Engine, Motor, Or Transmission Control Means Patents (Class 440/84)
  • Patent number: 9862471
    Abstract: A controller carries out a method for positioning multiple trimmable marine propulsion devices on a marine vessel transom. The method includes identifying two propulsion devices located one on either side of a transom centerline and defining these as outer propulsion devices. A third propulsion device coupled to the transom between the outer propulsion devices is defined as an inner propulsion device. A user input is received to trim the outer and inner propulsion devices in a single direction with respect to their current trim angles. In response to the user input, the controller outputs a control signal. In response to the control signal, the outer propulsion devices are trimmed in the single direction to a first trim angle and the inner propulsion device is trimmed in the single direction to a second, different trim angle. The controller may rate limit trimming of the outer propulsion devices to accomplish this.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Brad E. Taylor, Steven J. Andrasko
  • Patent number: 9827858
    Abstract: An arrangement is provided for the current supply of electrical users arranged in a motor vehicle. At least two mechanically stable and electrically conductive support elements (4, 5) are arranged in the bottom portion of the motor vehicle (1), where the support elements (4, 5) extend essentially over the entire length of the motor vehicle (1). The two support elements (4, 5) are at one end thereof, each electrically conductively connected to one of the poles of the voltage source (2) and have over their entire length contact points (6, 7) which are separate from each other for connection of the users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: NEXANS
    Inventors: Helmut Steinberg, Frank Schroeer
  • Patent number: 9731804
    Abstract: In one embodiment, an outboard marine engine comprises the internal combustion engine and a propulsor that is driven into rotation by the internal combustion engine so as to effect a thrust. The outboard marine engine further includes a transmission that shifts amongst a fourth gear wherein the thrust is forward thrust, a reverse gear wherein the thrust is a reverse thrust, and a neutral gear wherein the thrust is a zero thrust. The outboard marine engine further includes a shift rod that is rotatable about its own axis, wherein rotation of the shift rod about its own axis shifts the transmission amongst the forward gear, the reverse gear, and the neutral gear. An actuator operably connects to the internal combustion engine and causes rotation of a gear shaft. At least one gearset connects the gear shaft to the shift rod such that rotation of the gear shaft about its own axis rotates the shift rod about its own axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Theodore J. Hanes, Jeffrey J. Andrews, Steven J. Gonring
  • Patent number: 9623943
    Abstract: A jet propulsion boat includes a boat body, a jet propelling apparatus configured to propel the boat body, an engine configured to drive the jet propelling apparatus, and an ECU. The ECU is configured or programmed to determine that a deceleration operation is performed when an amount of operation of a first accelerator operation section is greater than an amount of operation of a second accelerator operation section. The ECU sets an upper limit value for the number of revolutions of the engine to a first predetermined value if the boat body is in a first speed traveling state and the boat body is in a turning state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: YAMAHA HATSUDOKI KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Hirofumi Anma
  • Patent number: 9422045
    Abstract: An operating device of an electric outboard motor has a steering bar-shaped handle projecting forward and pivotally supported on a hull to be able to steer right and left. A propeller of the electric outboard motor is driven by an electric motor driven by power supplied from a power supply. On a tip portion of the steering bar-shaped handle, the operating device is provided with an accelerator grip that is made to pivot on an axial center normally and reversely from a neutral position to adjust an amount of power to be supplied to the electric motor according to a pivot amount. The operating device includes in the accelerator grip or in vicinity of the accelerator grip, an accelerator grip fixing mechanism that fixes a pivot position of the accelerator grip at the neutral position to be able to release a fixation easily.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2016
    Assignee: SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masatoshi Kinpara, Yohei Nakano, Satoru Takahashi
  • Patent number: 9376188
    Abstract: A deflector control portion in a jet propulsion boat causes a deflector to swing by controlling a deflector drive mechanism in response to an operation of a shift operating portion. The deflector control portion causes the deflector to move to a first trim position when the shift operating portion is switched to a forward movement shift position. The deflector control portion causes the deflector to move to a second trim position when the shift operating portion is switched to an operating shift position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: YAMAHA HATSUDOKI KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Yukitaka Okamoto
  • Patent number: 9278747
