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Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul
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Syd


May 17, 2013, 1:50 AM
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Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul
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The Edelrid mega jul seemed great on my initial testing but on a rap today it locked up and wouldn't release. By moving the release biner up and down (in every way I could think of, slow, fast, side to side ), I made it release in big jerks. It took forever to make it to the ground.

I was grateful I'd used my ATC on a much longer rap I did earlier in the day. We avoided using the mega jul for belaying today.

I suspect the problem may be the biner I was using. It had an "I beam" profile. I'd previously tested it on a biner with a smooth, more rounded cross section. Edelrid gives no warnings about which biners to use.

More testing in the backyard tomorrow.


qwert


May 17, 2013, 2:25 AM
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I had the same issue when i rapped with mine a few days ago. Took me a lot of time and swearing to get down.

Lifting it up with the thumb loop was easier to get it unlicked, however it almost totally unlocked and then totally locked when i tried to go slower, putting a lot of strain on the rope and anchor.

I did use it with a round stock biner, but also with a very very fuzzy rope…

Used in reverse, like a normal tube it worked well.

But i still have to play around with it a bit more, before i totally dismiss it.

qwert


Syd


May 17, 2013, 2:59 AM
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Re: [qwert] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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Thanks qwert. Good to know it's not just me.

My initial tests were actually with an older fuzzy rope. We used a slinky new one today. Both well under the 10.5 mm max spec for the mega jul.


Partner rgold


May 17, 2013, 8:14 AM
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Re: [Syd] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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From everything I've heard and can tell, the Climbing Technology Alpine Up is superior, most especially for half ropes. I think it well worth the extra weight and price.

None of the other devices allow slack to be pumped to the leader as easily without grabbing, there is a way to rig the Up that provides smooth rappelling with solid autolocking if the the climber lets go, and the lever for determining the speed of rappelling and lowering is built-in.

I don't think any of the assisted locking devices, Up included, do well with thicker or fuzzier ropes, and performance does seem to depend in various subtle ways on the carabiner used. (Climbing Technology forces you to buy a carabiner with the Up, which solves the problem of finding the optimal biner but of course raises the already high price.)

Recently, the integrity of the Mega Jul has come into question, with two posted images of identical breakages of the wire keeper loop (which also serves to release the locking action).





I wouldn't buy a Mega Jul until it seems clear that Edelrid has fixed this problem.

By contrast, the Up and the Mammut Alpine Smart are absolute tanks.


theguy


May 17, 2013, 9:06 AM
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Re: [rgold] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
From everything I've heard and can tell, the Climbing Technology Alpine Up is superior

Have you used this? I have the Click-Up, which appears to be a similar mechanism for sport belaying, and it's anything but smooth with largish ropes.


Partner rgold


May 17, 2013, 9:12 AM
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Re: [theguy] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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Yes, I've used it quite a lot, and know a number of other people who have adopted it and are very enthusiastic about its performance.

The size of the rope is an issue for all these devices, with "largish" being bad. I rather doubt the Alpine Up is any good for belay handling with single ropes bigger than about 10mm, and I'd wonder about its rappel performance with two ropes that size.

I'm using it with 8.5 mm half ropes, so my comments should be taken in that context.


bearbreeder


May 17, 2013, 9:34 AM
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the smart works just fine with the RIGHT 10mm rope and the RIGHT biner ...

i suspect ALL these devices are very rope and biner specific for best use ... for the alpine smart you want a VERY wide radius biner, and a supple rope

alot of it also has to do with a learning curve in using it, like any other device

the alpine smart and the petzl william (proper biner) are heavier of course ... but they are so bomber you can beat that that bear that chases you for yr climbing snacks with it

Wink


Syd


May 17, 2013, 6:34 PM
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Some more testing in the backyard today. The problem is a sudden load plus the weight in the rope tails causing excessive lockup that can't be released smoothly. I testing half a dozen different biners and all except one had the problem. The good biner had a rounded triangular cross section. It was smooth no matter what I did. Others would lockup, then have a sudden release, causing another hard lockup.

My conclusion is that I definitely wouldn't use it for long raps. For a typical sport route, inspection/cleaning, with the RIGHT biner, it's great.

These problems only seem to apply for rapping. For belaying, especially on double ropes, it's fantastic.

