Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
Soft v hard links - interesting pic .....

 

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mik  (D 11111)

Dec 30, 2004, 11:23 AM
Post #1 of 95 (2653 views)
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Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... Can't Post

It's taken me a while to post this but here goes.. About a year or so ago I was still pretty new to this, just bought second hand rig, knew nothing about the kit, relying on others to pack etc.. Anyhow, just after a jump the packers asked me if I had seen the link (see photo).... Seems to have come undone and the thoughts of people who seemed to know much more than me was that damage was done on opening.

I moved on to soft links pretty quick... For information, I had a reserve re-pack only a few jumps earlier at which I had asked for a full check of the gear. The main lesson for me was about the importance of learning about my gear and checking before jumps..


(This post was edited by mik on Dec 30, 2004, 11:31 AM)
Attachments: link v2.jpg (24.9 KB)


TALONSKY  (D License)

Dec 30, 2004, 11:44 AM
Post #2 of 95 (2620 views)
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Re: [mik] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

I prefer soft links but there nothing is not fallible. Everyone should thoroughly know their gear and check it regularly. Most of the times on the last jump of the day I will pack at home this allow me to do a thorough inspection of the gear while I pack. That link was probably loose for a while prior to it coming totally undone. I have two rigs and although it is difficult to stay on top of any maintenance issue I strive to make sure my gear is in great shape. In the end it is really up to you to make sure your gear is in good working order.
A couple of years ago I was between rigs (sold mine and my new one was a month out) so I borrow a fewr from a few different people. I was really shocked to see the quality level of the gear. It all needed some maintenance but baggers cant be choosers.

Kirk


killler  (D License)

Dec 30, 2004, 7:25 PM
Post #3 of 95 (2475 views)
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Re: [mik] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

   The link was not installed right... Most likely by a jumper who new it all....Wink A rapid link installed the right way on the riser and with lock tight and a rubber bumper to keep the lines in place will not failWink The rapid link in the picture was not installed right and did not have a bumper and lock tight on the barrel... Or the person stripped the barrel by over tightening it... Or it was a non-tso'd link from the hardware storeCrazy I've seen some of those in my day...Shocked

Killer....


(This post was edited by killler on Dec 30, 2004, 7:32 PM)


skycat  (D 25740)

Dec 30, 2004, 10:12 PM
Post #4 of 95 (2438 views)
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Re: [mik] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

be sure to check your soft links periodically also, especially if you are installing them on a canopy that has been on rapide links prior. If the rapide links did not have some kind of bumper it's possible that the grommets on the slider became knicked which can damage softlinks.

Best time to do it if you don't pack for yourself is when you do your 30-day 3-ring maintenance.....you do do a 30-day 3-ring maintenance, RIGHT!!


MarkM  (C 35089)

Dec 31, 2004, 9:14 AM
Post #5 of 95 (2338 views)
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Re: [mik] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Seen one of my links look about the same after a jump once. I didn't tighten it enough when I installed my main. Fortunately I had the habit of inspecting things carefuly when I put that new main on and caught it before I jumped.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Dec 31, 2004, 11:16 PM
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Re: [mik] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Nothing wrong with hard links, but . . . You have to make sure they are done up properly and torqued correctly. Rubber bumpers on them make them pretty fool proof. I still like them. There have been a few problems with soft links, too, so don't be complacent with any piece of equipment. Check it all. Smile


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Jan 1, 2005, 12:57 AM
Post #7 of 95 (2258 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
so don't be complacent with any piece of equipment. Check it all

Learn it all and check it all. No one will take care of you like you do.Wink

Sparky


skymedic  (C 33561)

Jan 1, 2005, 11:41 AM
Post #8 of 95 (2203 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
There have been a few problems with soft links, too, so don't be complacent with any piece of equipment.

and these are???


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Jan 2, 2005, 9:42 AM
Post #9 of 95 (2118 views)
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Re: [skymedic] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
There have been a few problems with soft links, too, so don't be complacent with any piece of equipment.

and these are???
Improper installation has resulted in them coming undone, just like the hard links. I've never seen a hard link fail that was properly installed and maintained.


skycat  (D 25740)

Jan 2, 2005, 1:09 PM
Post #10 of 95 (2083 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I've never seen a hard link fail that was properly installed and maintained.


That one word right there says it all, if people would inspect and maintain their gear there would be a lot fewer pictures like these.

FYI...most riggers do not inspect your main or main components during your repack.


usskydiver  (D 12780)

Jan 2, 2005, 1:40 PM
Post #11 of 95 (2077 views)
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Re: [skycat] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

OK, to sum up this thread, every component can (and may) fail. It is up to the jumper to be knowledgeable of theor own gear....

