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  • #569870
    Snowjunkie
    Participant

    I am developing a new split interface and am looking for feed back.
    Right now I have one prototype. I am looking for people with engineering and machining experience or just money to help me take this to the next level. I have been calling around to different companies to see if they are interested but most at this stage won’t bite because of the small returns in the split market.

    Description of the invention is as follows. The interface is a two layer plate that bolts to the bottom of a basic snowboard boot binding. In the top layer of this plate there is a bar that is used to attach to a NNN binding in ski mode no point in reinventing the weal. The bottom layer of this plate contains a series of spring loaded pins and engagement tabs so that in snow board mode the binding are attached to the snowboard by placing a first sliding the two halves of the split board together placing the board on the ground placing the binding on the “pucks” while the foot is strapped in and twisting the binding 90 degrees until the pins engage and lock the assembly together. This motion is similar to screwing a lid and a jar. To release the binding the rider would simply bend down pinch the two release arms “which are on the outside of the boot” together and begin twisting the binding at which point the release arms could be released.

    Figure 1 and 2 show the general idea of the the whole system. In figure two note the the hooks found toward the ends of the board on the voile system are located in the pucks. In their place are overlapping tabs.

    Figures 3 and 4 show the pucks. Note the hooks, engagement tabs, pin holes, and gaps where the hooks come together. These gaps are to prevent icing.

    Figures 5 show the interface plate form the bottom. Here can be six contact pints to preventing the rocking slop that is present in the voile system. Also can be seen are two tabs that hold the assembly down to the pucks. Above one of these tabs can be seen one of the locking pins. Out the side of the assembly can be seen the two release arms.

    Figure 7 show the two layers of the plate. The elements of the lower plate are riveted together. The upper layer will be bolted to the lower layer by the rider at home to his or her stance angle. This is because the upper layer contains the NNN bar and therefor must align to the binding and the lower layer contains the engagement pins and there for must align to the longitudinal axis of the board.

    Figure 8 shows the lower layer. Containing the pins and their springs. This mechanism is similar to the lock and pocket knives where the release for the knife is on the back of the handle. The design work of this mechanism is not completed I do not know exactly how to shape the spring or the exact shape of the spring head.
    There are other way to make this mechanism that could all be viable. The critical requirement is that the locking mechanism does not allow any rotation of the assembly.

    Figure 9 through 11 is an animation of showing how the pin engages as the binding is rotated onto the puck. Though it is not show you can see how the spring would deflect.


    Figure 12 shows how the binding assembly locks the puck together so that the two halves of the snowboard can not slide apart.

    Figure 13 shows a critical gap between the bottom of the engagement tab of the plate and the top of the split board. This gap is there to prevent icing. The tab only holds the binding down to the board the “contact tabs” serve the purpose of holding the binding up.

    There is a patent pending on the invention so if you need permission ask.

    #604239
    bcrider
    Participant

    Looks heavy. đŸ™‚

    Just playing….more thoughts coming soon. Thanks for sharing!

    #604240
    prestonf
    Participant

    Right on. Based on what you’re describing here I’m pretty sure I met you at a bar in Ballard back when the passes were all closed and you were trapped on the west side. I have neither engineering experience nor money, but good luck!

    #604241
    Unruly Baker
    Participant

    Looks interesting and pretty well thought out. But unless you plan on waiting until 2015-2017 (can’t remember if patents are good for 18 years after file date or issue date) for Voile’s patent to expire and 2018-2021 for Burton’s patent to expire I don’t think you’ll be able to sell any of them in the US. Voile’s patent on this is pretty solid, Burtons is decent as well, although i’m still confused how Burton managed to get thiers issued, need to read them both a couple more times.

    http://www.google.com/patents?id=HtEoAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4&dq=Voile+snowboard#PPP1,M1

    The claims are where you need to focus. If you can find a hole go for it. But so far no one has been able to accomplish that feat. Do you know something others don’t? Did you disclose the Voile patent to your examiner for your pending patent? If not you are legally required to do so I believe, or if your patent is issued and Voile takes you to court it will look really bad in court if you didn’t disclose Voile’s patent to your examiner.

    Same goes for Burton’s patent:
    http://www.google.com/patents?id=cBwNAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4&dq=Burton+split+snowboard#PPP3,M1

    Not trying to rain on your parade, but as an engineer I am all too familiar with the art of working around patents……..or the difficulty in doing so.

    I am really hoping someone can find a hole in them so innovation can occur. But from my research these patents are good enough to keep most people from even trying, and keep others from funding new ideas.

    Interested in your thoughts on these patent issues. I could provide design/CAD/FEA/general engineering support if you have a work around to these patent issues though.

    Also, on peice of criticism, your release hooks look like they will be hanging out a bit in ski mode where they can catch on stuff, get bent, or worse, broken.

    UB

    #604242
    Otto
    Participant

    Neat!

