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nieder


Aug 1, 2005, 8:21 AM
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Electronic ropes coming soon?
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I don't know if anyone has posted this yet, but a story on CNN.com talks about some new ropes being developed, including possible climbing ropes that can sense weaknesses and overloading.

CNN Story
http://www.cnn.com/...park.rope/index.html

Company Website
http://www.squid-labs.com/...cts/erope/index.html

Video Demo
http://www.squid-labs.com/.../erope_response3.avi

What does everyone think about this? Would you buy one of these if the price was right? Do you think they will ever be a reality?


killclimbz


Aug 1, 2005, 8:27 AM
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Right now I don't really see it happening in the world of climbing. If the technology proves itself it may find a climbing application. Too soon to really say yay or nay. Any comment now would be reactionary. I imagine the riggers will find out if this tech is worthwhile or not.


mburke225


Aug 1, 2005, 8:34 AM
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I think it would at least be useful to the gear companies making protection. They would actually be able to figure out the exact forces involved doing drop tests of their gear. (I know there are scientific formulas, but this would be easier and I assume more accurate)
Maybe not the most practical for the average climber.


bigjonnyc


Aug 1, 2005, 8:41 AM
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In reply to:
I think it would at least be useful to the gear companies making protection. They would actually be able to figure out the exact forces involved doing drop tests of their gear. (I know there are scientific formulas, but this would be easier and I assume more accurate)
Maybe not the most practical for the average climber.

I disagree. First of all, there are perfectly accurate ways of measuring the force on a rope in tensile failure tests, there is no need to implement this sort of thing for the sake of testing alone. And, I believe that this would actually be less accurate, since the steel is threaded into the core of the rope. This being the case, you've actually change the properties of the rope somewhat for the test, so the results may not even necessarily apply to other ropes.


kinosoo


Aug 1, 2005, 8:48 AM
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this was posted but i think this will not catch on to complicated and to expensive for the normal climber not being an expert on this but most accadents dont happen because the rope snaped and it did there were other factors.


furrymurry


Aug 1, 2005, 9:34 AM
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I can think of one application that immediately comes to mind. I'm currently working as a rock guide at a summer camp out here in Durango, CO. The setups we have to use are ridiculous (two ropes per climb, two bolts backed up on trees...). The reasons for this are simple: our insurance carrier mandates them. This application could concievably be utilized by our program to help eliminate some of the cumbersome redundancies we are required to incorporate. If we can always know the load and condition on a rope, there is no risk of failure and no need for two.


8flood8


Aug 1, 2005, 9:41 AM
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In reply to:
I can think of one application that immediately comes to mind. I'm currently working as a rock guide at a summer camp out here in Durango, CO. The setups we have to use are ridiculous (two ropes per climb, two bolts backed up on trees...). The reasons for this are simple: our insurance carrier mandates them. This application could concievably be utilized by our program to help eliminate some of the cumbersome redundancies we are required to incorporate. If we can always know the load and condition on a rope, there is no risk of failure and no need for two.

sRene

what is wrong with redundancy? maybe your insurance company requires alot to cover a sport that is inherently dangerous, but i don't think it is misguided.

In reply to:
this is not terrorism


mother_sheep


Aug 1, 2005, 9:52 AM
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While we're at it, why don't we just get robots to climb the routes for us. We can just sit back and watch. Don't get me wrong, I like good gear, especially when it comes to ice but it seems like companies are designing stuff for the lazy, like those cams that tell you with colors when your placement is perfect, now this?? LAME! It will flop.


corpse


Aug 1, 2005, 10:00 AM
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Coming soon? No.. Coming eventually, totally.. I can see these high tech ropes as being affordable in 30 or 40 yrs, probably common place for your white collar climber with a full rack of C10 camalots.. With all the wireless stuff going on, it won't surprise me to see a compact climber communication system very soon (< 5 yrs)..little ear plugs and stuff.

Now imagine the end of the rope has a transponder that works with your headset receiver, which can clip to your harness.. And if certain values are off, it can send a message/emergency tone into the ear plugs you are wearing..

