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By JLP
From The Internet
Oct 13, 2011

Aric Datesman wrote:
Just FYI, it actually is a rather exact science, especially when the equipment I used to obtain my results wouldn't fall into anything close to an "affordable" category.

It is very equipment dependent. To measure Rockwell with, say, an inexpensive pendulum type device and whatever tip, the results are going to be very operator dependent.

Aric Datesman wrote:
There are plenty of US-based extrusion companies that do affordable short run custom work and are willing to provide material certifications for their products.

You're agreeing with me and furthering my point. If it says 6061-T6, it probably is.

I do like the softening by "old school hardening" theory. Somehow I picture an oven meant for horse shoes, built in the early 1900's.

Totem - I'm not a fanboy yet. They do seem more competent than CCH thus far, though.


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By Aric Datesman
Oct 13, 2011

JLP wrote:
It is very equipment dependent. To measure Rockwell with, say, an inexpensive pendulum type device and whatever tip, the results are going to be very operator dependent.


Which is why it's done as a comparative measurement against certified samples in the expected range of what you're measuring; it removes the influence of the operator. In any case, the range of operator influence in the results is nowhere near large enough to explain the 20 or 30 point variations I found. A point or two, sure. But not 20 or 30.

JLP wrote:
You're agreeing with me and furthering my point. If it says 6061-T6, it probably is.


Sorry about that bit; I thought you were saying that you needed to be Boeing to get certified material. My bad.

JLP wrote:
I do like the softening by "old school hardening" theory. Somehow I picture an oven meant for horse shoes, built in the early 1900's.


Unsubstantiated story I heard was heating them with a torch and tossing them in a bucket of water. Another, and more likely, story I heard (from the 3rd party that validated my results) is that the extrusion house may have been counting on the heat of the extrusion process to heat treat the bars rather than doing a proper heat treat on them. Only way to tell would be a crystalline analysis of the samples, and while the guy I sent them to was more than happy to do for me as a favor, he wasn't so thrilled with CCH getting a hold of the results of a test that would have otherwise cost them quite a bit of money. And since a hardness test was sufficient to show that the samples were not in fact 6061-T6 we took a pass on further testing.


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By JLP
From The Internet
Oct 13, 2011

Aric Datesman wrote:
Unsubstantiated story I heard... Another, and more likely, story I heard...

Well, we have a past employee above who is saying they were heated after debur...


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By Aric Datesman
Oct 13, 2011

Yup, and since John is not the past employee I heard the heat-with-a-torch story from I personally think the chances of funny things going on there metallurgy-wise are pretty high.


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By chrisIerickson
From Salt Lake, UT
Oct 13, 2011

I agree with the impressions of the review.

I just got a full set here that I can't wait to go out and scratch up. The size differences on the reds (between Totem and CCH) are barely noticeable to me (how long does it take to wear .050" off anyway?

The build quality seems great and they feel just like the original aliens...


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By TheIceManCometh
From Albany, NY
Oct 13, 2011
Chiller Pillar, Adirondacks

Got the Red, Yellow & Green Totem Basic Cams in the mail today. Ordered them on 10/5, got them on 10/13. Interestingly, they were shipped UPS Ground from Portland, Oregon on 10/7.

Interesting to see their overlap vs a 0.5 C4 and 2, 1 & 0 C3. See pic. The red Alien is just slightly smaller than the #0.5 (purple) C4 and the green "Alien" is slightly smaller than a #2 (yellow) C3.

Fills a good gap in my rack as I don't have the 0.4 or 0.3 C4s.


C4, Alien, C3 size comparison
C4, Alien, C3 size comparison


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Oct 13, 2011
El Chorro

See what I'm talking about?


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By BASE99999
Oct 13, 2011

It is so funny to see people compare cams by just a glance at the heads. Especially when trying to compare Black Diamond C4s to others. BD C4 have a double axle.

The Purple BD and the Red Totem Basic have almost the same range.

Black Diamond C4 - .5 (Purple) = 19mm to 33mm

Totem Basic .95 (RED) = 19mm to 31mm

So really, they are the same size cam. Cause who uses a cam in the up 25% of the range.


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By TheIceManCometh
From Albany, NY
Oct 13, 2011
Chiller Pillar, Adirondacks

I've found visually comparing them helps a bunch. From the picture I can see that the Totem Red will fit in a more shallow slot than the purple C4.