    But one question: This looks similar to the older Burton interface minus the sliding hooks. I wonder if this interface will also fall victim to the same problems associated with the Burton? What I am getting at is; the Burton (which I still use, and like) is very suspect to clogging with snow when you try to transition back in to board mode from tour mode.(which is not so much a problem with a Voile because the puck pushes any snow out of the slider) Do you have some sort of method that circumvents this problem? Otherwise we are back at what was one of the design flaws of the Burton interface from the get go. (Outside of their legal woes)

    Edit:

    On second look of your drawings, It also looks like the stance width is not adjustable? That IMO is another drawback to your design.

    #604243
    Unruly Baker
    Participant

    @Snowjunkie wrote:

    There is a patent pending on the invention so if you need permission ask.

    Also, what’s you Patent Application # or Provisional Patent App #? I can’t find it in my search.

    Thanks,
    UB

    #604244
    bcrider
    Participant

    I don’t mean to rain on the parade or the work you’ve done either but I gotta admit that I really don’t understand the logic.

    As with the recent Atomic debacle I have a similar set of questions.

    Why redesign the interface? What are the problems with the existing interface that warrant a totally new design? What specific features and benefits does your design present over the current offering?

    The Voile system is extremely simple and effective, thats the beauty of it.

    From a mfg pov there is very little tooling needed and the pieces are easy to produce. In your design I count around 50 rivets per binding! Have you thought about production costs for something like that or a suggested retail price? I don’t see how this design could compete with the very affordable price for the Voile system.

    As for performance. The sport just took a step forward with the Spark bindings because the overall height of the system was lowered. This looks like you’ve gone back to a pretty elevated system.

    I don’t think the current product is holding the sport back at this point. Instead of a company trying to reinvent the wheel what we really need is a company to focus on promoting the sport by spending money on splitboard riders and marketing, not research and development.

    my .02

    Thanks again for sharing and good luck either way! 8)

    #604245
    Snowjunkie
    Participant

    With regards to the release arms. They are hanging out a little. As I said the pins springs and release arms are not final. They kind of have to hang out a little to accommodate all stances though not as far as shown. A solution might be to for the user to cut them down once they have set there stance angle. They are on the outside of the boot so that they don’t catch on your feet as you walk. In terms of the icing problems common on the Burton. The Burton clamped down on there disk and had contact surfaces that had to be clear of all snow. The clamping action forces ice into critical areas and made the problem worse. As this design rotates on it clears snow in the same way a voile would. And rather then contact surfaces my design uses contact points which won’t sandwich snow and ice.

    #604246
    bcrider
    Participant

    @Snowjunkie wrote:

    The interface is a two layer plate that bolts to the bottom of a basic snowboard boot. ….. while the foot is strapped in and twisting the binding 90 degrees until the pins engage and lock the assembly together.

    So to go to ride mode you put the bindings on your feet and then step into the board using a twisting motion?

    There is also something “bolted” to the bottom of the snowboard boot?

    #604247
    Snowjunkie
    Participant

    I don’t understand what atomic was trying to do I would guess that they were trying to reduce the slop prevalent on the voile. Sparks is going to solve this problem. The three remaining problems are weight and ease of transfer from ski to snowboard mode and dexterity ie playing with the cotter pin. In my experience the last problem is the least significant. However I have found that I can not atach my binding to the board without taking my boot out of them first. In terms of weight moving the chines hooks to the puck would allow the overlapping tabs to be made out of carbon. If the top plate was incorporated into a binding as Sparks has done weight would be similar. With the twisting motion to atach the board you can be skinning up, get to the top, rip your skins, release from the NNN with a ski pole, mate the board, step on it, twist and lock and go.

    Finally another advantage is that the puck mount to a slandered four hole. A special puck allowing for the 1/8 in shrink would allow a standard board to split without having to drill as many holes.

    Finally the stance width is adjustable I just didn’t show all the holes.

    #604248
    prestonf
    Participant

    Well, I think there are a lot of splitters out there with a lot of different goals: 500 ft laps with jibs and airs close to the parking lot, steeps, 7000ft powder runs (check out Greg Hill’s blog for where he – and others in the recent thread on Dynafits – think the future of backcountry snowboarding lies). Like everyone else here, I don’t really think there’s a market for a different system or interface for all the different types of riding out there – yet – but look at all of the different types of AT bindings, some heavy and stiff for the huckers, others lighter for the mountaineers. We’re all pretty limited right now in our choices, so I’m stoked to see folks more passionate and talented than me step up and try to increase the available options.

    I like the Voile interface a lot, but futzing with slider tracks and pins when my fingers are cold and numb is often a drag. I get a lot slower in those situations, when I’d of course rather be faster! An advantage with Snowjunkie’s interface design is that the manipulation of parts with hands, fingers, or tools (like the Atomic interface) is cut down. In an ideal world, I’d like to be able to transition without using my hands at all.

