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Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 2:45 AM

I was walking down the street the other day, saw a semi truck, and bam, I had this idea. I scurried home and sketched this. I was immediately sure it would work and that there was a need for it. I had never seen this system before on a semi truck or trailer.. perhaps the need is not overwhelming, but in certain cases, it is an excellent solution. To apply the tracks, you lay out the tracks, back over them, wrap around the dual wheels, and bolt/pin them. (and tighten)

I knew that I had a reference after watching a few episodes of "Licence To Drill" which details the mayhem of drilling for oil in the Canadian north, and especially watching tractor-trailers with heavy loads, hauling in the mud. I thought the idea had been cooking in my subconscious.. and poof. you know how it goes.

I did some searching around on the web, but didn't find any specific references... so I took some time to model it up. (very happy with the results. I used someone else's truck model and just added the tracks.

but after it was all done, I started looking around more.. only to discover that it has been done.. and very similar as I had imagined.. serving the oil industry in the muddy and snow bound northern Canada.

http://www.righttracksystemsinc.com/
http://www.righttracksystemsinc.com/video2-right-track-systems.html
http://www.righttracksystemsinc.com/tandem-axle-trailer-track-systems.html

so I'm wondering how do I get to some really original ideas. I know there is a saying "There is nothing new under the sun" but that clearly has some fallacy to it. otherwise we would not be continuously evolving our technologies.

Has this sort of thing ever happened to you? I give thanks for Google and other search engines that I am able to let go of this one quickly, without investing more than a couple of hours in it.

Chris

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#1

Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 3:10 AM

Join the club This has happened to me several times in my career. In 1968, i had a brilliant idea of using two coils in series on a DC contactor magnet system. My boss and most colleagues felt it won't work, but gave me the go ahead. It worked very well, and my boss atoned for his earlier skepticism with a cash bonus. Still, he and i were both uneasy that we must be missing something...after all, a slightly above average engineer inventing something? Not likely !

Years later, i came across a Telemecanique contactor which had this very system. Voila ! All fears were gone. The only downer was that TE had invented this system 20 years before i did

Nevertheless, my no-longer-boss said that he was quite happy that i had invented this on my own ! Some truth there eh?

Cheer up. You did invent something. Keep it up

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 3:21 AM

Thanks... I'm getting worried. This is not the first time this has happened. As I said, I appreciate the internet as it speeds the process. I guess when so much technology exists, and we see so many images in a day, that it is hard to keep track. I know Nikola Tesla was fanatical about tracing the sources of his ideas. He believed his mind worked as a biological computer, and that every single idea had a source, and he would not give up until he found it.

I guess that, as TRIZ (Altshuller) teaches, that most inventions are of the 'improvement' class. (of the 5 classes)

Chris

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#5
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 6:57 AM

Dear Chris,

Some one is remotely scanning your brain!!!!

Your ideas are being stolen, probably when you sleep.

You must fashion yourself a hat out of Alumium foil and wear it at all times!!!

And when you are sleeping with your wife (connected!!) SHE must wear one too or there might be a "leak" of your ideas into her unprotected brain!!!!!

Probably Oral sex will be the most dangerous, so its now banned for you completely!!!!

Normal sex no more than once a month!!!!!

(with your Alumium hat, you will probably be lucky to get it once a year anyway....!!!)

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 11:25 AM

Priceless!!! A few years back, a girlfriend made me wear a large metal collander on my head for my Hallowe'en costume. I'll see if i can find the picture.

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#18
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 12:52 PM

Wrap it in foil, the high frequencies used today might get thru those holes!!!

(Transistor theory!!)

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#24
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 1:07 PM

Faraday hat cage doesn't work on high frequency?

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#27
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 1:41 PM

This is definitely something completely new!!!!!

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#51
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 10:25 PM

Faraday hat cage doesn't work on high frequency?

Nicolas's brother?

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#10
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 11:28 AM

Just a humble suggestion... would you please change your id to Randygermany? just a thought ...

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#19
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 12:53 PM

LOL

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#17
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 12:22 PM

Andy,

GA for comedy

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#21
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 12:58 PM

I find it nice when someone says something funny, it just happened to be my turn today....I have had some good laughs from you Guys over the years. I am sure it will not end either!!

So I really did not deserve a GA for that, but thanks anway for your kind generosity.

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#31
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 2:16 PM

The Jedi mind trick must be just DVader's cover story for the idea-harvesting trick....

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#32
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 2:35 PM

well... I can't find the picture... but not to be outdone by Ky, I do have this s c a r y picture... it's from my 'devil / rock star' days...lol... okay.. its a last minute effort to come up with a costume to scare the kids...

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#38
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 7:16 PM

I have a position to be filled for a the devils advocate.

