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Re: [adatesman] SAFETY ALERT- MORE ALIEN FAILURES
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granite_grrl


May 20, 2009, 10:42 AM
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Re: [adatesman] SAFETY ALERT- MORE ALIEN FAILURES
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Great report, Aric! Makes me glad I carry TCUs, but also makes me wonder how many other companies might have undiscovered issues about their gear too.


mojomonkey


May 20, 2009, 11:03 AM
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Perhaps someone may want to make this an announcement as this forum likely gets less traffic than General, or the front page.


jsj42


May 20, 2009, 11:25 AM
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Re: [adatesman] SAFETY ALERT- MORE ALIEN FAILURES [In reply to]
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Well... I'm not so sure I think this is as big a deal as you're making it out to be (on this site and pn Mountain Project). Here's why:

First, the Red Alien. This piece was bootied, and when you tested it, the head was tweaked and several of the strands of the cable were already broken (from what I could see on the photo you posted, it is actually a sizable portion of the cable that is broken). Obviously this piece held a whipper. In my experience, body weight can tweak a head, but only a whipper will tweak the head and break cable like that. Even if it wasn't a whipper, this cam was certainly abused.

Any climber knows that you should visually inspect your gear. If you have a core shot rope, a worn out belay loop, or a fucked up cam, you're NOT going to climb on it! One look at that red Alien would have kept me from climbing on it (and obviously it kept Tigerlily from even wanting to keep it).

I would have no reason whatsoever to believe that this cam would be full-strength prior to testing. Sorry to rain on your parade, but not even the "failure mode" of the cable pulling apart from the braze bothers me. If cables are broken, who knows how the braze had been affected and exactly where else it had been weakened by whatever forces tweaked the cam to begin with. Those are unknowns. Sorry, but you need to be testing NEW Aliens if you want to prove anything. In my opinion, the moment a cam is placed for the first time, the countdown on it's lifespan has begun.

Regarding the Purple Alien. You could certainly make more of a case here. Even though 11 kN is a damn-safe number by free-climbing standards, it is lower than the minimum failure rating for the cam. However, the cam is still a used cam. Has anyone ever hung from it? Has it held falls? Perhaps it was tested by CCH, but if their testing setup works by testing the cable and the braze, that would leave the loop, the cam lobes, and the axle as possible failure points that aren't accounted for. That's a problem. But how exactly did it fail? Is it possible that the wear on the cam lobes caused them to slip or be loaded asymmetrically, which could, in turn, cause the axle to bend? I don't know, I'm not an engineer and I wasn't there.

I'm not trying to defend CCH -- I think they've got a lot of problems. But as far as I can tell, you can't go making conclusions based on two isolated tests of used (and in one case obviously damaged) pieces.

(This post was edited by jsj42 on May 20, 2009, 11:28 AM)


majid_sabet


May 20, 2009, 11:39 AM
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A bad dog is always a bad dog

I know other dogs are sitting in the offices right now reading about this waiting to kill one more competition .


retr2327


May 20, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Great photos and a nice write-up; thanks for your time and effort.

But I have a question: if the purpose of the braze is to attach the wire stem to the head, then the photos of the 1st cam suggest to me (based on 0 technical knowledge or experience, admittedly) that the braze -- whether deficient or not -- served its purpose: the stump of the wire remains well-embedded in the head. The failures of the wires themselves, just outside of the head, seems more attributable to repeated tweaking and corrosion than to any inadequacy of the braze.

Although I suppose that a better braze might have helped a) protect that portion of the wires from corrosion; and b) shift the focus of "tweak strain" somewhat further up the stem. Whether that would raise the failure load or just shift the location of the failure is an open question.

Thoughts and comments?


Partner cracklover


May 20, 2009, 11:57 AM
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retr2327 wrote:
Great photos and a nice write-up; thanks for your time and effort.

But I have a question: if the purpose of the braze is to attach the wire stem to the head, then the photos of the 1st cam suggest to me (based on 0 technical knowledge or experience, admittedly) that the braze -- whether deficient or not -- served its purpose: the stump of the wire remains well-embedded in the head.

I think you must have just missed this photo:



Which clearly shows
1 - nearly half the cable pulled out of the head, and
2 - the cable that pulled out shows no sign of brazing.

This sucks.

Thanks for the nice write-up. I wish it was better news, but it is what it is.

GO


roy_hinkley_jr


May 20, 2009, 12:02 PM
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jsj42 wrote:
First, the Red Alien. This piece was bootied, and when you tested it, the head was tweaked and several of the strands of the cable were already broken (from what I could see on the photo you posted, it is actually a sizable portion of the cable that is broken).

Agreed, much ado about nothing. Any cam with busted cable strands and left to rust for months is going to be weakened. Even the Purple one failing at 11kN isn't anything to get your panties in a bunch about--still plenty strong.


retr2327


May 20, 2009, 12:10 PM
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I didn't miss it, but I didn't give it the same interpretation you're giving it either. I agree the lack of brazing is evident; I take it you're reading the variation in remaining length of the wires as evidence that a good number of them simply pulled out of the head, whereas others broke off, leaving the raggedy stump.

It's a pretty plausible interpretation. But the photo above seems to show (from a not very good angle) a solidly filled-in stump, with no obvious holes where any wires pulled out. Hence my interpretation. Maybe the OP can shed some light on this?


spikeddem


May 20, 2009, 12:11 PM
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Re: [adatesman] SAFETY ALERT- MORE ALIEN FAILURES [In reply to]
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adatesman wrote:

Closeup of the detached head: (pardon the bit of grass, hadn't noticed that earlier)


Both the head and stem- notice the complete lack of braze wicking down the cable strands. Clearly a manufacturing defect and well outside of the recall.

Could someone describe (or offer a link to something describing) what "braze wicking" is? I couldn't find it after a quick search on google. So far, all my other knowledge about brazing has come from wikipedia.

jsj42 wrote:
First, the Red Alien. This piece was bootied, and when you tested it, the head was tweaked and several of the strands of the cable were already broken (from what I could see on the photo you posted, it is actually a sizable portion of the cable that is broken). Obviously this piece held a whipper.

I'm tempted to agree with that. However, I first need to understand the "braze wicking" issue, since it appears to me that Aric thinks (worries?) that the failure might be from that (a manufacturing defect) more than the previous use (user-end issue).

The following might need to be updated once I learn about braze whicking, but I'll post it now anyways. If three strands were BROKEN, how many other strands were significantly weakened? And how many strands were weakened a little bit? I think one thing that should be clear is that based upon the look of the cam before breaking, it is very likely that it DID a hold a fall well above 5 kN. [See Aric's post below about strike through.


(This post was edited by spikeddem on May 20, 2009, 3:46 PM)


moose_droppings


May 20, 2009, 12:12 PM
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Aric, I'm not gonna jump CCH, but you.........

That is the most jury rigged trigger wire I've ever seen, totally amateur for sure.

Laugh


adatesman


May 20, 2009, 12:16 PM
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afahrlan


May 20, 2009, 12:17 PM
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This is great testing. Thank you for your work to make everyone in the community safer. Given all of the information that we have learned about CCH's (lack of) quality control, it is not surprising that QC issues extend beyond the scope of the recall.

That being said, I think the most important issue is not about Aliens before/during the recall. Anyone who is paying attention knows that these units are not safe. Rather, what has been done about quality control since the recall? The two questions I would like to see answered are:

1.) What is involved in CCH's testing that earns an Alien the stamp "Tensile Tested"?

2.) Do Aliens that are stamped "Tensile Tested" fail below their rated loads?

For (1), you present good evidence here that the testing is NOT as comprehensive as we would like; because, if the entire unit was really pull tested (as done by every other major manufacturer) the lobes/trigger mechanism would be damaged in the process. From CCH's standpoint, I think it is very much in their interests to thoroughly answer (1) to restore some of our faith in their quality control processes. Given their track record though, I don't think the answer would pass community scrutiny. I'm not holding my breath.

For (2), we have little more than second-hand information that there may be issues. But given CCH's track record, and their distinct lack of information about their pull-testing process, I would not be surprised if many "Tensile Tested" Aliens fail well below spec.

As a community, we need to provide you (or another objective third party that can do reliable pull testing) with a sample of post-recall, "tensile tested" Aliens to pull test to see if they fail below their rating. A single "tensile tested" Alien that fails like either of these two tests could put CCH out of business.

I think as a community, we could easily pool enough money/units to make this testing happen; it's just as much of an investment in our safety as sponsoring bolt replacement through the ASCA. Where do I send the check?

Andrew


adatesman


May 20, 2009, 12:18 PM
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patto


May 20, 2009, 12:24 PM
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This is going to be hard fight to keep this thread clean from the bickering about aliens that we have already have had.

At the end of the day the best we can do is put this information out there. Adatesman has done a great job of performing these tests and presenting the information.

I'd like to see more test on large numbers of new aliens. However nobody has the finances to do this. If CCH performs public testing on new aliens to back its ratings then it could bring back faith in its product. But short of that why would you trust your life with a company that has so many issues?

I think the fact that the lobes are so soft is a big concern. If they can't even get that right then what else are they screwing up?

jsj42 wrote:
I'm not trying to defend CCH -- I think they've got a lot of problems. But as far as I can tell, you can't go making conclusions based on two isolated tests of used (and in one case obviously damaged) pieces.

No conclusions are being made. But it certainly is a little troubling and adds to the years of evidence of poor quality control and failures from CCH.

Besides I didn't realise that cams were now single use pieces. A tweaked piece should still be plenty strong. Furthermore I think you are missing the point, wires that were supposably braised and secured in the head pulled out. It is the failure mode that is concerning.


adatesman


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adatesman


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adatesman


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adatesman


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roy_hinkley_jr


May 20, 2009, 12:31 PM
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cracklover wrote:
Which clearly shows
1 - nearly half the cable pulled out of the head, and
2 - the cable that pulled out shows no sign of brazing.

Still not convinced this is a defect or a problem. He doesn't show any evidence at all that the breaks are inside the head. Everything appears to be external. Perhaps a better photo would help. What are the weather conditions like in the area? Lots of humidity and air pollution?


adatesman


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shoo


May 20, 2009, 12:42 PM
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patto wrote:
This is going to be hard fight to keep this thread clean from the bickering about aliens that we have already have had.