Overall, the concept of a cheap, super light, all round device is great but it needs more development. It probably should be sold with a biner that is suitable for the device.


rsmillbern


May 18, 2013, 8:21 AM
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Re: [rgold] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
Yes, I've used it quite a lot, and know a number of other people who have adopted it and are very enthusiastic about its performance.

The size of the rope is an issue for all these devices, with "largish" being bad. I rather doubt the Alpine Up is any good for belay handling with single ropes bigger than about 10mm, and I'd wonder about its rappel performance with two ropes that size.

I'm using it with 8.5 mm half ropes, so my comments should be taken in that context.

In my opinion the Alpine Up is only good with single ropes 9.8 (max!) and smaller. I use one with 8.5 half ropes as well and am happy. But some 9.8s are even too big for it.

The Click Up (a friend has one) works well up to 10.


Syd


May 22, 2013, 2:29 PM
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I've written to Edelrid about the Mega Juls problems but they haven't bothered to reply.
More discussion here: http://www.mountainproject.com/scripts/EditObject.php?id=108052298&action=add&type=MESSAGE

Perhaps Edelrid is waiting for a serious accident using their device before taking action ?


walkonyourhands


May 22, 2013, 3:48 PM
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Re: [Syd] Caution - Edelrid Mega Jul [In reply to]
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Syd wrote:
I've written to Edelrid about the Mega Juls problems but they haven't bothered to reply.
More discussion here: http://www.mountainproject.com/scripts/EditObject.php?id=108052298&action=add&type=MESSAGE

Perhaps Edelrid is waiting for a serious accident using their device before taking action ?

From what I've heard, they're redesigning it, but I really don't know what parts exactly.


qwert


May 23, 2013, 12:48 AM
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Syd wrote:
Perhaps Edelrid is waiting for a serious accident using their device before taking action ?
What serious accident is likely to happen?

As of now, it definitely needs a redesign, and i would advise against buying this version, but i dont really see a safety issue. Or am i missing something?

qwert


Syd


May 23, 2013, 1:45 AM
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Harness hang syndrome can occur with some people in 10 minutes. My wife took 10 minutes on a 12m rap with the mega jul, because she couldn't get the thing to release. Getting stuck on a long rap could be a nightmare.


billl7


May 23, 2013, 5:46 AM
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Syd wrote:
Harness hang syndrome can occur with some people in 10 minutes. My wife took 10 minutes on a 12m rap with the mega jul, because she couldn't get the thing to release. Getting stuck on a long rap could be a nightmare.
Not being able to go down shouldn't lead to a serious accident. We all should be able to deal with something jamming in a rap device (e.g., a piece of clothing).

At the same time, most of us quickly learn to avoid getting things near the rap device that could cause it to jam. It's not so swift when the device itself can be the source of the problem.

Bill L

Disclaimer: I have no experience with the Mega Jul.


billl7


May 23, 2013, 5:48 AM
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.... and my armchair understanding of harness hang syndrome is that a necessary condition for it to develop is unconsciousness.


Syd


May 23, 2013, 4:33 PM
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billl7 wrote:
We all should be able to deal with something jamming in a rap device (e.g., a piece of clothing).

It's a bit different when the thing jamming and refusing to unlock, is the biner ! (You may not have read the whole thread).
On my last rap with the thing, I did contemplate trying to switch over to my ATC mid rap.


Syd


May 23, 2013, 4:35 PM
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billl7 wrote:
.... and my armchair understanding of harness hang syndrome is that a necessary condition for it to develop is unconsciousness.

That is the final result of HHS.

I used to feel exceptionally uncomfortable in my last harness after hanging for quite short periods. I think it was the waist band rising up and compressing my ribs and diaphragm. No problems with my current one.


billl7


May 23, 2013, 4:46 PM
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Syd wrote:
It's a bit different when the thing jamming and refusing to unlock, is the biner ! (You may not have read the whole thread).
On my last rap with the thing, I did contemplate trying to switch over to my ATC mid rap.
I still think we all should be able to deal with it. First step is to rig things to get your weight hanging from the rope section above the rap device. I typically carry prusik cords that help me with that.


billl7


May 23, 2013, 4:56 PM
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Syd wrote:
billl7 wrote:
.... and my armchair understanding of harness hang syndrome is that a necessary condition for it to develop is unconsciousness.

That is the final result of HHS.

