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Hot Tubs, Patents

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May. 25th, 2007 | 10:19 am

The hot tub is still having an issue. I suspect that there is an air
bubble past the primary pump. Nothing seems to be working to get the
air bubble out. Either the pump is having issues, aka is clogged, or
priming is not working. The reason I suspect that it is priming is
because during the priming stage nothing is happening.

What I want is for the tub to work.

What would I like long term? Find a way to raise the temperature from
104 to 108. The tub has some sort of safety feature built in so that
this can not happen. I've studied the board that controls the hot
tub, and except for one jumper, I've been able to document them all
(and I suspect the one jumper is just for turning the ozone creator
on and off). To learn more I turned to google :)

Surprisingly little is out there on hot to hack your hot tub. No
conversations on any message boards, no blogging on it.

I was able to find the patent application though. I loved this little
bit from it:

The Electrical Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM) stores the instructions for the microcomputer to execute. Once a program is created on the development system, the final software is loaded into the EPROM. The EPROM can be modified to add new features, or additional EPROMs can be connected to manage different functions and applications. The Random Access Memory (RAM) is a memory device which stores temporary information while the information is being processed by the microcomputer. The RAM only reads and writes data, and can hold data for future reference with backup battery power even after the main power is turned off. The RAM stores data such as the number of hours on the heater, the number of times that the temperature of the spa exceeds the pre-selected temperature, and other information.

Wouldn't this be obvious? The entire patent is only original in that
it describes hooking up a small computer to control a couple of pumps
and a heater, which is not original at all. I am not in the business
of creating hot tubs, but the entire patent looks like what anyone
creating a controlled motor with a computer would design. At one
point I use to believe it was just software patents which were
useless, but when you see patents granted on such obvious devices it
hits pretty clearly that the entire patent system is more then a
little lousy.

Fulltext of the patent is here: http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5550753-fulltext.html


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Comments {6}


(no subject)

from: woggie
date: May. 25th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)

It amuses me when someone who understands higher math and schematics says something is "obvious". :)

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Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: May. 25th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)

Einfach :)

"obvious" in this context is a legal term.

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(no subject)

from: brianfey
date: May. 25th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)

When I had a hot tub in Seattle the service guys came out and changed the jumper to disable the 104 limit.

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Temp Sensor

from: ka6wke
date: May. 26th, 2007 01:53 am (UTC)


Try unplugging the temp sensor, and see if the water temp will go up.


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Brian "Krow" Aker

Re: Temp Sensor

from: krow
date: May. 26th, 2007 07:05 am (UTC)

Interesting thought... but I suspect it won't work. The tub will shut off if it detects water temperatures above 110. I need to study what the thermometer is, since if its one that is based on resistivity, I should be able to just modify that with a resistor.

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Re: Temp Sensor

from: ka6wke
date: May. 26th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)

More than likely, it's a thermistor, so the resistivity will change with temp. Something you can easily verify if you can unplug it, put it into some hot water and measure it with a DMM. I don't know which way it goes, resistivity goes up or down depending upon temp.

If you do replace it with a fixed resistor, you'll still loose your 110 degree safety, so be careful! :)

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