Just my thoughts follow...I am a rigger, not a packer (and yes, I use a packer...often)..but the responsibility for my equipment rests with me and my knowledge)..

Learn you equipment!...read the mfr's websites...do what they recommend, they TESTED and built it, they should know!

While I am not IMO a professional rigger (in that I do not make my living from rigging), I, as a rigger, live by the Army rigger motto of "I will be sure...Always!"

Just my thoughts....

Tim T.
Team Paraclete


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Jan 2, 2005, 2:46 PM
Post #12 of 95 (2065 views)
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Re: [usskydiver] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
OK, to sum up this thread, every component can (and may) fail. It is up to the jumper to be knowledgeable of theor own gear....

Just my thoughts follow...I am a rigger, not a packer (and yes, I use a packer...often)..but the responsibility for my equipment rests with me and my knowledge)..

Learn you equipment!...read the mfr's websites...do what they recommend, they TESTED and built it, they should know!

While I am not IMO a professional rigger (in that I do not make my living from rigging), I, as a rigger, live by the Army rigger motto of "I will be sure...Always!"

Just my thoughts....

Tim T.
Team Paraclete

This is great advise for the new and experienced (old) alike.

Sparky


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 2, 2005, 2:52 PM
Post #13 of 95 (2061 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You have to make sure they are done up properly and torqued correctly. Rubber bumpers on them make them pretty fool proof. I still like them.

Quote:

Once that is done..

I take some red nail polish...(don't ask!)Tongue
and make a red dot on the barrel and on the link,
when packing I check to see the dots still line up.


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Jan 2, 2005, 3:06 PM
Post #14 of 95 (2058 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Nothing wrong with hard links, but . . . You have to make sure they are done up properly and torqued correctly. Rubber bumpers on them make them pretty fool proof. I still like them. There have been a few problems with soft links, too, so don't be complacent with any piece of equipment.

Lock Tight keeps the link from working loose over time.

The differences between soft links are:

1) If you install the soft links and Rapide links correctly, the soft links are stronger

2) Soft links are most likely to fail on opening if they fail, and fail completely. Rapide links can fail on opening and hang onto the lines just barely.

3) soft links do not require a wrench, nail polish, lock tight and bumpers to install. They also do not require replacing the bumpers or any maintenance beyond a quick once over every 30 days or so.

4) The only soft link failure
I have heard of was caused by sharp edges on the slider grommet because the jumper didn't have bumpers on their rapide links and didn't stow their slider. So the slider grommets got beat up and after they installed the slinks without inspecting their slider grommets, the grommet cut through the slink. Very poor maint by the jumper.

I can't see any reason to use rapide links with Slinks available.

Derek


killler  (D License)

Jan 2, 2005, 4:29 PM
Post #15 of 95 (2044 views)
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Re: [Hooknswoop] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

2) Soft links are most likely to fail on opening if they fail, and fail completely. Rapid links can fail on opening and hang onto the lines just barely.

I would not use soft links on a reserve... A properly installed rapid link of the right size "WILL NOT FAIL" ... Now if you want to use the smallest link on a micro line reserve to save 2/10th of a oz. you go right ahead... That goes with the jumper who is jumping a sub-100 sqft reserve to be COOL.... Wink

I sit back and shake my head at people killing themselves with the safest parachute equipment we have ever had.... Every and I mean" EVERY" equipment manufacturer out there are tired of people killing themselves on their gear... When are the riggers and sales people gone stop selling and packing these "DEATH RIGS" waiting to happen..

Killer.....


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Jan 2, 2005, 4:34 PM
Post #16 of 95 (2041 views)
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Re: [killler] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I would not use soft links on a reserve... A properly installed rapid link of the right size "WILL NOT FAIL" ...

1) Slinks are stronger than Rapide links

2) It is hard to see cracks in a Rapide Link that could lead to failure.

There have been a lot of Rapide link failures and 1 (because of very poor maint on the part of the jumper) Slink failure. Slinks are better than Rapide links in every way.

Derek


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Jan 2, 2005, 5:14 PM
Post #17 of 95 (2033 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
You have to make sure they are done up properly and torqued correctly. Rubber bumpers on them make them pretty fool proof. I still like them.

Quote:

Once that is done..

I take some red nail polish...(don't ask!)Tongue
and make a red dot on the barrel and on the link,
when packing I check to see the dots still line up.

Its called a "tamper dot" or "torque mark". I place them on every reserve I pack that has Rapide links.

