Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2733125 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2733125
(54) English Title: CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION
(54) French Title: TRANSMISSION A CHANGEMENT DE VITESSES CONTINU
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • F16H 61/664 (2006.01)
  • F16H 57/023 (2012.01)
  • B62M 11/12 (2006.01)
  • F16H 15/16 (2006.01)
  • F16H 15/50 (2006.01)
  • F16H 55/32 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • MILLER, DONALD C. (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • FALLBROOK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY COMPANY LLC (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • MOTION TECHNOLOGIES, LLC (United States of America)
(74) Agent: FETHERSTONHAUGH & CO.
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2013-02-26
(22) Filed Date: 2000-10-24
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2001-05-31
Examination requested: 2011-03-01
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
60/165,037 United States of America 1999-11-12
60/186,495 United States of America 2000-03-02
61/193,144 United States of America 2000-03-29

English Abstract

An assembly for generating axial force in a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is described. The mechanism includes a drive disc of the CVT, a plurality of ramps, a plurality of ramp bearings coupling the plurality of ramps to the drive disc, and a spring configured to bias the ramp bearings up the ramps.


French Abstract

Ensemble permettant de générer une force axiale dans une transmission à changement de vitesse continu. Le mécanisme comprend un disque d'entraînement de la transmission à changement de vitesse continu, plusieurs rampes, plusieurs articulations de rampe raccordant plusieurs rampes au disque d'entraînement et un ressort configuré pour presser les articulations de rampes contre les rampes.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.




THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION IN WHICH AN EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OR
PRIVILEGE IS CLAIMED ARE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:


1. An assembly for generating axial force in a continuously variable
transmission
(CVT), the assembly comprising:

a drive disc of the CVT;
a plurality of ramps;

a plurality of ramp bearings coupling the plurality of ramps to the drive
disc; and
a spring configured to bias the ramp bearings up the ramps.

2. The assembly of Claim 1, further comprising a bearing cage adapted to
receive and
support the ramp bearings.

3. The assembly of Claim 2, wherein the spring couples the drive disc to the
bearing
cage.

4. The assembly of Claim 3, wherein the spring comprises a coil spring.

5. The assembly of Claim 3, wherein the ramps are formed on the drive disc.

6. The assembly of Claim 1, further comprising a bearing disc, wherein the
ramps and
the ramp bearings are interposed between the drive disc and the bearing disc.

7. The assembly of Claim 6, wherein the ramps are formed on the bearing disc.
8. The assembly of Claim 7, wherein the ramps are formed on the drive disc.

9. The assembly of Claim 2, further comprising a bearing disc, wherein the
ramps and
the ramp bearings are interposed between the drive disc and the bearing disc,

10. The assembly of Claim 9, wherein the spring couples the bearing disc to
the bearing
cage.

11. A method of generating a clamping force in a continuously variable
transmission
(CVT), the method comprising:

providing a drive disc of the CVT;
providing a plurality of ramps;


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operationally coupling the ramps to the drive disc with a plurality of ramp
bearings;
and

biasing the ramp bearings up the ramps with a spring.

12. The method of Claim 11, further comprising providing a bearing cage for
supporting
and locating the ramp bearings.

13. The method of Claim 12, further comprising providing a bearing disc,
wherein the
ramps and ramp bearings are interposed between the bearing disc and the drive
disc.

14. The method of Claim 13, wherein the ramps are formed on the bearing disc
or the
drive disc.

15. The method of Claim 14, wherein the ramps are formed on the bearing disc
and the
drive disc.

16. The method of Claim 13, wherein the ramps couple to one or both of the
bearing disc
and the drive disc.

17. The method of Claim 13, wherein the spring couples the bearing cage to
either of the
drive disc or the bearing disc.

18. The method of Claim 17, wherein the spring comprises a coiled spring.

19. The method of Claim 13, wherein the spring couples the bearing disc to the
drive
disc,

20. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) comprising:
a drive disc of the CVT;

a plurality of ramps;

a plurality of ramp bearings operationally coupling the ramps and the drive
disc; and
a spring configured to bias the ramp bearings up the ramps.

21. The CVT of Claim 20, further comprising a bearing cage configured to
support and to
locate the ramp bearings.

22. The CVT of Claim 21, further comprising a bearing disc, wherein the ramps
and the
ramp bearings are interposed between the bearing disc and the drive disc.
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23. The CVT of Claim 22, wherein the spring couples the bearing disc to the
drive disc,
24. The CVT of Claim 22, wherein the spring couples the bearing disc to the
bearing
cage.

