The Great Gyroscope Bearing Friction Test (finally)

[UPDATED] Edited version of both gyroscope experiments (far more viewer friendly)

Since uploading the original 6hr gyroscope test to determine whether the earth was turning or not, I have been keen to run a test confirming the bearing in the gyroscope gimbal was sensitive enough for the job at hand. This sounded like an easy enough task, but after a number of attempts with bits of things I had lying around, I soon found out it was actually quite tricky. The experiment is a follow-up to the original 6hr gyroscope
experiment found here
or the much more palatable 3min summery here:
The purpose of the experiment was to test whether the friction in the main bearing of my gyroscope gimbal would be strong enough to overcome the proposed slow rotation of the Earth The initial experiment spanned 6 hrs and was designed to demonstrate the Earth rotation (ala Foucault 1852), however, as predicted the gyroscope didn't move at all. The YouTube comments suggested (some quite rationally & politely) that friction in the bearing was to blame for the non-movement, and invalidated the whole thing. (click the images to enlarge)
There was even a response from the manufacturing company owner 
http://imgur.com/HbwcsTc
The discussions carried on on Twitter too
https://twitter.com/swearyG/status/802999624705409024
About  year ago I contacted the owner of the manufacturing company that made 
the Precision Gyroscope and had some in-depth discussion on the topic.
Mr. Turner was convinced that his Precision Gyroscope was not capable of 
registering any movement of the earth, [wait for it] due to the amount of friction on the main bearing, and therefore it was not capable of registering 15 degrees
of movement every hour, or the rotation of the earth.
I maintained that it would be sensitive enough, due to the high 12,000 rpm 
being able to generate more than ample energy to overcome any bearing 
friction from an already precision tooled main bearing.
This was, of course, just my opinion.

Unfortunately Mr. Turner has not been back on twitter since we talked, but 
I will email him shortly to inform him of the results.
glenn turner gyroscope twitter Screenshot from 2017-01-08 223740.png 

So, I've been working on a viable way to #TESTIT

In order to test this opinion, I obtained a high torque 24 hour clock mechanism 
where the hour hand shaft rotated 360 degrees in 24 hours (same as the 
proposed spin of the earth)
I attached a platform to this hour hand shaft and placed the gyroscope 
on top of the platform
gyro friction 2 Screenshot from 2017-01-09 18-50-21.png

I could see two possible outcomes

If the gyroscope was not sensitive enough to register the hour hand turning, then the entire gyroscope and gimbal would have rotated with the 15 degree per hour platform.

Alternatively, should the gyroscope be sensitive enough for the job, then we would see the gimbal legs move with the platform, BUT the gyroscope would remain ‘rigid in space’ and pointing in the same direction it was when it was spun up.

[Unedited raw version)

As we will see from this initial 2 hour test, the gyroscope performed perfectly and remained rigid, thus demonstrating that it IS sensitive enough to register a rotation rate of 15 degrees per hour, or 360 degrees per 24 hours., or the claimed rotation of the spinning ball earth

 

So What Does This All Mean

Though the video is mind numbingly boring, despite something actually moving this
time, It’s significance is literally world stopping

What this means is that the main criticism regarding the initial “Spin of the Earth Detection Experiment” has now been shown to be unwarranted. Meaning the 6hr non-rotation  demonstration and results still stand, unchallenged.

Via the Scientific Method –

EARTH IS STILL A STATIONARY PLANE

[PS. Please feel free to provide any counter evidence that refutes this, but I do mean actual evidence not just opinion from the peanut gallery]

13 thoughts on “The Great Gyroscope Bearing Friction Test (finally)

  1. Andrew Judd January 27, 2017 / 12:13 pm

    The gyroscope on the 24 hour mechanism is held in place by the motor cable. You can test your gimbal bearing by placing weights on the inner gimbal so the gyro precesses. Most likely the minimum amount of precession you can create with weights is going to be in the tens of degrees per minute rather than the tiny amounts you need to repeat foucaults method.

    Like

    • SavagePlane January 31, 2017 / 2:11 am

      What makes you so convinced the cable is holding it in place, do you understand how difficult that would be to hold it in place?

      Like

      • Andrew Judd January 31, 2017 / 3:21 pm

        I agree my comments were very hasty! Yes it cannot be stuck in place by that cable. I have been trying foucaults gyro with aviation gyros. When I first began the gyros were definately rotating and i was convinced I had the experiment nailed as per foucault, but later I realised they were moving too fast and I was only fooling myself. In my final test the damn gyro did not move at all and since i had spent months on the experiments I gave up but did manage to make a north finding gyro which is a much easier experiment. If you can set your gyro axis horizontally with batteries in a container and hang it by a thread you can easily make a north seeking gyro. Once spun up from the no twisting position of the thread and released it will always move away faster and more rapidily when in any position of the rotor axis other than north south where it moves most slowly. So if you hang your unspinning gyro by a long thread in a container to stop the air currents and wait till it finds the position of no torque or twisting of the thread that is the position you then release your spinning gyro. From the completely still position you have to hold the gyro as it spins up and then release it in as perfectly balanced position as is practical. A bit fiddly but an easy experiment once the gyro is in a container and has no wires. Another thing worth trying is a gyro compass. I have ordered some parts for that. I believe it works like the north finding gyro accept you dispense with the string and just float the horizontal gyro at the bottom of a container that is surrounded by water. The gyro then tilts the container and the container finds a point of balance when the gyro axis is aligned as best it can with the axis of rotation the gyro is standing on. Doing that with your clock mechanism will be very interesting for me to know about. My parts are still about 3 weeks away.

