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Edelrid Mega Jul
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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
May 3, 2013
Middle
jktinst wrote:
Well, I'm sorry too. I realize that my expectations are pretty high and probably not entirely realistic. I'm basically hoping for something that locks (almost) as well as a grigri, is about 10X lighter and less bulky and works with half ropes. I had seen the video before and did look at and read the instructions. The salesperson didn't really know anything about the device (or about the Reverso either). I'm sure that if I had gone at a busier time I might have found a more knowledgeable person at the climbing gear counter but I don't think that it would have made a difference. I was really just looking to see how the device does at autolocking so all I did with it is belay a bit, lock it down holding the brake hand and try to lock it down just yanking the lead rope, as I had done before with the SA. For this, pretty much the only thing I had to make sure of was that the rope was threaded the right way around through the device. The braking strand was dangling all the way to the floor and was piled up there so it was providing as much passive braking as it could. Once I saw how it did with that test, I was not interested in trying out any other functionality, like belaying the second, rappelling, etc. The biners I tried were the DMM belay masters 1 & 2, Metolius Element, Petzl Williams and an old DMM round stock pear biner with a plastic twist gate lock from the late 80s that, incredible but true, is non-anodized and all scratched up.


You didn't read the whole thread, did you?

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By WillamR
May 3, 2013
Top of Disneyland Gunks
jktinst,

If you haven't returned it yet I'd be interested in buying it off of you.

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By jktinst
May 3, 2013
Ray Pinpillage wrote:
You didn't read the whole thread, did you?


I actually did read the whole thread and appreciate the time you've put into it. I was quite clear that neither the Smart nor the Jul would be that ideal device I dream about. I was also expecting the locking to be not as good as the Smart but each time you mentioned that the Jul needs a hand on the brake to lock up, I guess that it wasn't obvious to me that that hand needed to be holding tight or pulling down hard to lock up.

Ray Pinpillage wrote:
... I did notice the Mega Jul needs a hand on the brake to lock when the Smart will just lock up...


Especially since right after this first quote, you have a photo showing what looked to me like a fairly loose hold on the brake strand.

I also read this
Ray Pinpillage wrote:
... It works exactly the same as a Smart.


I suppose this next one was a whole lot clearer. It certainly was obvious that, based on your posts, Bearbreeder didn't see any point in trying the Jul but he's a Smart enthusiast so, after the previous posts and photos, I stayed with the idea that I should try it out for myself, unless it turned out that the biner wear was a serious issue. It's also based on this post, that I looked for the skinniest pear biner I could dig up. The Element, DMM BM1, old DMM and Williams all look about equally fat but the DMM BM2 is noticeably skinnier. I didn't notice enough difference in the (not) locking to suggest that here was the solution.

Ray Pinpillage wrote:
The lock-up inconsistency has been bothering me since I first tried it. I tried six different ropes and was able to replicate the problem with all but twins. I believe the issue is the diameter of the caribiner. I was using a Metolius Element and it would not lock up without a hand on the brake on every rope from 10.5 to 9.0. I switched out the caribiner to a BD Rock-Lock and the issue went away completely. I tried a number of different lockers and the smaller the spine the better...

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
May 3, 2013
jktinst wrote:
Well, I'm sorry too. I realize that my expectations are pretty high and probably not entirely realistic. I'm basically hoping for something that locks (almost) as well as a grigri, is about 10X lighter and less bulky and works with half ropes.


First and foremost, having used both the Smart and the Jul- they both work as well as the grigri if you have your hand on the brake. Since you also have to have your hand on the brake on the Grigri, I'm not entirely sure what your complaint is.

The idea behind a locking assist is to reduce hand strain when holding the device in the lock position- the Smart, Mega/Micro Jul, Cinch, GriGri all achieve this through various designs. If you want a truly hands free device- those do not currently exist.

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
May 3, 2013
Middle
jktinst wrote:
Especially since right after this first quote, you have a photo showing what looked to me like a fairly loose hold on the brake strand.


Don't tell anyone but that is my wife and I had her stage the rope so I could take the picture. However, just putting your hand on the brake strand is enough to get it to lock.
The issue with the device not locking without a hand on the brake is something outside of the devices intended purpose...your hand should always be on the brake strand (I think that's the tenth time I've said that in this thread).

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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
May 4, 2013
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard
There are indeed no truly hands-free devices, but the Climbing Technology Alpine Up can (I did not say will) catch a fall completely unattended if there is enough rope laying around on the brake side; see


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By JakeMashburn
From Boulder, CO
May 13, 2013
Well I have to say I really like the concept of the Mega Jul. I saw a video of someone demoing the device at a trade show a few months ago and have been excited ever since. I finally picked one up from mountaingear.com last week and took it out to the crag Friday and Saturday. I was really impressed with how well it fed rope and locked up after a lead fall. Rappelling with the thumb loop was a little bumpy but it was nice to have the device lock when reaching to pull a quickdraw from the wall.

