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Alien alternative?
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Poll: Alien alternative?
Master Cam 29 / 41%
BD C3 8 / 11%
Would still risk and by Aliens! 29 / 41%
Write in 4 / 6%
70 total votes
 

Partner cracklover


Nov 3, 2008, 1:30 PM
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By the way, I didn't vote, because I would never urge anyone to buy Aliens without the very strong caveat that they should trust them only as much as they test them.

As for the Master Cam - I'd rather use absolutely anything (aside from an untested dimpled Alien) first. I think the design of the placement of the trigger wires on those things is retarded. The way they behave in horizontals is bordering on seriously dangerous.

GO


doktor_g


Nov 3, 2008, 1:45 PM
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Re: [welle] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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I vote for Aliens IF you do ANY or PLAN to do any aid climbing. Accept no substitute. If you're not planning on placing in horizontally driven pin scars in the Valley and you feel more comfortable with the Masters. I'd go for them instead. Personally... Aliens all the way, but I wouldn't whine over being handed a rack the Masters and told to lead a pitch (unless I was on a wall). In that case I whine no matter what.

G


alleyehave


Nov 3, 2008, 1:52 PM
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Re: [doktor_g] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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doktor_g wrote:
I vote for Aliens IF you do ANY or PLAN to do any aid climbing. Accept no substitute. If you're not planning on placing in horizontally driven pin scars in the Valley and you feel more comfortable with the Masters. I'd go for them instead. Personally... Aliens all the way, but I wouldn't whine over being handed a rack the Masters and told to lead a pitch (unless I was on a wall). In that case I whine no matter what.

G

"Mastercams r teh sex." -My Set of Doubles 00-3


kane_schutzman


Nov 3, 2008, 2:02 PM
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Re: [alleyehave] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
"Mastercams r teh sux." -My Set of Doubles 00-3

Grammatical error? Go with Aliens


(This post was edited by kane_schutzman on Nov 3, 2008, 2:03 PM)


CaptainPolution


Nov 3, 2008, 2:14 PM
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Re: [kane_schutzman] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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kane_schutzman wrote:
In reply to:
"Mastercams r teh sux." -My Set of Doubles 00-3

Grammatical error? Go with Aliens
I will have to agree with ^^^^^


adatesman


Nov 3, 2008, 2:45 PM
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tomcat


Nov 3, 2008, 2:57 PM
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Re: [adatesman] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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I own,HB Quadcams,C3's,one Master Cam and four Aliens.The Aliens are still da best.


grampacharlie


Nov 4, 2008, 5:26 AM
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Re: [welle] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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Nuts anyone? Little cams are for sissies...

Not saying I'm not a sissie though.


altelis


Nov 4, 2008, 6:10 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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care to explain whats going on in that 6 sec video?


flint


Nov 4, 2008, 7:08 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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Did the rope the rock was tied to break?

j-


Partner cracklover


Nov 4, 2008, 7:09 AM
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Re: [altelis] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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Just what I said - testing an Alien with an ~ 4kN fuse. What exactly is not clear?

GO


Partner cracklover


Nov 4, 2008, 7:12 AM
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Re: [flint] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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flint wrote:
Did the rope the rock was tied to break?

j-

No. The rope was just used to lift up the rock. The rope is pretty irrelevant. I just happened to have lots of bodies around for this test. In other tests, I've just lifted the rock by hand.

GO


Jbitz


Nov 4, 2008, 7:14 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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I have a set of aliens and bought a #3, #4, and a #5 Mastercam earlier this summer. After giving them a try I have to say I agree with Angry and Cracklover's comments on them. Mastercams will do the job, but given the choice I would grab an alien first off my rack.

A few friends that have used my rack have made similar observations.

One of my female partners said, "The Mastercams are prettier then the Aliens just hanging off your rack, but not in the crack."


(This post was edited by Jbitz on Nov 4, 2008, 7:40 AM)


altelis


Nov 4, 2008, 7:14 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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chill. what wasn't clear (and this probably just stemmed from what i was expecting when you linked the video) was what/how the fuse was set up.
thats all. just differing expectations- nobody was right or wrong. thats why i asked.