Don't worry. I've started my very own bickering session here:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...6;page=unread#unread

Let's leave this thread for discussion of this particular test.


adatesman


May 20, 2009, 12:44 PM
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patto


May 20, 2009, 12:48 PM
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roy_hinkley_jr wrote:
Still not convinced this is a defect or a problem. He doesn't show any evidence at all that the breaks are inside the head. Everything appears to be external. Perhaps a better photo would help. What are the weather conditions like in the area? Lots of humidity and air pollution?

Humidity and air pollution!? How is this relevant? If cams start being severely weakened from humity and air pollution then this is an even bigger concern!

You have seen a couple of photos and think that you can view the failure mode better than adatesman? Have a look a the rest of the guys work and realise he is thorough and knows what he is doing.

I would like to keep posting against all this head in the sand attitude to alien defects however I feel it will just add to the inevitable fight this thread will become despite the mods best efforts.

Suffice to say I will never climb on aliens and I believe it is merely a matter of time before CCH go out of business.


dynosore


May 20, 2009, 1:09 PM
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I don't trust Aliens and don't doubt your results are ballpark, but what type of equipment are you using to test these? Certified, calibrated? Are you pulling at the industry standard speed? On the #2 run, the plateau of force looks like slippage in the jig? Or was that some deformation?

Test speed can have a huge effect on the results, what's the industry standard for cam testing? I ifnd it hard to believe you're testing anywhere near the speed of a simulated fall, correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for the heads up.


adatesman


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gothcopter


May 20, 2009, 1:18 PM
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adatesman wrote:
Failure 1: Red Alien- Date stamp of 0702, which is more than 2 years prior to the date range of the earlier recall (which covered 11-04 to 12-05 per the expanded date range once more failed units were discovered)
adatesman wrote:
Failure 2: Purple Alien- Date stamp of 0105, which is right at the end of the recall period. Seeing as post-recall units are supposedly all stamped Tensile Tested this one either was subject to the recall or was tested and didn't get the stamp.

Just thought I'd point out that these two statements contradict each other. 0105 is near the beginning of the recall period, but well within it. Doesn't affect the validity of your results in any way, but you might want to correct the original post just to avoid confusion.

I have 3 non-dimpled Aliens from the recall range (1104, 1204, 0105). They are in good condition and I can attest to their history. If enough people wish it, maybe I'll send them to you for destructive testing.

What say you all?


spikeddem


May 20, 2009, 1:23 PM
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gothcopter wrote:

I have 3 non-dimpled Aliens from the recall range (1104, 1204, 0105). They are in good condition and I can attest to their history. If enough people wish it, maybe I'll send them to you for destructive testing.

What say you all?

Well since you asked "all," I'll chime in. Aric has said that he'd prefer to have a certified company do any (serious) further testing. Makes sense to me.


k.l.k


May 20, 2009, 1:29 PM
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adatesman wrote:
After almost 3 full days of calling and emailing CCH about this they're finally doing something... questioning my credentials, background, impartiality and test procedures.

What did you expect? That one failure, where the poor fucker posted pictures of the thing actually exploding in a real fall, Waggoner got on board and publicly accused the guy of faking the incident. Don't take it personally.

I don't expect any of this to change anything. We have what looks like a braze failure-- a modality we've seen many times before --and what looks like a sourcing problem.

The question now is, would anyone really be surprised?

Folks who are going to climb on Aliens are going to climb on them. Everyone else made up their minds long ago.


(This post was edited by k.l.k on May 20, 2009, 1:29 PM)


bandycoot


May 20, 2009, 1:29 PM
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Aric,

I want to say thank you for what you're doing. You're donating time, effort, and risking getting flamed by detractors, and all the while it looks like you're trying to do the best that you can do with what you have. What you're doing isn't easy, but it's awesome!

Sincerely,

Josh


notapplicable


May 20, 2009, 1:32 PM
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We all know that CCH has had serious issues with their brazing procedures so pre-recall units exhibiting that mode of failure is IMO less of a significant development than the possibility that CCH has been purchasing and using subpar material for the construction of their cams.

Obviously more testing and investigation needs to be done to understand the scope of the problem, or if a problem even exists, but I'm very concerned that CCH's QC problems appear to be systemic.


dynosore


May 20, 2009, 1:35 PM
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adatesman wrote:
patto wrote:
Have a look a the rest of the guys work and realise he is thorough and knows what he is doing.

Thanks Patto, I needed that right about now. After almost 3 full days of calling and emailing CCH about this they're finally doing something... questioning my credentials, background, impartiality and test procedures.

Sigh. Unsure

What I mess I've created for myself. Its important to get the word out though, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

-a.

IMO it's clear that CCH has no business manufacturing anything, let alone a device people depend on for their lives. But they have a good point. Having spent years in QC, how you're testing is extremely relevant. If you're going to present data on a public forum like this, you need to give more information about your equipment and method. In industry, you would expect to have details like this with every test report.


notapplicable


May 20, 2009, 1:38 PM
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bandycoot wrote:
Aric,

I want to say thank you for what you're doing. You're donating time, effort, and risking getting flamed by detractors, and all the while it looks like you're trying to do the best that you can do with what you have. What you're doing isn't easy, but it's awesome!

Sincerely,

Josh

+1

And not just in this thread but the entire lab. This has become a very interesting place to lurk as of late.

Thank you.


kennoyce


May 20, 2009, 1:39 PM
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If you read the OP you'll notice that Aric stated that in order to be brief he wouldn't include his equipment or methods because that information can all easily be found in the lab forum.

Good work on the testing Aric, and I will continue to not climb on aliens.


adatesman


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adatesman


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Gmburns2000


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adatesman wrote:
shoo wrote:
patto wrote:
This is going to be hard fight to keep this thread clean from the bickering about aliens that we have already have had.

Don't worry. I've started my very own bickering session here:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...6;page=unread#unread

Let's leave this thread for discussion of this particular test.

Oy. I'm not even going to look.

Don't worry. It didn't turn out the way he intended.


adatesman


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moose_droppings


May 20, 2009, 2:38 PM
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adatesman wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
Aric, I'm not gonna jump CCH, but you.........

That is the most jury rigged trigger wire I've ever seen, totally amateur for sure.

Laugh

Yeah.... But what's the point of doing a pretty repair on something you're going to break anyway? Wink

Well then you didn't need a wire at all just for that.
TongueWink


adatesman


May 20, 2009, 2:47 PM
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healyje


May 20, 2009, 3:11 PM
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CHORUS:
The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm of denial to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

Aliens were once the rage, uh huh
History has turned the page, uh huh
The mini skirts the current thing, uh huh
Teenybopper is our newborn king, uh huh


blondgecko
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May 20, 2009, 3:12 PM
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So basically, maybe a quarter of the wires in the cable were brazed well enough for the wire to break before the braze. Maybe.


That's just plain scary.


blondgecko
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May 20, 2009, 3:20 PM
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adatesman wrote:
patto wrote:
Have a look a the rest of the guys work and realise he is thorough and knows what he is doing.

Thanks Patto, I needed that right about now. After almost 3 full days of calling and emailing CCH about this they're finally doing something... questioning my credentials, background, impartiality and test procedures.

Sigh. Unsure

What I mess I've created for myself. Its important to get the word out though, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

-a.

Oh, and I also wanted to say that it's perfectly clear here that, whatever your background and credentials (and even impartiality), you've done a great job here. Doesn't matter who you are or what you think. What matters is the evidence you've provided, and that speaks volumes.


adatesman


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blondgecko
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May 20, 2009, 3:25 PM
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adatesman wrote:
Well, it appears to be 7x7 wire (7 bundles of 7 strands) which makes for a total of 49 stands and by my count there are ~20 full length strands remaining. Knowing that at least 3 strands were visibly broken before the test that gives us.... ?

Interesting side note this brings up though... Current "generation" (I use the term loosely since there seems to be wide variation in how they're put together judging by the washer issue and changes to the drigger) use 7x19 cable (7 bundles of 19 stands). I hadn't noticed the difference earlier.

A little over half, then. My mistake.


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mtnjohn


May 20, 2009, 4:13 PM
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Is anyone doing independent testing of any other cams? Do we really want to know the results of those test?


adatesman


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spikeddem


May 20, 2009, 4:59 PM
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adatesman wrote:
Question 1. CCH has some of their current, post-recall testing process documented on their website. At the moment they take a double length of cable, braze a head on each end, pull it from head to head between pins on a test fixture to X pounds (varies based on size), cut the thing in half to get 2 tested stems and then mark them both. I do not know if this is 100% testing or spot checks.

Aliencamsbycch.com says every main cable since January 2006 has been tested in this manner. This makes me believe that nowadays the issue with poor "braze wicking" would be prevented from reaching the market. You said "X" pounds, and of course it does vary based on stem size, but they always test to at least 7.77 kN.

I'm interested in hearing about the hardness testing results. Have you found a place to test that yet?

edit: Clarity.


(This post was edited by spikeddem on May 20, 2009, 6:27 PM)


adatesman


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mtnjohn


May 20, 2009, 5:12 PM
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Thanks for the update. I guess it's finally time to retire the U stems. I'm down to only one left anyway!


dynosore


May 20, 2009, 6:05 PM
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adatesman wrote:
dynosore wrote:
I don't trust Aliens and don't doubt your results are ballpark, but what type of equipment are you using to test these? Certified, calibrated? Are you pulling at the industry standard speed? On the #2 run, the plateau of force looks like slippage in the jig? Or was that some deformation?

Test speed can have a huge effect on the results, what's the industry standard for cam testing? I ifnd it hard to believe you're testing anywhere near the speed of a simulated fall, correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for the heads up.

No problem Dynosore. That stuff is all elsewhere here on RC but I left it out of the writeup since its already huge. I built my rig around what's called out in the EN12276/UIAA-125 spec document, which I have a copy of. The rig is a converted press frame with a hydraulic ram and power unit that's good up to ~10,000 pounds. The ram is bolted to a 10,000 pound load cell (the one in question is from Transcell Technologies, although I have others from different manufacturers) that feeds into a Daytronic 4077 Strain Gage Indicator. That in turn drives a National Instruments 6008 DAQ module, which then feeds into the NI SignalExpress software you see in the force charts. The Daytronic will scan at 1000 samples/sec digital, but it also has an analog peak capture function to do away with issues surrounding scan rates and impact testing (so its still scanning at 1000 s/s, but getting the true peaks between cycles). I have it set to output this data out the device's analog output port, which feeds into the DAQ which samples at 250,000 s/s, so way faster than the data coming out the 4077 (the reason I did this was so I have enough bandwidth to hook up five 4077s for doing drop testing on anchors). The load cells were all purchased new and came with certs, the 4077 was used from Ebay and the NI gear is new.

