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Thread: The Secret To A Longer Wheel Spin Time

  1. #1
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    The Secret To A Longer Wheel Spin Time

    Hi All,

    I'm not a moderator or anything here, but I've successfully built & load tested a couple of SSGs now, which took me a number of years to succeed in. I've seen some posts regarding insufficient free-spin times for the magnet-loaded wheels & would like to pass on an important technique which was imparted to me from John Smith in Western Australia, whom I believe is / was a member on this forum recently. I'm not sure where this technique came from originally, but if it was indeed John Smith's own, then he deserves full credit for this & should he find this post, he may feel free to add to it if he wishes.

    When building my first SSG, I became quite frustrated to see the wheel I'd spent many hours, days & weeks carefully measuring to the half-millimetre & loading with magnets (glued on with Liquid Nails Ultimate Strength - which, I believe is another one of John S's marvellous techniques), come to a grinding halt after about eight & a bit minutes and then rock back & forth until settling to a stand-still. Currently, the wheels on both of my builds can be spun (without coils) for eleven and a half minutes, with no rocking whatsoever & glide through to a very, very slow & smooth stop (very satisfying to watch!). It will cost you many hours in time, but nothing or almost nothing in extra costs for materials, & you should have a perfectly balanced wheel in the end, which will yield much better results each & every time you tune the device or use it to charge batteries. This, I believe, will become even more important should we wish to or need to run these SSGs off of Crystal Batteries.

    Give your wheel a big spin - hard as you can - & wait for it to come to a complete stop after all the rocking has finished. Mark the top of the wheel, on the wheel, against a fixed position or another mark on your SSG. This mark should be at the very top or Top Dead Centre of the wheel. Repeat the process, adding a real big blob of glue (possibly with some other heavy non-ferrous material mixed in it, like brass) at this point should it come up to the mark again. Keep repeating the process with progressively smaller blobs of glue (I used - you guessed it - Liquid Nails, mostly on its own, because it's very tacky & the wheel can be spun immediately after it has been applied without it coming off), until your wheel never comes to rest in the same place twice. You can expect the whole process to take around six or so hours, so find something else to do whilst the wheel is spinning or you might be driven insane watching a spinning wheel. Liquid Nails takes about a week to dry to its full strength, so re-balance your wheel using the same procedure after about a week to check it at least. My builds never needed this, maybe due to the even-ness of blob placement, but it pays to check. Now time it from when you stop spinning it until it comes to rest. Congratulations on breaking the eight point five minute "glass ceiling"!

    Let me know if you can beat eleven & a half minutes consistently.

  2. #2
    Hi Barrie. The bike wheel I bought (24" aluminum, used, for $5.00) had a free spin time of about 1m 30 sec when I took it home. I degreased the old bearings and added tri-flow and got it up to about 3m. Then, I went to the bike shop and bought some brand new ceramic bearings, degreased them, added tri-flow and now have a free spin time of 18m 27s!! I'm not sure the material the bearings are constructed of is as important as simply using NEW degreased and properly relubed bearings, and using a well balanced wheel, as you detail here. Thankfully, my wheel was pretty well balanced already and did not require serious balancing work. The balance and bearings are the key.

    Cheers!

    -Woody
    "It's not a mutiny if the commander is leading it!" - Wally Schirra, Commander Apollo 7

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tom C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Hi Barrie. The bike wheel I bought (24" aluminum, used, for $5.00) had a free spin time of about 1m 30 sec when I took it home. I degreased the old bearings and added tri-flow and got it up to about 3m. Then, I went to the bike shop and bought some brand new ceramic bearings, degreased them, added tri-flow and now have a free spin time of 18m 27s!! I'm not sure the material the bearings are constructed of is as important as simply using NEW degreased and properly relubed bearings, and using a well balanced wheel, as you detail here. Thankfully, my wheel was pretty well balanced already and did not require serious balancing work. The balance and bearings are the key.

    Cheers!

    -Woody

    Woody, that is excellent!! the less mechanical work we have to do, the more efficient the SG will be. you are to be congratulated.

