Science Forums

# Gravity Driven Mechanisms

## Recommended Posts

Just in case you missed the edit in my the last post....

(Edited to add - Sorry Turtle, a bit of a rant there.... I really do look forward to your input. I understand your reference to the escapement. Most people who see it for the first time (stationary) describe it as looking like a clock or metronome. I even got stopped once by a policeman years ago who thought it might be some kind of "firing mechanism"!

Edited by Aemilius
• Replies 200
• Created

#### Popular Posts

No. What I'm saying is the only energy input in this device is through your manipulation of the balancing lever. Perhaps a simpler, yet far less artistically pleasing, model would be easier for me t

Aemilius, I’ve looked carefully at the still and motion pictures, but can’t entirely make out how your machine is put together. It’d be helpful if you could post a diagram/mechanical drawing.   I did

dead-fall and pit traps are gravity driven mechanisms.

#### Posted Images

That’s a nice looking little (or big – I can’t get a good sense of scale from the photo) machine, Aemilius. :thumbs_up I can’t make out from the photo how it moves, so look forward to seeing the video you’re working on posting to youtube.

This mechanism was never intended to be a “perpetual motion”, “over unity”, “something for nothing” or "zero point energy" machine/device. It's just an experimental research mechanism, nothing more.... and I've never claimed it was. Ultimately though, if it should turn out that it works as intended if/when completed, it will work for all the same well known reasons a water wheel or weight driven clock works, differing only in the way it responds to the force of gravity acting on it.

I’m confused by this statement, because earlier you posted

So, let me "spill my agenda" as you put it.... I started out many years ago by looking into the whole "motor running the generator that powers the motor" scenario. Not surprisingly, I couldn't make it work.

Not ready to give up, I wondered whether there might be some way of applying direct current electric motor theory with its accompanying periodic reversal of electromagnetic polarity to the gravitational force in the sense of finding some way of mechanically "commutating" it (the gravitational force) in order to achieve the desired result. That's where I'm at now and I think I may finally be on to something.... probably not, but that's what I'm here to find out.

Since a "motor running the generator that powers the motor" (were such a thing possible) is a perpetual motion machine of the first kind, I gathered that what you were not ready to give up on was attempting to build a successful PMM. With this in mind, I thought to steer you away from approaches that certainly, demonstrably can’t work, toward one that, according to best present day science, in principle if not yet in practice, can – the class of machines most commonly called “zero point energy”, which I think might be classed “PPM of the fourth kind”.

Even without knowing exactly how it moves, I know the machine that’s picture you’ve posted shares the defining quality of all weight-driven motors: it begins with a greater net gravitational potential energy (in your machine’s case, I’m guessing the weighted bits on the ends of the rods begin at their maximum height), performs some mechanical work (stirring air, making sound, slightly heating various parts), then ends with lower net GPE (the weighted bits at their lowest height). This is essentially the same as a simple pendulum.

At this point I would say yes, it does "work", at least in the narrow sense that it demonstrates the feasability of mecahanical commutation of the gravitational force.

This phrase really puzzles me.

In a DC electric motor, “commutation” refers to reversing at the appropriate position the direction of the current flowing through all or part of the its rotor, so that the force due to that current and the magnetic field of its stator reverse direction. Were this not done, the rotor would turn one half or less rotations, reversing direction and turning successively shorter distances until friction brought it to rest with its rotor aligned with the stator field.

In a weight-driven machine, be it a simple pendulum, a grandfather clock, a hydroelectric dam, or your machine, it isn’t possible to do anything to any moving part to reverse, or except for the minute reduction in magnitude when that part is at its highest point, in any way change the direction or magnitude of the downward force of gravity on it.

In essence, all weight-driven machines behave like a DC motor in which the commutator has been removed.

How can this not be the case, Aemilius? How can any mechanism following the laws of classical physics demonstrate the feasibility of commutating (reversing or switching off and on) the gravitation force?

