I have to start a blog somewhere so I’ll start it with this explanation about how some of these ideas come to life. Fundamentally, lots of the concepts you see here either start out with a substantially different direction than they finish, or they start out to test an idea that I don’t expect to work at all, but I’m doing it anyway to satisfy a curiosity about how it will fail or what will result. A great example of that is this directed thrust prop plane project. I’ll leave that page to explain those details but in short, once you get an idea in your head of HOW to achieve a result, I think your mind tends to curtail creative solutions to the problem because you constantly want to divert to the (already presented) solution. Anyway- that’s why this website isn’t ever going to be “instructables”. In short, it IS willful ignorance of the ‘right’ (“conventional”) way to get to the solution.. at least temporarily. Once I can reach a few conclusions/observations then I’ll go back and research the why they didn’t work or didn’t work as well as I’d have liked, or how I can improve these solutions with a more established approach then I can move forward having documented some methods which I can stow away in the “food for thought” pantry.
While mulling this post, I was reminded of when I was a kid, my dad (an electrical engineer- with a little basement shop), had a similar notion. In his example, there was a design for a perpetual motion machine that he built- knowing (I think) that fundamental laws of physics prevent this from ever being possible- but not having a firm understanding of why in this case. He built a model with paperclips, fishing weights, and a plastic wheel. It basically looked like a little ferris wheel with levers that can tilt and provide additional leverage (in theory) on one side thereby pulling the weights on the other side (with less leverage) along until they can flip.
Truth is, this is a story of regret– my own regret at missing the opportunity for a spectacular prank. If only I’d been left alone with that thing long enough, I could have snuck a little gearmotor and battery into the stand, and let dad think he invented new physics.. oh well. Fortunately we had enough submissions to Everyday Edisons who brought one form or the other of “free energy” devices to the show. (Light bulb inside a solar cell box, anyone?).