Unfortunately the wire actually pulled out of the device near the end of my second day at the crag! I was lowering my climber by pulling the device up with the thumb loop and the wire just popped out. Luckily this didn't happen in the middle of a lead belay as I probably wouldn't have been able to feed any more rope to my climber. I was forced to use an extra biner to finish lowering in lever mode. I wonder if my device was just a dud or if this is going to be a serious problem. I certainly hadn't done anything that wasn't described in the manual or 'how to' video.

Like I said, I think think the concept is solid but if Edelrid is giving the wire a function, I'd like them to make darn sure it'll stay in place. Maybe I'll try again if they update the device for next year...

PS. Sorry for the blurry pictures...
Broken Mega Jul
Broken Mega Jul

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
May 13, 2013
OTL
I sense a recall.

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By bearbreeder
May 13, 2013
the smart is a pretty solid single piece with no wires ;)

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By Larry S
May 13, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.
Jake - did you alert Edelrid? I'm sure they would want to get your broken one back in their hands to analyze it and correct the problem. They had to expect that kind of failure mode for this device, so i assume something went wrong in their process controls.

I'd expect they'll send you a free replacement too.

Edit:

Contact form for Edelrid
edelrid.de/en/contact/

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By claramie
From Boulder, CO
May 13, 2013
Should I be trying this hard on a warmup? <br /> <br />photo by Rob Kepley
Not sure if this has already been covered in this thread but I couldn't read all of the responses...

On long rappels the device might not fully autolock once you get towards the end of the rope. I was lucky enough to get to test out the micro jul on 6.9mm twins and past halfway, it started feeding through like a normal ATC would on rappel so keep your hand on the brake!

Overall a great belay device though. I will get one for sure.

Cheers

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By Moritz B.
May 14, 2013
Profile Pic
@Jake Robert mashburn
Please check your PM box. I sent you a message regarding a replacement. My apologies for this incidence. It shouldnīt have happened. It is also important to note that the safety of the device was not compromised in this incident. Again, my apologies and please contact me. All the best!

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By markus-bw
May 15, 2013
Apparently not an isolated incident:
geoquest-verlag.de/?q=node/455 (German)


I own a MegaJul and am extremely happy with it. My favourite belay device. As noted above, the safety is not compromised at all, and I'd say even most of the functionality remains intact. The potential hassle of having to exchange it might be a consideration for some people though.

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By bearbreeder
May 15, 2013
can you feed out slack with the wire out like that ...

id hate to be belaying a climber on a sketchy run out climb and not be able to feed out slack mid move ...

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By markus-bw
May 15, 2013
bearbreeder wrote:
can you feed out slack with the wire out like that ... id hate to be belaying a climber on a sketchy run out climb and not be able to feed out slack mid move ...

_For me_ the MegaJul almost never locks up unintentionally, I can use it like a regular tube style device when feeding slack. The few times it does, you could unlock it by tilting the device, even without the wire. I don't need the wire for lead belaying. _For me_ the Mammut Smart locks up unintentionally a lot more.

That said, you can flip it around and use it like a regular tube if the wire breaks mid-multi-pitch and you're worried about engaging the autoblock unintentionally and not being as quick to unlock the device as you would be with the wire.

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By jktinst
May 15, 2013
markus-bw wrote:
_For me_ the MegaJul almost never locks up unintentionally, I can use it like a regular tube style device when feeding slack...


This certainly coincides with the experiences reported here, ie the device will not lock certain ropes without holding down the brake. On the other hand, it can easily lock other ropes unassisted.

markus-bw wrote:
... That said, you can flip it around and use it like a regular tube if the wire breaks mid-multi-pitch and you're worried about engaging the autoblock unintentionally and not being as quick to unlock the device as you would be with the wire.


If you happen to be belaying a leader on the kind of supple rope(s) that can lock up unassisted on this device, you will need to pull on the cable every time you feed slack, which means that if the cable is going to break, it is most likely to lock up in mid-move for the leader. A royal PITA in the best case scenario and potentially deadly in a sketchy runout section, as Bearbreeder pointed out.

Even without these potentially dire consequences, resuming belaying the leader after a cable break is also likely to be quite tricky. Keeping the device unlocked by tilting it by hand or with a biner in lever mode may be fine for lowering or rappelling but to keep feeding slack to the leader, youíll need to figure out a way to loosen the device with the brake hand without letting go of the rope(s). Sure, once the leader can get off-belay, you can switch the device around to use like a regular tube but thatís too little too late, as far as Iím concerned.