Anyway, the CE/UIAA spec calls for a ram speed of 20-50mm/min if the unit has textile components and 50-200mm/min if the unit has a load-bearing textile component. I've not measured the speed I use, but suspect it is closer to 200mm/min than 20mm/min. The crack fixture is a pair of 1" thick 1018 steel plates with threaded rod through the corners for width adjustment. The plate was textured by milling with multiple passes of an out-of-tram flycutter to give a nice stippled finish. The spec calls for a maximum surface roughness on the plates of 500um, which I think I'm in the ballpark of but have not verified as I don't happen to have a surface finish gage. There's more texture than a nailfile, but much less than a metal file and my feeling that I'm in the ballpark comes from working in a machine shop for 15 years.

Sorry if I missed anything; its been a busy day.

EDIT- Did miss something... The plateau was a combination of deformation and slippage; the cam came out the bottom of the fixture as the axle reached the end of its deformation.

Thanks for answering all my questions, and again for the work you're doing here. I might have access to a Rockwell tester. I'll check tomorrow and let you know if I do.


healyje


May 20, 2009, 6:12 PM
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spikeddem wrote:
Aliencamsbycch.com says every main cable since January 2006 has been tested in this manner. This makes me believe that the issue with poor "braze wicking" would be prevented from reaching the market.

Curious what post-recall (post-January 2006) Alien stem and braze failures make you believe?


spikeddem


May 20, 2009, 6:26 PM
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healyje wrote:
spikeddem wrote:
Aliencamsbycch.com says every main cable since January 2006 has been tested in this manner. This makes me believe that the issue with poor "braze wicking" would be prevented from reaching the market.

Curious what post-recall (post-January 2006) Alien stem and braze failures make you believe?

Sorry, I'll edit that post to make my statement clearer. The pull-testing of 100% of units to 7.7+ kN makes me believe that the same issue could not make it to the market. Had they pull-tested to 7.7+ kN back then, there's a good chance (knowing what we know) that this product wouldn't have made it out the door.


(This post was edited by spikeddem on May 20, 2009, 6:32 PM)


hafilax


May 20, 2009, 6:31 PM
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Is there an issue with cleaning flux out of the braze? You could have a full braze at the tip and partial closer to the opening and still get a pretty solid connection. However if the incomplete braze made it difficult to get the flux out the cam could pass the pull tests when new but quickly weaken over time.

Personally I would have waited for CCH to respond and included it in the OP. You're making some serious accusations to a large community that buys their product. You've really put your neck on the line here.

If your results aren't anomalous and 5kN Aliens are common then I guess that goes to show that the typical forces they are exposed to are actually quite low. A bit of indirect evidence for the Real World kN thread.


mojomonkey


May 20, 2009, 6:43 PM
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gothcopter wrote:
adatesman wrote:
Failure 1: Red Alien- Date stamp of 0702, which is more than 2 years prior to the date range of the earlier recall (which covered 11-04 to 12-05 per the expanded date range once more failed units were discovered)
adatesman wrote:
Failure 2: Purple Alien- Date stamp of 0105, which is right at the end of the recall period. Seeing as post-recall units are supposedly all stamped Tensile Tested this one either was subject to the recall or was tested and didn't get the stamp.

Just thought I'd point out that these two statements contradict each other. 0105 is near the beginning of the recall period, but well within it. Doesn't affect the validity of your results in any way, but you might want to correct the original post just to avoid confusion.

I have 3 non-dimpled Aliens from the recall range (1104, 1204, 0105). They are in good condition and I can attest to their history. If enough people wish it, maybe I'll send them to you for destructive testing.

What say you all?

Quoting since I didn't see a response and it sounds like the OP needs an edit.


healyje


May 20, 2009, 6:54 PM
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spikeddem wrote:
healyje wrote:
spikeddem wrote:
Aliencamsbycch.com says every main cable since January 2006 has been tested in this manner. This makes me believe that the issue with poor "braze wicking" would be prevented from reaching the market.

Curious what post-recall (post-January 2006) Alien stem and braze failures make you believe?

Sorry, I'll edit that post to make my statement clearer. The pull-testing of 100% of units to 7.7+ kN makes me believe that the same issue could not make it to the market. Had they pull-tested to 7.7+ kN back then, there's a good chance (knowing what we know) that this product wouldn't have made it out the door.

Not sure you're getting it, so again, what does post-'7.7+ pull-testing of 100% of units' stem and braze failures make you believe?


notapplicable


May 20, 2009, 7:10 PM
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healyje wrote:
spikeddem wrote:
healyje wrote:
spikeddem wrote:
Aliencamsbycch.com says every main cable since January 2006 has been tested in this manner. This makes me believe that the issue with poor "braze wicking" would be prevented from reaching the market.

Curious what post-recall (post-January 2006) Alien stem and braze failures make you believe?

Sorry, I'll edit that post to make my statement clearer. The pull-testing of 100% of units to 7.7+ kN makes me believe that the same issue could not make it to the market. Had they pull-tested to 7.7+ kN back then, there's a good chance (knowing what we know) that this product wouldn't have made it out the door.

Not sure you're getting it, so again, what does post-'7.7+ pull-testing of 100% of units' stem and braze failures make you believe?

No need to play games. If such failures have been documented please link sources.


adatesman


May 20, 2009, 7:18 PM
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adatesman


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healyje


May 20, 2009, 7:38 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
No need to play games. If such failures have been documented please link sources.

You've been here long enough to be paying attention - you go find them yourself - maybe try searching on 'Tensile Tested'


mikes


May 20, 2009, 7:59 PM
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Aric,

It looks like they cooked the cable pretty good, it is not the first one.


trapdoor


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I have a good idea concerning the presence of discontinuities or defects in the braze. Cut the head half way up and machine and polish the exposed cross section of the brazed cable/head joint. The polishing would have to be to a high standard. Then acid etch this joint to see the full extent of the brazing (capillary action) throughout the girth of the cable. The results could be easily inspected with a magnifying glass.

I have seen the above test performed on cross sections of various welded joints with good results (induvidual weld passes can be see as well as the heat affected zone at the weld/base metal interface).

To me this would be better than making assumptions of the extent of the braze by looking at the end of a failed cable. You could also perform the above mentioned test anywhere along the brazed joint.


trapdoor


May 20, 2009, 8:19 PM
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On another note I wonder if during the brazing process the welder is overheating the area where the cable meets the head and causing an undesirable metalurgical change to take place (i.e. embrittlement). I know that there are limits to heating carbon steels but I am not tha familiar with what the limits of a stainless steel cable would be. This all comes down to quility control.

Rant: If these things were being produced for NASA the vendor would be required to have a welding/brazing procedure in place quilified by testing and the paramaters of the procedure would have to be followed and the QC would be subject to audits.


shoo


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Gmburns2000 wrote:
adatesman wrote:
shoo wrote:
patto wrote:
This is going to be hard fight to keep this thread clean from the bickering about aliens that we have already have had.

Don't worry. I've started my very own bickering session here:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...6;page=unread#unread

Let's leave this thread for discussion of this particular test.

Oy. I'm not even going to look.

Don't worry. It didn't turn out the way he intended.

That assumes quite a bit about my intentions, now doesn't it?


bill413


May 20, 2009, 8:21 PM
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adatesman wrote:
patto wrote:
Have a look a the rest of the guys work and realise he is thorough and knows what he is doing.

Thanks Patto, I needed that right about now. After almost 3 full days of calling and emailing CCH about this they're finally doing something... questioning my credentials, background, impartiality and test procedures.

Sigh. Unsure

What I mess I've created for myself. Its important to get the word out though, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

-a.
First: Aric, thank you for your work! I believe you are thorough and report your results truthfully - thank you.

With regard to the response from CCH:
In reply to:
<snip>
Units made after the recall began (1/05). Have been tested, and they DO NOt NEEd to be re-tested. <snip>
"DO NOt NEEd to be re-teste?" Do they mean that they shouldn't be? I think your results point to "THEY NEED TO BE RETESTED." By independent testers.
Given CCH's track record of trying to deny problems, but in reality having them, I am less than inclined to believe them. There is other gear out there that I can climb above without having my mind messed up by "did CCH really do a good job on this?"

Again, thanks Aric for your work and for getting the word out about this (after giving CCH a chance to make a reasonable response).

Bill


tfs6755


May 20, 2009, 11:38 PM
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I think it is possible that these cams never actually were sold in a store, ie they were factory rejects, since the history of the cam cannot be verified, the test result is not conclusive. Perhaps this has no bearing, but it is a scenario that you have not controlled for. As for the softness of the lobe aluminum, or that a complete factory reject could get out the door, that to me is a larger concern.


healyje


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notapplicable wrote:
No need to play games. If such failures have been documented please link sources.

Well hell, one just flashed by me on another search so here you and spike go (just click on the dead, post-'7.7+ pull-testing of 100% of units' Alien):



Edit: it's the top ST link in this later compilation listing from bobruef:


(This post was edited by healyje on May 21, 2009, 12:16 AM)


notapplicable


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healyje wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
No need to play games. If such failures have been documented please link sources.

You've been here long enough to be paying attention - you go find them yourself - maybe try searching on 'Tensile Tested'


Bob was kind enough to compile a list of reported failures awhile back. Four of which appear to be post recall units.Unimpressed


bobruef wrote:
OK, here's what I dug up based on memory and a quick search. If the threads I linked here aren't the best sources, or my descriptions are innacurate, somebody please post up a correction.

5/15/7 Non-dimpled Blue Alien fails at 900lbs when tested by Russ Walling http://www.rockclimbing.com/...2;page=unread#unread

Souders Crack 11d groundfall (broken cable, non dimpled, post recall)http://www.rockclimbing.com/...=groundfall;#1585733

Faulty Swage (post recall)
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...n%20failure;#1316820

Dimpled Orange Alien Braze Failure at Indian Creek (the cam that started the recall)
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...n%20failure;#1277756

Gray Alien braze failure (2005, pre-recall)
http://www.rockclimbing.com/..._reply;so=ASC;mh=25;

Non dimpled Paradise Forks Orange Alien bodyweight braze failure (post-recall)
http://www.rockclimbing.com/..._reply;so=ASC;mh=25;

Misdrilled Axle Holes (rei recall thread)
http://www.rockclimbing.com/..._reply;so=ASC;mh=25;

Latest Indian Creek Purple Alien braze failure (newer cam, post-recall)
http://www.supertopo.com/...59&tn=0&mr=0


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...post=1589722#1589722


notapplicable


May 21, 2009, 12:05 AM
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healyje wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
No need to play games. If such failures have been documented please link sources.