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#46
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 9:10 PM

oh that is me!

which was why I was advocating the nuclear solution for BP with you!

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#190
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/15/2010 10:02 AM

Boody hell!!........You really are ugly!!!!

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#192
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/15/2010 1:10 PM

I've been worse, but sadly have no pictures of that glorious evening.

it is too horrific to even describe...

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#234
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/20/2010 10:08 AM

Believe me, I know the feeling well!!!!

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#78
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/13/2010 7:42 AM

Oh gosh, no oral sex permitted?

I'd rather die then give that up!

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#82
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/13/2010 8:33 AM

....and what did your Boyfriend say?

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#2

Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 3:17 AM

Once upon a time, my wife and I were driving from Calgary to Edmonton, and we passed a 58-wheeler carrying I don't remember what (or if I even recognized it in the first place).

This reminds me of a story in which a 100,000-lb cyclotron magnet was being transported from points A to B. When the truck showed up at B, the magnet was missing! Something like 20 years later, a swamp along the route was drained, and this big mysterious object showed up. The dots were at long last connected. How the magnet could have rolled off unnoticed...who can tell?

Alas, I forget where I read this.

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#4
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 3:29 AM

OMG! I wouldn't want to be that truck driver. "What did you do with the other half of your [oversized] load?... Well, I uh, um.. you see.. er..ah.."

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#60
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/13/2010 12:53 AM

Had something similar happen when I was in the Navy, stationed in San Diego. We were recovering practice torpedoes and an old PBY made a pass to drop one. The pilot came over the radio with 'torpedoe away' - the skipper of the retriever boat radioed back 'nothing came out!'

The pilot replied 'it was there when we left San Diego'! Turns out that the MK 44 torpedo dropped out of it's rack when the pilot banked preparing for the run to drop it.

We eventually found it a few miles from the drop location.

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#61
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Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/13/2010 1:21 AM

ooopsie! how many torpedo drops end with a happy ending?

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#6

Re: Inventors... has this every happened to you?

08/12/2010 7:06 AM

I can't count the times. Fortunately, US patents are easily searchable online now. The first time it happened, that wasn't the case. I spent 3 days doing a manual search in the patent library in Sunnyvale, CA, only to find out someone had already patented my idea. Bummer! The way I try to come up with new ideas, is to think of easier, better, more efficient ways to accomplish whatever task I'm working on. What's really frustrating are the number of things that have been patented that I've thought of later, that are not being produced or used.

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#7

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 8:49 AM

Young writers are even warned that they may unconsciously appropriate sentences and phrases. Sources for Transcendia are attributed to Pan Am, Hong Kong & Disney. Some mechanic friends said I was being ripped off by Aerotropolis concepts, and people with more money. Things get in the air.

Some actually race to the patent office knowing that if it hasn't been patented, somebody else is probably working at it once a need is known. The Quest for Flight and the triumph of the Wright Brothers is a classic as it wasn't so much by then flight, but controllable flight that was the issue.

So whatever is new will call for another invention as in the case of aircraft, "Hey we need an autopilot!"

You may want to look at the career of Bill Lear, as he didn't invent radio, but invented car radios, and didn't invent tape machines, but invented the 8 track to play music in his jets.

You may also want to keep up with Gizmag to see what is new, that you might have an idea to apply, or something that will be same, similar, but better.

Certainly some of your work as concerned the electric road had great promise.

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#8

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 10:52 AM

My dad always said,

"If you, or someone else is struggling with something, then you should try to come up with a way to make it easier.

Not all new ideas are genius but lack of ideas is moronic."

Instead of giving up on your track idea, try making it better. Improvements are always welcome especially if they lower cost or increase efficiency.

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#11

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 11:30 AM

Hi Chris:

I know exactly how you feel, it happened to me when I was a kid, during the transition of digital watches from L.E.D. to LCD; my father bought me one of the new (LCD), and soon after that, came home with an issue of Popular Mechanics with an article on how those new displays worked. I discoverd that there was not any black die or anything, but the property of the cristals in the paste to rotate about 90° while a current flowed thru them, thus crossing the optical fibers of the clear cover, and blockin' all light.

I learned that they were arranged in segments to conform the numbers.

Then, somewhere else, I read about a real awesome new device called "the micro-processor" capable of, for example receiving one single signal, process it and control many electrical outputs...

That triggered my imagination and combined it with the principle of puntillismo, recently learnt at my 4th grade class.

That resulted in me thinking of a new generation of TV's that used a micro-processor to convert the "image signal" into many individual on/off signals wich would control individual LCD "dots" on a screen that could be hung on a wall like a painting.

Go figure, that was over 30 years ago.

It has happened to me a few more times, fortunatelly I discussed those ideas with friends at the moment, who have seen them come true after a decade or so.

