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I was contacted by the local science museum recently. It seems their VDG
has stopped working. I thought it was just in need of a good cleaning
and adjustment, so I went by the museum today and here's the story...
Their VDG was made by a graduate student at the U of Texas out of spare
parts. The base is made of cast aluminum with a small induction motor
connedted to a plastic drum shaped spindle. The belt is a grey thick
rubber-band that looks like the one's you see on some home vacuum
cleaners. The belt runs up a piece (30-35 cm long) of 2 inch PVC pipe.
The upper end of the pipe has a metal pulley holding the other end of the
belt. The top ball is a one piece sphere that has a hole for the PVC
pipe to go into. The ball is supported by a metal inverted V that is
attached to the PVC pipe.