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Mastercam 0 - Broken Cam Stop
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May 8, 2011
Count Chockula
Not sure how this happened. This #0 rarely gets placed and has never been hung on or taken a single fall, but one of the cam stops has completely sheared off the lobe. The spring has also been displaced on the axle which has affected the lobe's retraction. Has anyone else experienced similar damage with their Mastercams? If so, how was Metolius in providing service/replacement?





Thanks!
Count Chockula
From Littleton, CO
Joined Aug 4, 2006
22 points
Administrator
May 8, 2011
El Chorro
I had this happen on a purple TCUs (same lobes as MCam), but mine broke in a fall. Without the cam-stop, the cam is useless. I see this as a design flaw on the grey and purple. I didn't bother to email Metolius about it since I got the thing for like $30 and I was on a road trip. They may very well replace the lobe if you send it in, but I've always thought that was a bit of a hassle if you use your gear often. I got a couple of C3's on sale to compliment my Aliens, but still like the TCU's blue to Orange. Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
May 8, 2011
Ryan Williams wrote:
Without the cam-stop, the cam is useless.

Aliens seemed to work well without cam stops.



As far as this goes, it means that you placement was not good, which is easy to do with cams this small. The cams expanded fully to the point of the stop then broke it off.

Send it back to metolius and let them inspect and then get a new one.
Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
138 points
May 8, 2011
Top half of Melifluous
Peter Springs wrote:
Aliens seemed to work well without cam stops. As far as this goes, it means that you placement was not good, which is easy to do with cams this small. The cams expanded fully to the point of the stop then broke it off. Send it back to metolius and let them inspect and then get a new one.


You totally missed the boat on that one chief.

Without the cam stop, by design, the Mastercam doesn't function correctly. Aliens were designed differently, and without them obviously.

I'm going to refrain from commenting on your unsolicited armchair gear placement commentary.
Sam Stephens
Joined Jan 20, 2010
768 points
May 8, 2011
GYM
Sam Stephens wrote:
You totally missed the boat on that one chief. Without the cam stop, by design, the Mastercam doesn't function correctly. Aliens were designed differently, and without them obviously. I'm going to refrain from commenting on your unsolicited armchair gear placement commentary.


BURN!!!

well, Metolius has outstanding customer support and I sent a TCU in all beat up to get a trigger replaced and they sent it back looking like brand new. They re-polished it, cleaned it, lubed it, looked pretty much like they gave me a brand new one. I was impressed. That being said, not a big fan of the mastercams, so I say chuck it.
Ice4life
From SLC, UT
Joined Nov 4, 2010
87 points
Administrator
May 8, 2011
El Chorro
Just to be clear, it's ONLY the Purple and Grey Metolius cams that have this problem. From Blue on up, the stops are much stronger and would not break under forces that we create in rock climbing.

As for the lesson on cam placement, thanks, but I do already have a pretty good understanding of how cams work. It was placed properly, in Wingate Sandstone. Maybe I could have gotten a blue one in, but it would have either slid out 'cuz it was over-cammed or been stuck forever. Purple was all I had (it was also backed up w/ a Black Alien), the placement was right in the middle of it's range, Wingate is soft and I fell a ways so it opened up. Didn't come out though... held one fall.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
May 8, 2011
Count Chockula
Thanks for the info Ryan. I've sent Metolius an email and the photos so we'll see what they say. Seems like cam stops shouldn't break under "normal" use, though. I am by no means hard on gear and I don't take many falls.

I have no problem sending it in for repair if that's what's required. I have a #0 Ultralight TCU that I can use in the meantime, but I prefer my Mastercams!
Count Chockula
From Littleton, CO
Joined Aug 4, 2006
22 points
May 8, 2011
ECM
Sam Stephens wrote:
You totally missed the boat on that one chief. Without the cam stop, by design, the Mastercam doesn't function correctly. Aliens were designed differently, and without them obviously. I'm going to refrain from commenting on your unsolicited armchair gear placement commentary.


Can you elaborate on this? I've never owned any mastercams, so I've never physically inspected them to see how they work. I don't see why it would function any different than an alien without cam stops (that is, it might allow the cam to umbrella or invert in a flaring placement).

I guess maybe your argument is simply that it wouldn't operate to spec because it was designed with the cam stops.
Tyler Wick
From Bishop, CA
Joined Oct 8, 2010
149 points
May 8, 2011
Sam Stephens wrote:
You totally missed the boat on that one chief. Without the cam stop, by design, the Mastercam doesn't function correctly. Aliens were designed differently, and without them obviously. I'm going to refrain from commenting on your unsolicited armchair gear placement commentary.

Correct, the stop won't function. That is hardly the same as saying the cam won't function. Case in point: aliens, early friends, and several other cam brands in the past.

