Sunday, 19 January 2020

Bessler’s Wheel and Obstacles Encountered During Build.

As you will know I have been striving to finish my Bessler’s wheel.  Given several requests to finish the wheel or shut up, I thought I’d try to give some idea of why it is taking so long and the difficulties to overcome.  If I give away some small clues along the way, I don’t have a problem with that.  You may well find that what follows is utterly confusing as I try to describe some problems I encountered, without illustrations, but perhaps you’ll get some idea of the difficulties I’m trying to resolve and recognise them from your own builds.  These same problems are typical in this kind of research if you actually do  hands-on builds.

The concept I’m working with is very simple and I can understand why Bessler feared that once people knew how it worked they might think the price he was asking was too high.  In addition there is Karl’s comment about it being so simple a carpenter’s boy could make one if he was allowed to study it first.  However I think his comment is misleading; even though it may be easy to understand, designing the mechanisms so that they operate correctly is another matter altogether.  You might look at the workings of a clock and understand how it works, but making a copy would be difficult and you might not understand how different parts interact and their purposes could easily be misunderstood. Imagine trying to do that without the device available to you, just some brief descriptions explaining how it worked. That is what we are trying to do.

A carpenter’s boy, meant apprentice, and in those days it was a way for young men to acquire skills in various trades.  Apprentices were formally bound to Master craftsmen for several years, without pay but provided with board and lodging. Upon release from his service to his  master, an apprentice would have become a highly skilled craftsman so we shouldn’t dismiss Karl’s comment as implying the wheel was easy to make, I think he was suggesting that the concept was easy to understand.

In my version there are five mechanisms, which I know goes against current opinion.  The mechanical action is quite complex, but nothing as complicated as a watch for instance, but seeing a working version where all the parts have been perfected to work together, would make it easy to copy, whereas only knowing the concept and designing it to work is not as easy.  I found that the mechanical arrangement leads to some parts interfering with the each other, so I needed to provide more room for each part to operate.  The extra room has to be found within the thickness of the wheel rather than its diameter.  This requires longer or taller pivot points than one might at first assume, because one part of the mechanism needs to be separated and held apart the other part of the mechanism.  If viewed upright on its axle, then there needs to be enough room within the thickness of the interior to allow all parts to operate without touching each other.  But to do this one has to get the moving parts in the right order through the thickness of the wheel so that each piece can operate smoothly without interfering with the other parts.  I know, this is hard to understand without seeing a drawing.

I believe I’m in between the point at which Bessler said he had found an action but it still took him time to design the whole working arrangement and the finished wheel He made a similar point in his message on the front of his Maschinen Tractate (MT)

There are a number of nuts and bolts, some of which have to hold two or three pieces together without allowing them to rotate against each other, whereas other nuts and bolts have to allow the pieces they are holding together to rotate against each other.  This is easy enough to arrange, but in some cases two of the pieces being allowed to rotate against each other cannot be allowed to rotate in such a way that the bottom of the nearest bolt is not clear of the moving part during the path of its rotation. So even these have to be separated a little.

His first wheel at Gera, was only four inches thick which leaves little room for the mechanisms to operate.  But although I did not concern myself with trying to fit everything within the limited space of four inches, in the process of avoiding mechanical interference I found a solution, which was to apply a slight double bend in the levers which altered their path at a particular point along their length thus avoiding the collision.

In addition to these factors some mechanical actions have to be designed to work in one direction only, so that they thrust in one direction but then return as a consequence of the wheel’s rotation.

Dealing with cords, ropes, string, cables, chains or belts - what ever you wish to call them - requires more ingenuity because there are points during rotation where the connecting material is taut and others where it is loose and in danger of fouling other mechanisms, or parts of them.  So keeping the cords out of the way means they need to always have a small amount of tension in order to keep them clear of all other pieces.

We know that Bessler was familiar with the workings of the church organ, so such concerns as outlined above, might well have been customarily encountered and for which there were remedies.  In my opinion, Bessler’s response to the question of springs indicated that springs were used to maintain tension in the cords, but had no part in helping the mechanisms.

Fitting the mechanisms on to the backplate or wood disc which I use, is simple but I found that the wood disc was never big enough.  The path of the mechanical actions can be estimated but for some reason although I always tried to place the mechanisms where I had worked out that they needed to go, I would then discover that the mechanisms were shooting over the edge of the disc and either catching onto the side edge of the disc or striking the floor when it was attached to the axle and it’s stand.

