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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through January 14, 2005 » Automatic flag. Your input needed. « Previous Next »
By Matthew Bird (ldr) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 8:19 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'm an Industrial Technology Major in a product design class and my team was asked to come up with an original product. Without getting into the actual mechanism, How many of you would be interested in a product that would automaticaly raise a flag after a rider has fallen and would also go back down as the rider starts up again. as part of the class we need to see if there is a demand for the product and that is what we are trying to find out with this post. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 8:37 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
"Automatic" would imply that the unit would be able to sense that the rider is no longer....hanging on to the handle? I thing the sensing part would be rather simple, but the difficult part may be the Law! I won't try to quote the law (I'll leave that for someone else) but I believe that at least some states require an "Observer" handle the flag. If that's true but is the MINORITY of states...then your still open for business. If it's the MAJORITY of states, well, try again.
Good luck

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 8:40 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
You got me thinking.
How about a device that would automatically adjust the Bennet style trim tabs (one left one right) to automatically level the boat left/right? Is this idea worth a few bucks? my Swiss bank acct # is......
Good luck

(Message edited by nvsairwarrior on September 22, 2004)

By GD (greatdane) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 8:57 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Just clip a transmitter on the riders waste - when he is in the water - no signal - when he is out of the water - signal. Lower the flag when you get a signal - raise the flag when you get no signal. Its pretty safe too because the flag is up when the signal is not there - thus, signal failures will only cause the flag to go up. But, since many boats may have a transmitter, every transmitter would need a unique code -- not too hard, just a bit more advanced. The hard part is the power flag. Its a tough problem to solve for $249 or $199 retail. Anything more seriously hurts any hope for volume. We have seen this with the current "gold-plated" power flag.
By joe sprague (joeysprague) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 9:10 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
pretty good idea. very original actually. a little too "inspector gadget" for me though. And i'd question the lack of the human element involved in judging when to truly raise and lower a flag. i personally wouldn't like to rely on a mechanism to indicate to other boats around me that i am down, which is very often. to be honest i would probably not buy something like that but good luck with it Matt.
By Darren Yearsley (ralph) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 9:42 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
You could rig it up with a pully and spring for fairly cheap, the tention on the rope pulls the flag down resisting the spring, when no tention flag goes up using the force of the spring, recoiling the rope a bit. Easy, no RF or motor required.

(Message edited by ralph on September 22, 2004)

(Message edited by ralph on September 22, 2004)

By Darren Yearsley (ralph) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 10:01 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Like this maybe?

Even better would be to totally replace the tow ball with a mechanism that coverts the back force to raise the flag without interfering with the rope directly. The clever engineer types will have it designed in 2 minutes.

By GD (greatdane) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 10:08 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Darren, one problem with your idea is that fact that the rope and handle pull pretty hard in the water when the boat is moving. Also, if your spring is significant it will act like added stretch in the rope.
By Matthew Bird (ldr) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 10:10 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Well yeah this class is training us to be the better engineer types. We already have some promising ideas on how to make it work. the part that the instructor wants us to do first is to check the market to see if there is a demand. That's what i'm hoping to do now. The end goal is to have a working prototype by the end of the semester.
By Mike (mikeski) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 10:21 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Use a perfect pass slalom or jump switch with a light setting, a 2-3 second delay circuit, to trigger one of the existing semi-auto flag systems and you are done...
By Matthew Bird (ldr) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 10:45 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
we would if we had unlimited funds but we have to fund our own product. again we are not looking for ideas from people. we are looking to see if there is an interest for this product.
By GD (greatdane) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 10:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Matt, I think there is huge interest alongside significant liability and legal issues.
By Matthew Bird (ldr) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
well if they allowed that stupid "solo" watercraft that you could control with the handle i think we are ok with this one. Remember with "solo" when the rider went down the flag would raise and the watercraft would circle until the rider could get back up with it
By Darren Yearsley (ralph) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:30 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
If I required one (we don't in NZ) I would buy for sure, especially if it was bling bling.

Dane, you might be right, testing would determine if there was enough of a difference between towing a rider and towing a handle for it to be effective. Have you made a decision about a new boat yet? 05 VLX to big for you?

By GD (greatdane) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 12:02 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I will probably stick with my 2000 VLX. I am pretty darn happy with it -- all aspects -- plus its paid for and it has gone through it's significant depreciation.

I don't want a bigger boat or a rampier wake, so the new VLX does not excite me.

By Brandon (bdogg) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 4:26 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
we have actually been tossing this idea around all summer. I think instead of automatic, why not just have a button/switch that can raise and lower the flag. This would be mounted inside the tower and when raised, it would stick up a couple feet above the tower. For me this would solve two problems: 1)boats not seeing my flag because bimini is in the way 2) flagger getting sore shoulder from holding the flag up too long while rider is adjusting, or new rider learning.
By Brandon (bdogg) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 4:28 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
The button/switch wouldn't be mounted inside the tower, the flag would. The button(s) would be mounted on the steering wheel and another on the passenger side.
By Rod Rinnert (deltahoosier) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 5:49 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Look on my profile...It is called the power flag by Soap Buddy.
By jeff (waterdog2) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 6:43 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I would say the number of posts to your question shows serious interest in your product. There is a sucker bourn every minuit! Just ask ron popeel
By Brett Davis (bdavis) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 6:47 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I made a couple custom semi-auto flags. They turned out nice but for the amount of time I spent making them I'd have to charge way too much to profit.

By Mark (grampawakerider) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 11:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I have a "automatic" spring loaded flag hold I got from Barts. Rider down, press the lever and the flag pops up. Rider up, recock the mechanism. At first I thought it was cool, but it turned out to be a pain when I only had me and two riders because it's mounted in the back end of the boat and we sit up front with just a threesome. Now we just use it as a flag holder when the rider is getting back on board.
By Jason Craveiro (s4inor) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 11:38 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Brett, what did you use to drive the flag? Linear actuator?
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