Abstract: Embodiments are shown of a floor opening and/or closing system for pellet stoves and other solid-fuel combustion devices with ash-dumping floors. The system uses a cam system wherein a cam member automatically moves to urge the ash-dumping floor open and/or closed, preferably by means of contact with a following arm extending from or connected to the floor. Preferably, the cam member is a crank arm/lever that contacts surfaces of a cam arm in order to cause the cam arm to pivot between two positions. The cam arm is preferably connected to the ash-dumping floor by a connecting rod, so that movement of the crank arm and resultant movement of the cam arm causes movement of the floor. Adaptations may be made for manual control of the floor, for example, by providing a neutral position for the crank member, wherein the cam arm and its connecting rod may be moved independently from, and unhindered by, the crank arm.
Abstract: The invention is a process and reactors designs for simultaneous ultraviolet light/ultrasound(UV/US) treatment of halogenated organic compounds contaminants in water. The reactors are preferably circular cylindrical reaction vessels that accept a central ultrasonic horn. UV light is provided by lamps placed generally parallel to the reactor walls. Or, UV light may be centrally provided in an immersion well near the ultrasonic horn. Also, preferably a hollow metal partition with a reactant flow-through hole is placed in the reactor between the UV light source and the ultrasonic horn. This way, simultaneous UV/US energy may be effectively provided to the reactors for the remediation of toxic compounds in the water in the reactors. Also, this way, compact and portable reactors may be constructed to permit mobile applications of the UV/US processes.
Abstract: A muzzleloading bullet is provided with a pin at its back end for affixing a gas check thereto. Preferably, the pin is generally cylindrical in nature, and has a distal end that is larger compared to its proximal end that is attached to the body of the bullet. The pin therefore “expands” from its proximal to its distal end so that the resilient gas check may snap onto the pin for being secured to the bullet. Also, the expanding pin installed in a cylindrical central hole provides a small space or gap between the inner edge/surface of the central hole and the outer surface of the installed pin at one area or all the way around the pin near its proximal end. This gap increases the ease with which exploding gases from behind the gas check in the gun barrel enter the central hole of the gas check and exit between the pin and gas check when the gun is fired, which, in turn, deforms the gas check near the central hole and encourages the separation of the gas check from the bullet.
Abstract: Embodiments of features for a paper punch machine are shown and described. Preferably, these features, which may be called “accessories” whether they are built-in original equipment manufacture or retrofit equipment, assist in proper paper alignment and punch control. A first accessory is an improved paper stop that is both grossly-adjustable and finely-adjustable, by a preferred combination of a biased sliding mechanism, followed by a fine-tuning mechanism gradually laterally moving the paper stop by causing a threaded shaft to rotate after the paper stop is already in the preferred “gross-adjustment” position. This way, the paper stop is brought close to the proper marking on the housing appropriate for a particular paper or die assembly, and then exact adjustment may be made in very small and precise amounts.
Abstract: This invention provides an external lubricant filter system for automatic transmissions comprising a modified transmission lubricant pan assembly and an external spin on/off lubricant filter canister that is removably and sealably connected to the modified pan. The transmission pan is modified to include a filter adapter, a pick-up assembly, a discharge tube and inlet and outlet chambers. The filter adapter includes an externally threaded pipe nipple for removably receiving the filter canister, lubricant entry port and a lubricant inlet plenum for distributing the potentially contaminated lubricant to the inlet orifices of the filter canister, and a filter sealing surface. The lubricant pick up assembly delivers contaminated lubricant from the pan to the filter canister via the inlet chamber, and the entry port and plenum of the filter adapter.
Abstract: This invention provides a child safety seat with an integral seat belt tensioner for properly securing the seat to the passenger seat of an automotive vehicle by taking up the slack in the seat belt after it has been fastened through the child seat. The tensioner pulls or pushes the seat belt so that the few inches of slack that usually exist are eliminated by the tensioner. The safety seat is adapted to have internal space, either in its back and/or below the seat, to accommodate the tensioner and the belt movement so that the controls, tensioner, and/or other moving parts are out of the reach of the a child in the seat. A preferred version of the tensioner includes motor and gearing to move a belt holder up and down generally along the rear of the safety seat, for tightening and loosening the belt, respectively.