Yahlasit

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#14
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 11:51 AM

Awesome. Thanks.

I watched this big thinker's video on roboticist Rodney Brooks, and he says he was also figuring out electronics at a very young age.

Chris

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#12

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 11:37 AM

I hate being negative, but do you not think that you saw something like your inventions in a far corner of your minds, and then forgot the sighting.

Half-tracks have been around for a long time.

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#15
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 12:00 PM

Certainly these rubber-tracked vehicles are all around us these days, and I do love them. I'm an army brat, and have been playing with half-tracks as toys and models as long as I can remember.. and was born in Shilo Man.. (Cdn. tank base)

but equally, I can't pinpoint the exact influence.. but it also has probably been brewing since I hosted this thread. I dunno.

but I can't help but agree with you.. it or something like it must have been there.. but I do know my mind has devious little ways... to invent things.. I just want some really original ideas...

thanks,

Chris

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#13

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 11:44 AM

It's happened to me a number of times, though I've managed to get a few of my ideas patented.

The biggest fish that got away was my idea of a world-wide networked connection of computers -- and I was so bummed to find out it had already been invented by Al Gore!!

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#16
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 12:02 PM

excellent.

perhaps you could just improve the internet...

It could be worse you know.. the internet could have been invented by MS.

thanks,

Chris

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#20

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 12:54 PM

What about the "simultaneous idea" phenomena? Where ideas and inventions take place at the same time, separated by vast distances with no communication between. Are we all connected some how?

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#22

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 12:58 PM

Hey Chris,

In the world of ideas.

I'm finding, that the only thing more frustrating than coming up with an idea that's already been done, is coming up with one that hasn't!

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#23
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 1:07 PM

lol... well the one's that haven't been invented certainly represent more work!

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#28
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 1:46 PM

And money.........

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#77
In reply to #22

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 7:32 AM

that is the biggest truth of the string of messages. I have a book full of sketches and descriptions that have not been patented and have a place in society. what I do not have is a book full of checks that would cover getting the patent in hand.

the Idea is free, OK so maybe they cost me a marriage or two as I focused on them rather than more immediate and temporary issues, but the patient process is now so expensive that it is prohibitive.

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#81
In reply to #77

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 8:32 AM

If your idea is dangerous it might be true to say "but the patient process is now so", otherwise its the Patent process!!!

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#85
In reply to #77

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 8:57 AM

Amen brother, my wife is still wondering when my great idea, (patent pending), is going to become anything more than a tax write off.

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#25

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 1:11 PM

Chris,

The answer to this could fill a book.

Let me first say that it happens to all us thinkers and that if this is what you want then there are some things you can do that will help.

1) you want something thicker than foil or a collander, maybe a pot. Seriously though, there has got to be some kind of universal thought transferance that produces the same idea at the same time in so many places, I've seen it happen to myself and others and it becomes a race as to who can get to the patent office first and then who has the money to defend it.

2) There's a really good article in July 2010 Popular Mechanics for inventors.

3) decide what kind of fish you are fishing for and why. I've thought of a couple hundred different gagets but I always discard them, because they are not high profit and they are easily copied (kitchen or tool stuff ya know). If your in it for the money the idea needs to be really unique or not easily copied, (the guy that made the Razor scooter has spent millions fighting copy cats). I dont have a problem saying Im in it for the money and I dont invest my time in something that is not worth the fight. So decide if you want to create a gaget or a real industrial product (the tracks were real cool industrial). Then decide if you want to do it for the money, humanitarian reasons, or the professional credit (nothing wrong with showing off your tail feathers).

4) Now that you know the What and the Why it is time to work on the How, (I believe in mind training, that you can break everything down into a process of thought). Here is the bad news, for years I couldnt understand why my good friend the machinist couldnt just visualize a concept but had to have everything in a blueprint, I fianally realized that some people dont have any imaginagtion what soever. The good news is there is a way around it, by analizing the problem and appling existing pieces to the puzzel he was able to create a unique "thing" from existing parts (pieces to a puzzel rearranged). This concept can still be used for people like us Chris to enhance our inventive capabilities. With this principle you have to know your field of study well and then study areas from other fields where their applications can apply to yours, this is why scientists will study so many different journals to see how anothers idea can apply to the subject they are working on. So be widly studied, read several magazines and stuff from the internet, gizmag is good, (my wife pronounced it with a "J" and thought I was getting porn email). so suck in all the info you can.

5) Know when a fight is worth fighting for and if you really think you can win the fight.

Good enough for now

Spacecannon

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 1:30 PM

Hi Lynn,

thanks so much. I really appreciate it. I've had a few conversations with people trying to explain some of my ideas to them, or theirs to me... and it is challenging without pictures.. especially if alcohol is involved. lol. (usually with family)

good thing you have your wife to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Chris

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#153
In reply to #25

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/14/2010 2:46 AM

And just a note ... intermittent windshield wipers were already invented ... think first ... can you afFORD to lose your wife over it? Hmnnn don't answer that ... lol.

