Numeral systems are fascinating. And if you make a lot of binary plots, its is only a small step to the next one: the ternary numbers. The most simple is the one with the “normal” ternary numbers, which are called “unbalanced ternary numbers” . In this system ether is one number extra in comparison with the binary numbers: “0”, “1” and “2”. For example, 21002 is 2×30+0x31+0x32+1×33+2×34 = 2×1+0x3+0x9+1×27+2×81 = 191.

But even more beautiful are the “balanced ternary numbers” In this system al numbers are made with -1. 0 and 1. The minus one is sometimes written as a “T” to make it one character (you can also find an exclamation mark, “!” or a “1”  upside down). Another example. The number 10T0T stands for: -1×30+0x31+-1×32+0x33+1×3= -1+0-9+0+81=71. One of the nicest properties of these numbers is that you can write negative numbers without the minus sign.

In a graphical sense this means that you can plot a place three ways. So if a trit is “T”  you send the pen one way, if it is a “0” you send it the another way and if it is a “1” you choose a third way. Most of the time you pick two contrary positions for the “T” and the “1”  and a middle position for the “0”. Needless to say this gives a lot of new patterns.