Peripherating to Crossed Purposelessness
My previous two Peripherators were built for competitions at two different Meccano Guilds with a strict limit on parts count. This resulted in somewhat flimsy construction, but despite that they worked surprisingly reliably.
I built this version to see how things might turn out with no particular limit on parts. Perhaps I over compensated structurally because this one may have turned out slightly over-engineered.
This version has four pairs of discs with those one the left rotating into the opposite sense to those on the right. This gives interesting flow in the middle where balls often cross from one side to the other? unless they collide, but even then they mostly sort themselves out.
This version also highlights the interesting phenomenon that while Peripherator Discs are lifting a ball, it pushes then slightly apart so they will not start lifting another. So balls on their way to the larger Discs pass freely between the smaller Discs whenever smaller Discs have a ball on the way up.
One of the trickier aspects of my previous Periperators was mounting the Discs on a structure rigid enough to prevent Discs deflecting apart as balls are lifted. I’ve taken a different approach this time, bolting a sprocket to each fixes Disc with a different number of washers on each of four bolts to give the shallow angle that is key to the Peripherator Principle. The other Disc then rotates on an axle fixed in the sprocket’s boss. Any forces between ball and Discs need only be carried by the axle and the sprocket, both decently rigid parts, so the rest of the structure won’t be affected by these forces, with negligible deflection overall.
The springs pushing the Discs together are accommodated neatly thanks to the large central holes in both Discs and bossless 2” pulleys (from Clock Kits).
I particularly like the serpentine path of the long Driving Bands for its pleasing aesthetic as well as taking the drives through a right angle to all four Discs using just two long bands.
My doubts whether yet another Peripherator would interest anyone have been unfounded. Graham Jost of Melbourne (who has prior form as a Passionate Peripherator Proliferator) has already got his own variation of this one working a treat. As far as I’m concerned, imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery.