Saturday, 22 February 2014

Wheel update - two mechanisms for proof of principle....again!

It's funny how you can think you know everything there is to know about your design and how it will act and react when in a particular configuration.  My latest design did not react as I had designed it to, but instead of causing me extreme chagrin, it surprised me by acting in an unexpected way.   I knew from the start of this configuration that there were potential variables to the way I finished the design, and I was prepared to substitute those alternatives that would still comply with the initial concept.

Imagine my surprise therefore to discover that the reaction which I had designed to occur within my planned configuration was not only prevented from happening but actually reversed itself and I realised subsequently, it turned out to be the right one!  The correct path of the movement of the weights within my wheel was not intuitively obvious, but actually it makes perfect sense.  How on earth Bessler was able to design them to work as I have now think  that they should work, is just amazing.  I have very briefly imagined that configuration in the past but have dismissed it with scarcely a thought, as being impossible to achieve in a simple mechanical arrangement.

My task now is to remake the wheel with those actions repeated ad infinitum.  I am very doubtful if I can make it with five mechanisms as I have always assumed, so will have to try it with maybe just two. I'm 'fairly' confident that this is the right path, but haven't we all been here before - too many times to dwell on!

Bessler said that when he first tested his wheel it could scarcely turn with just one cross.  This word 'cross' has been a bit of a thorn in my side for many years.  Beside describing a cross as in an X or a plus sign, it can also be used to describe the crossing of a road for example or a level-crossing, as long as the word can also be 'crossing' anything related may apply.

So the phrase seems to imply that the wheel did turn with only one crossing, albeit very slowly and/or unevenly.  In which case one crossing will do, but what does a single crossing consist of? I am unconvinced that one mechanism could achieve a full turn so I am suggesting a minimum of two were needed.  Bessler said that his weight worked in pairs so two mechanisms might comprise one crossing.

I thought that the obsession with the number five suggested five mechanisms and that this number represented the total number of mechanisms possible on one side of the wheel and he had already hinted that more than a single cross was better. So I'm going to make two--mechanism wheel, one on each side, and include my new configuration and hope for success. I should add that my original principle, encoded below, is still the mainstay of my design as without I am certain no success will follow.

One more bit of news; I received an email from a literary agent with the news that a German publisher wishes to translate my book into German and publish it before the end of this year.  Fingers crossed that this time the book appears.  I had a similar experience several years ago but nothing was published then so I am less inclined to get excited about these occasional flurries of interest from the media.

There was the Italian film which was made about Bessler which seems to have sunk without trace after one broadcast; and I'm still waiting to hear about the English documentary promised for this year too.  It looks as if I'm just going to have wait for somebody to invent Bessler's wheel again before anyone really gets excited about the subject.




  1. Good luck with the additional mechanism, John. It seems like we all go through similar emotions at different points of 'discovery'. I sure can relate.
    Also, a belated 'Happy Birthday'! Hope things are well with you and the family!
    Take care,
    Hutch (still pluggin' away at the wheel ...)

  2. Are you using storks gills in your design ?

  3. John,
    speaking of twos, I was hoping that when you updated your age to 69 in your profile, you would change "two son in laws" to "two sons in law".

  4. Thanks Hutch, All's well and I pleased top know your still active in this obsession!

    No storks gills, nor any stork's bills, Ealadha

    Thanks Stevo, good point, I'll rectify it.


  5. On my design the arms hold onto the handles of a storks bill .

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  8. Michel you have been very clear. I like your idea very much and I think it's worthy of further investigation. I had thought that the paired weights might consist of two of the five I had been working with but I like your Y shaped crossing. Well done.


  9. Hi ! John, Michel,
    I was having a muse about the cross as well,
    I thought if in the middle of the wheel there are two discs angled towards each other at the bottom,
    and four cords strung equidistantly across from one rim to the next.
    At the wide top part the cords would be tight, and at the narrow bottom part the cords would be slack.
    With a beam between two opposite cords the tight cord would raise the beam, overbalancing the wheel.
    The horizontal beam would be in a neutral, balanced position.
    As the wheel turns the process repeats.
    I have worked out how to have angled discs on a straight, solid axle.

  10. I've just found a 4x gain in a config where a pair of weights take it in turns to cross the axis, one taking up position near the rim, the other closer to the axle. They swap places once per cycle.

    Each weight generates a constant force of 57.816 N-m, hence with two of them the net input force is 115.632 N-m, which is constant and unvarying throughout the cycle. This is from 1kg weights suspended at 90° on 6 meter armatures (yes it's big, they're just square numbers for now).

    The input force, required to drive the 3 meter main rotor, is 29.098 N-m, constant for all angles of the cycle..

    The asymmetry arises because, acting together, the two weights partially counter-balance each other's positions on the main wheel, whereas the force generated by the raised armatures is unmoderated.

    Thus, as the armatures fall, they cause the wheel to rotate, and at a 1:1 gear ratio 90° of rotation of the armatures causes 90° of counter rotation of the wheel they're attached to, maintaining they're 90° angle..

    Funnily enough, i was initially trying to get it to work the other way, too - trying to get the wheel to overbalance and thus drive the armatures. However i kept getting unity - perfect unity - right up until i extended the armature radii to the point that the weights intersected the axle - at that point the rotor torque showed a decrease in relation to the armature torque. At first i thought "drat, it's a loss mechanism" before realising i could simple invert the drive sequence and use the differential the other way, instead.

    And once i increased the armature radii to the extent that the weights passed clean past the axis and over to the opposite side of the wheel, the differential just got bigger....

    So far i've only done the maths - no mechanism yet. I wonder if we're doing the same thing?

  11. Update: did a measurement in wm2d, blasted unity, again... now to work out what my mistake was.. suffice to say this probably isn't what you're doing... bah.

  12. Vibrator, your honesty is refreshing.

  13. lol cheers but i'm the grip of oe of those times when you're sure you're on the right path, if only you could fit the peices you're working with together properly.. i'm still not thru it yet - few more things to try later.. but i'm still buzzing wih futile enthusiasm, even if i'm not getting anywhere..

  14. A little more thinking,
    exchange the cross beams and cords for the "Masonic A's ", or lazy tongs you would still get weights moving out/in.
    These could be in a Y, pentagram, or a +.
    Also, if the gap were to be arranged with the narrowest point just after the 3 O'clock position, there would be a kiiking action in the right spot.

    To modernize the idea, using a rubber tyre with the right amount of flexibility, so it was bowed out at the top and straight at the bottom with a band of weights attached around the centre , no matter how the wheel turned it would always be top heavy.
    If there was no desire to hide the mechanism two angled axles would make things easier to construct.

  15. Hello John,
    Good to read, you are up and well ... still looking for the machanism.
    How far have come so far...?
    You are right... the single-directed mechanism will be the easiest to be reproduced.
    No more is essential to be made.
    In the present time... no other machanism is required.
    We are looking forward to the first one to find it.
    Are there any bets on that? I heard, that you can bet on anything in Britain...
    Wouldn't that fire up the game a littlebit...?
    Or has anyone given out a prize for it?
    Really like to know... :-)


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