##### Share on other sites

where the inntesity of the magnetic field on the bottom pushes the over balanced weight back up, while moving the actuating circular path

when it gets back to the tray, it goes down again

all magnetic,

weight, base plate

while the tray is light as possible

(

i for got to draw the faceplate

)

and the only place where the balance of the magnet allows for the tray to go down is right under the tray

since the tray is framed, the intensity of the magnetic field should be sufficient to push the tray back up

##### Share on other sites

belovelife "where the inntesity of the magnetic field...."

Hey belovelife.... Just gravity here, remember?

Edited by Aemilius
##### Share on other sites

I realize this is off topic Aemilius but at some point I would like to discuss possible designs for a water wheel run by wind power... I want to use it to lift water out of a pond to make a stream running back into the pond...

##### Share on other sites

Moontanman "I realize this is off topic Aemilius

but at some point I would like to discuss possible

designs for a water wheel run by wind power... I want

to use it to lift water out of a pond to make a

stream running back into the pond..."

Yeah, I think some German guy already did

that.... or was it a Dutch guy....

Edited by Aemilius
##### Share on other sites

Hey CraigD....

CraigD "That’s a nice looking little (or big – I can’t get a good sense of scale from the photo) machine, Aemilius. I can’t make out from the photo how it moves, so look forward to seeing the video you’re working on posting to youtube.

Thanks, I'm especially looking forward to your input CraigD. I thought the bicycle chain would provide a sense of scale.... it's about a foot tall.

(Off topic, but I see from your profile you like fine art.... do you paint or draw?)

CraigD "Aemilius, on 17 July 2012 - 01:09 PM, said:

This mechanism was never intended to be a “perpetual motion”, “over unity”, “something for nothing” or "zero point energy" machine/device. It's just an experimental research mechanism, nothing more.... and I've never claimed it was. Ultimately though, if it should turn out that it works as intended if/when completed, it will work for all the same well known reasons a water wheel or weight driven clock works, differing only in the way it responds to the force of gravity acting on it.

I’m confused by this statement, because earlier you posted

Aemilius, on 16 July 2012 - 01:31 PM, said:

So, let me "spill my agenda" as you put it.... I started out many years ago by looking into the whole "motor running the generator that powers the motor" scenario. Not surprisingly, I couldn't make it work.

Not ready to give up, I wondered whether there might be some way of applying direct current electric motor theory with its accompanying periodic reversal of electromagnetic polarity to the gravitational force in the sense of finding some way of mechanically "commutating" it (the gravitational force) in order to achieve the desired result. That's where I'm at now and I think I may finally be on to something.... probably not, but that's what I'm here to find out.

Since a "motor running the generator that powers the motor" (were such a thing possible) is a perpetual motion machine of the first kind, I gathered that what you were not ready to give up on was attempting to build a successful PMM. With this in mind, I thought to steer you away from approaches that certainly, demonstrably can’t work, toward one that, according to best present day science, in principle if not yet in practice, can – the class of machines most commonly called “zero point energy”, which I think might be classed “PPM of the fourth kind”.

Right, that's how I started out (about a quarter of a century ago), but eventually I saw the folly of it.

CraigD "Even without knowing exactly how it moves, I know the machine that’s picture you’ve posted shares the defining quality of all weight-driven motors: it begins with a greater net gravitational energy potential (in your machine’s case, I’m guessing the weighted bits on the ends of the rods begin at their maximum height), performs some mechanical work (stirring air, making sound, slightly heating various parts), then ends with lower net GPE (the weighted bits at their lowest height)."

I can see how you might conclude that looking at the picture. In fact though, the mechanism was designed to balance out at any point around 360 degrees (no matter the position/mass distribution) whether stationary or in motion. Instead of an "over balancing mechanism", one could call this an "overly balanced mechanism", if that makes sense....

CraigD "This is essentially the same as a simple pendulum."

Its motion is pendulous, but unlike a simple pendulum which has two possible positions of equilibrium (stable when hanging and un-stable when inverted), this pendulum/mechanism, because of the way it's balanced, actually has four possible positions of equilibrium, two un-stable (when it's hanging or is inverted) and two stable (when the pendulum is positioned to the left or right, perpendicular to the force of gravity).