25. The CVT of Claim 22, wherein the spring couples the drive disc to the
bearing cage.
26. The CVT of Claim 22, wherein the ramps are integrally formed on either or
both of
the bearing disc and the drive disc.

27. The CVT of Claim 22, wherein the spring comprises a coil spring.
28. The CVT of Claim 20, wherein the drive disc is coupled to a screw.

29. The CVT of Claim 21, wherein the drive disc drives a plurality of power
adjusters.

30. The CVT of Claim 21, wherein the drive disc is driven by a plurality of
power
adjusters.

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Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


CA 02733125 2011-03-01

CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION

This application is divided from Canadian Patent Application Serial Number
2,707,702 which is divided from application Serial Number 2,681,331 which is
divided from
application Serial Number 2,648,320 which is divided from application Serial
Number
2,388,988 filed October 24, 2000.

Background of the Invention
Field of the Invention
The field of the invention relates to transmissions. More particularly the
invention
relates to continuously variable transmissions.
Description of the Related Art
In order to provide an infinitely variable transmission, various traction
roller
transmissions in which power is transmitted through traction rollers supported
in a housing
between torque input and output disks have been developed. In such
transmissions, the
traction rollers are mounted on support structures which, when pivoted, cause
the
engagement of traction rollers with the torque disks in circles of varying
diameters depending
on the desired transmission ratio.
However, the success of these traditional solutions has been limited. For
example, in
U.S. Patent No. 5,236,403 to Schievelbusch, a driving hub for a vehicle with a
variable
adjustable transmission ratio is disclosed. Schievelbusch teaches the use of
two iris plates,
one on each side of the traction rollers, to tilt the axis of rotation of each
of the rollers.
However, the use of iris plates can be very complicated due to the large
number of parts
which are required to adjust the iris plates during shifting the transmission.
Another difficulty
with this transmission is that it has a guide ring which is configured to be
predominantly
stationary in relation to each of the rollers. Since the guide ring is
stationary, shifting the axis
of rotation of each of the traction rollers is difficult. Yet another
limitation of this design is that
it requires the use of two half axles, one on each side of the rollers, to
provide a gap in the
middle of the two half axles. The gap is necessary because the rollers are
shifted with
rotating motion instead of sliding linear motion. The use of two axles is not
desirable and
requires a complex fastening system to prevent the axles from bending when the
transmission is accidentally bumped, is as often the case when a transmission
is employed in
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CA 02733125 2012-03-09

a vehicle. Yet another limitation of this design is that it does not provide
for an automatic
transmission.
Therefore, there is a need for a continuously variable transmission with a
simpler
shifting method, a single axle, and a support ring having a substantially
uniform outer
surface. Additionally, there is a need for an automatic traction roller
transmission that is
configured to shift automatically. Further, the practical commercialization of
traction roller
transmissions requires improvements in the reliability, ease of shifting,
function and simplicity
of the transmission.

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CA 02733125 2012-03-09

Summary of the Invention

The systems and methods herein described have several features, no single one
of
which is solely responsible for its desirable attributes. Without limiting the
scope as
expressed by the claims that follow, its more prominent features will now be
discussed
briefly. After considering this discussion, and particularly after reading the
section entitled
"Detailed Description of Certain Inventive Embodiments" one will understand
how the
features of the system and methods provide several advantages over traditional
systems and
methods.
One aspect of the invention relates to an assembly for generating axial force
in a
continuously variable transmission (CVT). In one embodiment, the assembly has
a drive disc
of the CVT. The assembly is provided with a plurality of ramps and a plurality
of ramp
bearings coupling the plurality of ramps to the drive disc. The assembly has a
spring
configured to bias the ramp bearings up the ramps.
Another aspect of the invention is concerned with a method of generating a
clamping
force in a continuously variable transmission (CVT). In one embodiment, the
method
includes the step of providing a drive disc of the CVT. The method involves
providing a
plurality of ramps and operationally coupling the ramps to the drive disc with
a plurality of
ramp bearings. The method also includes the step of biasing the ramp bearings
up the
ramps with a spring.
Yet another aspect of the invention relates to a continuously variable
transmission
(CVT) having a drive disc of the CVT and a plurality of ramps. In one
embodiment, the CVT
has a plurality of ramp bearings operationally coupling the ramps and the
drive disc. The
CVT also has a spring configured to bias the ramp bearings up the ramps.

