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Drive your manual stick car smoothly as an automatic

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by slikdial, Oct 5, 2008.

    • Member

    slikdial Slikdial

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    All the claims in your first cited patent were canceled during reexamination. Therefore, the sideways swing is not patented, contrary to your intention.

    Before my patent was issued, you mocked at the application. Now that the patent is issued, you mock at the patent office. Why don't you go ahead and challenge the patent to prove you are right?

    As for the your second cited patent, it was a valid patent from patent law perspective. Unfortunately, it was invented way before its time. Nowadays, it would make a fantastic app to show the target and provide real time score. I bet one can sell a lot in those 5,6,7 star hotels. Urinal is where the iPad belongs to.

    • Member

    slikdial Slikdial

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    Here is the quick graph to indicate the RPM increase needed to shift from 4th to 5th on the 2007 BMW 335i. The procedure is:

    Down shift is when you shift from a higher numbered gear to a lower numbered gear. This is typically done to get more torque to either accelerate or to slow down the car when descending a hill.
    • Take a quick look at the SilkDial for the current RPM C. and visually follow the Archimedean curve to RPM D
    • Depress the clutch
    • Briefly tap the gas panel to increase the engine to RPM D
    • Release the clutch
    tacho_downshift.jpg

    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    It stuns me that you're really taking this seriously. Some day when I have enough time to waste, I'll explain to you why, although your work is excellent in theory, it completely ignores the realities of human physiology: perception, attention, memory, precision, and reaction time. Were I taking your "quick look" as I upshifted out of Road America's Turn Six as you see me at left, I would be into the wall in short order.
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    Steven Otto

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    While I commend your efforts, this looks like the classic solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
    CRKrieger likes this.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    I wonder who holds the patent on the brodie knob. . .
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    Terse

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    This just seems really dangerous when you get people staring at it to figure out what's what. Does anyone really stare at their tach in regular driving situations anyway? I'd much rather pay attention to the sound and feel of my car along with the ALL IMPORTANT ROAD I'm driving on instead of something taped to my dash.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    That's why BMW has invested so heavily in head-up display technology. They have done a ton of research on driver distractions---inevitable---and the acceptable "safe" time limit for such distractions: less than two seconds, and less than one is better. I agree that there are time I am absolutely incapable of taking my eyes off the two-lane blacktop, so I shift when it feels appropriate. (Doesn't everybody?)

    If you need what looks like a biorhythm chart to shift smoothly, perhaps you need a shifting mechanism that reads PRND.
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    MGarrison

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    I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to learn that the person who came up with the name "Pringles" for P&G drove an automatic.
    • Member

    slikdial Slikdial

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    This visual guide's purpose is to help the driver get used to a new stick shift car quickly. In the end, one has to recognize the engine pitch and memorize various gear ratios to master his car. There is never dispute about that. After all, the brain is a massive neural network that requires lots of trial and error to establish the connections between the neurons in order to produce a correct response, which is what you called "human physiology". Any experienced driver would have all the connections in his mind for his car. Slikdial simply visualizes these connections. Slikdial shortens the amount the time normally needed to establish those connections in mind.

    Slikdial would save someone, specially the younger ones who are trying to learn manual stick shift, a lot of time by visually teach them when and how to shift to make the ride jerk free. The point is that anything we can do to prolong the ultimate disappearance of the stick shift would be better than not doing anything about it.

    • Member

    slikdial Slikdial

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    Thanks but the problem did exist for me and I was frustrated by trial and error http://slikdial.com/history.html. It surprises me that many people still think "shift shock" is an unavoidable characteristic of a manual transmission.

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    slikdial Slikdial

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    A good driver should not stare at anything whether it's black tar, head-up display... A good driver should scan everything from L/R/C mirrors, road, instruments (occasionally when safe) and maintain a 3D map of his surroundings and speed at all the time.

    Most drivers on the road these days really should be sitting in an automated Google car so that they can text and chat on cell phone. That's what the landscape is going to look like in 2020. Until then, I will drive my stick shift.

    drummerfc guest

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    After reading many of the replies, and after giving at least the concepts a chance, my conclusion is thus: we could debate the merits of "slik's" product all day and all night...however, the concepts of his idea do indeed work. The root of his idea is giving the engine and transmission the chance to catch up with one another, if you will. And at the end of the day, isn't that how one goes from being simply a manual driver to being a BETTER manual driver?

    I have applied the concepts of his dial without printing the dial out or taping anything to my dash. I haven't taken my eyes off the road (except the normal looks one gives the mirrors, tach, speedo, etc.). However, I'm trying to be more perceptive to when the proper time is to engage the next gear and when not to...and I have improved my driving thanks to "slik's" concept. For me it's been a combination of the sound of the engine, the feel, and the RPMs plus the concept that has helped me. I've been driving a stick shift car on and off since my teens (and I'm now 53); I learned on a car without a tach. My dad taught me how to listen to the engine and that's how I've done it pretty much the whole way. WIth the concept of "slik's" dial, I'm now using the tach more in addition to the old standby of listening, and it has helped me to be more patient when changing gears.