I used to feel exceptionally uncomfortable in my last harness after hanging for quite short periods. I think it was the waist band rising up and compressing my ribs and diaphragm. No problems with my current one.

Sounds good to get rid of a harness that is that uncomfortable.

I've hung in my harness for an hour at a hanging belay. It isn't fun. But I never felt like I was dangeriously close to HHS.

Dont' get me wrong. I'm greatful for this thread. I do think it's a problem if a rap device can jam all by itself and require the user to unload it in order to get unstuck.


moose_droppings


May 23, 2013, 5:16 PM
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As long as your able to move your legs around , HHS isn't going to set in.


Syd


May 23, 2013, 9:46 PM
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moose_droppings wrote:
As long as your able to move your legs around , HHS isn't going to set in.

Yes, as long as you remember to keep squirming while trying to get your mega jul to unlock. It seems that constant movement is needed otherwise "The FFS testing showed that HHS symptoms appeared in no more than 10 minutes with healthy subjects." and "...one fellow lost consciousness in 3.5 minutes. "

http://www.outdoorswa.org/files/Harness%20Hang%20Syndrome.pdf


qwert


May 24, 2013, 12:54 AM
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Syd wrote:
Harness hang syndrome can occur with some people in 10 minutes. My wife took 10 minutes on a 12m rap with the mega jul, because she couldn't get the thing to release. Getting stuck on a long rap could be a nightmare.
OK, that sucks, but i deem it a bit far fetched to use this as "a serious accident using [edelrids] device".
After all, the fact that the device locks up is the expected behaviour of the device, and it is the users responsibility to familiarize his/herself with the device in a controlled setting, where you either have help around, or just turn the device around mid rap or switch to ascending, for witch the locking of the device should be beneficial.

I played around with mine some more, and here is what i found:

The rope size ratings in the upper end suck. Its rated to 10.5mm max, but i had no problems rapping on an 11mm rope, however i turned the device around beforehand!

My first rap was on a single 9.8mm with lots of fuzz, and that was a nightmare. the same 9.8 doubled was bearable, but still not recommended, because the biner method still is utterly jerky. It helps to pull the rope up with your brakehand, and feed it in from above, but since that is a pain in the ass and violates the brake hand below principle, I wouldnt recommend it. Also its still jerky since you are likely to be going to fast and then when trying to slow down lock it up hard.
Its no problem for a short rappel on a sport route, but for multipitch the added time and the possible strain on the anchor could be a big issue.
Using the yellow plastic "lever" is a bit better. While the biner method just rocks the device sideways - which doesnt help much - the lever method lifts the device up, unlocking it. But that also has issues: Again, you easily go to fast and when trying to slow down, you lock it up. Also the fact that you have to pull up in a rather uncomfortable position puts a lot of strain on your hand. I wouldnt want to have to do that after a hard climb when i am totally pumped. And after an easy climb you still have the option to get a good pump from the route…
But with a new 9.8mm rope i did manage to get a smooth rappel going for about 4 meters!

Belaying is less problematic.

The device does not like fuzzy ropes. At all.

But with non fuzzy, it worked great and locked up perfectly. However it also locks up when you have a slight pull on the rope you are trying to feed in because it has some tangles or something. If you have your rope stacked on a rope tarp i see no issues, but at a hanging belay, where you constantly shift around your rope it does suck.

And then there is the issue of scratching the biner. When i first read that on MP i though its just another case of "ohmygawd!!!!11! i scratched my gear!!11!!" but it is definitely more than that. Not a safety issue, but especially rapping with a biner puts very deep groves in the biner, due to the rocking of the device.

The should just make it out of aluminium, or extend the plastic lever into a full plastic cover as found on the single rope jul.

qwert


Syd


May 24, 2013, 1:33 AM
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qwert wrote:

After all, the fact that the device locks up is the expected behaviour of the device, and it is the users responsibility to familiarize his/herself with the device in a controlled setting, ...

You are missing the point. Testing WAS done in our back yard, without realising that some biners cause a repeated savage lock on raps. Fuzzy vs new ropes made no difference.

