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I'm looking for a specific lab equipment, but I don't know the exact English words to describe it, so my searches are useless. To give an idea, I'm interested in a gyroscope with gimbals and a motor to sustain the spinning over the time.

Does this type of question is accepted in the Physics are of SE?

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  • $\begingroup$ So you are looking for a gyrocompass, or relative thereof? $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Nov 16 '20 at 1:17
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster, as far as I understand a gyrocompass is a complex instrument with a data output (digital or by a graduated scale) with a lot of compensation stuff (i.e. penduous vanes) to prevent the apparent precession. Instead I'm just looking for a gyroscope supported with a 3-axis cardan joint and a motor to keep the wheel in motion. $\endgroup$ – Mark Nov 16 '20 at 8:26
  • $\begingroup$ that is what they have evolved into, given the nature of flight regulations. The original ones (and many old planes still have them) were pretty basic. But is that the general idea you are looking for? $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Nov 16 '20 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it's right. Not the price, though :) $\endgroup$ – Mark Nov 16 '20 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ A random Amazon result: amazon.com/gp/product/… $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Nov 16 '20 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster, thanks. But: 1. "gimbal kit not included" and 2. the motor is just a starter, not intended for continued use. $\endgroup$ – Mark Nov 16 '20 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ I mean, I tried with "self-spinning gyroscope with gimbal" or "3-axis gyroscope motorized" and so on without success. Should be a correct description for such an instrument! I saw several of them in some labs but I have no contacts anymore. $\endgroup$ – Mark Nov 16 '20 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ Understood, hence the 'random result' - that particular one does look like the motor can be attached, there may be other ones. I used to get catalogs from several educational experiment providers (good source of cheap lab stuff), not sure if those types of companies exist anymore. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Nov 16 '20 at 17:36
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    $\begingroup$ This sounds like something you've seen before. As someone that frequently looks for equipment I don't have a name for, I can give a couple pointers. If you've seen it before, go to the source and ask them what it is and where they got it. If you haven't seen it before and are having trouble finding it online, question if it actually exists. If you know what is needed to make it, consider building your own $\endgroup$ – Jim Nov 17 '20 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ Why dont you post the pic of instrument? $\endgroup$ – Srijan Suryansh Nov 20 '20 at 6:47
  • $\begingroup$ @SrijanSuryansh because I said I've seen it but I haven't got one. If I were able to find a picture I might buy it also! $\endgroup$ – Mark Nov 20 '20 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Mark oh then sorry $\endgroup$ – Srijan Suryansh Nov 20 '20 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ Is an Inertial Measurement Unit what you're looking for? $\endgroup$ – Myridium Nov 22 '20 at 6:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Myridium, no, sorry. The better description I can do is written in the question: a simple gyroscope, free to move in all 3-axis, with a motor to keep it spinning. Nothing else. $\endgroup$ – Mark Nov 22 '20 at 11:12
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  1. The help center specifically states that experimental technology questions are on-topic. There's even the tag, which can be used "for questions pertaining to the limits, management, and operation of equipment necessary to experimental physics", as described in the tag wiki excerpt. So in principle, questions about experimental equipment are on-topic, unless they contravene any other of the site's policies.
  2. That being said, questions on the main site asking just for the name of something would probably be closed because the description might be too broad to answer properly or simply for being off-topic since they attract extended discussion in the comments or guess-type-answers and neither of these things works well in the SE Q&A format. They might be better suited to chat (cf. this meta discussion). You could try to ask at The h Bar.
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Of course you can ask that question.

Its clearly about doing physics.

As a general remark: Just ask the question in the future. It will get flagged if it violates some rule.

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    $\begingroup$ There are many questions about "doing physics" that still get closed. Can you instead give specific examples/site policy to back your claim? $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Nov 22 '20 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ What claim? Its common sense that it is less effort for the community to close and flag questions than start lengthy discussions on meta posts before the question is even asked. $\endgroup$ – user224659 Nov 22 '20 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ "There are many questions about "doing physics" that still get closed." On a site note this is not speaking very highly of a physics site. $\endgroup$ – user224659 Nov 22 '20 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ The claim I was talking about was saying that questions about lab equipment is allowed. It may be true, but your reasoning as to why is not valid. Being about physics is a necessary but not sufficient condition here. There are many questions on this site that are physics questions but are still closed. Surely you are aware of this? $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Nov 22 '20 at 21:31
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    $\begingroup$ @BioPhysicist I am. And I stand by my opinion that OP should not worry about this. If the question is asked in good faith, about physics, and not some silly homework, he/she should not worry about any rules. Even if one is broken people will just close the post and done. I feel like some people are very eager to make this forum as bureaucratic as possible. Clearly the question of OP benefits his research/education and is therefore beneficial to physics as a whole. This meta post and similar future discussions are unnecessary. $\endgroup$ – user224659 Nov 22 '20 at 21:35
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not talking about your conclusions, I'm talking about your "it's about physics, so it's ok." This isn't valid reasoning for this site, so telling other users this isn't helpful. $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Nov 22 '20 at 21:47

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