Well hell, one just flashed by me on another search so here you and spike go (just click on the dead, post-'7.7+ pull-testing of 100% of units' Alien):

[image]http://xs216.xs.to/xs216/07242/Blue_TESTED_s.JPG[/image]

Thank you. Is there a report associated with that unit?

Edit: I see where you added a link to post. Thank you.


(This post was edited by notapplicable on May 21, 2009, 9:42 AM)


erick


May 21, 2009, 12:14 AM
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I have heard in the past that only a certain percentage of random samples from an entire manufactured batch need testing in order to give an overall product a certified strength rating. the friend that told me about it has been a long-term employee at a climbing gear shop, and i specifically remember the reason he was even telling me about this was because that minimum percentage required to be tested was alarmingly low (we were talking about testing biners). i believe this standard is found buried somewhere in some document outlining the CE standards.

...maybe someone can help me out here or knows more about this...has an actual number, perhaps? surely it is NOT 100% of every piece manufactured. in the same way, i doubt that every single cam is subjected to the 7.7kN test in order to "say" that they are all good by CE's standards. Is this true??

i guess what i'm trying to say is maybe its not necessarily CCH's QC that needs immediate review so much as it is CE's standards (if my vague memory is correct). If you make a batch and only 'need' to test a very small percentage, that leaves a lot of room for some big oopsies to slip through the sift.


healyje


May 21, 2009, 12:38 AM
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erick wrote:
i guess what i'm trying to say is maybe its not necessarily CCH's QC that needs immediate review so much as it is CE's standards (if my vague memory is correct). If you make a batch and only 'need' to test a very small percentage, that leaves a lot of room for some big oopsies to slip through the sift.

CCH's QC was abysmal before and I have a hard time believing it's appreciably better now. And unfortunately, no matter what 'system' could be set up for them, it would only be successful if used consistently - another problem high on the dubious scale.

Take misdrilled cam lobe axle holes. I mean, how hard is it to make an inset plate test jig with all the cam lobe sizes and pins in the proper axle hole locations and then check the first few cam lobes of every CNC run in the test jig - simple stuff, it isn't rocket science. This is one of dozens of easy to implement, simple checks that seem to just escape these guys. Ditto with the unswaged stem loops that got shipped - hey, just don't pre-install the plastic tubing on the stem and don't pre-insert the stem loop into the unpressed swage - only do those two things when you are at the swager about to swage one of the units. Pre-tubing and swage-inserting the stem loop in enough batches prior to swaging and sooner or later some are going to skip swaging and get shipped out unswaged. And how did an Aliens with unswaged stem loops pass their pull test?

The Euros need to wake up and revoke CCH's CE mark.


(This post was edited by healyje on May 21, 2009, 2:04 AM)


USnavy


May 21, 2009, 1:36 AM
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hafilax wrote:
If your results aren't anomalous and 5kN Aliens are common then I guess that goes to show that the typical forces they are exposed to are actually quite low. A bit of indirect evidence for the Real World kN thread.
Trust me, itís not hard to push 5 kN on a lead fall, especially if your pushing close to 200 lbs. or more. If youíre taking bunny falls with 75 rope of out, likely not. But if you fall close to the ground with any reasonable distance you will hit 5 kN fast.


(This post was edited by USnavy on May 21, 2009, 1:38 AM)


dynosore


May 21, 2009, 5:24 AM
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erick wrote:
I have heard in the past that only a certain percentage of random samples from an entire manufactured batch need testing in order to give an overall product a certified strength rating. the friend that told me about it has been a long-term employee at a climbing gear shop, and i specifically remember the reason he was even telling me about this was because that minimum percentage required to be tested was alarmingly low (we were talking about testing biners). i believe this standard is found buried somewhere in some document outlining the CE standards.

...maybe someone can help me out here or knows more about this...has an actual number, perhaps? surely it is NOT 100% of every piece manufactured. in the same way, i doubt that every single cam is subjected to the 7.7kN test in order to "say" that they are all good by CE's standards. Is this true??

i guess what i'm trying to say is maybe its not necessarily CCH's QC that needs immediate review so much as it is CE's standards (if my vague memory is correct). If you make a batch and only 'need' to test a very small percentage, that leaves a lot of room for some big oopsies to slip through the sift.

Yes, this is true, and the calculation is exceedingly easy to do and is taught in first years stats. If you're really curious, start with this:

http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm

Edit: I don't know CE's standard but I imagine it is based on these sort of calculations.


(This post was edited by dynosore on May 21, 2009, 5:26 AM)


mojomonkey


May 21, 2009, 6:07 AM
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Only testing a subset of samples to their rated strength / destruction is necessary. That does not mean all samples aren't be tested to some lower load. Black Diamond, for example, tests each fully assembled C3 to a lesser load. There is a video on this page talking abut it. If you look under the head of a C3 you should see two dots that are pressed into the center lobe from the test machinery.


adatesman


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adatesman


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adatesman


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retr2327


May 21, 2009, 7:30 AM
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Great shots! Now I can really see the voids where the wires pulled out. Thanks again for your excellent work


adatesman


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tigerlilly


May 21, 2009, 8:12 AM
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adatesman wrote:
tfs6755 wrote:
I think it is possible that these cams never actually were sold in a store, ie they were factory rejects, since the history of the cam cannot be verified, the test result is not conclusive. Perhaps this has no bearing, but it is a scenario that you have not controlled for. As for the softness of the lobe aluminum, or that a complete factory reject could get out the door, that to me is a larger concern.


Nothing is known about the Red, but I believe the Purple was purchased new from the guy on MP that I bought it from. I've just not yet had an opportunity to track down his phone number to get the full story. Its on the list for today though, now that things have calmed down a bit.

Since I sent in the red cam, let me tell you what I little I know about it.

I bootied it last summer from Yellow Ridge, in the Near Trapps (Gunks). It was well placed and not overcammed. I cleaned it easily in a matter of minutes, from a good stance, with a nut tool to help the lobes with the broken trigger wire. Given the popularity of the route and the ease with which I cleaned it, I sincerely doubt it was there long. I may have been the first party to come along since it was abandoned.

It was marked with green electrical tape. Perhaps the former owner will read this and recognize their gear and give us more information. I may even be able to find the date I bootied it if I try hard enough.
Edit: Date of booty was Aug 23, 2008.



My interpretation of the situation at the time, totally specutative, is that the leader had fallen on it and retreated, so that no one had attempted to clean it. Could also be that the trigger wire broke on placement and that the 2nd was either inexperienced at gear removal or lacked a nut tool to assist the crippled lobes.

I inspected the piece and found the 3 broken main cable filaments and parked it on a shelf as a souvenier until the Aric and the Lab came along. I decided to send it in to see how much strength a cam with obvious damage had lost. I never thought it would turn out as it has.

As far as the cam not having been sold in a store and was a factory reject, I think that is crazy wild speculation and just plain silly. Does anyone know of, or ever heard of an outlet for factory reject Aliens? Does CCH actually reject anything? Since the number of cams sold in stores almost certainly exceeds the number of factory rejects finding their way into the outside world (which may in fact be zero) by orders of magnitude, probability alone says it was store-bought.

Kathy


(This post was edited by tigerlilly on May 21, 2009, 10:28 AM)


jrathfon


May 21, 2009, 8:43 AM
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adatesman wrote:
trapdoor wrote:
I have a good idea concerning the presence of discontinuities or defects in the braze. Cut the head half way up and machine and polish the exposed cross section of the brazed cable/head joint. The polishing would have to be to a high standard. Then acid etch this joint to see the full extent of the brazing (capillary action) throughout the girth of the cable. The results could be easily inspected with a magnifying glass.

I have seen the above test performed on cross sections of various welded joints with good results (induvidual weld passes can be see as well as the heat affected zone at the weld/base metal interface).

To me this would be better than making assumptions of the extent of the braze by looking at the end of a failed cable. You could also perform the above mentioned test anywhere along the brazed joint.

Heh. Exactly what was on my agenda for first thing this morning. Well, not quite... I'm not going to bother with the polishing and etching since its fairly apparent with just the milled finish.

BTW, the first thing I did was to hit the bottom of all three heads I have with a brass brush to clean up all the grot and make the fillet of the braze easier to see. Having done that the braze on the Red looks horribly underfilled to me as there's absolutely no fillet on the joint.

Here are the cross sections mounted on a 0.250" shoulder bolt I had laying around (same diameter as the axle and I used it to keep them in line and avoid issues with differing shadows/reflections in the pics). On top is the one from the Purple, which has some porosity but was apparently stronger than the axle. Notice how it doesn't line up with the others... The deforming axle actually bent the top of the head!

Next down is the Red that broke under 5kN. In one of her emails to me Nadia from CCH stated and a metallurgist is needed to evaluate the joint, but frankly I don't need a metallurgist to tell me that thing's hollow. Hell, you can see the individual strands in there with absolutely no braze on them!

The bottom one is from the Red I broke a while back and posted a cross section of earlier.
[image]http://www.shariconglobal.com/misc/pulltesting/nrr_alien_failures/cross_sections.JPG[/image]

And a couple more pics of the bottom of the heads:
[image]http://www.shariconglobal.com/misc/pulltesting/nrr_alien_failures/brazes1.JPG[/image]

[image]http://www.shariconglobal.com/misc/pulltesting/nrr_alien_failures/brazes2.JPG[/image]

[image]http://www.shariconglobal.com/misc/pulltesting/nrr_alien_failures/brazes3.JPG[/image]

Well, after reading all 4 pages, this last post answered my question. My question would have been:

If there were weep holes, and the braze material (solder?) actually weeped from the hole, would we see braze material at the center of the closely woven cable?

The last post shows this quite clearly, an almost full braze in the center of the cable, a mostly empty braze, and a braze with some voids, but still plenty strong.

The red alien failure is definitely alarming as I have a set pre-recall. Even with 3 of 49 cables broken, 46 other cables should have been in contact with the braze, not 26 at best.