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#29

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 1:46 PM

By the way, long before WW-2, Walter Cristie built a tank which featured detachable treads over tires, so it could be driven at high speeds on roads, like a truck, and then restored to the conventional configuration for battle. Rubber treads have been used since before WW-2 for unarmored vehicles.

Good ideas are often "obvious" to a lot of people (but not to management).

It happens all the time. I actually got a patent (US 5,832,728), at my personal expense, on an idea that was so novel (presumably), but logical, that at first there didn't seem to be a class to put it in. Only after the patent was issued, after much searching, did I discover that it must have been invented in Germany prior to 1930, but it was kept as a trade secret or at least was not published in English. The application, a diesel-pneumatic railway locomotive, was written up and the performance described in trade publications, but the "secret" of how it worked was not published (that I can find) until a few years ago in a short article about how to build a model of the locomotive!

I was well into a "five stroke" engine before it showed up that Packard had patented it in the early thirties but, being close to bankruptcy, was unable to put it into production.

"Inventing" and old idea is not bad. It gets one thinking. When I realized that the "5-stroke" was not patentable, I came up with a "better" design, "two plus two" which was patentable.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 2:13 PM

Thank you. I love to hear stories of people inventing and patenting. (and gettiing rich. )

great job! (more more)

chris

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#33

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 5:24 PM

One of my favorite episodes of Monty Python, depicted a world in which airports had been invented and everything that went with them, baggage handling machines and everything else, but airplanes had not. So there were just a bunch of people at the airport milling about, not going anywhere. Freaking hilarious!

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#34
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 5:30 PM

isnt that the way it is now?

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#35
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 6:07 PM

Very good point, except it is no longer funny.

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#36

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 6:45 PM

What is really, REALLY frustrating is developing a patentable idea, with sufficient backing to actually get the patent, only to have the US Navy come along and say- "Hey, this is critical to national defense! Your patent is now classified secret, and none of you involved in the invention, patent, financing, etc. have a "need to know" about this. So send us all your records so they can be disposed of properly..."

Which actually happened to me back in the 1980's. Twice. I haven't bothered patenting anything since...

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#39
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 7:39 PM

What can I say? That sucks! No compensation? Sorry to hear that man.

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#40
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 7:52 PM

Conspiracy is not a theory it is a fact of life then? If that happened to me I would have moved to Panama and done it any way. But then again joining a cell next to Noriega is no fun either. Sorry to hear about that Mate. My thoughts are with you if it helps at all, Ky.

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#42
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 8:32 PM

Actually, the patents weren't the sort of things that make people rich. The idea behind getting the patent was to prevent anyone else from telling us we couldn't use our inventions in the future. This was back in the 1980's, and the inventions related to a communications link using fiber optics for deep sea oil wells- not drilling, production. This was about the time that a Japanese company had sold some very sophisticated machinery to the Russians, which made it possible for them to make quieter propellers for their submarines- there was a Tom Clancy novel Hunt for Red October based on an actual incident involving a really quiet Soviet submarine that suddenly showed up off the east coast of the US. At the time, the Navy was working on an exotic detection system based on a network of optical fibers on the ocean floor, and anything that had the terms "fiber optics" and "subsea" in the same sentence was immediately classified. It turned out that filing for the patents was the wrong thing to do to protect our rights...

Years later, working for another organization, I developed a couple of manufacturing processes that management wanted to patent- until I told them this story (with documentation, including copies of letters from the Navy). Since these processes were used to produce items of significant military import, management decided that maintaining secrecy was the better path...

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#43
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 8:45 PM

Very helpful hints. One of the projects I am working on could fall into that category so I'll better watch out.

Gosh this is a complex business but what can we do? Just throw a baby out because of possible problems it might have because the color of its skin, hair or eyes? Maybe speech impediment? I'm sticking to my sense of humanity and will keep them all fed until they die of natural causes.

Hope all goes well, Ky.

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#49
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 9:34 PM

You probably have much less to worry about in Australia than what I experienced in the US...

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#52
In reply to #49

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 10:46 PM

Tornado, Ky

It's just as silly in Australia and the UK since "the War on Terror". Now any of a list of terms, gets an application seized. Top magnet words are those relating to vulnerabilities in systems evolved on traditional thinking. (read "Senior Service")

The sad thing is they do nothing with the content 'acquired' - I.e. no longer is the 'inventor' commissioned to develop the idea in partnership with the defence department. It's become just; "repress" anything "tactically usable".

