Posted by Scott Ellis (220.127.116.11) on December 03, 2002 at 21:08:46:
Dave Roberts and I posted recently about the design and construction of test platforms: http://www.besslerwheel.com/wwwboard/messages/449.html
This is a followup and attempt to stir up more discussion on that topic...
A good friend of mine named Al Bacon has given permission for me to share some of his ideas and work in this area. First, Al has deciphered and diagramed exactly how Bessler's wheel was largely constructed and attached to its supports. His diagram is annotated with Besslerís own terms for the various parts:
The scheme above seems to allow for a sort of "wobble effect" to occur, where the wheel tilts across the axle as it rotates. Bessler specifically mentioned that the steel pegs were "tapered." If such a wobble did occur, it must have been very small. As John Collins points out, the witnesses agreed that the wheel moved with a constant, even rotation. But one wonders how a small gravitational effect in the third dimension might have played a role...
Another important concept is this one: the interior of the wheel might have been "axle-free." That is the center of the wheel might have actually been free space through which pendulums or other moving parts could travel. For example, see the following photo of a test apparatus contributed by Al Bacon:
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