    Abstract: In an apparatus for controlling operation of two outboard motors mounted on a stern of a boat side by side and each equipped with an internal combustion engine to power a propeller through a power transmission shaft and a transmission having a forward first-speed and a second-speed gear and a reverse gear supported on the power transmission shaft, control is conducted at turning of the boat to operate the inner one of the outboard motors to transmit the engine power to the propeller through the reverse gear, and to operate the outer one of the outboard motors to transmit the engine power to the propeller through the forward first-speed gear, when the detected engine speed is equal to or smaller than a predetermined first speed and the detected rudder angle is equal to or greater than a predetermined angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2016
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Kuriyagawa, Hajime Yoshimura
  • Patent number: 9224254
    Abstract: An apparatus comprises a display, a communication device, and a controller. The communication device performs communication with a remote control system. The system comprises a control head, a shift actuator, and a throttle actuator. The head designates a shift position and a throttle opening. The shift actuator drives a shift mechanism in accordance with the shift position. The throttle actuator drives the throttle mechanism in accordance with the throttle opening. The communication device receives at least one of the shift position, the throttle opening and ID data of malfunction in the system. The controller causes the display to display the shift position, the throttle opening, or the type or cause of the malfunction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Assignee: NHK SPRING CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Masayuki Kuga
  • Patent number: 9026325
    Abstract: This invention relates to the field of very high current integrated power systems and defines a system where an alternating current inductive generator (13), controlled by a generator voltage regulator (14), is coupled to alternating current inductive load (11), controlled by an alternating current inductive load controller (12), all controlled by a supervisory control and data acquisition system (17) with externally adjustable power rate constraints (21) that define a new anticipatory mode integrated power system (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas D. Roettger, Mohamed Belkhayat, Craig J. Nordby, Joseph M. Maurio, William Patalon
  • Patent number: 9014909
    Abstract: A system and method are for diagnosing a fault state of a shift linkage in a marine propulsion device. A control lever is movable towards at least one of a maximum reverse position and a maximum forward position. A shift linkage couples the control lever to a transmission, wherein movement of the control lever causes movement of the shift linkage that enacts a shift change in the transmission. A shift sensor outputs a position signal representing a current position of the shift linkage. A control circuit diagnoses a fault state of the shift linkage when after the shift change the position signal that is output by the shift sensor is outside of at least one range of position signals that is stored in the control circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Michael P. Dengel, Gene A. Smedema, Lance W. Ziemer
  • Patent number: 8926383
    Abstract: In an apparatus for controlling operation of an outboard motor having a shift shaft to be rotated in response to manipulation by an operator to switch a shift position between an in-gear position that enables driving force of a prime mover to be transmitted to a propeller by engaging a clutch with one of a forward gear and a reverse gear, and a neutral position that cuts off transmission of the driving force by disengaging the clutch from the forward or reverse gear, comprising a neutral operation detector connected to the shift shaft and adapted to detect a neutral operation in which the shift position is switched from the in-gear position to the neutral position; and a driving force controller adapted to conduct driving force decreasing control to decrease the driving force of the prime mover when the neutral operation is detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Kuriyagawa, Hiroshi Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 8888544
    Abstract: A watercraft docking mode throttle control system incorporating a joystick assembly within the control lever knob which is part of the control lever assembly that is gripped and held by the operator of the boat during use. The incorporation of such a joystick assembly allows the operator to make more controlled adjustment to the movement of the boat when the boat is in docking operational mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Enovation Controls, LLC
    Inventor: Kennon Guglielmo
  • Patent number: 8838308
    Abstract: A two wheeled vehicle includes a main body, a first wheel that is coupled to the main body, and a second wheel that is coupled to the main body. The vehicle also includes a motor that is supported by the main body and that drives at least one of the first and second wheels in rotation relative to the main body. Moreover, the vehicle includes a controller assembly including a controller and a controller housing. The controller is operable to control the motor to thereby control driving rotation of the at least one of the first and second wheels. The controller is housed within the controller housing, and the controller housing is coupled to the main body. The controller and the motor are in severable but operable communication when the controller housing is coupled to the main body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: BOXX Corp.
