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IJskonijn

Riser design & toggle fires

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Having spent the better part of my sunday with four clubmates recovering a chopped canopy out of some trees (result: succes!), I started thinking about steering toggles, half-brake settings and toggle fires. The canopy was chopped because of a toggle fire (jumper landed uneventfully under reserve).

What's the best riser design you've seen so far in terms of reducing/eliminating the risk of toggle fires upon opening, and why? What are the elements that go into making something that is highly resistant to unintended toggle release?

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 my toggle stows are tight and it has a fold at the bottom similar to the top that stows in a similar fashion. I’ll take a few pictures when I get home from work so you’ll see what I mean. Only time I had one unstow on me was my fault (didn’t pull cats eye through little ring) Nothing eventful happened and I now take another moment to check and make sure it’s right before I continue to pack.

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3 hours ago, IJskonijn said:

Having spent the better part of my sunday with four clubmates recovering a chopped canopy out of some trees (result: succes!), I started thinking about steering toggles, half-brake settings and toggle fires. The canopy was chopped because of a toggle fire (jumper landed uneventfully under reserve).

What's the best riser design you've seen so far in terms of reducing/eliminating the risk of toggle fires upon opening, and why? What are the elements that go into making something that is highly resistant to unintended toggle release?

Parachutes de France toggles. Best, bar none. 1 pin up, 2 tabs down. 

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5 hours ago, IJskonijn said:

What's the best riser design you've seen so far in terms of reducing/eliminating the risk of toggle fires upon opening, and why?

Velcro toggles.  Before no Velcro toggles, "toggle fires" were rare.  

Yeah, there is a downside.  If you aren't careful stowing the excess you can catch the steering line in it.  This will cause fuzzy lines. which does equal new lower brake lines if it you let it go too far.  It's pretty easy to avoid though, just pay attention to what you are doing.  

You can reduce the risk even further by using standard risers instead of mini-risers.  Yeah, there is a downside.  You won't be able to pull your slider behind your head... but it also won't be able to come down past the slider bumpers and knock your no Velcro toggle(s) out on opening.

Between the two of them, you can virtually eliminate the chance of a premature brake release (as I'm sure you know, you can never completely eliminate that risk).  

There are tradeoffs with every gear decision you make.  All depends on how "safe" you want to be.
 

 

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(Not my reserve ride, nor my canopy, nor my gear decisions)

Risers had no slider bumpers. Slinks and type 17 risers. So yeah, the likely mechanism was the slider slamming into the top tuck tab of the toggle, and dislodging it.

4 hours ago, piisfish said:

Parachutes de France toggles. Best, bar none. 1 pin up, 2 tabs down. 

Are there commercial risers for sale that have this design toggle, but with normal three-ring system, rather than reversed layout? Or would that require the efforts of a master rigger to create?

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3 minutes ago, IJskonijn said:

(Not my reserve ride, nor my canopy, nor my gear decisions)

Risers had no slider bumpers. Slinks and type 17 risers. So yeah, the likely mechanism was the slider slamming into the top tuck tab of the toggle, and dislodging it.

Are there commercial risers for sale that have this design toggle, but with normal three-ring system, rather than reversed layout? Or would that require the efforts of a master rigger to create?

This an industry wide problem that has been mostly unreported because people did not have it happen on the next jumps. When the slider makers went to the premium quality stainless grommets, they elected to install the ones with an inside diameter of 15/16 in. Real bright. The old style #8's have an ID of 1 1/6 in. The riser and toggle material is mostly 1 in width. Then, slam a size #0 grommet in the toggle handle and it becomes more than 1in wide and rock hard. Try putting that through a 15/16 in hole. Guess what, you will have a jamb up or worse a toggle fire. A jamb up will cost you critical time upon opening when you are getting control of the canopy. A toggle fire will swing you around and maybe twist lines leading to a cutaway, even if you are not jumping a hot rod. I installed real #8's on my slider and built quick draw slim toggles. Either will drastically help the problem. After 2 toggle fires and multiple jamb ups, it is now just a memory. Then you will get the folks that say "just install bumpers" and live with your slider flapping, slowing you down, and obstructing your vision.    Remember, It doesn't take much to work, and it doesn't take much to not work." Good Luck

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24 minutes ago, IJskonijn said:

(Not my reserve ride, nor my canopy, nor my gear decisions)

Risers had no slider bumpers. Slinks and type 17 risers. So yeah, the likely mechanism was the slider slamming into the top tuck tab of the toggle, and dislodging it.

