The Adapt-a-Damper - Open Source Project

Steve_M

TVWBB Guru
I'm not a lawyer, or even pretend to be one on television, but unless there's a patent on the rotodamper, I don't think there's much you can do about this.

Ralph: If I was you, I'd be upset, too. I've asked you before why you don't just open source the RD design, and you stick by your reply about being flooded with support emails and your concern about the commercial exploitation of your design. The support emails can be mitigated by having a separate email address that you use when you sell the RD to someone. Let the others come to the forum or elsewhere, where they may or may not get an answer. Maybe chat with Bryan about how he deals with things, since the HeaterMeter on it's own is surely more popular than any of the accessories. To be honest, I purposely stayed away from your RD design because I don't want to have to email someone and go through a "vetting" process in order to get 3D files for an accessory for an already open source project. This adds a barrier to entry.

In my day job, we use a ton of open source software. Sometimes it's because the price is right, but many times it's because it's being actively developed by a community and we can also contribute back to it. Some might consider it "commercial exploitation" when a mega-corp starts using the same software and it's helping their bottom line a lot more than it is yours, but that's just the way it is.

There's also an opportunity to create a support and services market. Just because your "thing" is open source, doesn't put you, the author/creator on the hook for support.

Wbegg: While I'm pretty sure you haven't broken any laws, you're not winning any friends with your approach. I can appreciate where you're coming from, and I think you've done a nice job replicating a design without having the original files, but I think we can all agree that this thread is being used to "poke the bear", for lack of a better term.
 
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RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
Again, I Completely agree, Ralph! I have never NOT referenced you in my design. I will call it a blatant ripoff of your design. No worries. I just posted the files for the people here on the forum that would enjoy printing their own. or taking the design to a service to have it done. Mate, this is OPEN SOURCE! It's all about sharing!And ultimately smoking some great BBQ! If I can help make that happen, then I've done my job.

P.S. YES, it's a blatant ripoff of the RD3 design. Ralph is the Damper God.
To admit you are a thief doesn't excuse the theft. It is easy to see that you are behind this commercial exploitation of my design no matter what convoluted shell game you put up as a diversion. Funny you don't seem to have an issue with "whoever" is selling "your" design (for $75 none the less) but seem to be off your rocker about me printing my own design? What's up with that? Oh, right, kinda hard to be p'ed at yourself or your business partner for selling the stuff you stole.

I have met a lot of good people in this forum and have faith in them to see through what you are doing here and not support your unethical endeavor. I also have full faith in my designs because I put the work into develop and testing it. If I am the "damper god" you are the exact opposite, I guess that makes you the damper "dog"?
 
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RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
I'm not a lawyer, or even pretend to be one on television, but unless there's a patent on the rotodamper, I don't think there's much you can do about this.

Ralph: If I was you, I'd be upset, too. I've asked you before why you don't just open source the RD design, and you stick by your reply about being flooded with support emails and your concern about the commercial exploitation of your design. The support emails can be mitigated by having a separate email address that you use when you sell the RD to someone. Let the others come to the forum or elsewhere, where they may or may not get an answer. Maybe chat with Bryan about how he deals with things, since the HeaterMeter on it's own is surely more popular than any of the accessories. To be honest, I purposely stayed away from your RD design because I don't want to have to email someone and go through a "vetting" process in order to get 3D files for an accessory for an already open source project. This adds a barrier to entry.

In my day job, we use a ton of open source software. Sometimes it's because the price is right, but many times it's because it's because it's being actively developed by a community and we can also contribute back to it. Some might consider it "commercial exploitation" when a mega-corp starts using the same software and it's helping their bottom line a lot more than it is yours, but that's just the way it is.

There's also an opportunity to create a support and services market. Just because your "thing" is open source, doesn't put you, the author/creator on the hook for support.

Wbegg: While I'm pretty sure you haven't broken any laws, you're not winning any friends with your approach. I can appreciate where you're coming from, and I think you've done a nice job replicating a design without having the original files, but I think we can all agree that this thread is being used to "poke the bear", for lack of a better term.
Bryan offers no support what so ever as far as I know, and litigation is something I had hoped to avoid getting into over this.

Believe me, Mr Beggie thief AKA the "damper dog" DID work from my files as you can clearly see, otherwise there would be more differences in the design. I refused to give him the files because of the way he approached me when asking for him. Ironically he must have learned my criteria for sharing the files with that failed attempt and made another request for the files with an alias telling me what I want to hear, and the tyrannical "damper god" that I am sent him the files and here we are. Or maybe he had a member of his "posse" approach me to get the files. Does it really matter HOW he stole the design in reality?
 

WBegg

TVWBB Pro
I should have made it square, and not purple, with a fan instead of a blower. So many ways to skin a cat. Again, if anyone here feels I'm being unethical, then don't download the files.

Cheers,
W
 
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Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
I understand there are real issues involved here and heated discussion is understandable. But let's try to refrain from name calling, please.
 

Tom Kole

TVWBB Pro
As fun as it has been reading through this thread, I think we should all just step back for second and really look at what we are arguing about. This is not the flux capacitor or something equally spectacular. We're talking about a plastic valve that controls air flow into a smoker. Nothing that anyone in this forum has ever "invented" is truly novel. They are all just situational implementations of previously invented technologies. There are definitely people here that take themselves way too seriously and need to relax. This is a community forum of people bringing together ideas and rapidly progressing them by sharing and collaborating. To that extent, WBegg, I get what you are doing and agree with you completely about having all files posted publicly, though you may have been able to do it a bit less antagonistically.

BTW, all this talk of people spending "thousands" of hours testing dampers is nonsense. These things work pretty easily and can be verified to be hit or miss in just a couple of hours. Furthermore, if anyone's bbq'ing addiction has reached that many hours of smoking, I feel obliged as a physician and oncologist to recommend that you cut back significantly.

Tom
 

Steve_M

TVWBB Guru
I think if Elon Musk can convert all of the Tesla patents to open source, doing the same for accessories for a bbq controller should be a no brainer!

I love the quotes in this article.

Musk: We actually don't require any formal discussions. So they can just go ahead and use them.

Reporter: Is there a licensing process?

Musk: No. You just use them. Which I think is better because then we don't need to get into any kind of discussions or whatever. So we don't know. I think you'll see it in the cars that come out, should they choose to use them.
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
As fun as it has been reading through this thread, I think we should all just step back for second and really look at what we are arguing about. This is not the flux capacitor or something equally spectacular. We're talking about a plastic valve that controls air flow into a smoker. Nothing that anyone in this forum has ever "invented" is truly novel. They are all just situational implementations of previously invented technologies. There are definitely people here that take themselves way too seriously and need to relax. This is a community forum of people bringing together ideas and rapidly progressing them by sharing and collaborating. To that extent, WBegg, I get what you are doing and agree with you completely about having all files posted publicly, though you may have been able to do it a bit less antagonistically.

BTW, all this talk of people spending "thousands" of hours testing dampers is nonsense. These things work pretty easily and can be verified to be hit or miss in just a couple of hours. Furthermore, if anyone's bbq'ing addiction has reached that many hours of smoking, I feel obliged as a physician and oncologist to recommend that you cut back significantly.

Tom
I believe this post must be aimed at me, and you must have mis-read my post. I said I have "answered thousands of emails" helping people out with dampers and heater meter issues in general, which I have done for sure, I didn't say I spent thousands of hours testing dampers. Though I probably do actually have thousands of hours testing dampers under my belt to be honest with you, 'cause I've left my damper powered on my grill 24/7 for almost 2 years now as a torture test to make them fail so I can improve them.

I have recently taken a look back at my pics and logs and I do have about two and a half years research into developing the roto damper line dampers, including lots of work on the HM hardware, wiring schemes, RDTC board development etc as well as providing many suggestions for improvement in the software to allow the HM to integrate with the damper better. I have tons of time and effort into this on my part, and so I am making this post to correct those points. I have posted about these various efforts as I have made them along the way, but these days it seems there is a posse of people that set out to diminish my efforts here so they can steal it profit from it. I know you (Tom) personally aren't doing this to capitalize on my work, you have done great work here on HM projects yourself and that is greatly appreciated by all, and you have always conducted yourself in the forum with class.... others not so much. So am putting together a synopsis of the work that went into developing the RD3 and will be posting it in the RD thread soon. I am sure the same people will say it is all about ego on my part, but it's just the facts in the matter, facts that others want to ignore so they have no conscience about stealing my work (and insulting me in the process)
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
I think if Elon Musk can convert all of the Tesla patents to open source, doing the same for accessories for a bbq controller should be a no brainer!

I love the quotes in this article.

Musk: We actually don't require any formal discussions. So they can just go ahead and use them.

Reporter: Is there a licensing process?

Musk: No. You just use them. Which I think is better because then we don't need to get into any kind of discussions or whatever. So we don't know. I think you'll see it in the cars that come out, should they choose to use them.
I've studied Tesla and continue to do so as do many others, I have been working on recreating some of his motor/generator ideas for generating electricity over the past months. Tesla left out critical aspects of his work that makes it extremely difficult to achieve the results he was getting in his experiments. They (the powers that be) defamed Tesla and his work because they wanted to harness it and profit from it, when he died he had been painted as a washed up loon for years and his genius was masked by slandor. Meanwhile Westinghouse took his work and built the electrical grid we have today, while Tesla died broke and humiliated, but for some reason the government raided his apartment and took all of his notes shortly after his passing. It's only in modern times that Tesla is getting the accolades he deserves....
 
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CHeathman

TVWBB Member
I have to agree in a lot of ways. But before I get into it, Ralph was awesome enough to send my unit a RD3 while we were deployed to Iraq and I used it quite a bit. Not sure I really ever said thanks, but I'm sure Ralph will see this. I like the design, however, I originally asked for the files and was turned down. I have a 3d printer and a taig cnc milling machine and love to tinker. I wanted the files so bad that I recreated the RD3, pretty close to a "t" because I wanted to recreate this so I could make it out of HDPE or aluminum. I have no desire to make these to sell on a commercial level, or really to sell at all. I also wanted the files for the SMD version of heatermeter case, I wanted to make it out of aluminum, but have had no luck getting the files for that either. I just love to make things! I understand the hours that are put into things like this, but I thought that this was an open source type project. And to top it off, I hate STL files! I want something I can import into rhino and customize! Let's face it, 3d printing is for prototyping and generally kinda sucks...

Charles
 

Steve_M

TVWBB Guru
I have to agree in a lot of ways. But before I get into it, Ralph was awesome enough to send my unit a RD3 while we were deployed to Iraq and I used it quite a bit. Not sure I really ever said thanks, but I'm sure Ralph will see this. I like the design, however, I originally asked for the files and was turned down. I have a 3d printer and a taig cnc milling machine and love to tinker. I wanted the files so bad that I recreated the RD3, pretty close to a "t" because I wanted to recreate this so I could make it out of HDPE or aluminum. I have no desire to make these to sell on a commercial level, or really to sell at all. I also wanted the files for the SMD version of heatermeter case, I wanted to make it out of aluminum, but have had no luck getting the files for that either. I just love to make things! I understand the hours that are put into things like this, but I thought that this was an open source type project. And to top it off, I hate STL files! I want something I can import into rhino and customize! Let's face it, 3d printing is for prototyping and generally kinda sucks...

Charles
Peter posted those files here.
 

CHeathman

TVWBB Member
Yes he did. But they are the .stl files. I want something that isn't mesh that I can manipulate. Especially for machining, where i don't want to remove all of the material in the pockets, it can just stay. A lot of CAM software won't even accept .stl files, mainly 3d printing slicers do.

Charles
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
I have to agree in a lot of ways. But before I get into it, Ralph was awesome enough to send my unit a RD3 while we were deployed to Iraq and I used it quite a bit. Not sure I really ever said thanks, but I'm sure Ralph will see this. I like the design, however, I originally asked for the files and was turned down. I have a 3d printer and a taig cnc milling machine and love to tinker. I wanted the files so bad that I recreated the RD3, pretty close to a "t" because I wanted to recreate this so I could make it out of HDPE or aluminum. I have no desire to make these to sell on a commercial level, or really to sell at all. I also wanted the files for the SMD version of heatermeter case, I wanted to make it out of aluminum, but have had no luck getting the files for that either. I just love to make things! I understand the hours that are put into things like this, but I thought that this was an open source type project. And to top it off, I hate STL files! I want something I can import into rhino and customize! Let's face it, 3d printing is for prototyping and generally kinda sucks...

Charles
I vaguely recall our discussion about sending you the files, I think the bottom line was you decided that carving it from aluminum was not as feasible as you had hoped? (or was that the guy that was thinking of casting the parts? IDK, I answer so many emails it's really hard to keep track) I really have no ability to provide you files for Rhino, I work with 123D and it has limited ability to export files, STL's are universal so that is generally what I share. I don't recall the timing exactly, but Mr Wbegg and a couple others had been attempting to acquire my files in effort to exploit them commercially for a long while now, perhaps your timing was bad and I was suspect of your request as a result. If that is the case I apologize. I have often printed parts at or below cost when up against a decision whether to trust someone with the files, I figure that's a good way to provide a damper to someone that wants one damper for their own grill, if they want more than one they must want it to sell... right? 'Cause they pretty much last forever so you shouldn't need more than one.

As for open source, this is TVWBB here, there is nothing inherently open source about it. The HM is an open source project, shared at github etc in addition to having this forum here. I have not posted my files at thingiverse or github and have never said my roto damper project is open source. Call me quirky, call me an a$$hole, call me what you will, but I have put a lot of effort into this and see no need to give my work to others to exploit commercially. I don't like seeing what has gone on at Auber with the HM either, but that's Bryans issue to deal with the way he wants to, we are all individuals here and deal with things our own way.

Others have expressed dissatisfaction with having to email me for the files (not wanting to be "vetted" etc), from my point of view sending me an email asking for the files and then agreeing not to exploit them commercially isn't a whole lot to ask compared to the work I have done to create them. A damper is not a required part of a HM build, and there are plenty of designs shared here already, including the "offset rotary" damper that is remarkably similar to my roto damper design. So it's not like there is nothing available for you if that is the path you want to take. I have until this point been purposefully vague on my position about sharing the files because that is like laying down your cards face up at a poker table, an unethical person will just tell me what I want to hear to get the files, which is apparently what has happened here. If you for some reason have a desire to actually print the damper yourself to the point that you recreated my design on your own that's fine with me, I appreciate the fact that you did it for your own personal use and have not commercially exploited it yourself or shared it with someone else to do so. I surely hope this is the case, and in general I like to believe in the integrity of people, particularly those signed up for service to our country, but you never really know do you? In your case I tend to trust in your integrity from what I recall from our correspondence...
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
Yes he did. But they are the .stl files. I want something that isn't mesh that I can manipulate. Especially for machining, where i don't want to remove all of the material in the pockets, it can just stay. A lot of CAM software won't even accept .stl files, mainly 3d printing slicers do.

Charles
If you are still in need of files and want them for personal use shoot me an email. We can compare import/export lists and see if there is some sort of file I can get to you that will allow you to get editable files into your software. I know the native 123D files are not at all universal, I don't think there are many (if any) applications other than 123D that can open them.
 

Steve_M

TVWBB Guru
Ralph,

Throughout this (and other) threads, you keep saying you're doing this to avoid being commercially exploited. I just can't imagine a situation where this would actually happen. Even so, you could release it under a Creative Commons NonCommercial license. So far there have been 2 forum members that have replicated your design. Could there be more? Maybe. It's not a complicated device to replicate.
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
Ralph,

Throughout this (and other) threads, you keep saying you're doing this to avoid being commercially exploited. I just can't imagine a situation where this would actually happen. Even so, you could release it under a Creative Commons NonCommercial license. So far there have been 2 forum members that have replicated your design. Could there be more? Maybe. It's not a complicated device to replicate.
Wbegg posted a link to a copy of my design (his copy) for sale, at a whopping price of $75 none the less. That is first place I have seen someone bold enough to list it in a web store, there may be others. I also have been contacted by people complaining about problems with roto dampers they had purchased (printed from my files that I have shared), the guy started to rip me a new one calling me a rip off... Things didn't seem to add up so I asked him to send me some pictures, sure enough they were printed in a color I have never purchased and were flawed parts printed very poorly. The guy eventually apologized, realizing I had nothing to do with the sale of the RD to him. I helped him get his RD up and running for free because we both were victims in this case. This was quite a while ago, so it's not like this is something that MAY happen, it's has been going on for quite some time already. Unfortunately this experience has made me a bit skeptical of the intent of some people when they request the files from me, and on occasion perhaps I have refused to share the files with individuals that say the wrong thing to me while asking. (like needing the source files rather than STL's) To this day the very worst approach I have seen while asking for my files was, and I paraphrase from memory.... "Your damper is pretty much the same as my damper design I have in my head, except mine is better. Please send me your files so I can skip over the hard work of creating my superior design." I really had a WOW moment when I read that one... LOL
 
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