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Another Cam Comparison Tool


Original Post
Brian Guppy · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 5

I put together a utility for finding compatible cams and thought I'd throw it out here for everyone. I know there are some cam charts out there already, but this is a bit different in that it lets you select a cam and find matches for it. It's a more direct approach to getting the info I usually want when I look at a cam chart, which is to know which of my cams will work in place of a suggested cam that I don't have.

Go here to give it a try. It should hopefully be pretty intuitive to use.

Since there are multiple utilities with different data sets floating around (a problem I've just made worse   ) it might be worth discussing having a central source of gear data (if one doesn't already exist).

Let me know what you think. All comments and feedback are welcome.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 877

I gave it a try.  It turns out a C3 is 100% compatible with a Totem.  Does that means they will get along really well on long climbs, hold hands, kiss a little?

C3's and Fixe Aliens are only 78% compatible.  Does that mean they can only share the rack sometimes?  

Compatible??  Is this a dating site for cams?

Scottmx426 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0

Edit:  Brian!  This is pretty sweet!  I use BD C4 and X4 as well as Metolius.  I like that the two brands don’t match perfectly but overlap in the 60% range roughly. Sort of between sizes. How difficult and tedious would it be to put colored lines of range over lap for each brand/size in the results area. I like to visualize the range overlap not in tenths or hundredths of an inch (0.00 format) but with side by side graph. The big page lists we’ve all seen are tedious to look at because the BDs might be at the top of a page where the brand I want to compare to are at the bottom and the tiny difference/overlap is to minute to see.  Hope that makes sense. If they were adjacent that would be sweet!  Anway, thanks for sharing! 

Pete Spri · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 286
Brian Guppy wrote:

I put together a utility for finding compatible cams and thought I'd throw it out here for everyone. I know there are some cam charts out there already, but this is a bit different in that it lets you select a cam and find matches for it. It's a more direct approach to getting the info I usually want when I look at a cam chart, which is to know which of my cams will work in place of a suggested cam that I don't have.

Go here to give it a try. It should hopefully be pretty intuitive to use.

Since there are multiple utilities with different data sets floating around (a problem I've just made worse   ) it might be worth discussing having a central source of gear data (if one doesn't already exist).

Let me know what you think. All comments and feedback are welcome.

Nice work.


However, you are using incorrect numbers for metolius.

Please see this chart: https://www.metoliusclimbing.com/cam-range.html

When I cross checked you, your numbers are metolius' "usable range" numbers.  If you could re-do your numbers, that would better match the other brands that only report min and max ranges.


I checked Metolius 00.  The min and max range is .33 to .55.  Your chart has .34 - .47, what they report as usable range.


Brian Guppy · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 5
Pete Spri wrote:

...

I checked Metolius 00.  The min and max range is .33 to .55.  Your chart has .34 - .47, what they report as usable range.


Just uploaded a fix - thanks for catching that.

This sort of thing is why it might be nice to have a central source of gear data.

Brian Guppy · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 5
Scottmx426 wrote:

Edit:  Brian!  This is pretty sweet!  I use BD C4 and X4 as well as Metolius.  I like that the two brands don’t match perfectly but overlap in the 60% range roughly. Sort of between sizes. How difficult and tedious would it be to put colored lines of range over lap for each brand/size in the results area. I like to visualize the range overlap not in tenths or hundredths of an inch (0.00 format) but with side by side graph. The big page lists we’ve all seen are tedious to look at because the BDs might be at the top of a page where the brand I want to compare to are at the bottom and the tiny difference/overlap is to minute to see.  Hope that makes sense. If they were adjacent that would be sweet!  Anway, thanks for sharing! 

That should be doable but it'll be a couple of weeks before I can get to it. The results table is sortable if you click on a header - that should help at least a little bit.

Thanks for the feedback.

Brian Guppy · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 5
Scottmx426 wrote:

How difficult and tedious would it be to put colored lines of range over lap for each brand/size in the results area.

Done - give it a try.

Scottmx426 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0
Brian Guppy wrote:

Done - give it a try.

Edit: Brian!  Way to go!  That’s exactly what I had pictured!  Thanks for the hard work! I imagine it took some time!  Will you be getting it out to the masses?  I bet lots of people would dig it!  

Nice job! 


Scott

Kris Fiore · · Burlington, VT · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 1,846

Yeah this is pretty legit. Obviously it doesn't account for number of lobes and width/head size but this is still an awesome resource.

Programmers never cease to amaze me.

Matt B · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 281

Any chance you could get those new WC Friends in there?

Caleb Schwarz · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 115

This is sick

Brian Guppy · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 5
Scottmx426 wrote:

Will you be getting it out to the masses?

What do you mean? I thought MP was the masses!

New Friends have been added.

Matt B · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 281

Bump for a super helpful rack-building / modifying tool. Thanks for adding in those new WC cams! 

EDIT: I like extending the compatibility down to ~50% to see what cams might work well in the ranges between the cams I have on my rack. That helps make this a really awesome tool for filling gaps in your rack.

Gabe Cisneros · · Baltimore, md · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

Very cool. Nice work.

Z Winters · · Mazama, WA · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 220

Hey Brian, this is a pretty sweet tool! A couple suggestions that I think would make it even more useful.

1) If you added an option under manufacturer for "size", and then had "metric" and "imperial" under cam type, the user could get a list of cams that are 3/4", 2.5" etc., which many guidebooks use. (ie book says bring extra 1" cams..... is that a #1 c4, wait no it's a #1 friend, right? But I have Aliens, is that a grey I think?) You could select 1" and it would spit out #0.5 X4, Red Alien, Purple Totem, etc.

2) A head width measurement on each cam would be really sweet. Does that exist on the web anywhere?