Partner cracklover


Nov 4, 2008, 8:56 AM
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Re: [altelis] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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altelis wrote:
chill. what wasn't clear (and this probably just stemmed from what i was expecting when you linked the video) was what/how the fuse was set up.
thats all. just differing expectations- nobody was right or wrong. thats why i asked.

I am chill. I just don't get what part you weren't clear about.

The basic point is to make a fuse out of a material with a known breaking strength, and then exceed that strength.

The video is simply a documentation of me doing that with my cams. This is not meant as instruction or advocacy. But just for the sake of clarity, here's what I did:

Put a spectra sling around a big rock (~40 lbs). Haul big rock above the cam with ~ 2 feet of static material plus fuse connecting them. Make sure the Alien is in a good placement that doesn't stress the stem. Drop the rock.

So the attachment is: rock -> spectra sling -> biner -> nylon fuse -> biner -> alien. Then factor 2 the rock onto the alien. When dropped, the nylon fuse breaks, unless the placement was poor, in which case, the alien rips out. Or, of course, if there's a manufacturing defect, the cam itself would fail, but I haven't seen that yet.

The fuse I used in my first set of tests was: PMI 3mm Tech Cord. They rate it with a minimum breaking strength of 1.7kN. I made a loop of it tied with a double fishermans. If the MBS is exact, it should fail at just about 3kN. Though if there's a safety margin on the cord, It might put as much as 4kN of force on the cam before failing. It usually failed at the knot.

For my second set of tests I found a 3mm tech cord from Sterling, rated with an MBS of 2.6kN (perfect!) A loop of that should get me a force of around 4.5-5.5kN.

By the way, the biner on the cam takes very little abuse, but all the other gear takes plenty (because it hits the ground with the rock). After a few test rounds, with a big rock falling on it, the spectra sling and the biner attaching it to the fuse (which fall to the ground each time) were pretty beat up. After about 10 tests, the spectra sling finally gave up the ghost completely. So if you feel like playing along these lines, don't use your favorite gear. Oh, and the cams look great after the test. Certainly some fairly deep gouges in the lobes if they're set up against a crystal but nothing troubling.

Again, I AM NOT ADVOCATING THIS METHOD TO TEST YOUR CAMS! The above is merely a description of what I did. If you do the above, you do so on your own terms. The above may kill you, your family, and your dog.

Here's a vid of a test on a green Alien:

View the vid

GO


HappinessIsWinning


Nov 4, 2008, 9:03 AM
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Re: [adatesman] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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adatesman wrote:
Someone from Gunks.com just sent me a new Golden Spiral cam for destructive testing, and it actually looks like a decent option. I'll be doing a full write-up sometime soon, but here's the skinny....

The one I have in front of me is the Purple, which is ~Green Alien size, but with a slightly smaller range of 13.2 - 19.4mm (Green Alien is 13-22mm). The head is a bit wider as well, measuring 1.687" compared to the Alien 1.380". Part of this looks to be due to the wider cam lobes.... Green Alien lobes are .200" wide and these are .238". The stem is super-flexy 5/32" 7x19 cable, same as the Alien. Springs are normal torsion springs located between the lobes rather than the Alien internal flat torsion springs. Trigger mechanism is similar to the Master Cams, with a pair of wires connecting an upper plate connected to the lobes and a lower trigger plate. Their patented return spring on the upper plate seems to work nicely for remedying the occasional binding problem Aliens get when the balls on the wires to the cam lobes get stuck in the upper plate, thereby preventing the lobes from expanding properly.

The big thing though, is that the stem is swaged into the head; not brazed like the Alien and therefore should avoid the underlying issues with Alien reliability.

Anyway, the full writeup with pics, video of the pull test and pics of disassembly should be coming in the next week or so....

Oh, and personally I'm quite fond of Zeros....

-a.

Just thought this was worth pointing out. US Rock Gear seemed to think so too, on their homepage: "Working on CE and UIAA certification."
I wouldn't buy a thing from them till they actually attain certification, personally.


altelis


Nov 4, 2008, 9:11 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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cool. thanks- this is the method (pretty much) i was planning on using, but thanks for the heads up on useful materials!