    Tom C


    experimental Kits, chargers and solar trackers

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Hi Barrie. The bike wheel I bought (24" aluminum, used, for $5.00) had a free spin time of about 1m 30 sec when I took it home. I degreased the old bearings and added tri-flow and got it up to about 3m. Then, I went to the bike shop and bought some brand new ceramic bearings, degreased them, added tri-flow and now have a free spin time of 18m 27s!! I'm not sure the material the bearings are constructed of is as important as simply using NEW degreased and properly relubed bearings, and using a well balanced wheel, as you detail here. Thankfully, my wheel was pretty well balanced already and did not require serious balancing work. The balance and bearings are the key.

    Cheers!

    -Woody
    Strewth! Eighteen & a half minutes, eh? That's with magnets & no coil, right? No rocking at the end either? How much did they set you back? I didn't know you could get another set of bearings for them & was told by three different places (two bike shops & a specialist bearing shop) that what I had (brand new bike wheel) was the best I could do! They're just free or loose ball bearings made from ceramic, right? I'd better go find some then!

    Looks like 18:27 is the one to beat!

    All the best.

  5. #5
    Barrie,

    Yes, that was free-spin, w/o coil. Magnets were attached, measured till she stopped moving, w/o rocking. The bearings were $70.00, and were a complete sealed set of two. These are not loose ball bearings made of ceramic, but complete bearing assemblies. They are a hassle to get out of the old hub, but pretty easy to re-install. I went on youtube to see some how-to videos on changing bicycle wheel bearings. I just removed the seals, cleaned out every vestige of the grease they came with, and then lubed them with tri-flow and re-installed the seals. Any of the PTFE type lubes should work just as well. I couldn't find any lubrilon or excelplus at the time, but the tri-flow has worked very well. Your mileage may vary. I knew it was possible to get really good free-spin times when I read that one guy got over 20 minutes! Whoever that was gets the free-spin time gold medal!

    Good luck on your project!

    Cheers,

    -Woody
    "It's not a mutiny if the commander is leading it!" - Wally Schirra, Commander Apollo 7

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Barrie,

    Yes, that was free-spin, w/o coil. Magnets were attached, measured till she stopped moving, w/o rocking. The bearings were $70.00, and were a complete sealed set of two. These are not loose ball bearings made of ceramic, but complete bearing assemblies. They are a hassle to get out of the old hub, but pretty easy to re-install. I went on youtube to see some how-to videos on changing bicycle wheel bearings. I just removed the seals, cleaned out every vestige of the grease they came with, and then lubed them with tri-flow and re-installed the seals. Any of the PTFE type lubes should work just as well. I couldn't find any lubrilon or excelplus at the time, but the tri-flow has worked very well. Your mileage may vary. I knew it was possible to get really good free-spin times when I read that one guy got over 20 minutes! Whoever that was gets the free-spin time gold medal!

    Good luck on your project!

    Cheers,

    -Woody
    Awesome! I reckon you'd make your money back on that one. Have you tuned it all up & measured the input current yet? If you dial up a high base resistance, I reckon you could run the SSG off just a few miliamps. You'd be able to run something like that off of crystal batteries forever! Thanks for posting... gives the rest of us something to aim for. Hey - I might even try to get a hold of some myself & try them out in my next build I'm working on now. Darn it, I can still remember the day I was told I had the best wheel in the country! Now there was a day

  7. #7
    spin time and balance effect cop
    roller bearings are best for the money no adj.-like side load here a video i did long a go
    guy
    bedini spin/ballance - YouTube

  8. #8
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    I've only just found this thread and decided to share my own way. I did as well as balancing Barrie Castle. I used fishing sinkers instead of glue. It did not take much time. P1070487.jpgP1070488.jpgP1070489.jpg
    I hope it will help someone.
    Konstantin.

  9. #9
    Hi all
    I found this thread again and wanted to add my 2 pence.
    I used candle wax to distribute the weight around the wheel. I lit a candle and applied drops of hot wax in between the magnets on the rim. The wax dries quickly and can be removed easily should I want to change my wheel setup. I was a little worried that the wax might crack over time and come off, but so far so good. 5 months since I balanced my wheel (200+ hrs spin time) and it's stayed put.
    Just getting the tightness right on the bearing nut and using triflo inside the bearing chamber got my free wheel spin time up from 2 minutes (out of the box) to 5 mins. Balancing the wheel with candle wax doubled that to 10 minutes.

    Thanks to Barrie and all who contributed on this thread. It helped me loads.

    Ahmad

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