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Zargonian sun-begging top
When Zargon and neighboring suns went out in eclipses and other sun-blocking events, the ancients begged their suns to return with this ceremonial top and some well-chosen incantations. Worked every time.
About this creation
Please feel free to look over the images and skip the verbiage.

Most developing civilizations go through a sun-worshipping phase. Indeed, astroarchaeologists estimate that sun gods and goddesses (here used interchangeably) account for 78% of all known deities.

But suns can hide for hours to days at a time during solar eclipses, asteroid impacts, supervolcano explosions, and other natural sun-blocking events. Sure, your sun's always come back before, but what if it doesn't this time?

So just to be on the safe side, cultures across the Galaxy have cooked up dramatic rituals begging their suns to return. Suitably decorated spinning tops often figure prominently in these ceremonies.



This sun-begging top design spread from the Zargon system (below) to neighboring parts of the Delta Sector in the Edogoma Period ca. 2,800-2,000 BCE Earth time.



To use it, just put on some flashy robes, spin it with great flourish, chant some catchy incantations, and wait. Works every time, and it's also good for general panhandling -- which high priests of sun gods spend a lot of time doing between outages.



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Separator tops

OK, OK, it's just a big LEGOŽ plate top with some brick separators (far left) for fingers.



Here on MOCpages, you'll find separators used in space ships, as bird beaks, in awnings, as bug wings or legs, in all kinds of made-up creatures, as crocodile bodies, and even in badminton shuttlecocks.

So why not a "separator top"? Heck, why not two?





My first separator tops (not shown) wobbled too much -- not from unbalance, but from inadequate stiffness at the separator attachments. These two, on the other hand, spin pretty smoothly.

Starting the larger begging top by hand takes some muscle, as it has a rather large axial moment of inertia (AMI). It also takes skill and practice, as the broad, low-slung rotor scrapes the ground at only 9° of tilt -- not much wiggle room during a strenuous twirl.



I can get this top up to ~200 RPM with a single twirl of the fingers by starting in "1st gear" (LBG ball, 11.8 mm OD) and then moving up through 2nd gear (orange axle joiner, 7.5 mm OD) to finish in 3rd gear (black cross-axle, 4.8 mm OD). The knurling helps a lot here.

The high AMI and long stem on the big top allow repeated twirls during spin-up. With practice, this technique can take the top to ~270 RPM by hand, but you can easily hit ~400 RPM with one of these 1:4 planetary starters with no practice at all.





The red and black 3rd-generation starter is more compact than its 2nd-generation counterpart on the right, but it can't match the torque capacity and smooth operation of the older design.

Lousy aerodynamics limit hand spin times to ~30 sec for the begging top and ~10 sec for the little one. The deceleration due to drag would be slower if the little top had a larger AMI.

Structurally, these tops are basically just plate tops with appendages. Details of the begging top's construction...









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Visual effects

The begging top generates some interesting visual effects as it spins. What you see depends strongly on the top's speed and how it's viewed. In the 1st video, for example, we see constantly evolving stroboscopic and rolling shutter effects as the top loses speed.

In long-exposure stills -- and to a lesser extent in person -- the orange decorations appear to sweep out translucent orange rings.



Experimenting with the inner rings is as easy as rearranging the 4x4 macaronis inboard of the hands.



In person under favorable lighting, the separators appear to sweep out a large, shallow translucent bowl with a wide ribbed orange rim. This virtual 3D surface is my favorite effect, but it's hard to capture in a still (below) and almost impossible in video.



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Specifications (begging top only)

Overall dimensions:295x152 mm (DxH)
Mass:228 g
Target deities:Sun gods
Scrape angle:
Best launch speeds:~270 RPM by hand, ~400 RPM with starter
Best spin times:~30 sec by hand, [] sec with starter
Landing speed:90-100 RPM
Modified LEGOŽ parts:Tip cut from 4L antenna
Non-LEGOŽ parts:None
Credits:Original MOC
See also:LEGOŽ top folder, Dark matter observatory on Nimbus IV, and Personal solar system

