PDA

View Full Version : Smart Shaft



06-14-2005, 05:00 PM
In following another post, my fellow league player Dennis Walsh was kind enough to mention that I managed to run 52 and 48 last night. While I'm a firm believer in the concept of "It's not the arrows, it's the Indian," I want everyone to know that I'm currently using one of Bill Stroud's new Smart Shafts, and I have not come across a better striking instrument in my 50+ years around the cue games. Naturally, this must be tempered with the fact that I (deservedly) have no reputation whatsoever as a player. But we're all friends here, and I wouldn't want any of you to miss out on this because you hadn't heard. Their low-squirt version is wholly competitive with, if not superior to, a Predator shaft, and a conventional model is or will be available too. Apparently Cue & Case will be the available source. GF

Deeman2
06-15-2005, 02:58 AM
George,

Thanks, I will try one.

Deeman

SpiderMan
06-15-2005, 07:16 AM
GF,

Are you familiar with the aim-and-pivot squirt test? If so, have you made a measurement to compare the squirt of this cue to a Predator 314? How does it stack up?

SpiderMan

Popcorn
06-15-2005, 07:20 AM
http://www.sportgate.de/board/post/7719/Universal_smart_shaft_system.html

Fred Agnir
06-15-2005, 07:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> GF,

Are you familiar with the aim-and-pivot squirt test? If so, have you made a measurement to compare the squirt of this cue to a Predator 314? How does it stack up?

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>I tested it at VF. The low squirt shaft matched up very well with a Predator, with the PP somewhere in the backhand. And it felt better, IMO.

That being said, the RS version (regular squirt) was exactlly the feel I like. And it was mounted on a Players cue or Action cue, IIRC.

IMO, the insert at the joint does more to reduce the vibration feel than anything else.

Fred

Popcorn
06-15-2005, 07:40 AM
Are all the vibration dampening properties within the adapter? How does the adapter connect to the main body of the shaft? I know it glues but what type of joint is used to join the adapter and the rest of the shaft?

06-15-2005, 07:57 AM
No, the vibration-dampening properties reside within the shaft, not the adapter. As for the latter, no glue is necessary; Stroud attaches it by screwing it on with a pliers and rubber band (the rubber band goes around the adapter first, so the plier's "teeth" don't damage it). They have a full range of adapters, including Quik-lok, so that the shaft can fit on just about any cue imaginable. GF

Fred Agnir
06-15-2005, 07:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Are all the vibration dampening properties within the adapter? How does the adapter connect to the main body of the shaft? I know it glues but what type of joint is used to join the adapter and the rest of the shaft? <hr /></blockquote>

The shaft is universal with a female blind thread at the joint. The specific adapter (specific to whatever cue brand) is threaded into the shaft joint. The adapter is plastic.

The selling point, however, is the dampening characteristics of a piezo electric patch install somewhere on the shaft. Maybe my experience in piezo electric vibration isn't up to par (I have some, but in obviously different applications), but as of this moment, I simply have no idea how it's supposed to dampen the vibration. You can't see the piezo patch, so I have to assume it's mounted at the ferrule end.

Fred

06-15-2005, 08:00 AM
I'm not familiar with that particular test. The deflection test I like is to freeze three balls in the middle of the short rail. Remove the middle ball, and spread the other two slightly so there's about a 1-1/2-ball gap between them. Now try to get in and out of there using maximum english. Both the Smart Shaft and the Predator can pass that test; Lucasi cues also did fairly well, although not as well as the first two. Meucci's Red Dot shaft failed miserably, at least in my hands. GF

SpiderMan
06-15-2005, 08:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> http://www.sportgate.de/board/post/7719/Universal_smart_shaft_system.html <hr /></blockquote>

In that series of discussions, Bill Stroud states (regarding the piezoelectric vibration damping system) that "no power source is required. The piezoelectric material generates it's own power" (spelling corrected in quote).

In all the applications I have heard of, piezoelectric damping requires a sensor, a transducer, external power, and some reasonably sophisticated processing circuitry to cancel vibrations. Bill noted that his passive system was patented, but ignored requests to provide the patent numbers. In regards to the lack of external power, he stated that because of this, the cancellation was only 35% instead of a theoretical 100%.

Fred Agnir noted above that he has tested the squirt characteristics of this shaft, and found that it compared well to the 314. I don't know that we have a good way to measure vibration damping, though.

