March 29, 2020
The outer stops/traps are the next (last?) item to get working properly. Roy (Thornson) stated that the planet traps (stops) could be either mechanical or electromagnetic and that they should act as a braking system that would momentarily restrain the pendulum weights and release them at the correct moment in the planet’s orbit & rotation. When the weight is released it snaps outward in the direction of desired movement pulling the unit forward.
Now having tried several variations of stops/planet traps, I can see that this is a very important part of the unit that enhances its functionality as much if not more than any other single component does. It seems to be all about “steering” the weight into a position where it can “whip” outward at the correct time.
At this time, several methods have been attempted to steer (or trap) the weight(s) with some limited success. So far, the most effective method uses permanent magnets mounted on an adjustable steel bar and on the weight. When running at low speeds (30 rpm or less) magnets placed in attraction steer the weights into position and whip outward as soon as the weight is pulled away slightly. When the rpm is increased to the 40-60 rpm range, more magnets must be added in repulsion and placed slightly outboard from the attraction magnets. When rpm is in the 60-100 rpm range the weight will not always be properly directed demonstrating the need for a much more robust method for the unit to be used effectively through multiple rpm ranges allowing for a more adjustable thrust output by simple rpm adjustment.
I Think the pendulum weights and their stops/traps/brakes need to be an integrated design where each is separate, yet they need to function as a single, independent unit when functioning.