OlePatriot1 Flag Waving Alarm Clock Radio and Sound Recorder
The Proud, The Confident,The Bold, The Free.Cherish your freedom with the OlePatriot1 Sound and Flag waving system.
OlePatriot1 Flag Waving Alarm Clock Radio and Sound Recorder
The Proud, The Confident,The Bold, The Free.Cherish your freedom with the OlePatriot1 Sound and Flag waving system.
Note:Please use the YouTube video above to view the OlePatriot1 documentary.
OlePatriot1 Sound and Flag Waving System.
The Product Summary:
The story of the OlePatriot1 Sound and Flag Waving System is a long one indeed. This project is about a patriotic alarm/Am.Fm radio unit that is high tech. and very versatile in its performance. It uses national anthems embedded on a chip and select-able on a control panel as
wake up sounds. It also has the ability to record and playback any song or voice, which could then be selected as a custom wake up sound. When a selected song begins to play, an attached flag begins to wave at the same time. By means of a tuning knob, the speed of waving of the flag can be manipulated to wave slowly in 'cool breeze' or fast, as in 'high winds’. This product is intended to bring out the joy in you when it awakens you and you hear your national anthem and see your favorite flag waving proudly, as opposed to the usual annoying sounds and ring tones from conventional alarm units. OlePatriot1 can be used in the following ways:
(a) Use it to wake you up in the traditional manner (b) Use it to record a conversation during a business meeting or chit-chat (c)Use it to remind you of a daily or weekly to do list by setting the alarm to go off and deliver the reminder at the preset time before you forget.(d) Use it to deliver important messages to your kids or loved ones when you are away from home.For example the alarm may be set to go off when the kids return from school and your recorded voice reminds them that mom or dad will be late getting home and not to forget to take a bath,do their home work and find the food left in the refrigerator etc.You will not leave your cell phone behind to deliver a message to your kids(e) You can record a favorite song or voice and select it as an erasable temporary wake up sound (f) And of course you can listen to your favorite am or fm radio station when you are not using it as a wake up alarm. As we can see, this product is very versatile.
Sometime in November of 2007, I was working the night shift for a company in a Data center in Reston, Virginia. One day I was awakened by my noisy alarm clock and I didn’t want to go in to work because it was a cold night and I was tired. I got up, staggered to the bathroom to take a shower and I thought to myself, what if that alarm clock played a more appealing tune like James Brown’s “Living in America”, Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” or national anthem(s).Wouldn’t that make it more appealing to wake up in the middle of the night to go to work? Better still, how about if the alarm clock waved a flag at the same time the music was playing?
I went to work that night and when I got a little less busy, I began sketching what this alarm clock would look like on a piece of paper. My original sketch which I called “Patriotic Alarm Sounder Clock Configuration” was born. When I got home the following morning, my excitement grew as I kept looking at the rough sketches. I am a good draftsman and an inventor and was driven to see if the concept would work. In 1989, I was awarded a Loudspeaker utility patent so I knew I could make it work even though it would take a lot of time and effort.
1st Handmade Prototype:
A couple of days later, I gathered some components from Home Depot and Radio Shack and began building the prototype. The first prototype was made out of PVC pipe with an elbow. This pipe which I called a wind pipe was glued on top of a base made of clear sturdy Plexiglas welded together using a two part epoxy and Weldon solvent. I placed a small electric motor with a three bladed fan inside the base to force air up the pipe. A flag pole was glued to a support and a piece of cloth was slid unto the pole and served as the flag. The idea was to see if the fan would force enough air up the pipe to lift the flag on exit. It did and viola, I knew I was up to something. However, there was considerable load mechanical resistance acting on those little fan blades as they moved the air against gravity. They also took up a lot of space circumferentially.
