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Who else would like to see more wide cams on the market?
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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Jul 9, 2012

Gotcha on the double axle range issue, but one thing to really figure out before you settle on a design is the pushing the cam issue.

These big dogs are the kind of pieces that you'll walk up the pitch, because you sure as hell don't want to carry more of them than you have to due to weight, even if you could afford a bunch of them.

I've got some 6 Friends that I prefer to the old green BD #5 because they were more stable due to the wider head width if you are climbing over them (rather than pushing), but if you put a 6 friend next to a new 6 camalot, and try to push them up a pitch, the camalot is much easier and doesn't seem to get into jacked-up orientations as much (the friend will often rotate some and then have one lobe go umbrella while the rest are still engaged, etc).

This is a primary concern. As I said before, I don't know whether it's cam angle, head width, double vs. single axle, spring tension, or some combo of those, but nailing that down and desinging with pushing it in mind would be vital IMO.


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 10, 2012

Well, gave it some more thought and figured it best to give Tom@VG a heads up if a 9" cam if what's wanted. I could certainly do it (with a completely different design), but with such a small/niche market I felt it would be rude for me to edge in on him if he's got them sitting on the shelf. If he takes a pass I'm up for it; I just don't want to step on his toes. Btw, smaller than 9" isn't an issue as the only game in town is BD or WC, and me making a couple cams isn't going to make a difference to them.


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By Unassigned User
Jul 10, 2012

Hey Aric how bout off sizes. I.E. ones in between what BD and VG offers. I mean if pricing is competitive with VG than just speaking for myself, I would probably buy VG's cams over yours just because they have a proven background. But if you put out some in between sizes (maybe 5"-7" range) I would rather buy those from you than from BD especially if you think yours will push up better.

BD sizes 5 and 6
85.4-148.5 mm, 3.36-5.85 in (size 5)
114.1-195.0 mm, 4.50-7.68 in (size 6)

Thanks for putting the thought into this.


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 10, 2012

Good to hear that came across as intended. Tom put a lot of work carving that niche out for himself and I have little interest in infringing on it. Other sizes are fair game if there's interest, so ask around. If we get 4 or 5 per size I'll most likely be able to run them at a rather attractive price, by which I mean covering my costs just to get rid of the material i've been sitting on for years. Ended up I coupdn't figure out the springs for the design I bought the material for (would have covered BD5-VG12 iirc... Theory and practice don't always jive), so the material's been sitting ever since. Springs on traditional designs are no problem, so no worries there; that design was decidedly non-traditional and required some really odd movements of the lobes.


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By Unassigned User
Jul 10, 2012

Aric, you make something that versatile I will pay out some serious cash for it! haha. Yeah I know about theory not jiving up to practice. I will ask around see if I can get some more people in my area to want some big cams.


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 10, 2012

Actually, it was that design that turned me off to expanded range cams.... While they look good on paper, in practice they end up being too wide on the small end and too narrow on the big end. Trango was interested in the design if I was able to figure out the springs, but ultimately the impact on head width killed that project regardless of where the spring issue ended up. Fun cam though, and took me several years to figure out the math behind it (and an hour or two to convince Mal-formerly-of-Trango and his Engineer that the math was actually correct when demonstrating the prototypes... very non-traditional design that acted in very non-traditional ways to yield the same result but with greater range). That then lead to the design I'm currently working on and was hoping to have on the market this summer, but the combination of the baby (now 2), followed by Fixe&Totem and BD's supposed new entry has my stuff sitting on the back burner waiting to see how things fall out. Beta testers liked it big time, but I missed my post-CCH / pre-Fixe/Totem window and am best off waiting before sinking more money into that project. Kept working on it until the BD rumors came out since the beta testers liked them better than Aliens, but I'd rather wait and see what all they have coming rather than getting an undeserved cease-and-desist patent infringement letter in spite of developing it independently (ever look at what all they try and patent? Sheesh....)

Anyway, time to make dinner. I'll likely float the semi-custom-off-size thing on ST later tonight so see if there's interest there, as there's precedent for open-source gear design over there (the D5 hammer and Luke's revival of the Hurricane, as well as my ongoing attempts at making the Hurricane tool-less).

BTW, there's a really interesting patent from a while back that attempts to address the head width issue, as far as I know it didn't go anywhere. Basically the lobes were conical sections... www.patentstorm.us/applications/20070164180/description.html


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By Vaughne
Jul 10, 2012

Just curious, but wouldn't you be opening yourself to some pretty massive liability selling homemade cams?


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 10, 2012

Liability? Quite possibly, given the litigious nature of our society. There are ways to protect myself from it though, which I obviously would investigate. I wonder if climbing gear would have developed as fast if Choiunard and the Lowe brothers had to deal with the constant threat of lawsuit like this? I'm thinking no, but that's a discussion for another time... :-)


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 10, 2012

Erm, didn't mean to lump myself in with them... was speaking more towards the shift away from self-reliance and acceptance of buying life protection equipment out of the back of a van.


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By Unassigned User
Jul 10, 2012

Aric I believe if you sold it to me as a "as is" product. I do believe that would clear you. But I ain't no lawyer. But if our word is worth anything these days, some of us would give Aric our word that we are buying a product from him and assuming the full resposibility of the product.


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By Greg G
From SLC, UT
Jul 10, 2012
The route in it's entirety.

