How We Started and Built Our Company

January 22nd, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

INTRODUCTION rev 02/19/2013


Not a day goes by that I do not get inquiries from folks wondering what to do when they get an idea for a new product.

I have spent many of my years working with companies and individuals helping them with R&D, manufacturing engineering, production, marketing, sales, and distribution and then helping them deal with subsequent success or failure of new products in the market place.

In this BLOG I will share with you some of the top tests I have identified to maximize the chance for success and minimize the chances for failure. I will also share with you some of my personal successes and failures and the lessons I have learned.

As a young man graduating (barely) from High school, I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living. I could not conceive of a life consisting of getting up and going to the same job at the same company for the rest of my life as many of my blue collar Irish ancestors had chosen, or been forced to do.

One day, as I was glancing through the classifieds looking for what jobs were listed, my dad, a successful entrepreneur and businessman, (and my greatest mentor), asked, “what are you doing son?” I told him I was looking through the ads to see what jobs I might be able to do. He sat down with me and said, “Son, you are going at this from the wrong direction. You should be thinking about what you WANT to do and then search for the companies who offer those types of jobs. Then, you should ‘camp on their doorstep’. Keep showing up every day or so asking what jobs might be available at that particular business. Be persistent. That way when you get hired, you will be learning something you wish to know while still earning a living. Work at each job until you find you have learned what you felt you wanted to know, and then, do the same thing again until you finally find something you really wish to pursue as a vocation or, better yet an opportunity to start your own business”.

That is what I did. Of course at that age I wanted to do everything. . . .I was living in San Jose back then and Dad gave me enough money to go to Lake Tahoe in the mountains for a weekend and told me to, “Go find a beautiful mountain area with an amazing view and spend the weekend soaking up the beauty, thinking and concentrating.” I suppose nowadays we would call that “meditating”. Anyway, it was inspirational for me. I came back deciding I loved hot rods and I wanted to work on cars. My dad, as a high level executive, I’m sure was not enchanted, but encouraged me to “get started, follow your dream.” Within a few weeks I had landed a job at Andre Engine Builders in San Jose after I had pestered this older Swedish guy, whom we simply called “Swede” to take me on as an apprentice. He taught me to build engines wearing white gloves and to this day, 48 years later I am still building engines and have never had one of my engines blow up. Everything Swede told me to do, I did.

At the same time, there was another kid a few years older than me, who thought he knew it all, and whom the Swede despised since that kid refused to follow meticulous instructions. One day this kid walked by and told Swede, “Hey Swede, I made mechanic today”. Swede never looked up, he just said, “You may have MADE mechanic, but you’ll never be one.”. A few minutes later I asked Swede, “Say Swede, will I ever be a “mechanic?” His answer was, “you can be whatever you want to be because you listen, you learn and you put into practice what you learn.” I never forgot that.

After learning to build car engines, I wanted to learn how to build motorcycle engines and I went to work at Emery’s Honda in San Jose where I began work as a motorcycle mechanic and discovered motorcycle engines and RACING. A love I was to follow as a hobby for many years.

After getting engine building mastered, I decided I wanted to learn how to MAKE the parts I was assembling at previous jobs. Subsequently, I became a machinist learning to run mills, lathes, surface grinders, then worked at a sheet metal shop and learned brakes, shears, punches and spot welding. From there I went to work at Frito-Lay in a potato chip factory, which started out as one of the worst jobs you could imagine. I had to lie on a “creeper” and roll around underneath the potato chip conveyor belt cooling lines and grease all the roller fittings. The building was hot, the rollers were hot and grease would run down my arms into my armpits. Real fun. And all the while learning virtually nothing while working alongside guys who had done this job for years. I could not imagine that.

One day, a foreman came down from “upstairs” which was considered “heaven” since it was air conditioned and the jobs varied day to day. The foreman asked, “Anyone here know how to weld?” I immediately raised my hand and said “I do”. The foreman quickly said, “follow me”, and I was on my way “upstairs”. Arriving upstairs, I was immediately assigned to a welding supervisor who was overseeing several guys welding angle iron frames together for shelving. He handed me a welding helmet and gloves, put a “stinger” in one hand, gave me a pair of gloves and a handful of “stick rods” and some pre-cut angles and told me to, “assemble the pieces as the other guys were doing”.

Anyone who has ever learned arc welding already knows what is coming. Every time I touched the rod to the angle, it stuck and buzzed until I pulled it away. I did this over and over until one of the kind older guys came over and said, “kid, you never welded in your life.” I said “no sir I did not, but I would do anything to get out of that last job and if you will show me how I will practice and learn fast.” He showed me how to strike the rod like a match against the metal angle to get the “arc” going and then make half-moon crescent shape movements until I could lay down a decent “bead”. After I learned Arc welding I went on to Mig (metal and Inert Gas) welding, TIG (Tungsten and inert gas) welding and good old fashioned acetylene torch and wire welding and brazing. When I left Frito Lay I could lay down a pretty decent “bead” and darn near weld anything to anything. All thanks to the guys who cared enough to teach me. Thanks guys.

I had always wanted to learn how to drive some heavy equipment, so I applied for a job with, if my recollection is correct, a company named “Steve Eachus Underground Construction”. However, instead of learning heavy equipment I was assigned to digging ditches. DEEP ditches, and then laying in heavy pipe. That was where I worked with the most foul-mouthed smelly and dirty people I have ever known. After a couple of months, I was about ready to quit, when the foreman came over and asked, “Any of you boys drive a backhoe?” . . I immediately put up my hand and he said, “climb on out and let’s get going.” I walked over to that backhoe climbed in and the other backhoe operator was now watching me gingerly testing the different controls and he came over and said, “you ain’t no backhoe driver”, I begged him to let me try and he thankfully covered for me and even spent a Saturday with me teaching me the fundamentals I needed to do the simplest operations and then made sure when we worked together that he “had my back” until I could pass the apprentice test. That is where I had my first exposure to unions which I still dislike to this day. I had to join the Operating Engineers Union who never did a thing for me except suck up dues. Over the years I was forced to join several different unions and I never met one that I liked. I wanted to work fast. They wanted to work slow and a few of them told me so in no uncertain terms. That is how I saw it anyway. That is why I ended up as an entrepreneur.

During the Vietnam War, I was “4F”d out of helicopter pilot training because of multiple broken shoulders and chronic dislocations from motorcycle racing. I then went to work at FMC in 1966 at San Jose’s Ordnance Engineering plant as supervisor of a production line using German “Wafio” nail making machines with custom die boxes modified to produce dart-like “flechettes” for the “Beehive” bombs using 105 and 106mm howitzer shells. My job was machining and maintaining forming dies for making these parts used in artillery shells. I left FMC in 1968.

My next leap was to building fiberglass boats and learning hand layup of fiberglass and eventually operating a “chopper gun” building boat hulls. That was probably the worst, itchy-ist job a person could imagine, however to this day those basic fiberglass skills are still put to use occasionally on new products and projects my company builds.

From there, in 1968 I went to Viking Sauna company and worked my way up to production Manager where I directed all phases of manufacturing including plant layout, hiring and firing of personnel, capital equipment purchases and inventory control. I designed and fabricated specialized machinery and tooling to increase production capabilities and learned machine design techniques from a true master, Lennard Nylin. while still in my early 20’s. It was here that I began to design electronic production and assembly tools.

Viking Sauna 'Imagineering'

When I left, the Company president Bob Jones gave me this recommendation: “It seems hard to believe that the time has passed so quickly and that you have exceeded five years in our employ. During this period of time you were most fortunate in participating in the largest growth period in Viking Sauna Company’s history. It was during this period of time that you also can look on with pride as many of the innovative items that came into being in the manufacturing area were either those of your own making or the result of the stimulation that you created among your people in the management phase of your work.”

Then, in my mid 20’s, from 1973 till 1976 I ended up back at FMC, this time as a Senior Inspector since I was already trained in CCM or Computer Coordinate Measuring devices and operators of those devices were in short supply. One of the projects I worked on was the “MICV” or Mechanized Infantry Combat vehicle. I also worked on a number of “secret” and classified projects that were a real learning experience. I also did some work on the “MAFFS” project which was the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems. These units could be field-fitted quickly and temporarily into a C130 and could download a huge volume of fire retardant in one fast drop.

FMC XM723 Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle

FMC XM723 Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle

It was during this time I started my first business in my home shop repairing motorcycles and building engines for guys on the national race circuit in the evenings while continuing the day job at FMC, mainly to keep the health benefits for my wife Lynn and our new son Brett.

Atari Skydiver GameOne day, in 1976 a guy came in and asked me to look at his motorcycle for repair. Turns out it was one of the early managers at a tiny company called Syzygy, (later AKA Sente) which was a company started by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. A company destined to be the forerunner to ATARI, this link provides a pretty darn accurate compilation best as I can recall

Atari was the game changer in electronic gaming. Nolan and Ted and Steve Bristow, along with some other programmers perfected what I believe was the first viable electronic game called “Pong”. (A great little game, whichThe Atarians I still have one of the first versions of, and it still works.) I joined Atari in 1976, just as they were beginning to build the first prototype arcade pinball game. Atari was exciting to work for.

Some of our programmers and designers were incredible. Steve Bristow, Lyle Rains, Ed Logg, Howie Delman, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Jobs and Wozniak went on to start Apple Computer) were just a few that immediately come to mind. I started at Atari in Los Gatos to supervise the first Pinball production line, and then moved with them to Sunnyvale after, if my memory serves me, the Mayor of Los Gatos none too politely asked Atari to abandon the Los Gatos facility after too many raucous Friday afternoon parties at Vasona Park joined sometimes by Nolan himself. Even though my primary work was on pinball I also worked with the “coin-op engineering” dept. where I had the chance to work on other mechanical projects as well, including the hand control for the Skydiver game .(During that time I was a novice skydiver as well). The picture on the poster from 1978 was taken by my Pope Valley Jump Center friends.

