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"new" water key design?


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veery715
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also hope it goes well, and apologize for my "evil" thoughts.
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Brassworks
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: www.pollardwaterkey.com Reply with quote

I talked to a couple guys that said they had the same idea also after they saw my design, but I came up with the idea out of pure frustration. Having a creative bent as I do, I just kept working to make it practical.

The patent search my attorney did all turned out well, so I am not worried too much about someone patenting the idea before me.

Thanks for your comments!

Jerry Pollard
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patents are a good thing. Checking for prior patents and art, also good.

But the patent office has a real problem on its hands. I listened to an NPR segment and they found a patent for backing up a computer into the cloud that was granted in something like 1980. Since then there have been over 100 other patents for the same idea, some with nearly identical wording.

What appears to be happening is that the patent office is leaving it up to lawsuits and judges to sort it out in some cases.

Not meaing to discourage you and your good idea. I just am annoyed at the patent office.
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RandyTX
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the patent office is way over its head, especially on technical issues and software patents. They have no clue what is novel or even useful when it comes to software. It's really a battle of "who has the biggest lawyer".

Mechanical patents are a lot more cut and dried.
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Brassworks
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:36 am    Post subject: www.pollardwaterkey.com Reply with quote

I have a combined total of 9 patents, both utility and design under my belt, so this is not new to me.

I am confident that the patent will be granted. I had to defend one patent application, and I won that time.

This isn't just about a patent, I've really been looking for a better spit valve. This is it. I have another spit valve design nearly as innovative, but not as "cool" looking, but I'm not going to do anything with it.

Thanks for all the comments!

Jerry Pollard
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QuokkaTribe
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Y'all are whiny. Amen to folks at pollard and brassworks, i admire your stance and words.

best wishes
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Brassworks
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:37 am    Post subject: www.pollardwaterkey.com Reply with quote

QuokkaTribe wrote:
Y'all are whiny. Amen to folks at pollard and brassworks, i admire your stance and words.

best wishes


The hammer that shatters the glass tempers the steel......or something like that!

thanks, quokkatribe!

I appreciate all input, negative and positive!
1st production run is almost done! We will ship out several dozen this week,
with some going to a MAJOR maker!

We will be at the NTC, ITG, and NABBA this year, and hopefully others, as time permits.

I'm excited about another product I'm developing that has no patent possibilities, but I feel it will be very useful to the brass community from a pedagogy standpoint, so stay tuned!
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Honmoru
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpaholic wrote:
The amado's offered for sale by Doug Teeter, aka oldtooter, are superb and come in silver plate as well as brass. Ascetically nice and function really well. Back screws off for easy access to the piston. The best I have ever used!!!
How much this entire system costs you? Waiting for reply
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Maarten van Weverwijk
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[/quote]How much this entire system costs you?...(Amado)[/quote]

Votaw Tools.
Amados with screw cap.
Raw brass: $6.30
Silver plated: $11.35

I've installed dozens and never had any complaints about their functioning whatsoever.
If you don't maintain it properly any part of any instrument (valves, slides, valve caps, water keys...) will eventually stop working well. That's all there's to it, really.

Not meaning to undercut Jerry's invention, which looks really nice.
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acritzer
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's a great idea. The price point and business model will work out over time.
Good luck.
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Brassworks
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject: www.pollardwaterkey.com Reply with quote

I can understand why many would want to pay the equivalent of two bottles of valve oil for an Amado water key, the Pollard Water Key costs the equivalent of 8 bottles of valve oil at list price, which is not the selling price anyway.Those are the folks that don't have a clue. There is no comparison here, except both are push button operation. If you don't get it, that's ok. My product doesn't stick, EVER!

Quality vs. Cheapo....

Those that want a cheap product, like an Amado, are free to buy it, those of more discernment will look around and find something better. Don't trash a Rolls-Royce for being world class. Those that say the Amado doesn't give problems, good for you. I have yet to have one that hasn't stuck.

It is a small mind that equates the Pollard Water Key with an Amado. either they haven't really looked at the difference, or they are simply contrarian. How about really LOOKING at the differences before commenting? They are not the same in any respect.

The value-added to a horn is real with the Pollard Water Key, the Amado is just another spit valve. Look at Saturn, and the cost there, also, just look at a Bach Strad REPLACEMENT key! Even the Saturn is superior to the Amado, but no comments are made about the Saturn's cost, which is similar to the Pollard Water Key, and yet we use no plastic!