These are routine problems I have encountered from time to time over many years, but I am getting there.  Soon I hope to finish, but my fear is that my wheel won’t work properly without my having to unstick a mechanism or help a rope to move or some other snag which may cause problems because I lack the necessary skill and equipment.  If that happens I’ll just have to publish everything, but I was hoping to avoid the problem Ken had in publishing the design of an unproven device. But I will of course publish my design freely and without charge.

One more thing, as a consequence of comments in the preceding blog, I would just point out the difficulties described above would not show up in a sim, so although it might show a successful build, the detail for the build would still require considerable experimentation, trial and error.

JC


51 comments:

  1. look anything like this?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deA6KbNZft0

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    1. No, fortunately! Wow that was a few years ago, but it was a step in the right direction I think.

      JC

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  2. John Collins, I've only built two or three wheels with "cords / strings". The first problem I had was trying to get them all the same length and then stretching became another problem.
    I recently realized that measuring tape might work a lot better. I have a small one on a key chain. The tape is only about 1/4 inch wide and won't stretch.
    FWEIW Sam

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    1. Good idea Sam. Bessler could have used catgut or sheep’s intestines but your idea is probably more practical. 😃

      JC

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    2. Assuming that Sam's measuring tape is printed on a thin springy steel strip then connecting parts together with it can cause problems when the parts move closer together and then flex the strips between them. They can then act like springs and prevent parts from getting close together fast enough. Instead one can use thin chains if he does not mind some noise. Bessler probably used catgut or cords that he stretched as much as possible before cutting them to size so that when stress was later applied to them by parts moving apart inside a turning drum they could not be stretched more than a certain length. His connectedness principle may have been necessary, but it can cause a lot of construction problems.

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  3. John writes "If that happens I’ll just have to publish everything, but I was hoping to avoid the problem Ken had in publishing the design of an unproven device."

    "Proven" can be a very subjective word when it comes to pm wheels. Although he does not have a working physical wheel yet Ken B does consider the wheel he claims Bessler describes in his hidden DT portrait clues as being "proven". But that "proven" is only to HIS satisfaction, based on HIS analysis of the DT portrait clues, and HIS wm2d simulations that indicate it works. Without working physical wheels built BY OTHERS based on his analysis there's still the possibility that his solution is wrong. It's easy to dismiss his approach, but when I think about it it's really the only practical approach for someone with limitations on what they can build for whatever reasons like poor craftsmanship, poor materials, poor equipment, poor health, etc.

    You may eventually have to settle for your version of Bessler's wheel also being only subjectively "proven" to "your satisfaction" meaning no working physical wheels by others and only YOUR own tests that convince you it could work if it was actually built. It would be nice though if you had some accurate simulations that suggested it could work if properly built. At a minimum without any simulations it would be nice if you could get whatever you have built to make more than 1/5 of a complete rotation after starting from a complete standstill while showing some acceleration as you VERY gently manually pushed any colliding parts out of the way of each other by applying small forces only perpendicular to the plane of the disc on which you have the parts mounted so those forces don't actually aid the wheel's turning. I recommend using a long thin wooden dowel for that so you avoid actually touching anything with your fingers.

    Like Ken, you can then leave the final objective proof of your wheel to others "better equipped" to do simulations and builds using whatever geometries, masses, spring tensions, cord lengths, etc that you say Bessler used. If you are right then eventually someday a working physical wheel by someone else should come from it. Meanwhile like Ken you can proclaim to the world that you have finally found the secret of Bessler's wheels and, as in his case, who's to say you're wrong unless they have actually made an accurate physical model of your wheel that they can show does not work?

    Henry L.

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    1. Arranging to have a sim made of my design in the event that my wheel fails for what ever reason, is a good idea.

      JC

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  4. It is because even if you can't get your build to work properly a well built sim will show in the virtual world how your ideas will mechanically operate including the full range of expected movements of the parts that makes it up. Without the limitations of lack of internal room for necessary actions, passing, & binding issues, or for cords to stretch or get in the way, as builds are sometimes prone. It's a higher level of provenance above diagrams & drawings. Especially if it is unique & can clearly show physically how CoE Law can be violated which is the Holy Grail of this pursuit.

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    1. If KenB is right then the CoE is not violated by B's wheels because the energy coming out of them was already in them in the mass m of the weights and levers because of E= mc^2.

