Page 20, Prepping for Road Testing

May 9, 2020, Prepping for Road Testing

Preparations are under way to be ready and able to perform the next phase of operations, which is road testing. Since this will be tested in an open-air pick-up truck bed, several issues come to mind.
First, unattended operation. Nobody will be in the back with it due to state laws prohibiting riding in the back of a truck. If timing does slip, or there is a mechanical failure there will be a significant time lag between the failure point and human intervention. (Note: Most testing facilities also prohibit open-air riders without expensive safety harnesses and specialized equipment)
Second, the weather. The PIE needs to have some protection from inclement weather and from any debris that the wind could potentially deposit in the open gear mechanics of the PIE.
Third, nosy people. This is potentially the trickiest part of the testing. At this early stage of testing, a bit of privacy would be advantageous. The public is invited to view the data, pictures & videos online. Eventually there will be public demonstrations.

Secure vehicle mounting, with a weather resistant cover (hood).
Remote switching control, I prefer hard wiring for reliability.
Video monitoring, it would be good to keep an eye on the PIE if possible.
Graphic monitoring of engine load, done via vehicle computer interface.
PIE timing adjustments made & verified.
Tensioner spring tightened. Additional belt support may be necessary if there is a problem.


Moving the PIE & all its fixings back and forth numerous times, I can say that it most definitely wasn’t built with weight limitations in mind. That’s a polite way of saying that it’s freakin’ heavy.
I got out my digital AC scale & weighed the PIE, battery & axles just to get an Idea of the heft of the components.
Weight of the current PIE is 46.46 lbs., not including battery or rolling axles.
Weight of pair of axles used is 3.640 lbs., these won’t be needed for road testing.
Weight of battery used is 27.005 lbs., a battery is needed for “plug in hybrid” status.

Page 19, A New Video, Adjustments, & To-Do List

May 6, 2020, Adjustments Made, To Do List Update, & 3-Speed Running Video

Work has kept me busy with little time to spend lunch hours working with the PIE, but I did take the time to do some timing adjustments. It seems strange to me that the setting is so different between the opposing spin plates & the synchronous spin plates.
I have continued with timing adjustments being made for maximum thrust without the PIE on any wheels or rollers. It is reasonably easy to see torque & thrust when sitting on a bench or table since it will attempt to push the small bench in the forward direction, even to the point of tipping it up on two legs when thrusting.
Perhaps the final settings will (once found & recorded) will help enhance other designs such as the opposing spin design originated to work in a zero gravity & zero atmosphere environment, time will tell.
I did note that different timing settings were more effective at different rpm’s. When running on Low vs. High, the timing seems to affect efficiency from retarded to advanced and the PIE becomes much more sensitive to those adjustments at the higher rpm than it is at the lowest speed.
I also took the time to measure motor rpm working on all three speeds, with the photo tachometer. I know that values would be a bit higher if the battery was connected to a charging system, but at least this is a solid base value at an average of 12.2 volts.
Speed- Value- Source Volts:
Low- 36 RPM- 12.35v
Med- 53 RPM- 12.22v
High- 66 RPM- 12.10v
With the amount of thrust (yet to have a true measurement) generated in this speed range, I can only imagine what might be possible at a modestly higher speed of 100 to 200 rpm.
Once this is a successful working prototype, I have started putting together some drawings (on paper) to put both planetary sets on a single rotating assembly, thus reducing the sprawling layout and eliminating the need for a timing belt between rotating plate assemblies. I had better update the “To Do” list.
The updated “To Do” list:
1- A better locking mechanism for the sun gears to the axles.
2- A way to vary the sun gear timing by adjusting axle position.
3- A different drive system from the motor to the plates, maybe a double-sided timing belt or a roller chain drive.
4- Explore the possibility of having sun & planet gears on both sides of the plates.
5- Mount in a motor vehicle for road testing.

As seen on the list, although small side notes could be added to some of the listed items, I am very close to real world testing on a test track & ultimately the highway. 

Here is a video clip of the 3 different speeds. No timing changes were made during this run & on the highest speed, there is a significant leftward pull which will slide the front edge of the PIE sideways.

Page 18, Little Red Wagon & Modifications Made

April 30, 2020

I decided to put the whole unit on a small (rather wobbly) little red wagon to see if it would pull it around or at least if it would make it easier to push it up an incline. The wagon is far too wobbly to be used effectively but it did push it around my shop floor.