Why would I buy a Blackburn or Monette instead of a beginner horn? And pay LOTS more? Because I feel they are better tools, so the Pollard Water Key is the same, it is a better tool, and costs more. It is made in the USA, your Amado is made in China, more than likely.

My customers are looking for something better, but there is no crime in settling for cheapo.

As with a railway crossing. Look both ways before you comment.

I appreciate all the input, even that which is way off base!
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Tony Scodwell
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:02 am    Post subject: Amado keys Reply with quote

Jerry, don't get all pent up with comparisons to the original Amado waterkey. You only need to remember that Ray Amado designed his new waterkey in 1968 [I have his patent paperwork in my shop that he sent me] to eliminate the problems with the lever type keys in use for many years. Rays primary purpose was acoustic with the elimination of the disturbance caused by the large hole covered by a soft material. His stainless piston filled that void and the air didn't have to bounce off a void filled with cork or rubber. The secondary purpose was to eliminate the hairpin type spring which was always under tension and prone to breaking. He was super careful with tolerances with his suppliers and always made sure the players were informed about routine cleaning. For sure they will stick if not cleaned and lubed on a regular basis as will valves. Your design should be an improvement in the same direction and I certainly wish you well with your venture but Ray Amado does deserve much credit for his forward thinking many years ago. One other point for your information. The original design was quite elegant and had an end cap that was threaded and a nipple that was silver soldered on both of which were not cost effective to mass produce at the time. A few years later [about 1988] Ray introduced the "Pro" model Amado waterkey with a gold or silver colored end cap of special plastic which literally snapped on and off for cleaning. You may notice the same design on the current Monette trumpets and were used for the Signature 2000 line of DEG instruments that were made in the late eighties and early nineties. All other makers stayed with the circlip and end plate design still in wide use today. Ray's son Bill continues the production of the original waterkey today which were his father's wishes. As opposed to the Taiwan made version [which I utilize on my Scodwell USA trumpets] the Amado keys are proudly made in the
USA. Feel free to PM me if I can forward Ray's patent paperwork if you would like to see it and I can tell you his involvement with the design of the original Jet-Tone mouthpieces which were also quite an advancement on then current designs. Music and trumpet playing were Ray's love and his quest for a "better mousetrap" complimented his main business of running Amado Lab, a medical diagnosis concern.
Tony Scodwell
Scodwell USA Trumpets and Flugelhorns available in the US only from Washington Music Center, call Lee Walkowich at 301.946.8808 or now in Sydney, Australia at Sax and Woodwind...and Brass.
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Brassworks
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:00 am    Post subject: www.pollardwaterkey.com Reply with quote

Thanks Tony Scodwell for your comments. I have not taken the opportunity to recognize well enough the reasoning and design behind the Amado key. It was a vast improvement, and the fact that so many are being used today is a testament to that fact. The technical reasons regarding the acoustical improvements have been all but lost on most consumers.

I don't mean to put down the Amado Key, it's just that the Pollard Water Key is a different design, and with different static design principles. It seems that folks who have not really looked at it are being overly critical, and although those same folks might accept the idea of a 10,000.00 trumpet, they aren't even willing to think that a spit valve that never sticks, made in the US, and made with great precision and individually pressure tested, might be worth more that another water key. I accept critique, I reject nonsense.

Let me just say that I believe that my design is not just an improvement on the Amado; it is a different design. The problems I have had have been echoed to me over and over by many players all over the country, so it is not a problem I dreamed up.

I state over and over, if the Amado key works for you, great. If you want to look around, there are others.

The Amado will continue to be very successful, as it should be. I'm trying to contribute real products which exceed expectations to the brass world, and many of the "drive-by" critics aren't contributing a thing except hot air, which could be used to greater effect in a practice room.

Tony, you are a pro, and I truly respect your input. Thanks.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jerry,

Speaking about the acoustical effects of your waterkey installation - Amado keys sit very close to the inner tube bore. Classical keys are all over the board because the cork can be indented more or less deeply, however, usually there is a "chimney" or "pothole" where the key is soldered at.

Does your waterkey, when closed, sit flush with the inside bore of the leadpipe? Or, is there a marginal "pothole" on the inner leadpipe surface just at the spot where the key would be brazed on the outer surface? How deep would that pothole go?