The purple alien failure is actually quite less alarming, probably just gives me some concern. 11kN is still damn strong. Yes, it'd be nice to know that their lobe materials is up to spec, but a little deformation and better grip, wouldn't be too bad, if the cams are still holding 10+ kN. I very regularly climb over 7kN C3's and 4-5kN micronuts, which I treat as oh-shit pieces and either double up on them, make sure I don't fall, or fire in more gear soon, as I do with my blue aliens. What would be alarming is if the axle metal is indeed well below the correct hardness, meaning CCH doesn't bother checking any of this and this is yet another fault in their QC.

As far as I've read on their site and heard through this forum, every alien eye/braze/cable assembly is pull tested in a jig, but they aren't testing lobes (as evident by no indents in new cams), axles, or swages. This is of course with exception to the (what 6 or 7?, 10?) full cams tested on their site.

edit to add: this is a far cry from BD's 3-sigma testing approach.


(This post was edited by jrathfon on May 21, 2009, 8:47 AM)


adatesman


May 21, 2009, 9:13 AM
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Partner cracklover


May 21, 2009, 9:35 AM
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For what it's worth, my concerns are (in order)

1 - The poor QC on the brazing
2 - The sometimes cooked cables
3 - Poor QC on the axle hardness
My order here is based on potential strength degradation.

Then, much lower on my list:
4 - various other QC issues we've seen, such as wrong sized head for the color of the unit, mis-drilled cams, etc. These are not strength issues, and they'd be easy to spot.

As for the issue of the cam lobes not being to spec for hardness, I actually see that as simply a semantic/truth-in-advertising issue, and not a bad thing at all. I'll explain why it's not a concern to me.

First, my best guess is that the lobes have always been made out of this soft material. Aliens have long been known to get their cam lobes mushroomed out relatively quickly with use.

But considering the angle of the spiral they use, which gives them a better range than any other cams in their size, they need to have very soft lobes in order to hold to the rock. So even though it may be inadvertent on their part, it's actually not a defect, but rather part of what makes Aliens work better than other cams.

GO


Partner cracklover


May 21, 2009, 9:37 AM
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I apologize for the off-topic post, but does anyone know how WC Technical Friends have their cables attached? The head-stem connection looks remarkably similar to that of Aliens, except that it's clear that no brazing is involved.

GO


adatesman


May 21, 2009, 9:44 AM
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adatesman


May 21, 2009, 9:45 AM
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Sogdiana


May 21, 2009, 9:52 AM
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The history of this cams is completely unknown. You can see from the photos, they have been in use for years... I think this is not "independent" test, this is a really "special order" against CCH, another series "lets bash CCH". I love my Aliens and I trust them!!!! I think they are the best!!! Startup companies can make just copies of Aliens and one of these may have asked Aric to do this test and publish to cause more trouble for CCH.


jrathfon


May 21, 2009, 9:55 AM
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adatesman wrote:
I'm also not as concerned about the purple per se; 10.5kN is not bad. Its just that its supposed to hold 15kN and the thought of their process being so screwed that a batch of axles could have possibly missed heat treatment gives me the willies.
-a.

Right, that's what I was touching on, I'm not as concerned about the strength issue. I am majorly concerned if they aren't inspecting cams, testings cams, and ordering materials to spec.

As for the cutting, the new way is definitely very good, it gives you a very good inspection of the deeper part of the braze, but still maintains all the complexities of what is going on at the base during failure. I couldn't really tell what was going on with the first braze that you cut in half entirely, until it was juxtaposed to the 2 you cut the new perpendicular way, it just looked like a hollow tube to me with the shine. I then realized it was a braze full of braze material.


brawa


May 21, 2009, 9:58 AM
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adatesman wrote:
I actually tend to believe that their extruder is supplying the material to spec, as any there aren't all that many of them and one who doesn't meet spec won't be around long. So either CCH doesn't actually spec the lobes as 6061T6 or something else is going on. I have 3rd hand information (from a post on MP I think, where the guy on MP supposedly got a former CCH employee talking) that at some point in the process CCH heats the lobes with a blowtorch and then tosses them in a bucket of water. It was on the Internet so it must be true, right? Not. But if true it would certainly explain why the lobes tested so much softer than they should have been since that's a good way to anneal aluminum (and bring it down from its T6 hardness).

Most machine shops I've dealt with default to 6061 T6 or T651 when you say "I want this in aluminum". And I agree that a supplier who doesn't supply to spec wouldn't be around long. And CCH should have material certificates for the metal, no matter who supplied it.


adatesman


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adatesman


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jrathfon


May 21, 2009, 10:07 AM
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Sogdiana wrote:
The history of this cams is completely unknown. You can see from the photos, they have been in use for years... I think this is not "independent" test, this is a really "special order" against CCH, another series "lets bash CCH". I love my Aliens and I trust them!!!! I think they are the best!!! Startup companies can make just copies of Aliens and one of these may have asked Aric to do this test and publish to cause more trouble for CCH.

Is it just me, or do these one time posters seem a bit biased?

You are suggesting that a small startup company is trying to manipulate the market through Aric?

Aric put all the facts on the table, including the fact that the exact history of the cams are unknown. Still, if you didn't pull test the red alien, and cut it in half to inspect the weld, you would definitely see the fact that the braze was not done correctly or up to spec. This is a pre-recall cam that CCH has specifically stated does not need to be pull-tested!

This thread is not a bashing thread, more a statement of facts, which I'll admit are damning to CCH.

I love aliens, I personally will keep climbing on them until they go out of manufacture (which looks like could be soon, I will probably stock up on some this weekend). But what this information (and all other info on rc.knob, MP, and ST) has taught me is that I need to stringently inspect ALL of my aliens for MANY points, and I will bounce TEST the crap out of the ones I haven't already taken FF0.8 falls onto. I also now have a set of requirements for visual inspection before I even buy them new from a retailer.

Aliens are AWESOME in soft rock, you won't find a piece that is blue alien sized that works as well or fits in the same places. The size range and soft lobes are great, as well as the head width. WC Zero's are the only thing that come close in my opinion, but again, they just don't have the same bite, flexible stem, head width, etc. Still the fact is, I am TESTING the crap out of my aliens now, before I commit to anything where I risk groundfall, like a crucial 2nd piece.


notapplicable


May 21, 2009, 10:07 AM
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adatesman wrote:
The thing is that the brazing process is done by hand and is highly dependent on the skill of the operator. Too much heat, you've embrittled the cable. Too little heat, you get a poor bond. Forget the flux, you have a contaminated joint that didn't bond well. Don't put enough braze in, you won't have much of a bond. Up late the night before and possibly hungover, any and all could happen. The only way to control this IMO is 100% inspection.


I may have missed it in one of the many discussions but do you know if anyone has directly asked CCH what percentage of the new units they test?


adatesman


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tigerlilly


May 21, 2009, 10:19 AM
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Sogdiana wrote:
Startup companies can make just copies of Aliens and one of these may have asked Aric to do this test and publish to cause more trouble for CCH.

What a crock of crap.

I sent in the Red Alien because it was a bootied cam with some broken filaments in the main cable. I expected it to break at something less than spec since obviously, it had led a busy life. I was curious to relate visible damage to some empirical measure of reduced strength. That it was an Alien never factored into my thought process. Having the cable pull out of the head due to poor brazing never entered my imagination. The data is the data and is fact. It is not contrived for the purpose of making anyone look bad. Neither I nor Aric are looking to crucify CCH needlessly. There is no conspiracy here.

The truth about Alien bashing is that most folks really, really and truely want them to be good, reliable gear, self included. They are a good design that does what they do as well or better than other options. If they did not, they would have been a bad memory a long, long time ago. It is mind boggling, in a sport where safety and reliability of gear are paramount, in the USA (land of litigation), that no one has sued CCH out of existance, or that climbers have simply voted them out of existance with their dollars. The only folks who might be upset by CCH employing good quality control practices might be their competitors, who would lose more sales if Aliens ever re-establish a reputation for reliablilty.

Kathy


colatownkid


May 21, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Sogdiana wrote:
The history of this cams is completely unknown. You can see from the photos, they have been in use for years... I think this is not "independent" test, this is a really "special order" against CCH, another series "lets bash CCH". I love my Aliens and I trust them!!!! I think they are the best!!! Startup companies can make just copies of Aliens and one of these may have asked Aric to do this test and publish to cause more trouble for CCH.

I find this post painful and I hope you are a troll.

In Aric's defense, there is no question in my mind regarding his integrity. Aric consistently provides useful, pertinent information, thoughtful posts and replies, and is very clear to differentiate test results, conclusions, personal opinions, and idle speculation. I believe his previous battery of pull tests speak for themselves. I see no reason to distrust t Aric unless you can substantiate your accusation in some way.

As for this:

In reply to:
The history of this cams is completely unknown. You can see from the photos, they have been in use for years...

I find that point quite debatable. You are correct in that the history of this cam is unknown, but as for years of use...? That is a large assumption. I think it would be fair to say the cam has been used (as per tigerlilly's brief history), but for how long is completely speculation.

You are free to believe what you will about Aliens and CCH. However, I feel it is decidedly rude to accuse Aric of foul play.


adatesman


May 21, 2009, 10:24 AM
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colatownkid


May 21, 2009, 10:29 AM
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adatesman wrote:
Hey Guys,

Thanks for the kind words, but I responded directly to Sogdiana upthread and its best to let this die. I believe its either a troll or possibly a CCH shill.

-aric.

Must've missed that--sorry! But yeah, sure thing.


iron106


May 21, 2009, 11:06 AM
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These pull tests are great. However, I would be interested in how an Alien from the store would do. This would leave less to the imagination. I would throw in $2 (along with everybody else) and get Aric some money to get some samples from store bought ones in for his testing.

BTW I love my Aliens.


lightrack


May 21, 2009, 11:08 AM
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Cams break......aliens are always bashed on.....

i still use mine

a good friend of mine broke 3 brand new C4's already this season, yet there is never a bash thread on BD's

the heads simply crushed on a 3 meter fall


Sogdiana


May 21, 2009, 11:23 AM
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Aric,
if you would like to answer to me, please, answer. I have just one question" who paid you for this test? Be honest with people.
I am brand new user here... Thanks for warm atmosphere!Mad
This is really nice of you!Mad[
Just would like to tell you I am not working for CCH or defend CCH. I used, using and continue to use Aliens. I know that aliens are very popular outside of USA. And, I believe CCH has more important customers that I am , customers who stick with CCH and will use Aliens.


adatesman


May 21, 2009, 11:32 AM
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Gmburns2000


May 21, 2009, 11:34 AM
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lightrack wrote:
Cams break......aliens are always bashed on.....

i still use mine

a good friend of mine broke 3 brand new C4's already this season, yet there is never a bash thread on BD's

the heads simply crushed on a 3 meter fall

Wow! I've never broken or even seen a cam bust outside of the lab, and your friend has already broken three this year?

