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January 2013 Newsletter, Stories & Announcements...


I don't know if you are experiencing the same phenomenon I am but I have been inundated with newsletters and offers since the first of the year. Vendors I haven't heard from in years have sent out emails and some individuals and companies are sending out several a week or even daily emails. I don't want to be part of a flood of emails you lose interest in so my intent is to concentrate, as I always try to do, on information you will find useful and interesting.

New access to hard to find owner's manuals...
For many years we have received requests for owner's manuals and other information to assist individuals who own various globes and celestial spheres. In the past, we have been able to respond with an email containing the specific information needed or with the contact information for the appropriate manufacturer so the end user could obtain a hard copy replacement of the owner's manual for their globe.

With the industry changing upheavals among globe manufacturers, in some cases it is no longer possible to provide printed documents for individuals who have acquired used products or who have lost their owner's manual or other information. In some cases, the information is not available at all since the manufacturer has gone out of business.

In an effort to begin addressing this problem, we have created a new resource on our World Globe Universe web site. Visitors can access a collection of Owner's Manuals and support information either through our Globe University portal.

At the present time we have posted mostly information that supports orphaned products for which manufacturer support is no longer available. Of particular interest is the Starship Earth II Celestial Sphere. This popular model has been sold for many years under the Artline brand. With the shuttering of Spherical Concepts, the printed owner's manual is out of print and no source has been available for new users, acquiring the sphere second hand, to be able to get the information they need to utilize this beautiful reference model. We scanned the owner's manual from a private collection and have posted the resulting PDF of the manual for viewing, downloading, and printing.

The Starship Earth II owner's manual is just one example of the information that is being lost to all globe enthusiasts. To help stem this attritional loss, I would like to extend an invitation to you and any of your friends who may share your enthusiasm for globes. If you are the owner of a globe or celestial model that is rare, discontinued, or orphaned, and would like to preserve the support information you have for your cherished globe, please contact World Globe Universe customer support and we will investigate with you the possibility of posting the resource for use by other globe enthusiasts who many acquire the product without the benefit of an owner's manual or other support information.

How do MOVA Globes work?
One of the more enjoyable aspects of my work at World Globe Universe is the opportunity I have to explore unusual globes and to satisfy my curiosity about how the more unusual globes function. Once I understand the operation, I then have the pleasure of passing that information on to others who share my fascination with globes, and whose minds are as inquisitive as my own! One of the most frequent questions I receive is; "How does a MOVA globe work?" In an attempt to address that question I am currently writing a short book that explains what I have learned about MOVA globes over the past 5 or so years I have been working with and selling these fascinating globes.

This article is an excerpt from the information that is being developed for my book. As a subscriber to our newsletter, I thought you might enjoy this preview. Although our web site contains a fairly detailed written description of how the MOVA globes function; I have never taken the time to develop any illustrations until I started working on this book. For the technically accomplished, you can find the existing description on our MOVA Globe tips & helps page. For those who are more visual in their learning style, I hope you enjoy this snippet of information from my upcoming e-book.

The MOVA globes are an amazing blend of science and artistry that provide a mesmerizing visual experience as they appear to rotate in violation to the normal laws of the physical universe. In low light conditions, the MOVA globe rests perfectly still with little to indicate its extraordinary capabilities. As the light intensity increases, whether from indirect sunlight, or artificial room lighting, the MOVA globe begins to rotate in a counterclockwise direction and will continue to do so, quietly and smoothly for as long as it is exposed to normal room lighting levels.

SPOILER ALERT... if you don't already know how a MOVA globe operates, and you wish to figure it out on your own, don't read any further.

The operational secrets of the MOVA Globe start with its unique construction. The MOVA globe consists of a clear acrylic sphere which encases a smaller acrylic sphere, adorned with your choice of world globe or celestial globe cartography.

MOVA Globe DiagramThis first diagram shows the blue inner sphere inside the slightly larger outer sphere. You will notice that the space between the two spheres is filled with a fluid. In fact there are two fluids used to fill the gap between the two spheres. There is a more dense fluid that settles to the bottom of the globe. The volume of this fluid is carefully controlled so the inner sphere will float in this fluid at the correct height. It has to be perfectly positioned so neither the top nor the bottom of the inner sphere comes in contact with the inside of the outer sphere. (The denser fluid is shown in yellow in the diagram.) The rest of the gap between the two spheres is filled with a lighter density fluid. (The less dense fluid is shown in light yellow in the diagram.)

The fluid used to fill the gap between the two spheres is clear and has some interesting optical qualities. When combined with the curvature of the outer sphere, the fluid actually enlarges the graphic on the inner sphere with the result that the image appears to be printed on the surface of the outer sphere. The result of this optical illusion is the movement of the inner sphere actually translates to what appears to be movement of the outer sphere. Although the outer sphere is actually stationary, it appears to be rotating on the stand or surface on which the globe is displayed.

Diagram of MOVA Globe Drive MechanismInside the inner sphere is the drive mechanism which is yet another "secret" of the MOVA globe. The drive mechanism (shown in the second diagram) consists of a motor (shown at the bottom of the illustration), a photocell array (the bronze rectangles and the support structure to which they are attached), and a powerful permanent magnet (shown at the top of the diagram). Current production MOVA Globes use a brushless DC (BLDC) motor. In the BLDC motor design, the base or stator of the motor is physically affixed to the inner sphere in such a manner that the two components are rotationally one unit. Because the motor is the heaviest component in the globe, it consistently settles to the bottom, with the result that the south pole is always oriented down while the north pole is always oriented at the top.

The rotor of the motor features an extended shaft with the permanent magnet affixed to the extreme end of the shaft. The photocell array is also affixed to the rotor of the BLDC motor. The result is the rotor, the photocells, and the magnet are rotationally one unit.

In much the same way that the magnetic field of the earth causes the polarized magnetic needle of a compass to align with the magnetic poles of the earth, the permanent magnet inside the MOVA globe aligns itself with the magnetic field of the earth. This alignment of the permanent magnet with earth's magnetic field causes the rotor to be held in a relatively fixed position. Thus, when light is applied to the photocells, they begin to power the motor. Since the rotor of the BLDC motor is held in position by the attraction of the permanent magnet to the magnetic field of the earth, the resulting rotation of the motor is transferred to the stator and the sphere to which it is attached.

Because of the low friction environment in which the inner sphere rests, the rotational drive of the motor causes the stator, affixed to the inner sphere, to rotate in a consistent counterclockwise direction while the rotor remains in fixed alignment with the magnetic field of the earth. The result is the inner sphere begins to rotate and continues to do so as long as the photocells continue to power the motor.

Although this explanation is somewhat technical, I have attempted to simplify it so even a layman like myself can understand it and can explain it to their awestruck friends. If your friends and relatives consider you to be a layman, you can rest assured they will marvel at your knowledge of the near magical MOVA globe!

If you would like further information about MOVA globes, keep an eye out for my upcoming book. If you would like to be informed when the book goes on sale, drop us an email through our World Globe Universe contact form. (With your permission, we'll be sure to let you know when the book becomes available.)

In the meantime; if you are the proud owner of a MOVA globe, you can now wow your friends with what you have learned from this article. If you have not yet purchased your favorite MOVA globe, Valentines Day may be the perfect time to give or receive the MOVA globe of your choice. Be sure to give your Valentine the appropriate hints... while there is still time to make delivery for your special Valentine gift.

Thank you for spending this time with us and we'll see you again next month!

Larry Murray

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