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John Deere owns the rights to the design. Speculation as to when or if the design will appear in future machines. Farm Show paper out of Canada used to sell a video with inventions and one part of one of the videos had the later bi rotor on tracks with the Deere cab. Interesting tha you could park the header unhook the rotor mechanism from the machine and back the rest of the combine out away from the rotor leaving it exposed to inspection or work.
 

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Quote:John Deere owns the rights to the design. Speculation as to when or if the design will appear in future machines.
The year the STS was introduced at Agri-Trade, some of the wheels from Harvester Works were there. I asked why no Bi-rotor?
The reply was
"That it didn't work in all conditions".
With the benefit of 8 years, I can finish the statement,
"Until we milk the STS design for all it's worth".
Just about there.

Don
 

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ive heard of guys taking an older case combine and making their own rotor for it. from what ive been told there was one rotor inside the other. i was wondering if anybody had pictures or info an the combine.
 

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I think the combine you are refering to is known as the "bi-rotor" combine. Originally an old IH 1480. You can do a search of this site and other sites like agtalk and simply type in bi-rotor and several threads as well as threads with pictures will show up. If you spend any time at the patent office online, you can also find the fine details of the machine there. Just search for "Underwood Mark R" and most of his patents for that machine will come up.
 

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Ya wanna see something really incredable? Check out these 2 patents. #4,422,462. And #4,249,542. Go to the USPTO as freepatents is sort of a rogue deal. However, as I recall, the USPTO prefers that you not hotlink to them. That may have changed, but I still prefer to simply have folks type in the patent number for themselves as the web crawlers cant find the patent office so quick and spam them.
 
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Quote:This link should take you to the patent info for the Bi-rotor combine. Kind of interesting

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5772503.html

Farmerleach


I tried this link before I logged on and it won't send you to the page. I'm not to sure why it would work for me yesterday, maybe it was because I was logged into their site.

However the patent number is US patent #5,772,503. If you want to use www.freepatentsonline.com you will have to log in and enter the patent number or type in Bi Rotor combine in the search box.

sorry for the inconvenience folks

farmerleach
 

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Quote:I found this thread very interesting and wanted to see what one looked like so i googled it. Here is a link that will show you a pic of a prototype bi-rotor.
http://www.farmphoto.com/FPv2/thread.aspx?mid=36829


I posted this photo there.

