jetZILLA SportThrottle

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larry cottrill
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jetZILLA SportThrottle

Post by larry cottrill » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:24 pm

I am now offering the following:
2010-02-22_002_crop1_small.jpg
The jetZILLA SportThrottle. Photo Copyright 2010 Larry Cottrill
I don't have the sales page created yet, but you can order via PayPal. Note that this is essentially an "introductory" price -- it may go up some by the time I get the sales page up. It will certainly increase if the proposed Value Added Tax becomes law in the US. Here are the specifics:

- Smooth running steel throttle lever with comfortable vinyl palm grip
- 90 degree rotation from OFF to FULL - use with tank valve fully open
- OFF position provides for INSTANT fuel shutoff in an emergency
- Brass body ball valve with stainless ball and gas-tight seals
- Standard LH fuel barb fits standard propane tank valves
- No filters or other restrictions to fuel flow
- 1/2-inch NPT (US standard) outlet port
- Price: $45.00 US - INCLUDES packaging, shipping and insurance (if you live in Iowa USA, add 6 percent Iowa Sales Tax)
- Ships in 4 weeks from receipt of order (since I don't expect to be swamped with hundreds of orders, I can probably do better than this)

Note that because this is a ball valve, the throttling is NOT linear -- it is significantly more sensitive on the low end than the high end. However, the action is so smooth that you will have no trouble achieving the exact setting desired. You will need to add whatever fittings (reducer, elbow, etc.) you need to connect your fuel hose to the outlet.

To order:
- Use PayPal.com to make your payment to larrycottrill@cottrillcyclodyne.com (you can use most any credit card if you don't have your own PayPal account)
- Be sure to use your full name and COMPLETE shipping address
- Cut and paste the following into the PayPal 'Comments' box:
Qty: 1 - Model: SPO-100 - jetZILLA SportThrottle

Thank you.

Larry Cottrill
Cottrill Cyclodyne Corporation
Mingo, Iowa USA

larry cottrill
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Emergency Shutoff Really DOES Work!

Post by larry cottrill » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:21 pm

About 45 minutes ago I was performing a test run of my big "industrial heater" engine, using the Sport Throttle attached to the output of a high-flow regulator. This was a high pressure fuel pipe test, with 60 PSIG set on the regulator. I got about a full minute of running, then suddenly the engine stopped and a HUGE bloom of yellow flame erupted from beneath it. Incredibly, the engine end of the propane hose had fallen free of the fuel pipe!

I instinctively jerked my hand back on the throttle, and had the propane shut off in a fraction of a second! The flame disappeared immediately, leaving the wooden test frame undamaged, and no harm done to anything.

What happened was that somehow, the hose end melted, either from the radiant heat or the ejected intake flame (which is totally invisible in daylight). Black rubber oozed out through the stainless outer braid and charred in the form of little hard black beads. Eventually, the hose inside the end ferrule was so weakened that the pressure was able to force it out so it separated. Interestingly, a tiny rim of rubber hose was left inside the fitting.

Obviously, this isn't an unbiased testimonial as to the effectiveness of the throttle shutoff. However, I'm REALLY glad I wasn't relying on the tank valve itself for shutoff when this happened! 60 PSI through a 3/8-inch ID hose is a LOT of burning propane to have running a few feet from your face.

This is a great illustration of the curse of the unexpected. I was intently observing the chamber wall and engine mount welds as the engine was heating up. The last thing I was worried about was a fuel hose setup identical to what I've used successfully on many smaller motors. The radiant heat from this stainless engine is really intense.

L Cottrill
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2010-04-08_008_crop1.small.jpg
The hose end after the accident. This is 3/8 inch hose with
stainless outer braid. Photo Copyright 2010 Larry Cottrill

larry cottrill
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FREE PDF Download: jetZILLA SportThrottle Manual

Post by larry cottrill » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:54 pm

Here's my Operation and Safety Manual for the jetZILLA SportThrottle. Feel free to download, print and share as you wish. To download, just click on the link and use 'Save As' to save it where you want it (or you can open it with Acrobat to have a look, and save it from there).

L Cottrill
Attachments
Sport Throttle Op & Safety Manual.pdf
jetZILLA Sport Throttle Operation and Safety Manual (PDF)
- Feel free to download, print and share.
(334.88 KiB) Downloaded 170 times

metiz
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Re: jetZILLA SportThrottle

Post by metiz » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:43 pm

Larry, I don't want to sound disrespectfull, but isn't that just an ordinary shutoff valve that you can get in any hardware store for maybe $10, plus another 10 for couplings when needed?

Image
Quantify the world.

larry cottrill
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Re: jetZILLA SportThrottle

Post by larry cottrill » Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:38 pm

metiz wrote:Larry, I don't want to sound disrespectfull, but isn't that just an ordinary shutoff valve that you can get in any hardware store for maybe $10, plus another 10 for couplings when needed?
Very perceptive, metiz. Total expenses $20, sale price $45, ergo obscene profit of $25 per unit. This is perfectly logical hobbyist thinking, and it's the reason a lot of people think they can start a business and make lots of money the first year - and then go broke. But a businessman really does have to "quantify the world" - by that I mean, he has to look at costs in two very practical ways:
(a) He has to look at REAL costs
(b) He has to look at ALL costs

I just sold one of these this week - the customer should have it in his hand today or tomorrow. Let's look at this from a business standpoint and see how Cottrill Cyclodyne made out on this transaction.

