Sunday 31 December 2023

Bessler’s Wheel Revealed

Finally I’m going to share what I know, and what I think I know, about the solution to Bessler’s wheel. This will be a bit shorter than my intended document, because today, 29th December 2023, I accidentally deleted several pages of explanations, and I can’t get them back and I can’t remember everything I wrote!

This might not be such a bad thing as the “Big Reveal” was getting too big! I will try to curtail my enthusiasm for giving too much detail.  After all, all you really want to know is “how did Bessler’s Wheel work? And how close to Bessler’s is the design I’m going to share with you?  Is it the same as Bessler’s.  I think at the end you will think that it is a bit closer.

My skills in MS Paint are fairly basic so I’ll combine paint and drawings and text to try to explain what I know.

We know Johann Bessler would rather have died without being paid for his secret, than have given it away because he said so in Apologia Poetica  (AP). He also intimated that the answers could found in his books.  But how would he hide information in books in plain sight without anyone realising and discovering the secret for them selves?

There is a lot of undeciphered code in the books but the most illuminating items are the illustrations in those books. “A picture is worth a thousand words" is an adage in multiple languages meaning that complex and sometimes multiple ideas can be conveyed by a single still image, which conveys its meaning or essence more effectively than a mere verbal description.   In Bessler’s case the opposite seems almost true.  His pictures look bland and boring and inaccurate but they contain real information disguised in an ingenious way.


Bessler took an inordinate amount of trouble to hide the importance of the number five in plain sight.  Despite its ubiquity the majority of people seem to have dismissed its seeming importance and continued on their search for the solution, relying on the witness report of eight thumping noises from the Kassel wheel.

I searched for and found geometric and numerical patterns within all of the inventor’s publications.  I found pentagons in various places. Most significantly in his first two books, Grundlicher Bericht (GB) and Das Triumphirende. (DT) Two of them in DT indicated parts of the mechanism hidden in one segment of the pentagram.

Bessler also buried within his copious amounts of writing, many clues presented almost as an off-the-cuff comments, but deliberately sown into the text to catch the eye of any serious researcher.