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CA 02733125 2011-03-01
Brief Description of the Drawings
Figure 1 is a cutaway side view of the transmission of the present invention.
Figure 2 is a partial perspective view of the transmission of Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a perspective view of two stationary supports of the transmission
of
Figure 1.
Figure 4 is a partial end, cross-sectional view of the transmission of Figure
1.
Figure 5 is a perspective view of a drive disc, bearing cage, screw, and ramp
bearings of the transmission of Figure 1.
Figure 6 is a perspective view of a ratchet and pawl subsystem of the
transmission of
Figure 1 that is used to engage and disengage the transmission.
Figure 7 is partial perspective view of the transmission of Figure 1, wherein,
among
other things, a rotatable drive disk has been removed.
Figure 8 is a partial perspective view of the transmission of Figure 1,
wherein, among
other things, the hub shell has been removed.
Figure 9 is a partial perspective view of the transmission of Figure 1,
wherein the
shifting is done automatically.
Figure 10 is a perspective view of the shifting handlegrip that is
mechanically
coupled to the transmission of Figure 1.
Figure 11 is an end view of a thrust bearing, of the transmission shown in
Figure 1,
which is used for automatic shifting of the transmission.
Figure 12 is an end view of the weight design of the transmission shown in
Figure 1.
Figure 13 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the transmission
bolted to a flat surface.
Figure 14 is a cutaway side view of the transmission shown in Figure 13.
Figure 15 is a schematic end view of the transmission in Figure 1 showing the
cable
routing across a spacer extension of the automatic portion of the
transmission.
Figure 16 is a schematic end view of the cable routing of the transmission
shown in
Figure 13.

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CA 02733125 2012-03-09

Detailed Description of Certain Inventive Embodiments
The following detailed description is directed to certain specific embodiments
of the
invention. However, the invention can be embodied in a multitude of different
ways as
defined and covered by the claims. In this description, reference is made to
the drawings
wherein like parts are designated with like numerals throughout. Furthermore,
embodiments
of the invention may include several novel features, no single one of which is
solely
responsible for its desirable attributes or which is essential to practicing
the inventions herein
described.
The present invention includes a continuously variable transmission that may
be
employed in connection with any type of machine that is in need of a
transmission. For
example, the transmission may be used in (i) a motorized vehicle such as an
automobile,
motorcycle, or watercraft, (ii) a non-motorized vehicle such as a bicycle,
tricycle, scooter,
exercise equipment or (iii) industrial equipment, such as a drill press, power
generating
equipment, or textile mill.
Referring to Figures 1 and 2, a continuously variable transmission 100 is
disclosed.
The transmission 100 is shrouded in a hub shell 40 covered by a hub cap 67. At
the heart of
the transmission 100 are three or more power adjusters la, 1b, 1c which are
spherical in
shape and are circumferentially spaced equally around the centerline or axis
of rotation of the
transmission 100. As seen more clearly in Figure 2, spindles 3a, 3b, 3c are
inserted through
the center of the power adjusters la, 1b, I c to define an axis of rotation
for the power
adjusters la, 1b, 1c. In Figure 1, the power adjuster's axis of rotation is
shown in the
horizontal direction. Spindle supports 2a-f are attached perpendicular to and
at the exposed
ends of the spindles 3a, 3b, 3c. In one embodiment, each of the spindles
supports have a
bore to receive one end of one of the spindles 3a, 3b, 3c. The spindles 3a,
3b, 3c also have
spindle rollers 4a-f coaxially and slidingly positioned over the exposed ends
of the spindles
3a, 3b, 3c outside of the spindle supports 2a-f.
As the rotational axis of the power adjusters la, 1b, 1c is changed by tilting
the
spindles 3a, 3b, 3c, each spindle roller 4a-f follows in a groove 6a-f cut
into a stationary
support 5a, 5b. Referring to Figures 1 and 3, the stationary supports 5a, 5b
are generally in
the form of parallel disks with an axis of rotation along the centerline of
the transmission 100.
The grooves 6a-f extend from the outer circumference of the stationary
supports 5a, 5b
towards the centerline of the transmission 100. While the sides of the grooves
6a-f are
substantially parallel, the bottom surface of the grooves 6a-f forms a
decreasing radius as it
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CA 02733125 2011-03-01

