Censorship

 

There would appear to be censorship in operation, without explanation, when I attempt public comments regarding the claimed performance of Burgess B (see earlier posts herein for more information re Burgess B). Below is a brief record.

On 17th August 2017 I discovered that a comment of mine re the YouTube video ‘Amazingly accurate clock finally recognised after 300 years – Guinness World Records’ had disappeared without any explanation. The video is located at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQAY-zFkVyQ. I posted a revised comment, without any direct links, which removed any doubt that the inclusion of such links might have been responsible for the disappearance of my original comment. The revised YouTube comment, which included a repetition of  the original attempt, minus the links, was as follows:

‘My original comment has disappeared, for some unexplained reason! Perhaps there was a rejection due to the inclision of direct links (albeit after a significant delay, which might suggest another reason for the deletion). So, here is another attempt to exercise my right to contribute a logical, polite comment, this time without any direct links:
COMMENT. There is insufficient space here for an adequate response to this claim. A full response is provided on the ‘soptera’ website, which can be found by searching (e.g. Google) for all of the two words ‘glathoppa’ and ‘harrison’. Go directly to the ‘Posts’ section and locate the post entitled: ‘Verification of John Harrison’s Claim of One Second in a Hundred Days?’ The claimants have thus far failed to respond with any logical, sound counter-arguments or to even begin to comply with the reasonable and scientifically correct requests in the above post. Until those perfectly fair conditions are met, I can only entirely reject the claims being made in this video.’

On 30th August 2017 I observed that my revised comment was also missing from the comments section of the above described YouTube video. I’ve now deduced that my comments are only visible to me when I log on as ”glathoppa”. However, it is also apparent that nobody else can see my comments, whether they are logged into YouTube under their own usernames or not. There are various potential reasons and, as far as I can determine, I’ve eliminated all of those reasons except one, which is that those responsible for uploading the video are censoring comments and have not, for some unexplained reason, approved mine for inclusion below their video.

To avoid any misunderstanding, none of my comments have, even in the slightest, represented any attempt whatsoever to make unreasonable demands. I emphasise that particular point, because others, who apparently have little understanding of the subject and/or perhaps the intelligence to ever understand it, have stated that my comments echo the appalling behaviour of The Board of Longitude in Harrison’s day. I have made it absolutely clear to any sufficiently enlightened and/or intelligent reader, both on this site and elsewhere, that what I am asking for is nothing more than a correct adherence to the universally accepted and respected “Scientific Method”. If anyone here is unaware of the difference between the behaviour of The Board of Longitude and the requirements of The Scientific Method, fair and simple enough starting points might be https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Board_of_Longitude and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method . Until The Scientific Method is correcly complied with by those broadcasting bold claims, those claims are, in my humble opinion, utterly worthless in scientific terms. My requests remain unanswered and unfulfilled.

Shortly before the above, on 22nd July 2018, I submitted my post Adjusting Harrison’s Precision Regulator System – updated post, 21st July 2018 as a comment on https://www.computus.org/decoding-harrison/#comment-1782. That link was supposedly an avenue for public input to a website announcing the claims for Burgess B, given that a ‘Comments’ section was included. Unfortunately, as per my experience of posting such comments on YouTube, the ‘computus’ site is apparently no less subject to unexplained censorship. As a consequence, my input has failed to appear on that site and my requests remain unanswered and unfulfilled.

The universally erected barriers to unbiased public discussion on websites announcing the claimed performance of Burgess B are now glaringly clear to me.

Adjusting Harrison’s Precision Regulator System – updated post, 21st July 2018

Adjusting Harrison’s Precision Regulator System

A fairly recent but undated article by Mr J Betts: ‘Harrison’s Barometric Compensation’ describes the influence of circular suspension cheeks and suspension spring material and/or thickness and/or heat treatment upon claimed compensation for barometric error. In compensating for barometric variations, Mr Betts concludes that arc compensation for temperature variations is degraded.

A thorough explanation of this behaviour and/or a suggested solution are/is not given.

Perhaps this demonstrates the problems created by attempting to adjust a single Harrison regulator in isolation, rather than one of an identical pair of regulators, as Harrison clearly suggested.