Redesign/2nd handmade prototype:
The system was inefficient and noisy. Also, there was no available sound chip and LCD display I knew I could quickly get off the shelf. This led me to discard this idea, come up with a new design that was more efficient and aesthetically better than its predecessor. I also had to design a music circuit that incorporated national anthems and/or national songs from scratch. Two weeks in March of ’08, I completed the new design and circuit. I had no idea if any of this would work and so I set out to find out. The new design called for a tangential blower inside the wind pipe and a long shaft that ran the length of the wind pipe and connects to the motor inside the base. This arrangement would allow access to the motor and control electronics via the base cover. However, when I finished making the first sample, vibrations were excessive due to the long shaft and bearing misalignments. It was at this point that I decided to do away with the long shaft for now and place the motor next to the blower inside the wind pipe housing. As long as the blower was close to the flag and the air didn’t have to work against gravity, it would be okay. The only problem would be access to the motor in the event of a burn out. The blower was hand made with bent aluminum and glued to a pulley with epoxy. The motor was placed near the blower and drove it via a rubber belt. The whole set up worked beautifully well albeit with some vibrations which I controlled with rubber feet dampers. The motor whine was tolerable even at 18,000 rpm.I was almost half way to the goal.
Product Renaming/Patent search:
With the redesign also came a new name, OlePatriot1 like Ole Mississippi. I felt that people with southern accents would like the name. The jury is still out on that one, but we’ll find out. At this stage of the project, I felt more confident and began conducting a patent search online. After almost two weeks of searching USPTO data bases, I concluded I could obtain a patent for this thing. I quickly proceeded to hand draw the patent drawings as I hadn’t installed AutoCAD software in my computer. I enjoy the traditional drafting method but know AutoCAD nevertheless. Between work and family, the drawings took three weeks to complete. Soon after, I wrote the specifications, got it typed at Sir Speedy in Springfield, Virginia and it was ready for filing.
Sometime in November, ’08, I contacted a Texas based product design and engineering company called Agisca Technologies to help do CAD drawings for me. They gave me a quote which I accepted and I sent the funds via PayPal. Under the guidance of Jay Layempandi, Agisca did an excellent job and towards the end of December, ’08 the finished CAD drawings were returned to me. A couple of corrections were needed and once I brought it to their attention, they were quickly corrected. Now looking for a local company to produce a prototype based on the CAD drawings, I found Protoprod (Prototype production) company in Sterling, Virginia. After going through the CAD drawings and concepts with Mr. Ben Feldman, he agreed to send me quotes for one working prototype. A week later, I received the quotes from Mr. Feldman. However, the quoted cost was high and Protoprod wanted me to find another company to make the electronics, bring it over to them and they would then assemble it. Because I would have to find another company to do the electronics, Protoprod’s deal fell through?
The Chinese/Manufacturing contracts:
Mr. Ben Feldman realizing the seriousness of the problem suggested looking to China for a music circuit. I followed his advice and looked online and found Jetrich Electronic Co Ltd, a Chinese company that specializes in making micro controller, music chips for toy animals etc.They seemed like a perfect fit and they were. The success of this project owes a lot to this company. In July of ’09, we signed a non disclosure agreement. Sometime in August of 2009, I contacted Jetrich Electronics Co. Ltd. again and spoke to Tony Lee and Jake Sang. Jake was in charge of sales and agreed to go along with the project and give me quotes. In September of ’09, I received and reviewed the quotes from Jake Sang. We negotiated their fees for a while and finally agreed to proceed at a cost of $16,500 for 25 prototypes. We signed a manufacturing contract on October 16, 2009.Their initial minimum quantity of 5,000 units; I balked at because my then investor could only get me to a few prototypes. Right after I finished negotiating with Jetrich, I presented the hand written patent specification to Vicki Soward at Sir speedy for typing. She types fast, is very professional and pays great attention to detail while weaving through the maze of numbers and letters in the specification. Her accuracy helped quicken the pace of the patent filing process.
Utility Patent Filing:
On October 26, 2009 I filed the patent with Danesh Agarwal and later for continuation with Cliff Hyra, both patent attorneys in Virginia.
