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New Gearbox Shifts In Zero Milliseconds!

Old 03-16-2004, 04:10 PM
  #31  
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Ya...The segway is, to use one of my favorite lines, a perfectly good answer to a question absolutely noone was asking.

A cool peice of technology, but pretty useless.
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Old 03-16-2004, 04:44 PM
  #32  
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Originally posted by hp_nut
Perfectly serious. It's an amazing machine created by a true genius and it is in the process of revolutionizing human transportation.

This tranny development is along similar lines if true.
OT, but....
Have you seen the knock off segways? All they did is add some little wheels to the back which eliminates all the gyro crap. Serves the same purpose but costs less than $1,000.
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Old 03-16-2004, 05:59 PM
  #33  
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Originally posted by Ken S
I know we're getting off track but.. wait.

Do you really believe that?

I mean the Segway is neat.. as in its a neat toy, for laughs and giggles, if you have the extra money to blow on basically a fancy scooter.. (i know its alot more complicated than that, but end functionality is pretty close)

But revolutionize human transportation??? Perhaps if we got soo lazy and stopped walking... and it became really cheap.. but I think I'll rely on my two legs for now.
They have their place. Mainly in major cities where police and postal workers are already using them. This is where I think the Segway will become common.

Revolutionize is too strong a term. It's a serious machine and it will become a norm in urban environments as the price comes down. Cost is a major inhibitor of acceptance of the Segway. It will have to compete pricewise with a high end bikes which cost around 500-800 bucks.

You know the bicycle was greeted the same way. Same with the car.
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Old 03-17-2004, 06:37 AM
  #34  
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Just thought I'd pop by to say hi.

Responding to a couple of points in the thread...
- ZeroShift is NOT CVT (or even similar to CVT).
- The gear ratios stay in the gearbox - it's synchromesh or dog clutches that we replace. There's other work done as well but when you take the lid off a ZeroShift box, most of it looks pretty familiar.
- While shifts are smooth, you still get the drop in engine note as you upshift but ZeroShift enables the kind of shift you'd LIKE to be able to achieve i.e. keep the momentum going, fast as possible. It doesn't remove the fun from driving.

Finally, ZeroShift is for real. The mental block you get when thinking about it comes from generations of the status quo. Manumatics etc etc are just complexity added to 80 year old principles (and you can drive better yourself than with robotised shifts). ZeroShift is a different core principle - that's what's so important. However...

The Lenco analogy in the thread is highly relevant. ZeroShift can do what a Lenco does, but both up AND down the ratios (a Lenco can only upshift). What can you deduce from this? Firstly, ZeroShift will be up to the job of a lot of horsepower. Secondly, 'zero-shifting' has a proven precedent ergo the driveline doesn't explode when you ZeroShift. Thirdly, like the Lenco, a ZeroShift shift time is ZERO, absolutely zero, not 'salesman's zero'.

What you might also deduce is that a Top Fuel car gearbox can't be street-able in limos. That's the really smart bit because actually it can: a ZeroShift gearbox is fast AND smooth and doesn't have backlash. Gearboxes could have been made this way in the 1920s, but it would not have occurred to them as the engineering priorities were different back then.

For serious power junkies, ZeroShift solves an old problem. When you beef the motor up to a few hundred horsepower, you have to install a tough transmission. 'Tough' synchros are slow and heavy. Dog rings wear out quickly if you don't drive a dog box properly.

I race a 702bhp 427ci Cobra which, at the moment, runs a 4-speed Toploader. Even with a 'quick shift' kit, the shift is cumbersome and recalcitrant at temperature extremes. The quicker you try and shift, the more the darned thing baulks. I'm not sure what the market would be for a ZeroShift Toploader but as a 'skunk works' project we'll certainly make one for ourselves.

Once you've ZeroShifted, ordinary gearshifts - however hard you try - feel dreadfully slow afterwards.

Call BS if you must but the need for confidentiality while we process the patent portfolio must be pretty obvious? It won't be long now before the UK media drives our TVR Cerbera. Then you can put down your BS flag!

Last edited by ZeroShift; 03-17-2004 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:02 PM
  #35  
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Originally posted by hp_nut
Perfectly serious. It's an amazing machine created by a true genius and it is in the process of revolutionizing human transportation.
Sir, you just described the bicycle, and not that overengineered Rube Goldberg device called the Segway.

