It turns out the "swiss guy" I mentioned in the last post who helped Eugene with some calculations is the person who commissioned the second orrery (which has just been completed and is en route to Switzerland). His name is Sergio Pinease and after reading my post he wrote me and I thought his note was so incredibly charming that I thought I'd share it (with his permission):
By the way: I am the Swiss guy who tried to support Eugene with some calculations on my own. Just that you know: I am not a mathematician and I also did for the first time such calculations but it was fun to find a way to understand the mechanism Eugene wanted to implement and calculate the best possible combinations of teeth for the gears.
I am really amazed what Eugene was able to do without having orrery experience. Don’t be jealous about the year ring. Instead you really should be proud that you had the idea to commission one and that you entrusted Eugene with this job. Also the many ideas about the quantity of planets and that one turn of the handle should be 2 weeks are yours!
I wanted to say thank you to have started with this and that you also made some pictures of your orrery available on the web.
I am really looking forward to the arrival of the orrery and to play with it and perhaps meet Eugene once. Perhaps in some years there are so manyEugene orreries that there will be an orrery meeting of all people who bought one from him.
We've been corresponding since and it turns out he's a really interesting guy who (understandably) is fascinated by automata and "cool things that do cool things when you turn a crank." I hope he enjoys his new orrery but I'm still jealous of the "date ring" :)