Atari Pinball AssemblyAfter working in the pinball mechanical engineering department, and helping to get the first pinball game, the “Atarians” ready for production, I became a pinball manufacturing engineer and then graduated to Manufacturing Engineering Manager in the 50,000 square foot Sunnyvale plant. Atari was a great company to work for and loaded with innovative, talented, and entrepreneurial folks. I was lucky during this time period to work with some of Silicon Valley’s and Atari’s “brightest and best”, Steve Bristow, Dave Stubben, Rick Moncrief, Lyle Rains and many others. Some of the most brilliant engineers I have ever met. They are still my friends today, over thirty years later. After the Atarians pinball game, came Middle Earth, Airborne Avenger, and Superman. Atarin Pinball ManufacturingDuring this time I became sort of a floating problem solver and solved problems with Atari’s coil winding machines and harness connector crimping at their plant in Chihuahua Mexico. (Photo on above left) The crimping problem turned out to be a crimping die made by AMP Corporation and I redesigned their tool and die. They used my design from then on.

I also solved problems with Atari’s playfield manufacturing vendor in Chicago, and problems outside the plant with finished pinball machines at distributors’ facilities in Los Angeles and in Wiesbaden Germany at NSM /Lowen Automaton (photo on right, I am in white shirt) one of our distributors. Atari was then bought by Warner Communications and they eventually decided to shut down the pinball operations so I oversaw the shutting down of the Sunnyvale production facility.

One day, as I was in the process of the shutdown, I received the gift that helped launch my new business .Atari’s Consumer Division was situated next door to our pinball production facility. One day after work I walked out to find a huge dumpster about 8ft wide by 20ft long brimming over with coax cables in a pile that was over the top of the dumpster by a good three feet, end to end and side to side. I could not believe my eyes. Turned out they had been thrown away by the VP of Consumer Division since they failed to meet radio freq. emission standards in Japan. I immediately called Nolan and asked if he was aware of this . He said, “yes”. I then asked him if I could have them and he said “yes”, as did my VP of operations Steve Bristow. I called one of my best friends, Pat Derose who now owns Derose Vineyards in Hollister, CA and he rented a large bobtail truck and we spent until midnight that night loading the cables. The next morning I called a speaker manufacturer in Santa Rosa and they bought them sight unseen since they were using similar ones on their factory built speakers. Needless to say, Nolan was very upset that the VP of Consumer division did not simply do what we were able to do.

In 1976, I started my first real business, albeit part-time, and named it Overnight Engineering. I started in my garage and still continued to work with Atari as well through 1979. The late George Opperman, Atari’s famous artist who designed many of our game graphics designed the logo for Overnight Engineering. Overnight Engineering’s mission was to provide quick-turnaround product design solutions for Silicon Valley companies in desperate and immediate need of retrofittable “fixes” for problems discovered after new product releases. We were in effect, inventing for a living, selling companies our solutions. Also in 1979 we moved to a larger facility. After pinball division shutdown, Atari continued to use our services, now as independent contractors. One of our first large scale contracts was the reorganization of a 30,000 square foot factory in Ardfinnan Ireland, just outside of Tipperary. They had been hired by Atari and were to be producing 100 arcade games per day, a mix of three types of cabinets, Atari Pinball Plantfor shipment to mainland Europe. They were failing miserably and able to produce only about 20 cabinets a day of two different types. They were contracted to produce a large stand-up arcade cabinet, a mid-sized stand-up arcade cabinet and a hexagonal sit-down restaurant/bar type “cocktail” cabinet. Atari management paid for my wife to join me (Lynn quit BofA and began work with me full time). Atari also paid for our young son Brett to be with us, and to be tutored by a college professor during the day while Lynn and I worked at the factory. When we arrived, the factory was laid out so poorly we were amazed. (On left is photo of the factory floor before I started)

Within only a few weeks we turned the factory around and began turning out 100 cabinets per day, then 125 per day. About 50 of each upright and 25 hexagonals per day. When I left we were making 151 per day, about 25 units more than the goal I was sent over to achieve.

(see photo below) Atari Pinball Plant That project for Atari in Ireland really launched our little business. And on our off time gave me a chance to see the hometowns of my mom’s ancestors in County Kerry and my dad’s ancestors in Inchigeela, County Cork. We even got some free excitement . . .While we were staying in Tipperary, the IRA came into town and robbed the bank!

Project Scope:
Atari had a contracted interest in a 30,000 square foot facility in Tipperary, Ireland that had been a kitchen cabinet factory and was (unsuccessfully) trying to change over to the production of video game cabinets. The factory, Murray Kitchens,a former kitchen cabinet factory, had contracted with Atari to produce two sizes of upright video game cabinets and a third hexagonal “cocktail table” game cabinet, at the original requested rate of 80 total cabinets per day and building up to 125 per day. Instead they were able to produce only 20 cabinets per day of one style of upright cabinet. The Riordan Company was brought in to bring production up to speed as quickly as possible. Atari’s mandate to Riordanco was to produce 125 per day of the three styles or close the factory. The exact words from Atari’s vice president were, “Jim, make it work or turn it into a Badminton court.” When we arrived at the plant, fresh off the plane , I was greeted by a room full of English engineers who, before even introducing themselves, asked sarcastically, “What makes you think you can do this any better than we are?” I said , “because I am making 500 a day in the states and my boss told me to either make this place perform or turn it into a badminton court, so I expect you gentlemen to either work with me or go buy some badminton racquets and I’ll be on the next plane back.” They had an immediate change of attitude and you can read their comments below.

Within eight weeks’ time, the Riordan Company led team converted the factory to a new method of operation, with new assembly areas and techniques. We trained all personnel in the new techniques, and, after training, selected new group leaders. The changes resulting in the production of 151 cabinets per day, of three different styles. The additional 26 cabinets per day was well over the target of 125 that Riordanco was sent to achieve and resulted in additional earnings to Atari of over $1,000,000.00 per month.

What our Clients said:
“I would like to commend Mr. James Riordan and the staff of Overnight Engineering (the Riordan Company) for outstanding work on a project recently completed for Atari Inc. The project consisted of solving problems associated with the fabrication and quality of Atari cabinets at our factory in Tipperary, Ireland. During a reasonably short period Mr. Riordan and his staff accomplished an inordinate amount of work and met all project goals within the allocated timeframe. I would be happy to recommend to others the services of Mr. Riordan and Overnight Engineering.”
Noah L. Anglin
Vice President
Coin-Op Division

“In his time here at Murray Kitchens, Mr. Riordan has displayed great energy, determination and decisiveness in overcoming all problems. He has not hesitated to get involved in any work required and demonstrated leadership of a high order and has established a good relationship with his staff. We are pleased with his achievements in the short period he has been involved with our company and would have no hesitation in recommending him for any similar project.”
W.E. Swift
Murray Kitchens Ltd. Ireland

“Mr. Jim Riordan was engaged by Atari to undertake an in-depth survey of our cabinet making facility here in Tipperary and to recommend whatever changes he thought necessary in our production, assembly, and materials handling systems. This had become necessary due to the fact that we had changed over from the manufacture of kitchen furniture to video game cabinets. To say that he was successful would be both an understatement and a lack of gratitude for what turned out to be a remarkably impressive performance. Not the least of his achievements was his ability to “sell” both himself and his ideas to an extremely conservative Board of Directors, a task which I myself as Plant Manager had unfortunately failed to achieve. He has what I can only describe as a fanatical approach to getting the job done, an attitude which we Europeans sometimes find a little abrasive, but, after watching him at work, I can only admire.”
R.J. Carr
Plant Manager
Murray Kitchens Ltd. Ireland

“I have been intending to write to you for the past two weeks to express my appreciation (and admiration) for the Consultancy Project you completed at our Ardfinnan Plant, at the end of June. The changes you initiated are continuing to bear fruit and will continue to do so for some time to come.”
Jack Murphy
Managing Director & Chairman
Murray Kitchens Ltd.



Around this time, I also began working with Tim Leary and Nolan Bushnell on the Alliance for American Innovation, a think tank and start up incubator for Inventors. We went full time, and incorporated in 1981.

I continued working with Atari until I closed the doors on the pinball factory and then continued working with Nolan Bushnell and Tim Leary on The Alliance for American Innovation and Chuck-E-Cheese Pizza partors.

I bought more machines and tooling and began to offer quick turnaround fixes, literally overnight in many cases for Silicon Valley corporations in need of quick fixes.

We incorporated Overnight Engineering and changed our name to the James F. Riordan Company, Inc., or “Riordanco” for short.



For: BASF Systems

BASF Hard Drive with Clear Cover

BASF hard drive with clear cover

Project Scope:
BASF’s new hard drive division, located in Los Gatos, CA, was having a vibration problem with its hard disk drive hubs, causing the heads to contact the disk and crash. The reject rate for the hubs was almost thirty percent and production was slowed to a near standstill. The Riordan Company was brought in to investigate the problem and fix it. We were to examine the documentation and machining methods for errors and omissions and to make enough hubs to keep the production line going.

BASF hard drive hubs with concentricity problems. We fixed them.

BASF hard drive hubs with concentricity
problems. We fixed them

The chief engineer thought the problem was a TIR (total indicated run out) problem in the manufacturing of the drive hubs. After a review of the documentation and examination of the rejected parts, Jim Riordan determined that the actual cause was a concentricity problem resulting from two setscrews, which affixed the hub onto the shaft, being at 90 degrees from each other rather than having three, sequentially torqued setscrews at 120 degrees spacing and a closer tolerance ”press” fit between the hub and the vendor-supplied motor shaft. Tightening down the original two setscrews caused the hub to be forced off center on the shaft causing the vibration. Riordanco re-machined the hubs in their inventory, and continued making the hubs with the new spacing and tolerances until production was finally able to reach full volume two months later at which time the company sourced the parts offshore. The offshore parts were then built to our specifications.

What our client said:
“Production is up rejection rate is acceptable, thanks, here is your check!”

BASF Plant Manager.


For: Pizza Time Theaters

Lynn holding one of the super light urethane banjos we made for Pizza Time Theaters

Lynn holding one of the super
light urethane banjos we made for
Pizza Time Theaters

Project Scope:
Pizza Time Theaters was experiencing catastrophic failure of the animated character in the “band” which played the banjo. They were using real banjos and the rotating mass of the banjo was causing the shoulder stops on the animated character to break leaving it beating itself up against it’s enclosure (while the kids laughed hysterically) and sometimes breaking the expensive banjos. Riordanco was called in to find and implement an immediate solution.