As far as my commentary onplacement, I was simply giving an explanation on why it isn't too crazy to see a camstop on a cam this size fail. Take it or leave it.
Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
138 points
May 8, 2011
Count Chockula
I would agree that the cam stops themselves aren't critical to the cam functioning, but the spring that exerts the outward force on the lobe with the broken stop is out of alignment or completely detached from the axle (hard to see in the pic). As a result, when you pull the trigger wires, the three functioning cam lobes retract normally, but the broken one doesn't move at all due to the wonky spring.

I can only speculate that the damage was caused by a difficult removal at some point. So now I've got a TCU. ;-)
Count Chockula
From Littleton, CO
Joined Aug 4, 2006
22 points
May 8, 2011
Send it back to Bend--the good folks at Metolius will gladly replace it! S mountainsense
Joined Jul 28, 2008
542 points
Administrator
May 8, 2011
El Chorro
Peter Springs wrote:
Correct, the stop won't function. That is hardly the same as saying the cam won't function. Case in point: aliens, early friends, and several other cam brands in the past. As far as my commentary onplacement, I was simply giving an explanation on why it isn't too crazy to see a camstop on a cam this size fail. Take it or leave it.


You're not listening. YOU CAN'T PLACE THE CAM WITHOUT THE CAMSTOP!

On Aliens, the end of the spring goes through the cam lobe, so when you place the cam and let go of the trigger, the spring pulls/pushes the lobes out so that they contact the rock.

On Grey and Purple Metolius cams (all of them I believe) the spring does not go through the cam lobe, but is hooked around the cam stop. Therefore, when you let go of the trigger, the spring can't pull on the lobe w/ a broken cam stop because it is no longer attached. So the lobe just sits loosely, with no contact on the rock. It's by definition, no longer "spring loaded."

Maybe if you took a bit of time to think about what you were about to say, people would be more willing to take your advice.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
Administrator
May 8, 2011
El Chorro
In the picture above (the top one) look at the second lobe from the left. Between the cam stop and kevlar cord, you can see the end of the spring hooked around the cam stop. That's all that's keeping the spring loaded, unlike nearly all other cams where the spring is drilled through the lobe.

In the second picture, below the top lobe, you can see where that little bent part of the spring is sticking out. That used to be hooked around said cam-stop.

Poor design, but they've gotten away with it so far.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
May 8, 2011
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
Ryan Williams wrote:
Just to be clear, it's ONLY the Purple and Grey Metolius cams that have this problem. From Blue on up, the stops are much stronger and would not break under forces that we create in rock climbing.

As far as I can tell, the blue and yellow Master Cams have the same cam stop design as the grey and purple ones. (The orange Master Cam sports much more confidence-inspiring stops.)
brenta
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 2, 2006
72 points
May 9, 2011
It's a total design failure.

Notice in your photo how the groove in the cam face intersects the cam stop resulting in that much less metal at an already small protrusion. This only occurs on the purple cam and seems easily rectified. I've broken two both times simply wiggling them out of tight placements. Frustrating though gladly replaced by Metolius.
Darin Berdinka
Joined May 1, 2009
69 points
May 9, 2011
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
Thanks, Darin. I'd say that the blue MC is not totally immune from that problem, though not as badly affected as the purple. brenta
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 2, 2006
72 points
May 9, 2011
Ryan Williams wrote:
Maybe if you took a bit of time to think about what you were about to say, people would be more willing to take your advice.


Yeah.

Wait.

Ryan Williams wrote:
unlike nearly all other cams where the spring is drilled through the lobe.


Wrong.

Most springs on cams are connected to the cam stop. If it is a pressed roll pin or a milled stop.

Small Aliens do put the end of the spring into the lobe. Black Diamond has an attachment on the cam lobe and has put the spring through the lobe.

Roll pins have been the standard till recently with more intricate milling.
BASE99999
Joined Mar 10, 2011
1 points
May 9, 2011
Next Item.

Will someone show me where Metolius has a strength rating for the cam stops.

metoliusclimbing.com/cams.html

"Machined cam stops" That is what Metolius says about their cam stops.
BASE99999
Joined Mar 10, 2011
1 points
Administrator
May 9, 2011
El Chorro
brenta wrote:
As far as I can tell, the blue and yellow Master Cams have the same cam stop design as the grey and purple ones. (The orange Master Cam sports much more confidence-inspiring stops.)


Wow you are correct. I don't have my Mastercams in front of me but the Blue TCU definitely has stronger stops than the purple and grey. From pictures, that doesn't seem to be the case w/ the Mastercams.

BASE1361 wrote:
Most springs on cams are connected to the cam stop. If it is a pressed roll pin or a milled stop.


