Abstract: A portable practice putting green comprising a first flexible layer. A second flexible layer is molded onto the first flexible layer to form a plurality of inflatable chambers therebetween. A third flexible layer is bonded onto the second flexible layer. The third flexible layer has a hole to receive a golf ball putted therein. The first flexible layer, second flexible layer and third flexible layer can be rolled up together to be conveniently placed into storage and safely transported.
Abstract: A threadless coupler for connecting two large pipes in line and a third, relatively small pipe to form a Tee. The coupler has a clamp for engaging a male groove formed in each large pipe, the small pipe being connected by threading. The clamp comprises a collar surrounding the retained pipe. The clamp connects to the coupler by threaded fasteners. The coupler has two internal elastic seals which close over their respective large pipes. The clamp may be an annular collar which must be slipped over a pipe prior to forming the male groove, or two complementing sections which may be placed over the pipe after forming the groove. The coupler and pipes are all fabricated from non-malleable materials.
Abstract: An oral device for holding the tongue pressed against the roof of the mouth, thereby promoting suction closing the lips and encouraging breathing through the nose. The device has upper and lower U-shaped channels for engaging the upper and lower teeth of the user. The channels each include a vertical wall and indentations configured to receive the teeth in close cooperation. The lower tooth engaging member includes a vertical wall located inside the teeth which completes front and rear surrounding of the teeth, to hold the device in proper position. A planar platform projects horizontally and rearwardly from the U-shaped channels. This platform is located at the level of the bottom surfaces of the upper teeth, and supports the tongue. The platform has a relief configured to enable the tongue to pass comfortably over the rear surface of the platform when coming to rest thereon.
Abstract: A hand-held, light-weight wand for magnetically encodes digital information onto a magnetic stripe or track. Pre-printed timing marks adjacent the magnetic strip, detected by an optical sensor contained in the wand, are used to generate timing signals which control the encoding of the data onto the magnetic stripe. Six rotary thumb-wheel switches are used to dial in a six digit decimal number to be encoded. A write push button switch in the wand body is depressed as the wand is passed along the magnetic stripe. A second pass of the wand along the magnetic stripe reads back the previously encoded signal which is compared the number still dialed into the thumb-wheel switches. If the comparison is favorable, a "successful read" LED also located in the body of the wand is illuminated to signal the operator that the desired number has been correctly encoded. A desktop version of the manual magnetic encoder and an alternate version of the encoding wand using a small numeric keypad for data entry are also shown.
Abstract: Method and apparatus for recording images at a scene in a panoramic manner enabling subsequent reproduction at remote display devices, and particularly enabling selection of a particular viewing angle at each display device without interfering with selection of viewing angles at other display devices. A stationary camera is operated at the scene being recorded, with a rapidly rotating mirror directing optical images successively from a three hundred sixty degree pattern about the axis of the lens of the stationary camera. Rotational speed is selected such that images are captured at frequencies assuring that reproduction of the images will yield continuous, smooth moving images from one selected viewing angle. The optical images are directed into the camera and then rendered into digital form and entered into memory.
Abstract: A filter housing assuring serial filtration of a liquid through plural filter cartridges and enabling flushing without requiring removal of the filter cartridges. The filter housing has a cap including a liquid inlet, a filtered liquid outlet, a flush liquid outlet, and internal passages. The filter cartridges are held within a canister which is pressed against the cap and constrained against rotation with the cap. A retaining member surrounding and bearing against the canister threads to the cap. The canister is divided into chambers, and has passages in its floor arranged to enable serial transfer of liquid from one chamber to the next. Flushing employs liquid introduced under normal pressure. Passages leading to the flush liquid outlet enable flushing to proceed when the flush liquid outlet is opened. At other times, filtered liquid will pass through passages leading to the filtered liquid outlet.
