Lightning protecting "ZAP Bag" - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-03-2012 Thread Starter
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Lightning protecting "ZAP Bag"

After reviewing radar reflector patents, I realize I do not want to patent it as the return in a reasonable time is less than the roughly $15,000 cost of a patent.
So, I can disclose that my stowable radar reflector is made from silver coated ripstop nylon fabric sewn with silver coated thread (who woulda ever thought such a thing exists). However, I have about 2 sq feet of the stuff left. It is very good conductor, What to do with it..........
OK, I will make a bag out of it to put electronics in for when you are in a lightning storm. The excellent electrical conductive properties will not allow passage of EMP from lightning. To seal it, believe it or not, they sell silver coated velcro.
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-06-2012
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Re: Lightning protecting "ZAP Bag"

Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
After reviewing radar reflector patents, I realize I do not want to patent it as the return in a reasonable time is less than the roughly $15,000 cost of a patent.
Not sure where you got the $15,000 figure for a patent, probably from the crook that got me for $14,000 on my first patent! It was so bad the PTO allowed me to get it reissued with expanded claims on the grounds of poor legal advice.

My other three patents only cost me about $3000 a piece, and two of them I licensed to others. Some patents can cost way more, but your concept sounds quite simple.

I don't know what experience you have selling something you've designed, but I've had some bad results along the way. I got sued in a personal injury suit where someone got injured on a bad copy of something I built. They had one of mine too, but everyone except the guy who actually got hurt lied about how he got hurt. My employer, a startup got sued too, and closed as a result, so I lost my job and spent $15,000 defending myself! Some things you sell have no statute of limitations, 30 years from now a sheriff could be knocking on your door!

Make sure you protect yourself!

Gary H. Lucas
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-07-2012
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Re: Lightning protecting "ZAP Bag"

Jeez, frogwatch, you've got to read up a little on history. Radar reflective flags, made with a metallized innner layer, were on the market at least 20 years ago. They went away because like most simple radar reflectors, they were tested and found to be substantially invisible. Check out th eold issues of Practical Sailor, I think the tests were in there among other places.

Creative thinking is great--but there's a reason why folks study what has been done, and what has failed, before. Y'all spinning your wheels for nothing.
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