In one example he wrote, “a great craftsman would be he who, as one pound falls a quarter, causes four pounds to shoot upwards four quarters.”  Note that within the quote he mentions that there are five weights, one plus four, and each one is equal to one pound.  Secondly, one pound falls a quarter.  How do we define what he meant by a quarter? In this case he was referring to a clock - something he also embedded, invisibly, in the first drawings in both Grundlicher Bericht and Das Triumphirende - and a quarter of an hour or fifteen minutes covers 90 degrees.  But how could this single right angle fall cause “ four pounds to shoot upwards four quarters”? 
We saw in the first part that the word ‘quarter', referred to, not just 90 degrees but also to a clock.  In the second part the word ‘quarter' also refers to a clock but this time he has confused us by using the words ‘four quarters’. ‘Four quarter’s equals ‘one whole hour’.  Each hour on a clock is divided into 30 degrees, so the words ‘four quarters’ meaning ‘one hour’ as used here equals thirty degrees.  To paraphrase Bessler’s words, “a great craftsman would be he who, as one pound falls 90 degrees, causes each of the other four pounds to shoot upwards 30 degrees.” 
You might also think it would have been better to have said that one pound falls 90 degrees, causes one pound to shoot upwards 30 degrees”, but that would have removed the information that five weights, and therefore five mechanisms were involved, so it had to be four weights plus the one. 
I should point out that in previous blogs I have shown two other places where Bessler showed the same information, that is, a weight falling 90 degrees, causes another weight to shoot up the same 30 degrees.
In MT Bessler hints that other odd numbers will also work, by creating slightly different page numbers for the ones he was was pointing to.  So in addition to five mechanisms, he included seven, nine and eleven mechanisms. I think it possible that the Kassel wheel had nine mechanism and one of them was silenced with felt, hence “the sound of about eight weights landing on the side towards which the wheel turned”, as reported by Fischer von Erlach.
Why five mechanisms and how does it need such short sharp lift?
In the illustration below you see a wheel divided into five equal portions, a weighted lever in each one. The wheel turns clockwise. The weights fall through 90 degrees.  Each weighted lever is tilted forward 18 degrees.
In the next one the black weighted levers fall from their pre-fall position and once fallen, come to rest at the wheel’s edge.  As the wheel continues to turn the weighted levers begin a retrograde motion, rotating backwards as  wheel rotates forwards
The only problem arises when the weighted lever has fully returned to its starting point; it needs to be pulled outwards in order to be able fall again. It’s locked in and can’t fall.  As you can see in the picture there needs to be a cord connecting the mechanism to pull the locked in lever out by at least 30 degrees. 
Bessler and Wagner had a brief discussion in which Bessler wrote,  “ Even Wagner, wherever he is now, will have heard that one pound can cause the raising of more than one pound. He writes that, to date, no one has ever found a mechanical arrangement sufficient for the required task. He's right! So am I, and does anyone see why? What if I were to teach the proper method of mechanical application? Then people would say: "Now I understand!”
I think the picture below explains Bessler’s view - they were both right.
This looks promising but we all know it won’t work.  Why?  
Because it lacks the Bessler-Collins Connectedness Principle.
When Bessler briefly mentioned the principle we had no idea what it was.  Maybe a prime mover because he said several of the machines in Maschinen Tractate (MT)  wouldn’t work unless they had it included in the design. 
In the following description I decided to add my name to the title of this version for the following reason.  Although he mentioned it in his MT no one knew what it was, but I believe I have discovered the answer by studying and deducing what it must be. I decided to publish my idea but realised that if his own definition of the principle should surface, perhaps through someone deciphering some encoded text, it might be very different or just slightly divergent, I had better add my name to my version.  Because although his principle might be the same as mine, if his description of it turns up at some point, it will be useful to be able to differentiate between the two versions.  Anyway mine might be wrong or just different, but I don’t think it is.
So here is what I believe to be the Connectedness  Principle probably discovered by Johann Bessler, but also by me more than 300 years later.
Firstly, why did he use the word “connectedness”? He could have used a “connection” or “connect”. But those two words suggest a firm connection, whereas “connectedness” has a different nuance, a feeling of variable or intermittent contact.  What does that mean?
Considering the word “connectedness”, I thought that the connections must be between the weight and the pivot, the weight and the wheel or the pivot and the wheel.  It seemed to me that the connection between weight and the pivot as well as the one between the weight and the wheel had been explored an infinite number of times leading to a similar number of failures.  But the connection between the pivot and the wheel hasn’t been explored as far as I know, maybe it has but I haven’t seen it discussed.
In the picture above, all the weighted levers are connected to their pivots and able to swing and rotate about them.  The only variable lies in the position of the weight at certain times. I realised that it might be possible to arrange for the pivot itself to move from one position to another and back again.
The picture below is similar to the one above but I’ve added the results of enabling moveable pivots.  The red weights show the improved positions caused by moveable pivot points.  Notice the red weights have taken up different positions particularly at radius 5 and 1.
The red weight at radius 5 is actually too early and would arrive there when radius 5 is about half way closer to where radius 1 is.
So in my opinion the Bessler-Collins Connectedness Principle requires the designing of an odd number of weighted levers supported by moveable pivot points.  The lever itself should not be extended because the moving pivot will send the weight on its end to reach further back on the wheel’s edge.
Briefly then the pivot is attached to a moveable part of the mechanism.  When the lever begins to fall, it’s pivot begins to move sideways , causing the path of the weight to follow a straight sloping path. The weight lands much further back along the circumference creating more torque.  This makes the wheel rotate further than it would do with the simpler system shown above. 
I must stress that the moveable pivot must be attached to a moveable part of the mechanism not directly connected to the wheel. 
The following pictures demonstrate where and how Bessler provided the necessary information.
The green circle is required and touches the tops of the two supports. It’s encloses the left end of the horizontal part of the ‘T’ shaped pendulum. It also includes the padlock, and touches the bottom and right side of the picture.

The pendulum is too long as it is and the excess needs to be removed.  The remaining part of the pendulum fits inside the pentagon fifth portion.  The red and blue parts show the two positions the weighted lever must reach.  Before we examine this picture we must rotate it 180 degrees.  This is indicated by the apparent typo in the padlock, which is wrongly labelled 42, but should read 24.  I have argued many times that this is a deliberate act designed to inform us to turn the picture upside down.  Now I’ve done it.

In the above picture the detail contained within the red square on the right shows the similarity to the main mechanism, except that the end of the horizontal part of the ‘T’ pendulum  appears to be attached to a wall.  This I believe indicates that that part in the main mechanism is fixed to the wheel able to rotate about that point.  This suggestion is supported by the picture below, which shows detail from the GB and DT.  The left picture is from DT

There you can see that in the right picture, the semicircle is deliberately drawn wrongly.  

Returning to the upside down picture. The red part is in position to fall and the blue part shows it’s in the fallen position. I compared the lengths of the red and blue portions and they are equal.  But the blue portion finishes just up to the limit of Bessler’s original circle, shown by the black dot at its end. This supports the idea that the pivot must be able to move sideways to bring the weight up to the edge of the green circle.