runs towards the centerline of the transmission 100. As the transmission 100
is shifted to a
lower or higher gear by changing the rotation axes of the power adjusters 1 a,
1b, 1c, each
pair of spindle rollers 4a-f, located on a single spindle 3a, 3b, 3c, moves in
opposite
directions along their corresponding grooves 6a-f.
Referring to Figures 1 and 3, a centerline hole 7a, 7b in the stationary
supports 5a,
5b allows the insertion of a hollow shaft 10 through both stationary supports
5a, 5b. Referring
to Figure 4, in an embodiment of the invention, one or more of the stationary
support holes
7a, 7b may have a non-cylindrical shape 14, which fits over a corresponding
non-cylindrical
shape 15 along the hollow shaft 10 to prevent any relative rotation between
the stationary
supports 5a, 5b and the hollow shaft 10. If the rigidity of the stationary
supports 5a, 5b is
insufficient, additional structure may be used to minimize any relative
rotation movement or
flexing of the stationary supports 5a, 5b. This type of movement by the
stationary supports
5a, 5b may cause binding of the spindle rollers 4a-f as they move along the
grooves 6a-f.
As shown in Figures 4 and 7, the additional structure may take the form of
spacers
8a, 8b, 8c attached between the stationary supports 5a, 5b. The spacers 8a,
8b, 8c add
rigidity between the stationary supports 5a, 5b and, in one embodiment, are
located near the
outer circumference of the stationary supports 5a, 5b. In one embodiment, the
stationary
supports 5a, 5b are connected to the spacers 8a, 8b, 8c by bolts or other
fastener devices
45a-f inserted through holes 46a-f in the stationary supports 5a, 5b.
Referring back to Figures 1 and 3, the stationary support 5a is fixedly
attached to a
stationary support sleeve 42, which coaxially encloses the hollow shaft 10 and
extends
through the wall of the hub shell 40. The end of the stationary support sleeve
42 that extends
through the hub shell 40 attaches to the frame support and preferentially has
a non-
cylindrical shape to enhance subsequent attachment of a torque lever 43. As
shown more
clearly in Figure 7, the torque lever 43 is placed over the non-cylindrical
shaped end of the
stationary support sleeve 42, and is held in place by a torque nut 44. The
torque lever 43 at
its other end is rigidly attached to a strong, non-moving part, such as a
frame (not shown). A
stationary support bearing 48 supports the hub shell 40 and permits the hub
shell 40 to rotate
relative to the stationary support sleeve 42.
Referring back to Figures 1 and 2, shifting is manually activated by axially
sliding a
rod 11 positioned in the hollow shaft 10. One or more pins 12 are inserted
through one or
more transverse holes in the rod 11 and further extend through one or more
longitudinal slots
16 (not shown) in the hollow shaft 10. The slots 16 in the hollow shaft 10
allow for axial
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CA 02733125 2011-03-01

movement of the pin 12 and rod 11 assembly in the hollow shaft 10. As the rod
11 slides
axially in the hollow shaft 10, the ends of the transverse pins 12 extend into
and couple with
a coaxial sleeve 19. The sleeve 19 is fixedly attached at each end to a
substantially planar
platform 13a, 13b forming a trough around the circumference of the sleeve 19.
As seen more clearly in Figure 4, the planar platforms 13a, 13b each contact
and
push multiple wheels 21a-f. The wheels 21a-f fit into slots in the spindle
supports 2a-f and
are held in place by wheel axles 22a-f. The wheel axles 22a-f are supported at
their ends by
the spindle supports 2a-f and allow rotational movement of the wheels 21 a-f.
Referring back to Figures 1 and 2, the substantially planar platforms 13a, 13b
transition into a convex surface at their outer perimeter (farthest from the
hollow shaft 10).
This region allows slack to be taken up when the spindle supports 2a-f and
power adjusters
la, 1b, 1c are tilted as the transmission 100 is shifted. A cylindrical
support member 18 is
located in the trough formed between the planar platforms 13a, 13b and sleeve
19 and thus
moves in concert with the planar platforms 13a, 13b and sleeve 19. The support
member 18
rides on contact bearings 17a, 17b located at the intersection of the planar
platforms 13a,
13b and sleeve 19 to allow the support member 18 to freely rotate about the
axis of the
transmission 100. Thus, the bearings 17a, 17b, support member 18, and sleeve
19 all slide
axially with the planar platforms 13a, 13b when the transmission 100 is
shifted.
Now referring to Figures 3 and 4, stationary support rollers 30a-I are
attached in
pairs to each spindle leg 2a-f through a roller pin 31 a-f and held in place
by roller clips 32a-I.
The roller pins 31 a-f allow the stationary support rollers 30a-l to rotate
freely about the roller
pins 31a-f. The stationary support rollers 30a-I roll on a concave radius in
the stationary
support 5a, 5b along a substantially parallel path with the grooves 6a-f. As
the spindle rollers
4a-f move back and forth inside the grooves 6a-f, the stationary support
rollers 30a-I do not
allow the ends of the spindles 3a, 3b, 3c nor the spindle rollers 4a-f to
contact the bottom
surface of the grooves 6a-f, to maintain the position of the spindles 3a, 3b,
3c, and to
minimize any frictional losses.
Figure 4 shows the stationary support rollers 30a-I, the roller pins, 31a-f,
and roller
clips 32a-I, as seen through the stationary support 5a, for ease of viewing.
For clarity, i.e., too
many numbers in Figure 1, the stationary support rollers 30a-1, the roller
pins, 31a-f, and
roller clips 32a-I, are not numbered in Figure 1.
Referring to Figures 1 and 5, a concave drive disc 34, located adjacent to the
stationary support 5b, partial encapsulates but does not contact the
stationary support 5b.
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CA 02733125 2011-03-01