It's an odd attitude for those in the attack/counterattack business, and IMHO it's just 'following a provenly poor mechanism", by the US, that has consistently put the the US in 'catch-up mode' with "some other countries" innovations.

A policy thought up by a bureaucrat, during a need to "innovate or die" war period - gone totally "goal negative".

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 11:09 PM

are these strains of the forces that bring an end to civilizations and empires?

good thing I'm a pacifist. (if that is still legal )

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#67
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 2:36 AM

In my limited experience in this area in the UK many years ago, demonstrated that when that happens there, the "inventor" gets what the Government feels is a financial reward for that invention.....it is tied up with red tape and a contract to make sure you stay quiet about it.......Official secrets Act etc., but still far better than nothing......

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#90
In reply to #36

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 10:51 AM

I've had similar experiences. One of the most egregious was when the guy who invented the O-ring (as used to seal hydraulic landing gear struts) had his invention stolen by the military during WW-2.

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#37

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 7:13 PM

Hi Chris

It's the journey, the destination is already there. That's how it works for me in several disciplines. Sometimes things just pop up unannounced and sometimes they come up because I need a solution to a problem. Usually in my dreams, in 3D and full colour and instructions which I can carry over into reality.

This could be in any of the areas I work in or with. The hardest part is to find critical input and be open to ??????.......... you see I have no idea what to be open to but because the aether is filled with the stuff it just needs to find the niche to get into. Restricting one self to what is available is betraying ones dreams.

Being a good receiver (never mind the tin foil hat) like you are, it is no wonder that things materialize them selves. The way we have communicated in the past is proof of that. How many times has it happened that our emails have met mid air across huge distances and carry the same message or detail. Keep those antennas in use and keep doing what you do best which is JUST DO IT.

Your openness is refreshing and can only help the cause. Others would try and keep their blinkers on and defend that novel idea but you go out and DO IT and then tell others of your delusional state of mind and are willing to communicate this talent. You know, delusion, illusion, fantasy, imagination are the corner stones of inventing. No shame in showing off reality, at all.

Being rational about things (like you making that first drawing) is the joy that comes into play. I bet you had great pleasure about the process and even when you found that it had already been done you enjoyed communicating this failure (?) to us. No honey around your beard Mate but that is a sign of greatness. Like it says in my signature line: The gravity of a thought or the process of thinking has attracting properties. The purer the thought the higher the attraction. The simpler an idea the better it is.

I am looking forward to the day when we can show what we have been working on, right here among our friends. Not to brag about it but to show how distance and all kinds of other hindrances can be overcome by vision, determination, diligence and all the other attributes one needs to make things "real". There is so much more work to do, for all involved in the pursuit of chasing and running down an idea. Including the dreaded business plans and negotiating with people who have no idea about our true reasoning and the satisfaction we get out of it.

As you know, I could go on forever and if all else fails I might become a motivational speaker for failed inventors. Ze vun viss ze aksent und ze sense of humor which, should we ever lose it, will be the day that music died.

You keep on keeping on and I'll do the same and so will the others. We all seem to be made of the same or very similar wood, lets carve it out and not sit still, Ky.

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#41
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 8:11 PM

GA from me, nice to hear your input ky.

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#44
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 8:59 PM

Thanks. I'll see you when I visit NC one day. Good time to be had by all, I think, Ky,

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#45
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 9:08 PM

You are going to have to do a grand tour of North America... all the way up to Alberta... with maybe a detour to Britain, etc...

ps. Noriega is being held in Miami I think.

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#50
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 9:35 PM

Noreiga is now in prison in France...

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#65
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 2:09 AM

Let me know when you're coming, I'll buy extra beer!

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#66
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 2:13 AM

Ed Weldon votes a GA if it makes him laugh. Offers of beer are even better.

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#47
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 9:12 PM

3d and full color = Ky!

"you see I have no idea what to be open to..."

whatever it is.. don't stop.

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#48
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 9:22 PM

Bubbles can burst you know!

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#54

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 11:10 PM

Hi Chris,

I believe what the "inventor" needs is a given problem...

Some 23 years ago I invented a composite tool to make a hole and thread in one shot for GE in solving a production issue for stator shells of electric motors.

The solution came in a flash although I was totally out of my field and various expert tool and die makers told me that my idea could not work.

The prototype proved those experts wrong as the tool is still in use.

To this day, although I've been involved in a number of novel product developments, that "flash" to invent a "hole in one" is one of my fondest memories.

Keep looking for problems, and have fun inventing!

Cheers

Vince

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#55
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 11:17 PM

You are right Vince, it is a hole in one feeling and one can try as hard as one likes it will not happen on demand. Usually one is alone when it happens but then again inventing is not a spectators sport.

Nice reply, Ky.