Several finished and one unfinished molded urethane banjos

Several finished and one unfinished
molded urethane banjos

After review of documentation and mechanical design, Jim Riordan found that there was a large inventory of shoulder parts and expensive shoulder stops, which would be too costly to modify and would take too long to produce. Instead, Riordanco designed a very lightweight polyurethane foam banjo that was visually appealing and detailed and which could be easily molded using silicone molds and compression molding techniques. Within one week, Riordanco constructed the banjo mold pattern, made the silicone molds, and began pulling usable parts. Eventually, every real banjo in each Pizza Time Theater location was replaced with Riordanco’s polyurethane ones.


We made a die cutter to cut out the foam antlers, then fiberglassed them

We made a die cutter to cut out the foam
antlers, then fiberglassed them

After the success of the polyurethane banjo, Riordanco was called in to solve a similar problem with the Moose character’s wooden antlers breaking due to the sudden stops of the robotics. We made a pattern, made a cutting die, and began stamping out styrofoam antlers. We coated them with a light layer of fiberglass cloth, and delivered hundreds of these light but strong antlers to the sites. None of Riordanco’s antlers ever broke.

What our client said:
“Reduction of the moving mass weight of the banjos and moose antlers has eliminated our breakage problems with the shoulder stops. Thanks again!”
Mr. Mike Crew
Senior Designer
Pizza Time Theaters


For: Pizza Time Theaters

Head clock with face of abominable snowman or "Yetty", with mouth closed

Head clock with face of
abominable snowman or
“Yetty”, with mouth closed

Project Scope:
To design a wall clock with a bright red LED digital display contained within the mouth of a plastic molded head of the mascot character for Pizza Time Theaters, the mouse known as “Chuck E. Cheese”. When a customer clapped their hands, an electronic Schmidt trigger sensed the clap and caused the mouth to open revealing the clock.

Clap your hands and  mouth opens showing  clock display

Clap your hands and
mouth opens showing
clock display

After a brief (adjustable length) pause, the mouth closed, and the display shut down and waited to be reactivated.

Jim Riordan’s original invention, which featured the head of a “Yetty” or “abominable snowman” was reconfigured to work with the Chuck E. Cheese molded head and was placed on display in the first Pizza Time Theater store. It was placed along the wall where customers would line up to place their orders, so the kids could clap their hands and watch Chuck E. Cheese’s mouth open up to display the red LED display clock. It proved to be an exciting attraction.

Chuck E Cheese "head clock" made for Pizza Time Theaters. Clap  your hands Chuck opens his mouth to reveal clock display

Chuck E Cheese “head
clock” made for Pizza
Time Theaters. Clap
your hands Chuck opens
his mouth to reveal
clock display

Production molds were fabricated to allow the clocks to be able to be used as redemption prizes in the game room.

What our Client said:
“This will confirm our conversation of today on test marketing of the ‘Pizza Time Head’ at our Kooser location. Julie Green of our company will interface with you on store location and graphic presentation of the head and will also compile the test marketing results. Harold Goldbrandsen, head of our R & D engineering effort, will mold a Chuck E. Cheese head to replace the monster currently used. Bob Lundquist, head of our Country Store will be using the product for a redemption item in our game room.”
Gene N. Landrum
Vice President, Operations
Pizza Time Theaters



For: Pizza Time Theaters

Robotic head for Pizzatime theaters characters

Robotic head for Pizzatime
theaters characters

Project Scope:
Manufacturing and assembly of pneumatic robotic devices and animated characters for a chain of restaurant/entertainment centers. Pizza Time Theaters was unable to keep up with orders and wanted a contract manufacturing company to take over manufacturing of the parts and final assembly of the products. Urgent needs required startup of production within two weeks after receipt of order. Riordanco was called in to solve the design problems and serve as a contract manufacturer.

  Go no go gauge is on left, finished part to be checked is on right

Go no go gauge is on left, finished
part to be checked is on right

Over a two year period, Riordanco provided design reviews and design consulting. When designs were finalized, we fabricated parts, assembled, tested and delivered products including production assembly fixtures, quality control go/no go gages, fiberglass molds, flag waver assemblies, robotic head and eyeball mechanisms to the main location resulting in a fabricated assemblies cost reduction of 20% and an operations reliability increase of 35% to Pizza Time Theaters.

Flags waved on the walls of Pizzatime Theaters because of our Flag waver mechanisms. We built hundreds of these per month for them in their heyday

Flags waved on the walls of Pizzatime
Theaters because of our Flag waver
mechanisms. We built hundreds of these
per month for them in their heyday

What our Client said:
“Many times over the years Jim has helped us to turn a disaster into a manageable solution. I would highly recommend him to any company seeking immediate solutions for urgent problems.”
Mr. Richard Harris
Sr. Facility Manager
Pizza Time Theaters

“Jim’s depth of knowledge of many skill-sets and design alternatives allows him to have a unique capability to literally design on his feet. There have been times he has been inspirational to watch in action. He has helped us design many post production fixes which have been retrofitted to our robotic characters in all of our store locations.”
Mike Crew
Senior Designer
Pizza Time Theaters



For: Exidy Games

Project Scope:
Upon inspection of Exidy’s new arcade games on the production line, Jim Riordan noticed that the coin doors were easily “jimmied” (sorry) to get free game credits. Riordanco was asked to review the design and provide a solution.

Riordanco designed and fabricated a sheet metal bracket which was spot welded into the coin door assemblies, effectively blocking access to the coin door credit switch from outside. Riordanco then provided retrofittable brackets for existing games and a newly designed bracket for the next production run.

What our client said:
“Another great save. I can always count on you.”
Noah Anglin
Vice President
Exidy Games




For: Exidy Games Project Scope:

Exidy redesigned its power supply for its coin operated video arcade games causing two thousand power supplies to require an additional wire to be soldered onto the backside of each transformer. The solder lug was “conveniently located” at the back lower corner of an “L” shaped power supply tray, making it virtually impossible to get to without complete disassembly of each power supply. The Riordan Company was brought in to see if any alternate methods might be employed to keep the production line flowing.Results:
After three days of review, we designed and fabricated a unique soldering device which could reach down into the nearly unreachable location and allowed one handed soldering so the operator could use the other hand to hold the additional wire in place for soldering. We were able to turn around all power supplies within four weeks time, which included the three days of research.Footnote:
The crude soldering devices which Riordanco fabricated to complete this contract evolved into the patented “Solder-Quik” soldering device which Jim Riordan designed, injection molded, assembled and sold for years. (Please see the Solder Quik , below.What the client said:
“Once again you have saved us from an untimely and lengthy production line shutdown. First at Atari and now at Exidy. Thanks again Jim.”
Noah Anglin
Vice President
Exidy Games

1984-We then began working on our own products . Our first product was a gag item, which we called the EXEC-YOU-TIV Digital calculator. It was a silly little piece of rectangular plastic that had five holes cut out of it so that you could put your fingers through the holes and “add or subtract” on it. It had a piece of string with a loop on it that you could slip over a finger as a “memory”. This was just as the first “solid state” digital calculators were becoming popular. EXEC-YOU-TIV Solid State CalculatorOn this idea we swear the lord was looking over our shoulder, since on the very day I was to pay for the stamping die to make the product, another person located a few miles away in Sunnyvale thought of EXACTLY the same thing and there was an article in the paper about it that very day. Saved us hundreds of dollars. Amazing that two people could think of the same exact thing within a few days of each other. He would have beat us to market and we would have been out the money and out of the market.



Our next product was the Solder Quik device which really never took off as well as we hoped despite a lot of time and money on our part. And this is a GREAT product. I showed it to David Packard of Hewlett Packard, whose factory was nearby in San Jose and he loved the idea. They began using it in their printed circuit board touch up facility and he told me it reduced the touch up time by 30%. Tim Leary and Pat DeRose and I took it to trade shows in Boston and LA and got great results but few orders despite the fact that companies who bought them were having excellent results . . . Even NASA was using it at Ames Research Center at Moffett field in Sunnyvale.(see their endorsement below, and they typically never endorse anything! Further, I donated this product to many disabled vets who were able to continue working as an electronic tech after losing their other arm or hand.

After giving it our best shot for a couple of years I finally sold it to another tool company for far less than it was worth. I am STILL using my Solder Quiks in my shop today and still cannot believe it was not a top seller. It was such an incredible device, worked so well and saved so much time in soldering wires, fittings and printed circuit boards.Guess it just was not in the cards. However, I will never give up inventing. And I will never believe I have an absolute winner until the money is in my hand. I would suggest that every inventor follow that thought.

 Solder Quik patent plaque

Solder Quik patent plaque

 Solder Quik mounted on Weller soldering iron

Solder Quik mounted on
Weller soldering iron

The Solder Quik
An attachment which fits on a standard pencil type soldering iron and allows a person to feed solder to the tip of the iron by simply turning a wheel with their index finger. This allows an operator to solder with only one hand, and speeds most soldering operations a minimum of 30%. This device is also being used to help handicapped workers master hand soldering techniques that were previously not possible for them. Solder Quick users include N.A.S.A., IBM, Hewlett Packard, Ford Aerospace, Harris Satellite Communications, and Beckman Instruments. This product was distributed nationally, then sold to a soldering equipment company.

What others say:
“This unit is a remarkable time saving product in most of our operations in the Avionics shop. For all simple wire repair jobs you can save nearly half the time it would take with the conventional soldering iron. Although there are jobs on printed circuit boards that are just too tight to use the Solder Quik, about 80% off all circuit board repair and assembly can be accomplished in at least half the time using the Solder Quik. Since there is no real production here at NASA, the time element of production schedules are not a factor, however, manpower certainly is. Most repair jobs involving soldering with a conventional iron would require two men but using the Solder Quik I can do the same job with only one man.
In conclusion, I am recommending that NASA purchase one Solder Quik for each person in my shop and one for the Instrument Shop.”
Patrick Atchison, Avionics
NASA-Ames Research Center

 David Lawrence, recent  upper arm amputee, is able to keep his job  using the Solder Quik

David Lawrence, recent
upper arm amputee, is
able to keep his job
using the Solder Quik

“The innovative research and production activities you have undertaken on behalf of the disabled are indeed rare. Your most recent inventions, the “Solder Quik” and the “Hand Aid”, will definitely be of great benefit to handicapped persons who have opted to work in electronics related industries. In addition, the application of your products into electronics production and repair occupations will not only widen the employment prospects for the handicapped, but will benefit prospective employers as well. Congratulations on your success thus far and best wishes in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.”