Are there commercial risers for sale that have this design toggle, but with normal three-ring system, rather than reversed layout? Or would that require the efforts of a master rigger to create?

Pretty sure Deyan can do that. All my risers were modified like that by Colin in Empuria. 

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This is a decent design I jump.

1323121235_CIMG7142caFlyingHightoggleonmyFX(mini).JPG.38e4fba986e7f00c144a3cbdb8b24c11.JPG

The key here is that there is a downwards facing tuck tab just below the main tab to hold the brake line. It is resistant to coming out when simply pushed in one direction along the riser -- like by a slider grommet slamming down. Too many toggles have only upwards facing tabs. (Source for mine is a Canadian rigger, Al MacDonald at Flying High. He was already making these 15 years ago.)

Mirage for years had toggles with up and down facing tabs but a later one I saw had both facing up.

The Racer design with the snap fasteners seem like they would be even better at avoiding accidental release.
 

@gb1  who wrote " they elected to install the ones with an inside diameter of 15/16 in. Real bright. The old style #8's have an ID of 1 1/6 in. ".

I had figured that diameter was all that was available for lightweight stainless grommets. Otherwise the full #8 size would certainly have been preferable....

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8 minutes ago, pchapman said:

. (Source for mine is a Canadian rigger, Al MacDonald at Flying High. He was already making these 15 years ago.)

My wife used those for a long time on her Sidewinder. But if you look you will see that the toggle tip ends up being thicker because it is four layers rather than the standard three. This led to many problems with steering lines refusing to release the cat eye on her Pilot. No cut aways, but lots of struggles.

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(edited)
On 4/8/2019 at 1:59 PM, piisfish said:

Parachutes de France toggles. Best, bar none. 1 pin up, 2 tabs down. 

I fully agree. Never had any toggle fire with them. 
About a year ago I started looking into velcroless designs to replace some velcro toggles. So far I didn't find anything that I liked better than the Parachute de France toggles. I think it's quite an elegant design: no bulky tongues with 6 layers of fabric. And I like the way 1 piece of binding tape is used to make up the two pockets and cover the hard housing as well: smart.
The design by ParachutesAustralia also seemed promising. 

togglesParaAustr.jpg

Edited by Cloggy

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After building many sets of toggles, one of many things I learned is that using a zig zag stitch on the upper tongue causes more abrasion and rapid wear on the brake eyelet on the brake line. Early on it was found that multiple straight stitching  (301type) eliminates the wear on the "cat eye". 

   The toggle with the downward tongue requires a wrong direction pull on the pocket it fits into. Eliminating the bottom tongue simplifies the whole system. For now that system works but could go to the next step quite easily. 

Edited by gb1

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On 4/10/2019 at 12:43 AM, alexey said:

SWS do pin-type risers

swoop_ris3.jpg

To me its less about the toggle design and more about the risers.  In a two ring setup like the picture above, as well as on Wing's swoop risers, the cat eye goes through the bottom ring, and then the pin or soft toggle portion goes through the cat eye and into the keeper above the bottom ring.  All pressure is pulling up on the toggle and the toggle cannot physically come unstowed unless the toggle gets released from the cat eye.  The only way to do that is to pull down.

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2 hours ago, chips26 said:

To me its less about the toggle design and more about the risers.  In a two ring setup like the picture above, as well as on Wing's swoop risers, the cat eye goes through the bottom ring, and then the pin or soft toggle portion goes through the cat eye and into the keeper above the bottom ring.  All pressure is pulling up on the toggle and the toggle cannot physically come unstowed unless the toggle gets released from the cat eye.  The only way to do that is to pull down.

Isn't all of that true for std toggles with the webbing-nose? I don't see how the metal pin avoids any possible failure scenarios.

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Disclaimer: I'm not a rigger, all is just my personal interpretation and opinion :-)

The pin in itself is not the whole solution.

The pin has a smaller profile (cross section) than a fabric tongue (nose). 
Most other soft toggles seem to use 1" square weave. The PdeF toggles (and probably the SWS too) use 5/8" square weave: also lower profile when passing through the slider grommet.