CraigD "Aemilius, on 17 July 2012 - 01:09 PM, said:

At this point I would say yes, it does "work", at least in the narrow sense that it demonstrates the feasability of mecahanical commutation of the gravitational force.

This phrase really puzzles me.

In a DC electric motor, "commutation" refers to reversing at the appropriate position the direction of the current flowing through all or part of the its rotor, so that the force due to that current and the magnetic field of its stator reverse direction."

Agreed as to the definition of "commutation" with respect to the DC motor. For this mechanism though, commutation means reversing at the appropriate position (by means of a slight change in the position of a particular part) the influence gravity has on the mechanism such that it tends to continue rotating. I want to stress that the gravitational force itself is not switched or turned on and off, the influence that gravity has on the mechanism is changed by changing the mechanisms condition.

CraigD "In a weight-driven machine, be it a simple pendulum, a grandfather clock, a hydroelectric dam, or your machine, it isn’t possible to do anything to any moving part to reverse, or except for the minute reduction in magnitude when that part is at its highest point, in any way change the direction or magnitude of the downward force of gravity on it.

In essence, all weight-driven machines behave like a DC motor in which the commutator has been removed."

I'm staring at a mechanism that would at least seem to contradict that assertion.... I can't wait to show it to you and get your take on it.

CraigD "How can any mechanism following the laws of classical physics demonstrate the feasibility of commutating (reversing or switching off and on) the gravitation force?"

That's what I've been trying to find out.... but again, I'm not getting the mechanism to rotate by reversing or switching off and on the force of gravity itself, but rather by periodically changing the mechanisms condition within the un-changing gravitational field.

Emile

Edited by Aemilius
##### Share on other sites

belovelife "where the inntesity of the magnetic field...."

Hey belovelife.... Just gravity here, remember?

sorry

so how long does it run for?

Edited by belovelife
##### Share on other sites

belovelife "sorry"

No worries....

belovelife "so how long does it run for?"

Well, the fact is it doesn't "run".... this really can't be classed as a motor or engine of any kind (at this point), more just a novel (*new?) type of balanced pendulous mechanical arrangement.

*(Open to correction - if anyone has seen anything similar to it please post that here - gravity only)

Video upload is impossible and this computer won't burn a disc either, but the installed webcam does work so I'm thinking now more in terms of a live demonstration (unless I can get a friend or neighbor to shoot it and quickly upload it for me). If I go the demonstration route that'll be tommorow or the next day....

Emile

Edited by Aemilius
##### Share on other sites

Just in case you missed the edit in my the last post....

(Edited to add - Sorry Turtle, a bit of a rant there.... I really do look forward to your input. I understand your reference to the escapement. Most people who see it for the first time (stationary) describe it as looking like a clock or metronome. I even got stopped once by a policeman years ago who thought it might be some kind of "firing mechanism"!

i caught it; no worries.

so, i think that technically we can, and should, call the device an escapement by definiton.

escapement definition

1. (Miscellaneous Technologies / Horology) Horology a mechanism consisting of an escape wheel and anchor, used in timepieces to provide periodic impulses to the pendulum or balance

2. (Engineering / Mechanical Engineering) any similar mechanism that regulates movement, usually consisting of toothed wheels engaged by rocking levers

...

yours is a "similar mechanism that regulates movement", but "unusually? consisting of toothed sprockets, a chain, counter-weights, and springs. moreover, your device does not keep time; oui/no?

are you still going to try to make a vid? meantime i copied your sequential pics -if i may?- for study. my thought is to add some arrows and other notation to get the gist of the operation.

ps how do you intially set it in motion? what sound does it make?

##### Share on other sites

Turtle "so, i think that technically we can, and should, call the device an escapement by definiton."

You know, the more I look at it, the more I'm inclined to agree with you.... I don't know why I resisted that label earlier.