Regardless of the above, it seems to be obvious (to this observer at least) that the increasing impulse of both the entry and the exit sides of the grasshopper escapement, from the start (pallet nib locking corner capture) to the end (pallet nib locking corner release) will affect pendulum motion in a similar (although, perhaps significantly, not necessarily the same) way as the effect of circular arc profile pendulum suspension cheeks, located to either side of the pendulum suspension spring. By altering the mean increase in impulse delivered by the escapement, pendulum motion will, quite obviously, also be altered. Such an influence upon a precision regulator system declared to maintain a mean rate to within one second in a hundred days (as Harrison claimed) cannot possibly be ignored. Nor, indeed, can a related Harrison statement in CSM be ignored, for he clearly declares (from my “translation” at soptera.wordpress.com, my bold):

‘And now, if the Royal Society please, I will shew them the Draught of the Clock which I have in great part made…’ and not only the drawing of the pallets, but also the pallets themselves, in order that they may see at least some reason for what I found from such a design of escapement; not only extraordinary attributes, but the things I’ve discussed already and others besides. The indispensable construction of the pallets (to do their duty as described earlier) is a consequence of a suitable extension to the periphery of the escape wheel and its number of teeth (i.e. for seconds beating, one revolution in four minutes). Otherwise, they could not do their duty with regard to their action upon the pendulum or (expressed another way) contribute to a precise mensuration of time {24}. I’d say that the pallets must be by far the most important thing of all.’

The instruction within Harrison’s declaration that the ‘pallets’ (i.e. the Harrison grasshopper escapement) is ‘…the most important thing of all.’ is perfectly clear. Of all the devices contributing to the success of Harrison’s regulator science, he has inarguably identified his grasshopper escapement as the most significant.

Freedom from all but negligible sliding friction aside, it is also clear that Harrison considered increasing impulse to be an especially important feature of his grasshopper escapement. The logical conclusion can only be that increasing grasshopper escapement impulse must therefore be an extremely important feature, probably the most important feature, of his precision regulator system. In that respect, the duration and magnitude of escapement impulse during recoil is of particular relevance, but has apparently been all too easily overlooked. The escapement thereby compensates, to at least some extent, for certain undesirable influences responsible for inconsistent pendulum motion.

Based upon the above, my view is that the manipulation of pendulum suspension springs was, almost certainly, not what Harrison intended for the optimisation of his ultimate land-based precision regulator (The RAS Regulator). This view is reinforced by a revealing CSM statement that he used a very thin pendulum suspension spring, made from an alloy of gold and copper, hammered to ‘thinness’. He mentions that such a spring will be more elastic than when alloyed with silver, thereby suggesting that stiffness is undesirable. In disagreement with Harrison’s statements, Mr Betts’ article attaches great significance to the relatively significant stiffness of the spring.

In summary, pendulum suspension spring stiffness should be minimised, but is otherwise irrelevant to Harrison’s land-based precision regulator science, whereas manipulation of the magnitude of the grasshopper escapement mean end/start ratio is (to use Harrison’s phrase) by far the most important thing of all.

 

Whilst I’m here, Mr Betts also inludes a section entitled Just one clock? which states:
‘It has also been observed that even if this clock really is such a stable timekeeper,it is only one, and its creation might itself also be serendipity. This is a reasonable observation, and one can only encourage others to be made soon, to verify these results if possible.’

I have never expressed an opinion that the Burgess B performance was ‘serendipity’, but have most certainly asked that sufficient information be provided to enable reproduction of the Burgess B regulator, test environment, test methods etc. etc. (see my previous posts herein). Unfortunately, I am still unable to locate any such information, despite Mr Betts’ statement that ‘…one can only encourage others’. If anyone has seen any such ‘encouragement’, however miniscule it might be, I’d be grateful if you could let us all know. Otherwise, the population of the entirety of the planet beyond the RGO remain as distant from scientifically correct verification of the claimed results as they have been for some considerable time.

 

Adjusting Harrison’s Precision Regulator System

Adjusting Harrison’s Precision Regulator System

A recent, undated article by Mr J Betts: ‘Harrison’s Barometric Compensation’ describes the influence of circular suspension cheeks and suspension spring material and/or thickness and/or heat treatment upon compensation for barometric error. In compensating for barometric variations, Mr Betts concludes that arc compensation for temperature variations is degraded.

