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Tim Robinson's Differential Analyzer

The author's current differential analyzer model.   This machine has four integrators each equipped with a two stage torque amplifier, a dual output table, and an input table. The modular construction makes it easy to extend, or to remove sections for maintenance. 
 Each leadscrew on the I/O tables or the integrators has a digital rotation counter attached, making initial setting of the machine simple and accurate.

Tim Robinson's differential analyzer
Click any picture for a larger version

The table arrangements anticipate eventually increasing the machine to six integrators and to add a second input table, also equipped to operate as a multiplier. The wonderful thing about a differential analyzer is that, just as with Meccano itself, you can never have too much, and there are always ways to redesign it to make it even better - so it's a never ending project!


input table
Input Table

output table
Dual Output Table

Section of the Interconnect

I exhibited the differential analyzer at the Vintage Computer Festival.  See pictures from the event and a live movie of the machine operating here.  Another movie captured by Bill Selmeier at a demonstration to volunteers at the Computer History Museum on 1/8/05 can be viewed here (12MB).

The links below (as I get time to add the pages) will provide more details:
    Torque amplifier
    Frontlash unit
Revolution counter
Main interconnect
    Helical gearbox
    Frontlash unit
    Drive motor
Input table
Output table

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Last modified:  10 February 2005
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