Unless, that is, you feel that something 4 times as heavy and 30 times as costly constitutes an "improvement", even neglecting the fact that it's slower and gives up the bicycle's brilliant system of dynamic stabilization (which is *not* related to the gyroscopic effect, BTW) for an overwraught solution involving gyros and an insanely complex control system.

The Segway, quite possibly, is the best example I can think of to show just how far off-track this society has gotten with its worship of pure technological content with little or no regard to practical function. The term "elegant design solution" doesn't come to mind when reading about multiple 32-bit processors and motors with redundant windings.

Back to the original topic, I'd still like to see the guts of this ZeroShift trans - betcha it bears more than some resemblence to a semi-auto motorcycle drag transmission

Dean Kamen has improved thousands of lives with his medical equipment - he should stick to that.
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Old 03-17-2004, 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by Eric Bryant
Back to the original topic, I'd still like to see the guts of this ZeroShift trans - betcha it bears more than some resemblence to a semi-auto motorcycle drag transmission
You'll be able to see the guts in due course. The extent of "some resemblance" would make winning/losing the bet a grey area!

ZeroShift is a solidly engineered solution - it's "simple" stuff like reliable function with a gear stick that's caused more niggles than the mechanism itself! If we stuck a 'manumatic' contraption and computer on the box, we could have solved the niggles. Thing is, we believe manumatic stuff is a problem in itself so we persevered with the simpler, more elegant solution of making the gear stick work. ZeroShift IS an "elegant design solution" - surprisingly so!

The thing is, just because it looks simple now, doesn't mean it was easy to work out! Bill Martin has been to technical hell and back to end up with this system and the engineering team that works with him are IMHO the best in the business.

Best of all, because we can go straight into the aftermarket, it means real enthusiasts get at the technology at the same time as the race guys. One enthusiast to another, that has to be good news!
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Old 03-17-2004, 01:03 PM
  #37  
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Zeroshift,

Would the addition of zero shift technology to an existing automatic transmission significantly extend its life and/or decrease the heat built up inside from shifting?

Also, I'm interested to hear your perspective on your new technology as compared to that of CVT.

In my opinion, your technology seems like kind of a stepping stone toward CVT... something to carry us over in the interum.

Obviously your technology can handle more power and might be more reliable and standardized at the moment, but it seems like somebody improving upon the horse and carriage in the late 1800s... it was nice for a few years until the automobile started taking over.
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Old 03-17-2004, 01:30 PM
  #38  
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Threxx,

Firstly, ZeroShift is based on constant mesh manuals - NOT planetary autos. It's a conversion for 3-pedal cars for now but give us a bit of time and the 2-pedal 'ultimate ZeroShift' box will appear. This will probably be in a new car to showcase the full advantages of ZeroShift.

Secondly, to answer the question about CVT. You can read an appraisal of transmission types on our web site under 'What it is'. CVT/IVT are under the heading "The Variables"

CVT (continuously variable transmission) has never caught on in volumes. It has its advocates but it replaces neither manuals nor planetary autos, the classic showroom choices

IVT (infinitely variable transmission). Similar concept to CVT (ie a ‘stepless’ transmission) but it uses a ‘variator’ instead of bands and belts to give infinite gear ratios. Like CVT, it replaces neither of the classics. Unlike CVT, you can’t buy it in a showroom yet.

A quick note to finish off the CVT and IVT issue: F1 teams would not have more than 7 gears even if the regulations allowed. One can conclude from this that there is no need to have more than 7 gears ...so why would you need ‘continuously variable’ or ‘infinite’ ratios? Given that engines have a continuously/infinitely variable throttle and a broad power/efficiency band, it is easy to understand why 7 gears will suffice.

Williams F1 tried a CVT car in the F1 turbo era when peak power was a narrow spike so the lap time improvement appeared exceptional against contemporary manual F1 boxes of the time. Today, automated F1 shifts are 50ms or better and the engines have wider torque spreads. That alone would narrow the notional gap between a CVT and the current sequential. However, factor in a Zero millisecond shift (and our weight advantage) and the CVT would be beaten.