A thorough explanation of this behaviour and/or a suggested solution are/is not given.

Perhaps this demonstrates the problems created by attempting to adjust a single Harrison regulator in isolation, rather than one of an identical pair of regulators, as Harrison clearly suggested.

It seems to be obvious (to this observer at least) that the increasing impulse of both the entry and the exit sides of the grasshopper escapement, from the start (pallet nib locking corner capture) to the end (pallet nib locking corner release) will affect pendulum motion in a similar (although, perhaps significantly, not necessarily the same) way as the effect of circular arc profile pendulum suspension cheeks, located to either side of the pendulum suspension spring. By altering the mean increase in impulse delivered by the escapement, pendulum motion will, quite obviously, also be altered. Such an influence upon a precision regulator system declared to maintain a mean rate to within one second in a hundred days (as Harrison claimed) cannot possibly be ignored. Nor, indeed, can a related Harrison statement in CSM be ignored, for he clearly declares (from my “translation”, my bold):

‘And now, if the Royal Society please, I will shew them the Draught of the Clock which I have in great part made…’ and not only the drawing of the pallets, but also the pallets themselves, in order that they may see at least some reason for what I found from such a design of escapement; not only extraordinary attributes, but the things I’ve discussed already and others besides. The indispensable construction of the pallets (to do their duty as described earlier) is a consequence of a suitable extension to the periphery of the escape wheel and its number of teeth (i.e. for seconds beating, one revolution in four minutes). Otherwise, they could not do their duty with regard to their action upon the pendulum or (expressed another way) contribute to a precise mensuration of time {24}. I’d say that the pallets must be by far the most important thing of all.’

The instruction within Harrison’s declaration that the ‘pallets’ (i.e. the Harrison grasshopper escapement) is ‘…the most important thing of all.’ is perfectly clear. Of all the devices contributing to the success of Harrison’s regulator science, he has inarguably identified his grasshopper escapement as the most significant.

Freedom from all but negligible sliding friction aside, it is also clear that Harrison considered increasing impulse to be an especially important feature of his grasshopper escapement. The logical conclusion can only be that increasing grasshopper escapement impulse must therefore be an extremely important feature of his precision regulator system. In that respect, the duration and magnitude of escapement impulse during recoil is of particular relevance, all too easily overlooked. The escapement thereby compensates, to at least some extent, for undesirable influences responsible for inconsistent pendulum motion.

Verification of John Harrison’s Claim of One Second in a Hundred Days?

This post includes updates, added in chronological order below earlier text. The last update was added on 1st September 2017.

At the time of the first part of this post (12th June 2015), numerous accounts of a recently claimed verification of John Harrison’s prediction of the performance of his ultimate land-based precision regulator system (as embodied in his final land-based regulator, popularly referred to as the ‘RAS Regulator’) may be found by conducting an internet search using, for example, the words: harrison one second in a hundred days

As described and explained elsewhere on this website (soptera.wordpress.com) Harrison’s claim (in his 1775 manuscript ‘Concerning Such Mechanism…’, often abbreviated as ‘CSM’, for which see the DOWNLOADS section) was that his precision regulator system should be capable of a mean rate to within one second in a hundred days.

Nothing would please me more than to be able to congratulate those involved in the creation of a modern embodiment of Harrison’s principles, capable of demonstrating his performance claims. Unfortunately, an adequate account of the processes by which those claims have recently been verified is, according to my investigations, not available.

May I remind those involved, together with the horological community, of the following, and ask that the principles therein be followed:

Left mouse click once on the following link for an explanation of The Scientific Method: The Scientific Method

May I draw particular attention to the paragraphs in the above link entitled: ‘Replication’, ‘External review’ and ‘Data recording and sharing’. In short, what is undoubtedly necessary is a detailed account of the dimensions, materials and processes involved in the creation of the test regulator, a detailed description of the methods of set-up and adjustment of the test regulator and a through account of the test environment, test equipment and test methods.

