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Labs that test CCH Aliens?
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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jul 21, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

Does anyone test old CCH Aliens these days? I'd like to get some tested to 1/2 or 1/3 of their stated strength.

I'm sitting on eight CCH Aliens that are suspect to me. I bought them off the internet. They range in dates from 6/99 to 10/08; one is not stamped with a date. None indicate that they were "tensile tested" by anyone.

I've searched other threads, but can't seem to come up with an answer. Nadia doesn't return emails; the phone has been turned off for some time now. I contacted the distributor for Fixe in the US; he said that Fixe won't touch units manufactured by Dave. I don't blame them.

I've got my old set from the 90s but they're pretty beat up and even though I know they're full strength because I've whipped on every single one of them, I want to use the newer units that I paid good money for.

Do I have any other options other than testing them myself (not psyched on the idea, but it's a possibility if someone can tell me how and I don't need to buy an ass-ton of equipment), selling them (probably not gonna happen), or just use them based on blind faith (definitely not gonna happen)?

Please tell me that I'm not screwed. Please..

--Marc


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By James Otey
From NH
Jul 21, 2011
Urban Surfer, Rumney. <br /> <br />Photo by Lee Hansche

Bounce test the fuck out of them! Static line and a crash pad...


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 21, 2011

Gabe O (cracklover on rc.com) came up with a fairly good self-test method using a 'fuse' of a small diameter accessory cord that would test to some chosen kn.

I think he's talked about it here as well (i cant remember what his handle is here- either Gabe O or cracklover)- give him a shout and ask, i'm sure he'd be happy to share the details.

other than that, you might bug adatesman to pull 'em for ya.


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By Jordan Ramey
From Calgary, Alberta
Jul 21, 2011
What was left of the rack when I topped out on the last pitch of Snake Dike on Half Dome.

get some accessory cord rated to fail at the strength you wanna test. pull till cord breaks. done.


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 21, 2011

Jordan Ramey wrote:
get some accessory cord rated to fail at the strength you wanna test. pull till cord breaks. done.


If you do it this way be sure to de-rate the cord strength to account for the knot(s). Another option was put forward by Mike Rawdom (Gunkiemike on RC, IIRC) where he used his sewing machine and 1" webbing to make breakable fuses. Basically he used the thread strength to calculate the number of stitches needed to get the strength he was looking for and the handful I broke for him failed within a couple percent of what he calculated.


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jul 21, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

Jordan Ramey wrote:
get some accessory cord rated to fail at the strength you wanna test. pull till cord breaks. done.


What do you use to pull? A vehicle? What do you attach the cam to?

Anybody know if Gabe O sells his "fuses?"


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By GabeO
From Denver, CO
Jul 22, 2011

Yep, that was me. Here's a link:

www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2464064

GO


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By Brad W
From San Diego
Jul 22, 2011

Did you ever get one of your fuses tested to confirm your assumed strength range?


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 22, 2011

Cord fuses are only good for a rough ballpark, as loss of strength due to the knot is highly dependent on the knot used, how it's dressed, which strand is loaded and how closely the manufacturer puts the rated strength to the actual breaking strength. At best you're likely looking at +/- 10% or so from your calculated value, but it doesn't really matter if it breaks at 5.5kN rather than 5.0kN since a ballpark figure is good enough for this sort of thing.

Edit- this article is worth a read: webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?hl=en&oe=UTF-8&q=cache>>>


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By sfotex
From Sandy, UT
Jul 22, 2011

Throw those janky pieces of crap in the garbage and buy some new ones from Fixe when they come out. How much is your life worth?


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jul 22, 2011
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

I thought it was pretty clear that this pull testing to 1/3 or 1/2 rated strength was completely worthless for predicting performance and in fact just sets up the pieces to fail prematurely anyway.

If quality control measures are not put into place to insure standard performance of workmanship, then there is no way to figure out what units will fail and what will not witout destroying the equipment.

That said I have two old Aliens that I have on the rack and I just take it on faith that they were good ones. That's all I can do.


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jul 22, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

sfotex wrote:
Throw those janky pieces of crap in the garbage and buy some new ones from Fixe when they come out. How much is your life worth?


Hahahah. Aliens have been saving my life since 1997. Just because CCH made a few bad ones doesn't mean there aren't tens of thousands of good ones out there. People are still buying and driving Toyotas, aren't they?

--Marc


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jul 22, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

Stich wrote:
I thought it was pretty clear that this pull testing to 1/3 or 1/2 rated strength was completely worthless for predicting performance and in fact just sets up the pieces to fail prematurely anyway.