ZeroShift is not a stepping stone to CVT - it surpasses it.
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Old 03-17-2004, 01:46 PM
  #39  
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CVT or IVT, in theory, also have 0 second shift times because they never shift. Not only that, but properly programmed, they can give the best RPM for performance and/or economy based on throttle position, the given engine's torque and horsepower bands, etc.

I don't understand how an automatic or manumatic that shifts in zero seconds but yet is still limited by the fact that it has to deal with one of a limited number of ratios, can be superior.

Sure there's not that much of an advantage of an infinite number of gears to 7 gears that shift instantly... but infinite and continuously variable/adaptive is still going to be better than a limited number of ratios unless you have a motor that has completely flat power curve and has equal efficiency at any RPM which is rare if not technically impossible with current motor technology.
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Old 03-17-2004, 01:58 PM
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So .... why haven't you got a CVT in your Lexus?
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Old 03-17-2004, 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by ZeroShift
So .... why haven't you got a CVT in your Lexus?
Because there isn't a CVT that can handle 300hp/325tq yet.
But I still see your point, as there are still plenty of vehicles out there that make peak power well within the current power handling capabilities of a CVT transmission. Yet a CVT is not an available option.


CVTs are a completely new concept and completely new concepts take time to be refined and adapted to by the market place.

Most people are used to feeling their car shift, and most manufacturers are scared of bringing a technology like this on full-scale. Nissan, Ford, Honda, and Audi all have vehicles with CVTs... and others are looking very closely at the technology, but seem to be hesitant to be the market place's test dummies.

Like I said... right now I think your technology is more adaptable to the marketplace... but it seems like we're less than a decade away from any type of limited-ratio transmission from being found in any vehicle, unless people just want that old nostalgic feeling of gears shifting, or engineers are unable to further refine CVTs to take more power more reliably.

As it stands now, CVTs haven't really proven their real-world reliability. But in theory they should be capable of running practically forever with their lack of moving parts. And with their lack of complexity, when they do break or need to be maintained, it should be a very simple operation (relatively speaking)

Again... I'm no engineer... I'm just playing the devil's advocate and calling it as I see it.
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Old 03-17-2004, 02:11 PM
  #42  
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Originally posted by ZeroShift
So .... why haven't you got a CVT in your Lexus?

B/c they break!! I recently heard Saturn was either stopping production of their CVT or recalling them(Its installed in their suv) because they were breaking too often.

Well, I guess i know what I'm going to be doing with my T56 when i swap it (with the LS1) into my car!! Any ideas on when these things will be available over here?

BTW, can you comment on the (if any) differences between shifting a conventional 5 or 6-speed to a zero shift. Such as, do you still use the clutch pedal, do you just yank on the shifter when you want to shift? I guess what i'm getting at is: in actual use, what does the driver do differently?
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Old 03-17-2004, 02:58 PM
  #43  
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You guys are great ambassadors for CVT with great faith in science to solve its inherent difficulties. I don't believe it will happen but that's a personal opinion. It's not new - it's decades old and still doesn't work very well. It'll do for golf caddies I guess...

What does ZeroShift feel like?

You launch in the conventional way by selecting first and feeding in the clutch. Thereafter you just move (no need to yank, you can't go faster than zero!) the gearstick for upshifts and downshifts. Automated launch control may be an option - we can do it but don't expect enthusiasts to want it. A bit of wheelspin is often beneficial for fast launches and your backside is the best sensor of all for that. There's a 'vote for products' bit on our web site, FYI.

Because ZeroShift FlatLiner maintains constant torque from the output shaft to the driven wheels, it's effectively controlling traction through the shift too. Plus, it's not yanking the driveline bushes and mountings. Changing gear mid-corner is safe too - great for track days!

The feeling is uninterrupted acceleration with a quick change of engine note every time you move the stick. Constant shove in the back. AWESOME! No chance to catch your breath as you go up the gears just acceleration acceleration acceleration... It's the kind of shift you aspire to!

Hear our TVR Cerbera drive by and change gear and even your mother would realise something odd is going on. It SOUNDS quick!

My TVR Cerbera does 0-100mph in about 8 seconds (an Autocar tester once recorded a 7.9). There are two gear shifts in there. On a good day, I might do them in 0.5 - 0.75 seconds each. With ZeroShift, I do them instantly with no risk of clumsily re-lighting the tires into 2nd. So 6.5 secs 0-100mph from 420bhp? FEELS like it - we'll let Autocar measure it. We'd like to think we'll match the $1M McLaren F1's 6.3 secs time with a $100K sports car. Would be cool!