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Comments

 I made it 
  May 23, 2018
Quoting Sam Sanister Hey Jeremy, have you thought of building an orrery for tops?
Thanks, Sam! I did something along those lines at http://www.moc-pages.com/moc.php/435171
 I like it 
  May 22, 2018
Hey Jeremy, have you thought of building an orrery for tops?
 I like it 
  February 16, 2018
Having the coldest summer (2017) for decades in mind, I´m almost willing to pay that price!
 I made it 
  February 14, 2018
Quoting Henrik Jensen Great use of the brick separators! At least it worked here where I live, it`s been so nice with some sunny weather for a change, Thank you Jeremy!
Thanks, Henrik! Glad I could bring some sun to Denmark. For a mere $19.95 a month, I can offer to increase your frequency of sunny days by 50%.
 I like it 
  February 14, 2018
Great use of the brick separators! At least it worked here where I live, it`s been so nice with some sunny weather for a change, Thank you Jeremy!
 I made it 
  February 12, 2018
Quoting Doug Hughes A beauty!
Thanks, Doug!
 I like it 
  February 12, 2018
A beauty!
 I made it 
  February 12, 2018
Quoting Nirds forprez Not sure what is better, your builds or how you weave each one into a universe of research and knowledge. One does not need a Hubble Telescope to see your creativeness from a afar.
Far too kind, NFP! I like to think that I play not so much =with= LEGO as with the (mostly physical and mathematical) world =through= LEGO. Weaving it all together with a whimsical back story partly drawn from science just adds to the fun. I think it's much the same with you.
 I made it 
  February 12, 2018
Quoting Didier B Hi Jeremy, The Solar system is really cool. I like the visual effect a lot. And I'm glad you found a new way of using those Bricks Separator Tools. You know I made a few mocs with those pieces...
Thanks, Didier! I remember those builds of yours well. They partly inspired this one.
 I like it 
  February 12, 2018
Not sure what is better, your builds or how you weave each one into a universe of research and knowledge. One does not need a Hubble Telescope to see your creativeness from a afar.
 I like it 
  February 12, 2018
Hi Jeremy, The Solar system is really cool. I like the visual effect a lot. And I'm glad you found a new way of using those Bricks Separator Tools. You know I made a few mocs with those pieces...
 I like it 
  February 11, 2018
Okay, almost the same temp up and down here XD
 I like it 
  February 11, 2018
He will only know the part "peach" out of impeachment: GO! ;)
 I made it 
  February 11, 2018
Quoting Vibor Cavor Instead of bringing you sun heat it could also be used to bring you cool wind once you plug it into power. Nice.
Thanks, Vibor! Yes, you can feel the wind tbis thing stirs up 2 diameters away. That much drag is really bad for spin time, but other factors tend to be more important in ceremonial tops with built-in cosmic powers.
 I made it 
  February 11, 2018
Quoting Oliver Becker Wonderful iluminated aha experience, my friend! Especially the solar system is a real "light-bulb moment"! ;) Thanks very much for sharing, 'cause today here's dark sky...!
I've only begun to tap the cosmic powers of spinning tops. Will I use them for good or evil? Mwahaha! (Oops, let that slip.) I suppose I should at least start out working for the good of our beloved planet and all its creatures. How about an impeachment-summoning top?
 I made it 
  February 11, 2018
Quoting Sven ;o) Fantastic work on both the separator top and the personal solar system. I really like what you did with with the seperators but really love the solar system when it's spinning. Great job my friend! Btw, it seems that it was cold out there when you took the pics ;)
Many thanks, Sven! It was a seasonable 40°F or so that day. Yesterday never got above 16°F, but the day before hit 60°F, and today will see the upper 40s.That's Denver for you!
 I made it 
  February 11, 2018
Quoting Clayton Marchetti Awesome tops! I like the hands made from brick separators. But I love the personal solar system. The rocket looked so cool zipping around the planet. Outstanding job!
Very kind, Clayton! Nice to see renewed interest in the PSS.
 I made it 
  February 11, 2018
Quoting Gabor Pauler "Sun is fun" said Oliver at one of my creations. This is even more funny.
Funny? I take this new profession of mine very seriously!
 I made it 
  February 11, 2018
Quoting Nick Barrett Thanks for bringing the sun back!
Don't thank me yet. Next post will be a Zargonian moon-shifting top used by ancient sun beggars to promote job security. Could be a lot of fun!
 I like it 
  February 11, 2018
Instead of bringing you sun heat it could also be used to bring you cool wind once you plug it into power. Nice.
 I like it 
  February 11, 2018
Wonderful iluminated aha experience, my friend! Especially the solar system is a real "light-bulb moment"! ;) Thanks very much for sharing, 'cause today here's dark sky...!
 I like it 
  February 11, 2018
Fantastic work on both the separator top and the personal solar system. I really like what you did with with the seperators but really love the solar system when it's spinning. Great job my friend! Btw, it seems that it was cold out there when you took the pics ;)
 I like it 
  February 11, 2018
Awesome tops! I like the hands made from brick separators. But I love the personal solar system. The rocket looked so cool zipping around the planet. Outstanding job!
 I like it 
  February 11, 2018
"Sun is fun" said Oliver at one of my creations. This is even more funny.
 I like it 
  February 11, 2018
Thanks for bringing the sun back!
 I made it 
  February 10, 2018
Thanks!
 I like it 
  February 10, 2018
Daanggg.. looks so cool as it's spinning
 
By Jeremy McCreary
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Zargonian sun-begging top


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