I also see the absolute necessity of making the sun gear timing adjustment lock securely. As I was testing, one of them suddenly drifted right, to the point where it tried to tip the red wagon over.

It was time to tear it down and rebuild the gear adjustment locks…And so I did…

Here is where I ended up.


I have realized that the only “good” video I have put here is of the first functional demo unit. Here is a video of the it with all of the latest modifications (listed below). I did not have it on wheels in this video, it is very difficult to keep it on the bench if there is anything under it that it will roll on.
Modifications Made:
Switched wires on motor to obtain an effective 3rd speed (I will measure that speed & post it here soon).
The center axles were removed for rework. 
Washers were welded to the topside of the lower beam.
The axles were repositioned downward to allow for double nutting underneath the beam.
The sun gears were welded to the washers (top side and bottom side), then were mounted back onto the axles where the washers were welded to the nuts & the nuts welded to the axles.
When mounting the axles on the beam, the bottom nuts are only somewhat tight.
A locking (double) nut added to each axle to keep the bottom nuts from loosening.
A pair of doubled nuts ware added above the center stop contact area, a metal top bar placed on them, and the axles are locked by tightening a nut on top of the top bar keeping the sun gears timed properly.
Timing (T-belt) set at 12 & 1 o’clock.
Planetary weight set to contact center stop with plant gear approx. 40 degrees before BDC (Bottom Dead Center).
Running at highest speed allowed by the motor on a 12V battery.
On bench, no wheels, pulling bench violently to one side & lifting 1 leg of bench off the floor. 
Very encouraging!!

Ready for another test…

Page 17, T-belt Timing for Maximum Thrust

April 29, 2020 (T-belt Timing)

Now that the T-belt is installed & working with two flexplates, the question of how to time the two flexplates is at hand.
Since there is negligible backward push, it is all about “maximizing” and “smoothing” the forward thrust.

Observations made are as follows:
1- The closer the two flexplates are timed together, the forward push increases but so does the “pulsation” effect of the drive.
2- With the timing set at 180 degrees, the pulsation is very low but so is the forward thrust. 90 degrees does work, but I am not very pleased with the forward thrust & it almost seems that the two halves are fighting one another.
3- Setting the timing to approximately 30 degrees apart (12 & 1 o’clock positions) is very promising.
4- Although testing is necessary to state this conclusively, bringing the clock positioning closer together increases the thrust power more than a simple ratio would explain. If it were a “simple” ratio, clocked or timed at 180 degrees should produce ½ of the thrust but this does not seem to be the case. Since we are dealing with moving weights, rotating assemblies, and linear thrust, it would be logical to assume a formula must be used to calculate the thrust ad different timing positions.
I will be locking the positions of the stationary gears to their axles very soon to ensure the positions do not drift while running. 
That will be the very next step toward a road test!

Page 16, Timing Chain or Timing Belt?

April 28, 2020 (To Chain or To Belt, That Is The Question)

Since identifying the need to eliminate the belt-slip/speed-variation problem and because I want two flexplate assemblies synchronized and both turning CW, either a roller chain or a toothed belt has to be used.

The dilemma was in deciding which would be better.

I really like roller chains because they are a very forgiving utilitarian design which will work in the harshest conditions, even if not perfectly tight or aligned. The downside is that they are heavy, noisy & require regular lubrication.

I like toothed belts (t-belts) because they eliminate the downsides of a roller chain, i.e. they are light, quiet and do not require lubrication. The t-belt downside is that they are rather “finicky”, they need to be well aligned, tight and clean.

 After much consideration, I am installing a toothed timing belt for this prototype. If it proves to be too troublesome it will be replaced with roller chain & matching sprockets.

I have several used belts that were changed only for maintenance purposes and they have a rather common 8-M pitch, and I have some sprocket pullies for them, but the pullies would need extensive rework to fit my application. Because this is really a prototype, I decided to fabricate my own t-belt sprocket teeth on the existing flat pullies. This was pretty simple as the pulley circumference of 3” was almost perfect, & 1/8” rod is a nearly perfect fit to use as teeth for the sprockets.

I used a piece of timing belt as a guide and simply welded the teeth into place on each end.



Alignment of the pullies is a bit challenging, but it works pretty well.