Regarding test equipment, particular attention must be paid to the extent to which the test regulator was exposed to variations in the ‘natural atmosphere’ (by which phrase I mean the Earth’s free atmosphere, external to the test building). Further attention must be paid to explaining the degree of sealing of the case from pressure and temperature variations in the ‘natural atmosphere’ and the extent of variation imposed upon the temperature of the ‘natural atmosphere’ (e.g. by any man-made heating system, such as hot water radiator(s) to the test area, amongst many other possibilities). I would expect that heating by sunlight would have been carefully eliminated, although confirmation would be included in any thorough explanation of the test area. I have assumed that variations in the pressure of the ‘natural atmosphere’ are transmitted with little, if any, delay to the test area, although confirmation would also be included in any thorough explanation.

May I also emphasise that, in CSM, Harrison includes a statement that two regulators are necessary for correct adjustment of his ultimate land-based regulator system. Any account of the recently conducted set-up, adjustment and test methods should therefore include an explanation of the means by which this requirement was eliminated.

SUBSEQUENT ADDITION TO THE ABOVE POST, 7th JULY 2015

The above post was published as a comment on http://blogs.rmg.co.uk/longitude/2015/01/16/harrison-decoded-towards-perfect-pendulum-clock/ which is a blog created by the team responsible for the test.

On 7th July, the following comment was also submitted for inclusion on that blog, in response to the publication of the test results by a team member, Mr Rory McEvoy:

Many thanks to Rory McEvoy for publishing the test results elsewhere on this site: http://blogs.rmg.co.uk/longitude/2015/06/27/a-second-in-one-hundred-days-the-results/

Unfortunately, comments regarding the test are not permitted below Rory’s post in the above link, so I’ll offer them here instead:

The results suggest an unnaturally constant test temperature (within 5 deg C), at very likely variance with that of the ‘natural atmosphere’ (by which phrase I mean the Earth’s free atmosphere, external to the test building). I doubt that the temperature of the ‘natural atmosphere’ of the test location (in the south of the UK) for an entire 100 days from April 2014 never varied by more than 5 degrees C. Given the variations in barometric pressure during the test period, the achieved performance is, therefore, at considerable odds with my understanding of Harrison’s compensation for pressure variation in the ‘natural atmosphere’ via (at least in part) an excess component of temperature compensation, as generated by exactly the same ‘natural atmosphere’ at, or close to, the same instant.

Put simply, despite Rory’s report, all of the points in my post of 8:15am, June 19th 2015 (see above) still apply, as do the questions and requests they raise.

In brief, what is therefore still required is a detailed account of the dimensions, materials and processes involved in the creation of the ‘Burgess B’ test regulator, a detailed description of the methods of set-up and adjustment of the test regulator and a through account of the test environment, test equipment and test methods. More detailed and especially essential requirements were described in my previous post. The objective must be to enable independent replication of Burgess B, the test set-up and the test conditions, followed by no less independent verification of the test results and Harrison’s claim of a mean rate to within one second in a hundred days.

Until others have confirmed the 100 day test results entirely independently (I repeat, entirely independently), Harrison’s claim and his land-based longcase regulator science will, in my opinion, remain no less shrouded in doubt, mystery and misunderstanding than they have been since the 24th of March 1776. Published results or not, a single Burgess B and a single test is, quite simply, not good enough, as any competent scientist would surely agree.

In 1775, in his final manuscript ‘Concerning Such Mechanism…’, Harrison envisaged that a copy of (something closely related to) his Final Regulator (now popularly referred to as the ‘RAS Regulator’) would sit in a dedicated building in at least every major port, all set to Greenwich Time, all no doubt achieving a mean rate to within one second in a hundred days. With that in mind, we should consider Harrison’s land-based precision regulator science and his eighteenth century vision to have been PROPERLY verified when we demonstrate that it can be consistently achieved by more than one timepiece, independently constructed and adjusted in accordance with his principles, without any manipulation of the ‘natural atmosphere’ by inappropriately far more modern means.

David Heskin (glathoppa)

SUBSEQUENT ADDITION TO THE ABOVE POST, 30th NOVEMBER 2015

All attempts to open any of the blog links mentioned in the above posts failed on 30th November 2015. All records of the claims have apparently disappeared, as have the comments and criticisms submitted by myself and Dr Paul Smith. Access may have been denied at any date before today, although I recall using the links a few months ago with success.

