My Guitar Music

Some of my homegrown guitar songs – gospel music, folk, etc


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Self Balancing Mechanical Gyroscope Experimentation

I am going to start posting some results of my experiments with self balancing gyroscopes (mechanical) here.

Currently I have a working self stabilized two wheeler that uses a free precessing mechanical gyroscope which is very smooth with very little oscillating back and forth like you see on some self stabilized vehicles. The gyroscope is kept actively balanced by a servo that swings a counterweight back and forth. The downside is that a large force on the vehicle or sharp turn to left or right will cause the gyroscope to tumble (fall over). So I have been experimenting some with actively controlling the gyroscope gimble which is much more forceful in correcting the attitude of the gyroscope but also difficult to control. I have seen other efforts and the computer controls the gimbal but the vehicle always exhibits a bit of jumping back and forth – not too smooth.

I am thinking about working on  some sort of hybrid gimbal control  that allows free precessing but with gimbal correction.

Experiment 1: From studying some patents on the subject I saw one idea where they have tilted the entire gyroscope forward or backward rather than use a gimbal. That might be less abrupt in correcting the gyro than directly controlling the gimbal so I will try that.

Experiment 2:  Also, I noticed that a gyroscope can be somewhat self correcting when it “loses it’s balance” by allowing the motor/gyro rotor to slide back and forth on the gimbal axis and  allowing the natural precessing of the gyro to correct it’s out of balance state. I accidently observed this happening with my first self balancing gyroscope.

So these are two experiments I want to conduct in the near future.

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Gyro Stabilized Two Wheeler (ver 5) with Steering

Continuing development of mechanical gyroscope stabilized two wheeler – now with ability to steer. Uses Arduino to control rotor stabilizing counterweight. Rc radio controls rear motor and steering.
More details at

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Self Balancing Gyroscope (V3) Using Arduino and Pot for Tilt Sensor

Here is my continuing saga of my gyroscope – in this version I use an Arduino Uno and a potentiometer to swing a counter weight to balance a precessing gyroscope so that it will balance indefinitely on two chopsticks.
More details on my blog at Lets Make Robots under user demej00.

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Gyroscopic Precession Robot (Version 2)

Gyroscopic Precession Robot (Version 2)

Radio controlled gyroscopic robot using precession make walking motions. Based on John W. Jameson’s Walking Gyro robot.

More details found on my blog at Let’s Make Robots here:

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Jim’s Diet

In January I weighed 104 kilograms and even though I am 193 centimeters tall there was a lot of fat in there and I didn’t feel good, rather heavy and sluggish so I took a month and went to Sanya, Hainan (South China Sea). I holed up in a cheap hotel, bought a bicycle and proceeded to change my figure. I ate one meal every two days and the rest of the time I ate fruits and nuts only. I rode my bicycle or walked at least two to three hours a day for one month. At the end of the month I was down to about 96 kilograms. When I got back to the school where I teach I maintained my diet by eating one meal a day and fruit and nuts. I also cut out sweetened coffee packets and do just plain instant. This morning (two months later) I weighed 94.5 kilos and the weight just slowly keeps coming off. Now and then I eat a big meal for fun but always go back to my diet which is really not a diet anymore.

I have lost my craving for food. Before my diet I was constantly nibbling carbs. Now that food lust is gone. I though I would be hungry all the time but Im not – I tell my university kids about my diet and they cringe but it seems very normal now to me.

I try to do something everyday outside, either bicycle or walk and I always use the stairs in my teaching building. Also I do one or two 5 minute rides on my indoor bike each day.

This is really working for me and I feel fantastic.

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Super Octopus RockMite 40 Meter radio

Super Octopus RockMite 40 Meter radio

Super Octopus RockMite 40 Meter radio – almost finished. Kit cost $15 and case $8. Just lacking 5 resistors that I got shorted in the kit and then debug. Soldering in a couple places is pretty shoddy but overall I think I did a good job.

Well, I failed. I got it all together and it worked but no volume from amplifier and had vicious voltage leak I could never find. Tore it all apart trying to find it. So ordered another kit but fully assembled from seller – didnt want to waste a perfectly good case and I really like the radio, nice sidetone and can cannot to pc. Live and learn. Making some lowpass filters now.


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