From Menards in Altoona, IA: One shutoff valve and two brass bushings: $9.72
I don't get the cheap cylinder barbs from Menards - I go to a Des Moines welding supply place for good ones. They are sold as two parts, called the nipple and the nut. So:
From Praxair in Des Moines: One nipple and one LH nut: $ 11.81
The nice vinyl knob is a John Deere part that I special order from another place (they can usually get it overnight):
From Great American Outdoor in Ankeny, IA: One John Deere throttle knob: $10.84
So, we have total costs of 9.72 + 11.81 + 10.84 = 32.37 - subtracting from $45, this leaves me with:
Obscene profit = $ 12.63

But wait ... there's more:

You might have noticed that my price INCLUDES shipping and handling. To get the finished product to the customer, I have to package it up and ship it - in this case, US Postal Service:
USPS, Altoona, IA - Priority Mail w/ confirmation: $5.90
This finally leaves me with:
Obscene profit = $ 6.73

But wait ... there's more ...

Unfortunately, businessmen find that not all costs can be easily quantified on a per-unit basis. To build this product, I also had to use some supplies on hand, which I have no quick and easy way of evaluating:
- A few inches of Teflon tape
- A fraction of an ounce of aircraft primer
- A small quantity of J-B Weld
These are very minor expenses - let's say a dollar, leaving us with:
Obscene profit = $ 5.73
Most businesses would be ecstatic to have that much profit on a $ 45 unit sold!

But wait ... there's more ...

All this is assuming that my time and travel are worth nothing. To make this product and ship it, here's what I had to do for that $ 5.73 US:
- Email the customer to thank him for his order and give him an estimated shipping date
- Travel 12 miles to Altoona for the valve and reducers
- Travel 20 miles to Des Moines for the fuel barb parts
- Travel 20+ miles to Ankeny for the vinyl knob
- Back home, remove the handle from the valve and strip off the red vinyl cover
- Flatten out the handle with vise and mallet
- Saw the handle in two at a 22.5 deg angle
- Weld the handle back together, forming the 45-degree bent handle (you can see the weld in the photo)
- File or saw small notches to help the J-B Weld grip the steel
- Spray paint the handle with 3 coats of aircraft primer and let dry
- Rough sand the surfaces of the handle that will contact the J-B Weld
- Apply J-B Weld to the handle and the knob, press together and set upright for curing
- Apply Teflon tape to the bushings and barb nipple and thread together onto the valve body
- Print two shipping labels and packing list
- Once J-B Weld is fully hardened, reassemble the handle onto the valve - product is now complete
- Packing: Seal finished valve plus a small roll of Teflon tape in a baggie, fold carton up around it, pack with plastic peanuts, insert one shipping label and folded packing list, close carton and tape it, apply remaining shipping label
- Travel 12 miles to Altoona to ship the package and get the tracking number
- Email the customer notifying of shipment and the tracking number and estimated arrival date AND attaching the PDF user's manual
SO NOW YOU KNOW what $ 5.73 in obscene profit is actually for.

I hope this serves to fully explain why Sharon is so overjoyed to be married to a profit-making "businessman" ;-)

L Cottrill

metiz
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Re: jetZILLA SportThrottle

Post by metiz » Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:23 pm

Sounds like an awfull lot of work for 5.73.

But as you show in your explanation, you don't need a lot of those materials to get a functional model, and you don't have to pay for shipping if you make it yourself.

I have one of those normal shut-off valves plus a number of galvanized and brass couplings on my liquid fueling setup. A friend designed the system and bought the parts so I'm not entirely sure of costs, but considering the total price, 20 euro seems about right.

Of course, I do not have the fancy handle or any of the hand made modifications but it works fine as is. When I get a massive flameout, I don't realy stop to admire the handle or press it down any slower because of the feel.

This is, and wasn't, an attempt to ruin your buisness for this item, I just want to make clear that a simplified valve works just as well. I know there are still plenty of people who want one of these.
Quantify the world.

larry cottrill
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Re: jetZILLA SportThrottle

Post by larry cottrill » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:02 pm

metiz -

My friend, of course I know you meant no harm by your comment. I just went to great lengths to show the way real costs go into the price of an item. The real question is, "Do I want a really nice solution that will cost me $ 45.00 ?" I designed something so it was good-looking and comfortable and easy to use, and figured out (roughly) the MINIMUM I could charge for it, for the sake of other hobbyists.

Obviously, the problem for ME at that price is that I make them as "one off" units. If I KNEW that I could sell 100 in the next year, I could get OEM prices, have everything shipped to my door, etc. There would then be a nice profit at this price. But in this case (at least, so far) my customer base is hobbyists, not industry. So, it's kind of a "break even" deal. Since I draw no salary of any kind from the corporation (my involvement is essentially free), it's technically a profitable product. If I knew I had ten good orders, I could actually get some of the parts at reduced prices. I could actually have the 45-degree handles locally plasma cut and stamped (i.e. the little stop tabs bent down) VERY reasonably in qty 100, which would eliminate the flattening, sawing, notching and welding. (I know, because I've actually gotten it quoted.)

Anyway, I was just illustrating "business thinking" for all to see. Most people who have never been in business have absolutely NO IDEA AT ALL what the word "profit" actually means. (Note that I didn't even include "overhead" expenses, since I have no factory or other facilities that I can claim to use "exclusively" for business purposes.)

L Cottrill

PyroJoe
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Re: jetZILLA SportThrottle

Post by PyroJoe » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:32 pm

Thats a spot on description Larry,

I wish it were still profitable to run a tangible component business here in the states.
Somedays I wish the economy would completely collapse, so at least we could have our cottage industries back.

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