What the hell is your friend doing?

edited: fixed tags


(This post was edited by Gmburns2000 on May 21, 2009, 11:34 AM)


adatesman


May 21, 2009, 11:36 AM
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lightrack


May 21, 2009, 11:44 AM
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I think one fall was a 30 footer....kinda big

and the other two were 3 meter falls!! and he's a small dude (130 lbs). piece just below the feet...

i didn't witness the events as they happened in Norway, but he said 2 of the 3 held, but the lobes were totally crushed in, perhaps due to the new 'lightness' of them. BD replaced them, and he hasn't broke any since. All three were the green .75 size. We then did a 6 week desert trip with lots of falls on aliens and other pieces, and nothing broke.

Perhaps the bigger the brand the less people hear about the problems.....aliens are a good scapegoat, but me and many others still agree that they are the shit


edit: im sure the factors were't too big, point was that an alien probably would have held. i've had some of my aliens tested, and i've had a few re-headed, which is the shit!


side note: how does breaking 3 brand new BD's have nothing to do with your 'booty' cam tests?!?!? maybe he should have dropped some rocks on em' first? just sayin


(This post was edited by lightrack on May 21, 2009, 11:52 AM)


retr2327


May 21, 2009, 11:55 AM
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"I've responded to this in the manner which was called for."

Actually, you've done much better than that, and props to you for doing so.

I have seen NOTHING in your analysis or the way in which it was presented to suggest any bias or agenda on your part. Thanks again.


notapplicable


May 21, 2009, 11:58 AM
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adatesman wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
adatesman wrote:
The thing is that the brazing process is done by hand and is highly dependent on the skill of the operator. Too much heat, you've embrittled the cable. Too little heat, you get a poor bond. Forget the flux, you have a contaminated joint that didn't bond well. Don't put enough braze in, you won't have much of a bond. Up late the night before and possibly hungover, any and all could happen. The only way to control this IMO is 100% inspection.


I may have missed it in one of the many discussions but do you know if anyone has directly asked CCH what percentage of the new units they test?

I've not heard of anyone asking that, but may have been lost in the pile of questions the person I'd been in contact with asked Dave@CCH. There were a lot of them he gave me answers to but I didn't have a pen and paper handy and have an awful memory.

The impression I get from their website is 100% on the stems, but I do not know that for fact. No idea how many assembled cams they test.

Sorry, should have been more precise in my phrasing as I was curious about the number of bazings/stems that see pull testing. I understood from other posts that they don't regularly test the completely assembled cams before they are sold.

Thanks for posting what you know. I thinking understanding how many "stems" see pull testing is an important part of the equation in determining the adequacy of their current QC procedures.


adatesman


May 21, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Sogdiana


May 21, 2009, 12:01 PM
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Aric, I dont know who Nadia is. Maybe we have same stile of writing, because we are both from foreign countries (Nadia - is not original American name, right?, and I am guessing he is originally from USA), and English actually is not my native language, I am sorry for my mistakes.
But, I probably have to call to CCH and talk to this girl.... Wink
But if she is working for CCH, it does not give you a point to talk about this girl here.
I did not asked you about your degree, I am not interesting. But thanks for answer.
So, Like I said early, I am using and will use my Aliens, and I do not think that I can continue this conversation with you. Looks like you never used Aliens for climbing. You just using gears to brake, but if you want to brake some thing you will brake it. And, this is of course my own opinion, this test does not looks professional to me, I am sorry.


Partner angry


May 21, 2009, 12:08 PM
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This sucks, and is not a surprise.

I worked there in 2000. I just sat around and sanded burs off parts after they came out of the machine. If I so much as got an extra scratch on the parts, they got tossed and I got bitched at. It was amazing the level of scrutiny each and every part in the process underwent.

Now, unhardened axles are coming out of the shop.

For the red, that's also fairly surprising because it was assembled during a time that I'd assumed had the same scrutiny as the time I worked there.

I know I've weighted all my aliens and I also have whipped on most of them. I've probably whipped on all of them but who knows, it's hard to say exactly which piece did what when you've got 6 or 7 identical pieces in some sizes.

I think I may test mine. Sure they've been a lot of places and have had harder use than the purple that Nadia ripped you over but I don't really know if I've generated over 5kn on them. I haven't read the whole thread, would you consider a CCH pull test good enough or should I find a third party test?


afahrlan


May 21, 2009, 12:09 PM
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lightrack wrote:
I think one fall was a 30 footer....kinda big

and the other two were 3 meter falls!! and he's a small dude (130 lbs). piece just below the feet...

i didn't witness the events as they happened in Norway...

Contrast your description of the "kinda big" falls you "think" your friend took but that you didn't witness with the well-documented testing that Aric presented above. When someone pull tests a 0.75 Camalot under public scrutiny and it fails well below its rated load, there will be a huge response from the community. (And from Black Diamond.)

Andrew


Sogdiana


May 21, 2009, 12:09 PM
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PS.
Aric, I am not dive up, just do not have time spend all day long next to computer screen. Tongue
I know if I would give us it would be a big reason for you to call me "troll" Cool


Gmburns2000


May 21, 2009, 12:11 PM
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angry wrote:
I haven't read the whole thread, would you consider a CCH pull test good enough or should I find a third party test?

I know you're asking Aric, but personally, if you're going to have them tested, it would be nice to know what a third party says. I know that's not your goal, for our conversation's sake, but it could still do some good to report back what happened.


Partner angry


May 21, 2009, 12:12 PM
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Sogdiana wrote:
Aric, I dont know who Nadia is. Maybe we have same stile of writing, because we are both from foreign countries (Nadia - is not original American name, right?, and I am guessing he is originally from USA), and English actually is not my native language, I am sorry for my mistakes.
But, I probably have to call to CCH and talk to this girl.... Wink
But if she is working for CCH, it does not give you a point to talk about this girl here.
I did not asked you about your degree, I am not interesting. But thanks for answer.
So, Like I said early, I am using and will use my Aliens, and I do not think that I can continue this conversation with you. Looks like you never used Aliens for climbing. You just using gears to brake, but if you want to brake some thing you will brake it. And, this is of course my own opinion, this test does not looks professional to me, I am sorry.

I have probably 25 aliens. Some have held whipped of close to 50 feet for me. They see probably 100 days of use a year and have for a long time. I love them, I'm glad I have them, and I will continue to use them.

Aric is right though, his methods were fine given the sample size, and there is a very real problem he's pointing out yet again. Just because you love something, you don't need to defend it's faults (cams not women, story of my life).


Partner cracklover


May 21, 2009, 12:16 PM
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adatesman wrote:
cracklover wrote:
For what it's worth, my concerns are (in order)

1 - The poor QC on the brazing
2 - The sometimes cooked cables
3 - Poor QC on the axle hardness
My order here is based on potential strength degradation.

We don't know this to be the case yet. It is a suspicion of mine, but until I get the testing done it is completely speculation on my part.

If I had more data to show that the axles were consistently bad, it would be higher than # 3 on my list. But it is a real concern to me. Concern being the operative word. Who wouldn't be concerned that axles may deform terribly below the rated strength of the cam?

In reply to:
cracklover wrote:
As for the issue of the cam lobes not being to spec for hardness, I actually see that as simply a semantic/truth-in-advertising issue, and not a bad thing at all.

I actually tend to believe that their extruder is supplying the material to spec, as any there aren't all that many of them and one who doesn't meet spec won't be around long. So either CCH doesn't actually spec the lobes as 6061T6 or something else is going on. I have 3rd hand information (from a post on MP I think, where the guy on MP supposedly got a former CCH employee talking) that at some point in the process CCH heats the lobes with a blowtorch and then tosses them in a bucket of water. It was on the Internet so it must be true, right? Not. But if true it would certainly explain why the lobes tested so much softer than they should have been since that's a good way to anneal aluminum (and bring it down from its T6 hardness).

I read that too. And frankly, I don't put much credence into a second-hand report of a drunken conversation of an ex-worker at the shop. But to be perfectly frank, I'm not that curious to know the details as to why the lobes are under spec for hardness, as I don't see it as a bug, but a feature.

GO


adatesman


May 21, 2009, 12:22 PM
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adatesman


May 21, 2009, 12:34 PM
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IsayAutumn


May 21, 2009, 12:38 PM
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I don't know Aric, but from what I've read here and in other threads, I agree that he probably has no agenda (although he has stated that he doesn't trust CCH, so he can't really be called unbiased). But the fact remains, Aric cannot say for sure what the history of either of these cams is. Even the one he bought could have a history that the seller isn't wiling to confide, for any number of reasons.

And if he is going to put himself out there and post these results then he has to be willing to take any criticisms that come his way, even if they are poorly argued. The damage that he is doing to the name of CCH in this thread alone is quite high, given the small sample and unknown history of these cams.

I doubt there was anything wrong with his testing. I doubt he did this for any reasons other than pure curiosity. But a bootied cam? I dunno ... the consequences of this thread seem pretty real considering the pieces tested.

That said, the results are still spooky, even given the unknown history of the cams. I do think it is a good idea to do some testing on new Aliens. I would gladly contribute some dinero if we could get something going.


adatesman


May 21, 2009, 12:39 PM
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adatesman


May 21, 2009, 12:44 PM
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(This post was edited by adatesman on Aug 15, 2010, 5:41 PM)


dynosore


May 21, 2009, 12:47 PM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
I don't know Aric, but from what I've read here and in other threads, I agree that he probably has no agenda (although he has stated that he doesn't trust CCH, so he can't really be called unbiased). But the fact remains, Aric cannot say for sure what the history of either of these cams is. Even the one he bought could have a history that the seller isn't wiling to confide, for any number of reasons.

And if he is going to put himself out there and post these results then he has to be willing to take any criticisms that come his way, even if they are poorly argued. The damage that he is doing to the name of CCH in this thread alone is quite high, given the small sample and unknown history of these cams.