The Bi-Rotor story

Everything started in a little town named Burr Oak in north central Kansas. Mark Underwood grew up on his parents farm and later became one of the dryland farmers there. Always thinking and tinkering, he first thought about a rotor to thresh grain in 1971, while he was still in high school and at a summer job operating a cement mixer. Mark gained much of his combine knowledge, being his fathers combine operator during some custom harvesting years. With the help of a KTEC grant a two third scale model of the Bi-Rotor was built and tested a K-State in 1990. Constantly improving and shaping the idea in his mind, the first fullsize Bi-Rotor combine was built in winter 1990/91. Mark engineered his idea into a 1480 IH axial flow. The Bi-Rotor assembly measured only 4 feet in length and 3 feet in diameter, about the size of a commercial cloth dryer. The IH axial flow rotor was about 9 feet long. The "new" combine was painted white and therefore called ******
The harvest season of 1991 was the first time ****** could show its full potential. One day some CIH engineers came out to Burr Oak to see ****** harvesting. Encouraged by its performance Mark's cousin Ralph Lagergren teamed up fulltime to take on the marketing and financing side of the venture, that was now called Agri-Technology L.P.. The cousins decided to built a complete new combine from the ground up, that would incorporate many more of Mark's inventions.
In early 1992 they had rented shop space from a small company named Kincaid Equipment Manufacturing in Haven, Kansas. Many of Mark's inventions had not made it through the patenting process yet. Therefore this big project needed to be kept as secret as possible. The engineering of the XBR2 (experimental Bi-Rotor 2) took much more time and money than the cousins expected. Therefore ****** was harvesting the 92 wheat crop around Burr Oak again. Mark had added self leveling sieves. This time a John Deere engineer witnessed the combining but again without any follow ups. ****** got to harvest the corn as well and grocery money got as scarce as investors for the Bi-Rotor. The end seemed near, but the unexpected happened again. A company Ralph had never considered to have any interest in a combine called one day in fall 1992. Caterpillar had been manufacturing combines a long time ago but sold its combine division to John Deere in the 1930s. The launch of its challenger tractor in 1987 showed more interest in agriculture. After going through a shrinking construction equipment market causing heavy losses for the company, Caterpillar was now looking for new markets. Experiments with the CAT tracks on John Deere and Claas combines were found a too expensive option for the market. To have their own combine was much more desirable, but CAT did not have any combine knowledge or engineers to built one. A nondisclosure agreement was quickly signed. Than the CAT delegation got to see Ralph's presentation and ******. During the long months of negotiating with CAT the cousins moved their engineering and manufacturing utensils to a new facility provided by Gordon-Piatt Energy Group located between Winfield and Arkansas City in Kansas. Gordon-Piatt became an investor in the project and provided parts manufacturing. In February of 1993 the first CAT project contribution arrived in form of a used Challenger tractor to be dismantled for parts and a new set of tracks. Since a modern combine, even as simple as the Bi-Rotor, has some 30,000 components, much help was needed to get things going. Glenn Jackson a CAD engineer from Texas, who had helped building ******, Jeff Hawkins, a self-taught welder from Kincaid, Alan Van Nahmen, an ag equipment connoisseur with 12 years of John Deere experience and a track zealot, once a factory school instructor for electrical, power train and hydraulic functions and Sushil Dwyer, a Ph.D. candidate who had helped the cousins do their testing at K-State, after he had immigrated from a University position in India's wheat belt, got hired onto the Bi-Rotor team. Everyone of them shared Mark's and Ralph's enthusiasm for inventions in general and the Bi-Rotor. By the end of March the team began to work, by the end of May the frame was completed. A high profile CAT meeting on August 19th forced a deadline onto the team. Ralph answered by hiring more "enthusiasts". Joe Lutgen, a K-State graduate and CAD whiz helped designing components, while Glen's father Ken, a well experienced civil engineer and construction supervisor, became Mark's right hand. A ninth enthusiast was found in Aaron McKee, a K-State engineer student at the time. The closer the deadline came, the longer the working hours got. Everything seemed to take twice as long as hoped. Fears were setting in. Mark had already sacrificed the farm for HIS combine. Joe wound up designing the 400 bu grain tank all by himself and was worried to death, that it might not fit, but it did fit perfectly. To eliminate moving parts Mark wanted most parts driven by hydraulic motors mounting in a major plumbing challenge of a giant hose and pump jungle. While the CAT dead line closed in, side panels and painting had to be done, too, besides a two day haul to Peoria. To help the crew Caterpillar sent a hydraulic expert with prototype experience. On August 11th at 9:15 AM the 300hp heart of the XBR2 pulsed for the very first time. At the same time the side panels were fitted. Then a two day hydraulic troubleshooting period worried the whole team again. Friday August 13th the malfunctioning pump was determined and by 10:10PM the tracks were moving as planed. The paint came on over the weekend and Monday was the journey to Peoria. The internal CAT show seemed a success, but now the CEOs asked for prove of performance. Two month of patience robbing "little ****" went by before the XBR2 went to the field for the first time in its life on October 7th 1993. On a cloudy and muggy day Mark's invention put clean milo into the large grain tank behind him as he made eight rounds around the field, before the rain ended the joy run. Everything worked flawless. A few days later the XBR2 showed its corn performance on the farm of Mark's parents. Then the struggle with Caterpillar set in. In lack of combine experience the company was looking for help to evaluate the Bi-Rotor's performance. It was found in a major ag equipment manufacturer, that was supposed to market the new combine in the future. Unfortunately this company had its own line of combines and could not be believed to conduct an unbiased test. A Bi-Rotor test unit had to be built to perform as a test rat in New Holland's research facility in Europe. The test went well, with minor adjustments, that improved the Bi-Rotors threshing performance. In spring 1993 CAT and NH suggested more tests in the top yielding wheat of California's Imperial Valley. New Holland had just developed their new TX model. The prototype built by some Kansas "loonies" had to run side by side with two market ready NH machines designed by a multimillion Dollar R&D department. For some reason ($$$) the NH combines always came out on top during the tests. Then came the bad news. CAT pulled out and gave up its rights on the Bi-Rotor.
The team pulled together. Once more Ralph found the resources to continue the venture. Back at Gordon-Piatt, the guys worked hard to refine their baby. In 1995 negotiations behind closed doors finalized the fate of the Bi-Rotor. John Deere bought the patent rights and shelved it

For more details on Mark, Ralph, the XBR2 fellows and lots of American farming history, please read the book "Dream Reaper" by Craig Canine.

