noisy ad-hoc gear train
Wednesday, August 7 2013
My disco ball hasn't been rotational since maybe 2011, and today I wanted to do something to change that. I have a drawer filled with random pulley, sprockets, axles, and gears, and I looked around in there for the potential makings for a gearbox to convert the fast-rotating 120 volt motor output to a high-torque slow-rotating output suitable for turning a fairly large disco ball. In the past I've been able to cobble together rotators for that ball using pulleys and spring-tensioned strings, but there's always been some sort of problem, either related to excessive noise or poor reliability.
Miraculously, I managed to find a series of gears that could divide up the roational speed of my motor and turn it into torque. I even found a small gear that slipped tightly over the motor's shaft and could be used to drive everything. So I assembled a wooden chassis with proper levels for the motor and all the various gears and correctly-positioned axle holes (drilled orthogonally using a drill press) for the gears. When I put it all together, it actually worked, but it was too noisy for use in turning a disco ball. A disco ball has to turn silently or there's no point.
Meanwhile, after preparing a meal of gnocchi and garden-fresh green beans, Gretchen had launched herself into a binge session with the new original series from Netflix entitled Orange is the New Black, about the travails of an upper-middle-class white girl in federal prison. Everyone had raved about it, and when I was done with my noisy gearbox I found myself captivated by it too. It's so rich and juicy, it's impossible to stop watching.
The gearbox I made today.
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