Full testing should have been done by Edelrid before releasing the device.


billl7


May 24, 2013, 5:56 AM
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Syd wrote:
"The FFS testing showed that HHS symptoms appeared in no more than 10 minutes with healthy subjects." and "...one fellow lost consciousness in 3.5 minutes. "

http://www.outdoorswa.org/...0Hang%20Syndrome.pdf

Just to continue keeping the information up front, these tests involved the person deliberately hanging immobile while conscious. The practical context is exhaustion or being knocked unconscious by some other mechanism.

Bill L

Edit:

Syd wrote:
... as long as you remember to keep squirming ....

Of the times I have spent hanging in a harness for long periods, 'remembering' to squirm was not a problem. For me, the uncomfortableness of it demands movement.


(This post was edited by billl7 on May 24, 2013, 5:59 AM)


Partner rgold


May 24, 2013, 8:38 AM
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One of the problems with the gear industry, in my opinion, is that a majority of belay devices come with a recommended range of rope sizes that is unrealistic at both ends, with poor to unacceptable handling at the large diameter end and inadequate friction at the small diameter end.

The truth of the matter is if you have ropes of substantially different diameters, you will need different belay devices for them. I don't believe there is anything that is genuinely adequate for, say 8mm doubles and 10mm singles. You'll either compromise decent handling or severe-fall holding power.

My suspicion is that all three of the current crop of "alpine" assisted locking devices (the Mega Jul, the Alpine Smart, and the Alpine Up) were designed primarily to work with thin twin ropes, which are far more popular in Europe than in the U.S. and U.K., and the further you get from those sizes the more trouble you'll have with handling.

I had initially given up on rappelling on a pair of 8.5mm ropes with my Alpine Up in assisted locking mode, and just used it in its ATC mode for rappels. But Climbing Technology supplied an addendum to their user manual that describes rigging with an additional carabiner that miraculously makes assisted-lock rappelling smooth and easy to control, providing by far the best autolocking rappel system I know of. Still, I doubt it would work without jamming problems if you went to much bigger than 8.5mm ropes.


bearbreeder


May 24, 2013, 9:00 AM
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the alpine smart has 2 types ... one for twins/doubles ... the other for singles

the alpine smart works fine on the RIGHT 10.2 mm rope ... even when it gets thick and fuzzy with use ... as long as you also have the RIGHT biner

alot of it also has to do with practice and relearning how you rap/belay ... while the smart is more intuitive for belaying than say a gri gri ... it requires a bit of getting use to for rap belaying and leading

the trick is to use a supple and soft handling rope (tendon, beal, etc) or a thinner one ... and use a petzl william/DMM boa biner

like below ... Wink




qwert


May 24, 2013, 9:06 AM
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Syd wrote:
Testing WAS done in our back yard,
Great, so you found out in a controlled environment, and know what to expect (or rather what to avoid) before commiting to a large rappel.

In reply to:
without realising that some biners cause a repeated savage lock on raps. Fuzzy vs new ropes made no difference.

Full testing should have been done by Edelrid before releasing the device.
I just checked the supplied manual, and it says the following:
edelrid wrote:
who is not descending (e. g. by means of a knot).
11.Abseiling:
For abseiling we recommend to turn the securing device around so that
the thumb bracket points to the body (Fig. 11a). Additionally, use a Prusik
sling for back securing.
The rope can also be inserted in the securing device as described under
item 3 (securing a lead climber) (Fig. 11b/11c). For abseiling, the securing
device may be unlocked by means of a karabiner attached to the unlocking
eye. The unlocking eye is optimally adapted to the EDELRID Pure
Karabiner. If an unfavourable combination of karabiner, securing device
and rope is employed, the rope‘s run may either be inhibited or too fast.
Check the compatibility of the combination, using it in a safe environment.
They do recommend to generally not use the locking mode for rappeling, and warn that it might be too fast or be "inhibited".

So - not a bug - works as designed…

To design an autolocker in such a way that you have to recommend against using it in autolocking mode for rappeling on the other hand… Crazy

qwert


qwert


May 24, 2013, 9:11 AM
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rgold wrote:
My suspicion is that all three of the current crop of "alpine" assisted locking devices (the Mega Jul, the Alpine Smart, and the Alpine Up) were designed primarily to work with thin twin ropes, which are far more popular in Europe than in the U.S. and U.K., and the further you get from those sizes the more trouble you'll have with handling.
Doesn't the smart have two versions for different rope sizes?
The mega jul also has a little brother, the micro jul, which is only rated for singles under 8.9mm (which rules out most single ropes!), doubles between 8 and 7.8mm and twins from 7.8 to edelrids new 6.9 twin, which you can only buy with the device included!

qwert


Partner rgold


May 24, 2013, 9:21 AM
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qwert wrote:
Doesn't the smart have two versions for different rope sizes?

It does. And I suspect the ranges on both are "optimistic" in the sense I described.

There is another interesting feature of these ratings as they apply specifically to half ropes. The half-rope ratings usually allow for diameters smaller than single ropes. But when half ropes are used as intended, falls are typically caught on only one strand, and that strand can easily be smaller than the lowest-rated single rope diameter. This suggests that a number of devices aren't really adequate for holding severe half-rope belayed falls even though the half ropes are within the manufacturer's recommended range.


Syd


May 24, 2013, 2:59 PM
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"If an unfavourable combination of karabiner, securing device
and rope is employed, the rope‘s run may either be inhibited or too fast.
Check the compatibility of the combination, using it in a safe environment."

They have got to be kidding. How many people here would do their own testing for all their ropes, all their biners and all their belay/rap devices, before using them on a crag ? Next manuafacturers will be asking us to test their harnesses before we use them on crags ... that would have stopped the fellow losing his approach shoes when the gear loop on his Edelrid harness broke http://www.mountainproject.com/v/edelrid-mega-jul/108052298


moose_droppings


May 24, 2013, 5:57 PM
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Syd wrote:
"If an unfavourable combination of karabiner, securing device
and rope is employed, the rope‘s run may either be inhibited or too fast.
Check the compatibility of the combination, using it in a safe environment."

They have got to be kidding. How many people here would do their own testing for all their ropes, all their biners and all their belay/rap devices, before using them on a crag ? Next manuafacturers will be asking us to test their harnesses before we use them on crags ... that would have stopped the fellow losing his approach shoes when the gear loop on his Edelrid harness broke http://www.mountainproject.com/v/edelrid-mega-jul/108052298

I'd definitely check out what works best with a new rap/belay device before taking out on a climb just to avoid something like this;
Syd wrote:
My wife took 10 minutes on a 12m rap with the mega jul, because she couldn't get the thing to release. Getting stuck on a long rap could be a nightmare.
or having almost no friction on a free hanging rap.

I also hang in a harness before I buy it.


Syd


May 24, 2013, 8:21 PM
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moose_droppings wrote:

I'd definitely check out what works best with a new rap/belay device before taking out on a climb just to avoid something like this;
.

So did we ! Unfortunately we did no check all possible combinations of all our ropes, and all our biners. The combination we checked first worked fantastically well ... we were fooled !

Do you test the strength of your harness before using it ? Do you test under what circumstance trad gear will fail ? No. We trust that the manufacturer has carried out sufficient testing. Where there are dangers or limitations, there should be clear warnings, not fine print hidden in the instructions.


moose_droppings


May 24, 2013, 10:40 PM
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Syd wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:

I'd definitely check out what works best with a new rap/belay device before taking out on a climb just to avoid something like this;
.

So did we ! Unfortunately we did no check all possible combinations of all our ropes, and all our biners. The combination we checked first worked fantastically well ... we were fooled !

Do you test the strength of your harness before using it ? Do you test under what circumstance trad gear will fail ? No. We trust that the manufacturer has carried out sufficient testing. Where there are dangers or limitations, there should be clear warnings, not fine print hidden in the instructions.


That would be expecting a lot from the gear maker to give you an all inclusive list of all the possibilities your suggesting (persons weight, rope and condition, biner). Better to take what they give as a limited range suggestion and go from there. I tend to take all manufacturers information/warnings with a critical eye.

Of course I don't test the strength of a harness, the chance of failure there isn't at issue. I'm not losing any sleep over testing my pro either, but I do inspect the condition of all my gear the best I can frequently.

With a new belay device, couple of ropes in service at a time, a couple belay biners, doesn't take much time to find a combo with a good range.


bearbreeder


May 24, 2013, 11:50 PM
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Syd wrote:
We trust that the manufacturer has carried out sufficient testing. Where there are dangers or limitations, there should be clear warnings, not fine print hidden in the instructions.

youd be amazed at the number of climbers who said the alpine smart "sucks" for belaying rapping ... but who changed their mind after i showed them what biner and ropes to use ... and how to do it properly

in fact youd be amazed at the number of people who dont know how to rap smoothly on an ATC guide on a thick and fuzzy rope who i had to correct

Wink


qwert


May 25, 2013, 1:33 AM
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Syd wrote:
We trust that the manufacturer has carried out sufficient testing. Where there are dangers or limitations, there should be clear warnings, not fine print hidden in the instructions.
While this might sound as I am defending edelrid at all cost, i can not let this stand here uncommented.

It is not hidden in the fine print, it is just a part of the instructions like everything else. And its the responsibility of the user to read those (or not).

The only things shown outside of the instrucitons, on the packaging, is belaying a leader and belaying a follower. No rappeling at all. The video linked with the QR code however does show rappeling, but as first choice it shows the classic tube mode with a prusik. And at the end of the video it clearly says "read the instructions".

And in the instructions, it says that some combinations can cause problems.

So it all boils down to the question: What behaviour is within parameters and to be expected, and what is not?

I did not expect that it would be that bad, but I did expect that I do have to do some testing to find out what works and what does not. To me it was obvious that an autolocking device that is also meant to be used with thin halves is going to be at least "difficult" with fat and/or fuzzy singles. And as disucssed in this thread it indeed is. However if i use it in classic tube mode, it works perfectly.

Maybe a difference between cultures? I, as a german, deem the american labelling madness utterly ridiculous. If I buy a coffee i expect it to be hot. Its friggin coffee! I see the fact that the cup has a label that tells me "warning! hot!" as an insult of my intelligence. Its the same with all the "climbing is dangerous!" labels on a lot of gear. I know that, dont need to tell me. If the gear is something that is not 100% known to me, I will consult the manual and the internet. But that will lead to a meta discussion that has nothing to do with the device at hand…

qwert


(This post was edited by qwert on May 25, 2013, 3:12 AM)


Syd


May 25, 2013, 3:51 AM
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qwert wrote:
... is going to be at least "difficult" with fat and/or fuzzy singles.

I'd call a 1 metre per minute rap on a slick new rope a tad worse than "difficult".


JimTitt


May 25, 2013, 8:17 AM
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qwert wrote:
Syd wrote:
We trust that the manufacturer has carried out sufficient testing. Where there are dangers or limitations, there should be clear warnings, not fine print hidden in the instructions.
While this might sound as I am defending edelrid at all cost, i can not let this stand here uncommented.

It is not hidden in the fine print, it is just a part of the instructions like everything else. And its the responsibility of the user to read those (or not).

The only things shown outside of the instrucitons, on the packaging, is belaying a leader and belaying a follower. No rappeling at all. The video linked with the QR code however does show rappeling, but as first choice it shows the classic tube mode with a prusik. And at the end of the video it clearly says "read the instructions".

And in the instructions, it says that some combinations can cause problems.

So it all boils down to the question: What behaviour is within parameters and to be expected, and what is not?

I did not expect that it would be that bad, but I did expect that I do have to do some testing to find out what works and what does not. To me it was obvious that an autolocking device that is also meant to be used with thin halves is going to be at least "difficult" with fat and/or fuzzy singles. And as disucssed in this thread it indeed is. However if i use it in classic tube mode, it works perfectly.

Maybe a difference between cultures? I, as a german, deem the american labelling madness utterly ridiculous. If I buy a coffee i expect it to be hot. Its friggin coffee! I see the fact that the cup has a label that tells me "warning! hot!" as an insult of my intelligence. Its the same with all the "climbing is dangerous!" labels on a lot of gear. I know that, dont need to tell me. If the gear is something that is not 100% known to me, I will consult the manual and the internet. But that will lead to a meta discussion that has nothing to do with the device at hand…

qwert

While to a point you are right Syd is also right albeit perhaps a bit optimistic. Nobody has yet made a belay plate that copes with every rope though some have come close, a lot closer than Edelrid for sure. But the customer has every right when a device is marketed as versatile that it works with his karabiner and his rope.

The praise heaped on the MegaJul when it was announced wasn´t particularly suprising since this is usual with anything new but slowly reality reurns and a more objective view appears.

Manufacturers test as much as reasonable, obviously some more than others. The device I designed for DMM was tested for two years in the field without any problems occuring and was in production when one of the testers was abseiling with a particular brand of ice lines and more weight than normal as it was winter. We subsequently found 3 brands of ropes under 8.2mm which gave problems and since a device jamming under abseiling winter conditions could be a danger we dropped the product.

To achieve what was claimed initially by some reviewers with an assisted braking device like the MegaJul is impossible, by their design they are extremely finicky on rope and karabiner combinations. I know because I´ve made about 50 of the goddam things and the only solution is to go to a way of holding the karabiner off until the device is loaded or make the device adjustable. Petzl hold a patent covering nearly all the reasonable possibilities of doing this and it took Climbing Technology to work out a way around this.

It´s actually a bit of a blind alley in some ways as far as assisted braking goes since the additional force is fairly limited but they are the trendy thing at the moment. The Tre Sirius was a far better concept but probably marketed at the wrong time, as Edelrid hold the rights maybe they will re-engineer and re-launch it though looking at their single rope version I´m not so hopeful it won´t be screwed up somewhere along the line.


Partner robdotcalm


May 25, 2013, 10:22 AM
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Having read this thread with all the complications it describes, I’ll just continue using my Trango Pyramid (an ATC type device), double up my attaching carabiner when using thin ropes and an auto-block when rappelling. . I do mostly easy trad climbs. If I did a lot of sport climbs or indoor climbing, I’d get a Grigri for those types of climbing. Everything written here discourages me from trying any of these new devices.

Rob.calm


Syd


May 25, 2013, 2:19 PM
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Thanks Jim Titt. Great post.

On average it is estimated that 1 in 100 repeated human operations will be in error. I've even been silly enough to arrive at a crag one time and discover I'd forgotten my climbing rope. Most accidents occur when a set of errors and circumstances conspire against someone. I think that it pays to have all equipment as bomber as practical to minimise the chances of accidents. The mega jul should be used with great caution.


Khoi


May 25, 2013, 4:01 PM
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rsmillbern wrote:
The Click Up (a friend has one) works well up to 10.

I've been using the Click-Up for over 2 years now. The gyms that I climb in use Sterling 10.1 Slim Gym ropes. Keep in mind that they are only 10.1mm when they are fresh off of the spool. Being gym ropes, the get heavily abused by a lot of top ropers and hang doggers, so they get fat, fuzzy, and stiff relatively quickly.

I have never had any problems using the Click-Up to top rope belay or lead belay with those ropes, whether they were fresh off the spool, or well-abused.


JimTitt


May 26, 2013, 12:29 AM
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There is a ClickUp in the pipeline for even thicker, furrier ropes, specifically aimed at the gym market.


Syd


May 30, 2013, 1:37 PM
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Edelrid did eventually get back to me: "thank you for your feedback. Core-users like you help us to improve and get better at what we are doing.
I will definitely pass your critizism on to our R&D department. "


norushnomore


Jun 14, 2013, 2:09 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
... The Tre Sirius was a far better concept but probably marketed at the wrong time, as Edelrid hold the rights maybe they will re-engineer and re-launch it though looking at their single rope version I´m not so hopeful it won´t be screwed up somewhere along the line.

Jim, what are your concerns with the zap-o-mat? I have been using it for a couple of years and have no complains (except it wears off belay biners), even got used to rappelling on a single rope (one side)

Really hope they will bring the tre back, two I had are all worn off. May be all former tre fans will write them a note


(This post was edited by norushnomore on Jun 14, 2013, 2:10 AM)


JimTitt


Jun 14, 2013, 2:52 AM
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The launch model we saw appeared somewht on the flimsy side and the whole thing unlikely to be robust enough to survive the treatment that a Grigri can for example, curious since the Eddy is somewhat over-engineered. The production models may well be better but user feedback seems somewhat scarce to put it mildly.
Maybe you write a long-term test report? The concept was always a good one and perhaps if more people accepted the Zap-o-mat a twin-rope version would appear , a name change is where I´d start :-)


Partner rgold


Jun 14, 2013, 12:58 PM
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JimTitt wrote:
It´s actually a bit of a blind alley in some ways as far as assisted braking goes since the additional force is fairly limited...

This is by far the most interesting comment about all these devices I've heard. Could you elaborate a bit? I would think that extra braking force plus, ultimately, some slippage at very high loads because the braking force is "limited" might well be ideal.


JimTitt


Jun 15, 2013, 4:08 AM
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Depends on what one wants or expects from a belay device, or even how you define these things.
A manual device such as an ATC is entirely dependent on the belayers hand force to provide braking which has the advantage that the belayer has the option of what to do, let the rope slide a bit to avoid hitting the rock for example.
With the assisted braking devices there is a certain amount of braking once they are activated which is fairly certainly not enough to stop falls in a useful distance if there is no input from the belayer but the option to remove the devices braking force is not available unless you previously rigged it differently so it is simply a manual device.
Assisted locking devices, once they have been assisted to lock (as their description says) provide all the braking force without any input from the belayer.

The assisted braking devices then sit in a no-mans land being neither fully controlled by the belayer nor independent from the belayer and exactly where they are going to fit into the UIAA categories is questionable since the only define devices as manual or assisted locking.

3.1.1. Manual braking device
Device controlled by hand force applied to the free end of the rope that produces a magnified force in the active rope in a continuous and reversible manner, such that when the force in the free end of the rope is reduced to zero, the force in the active rope becomes negligibly small.

Hard to see how any of the assisted braking devices conform to this.

3.1.2. Locking assisted braking device
Device which acts as a manual braking device at low rope velocities, but at higher
velocities, combined with hand control of the free end of the rope, produces a change in
device geometry or in rope geometry, such that the rope movement slows down until
arrested.

Or this, they will struggle with this one since the proposed test is fairly hard regarding the amount of slip allowed when tested without a braking hand to help.

So while they are an attractive concept especially regarding helping achieve an acceptable braking force for weaker belayers and/or thin ropes they suffer from lack of both complete contollabilty and ultimate braking power which is probably why the huge majority of climbers still use two different types of device to suit the specific circumstances rather than a compromise. Until we get some better data on exactly how much force they provide that is going to be the situation.


bearbreeder


Jun 15, 2013, 8:15 AM
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i use the alpine smart for everything as does everyone i know who has one

its provides some slip just like an ATC ... and requires a break hand

the biggest problem i see with assisted locking devices is the lack of attention paid to the break hand ... people taught with ATCs are VERY conscious of their brakes ... gri gris less so ...

Wink


Syd


Jun 21, 2013, 3:38 AM
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Tested my Mega Jul with a new Metolius Element today. Easily the best. Very smooth and easy rapping with smooth lock off and release.
I suspect the almost circular cross section of the Element is what makes the difference.


Kartessa


Jun 21, 2013, 12:11 PM
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bearbreeder wrote:
i use the alpine smart for everything as does everyone i know who has one

its provides some slip just like an ATC ... and requires a break hand

the biggest problem i see with assisted locking devices is the lack of attention paid to the break hand ... people taught with ATCs are VERY conscious of their brakes ... gri gris less so ...

Wink

Have a biscuit




Syd


Jun 21, 2013, 4:40 PM
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Kartessa wrote:
bearbreeder wrote:
... people taught with ATCs are VERY conscious of their brakes ...

Ever watched people belaying on ATC's in climbing gyms ? I often wonder what happens when they go outdoors belaying. At least with auto lockers their climbing buddies stand half a chance.


bearbreeder


Jun 21, 2013, 8:24 PM
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Syd wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
bearbreeder wrote:
... people taught with ATCs are VERY conscious of their brakes ...

Ever watched people belaying on ATC's in climbing gyms ? I often wonder what happens when they go outdoors belaying. At least with auto lockers their climbing buddies stand half a chance.

My gym is pretty decent ... Maybe yours aint Wink

If anyone is depending on autolockers to make up for a lack of skill ... Yr just asking for it ... As the not infrequent gri gri drop threads prove over and over again

Tongue


Syd


Jun 22, 2013, 4:08 PM
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bearbreeder wrote:
Syd wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
bearbreeder wrote:
... people taught with ATCs are VERY conscious of their brakes ...

Ever watched people belaying on ATC's in climbing gyms ? I often wonder what happens when they go outdoors belaying. At least with auto lockers their climbing buddies stand half a chance.

My gym is pretty decent ... Maybe yours aint Wink

If anyone is depending on autolockers to make up for a lack of skill ... Yr just asking for it ... As the not infrequent gri gri drop threads prove over and over again

Tongue

I did say "half a chance" Bearbreeder. Wink

Good skills give a far better chance.


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