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  5. How long does it take to do a simulation? Would it be more than 10 minuets, less than 10 minuets, how long?? Sam Peppiatt

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  6. Often builders build as they go. They start with a general idea but it's not exactly a blue print with dimensions. Then as they build they realize that there is a more simple way to achieve the same thing so change in favor of that more simple form. This often means starting again with the mech. Or they find that they haven't anticipated future operational problems with the mech dimensions so start again to allow for them. We've all done it. Two steps forward & one step backwards. It takes time & resources to duplicate & design as you go. A build that you think could be knocked up in a weekend ends up taking months or years. Mainly because the idea wasn't workable in the first place, so you keep changing things.

    A simplified sim can be knocked up in a few hours, with coffee breaks. During that time, when more efficient ways of doing things present themselves, or when you want to change out something for another way, it can be done at the same time by saving the old sim and using that as the template for the new iteration.

    If the basic simplified principles seem promising then a more complex sim can be built with lots of bells & whistles for changing inputs & monitoring outputs to confirm or deny what you believe will happen when the sim is run. If the more complete sim still looks promising,& it is accelerating for example from a standing start, then the sim often can be built in another way or two and ordinary energy losses such as frictions introduced to the sim. The alternative mechanical modus operandi confirms your suspicions one way or another. These sims usually cannibalize the previous sim so also can be built within a few hours or less.

    Sometimes complex mechanical actions require more thinking time than actual sim building time. Often I take coffee breaks & leave sims for a day or two & then tweak them because my best ideas & workarounds ie. the clearest thinking happens first thing in the morning with the first cup of coffee.

    Like all things sims take practice to learn, & you also learn about yourself. But more than that they require the ability to think clearly which also gets better with practice. Rubbish in rubbish out. But years of build time & frustrations can be reduced to days, & then you have confidence to proceed with a real build, or understand where you went wrong. The freedom to start over with a new idea & not fret over that build in the basement you have been thinking about & building for the last decade which stubbornly refuses to keep turning & you're not sure why.

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    1. Thank you for your advice. I wonder if I can get hold of a free sim software?

      JC

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    2. The easiest one to learn to use is probably WM2D which is used by a lot of engineering students. But, the publishers are charging a small fortune now to buy or lease the latest version and no more free trial downloads of it if they think you're unlikely to buy or lease it in the future. Hopefully, you can find a friend who can provide you with an older version to use. It's really worth the investment of a few hours to learn how to use it. It will forever change the way you work on your wheel and could make the difference between success and failure.

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  7. Thanks for your time and consideration. That's about what I figured. They are not what they are cracked up to be. And for me it would take even longer--------.
    maybe ten times longer. I can do better then that, with a hack saw, a box of files, drill press, and lath. Sam Peppiatt

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  8. Lmao Sam. Anon above you is on the money. When you pay your bills do you do electronic transfers over your phone. Or do you write a check and post it, or take a trip to the bank and fill in some forms with the bank teller, then go home. Both methods require the same amount of planning but the execution time is vastly different. A simple sim can be built in 10 minutes and 50 variations done in a night. Each to their own!

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    1. You should be laughing at me; I am a big dummy. And; I may not be as smart as you are or as fast. However, I can think for myself. I don't need you or any one else to tell me how to run my life--------------Sam peppiatt

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  9. So far Ken B has published what he considers to be "the" genuine design Bessler used and it sounds like John will soon be doing the same. What happens though if during this year we see several more people appear who make the same claim? Each will publish a design in some way claiming it is based on his interpretations of never before seen clues that only he has found in the Bessler material and that his tests "prove" his wheel works. However, all of the designs and clues will be different from each other and none of the discoverers will reveal exactly how he "tested" his wheel to "prove" it works. Without others who make accurate physical models of any one of the wheels that definitely show it does not work that wheel's discoverer can continue to claim that only he has found "the" genuine Bessler wheel design.

    Eventually even if it takes years all of the wheels will be tested when accurate physical models of them are built by others to see if they do actually work in the real world. Chances are most will fail to do so and be quickly dismissed as mistakes or even hoaxes by their discoverers. However what if two of them actually do work when physical models of them are built and tested by others. It's improbable that Bessler could have invented two completely different working pm wheel designs in a single lifetime. That means that one of the wheels is Bessler's and the other is not or that BOTH are not his wheel. If one wheel is accepted as being Bessler's then the discoverer of the other wheel should not feel like a loser. In fact that other discoverer should take much pride in knowing that he is actually another Bessler! If neither working wheel is accepted as being Bessler's then both discoverers can take pride that they are other Besslers but then we still don't know how Bessler's original wheels worked. Of course all of the wheels being presented as "the" wheel Bessler invented might be shown by later accurate physical builds by others to not work. If that happens then all the discoverers become losers and we're right back to square one again with things the same as they have been for three centuries so far and us not knowing how Bessler's original wheels worked. That's a very depressing thought so let's hope it doesn't happen that way.

