Day 11: Auto Panning System
Today started off
cold and it took a while for all of us to get going, despite a brief sawing
spree to warm us up. Sawing through a thick plank is a really good way
of getting warm on a cold frosty winter morning.
Science is all about trying to do what you need to do in the limited time
available - its all about time. This one was really going to be difficult
timewise. By lunchtime Mike L and Kathy had finished the cradle and we
had attached it to the waterwheel. We had also tried making a pump using
the tennis ball, but although it worked well it didn't look as though
it was going to do much at the speed the waterwheel would rotate at. We
showed it working by hand.
Before lunch Kate
and I did the last knocking in of nails and final touches to the wheel
and then we did a test run on dry land to see that everything all turned
and moved OK (in principle).
lunch we took all the gear down to the river (about an hour's drive) to
see where it should be set up and try it out in the water. We spent the
rest of the day looking for and experimenting with different places to
put the wheel. The best flow is in the middle of the river but of course
this is not practical if we need to drive the cradle, and it would have
been difficult to fix the wheel in place. But at least the sand flies
don't seem to be in the middle of the river. Everywhere else they
bit and they bit!!
Kathy and I tried
the wheel in a number of locations and there was nowhere that was perfect.
In the end we had to compromise and we found a place fairly near to the
waterside but with enough water passing to drive the wheel round with
some force. With hindsight we should have thought about looking around
way before we got to this stage of the project, but in Rough Science you
often don't know what the best thing to do is until afterwards,
the time factor making things difficult. We wasted a lot of today so that
by the end of the second day we had still not used the machine.
So by the end of day
2 we had shown that the waterwheel drives the machine, just, but not enough
to get the pump to work. Ended cold and in need of some food.