    Hey - if something is going to come along and help me become better at anything I choose to do, I'll embrace it. That's my .02, F.W.I.W.
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    Zeichen311

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    Perhaps...but a far more effective way is to be taught by a manual driver who is better than you.

    Clever though this invention is, it is symptomatic of how many US drivers operate in a near-vacuum of skilled instruction. We are taught the basics and thrust out into traffic. Those who want to become truly proficient are usually left to figure it out for themselves

    Here is how you adapt to any given manual-transmission car, using only the tach and your senses--no charts or tables. As you shift, glance at the tach and at the instant the clutch engages, take note of two things: Whether you felt a shock and if so, which way the tach needle moved.

    If the needle rose when the clutch grabbed, you let the RPMs fall too low (or for a downshift, you didn't goose the throttle enough)--next time move a little quicker (upshift) or blip the throttle a little harder (downshift).

    If the needle dropped, the RPMs were too high (you rushed the upshift, or overcooked a downshift)--next time wait a bit longer (upshift) or blip a bit less (downshift).

    Notice you're not looking at the actual RPM reading--you could erase all the marks on the tach and it would make no difference! You're looking at motion. You are endeavoring to memorize timing and movements, not numbers. Any given engine gains or loses momentum at a fairly consistent rate, and the goal is to train your muscle memory to work with that rate as you move up and down through the gears.

    As you match your timing to a car's behavior, shifting requires less conscious attention. (Note that gear selection is distinct from the actual act of shifting.) You quite literally start dancing with the car, matching its movements and responding to its signals without thought, as you concentrate on more important things than reading the tach.

    For some people charts like the SlikDial may be helpful training aids towards that end. Just don't let them become a crutch. If you are thinking about what RPM numbers to hit on every shift, you are stuck on the wrong path.
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    slikdial Slikdial

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    Unfortunately, not everyone has the chance to be taught by a professional. In fact, it is had to find a driving school that teaches manual. I respect each person's unique way to mastering the shift. In the end, the math is the same. The problem with this and all other trial and error methods is that if you switch to a different car, then you may have to relearn the ratios again. With a customized SlikDial, you can shift precisely at the moment he steps in a new car.

    BTW, 335 is sweet. I miss the high gas mileage. The good thing is that E90/92 manual kept the same 6 speed manual transmission as the 335. There is no relearning the ratios for me.

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    109941

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    Whoa........it's kinda like one of those logic diagrams that some young engineers create......very nice, but sorta humorous to someone that's been doing the tasks for a few decades. .........Did I really think about each of those choices?

    Anyhow, I learned to shift by the sound of the engine, be it a John Deere B or a Suzuki trail-bike.............a long time ago in a land far away, clad in bad plaids.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    If only I had used a SlikDial chart, I am SURE this run would have been smoother. . .

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    slikdial Slikdial

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    Nice run and nice ///M graphics. But you wouldn't drive like this with your loved ones in the car, would you? For day to day driving, we optimize for smoothness. For autocross, we optimize for speed.

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    CRKrieger

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    I doubt you really do this, /Stig. You can feel which way the car lurched and you know what it means. You will thereafter adjust your treatment of that shift accordingly.

    I also hope you don't do this. What you do is, you feel and you listen. You feel whether the car lurched with your shift and you listen for the engine to sound right. You (and I) are able to drive smoothly all day long without really taking one look at a tach.

    QFT.

    drummerfc guest

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    I really don't get how or why this is even an arguement... :confused:

    In the name of "different strokes for different folks", we all have our own ways of doing the same things. I'm sure when you get up in the morning you aren't preparing to meet your day in the same way I would, or vice-versa. However, we all have to get from "Point A to Point B", in a manner of speaking, no matter what we're doing. We start at one point (ie: get up in the morning), end at the other (ie: start your day), but its the in-between that may differ.

    I established the fact that I did exactly that earlier in the thread. To review - My dad (RIP), who was an accomplished manual driver, taught me @35 years ago in a 1971 Mercury Capri without a tach, as an 18 year old (wow, time sure files!! :eek:). I learned by listening to the engine and the feel of the car. So off and on, I've driven stick cars for the better part of the last 35 years. Not that I'm an expert by any stretch, but I pretty much know what I'm doing...however, my shifting isn't as "buck-free", if you will, than I'd like it to be.

    Soooo...along comes this post, and the SlikDial. I looked at the dial, noted the concept, thought it might help me. Didn't cut the thing out and paste it to my dash, I'm watching the road when driving, with occasional glances at the tach to insure I'm getting the timing down (and of course not red-lining...LOL!). This whole concept is NOT altering my safety or taking my attention away from the road. However, it DID give me another tool to use when shifting. Again, I don't see the big issue here.

    Ummmm...that's all I am using it for!

    Who ever said it was a crutch?

    Stig, don't get me wrong...I do appreciate your opinion on the matter. But IMO (and please correct me if I'm wrong), using the "getting up in the morning" analogy, I don't think I'm brushing my teeth wrong just because you might do it differently!

    If I decide to go to (my FIRST!) Oktoberfest this year, and you're there, we should try our different methods of shifting in person and compare...perhaps I might learn something!
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Yes, do let's meet at Oktoberfest!

    By the way, replacement of the clutch-delay valve may aid your smootherization even more than a chart. . .

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