How can I measure the rotational force needed to adjust a vacuum variable capacitor?

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I just ordered a vacuum variable capacitor to continue my experiments with loop antennas. This one is decent quality, U.S. made, used capacitor. I was wondering if there was a relatively simple, yet reliable, way to measure the rotational force needed to tune the capacitor. Part of my goal is to design a coupling that slips when the motor drives the capacitor to its limit.

  • Jim
    Thanks for this question Andy. Considering you are somewhere near the top of our Elmer pecking order, I’d be curious to see who can answer this one. If my dad were alive, he probably could; he’s not. If someone answers this one to your satisfaction, dinner is on me (seriously)!
  • Jim
    Andy, I’m curious what’s wrong with ChatGPT’s answer to this challenge. I inserted your question as a prompt and read it and it seems reasonable. Thoughts?
  • wa3ltj
    I entered my question into chatGPT. It wants me to use a torque wrench or torque screwdriver, which I don’t have. It recommends a flexible coupling. Bad idea for measuring a torque. I will 3D print an arm to go on the shaft. It will have a notch at a measured distance from the center of the shaft. At the notch, I will hang a small bag. I will put pennies into the bag until the shaft rotates. This was the recommendation from a PhD mechanical engineer who is a ham.
  • Jim
    Roger that. Note that if you do need a torque wrench, I have two of different ranges.
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Great Answer
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Response given by the OP himself: “I will 3D print an arm to go on the shaft. It will have a notch at a measured distance from the center of the shaft. At the notch, I will hang a small bag. I will put pennies into the bag until the shaft rotates. This was the recommendation from a PhD mechanical engineer who is a ham.”

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Elmer
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Recommendation provided by a PhD mechanical engineer who is also an amateur radio operator.
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