Bluffton man's invention aims to thwart generator thieves
Travis Roggenkamp never thought of himself as an inventor but a simple idea that can save outdoors enthusiasts thousands of dollars has taken off and is being sold in several area fish house dealers.
The Sportsman's Power Lock is a two-in-one power cord and crimp cable with a padlock that attaches a generator to a fish house or camper.
An avid outdoorsman, Roggenkamp said he often heard stories from people who had generators stolen from outside their fish houses or campers.
"I was trying to think of how to keep my generator safe overnight at fishing tournaments or weekend camping trips," he said. "One of these generators can cost a thousand bucks easily but they're also easy for someone to walk away with."
Roggenkamp, who lives north of Bluffton, debuted the locks just a few weeks ago and people were very interested at this year's Eelpout Festival in Walker.
"It's a 25 foot long, 15 amp power cord. It attaches to your generator and your power source at the same time," Roggenkamp said.
He has been constructing the Sportsman's Power Lock in his shop. A 20-foot table was constructed in his shop to make the process go more quickly. Roggenkamp can make three in about an hour.
"That's sewing the sheath, crimping the cable and packaging," he said.
While the Sportsman's Power Lock might not thwart all thieves, Roggenkamp thinks it will deter most of them.
"After all, who expects someone's generator to be attached to anything?" he asked.
It is available in different colors and is becoming available at several area fish house dealerships.
Roggenkamp has spoken to a patent attorney and the paperwork has been filed. The Sportsman's Power Lock has a patent pending.
His wife, Dawn, has been working on the website and sales of the lock.
"She's handling all the business side of things," Roggenkamp said. "I don't know what I'd do without her help there."
The Sportsman's Power Lock is available at several area fish house dealerships. The Roggenkamps are also promoting the lock on their website, www.sportsmanspowerlock.com.