My BS alerts seem to be going off on this one. Apparently it's a good shaft, but could it have some do-little components thrown in as well, for those whose purchasing decisions may be driven by "snake oil"? After all, you can get performance from a number of sources, so it's up to marketing to differentiate products /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

SpiderMan

Fred Agnir
06-15-2005, 08:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> In that series of discussions, Bill Stroud states (regarding the piezoelectric vibration damping system) that "no power source is required. The piezoelectric material generates it's own power" (spelling corrected in quote).

In all the applications I have heard of, piezoelectric damping requires a sensor, a transducer, external power, and some reasonably sophisticated processing circuitry to cancel vibrations. <hr /></blockquote>

This is also what's been puzzling me. You either add mechanical motion to produce a voltage, or you add a voltage to get a mechanical motion in piezo technology. Bill does say that the piezo creates the voltage. And further, the piezo crystals are in a fiber patch, and that the fiber patch "stiffens." Maybe (I'm guessing), when electricity is passed through carbon fiber material, the material's dampening properties are changed???

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bill Stroud:</font><hr>
The material I use in my design consists of graphite fibers aligned in a
longitudinal manner. They are then bonded in a viscous elastic medium.
No additional power is required. The material will generate electricity from
mechanical energy itself. When this happens the material stiffens at a sub
atomic level momentarily.<hr /></blockquote>
I was simply going under the assumption that he was using the piezo as the dampening medium, but he might be using the piezo for electrical generation only.

Fred

SpiderMan
06-15-2005, 09:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> In that series of discussions, Bill Stroud states (regarding the piezoelectric vibration damping system) that "no power source is required. The piezoelectric material generates it's own power" (spelling corrected in quote).

In all the applications I have heard of, piezoelectric damping requires a sensor, a transducer, external power, and some reasonably sophisticated processing circuitry to cancel vibrations. <hr /></blockquote>

This is also what's been puzzling me. You either add mechanical motion to produce a voltage, or you add a voltage to get a mechanical motion in piezo technology. Bill does say that the piezo creates the voltage. And further, the piezo crystals are in a fiber patch, and that the fiber patch "stiffens." Maybe (I'm guessing), when electricity is passed through carbon fiber material, the material's dampening properties are changed???

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bill Stroud:</font><hr>
The material I use in my design consists of graphite fibers aligned in a
longitudinal manner. They are then bonded in a viscous elastic medium.
No additional power is required. The material will generate electricity from
mechanical energy itself. When this happens the material stiffens at a sub
atomic level momentarily.<hr /></blockquote>
I was simply going under the assumption that he was using the piezo as the dampening medium, but he might be using the piezo for electrical generation only.
Fred <hr /></blockquote>
What sort of background does Bill Stroud have? Does he have the analytic capbability to actually model these electromechanical interactions and design such a system?

I've been doing computer-based modeling for years, and I don't think I could do it without some very specific additional training.

SpiderMan

Fred Agnir
06-15-2005, 10:31 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> What sort of background does Bill Stroud have? Does he have the analytic capbability to actually model these electromechanical interactions and design such a system?
<hr /></blockquote>I'd guess he's pretty analytical, as he is the pioneer in the application of automated systems and CNC control in cue making. At the very least, he's got the ability to research and connect with the proper resources.

Fred

theinel
06-15-2005, 11:12 AM
Does anyone here know if these are available for sale yet? Bill's website doesn't seem to mention them and a Google/Froogle search doesn't turn up anything either.

cheese_ball
06-15-2005, 01:45 PM
Fred-

This technology/idea spawned from Head Sports, as seen in their INTELLIGENCE X tennis racquets. The piezo crystals are used to generate energy from existing vibration causing specifically placed fibers to expand or contract (depending on -/+). You can find out a ton about this technology if you do a google search for "piezoelectric dampening tennis racquets" -- The head.com website does very little to explain the technology, however, there are plenty of other tech. sites with better info. Here's one of them from UCLA for you: UCLA Engineer - Smart Materials Lab (http://www.engineeringalum.ucla.edu/magazine/smartmat.asp) This site should give the average reader an idea of what these materials are capable of doing.