If you go to the link provided by Gabe, I don't think it's clear at all that pull testing is completely worthless. He came up with a rather scientific way to put a significant load on each unit and hasn't had one break yet. I don't think the method is perfect, but it's certainly good enough for me; I also think it's better than a) wasting the money that I spent on the cams by throwing them away and b) acting on blind faith/assuming they're good without actually knowing.



Stich wrote:
That said I have two old Aliens that I have on the rack and I just take it on faith that they were good ones.


It makes heaps more sense to me to pull test my cams rather than acting on blind faith, or gambling that the ones that I own don't have QC issues. But to each his own.

Stich wrote:
That's all I can do.


Is it, though?

--Marc


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jul 22, 2011
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

I don't know where the original post from an actual engineer that described why pull tests are useless is, but it was interesting to read. Perhaps you can consult someone who can explain it all in detail, but that was the gist of it.

You can kid yourself that pull testing is somehow any different than just having faith based on thin air, but it is essentially the same thing. Believe what you want.


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By Aric Datesman
Jul 22, 2011

Guess Metolius didn't get the memo, as the individually proof test their gear without damage.


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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Jul 22, 2011
Russ

Stich wrote:
I don't know where the original post from an actual engineer that described why pull tests are useless is, but it was interesting to read. Perhaps you can consult someone who can explain it all in detail, but that was the gist of it. You can kid yourself that pull testing is somehow any different than just having faith based on thin air, but it is essentially the same thing. Believe what you want.


Well, I know first hand of an Alien that had the head pop off at about 150lbs. I would for sure feel more confident falling on one that I tested out to 1200lbs than a random roll of the dice. Of course, the pull testing was for one specific problem that the Aliens had, not the full range of possible problems that might crop up. So, saying the tested variety Vs. faith is the same thing, is not even remotely true in this particular instance.


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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Jul 22, 2011
Russ

Marc H wrote:
Does anyone test old CCH Aliens these days? I'd like to get some tested to 1/2 or 1/3 of their stated strength.


We can pull them for you. Cost is a 750ml of Tequila. Put it in the box with the cams. Price includes return shipping. Even standard tequila will do. Let's do blanco.

Email me if you want to get the ball rolling.


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jul 22, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

Stich wrote:
Believe what you want.


For me, it's not what I want to believe, but what makes sense to believe. Several people on the thread (Gabe, Aric & Russ) with gear-testing experience seem to believe that pull testing a CCH Alien gives them a little more integrity than what they currently have at face value.

It sounds like you're the one that's believing what he wants to believe. :-)

--Marc

Edit: it appears at least one of the aforementioned people is financialy.. Er drunkinly, invested in me believing that pull testing is worth it. ;-)

Russ Walling wrote:
We can pull them for you. Cost is a 750ml of Tequila.


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jul 22, 2011
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

I just would like to reiterate,

YER GONNA DIE!!!11111



So go ahead and do it.



DIE


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jul 22, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

Russ Walling wrote:
Email me if you want to get the ball rolling. Cost is a 750ml of Tequila.


PM sent. Bottle purchased.


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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Jul 22, 2011
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!

Marc H wrote:
People are still buying and driving Toyotas, aren't they? --Marc

That's in large part because a panel of NASA scientists put together by the Federal Gov't researched it and found no reason in any system why those accidents happened.

Sorry, couldn't let that go, big Toyota fan. Carry on with your Alien discussion.


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jul 22, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

Rick Blair wrote:
That's in large part because a panel of NASA scientists put together by the Federal Gov't researched it and found no reason in any system why those accidents happened.


Maybe they should have used engineers that build cars instead of rockets. :-O


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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Jul 23, 2011
Russ

Marc H wrote:
PM sent. Bottle purchased.



Nothing in the inbox.... send me an email at: info@FishProducts.com


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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Jul 23, 2011
Russ

Got it Marc.... email with shipping address has been sent. Let's all pray for no decapitations in this batch.


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By GabeO
From Denver, CO
Aug 3, 2011

Brad W wrote:
Did you ever get one of your fuses tested to confirm your assumed strength range?


Nope. I did talk to one of the engineers at Sterling Rope to confirm that the MBS is close enough to the breaking point for my comfort level.

As Russ and Aric implied, if you're testing to 1/2 breaking strength, you've already accepted the fact that your test is only weeding out cams with a failure mechanism at the low end of their rated strength. That was good enough for me.

GO


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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Aug 8, 2011
Russ

Correctly packed cams for testing
Correctly packed cams for testing


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