Sincerely yours,
Norman Y. Mineta
Member of Congress

“In my 30 plus years in the Electronics field the Solder Quik is to me the best idea in all that time in my line of production ‘Cable Harnesses’. Invariably while soldering leads into boards or connectors you need a third hand to hold the lead. This gives it to the solderer.”
Vern Brink
Goodwill of Santa Clara

“Dear Jim:
This letter is to express to you our appreciation of a job well done in the design and the function of the Solder Quik. Since our installation, three months ago, we have found increased production and through-put in the touch-up and rework area. All of our touch-up and rework technicians have expressed considerable satisfaction of “the third hand” concept in assisting the delivery of solder and handling of the printed circuit boards and other solderable components. We would highly recommend it to anyone requiring high through-put in this area to utilize this product, as it will positively affect the bottom line.”
Lawrence P. Dorcsis

“Dear Jim:
We would like to thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness in donating the Solder-Quik soldering setups and accessories to the electronic assembly training classroom. The Solder-Quik is an innovative and fascinating piece of equipment. We have enjoyed using it in the classroom and have received a great deal of interest and positive comments from the students who have tried it.
We feel there is tremendous potential for the Solder-Quik in the electronic industry, not only as an aid to someone with a disability but also as a time saving device for basic assembly soldering. We wish you luck and success with the Solder-Quik and appreciate being included in its debut. Thanks Again”
Nina Bouley
Supervisor of Vocational Education
Sandy Montijo
Lead Instructor
Electronic Assembly Training
Linda Calloway
Electronic Assembly Training
Goodwill of Santa Clara County




Another gag item we tried with no success was the New “Washer and Dryer” gag gift. We sold a few and actually still have a few. But never did have much luck with the Washer and Dryer or the Solid State Calculator. Still we decided to never give up on things that make us laugh.
Gag Gift Washer & Dryer




We continued to “invent to order” for companies seeking either creative solutions or products and also for companies in dire need of a solution for problems in the “field.” One such solution we provided to Levi Strauss when they encountered a rather stunning problem with the marking on the men’s 501 Jeans®. It seems that someone had mismarked the sizes on the jeans. Womens’ 501s were marked with the size that the Levis shrank to AFTER washing, so women simply purchased the size they ultimately needed. When they came out with the Men’s versions they accidentally tagged the jeans with the size that they were BEFORE washing. You can imagine what happened next. Many ladies typically buy the jeans for their men (my lady included). So, they would come home with the jeans marked for the size their man wore . . . let’s say 36 waist by 34 long. Ladies would take them home and wash them, then their man would try them on and find they now had, say 34 waist by 32 long. The Coup de grace was that the women would assume there was a mistake, return the jeans to the store, and buy the same jeans again . . . same problem again. By the time Levi’s called me to meet in their San Francisco headquarters, there were “container ships” of the mismarked jeans “on the water” headed to SF. The marketing dept. was in a panic. They called my company and in record time I presented them with a couple of non-electronic “computing devices” which would allow ladies or men to key in their actual size and the mechanical “computer” would tell them what size to purchase. The first versions were for functional test only. Levis decided they wanted a nice electronic point-of-purchase device. Then we were contracted to build thousands of the final versions which you may have seen in GAP® Stores and other Levis outlets all over the US.

 Levi's 501 jeans size calculator  first proof of concept models

Levi’s 501 jeans size calculator
first proof of concept models

 Levi's 501 jeans size calculator production model

Levi’s 501 jeans size
calculator production model

Project Scope:
Riordanco was chosen by Levi Strauss to design, engineer, fabricate, package and ship 2,000 custom Zilog Z-80 based point-of-purchase computers to help Levi’s customers order the correct size 501 jeans to ensure a proper, comfortable fit after first washing and subsequent shrinkage. Levis needed all of the computers shipped within 120 days of order.

Riordanco designed and built the 2,000 computers per contract and shipped them to Gap stores and other locations throughout the U.S., on time and within budget.

What our client said:
“Thank you for helping to solve a major disaster in our customer’s stores. Jeans were being returned by the truckload until you provided us with a way to educate consumers. We are presently re-thinking the sizing numbering and will use your calculators until it is resolved.”
Jane Seamen
Marketing Coordinator
Levi Strauss




For: Apple Computer

Project Scope:
Apple had just released the very first “Macintosh” computer and they were having difficulty inserting and removing floppy disks from their newly designed floppy disk drive for the new computer. Defective drives were cutting assembly line production to a critical point. Riordanco was brought in to fix the problem.

After review, Riordanco determined that the plastic “fingers” on the engagement clutch were too stiff. In order to keep production going, we reworked all of the clutches in inventory by building a fixture and tool to remove a slight amount of plastic from each finger. We then recommended changes to the design of the “fingers” on the injection mold which produced the parts, implemented the changes and cured the problem once and for all. FUNNY NOTE: these first Macs had a 20 megabyte total capacity . . . Can anyone imagine THAT anymore??

What our client said:
“I can’t tell you how grateful we are for your expertise and lightning fast solution to what was beginning to look like a monstrous problem.”
Robert Hall
Process Engineer
Apple Computer



For: Stanford Children’s Hospital

Project Scope:
Stanford Children’s Hospital Rehabilitation Engineering Center had been trying to develop a lock-at-will elbow joint for an upper arm prosthesis for over two years with little success. The Riordan Company was called in to help with the design and provide a working prototype.

Within three weeks, we designed, fabricated and delivered a simple locking elbow device that was incorporated into SRE’s prototype upper arm prosthesis. They were so happy with the results that Mr. Maurice LeBlanc drove down from Stanford to San Jose to personally bring Jim Riordan a gift from Stanford Research Center on top of Riordanco’s consulting fees. The technology has since been incorporated into many standard upper arm prostheses, a breakthrough device for upper limb amputees which allows a person to use an artificial arm with “natural” movements and without the need for a “harness” to operate the prehensor (hook unit).

What the Client said:
“Your ability to deliver in three weeks a design solution for a project we had been working on for two years has all of us in awe. I have a special present for you from our group which I will be delivering to you personally next week.”
Mr. Maurice LeBlanc
Research and Development Manager
Stanford Childrens Hospital

The present that Maurice brought to Jim Riordan was a unique pair of knee high socks which had every bone in the leg and foot accurately portrayed. Maurice knew I had broken nearly every one of those bones while motorcycle racing so he knew it would have special meaning to me. THANKS MAURICE! A really fun gift which Jim deeply appreciates because of the gratitude behind it. He still has and treasures those unique socks today. Through the years, many of Riordanco’s clients have brought us gifts after project completion, a practice which Jim has failed miserably to discourage.




For: Quantum Computer, Inc.

 Looking inside the Quantum hard drive

Looking inside the Quantum hard drive

Project Scope:
Riordanco was called in to design and supply equipment and fixtures to clean parts which were to be assembled into Quantum disk drives, to solve problems which were causing a high failure rate of the drives due to flying heads contacting surface debris (measured in Microns) on hard disks supplied by a vendor.

After investigation, Riordanco was able to find the actual problem which had been created at the disk vendor. We were able to reduce the reject rate to an acceptable level of less than 1/2 of one percent, and save Quantum over $200,000.00 in equipment costs.

What our client said:
“Thanks for finding the real problem”
Bill McGeever
Purchasing Manager
Quantum Computer




1985 to 1988

For: The Riordan company, 1nc.

THE LIGHT BEER MUG was our first real home run. Just could not stay away from those gag items. THE LIGHT BEER MUG was our first real home runThis was a simple plastic base I designed to fit over a beer mug with two batteries and a light bulb in the base . When the glass is lifted it makes any beer a “light” beer. Great story behind this one. We used to patronize a pizza place near our home in San Jose. One night I noticed that the owner, who was a friend had replaced all his beer mugs with ones that had a pretty deep “inverted cup-like” base. I joked with him that “he was trying to stiff” us on our beer and he said, “no-no Jim, it holds exactly twelve ounces, just has a deeper base” Right away I had the idea and he gave me a mug to take home. That night I got on my lathe and mill and made the first operating model.

I checked on patentability and found that someone had patented a light up champagne glass years ago so the concept would not be patentable . . . but by golly it would sure sell. So, I contacted the manufacturer, Indiana Glass Company and asked them if they would give me an exclusive on the glass for a certain purpose unrelated to standard glass sales. I told the Prez if he did, I would buy them by the truckload. . He agreed to visit me in California and discuss it. As soon as he saw it he liked it and he stayed true to his word.

Over the next three years over two million dollars’ worth of the mugs were sold through multiple distribution channels. The product was featured in magazines and newspapers throughout the U.S. It became a part of the Anheuser Busch Bud Light™ program and became a listed promotional item within their advertising specialty catalog. Thousands more were made for other beer companies including Moosehead™. The mug was also private labeled for Spencer Gift stores and catalog which purchased the mugs 20,000 mugs at a time.

And, an incredible story came out of this product..

My wife and I were doing a lot of skiing in those days. I was pretty active in Giant Slalom Ski racing and we were traveling from San Jose to Lake Tahoe almost every weekend. One weekend we arrived home to a message on our answering machine that said, “Hi this is Brooke Shield’s mother and Brooke got one of your mugs at Princeton and it did not work. Could you please give me a call.”

Brooke Shields thanks us for the Light Beer MugNaturally we thought it was a gag message and we just erased it. The very next weekend, we came back to another message that said, “Hi, this is Brooke shield’s mother . . REALLY! . We laughed and called her back and sure enough it WAS her mom. I immediately sent Brooke six mugs and within a few days we received this great photo with her kind words . . . This photo is still hanging on our office wall! . . . Thanks Brooke!

We also learned a valuable lesson on this project. I had sent the drawings for the plastic mug base to a reliable source in Taiwan, a family who had been involved in trading for 400 years.

We still use Southern Traders today and they are always fair and honest. Still, I had concerns, knowing the “knock-off” history of the Taiwanese. I learned it is not the traders you have to worry about, it is the EMPLOYEES of the manufacturers. They asked me what the product was when I sent them very detailed drawings, including mold draft angles and shrinkage tolerances. I told them, “just build what I sent” because I knew my drawings were correct. They said, “Well can you send us the part this fits on?” Again, I said “no, just mold it to my specs.” They finally agreed, but asked if I would tell them what it is called. Since the light base had a little on/off pin that protruded through the bottom, I told them it was a, “Wall warning device that hung on a wall and lit up if an earthquake hit.” They said “ok” and began producing my parts. Six weeks later, after the first parts were coming off the mold, there was a picture of my light base offered for sale in the Taiwan trade journal as a “Wall warning device.” Turns out one of the employees of the molding companies simply steals a part or assembly, then lists it for sale in the Taiwan Trade Journal. If they get inquiries, they simply get deposits and begin producing the knockoffs.

