Feb 24, 2021, 11:53 pm


New, New TardisBuilders!

Time rotor idea...

Started by Volpone, Dec 01, 2019, 02:05 am

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Long and eventful day and my mind was wandering.  I have neither the time nor place to build a console room, but I toyed with an excuse to maybe test my roundel idea.   

I had the idea to frame up a hexagon with a cylinder inside it and then fill the void between the two with expanding spray foam.  Assemble a bunch of them and then staple semi-opaque 6 mil plastic behind them, stick a light behind it and TA-DA!  Roundel wall.  Again,no place to put said wall, but I realized I could build a bunch of roundels and use them around the edge of the crawlspace under my house.  This would be mostly insane and pointless but they'd provide some insulation and definitely a vapor barrier under the house.  And one day, when I have an actual basement (or big enough garage)... 

So I got to thinking about lighting them and whether the lighting should change colors and obviously you'd want to control the lights from the console (sorry to make you read through the whole mind wandering) and what would be a cooler label than "interior lighting".  I got to thinking about other practical controls one might put on the console--viewscreen, of course.  Doors?  Probably.  The mechanism for doors would be a pain, I think.  But it wouldn't be any more difficult to wire up than the lights behind the walls. 

That's when the time rotor idea hit me.  I haven't done a lot of research, but I get the impression that the reciprocating action of the time rotor in the classic series was a pain in the but for the FX people.  Anyway, I can't even guess how I made the leap, but I did:  Instead of a crankshaft/piston model, why not drive wheels on an axle and then an inverted bell-curve/wave form on the bottom of the time rotor?  The  early TARDIS spun while going up and down.  Here you could have both.  Fine tuning it would be a bit of a headache, but it seems solvable.  If there wasn't enough traction to keep moving over the path, you could add teeth.  Actually wouldn't be that hard.  Just tack a bicycle chain to the bottom of the (OK, getting a bicycle chain to have enough flex to form a 19" diameter track might be a challenge) waveform and use bike sprockets for the drive wheels.  The downside, I thought, was that you couldn't have it just spin like the early Hartnel rotor did.  If it was spinning, it would have to be going up and down.  Or would it? 

Then I had the idea of adding a *second* set of wheels--on a track outside your waveform.  Then you would turn these drive wheels on when you just wanted the rotor to spin and the other wheels when you wanted it to spin and go up and down.  Then I realized the problem with that is you couldn't have both sets of wheels in contact with the bottom of the rotor at the same time and only have one set of wheels working.  So you either need some kind of clutch that disengages the wheels or you need something like a parking brake that can raise and lower one drive system.  So, say, in the "up" position, the waveform sprockets are pushing against the chain/waveform and in the down position, they drop away so the rotor is resting on the "spin" drive train. 

This all is very interesting for a number of reasons:
1) It makes for some relatively complex practical controls:  You're got a switch/slider for each form of rotor movement. 
2)Then you've got a lever that controls which drive system is engaged. 
3) Finally, you've got actual practical systems under the console--that can actually break down and require you to open a panel to try to repair them. 

Now I've really got to remember to stock up on some mercury.  Finding it in the 21st century is so difficult.  I need to go back before 1976 or so to get some.  Or get off this planet. 

"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.