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#58
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 12:44 AM

Excellent. that gets a big "Me too!" lol.

ga

Chris

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#56

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 11:23 PM

Twice, I've had an alternative problem. I had a problem in a design, came up with a patentable solution, and had my employer refuse to follow up. I know I wouldn't have profited, but it would be nice to have my name on the patent and it would be even nicer to see my idea marketed.

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#247
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

09/03/2010 8:33 AM

I suggest the WIPO should have two-stage patents.First they should give patent to workable novel ideas.Then designers should buy the patent and submit various designs for the same concept and patent the product. Then both the concept as well as the product are safe.

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#57

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/12/2010 11:25 PM

I'll share this one.

Things that seem common in one field are looked upon as shocking inventions. For years we were trying to quiet noisy cabs, because it was difficult to listen to two separate communication radios. With much negative input I fabricated a set of headphones with one radio's audio in each ear. the head set worked just fine. Each could be heard clearly at the same time. Just like picking out one conversation in the middle of a room filled with many conversations. After using 4 home made head sets for about a year, I discovered there was a company that was selling a system that did the same thing, but had added microphones to the head sets.

As far as I can remember, hydraulics have been used to deliver concrete since after the chain drive Mack Trucks. It was only in the last 3 years that any major fire equipment manufacturer allowed hydraulics to drive a water pump in a fire engine. We had hydraulic drive for generators before water pumps had it.

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#59
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 12:47 AM

Fire trucks is such a specialized field.. I guess that there is a great deal of "lets stick to what we know works in a crisis" kind of thinking. and unfortunately, fire companies deal in crisis day after day, and performance counts crucially. I can only sympathize.

Chris

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#62

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 1:35 AM

When I was 7 years old my mother buyed a feet powered "singer" sewing machine, I was very impressed as I watched how vertical motion is converted to rotational through the pedal and crank, few days after I watched the rising smoke from a heap of burning half dry grass, and I told mum that I have an idea to use the smoke of burning grass to push a device like in her sewing machine, that will turn a wheel!.. But it happened me too often that I discoverd that some briliant idea of mine was discovered before. Now, though I'm 72 years old, I didn't give up yet, and sometimes I have some innovative idea!

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#63
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 1:46 AM

youthful signs of a sharp mind.

thanks.

chris

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#64

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 2:09 AM

Chris,

The chapter continues..., Advanced techniques

6) Free association of thought, and stimulation of the imagination by chemistry...

sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't all things in moderation. Sometimes when applying pieces to a puzzle we get stuck and don't know how to break though that door. Free association is like throwing everything at a problem and seeing what sticks, some groups of think tanks flat out use a list of related fields of study and then totally unrelated fields and ask them selves can we apply this to fix that, like a program running down a list of "if - then" options.

7) I use what is known as power napping, like Ky I am able to solve problems in my dreams by using what is called Lucent Dreaming, its like a CAD in you head but your in there with it and it is so real that you cant tell the difference between it and reality. Most people experience these as nightmares, very real out of control situations, with Lucent Dreaming you realize you have complete control of the situation and that it is a dream and so it is no longer frightening. Lucent Dreaming is useful in quickly manipulating materials to form objects and see how they move in relation to one another, just like a CAD. However this technique can be addicting because you are a God in your own little world, but even flying like superman can become boring after a while.

8) The hardest part about being an inventor is not knowing when your idea is crap cause friends and family love you too much to tell you. Even harder is having a "nice" idea that isn't quite practical, then even you friends who would normally tell you the truth, "that is crap", are not sure and so you waste your precious time and energy. I have seen people spend years of their lives in the pursuit of an idea where his friends wanted to encourage him but unintentionally encouraged his pursuit of an impractical idea. Example: I met a fellow a couple decades ago who had a scooter variant, visualize a scooter with a large front wheel and wide foot platform; that the large front wheel is offset from the center of the axil so that by bouncing up and down on the foot platform a crankshaft motion creates forward motion. I was new to the shop and everyone thought his prototype was cool and that he should pursue it. I am a open mouth insert foot type, and told him his idea was bad. Everyone in the shop thought I was an A**, I am, but still, he went on to create a company, got hundreds of thousands of dollars from small investors, built and sold many of them and then got sued and all of them lost everything. The court found the product to be a bad design and inherently dangerous. LIke I told him "you go around a turn on it hopping up and down and it will go out from under you", loss of traction.

Inventing is like anything where an individual makes a personal investment, Idea rejection is personal and painful, it is less painful if the inventor can see the flaws before catastrophic failure.

There is so much more.

It pays to look at the world differently, thats how you see what is missing.

Spacecannon

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#69
In reply to #64

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 2:38 AM

Hi Lynn

It's hard to put it into words but you have done a good job. It is sometimes literally a dream job or occupation but some might misinterpret this as fanciful. For me it is just a tool which I can use at will. Not all the time but usually always just in time. I wonder how many others here can comment on such things happening?