The Manufactured Prototype process:
With the patent process off and running, I proceeded to send the entire CAD drawings made by Agisca technologies to Jetrich. They made a few changes to the drawings and emailed me the changes together with the first 2D & 3D images in about 10 days, for my approval. While I was going through the 2D & 3D drawings, I received an email a couple of days later requesting the music files. I suddenly realized I had made an error by signing the manufacturing contract without including the music files. This was needed because they wanted to know the length of the songs before incorporating them into the chip. Sometime in the first week of November of ’09, I called up Reo Edwards Sr, the owner of Future Sounds in Landover, MD.His recording studio carters to the recording and promotion of Go Go bands in the DC metro area. In the past, I had built him some custom speaker cabinets when I ran a small electronics/woodwork shop, Idcon Audio (now defunct) in the ‘90s.He quickly put the songs on a disc and enhanced it. The issue of the music files forced me to do an addendum to the prior contracts, which added extra costs to the original cost of the 25 prototypes. I sent the music disc quickly via UPS and also wire transferred the balance via Citibank to Jetrich’s bank, Shenzhen Development Bank. Meanwhile, I continued to fine-tune my hand made prototype (see project video section). I was still curious as to how the alarm, time /date, and radio would work with this whole thing.
Radio addition & Technical glitches:
The radio was not in the initial design but my Dad; Dr Bernard Amalaha had suggested putting it in so that if it was not being used as an alarm, one could listen to the radio. I immediately thought that was a good idea and called up Jetrich to suggest it. They initially balked at the idea because the chip design had moved along. However, after my insistence, they yielded but said they would need an additional $1600 to weave it into the design. I agreed and sent the money right away. I had to do a second addendum to prior contracts which both sides signed electronically. As the months went by, I did not hear anything or receive regular emails from Jetrich.I became very concerned. When I sent out emails, replies took days to be replied and came from other people I didn’t know and not the regular people I had been working with. It turned out that Jetrich was having issues with the radio circuit communicating with the rest of the circuit and was generating a lot of interference. When this was eventually brought to my attention, I made several suggestions and we worked together to correct the problem. The inclusion of the radio added more than three months to the project.
The 1st manufactured prototype:
Finally, about April of 2010, I received the first prototype from jetrich.It was better than my handmade one but was far from perfect. Most importantly, it incorporated the songs which were selectable on the control panel. The sound was great but motor whine was heard on the speaker. This was objectionable and had to be corrected. Also, the fan was not sucking enough air into the vents and so the flag did not readily lift when it came on.
The magic of the handmade prototype:
At this point I realized the vents on my handmade model worked better than the design in CAD drawings which they had. I immediately returned their sample and my beloved prototype at their urging to Jetrich via UPS as a guide with instructions regarding changes to correct the aforementioned problems. This proved to be a major turning point in this whole thing. It appeared that suddenly, the engineers at Jetrich realized on receiving my hand made prototype that they were dealing with a fellow technician and not just a theorist/designer. Thereafter, the project’s pace picked up. Two and half months later, the corrections were made on the product and vents redesign effected.
The Real thing arrives:
The new look product arrived sometime in August of 2010.It was beautiful and performed virtually as intended with the major bottlenecks resolved. Their first working sample and mine had been back and forth to China, four times by this time. However, the product was not ready for marketing because Jetrich balked at manufacturing the flags and the power cords, since they felt that these items veered them into non traditional manufacturing territories. They were also finishing up with the manual booklet which first sample had been printed at Sir Speedy in Springfield and emailed to them. The only way they could include those items would be to contract with other manufacturers and that would significantly increase the product’s cost they argued. I vehemently disagreed with them on these issues but didn’t want to lose them after what we’d been through together. I finally yielded to their position and the search for both a flag manufacturer and power adapter maker was on.
