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Re: [adatesman] Mis-centered axle holes in cam lobes
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glytch


May 28, 2009, 9:50 PM
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Re: [adatesman] Mis-centered axle holes in cam lobes
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Wow. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

That's disturbing.


healyje


May 28, 2009, 10:23 PM
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glytch wrote:
That's disturbing.

Yep, or in other words - toss CCH's cam angle completely out the window as it isn't happening unless the axle hole is drilled in the designed location.

We've focused on the brazing in the past as that alone should have been enough to convince folks of the sad reality of their [lack of] manufacturing execution. But that apparently wasn't enough - anyone in denial after reviewing these and other issues such as swaging failures should have their head examined.

Dudes - look at those pictures! Drilling the axle holes in the right place ain't rocket science - if they can't manage something as simple as that do you really want to trust your life to their gear? Would you trust a belayer who got it right some of the time, but in even a small random sample of observing their belaying it turned out they were grossly failing most of the time?

And considering they are failing in multiple modalities: brazing, drilling, swaging, slinging, color coding, and cam lobe assembly - what are the odds of a cam coming out of CCH properly assembled and safe to use? 'But dude, they stick like glue...!' - well yeah, if you're lucky enough to get one of the good ones.


agdavis


May 28, 2009, 10:37 PM
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Re: [adatesman] Mis-centered axle holes in cam lobes [In reply to]
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jeez that's just plain scary. thank you for taking the time to do this!


atlnq9


May 28, 2009, 11:19 PM
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Re: [adatesman] Mis-centered axle holes in cam lobes [In reply to]
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3 out of 15 13 of the aliens are close enough. So what do they do right all of the time? Maybe use the right color coding? Geez!

Edit in bold


(This post was edited by atlnq9 on May 28, 2009, 11:24 PM)


healyje


May 29, 2009, 3:15 PM
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Re: [adatesman] Mis-centered axle holes in cam lobes [In reply to]
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Aric, just shipped out one like-new set of four Alien hybrids (one of my two sets), give'm hell, I'll be curious to see what they pull at and how the axle holes line up (or don't).


giza


May 29, 2009, 4:21 PM
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Healyje, usually your posts are annoying as shit but in this case I really can't argue with your logic. Drilling the axle holes in the correct location shouldn't be a process with variable results like those in the photos.

I was a staunch defender of Aliens despite their previous problems, had all my Alien cams tensile tested by CCH, and then continued to climb on them but am now considering retiring them - at least for free climbing.

I gotta admit though, they place so well and I've put so much faith in them for years it's hard to let them go.


billl7


May 29, 2009, 4:26 PM
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Re: [adatesman] Mis-centered axle holes in cam lobes [In reply to]
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"The topic of mis-centered axle holes is something that's been on my mind a lot lately and it was touched on in the Alien Failure thread"

A historical note (might be something well known):

CCH responded awhile back to some mis-centered axle holes ... back around the same time of the first recall I remember that was due to braze failures. Perhaps that is in the thread that you mentioned. I don't have time to go search right now.

As I recall pretty clearly, they did not try to recall those cams indicating that it was just a range issue. They did say they would replace any that were returned.

Perhaps something worth following up:

In one thread at the time, I and others emphasized that it could definitely be more than a range issue, that it could well affect the cam angle - as you noted - and so ability to hold a fall.

I wonder ...

* whether an analysis of some of these would reveal that more than range is involved;

* whether the dates on these ones are after the date that CCH first acknowledged the mis-aligned axle holes.

Bill L


basilisk


May 29, 2009, 4:31 PM
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....damnit Aric. I just recently started buying aliens to replace my other small cams. I was able to write off RC.com as being overly alarmist. Then your tests had me a little concerned, figured I need to bounce test 'em something serious. This was the cherry to make me properly nervous.