I doubt there was anything wrong with his testing. I doubt he did this for any reasons other than pure curiosity. But a bootied cam? I dunno ... the consequences of this thread seem pretty real considering the pieces tested.

That said, the results are still spooky, even given the unknown history of the cams. I do think it is a good idea to do some testing on new Aliens. I would gladly contribute some dinero if we could get something going.

I don't care if the cam sat in the rain 4 years, was run over by a Mack truck, and thrown off a cliff. The braze appears to be bad from the factory, period.


donald949


May 21, 2009, 12:49 PM
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bandycoot wrote:
Aric,

I want to say thank you for what you're doing. You're donating time, effort, and risking getting flamed by detractors, and all the while it looks like you're trying to do the best that you can do with what you have. What you're doing isn't easy, but it's awesome!

Sincerely,

Josh

Seconded,
Thanks Aric.
Nice write up and good job pointing out soldering problem. But have to say Gabe's discription and reposting the one photo with the inside cable still attached brought the idea home.

Don


IsayAutumn


May 21, 2009, 1:01 PM
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In reply to:
I don't care if the cam sat in the rain 4 years, was run over by a Mack truck, and thrown off a cliff. The braze appears to be bad from the factory, period.

I personally think the history is important, even though it "appears" the braze is bad "from the factory."

To me, there is still some reason for doubt in this whole affair. If you want to burn me at the stake, so be it.


bill413


May 21, 2009, 1:21 PM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
In reply to:
I don't care if the cam sat in the rain 4 years, was run over by a Mack truck, and thrown off a cliff. The braze appears to be bad from the factory, period.

I personally think the history is important, even though it "appears" the braze is bad "from the factory."

To me, there is still some reason for doubt in this whole affair. If you want to burn me at the stake, so be it.
So your theory is that the rain/wind/sun washed the brazing material out of the joint?
Interesting.


IsayAutumn


May 21, 2009, 1:25 PM
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bill413 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
In reply to:
I don't care if the cam sat in the rain 4 years, was run over by a Mack truck, and thrown off a cliff. The braze appears to be bad from the factory, period.

I personally think the history is important, even though it "appears" the braze is bad "from the factory."

To me, there is still some reason for doubt in this whole affair. If you want to burn me at the stake, so be it.
So your theory is that the rain/wind/sun washed the brazing material out of the joint?
Interesting.

No.


tigerlilly


May 21, 2009, 1:30 PM
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IsayAutumn wrote:
bill413 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
In reply to:
I don't care if the cam sat in the rain 4 years, was run over by a Mack truck, and thrown off a cliff. The braze appears to be bad from the factory, period.

I personally think the history is important, even though it "appears" the braze is bad "from the factory."

To me, there is still some reason for doubt in this whole affair. If you want to burn me at the stake, so be it.
So your theory is that the rain/wind/sun washed the brazing material out of the joint?
Interesting.

No.

Ok, so what is your theory on how the brazing material got out of the joint?


IsayAutumn


May 21, 2009, 1:32 PM
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tigerlilly wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
bill413 wrote:
IsayAutumn wrote:
In reply to:
I don't care if the cam sat in the rain 4 years, was run over by a Mack truck, and thrown off a cliff. The braze appears to be bad from the factory, period.

I personally think the history is important, even though it "appears" the braze is bad "from the factory."

To me, there is still some reason for doubt in this whole affair. If you want to burn me at the stake, so be it.
So your theory is that the rain/wind/sun washed the brazing material out of the joint?
Interesting.

No.

Ok, so what is your theory on how the brazing material got out of the joint?

My theory is that it was a poor factory braze job and should have been caught in QC process.


Rudmin


May 21, 2009, 1:37 PM
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Although it's not the best brazing job, it might have been good enough to stand up to the rated spec up until the outer wires (the ones with the most braze) got tweaked and broken from use, leaving the unbrazed inner wires to take all of the load and rip out.


jrathfon


May 21, 2009, 1:50 PM
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Rudmin wrote:
Although it's not the best brazing job, it might have been good enough to stand up to the rated spec up until the outer wires (the ones with the most braze) got tweaked and broken from use, leaving the unbrazed inner wires to take all of the load and rip out.

I personally would prefer to have the best brazing job done on my cams. I don't like time bomb pieces on my rack.

If all the wires were brazed, as they should have been, the cam would not have failed at 5kN regardless of 3 + odd wires that were "tweaked".


adatesman


May 21, 2009, 1:54 PM
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jrathfon


May 21, 2009, 2:11 PM
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adatesman wrote:
jrathfon wrote:
Rudmin wrote:
Although it's not the best brazing job, it might have been good enough to stand up to the rated spec up until the outer wires (the ones with the most braze) got tweaked and broken from use, leaving the unbrazed inner wires to take all of the load and rip out.

I personally would prefer to have the best brazing job done on my cams. I don't like time bomb pieces on my rack.

If all the wires were brazed, as they should have been, the cam would not have failed at 5kN regardless of 3 + odd wires that were "tweaked".

As I just read in another thread.... BING BING BING! We have a winner!

But we are in a land where disposable one use items are in vogue... so maybe the lack of an average quality braze is a good thing? You only get one fall on that cam, then you have to trade it in, sorry...


tigerlilly


May 21, 2009, 2:13 PM
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Rudmin wrote:
Although it's not the best brazing job, it might have been good enough to stand up to the rated spec up until the outer wires (the ones with the most braze) got tweaked and broken from use, leaving the unbrazed inner wires to take all of the load and rip out.

It is not reasonable to expect about 60% of the strands to carry 100% of the load. Even new, this unit probably would have failed well below the rated load.


spikeddem


May 21, 2009, 2:17 PM
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I feel like nobody has really pointed it out yet (sorry if I missed the post(s)), but I think it's worth throwing my observation out there.

In the past, the issue seemed a bit more binary, that is to say that the cams were either BOMBER or FAILURE. Put another way, if a cam held 3 kN or more, it was assumed to be good all the way to its breaking strength. As I understand it, the new issue with this red cam is more gradient like. Think about it: this cam would have passed a 4 kN pull-test, but it was obviously still not OK.

If the strength of the cam is positively correlated with the quality of the braze wicking, then the strengths could be all over the board, and it seems it would be very challenging to determine how much should be applied to a cam during a pull-test.

Moreover, a bounce test would hardly do anything at catching the braze wicking issue.

Is my suggestion in line with the evidence according provided by Aric?


(This post was edited by spikeddem on May 21, 2009, 2:48 PM)


adatesman


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IsayAutumn


May 21, 2009, 2:29 PM
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Aric-

I think deleting this person's posts and not allowing him/her to post here is a crock. If this person is from CCH, then he or she should come out and say it. But even so, if you are allowed to use this giant soap box to tell a large swath of the climbing community that a company's products are no good based on an unverified (from CCH's perspective) test of one bootied cam (and that is exactly what you have done), then your detractors should be allowed to post as well. Using the excuse that the thread is highly moderated is a cop out. I don't necessarily disagree with you or your test results, but I think you are crossing the line by not allowing this person to post.

--Isay


roy_hinkley_jr


May 21, 2009, 2:30 PM
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tigerlilly wrote:
Rudmin wrote:
Although it's not the best brazing job, it might have been good enough to stand up to the rated spec up until the outer wires (the ones with the most braze) got tweaked and broken from use, leaving the unbrazed inner wires to take all of the load and rip out.

It is not reasonable to expect about 60% of the strands to carry 100% of the load. Even new, this unit probably would have failed well below the rated load.

Rudmin is correct, With things that stretch, like rope, a few cut strands won't impact strength too much. But it doesn't work that way with metal. As soon as a couple strands are broken (and there may well have been more than the 3 you saw), it sets up a cascade failure where each strand breaks one at a time instead of working together, this is exacerbated if the angle of pull is off even slightly.

Along with the unknown history (are you certain there is no rust or corrosion inside the cable?), this still sounds like much ado about nothing. Really not surprising at all and would likely happen in a lot of other products besides CCH.


adatesman


May 21, 2009, 2:35 PM
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adatesman


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roy_hinkley_jr


May 21, 2009, 2:51 PM
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adatesman wrote:
Oh, wait. That broke at almost 15kN. After I cut half of the outer cam lobes off to send for hardness testing. It was rated to 12kN.

Enough with the armchair engineering Roy, you're out of your league..

And exactly how many strands were visibly cut on that one?

Methinks you are the one who doesn't understand a lot of what you're trying to do. Breaking things is fun but you're jumping to a lot of wild conclusions based on tiny sample sizes. The fact is there haven't been ANY failures reported from that production time period despite what is likely 1000s of falls with loads greater than 5 kN. All you're shown is that gear with broken cables are suspect, duh.


notapplicable


May 21, 2009, 2:57 PM
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roy_hinkley_jr wrote:
tigerlilly wrote:
Rudmin wrote:
Although it's not the best brazing job, it might have been good enough to stand up to the rated spec up until the outer wires (the ones with the most braze) got tweaked and broken from use, leaving the unbrazed inner wires to take all of the load and rip out.

It is not reasonable to expect about 60% of the strands to carry 100% of the load. Even new, this unit probably would have failed well below the rated load.

Rudmin is correct, With things that stretch, like rope, a few cut strands won't impact strength too much. But it doesn't work that way with metal. As soon as a couple strands are broken (and there may well have been more than the 3 you saw), it sets up a cascade failure where each strand breaks one at a time instead of working together, this is exacerbated if the angle of pull is off even slightly.

Along with the unknown history (are you certain there is no rust or corrosion inside the cable?), this still sounds like much ado about nothing. Really not surprising at all and would likely happen in a lot of other products besides CCH.

All units with an incomplete brazing may not fail well below spec but some most certainly will. Hell, I wouldn't care if the red alien in question had failed at it's rated strength of 15 kn. The issue is that half-assed construction and QC has been a persistent problem in the assembly process and there is no way to determine the number of units effected. The holding strength of an individual unit is inconsequential, the fact that units before and after the recall date are poorly assembled is a major problem.


adatesman


May 21, 2009, 2:59 PM
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afahrlan


May 21, 2009, 3:22 PM
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roy_hinkley_jr wrote:
All you're shown is that gear with broken cables are suspect, duh.

Broken cables could certainly be expected to reduce the unit's strength and I would've been surprised, given the cam's condition, if it tested to its rated strength due to the weakened cable. But the cable is not what failed during the pull test. As you can clearly see in Aric's pictures, the remaining wire was strong enough to hold 5kN until the brazing failed by way of the remaining wire pulling out of the joint. And his cross-section photo clearly shows that the joint was under-filled with braze at the factory.