    Some one get on that :wink:.

    #604249
    Snowjunkie
    Participant

    So to go to ride mode you put the bindings on your feet and then step into the board using a twisting motion?

    No the binding remain on you feet always.

    I’d like to be able to transition without using my hands at all.

    There probably is a locking mechanism that could be driven with a pole tip.
    Another idea I had was to withdrawal the pins with a cord or a hydraulic lever lick a mountain bike brake. For reasons like weight complexity and icing I haven’t pursued them much. The locking pin could also drive down into the board or from the board up into the binding. This is the way a camera lens locks onto a SLR body. The problem I am faced with is it the changes in stance angle make it hard to gaurante that the pin is accessible

    #604250
    Mumbles
    Participant

    I marvel at the innovative minds, be they hear through DIY and MODS, Spark R&D, no board drilling pucks, cants, atomic or yours. I agree with many of the critical points that have been made. I also like that someone is coming up with somethign that may give a new splitter more options without haveing to have a masters degree in DIY to make something work.

    I like the burton interface and have assembled parts to keep mine alive. I like the voile interface too. Each have shortcomings and I think a blended version would be ideal for me personally. I would like to see the voile less sloppy and wider to facilitate no hang over laterally and increased torsional instability (enter Will’s killer Sparks R&D which I saw first hand on Ale Capone’s rig today).

    I embrace options because none may be ideal but through those options there are enough ideas to fit every rider’s needs. I’m tinkering with a voile burton combo system for my own personal use that I think will work impressively, but with the patents that idea is really just for my own use.

    #604251
    Unruly Baker
    Participant

    @Snowjunkie wrote:

    I don’t understand what atomic was trying to do I would guess that they were trying to reduce the slop prevalent on the voile. Sparks is going to solve this problem. The three remaining problems are weight and ease of transfer from ski to snowboard mode and dexterity ie playing with the cotter pin. In my experience the last problem is the least significant. However I have found that I can not atach my binding to the board without taking my boot out of them first. In terms of weight moving the chines hooks to the puck would allow the overlapping tabs to be made out of carbon. If the top plate was incorporated into a binding as Sparks has done weight would be similar. With the twisting motion to atach the board you can be skinning up, get to the top, rip your skins, release from the NNN with a ski pole, mate the board, step on it, twist and lock and go.

    Finally another advantage is that the puck mount to a slandered four hole. A special puck allowing for the 1/8 in shrink would allow a standard board to split without having to drill as many holes.

    Finally the stance width is adjustable I just didn’t show all the holes.

    Again, it’s all moot unless you can convince an investor you have the patent issues resolved.

    Criticism #2: Looks wide. One thing I like aobut the Sparks and my Voile Plates and hardboots is that they are both narrow (harboot set up more so) making skinning more comfortable.

    Criticism #3: I’m all for step-in/step-out, but I’d be nervous about damaging the interface should I happen to step down on a rock or something during a transition.

    Criticism #4: Composite tabs are not going to save more than a few grams. Replace all the nuts and bolts with Ti and replace the chinese hooks with carbon and you might save a few more grams, but in the context of an entire split it isn’t very compelling.

    Regardless, I am excited to see new ideas coming out. But I’m more interested in a new, ground up boot/binder/interface design. If only I could ditch my day job and hobbies and focus on this…………

    UB

    #604252
    BGnight
    Participant

    Don’t ask me, but it’s about time a new interface hits the market. Voile is solid, but I can’t believe something better hasn’t showed up yet. Voile interface is like caveman engineering in this day and age. There has to be a better/more solid setup that doesn’t weigh a ton and isn’t overengineered either.

    #604253
    jack
    Participant

    can you color the parts different colors in Solidworks and make and exploded view? i am having trouble following your deign. maybe a step-by-step would help as well. not only would it help me, but if you are trying to attract investors, technical monochrome drawings are not going to do it.

    i hate to rain on your parade, because i know how much work something like this is, but to echo bcrider, if it is not better than the voile system, is there really a market?

    #604254
    jack
    Participant

    images like these examples would really help:

    #604255
    BastrdSonOfElvis
    Participant

    Dwight Schrute:

    “Michael always says ‘K-I-S-S. Keep it simple, stupid.’ Great advice. Hurts my feelings every time.”

    It’s going to be very difficult to improve on the Voile + Spark R&D system. Good luck.

    #604256
    bcrider
    Participant

    @prestonf wrote:

    (check out Greg Hill’s blog for where he – and others in the recent thread on Dynafits – think the future of backcountry snowboarding lies).

    I looked at the blog and didn’t see anything. Can you point me in the right direction?

    #604257
    Wyomingsplit_ride
    Participant

    My question is, why fix what isn’t broke? I fully agree with BCrider and Unruly Baker on this one. I love the Voile interface, have had no problems with it in the field, and those guys have your back if something goes wrong with your setup.

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