The drive disk 34 is rigidly attached through its center to a screw 35. The
screw 35 is coaxial
to and forms a sleeve around the hollow shaft 10 adjacent to the stationary
support 5b and
faces a driving member 69. The drive disc 34 is rotatively coupled to the
power adjusters 1a,
1b, 1c along a circumferential bearing surface on the lip of the drive disk
34. A nut 37 is
threaded over the screw 35 and is rigidly attached around its circumference to
a bearing disc
60. One face of the nut 37 is further attached to the driving member 69. Also
rigidly attached
to the bearing disc 60 surface are a plurality of ramps 61 which face the
drive disc 34. For
each ramp 61 there is one ramp bearing 62 held in position by a bearing cage
63. The ramp
bearings 62 contact both the ramps 61 and the drive disc 34. A spring 65 is
attached at one
end to the bearing cage 63 and at its other end to the drive disc 34, or the
bearing disc 60 in
an alternate embodiment, to bias the ramp bearings 62 up the ramps 61. The
bearing disc
60, on the side opposite the ramps 61 and at approximately the same
circumference contacts
a hub cap bearing 66. The hub cap bearing 66 contacts both the hub cap 67 and
the bearing
disc 60 to allow their relative motion. The hub cap 67 is threaded or pressed
into the hub
shell 40 and secured with an internal ring 68. A sprocket or pulley 38 is
rigidly attached to the
rotating driving member 69 and is held in place externally by a cone bearing
70 secured by a
cone nut 71 and internally by a driver bearing 72 which contacts both the
driving member 69
and the hub cap 67.
In operation, an input rotation from the sprocket or pulley 38, which is
fixedly
attached to the driver 69, rotates the bearing disc 60 and the plurality of
ramps 61 causing
the ramp bearings 62 to roll up the ramps 61 and press the drive disc 34
against the power
adjusters 1a, 1b, 1c. Simultaneously, the nut 37, which has a smaller lead
than the ramps 61,
rotates to cause the screw 35 and nut 37 to bind. This feature imparts
rotation of the drive
disc 34 against the power adjusters la, 1b, 1c. The power adjusters la, 1b,
1c, when
rotating, contact and rotate the hub shell 40.
When the transmission 100 is coasting, the sprocket or pulley 38 stops
rotating but
the hub shell 40 and the power adjusters 1 a, 1b, 1c, continue to rotate. This
causes the drive
disc 34 to rotate so that the screw 35 winds into the nut 37 until the drive
disc 34 no longer
contacts the power adjusters 1 a, 1 b, 1 c.
Referring to Figures 1, 6, and 7, a coiled spring 80, coaxial with the
transmission
100, is located between and attached by pins or other fasteners (not shown) to
both the
bearing disc 60 and drive disc 34 at the ends of the coiled spring 80. During
operation of the
transmission 100, the coiled spring 80 ensures contact between the power
adjusters 1 a, 1b,
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CA 02733125 2011-03-01