All in all, I'd think there is less chance that the slider grommet comes into contact with the pin or toggle.

The other part is the downward pointing tab immediately below the straight pin. This tab sits in the pocket on the riser below the guide ring, and prevents downward movement should the slider grommet come into contact with the pin or toggle. I tried to push the pin out of the keeper: very hard to do, even more so when there is any tension on the riser. 

Edited by Cloggy

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On 4/12/2019 at 3:51 PM, sundevil777 said:

Isn't all of that true for std toggles with the webbing-nose? I don't see how the metal pin avoids any possible failure scenarios.

It doesn't have to be a metal pin to be dependent on it, could just be a straight tab instead.  The act of pulling the cat eye through the ring, and then putting the nose of the toggle through the cat eye and into its pocket locks the cat eye(and toggle) to the ring.  Even if the toggle comes out of its keeper pocket, the line tension is enough to keep the brakes fully stowed.  Since the cat eye has been set under the lower ring the brake settings remained unchanged until you pop the toggles.

Contrast that with just putting the toggle nose through the cat eye and into its pocket, laying on top of the ring, then there is nothing to keep anything in place if the toggle comes out of its keepers.

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56 minutes ago, chips26 said:

Contrast that with just putting the toggle nose through the cat eye and into its pocket, laying on top of the ring, then there is nothing to keep anything in place if the toggle comes out of its keepers.

Generally, the keepers aren't strong enough to hold the nose of the toggle during opening if it's stowed that way (incorrectly).
They just tear out.

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Innovative Parachute Technologies (out of Arizona, USA) makes risers with anti-fire toggles which have three tabs. Standard top and bottom but underneath the top one is a third, thinner tab that goes downward. To release the brakes, you pull up-and-out a little bit first (to release the locking tab), then down. Toggles will not accidentally come unstowed - not by your slider hitting them, not by stowing your slider, not by making a rear riser avoidance turn. I have those risers on both of my rigs and I love them.

It's the most secure system I've ever seen. 

Bonus: the excess-brake-line keepers are magnetic sleeves instead of semi-elastic loops. Easy to use and securely keep the excess confined until you're ready to unstow the brakes. 

I can post pictures of these risers next time I jump this week if anyone is interested. 

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4 hours ago, RockSkyGirl said:

Innovative Parachute Technologies (out of Arizona, USA) makes risers with anti-fire toggles which have three tabs. Standard top and bottom but underneath the top one is a third, thinner tab that goes downward. To release the brakes, you pull up-and-out a little bit first (to release the locking tab), then down. Toggles will not accidentally come unstowed - not by your slider hitting them, not by stowing your slider, not by making a rear riser avoidance turn. I have those risers on both of my rigs and I love them.

It's the most secure system I've ever seen. 

Bonus: the excess-brake-line keepers are magnetic sleeves instead of semi-elastic loops. Easy to use and securely keep the excess confined until you're ready to unstow the brakes. 

I can post pictures of these risers next time I jump this week if anyone is interested. 

Where can I get more info on these risers? I couldn't find much info on IPT's website. I'd like to avoid another toggle fire like I had over the weekend (likely from the slider pushing the toggle out on opening).

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On 4/23/2019 at 4:20 AM, sedsquare said:

Where can I get more info on these risers? I couldn't find much info on IPT's website. I'd like to avoid another toggle fire like I had over the weekend (likely from the slider pushing the toggle out on opening).

I also was interested in these, as they sound very intriguing, and I'm possibly on the look out for new risers. So I messaged them for more info, and the attached pictures are what they sent, as well as the video.

They also stated the following:

Quote

Here is some standard info on our IPT No-Fire Risers:

They are a standard 3-ring riser (compatible with any rig) but incorporate our toggle design and magnet covers for the excess brake line  stows.
Our toggles have an additional tuck tab at the top of the toggle to help prevent any instances of toggle fire.  
They can be made in any length (whole inches) from 17” to 26”, and the riser webbing can be custom colored.  Everything but the Ty. XVII riser webbing will be black. 
Custom colored toggles – pick from any color available
Choice of SS or Black SS hardware. 
MSRP right now is $200 (plus shipping). 
Lead time is approx. 2-3 weeks depending on what colors are chosen

 

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