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Andrew's Tips: More on Rocket Drone Reeds

Additional information on Mark Lee's Rocket Drone Reeds.

Archived posts to the Internet Bagpipe Newsgroup, rec.music.makers.bagpipe, are available at groups.google.com. (These were previously archived with dejanews.com prior to their acquisition by Google in February 2001.) By searching in these archives for "marklee@mydeja.com" on the dates of "September 28, 1999" and "October 10, 1999" you will find the posts that include the materials lists for Mark Lee's Rocket reeds. [More recently, I've found Google's archive search lacking. Try searching for "carbon" with those dates instead.] Portions of these posts had been excerpted and could be found for years at an anonymously-authored web page called The Truth about Rocket Reeds, but the page no longer exists, so I've reproduced the page below.



 

[BEGINNING OF REPRODUCTION OF DEFUNCT WEB PAGE]


Rocket Reeds: The TRUTH
Questions comments? Email me at rocketreeds@bigfoot.com

I am not affilliated with Mark Lee, the maker of the Rocket Reeds. In fact, I've never even met him.
This info has been posted to help shed some light the ongoing mystery surrounding the Rocket Reeds.

Here's the truth about Rocket Reeds.

1. They exist. I've seen them. You can see them in Jim McGillivray's "Pipes Ready!" video ( http://www.piping.on.ca/products/video/ )

2. They sound great. They are the reeds that converted Jack Lee and Alasdair Gillies away from cane. (Remember Jack's article in The Voice about plastic reeds and how awful they sound and how he would never play plastic...?)

3. They are NOT patented and NEVER WILL BE patented. Go to the US Patent Office Web Page ( http://www.uspto.gov/ ) and search for BAGPIPE, REED, ROCKET, MARK, LEE and nothing comes up. According to the the US Patent Office:

"If the invention has been described in a printed publication anywhere in the world, or if it has been in public use or on sale in this country before the date that the applicant made his/her invention, a patent cannot be obtained. If the invention has been described in a printed publication anywhere, or has been in public use or on sale in this country more than one year before the date on which an application for patent is filed in this country, a patent cannot be obtained. In this connection it is immaterial when the invention was made, or whether the printed publication or public use was by the inventor himself/herself or by someone else. If the inventor describes the invention in a printed publication or uses the invention publicly, or places it on sale, he/she must apply for a patent before one year has gone by, otherwise any right to a patent will be lost." ( http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/doc/general/novelty.htm )


So Mark Lee CAN NEVER get a patent on his Rocket Reeds, because:

A. He has been selling them for over a year.
B. He described the reeds in detail over one year ago.

READ the following TWO posts from Mark Lee onto this very newsgroup:

Subject: Re: Mark Lee's drone reeds
From: markalee@my-deja.com
Date: 1999/09/28

(excerpted)

Reed bodies can be G-9, G-10, LE-phenolic, and XX-phenolic.

Tenors: Tongues are a 1K, plain-weave carbon composite using a very
expensive proprietary resin system. Tongue width is .330. Tongue
length can be 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2. Tongue thickness can be .030,
.031, and .032. Reed-body IDs can be .219, .250, .257, .270, and
.281. Reed-body lengths can be 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, and 3.1 inches. Reed-
body OD is .500. Nose-cones are acetal (Delrin (R)) and are drilled
.188 (3/16) to a depth of 1.025 allowing a 10 Hz tuning range. The
orifice measures .438 x .188 with semi-circular ends and is oriented so
the tongue has a .025 overlap.

Bass: Tongues are a 3K, plain-weave carbon composite using MTM-52
resin system (I think) - not terribly expensive. Tongue width is
.330. Tongue length can be 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, and 2.8. Tongue thickness
can be .040, .043, and .045. Reed-body IDs can be .250, .270, .281,
and .313. Reed-body lengths can be 3.3, 3.5, 3.7, 3.8, and 3.9. Reed-
body OD is .500. Nose-cones are acetal (Delrin (R)) and are drilled
only for reed-body ID .250. The orifice measures .688 x .200 with semi-
circular ends and is oriented so the tongue has a .025 overlap.

The tongues are held to the reed-body by two 70-durometer Nitrile O-
rings - ID is 5/16 and cross-section is 1/8.

I was using 75-durometer Viton (the green ones) until they became
unavailable. I've tried the other two varieties of Viton without
success. The technical folks say the only difference is the
dye/colorant - typical of people whose entire world exists only where
they sit.

Mark

Subject: Re: The 3 Stooges Conspiracy!
From: markalee@my-deja.com
Date: 1999/10/05

(excerpted)

I've only delived one reed-body made of Delrin. The rest are phenolic,
or glass-epoxy. That's O.K. I know you don't routinely identify
engineering materials.

I have no intention of proving their (reeds) superiority. I've simply
met a demand. If someone makes a reed producing a superior sound,
longer cyclic fatigue life, and custom fitted to my particular
preferences, that's the reed I want to play. Why do you think I
spilled my guts about their construction? Hopefully, someone will take
the ball and run with it. I forgot to mention, the tenors are using
resin system MTM49-1 from ACG (Advanced Composites Group). The un-
cured material is available from ACG - England, and USA. They're the
folks who make the lion's share of Formula-car bodies.

I get my material from the folks who use the same material as me to
make reed-valves for two-stroke motorcycle engines, among other things.

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If you have comments about this page, feel free to contact me.

This page last updated on Thursday, October 7, 2010 .
Page first added to the site on May 28, 2001.




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