Mechanical genius — Local inventor's eco-friendly transmission has 23 foreign patents pending

Published: Thursday, Feb. 9 2006 3:14 p.m. MST

The transmission uses gears to make more effective use of the engine and keeps the engine operating at an appropriate speed. Today's four- and five-speed automatic transmissions need torque converters with coolant, radiators and hoses — all of which cause loss of power and efficiency. Gogins invented a transmission that needs none of those parts.

Gogins' transmission has two identical cams 180 degrees across from each other on the input shaft. The first pair of cams provides engine drive and the second pair of cams provides load drive. The first pair drives the output shaft and the second pair drives the engine for engine braking.

Output speeds are varied by moving a rack gear's power takeoff along cam-driven oscillating levers. When the PTO is at a pivot point, the output speed is zero and in principle, Fechner said, Gogins' transmission will have an infinite number of gear ratios.

Fechner added the transmission will lead to cleaner air and longer-lasting vehicles.

Gogins attended the University of Minnesota where he majored in physics. He taught countermeasures electronics in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Gogins has interests outside the scientific field. He has invested a lot of his time supporting the arts.

Gogins founded the Contemporary Gallery and School of Arts around 1980. The gallery had concerts and exhibits.

Fechner was raised by Gogins from the time he was 8 years old. Growing up with Gogins, he said he ended up with a very interesting perspective on life.

"I was raised looking at the world with much bigger eyeballs," Fechner said.

Fechner said along with being an inventor, Gogins studied philosophy and was an accomplished artist.

He said working with Gogins has given him the opportunity to make things better.

"He taught me how to trouble-shoot and be able to apply those skills in different areas of my life," Fechner said. "I'm not an inventor, I've just picked up a variety of skills by helping him."

E-mail: tdemasters@desnews.com