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Spinning Button On A String


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#1 Turtle

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 06:06 PM

Ever learn when you were a kid to thread a button on a loop of string & set it to spinning back & forth by pulling the ends? If not, try it; if so, considerwhat parameters for a proper physics description of this device you need.. Here's a helpful image (click image for full-size view):
I have been experimenting for years & it's fascinating in its simplistic complexity. :hihi:

#2 Amber

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Posted 22 January 2005 - 07:54 AM

That's very interesting, and your website looks cool. Thank you for sharing :)

Just out of interest, what made you look into this?

#3 Turtle

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Posted 22 January 2005 - 02:10 PM

I guess it's obsession is all; I latch onto some interesting idea I run across & then sometimes it becomes an obsession. My obsessions last on average about 10 years. Once locked on, I work to take the idea to some extreme. I have one of these disks that is 4 feet long & requires 2 people pulling on one end (the other tied to wall/tree) to set it working. I haven't finished painting the design on it yet so haven't made a video of it working.
___ Mickey Hart in Planet Drum: A Celebration of Percussion and Rhythm by Mickey Hart, Fredric Lieberman, D. A. Sonneborn, talks of the little disks & calls them "diables" I found the Udeghe people of Russia call them Khua & use them for sorcery. It is also called whirligig as a toy from at least 17 century in Europe & America. The research goes on. I invite everyone to make one & give it a whirl :) :)

#4 Amber

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Posted 22 January 2005 - 03:51 PM

Nice :)

Not tried that myself though. Is it a bit like chaos theory, how it works?

Intensive work always pays off. Good luck with your experimenting and have fun :)

#5 Turtle

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Posted 22 January 2005 - 04:50 PM

Possibly chaos theory; no certainly chaos theory! Ijust posted under Pictures on my page some instructions to build one & at the bottom of that document some of the physics considerations. Also a document called Vessica Piscus; this is the shape I now use for the disks. Very, very dynamic machine. :) Thanks Amber for your interest & support. Anybody els care to comment? Come on now; don't be shy. :) :) :)

#6 Turtle

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 09:32 PM

Anyone else play with this as a child? Did you have a name for this? :)

#7 Turtle

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 03:23 PM

___Just ran across this article today:
http://news.xinhuane...ent_2686446.htm

___While the object pictured is claimed as a knife, I believe it is a Diable/Khua, ie. for spinning on a string. The serations & shape would give it a unique sound.
___By the way, the name Khua for the device is from the Udeghe(sp) people of the Russia/China Eastern coastal region.
___Very interesting!!! :cup:

#8 Dark Mind

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 03:53 PM

Anyone else play with this as a child? Did you have a name for this? :cup:


As a kid??? I still do that! I sometimes use a pair of scissors though (more weight, and therfore easier to maintain motion). I never really thought about it though, i just accepted that it happened and enjoyed. I'm a terrible scientist :cup:. Keep up the good work Turtle! :cup:

#9 Dark Mind

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 03:56 PM

Oh, I kind of called you out in the "Introductions" forum in the "First Post' thread, you may want to read into it and see if you can beat my guess at your score. I think it's in the 13'th post or somewhere around there. Prove me wrong Mr. "Mathemagician". :cup:

#10 Turtle

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 04:23 PM

___I will look DarkMind; I had to unsubscribe from quite a few threads as so many stretched me a little thin.
___Back on topic, attached find a scan of one of my Khua. This one is in the shape of the Vesica Piscis, which I am discussing in the thread by that name. In profile, my Khua is an airfoil. ie. flat on one side & rounded on the other.
___All of the holes in mine are for experimenting with changing the string position & only 2 holes are required. It is interesting to note that the artifact is somewhat antithetical to the vesica piscis, flaring out where mine flares in. Of course now I have to make a Khua in the artifact shape & detail to see how it sounds.
____Thanks for the interest. I will look for some pertinent links to post. Keep on spinning! :cup:

#11 maddog

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 05:00 PM

I found my fascination in learning how spin a quarter (or any disk that size or larger). I would do
this for hours. :cup:

Maddog

#12 Turtle

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 01:04 PM

___Nice corallary Maddog; fascination, spinning, & long hours spent join the topics logically. As I have spent considerable time spinning coins too (I assume you mean spinning free on a flat surface), it occured several times that when the coin stopped, it did not fall over. Now with a quarter (or dime) this is less likely because the rilling on the thin edge tends to roundness, whereas 1/2 dollars, dollars, nickels, & pennies have a sufficiently flat edge to balance on.
___This is far from a useless observation as it clearly shows that the spin (or toss) of a coin has 3 possible outcomes & not 2. Everyone simply assumes it won't land/stop on edge. Moreover, all probability is based on a single assumption, ie. fairness or equal balance, & as this is a false asuumption, probability is false too.

___Back to the spinning disk on a string, here is a link about the shamanic uses of the Khua by the Udeghe people.

http://www.kiravan.com/YAKUTSK.htm

A quote from that link: "They brought a shaman's drum and rattles, jaw harp kunkai and various small musical instruments such as the khua, a twirling disc on a string, to accompany their stories and songs."

#13 Turtle

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 08:18 PM

___Hey Maddog! Are you still here? Anyway, I seem to recall you posting some pretty handy calculus work & I have a calculus problem in post#11 of the vesica piscis thread. If you check it out, consider how these shapes I propose spin if you treat them like your quarters, ie. spin them on a table. I think the football shaped one might precess, that is jiggle around & the reverse direction. B) B) What do you think? :)

#14 Queso

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 10:51 AM

hear a sample of turtles spinning button on a string right here:


i have to say that is a really crazy sound.

#15 Turtle

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 05:40 PM

___Thanks Orby! At this point, I have to hold on further exposition due to circumstances beyond my control. I do note though that I use this device to calm my mind & reach a meditative state which helps to distract me from the chaotic struggles that abound.
___I encourage those of you that have read this & listened to the audio Orby posted for me to make your own Khua/Daible/spinning-disk-on-a-string & explore its manifold qualities. ;)

#16 Queso

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 05:59 PM

i think i will later, good suggestion.

#17 Turtle

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 03:49 PM

___One of my ideas for experimenting with this device is to try & build a machine that operates it. Having such a machine I could have my hands free to adjust microphones, lasers, cameras, etc., while also having a regular rythm. Operating the spinning disk on a string by hand takes considerable effort to keep a regular rhythm, temp, beat, etc.
___I haven't tried braided wire yet on a large disk, but I have that in mind as well. I have a vesica piscis shaped disk 4 feet across which is languishing in the garage while I pursue other obsessions.
___I haven't experimented with the optical qualities of designs painted on the disk either yet, but again I have it in mind. This simple little device is a very complex thing once you start to experiment.
___Please feel free to experiment on your own & post up your findings here. :Alien: