Variable Angle Gearbox

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Imagine having a ball with an input shaft and an output shaft that you can move to almost any position and still supply a constant power to the output shaft, even while moving.

It's easy to find a 90 degree gearbox. Such a gearbox can be mounted at any angle, but is stationary. Then there is the universal joint. A universal joint works well when one of the shafts may be move, but not too far. The coupling only works well when the shafts are almost positioned in a straight line.

The Variable Angle Gearbox (VAG) can be a replacement to a gearbox, a u-joint, or a coupling. It isolates the normal vibrations of a drive shaft from the driven shaft and does not create any other vibrations. The VAG is as durable as a gearbox. It delivers constant power throughout its range of motion: +- 120 degrees on both the x and y axes. If the design requires a different axis for the movement, or to save space such as a front wheel drive vehicle, it only requires a change to the frame.

The VAG can be used to provide constant power to the front wheels of a car or truck.

The VAG can be scaled up to ship size to give the Helmsman all the trim advantages of an outboard motor using the power required by a ship.

The VAG can be set up to have a frame tube go through a wall with 2 counter rotating tubes inside. The power output shaft then has 360 degree rotation around the tube frame without requiring any stops. And a +- 60 degree motion along the tube frame.

The VAG can replace hydraulics, by routing the power where the hoses were, resulting in one less MDMS sheet and one less flamable liquid to worry about.

Remember hearing about factories located near a waterfall? They used a waterwheel for the power and used pulleys to power their equipment. The VAG could also be used as a flexible power distribution network for use in hazardous environments.

Think of the VAG as a pair of balanced lines with very good common mode rejection. It takes the input power and splits it into a right hand spin shaft and a left hand spin shaft. This split power set-up then drives the 2 sun gears of the matching planetary gearboxes. The planet carriers provide the planetaries' output power and are driving the next gear in the chain. The planetary gearbox frames are connected by an idler shaft so that they both can only rotate in the same direction, the common mode rejection. The miter gear set up can only move if the shafts are moving in opposite directions, the power drive chain. This results in the VAG compensating for movements, including vibrations, while it is transferring power.

The Variable Angle Gearbox (VAG) is patent pending worldwide.


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  • Name:
    Robert Cline
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