Chris rang me one day. We had a power blackout here and being at 4am it was pitch black. He was getting some CAD details done so I was laying in bed with my eyes closed and the phone receiver to my ear and could see exactly what he was having trouble with. He only had received some 2D images a couple of days before. Like you say it was a CAD at my disposal. He took it from there and the next day sent me the finished file.

Good to see that I'm not the only one, Ky.

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#70
In reply to #64

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 2:45 AM

awesome reply, from an experienced inventor. It doesn't get much better than that. Thank you.

Chris

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#71
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 3:00 AM

Thx Chris,

Hi Ky,

Yes, many times it is best to be alone to slove problems, letting the imagination run.

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#73
In reply to #64

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 5:34 AM

I can certainly buy into the dream theory. If I have an issue I need to resolve and all else has failed, I simply go to sleep with the problem on my mind and viola, I will awake about 2 or 3 in the am and either write the answer down or go to my computer and search and the way to the solution is there before me. As a kid, I used to solve calculus problems this way. Was that cheating, letting the universal mind give me the solution??

I buy into the universal mind concept and that is what we tap into, I am more of an innovator than I am an inventor. I have been working for nearly a year on an innovation and I have grabbed solutions from so many different specialties that I cannot even count them. I am nearing an end to the solution and will have several prototypes for testing by the first of the year and then I will post pictures on this site for all to see. I have found that what we do is the most exhilarating thing I have ever done. I have never been more alive than when I am trying to construct a solution to an issue that has cropped up unexpectedly. My mind just races for the answer.

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#80
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 8:28 AM

I have almost always fixed difficult problems, job, family and hobby, in my sleep......

I have never worked out just how it works, it just does.....but being tired looking for the problem helps enormously!!

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#121
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 7:48 PM

lucid

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#125
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 8:44 PM

hey this is an inventor's thread, doncha know!

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#128
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 9:05 PM

what good is a better mouse trap, in a land with no mice?

the idea for a solution is but one part of success

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#129
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 9:33 PM

true.

Invent a more abundant mouse, and the world will beat a path to your door!

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#135
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 10:48 PM

There ya go

create a market

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#131
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 9:48 PM

JE,

thank you for the correction, however i do keep a disclaimer at the bottom of all my posts.

Spacecannon

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#68

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 2:37 AM

My problem is similar in that they are both an invention from our minds. I too have about 3 inventions that I feel very strongly are quite marketable. But, I have limited resources and I really dont trust these adds on TV for inventors. I talked to them and they seemed overly anxious to see my ideas. "No way, am I going in to show em to a bunch of lawyers that have the perfect formula for legally stealing my ideas" So I sit. But I still want to get the ideas out.

I am a mechanical designer and have most of it modeled up, and would still like to make a prototype. Short of just putting it on the net and advertise and sell as much as I could before the mayham starts. There's got to be a better way.

Suggestions of steps to take with my inventions would be most appreciated.

Michael S.

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#72
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Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 3:03 AM

Guest, Michael S.,

There are many sources for this info, PopSci and PopMech magazines have both had good articles, also many of the steps are listed on the web.

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#74

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 7:02 AM

Hi Chris,

You know about my invention described here through our private communications so nothing too new for you, except perhaps about how the idea came about.

The invention is named "Siding Hammer" and the tool is used to help with the installation of vinyl and aluminum siding. An offset part on the face of the hammer strikes the substrate and helps prevent driving the nails too tightly against the siding.

I installed vinyl siding on my own home a number of years ago and I quickly realized that "there has to be a better way". The "Hard to reach nailing tool" idea came first. I made a prototype of the HTRNT and used it while doing the siding on my house. (See it in the same patent as the siding hammer - US 7,617,749).

After I finished installing the siding the hammer idea came up. I was searching the Stanley tools website (forget why or what for) when the siding hammer idea popped into my head. At that time I was long finished with the siding work so I wasn't actively looking for solutions to any particular problem. No doubt the idea was sitting in a brain cell or two waiting for the right trigger.

To stick with the subject though, the patenting process was not without many ups and downs... in particular an abandoned patent application in Germany has very similar idea but different application (the offset part was used to hammer in finishing nails to prevent the face from marring the wood trim!).

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#104
In reply to #74

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 3:33 PM

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the story. I enjoyed working on that project.
I wish there were more.

Chris

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#75

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 7:04 AM

From Sleepy,

Inventions - I used to be reasonably productive in this area but I worked for a large Company where all inventions 'discovered' became the property of the Company. Good one on their side!