Sparky


killler  (D License)

Jan 2, 2005, 5:58 PM
Post #18 of 95 (2022 views)
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Re: [Hooknswoop] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
I would not use soft links on a reserve... A properly installed rapid link of the right size "WILL NOT FAIL" ...

1) Slinks are stronger than Rapide links

2) It is hard to see cracks in a Rapide Link that could lead to failure.

There have been a lot of Rapide link failures and 1 (because of very poor maint on the part of the jumper) Slink failure. Slinks are better than Rapide links in every way.

Derek


Show me "ONE" rapid link that was installed by a rigger with lock-tite and a bumper that failed... A TSO'd rapid link will not have a hair line crack in it.. Thats why they are tso'd... You know that... Are slinks good? Yes... Are rapid links good? Yes...

Killer....


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Jan 2, 2005, 6:08 PM
Post #19 of 95 (2017 views)
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Re: [killler] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Show me "ONE" rapid link that was installed by a rigger with lock-tite and a bumper that failed

That's the problem, Rapide links are installed all the time without bumpers or lock tight or torque stipe or by a rigger. Slinks are much easier to install. No nail polish, no lock tight, no wrench, to over tightening, no slider bumpers. The vast majority of Rapide Links are not installed by riggers. I have seen a lot of incorrectly installed RApide Links that were installed by a rigger. I found one, on a reserve that had been installed by a Master Rigger/DPRE where the barrel nut closed the gap in the link but didn't catch any of the threads.

I have heard of incorrectly installed Slinks holding for more than one jump before it noticed by another jumper thqat they weren't installed correctly.

Quote:
A TSO'd rapid link will not have a hair line crack in it.. Thats why they are tso'd... You know that

And a Rip cord pin won't be brittle. TSO certification is a design passing the TSO process and then the part made to that standard. Each TSO'd part is not pujt through the TSO tests. It isn't that hard to crack a Rapide Link's barrel nut by over tightening.

Are Rapide Links good? Yes.

Slinks are better.

They are easier to install, easier to maintain, and stonger to boot. There is no reason to use Rapide links for sport mains and reserves now that Slinks are around. Everything Rapide Links can do, Slinks can do better.

Derek


(This post was edited by Hooknswoop on Jan 2, 2005, 6:20 PM)


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Jan 2, 2005, 6:08 PM
Post #20 of 95 (2016 views)
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Re: [killler] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
A TSO'd rapid link will not have a hair line crack in it.. Thats why they are tso'd... You know that...

TSO'd does not require every link to be tested. If so how did the Capewell Pin issue ever happen?


AggieDave  (D License)

Jan 2, 2005, 6:09 PM
Post #21 of 95 (2014 views)
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Re: [Hooknswoop] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I have heard of incorrectly installed Slinks holding for more than one jump before it noticed by another jumper thqat they weren't installed correctly

I've seen it more then once on visiting jumper's gear. Slinks run only once (not run twice through the lines) get a couple of jumps on it at their home DZ, then come visit and one of our packers or staff notice it while they were packing their rigs.


killler  (D License)

Jan 2, 2005, 6:22 PM
Post #22 of 95 (2005 views)
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Re: [Hooknswoop] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

OK..... I'll give up now.... I'll stick with my B-12 snaps and big safe chutes... In 15years of running a drop zone I never had a rapid link fail or a B-12 snap fail for that matter... I just must be a old fart...

Hell.... I still have a SAC in my GQ system with that 190sqft Excaliber ... Wink

Killer...


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Jan 2, 2005, 6:24 PM
Post #23 of 95 (2003 views)
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Re: [killler] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

You say you won't use Slinks on a reserve, but not why. Why do you feel Rapide Links are better than Slinks?

Derek


(This post was edited by Hooknswoop on Jan 2, 2005, 6:25 PM)


skymedic  (C 33561)

Jan 2, 2005, 8:52 PM
Post #24 of 95 (1972 views)
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Re: [killler] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
190sqft Excaliber

now THAT is high peformance!!!....heheheheSmileSmile


killler  (D License)

Jan 2, 2005, 9:08 PM
Post #25 of 95 (1966 views)
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Re: [skymedic] Soft v hard links - interesting pic ..... [In reply to] Can't Post

   It was the first crossbraced canpoy ever.... Flys really nice.... I don't need to kill myself to have fun.. I like to fly the thermals on a summer day and stay up for 10 to 15 min.... after my freefall... Can you do that? In 25 years I've never hurt myself and don't plan on starting now.... Skydiving is about fun... Not killing your self... Wink

Killer.....


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