feel that if Bessler got it right,then there has to be more than one way to accomplish it.

    1. Agreed. I think Asa Jackson proved alternative approaches are possible.

      However, one must still confront Bessler's AP quote:

      "Even according to the ideas my enemies express in their writings, my Wheel is the true device, and is indeed, per se, a genuine Perpetuum Mobile. None better will ever be found upon this earth, for without the principle that I alone possess, there can be no real perpetual motion. Whoever seeks another method is deceiving himself, for my device does not need winding; it runs according to “preponderance”, and turns everything else along with it; so long as its material shall endure, it will revolve of its own accord. On one side it is heavy and full; on the other empty and light, just as it should be. That which hitherto has been impossible, was vouchsafed to me to discover."

      It certainly sounds like Bessler believed that HIS basic design, based upon the mechanical principles which he alone had found, was the ONLY one that would work. I suspect that he was right in terms of his design being the only type of constant torque rotary mechanical motion possible. However, Asa Jackson's wheel, although it rotated, depended upon a central structure that continously rocked up and down to deliver torque to the outer wheel in PULSES. By overlapping the pulsed torques of several central structures it IS possible to produce a constant driving torque, but, even so, I think Bessler's design would produce the most stable torque at any rotation rate.


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