Jump ahead two years and the head of the trading company came to visit me in San Jose because we were doing LOTS of business with him. At San Jose Airport Gift shop there was a pyramid of our mugs which were now featured in the BUD LIGHT® beer ad campaign. He took one out of the box and right on the bottom was my company name “Overnight Engineering” at that time. As soon as he saw me, when he got to my office, he laughs and says, “Youuuu Pletty Crever Guy!!” And we still have laughs about that 30 years later.




For: Spencer Gift Stores

 Musical Mug gift box private labeled for Spencer Gift stores and catalog

Musical Mug gift box
private labeled for Spencer
Gift stores and catalog

 Musical Mug box first design

Musical Mug box
first design

After a successful launch of the Light Beer mugs, Spencer gifts asked us to design plastic injection molded snap-on bases to convert standard beer mugs into musical beer mugs that played, “Roll out the Barrel” when you lifted the mug and shut off when the mug was put down on a table.

Over the next two years thousands of Musical Mugs were sold. Riordanco private labeled them to Spencer Gift in their own boxes and then sold many more to other gift stores in our own boxes.



For: Paladin Corporation

 Foot operated Hand Aid sold to Paladin Corp, a leading electrical tool maker

Foot operated Hand Aid
sold to Paladin Corp, a
leading electrical
tool maker

 Pnuematic Hand Aid also sold to Paladin, makes crimping connectors a breeze

Pnuematic Hand Aid also
sold to Paladin, makes
crimping connectors
a breeze

Project Scope:
Paladin manufactures a line of high quality hand operated terminal crimping and wire cutting tools for the electronics industry. With carpal tunnel syndrome on the rise, the company identified a need for a tool into which their existing tools could be inserted, that could be foot operated or pneumatically operated. Riordanco was called in to develop and manufacture the tools for Paladin. We call this, “inventing to order.”

Within two months’ time, the Riordan Company designed, manufactured and delivered the first test units to Paladin, one foot operated (manual) device and one pneumatic device. Riordanco then entered into a contract manufacturing agreement with Paladin and we set up the product line and produced both models for them for two years until Paladin Corporation was sold to a German company which took over the production of the tools.

What our client said:
“Our whole team finds it remarkable that you were able to design and produce such a functional yet simple tool so quickly. We look forward to a long and profitable run of the Hand-Aid line.”
Mr. Ron Vogel
Vice President
Paladin Corp




 The CD selector easy to load easy to view

The CD selector easy to
load easy to view

Client: Sidelines Co.

Project Scope:
Help company design and launch new CD storage product from concept stage.

Jim Riordan helped redesign the product, changed the material from wood to plastic reducing cost of goods sold by 75%. Riordanco developed the molds, helped design the packaging, catalog sheets and advertising materials. After pioneering sales in the U.S., the product was successfully sold to a Canadian Company.

What our Client said:
“To Whom it May Concern:
“Sidelines has worked with Overnight Engineering (The James F. Riordan Company) for approximately 1 year. Our association began when our company was attempting to bring an entirely new product to market. We had no experience in the requirements of this project including manufacturing, marketing and distribution. We thus enlisted the services of Jim Riordan of Overnight Engineering who was highly recommended to us. Jim’s expert advice, opinions and encouragement have proved extremely valuable and accurate. Jim has consistently given us quick and important information and has always been concerned with the details of our project. We have also found his methods and personality to be a pleasure to work with. We have just successfully introduced our product to the market at the 1987 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. We have a final product, packaging and literature. Our manufacturing plans are in place, and we are using Jim’s services in our dealings with dozens of companies. We unequivocally recommend Overnight Engineering and its exceptional staff. We have no doubt that without their outstanding assistance we would still be struggling to bring our product to market.”
Evert Fernandez
David Soberanis
Side Lines




For: Riordanco

 The Nations first street licensed propeller driven motorcycle. This unique three wheeled vehicle carries two comfortably at 45 miles per hour, even up hills! The Propcycle has been featured in magazines in 17 countries, including Popular Science and Star Magazine in the U.S. It has also been featured on “Evening Magazine with Richard Hart” and “PM” Magazine on television Coast to Coast. (photo) Jim Riordan’s Propcycle at the Watsonville Air Show, 1987

The Propcycle™

The Nations first street licensed propeller driven motorcycle. This unique three wheeled vehicle carries two comfortably at 45 miles per hour, even up hills! The Propcycle has been featured in magazines in 17 countries, including Popular Science and Star Magazine in the U.S. It has also been featured on “Evening Magazine with Richard Hart” and “PM” Magazine on television Coast to Coast. (photo) Jim Riordan’s Propcycle
at the Watsonville Air Show, 1987


Propcycle in Popular Science




For: Riordanco

The Pneumatic Bicycle Seat/Pump
This device slips down into the seat tube on most bicycle frames, locks in place, and then acts as an “air shock” seat to deliver the most comfortable ride possible. The device is easily removed from the seat tube and is then used as a tire pump. The seat then becomes the pump.




For Riordanco

Co-inventor of Hitch Mate receiver rack systems
These handy racks slide into any square receptacle type trailer hitch and mount on the rear or front of a vehicle. There is a different rack for carrying boats, motorcycles, bicycles, skis, go-carts, ATV’s, etc. There is also a lockable storage box model that allows you to carry all of your camping gear outside in a dry place. Each rack is easily installed, locked in place, or removed for storage. This was invented and prototyped by Bob Underwood and Jim Riordan.

Interesting Note: Jim had already scheduled a flight to meet with U-Haul Corporation which was interested in buying them to rent out when he was contacted by a Cinematographer who worked in Hollywood filming car chases from the back of a pickup truck. He had been injured when he lost control of a $100k plus Panavision camera which broke free from a flimsy mount during a film shoot. He had just invented the exact same hitch mount system to hold the camera and then realized it would work for Bikes, Skis, etc. His attorney found our patent application and he called me to let me know he had already patented the device but not built or marketed it. He came up to meet me, we became friends, and we helped him finalize his designs which were sold to a major brand name company who is selling many different versions today. His cinematography version is still in use today in Hollywood.


   Hitch mate slip in rack system for trailer hitch receiver

Hitch mate slip in rack
system for trailer
hitch receiver





For : Riordanco

Snap-in, Snap-off Tool Holding System for Upper Arm Amputees
Allows users to quickly pick-up, put-down and use common hand tools. Rather than trying to market these, I donated them to Goodwill for their rehabilitation facilities.




For : Riordanco

Solar window blinds
With solar panels on one side and flat-black full length ribs on the other side, these hollow vertical blinds generate heat or electricity, depending on which way they are turned. They work great but never caught on with interior decorators.





No-Bounce Hammer
A molded polyurethane hammer for use by aerospace workers in confined areas. Hammer head “deadened” blow on impact thus preventing the tool from bouncing back and damaging other instrumentation or components. Our design was used by N.A.S.A. and United Airlines especially for work in tailcones and wingtips.



1987 to 1994
For: Chenbe Incorporated

 Sit-Right Baby device holds infants upright in high chair

Sit-Right Baby device holds infants
upright in high chair

Project Scope:
Assist with product design, injection mold design, solution of production problems, product packaging, product introduction and marketing strategy. Terry Cheney, the inventor, was managing the family’s rice farms and had no experience with new product development or marketing. He did everything we advised him to do and he has since bought an airplane, lots of other toys and his invention is allowing him to live his dreams.

Achieved early market penetration through major catalog chains, then into retail chain stores, resulting in product sales of well over two million dollars.

What our client said:
“In or about 1987, I went to the James F. Riordan company for help with my invention, a device to help hold babies upright in their highchairs. At that time I had only a rough, wooden, proof-of-concept model. Jim Riordan helped me to design a finished production prototype. He helped me with the patenting process. He also helped me to design the plastic injection molds for the product to enable the product to release easily from the mold. I took the product, known as the “Sit Right Baby” to a plastic injection molding shop and began production. Jim then helped me determine the marketing strategy for the product. To say the product is successful is an understatement. It has sold well ever since the first production run hit the market. Since then, Jim has helped me from time to time with all aspects of production, packaging and marketing. Sit Right Baby was my first product and has made enough money to allow me to have more of the things I have dreamed of. It is still making money as I write this letter. I highly recommend the services of Jim Riordan and the James F. Riordan Company to anyone who has an idea for a new product. He sure helped me make money with my idea.”
Terry A. Cheney, President
Sit Right Baby Products
Chenbe, Inc.




For: Channel Distributing

Project Scope:
Re-organize the fulfillment, storage, product retrieval, packaging and shipping department for large software distribution company. Channel Distributing was unable to fill orders in a timely manner and was experiencing a high rate of mis-shipments and returns.

Within one week, revamped storage areas, stocked product by SKUs, installed mezzanines and order baskets for easy retrieval, installed conveyor system with automated weighing system, final inspection station and added a computer invoicing system at final packaging station resulting in a 30% increase in inventory in the same square footage, a 50% daily increase in product shipped, a reduction in staff of two persons, and a nearly 75% decrease in shipping errors. A true home run!

What our Client said:
“Channel Distributing (formerly Silicon Valley Products), retained the services of James Riordan, President of Overnight Engineering, to redesign and overhaul our entire warehousing and distribution center. In a short period of time Jim correctly analyzed our problems and provided senior management with a recommended course of action, complete with implementation strategy and budget. The new design resulted in a 30% increase in inventory in the same physical space. In addition, the streamline design of the assembly and order staging area increased productivity dramatically, enabling us to ship 50% more on a daily basis with less staff. More importantly, shipping errors decreased almost 75% during the last 60days (Less than 5 errors per month vs. the 20+ in previous months). I highly recommend the services of Jim Riordan. He has a keen ability to quickly get to the root of a problem, and possesses all the background and experience, along with the tireless energy, to solve it. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.”
Timothy R. Leary
Chief Financial Officer
Channel Distributing




Percutaneous hip pinning
set invented by Dr. Steve
Imrie. We built
the prototypes


For: Dr. Stephen Imrie

Project Scope:
Build working proof of concept prototype for new medical tool set to be used in hip surgeries. Dr. Imrie, a leading surgeon in hip replacements, invented this tool set to enable him to perform less invasive hip surgeries. At the time, hip surgery required the patient to be “opened up” in such a manner that the patient suffered a great deal of post operative pain and had a long recovery period.