With slightly out-of -round sprocket pullies & without a truly solid framework, there is deflection in the axles & motor mounting that causes the belt to slack off and snap back tight, so I installed a belt tensioner on the slack side of the belt between the motor & load.

The T-belt works well, and now the rotational speed is MUCH steadier. This has completely eliminated the belt slippage I experienced previously which was caused by the intermittent torque load.

I purposely started this T-belt testing with the flexplates in sync so that it would put excessive pulsing strain on the motor drive, and it has proven to be capable of handling the pulsing variations in load quite successfully.

The better it works, the more mechanical faults become evident, that is why this slow progression is absolutely necessary. If I started out with a reactionless drive unit that functioned perfectly, how would I ever understand all the things that make it work, and the things that will stop it from working?

#3 on the To-Do List… Done… But now an additional To-Do…

The updated “To Do” list:
1- A better locking mechanism for the sun gears to the axles.
2- A way to vary the sun gear timing by adjusting axle position.
3- A different drive system from the motor to the plates, maybe a double-sided timing belt or a roller chain drive.
4- Explore the possibility of having sun & planet gears on both sides of the plates.
5- Mount in a motor vehicle for road testing.
6- Change synchronization of CW turning plates to reduce pulsation.

Here is a first test run video with the motor running on low speed and the unit not being allowed to move.

Page 15, Stability vs. Instability & Revised “To Do” List

April 21, 2020
The working phrase of the day is: “There is a necessary dynamic stability in the build as well as a necessary dynamic instability. An Excess of either is intolerable”.

I learned a few things today. Some of these things I already knew, but was not giving proper consideration, others that have formed new ideas and will be added to my list of things needing exploration.
Today I made it into a 3-wheeler, two flexplates turning clockwise (CW) & one turning counterclockwise (CCW). The two CW plates are timed exactly together while the CCW is still 90 degrees behind them. The amount of forward push effectively doubled, coming from the pair of CW plates. And the single CCW quite effectively extends the time that the machine pushes between “pauses”. This tells me that configuration is of the upmost importance!
I learned quite a bit about this machine’s timing & it seems that it can be correlated to a spark ignition type IC engine’s timing (cam, tach, dwell & timing correlation).  
The obvious list is as follows.
           Inertial Drive:                           IC Engine:          (Definition):
           Flexplate timing                     Camshaft Timing   (Timing gears, chain or belt)                               
           Planet Timing                         Ignition Timing      (Distributor timing)                  
           Inner Stop to Outer Stop       Ignition Dwell       (Ignition coil saturation time)                
           RPMs                                   RPMs                  (Speed of rotation)    


I also had an issue with the belt slipping. At first I didn’t notice the slippage, but there was suddenly a problem with the drive oscillating back and forth. Tightening the belt corrected this oscillation.

This has led me to the tentative conclusion that dynamic rotation speed is very important during the time when the weight is between the inner & outer stops. 

I cannot help but wonder if changing motor speed at precise times could enhance the functionality… The velocity of the weight is already being manipulated by the orbital path, why not expand on this premise.
I believe that the intermittently slipping belt (caused by weak motor mounting) was what would intermittently cause poor performance. I also believe that it could be an important discovery! A feature that could be added as a performance enhancer if the timing of speed differences were reversed!
The updated “To Do” list:
1- A better locking mechanism for the sun gears to the axles.
2- A way to vary the sun gear timing by adjusting axle position.
3- A different drive system from the motor to the plates, maybe a double-sided timing belt or a roller chain drive.
4- Explore the possibility of having sun & planet gears on both sides of the plates.
5- Mount in a motor vehicle for road testing.

Page 12, Phase 2, Refinement of the Drive & “Successful Failures”

April 7, 2020

The refining of this drive system requires intimate knowledge of what does NOT work! There have been many tries & fails throughout multiple projects on my path to this point.
It is very difficult to remain optimistic through multiple obstacles, many times where I would have to avoid the deep, sucking hole of self-doubt & even depression.
 Every time something that I thought should work, but didn’t, I HAD to see it as a “Successful Failure”. That means there is no such thing as a failure, only the opportunity to learn. That is something which made me a great diagnostician in the auto repair industry for so many years (or, so I am told).
Fortunately, that makes the successful tests, changes & experiments that much more gratifying.
Now begins the refinement of this reactionless drive into a final product that can be a useful addition to mankind’s goals of energy independence as well as cheap & efficient propulsion for virtually all types of transportation.
This refinement now begins:
The components that need immediate work are twofold, first is the “stop” taking the place of the outer planet trap & second is accurately controlling the timing of the planetary gears.
First will be the stop. I am presently working to increase the efficiency of the pendulum weight stop and hopefully impart the weight’s force more effectively.