Turtle "yours is a "similar mechanism that regulates movement", but "unusually? consisting of toothed sprockets, a chain, counter-weights, and springs...."

Agreed.

Turtle "....moreover, your device does not keep time; oui/no?"

No, it definitely doesn't keep time.... its rate of rotation depends exclusively on the rate/frequency at which it's being periodically imbalanced.

Turtle "are you still going to try to make a vid?"

Video upload is impossible and this computer won't burn a disc either, but the installed webcam does work so I'm thinking now more in terms of a live demonstration (unless I can get a friend or neighbor to shoot it and quickly upload it for me). If I go the demonstration route that'll be tommorow or the next day.

Turtle "meantime i copied your sequential pics -if i may?- for study."

No problem, I think this can all be called "open source". Just for the record though my name is Emile L. Cole and I (re?) invented it!

Turtle "my thought is to add some arrows and other notation to get the gist of the operation."

You might want to wait until you see it in motion before you do that, but it's up to you.

Turtle "ps how do you intially set it in motion?"

The lever at the rear (connected to the spring) is the one that is periodically moved back and forth (5 to 7 degrees approx.) and is solid or fixed to the main axel (white) and sun sprocket (gold with white center) of the planetary chain and sprocket arrangement. The planet sprocket (black, with the pendulum that is attached to it) is affected through the imbalancing action of the sun sprocket, transmitted to it by the chain. Even the chain rotates (I'll try and mark it to show that). It may sound convoluted but it will make sense (hopefully) when you see it.

Turtle "what sound does it make?"

It sounds like someone frantically peddling up a hill in first gear on a ten speed bike.

Emile

Edited by Aemilius
##### Share on other sites

(Off topic, but I see from your profile you like fine art.... do you paint or draw?)

Ah, from my terse biography: “childhood>Math>writing>English>Fine Arts>Math(BS ~1982)>Science instructor>computer programmer”.

Convinced at 18 that I could draw and paint with the best of ‘em, I disabused myself of that misconception with a semester as an Art major, where I decided the world would be better if I left the draftsmanship to folk more naturally apt at it, and focused on the world of those stupendous integers we call “text” and the computer programs and hardware that process them. I still occasionally sketch in pen or pencil, but not seriously, and haven’t colored anything in over a decade.

If there were a magic “wish” button that grants the effect of long hours of drive and practice, I’d be a mangaka (my idol is Yoshitoshi Abe), but as (to the best of my knowledge) there’s not, I’m content to be an aficionado.

I like more traditional stuff, too (my house has prints ranging from renaissance masters (Botticelli’s Venus and Mars is the closest where I’m sitting as I type this) to sappy romanticists (I’m a sucker for John William Waterhouse) to Escher), as well as abstract flat-canvas stuff, and fixed or moving sculpture. I’m a big Calder fan, not just his big pieces, but his lesser-known, gadget-y little ones)

I consider your machine, Aemilius, to fall into this last category, moving sculpture. From what I’ve seen of it, it’s beautiful – though I don’t think of any scientific or engineering consequence.

Agreed as to the definition of "commutation" with respect to the DC motor. For this mechanism though, commutation means reversing at the appropriate position (by means of a slight change in the position of a particular part) the influence gravity has on the mechanism such that it tends to continue rotating. I want to stress that the gravitational force itself is not switched or turned on and off, the influence that gravity has on the mechanism is changed by changing the mechanisms condition.

:Exclamati Here’s where I think you get into trouble, in scientific terms.

As with any force, as the term is used in physics, gravitational force is an interaction. “The gravitational force itself” and “the influence that gravity” are not separate phenomena, but describe the same underlying physics, which, in the classical approximation, which is good enough on the scale of size and precision we’re discussing, is given exactly by

$\text{F}=G \frac{|m_0 m|}{r^2}$

In the case under discussion, [imath]m_0[/imath] is the mass of the Earth, [imath]m[/imath] that of the individual moving parts of the machine, [imath]r[/imath] the distance between the center of mass of the Earth and of each part. There’s no term for the parts’ velocities, how their connected to one another, or any other quality that different in your mechanism from a pendulum.

