The Fusible Link for Releasing the Paraconical Pendulum

For each release of the pendulum we used a fusible link of the type illustrated below.

Each link requires one small ring shaped crimp-type electrical terminal, one little crimp connector of the type sold in fishing shops for joining fishing line (it's just a short bit of fine steel tube), and about 70 cm of fishing line. After experimentation, we settled upon the use of "Abu Garcia" 30 lb line which is a good quality with suitable burn-through characteristics.

We just crimped the terminal onto the end of the line, and then crimped the connector slightly below the terminal, so as to make a stopper, with about 2 mm of line visible between the stopper and the terminal. This distance is fairly critical: it should be made as small as possible, while still letting the flame get at the line.

Since, following Allais, our protocol was to release each pendulum once every twenty minutes, we needed 72 links for each twelve-hour session with two pendulums, plus a few extra just in case. They are not particularly troublesome to make.

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