David Heskin (glathoppa)

SUBSEQUENT ADDITION TO THE ABOVE POST, 1st September 2017

I’ve only recently stumbled across a relevant video on YouTube.

A link to the video and my comment are provided near the end of this posting.

Unfortunately, my YouTube comment is only visible to me when I sign in to YouTube as ”glathoppa”. Worryingly, my investigations thus far reveal that only I can see my comment when logged into YouTube, but nobody else can see that comment, whether they are logged into YouTube under their own YouTube usernames or not. There are various potential reasons, but, as far as I can determine, I’ve eliminated all of those reasons except one, which is that those responsible for uploading the video (and, one assumes, are supporting the claims being made) are censoring comments and have not passed mine for inclusion below their video for some unexplained reason. I have experienced absolutely none of the above problems with any other YouTube video to which I’ve added comments and a test facility on YouTube confirms no problems with my account.

It is interesting that absolutely none of my past comments, or a similarly critical and revealing comment by Dr Paul Smith, have survived on any of the sites listed herein. In some cases, the original posts have been deleted and/or relocated and all comments have ‘disappeared’ in the process. For ease of reference, those sites are (or were before deletion/relocation): http://blogs.rmg.co.uk/longitude/2015/06/27/a-second-in-one-hundred-days-the-results/ and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQAY-zFkVyQ

To avoid any misunderstanding and in response to some frankly clueless responses received elsewhere, none of my comments have in the slightest represented any attempt whatsoever to make unreasonable demands, as did, for example, The Board of Longitude in Harrison’s day. I have made it absolutely clear (to any sufficiently intelligent reader), both on this site, on other sites and in my attempted YouTube comments, that what I am asking for is nothing more than a correct adherence to the universally accepted and respected “Scientific Method”. If any reader is unaware of the difference between the behaviour of, for example, The Board of Longitude and the requirements of The Scientific Method, fair and, not least, simple enough starting points might be https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Board_of_Longitude and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

Until The Scientific Method is correcly complied with by those broadcasting bold claims, those claims are, in my humble opinion, utterly worthless.

Below is my (attempted) YouTube comment:

Amazingly accurate clock finally recognised after 300 years – Guinness World Records. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQAY-zFkVyQ

6 August 2017

‘Nothing would please me more than to be able to congratulate those involved in the creation of a modern embodiment of Harrison’s principles, capable of demonstrating his performance claims. Unfortunately, an adequate account of the processes by which those claims have recently been verified is, according to my investigations, not available.

May I remind those involved, together with the horological community, of the following, and ask that the principles therein be followed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

May I draw particular attention to the paragraphs in the above link entitled: ‘Replication’, ‘External review’ and ‘Data recording and sharing’. In short, what is undoubtedly necessary is a detailed account of the dimensions, materials and processes involved in the creation of the test regulator, a detailed description of the methods of set-up and adjustment of the test regulator and a through account of the test environment, test equipment and test methods.’

The claimants have thus far failed to produce any logical, sound counter-arguments to critical comments submitted by my myself and Dr Paul Smith via the above links.

David Heskin (glathoppa)

John Harrison RAS Regulator ‘Replica’ – Video 1 of 13

More videos available at http://www.youtube.com/user/glathoppa

John ‘Longitude’ Harrison’s ‘RAS’ Regulator ‘Replica’, researched and constructed (to the displayed state) from early 2003 to late 2005.

The original regulator, discovered after his death in 1776, was to be Harrison’s final, most perfect masterpiece of land-based precision timekeeping technology, claimed to be capable of a mean rate within one second in a hundred days (the theoretical limit of performance for a purely mechanical ‘clock’ exposed to the atmosphere). Unfinished by Harrison and tragically ignored after his death in 1776, despite vast superiority over contemporary timepieces (and apparently, if the predicted performance is correct, never bettered by any purely mechanical, single pendulum, in-atmosphere timepiece throughout history).

Optimised single pivot grasshopper escapement, thirty seconds spring remontoire, Harrison maintaining gear, anti friction arbor supports, radial wheel teeth, roller pinions, caged rolling element bearings to the great arbor and Harrison gridiron pendulum with suspension cheeks. Those devices, when optimised, constitute Harrison’s ideal combination of superior inventions.