Abstract: A bracket system holds one or more filters in quick-attach and quick-release fashion. Bracket modules are combined in modular fashion, with tubing or other conduit between the modules, to create a “bank” of filters easily changed in number, arrangement, and flow scheme. Preferably, the bracket system comprises pairs of top modules and bottom modules that capture and support the top end and bottom end of a filter. Filter inlet and outlet ports preferably slide onto and off of cooperating tubes or ports in the bracket modules, for installation and removal of the filters onto/from the modules without tools or threaded connections. A top retaining member preferably pivots off of its respective filter, so that the filter may be lifted up off of its respective bottom module. The bottom modules may be pivotal, so that lifting the filter up from the bracket system is facilitated by allowing the filter top end to also pivot out away from the top module.
Abstract: A gas check member for use in muzzle-loading firearms is provided. The invented gas check is designed to conveniently, frictionally attach rearward of a sub-caliber bullet to maximize the efficiency of such firearms. The diameter of the gas check preferably exceeds that of the bore slightly to prevent scoring and deformation of the bullet during loading, to hold the projectile in place within the barrel and to prevent moisture from contacting the powder when in place. Upon firing, the gas check minimizes the escape of propellant gases around the projectile and imparts a large, uniformly distributed forward thrust to the bullet to maximize the ballistic qualities of the shot. The design incorporates an unstable connection between inner and outer members that, upon firing, fractures to facilitate quick and reliable detachment of the outer member from the bullet. Detachment occurs to prevent interference with the trajectory of the bullet upon exit from the barrel.
Abstract: Embodiments of a peripheral backlighting system for keyboards are shown and described, which include one or more light-emitting panels exterior to the keyswitches of the keyboard. The panels are preferably electroluminescent material and surround at least two sides, and preferably all sides, of the stem of a keyswitch or the space in which the stem slides up and down during use. Alternatively, the electroluminescent panel(s) may extend substantially continuously between and underneath a plurality of keyswitches. The panels extend closely adjacent to the stem or stem path, or under the keyswitch, to be as far under the key cap as possible without extending into the stem or cap of the keyswitch. The EL panels are preferably powered by the computer keyboard port, via voltage inverters. Preferably, the keyswitch is translucent or partially translucent, and the base plate over the EL panels, if any, is at least partially translucent or transparent.
August 14, 2001
Date of Patent:
July 20, 2004
Lightpath Technologies, Inc.
Sam E. J. Chan, King Sum Chu, W. Edward Church, Randall Krafft
Abstract: A turbine generator regenerative braking system for an automotive or other vehicle having ground engaging wheels and an electrical energy storage device. The braking system comprises an hydraulic fluid turbine generator having an electrical power output connected to the electrical energy storage device, a plurality of hydraulic fluid pumps, an actuation system for operatively connecting/starting pumping action, and a hydraulic fluid circuit connecting the hydraulic pumps to the turbine generator. In some versions of the system, a hydraulic pump, a clutch and an adjustable flow nozzle will be dedicated to each ground engaging wheel of the vehicle. In operation, braking is preferably initiated by the actuation of a brake master cylinder which provides hydraulic pressure to cause each rotating wheel with its corresponding hydraulic pump to engage. The pressurized fluid output of each pump is then fed to the turbine through the adjustable-flow nozzle causing the flywheel, and thus the generator, to rotate.
Abstract: Embodiments of an punch machine and a quick-change die assembly are shown and described. The die assembly may be quickly installed and removed from the punch machine, without bolting or unbolting of either machine housing or the die assembly itself. The die assembly is slid into the machine through a hole in the machine housing and into a position which mates part of the die assembly with the push-bar. A clamp, with a handle outside the machine, is then pivoted against the die assembly. The push-bar is adapted to be self-supporting without being bolted to the die assembly, keeping the push-bar in place without manual adjustment and alignment. The die assembly preferably includes a die, pin retainer, and punch pins, and preferably includes a flexible, pivotal, or hinged pin strap to secure the pins to the retainer.
Abstract: This invention is of a float tube or watercraft comprised of a generally U-shaped inflatable flotation chamber having two generally parallel and laterally disposed leg portions and a rearward portion. The leg portions are preferably formed integrally with the rearward portion. The invention further includes a seating device bridging the two leg portions of the flotation chamber. The invention also has a novel U-shaped stabilizing frame and means for connecting the stabilizing frame to the U-shaped flotation chamber. The U-shaped frame provides support to the opposing legs of the flotation chamber and prevents them from pinching in on the occupant. For additional support, a rigid rod, or tube, extends between the opposing legs of the frame. The means for connecting the stabilizing frame comprises preferably a plurality of channel segments, which are fixedly secured to the leg and rearward portions of the flotation chamber. Alternatively, a continuous channel may be used.
