I am a paralegal, licensed in Minnesota, and required to tell you that this is NOT legal advice, and that you should seek the advice of a patent attorney to address your specific question. You will get a variety of opinions online, some or all of which may be correct or incorrect. You can't get a definitive answer to your question from anybody other than the USPTO.
You CAN file for a provisional patent. See http://www.uspto.gov/patents/resourc...es/provapp.jsp
You could get that done without an attorney while you work on this further.
You then can start using the Patent Pending designation (immediately when you file.)
However, if you wanted my personal opinion, you will NOT get a patent on this item. It already exists.