Seems that most of the technology is in place, it's just a matter of getting it smaller and cheaper. Of course, weight could be an issue, and metal weighs more than nylon, but thats where technology further comes in - if it's adds 1lb of weight to the full rope, but casual climbers probably won't care.


furrymurry


Aug 1, 2005, 10:05 AM
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I'll tell you what's wrong with all that redundancy: it's a giant pain in the rear. The world is a dangerous place, and the stuff we have to do is just unneccessary. Two BlueWater Gold 11.6 static lines? come now. We've never had a single injury on the rock, but we hurt kids mountain biking all the time. Which is why I've proposed enclosing each kid in his own plexiglass bubble once he arrives at camp (don't worry, it'll have air holes!).


rockrat_co


Aug 1, 2005, 10:26 AM
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a warning for overloading? I dont know, but i rather not hear a warning while i was in flight, I think I rather just have the rope break (Since that happens alot and all) :wink: I dont know though, I suppose advancements in technology are a generally good thing!


Partner ctardi


Aug 1, 2005, 10:36 AM
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In reply to:
I'll tell you what's wrong with all that redundancy: it's a giant pain in the rear. The world is a dangerous place, and the stuff we have to do is just unneccessary. Two BlueWater Gold 11.6 static lines? come now. We've never had a single injury on the rock, but we hurt kids mountain biking all the time. Which is why I've proposed enclosing each kid in his own plexiglass bubble once he arrives at camp (don't worry, it'll have air holes!).

two static ropes? That has to hurt in a fall!


veganboyjosh


Aug 1, 2005, 11:13 AM
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while i do think is could be working into a situation where it helps in climbing situations, are the ever times when a rope is loaded such that it gets close to it's breaking point? other than times when nothing much can be done to keep it from breaking?
ie, you're falling, loading the rope, and the sensor goes off. what are you gonna do about it?
perhaps in situations like a tyrolean traverse or somehting, where you're tightening the line slowly, and then loading it, it would fit, and be useful. or something like slacklining, where you want to make the rope/line tight, but not too tight.
are there situations where knowing your rope is close to it's breaking point would allow you to alleviate the strain on the rope in time?


dwebster


Aug 1, 2005, 11:16 AM
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I'm working on this project. The rope is not likely going to cost a whole lot more but the reading device may be. What we are trying to do right now is make it work. For climbers I don't see it being of value to measure force in the field but this technology will/may be able to determine when the core or sheath of a rope has been compromised. I envision this technology being more valuable in the areas of rescue, rigging, and training. They will be able to monitor forces and over all rope integrity in real time and thereby avoid catastrophe. The rope part of this technology is actually quite simple, although I'm not at liberty to discuss it at this time. The more sophisticated part of this deal is the reading devices, but again I can not discuss it.
This is for real and will be really cool if we can make it work in practical ways.


Partner j_ung


Aug 1, 2005, 11:22 AM
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While we're at it, why don't we just get robots to climb the routes for us. We can just sit back and watch. Don't get me wrong, I like good gear, especially when it comes to ice but it seems like companies are designing stuff for the lazy, like those cams that tell you with colors when your placement is perfect, now this?? LAME! It will flop.

FYI: The colored dots on Power Cams are only there to tell you how likely your piece is to walk. In effect, they denote how much tension the cam's springs are experiencing. The farther you retract the cams, the more tension the springs are experiencing and the greener the dots get.

And last weekend my robot sent your project. :lol:


dynosore


Aug 1, 2005, 11:26 AM
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By the time the rope realizes it's overloaded wouldn't it be a little late?

As you hurl back past the chopper edge you ran it out over in the last few minutes, your rope goes "at the tone, you're stuffed...pause...BEEP. Thank you for using XXXX brand products. Have a nice flight" I'll take my chances with plain ole' dangerous nylon kernmantle, thanks :?


Partner johnnym


Aug 1, 2005, 11:32 AM
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And last weekend my robot sent your project. :lol:

Do you think there might be a danger of short circuiting if your robot used one of these new fangled ropes? :roll:


corpse


Aug 1, 2005, 11:47 AM
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I heard that it's dangerous to have robots spray...

Anyways.. I think the idea of overloading the rope is not practical for climbing, but as webster said, the sheath or core getting compromised would be the real strong point for normal climbers.. If the rope drags back and forth on a sharp edge out of sight, it would be neat to hear a warning "your rope sheath is gettin fcuked up, and you are about to die" or "you just placed your ice axe thru the core of your rope, climb with caution".