Riordanco worked with Dr. Imrie to improve his design and build a tool set which could be used in test operations. Two identical sets of the tools were produced. Dr. Imrie first used the tools in an operation on a cadaver to prove out the concept and then, after receiving the green light, began using the tool set in operations on live patients, reducing their trauma and speeding their recovery by 75%.

What our Client said:
“I just used the new tools on our first live patient and they worked exactly as advertised. Know that your contributions were significant. I would recommend your services to anyone needing help with their prototype development”.
Dr. Stephen Imrie



For: Qume Corporation and Harbor Electronics

Project Scope:
A supplier, a major cable manufacturer, had delivered a shipment of 20,000 computer printer cables to Qume Corp in San Jose, CA. The entire shipment of cables was subsequently rejected for “non-compliance with documentation”. The Riordan Company was sent to determine the specific reason for rejection of the computer cables and to provide an immediate fix for the problem that had brought the production line to a halt.

Upon arrival at Qume, Jim Riordan reviewed the documentation upon which the rejection was based. In this documentation, certain wire ends were to be tinned and others were to be bare. Harbor had sent the cables correctly tinned, but Qume had failed to send Harbor the latest engineering change notice showing additional wires should be tinned. Qume acknowledged they had not sent Harbor the documentation. To resolve the situation, the Riordan Company took delivery of all 20,000 cables and our shop tinned the ends under contract with Qume. We gave them overnight turnaround on enough cables to get the production line running and then delivered the balance over the next two weeks. Within three weeks, all cables were returned to Qume and were accepted with no rejects.

What our client said:
“Thanks for a quick fix to a really big problem.”
Mr. Dan Chittenden
Western Regional Manager
Qume Corp.



In 1989 we moved to our Cameron Park, California location, nestled in the history-rich California Gold Country, just minutes from the gold discovery site at Sutter’s Sawmill in Coloma.

Not long after arrival, we knew we had found our idea of a great place to live. We built a new office and got right back to inventing and consulting to Corporations and other inventors along with doing expert witness work on alternative design in product liability lawsuits, work for the Superior Courts and the Feds, all of which we are still doing today.



For: Esther Roberts, RN.

Project Scope:
Prepare design review of new cardiac device for possible improvements. Refine manufacturing procedures and develop marketing strategy.

Jim Riordan changed design of the components and the method of operation of the device to make it more user friendly and to make manufacturing of the device less costly and operation of the device more reliable. Devised a marketing strategy for Ms. Robert’s implementation.

What our Client said:
“I am writing this to let you know how instrumental you have been in the refining and conceptual development of my cardiac device. Your ability to grasp the principles governing the functioning of my device and to assist me in an innovative approach to troubleshooting such a complex, specialized medical design is quite remarkable.

“I value your expertise in patent law. Additionally, I have found your ability to think creatively about alternative ways to approach development of my design absolutely invaluable! I have a lot of confidence in your professional judgment. Thanks again for your help! I will be certain to refer other clients to you as the opportunity arises.”
Esther Roberts, R.N. , B.S.N.




For: Barry Rhein and Associates

Project Scope:
Prepare marketing strategy to help a growing sales training and consulting organization with business development.

Upon implementation, company experienced controlled growth from $1,000,000.00 in annual revenue to nearly $5,000,000.00 within one year’s time. Company expanded sales training to multinational accounts and now provides sales training both in the U.S. and internationally for notables such as Hewlett Packard.

What our Client said:
“I have known Mr. Riordan for approximately seventeen years. Our relationship has been both personal and business related. As a San Jose Reserve Police Officer and as an independent businessman. I can tell you that they don’t come more honest or capable than Jim Riordan. My business started out as a two person organization, and thanks to the marketing strategies and business development plan put in place by Mr. Riordan, my company is expecting to gross over five million dollars this year and before years end will be international in scope. He is capable of all facets of business management and is an ideal choice for turnarounds, reorganizations, and companies seeking to expand. I highly recommend the services of Jim Riordan”
Barry Rhein, CEO
Barry Rhein & Associates

Note: Barry has gone on to be the founder of “Selling through Curiosity” and is responsible for a huge increase in sales for Hewlett Packard Company. By coincidence, I knew David Packard through his introduction of my Solder-Quik device into HP’s printed circuit board touch up department.




For Riordanco/3M . . . . . . ANOTHER HOME RUN

A variable length index tab for locating single sheets of paper in a file, or for separating sections in reports or binders. This product was sold to 3M Corporation in December 1991 and became part of the 3M tape flags project which are in use in virtually every office in the US. 3M is a great company to work with.

Today they are available in various colors and in “sign here” arrows for contracts and multiple other variations many of which were developed by Riordanco.

What our Client said:
“Dear Jim:
“Enclosed is the agreement to purchase your patent application and trademark. Please review, sign and send back both original copies to my attention. Upon receipt of the signed contract 3M will issue payment within 5 days.

“Best wishes for the holiday season to both you and Lynn.”
Alan J. Marlor
New Product Development Manager


 Tab It Tape Dispenser sold to 3M in 1991

Tab It Tape Dispenser sold to 3M in 1991



For: Riordanco

Project scope: Bomb Squad, the Game
In association with a former Atari electronic design manager and good friend, developed Bomb Squad, a game of skill and steadiness which required the players to remove several sticks of “dynamite” with a time sensitive and motion sensitive “detonator.” Players had to hand carry the device to a “safe” disposal “site” in another room. If the player did not hold the “bomb” steady, or if they did not relocate the bomb to the safe disposal site within a set time period, the bomb would “explode” with flashing lights and audio explosion sounds. Presented to Mattel toys.



Bomb Squad game. The
“dynamite bomb”
with detonator






For: 3M

The Card-It™
Method of attaching business cards to graphic presentations, windows, desks, computers, windshields etc.



Patent plaque for Jim Riordan’s
Card-It™ invention




For: Sierra InnotekProject Scope:
Assist in taking new products from concept to marketplace. Start-up company developed a state of the art chemi-luminescent device and needed help to design, manufacture and market the product.

 The Electric Eel laser effect dart gun sold to Hasbro Kenner

The Electric Eel laser effect dart gun
sold to Hasbro Kenner

Over an eleven-month period, The Riordan Company guided the product design, packaging and presentation of Sierra Innotek’s first product resulting in an R&D and royalty contract with a major manufacturer. The R&D contract alone still provides over a six-figure annual income for Sierra Innotek. Randy and Steve Palmer, founders of Sierra Innotek are two of the most intelligent and creative people we have had the pleasure of working with. Since 1993, we launched together the “Max Force Electric Eel” Nerf simulated laser dart gun.

When the trigger was pulled, a camera-like flash device illuminates a photo luminescent dart. The dart is then propelled out of the barrel glowing brightly. As the dart travels across a room, it appears to be a “star wars” type laser bullet. Kids loved it. Riordanco helped Sierra Innotek and inventors Randy and Steve Palmer get the product in front of, and subsequently sold to, Hasbro Kenner Nerf division. This toy was sold in Toys-R-Us stores nationwide and gave the Palmer brothers an entre into the toy market. They have since licensed two more of their products, the “Alien Splash Attack” water toy to Whamo and a creative baking accessory to Betty Crocker. The Riordan Company is presently working together with Sierra Innotek on other new product designs which will be announced in the future. The Palmers are a perfect example of inventing for a living. Great fun!

 Alien Splash Attack, the latest product on the market from Sierra Innotek

Alien Splash Attack, the latest product
on the market from Sierra Innotek


What our clients said in their first letter to the Riordan Company in 1994:

“Dear Jim:
“Nineteen-ninety-four is going to be a great year for Sierra Innotek. We want to thank you for your excellent service over the past 11 months. When we came to you in January of last year we had only an idea and a crude prototype. With your guidance and assistance we refined our product, honed our marketing skills and have successfully introduced ourselves and our product to industry. We have just signed a contract to provide R&D services for over $100,000 this year, not including royalty payments for our invention. Steve and I particularly appreciate your ability to identify opportunities and set clear directions. By encouraging us to carefully think through each step of our operation, we have been able to target realistic, attainable goals and expectations. More importantly, we now have been provided with the tools (lifetime skills) to reach our goals. We feel extremely fortunate to have learned of your services early in our work. Without your assistance, I seriously doubt that we would have progressed this far. We will be contacting you soon to discuss another idea we would like to take to market.

“Thanks again for your help.”
William R. Palmer
Sierra Innotek, Inc.

This second letter was sent to People magazine by the Palmers in 2003 regarding our assistance to them.

“My brother, Steve, and I enjoy your magazine. We thought you might be interested in a story about a unique individual who is one of our country’s experts on taking new products to market and inventing for a living. He lives near us in Cameron Park, California. He has helped many inventors get their products on the market. Jim Riordan has been inventing for a living for 25 years. Jim helped our company get started in 1993. He was instrumental in helping us turn one of our ideas into a research and development contract which is still going strong in 2003. Later, Jim helped us license our idea for a foam dart gun toy with a simulated laser effect to toy giant Hasbro, who sold them in Toys R Us stores throughout the country. We think your readers would enjoy a refreshing story about this inventor who has not only done well with his own products, but has truly helped others really make money from their ideas, unlike the sham companies that promise, but never deliver. You really should feature a story about him as an inspiration to other creative people with ideas. Jim used to be a regular on KGO radio in San Francisco, before moving to Cameron Park. Judging from the caller response he received on KGO, there are a lot of people who’d like to profit from their ideas. Jim sure helped us profit from ours! We hope you’ll do a story on him. Feel free to contact us.”
Steve and Randy Palmer
Sierra Innotek, Inc. Cameron Park, Ca 95682

NOTE: We are still working with Sierra Innotek in 2013 and still having Just as much fun!