You guys have to remember that Bill is not an engineer, but an inventor. He has great ideas, and knows how to get others to make them happen. This technology in pool cue shafts has been primarily developed overseas with Bill as a spokesman for sales in the US. Though, if you ask him, Bill is the one that invented the 3/8-10 pin (and just about anything else you can think of). /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fred Agnir
06-15-2005, 01:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheese_ball:</font><hr> "piezoelectric dampening tennis racquets" -- The head.com website does very little to explain the technology, <hr /></blockquote>They explain enough for me to understand that they use the piezo as a mechanical generator of a frequency when subjected to a current. That is, there is a current source in the tennis racquet. No such circuitry is in Stroud's shaft, but he also says he doesn't need it.

I got a PM from a CCBoard poster that answers my questions on the theory such that I at least understand the premise now (in that it agreed with my speculation that the piezo in this particular case is being used a current generator and not a frequency generator). I believe the Universal Smart Shaft is using two materials found in your linked site.

Fred

Rod
06-15-2005, 06:07 PM
GF, I remember that from some years ago and it's a simple test. I leave the center ball there and move the two outside ones almost a half inch. Should be able to blaze the c/b through with max outside. At 3/8" each I'll hit one once in a while.

Like you, while I think some shafts may be a bit better, the indian still has to execute. Course I play with a 13 1/4mm Schon shaft which is reported in the very high squirt range. It ain't the arrow. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Rod

sneakypapi
06-15-2005, 09:27 PM
I have tested these shafts at VF and found the hits to feel artificial to me, just my opinion of course. Let me explain when I take a hit it almost felt disconnected like a shock absorber would feel on a car filtering the vibration before it tranfers up the shaft to the butt. The shaft looks like a regular shaft but the last portion about 6 inches or so by the joint has a seperate sleeve, I assume the damping material is in that portion.

JimS
06-16-2005, 04:55 AM
I'm kinda confused about the vibration...

Is vibration generally considered bad? I like to feel the shot in my grip hand and use a hard tip to that end. What's bad about vibration?

BillPorter
06-16-2005, 05:18 AM
Fred, maybe I'm missing something here, but here is my simple way of understanding it. If, with this material, vibration generates electricity and application of electricity produces vibration, then when the shaft strikes the cue ball, SOME of the vibrational energy ends up being converted to electrical energy. In other words, the electrical energy generated by the piezo stuff can't have been created out of thin air, so maybe the source of that electrical energy is shaft vibration which is reduced by an amount proportional to the amount of electrical energy created. All that being said, it still may be the case that this new shaft is more about marketing than any true technological breakthrough.

Fred Agnir
06-16-2005, 06:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BillPorter:</font><hr> the electrical energy generated by the piezo stuff can't have been created out of thin air, <hr /></blockquote>Yes, it can. That's exactly what piezo electric crystals do. If you apply a mechanical compression to them, they create electricity. If you can create a magnetic or electro-magnetic field, then the other material's (magneto-resistive) dampening characterics will change. I think that's the basic idea.

Fred

Fred Agnir
06-16-2005, 06:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JimS:</font><hr> I'm kinda confused about the vibration...

Is vibration generally considered bad? I like to feel the shot in my grip hand and use a hard tip to that end. What's bad about vibration? <hr /></blockquote>Some people are looking for a muted hit with less vibration. Other people like a lot of vibration. For those that like it low, joint configurations like the Schuler, Lambros Ultra, and really the flat-faced wood-to-wood, were aimed at getting more transfer and less vibration at the joint.

This new shaft is trying to further reduce the vibration that gets to the joint in the first place.


Fred

SpiderMan
06-16-2005, 07:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 071838:</font><hr> I'm not familiar with that particular test. The deflection test I like is to freeze three balls in the middle of the short rail. Remove the middle ball, and spread the other two slightly so there's about a 1-1/2-ball gap between them. Now try to get in and out of there using maximum english. Both the Smart Shaft and the Predator can pass that test; Lucasi cues also did fairly well, although not as well as the first two. Meucci's Red Dot shaft failed miserably, at least in my hands. GF <hr /></blockquote>

Can you diagram that shot? I've never seen the test. I'm having trouble visualizing the setup, and what the objective is. Get "in and out" of where?

SpiderMan

BillPorter
06-16-2005, 07:51 AM
Fred,

As to the "out of thin air" phrase, I was speaking metaphorically. The concept I was working with here is simply the First Law of Thermodynamics (enery can be changed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed). All I was trying to say is that if piezo electric crystals CONVERT mechanical energy into electrical energy, then there must be LESS mechanical energy in the system (the system being the shaft in this instance). I'll admit I made a bit of a leap when I inferred that this reduction in mechanical energy must result in less vibration, but isn't the vivbration exactly the mechanical energy that produces the electricity? Anyway, is my analysis, though it may be incorrect in some way, at least more understandable? Can't imagine many readers being too interested in our little discussion here....it seems pretty far away from the topic of pool.