As I said earlier, extending the lever will not work, the pivot point has to move. The following picture will show the structure of the mechanism which moves the pivot along with its lever and returns it at the correct moment in rotation. The long green rod is supporting the moving pivot and is able to move through an arc.  On the end of this rod is the weighted lever or pendulum that we have seen moving from an almost upright potion, 18 degrees from the radius, through 90 degrees to land on the edge of the wheel some way back close to the following radius.

The purple lever has a purple round weight on the outer end. It’s mass/weight is mainly carried by the green lever, which is anchored close to the axle.

The dark blue lever with the round purple empty weight shows roughly where the weighted lever would be if fully retracted.  It’s pivot point is close to the same point on the end of the green lever where it joins the purple one.


I omitted the following picture which is the most important one as I believe it’s the closest to Bessler’s first wheel.

Obviously this document is abbreviated to accommodate a complex explanation and some not-so-good illustrations.  There are a number of graphic clues I could add, plus of course I’ve omitted all reference to the Toys page.

I have posted the simplest design but there are other, possibly better ones which I’m going to post later in January.  The most important clue in my opinion, is the:-

Bessler-Collins Connectedness Principle

At the moment I don’t know if it’s the same as Bessler’s but I think it must be because it might be the one reason why so many designs have failed so far.

Why the odd number of mechanisms was required has always been obvious to me and I’ve never understood why it seemed as though nobody else agreed with me.


Copyright © 2024 John Collins.

Friday 22 December 2023

This is a precursor to my sharing of what I believe will prove to be the solution to Bessler’s wheel. It’s just to explain how I got to this point and to prepare the ground for my posting of the most important parts of my information.  There are many additional pieces of information which all go towards confirming my findings, but they would fill a book, which is what I’m doing.

Johann Bessler deliberately left a treasure trove of clues which once solved would, he must have hoped, lead to someone finding the solution to his perpetual motion machine. This would give him the acknowledgement he sought, albeit after his death. He wrote that he would rather receive that than just give the secret away during his life.

So how did he intend us to find his instructions for building his perpetual motion machine? First he adopted the name Orffyreus, which was a simple ROT13, or Caesar shift code. This code was a well known cipher that he knew would be picked up but maybe only followed up by those whose curiosity was piqued about the wheel.  That led to more complex coded stuff.  He dropped hints that the secret was available if you knew where to look.

You know the old adage, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, I believe Bessler left pictures of his machine showing how it worked and he also left written descriptions for two reasons. One reason is that although a picture may contain useful information, it may not be enough to complete the necessary detail, particularly because it has to be disguised so that no one could happen upon it by chance and understand it easily - and more words will be necessary to fill in the gaps even leaving out the fact that the picture had to be camouflaged for security reasons.

He disguised the information that revealed his secret by using a number of different codes both textual and graphic. I always believed that the best ones would be found hidden within an illustration and that is what I found. In my blog dated 8th June 2019, more than four years ago, I wrote,  “The most instructive drawings have proved to be those found in DT. They contain everything you need to know about how to reconstruct Bessler’s wheel - yes, everything”

On the 15th November 2017, six years ago, I wrote, “So the four drawings in Das Triumphirende contain just about all the information you need to build Bessler’s wheel.”

On the 29th May 2012, eleven years ago, I wrote, “In fact only the toys drawings in MT contains useful information. There are additional hints in MT137 and in the letters 'A' which he used in MT, and there are hints too in some of the illustration numbers. The remaining drawings he was referring to are the five which appeared in his Das Triumphirende and of course the one in Grundlicher Bericht and the one at the end of Apologia Poetica. These five drawings hold almost everything you will need to build his wheel.”

For so many years I studied those illustrations without finding the key.  But over the last year or so, I believe I’ve unravelled the complex weave of hints, red herrings and sleight of hand to produce a likely contender for the solution. Like Bessler I’m going to try to demonstrate my reasoning by using illustrations more than words, but both will still be necessary.

I’m writing a blog containing the information about the design and configuration of his wheel, once it’s done I will post it here and on Besslerwheel forum for anyone to attempt a sim.  I’m also building a prototype but I’m very busy with other time- consuming activities so it might be that the model isn’t finished until some time in January.  But you never know, it’s not a very complex design, maybe I’ll get a chance to finish it earlier. Of course it could happen that a sim proves my design before I finish my prototype - or someone else does.

Finally, if I’m right about the above suggestions about the solution being hidden in plain sight in his published illustrations, and someone finally builds Bessler’s wheel according to the design I’m going to publish, it will prove beyond all doubt that we will be able to reproduce a model of Bessler’s Wheel which exactly replicates his own wheel.

I intend to publish the big reveal either on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day depending on how I am feeling on the Eve!


Copyright © 2023 John Collins)