1994 to 1995

For: L.B.E. T (Location Based Entertainment Technologies ) or “Silicon Motor Speedway”



 Secty Pat Mercedes sitting in first PVC pipe mockup for sizing car interior

Secty Pat Mercedes sitting in first
PVC pipe mockup for sizing car interior

 First working prototype of race car on full motion platform

First working prototype of race car on
full motion platform

 Fiberglass mold "plug" for race car bodies for Silicon Motor Speedway

Fiberglass mold “plug” for race car
bodies for Silicon Motor Speedway

 Jim with Rick Moncrief sitting inside first molded body

Jim with Rick Moncrief
sitting inside first
molded body

 Fiberglass body with with paint and decals

Fiberglass body with with paint
and decals

 People waiting in line to drive the finished NASCAR car simulators

People waiting in line to drive the
finished NASCAR car simulators

Project progressed from concept to operable proof of concept model in less than five months, during which time Riordan set up a full prototype shop and testing lab, purchased capital equipment, built the “Alpha” frame, and the “Alpha” full motion platform and hydraulic motion control system. Riordan designed a proprietary motion platform which sat flat on the floor under the “car” and provided five “degrees of freedom.” The new motion platform design provided an exciting ride and yet ended up costing only $2,000.00 per vehicle saving the company $28,000.00 per vehicle. They had planned on $30,000.00 per car for each motion platform and that figure did not include the special floors or pits that would have to accompany each one. During the project, Riordan had the opportunity to work with Indianapolis 500 winner and formula one driver Arie Luyendyke to perfect proper race car “feedback” and “feel” for simulator. Riordan’s team progressed to “Beta” frame and built from scratch the patterns for fiberglass Beta bodies from digitized sections of a NASCAR race car photograph. All work was completed 100% in-house saving investors hundreds of thousands of dollars and months of time. After much redesign and testing, Riordan’s engineering team took the prototype into full production. The first site of a Silicon Motor Speedway entertainment center featuring these unique, interactive NASCAR simulators was located in Mall of America, the world’s largest shopping mall. Since the opening of the Mall of America site, other sites were opened in Atlanta and Southern California. If you get a chance, get a ride in one. You’ll love it.

Riordan urged the founding team to contact NASCAR for endorsement and our team eventually, got Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jarret, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon, Kenny Erwin, Jeremy Mayfield, and Dale Earnhardt jr, to endorse the “real feel” of the simulator.

What others said:
“This has proven to be a classic example of how to ‘get it done NOW’. Ready fire aim at its best.”
Rick Moncrief
Chief Technology Officer
LBE/Silicon Motor Speedway

“Dear Jim,
“I really admire you as a professional and as a very nice person. It has indeed been a tremendous pleasure and privilege to have met and worked with you.
“I feel you did an excellent and outrageous development contribution to the ‘project’. Any company would be lucky to have you on board. Take care and maybe we’ll run into each other down the line. Wishing you and yours the very best.”
Office Manager
LBE Technologies

“It has really been fun to watch you take this fascinating project from concept to fully-functional reality. You’re the only one I know who could manage to create such an impressive final product in such a short period of time.”
John Crump
Silicon Valley Productions



1995 to 1998
For: Beutler Heating and Air Conditioning

 Home improvement news "Advertorial" publication

Home improvement news
“Advertorial” publication

Project Scope:
Create a new marketing strategy to help level out the typical peaks and valleys in the sales cycle of replacement home comfort systems. Design, write, edit, publish and market the Home Improvement News, a tabloid publication consisting entirely of paid “advertorials” for home remodeling contractors.

The Riordan Company conceived the idea for a fully paid “advertorial” (advertising/editorial) publication which would feature Beutler’s comfort systems, educate readers about the benefits of replacing their systems and would generate revenue from other home improvement contractors thus reducing Beutler’s advertising expenses. We designed, wrote, published, marketed and distributed the “Home Improvement News” tabloid featuring roofing contractors, window replacement contractors and home loan purveyors. Grew paper from zero circulation into a profitable publication reaching over one million households.

What our client said:
“The purpose of this letter is to let you know that we have been implementing the marketing strategies you prepared for us. They are already proving to be excellent marketing tools. In addition to commending you on the quality and creativity of the marketing strategies, I wanted to let you know how inspirational you have been to our management team. Your professional yet cordial attitude has made working with you a productive and pleasurable experience for my management team. What has impressed me the most is that you have always accomplished what you said you would do, in the time frame in which you said you would do it. In my opinion, this is what distances you from other consultants I have worked with on other projects. Thanks again for your ‘global’ problem solving within our organization. I look forward to working with you on future projects.”
Al Matthews
General Manager
Beutler Heating and Air Conditioning



1999 to 2000

 The front and back of our  FunToDo brochure, given away in hotels

The front and back of our
FunToDo brochure,
given away in hotels

Project Scope:
Design, develop and implement a website which featured attractions, entertainment, adventures and events which would be suitable for all ages and cultures to view. While many dot coms based their revenue model on advertising alone, was unique in that we would provide hosted pages for event promoters, sell subscriptions to parties interested in news letters or magazines related to their fun interests and sell products related to events or sports as well as provide fun content to ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and Television Networks nationwide.

Led team which designed the site, developed the strategic marketing plan, and proprietary software to run on nine HP quad processor servers utilizing Microsoft sequel server 2000 OS. Led team responsible for network architecture design with Sonic firewall, Cisco routers and fully redundant “clusters” designed to handle millions of users. FunToDo completed Alpha testing and we were working on Beta software to meet contemporary ISP requirements. Abruptly, funding for most “dot coms” dried up. FunToDo hung in there and weathered the storm with a great product and contracts with TV networks waiting to be signed across the U.S. to use us as a provider of “fun” content. “Dot com fever” mentality resulted in overly optimistic expectations for dot coms nationwide. Then as a few months went by, a new fever emerged. “Dot bomb” fever mentality. No matter how great your concept was, the market decided there was no such thing as a dot com worth investing in. was then offered for sale.



2000 to 2004 . . . Below




Worked with our client Jim Brignolio to help develop a folding pontoon boat that could be trailered to a lake, unfolded on the trailer and then launched. At the end of the day, boat folds back up and can be easily trailered home. Great concept. First photo below shows boat on trailer , second shows unfolding, third shows boat folded out to 12 ft wide. Fourth shows boat on the water with roof extended.




Jim Riordan developed Folding Pontoon Boat




Sniper Position Acquisition Device (S.P.A.D.™)
Using a patent pending integration of seven state of the art technologies, this device provides near real time detection and acquisition of the position of single or multiple sniper locations, providing our snipers or mobile weapons systems with the ability to eliminate enemy snipers with little or no collateral damage to property or innocent civilians. The S.P.A.D. system will prove to be an increasingly valuable tool in urban warfare, occupation or liberation operations. The S.P.A.D. system technology is currently being submitted for licensing. Jim worked with Lockheed Martin Advanced Project Lab in Palo Alto to act as the weapons delivery contractor.


Newspaper article , JAN, 2004 Man Invents Sniper Finder
Jim Riordan Mt. DemocratCAMERON PARK – Snipers beware: Jim Riordan knows where you are. The local man just invented a “sniper position acquisition device,” a defensive weapon designed to pinpoint the area from where a sniper shoots. Defense contractor Lockheed-Martin sent it over to the U.S. Department of Defense, with an eye toward producing the piece of equipment if it gets the nod. “You want to start with the biggest, or with the best,” Riordan said of his marketing strategy. “Sometimes, the biggest is not necessarily the best.” Riordan started with one of the biggest defense contractors when marketing his device, just as he goes straight to the top when selling the devices of others. An invention consultant of sorts, the Cameron Park man aids others in the design, production and marketing of their inventions.



2005 saw the completion of development of the Holdstar Hip Pack, a useful replacement for bulky fanny packs and hip packs. The Holdstar became available through retail outlets and could be ordered directly from Riordanco’s website

 Holdstar hip pack fully closed

Holdstar hip pack
fully closed

 Holdstar with wallet, keys, cell phone and gun

Holdstar with wallet,
keys, cell phone and gun

 Holdstar hip pack fully open

Holdstar hip pack
fully open



2003 to 2008

Talking Trivia™

 Talking Trivia Game With Cartridge

Talking Trivia Game
With Cartridge

Jim Riordan was one of four founding members of Talking Knowledge, Inc. and acted as engineering director for the development of a hand-held voice recognition, voice activated and voice output handheld game called Talking Trivia. Talking Trivia is a multiple patents pending, four-player game. It is unique in that it can also double as an interactive adult training tool. Our technology can be easily adapted to any number of different gaming and learning applications including being added to existing professional test-preparation courses as a mobile interactive testing and scoring device. The experience gained while developing the voice recognition software and hardware development for Talking Trivia has helped place us on the leading edge of voice recognition and voice output device development.


Click on the image below to view

Jim Riordan with a Talking Trivia Demonstration



2004 to 2007

CDs depicting how to build custom vehicles.

We decided to build several project cars and then sell CDs on line to folks who would like to build their own hot rods. The idea was to show every step of the building process so that even folks who had never tackled a project like this could see first-hand how easy it was to do and then offer consulting services for those who had more questions. The first Project was a replica Bugatti and the second was a unique design of Jim and Lynn’s.

 Jim Riordan's Bugatti Replica

This was followed By the “L type” shown below, in 2007

Jim Riordan's "Type L"




The tool every painter needs

By James F. Riordan

Jim Riordan Punch 'N Drain

This tool was invented by Jim Riordan for a client to aid Painters in preventing drips from cans. After punching the rim, the paint drops right back into the can.

Jim Riordan's Punch 'N Drain, Figure 11.) Open can by gently prying up rim of can cover using the end of one handle (See figure 1) while slowly working your way around the entire can until lid is easily removed. Remove the lid.

JIm Riordan's Punch 'N Drain, Figure 22.) Position punch so that the pointed punch pin is on the top side of the can and is inside the groove that the lid fits into.

3.) Gently squeeze the handles together as shown (See figure 1) Use only as much squeezing pressure on the punch handles as is required to puncture the can. The Punch ‘N Drain tool is very easy to use and requires only light pressure. With very thin paint or stain, you will not need as many holes.

4.) The bottom “die” of the tool automatically aligns the punch properly such that the punched holes are closer to the inside rim for a leakproof reseal of can (See figure 2).