1c and the drive disc 34. A pawl carrier 83 fits in the coiled spring 80 with
its middle coil
attached to the pawl carrier 83 by a pin or standard fastener (not shown).
Because the pawl
carrier 83 is attached to the middle coil of the coiled spring 80, it rotates
at half the speed of
the drive disc 34 when the bearing disc 60 is not rotating. This allows one or
more lock pawls
81 a, 81b, 81c, which are attached to the pawl carrier 83 by one or more pins
84a, 84b, 84c,
to engage a drive disc ratchet 82, which is coaxial with and rigidly attached
to the drive disc
34. The one or more lock pawls 84a, 84b, 84c are preferably spaced
asymmetrically around
the drive disc ratchet 82. Once engaged, the loaded coiled spring 80 is
prevented from
forcing the drive disc 34 against the power adjusters 1a, 1b, 1c. Thus, with
the drive disc 34
not making contact against the power adjusters 1 a, 1 b, 1c, the transmission
100 is in neutral
and the ease of shifting is increased. The transmission 100 can also be
shifted while in
operation.
When operation of the transmission 100 is resumed by turning the sprocket or
pulley
38, one or more release pawls 85a, 85b, 85c, each attached to one of the lock
pawls 81a,
81 b, 81 c by a pawl pin 88a, 88b, 88c, make contact with an opposing bearing
disk ratchet 87.
The bearing disk ratchet 87 is coaxial with and rigidly attached to the
bearing disc 60. The
bearing disc ratchet 87 actuates the release pawls 85a, 85b, 85c because the
release pawls
85a, 85b, 85c are connected to the pawl carrier 83 via the lock pawls 81a,
81b, 81c. In
operation, the release pawls 85a, 85b, 85c rotate at half the speed of the
bearing disc 60,
since the drive disc 34 is not rotating, and disengage the lock pawls 81a,
81b, 81c from the
drive disc ratchet 82 allowing the coiled spring 80 to wind the drive disc 34
against the power
adjusters 1 a, 1b, 1c, One or more pawl tensioners (not shown), one for each
release pawl
85a, 85b, 85c, ensures that the lock pawls 81a, 81b, 81c are pressed against
the drive disc
ratchet 82 and that the release pawls 85a, 85b, 85c are pressed against the
bearing disc
ratchet 87. The pawl tensioners are attached at one end to the pawl carrier 83
and make
contact at the other end to the release pawls 85a, 85b, 85c. An assembly hole
93 (not
shown) through the hub cap 67, the bearing disc 60, and the drive disc 34,
allows an
assembly pin (not shown) to be inserted into the loaded coiled spring 80
during assembly of
the transmission 100. The assembly pin prevents the coiled spring 80 from
losing its tension
and is removed after transmission 100 assembly is complete.
Referring to Figures 1, 11, 12, and 15, automatic shifting of the transmission
100, is
accomplished by means of spindle cables 602, 604, 606 which are attached at
one end to a
non-moving component of the transmission 100, such as the hollow shaft 10 or
the stationary
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CA 02733125 2011-03-01

support 5a. The spindle cables 602, 604, 606 then travel around spindle
pulleys 630, 632,
634, which are coaxially positioned over the spindles 3a, 3b, 3c. The spindle
cables 602,
604, 606 further travel around spacer pulleys 636, 63 8, 6 40, 6 44, 6 46, 6
48 which are
attached to a spacer extension 642 which may be rigidly attached to the
spacers 8a, 8b, 8c.
As more clearly shown in Figures 11 and 12, the other ends of the spindle
cables 602, 604,
606 are attached to a plurality of holes 620, 622, 624 in a non-rotating
annular bearing race
816. A plurality of weight cables 532, 534, 536 are attached at one end to a
plurality of holes
610, 612, 614 in a rotating annular bearing race 806. An annular bearing 808,
positioned
between the rotating annular bearing race 806 and the non-rotating annular
bearing race
816, allows their relative movement.
Referring to Figure 15, the transmission 100 is shown with the cable routing
for
automatic shifting.
As shown in Figures 1, 9, 11, and 12, the weight cables 532, 534, 536 then
travel
around the hub shell pulleys 654, 656, 658, through holes in the hub shell 40,
and into hollow
spokes 504, 506, 508 (best seen in Figure 12) where they attach to weights
526, 528, 530.
The weights 526, 528, 530 are attached to and receive support from weight
assisters 516,
518, 520 which attach to a wheel 514 or other rotating object at there
opposite end. As the
wheel 514 increases its speed of rotation, the weights 526, 528, 530 are
pulled radially away
from the hub shell 40, pulling the rotating annular bearing race 806 and the
non-rotating
annular bearing race 816 axially toward the hub cap 67. The non-rotating
annular bearing
race 816 pulls the spindle cables 602, 604, 606, which pulls the spindle
pulleys 630, 632, 634
closer to the hollow shaft 10 and results in the shifting of the transmission
100 into a higher
gear. When rotation of the wheel 514 slows, one or more tension members 9
positioned
inside the hollow shaft 10 and held in place by a shaft cap 92, push the
spindle pulleys 630,
632, 634 farther from the hollow shaft 10 and results in the shifting of the
transmission 100
into a lower gear.
Alternatively, or in conjunction with the tension member 9, multiple tension
members
(not shown) may be attached to the spindles 3a, 3b, 3c opposite the spindle
pulleys 630,
632, 634.
Still referring to Figure 1, the transmission 100 can also be manually shifted
to
override the automatic shifting mechanism or to use in place of the automatic
shifting
mechanism. A rotatable shifter 50 has internal threads that thread onto
external threads of a
shifter screw 52 which is attached over the hollow shaft 10. The shifter 50
has a cap 53 with
-10-


