Main Forum Page
The Gyroscope Forum
19 March 2018 20:33
Welcome to the gyroscope forum. If you have a question about gyroscopes in general,
want to know how they work, or what they can be used for then you can leave your question here for others to answer.
You may also be able to help others by answering some of the questions on the site.
||Gamma Project Report - 3
Disclaimer: The following are my memories of experiments that were conducted in an attempt to develop a gyroscopic drive system of inertial propulsion. Nothing in this report can be proven now. This is because of losses of all evidence, except for a few photos and drawings made from memory. Proof can be gained only by duplicating the experiments described herein.
I always had a theory and designed experiments to test my theory. The first was based on the idea that all natural forces have opposite forces. Therefore, an opposite of gravity must exist and it should manifest itself somewhere in nature.
Back in 1957 I heard, over and over again, that centrifugal force (CF) counter-acted gravity to keep satellites up. Further, it was explained, an increase in CF could overcome gravity and send a satellite higher.
Being a young High-Schooler, I reasoned that one way to fly a craft upward would be to generate enough CF, in one spot at ground level. Seeing that weights that are spun around on a string tend to rise to a horizontal level (due to CF) further convinced me I was on the right track.
If rotation caused things to rise, then that was all that was needed. So, I decided to start with something shaped like a flashlight reflector and rotate it so fast its tendency to rise would be greater than that needed to lift its edges to a horizontal position. Since a flashlight reflector is solid, the high rpms that I planned to give it should cause it to rise.
So, I set an old washing machine motor in a vertical position and mounted a flashlight reflector loosely onto a dowel stick that sat on the shaft of the motor. My Grandmother held the top of the dowel stick and we watched the reflector spin and wobble up the stick when the motor was turned on!
I was annoyed with the wobble which was caused by the dowel not being perfectly centered on the motor. But, the effect went away when I did center the dowel stick. With almost no resources, I amused myself by trying different reflectors on different dowel sticks. I even tried putting a reflector on upside-down and got no vertical lift.
When I discussed the experiment with one of my teachers, he told me I was simply observing a wave effect - like a button on a long string. So, I experimented with thicker, sturdier, dowel sticks that didn’t flex. That convince me the effect was not wave motion.
The thicker dowel stick allowed me to experiment with increasing the offset (delta-R) at the motor shaft. This resulted in much more forceful rising of the wobbling reflector disk. I wanted to get rid of the wobble entirely, so I tried using reflectors with center holes that were almost the same diameter as the dowel stick. When I did so, the lifting disappeared! It became apparent that the delta-R and the wobbling of the reflector were both required. It was found that the hole-diameter/dowel-diameter ratio could get too large and the effect would disappear.
My school teacher (who never saw my equipment) insisted the effect must be aerodynamic and, therefore, would fail in a vacuum. Since my high school didn’t have a vacuum chamber available, that test had to wait until I attended college. When I finally ran the experiment in a bell jar the effect worked – same as always.
Then LIFE interrupted everything for a few years.
The next time I experimented with the Gamma effect, I built a teststand that clamped the top of the dowel stick in place and fed the other end through an offset hole (delta-R) in a turntable. So, the dowel didn’t rotate; one end of it revolved.
Things got really interesting when I began using a rheostat to vary the motor’s speed. There was a range of motor speeds where the reflector would not even wobble; it would simply “lean” outward due to CF. As the rpms increased, the reflector would begin to wobble, but not rise up the dowel stick. Then, there was liftoff and the reflector would either shoot up the dowel stick or rise to some level and continue to wobble there as long as the rpms remained constant. I also discovered there was a maximum motor speed (rpms) for a particular disk/dowel stick geometry (resonance range).
I didn’t know how to measure the forces present, but I knew their sum was exerting an upward force equal to the weight of the reflector. And I knew how to increase or decrease those forces. I even got the reflector to lift (other) neutral weights up the dowel stick.
One critic of the experiment said the reflector was merely climbing up the dowel stick. But, I suspected more was happening. It was at this point I developed the idea of a horizontal impulse (Ih). It was based on a two-dimensional interpretation of the reflector pivoting. I reasoned the stick was dragging the reflector for 180 degrees (from left to right) with the reflector’s center of gravity (CG) pivoted toward the left. Then when the stick reversed its (2D) direction, the reflector’s CG would pivot toward the right AND upward (delta-h). The whole procedure would then be repeated in the reverse direction. Thus, the disk would, indeed, be climbing up the dowel stick.
The theory now explained why the intensity of the horizontal impulse (Ih) decreased as the disk rose, even though the frequency might remain constant (depending on the rpms).