A Z28 or Z06 will be mighty too! I've got a manual C5 ragtop lined up waiting for one of our first T56s. The T56 is a god-awful shift - like stirring porridge in a wide arc. It NEEDS ZeroShift!

UK deliveries of T5/T56 through approved Speedshops from later this year. [Official] exports a year later.
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Old 03-17-2004, 03:16 PM
  #44  
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Originally posted by ZeroShift
You guys are great ambassadors for CVT with great faith in science to solve its inherent difficulties. I don't believe it will happen but that's a personal opinion. It's not new - it's decades old and still doesn't work very well. It'll do for golf caddies I guess...
Don't get me wrong... I appreciate your effort with this Zeroshift technology and expect it to be well-received, depending on its added cost, especially in the performance market. I just, as I said, think CVT is slowly on its way to replacing just about everything else out there.

The first attempt at CVT was found in cars as far as 20 years ago, I believe it was Saab that tried it out and failed miserably. Nothing much was heard in that foray until recently. I'm not sure what changed as far as the way CVT was engineered, but now instead of just Saab going for a 1 or 2 year stint and crawling back to standard transmissions, we have several large-name manufacturers using CVTs for several of their models and as far as I've heard, there's many more vehicles using CVTs to come. In other words, last time it seemed like a failed experiment of the concept. Now it seems like it's building momentum, and unless every CVT vehicle under the sun starts breaking down more often and at a greater expense than their auto tranny counterparts, there's no reason for this recent push to lose its momentum.

Displacement on demand (think back to Caddy's 4-6-8), hybrid electric vehicles, non-mechanically actuated valves, and variable valve timing have all 'been around' for decades. But it sure seems to me like all four of these technologies are starting to make a strong entrance into mainstream technology.

And so is CVT, in my opinion.
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Old 03-17-2004, 03:27 PM
  #45  
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Originally posted by ZeroShift
What does ZeroShift feel like?

You launch in the conventional way by selecting first and feeding in the clutch. Thereafter you just move (no need to yank, you can't go faster than zero!) the gearstick for upshifts and downshifts. Automated launch control may be an option - we can do it but don't expect enthusiasts to want it. A bit of wheelspin is often beneficial for fast launches and your backside is the best sensor of all for that. There's a 'vote for products' bit on our web site, FYI.

Because ZeroShift FlatLiner maintains constant torque from the output shaft to the driven wheels, it's effectively controlling traction through the shift too. Plus, it's not yanking the driveline bushes and mountings. Changing gear mid-corner is safe too - great for track days!

The feeling is uninterrupted acceleration with a quick change of engine note every time you move the stick. Constant shove in the back. AWESOME! No chance to catch your breath as you go up the gears just acceleration acceleration acceleration... It's the kind of shift you aspire to!

Hear our TVR Cerbera drive by and change gear and even your mother would realise something odd is going on. It SOUNDS quick!

My TVR Cerbera does 0-100mph in about 8 seconds (an Autocar tester once recorded a 7.9). There are two gear shifts in there. On a good day, I might do them in 0.5 - 0.75 seconds each. With ZeroShift, I do them instantly with no risk of clumsily re-lighting the tires into 2nd. So 6.5 secs 0-100mph from 420bhp? FEELS like it - we'll let Autocar measure it. We'd like to think we'll match the $1M McLaren F1's 6.3 secs time with a $100K sports car. Would be cool!

A Z28 or Z06 will be mighty too! I've got a manual C5 ragtop lined up waiting for one of our first T56s. The T56 is a god-awful shift - like stirring porridge in a wide arc. It NEEDS ZeroShift!

UK deliveries of T5/T56 through approved Speedshops from later this year. [Official] exports a year later.
Cool, thats what I was expecting/ hoping to hear At the moment I don't own/ drive a T56 car, so I guess I'm glad to hear that ZeroShift will improve things. This should help me when I'm finally ready to race my friends' turbo MR2 and Turbo II RX-7 esp. at a road track Keep up the good work and I hope to be able to take advantage of this within the next 2 yrs!

- Steve
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