    Inventor: Eric Vaughn Meyers
  • Patent number: 8808040
    Abstract: In an apparatus for controlling operation of an outboard motor having a shift lever used to change a shift position between an in-gear position that enables driving force of an internal combustion engine to be transmitted to a propeller by engaging a clutch with one of a forward gear and a reverse gear and a neutral position that cuts off transmission of the driving force by disengaging the clutch from the forward or reverse gear, it is configured to detect a throttle opening of the engine; detect a speed of the engine; calculate a change amount of the detected engine speed; and conduct driving force decreasing control to decrease the driving force of the engine based on the detected throttle opening, the detected engine speed and the calculated engine speed change amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Kuriyagawa, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Tomohiro Miyauchi, Kazumi Miyashita
  • Patent number: 8801481
    Abstract: In a boat propulsion apparatus including an engine control device for controlling operation of an engine, the engine control device includes a first ID storage and a second ID storage, a first ID is stored in the first ID storage beforehand, and the engine control device is communicably connected to a controller of a remote control device over a network. A signal containing a second ID is received from the controller when the engine control device and the controller are connected to the network for the first time and is stored in the second ID storage. Thus, maintenance and management of the engine are easy, and also it is possible to prevent a mischievous operation or theft of the boat propulsion apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Masaru Kawanishi, Shu Akuzawa
  • Patent number: 8761976
    Abstract: A trolling motor control system that includes a main controller configured interface with a trolling motor. The main controller is configured to control the output power and directional heading of the trolling motor. In at least one embodiment, the main controller has an electronic interface configured to establish a two-way day data connection between the main controller and an electronic GPS-equipped mapping device. This two-way connection allows the main controller to use data stored on the GPS-equipped mapping device to execute functions of the trolling motor control system. It also allows functions of the trolling motor control system to be executed via controls on the GPS-equipped mapping device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: Johnson Outdoors Inc.
    Inventors: Paul D. Salmon, David Charles Evers
  • Patent number: 8740659
    Abstract: In an apparatus for controlling operation of an outboard motor that has an internal combustion engine equipped with a plurality of cylinders and is configured to switch a shift position between an in-gear position that enables engine's driving force to be transmitted to a propeller and a neutral position that cuts off transmission of the driving force, it is configured such that a neutral operation detector detects a neutral operation in which the shift position is switched from the in-gear position to the neutral position; a driving force controller conducts driving force decreasing control to decrease the driving force when the neutral operation is detected; and a cylinder number changer detects an engine speed variation range during the driving force decreasing control and, of the plurality of the cylinders, determines and changes the number of the cylinders with which the control is to be conducted based on the variation range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Kuriyagawa, Hiroshi Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 8727820
    Abstract: A hybrid drive system for a ship, designed as a parallel hybrid drive system, and comprising an internal combustion engine (103), an electric machine (105), acting as a generator or motor, depending on switching an electric controller (107), a battery (106), at least one switching clutch (115, 116), and a drive device (109) for transferring the drive power to at least one propeller (108). The electric machine (105) together with a first (115) and a second switched clutch (116), form a drive unit (140), that can be modularly disposed between the internal combustion engine (103) and the drive device (109). The first switched clutch (115) is disposed between the electric machine (105) and the internal combustion engine (103) and the second switched clutch (116) is disposed between the electric machine (105) and the drive device (109).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventors: Paolo Stasolla, Andrea Pellegrinetti, Adriano Zanfei, Michele Zottele
  • Patent number: 8688301
    Abstract: In a power converter a controller determines that an AC motor is in an abnormal state when a voltage of each phase of the AC motor detected by a voltage detector is in an unbalanced state where the voltage exceeds a predetermined value, and turns an opening/closing unit OFF to prevent damage generated in the AC motor from becoming worse. Moreover, the controller determines abnormality of the opening/closing unit based on a current of each phase detected by a current detector, and the controller performs control to reduce the number of revolutions of the AC motor upon determining that at least one of the AC motor and the opening/closing unit is in an abnormal state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Inventor: Hidetoshi Kitanaka