Flags, Power adapters etc.:
A short look online days later found Fuzhou Shanhecheng Arts & Crafts Co., LTD and Shenzhen Yifanxin Electronic Technology Co. Ltd.Meanwhile, I had designed the packaging and emailed to jetrich. It took them about a week to generate 3D images and they were good. They suggested using foam on the inside instead of the cardboard in my design and I agreed. I believe it was in February of 2011 or thereabout that Jetrich sent the first 12 units of the product complete with the manual and the beautiful packaging. A couple of weeks later, the final 13 units arrived. Jetrich assured me that if the product catches on and demand is high, they are capable of meeting a monthly production of between 5,000-10,000units. It has been a great experience with this company. As a token of appreciation, the company sent me as a Christmas present, a special Chinese Laquerware plate with engraved dragon images that I truly admire. I emailed sample drawings of a custom miniature US flag to Fuzhou Shanhecheng Arts & Crafts Co., Ltd in April of 2011 and got a response in a couple of days. They agreed they can meet my demand for the right material of light silk or similar material, initial 500 US flags with dimensions of 6.5” X 3.75”. The custom dimensions and materials were chosen carefully after trying nearly a dozen materials bought at both G street fabrics in Rockville,MD and other fabric retailers in the area. This size gives the flag a bold sweep in the wind and the texture of the material allows it to rise readily as its width is roughly the same as the length of the blower. A standard 4” X 6” off the shelf miniature flag had the wrong dimensions and was too stiff to rise when the fan came on. Shortly after the first samples arrived, I saw that their quality was good and authorized them to make the 500 units. I immediately wired them the funds via PayPal. They had the 500 USflags back to me about the 15th of November, 2011. After the arrival of the US flags, I requested sample Canadian flags of the same dimensions with the US flags. I sent them the funds, again via PayPal to cover the cost of 10 samples with the option to buy 500 units if the need be. In a little over a week, the Canadian samples arrived and were good as expected. With the issue of the flags resolved, I contacted Shenzhen Yifanxin Electronic Technology Co. Ltd and requested quotes for 100 units of a 5v power adapter that will work with my system. I received the quotes the next day on November, 16th 2011.No actual contract has been signed with this company but during my discussions with them, they agreed in principle that they can produce 5000 pieces or more per month if the demand is there. And so it was the birth of the OlePatriot1alarm/am.fm radio unit. Currently, the product is ready for marketing but it is not the best it can be. This is why I signed on to this great Kickstarter program to raise additional funds to improve the product further.
Videos and images/YouTube:
With the help of John Buu Tutan(JB), a skilled salesman and AT&T employee, and Videographer, Hyunh Din Thi, we produced a 17mins 36 sec. Video documentary of OlePatriot1 and launched it on YouTube on August 14, 2012.It currently has 270 views. I have received good reviews and requests for this product but I want to be 100% ready. JB did some filming, audio and video editing while Hyunh did filming and video launching on YouTube. Myself and JB did the product video presentation. To create this video, JB and I built a 6ft lighting fixture out of two long fluorescent bulbs, 2x4s and Fiber boards from Home Depot. My design and woodworking skills came in handy here. This lighting fixture was the star of this video because it significantly improved the quality of the video from the earlier ones we did and discarded due to poor lighting. With the help of JB, I described at length, the functional attributes of the OlePatriot1. The patent application entitled “Machine for controllably flying a flag in the absence of natural wind” was published by the USPTO in 2011(Application publication number US2011/0094133 A1) Apr. 28, 2011) and is currently pending. Further videos which are included with this project showing the hand made prototype, the lighting fixture, our video/sound studio etc. is courtesy of JB, Leonard and Anthony Amalaha. sketches and free hand illustrations, written texts and the design of both the original handmade prototype and the finished product are solely Leonard’s creations. The handmade prototype was also solely made by this product and project creator Leonard Amalaha. The attached documents related to OlePatriot1 alarm/am.fm radio unit and titled "The Untold Story" can be viewed by going to our website,http://www.amalahasystech.com Once there, click on the same link shown at the top of this page and in the new links sub-section.When opened, the file is broken down into sections as follows:Section[a] Conception period showing hand sketched original and evolution stages of hand made prototypes, US and Canadian flags and original packaging box design. Section[b] Prototype design modifications and instructions to Jake sang at Jetrich