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  2. Andrew Judd February 3, 2017 / 9:15 am

    by the way, a north finding gyro has no mechanical gimbals. The rotor bearings are simply fixed to the pendulous mass so the rotor has now way of separately rotating. However, the suspension thread supporting the pendulous mass can act as a gimbal where the entire pendulous mass upon which the rotor is fixed can rotate.

    Like

    • SavagePlane February 4, 2017 / 3:53 pm

      Some interesting comments and observations there Andrew. Nice to see others are performing their own experiments. Do you have any video of your experiments, I’d like to see your setup?

      Like

      • Andrew Judd February 4, 2017 / 8:07 pm

        Like

  3. SavagePlane February 5, 2017 / 12:29 am

    I have to applaud you for your efforts and diligent adherence to the scientific method, the world needs more people like you.

    In terms of feedback, I would just say, that it’s apparent that you are coming at this from the assumption that the the earth is a turning globe. It may be interesting to assume the opposite – that the earth is a stationary plane and here’s how I’m going to prove/disprove it.

    I’m a little confused as to what the intentions of the experiments were, and what it proved or disproved.

    I have to say that if the earth was in any way turning, wobbling, spinning, gyrating, or even hurtling, then a well made gyroscope would be able to reflect this motion over time (like, say 6 hours)

    After thinking about this, I don’t think any gyroscope is capable of remaining fixed on true north if the earth is a spinning ball? This would only be feasibly on a stationary plane, surely?

    The problem I see, is that a powered up gyroscope, by it’s properties alone, should show a marked deviation from it’s starting position after 1hr, 3hrs, or 6 hrs later – and we simply don’t see this.

    Like

    • Andrew Judd February 5, 2017 / 6:14 am

      A) My north finding experiment:

      1. When I made it I had not realised that foucaults gyro experiment was able to be set up in three ways. Two north finding methods and 1 ‘see the earth turn’ Method. One of the north finding methods fixed the inner gimbal to the outer gimbal which is the experiment in the video.
      2. Also it was not clear to me that foucault himself at the time of his gyro experiment put forward the gyro principle that any gyro on a rotating platform will naturally want to align the rotor axis with the direction of rotation of the body on which it stands. So for example a free gyro on a lazy susan or turntable will erect the rotor vertically. Therefore about 16 years after foucaults experiments the first north finding gyrocompass was patented – they needed electric motors.

      3. your comment “After thinking about this, I don’t think any gyroscope is capable of remaining fixed on true north if the earth is a spinning ball? This would only be feasibly on a stationary plane, surely?” Your statement is correct. It is impossible for the rotor to find a position of rest if the world rotates. What we see is the gyro oscillates unable to find a position where it is free of forces. However in one position along north south it oscillates far less than east west. The gyrocompass could only be made a practical device when methods could be found to stop that oscillation – for example introducing frictional forces as dense mercury liquid flows through the ‘ballastic’ of a Sperry ww2 gyrocompass. For my own gyrocompass I am wondering if my very small helicopter gyro will be sufficiently damped only by floating in water – waiting for the parts to arrive.

      4. I would certainly like to find a method to stop the north seeking of a gyro by introducing an external rotation which either damped the response or increased it where the external rotation either supported or conflicted with the idea the earth itself is a platform upon which the gyro rotates.

      B) My aviation gyro experiments in their manufactured gimbals: I bought two 1950’s directional gyro type devices. One was a ground breaker in its day with a drift of an extremely low 1 degree per hour. It was an historic model of gyro used to enable polar routes where a magnetic compass is unreliable. I found some comments from a British airways navigator pilot who said the device worked very well. It was revolutionary. Unfortunately the rotor bearings were very bad. The other device was useable and it was very clear the gyro drifted and was not fixed in the gimbals and as I said it appeared at first it would be easy to demonstrate it detected earth rotation. These gyros are however designed to be used at about half of an atmosphere in helium, where helium has a very low density. Fairly clearly a gyro produces a considerable draft even though the rotors were mechanically shielded.