  • Patent number: 8688298
    Abstract: A boat propelling system capable of reducing electric power consumption includes an outboard engine main body, a swivel bracket arranged to allow the outboard engine main body to pivot in a right-left direction with respect to a hull, an electric motor arranged in the swivel bracket to pivot the outboard engine main body in the right-left direction, a transmission mechanism arranged in the swivel bracket to transmit a driving force of the electric motor to the outboard engine main body, a locking clutch arranged to lock the transmission mechanism so that the outboard engine main body will not be pivoted in the right-left direction by an external force acting on the outboard engine main body, a steering section arranged to steer the outboard engine main body, a steering angle sensor arranged to detect a steering angle of the steering section, a pivot sensor arranged to detect an actual pivot angle of the outboard engine main body, and an ECU arranged and programmed to control the electric motor based on a resu
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Makoto Mizutani, Ryuta Hayami
  • Patent number: 8682515
    Abstract: A marine vessel control system includes a control unit, a first communication bus, a second communication bus, and an auxiliary device connection section. The control unit includes a main output section arranged to output marine vessel maneuvering control information including starting information of a marine vessel propulsion device, and a sub output section arranged to output backup information including the starting information of the marine vessel propulsion device. The first communication bus is connected to the marine vessel propulsion device and the control unit, and is arranged to transmit the marine vessel maneuvering control information to the marine vessel propulsion device. The second communication bus is connected to the marine vessel propulsion device and the control unit, and is arranged to transmit the backup information to the marine vessel propulsion device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Makoto Ito
  • Patent number: 8682516
    Abstract: In one example, a hybrid marine propulsion system includes a marine propulsor that propels a marine vessel; an internal combustion engine that selectively powers the marine propulsor; an electric motor that selectively powers the marine propulsor; a controller that controls operation of the internal combustion engine and the electric motor according to a plurality of modes including an engine mode wherein the engine alone powers the marine propulsor and a boost mode wherein the engine and the electric motor together power the marine propulsor; and a user input device that inputs a user-initiated command to the controller to thereby change control from the engine mode to the boost mode. Upon input of the user-initiated command, the controller can maintain an existing output of the internal combustion engine such that the power provided by the electric motor is added to the power already being provided by the internal combustion engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Daniel J. Balogh, Jason S. Arbuckle
  • Patent number: 8655522
    Abstract: A watercraft propulsion device includes an engine, a drive shaft, a propeller shaft, a rotational speed detector, and a controller. The drive shaft transmits power from the engine. The propeller shaft is rotationally driven by power transmitted from the drive shaft. The rotational speed detector detects an engine rotational speed. The controller executes a suppression control to suppress the engine rotational speed when a change rate of the engine rotational speed is equal to or larger than a prescribed value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takuya Kado
  • Patent number: 8622777
    Abstract: Systems and methods for maneuvering a marine vessel limit interference by the hull of the vessel with reverse thrust. A marine propulsion device provides at least a reverse thrust with respect to the marine vessel. The propulsion device is vertically pivotable into a trim position wherein the hull does not impede or interfere with the reverse thrust. A control circuit controls the propulsion device to move into the trim position when the reverse thrust of the propulsion device is requested.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Brett J. McNalley, William R. Robertson, Kenneth G. Gable
  • Patent number: 8612072
    Abstract: The system herein disclosed automatically detects whether an engine control unit instance number of a multi-engine marine vessel needs changing. Each engine control unit is electronically paired with a respective servo controller. A vessel controller is in communication with the servo controllers. The vessel controller commands in turn each servo controller to switch on its paired engine control unit, read the instance number of its paired engine control unit, switch off its paired engine control unit, and convey the instance number back to the vessel controller. The vessel controller then compares the instance numbers of the engine control units. If at least two instance numbers of the engine control units are duplicates of each other, the vessel controller ascertains that at least one of the instance numbers of the engine control units needs to be changed and assigns a new instance number to one of the engine control units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Teleflex Canada, Inc.
