Updated April 4, 2013
Tom Kasmer .. Bon Voyage .. R.I.P.
by C. Koveleski, editor

It is to sad dismay that the innovative inventor Thomas Kasmer is no longer with us. I was lucky to know him and be a freind .. and as with other associates that have passed away ... I am sad that I could not spend more time with him and his vision of the future. Tom worked extremely hard on the Hydrisor ... to the extent of sacrificing his health and his well-being.

I will offer a prayer .. to his family:

Tom cared very much for all .. and as you know he could not stop his obsession with creating the Hydristor to save the world. He had a lot of love for you all .. and humanity in general. I consider him one of the "Greats" .. and little does everyone know .. but Tom has suceeded, for whenever the pinicle of his discovery surfaces, he will be credited for creating a fundemental change in the transfer of mechanical horsepower. It was painful to see him struggle .. but he believed in a world vision, not just a simple local effect. There are very few who have such ability and concern .. and Tom knew it. He gave it everything .. more that I have ever witnessed a single person do. He was years ahead of his time .. a common trait of pure originality, and a blessing as well as a curse. We have suffered along with Tom on his journey. It is a glorious vision and a worthwhile one. I hope you forgive his sacrifices .. and God Bless you for yours.

"Thought I heard a jug band playin'
"If you don't -- who else will?"
from over on the far side of the hill"

from: So Many Roads

Thomas Kasmer was born in Binghamton, NY., and at the age of 17 while attending high school he was awarded an apprenticeship for the IBM electronic training program in 1957. After two years, Tom enrolled at Harpers College for a curriculum of liberal arts in science. During this, he was hired by IBM as a consultant, and designed and co-patented the "Hydrapad", an automated hydraulic positioning drill for circuit board manufacturing.

With an growing interest in high performance automobiles, Tom purchased 1963 Buick Rivera with a variable pitch "Dynaflow" transmission and a 425 cubic inch engine, which "really cooked....". After some adolescent tendencies for high speed, Tom joined the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America ), attended a driver's school at Wakins Glen, NY. , and went on to compete at the White Face Mt. Hillclimb, racing a 1962 split window Corvette in the summer of 1964.

With an innovative idea for power and torque conversion on his mind, Tom decided he could do what no other could; build an infinitely variable hydrostatic transmission that was hydraulically and pressure balanced with the highest efficiency and horsepower on demand.

After several years of prototype design work, Tom's first "Hydristor" proved to have a 94% efficiency for power transfer, as tested by Tecumseh Labs in Ann Arbor, MI. Inside the Hydristor you will find two independent circuits which are dual pressure balanced to minimize the torque shaft load. Each circuit can operate at various speeds, in neutral, and in reverse conditions. Surrounding an inner and outer impeller vanes are two stainless steel belts, designed to operate at high speed, and change shape to adjust the power band to handle an infinite amount of ratios for power conversion. The complete circuit is defined as a dual analog hydraulic transistor. Tom anticipates over 100 patents are involved and are currently in various forms of litigation.

After 30 years of electronic, hydrostatic, magnetic, and industrial consulting, Tom Kasmer is ready to take his "Hydristor" to market. Currently, Tom has built a Hydristor specifically designed for a John Deere 200 series tractor. The unit's outer casing was machined out of one cubic foot of aluminum, and contains approx. 100 parts. The size of the unit dramatically increases hydraulic packaging weighing around 100 lbs., and able to transfer up to 100 horsepower with a 94% efficiency. Standard torque conversion is at best 60% efficient.

What does this mean for the consumer? Imagine a SUV with 100 miles per gallon? Or zero to 60 in 3 seconds? If the efficiency for this type of hydrostatic power conversion is available, and the Hydristor prototype is here... so what's next? Tom's current plans are demonstrating the tractor, and building a Hydristor to replace factory torque converters for aftermarket installations. After that, the work will resume on the Mag One, a dual flywheel hydristor high performance concept car.

Q: What is a Hydristor? A: It is a dual-analog hydrostatic transistor for mechanical energy conversion.

From the editor:

On April 27, 2001, I was very fortunate to visit with Tom Kasmer, inventor of the Hydrisor. It was several years since our last conversation, and I was invited to discuss the near-complete prototype he is currently designing. I was quite excited to visit him in the machine shop, and get a 'hands-on' description of the Hydristor.

Tom walked me through both the assembly of the machined pieces, as well as a detailed item by item expanded view on the CAD workstation. Since this patented device is a prototype, I did not take any photos to respect Mr. Kasmer's intellectual property, but I did receive permission to post a link to a great technical article with images from Global Design News. (Registration Required )

Tom added that the current prototype is almost finished and will be installed into a John Deere Tractor. Other applications for the Hydristor in the works include a four-wheel drive van, a high-efficient torque converter for OEM and aftermarket suppliers, a golf cart, a heat pump for low temperature horsepower generation, and then it is possible the Mag One will be back on the drawing board.

The Mag One

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Kasmer, a vehicle designer with an extensive background in many high-tech fields, and a resume' that included development of IBM hardware used widely around the globe. His vehicle, the "Mag One" was one of the most advanced concepts I have come across ever.

Tom designed what he called the "Kasmer Hydristor" which was an infinitely variable hydrostatic transmission. This device was engineered to accept any amount of hydraulic force, and through the manipulation of 'analog' valve fluid gates, deliver the pressure to a dual set of Vickers hydraulic motors. Coupled to the "Hydristor" was a very unique flywheel, that contained a complex set of diode / commutators around / in the actual flywheel, which could 'energize' the flywheel with the smallest amount of electrical energy, not unlike a very advanced brushless DC servo motor. Attached to the flywheel was a special hydraulic pump that was engineered to work directly with the "Hydristor" manifold. There were no hydraulic hoses between the two devices, and the manifold was built to mount the dual Vickers motors, to which the drive shaft was connected.

To advance this vehicle to it's full potential, the flywheel / manifold assembly was hydraulically actuated for yaw, pitch and roll. This was necessary for cornering at high speeds. ( editors note: this vehicle was engineered with an estimated horsepower around a staggering 1200 HP ) Also, Tom claimed that the Mag One could perform several tricks, like lift up on two side wheels ( standing still ) and hang off a loading dock on two wheels without changing the horizontal position of the car.

Here is two photos from the November 1993 SEMA show in Las Vegas, and two from Tom's design studio.