They had dropped one in the agreement and the Inventor was entitled to the foriegn rights. They got around this by paying the Inventor a nominal sum typically around 1 to 5 pounds sterling and the Inventor had to work with the appointed Patent lawyer to ensure that the 'device' was safely patentable.

I had to do this several times and support a number of inventions!

Sleepy

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#116
In reply to #75

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 7:31 PM

I think it is standard employment law that the employer owns the rights to all your creative output. (I think it came to canada with the adoption of british common law, if I remember my high school law class)... and goes back a long way to the lords and earliest labour laws.

all my good inventions, I don't tell the company I am working for, if I have any intention of pursuing it. the rest I give freely.

chris

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#76

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 7:29 AM

Very nice and useful topic, especially for engineers with so many ideas. It occurred to me few times, and I know of fellow engineers that also got great ideas put on paper, with nice designs of useful things that have not been made yet. Most of these ideas don't come to realization. What I admire the most are people with these ideas that take them all the way to realization, and to market them. To go all the way, I believe that we need to add many more four letter words after the word idea. I propose the following: IDEA . . GUTS . . TIME . . CASH . . SELL What do you think?

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#83
In reply to #76

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 8:35 AM

Hi Otto,

Add "WIFE" to the list

Cheers

Vince

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#88
In reply to #76

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 9:44 AM

This can be very frustrating and rewarding at the same time. When I was in high school I designed a concept true rotary engine that I had been thinking about for a long time. I made a very nice set of detail drawings and plans outlining the specs and claims. I was thrilled about it but was still aware that so many concept engine designs are invented and most go nowhere. This should never stop you from working on any idea because even if it goes nowhere, you will learn and improve on your design skills.

Back to the rewarding part. I later found out that a UK engineer that had worked for Rolls Royce had invented and patented almost the same thing and we came up with some really clever solutions to common design problems. The best thing to see was that he built a prototype and it worked, It instantly provided validity to my idea and gave me a nice boost of inspiration. I than went on to design an improved variant that I still have not seen anything like it. It will most likely never see production but the principle is really cool and was fun to develop. Here is the patent for the engine design that I discovered when researching my initial design. He had started to design his engine 1 year before I did and we were both unaware of each others work. http://www.google.com/patents?id=YSgHAAAAEBAJ&zoom=4&dq=rotary%20turbine%20engine&as_drrb_ap=q&as_minm_ap=0&as_miny_ap&as_maxm_ap=0&as_maxy_ap&as_drrb_is=b&as_minm_is=1&as_miny_is=2001&as_maxm_is=1&as_maxy_is=2003&as_psrg=1&as_psra=1&as_psra=1&num=50&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q=rotary%20turbine%20engine&f=false

I have had many designs that I later find out are already patented but that is only the beginning. If you can identify how to make it cheaper, better, simpler and easier to produce you can come up with a winner. I noticed that I had come up with some of my most innovate ideas when I was in 3rd grade. The reason is that when you can focus on the main goals instead of the restrictions you Will tend to design an idea with a greater ability to think outside the box and take approaches that others may have missed. Its a great way to get an idea started but eventually you have to evaluate it and make it practical. Don't ever let anyone tell you that inventing is not worth doing because all of the good stuff has been thought of already. It couldn't be farther from the truth. Each new invention opens the door to others.

I have put many new inventions and product into production with success simply by identifying the short comings of an existing design. I have either made it cheaper, better or both. Sometimes it isn't the product you invent but the process used to create it. That is something I am working on now and it is often overlooked by most classical inventors. Invent what you are familiar with. If you work on cars a lot, try to come up with something to solve an automotive problem and so on. Almost every job I had growing up spurred some kind of invention or another.

I am now lucky enough to get to invent new products for a living for an electronics company. I would not have the skills I have now without inventing for fun when I was young.

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#112
In reply to #88

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 6:53 PM

Well done. That child in us does make things less complex never mind the out come. Ah, and rotating beats up and down any day. The day will come and I can show, too early now, not finished yet.

Good luck with improving, I do it all the time with little, insignificant items and usually my wife tells me about it. "Only a male could have designed this, can't you place this the other way around?". I usually do and get the brownies.

Although Wife is a four letter word, they deserve most of the credit, letting them know of this is a different matter. Good answer from me Brian, Ky.

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#114
In reply to #88

Re: Inventors...Has This Ever Happened to You?

08/13/2010 7:23 PM

Inspiring. ga.

"The reason is that when you can focus on the main goals instead of the restrictions you Will tend to design an idea with a greater ability to think outside the box and take approaches that others may have missed."

This is interesting, because it is nearly the opposite of Altshuller's idea with TRIZ is that one needed to narrow the focus by identifying and eliminating restrictions and constraints. (but also agrees with you that the goal or problem is to be clearly defined)

perhaps you could elaborate more on your approach.

chris

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