My first report was titled: “Centrifugal Force as a Linear Driving Mechanism”.
I discussed the device with a college classmate who was a patent attorney and she said I didn’t have to wait until my engine flew to get a patent. She and her husband suggested that I put wheels on it and make it go up an incline; that would show there was a net thrust, and they would patent it for free! Three days later, I demonstrated a device which wobbled itself, up an incline, in their office. I had simply placed the little teststand on its side (concealed in a shoe box) on a toy truck base that had four wheels. Afterward, the patent attorneys reigned and wanted more money than I had!
At that point, I was mentoring some students from the Academy of Aeronautics and they offered to machine aluminum disks for me. Accepting their offer, I lied about what the disks would be used for and had the final geometries machined at my job. The disks were simply heavier reflectors. The dowel stick was now replaced with a steel shaft to accommodate the heavier disks.
I designed and built a model car using two counter-rotating aluminum disks that were propelled by two sewing machine motors. Although it did work, it had a strong tendency to raise its front end. I put weights to reduce the front-end bounce. Strangely, it never did perform as well as the first car.
At that point I was introduced to Bob Jones who was publishing his “Spaceflight Newsletters”. He explained his Entropy Theory and sent pages of handwritten equations showing that an entropy drive was possible. (I didn’t understand any of the math).
When I visited Bob, he showed me a device that looked like a big Erector set. It was hanging on chains and had a gun-sight aimed at a reference point on the device. When he switched it on I wasn’t able to discern the deflection that he saw.
As soon as I returned to my Lab, in Astoria, New York, I hung Gamma Car 2 on chains and tried to see if it would deflect. There wasn’t any noticeable deflection.
Bob visited my lab and, after I ran the teststand and Gamma car 2, he was so impressed that he bought the car!
I asked him “What’s new with you?” and he said “Watch this”. He removed something from his shirt pocket. It was a tube (about the size of a short pencil) with a paperclip sticking out its side. When he extracted the paperclip, the tube shot to the ceiling.
“Propelled by Entropy energy”, Bob said.
We both laughed and then I remembered just how smart he really was. He explained it to me and I pretended to understand. It became obvious – he had the theory and I had the bigger working models.
That’s when we agreed to publish a report. It was titled “The Gamma Report”
For technical reasons separate from my Gamma experiments, I became involved with two professors from New York University. They visited my lab and saw the Gamma equipment run, but they were not convinced that it was operating according to my and Bob’s theories.
After doing some basic calculations concerning the operation of a pivoting disk (Ih) rotating about an offset shaft (delta-R) they admitted they didn’t understand why it worked.
Once again, LIFE interrupted everything for a few years.
Nagging curiosity got to me and I started again in Chicago. I built a small teststand and tried to measure the disk frequency (Ih) using an oscilloscope, at my job,. But, the signal was too erratic and could not be sync’d. I still didn’t know the frequency of the pulses of the disk hitting the shaft.
When I realized the device didn’t have to lift the electric motor, I decided to attempt a flight test with a Gamma engine that was intended to lift itself off of its driving motor.
The attempt was made in Washington Park, one cold afternoon. The Gamma engine had four Plexiglas rods between two, circular, aluminum plates. Each rod had an aluminum disk on it. There was a square shaft, through the vertical center of the engine, which allowed the engine to slide down onto an automobile starter electric motor. An external fork-type device clamped the engine to the motor and could be pulled away to release the engine.
When the powerful motor started, the disks quickly clicked to their outer-most position (due to CF) and stayed there. It was planned that the initial rpms would be much higher than the resonance range of the disks. Once the motor was switched off, the engine would slow down and pass through its resonance range. At that point, I’d release the retaining fork and watch my engine soar into the air! That was the plan.
Actually, the disk never vibrated or wobbled! (The delta-R was much too large). After several attempts, one of the plastic rods broke and the whole device fell over on its side. That’s when I met Bill Davis and he offered his machinist skills.
Over the next two years, Bill and I set up a test chamber and control console in his basement. We got an oscilloscope, ASR-33 teletype printer, chart recorder, speed controls, emergency shut-off switch and more. Thanks to Bill’s machinist skills, we tested all sorts of gyroscopic disks, some of which weighed more than a pound. We tested disk of different materials, with identical geometries at a whole range of speeds. We varied every parameter, took measurements and tried to analyze what was going on.
By using a square shaft, mated to a square hole in the disk, the gyroscopic momentum was tremendously increased. And the Ih-frequency was measured using piezoelectric sensors.
The work we did in Bill’s basement is described in my novel “The Monkeybars of Life”.