The only videos known to me are in the archives of Legleiter Video Productions, Arkansas City, KS.

Today Mark is working a job in a factory. ****** and the XBR2 are still sitting beside his shop near Burr Oak, Kansas.
 

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Does someone want to explain the idea of why a birotor is better? I realize that the rotor spins inside a rotating cage/concave contraption that is going the same direction but slower.

Is the idea to keep the bar speed the same as with a normal rotary because that is where the best threshing occurs for any given crop, but be able to gain separation through greater centrifugal force because the rotor can spin faster because the concave is turning too?

Try to help me out here. And it makes me cringe to think what would happen to the whole contraption when a huge slug of wet canola swath decides to ram itself into the whole assembly.
 

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Quote:Does someone want to explain the idea of why a birotor is better? I realize that the rotor spins inside a rotating cage/concave contraption that is going the same direction but slower.
My swag is increased separation in a small package. By having full circle concaves and rotate slowly to self clean the overall size is reduced.
Doesn't Gleaner sort of do this through a cage sweep set-up?

Don
 

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So why don't they just put concaves around the full circle without the rotation? Or is the idea that what sticks on top will fall out when it hits the bottom?
 

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Quote:the XBR2 went to the field for the first time in its life on October 7th 1993./ In spring 1993 CAT and NH suggested more tests in the top yielding wheat of California's Imperial Valley.
Ralf I gather you mean spring of 1994?
Ralf that a was very interesting summary of time line of events. Do you know the people involved?
Why Cat's sudden loss of interest? Would that roughly co-inside with Cat/Claas talks? Or was Cat's knowledge of harvest equipment so shallow they took NH's opinion at face value? No response from the initial CIH visit? And If Deere had no initial interest why cut the coffin closing check? Perhaps it is fundamental flawed but Deere didn't want to risk any one else developing it? They do have something though that many others have put their hearts and cash into but the patent's are getting close to expiry, doesn't look good.
I feel for Mark and Ralph, I can't help but feel Corporate America played them like puppets.

Don
 

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Quote:
Quote:the XBR2 went to the field for the first time in its life on October 7th 1993./ In spring 1993 CAT and NH suggested more tests in the top yielding wheat of California's Imperial Valley.
Ralf I gather you mean spring of 1994?
Ralf that a was very interesting summary of time line of events. Do you know the people involved?
Why Cat's sudden loss of interest? Would that roughly co-inside with Cat/Claas talks? Or was Cat's knowledge of harvest equipment so shallow they took NH's opinion at face value? No response from the initial CIH visit? And If Deere had no initial interest why cut the coffin closing check? Perhaps it is fundamental flawed but Deere didn't want to risk any one else developing it? They do have something though that many others have put their hearts and cash into but the patent's are getting close to expiry, doesn't look good.
I feel for Mark and Ralph, I can't help but feel Corporate America played them like puppets.

Don


Don, there's more to this story. I dont have the links to the articles I've read some time ago, but I may try to find some of them if they are still in any archives.

Purchasing the patents is'nt allways just for "shelving" the ideas nor for implementing them. Sometimes patents are purchased for a particular aspect included in the writing of the patent. Just as deere and pretty much all other brands have several patents for threshing concepts that have never even made it to the prototype stage.
 

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Quote:So why don't they just put concaves around the full circle without the rotation? Or is the idea that what sticks on top will fall out when it hits the bottom?
That would be my swag. Totally from memory of the Farmshow article of 10+ years ago, I believe the outer circle of concaves turned at a constant 50 rpm.

Don
 

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Quote:Is NH's twin rotor patent expired?

Which one? Number 4,075,823 was issued 2-28-1978. As far as I have read, the law says the patent is good for 20 years from the date of issue.
 

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Quote:
Quote:Is NH's twin rotor patent expired?Which one? Number 4,075,823 was issued 2-28-1978. As far as I have read, the law says the patent is good for 20 years from the date of issue.

That seems late as NewHolland had TR 70's by the fall of 1974.
But obviously the patent that put the TR 70 in the field has long since expired.

Don
 
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