    Inventors: Pierre Garon, Neil Garfield Allyn, James Steven Monczynski, Thomas Samuel Martin
  • Patent number: 8608521
    Abstract: Systems and methods of operating a marine propulsion system utilize an internal combustion engine and an electric motor that is powered by a battery, wherein the internal combustion engine and the electric motor each selectively power a marine propulsor to propel a marine vessel. A control circuit is operated to control operation of the system according to a plurality of modes including at least an electric mode wherein the electric motor powers the marine propulsor and a hybrid mode wherein the internal combustion engine powers the marine propulsor and provides power for recharging the battery. An operator-desired future performance capability of the hybrid marine propulsion system is input to the control circuit, which selects and executes the plurality of modes so as to provide the operator-desired desired future performance capability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Matthew W. Snyder, Aaron J. Ward, Jason S. Arbuckle
  • Patent number: 8577524
    Abstract: A watercraft propulsion device includes an engine, a drive shaft, a propeller shaft, a rotational speed detector, and a controller. The drive shaft transmits power from the engine. The propeller shaft is rotationally driven by power transmitted from the drive shaft. The rotational speed detector detects an engine rotational speed. The controller executes a suppression control to suppress the engine rotational speed when a change rate of the engine rotational speed is equal to or larger than a prescribed value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takuya Kado
  • Patent number: 8521348
    Abstract: An automatic speed control system that provides desired watercraft velocity over land. The coupled algorithms correct engine speed and torque using inertia based measurements, GPS, and tachometer measurements, and the corrections are augmented and enhanced by velocity/speed and torque/speed relationships that are dynamically and adaptively programmed with real-time data collected during replicated operations of the watercraft in specified conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Econtrols, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael W. Walser, Kennon H. Guglielmo, Kenneth R. Shouse, Joseph Grogan
  • Patent number: 8366500
    Abstract: In an apparatus for controlling an outboard motor having an internal combustion engine to power a propeller, and a torque converter interposed between the engine and a drive shaft and equipped with a lockup clutch, it is configured to have a throttle opening detector that detects throttle opening of a throttle valve of the engine, a throttle opening change amount calculator that calculates a change amount of the calculated throttle opening, and a clutch ON unit that makes the lockup clutch ON when the calculated change amount is equal to or greater than a predetermined value, and keeps the lockup clutch ON during a predetermined time period. With this, it becomes possible to improve acceleration performance immediately after the engine speed is accelerated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Kuriyagawa, Hajime Yoshimura, Hikaru Ikeda, Yoshiyuki Matsuda
  • Patent number: 8358223
    Abstract: The vessel control device disclosed herein comprises a channel-mounted, spring-loaded eyebolt that trails a floating line. It also embodies a latch mechanism, a cable release device and an electrical switch. By the action of grabbing the line the man overboard victim (MOB) can stop the vessel by himself; then use the line to reboard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Inventors: James B. Read, Abbie Ann Read
  • Patent number: 8340846
    Abstract: A boat propelling system capable of determining operation accuracy of a transmission mechanism includes an outboard engine main body, a swivel bracket arranged to allow the outboard engine main body to pivot in a right-left direction with respect to a hull, an electric motor provided in the swivel bracket to pivot the outboard engine main body in the right-left direction, a pivot sensor provided in the electric motor to detect a pivot angle of a motor shaft, a transmission mechanism provided in the swivel bracket to transmit a driving force of the electric motor to the outboard engine main body, a pivot sensor arranged to detect an actual pivot angle of the outboard engine main body, and an Electronic Control Unit arranged and programmed to control an operation of the boat propelling system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Makoto Mizutani, Ryuta Hayami
  • Publication number: 20120295501
    Abstract: A ski boat throttle control system incorporating a rotary assembly such as a thumbwheel within the control lever knob which is part of the control lever assembly that is gripped and held by the operator of the boat during use. The incorporation of such a thumbwheel assembly allows the operator to make more controlled adjustment to the speed of the boat when the boat is in normal operational mode and to intuitively make adjustments to the cruise control speed of the boat when in cruise control.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 7, 2011
    Publication date: November 22, 2012
    Inventor: Kennon Guglielmo
  • Patent number: 8303360
    Abstract: In an apparatus for controlling operation of an outboard motor mounted on a boat and having a torque converter equipped with a lockup clutch, it is configured to have a clutch controller that controls the lockup clutch to ON when a speed ratio of the torque converter is equal to or greater than a reference value, the clutch controller being configured to determine whether a throttle valve is at about a fully-opened position and to control the lockup clutch to ON when the speed ratio becomes equal to or greater than a predetermined value set smaller than the reference value before the speed ratio reaches the reference value, and the throttle valve is discriminated to be at about the fully-opened position. With this, it becomes possible to reliably make a lockup clutch ON when the acceleration is completed, so that the boat speed can reach the maximum speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Kuriyagawa, Hajime Yoshimura
