Spring has finally arrived at last ! Time to get the bicycle out from the shed and start using it. Speaking of bicycles, … when was the last time you took your Hiend Audio Turntable for a tuning upgrade to your local bicycle store ?
Ever made any considerations with regards to suspension, or damping, or your needle jumping a track or two within your hiend audio turntable system ?
The thing is, bicycles have seats. Mounted on seat posts. And these posts are available not only as a “stiff rod”, but also, in a more finesse, “suspension” / “cushioned” type version.
And guess what. These suspension systems, be it for the seat post, or for the front fork, as in a a “Rock Shock” system … these are based either on steel springs, or, better still, as the new fad proclaims, on ELASTOMER INSERTS.
Now comes the fun stuff …
As the weight of the bicycle rider can vary …starting from the weight of a slim teenager and ending on the weight of some obese, middle aged fat “dude”, these elastomer systems need to come in a variety of various “hardnesses” or “elasticities”.
So, some of them are very soft, almost of the consistency of a rubber gelly, whilst others come as much stiffer, or “harder” version. The hardness of the elastomer insert is actually color-coded.
But what is actually an “elastomer” ?
An elastomer is a polymer with viscoelasticity (colloquially “elasticity”), generally having low Young’s modulus and high failure strain compared with other materials. The term, which is derived from elastic polymer, is often used interchangeably with the term rubber, although the latter is preferred when referring to vulcanisates. Each of the monomers which link to form the polymer is usually made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and/or silicon. Elastomers are amorphous polymers existing above their glass transition temperature, so that considerable segmental motion is possible. At ambient temperatures, rubbers are thus relatively soft (E~3MPa) and deformable. Their primary uses are for seals, adhesives and molded flexible parts.
Elastomers are usually thermosets (requiring vulcanization) but may also be thermoplastic (see thermoplastic elastomer). The long polymer chainscross-link during curing, i.e., vulcanizing. The molecular structure of elastomers can be imagined as a ‘spaghetti and meatball’ structure, with the meatballs signifying cross-links. The elasticity is derived from the ability of the long chains to reconfigure themselves to distribute an applied stress. The covalent cross-linkages ensure that the elastomer will return to its original configuration when the stress is removed. As a result of this extreme flexibility, elastomers can reversibly extend from 5-700%, depending on the specific material. Without the cross-linkages or with short, uneasily reconfigured chains, the applied stress would result in a permanent deformation.
Temperature effects are also present in the demonstrated elasticity of a polymer. Elastomers that have cooled to a glassy or crystalline phase will have less mobile chains, and consequentially less elasticity, than those manipulated at temperatures higher than the glass transition temperature of the polymer.
OK. so now comes the idea:
Imagine a special turntable base, or maybe, even more convenient, a turntable support suspension table ( … such as a DIY construct, which is independent of your turntable device and does not “invade” the structural integrity of your turntable product … ).
Imagine two thick slabs of PanzerHolz, or any other sturdy, heavy and very inert material, albeit one that you will be capable of tooling in some way.
The two slabs, we shall refer to as the Upper Slab, and the Lower Slab.
The upper slab (brown) has three holes drilled through it. We insert stainless steel pins (grey), partly threaded, through the upper slab, protruding downwards, and secure these pins within the upper slab with nuts and washers (grey).
In the lower slab, we drill openings, in-line with these pins, so that the pins from the upper slab can fit into these openings.
And now, imagine, that we insert the following elastomer inserts (green), as sourced from your local bicycle supplies store, on the protruding steel pins:
The steel pins, protruding from under these elastomer inserts, can now be “docked” in the Lower slab, so as to provide for “horizontal” stability, in the sense that the upper slab does not have the freedom to move sideways in any manner.
BUT – It DOES have the freedom to move freely, and flex, in the vertical direction.
So, what do you think ?
The only thing lacking now is some nice, highly polished, chrome masking tubes, so that the inserts will not be visible to the eye …
Here are some examples of these elastomer inserts as can be found on eBay …
You get the idea …