A heavy weight on a long cable is suspended from a mount that is free to swing in any direction with very small friction. This is a Foucault pendulum. Its equilibrium position is along the line of a plumb bob, in the direction of effective gravity. With the long cable, the oscillations are small, so the velocity is horizontal and we do everything only to first order in .
Its natural to put the origin of coordinates at the equilibrium point, the z axis up, the y axis north, and the x axis east. The motion is in the plane.
Jim Branson 2012-10-21