    Henry L.

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    1. Henry L, I have a sneaking suspicion that you are really Ken. As others have pointed out, your design purports to be Bessler’s but it’s too complex with all that string. Also many have suggested your design won’t work, but a build would prove it one way or the other, but is it likely that anyone would go to the trouble to build it given its complexity and doubts about its validity? It looks as though your design will never be disproved.

      JC

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    2. John Collins, You have to admit, he did come up with the perfect design!
      If it can't be built, it can't ever be wrong! Sam Peppiatt

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    3. No John I'm not Ken B. But I have read the major books on pm over the years and I am now reading my way through his giant book (and I mean giant because the soft cover one I got weighs about 4 pounds and looks like that book on the table in the first DT portrait and is maybe even bigger!). I've exchanged a few emails with Ken using the address he gives on his website and he is very insistent that the wheel design he gives in his book is "the" exact one Bessler used and that anyone not working with it is not working on Bessler's wheel even though he thinks he is. I'm sure you would say the same thing about your wheel. Of course I expect him to say that after going to the trouble of writing and publishing a giant book about it. He also says that he thinks other different designs that can work are possible and wishes the best of luck to anyone building them.

      I haven't gotten to the chapter yet that gives the detailed instructions to duplicate Bessler's first 3 foot Gera wheel but he claims it can be built in only a few weeks by a person of "average crafting ability". He says using strong sewing tread or string for the cords will prevent stretching and their ends are attached by little snap on metal clips or hooks to thin steel pins inserted into the wheel's levers. This allows them to be quickly replaced if one breaks because a wheel was run for too long. You can use regular thread or string because the weights at the ends of the levers only weigh 6 ounces each. This wheel is really just a toy for demonstrations so don't expect it to power a generator to heat and light up your home!

      The model wheel one builds must be VERY carefully balanced during the building if it is to work when done. That's because the center of gravity of its 8 weights and levers is only 1/16 inch horizontally away from the center of the axle which is a lot less than I was expecting. That makes its torque very low and finally all metal to metal contacts must be well oiled to reduce friction to near zero. He thinks the wheel is easy to build but I think it will be a challenge even for a skilled builder which I have never been. Whether anyone will actually ever build it is anybody's guess but its something different that has come along and I'm sure many will be tempted to give it a try. If I was not disabled at the moment I might even give it a try. Nothing else in the past worked for me so maybe this one would be different. When one gets desperate enough for success he will eventually try anything that looks like it might work.

      Henry L.

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    4. Lol! JC's wheel gets rejected because it doesn't have eight levers and KB's gets rejected because it has too many cords. The only thing that really matters is if they or any other wheel actually works when it's built. You can argue about which one is really Bessler's after that happens and don't be too surprised if you can't get everyone to agree on any of the working wheels actually being Bessler's. Even if a working wheel is finally produced that the majority think is "it" there will still be guys showing up claiming that it isn't and that they finally have the real "it" and can prove it with the "clues" they've found. I don't think the actual design Bessler built will ever be found or confirmed.

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  10. It will be exciting! To see it run; you'll know it when you see it, there won't be any question---------------------------------Sam Peppiatt

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  11. John, I have used the retractable key chains in my designs. They use a spiral clock spring for their return mechanism and are very effective. You can get them with a thin Kevlar cord, a steel cable and a small chain. Their are different amounts of force available as well. I have found them to be quite nice actuall.... KEY BAK located in California.... but are also available on Amazon

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    1. You can get them here

      https://www.amazon.com/s?k=KEY+BAK&ref=nb_sb_noss

      but they aren't cheap.

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    2. Thanks for that Gravittea, I’m overwhelmed by the number and variety of options! My problem is that I need to see them and handle them to find out what strength is in their springs. Also they may be too large for my current build although I could probably use them on a larger build. I’m going to see if I can access them here in the England, so thanks again.

      JC

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    3. Having looked at them further, they won’t work on my wheel, but thank you nevertheless, they made me think more about it I have come up with another simple and cheap solution.

      JC

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    4. another point about these the spring pressure is very uniform

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  12. Automatic retractable small dog & cat walking leashes.

    Dime a dozen.