Electronic Co Ltd. Section[c] 2D and 3D images/concepts. Section[d] Original CAD drawings/images rendered by Agisca Technologies under the guidance of Jey Layempandi. Section[e] Non disclosure agreement/manufacturing contracts and quotes. Section[f] Payments/Wire transfers. Section[g] some important emails between Leonard Amalaha and manufacturers. Section[h] Product Manuals. The first version was printed by Vicki Soward at Sir Speedy printing in Springfield, VA while the final booklet version was printed in China. Section [I] Patent Application Publication for “Machine for Controllably Flying a Flag In the absence of natural Wind”. As aforementioned, it is currently pending with the USPTO.The OlePatriot1 patent protection is linked to this application. Section [J] True photographs of handmade clear Plexiglas prototype and manufactured prototype from Jetrich Electronic Co Ltd. My handmade prototype and the first manufactured sample are side by side. My handmade one is on the right. Also shown are the final packaging box, the finished products in Cartons (6 in each) and my battle tested work station of course. Section[k] Miscellaneous: Showing is the company Logo designed by Leonard Amalaha, a page from Sir Speedy and a Jetrich electronic co. Ltd. home page showing calling card numbers used to contact Tony Lee, the manager and Mini, the fluent English speaking lady on the very first day. I purchased a $5 calling card at a High Up store because my phone could not make a direct long distant call to China since I did not have that service at the time and even if I did, the cost was going to be too high. I will mention again in passing that Sir Speedy’s Vicki’s fast and accurate typing and attention to detail helped move this project forward as it pertains to the product manual and the patent application specification. With our story of the OlePatriot1 alarm/am.fm radio unit told, Amalaha Systems Technology Corporation is poised and well positioned to introduce this product to the masses of the world at-large. Any and all individuals who help us get to the promise land will be very proud of themselves for years to come.
Usage of Funds/Product improvements:
The funds we are seeking will be used to perfect an already high performing product as follows. (1)The electronics will be reprogrammed to allow both military and standard times to appear on the LCD display. Currently, only the military time appears. (2) A battery compartment inside the base will be added to allow removal and replacement of the battery. Currently, the battery is glued onto the housing and cannot be removed and replaced by the end user.(3)The motor control electronics will have to be modified to permit the flag to wave when a custom recorded song is selected as an alarm song. Currently, only when a pre-recorded song is selected on the control panel as an alarm song will the flag wave. (4) A new base cover with tighter tolerances will be made to eliminate some rattling at loud volumes.(5) The size of the cylindrical fan will be slightly reduced so as to increase the efficiency of the drive motor by reducing power consumption arising from increased loads on the shaft and bearings.(6)We want to initiate sales by ordering 5,000 units or more of the product,as well as take care of the accompanying shipping costs from overseas suppliers. We feel confident that true patriots, men and women in uniform and average folks will love this product. OlePatriot1 video documentary can also be viewed on YouTube.We urge you to be open-minded and make a thorough assessment of this product in order to determine its true value before making your decision.THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
Leonard D Amalaha,
Chief Designer (AST).
Risks and challenges
The major bottlenecks on this project have been overcome.That is not to say that there are no more challenges to be overcome.We produced a good handmade initial rough plexiglas prototype that led to the finished product.The biggest concern in polishing the rough edges and perfecting the product is the possible delay in obtaining the parts and components needed because some of the suppliers are not local.We therefore have to be prepared to find alternative local parts suppliers in the events of delays or unexpected cancellations of orders.There is also the concern of maintaining the quality in the event that demand becomes great.Our company has signed manufacturing contracts with three companies (2 Chinese & 1 Texas) to do volume production of the product.The product is protected by a US utility patent which was filed in 2009 and is pending.There is also the issue of efficient distribution of the product.We have Walmart, Sears and Target in mind to help with marketing.I have talked to these companies regarding their policies with small and minority owned businesses, Dunn & Bradstreet and certifications.In the event that the big companies turn us down, we intend to rent a warehouse/office space and use it as a sales/distribution hub.We will be doing mail order as well.There is always the unknown and unexpected, but we are ready.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (44 days)