And yes, the Totem Red is slightly smaller than the C4 -- 2mm, that is. And yes, even if you only use both cams no more than 75% extended, the purple C4 will hold slightly better in a crack at the higher end of its range compared to the Totem Red because it is slightly bigger.

A visual comparison is a good indicator of where you might have overlaps or holes in your rack.

Another person might have filled out this same gap b/w the purple C4 and the yellow C3 with the 0.4 and 0.3 C4. I chose the Totem Basic cams because I think they'll give me more placement options (like piton scars).


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By Simon Hatfield
From Oakland, CA
Oct 20, 2011
Me placing a cam at the crux - photo courtesy G. Helm

Does anyone know if Totem has plans to make smaller basics? I never used aliens, but from what I've read, the smallest sizes are where they really excel.


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By mattm
From TX
Oct 21, 2011
Grande Grotto

Simon Hatfield wrote:
Does anyone know if Totem has plans to make smaller basics? I never used aliens, but from what I've read, the smallest sizes are where they really excel.


Yes and No. Once you got below the Green Alien the design changed. The cams were too small to use the internal spring design so they went back to the normal external spring setup. This made the head width of the cam WIDER than other options in that size range. In areas where the cracks were DEEP (Moab, IC) the wider head width didn't make a difference in placements so the Blue and Black Aliens still were good. In other areas where the cracks bottomed out or where pin scared the wider head width was a liability for more placements.

I think once you get below a Green Alien, BD C3s or Master Cams are a better choice.

That said, I too have heard from Totem that they'll eventually get to making other sizes.


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By Pete Spri
Oct 21, 2011

Are they still that super-soft aluminum that CCH made them out of? I prefer the "normal" aluminum of WC or BD, metolius is unnecessarily hard, IMO, and the old Aliens were so soft that the cams deformed if you fell on them hard.


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By Chris D
From the couch
Oct 23, 2011
Sign near the Third Flatiron

Functionality-wise, how would you expect these Totem Basics to perform better/worse than Metolious Mastercams of the same size?

I find the Mastercams size 1 and smaller are fantastic in pin scars in granite. Would the Totems work better? Why?

I have no experience with offsets.


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By SexPanther aka Kiedis
Nov 3, 2011
Thumbtastic

I'm gonna be really interested to see how things play out between the totems and the fixes. Never was super psyched on Aliens, knowing they were hit-or-miss kept me from spending my money on them back when I was dirty broke.

Now that I'm dirty broke again, I'm gonna see which ones start having brazing issues and blown heads first, and then buy a couple of the other company's.


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By Mark S
Nov 3, 2011
team

Spri wrote:
Are they still that super-soft aluminum that CCH made them out of? I prefer the "normal" aluminum of WC or BD, metolius is unnecessarily hard, IMO, and the old Aliens were so soft that the cams deformed if you fell on them hard.


Boy, that shows that you don't know what you are talking about.


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By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
Nov 3, 2011
Colonel Mustard

Killis Howard wrote:
Now that I'm dirty broke again, I'm gonna see which ones start having brazing issues and blown heads first, and then buy a couple of the other company's.


Always a solid plan with new gear. Even new old gear.

Does anybody else get absolutely nothing out of the bitchy technical wanking? It must be engineers' nature or something ;).


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By Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
Nov 26, 2011

After placing an order on the Totem website, how long has it been taking folks to receive the order?


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By TheIceManCometh
From Albany, NY
Nov 26, 2011
Chiller Pillar, Adirondacks

Took 8 days from order to receipt from Oregon to New York.


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By Evan Sanders
From Westminster, CO
Nov 27, 2011
Flaming Pumpkin

4 days from order to receipt.


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By Billcoe
Dec 5, 2011

Heads up, a box of 30 of these Totem Basics were stolen in Portland Oregon. If anyone sees any suspicions sales (brand new Totem basics from a non-climber Meth head type for instance) please report it on Cascadeclimbers.com attention Plaidman. cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/841204/all/P>>>

...and if you were thinking of giving Totems for Christmas, please do so as to support them in their time of need, and be generous if the previously fast shipments are not duplicated.




Regards to all.


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By Matt Westlake
Apr 25, 2012
Boardwalk at Ship Rock NC

Anyone had a chance to get out and use the Totem Basics over the past few months since this thread went up? Just wondering how the most recent comparisons of Totem, Fixe, and the originals are looking.


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By Pete Spri
Apr 25, 2012

Mark S wrote:
Boy, that shows that you don't know what you are talking about.

Doesn't sound like you've ever seen a well used one.


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