Feb 3, 2004, 12:37 PM
Post #1 of 20
OK so i know i am stupid newbie and you old guys get alot of these type post so.... i know..... anyways, i am seeing alot of these contaners floating around on the used side of gear. I was wondering what you guys have experienced with these containers. I have found one with only a 124 jumps on it cause the guy who owned had to stop jumping for some reason. So it looks to be in good shape but i dont really aheva clue about the quality of the product since i am basically clueless.... so... help... please....
Of course the current Vectors are still built on the Wonderhog TSO. The harnesses, last I looked, are still labeled Wonderhog. So, you might be talking about a new container that is one of the newer models listed above rather than actually being a Wonderhog model.
If it is an old Wonderhog it will have two pins on the reserve cable, and all the comments above apply.
The pictures look like a Wonderhog Vector I, a decent container, but the one in the picture looks pretty tired. Vector I was extremely popular during its 1981 to 1988 production run. In 1988 it was replaced by the Vector II which contained only minor improvements.
The name confusion is caused by the fact that Relative Workshop is one of the few skydiving factories that has been in business for 30 years straight! The FAA has allowed them to manufacture the latest Sigma Tandem (with exit weights approaching 1,000 pounds) under same TSO-C23B certification as the original Wonderhog. Don't worry, RWS has done thousands of drop tests in the interim to stay ahead of the pack, and RWS President Bill Booth tends to be the one writing the standards (i.e. 1998 standard on 3-Ring risers) for the rest of the industry. Ask your rigger to look over the three major points: reserve pilotchute, reserve container corners and hip joints. The problem with Vector I reserve pilotchutes was that their springs were not very strong. Most Vector I reserve pilotchutes were replaced by Vector II reserve pilotchutes long ago, in fact I have only seen one Vector I pilotchute in the last decade.
Secondly, the lower corners of the reserve container tend to slowly tear. The patching process takes a few hours.
Thirdly, there is a Service Bulletin about hip joint stitching - specifically on Tandem Vectors - that conscienceous riggers inspect on all rigs from all manufacturers. The fix is a quick over-stitch, but it requires a huge Class 7 sewing machine, normally found only in the better lofts.
Some posters will call Vector Is obsolete because of all their Velcro. I say, ask your local rigger to replace any tired Velcro and skydive your a** off. I did about 50 jumps last year on my Vector I, mostly PFF and video. Last year I updated it with a BOC and bridle cover. This week I will update it with Vector II pin covers.
The Wonderhog was the hot setup back when I started-I'd jump that in a heartbeat. Anyoe wanting nostalgia should get it by jumping old containers, not old - round canopies
But, you should consider the realistic amount of money you will pay to a rigger to do a few modifications/updates, do you have a rigger that is capable of doing this? Do the math yourself, I can understand jumping on a limited budget. I started on an original version Sweethog. That thing was crude and ugly compared to an original Wonderhog.
Also, this may be a 2-reserve riser setup. You need 4 risers for a sq reserve (a couple of reserves were TSO tested with 2-risers, but you don't want to do it). My local rigger made a set of 14 inch risers to attach to the harness at the L-bar link. The original 2-reserve risers were so short that the toggles were easy to reach. This was such a good way to get 4 risers out of an old rig. It also helped that I jumped where the rigs were made (Northern Lite-now Velocity Sports/Infinity).