  • Patent number: 8292679
    Abstract: In an apparatus for controlling an outboard motor mounted on a stern of a boat and having an internal combustion engine to power a propeller, a drive shaft that connects the engine and the propeller, a torque converter that is interposed between the engine and the drive shaft and is equipped with a lockup clutch, a water pump connected to the drive shaft to be driven by the drive shaft, and a shift mechanism interposed between the drive shaft and the propeller, comprising a neutral position detector that detects the shift mechanism being set in a neutral position; and a clutch ON unit that makes the lockup clutch ON to increase operation speed of the water pump when it is detected that the shift mechanism is set in the neutral position. With this, it becomes possible to improve cooling performance, thereby preventing a defect such as overheat of the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Kuriyagawa, Hajime Yoshimura, Hikaru Ikeda, Yoshiyuki Matsuda
  • Patent number: 8244419
    Abstract: A marine power system comprises a motor for providing propulsion. It also comprises an energy storage unit (ESU) for storing and supplying energy to the motor. A prime power system is connected to the ESU and motor for selectively providing energy to these subsystems through a bus. The motor selectively receives energy from the prime power system and the ESU and can supply regenerative braking energy to the bus. The system can also accommodate multiple generator sets providing system power. The ESU can also provide starting power for the prime power system. Alternately, the prime power system drives a mechanical power system output shaft connected to the motor, and the marine system comprises an alternator driven by the prime power system output shaft. The ESU can transmit energy to the alternator. The prime power system can be located on a tugboat displacing a barge carrying the energy storage unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: Mi-Jack Canada, Inc.
    Inventors: Frank Wegner-Donnelly, John David Watson
  • Patent number: 8202135
    Abstract: In an apparatus for controlling an outboard motor mounted on a stern of a boat and having an internal combustion engine to power a propeller, a drive shaft that connects the engine and the propeller, and a torque converter that is interposed between the engine and the drive shaft and is equipped with a lockup clutch, it is configured to have a planing determiner that determines whether the boat is planning and a clutch ON unit that makes the lockup clutch ON when the boat is determined to be planing. With this, it becomes possible to appropriately make the lockup clutch ON after completing acceleration, thereby improving speed performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Kuriyagawa, Hajime Yoshimura, Hikaru Ikeda, Yoshiyuki Matsuda
  • Patent number: 8192239
    Abstract: A marine vessel propulsion system includes a plurality of propulsion devices, each including a motor and a propeller rotated by the motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Makoto Ito, Takaaki Bamba, Noriyoshi Ichikawa, Yuki Ikegaya, Shu Akuzawa
  • Patent number: 8190316
    Abstract: A control apparatus controls a marine vessel propulsion system which is equipped with a propeller system to generate a propulsive force and a steering mechanism to determine a steering angle of the propeller system. The control apparatus includes a target propulsive force setting unit arranged to set a target propulsive force, and a propeller system control unit arranged to control an output of the propeller system such that the output is lower than the target propulsive force while the steering angle is being changed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hirotaka Kaji
  • Patent number: 8170733
    Abstract: A vehicle control system includes a first powertrain, a second powertrain, and a third powertrain. The first powertrain includes a first power source. The second powertrain includes a second power source. The third powertrain includes a third power source. The vehicle control system also includes an operator control interface. The operator control interface includes a first portion configured to receive a first operator input and a second portion configured to receive a second operator input. The first operator input and the second operator input are indicative of a desired speed and a desired direction. The vehicle control system additionally includes a controller configured to deliver a power control signal to at least one of the first powertrain, the second powertrain, and the third powertrain. The power control signal is a function of the first operator input and the second operator input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Randall B. Blum, Douglas J. Carlton, Jordan T. Thomas, Geoffrey D. Ginzel
  • Patent number: 8162704
    Abstract: Amphibious vehicles, control modules, and methods are disclosed in which engine output power is adjusted based upon whether an amphibious vehicle is traversing land or is not traversing land. Some embodiments determine whether the amphibious vehicle is traversing land based upon a speed differential between an engine speed of the vehicle and a turbine speed of the torque converter contained within the power transfer module/transmission assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Allison Transmission, Inc.