I agree Aric. How many hardmen and women of yesteryear used homemade equipment or gear climbers of today would deem suspect and inferior? Yet those people climbed the routes we see as classic today.

After borrowing a VG #9 this past spring I was completely blown away by the quality of the cam and how bomber it seemed.


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 10, 2012

Greg G wrote:
After borrowing a VG #9 this past spring I was completely blown away by the quality of the cam and how bomber it seemed.


Yup, Tom does good work. And out of respect for him and the service he's provided the community I'll pass on infringing on his niche unless he says it's ok. :-)


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 10, 2012

J Hazard wrote:
Aric I believe if you sold it to me as a "as is" product. I do believe that would clear you.


Thanks. I'm not one either, and frankly figuring out the liability thing has been on my to-do list for ages now and I really need to get around to taking care of it. If this is the nudge I need to get around to it, that's cool by me.


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By ssimonson09
From Tacoma, WA
Jul 11, 2012
Roadtrip!

Aric, I'd definitely be interested in some big cams. I don't really have any particular sizes in mind, I'd have to put a little more thought into that, but I'd definitely be interested in putting some cash down for some different, but well made big cams.


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By Kent Pease
From Littleton, Colorado
Jul 12, 2012

Aric Datesman wrote:
Pondered this a couple days, and figured wth.... If there's enough interest in them I might be able to be talked into knocking out a small run of big cams. IIRC I have +/-8 feet of 6" wide by 0.250" thick 6061-T6 sitting on the shelf that was purchased for this sort of thing years ago, and I'm tired of looking at it. Probably some 4" and 5" as well. Would have to get consensus on size, single/double axle, rigid/single/U-stem and whatnot, at which point I could run the costing. I've got a CNC machine shop in the basement, so while possible to do it all with a hacksaw and file I'd instead take the easy route. Heck, for the right price I'd even dig out the anodizing tank and make them all pretty. Oh, and obviously they'd be proof tested to some agreed upon load... Any takers?


I would be interested in a couple units sized at #4.25 in the old BD scale. The old BD #4 is a horror size and it would be good to have a better transition to the next size up (old #4.5/new #5). A double axel design is preferred. *#%$ BD's new sizing in this range!

I would also be interested in the transition size from the biggest BD (old #5/new #6) to the 9 VG. Want in general and for one route in particular.


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By Gregger Man
Jul 12, 2012
gg

Stem length:
I had to make a longer stem because the lobes were big enough to hit your fingers as you pulled the trigger. Making the trigger travel length shorter by anchoring the wire closer to the axle could have worked, but that would have made the trigger a real bear to pull.


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 12, 2012

Quick bump to say I'm still waiting to hear back from Tom@VG. Word is he has some 9" sitting one shelf and will be starting another run of them in a month or so, but I'd like to verify that with him directly.


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By Zappatista
Jul 12, 2012
Book me, officer.

I'm into some big boys as well, and I think that if you don't want to step into the VG ring the best deal would be some pretty odd sizes. How about an 8" and a 10", maybe a smaller size to fill in the awkward spots in between the big companies' products?

Let me know in advance if I can see a pic and reserve a set. Got a list of OWs a mile long and some odd sizes would be sweet to have.


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 12, 2012

Still waiting on a response from Tom, and frankly the wait is making me lean towards going through with it. Still going to give him a week or so as I work the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon thing to get to him, and will update both here and on ST regardless of how it ends up.


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 16, 2012

Well, I heard back from Tom@VG and while he has a couple sitting around he's fine with me making some. I'll give some thought to design over the next couple days and do some rough cost estimates, then report back.


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By Matt Kuehl
From the desert
Jul 16, 2012
Plumbers Crack

I've painstakingly designed an 11" piece that I wood be available to reproduce by request. The beauty of the design is that it is customizable to the exact width of yer project OW catastrophe (great for all those odd sizes) and with the right tools it has an unmatched range for one-time placements on lead. It currently only comes in one color "Nude", but don't let that discourage you... most people know exactly where it is on their harness without even looking. So branch out from cams and don't pine for that VG, instead spruce up your rack with the Woody 11"

11"
11"


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Jul 16, 2012
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

Matt Kuehl wrote:
I've painstakingly designed an 11" piece that I wood be available to reproduce by request. The beauty of the design is that it is customizable to the exact width of yer project OW catastrophe (great for all those odd sizes) and with the right tools it has an unmatched range for one-time placements on lead. It currently only comes in one color "Nude", but don't let that discourage you... most people know exactly where it is on their harness without even looking. So branch out from cams and don't pine for that VG, instead spruce up your rack with the Woody 11"

hilariously well put

have you fallen on the W11?


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By Matt Kuehl
From the desert
Jul 17, 2012
Plumbers Crack

No falls onto the W11 yet... it's proof that this ground breaking product increases your climbing ability ten folds.

And it's pretty difficult to fall out of an 11" crack unless you're too big to fit inside, which is possible i guess...


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By Princess Mia
From Vail
Jul 17, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks

Kent Pease wrote:
The old BD #4 is a horror size and it would be good to have a better transition to the next size up (old #4.5/new #5).



I love the old BD #4!! It is perfect hand stacks for me. The #4.5 is perfect hand/fist stacks. LOL

I agree the new BD sizing sucks.


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By Siberia
From Birmingham, AL
Jul 17, 2012

I'd really like to see that woody 11" pull tested!!


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