Partner cracklover


Nov 4, 2008, 9:14 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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And I'll just reiterate my mantra one more time, though I'm sure a lot of "trad" climbers still won't get it:

Whatever gear you buy and place, this is trad climbing - you're responsible for your own safety. Not me, not the gear manufacturers. You. (And your partner).

If you don't like it, don't leave the ground.

GO


HappinessIsWinning


Nov 4, 2008, 9:25 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
And I'll just reiterate my mantra one more time, though I'm sure a lot of "trad" climbers still won't get it:

Whatever gear you buy and place, this is trad climbing - you're responsible for your own safety. Not me, not the gear manufacturers. You. (And your partner).

If you don't like it, don't leave the ground.

GO

So you wouldn't mind if, for instance, Alien had decided not to do a recall on their cams? If they decided it's your responsibility, you would be cool with that? You would PREFER to be responsible for this? Seems to me the manufacturer definitely needs to be responsible for their product.... Placement of their product is up to you, but quality control still needs to be maintained.


Partner cracklover


Nov 4, 2008, 9:35 AM
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Re: [HappinessIsWinning] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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HappinessIsWinning wrote:
cracklover wrote:
And I'll just reiterate my mantra one more time, though I'm sure a lot of "trad" climbers still won't get it:

Whatever gear you buy and place, this is trad climbing - you're responsible for your own safety. Not me, not the gear manufacturers. You. (And your partner).

If you don't like it, don't leave the ground.

GO

So you wouldn't mind if, for instance, Alien had decided not to do a recall on their cams? If they decided it's your responsibility, you would be cool with that? You would PREFER to be responsible for this? Seems to me the manufacturer definitely needs to be responsible for their product.... Placement of their product is up to you, but quality control still needs to be maintained.

Nope, you misunderstand me. The gear company also has a responsibility. Of course I would prefer if CCH had been better about their own responsibility. Frankly, I think they pretty much suck on that front.

But that's neither here nor there. If I leave the ground, whether I'm carrying BD, Metolius, CCH, some gear I made in my own shop in the basement, or some cheap knockoff from a former-soviet block country... it's my choice. It's my choice, and it's my responsibility to know the limits of my own gear and my own ability. If I get dead because I was wrong about something - oh well, that's how the game works. I wouldn't have it any other way.

GO


HappinessIsWinning


Nov 4, 2008, 9:40 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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Ah, I see what you were trying to say. Yeah, if you decide to use your dentures as pro, then yeah, that is totally your mistake.


Partner cracklover


Nov 4, 2008, 12:28 PM
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Re: [HappinessIsWinning] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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HappinessIsWinning wrote:
Ah, I see what you were trying to say. Yeah, if you decide to use your dentures as pro, then yeah, that is totally your mistake.

Basically, yeah. Or to put it another way - the gear company is responsible for putting out a product that matches it's stated specifications; you are responsible for your safety.

Edited to add: I think this thread should be required reading: http://www.rockclimbing.com/...ew_flat;post=1585733

GO


(This post was edited by cracklover on Nov 4, 2008, 1:25 PM)


welle


Nov 5, 2008, 10:48 AM
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Thanks for the link! Yes, that and other posts were exact reasons I started this thread - they pretty much convinced me against Aliens, so I'm looking for the next best thing. Though I understand, it's pretty hard to come by. Perhaps, I'm blessed with ignorance since my experience with Aliens is close to zero, so I'll just be content with [blank]....


anarkhos


Nov 8, 2008, 1:02 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Alien alternative? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
A loop of that should get me a force of around 4.5-5.5kN.

I don't see what that's supposed to prove. Would you lead climb over a single piece held by 3mm tech cord?

Why not do a UIAA drop test like they do on ropes? I think they drop a 80Kg weight 5m on 2.8m of rope, five times.


wmfork


Nov 8, 2008, 1:48 PM
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anarkhos wrote:
Why not do a UIAA drop test like they do on ropes? I think they drop a 80Kg weight 5m on 2.8m of rope, five times.

And would you still use said rope after it has passed the drop test?

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