May 20, 1998
Date of Patent:
February 22, 2000
Donald A. Northcut, Douglas W. Northcut
Abstract: An annunciator for training individuals in toilet etiquette and sanitation. The annunciator has a small housing that hangs on the side of the toilet tank, is incorporated into the seat of the toilet or hangs from the flush handle of the toilet. The housing is preferably plastic and can be animal shaped, for example, like a frog. A sound module, batteries, internal sensors, controller and speaker are mounted in the housing and the controller is connected to the external sensors by electrical wires. A small light such as an LED can be included to indicate that the unit is working. The sensors detect a person near the toilet, the position of the toilet seat (lowered or raised), a person sitting on the seat, and operation of the flush handle. The controller decides what messages to play based on the sensed conditions. Additionally, the housing may contain a small separate tape player for music or prerecorded humorous sounds. The tape player is controlled by the annunciator to coordinate with any played messages.
Abstract: A training aid providing a display simulating that of an artificial horizon instrument. The training aid comprises a base, a circular member rotatably supported within the base, and a horizon indicating member. The circular member is transparent and has an image representative of an aircraft and a pointer inscribed on the circular member. The horizon indicating member has a symbolic horizon inscribed thereon, and is visible through the circular member. The base has index marks forming a scale visible through the circular member. The horizon indicating member is linearly movable relative to the base, and may be manipulated so that the symbolic horizon is visible in positions indicative of climbing, diving, and level flight. The circular member may be rotated to indicate banking to the right and left and straight flight. The circular member and horizon indicating member are independently manipulable so that any flight attitude attainable in actual flight can be symbolically reproduced on the training aid.
Abstract: A portable spreader of small particulate materials comprising a container having a wide mouth neck. The container holds the small particulate materials therein. A cap has a top opening. The cap engages with the wide mouth neck of the container. An electronic device is built onto the cap over the top opening, for distributing the small particulate materials away from the container, when the container held in a hand of a person is inverted.
Abstract: A vault suitable for underground burial, having a vent capable of passing air into and out of the vault and excluding rising external water from entering the vault through the vent, and a valve assembly for accomplishing this exclusion. The vault has walls enclosing an open interior storage space. The vent has a conduit communicating between the interior space and the outside atmosphere. The valve assembly is located at the free end of the conduit. The valve assembly comprises a vertical, cylindrical chamber having a lower opening open to the atmosphere and an upper opening connected to the conduit. Two spherical floats of unequal diameter are occupy the chamber, with the smaller float located above the larger float. The upper float is a valve cooperating closely with a valve seat located at the upper opening. A grate or screen retains the floats in the chamber. When rising waters threaten to flood the vault, the floats rise, the upper float seating in the seat and closing the upper opening.
Abstract: An anchor system for a sun screen on a windshield of a motor home comprising a sun screen to fit across the windshield of the motor home. An anchoring strap is for securing midpoints on opposite vertical edges of the sun screen to locations at opposite sides of the motor home by a person standing on the ground.
Abstract: A weather resistant, ventilated case for storing and displaying messages, papers, and diverse articles in an exterior location such as a construction site. The case has a base, a cover, a hinge connecting base and cover, and a latch for securing the cover in a closed position. These components are preferably fabricated as a unitary assembly by injection molding of an elastomer. The latch can thereby be formed as resilient components urging the cover into the closed position. The cover has a transparent portion for displaying objects stored within, such as notices posted on an information display such as tack board, peg board, chalk board, marker board, or the like. The interior includes a pocket disposed upon the rear surface of the cover, a pen and pencil holder, and a prismatic recess formed in the base, for storing rolled papers. A tab projecting from the base maintains the rolled papers upright. The cover forms a recess for grasping the cover.
Abstract: The present invention features a self-contained, programmable, telephone-activated emergency visual alert system. Low energy consumption LED visual alert "strobe" signal is directly powered from the inventive control unit. Multiple emergency telephone numbers may be programmed into the control unit making the inventive system highly effective for use in areas without standard "911" emergency dispatch service. In an alternate embodiment, the visual indicator may be located some distance away from the controller unit and be activated by means of an rf or other wireless control link. A small, inexpensive battery at the remote indicator may power the receiver and indicating lamp for long periods of time without the need for battery replacement. Programmable integrated circuits form the basis of the control circuitry allowing low component count, low power consumption and, ultimately, low cost and long term, reliable operation.