Shown is an unpolished, uncased, ‘visual near-replica’ of the original, which is currently on display at The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England.

Harrison Single Pivot Grasshopper Escapement

This short video presents the single pivot Harrison grasshopper escapement during construction and early testing of a ‘replica’ of his final longcase precision regulator. The date is estimated to be 2005. The pendulum and its suspension are temporary arrangements and finishing and polishing had yet to be completed.

The grasshopper escapement, in an alternative ‘twin pivot’ configuration, was originally devised by Harrison exclusively as a means of eliminating sliding friction and the consequent requirement for lubrication. Low performance oils and their rapid degradation was (and still is, albeit to a considerably lesser extent) a major source of timekeeping inconsistency. An inspection of the grasshopper action will confirm that there is no sliding friction, apart from insignificant rotation at the pallet arms pivot(s). Harrison subsequently devised two more versions of the escapement : the single pivot and the twin balance. He also identified additional, invaluable characteristics, although a complete explanation is beyond the scope of this brief description. See DOWNLOADS for a full explanation.

The cycle of operation is both mesmerizing and ingenious. The (dark coloured) pallet arms, typically carved from a suitable hardwood, are alternately captured by the clockwise-driven saw-toothed escape wheel. Static (not sliding) friction between an escape wheel tooth tip and the nib locking corner of the applicable pallet arm is all that binds them together. At an appropriate stage in the escapement cycle (shortly before the pendulum reaches the end of its swing), escape wheel recoil is induced by the second pallet nib locking corner, as it contacts, by careful design, a chosen escape wheel tooth precisely at its tip. Static friction at the first pallet nib is removed by recoil, the tail-heavy pallet arm is released and it pivots rapidly away from the escape wheel. At the commencement of recoil, the second pallet arm is captured by static friction and transmits escape wheel impulse to the pendulum. The impulse continues until the first pallet nib locking corner once again contacts an escape wheel tooth tip, induces recoil, releases the second nib, is itself captured and thereafter applies escape wheel impulse to the pendulum. A continuous cycle of the described events maintains the pendulum motion and, in combination with the train of wheels, pinions, hands and dials of the regulator movement, measures and displays the passage of time.

The nose-heavy brass ‘composers’ (identified in the video by the fitment of temporary, commercial adjusting screws) absorb the motions of captured pallet arms during recoil, act as stops for released pallet arms and position released arms correctly for future capture.

In a layout drawing, popularly referred to as ‘MS3972/3’, Harrison indicates that the mean of the start of impulse torque arms should be two thirds of the mean of the end of impulse torque arms. This is evident from three equispaced points, verified as such by Harrison’s annotations ‘1’,’ 2′ and ‘3’, point ‘1’ being at the same equal spacing from the escapement frame arbor axis. The stipulation is also repeated in Harrison’s 1775 manuscript ‘Concerning Such Mechanism’ (CSM), in which he declares that impulse increasing in a ratio of two-to-three is ‘a very important matter’, being related to his unique circular arc pendulum suspension spring cheeks, escapement recoil, degree of composer nose weighting etc. CSM adds an ‘approximate’ qualification to the two-to-three ratio, by way of an acknowledgement of the reduction in transmitted pallet arm forces, as their lines of action increasingly deviate from tangential to the escape wheel during each cycle. The manuscript also stipulates that a four-minute escape wheel should be used in combination with a ‘long pendulum’. For a seconds beating pendulum, one hundred and twenty escape wheel teeth are therefore required.

Harrison’s large ‘sea clocks’ (H1, H2 and H3) incorporate a version of the grasshopper in which each pallet arm impulses a symmetrical balance. By linking the balances such that they swing in opposition, the grasshopper cycle is accommodated (and the motions of a ship at sea are almost nullified). Again, MS3972/3 instructs that the ratio of torque arms be two-to-three.

For some reason, not yet convincingly explained, the twin pivot configuration was only used during Harrison’s early work and was not illustrated in MS3972/3.

Misinterpretations of Harrison’s grasshopper escapement stipulations are almost universal, perhaps because his poorly expressed intentions are easily misunderstood, have been completely ignored or, quite simply, because alternative constraints (or none at all!) are often considerably less demanding of the designer.