I guess, a borescope photo of an actual installation would be the best answer. Would you put one here on TH?
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Brassworks
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:59 am    Post subject: www.pollardwaterkey.com Reply with quote

The valve sits almost flush, but it actually seats under tension from the spring, so any acoustical detriment is minimal, in fact, on 6 of my personal horns on which I have had the Pollard Water Key installed, the "slotting" seems to be improved, though bias and the placebo effect could be in play!

I'll be posting pics of the valve taken apart at some point. There is a "pocket" that allows the actual cone-shaped piston to be as close to the opening hole as geometry allows, and that is very closed indeed.

Thanks for the comments and questions!

Jerry
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miltoncarl
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually all lies on your ideas and invention. Yeah the patent attorney too can help you get patent on your software but it will only be useful if your idea is creative and useful in true sense. Or else it would be better if you would allow other best idea to get patented.
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jimspeedjae
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GizB wrote:
acritzer wrote:
Ahhh. I kind of like the way my Saturn keys look!


Me, too! I've got Saturns on my 2 Bbs & C, and will probably put 'em on my Benge 5 flugel this year.

I think I paid $35 or $40 each for my Saturns years ago, so $40 in 2013 for a quality product seems pretty reasonable. And at $40, they're cheaper than mouthpieces & valve buttons, heavy weights, or almost anything else you can buy to pimp your trumpet.

Does anybody know who is selling the Saturns these days?


I had Saturns on my latest trumpet and like them so much I bought a set from Denis Wedgewood directly to fit on another horn. You have reminded me to order up a few more as I'm going to retro-fit them on some others too.

http://www.deniswedgwood.com/

They are a similar price to the Pollard key and I think both (indeed like the original Amado key) are interesting thinking in solving a problem.

If it really is a problem...I have a number of older horns (heavily used Yamaha that's twenty years old, forty-year old Selmer Eb, thirty year old Courtois picc, etc) with original lever water keys and corks in place and as much as I have a little draw full of levers, springs and corks in my workshop I've never had to use any of them.

And I'm not especially convinced I'd notice much of a playing difference with the gutter gap removal (I didn't on the instrument I fitted the Saturn's on).

But I do like how I can very quickly and easily with my left hand squeeze both waterkeys at the same time to empty water as the Saturn can be pressed in any direction. And I know that you can do this with Amado's/Pollard keys set in opposite directions, before someone explains the obvious to me.

All the best with your design though...it's good so see some innovative design thinking.
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Roberts-K
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there are some that just don't understand the manufacturing process involved with many items sold and marketed in the trumpet world. First off, this design is different enough from an Amado that larger brass stock has to be used as the screw side is much larger than an Amado. Brass cost goes up drastically as diameter increases. Also, it is a conical machined surface on both the piston and housing and cost much more to manufacture. Therefore they have to cost more! The government isn't subsidizing trumpet parts last I checked, so isn't he entitled to make a product, risk his design and capital, and be able to sell something at a modest profit?
It amazes me what people pay for their dream horn and then they gripe about a $40 product to make life easier and make the horn more reliable. We installed two of these for a friend of Mr Pollard, but I still have the old Amado's on my horn and never saw these until they walked in the door. I thought they looked like a good idea and I support him as well as any others that spend their intellectual capital on trying to improve trumpetdom! I'm a tech, and if I never had to clean an Amado and deal with that pesky clip, it'd be a good day!
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royjohn
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice new idea, this Pollard water key! The issue here seems to be market share and perceived value as well as price point. If a Pollard key is $40, with the competitive price situation on new trumpets, two Pollard keys are adding $50+ to the price of a trumpet (assuming Mr. Pollard discounts about 40%) and I don't think many manufacturers are going there. What's left is the replacement/custom market.

If the Pollard keys sell for $40 each, then a tech has to offer two to a customer at something like $100 or more, whereas the Amados or lever waterkeys are going to be $32 or so. Right there you are limiting market share. I don't see many Saturn water keys, either (which are priced at $50 on the Harrelson website). So profit per unit is high, but total sales are low. I leave it to the marketing gurus to decide which is the better marketing strategy. Obviously in IBM PC vs Mac, the PC won, but Mac maintained a niche market. If the Pollard was cheaper than the Saturn and slightly more than the Amado, maybe everybody would want the Pollards. If you could convince Bach to put them on all their new horns, well, then your future would be made . . . even if you only made $3 on each one . . .

I think this is what some posters are trying to say to Mr. Pollard, but he has a different idea. We'll see how it works out.
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