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Wheel Building Stand Incorporating Acoustic Pickup, Amplification, and Processing System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244333D
Publication Date: 2015-Dec-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 80K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system to integrate an acoustic pickup device into the truing stand of a wheel that is in the building stage. The acoustic pickup device enables the wheel builder to determine and appropriately adjust the tension of the wheel spokes to ensure integrity and trueness.

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Wheel Building Stand Incorporating Acoustic Pickup , , System

Wheels consisting of a hub and rim are constructed using spokes that connect the hub and rim (e.g., motorcycle and bicycle wheels). A spoke is a length of material, usually but not limited to, of metal construction, having a fixed length with at least one end machined into a screw thread. An end that does not have a screw thread is fixed by some kid of anchor such as a bend or enlargement that cannot pass through a hole in the hub or rim. An end that does have a screw thread is fastened by a nipple . Spokes and nipples join the hub and the rim together . The finished arrangement is collectively called the wheel.

Integrity and trueness of the wheel depends on the tension the wheel builder applies to the spoke. For a wheel to be sturdy and resistant to the normal stresses of riding , each spoke must be tensioned to a sufficient level to support the weight of rider and bicycle . The most common reason for failure is repeated flexing of spokes leading to metal fatigue. When a spoke is sufficiently tensioned , it flexes very little and lasts for many years. In building a wheel, a builder must ensure each spoke is tensioned to a sufficiently high tension, but most importantly, to a tension equal to its neighbors; otherwise, some spokes will not flex at all while others are forced to flex more , leading to premature failure. Without an expensive device known as a tension meter , it is very difficult to achieve correct and consistent tension on all spokes .

Tension meters are calibrated for a specific kind of spoke . A tension meter does not produce a quantified reading for a spoke for which it was calibrated ; it only produces a relative tension reading using an arbitrary scale that is used with any other kind of spoke. A meter may measure distance deflection, but does not measure tension. Conversion tables are used to attempt conversion from a scale marked on the tensiometer to actual tension; however, this process is prone to user error and loss of tables.

Professional wheel builders pluck the spokes to produce a tone that indicates the level of tension. In an environment with ambient noise, the tone produced may not be loud enough for the wheel builder to discern the level of tension . Additionally, some individuals are not inherently able to reliably determine whether tones are high , low, or consistent (i.e. the same as other tones).

To address this problem, the novel solution is to integrate an acoustic pickup into the truing stand. As the wheel builder plucks a spoke (in the same manner as a guitar string), the spoke produces a tone that is a function of its length , thickness, and tension.

An acoustic pickup detects the tone and a microprocessor incorporating a digital signal processor (DSP) amplifies and processes the tone. The user may specify a reference tone (representing a correctly tensioned spoke). When a spoke is plucked, the processor compares it to the refer...