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Antikythera Mechanism!?!

A stupidly complicated box of gears

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Dave Goodchild 112/12/2016 16:13:41
2 forum posts

Settling In

Joined: 14 Mar 2014, 20:27
Posts: 52
Location: Norfolk
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I'm sure that most of you good folks here have far better things to be doing than worrying about ancient Greek artifacts, and not many of you will be particularly familiar with the Antikythera Mechanism, and that's if you've ever heard of it at all.
So, for those not sad and lonely enough to know what I'm talking about, or for those that only have a vague recollection of this incredible device, it was, in a nutshell, a machine the size of a shoe box discovered 114 years ago in a 2100 year old Greek ship wreck that could accurately predict where in the heavens to look for all the major heavenly bodies known at the time. It included the apparent backward movement in the night sky - retrograde motion - for all the planets (the machine represents what can be seen looking out from Earth, rather than being a birds eye view of the galaxy like a traditional orrery), and it even went as far as showing the apparent speeding up and slowing down of the Moon's orbit. It's predictions were depicted on both sides of the box by pointers for the five known planets of the time (and of course the Sun and moon), and with time being measured on the opposite side with a spiral scale that spanned 235 months, after which time the pointer on this scale would have to be reset to month one again. Other pointers predicted likely eclipses, moon phases and measures of time. All this pre-dated the first gear driven clock by over 1000 years. Put simply, it was an incredible feat of engineering for it's time.
So why am I rambling on about it you may ask? Well after building many orreries over the past few years - all with scroll saw cut wooden gearing - I finally got around to having a go at building one of these amazing machines myself, and again, it's being built with hand cut wooden frames and gears. All the gearing was worked out by minds far greater than mine, so although the build had taken almost two years and has been far from easy, it should at least work as advertised when it's done - well, once I've worked out how to calibrate it anyhow...
Below is a photo of where I've got to so far, working and almost finished, but still a fair bit to do.
Take care all.

 photo 20161023_222757_zpsyfkclpxb.jpg

Edited By Dave Goodchild 1 on 12/12/2016 16:26:07

Edited By Dave Goodchild 1 on 12/12/2016 16:27:31

Ivor the engine13/12/2016 23:40:34
270 forum posts
46 photos

Hi Dave, I have never heard or seen one, I admire your work and patience i will be most interested when you have finnished it and how it works and if one can relly on it to-day, Keep up the good work, Ivor.

David A. Moody19/12/2016 09:46:28
120 forum posts
18 photos

Hello Dave, from another Dave! I am familiar with this device, one of my interests is ancient history, especially regarding technological development. What you are creating here is incredible. Considering you've only got x-ray scans and so forth of the original to work with (as far as I know!) I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing the machine working when it is finished!

Dave Goodchild 112/02/2017 20:28:33
2 forum posts
I just thought that I'd share some new photos of my machine as it now nears completion - there are just tidying jobs left to do plus create proper pointers that engage with and follow the slots in the big spiral dials.
More soon. Antikythera Mechanism Replica photo 20170209_191221_zpsca8swupm.png Antikythera Mechanism Replica photo 20170209_190209_zps0pk5xznw.png

Edited By Dave Goodchild 1 on 12/02/2017 20:32:16

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