Forums: Climbing Information: Gear Heads:
Aliens, by Fixe-Faders
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Gear Heads

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All


maldaly


Aug 10, 2011, 9:15 AM
Post #26 of 59 (6814 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 31, 2002
Posts: 1207

Re: [patto] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Patto, thanks for the props. I worked pretty closely with Mikel on the original Totem cam and we all got stuck on the traditional pricing model. Totem's solution is to go directly from manufacturer to consumer which cut out 2 tiers of pricing. It works but removes the convenience of holding one in your hands before you buy or being able to go to the store if you have a problem.

We could have done that with the $32 Chinese Aliens. A $32 Alien would get it to about $40 or $42 on the shelf after CIF, inspection, testing, packaging and loss. Then it would have been about $80 at direct retail. We always relied on the network of specialty shops to inventory, inform, educate and sell our product so we didn't follow that path.

mal


yodadave


Aug 10, 2011, 10:06 AM
Post #27 of 59 (6788 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 10, 2008
Posts: 510

Re: [maldaly] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks for all the insights Mal

Also are you saying that at one point Totems were a Trango thing??

Sorry if this is old news I've been out of the loop for a bit


JimTitt


Aug 10, 2011, 11:23 AM
Post #28 of 59 (6762 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 7, 2008
Posts: 978

Re: [patto] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (3 ratings)  
Can't Post

And DMM sell for $75 ish, Rock Empire for $37, Camalots start at $60, Metolius around $45 etc.
Must be something very special that isn´t apparent to the normal person in manufacturing the agricultural looking things I saw at the show last month!


boadman


Aug 10, 2011, 1:31 PM
Post #29 of 59 (6715 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 6, 2003
Posts: 726

Re: [JimTitt] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

JimTitt wrote:
And DMM sell for $75 ish, Rock Empire for $37, Camalots start at $60, Metolius around $45 etc.
Must be something very special that isn´t apparent to the normal person in manufacturing the agricultural looking things I saw at the show last month!

Agricultural? What does that mean? Is that a synonym for crazy handful of awesomeness?

I think a decent assembler can put together about 5 aliens an hour. The spring/lobe/trigger assembly is quite labor intensive. The braze at the cable termination is also labor intensive. They were only $50 when they were made in Laramie though, right?


maldaly


Aug 10, 2011, 1:51 PM
Post #30 of 59 (6706 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 31, 2002
Posts: 1207

Re: [boadman] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

ydadave, we were the first people that Mikel contacted in the US and I helped them figure out the distribution. Of course, we were interested in distributing them through Trango but the price structure didn't work.

boadman, neither Dave or Nadia were ever able to give us any information regarding cost of materials, numbers sold, labor costs or margins. That was why on our last go-round we went to China for a quote. It was during that round that they had the head-popping recall and we backed away. As someone noted above, various ex-employees of Dave's have posted up with insider information. One of them, a climbing partner of my engineer at the time, calculated that each Alien had about 1 hour of labor time into it. Much of that was the process of brazing the old braided SS trigger sheath, which, by the way, was made from stripped coax audio cable. I hope the new fabric sheath is easier to assemble!


boadman


Aug 10, 2011, 2:13 PM
Post #31 of 59 (6694 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 6, 2003
Posts: 726

Re: [maldaly] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

When I worked there (for a very brief stint), the sheathes were crimped onto the trigger bars in between a copper collar and the ring on the trigger rather than brazed. The cable termination was brazed though. Generally, an experienced employee could put together about 5 units an hour from a box of parts if I remember correctly. It took a couple of weeks to get that fast though.


csproul


Aug 10, 2011, 2:40 PM
Post #32 of 59 (6683 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 4, 2004
Posts: 1768

Re: [boadman] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

maldaly wrote:
... calculated that each Alien had about 1 hour of labor time into it. ...

boadman wrote:
... an experienced employee could put together about 5 units an hour from a box of parts if I remember correctly...