We can, in principle, and given sufficiently detailed design details, in practice, show that your machine follows classical mechanical law (which include the equation above), evidencing nothing that requires revision to these laws.

Assuming we agree on these points, Aemilius, I’m unsure of the point of your working on this machine

• You appear to have no expectation that it can produce useful energy. It can’t be redesigned, scaled up, put in your basement and used to light your lamps or power your computer.
• It doesn’t demonstrate anything not already well-described by classical mechanics.
• I’m left to conclude that it’s an artwork: something esthetically pleasing to see, hear, etc.

Do I err in my conclusion :QuestionM

##### Share on other sites

CraigD " I like more traditional stuff, too (my house has prints ranging from renaissance masters (Botticelli’s Venus and Mars is the closest where I’m sitting as I type this) to sappy romanticists (I’m a sucker for John William Waterhouse) to Escher)...."

Me too! I have a small collection of mid to late eighteenth century Italian neoclassic work. Escher has always been one of my favorites.... people used to tell me my work reminded them of his. Here's one of them for you (while we're off topic for a moment).... "THE TEMPLE", about 20x24 inches. It's a free hand pen and ink drawing I did (loosely based on a Roman style temple ruin in Turkey I once saw a picture of). It took about four to five hundred hours to do with a quarter pound of good bud and a Rapidograph drafting pen that draws a line about the width of a human hair. Just stippling (dots), no pencil sketch, no ruler (not a straight line in the whole thing, in fact, no "lines" at all), just one tiny dot after another. Not the best shot, it's a lot like trying to photograph a giant dollar bill....

So, to continue....

CraigD "From what I’ve seen of it, it’s beautiful – though I don’t think of any scientific or engineering consequence."

Isn't that a bit premature in view of the fact that you've not yet actually seen it in motion or observed its characteristics? I appreciate your ability to reconstruct/reproduce it mentally, but would just ask that you reserve judgement until you actually see it demonstrated.

CraigD "Quote (from Aemilius)

Agreed as to the definition of "commutation" with respect to the DC motor. For this mechanism though, commutation means reversing at the appropriate position (by means of a slight change in the position of a particular part) the influence gravity has on the mechanism such that it tends to continue rotating. I want to stress that the gravitational force itself is not switched or turned on and off, the influence that gravity has on the mechanism is changed by changing the mechanisms condition.

Here’s where I think you get into trouble, in scientific terms.

As with any force, as the term is used in physics, gravitational force is an interaction. “The gravitational force itself” and “the influence that gravity has” are not separate phenomena, but describe the same underlying physics, which, in the classical approximation, is good enough on the scale of size and precision we’re discussing, is given exactly by...."

Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that the force of gravity and the influence it has are separate phenomena, only that its effect on mass is variable (what the mass does under its influence). I mentioned earlier dropping out of school early, so any exotic mathematical equations (which to me is almost all of them) will be lost on me, though I know they're tremendously useful to everyone else.... from my end this has been a purely empirical investigation all along.

CraigD "There’s no term for the parts’ velocities, how their connected to one another, or any other quality that differ in your mechanism from a pendulum."

Right, its motion is pendulous, but there are a few differences that immediately come to mind when comparing this to a conventional pendulum. This pendulum....

1. ....has been robbed of any natural periodicity normally associated with pendulous motion. In other words, it's rate of motion depends exclusively on the rate/frequency at which it is being periodically imbalanced (it's not forced in any way, that's just how it responds).

2. ....unlike a simple pendulum which has two possible positions of equilibrium (one stable and one un-stable), this pendulum actually has four possible positions of equilibrium (two stable and two un-stable), which is critical to the effect.