Fred Agnir
06-16-2005, 08:15 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BillPorter:</font><hr> All I was trying to say is that if piezo electric crystals CONVERT mechanical energy into electrical energy, then there must be LESS mechanical energy in the system (the system being the shaft in this instance). <hr /></blockquote> Yes (standard perpetual motion issues), but I think that instead of heat being generated, electricity is generated. So, I think that the mechanical vibration produced would be about the same.

[ QUOTE ]
Anyway, is my analysis, though it may be incorrect in some way, at least more understandable? Can't imagine many readers being too interested in our little discussion here....it seems pretty far away from the topic of pool. <hr /></blockquote>Since the whole setup isn't some kind of closed circuit, then the only energy source is the initial wack. The resultant vibration must dissipate into heat and sound or else you'd have a perpetual motion machine. So, even if the vibration would re-feed the crystals to make more vibration to make re-feed the crystals, there would be a decay in stored energy, just like wacking spring. The magneto-resitive dampening material must increase the rate of vibration decay.

Fred

Rod
06-16-2005, 08:56 AM
Marty,

Here is the set up, leave a 1/2 inch clearance on both sides of the 6 ball. The spin should be enough that the c/b hits near, (probably a little above) either side pocket at speed.


START(
%AC7N0%BB7\2%C[3\5%DB5B6%EC8Q8%FC7O8%GB4[8%Ht4[5%It6\2%Pg5O5

)END

Rod

BillPorter
06-16-2005, 09:43 AM
OK, we may finally be on the same wave length. I'm hearing you say that whether the vibrations are converted into heat, sound, electrical energy or whatever, the actual amount of vibration wouldn't likely be reduced more with one type of conversion than with another type of conversion. Though not a physics professor, I'm inclined to agree. So I am now back to square one in trying to understand how those crystals reduce vibration. I read the whole thread over on RSB and have to say that Stroud's explanation is somewhat lacking. Guess it really doesn't matter much as I, like most players, will try one out if and when I get a chance and if I like how it feels, sounds and plays, will probably buy one. (Even though I'll feel like I'm sort of contributing to Stroud's retirement fund.)

SpiderMan
06-16-2005, 12:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> Marty,

Here is the set up, leave a 1/2 inch clearance on both sides of the 6 ball. The spin should be enough that the c/b hits near, (probably a little above) either side pocket at speed.


START(
%AC7N0%BB7\2%C[3\5%DB5B6%EC8Q8%FC7O8%GB4[8%Ht4[5%It6\2%Pg5O5

)END

Rod <hr /></blockquote>

If I understand you guys correctly, you'd remove the 6-ball and then shoot the cueball into the rail between the one and the five, with enough sidespin to take it to the side pocket?

I don't see how this test differentiates between low- and high-squirt cues. It's more a test of whether you can get enough spin on the ball and correctly compensate your aim. The shot could be made, even if the cueball squirted six inches, as long as you corrected your aim properly.

What am I missing here?

SpiderMan

06-16-2005, 01:36 PM
Yes, what you've just said about compensating aim is true. The point of the test, though, is that you aim into that void WITHOUT compensation. If the shaft performs as advertised, you can spin the ball to your heart's content while still aiming straight ahead, and you'll still hit where you aim. If you get deflection, then you're going to run into one or the other of those object balls. GF

SpiderMan
06-16-2005, 08:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 071838:</font><hr> Yes, what you've just said about compensating aim is true. The point of the test, though, is that you aim into that void WITHOUT compensation. If the shaft performs as advertised, you can spin the ball to your heart's content while still aiming straight ahead, and you'll still hit where you aim. If you get deflection, then you're going to run into one or the other of those object balls. GF <hr /></blockquote>

Knowing the object of the exercise, I'd probably have a hard time not compensating, whether I wanted to or not /ccboard/images/graemlins/ooo.gif

SpiderMan

Harold Acosta
06-20-2005, 05:35 PM
If you are talking about the Universal SmartShaft, it is available at Cue and Case Sales, Inc. Tel 1-800-835-7665

They have 2 shafts; the LS (Low Squirt) and the RS (Regular Squirt).

If you happen to have the April Inside Pool magazine, there is picture and info on pages 78-79 of the mag.