Anybody in the business of doing design review?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by tracecom, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    I have a fairly simple circuit with a couple of variants that I plan to have manufactured in medium quantities after the appropriate performance testing, safety evaluations, field trials, design for manufacturabilty reviews, and subsequent revisions. I have prototyped the unit and proven the concept; next, I would like to build some field trial units, but before I have the PCB layout done, I need a review of the circuit with an eye to safety, component selection, life expectancy, and manufacturability.

    Although I will apply for patent protection, its value (if granted) is dubious, therefore my best hope for avoiding knockoffs is probably confidentiality. I know that I could certainly get some valuable (and free) feedback on this forum by publishing the schematic and details of the unit, but I would rather pay some knowledgable person(s) for their time and expertise in return for a confidentiality guarantee.

    If you are interested, please contact me with your credentials and let's see what we can work out.
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Just to help out, can you give a vague idea of the PCB function? Like analog or digital? Takes in <this> and outputs <that>?
     
  3. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

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    Sure, it's analog, uses a couple of op-amps, a transistor or two, a triac and/or a MOSFET. It will be very simple to most electronic designers (which I am not...I am just an experimenter.) There is also a single voltage power supply requirement. Thanks for your question.
     
  4. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

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    Well, I can't hang an EE after my name, and I have enough on my plate making stuff for my little business. But that might help bring someone out of the weeds.
     
  5. retched

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    Dec 5, 2009
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    If it is not a high speed, or audio design, this should be a straight forward job.

    I know little about the qualifications for life margins.. There are some who have experience with this.. There is also BURT (I think)

    It simulates a bunch of variables over time to check for circuit and part life-times.
     
  6. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    I have had experience with this,you can patent attorneys that have
    designers working with them.There Is no such thing as protection.
    Not even with an patent attorneys,they tell you out front that there
    that they will not sign non-disclosure forms.You can pay a lot of money
    and many costly expenses before you find out that no work has been done
    on your project.There Is alot of posting on the forum on how best to proceed.
    The patent office can pull the rug from under your feet,all universities are patent
    machines,so you can't depend on your school.The library has free seminars
    that the small business Administration,S.O.R.C.E.,a man made millionaire at the
    end ,they good luck,a wasted evening.Hedge funds in a good economy will back
    things If you can find one If you have something good they seem to find you.
    Thousands of dollars later,Good luck.Then you have to deal with the government
    rules that don't allow you to move a stone.
     
  7. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    OK ....What about giving me to try it...confidentiality guaranteed
     
  8. retched

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    Dec 5, 2009
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    Loosewire is right. The best way is to publish your device. This way, a company that is interested will work with you. Else they will steal your device from the patent and use there DEEP pockets to bust your patent. They can find ART somewhere that some kid did 30 years ago for a school assignment that looks like your device and then your have an invalid patent.

    Plain and simple, If its a good product, you will be fine.

    Do what you are doing, minus patent, and get it on the market. If people buy it, your doing good. WHEN Chinese duplicators dupe it, it will be competition, just use better supplies. Keep doing fairly inexpensive things like changing packaging.
     
  9. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    This can be a tricky thing. Anyone who takes on this work is opening themselves up to liability. For example, many of us here could even offer to help you for free privately after signing a confidentiality agreement. Personally, I would have no problem doing that as a favor. The thing is, this is the classic case of "no good deed goes unpunished". Any oversights could cause you to lose money, and the person who helps you would be liable.

    The two ways to handle this are,

    1.) to get an established expert with liability insurance and a history of doing this work. But, this is expensive.

    2.) Find a trusted friend with experience. He will promise full due diligence, and you will promise freedom from liability. He will work for free as a friend.

    Number 2 is preferred if you have such a friend.

    If these are not acceptable, then the work you already outlined above is very reasonable, and you can add using the MIL217 handbook to estimate operational lifetime. This can help identify unreliable components or insufficient safety margins on power capability, working voltage etc.

    Here is a site where you can purchase the military handbook.

    http://store.mil-standards.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=13j

    There might even be a way to get this for free, or at least cheaper. I remember about 10 years ago somehow getting it for free, but I can't remember how.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  10. retched

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    It is rather tricky without knowing the nature of the device / circuit. If someone were to take it on, just to realize after signing the ND and seeing the circuit, that it outside their professional realm.

    For instance, you could be dealing with digital signal processing and the person you have hired is an analog guy, there may be some trouble.

    Finding a company whom employs talent from every end would be key.

    All in all, you may want to start with a friendly overview to point you in the right direction. This can be a favor, like steveb mentioned.

    If you are THAT worried about leaks and confidentiality, it will cost some money.

    There are many penniless inventors and many rich manufacturers and marketers.

    Market it right, and the competition falls to the wayside.
     
  11. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Unless the invention is truly huge, the patenting process is more a means of increasing your overhead. Unless you can afford to take cases into court, there is no protection. It only gives you a basis for the suit, but won't pay for the lawyer.
     
  12. R!f@@

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    Apr 2, 2009
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    One thing I like to know.
    Is there any one in AAC that would make OP's circuit to make money.
    My answer is, I will not.

    Who else?
     
  13. retched

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    Neither would I, but we cant stop THE WORLD from reading whats posted.

    There are thousands of people just guests, or peek and leapers.

    But if your device turns mud into gold, I wouldn't trust anyone. ;)
     
  14. blueroomelectronics

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    Jul 22, 2007
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    I hope it's not an LED tester (see OPs other thread)

    Don't bother with a Patent unless your sales are 12M +
     
  15. Bychon

    Member

    Mar 12, 2010
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    The only experience I've had was a charlatin trying to do "invention marketing". I gave him a drawing of a resistor in series with a pot (volume control) with input and output jacks. He came back with 19 pages of what a wonderful, state of the art, revolutionary invention I had. What a load of BS!!

    So many people looking for the next sucker :-(
     
  16. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    I told you I was no engineer. :)
    I'm a marketing guy...through and through. I just happen to have cobbled up a solution to a need in a growing market.
     
  17. loosewire

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    Apr 25, 2008
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    Look at R.C.A. they probabally around buried into some
    company,these companies you don't hear there name
    every day Like Raytheon they were making tubes then
    you hear that they developed a misssle system,these guys
    can go the policical route also,get Congress to change
    langage to shut you out.
     
  18. blueroomelectronics

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    Jul 22, 2007
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    Then just build and sell your device. You can apply for a Patent but it's probably not worth the effort for a small run of product. Something cobbled together will probably not hold up to a Patent search anyway. You will need a Patent lawyer (don't even try to do it yourself) and $100k+ for a worldwide patent.
    This is a good read from an electronics guru.
    http://www.tinaja.com/glib/casagpat.pdf

    I could help more but would need to know what your invention is supposed to do.
     
  19. t06afre

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    May 11, 2009
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    If you patent a device. You will in same time make a detailed description about your invention public. Anyone who want to read about may do so
     
  20. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    My experience is the idea is the thing, there is usually a lot of ways to do the same thing, which makes patents hard. This works in software as well as hardware.

    I tend to go with the consensus, make the sucker, sell as many copies as you can up front, and then be prepared to let it go. Harsh, but this is globalization and corporate America for you.
     
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