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I was wondering if anyone here has invented anything. Over the years I have thought of things and talked myself out of it thinking it was incredibly difficult, only to see my idea pop up years later. This got me to thinking of the actual process. Is it as difficult as I imagined? I'm sure this has happened to some people here too.

I have seen the ads on tv for the invention helpline type ads, but I have heard that they are a scam. I have even watched the show american inventor. The show didnt really tell me anything other than the sandbag filling shovel was kinda cool, but not something I would need in the desert, although we do have sand here.

I was kinda hoping to hear from someone firsthand that has actually done it. Or someone like myself that has talked themselves out of it, only to see someone else run with the idea.

So, anyone ever done it?

Let me know please

John
 

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Yeah. A fried of mine came to me one day because she knew I was a tinkerer and wanted to know if I could help her out on an idea she had for her ears that always hurt when the weather turned cold.

I designed a pair of electrically heated ear muffs. I modified a pair of headphones by removing the speakers, cut up the plastic housing and stretched it out and installed 2 rechargeable C cell batteries in each side, cut down a heating element from an electric blanket so it would run on 3 volts, installed a 2 position switch (high for quick warmup and low to maintain the heat level), and an LED monitor on the outside. That was about 8 years ago and it still works good. We named it the "Heat Muff" Well... that sure rolled a few eyes. I wasn't familiar with the connotations of the term Muff at the time. (I guess I led a sheltered life).

I took it to a very popular inventors school sponsored by Fresno State University and met with the directors. These people are on the cutting edge of what they do and are up to speed on the business of inventions. They liked my idea and wanted me to take it to the next level. During my research at the US patent office I found someone had recently invented a similar model but with external battery packs with a wire that ran down into a pocket (not as good as my self contained one) but a better heating element (printed circuit element). I went to several all day seminars the school sponsored and talked to a lot of vendors and business owners. I learned a lot thru the process, one of which is a patent doesn't really offer any security of your invention. The secret to building a successful venture is staying ahead of your competition.


I visited with a local advertiser for inventors when I thought up the idea and he just laughed and said I was an idiot and that something like that couldn't possibly work. The one I built could operate for over 3 hours one one battery charge and that was with cheap old rechargeable batts from radio shack.

They also said the people on TV are scammers and just take your money.

I used to think everything that could be invented had already been done when I was a kid. THAT was in the 50s and 60s!

Ross
 

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Most inventions are new combinations of old ideas. I invented a lockfor Mercruiser outdrives to prevent removal in 1980. Available at any Marine dealer. Produced by someone else. Invented a gate closer in 1960 when I was 15. Available at finer farm stores nationwide. Produced by someone else.
Ever hear of herpes? A cousin of mine didn't invent it but is the regional distributor.
Anyway, If you have an idea for a product, do an online patent search. Just because there is a similar deal already patented, doesn't mean yours isn't patentable as an improvement.Keep copious records of your design and refinements. A copyright on the design is enough to make a presentation to a company that makes similar products. Sometimes they will buy the copyright just to stop competetion.
I am clairvoyant. I see a Patent attorney in your future. :)
 

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I was involved in a project once ,, back in the early 60's, when metal studs first came available in construction,, they were made out of a solid piece of sheet metal,, with no holes in the centers to run electrical wires or plumbing pipes through,, and it was very difficult at best to cut a hole in them after the studs were installed,, and it was costing us lots of money to drill these holes,, not to mention the holesaw bits,,,, so a friend and myself came up with a punch to make this much easier and faster,, we went through several proto types before we found one that really worked like we wanted,, we finally sold the idea to Greenlee tool,, and the hole punch that the electricans use today are almost the exact same tool we origionally made,,
thats where most inventions come from,, something to make life a little easier,, Bill
 

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I was gonna invent a new wheel.........but nothing I tried rolled as good as a round one. ROTFLMAO :D
 

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I had an idea of a little device to keep bugs/bees/wasps from flying into your beer or pop outside in the summer. I called it "Buzz Away". (Get the double-meaning? Clever eh! thank-you, thank-you) My friends laughed at me. Then some catalog came in the mail advertising a snap-on screen for cans. My friends stopped laughing, and I wasn't either. Oh well!

Paul.
 

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One of the things that came up in my meetings with the invention staff at Fresno State was to design a unit that would heat and cool. It doesn't get really cold here too often but the heat is unbearable at times (116 last summer). I have been thinking about that ever since. I came up with an idea that may work but I need to build a prototype and figure it out. I would like to design a refrigerated hat, after all, thats where you need to remove heat from your body, your head. I'm not an engineer so I do every thing the hard way... experiment.
 

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2-manytoyzs said:
One of the things that came up in my meetings with the invention staff at Fresno State was to design a unit that would heat and cool.
Neat idea, Toyzs. Also reminds me of a joke I like:

A blonde was shopping and came across a silver Thermos. She was quite fascinated by it, so she picked it up and brought it over to the clerk to ask what it was.

“That’s a Thermos,” the clerk said. “It keeps some things hot and some things cold.”

“Wow,” said the blonde. “That’s amazing. I’m going to buy it!”

So she bought the Thermos and took it to work the next day. Her boss saw it on her desk.

“What do you have there?” he asked.

“Why, that’s a Thermos. It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold,” she replied.

Her boss inquired, “What do you have in it?”

The blond replied, “Two popsicles and some coffee.”
 

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2-manytoyzs said:
One of the things that came up in my meetings with the invention staff at Fresno State was to design a unit that would heat and cool. It doesn't get really cold here too often but the heat is unbearable at times (116 last summer). I have been thinking about that ever since. I came up with an idea that may work but I need to build a prototype and figure it out. I would like to design a refrigerated hat, after all, thats where you need to remove heat from your body, your head. I'm not an engineer so I do every thing the hard way... experiment.
Ross, What seems to work well to cool off is a cold wrap around the neck, the girls in the packing sheds have them, made of some type of gel that has to be refrigerated. Might be easier to design something that fits around the neck than around the head. I will test your invention next summer, for free even. :D Dan
 

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1967 Chevrolet Biscayne 10-71 blown 433 Big Block Chevy, T400 & 12 bolt 3.73 rearend
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Back in the late 70's, my mother used to comment about the sun shining between the 2 visors on the car at times when she was driving. I removed the visors from the car and took them apart in shop class and modified them by installing 2 pieces of tinted plastic that could be slid out of the end of the visors to provide additional shade and eliminate the gap. After I reinstalled them, she tried them out and said how well they worked. You could put both visors down and slide out the plastic pieces and they would touch together. No more sun glare between the visors. Of course I never thought that would be something worth patenting or marketing.
Look at all the new vehicles that have this same feature. This happens more than anyone would ever think. All I can think of is what if????

Barry
 

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My dad came up with the idea of a butter box in an old Philco refrigerator many years ago. He submitted the idea to the Philco executives and they balked at the idea. The next years models had a butter box built in to the new line of reefers. We still had that old reefer in the house when I was growing up thru the 60s.

I went out in the garage this morning and found the "heat muff" and took some pics. I found some links to a unit called a Peltier device the heats or cools depending on which way you run the current thru the device. They make a variety of size units at any voltage you want. Its a rather old technology. They are commonly used to cool reefers and freezers on boats because they don't have a flame or burner like an RV type reefer. The 1st pic shows the head pieces before and after. Most Peltier devices are used in scientific and medical labs because they accurately maintain specific temps.
 

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