    Inventor: Bradley L. Stine
  • Patent number: 8155813
    Abstract: A ship powered by an internal combustion engine (1) and an electric motor (2) connected to a propeller (3) powered by surplus electric power obtained by a thermal discharge recovery system has a controller including a feedback control section for controlling a base amount of fuel injected to the internal combustion engine (1) based on the difference between the target number of rotation of the propeller given by the operator and the real number of rotation, and a feed-forward control section having a means (25) for calculating an overall power output and a means (26) for calculating a correction in the amount of fuel injected to the internal combustion engine based on the overall power output and the number of rotation of the propeller. The base amount of fuel is corrected by subtracting the correction obtained by the feed-forward section from the base amount of fuel calculated by the feedback control section whereby preventing a rapid change in the speed of the ship due to rapid change in ship loads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shinnosuke Osafune, Yuji Ohta, Yoshimi Kagimoto, Akihiro Miyanagi, Masahiko Mino, Yoshihiro Ichiki
  • Publication number: 20120077394
    Abstract: The present subject matter is directed to electronic circuitry and associated hardware configured to electronically control directional signals, i.e., neutral, forward and reverse signals, to the transmission of a watercraft. The circuitry provides for electronic control of the throttle position of the watercraft engine and electronic override of the transmission shifting circuitry to allow throttling up (i.e., revving) of the engine without placing the transmission into gear. In an alternative embodiment, directional control is effected by operation of a lever mechanism and override functionality is effected by manual disengagement of a drive mechanism for the directional control while maintaining operation of the electronic throttle control.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2011
    Publication date: March 29, 2012
    Applicant: CompX International Inc.
    Inventors: David Banks, Emory Hodges, Kenneth A. Kaczmarz
  • Patent number: 8113892
    Abstract: A marine propulsion control system receives manually input signals from a steering wheel or trim switches and provides the signals to first, second, and third controllers. The controllers cause first, second, and third actuators to move control devices. The actuators can be hydraulic steering actuators or trim plate actuators. Only one of the plurality of controllers requires connection directly to a sensor or switch that provides a position signal because the controllers transmit signals among themselves. These arrangements allow the various positions of the actuated components to vary from one device to the other as a result of calculated positions based on a single signal provided to one of the controllers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Kenneth G. Gable, Jason S. Arbuckle
  • Patent number: 7993175
    Abstract: In a system for controlling outboard motors each mounted on a boat and each having an engine, a steering mechanism, a shift mechanism, an actuator driving at least one of the steering mechanism, the shift mechanism and a throttle valve of the engine, and a controller controlling operation of the actuator, comprising: a steering wheel operable by an operator; a shift/throttle lever operable by the operator; and a manipulated variable detector producing an output indicative of manipulated variable of at least one of the steering wheel and the shift/throttle lever; the manipulated variable detector being separately connected to each of the controllers in the outboard motors through an electric signal line to send the output to the controllers. With this, it becomes possible to control the operation of the actuators in the outboard motors separately for the individual outboard motors with simple structure without identifying the respective outboard motors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Naoki Hiroshima, Yoshihiko Yamagishi, Yoshinori Masubuchi
  • Publication number: 20110151732
    Abstract: A surface drive for a watercraft with at least two drive units that is operated in different speed-dependent driving modes. The trim angles (?ā€”1, ?ā€”2) of the drive units (140, 140) are adjusted automatically and independently of one another, in order to reach a defined rotational speed (nā€”40) at which the maximum speed (vā€”40) is reached, during the driving mode in which the maximum speed of the watercraft is reached.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2007
    Publication date: June 23, 2011
    Applicant: ZF FRIEDRICHSHAFEN AG
    Inventor: Andrea Chiecchi
  • Patent number: 7957891