With the sensor technology, could even maybe have it let you know if both ends are on the ground, of waving free.. Or maybe even where the ends work together to let you know if they are near each other for a safer rappel.

Of course, one could argue, that such a system will encourage dumb people that don't keep safety in mind and watch their own butt, kinda like the mentality of some grigri users - "jsut let hte gri gri catch the fall"..


onsight_endorphines


Aug 1, 2005, 11:54 AM
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Interesting.

There are electronic ways to find out, very quickly, the safety status of an entire rope. Literally plug the rope into a test box, and have the box display information such as core status, sheath status, dirt content, etc.

I think that'd be pretty damn cool. Though I can also appreciate being old school.

If any manufacturers out there need technical expertise, I can help.


hacksaw


Aug 1, 2005, 11:56 AM
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In reply to:
Coming soon? No.. Coming eventually, totally.. I can see these high tech ropes as being affordable in 30 or 40 yrs, probably common place for your white collar climber with a full rack of C10 camalots.. With all the wireless stuff going on, it won't surprise me to see a compact climber communication system very soon (< 5 yrs)..little ear plugs and stuff.

Now imagine the end of the rope has a transponder that works with your headset receiver, which can clip to your harness.. And if certain values are off, it can send a message/emergency tone into the ear plugs you are wearing..

Seems that most of the technology is in place, it's just a matter of getting it smaller and cheaper. Of course, weight could be an issue, and metal weighs more than nylon, but thats where technology further comes in - if it's adds 1lb of weight to the full rope, but casual climbers probably won't care.

In the early 80's there was a company from the UK, that tryed to sell a rope that had a wire inside the core. They had ads in MOUNTAIN magazine, as I recall. Any way, the two climbers had headsets that they "plugged" into the the ends of the rope. And then they could talk between them.

But, I never heard about how many UIAA falls the wire in the core could take, or how tieing knots in the rope affected the wire, etc....

There have been a number of times where I thought a little wireless radio ear plug thing would be great for climbing. But, then again, think of the times you have under your breath called your partner an ashole, etc.... :roll: :wink:

Cheers,
Halsted


helno


Aug 1, 2005, 1:37 PM
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Now to make the rope and/or reciever/reader really useful, put a GPS unit and a Cell Phone in the reader...

Scenario

Climber: Falling!!! SNAP! Augggh!!!!! Thump!
Reader Display: Rope Broke, Dialing 911, Requesting Ambulance, Transmitting GPS Info, Good Luck!

But to give credit, I guess a rope that would tell me when it needs to retire would be a good thing. I just wonder how well the metalic fiber would hold up after being tied in a figure 8 about a 100 times?


josephgdawson


Aug 1, 2005, 4:08 PM
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I am holding out for cordless ropes. Coming soon to a Mammut dealer near you. :lol:


philfell


Aug 1, 2005, 4:41 PM
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Marty McFly had a hovering skateboard, why can't we use that for climbing applications? Free-soloing with out the risk of decking.

Maybe this is what Mammut is useing in their new cordless ropes.


dwebster


Aug 1, 2005, 6:43 PM
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The "smart rope" is not being developed specifically for climbing. Dynamic rope just happens to be one of the possible applications. For climbers it is probably not practical to be reading rope data in real time. However, a quick check of the rope after a day out can tell you how much of the sheath or core has been damaged and to what extent. I get the "when should I retire my rope?" question all the time. With this rig you will know the answer.
Where this technology will likely be most useful will be in rescues and rescue training. Forces on rigging during rescues could be monitored in real time and can warn the rescuers when their ropes are being overloaded. The "overload" threshold can be programed to the safe working load or the minimum breaking strength (you'd be pretty stupid to program for that) or anywhere in between.
At this time this is a research project and certainly not a new product launch, unless the sales department isn't telling me something.
There will be naysayers just like there were when sticky rubber shoes came out or the first Friends, the first plastic boots, the first recurved ice tools. I'm not saying this technology will change climbing the way these other innovations did but it would certainly give the tech weenies something to drool over.


craqho


Aug 1, 2005, 7:33 PM
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"Squid Labs has added microscopic stainless steel strands to rope, making it electrically conductive." (From the CNN source listed above)
Translation: Yes, you too can own a 196' lightning rod!!!!!
I CALL B.S. !!!!

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