You are right. My Metolius TCU's and 4CU's have the spring wrapped around the cam stop, not drilled. The stops are more beefy, but if one broke they'd have the same problem. Thanks for the correction, sorry for the bad info.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
May 9, 2011
a cam holding a fall on sandstone doesn't mean that it was placed well AND sometimes the well placed cams hit a soft spot and "track" in the sandstone. i've seen a green alien catch a fall, bite into the sandstone, snap the cam wires, slide about 6'', and then catch the fall with all the cam heads now backwards and upside down. seems that the heads turning the corner created the shape/ angle needed to finally stop the movement.


THEREFORE,

it is possible you bit, dug, and tracked your cam in the wingate and the force snapped your cam stops.

just a thought.


jon

p.s. i recently took a 15 footer onto a gray metolius that was placed upside down with only two cam heads touching and the fucker held! i weigh 220 lbs. and had a full double rack of cams on too. pretty wild! the cams that were touching were next to each other, the other two weren't even touching rock. it was a desperate, "better than nothing" placement in a bad spot and it held... awesome.

p.p.s. the master aliens (as i like to refer to them) are pretty bad-ass. only complaint thus far would be that they get sticky and need to be re-lubed very often compared to all other cams i have owned.
Jon O'Brien
From Nevada
Joined Apr 21, 2009
509 points
Administrator
May 9, 2011
El Chorro
Jon O'Brien wrote:
a cam holding a fall on sandstone doesn't mean that it was placed well AND sometimes the well placed cams hit a soft spot and "track" in the sandstone. i've seen a green alien catch a fall, bite into the sandstone, snap the cam wires, slide about 6'', and then catch the fall with all the cam heads now backwards and upside down. seems that the heads turning the corner created the shape/ angle needed to finally stop the movement. THEREFORE, it is possible you bit, dug, and tracked your cam in the wingate and the force snapped your cam stops. just a thought. jon p.s. i recently took a 15 footer onto a gray metolius that was placed upside down with only two cam heads touching and the fucker held! i weigh 220 lbs. and had a full double rack of cams on too. pretty wild! the cams that were touching were next to each other, the other two weren't even touching rock. it was a desperate, "better than nothing" placement in a bad spot and it held... awesome. p.p.s. the master aliens (as i like to refer to them) are pretty bad-ass. only complaint thus far would be that they get sticky and need to be re-lubed very often compared to all other cams i have owned.


Yea, I think there is really no way to tell exactly what happened, and there is no way for me to prove to the internet that I placed the cam well. I know I did, that's about all I need to say. I think the cam was in a soft spot, and slid a bit and opened up. The crack gets larger as you get closer to the ground. It was on the crux of "Sorrow" at "The Wall" if anyone's wondering. Somehow it held me. I only weigh 155 and it wasn't a terribly big fall.

I like the Mastercams too. I have 3 offsets and will probably end up with more. I just think it's a shame that they built such week cam stops on the small ones... not because I ever actually use the cam stops, but because if they break the cam is useless.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
May 9, 2011
Middle Troll
Wow, being a fan of master cams this is devistating news. But, just to let it be known. That cam looks alittle more than never been hung/taken a fall.... just sayin... Luke to Zuke
From Anchorage
Joined Apr 23, 2008
316 points
May 9, 2011
Count Chockula
Trust me when I say that the cam has NEVER taken a fall, and if I've ever hung on it, I was too scared at the time to remember. Just sayin'. ;-) Count Chockula
From Littleton, CO
Joined Aug 4, 2006
22 points
May 9, 2011
Fear and Loathing.
Yeah, bummer indeed. Let us know how your efforts to get it replaced by Metolius turn out! Toby Butterfield
From Portland, OR
Joined Aug 30, 2010
196 points
May 9, 2011
black nasty
send the cams back. the guys at metolius are super nice!
on another note, this is nothing new. look at old forums...
i sent back a bunch (maybe 6, i can't remember) it is not just
the master cams, it is also the tcu's that have the same problem.
i mentioned to the r&d dept. about changing the design of the cam stops to a triangle shape. (like the larger cams have) seems like a simple fix, but what do i know... (they never did get back to me)
oh, and by the way they told me (if i remember correctly)
1.5 kill-a-cam-stop-newtons on the little square buggers.
which means you can put the cam in a vise in your garage, without engaging the cams, yank on it, and break them. ;)

anyway, happy monday!

cor
Cor
Joined Mar 6, 2006
1,175 points
May 10, 2011
I had the same issue with the blue MC, though I did fall on it in a weird placement. Metolius was great about replacing it. I've gone back to using TCU's for the little stuff though, as I never had an issue with them. Richard Hunter
From New York, NY
Joined Apr 16, 2009
40 points


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