Abstract: A bird-deterring apparatus for protecting agricultural crops and other areas from marauding birds and/or other pests comprises one or more supports for holding a wire or other elongated member in a taut condition over the area being protected. Preferably, the support system comprises at least two nominally upright support columns in a spaced apart relationship spanning the area to be protected and a predetermined number of wires tautly secured between these columns. Noise-making containers including, in the preferred embodiment, metal pellets and glass shards are flexible suspended from the taut wires at selected intervals. A system for moving the taut wires preferably in a sudden manner to shake or rattle noise-making containers is provided.
Abstract: A fish test circuit for the evaluation of waterway barrier bypass systems with a conduit having at least one bypass system test station, water flow within the conduit, fish introduced into the conduit, and measurement of the effectiveness of the bypass system under test. In the preferred embodiment of this invention, the measurement of the effectiveness of the bypass system under test includes determining the survival or mortality rate of the fish as they pass through each bypass system undergoing test. The test circuit may be a closed loop or a side channel of another waterway. An important benefit and feature of this invention is the capability to evaluate multiple and differing bypass systems under similar water flow, water conditions and water quality conditions.
Abstract: A garden and lawn weed extractor tool enables removal of the weed with minimal invasiveness to the soil or turf. The weed extractor tool utilizes a foot-operated depression feature to insert the tool blade into the soil, at an angle to horizontal near the weed root. The user then uses the tool as a lever to pivot the blade relative to the weed root, which loosens the soil around the root and, hence, loosens the weed from the ground so that the weed is removable without carrying with it a large clump of soil. A spring-assisted soil retainer device and self-cleaning mechanism wipes or scrapes the tool blade as the tool is removed from the ground, and, in doing so, retains most of the soil in place at or near its original location. The tool, therefore, tends to prevent disruption to the garden and turf area, leaves each weed-removal site neat and miminally-disturbed, and keeps the tool blade clean for smooth and quick insertion at the next weed-site.
Abstract: The present invention is a safe and effective fish ladder for assisting fish in overcoming dams, especially in the upstream direction. The ladder comprises a series of relatively vertical open pools, which decrease in size in the upstream direction, the pools being conveniently spaced apart a vertical distance which may be easily jumped by the particular fish species of interest. By being arranged relatively vertically, so that the downstream perimeter of one pool is substantially within the downstream perimeter of the pool directly beneath the one pool, the fish ladder does not need to be long and expensive if the dam to overcome is high. Also, by being relatively vertical, the ladder may be conveniently built onto already existing vertical components on the downstream side of a dam, for example, onto the support structure for the discharge flume for downstream migrating fish in the apparatus disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,161,913 (Boylan).
Abstract: Embodiments of a method and filter apparatus (10) for filtering and/or treating water are shown and described, each embodiment being for multiple-stage processing of water or other liquid, with storage intermediate between the stages. Preferably, water is passed through a first zone (28) of a filter housing cavity and conducted through an intermediate port (16) to storage (24). When water is demanded by a usage device (22), water flows in reverse from storage back into the filter (10), to flow through the second zone (42) for a second stage of filtering/treatment, and then preferably out an outlet port (18) to the usage device. Water may also flow from the water source directly through the first and second zones (28, 42) and to the usage device (22), without intermediate storage. Preferably, both first and second zones are contained and axially arranged within a single filter housing (12).
Abstract: A tow ball (14) is mounted to a bracket (16) by means of a spacer (20) which incorporates transducers (24) to provide signals indicating forces existing between the towing vehicle and the trailer. A control system is described which is operable to apply braking to the trailer to modify the trailer behavior independently of operation of the vehicle brakes by the operator.
Abstract: Embodiments of a key system for filters and their connecting heads/holders are shown. The filter cartridge and its holder each have a keyed surface, one being a protruding “key” and one being a recessed “lock”. Cooperation of these keyed surfaces is required in order for the filter cartridge to be installed in the holder, so that mismatched cartridges cannot be installed into the holder, for example, to prevent a particular type of cartridge from being placed in a filtration or other process where it would be inappropriate, or undesired. The keyed surfaces are selectively locate-able preferably at different circumferential locations on a perimeter of the filter and a corresponding location on a perimeter of the head/holder. The perimeter may be, for example, on an outer shoulder surface of a filter and an inner surface of a valve head, or on outer and inner surfaces of connectors that provide a liquid seal between the filter and the head/holder.