3. ....does not swing back and forth in two directions like a simple pendulum with the well known accompanying periodic rise and fall of potential and kinetic energy levels (respectively) as it begins, continues and ends each motional cycle. This pendulum swings, or "falls" to one side, gaining kinetic energy as its potential energy diminishes, and then, by slightly changing the condition of the mechanism at the appropriate time (commutation was the best word I could think of for it), it continues moving in the same direction without losing the kinetic energy it has gained, swinging, or "falling" to the other side and continuing to gain kinetic energy. I believe that's why it begins to rotate so quickly and forcefully (very much looking forward to your input on that)....

Again, I would just ask that you reserve judgement or any extensive analysis until you actually see it in motion. I think, even if you're not surprised, you'll certainly be entertained.

CraigD "We can, in principle, and given sufficiently detailed design details, in practice, show that your machine follows classical mechanical law...."

That's what I'm hoping.

CraigD "Assuming we agree on these points...."

If by "these points" you mean the laws of physics, right, obviously foolish for me to dispute them, so yes we agree.

CraigD "I’m unsure of the point of your working on this machine"

Why do people do crossword puzzles?

CraigD "You appear to have no expectation that it can produce useful energy...."

Not entirely true. I have a pendulous mechanism here that rotates immediately and forcefully at the first introduction of even a very slight imbalancing, or "trigger" force which is all that's necessary to begin, and then maintain, an ongoing reaction to the un-changing gravitational field. I only said earlier that it shouldn't be classed as a motor or engine.... "at this point".

CraigD "It can’t be redesigned...."

Oh? What makes you say that?

CraigD "....scaled up"

It absolutely can be scaled up.

Lets not get ahead of ourselves, this is only the investigative phase.

CraigD "It doesn’t demonstrate anything not already well-described by classical mechanics." and "I'm left to conclude that it's an artwork: something esthetically pleasing to see, hear, etc."

Well, like I said, at least wait until you see the demonstration before you settle on that assessment. We wouldn't want a case of "misplaced concreteness" would we?

CraigD "Do I err in my conclusion?"

We'll find out soon enough.... I'm working now on how to put together the demonstration.... It might take a little longer than I thought (I actually do have a life) but I will make it happen.

Emile

Edited by Aemilius
##### Share on other sites

I can only record sixty seconds or so of video at a time, and it takes (dial up) an hour and a half to upload. I'll be making a couple more as time permits (in the next day or so) to illustrate other characteristics mentioned earlier in the thread, such as the four possible positions of equilibrium, but I'll just start with this one showing the mechanism in motion....

I've been trying to think of a way to convey to the viewer an idea of the sensation, what it actually feels like, when moving the control lever back and forth.... If you take a pen or pencil and stand it on end, then hold it at the top and move it back and forth about an inch or so you'll be feeling exactly the same thing I'm feeling when moving it back and forth during testing.... nothing at all.

Edited by Aemilius
##### Share on other sites

I can only record sixty seconds or so of video at a time, and it takes (dial up) an hour and a half to upload. I'll be making a couple more as time permits (in the next day or so) to illustrate other characteristics mentioned earlier in the thread, such as the four possible positions of equilibrium, but I'll just start with this one showing the mechanism in motion....

I've been trying to think of a way to convey to the viewer an idea of the sensation, what it actually feels like, when moving the control lever back and forth.... If you take a pen or pencil and stand it on end, then hold it at the top and move it back and forth about an inch or so you'll be feeling exactly the same thing I'm feeling when moving it back and forth during testing.... nothing at all.

glad you toughed out the video problems, but now that i see the machine in operation i only see an emile driven mechanism. rather anticlimactic. :(

Edited by Turtle
##### Share on other sites

interesting reminded me of a couple of things i uses to make when i was a kid

like this

Edited by belovelife
##### Share on other sites

Turtle "....i only see an emile driven mechanism."

I take it (you didn't give me much to work with) from that you're saying the mechanism's rotation has nothing to do with gravity and that it's me supplying all the energy to the system, causing it to rotate. Would that be an accurate assessment?

belovelife "interesting reminded me of a couple of things i uses to make when i was a kid...."

Hey belovelife.... not gravity driven, but very cool!

Edited by Aemilius

## Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.