      C) As I mentioned before, it is very easy to demonstrate the sensitivity of a gyro. Just put weights on the inner gimbal and find what minimum rate the gyro will precess. A gyro that can detect earth rotation has to be able to precess when weighted at a rate in either direction that is reasonably near the extremely low earth rotation rate. An ordinary gyro cannot do that. Something fairly sophisticated is required like for example my very heavy directional gyros in good condition. An ordinary light plane directional gyro has a very small rotor compared to the 1.75 pounds of tungsten that was in my best gyro. The other rotor weighs 1.5 pounds. They both were designed to spin at 22,000 rpm.

      D) Inertial navigation. From about 1962 onwards these devices ‘detected earth rotation’ found latitude and found true north in the start up alignment process. These early devices had a fantastic ability of about 0.1 degrees of drift per hour. However they wear out quickly and are easily damaged. All the modern non mechanical gyro devices are doing the same thing. Inertial navigation cannot provide navigation information on a flat surface. Position is recorded in degrees of rotation. Inertial navigation is a dead reckoning method – ie you reference your current position in a logical manner to where you once were. So if you know your degrees of rotation when you started you know your degrees of rotation at your current position. If the world was flat there would be zero rotation when you travelled at the same altitude but these things can record your current position relative to where you began within a few hundred meters or better even after many hours of elapsed time. How can the detection of rotation be used to navigate if you do not rotate as you travel??

      E)You said “The problem I see, is that a powered up gyroscope, by it’s properties alone, should show a marked deviation from it’s starting position after 1hr, 3hrs, or 6 hrs later – and we simply don’t see this.”

      A gyro has no special abilities to remain fixed in space if the frictional forces, vibrational forces, and air currents overwhelm the fairly puny ability of the gyro to remain in the same place. One of the nice things about the north seeking gyro is we can use the fantastic sensitivity of a torsion balance to reduce friction to the limits of a humans ability to remove the influence of friction. Also we can eliminate air currents. Foucaults gyro uses a torsion balance for the outer gimbal and knife edge bearings for the inner gimbal.

      In principle it should be easy if we have access to engineering resources to create a spinning rotor that is perfectly balanced on the inner gimbal so the north seeking is stopped. The question is whether or not that can be achieved at a DIY level. Once my parts arrive I will see what I can do. Somehow the spinning rotor has to be able to balance perfectly so as it slowly rotates ***on the inner gimbal*** no torque is being applied to it because it is no longer balanced – even though it has moved. It has to be balanced like a wheel which can be positioned step wise over several degrees of rotation and yet remain stationary in a new position and yet have almost no friction to prevent rotation. There is more to foucaults method than is obvious. Importantly he uses a torsion balance where silk has the property of being torsion free when twisted and a torsion balance is the finest method for detecting horizontal forces that a human being can create – either then or now. Then there is the additional complexity of the way the rotor is balanced on the inner gimbal.

      Anyway as a beginning step the first part of demonstrating foucaults method is to be able to show we can demonstrate the so called north seeking using the fixed inner gimbal. Which is a very easy experiment to do compared to the very much harder demonstration where the free gyro is being used.

      Like

    • Andrew Judd February 5, 2017 / 9:29 am

      You said: “In terms of feedback, I would just say, that it’s apparent that you are coming at this from the assumption that the the earth is a turning globe. It may be interesting to assume the opposite – that the earth is a stationary plane and here’s how I’m going to prove/disprove it.”

      I do not have a vested interest in the shape of the world. The issue here is whether or not foucault performed a valid experiment. (The history of science has interested me on and off over the years. It is sort of true that we humans know almost nothing and from this state of knowing almost nothing, we then construct our ideas and everything that is around us and everything that we think is around us.) Many are claiming Foucault was a liar fraud incompetant and so forth. They are also claiming his experiment has never been repeated. Back in the day there were 3 or 4 foucault gyro experimental sets made and they were designed to be part of a travelling box and the experiment was performed all around the world. Additionally for decades, inertial navigation has been doing what amounts to a simple repeat of foucaults gyro in the start up alignment process in what is known as gyrocompassing. As far as the scientific method goes the first thing we should do is repeat foucaults work using his methods or something better. The best gyros today are ***billions*** of times more accurate than the best gyros of the 1950’s Even the new lightweight micromechanical mems gyros are able to do gyrocompassing to find latitude and true north providing you buy one costing about 1500 pounds. Just google “MEMS gyro gyrocompassing”. (An ordinary gyrocompass can be used to find your approx latitude hence the term gyrocompassing when applied to a gyro when it is used to find latitude and true north). Ie you start up your inertial navigation device and with no position information it eventually tells you are at for example at 41 South and shows the direction of true north)

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  4. ComputerBook May 3, 2017 / 10:59 am

    Also it was not clear to me that foucault himself at the time of his gyro experiment put forward the gyro principle that any gyro on a rotating platform will naturally want to align the rotor axis with the direction of rotation of the body on which it stands. The gyro then tilts the container and the container finds a point of balance when the gyro axis is aligned as best it can with the axis of rotation the gyro is standing on.

    Like

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