Off to take some pictures....


healyje


May 29, 2009, 4:32 PM
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Re: [giza] Mis-centered axle holes in cam lobes [In reply to]
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giza wrote:
Healyje, usually your posts are annoying as shit...

You're welcome, I'd hate to think I was slipping...

I still have one set of hybrids and only use them for free climbing and it sucks to have retired them with no real replacement yet. But at some point rational people have to accept reality, weigh the obvious risks, and make a judgment call - in this case it's, unfortunately, a no-brainer.

We're lucky folks have only been injured up to now and not killed. I wouldn't have changed my stance on CCH and Aliens if they'd bothered putting in even a modicum of effort (and communication) into addressing the situation anywhere along the way. That it [culturally] just escapes them is sad, but peoples' lives are literally hanging in the balance and a manufacturer like them does no one any favors - not themselves, us as climbers, the sport, or the industry as a whole - it makes us all look wreckless in the eyes of the law, regulators, and the public at large. This sort of thing just invites lawyers and the regulatory-inclined.


(This post was edited by healyje on May 29, 2009, 4:37 PM)


k.l.k


May 29, 2009, 4:40 PM
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healyje wrote:
We're lucky folks have only been injured up to now and not killed. I wouldn't have changed my stance on CCH and Aliens if they'd put even a modicum of effort into resolving the situation anywhere along the way. That it [culturally] just escapes them is sad, but peoples' lives are literally hanging in the balance and a manufacturer like them does no one any favors - not themselves, us as climbers, the sport, or the industry as a whole - it makes us all look wreckless in the eyes of the law, regulators, and the public at large. This sort of thing just invites lawyers and the regulatory-inclined.

Exactly-- that's the only frickin reason I even bother to read these threads. Climbing is so marginal in the US anyway, and folks have beomce so accustomed, in gyms, to getting "licensed" before they're allowed to climb, and so few of them have any outdoor competence--

It's really bad for all of us when a good designer in the industry can't respond to obvious and repeated problems.

I am so frickin' sick of hearing about this frickin stuff.


healyje


May 29, 2009, 4:46 PM
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billl7 wrote:
CCH responded awhile back to some mis-centered axle holes ... they did not try to recall those cams indicating that it was just a range issue.
This was a bald-face lie at the time and they knew it. It is in no way 'just a range issue' misalignment of the axle creates a cam with a variable vs. constant cam angle drastically changing (increasing and / or decreasing) the holding power of the cam. That it does so is another one of those 'not rocket science' sort of cause-and-effect relationships. The whole point of using the cam lobe curve and axle hole location we use in today's designs is to insure a constant cam angle throughout a cam's range - CCH knows that as well as anyone. Misalign the axle and all that immediately goes out the window and you're just plain gambling.


adatesman


May 29, 2009, 5:26 PM
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dudemanbu


May 29, 2009, 5:49 PM
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I would just like to say that I called this like 4 years ago, and also that everyone jumped down my throat to defend CCH.

Told ya so.

That is all.


bill413


May 29, 2009, 7:52 PM
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adatesman wrote:
Sorry to make you doubt your purchases and FWIW I don't think its a bad design, just poor execution. Check the centering of the spiral, get them proof tested and then climb on.
I think that this is something that needs to be brought out more in the debate.

When Aliens are good, they're great. But it's the QC/execution/reliability that's my concern.

They are not a bad design. People love them. When they are good they are great.....it's just...how do we know they are good?

Sigh. I don't feel good about a company that understates the loads its cams will withstand, etc....


shockabuku


May 29, 2009, 8:26 PM
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bill413 wrote:
adatesman wrote:
Sorry to make you doubt your purchases and FWIW I don't think its a bad design, just poor execution. Check the centering of the spiral, get them proof tested and then climb on.
I think that this is something that needs to be brought out more in the debate.

When Aliens are good, they're great. But it's the QC/execution/reliability that's my concern.

They are not a bad design. People love them. When they are good they are great.....it's just...how do we know they are good?