The Quik Kover

 Jim Riordan's Quik Kover

Stack of 15 Quik-Kovers
Nested together

 Jim Riordan's Quik Kover

See Quik-Kover in action



What it is:

A delightfully simple disk media cover solution that provides fast and easy one-handed access to all types of disk media while fully protecting the data side of the disk. Simply pick up the disk (please click “Play Quik-Kover Video button) with the Quik-Kover already installed by placing your thumb and middle finger in the “open” areas on the outside diameter of the Kover, as shown in the video, lift the disk and then “eject the Quik-Kover from the disk by pushing against the center of the Quik-Kover with your index finger. The Quik-Kover will drop away from the disk and onto your desktop, car seat or where ever you are using the disk. When you are ready to store the disk again, just snap the disk back onto the Quik-Kover for safe storage.

Advantages and benefits of the QuikKover:

· QuikKovers can be fitted to disks during production and disks can then be “nested” on top of each other. After “nesting”, the stack of disks and covers becomes stabilized into a “tower” such that media and covers can be sold in one stack, together. 50 disks with QuikKovers installed approximately equal the height of a tower the size of 100 disks sold without Kovers. · Our unique patent pending packaging eliminates the need for a standard plastic “cover” and “base” typically used to sell CD/DVD “towers” thus saving the cost of the parts and reducing the plastic parts needed for standard towers of disks. QuikKovers eliminate the need to have to purchase separate “jewel cases”. · QuikKovers eliminate the need to “fight with” cumbersome, poorly designed “jewel cases” when using or storing disks. Think for just a moment of how many times you have watched, or heard of, people breaking the jewel case cover, having the top of the case “pop off” the bottom and drop the disk on the floor potentially scratching the media or end up with a cut finger from a piece of shattered acrylic plastic? It is such a universal problem that a comedian recently performed a hysterically funny, entire routine based on trying to open a Jewel case without damaging himself or the disk. · Round QuikKovers take up less space than square jewel cases. · Graphics can be labeled, printed, or engraved on one or both sides of the QuikKover, providing advertising exposure each time a Kover is removed and during the time data is being written to a disk or when the disk content is being used. (High cost perexposure for advertising!) · Adding QuikKovers to disks is easily incorporated into the disk Mfg. process. Instead of placing the disk directly onto a plastic “tower”, the disk would be snapped in place onto the QuikKover and then “picked and placed” onto a stack of “nested” disks, repeating the process until the number of desired disks per tower is reached. · Our patent pending “tower wrap” packaging means no additional plastic injection molded pieces are necessary. · One or more disks complete with QuikKovers, can be removed easily from our “tower wrap” of “nested” disks, leaving the rest of the “tower” intact for easy storage. · Raised outer and inner “rings” keep disk dataside slightly elevated from QuikKover for increased protection of data side.

· QuikKovers provide an easy, safe, light and non bulky protection for mailing of Disk media.

· Mass duplicators can easily speed the duplication process by loading disk data, snapping disks into QuikKovers and then labeling or printing the disks after installation of the QuikKover, avoiding entirely the process of having to open and reclose a “jewel case” The disk/Kover assembly can then be slipped into a preprinted cardboard sleeve for mailing/distribution.




In 2009 we completed the development from concept to two full size working prototypes and a table-top demonstrator for trade shows for a client. This was a very complex project including preparation of all working drawings, fabricating all parts from our drawings and then component assembly, final assembly and delivery. The concept was a novel device which allowed a rear wheel of a bicycle to be easily removed for tire changing or patching, without the greasy removal of the derailleur gears and the chain, all of which remained on the bike during the tire removal and reinstallation.

Installation of HubDock on full size bike. Wheel and tire can be removed while sprockets and derailleur remain in place on the bike. Result: Tire is easily changed or tube repaired without getting hands greasy.

Installation of HubDock on full size bike. Wheel and tire can be removed while sprockets and derailleur remain in place on the bike. Result: Tire is easily changed or tube repaired without getting hands greasy.

 Working model for display at show booth to demonstrate ease of removal and installation.

Working model for display at show booth to demonstrate ease of removal and installation.


What our client said:

The show demonstrator model and the working Bicycles came out excellent. The finish and quality of the parts was everything we expected and more. We are now on our way to show the models at one of the largest bicycle expositions on the West Coast. Thanks for all your great work.





 Another product designed for submission to DARPA. This unique vehicle was designed to sniff out” and destroy roadside EIDs.

Another product designed for submission to DARPA. This unique vehicle was designed to sniff out” and destroy roadside EIDs.



2006 to present

The Sprinter™ Turbo Resonator Eliminator

NOTE: Available on our website


 Sprinter Turbo Resonators, New and Old
 Sprinter Resonators — New and Old

In 2006, at the request of a local Dodge™ dealer and Mercedes repair facility, we engineered, developed, tested and marketed this device which replaces a stock part on the 2.7 liter Mercedes Benz™ turbo diesel engine that had been causing, in some cases, multiple failures on the same Sprinter vans within only a few thousand miles of each other. When the turbo resonator fails, the vehicle usually ends up being out of service and having to be towed to the nearest Dodge dealer for repair, interrupting vacations for RVers and workdays for contractors and delivery services. Our Eliminator has been in service for thousands of trouble free miles with no failures. Our company engineers, designs and manufactures “overnight” solutions such as this for many different industries.



2007 to present

The Sprinter™ Turbo Hose Adapter for Cracked Hoses
By James F. Riordan

NOTE: Available on our website:


ADAP-06 – 2002 through early 2007, 2.7 liter 5 Cyl. Inline engine


We consider it an honor that once again Dodge dealers have asked us for a fix. This time, it is for the 2002 to 2007 2.7 liter , 5 cylinder in-line engines intercooler to intake manifold hoses which are cracking and then blowing out at the end of this hose, causing the engines to go into “limp home mode.” This hose has a metal fitting “formed” onto the hose where it enters the intake manifold on the top of the driver’s side of the engine , (See photo below) which is failing causing cracks to form at the fitting (See photo below). At first, the tiny crack may cause an “occasional” limp home mode problem and then seemingly return to normal. Soon, however, this tiny crack “blows out” and becomes a big crack, putting the engine in limp home mode and ruining your workday or vacation schedule. Now you can eliminate this problem before it starts (no need to wait until the hose fails) with our ADAP-06 which solves the end cracking problems once and for all. (See Photo below) The ADAP-06 typically costs less than replacing the hose, since this hose is sold in a 3 part assembly (please see our Installation PDF below ) The ADAP-06 is being installed by many Dodge dealers and does not affect your warranty.

 Stock Sprinter  Intercooler-to-intake  hose & sensor assembly  with metal end

Stock Sprinter
hose & sensor assembly
with metal end

 Sprinter ADAP-06 Cracked and Blown out turbo hose

Sprinter ADAP-06 Cracked
and Blown
out turbo hose

 Our billet aluminum  ADAP-06 ready to  be installed

Our billet aluminum
ADAP-06 ready to
be installed



2008 to present

ADAP-09 – late 2007 through present, 3 liter V6 Turbo diesel engine

NOTE: Available on our website

We learned from a fleet Dodge dealer about a similar metal hose end failure on the 2007 and up 3 liter V6 and they asked us for a fix. The turbo-to-intercooler hoses AND the intercooler to intake hoses are BOTH cracking and then blowing out at the ends of the hoses, causing the engines to go into “limp home mode.” These hoses have a metal fitting “formed” onto the hoses, (See photo 1 below) which are continually failing causing cracks to form at the fitting (See photo 2 below). At first, the tiny crack may cause an “occasional” limp home mode problem and then seemingly return to normal. Soon, however, these tiny cracks “blow out” and become big cracks, putting the engine in limp home mode and ruining your workday or vacation schedule. The most common hose to crack is the drivers’ side intercooler-to-intake hose however both hoses are experiencing this failure. Now you can eliminate this problem before it starts (no need to wait until the hose fails) with our ADAP-09 which fits either hose end and solves the end cracking problems once and for all. (See Photo 3 below) Two ADAP-09s cost little more than replacing one blown out hose. (one hose assembly with the metal end can cost $130-$140 or more), and based on our input from Dodge dealership Sprinter techs, we are recommending replacing both of these metal hose ends at the same time on your 2007 to current V6 Sprinter to avoid future problems on the road. We have just introduced our new high pressure clamp which is wider, stronger and has internal shielding to prevent any hose damage. The ADAP-09s do not affect your warranty.

 Stock Sprinter Turbo-to-intercooler hose with metal end

Stock Sprinter
hose with metal end

 Sprinter Cracked and Blown out turbo hose

Sprinter Cracked and Blown
out turbo hose

 Our billet aluminum ADAP-09 ready to be installed

Our billet aluminum
ADAP-09 ready to
be installed


We are providers of alternative design solutions and therefore always open to designing, and in some cases, manufacturing and supplying, “fixes” for any type of vehicle. If you come across a poorly designed or failing part, we will be happy to look at it and if we choose to manufacture it, we will give you the first one FREE.

Many of the products we are presently working on are defense related and therefore not available for viewing. We have submitted projects to DARPA and are presently working on several projects geared toward submission to DARPA (the DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY) in Virginia. We love our Country and we love DARPA. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

One of the projects we submitted for consideration was the S.P.A.D sniper finder (discussed earlier), and the remote control, GPS guided IED (improvised explosive Device) locator vehicle, (also shown earlier) which would function with Humanoid like figures complete with infrared heat sources. The vehicle is designed to locate and cause remote activation of IEDs thus preventing them from being used on our live troops.

Another product designed for submission to DARPA. This unique vehicle was designed to sniff out” and destroy roadside EIDs.




We have worked on and continue to develop special purpose airborne spying devices, again for planned submission to DARPA upon completion of testing.

During this time,we also designed, developed and built the prototype of the Kindergarde™ device in association with a Florida Inventor, John Shields, which reminds Mothers not to leave children in unattended vehicles on hot summer days . The device works flawlessly and we are still looking for an appropriate manufacturer.

Jim Riordan Kindergarde




We designed and applied for patents on a new method for gifting wine or bottled beverages with an environmentally friendly gift tag which wraps around the neck of the bottle and eliminates the need for a separate greeting Card. We developed this product in association with 3M, using their proprietary “repositionable” adhesive backed labeling material. It is always a pleasure to work with 3M.

Below is a picture of the Neck-Note™ in its “as sold” condition and below that is a photo of the Neck note after being placed on a Bottle of wine. Neck-Notes are the perfect way to give the perfect gift and can be purchased at Along with more information on this handy product.

 Jim Riordan, Neck Notes

Jim Riordan, Neck Notes

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