Abstract: The present invention features a radio frequency two-way electronic communications device incorporating the features of both a mobile pager and a cellular telephone. The combined mobile pager and cellular phone is packaged in a miniature, rectangular package similar to a standard mobile pager. The package, which may be clipped to a user's belt, features a top display for ease of viewing while the device is in its intended position on a user's belt. A single transducer functions a both an earphone and as a speaker allowing for a speakerphone mode of operation. A flexible, slidable mouthpiece extension to which a thin microphone is attached, is normally stored within the package. An accessible switch selects one of the modes of annunciation: ringing, beeping, or vibrating. Recessed buttons on the face of the package provide both control and dialing functions. The antenna for receiving and transmitting for both the pager and telephone functions is self-contained.
Abstract: An attachment ring for clamping a globe having a flanged neck to a lighting fixture. The attachment ring comprises an encircling member which is configured as a "C" in an open condition. The encircling member is L-shaped in cross section, the bottom of the "L" providing a ledge on which the flange of the flanged neck of the globe will come to rest. An actuator constricts the C-shaped encircling member until it is closed, thereby attaining configuration of an "O" in a closed condition. When moving to the closed condition, the encircling member frictionally engages a tubular member of the lighting fixture from the outside of the lighting fixture. Simultaneously, the ledge moves under the flange of the globe, so that the globe is constrained against falling downwardly. The actuator is operated by a manual lever, and includes a locking feature maintaining engagement of the globe.
Abstract: A tire pressure indicator carried on a tire being monitored for inflation pressure. The indicator includes a housing enclosing an indicating member bearing color coding corresponding to proper inflation. Preferably, additional color coding is provided corresponding to excessive tire pressure and to low or inadequate tire pressure. The indicating member occupies a chamber having a coil spring acting on the indicating member from one direction, and air pressure from the tire acting on the indicating member from the other direction. Differential in forces acting on the indicating member move the indicating member such that the appropriate color coding is revealed through a window formed in the housing. Optionally, the pressure indicator includes a conduit enabling inflation of the tire without requiring removal of the indicator. In alternative embodiments, the novel indicator threads to a conventional filling valve, and replaces the conventional filling valve.
Abstract: A compact, portable warmer which is insertable into a bottle for the purpose of warming and stirring contents of the bottle. The warmer has a projecting heating element having a stainless steel sheath configured similarly to a paddle, and a cap for protecting the heating element from contamination and for protecting external objects from heat from the heating element. The portable warmer includes a battery for powering the heating element, an on-off switch, and an electrical cable for recharging the battery from a socket of a cigarette lighter of a motor vehicle.
Abstract: A combined air filter and diffuser for attachment beneath an air discharge duct discharging blown air into a room of a building. The air filter is configured to abut and be flushly mounted to the ceiling immediately below the duct. The filter has a housing including a track disposed to receive a flat air filter element so that the filter element lies horizontally proximate the ceiling. The housing has a slidably removable closure exposing the filter element for removal, which is accomplished by sliding the filter element horizontally from the housing. The housing includes a diffuser having pivotally mounted fins disposed immediately below the filter element. The housing mounts to the ceiling by receiving fasteners through small opening formed in an upper, horizontal wall of the housing.
Abstract: A wet filter which will not foul washing facilities and plumbing systems, and which will not introduce harmful substances into the environment. The filtering element, which mayk be a resilient, open cell foam material or a woven fabric, is coated with a mixture of oil and a tackifying agent. The oil is preferably a vegetable oil, and the tackifying agent is preferably a dimer acid. The oil and acid are mixed in a volatile carrier, such as ninety-nine percent pure isopropyl alcohol. Preferred proportions are fifty percent dimer acid and ten percent vegetable oil, by volume. The filter is saturated in the mixture. The alcohol is permitted to evaporate, thereby leaving the foam filter thinly yet fully coated with oil and acid. The filter may be washed in water and detergent for renewal. Preferably, a biodegradable detergent mixed with an alkaline substance such as soda ash is employed in washing the filter.