That's a pretty big difference!


maldaly


Aug 10, 2011, 2:43 PM
Post #33 of 59 (6681 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 31, 2002
Posts: 1207

Re: [boadman] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

boadman, was the the fabric or the stainless sheath? Whichever, perhaps there was an interim method between that I wasn't aware of. Did your 5/hour rate start from sub-assemblies or did it include cutting cable, swaging, brazing and all the other crap that you have to do to before finally assembly.

Whatever, I'm glad Fixe had taken them on so we don't have to worry about that any more. Let's hope they can get them to the market at a price climbers will pay.


boadman


Aug 10, 2011, 3:03 PM
Post #34 of 59 (6668 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 6, 2003
Posts: 726

Re: [maldaly] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The 5/hour was with all the sub-assemblies completed (cables brazed, trigger sheathes assembled). We had to cut and crimp our own trigger wires and assemble all the pieces. Dave would do the final swage on the thumb loop and inspect all the cams himself when I was there. The fabric was just slipped over the stainless sheath, which was crimped to the trigger bars with a copper ring.

Do you know if Totem is buying their "Basic Cams" alien clones from Fixe or are they making them themselves?


maldaly


Aug 10, 2011, 3:07 PM
Post #35 of 59 (6663 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 31, 2002
Posts: 1207

Re: [boadman] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

boadman, so what's your guess for assembly time including doing the subs?

I think the Totem Basics (I'm going to call them Totailiens) are different units. Can't wait t see them.


boadman


Aug 10, 2011, 3:18 PM
Post #36 of 59 (6657 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 6, 2003
Posts: 726

Re: [maldaly] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

So, there were some serious inefficiencies when I was there. For instance, the nuts on the ends of the axles were stock stainless nuts that were turned down by hand on a lathe to make them circular.

But, I think that about 15 minutes for the axles, nuts, cable termination, and springs per cam is probably pretty close on average. Maybe another 10 for the trigger sleeve assembly. 10 minutes to braze the cables (if you don't want them to fail). Then 10 more minutes to assemble the whole unit. Probably 45 minutes total if he was up and running.

A good manufacturing engineer could probably set up a process where the majority of the parts were produced in largish batches much faster though. I showed mine to a friend who used to design assembly lines and he thought he could get it down to 10 minutes/unit. But I don't think that the numbers involved in climbing gear manufacturing would ever make that cost effective.

There's no reason that the trigger assembly couldn't be changed to something similar to the mastercams though, which seems like it would be a lot quicker. I was sort of surprised that totem didn't simplify that part of the units.


curt


Aug 10, 2011, 9:28 PM
Post #37 of 59 (6596 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Posts: 18230

Re: [acorneau] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

acorneau wrote:
The guidelines David Wagoneer, inventor of the Aliens, left his widow before she died were clear: the company to continue with making the aliens would have to be of medium size, would have to continue with the name, the same philosophy and he performed precise manufacturing, including machinery and raw materials...

...Wagoneer (said?) that he wanted to continue making exact replicas and perform the same level of reliability and good work he performed...

Well, that doesn't exactly bode well, does it?

Curt


mattm


Aug 11, 2011, 9:14 AM
Post #38 of 59 (6513 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 20, 2003
Posts: 640

Re: [maldaly] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Based on the cost of production pricing Mal quotes, the Totem Basic pricing seems to jive since they're doing a direct distribution system. While there are some hurdles to the direct sales model, I think Totem is starting to get some traction with climbers. Reviews were slow in coming and had the usual skepticism about radical new gear but now people seem to be catching on. Mainstream? Doubtful right now but, getting more exposure each day. Totem shouldn't have nearly the same issues with their alien since it's a known design. So long as it's built well (and given what I've seen with their Totems it will be FAR better) it will sell well.

I'd be curious if Fixe is doing their production in house or they are using a sub-contractor from Eastern Europe as they do with their iconic hanger. (Raveltik)

I think Jim has mentioned how much "cross production" occurs with companies in the EU. DMM making stuff for WC and Mammut, Beal making ropes for DMM. Singing Rock is "THE" webbing expert over there etc etc.