Sigh. I don't feel good about a company that understates the loads its cams will withstand, etc....

Maybe they quote the loads that a properly manufactured and assembled cam will hold.Frown


healyje


May 29, 2009, 8:34 PM
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bill413 wrote:
People love them.

I understand, really I do. I also love the climb I've been working on for the past two years - but one wrong move on a climb as serious as it and I'll be dead in a heartbeat. Both are a matter of acknowledging reality and working with the cards you've been dealt; working with what is in your control and minimizing the risk of those things which are not. The manufacturing execution of Aliens is not something we control; how, and if, we use them on the other hand is.


rschap


May 29, 2009, 10:30 PM
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Not to say the center point isnít off but you really canít tell from a picture. Weíve tried taking pictures of items that we need to water jet and no matter how you zoom or angle the camera there is a slight skew and things donít line up quite right.


healyje


May 29, 2009, 11:18 PM
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rschap wrote:
Not to say the center point isnít off but you really canít tell from a picture. Weíve tried taking pictures of items that we need to water jet and no matter how you zoom or angle the camera there is a slight skew and things donít line up quite right.

Hmmm, that's quite a statement. Lens axis lined up with axle axis - pretty much a done deal and more than accurate enough for the purposes of this piece of software. Not sure why your folks can't line up a lens axis perpendicular to a piece of work inline with a specific target. Here if you can't see any of the sides of the cam lobe, it's good. Again, at these scales it's plenty accurate for identifying the the center of the design center of axle axis well enough to know whether they blew it or not.

If you work with metal, then what are the odds you'd be mis-drilling axle holes over and over again with a completely random drift from design location of the axle?


adatesman


May 30, 2009, 5:15 AM
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glytch


May 30, 2009, 6:24 AM
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adatesman wrote:
... I don't know for certain that this software is reliable or functions properly. I tend to think it does based on the credentials of the guy who wrote it and it lining up correctly on the lobes from WC, BD and Metolius, but I have not independently verified its results.

Not that you have the time (completely understandably!), but if you've got software that builds logarithmic spirals, you should be able to print out the shell of a cam with no centerpoint attached (lest the software is identifying a circle and marking its middle), identify the centerpoint of that cam using the software, and compare that to the actual centerpoint (which you know since you built the thing).

Seems like as good a way as any of testing the software...

G


rschap


May 30, 2009, 7:14 AM
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Yeah, I caught that in the op, I was just saying in my experience using 3 different cameras on several different parts we have taken pictures and then traced the picture in Acadd, every time the part has come out longer or shorter than the original part. On non critical artistic parts we use this method a lot. The purple and the clear aliens are what first caught my attention, you can see that they are obviously skewed, and several of the other aliens donít line up properly on the outside lobe. Could this be because they use a 16 degree caming angle and the others donít?

Iím not arguing about whether or not the holes are centered, Iím just pointing out the flaws I can see in this process to have a discussion about it and to clarify what the margin of error is so I can make a more informed decision. If they are drilling the holes by hand without a properly set up jig I would say there is absolutely no way they are getting them centered.

Iíd also like to point out that the WC #6 is turned to the right and the center is slightly to the left, while the WC #5 is turned to the left making the center point slightly to the right. So it seems that the program does get the center point pretty damn close even with a slight skew.


adatesman


May 30, 2009, 8:12 AM
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helios


May 30, 2009, 8:46 AM
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Aric,

Can you verify whether the holding power [and therefore cam angle] is constant in these misdrilled aliens? Maybe by seeing how much force is outwardly applied when pull tested at various degrees of retraction in its range? Not sure if you are set up to measure the outward force of cam loads. I'm not just talking about holding power in a vice, tested to failure. This seems like a good way to verify the software - since shouldn't you be able to predict how the cam angle will be affected if misdrilled in a certain direction?


adatesman


May 31, 2009, 6:32 AM
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adatesman


May 31, 2009, 6:44 AM
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