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By markus-bw
May 15, 2013
jktinst wrote:
... If you happen to be belaying a leader on the kind of supple rope(s) that can lock up unassisted on this device, you will need to pull on the cable every time you feed slack,

Not my experience. With various ~10mm ropes from new to ancient.

jktinst wrote:
which means that if the cable is going to break, it is most likely to lock up in mid-move for the leader. A royal PITA in the best case scenario and potentially deadly in a sketchy runout section, as Bearbreeder pointed out.

"Potentially deadly"??? Seriously, get a grip, that kind of hyperbole is unnecessary.
Plus, the most likely time for the cable break is during those _rare_ times, when you pull it continously. I only do that during lowering, some people might do it rappeling. (Not recommended by Edelrid AFAIK and potentially the cause of failure in the German case.)

Besides, all autoblock devices carry some risk of unintentionally engaging said autoblock and either require some fumbling when that happens or partially disabling the autoblock during feeding. So if it's a hyper-crucial matter of life or death whether you can feed smoothly ... just the tube please.

jktinst wrote:
Even without these potentially dire consequences, resuming belaying the leader after a cable break is also likely to be quite tricky. Keeping the device unlocked by tilting it by hand or with a biner in lever mode may be fine for lowering or rappelling but to keep feeding slack to the leader, youíll need to figure out a way to loosen the device with the brake hand without letting go of the rope(s).

Not sure what you're responding to here, it certainly isn't the point where I said that I only rarely need to loosen the device. With the leading hand if the cable wasn't there.

jktinst wrote:
Sure, once the leader can get off-belay, you can switch the device around to use like a regular tube but thatís too little too late, as far as Iím concerned.

"Dude, my belay device just broke a wire. Grab something, place something that holds bodyweight whatever, while I tie off the rope, flip the device and then we're good to go on. Or keep going, but anticipate that I might take a little longer when feeding slack. (You know, like on those days when I haven't had enough sleep or too much beer the night before or am watching the girl climbing over there.)"
I don't see a problem, just a hassle. Maybe I don't climb hard enough.

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By jktinst
May 17, 2013
markus-bw wrote:
... "Dude, my belay device just broke a wire. Grab something, place something that holds bodyweight whatever, while I tie off the rope, flip the device and then we're good to go on. Or keep going, but anticipate that I might take a little longer when feeding slack. (You know, like on those days when I haven't had enough sleep or too much beer the night before or am watching the girl climbing over there.)" I don't see a problem, just a hassle. Maybe I don't climb hard enough.


Maybe you're just not too clear about what it means for both the leader and the belayer when they are in a sketchy trad runout situation

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By Syd
May 21, 2013
Ray Pinpillage wrote:
Rapelling in auto-block mode took a little getting used to. Still easier than a Alpine Smart but quirky none the less.


Ray, what rope diameter and biner were you using on rap ? I assume you were on 2 ropes ?
I've had terrible problems with the mega jul locking up and not releasing. Details here:
rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum...

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
May 21, 2013
Middle
I've rap'd on a bunch of ropes with it but that comment was on a rocklight and element locker.

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By Syd
May 21, 2013
Ray Pinpillage wrote:
I've rap'd on a bunch of ropes with it but that comment was on a rocklight and element locker.


Do you mean one of these ?
metoliusclimbing.com/element_b...

Nice rounded cross sction, like the only biner I found to be successful.

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
May 21, 2013
Middle
Yeah.

By the way, I want to see the cable pull tested. The thumb loop is an integral part of the functionality of the device. Even though there isn't a safety risk if the cable pulls out it sure is a pain in the ass. As far as I'm concerned the device is off my alpine list until until I see something substantial from Edelrid.

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By bearbreeder
May 22, 2013
well put it this way ... if yr using a device for trad multi or alpine we all know that means scrumming, some chimneys, offwidth, etc ... not to mention all the branches and cracks for it to bash against and get caught on up here in squamish

any belay device needs to be able to handle this ...

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
May 22, 2013
Middle
bearbreeder wrote:
well put it this way ... if yr using a device for trad multi or alpine we all know that means scrumming, some chimneys, offwidth, etc ... not to mention all the branches and cracks for it to bash against and get caught on up here in squamish any belay device needs to be able to handle this ...


The cable on the Mega Jul is more integral to to its function than an ATC.

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By bearbreeder
May 22, 2013
Ray Pinpillage wrote:
The cable on the Mega Jul is more integral to to its function than an ATC.


also .. while the cable on the ATCs/guides/reversos has pulled before, its pretty rare considering how many they sell and how many years theyve been around... here we have TWO juls cable pulling within the first few months of being on the market ... that weve heard of anyways

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