Khoi


Aug 21, 2011, 1:58 PM
Post #39 of 59 (6263 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 10, 2008
Posts: 292

Re: Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (3 ratings)  
Can't Post

HOLY SHIT!!!

I think I may be the first person in North America to be in possession of a Totem Basic Hyrid Cam!

Towards the end of July I placed an order for a third complete set of Totem cams. The box arrived the first week of August.

It wasn't until today while putting away my climbing gear until next year (I severely injured both my wrists so my climbing season is done for the year Frown) that I noticed a cable coated in tranparent yellow plastic at the bottom of the box.

IT'S A 0.85HY BASIC CAM!!!

Here's some pics:











I guess I should get in touch with Totem MT and see what they want me to do with it.


mattm


Aug 21, 2011, 2:10 PM
Post #40 of 59 (6249 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 20, 2003
Posts: 640

Re: [Khoi] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Khoi wrote:

I guess I should get in touch with Totem MT and see what they want me to do with it.

Totem called - They said you should send them to me!

Wink


JAB


Aug 22, 2011, 12:33 PM
Post #41 of 59 (6160 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 26, 2007
Posts: 373

Re: [Khoi] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

You should go out and take some huge whippers on it! You don't need good feet for that. Angelic


qwert


Aug 24, 2011, 12:50 AM
Post #42 of 59 (6083 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 24, 2004
Posts: 2394

Re: [Khoi] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Khoi wrote:
HOLY SHIT!!!

I think I may be the first person in North America to be in possession of a Totem Basic Hyrid Cam!

Towards the end of July I placed an order for a third complete set of Totem cams. The box arrived the first week of August.

It wasn't until today while putting away my climbing gear until next year (I severely injured both my wrists so my climbing season is done for the year Frown) that I noticed a cable coated in tranparent yellow plastic at the bottom of the box.

IT'S A 0.85HY BASIC CAM!!!

Here's some pics:

[IMG]http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s230/SummitWind/Totem%20Basic%20Cam/CIMG1560-1.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s230/SummitWind/Totem%20Basic%20Cam/CIMG1564-1.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s230/SummitWind/Totem%20Basic%20Cam/CIMG1565.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s230/SummitWind/Totem%20Basic%20Cam/CIMG1567-1.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s230/SummitWind/Totem%20Basic%20Cam/CIMG1570.jpg[/IMG]

I guess I should get in touch with Totem MT and see what they want me to do with it.
Is it just me, or do the totem basics look much more "unfinished" than the other totem cams? When i got my totem, everything on it screamed high end, just as it seemed in the pictures, whereas those do look like they came out of an ukraininian post cold war workshop …
Seems like they are true to the original…

qwert


Khoi


Aug 24, 2011, 9:09 PM
Post #43 of 59 (5955 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 10, 2008
Posts: 292

Re: [qwert] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

qwert wrote:
Khoi wrote:
HOLY SHIT!!!

I think I may be the first person in North America to be in possession of a Totem Basic Hybrid Cam!

Towards the end of July I placed an order for a third complete set of Totem cams. The box arrived the first week of August.

It wasn't until today while putting away my climbing gear until next year (I severely injured both my wrists so my climbing season is done for the year Frown) that I noticed a cable coated in transparent yellow plastic at the bottom of the box.

IT'S A 0.85HY BASIC CAM!!!

Here's some pics:

[IMG]http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s230/SummitWind/Totem%20Basic%20Cam/CIMG1560-1.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s230/SummitWind/Totem%20Basic%20Cam/CIMG1564-1.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s230/SummitWind/Totem%20Basic%20Cam/CIMG1565.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s230/SummitWind/Totem%20Basic%20Cam/CIMG1567-1.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s230/SummitWind/Totem%20Basic%20Cam/CIMG1570.jpg[/IMG]

I guess I should get in touch with Totem MT and see what they want me to do with it.
Is it just me, or do the totem basics look much more "unfinished" than the other totem cams? When i got my totem, everything on it screamed high end, just as it seemed in the pictures, whereas those do look like they came out of an ukraininian post cold war workshop …
Seems like they are true to the original…

qwert

The Basic cams are modeled after cams made in a Wyoming shack. How nice do you expect them to look? How nice do you want them to look?