CA 02733125 2011-03-01

a hole that fits over the rod 11 that is inserted into the hollow shaft 10.
The rod 11 is threaded
where it protrudes from the hollow shaft 10 so that nuts 54, 55 may be
threaded onto the rod
11. The nuts 54, 55 are positioned on both sides of the cap 53. A shifter
lever 56 is rigidly
attached to the shifter 50 and provides a moment arm for the rod 11. The
shifter cable 51 is
attached to the shifter lever 56 through lever slots 57a, 57b, 57c. The
multiple lever slots 57a,
57b, 57c provide for variations in speed and ease of shifting.
Now referring to Figures 1 and 10, the shifter cable 51 is routed to and
coaxially
wraps around a handlegrip 300. When the handlegrip 300 is rotated in a first
direction, the
shifter 50 winds or unwinds axially over the hollow shaft 10 and pushes or
pulls the rod 11
into or out of the hollow shaft 10. When the handlegrip 300 is rotated in a
second direction, a
shifter spring 58, coaxially positioned over the shifter 50, returns the
shifter 50 to its original
position. The ends of the shifter spring 58 are attached to the shifter 50 and
to a non-moving
component, such as a frame (not shown).
As seen more clearly in Figure 10, the handlegrip 300 is positioned over a
handlebar
(not shown) or other rigid component. The handlegrip 300 includes a rotating
grip 302, which
consists of a cable attachment 304 that provides for attachment of the shifter
cable 51 and a
groove 306 that allows the shifter cable 51 to wrap around the rotating grip
302. A flange 308
is also provided to preclude a user from interfering with the routing of the
shifter cable 51.
Grip ratchet teeth 310 are located on the rotating grip 302 at its interface
with a rotating
clamp 314. The grip ratchet teeth 310 lock onto an opposing set of clamp
ratchet teeth 312
when the rotating grip 302 is rotated in a first direction. The clamp ratchet
teeth 312 form a
ring and are attached to the rotating clamp 314 which rotates with the
rotating grip 302 when
the grip ratchet teeth 310 and the clamp ratchet teeth 312 are locked. The
force required to
rotate the rotating clamp 314 can be adjusted with a set screw 316 or other
fastener. When
the rotating grip 302, is rotated in a second direction, the grip ratchet
teeth 310, and the
clamp ratchet teeth 312 disengage. Referring back to Figure 1, the tension of
the shifter
spring 58 increases when the rotating grip 302 is rotated in the second
direction. A non-
rotating clamp 318 and a non-rotating grip 320 prevent excessive axial
movement of the
handlegrip 300 assembly.
Referring to Figures 13 and 14, another embodiment of the transmission 900, is
disclosed. For purposes of simplicity, only the differences between the
transmission 100 and
the transmission 900 are discussed.