    Abstract: An ECU for a main remote control has a termination resistance having a first terminal connected to a high level signal line CAN of a CAN cable and a second terminal connected to an external terminal of a connector. The CAN cable also has a low level signal line CAN connected to an external terminal of a connector. A power wire VCC is divided at its midportion, and respectively connected to external terminals of the connector. When a connector is connected, the termination resistance is connected between the high level signal line CAN and the low level signal line CAN of the CAN cable by a jumper line, and power is supplied through a jumper line. When the connector is disconnected, the termination resistance is not connected and the ECU for a main remote control does not operate since no power is supplied thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2011
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takashi Okuyama, Masaru Suzuki, Syu Akuzawa, Makoto Ito
  • Patent number: 7931511
    Abstract: A boat propulsion system includes a gear shift mechanism arranged to transmit a driving force generated by an engine to first and second propellers at one of at least a low speed reduction ratio and a high speed reduction ratio, and a control section arranged to perform control so as to shift a speed reduction ratio of the gear shift mechanism based on first and second gear shift control maps when an acceleration command from a user is detected. The first and second gear shift control maps define a region to shift the speed reduction ratio of the gear shift mechanism using two parameters, preferably a rotational speed of the engine and a lever opening degree of a lever of a control lever portion. The boat propulsion system achieves both the acceleration performance and the maximum speed desired by a user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2011
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takayoshi Suzuki, Daisuke Nakamura
  • Patent number: 7887382
    Abstract: An apparatus that provides for rescue of victims trapped in a body of water is disclosed. The invention utilizes a conventional fire hose as the main component of the invention. One end of the hose is capped with a retrieval end comprising a solid cap with a swivel based tether. The end is also provided with a pair of removable rudders which aid in the guiding have said apparatus in a controlled manner through the water. The opposite end of the fire hose is capped with a pressurizing mechanism that allows for the inflation and deflation of the fire hose. When inflated, the preferred embodiment floats upon the water surface thus providing for simplified water rescues. The invention is also envisioned as providing simplified ice rescues as well. The use of the present invention provides a greatly simplified method of water rescue which not only provides for quicker rescues for victims, but increased safety for rescue personnel as well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Inventors: Bryan J. Kasper, Alfred A. Dyer
  • Patent number: 7877174
    Abstract: An automatic speed control system that provides desired watercraft velocity over land. The coupled algorithms correct engine speed and torque using inertia based measurements, GPS, and tachometer measurements, and the corrections are augmented and enhanced by velocity/speed and torque/speed relationships that are dynamically and adaptively programmed with real-time data collected during replicated operations of the watercraft in specified conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Assignee: Econtrols, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael W. Walser, Kennon H. Guglielmo, Kenneth R. Shouse, Joseph Grogan
  • Publication number: 20100330853
    Abstract: In recreational boats, multiple drive units, e.g., multiple outboard motors, Z-drives, or jet drives, are often provided to propel the boat, at least one of the drive units having a propulsion reversal function for executing a reverse propulsion. To facilitate execution of a turning maneuver with a boat in an extremely tight space, and to ensure that even an unskilled person is able to reliably execute such a turning maneuver, it is provided that the drive units be activated automatically for executing the turn on the spot as a function of a command for turning. The command may be made via a switch, which is operated by the driver of the boat. One drive unit is then operated automatically in propulsion reversal mode, and the other drive unit is operated in propulsion mode. The power of the drive units is then controlled in such a way that the instantaneous efficiency of the drive units operated during turning is taken into account.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2010
    Publication date: December 30, 2010
    Inventors: Sandeep Bisht, Joerg Haffelder, Daniel Roesinger, Rene Neusinger, Daniel Damm