The Gamma engine devices were placed inside a metal instrument cabinet frame which had cinder blocks on it to reduce the CF vibrations which were always greater than the lifting/thrusting forces generated. Occasionally, one of the disks would break free and bounce off the walls of the brick closet several times before we could hit the Emergency Off switch.
We placed a fork-shaped Lift-Arm adjacent to the teststand and could insert it (remotely) around the spinning shaft, so that the disk would hit against it and we could measure the thrust.
We got incrementally better and better with our experiments. But, we knew the equipment was always much too heavy for the amount of lift we were generating. The inherent weight of a gyro system, with its drive motor, was working against “liftoff”.
We started thinking about getting some official help. Someone who the outside world would listen to and believe we’ve accomplished what we had.
After reading an article in a science magazine, I sent a report and a letter to the U.S. Navy describing Gamma Car 2 and asking their opinion. They said ‘the car merely hop-scotched across the floor’. They didn’t comment on the rest of the report.
We invited a PhD candidate, from the University of Chicago, to witness one of our test. He had already read my report and marked it up repeatedly with ‘This violates Newton’s law’. After examining the teststand and witnessing a test run he simply said, “Now, I’ve seen it and I still don’t believe it” and he left. We never heard from him again!
After meditating on what to do next, I decided we should do a pendulum test. Bob Jones had said that’s one ultimate test to show that a net thrust was present. We built a special engine (Gamma-815) that would use an aluminum flywheel for power. That would allow us to completely isolate the engine from ANY external influences. The G-815 had a THRUST PLATE that the disks would be hitting against. But, we had so much trouble trying to get the gears to mesh properly that we decided to run the P-test with the (externally powered) Gamma-810 engine.
We installed a Thrust Plate for receiving the disks impulses and mounted the four-cylinder engine onto a plywood slat. The G-810 was powered by two hefty electric motors – one at the front to run the gyro-disks and the other to run the delta-R plates. The entire device was hung on eight foot chains. This time, the lift arm was located where it could measure horizontal movement and send its signal to the chart recorder. Rolling pins were situated on the sides of the engine to prevent sideways movement.
When the test started, we knew the exact input parameters to use because we had taken measurements previous on the G-810. We got the engine into its resonance range and started varying the motor’s speeds. Then we heard a popping sound that meant one or more universal couplings had broken. A close look showed we were correct!
We went and checked the strip-chart recorder and scrolled back through the ink line. There it was! Unmistakably, the pen had moved two minor divisions from the zero setting during the test and then it showed scribble when the engine loss synchronization.
“We did it!” one of us said, “We actually did it! And here’s the proof.”
Once again, LIFE interrupted everything for many years.
The next time I got involved with Gamma engines was in 1991. I was living in England and, after I met Sandy Kidd, I started thinking “…maybe a Thrust Plate isn’t necessary” and “suppose the Gamma disks could pivot 360 degrees” and “stepper motors could pulse the disks”.
After Sandy said, “You know, you can never walk away from something like this.” my mind went into overdrive – realizing how everything could be miniaturized now and computer hardware and software were cheaper and faster… etc.
I had some money, so in the few months before I left England, I had a machine shop make some parts for the Gamma 910 engine. In my rushing the design and construction, some of the parts fit too loosely for serious testing.
However, for the first time, I used a strobe light to observe the actions of the running engine. To my shock and surprise, I discovered the disk was pivoting INWARD instead of outward like my 2D Horizontal Impulse theory predicted!
Further testing had to wait.
Eventually, I had EVERYTHING I needed in place. Preliminary tests confirmed that the G-910F engine was solidly built and operational. In addition to the standard o-scope, computers and monitoring software, I borrowed programmable stepper-motor controllers from my job. And I decided to use a Thrust Plate again.
The engine would be sitting on a Load Cell to measure lift and had a ball-bearing slide. The teststand was made from a rack-mount instrument cabinet and placed in a closet that had lots of foam packing to reduce the noise.
Just days before testing was to begin, the Northridge earthquake hit and nearly destroyed my apartment complex!
ALL my equipment was loss! I barely escaped with my life. We were allowed back into the building, only once, to grab some belongings. Afterward, the building was declared unsafe and I left California with only my car and all my notebooks but one that I couldn’t find.
In 2012, after reestablishing communication with Sandy Kidd via www.gyroscopes.org and reading many of the blogs there and some of those on YouTube, I decided to write this report for anyone interested.
||8 August 2016
Answers (Ordered by Date)
||James - 28/08/2016 15:21:19
| ||Some Gamma Drive photos from long ago.|
|Add an Answer >>|