Also, using manufacturers advertised max/min range has the disadvantage of not being all that accurate. I chose Green Alien, and it says a 0.3 Camalot is a 100% match, when of course the green alien is a smaller piece in the real world. Anyway, just a couple thoughts. Nice work on the tool!

SRB25 · · Woodside, ca · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 5
Z Winters wrote:

Hey Brian, this is a pretty sweet tool! A couple suggestions that I think would make it even more useful.

1) If you added an option under manufacturer for "size", and then had "metric" and "imperial" under cam type, the user could get a list of cams that are 3/4", 2.5" etc., which many guidebooks use. (ie book says bring extra 1" cams..... is that a #1 c4, wait no it's a #1 friend, right? But I have Aliens, is that a grey I think?) You could select 1" and it would spit out #0.5 X4, Red Alien, Purple Totem, etc.

2) A head width measurement on each cam would be really sweet. Does that exist on the web anywhere?

Also, using manufacturers advertised max/min range has the disadvantage of not being all that accurate. I chose Green Alien, and it says a 0.3 Camalot is a 100% match, when of course the green alien is a smaller piece in the real world. Anyway, just a couple thoughts. Nice work on the tool!

Z. Not poopooing your comments as they are valid. But in the interest of saving Brian more tedious work and cluttering his creation. Does anyone rack up for a climb considering the actually crack dimensions?  No one in my 25 years. Safe to say no one is climbing with their calipers to measure the cracks and pockets. It’s all approximate.  If one needs extra .5s or #1s then yeah bring some. If you don’t have extra cams to bring you do without. Head width doesn’t matter much either. It’s either too wide or not too wide. This is part of climbing, certainly so before the internet provided micro beta. We improvise. The chart compares sizes which are marked published by range and colored bars to show overlap. Some overlap on the minimum AND maximum which gives you the 100%. Seems simple enough.  This is the info the manufactures supply. Brian just put it into a data base. It’s great! 

Z Winters · · Mazama, WA · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 220

Hey SRB25, no offense taken. Yeah I would have to agree with you that calipers are not a staple piece of crag kit. And I certainly don't think of cracks in inches or millimeters either. But since the OP was looking for feedback, I'll explain why I was thinking it could be useful. Many guide books use inches to describe the recommended rack. (One obvious exception is the "Camalot Edition" of the Indian Creek book.) I've got the Squamish book next to me, flipped to a random page. The rack for The Facade is: "SR to 2.5", 2 ea 0.5-2"cams, 3 ea 0.75-1" cams". It's a hard overhanging finger crack, and most people wouldn't want to guess on the rack. Translating inches to gear is the only time I flip to the chart at the front of the book, which is what this tool aims to replace I think. You're right that it can get into splitting hairs, and I usually just interpret that to mean "grab some extra finger-sized stuff." But the OP was looking for ideas so I thought it could be useful.

The head-width suggestion was just 'cause I thought it could be useful for people buying stuff. Say, a new tradster gets advice that they should get some C3s for a particular area, but they're discontinued so they can look up what else might be narrow enough instead. Of course when your on route, you just use what you have.

Either way, thanks for putting it together Brian. I'm sure it'll help a lot of folks!

SRB25 · · Woodside, ca · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 5
Z Winters wrote:

Hey SRB25, no offense taken. Yeah I would have to agree with you that calipers are not a staple piece of crag kit. And I certainly don't think of cracks in inches or millimeters either. But since the OP was looking for feedback, I'll explain why I was thinking it could be useful. Many guide books use inches to describe the recommended rack. (One obvious exception is the "Camalot Edition" of the Indian Creek book.) I've got the Squamish book next to me, flipped to a random page. The rack for The Facade is: "SR to 2.5", 2 ea 0.5-2"cams, 3 ea 0.75-1" cams". It's a hard overhanging finger crack, and most people wouldn't want to guess on the rack. Translating inches to gear is the only time I flip to the chart at the front of the book, which is what this tool aims to replace I think. You're right that it can get into splitting hairs, and I usually just interpret that to mean "grab some extra finger-sized stuff." But the OP was looking for ideas so I thought it could be useful.

The head-width suggestion was just 'cause I thought it could be useful for people buying stuff. Say, a new tradster gets advice that they should get some C3s for a particular area, but they're discontinued so they can look up what else might be narrow enough instead. Of course when your on route, you just use what you have.

Either way, thanks for putting it together Brian. I'm sure it'll help a lot of folks!

EDIT: I agree. Translating inches to sizes IS tedious. And some guides call for a measurement while others just give the gear beta in BD C4 sizes. So you’re idea is certainly good. Too bad guides aren’t universal. I wonder if Brian could add a universal “ruler” adjacent to the colored bars. That way it would be one image across the top of each brand/piece. That the colored bar could slide back and forth on depending on range. Just an idea. Not suggesting to Brian his tool isn’t already awesome. Just addressing Z’s idea. I’ve already been using it a bunch. 

Z Winters · · Mazama, WA · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 220
SRB25 wrote:

I agree. Translating inches to sizes isn’t tedious. And some guides call for a measurement while others just give the gear beta in BD C4 sizes. So you’re idea is certainly good. Too bad guides aren’t universal. I wonder if Brian could add a universal “ruler” adjacent to the colored bars. That way it would be one image across the top of each brand/piece. That the colored bar could slide back and forth on depending on range. Just an idea. Not suggesting to Brian his tool isn’t already awesome. Just addressing Z’s idea. I’ve already been using it a bunch. 

Genius! Way better than my idea. Also, we're one joke about "Brian's tool" away from some serious thread drift ;)

bttrrtRock Charles · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 5

Way cool! TCU?

bttrrtRock Charles · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 5

Never mind. Thanks!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
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