-11-


CA 02733125 2012-03-09

Replacing the rotating hub shell 40 are a stationary case 901 and housing 902,
which are joined with one or more set screws 903, 904, 905. The set screws
903, 904, 905
may be removed to allow access for repairs to the transmission 900. Both the
case 901 and
housing 902 have coplanar flanges 906, 907 with a plurality of bolt holes 908,
910, 912, 914
for insertion of a plurality of bolts 918, 920, 922, 924 to fixedly mount the
transmission 900 to
a non-moving component, such as a frame (not shown).
The spacer extension 930 is compressed between the stationary case 901 and
housing 902 with the set screws 903, 904, 905 and extend towards and are
rigidly attached
to the spacers 8a, 8b, 8c. The spacer extension 930 prevents rotation of the
stationary
supports 5a, 5b. The stationary support 5a does not have the stationary
support sleeve 42 as
in the transmission 100. The stationary supports 5a, 5b hold the hollow shaft
10 in a fixed
position. The hollow shaft 10 terminates at one end at the stationary support
5a and at its
other end at the screw 35. An output drive disc 942 is added and is supported
against the
case 901 by a case bearing 944. The output drive disc 942 is attached to an
output drive
component, such as a drive shaft, gear, sprocket, or pulley (not shown).
Similarly, the driving
member 69 is attached to the input drive component, such as a motor, gear,
sprocket, or
pulley.
Referring to Figure 16, shifting of the transmission 900 is accomplished with
a single
cable 946 that wraps around each of the spindle pulleys 630, 632, 634. At one
end, the
single cable 946 is attached to a non-moving component of the transmission
900, such as
the hollow shaft 10 or the stationary support 5a. After traveling around each
of the spindle
pulleys 630, 632, 634 and the spacer pulleys 636, 644, the single cable 946
exits the
transmission 900 through a hole in the housing 902. Alternatively a rod (not
shown) attached
to one or more of the spindles 3a, 3b, 3c, may be used to shift the
transmission 900 in place
of the single cable 946.
The foregoing description details certain embodiments of the invention. it
will be
appreciated, however, that no matter how detailed the foregoing appears in
text, the
invention can be practiced in many ways. As is also stated above, it should be
noted that the
use of particular terminology when describing certain features or aspects of
the invention
should not be taken to imply that the terminology is being re-defined herein
to be restricted to
including any specific characteristics of the features or aspects of the
invention with which
that terminology is associated. The scope of the invention should therefore be
construed in
accordance with the appended claims.

-12-

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2013-02-26
(22) Filed 2000-10-24
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2001-05-31
Examination Requested 2011-03-01
(45) Issued 2013-02-26

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Request for Examination $800.00 2011-03-01
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-03-01
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-03-01
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-03-01
Filing $400.00 2011-03-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2002-10-24 $100.00 2011-03-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2003-10-24 $100.00 2011-03-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2004-10-25 $100.00 2011-03-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2005-10-24 $200.00 2011-03-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2006-10-24 $200.00 2011-03-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2007-10-24 $200.00 2011-03-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 8 2008-10-24 $200.00 2011-03-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 9 2009-10-26 $200.00 2011-03-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 10 2010-10-25 $250.00 2011-03-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 11 2011-10-24 $250.00 2011-09-14
Registration of Documents $100.00 2012-07-31
Registration of Documents $100.00 2012-07-31
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 12 2012-10-24 $250.00 2012-09-17
Final Fee $300.00 2012-12-12
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2013-10-24 $250.00 2013-09-13
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2014-10-24 $250.00 2014-10-01
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2015-10-26 $450.00 2015-09-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 16 2016-10-24 $450.00 2016-09-28
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 17 2017-10-24 $450.00 2017-10-04
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 18 2018-10-24 $450.00 2018-09-21
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 19 2019-10-24 $450.00 2019-09-20
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
FALLBROOK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY COMPANY LLC
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
FALLBROOK TECHNOLOGIES INC.
MOTION TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Description 2011-03-01 12 641
Abstract 2011-03-01 1 8
Representative Drawing 2011-04-11 1 25
Cover Page 2011-04-11 1 52
Claims 2011-03-01 3 80
Drawings 2011-03-01 16 289
Description 2012-03-09 12 589
Claims 2012-03-09 3 81
Representative Drawing 2013-02-04 1 24
Cover Page 2013-02-04 1 52
Assignment 2011-03-01 4 103
Correspondence 2011-03-21 1 42
Prosecution-Amendment 2011-09-16 2 46
Prosecution-Amendment 2012-03-09 9 341
Assignment 2012-07-31 41 1,545
Correspondence 2012-12-12 2 74
Assignment 2014-06-23 3 101
Assignment 2014-07-07 3 116