The guys at Totem have told me that the cam is a thank you present for my support! Smile

Thanks guys!


shockabuku


Nov 14, 2011, 9:14 PM
Post #44 of 59 (5329 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 20, 2006
Posts: 4860

Re: [Khoi] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Looks like Fixe is getting ready to release theirs.

http://www.techrock.es/index.php?mmod=shoptr03


mattm


Nov 15, 2011, 11:51 AM
Post #45 of 59 (5228 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 20, 2003
Posts: 640

Re: [shockabuku] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

shockabuku wrote:
Looks like Fixe is getting ready to release theirs.

http://www.techrock.es/index.php?mmod=shoptr03


Already out. Spotted at Rock and Snow for $80ea. See thread on MP somewhere...


USnavy


Nov 15, 2011, 12:17 PM
Post #46 of 59 (5210 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 5, 2007
Posts: 2661

Re: [mattm] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

mattm wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
Looks like Fixe is getting ready to release theirs.

http://www.techrock.es/index.php?mmod=shoptr03


Already out. Spotted at Rock and Snow for $80ea. See thread on MP somewhere...
There are everywhere in Spain. I saw a shop that had them for sale today and two shops that had them for sale the other day. Fixe downgraded their strength ratings to a much more accurate and realistic 10 kN for the grey and 6 kN for the blue. I dident see the ratings on the other colors though.
But at 75 euros a cam, I am going to say F that.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Nov 15, 2011, 12:20 PM)


shockabuku


Nov 15, 2011, 12:37 PM
Post #47 of 59 (5192 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 20, 2006
Posts: 4860

Re: [USnavy] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

USnavy wrote:
mattm wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
Looks like Fixe is getting ready to release theirs.

http://www.techrock.es/index.php?mmod=shoptr03


Already out. Spotted at Rock and Snow for $80ea. See thread on MP somewhere...
There are everywhere in Spain. I saw a shop that had them for sale today and two shops that had them for sale the other day. Fixe downgraded their strength ratings to a much more accurate and realistic 10 kN for the grey and 6 kN for the blue. I dident see the ratings on the other colors though.
But at 75 euros a cam, I am going to say F that.

Interesting. Their website lists the blue at 11kN and the black at 9kN which does seem pretty high.


USnavy


Nov 15, 2011, 2:38 PM
Post #48 of 59 (5151 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 5, 2007
Posts: 2661

Re: [shockabuku] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

shockabuku wrote:
USnavy wrote:
mattm wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
Looks like Fixe is getting ready to release theirs.

http://www.techrock.es/index.php?mmod=shoptr03


Already out. Spotted at Rock and Snow for $80ea. See thread on MP somewhere...
There are everywhere in Spain. I saw a shop that had them for sale today and two shops that had them for sale the other day. Fixe downgraded their strength ratings to a much more accurate and realistic 10 kN for the grey and 6 kN for the blue. I dident see the ratings on the other colors though.
But at 75 euros a cam, I am going to say F that.

Interesting. Their website lists the blue at 11kN and the black at 9kN which does seem pretty high.
Yep, I saw that too. But today I saw a blue Alien with a stamp on the swage "6 kN". It was clear as day. The grey said 10 kN.


USnavy


Nov 15, 2011, 2:44 PM
Post #49 of 59 (5147 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 5, 2007
Posts: 2661

Post deleted by USnavy [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  

 


rhyang


Nov 15, 2011, 3:24 PM
Post #50 of 59 (5125 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 10, 2004
Posts: 140

Re: [USnavy] Aliens, by Fixe-Faders [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Nope, it's $59.95 USD. Bought a yellow not too long ago. Shipped from Portland, OR to CA.

First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Information : Gear Heads

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$134.99 (10% off)
$2.25 (10% off)
$3.15 (10% off)
$13.46 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook