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How to build an Orrery

Some Drawings

10:57, 19/5/2009 .. 1 comments .. Link
Ok so this is the story so far..

I drew my calculations in the program visio and noticed that I had some problems with the moon being to big, so I had to make the moon smaller. This is not a problem since it was not on scale.

I also made a small plan for the gears. To calculate how many I need, since this is not accurate I could not yet make a good drawing of how the gear plan will look like, or more exactly the framework. But this will come when I have my gears. The gears will be fabricated by a person of my work, but have to wait a while since he is very busy.

Ok here are the drawings and gear plans:

Gear plan

Standaard wiel: (98+2)*1 = 100mm  (x12)


Mercury:          (48+2)*1 = 50mm (x1)

Venus:              (124+2)*1 = 126 mm (x1)

Earth:               (200+2)*1 = 202 mm (x1)

Moon:              (16+2)*1 = 18 mm (x1)

Mars:               (376+2) = 378 mm (x1)

As you can see I did not yet calculate the gears for either the moon or the rotations of the earth, I will do this when I have the gears...


19:24, 5/5/2009 .. 0 comments .. Link

So I started on some calculations with help of a very good website: http://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/solar_system/ here you can enter the diameter of the sun and then you know how big you have to make your planets.

With this and little more research I came up with the following:

Orrery Building Plans

Planet Size

Sun: 10 cm
Mercury: 2.43 cm
Venus: 6.05 cm
Earth: 6.37 cm
Moon: 1.73 cm
Mars: 3.37 cm

Planet Radius

Mercury: 20.8 cm
Venus: 38.8 cm
Earth:53.7 cm
Moon: 7 cm
Mars: 81.8 cm

Planet Year/Percentage

Mercury: 87.97/ Days 24.10%
Venus: 224.7/ Days 61.51%
Earth: 365.26/ Days 100%
Moon: 29.53/ days 8.08%
Mars: 687/ 188.08%

These numbers will help me greatly with making a scale model. I now know that the whole thing has to be around one meter width to make.

The only thing that rests me know is to figure out the mechanical plan ( Gears Plan) and see how I get the correct speed, ofcourse on scale. But there are the percentages for. :)


The Start

10:25, 5/5/2009 .. 1 comments .. Link
On this blog I will try to post any progress made with me building an orrery. Don;t expect it going to be fast since I don;t have any experience with building clocks and devices like these. 

what is an orrery you ask? Wikipedia describes it as following:

An orrery is a mechanical device that illustrates the relative positions and motions of the planets and moons in the solar system in a heliocentric model. They are typically driven by a large clockworkSun at the centre, and with a planet at the end of each of the arms.

I always wanted something like this but to buy one you have to be rich and I am not rich (yet ). So where do you start with building one. I figured I start with searching the internet for some build plans. Unfortunate I couldn't find them and I even searched for days.

What I did find was some magazine that you could buy, which lets you make your own orrery by collecting a buying a lot of issues. But as I said I am not rich so no can do. I also found a lot of self made non working orrery's, but I am not interested in those, a child can make these.

Hoewever there is a man who made one from wood, and posted a lot of pictures on the internet of how his orrery looks like, and it could give me an idea for how to build such an orrery, although mine would be made from some sort of metal. (I think) the website is : http://www.woodenorrery.com

The next thing I have to do is to do some calculations and see how big it is going to be, determine the speed and of course the length of the orbits.

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