Page 11, Recap & “State of the Project”

To recap where this all stands at this point in its development:

1-      Two matching 13” gears (automotive flexplates) are attached to 3” smooth idler pullies which are mounted to a beam so that the teeth are engaged between them ant they can spin freely on the idler pully bearings. These flexplate assemblies will be referred to as “Main Gears”.
The axles that the Main Gears rotate on are 5/8” threaded rod, and they need to extend through the Main Gears enough to be used as inner planet traps (6” to 10”). A 3 or 4 inch long piece of 5/8” heater hose is slid onto each Main Gear axle for the weight to contact.
2-      A 3” flat pully is mounted to a used Honda windshield wiper motor to drive the assembly via a serpentine type automotive belt.
3-      Four 3-1/2” flat idler pullies are used for the sun & planet gears. Short (approx. 1”) pieces of 3/8” diameter steel rod is welded to the OD of the pullies, transforming them into coarse toothed spur gears. One “tooth” on each gear is made from a 3” long bolt (3/8” coarse thread) to act as both a tooth and the pendulum weight pivot. These pivot bolts have the hex head removed.
4-      A pendulum weight is attached to the pivot bolts via a steel bushing (1/4” water pipe cut to length and drilled out with a 3/8” drill) welded to the hex head of a 3/8” x 2” bolt. The weights are fabricated from three steel squares (2” x 2” x 3/8”) placed together and welded. A hole is drilled & tapped in the center on one side to accommodate the bolt. A lock nut is threaded onto the bolt and then the weight is threaded on. Once in position, the lock nut is tightened against the weight block to maintain its position with the pivot bushing. The overall length of the pendulum assembly is approximately 4-1/8” and the length from the center of the pivot is approximately 3-3/4”.
5-      “Outer Plant Traps”… That is what Roy Thornson called them, are restraints for the pendulum weights. Roy’s logs & patent documents, call for an external restraint to catch (or trap) the weight after it has left the inner trap and then release it at the correct time to allow the weight to swing outward with a snapping motion. I have experimented with different designs and for this incarnation of this machine it is unnecessary.
What IS ABSOLUTELY necessary is the Planet gear mounted stop!!! It functions to keep the pendulum weight from swinging too far when it is coming off the inner trap and it is an essential component that “catches or stops the weight when it is swinging outward.
This is very important, the stop and the weight MUST come together when the weight is the farthest from the planet gear’s axle! Without this, much of the functionality is lost!
6-      Timing is critical! There is the Main Gear timing vs the planetary gear timing. Originally the Main Gears were timed together (because the “push” is not perfectly straight) so that one would counter the other’s sideways push. We aren’t building this for use in space at this time, so, this is absolutely not necessary!!! By offsetting the timing by approximately 90 degrees the pulsation effect is reduced and thrust is increased.
Timing on the sun & planet set is quite critical and is set by placing the gears into a position where the planet’s axle, the weight’s pivot bolt, and the Main Gear axle are in alignment and that alignment (if using a straight edge) is approximately 45 degrees BEFORE top dead center (when the alignment would point straight forward). There have been incarnations of this build where that has not been the case but that was much different.
7-      The speed of rotation (RPM) is an integral part of the unit’s operation and the lengths, sizes, weights, and timing are a choreographed “dance” which requires the speed to remain constant in order to achieve & maintain flow. Different motors, battery voltages, drag coefficients, etc. can & will affect the RPM and may require slight timing changes to compensate.
Whew… That’s quite a recap… It sure didn’t SEEM that — um, “involved”…

Page 10, Back to v2 Weights With Improved Stops & Longer Pivot Bolts

April 3, 2020

I went back to V2 weights, removed the magnet from both and welded a “bump” onto each of the pivoting bolts so that they contact the stops firmly when the weights are in their fully extended positions. After retiming the sun & planet gears to use this setup, I am reasonably pleased with the amount of thrust.