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  13. Fwiw here's a russian that made a wheel using rachet mechs on the swinging weights. Works as long as there's a hand around to keep raising the weights. Maybe it give someone idea for his wheel?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZFbe2jeaCw

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    1. Yes, he's got the right idea. This must be how Bessler's wheel worked. Anyway, it's what I've been working on. Sam Peppiatt

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    2. Follow up: The swinging weights, (pendulums), have a special form of circular motion. I.E, they go around and around in a circle but, they don't rotate. Like the peddles on a bicycle; they go around in a circle but, they don't rotate. They stay more or less parallel with the ground. This is called curve-linear translation. FWEIW Sam Peppiatt

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    3. Once the pendulums swing to one side, they don't have to be lifted, shifted, or reset again. The wheel will be continuously OOB!! Sam Peppiatt

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    4. @Sam P. Sounds like you have something like this gadget:

      https://i.pinimg.com/originals/5c/79/6b/5c796bcd64d8191ea676a082d9b54dcd.gif

      Yeah, it's weight platforms always stay parallel to the floor if the wheel rotates CW, but they actually have to be constantly rotated CCW and lifted along with the weights resting on them during any CW wheel rotation so the platforms can stay parallel. If you just look at where the COG of the weights would be you will swear that it is to the right of the axle and the wheel MUST turn CW as a result. It doesn't turn though because all of the GPE lost as the wheel tries to turn CW to lower the COG of the eight weights and their platforms is 100% used up to try rotate and lift all of the individual platforms and their weights CCW at the same time and no unused GPE is leftover to accelerate the wheel and increase its KE. This thing is always in balance and stationary no matter what position you turn it to by hand. Many pm chasers wasted years and fortunes trying to get wheels like this to work. We need to learn from their sad stories of failures and not repeat them endlessly. Hopefully you're not just traveling down the same dead end path they did.

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    5. Is there a short cut to that? Sam

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    6. I tried to copy it but all I got was an error, must have copied it wrong.
      Forget it! Sam

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    7. Here's that wheel from a different angle, Sam.

      https://i.pinimg.com/564x/d4/92/4d/d4924d481fc130ee3ae7a2f99c5e70b2.jpg

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    8. I tried both numbers, neither one works, Sam

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    9. @Sam. You must be doing something wrong. You can't just left click on the URLs of the gif video clip and the photo and expect to immediately go to them on this blog. Try highlighting the URLs by quickly double left clicking on them and then, AFTER they are highlighted, right click on them once. That should cause a menu to appear and then you need to left click on the words "Open Link in New Tab". That should take you to the gif video clip and the photo on a newly opened tab. Hope this helps.

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  14. John good luck to you, but you still try to same type of designs? At least, it sounds like an iteration of old ideas. imo it won't work.
    I think Bessler eliminates those type of designs in the first couple of drawings in MT.

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    1. Thank you yellow, I am trying to finish my wheel before or shortly after my birthday in February, this year!

      JC

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    2. What day in February is your birthday?

      Sayer of Sooths

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    3. As an Aquarius born on February 5th, John's luckiest dates of that month will be the 1st, 7th, 15th, 18th, and 27th. Also add the 2nd because of 02/02/2020 being a palindrome and that date will be particularly lucky for him and someone with any of the astrological signs.

      One astrology site describes the Aquarius personality as "Free-spirited and eccentric, they can often be identified by their offbeat fashion sensibilities, unusual hobbies, and nonconformist attitude. Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, the planet that governs innovation, technology, and surprising events."

      Sayer of Sooths

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    4. Thank you SoS, your comment adds to my optimism and confidence that success is just around the corner.

      JC

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  15. Anyone know what happened to this website?

    https://www.orffyreana.org

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    1. It’s my understanding that this website is owned/run by Ed and Stewart, (Find them in membership on BW forum) and it will open once they have gathered all documentation they can find, so that it can become a go-to source for everything Besslerish. If they read this they might like to correct any errors. i think there is no hurry until someone produces a working model.

      JC

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    2. Stewart is a good guy. He will help you if you have any questions. Sam Peppiatt

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    3. Stewart came to my house many years ago and persuaded me to give him copies of CDs I had assembled which contained over 600 documents relating to Bessler, and I believe he has been working on transcribing and translating them. I should say it is a monumental task as they are all handwritten and look illegible. I look forward to seeing how he has got on.

      JC

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  16. Hi John!! Today I was fighting interference's. Took a whole hour to get four screws in! I was about ready to do some sims; well almost ready that is. Anyway hope you are having better luck than me. I don't remember anyone named Ed. I check there web site from time to time but, so far it's not up. I think you are right it would be good. Sam

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Why Did Johann Bessler Leave Clues to How his Wheel Worked?

I have spent a large chunk of my life researching the life of Johann Bessler and trying to find as much written information about him, as p...