This is clearly a manufacturing defect, not something that could have happened to the cam during its questionable history. Bottom line: would you fall on a brand-new Alien if you knew that the brazing joint was under-filled in the same way as this test sample? Because the original owner of this cam was in that exact same situation, except they didn't have the benefit of Aric's testing to know that this cam was a time bomb.

Andrew


adatesman


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healyje


May 21, 2009, 3:38 PM
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Maybe we should take stock for a moment given this has been going on for years now. So, here's a list of problems that have gotten by CCH's best QC efforts and shipped to us:

- Misdrilled Axle Holes
- Unswaged Stem Loops
- Size Color Coded Wrong
- Inconsistent Cam Lobe Hardness
- Missing Axle Washers
- Failing Axles
- Quenched Brazes
- Incomplete Brazes
- Bad 'Tensile Tested' Cams

And let's be straight up front - shit happens and things go wrong in manufacturing - it's unavoidable. The name of the game is to not let bad parts get further down the line and not shipping bad finished goods out the door. And there are multiple straightforward QC solutions for each of the problems listed above that would prevent goods exhibiting any of these problems from shipping. Those solutions aren't rocket science and CCH's enduring inability to successfully [and openly] institute these measures over the course of several years means the real problem is cultural and lies at the feet of the owner.

The issues we have been faced with since the beginning of this saga are fourfold. First, for every bad cam we discover and post up about, you can bet your ass there are X number of similarly bad aliens still out there either sitting on a store shelf or hanging on someone's rack waiting to be discovered. Second, we now know that there are variously bad Aliens shipped both prior to and after the recall. Third, in all likelyhood CCH is still incapable of preventing bad goods from shipping perpetuating the problem. The fourth, and most telling, is that CCH and Dave's ability to communicate remain immovably unchanged; it is still steeped in silence, lack of openess, defensiveness, denial, and accusation.

Taken together they paint a grim picture of a situation unlikely to change in any significant way and that an unknown percentage of Aliens shipped by CCH in any given year will be bad in one way or another. It should also be noted that these sad realities exist despite of the best efforts of any number of highly experienced people in and out of the climbing gear industry's best efforts to help CCH out with advice, assistance, and even offers to buy them out. To-date, all such efforts have failed for a variety of reasons.

Many of us appreciate what CCH brought to the table with Aliens and love many aspects of the design. But to those of you who can't simultaneously manage the duality of loving leading on Aliens on one hand and acknowledging the obvious malignancy inherent in their manufacture, I would say it's no different than any other aspect of climbing - we are all responsible for recognizing, acknowledging, evaluating, and taking risks - the name of the game is doing so wisely and with your eyes open.

At this point anyone who is operating in blind denial because 'I love my Aliens' is a fool and incompetent in my book and I wouldn't climb with you. Want to buy or keep climbing on Aliens? Cool - but then it's on you to ensure every one is competently tested by yourself or anyone but CCH whose 'Tensile Tested' test mark has been proven untrustworthy.

The only sure thing thing you can say about Aliens at this point is there are still a lot of time bombs out there and this won't be the last word or thread on bad Aliens on RC.com - this beat will, unfortunately, go on...


the_climber


May 21, 2009, 4:10 PM
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Aric, I'll echo the "good job".


Johnny_Fang wrote:
on another note, can someone give me some information about brazing, namely does/can brazing 'flake off' or is it bonded to the material? can working a nut tool or exposure to the elements deteriorate brazing, or does the lack of brazing on these wires indicate without a doubt that they never received brazing? it sounds to me from the posts above that they are pretty well bonded, but i want to make sure.

J_F, brazing bonds the metal. It doesn't just flake off. Done right Brazing is about as good and as stong as it gets. It does not simply flake away. If it isn't there, it wasn't there to begin with. That it has not been done correctly, is only the tip of the iceburg as Healyje points out. There is a pattern of poor QC and a pattern of not accepting or admiting the fact that there IS an issue.

(Metolius, Trango, Camp,... these are other companies which use brazing on climbing protection.)


(This post was edited by the_climber on May 21, 2009, 4:11 PM)


adatesman


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the_climber


May 21, 2009, 4:22 PM
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adatesman wrote:
the_climber wrote:
Done right Brazing is about as good and as stong as it gets.

Well, not quite.... A braze will never be stronger than a weld, but that's just me being pedantic since they're basically the same thing but with different temperatures/filler metals. TongueAngelic

I was going to compare it to welding, but like you say... welding is just a little different and a little more... you know.

Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I seem to recall brazing being stonger (done right) on cable than welding.

Either way, Enjoy your chop suey!


(This post was edited by the_climber on May 21, 2009, 4:23 PM)


adatesman


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k.l.k


May 21, 2009, 4:37 PM
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adatesman wrote:
If CCH wants to make a statement they are more than welcome to identify themselves and do so, but trying to post anonymously through a shill is unethical IMO.

Yeah, no kidding. In any case, you're doing whoever it is a favor, since the posts are relentlessly stupid. If they did come from CCH, they could only make things worse for themselves by stringing it out.

Moreover, if the CCH email and the posts resolve to the same IP, then I think that you or one of the other mods should tell us.

I'd like to think that no one at CCH is stupid enough to start posting anonymously in this thread, but given the history, it's a distinct possibility.


Partner drector


May 21, 2009, 4:50 PM
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In reply to:
Well, not quite.... A braze will never be stronger than a weld, but that's just me being pedantic since they're basically the same thing but with different temperatures/filler metals.

(My bolding in the quote above)

Welding is the fusion of two pieces of the same metal by melting them together. They become one single piece of material. It is not glue and it does not bond them. They become one in the same way that pouring a bunch of molten steel into a mold makes a single part. Filler material, which is always the same basic metal as the original, is not required and is not needed with some techniques.

Brazing is more similar to gluing in that the silicon bronze or other brazing material bonds to the other metals. There is no fusion into one single piece of material.

Welding is not basically the same with a different filler.

Brazing is beyond strong enough for many applications including connecting cables to cam heads so the discussion is moot. It just seems wrong to give out incorrect technical information about the nature of welding vs. brazing.

Dave


adatesman


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adatesman


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afahrlan


May 21, 2009, 5:50 PM
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I really wish you hadn't banned her, because it'd sure be nice to hear an explanation from their end.


adatesman


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spikeddem


May 21, 2009, 6:23 PM
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Word from Nadia at CCH is that they're formulating a reply to put up on their website "ASAP." (As of 7:46 Central)

I e-mailed them to remind them that situations like these provide opportunities for companies, and that with a little showing of good faith and follow through CCH has a chance to put a lot of people's minds (and wallets) at ease. Response time of four hours isn't bad.


adatesman


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healyje


May 21, 2009, 7:33 PM
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When CCH can't even improve something as easy as communicating with their customers and the climbing public at large, it doesn't bode well for their ability to change how they make and QC their product.

It's not like we're asking them to master twitter or anything...


jt512


May 21, 2009, 7:40 PM
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adatesman wrote:
jrathfon wrote:
Well, after reading all 4 pages, this last post answered my question.

Yeah, sorry about that. I would have done it up front but didn't want to run the risk of destroying evidence since its readily obvious if you have it in hand and know anything about welding/brazing. But so far CCH has yet to ask to see them (opting instead to grill me on my professional background, degrees, etc), so might as well cut them open.

I think you should post their correspondence.

Jay


adatesman


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jt512


May 21, 2009, 7:51 PM
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lightrack wrote:
Cams break......aliens are always bashed on.....

i still use mine

a good friend of mine broke 3 brand new C4's already this season, yet there is never a bash thread on BD's

the heads simply crushed on a 3 meter fall

Did he break all three in one 3-m fall or 1 each in three 3-m falls, or, maybe, are you just making shit up?

Jay


notapplicable


May 21, 2009, 7:59 PM
Post #176 of 747 (6021 views)
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Re: [adatesman] SAFETY ALERT- MORE ALIEN FAILURES [In reply to]
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adatesman wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I think you should post their correspondence.

Jay

I've been thinking about that and at this point I think that would be inappropriate (we kicked the idea some in the mod forum a couple hours ago). But that was before Sogdiana was confirmed as Nadia.

I suppose it may rest on the nature of this forthcoming response from CCH...?

Does anyone know what (if any) privacy expectations apply to emails? Might be worth looking in to before posting publicly.


sungam


May 21, 2009, 8:08 PM
Post #177 of 747 (6003 views)
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Re: [notapplicable] SAFETY ALERT- MORE ALIEN FAILURES [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
adatesman wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I think you should post their correspondence.

Jay

I've been thinking about that and at this point I think that would be inappropriate (we kicked the idea some in the mod forum a couple hours ago). But that was before Sogdiana was confirmed as Nadia.

I suppose it may rest on the nature of this forthcoming response from CCH...?

Does anyone know what (if any) privacy expectations apply to emails? Might be worth looking in to before posting publicly.
If it was sent to you, you have freedom to share it.
Ethical questions go deeper though. I would recommend not sharing the contents of private messages sent between two individuals on a message board read by potentially thousands of people.


patto


May 21, 2009, 8:08 PM
Post #178 of 747 (6001 views)
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Re: [adatesman] SAFETY ALERT- MORE ALIEN FAILURES [In reply to]
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adatesman wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I think you should post their correspondence.

Jay

I've been thinking about that and at this point I think that would be inappropriate (we kicked the idea some in the mod forum a couple hours ago). But that was before Sogdiana was confirmed as Nadia.

I suppose it may rest on the nature of this forthcoming response from CCH...?

While I would love to see the correspondence, I too don't believe that it would be appropriate to post them online. That correspondence was between you and CCH and probably shouldn't be aired unless CCH makes it necessary.

This thread didn't start off as an attack on CCH and none of us want it seen as such. We were discussing the pull tests that were carried out. It was Sogdiana =CCH that distracted the issue. If CCH want to play shill then that is their issue. That said I would not object to their shill attempt being futher publicized. Let people make up their own minds.


jt512


May 21, 2009, 8:11 PM
Post #180 of 747 (6005 views)
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Re: [Sogdiana] SAFETY ALERT- MORE ALIEN FAILURES [In reply to]
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Sogdiana wrote:
I am not interesting.

Apparently, that is the first honest statement you've made on this website.

Jay

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