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Everything posted by betzilla

  1. I think you'd be fine with a 6cm fingertrap (PD's, for instance, are close to that length), but DIYing it would IMO be frustrating, as changing the length of the finger trap would affect the amount of 'shrinkage' in that part of the line, so there will be trial and error involved to get it just right. If it were me, I'd rather avail myself of the free replacement line pair to avoid the annoyance. Seems like 5cm is a HUGE length difference for a 124 sq ft canopy! I wonder how flight characteristics differ after that change (I suppose not collapsing on fronts is a significant improvement!)...
  2. I've packed this combo. If your rigger is good at bulk distribution, and you don't suck at packing mains, you should be fine (especially if your main is already broken in).
  3. Congrats! As the gentlemen said, what you're experiencing is par for the course. On several of my student jump days, I was literally praying for it to cloud up and rain, lol! But please, before you go back to the DZ, get those flu-like symptoms checked out if they linger!
  4. The rigger who last packed your gear can mail you a new data card with all the info about serial numbers, etc, and the latest repack only, on it, so you'll be able to prove you're in date. You'll be missing documentation of any repairs that may have been done, but that's your only disadvantage, really. If you aren't planning to jump it before its next repack is due, you don't even need to bother with that - the next rigger will give you a new data card when they pack it.
  5. Here are current price lists for Sigma parts and rigging work at UPT. When I was working as a DZ rigger, I received a regular weekly fee to pack and maintain all the school gear (tandem and student), rental rigs, and the owner's personal gear. Incidental maintenance like kill lines, overstitching, and small patches were included in that fee. Relines were not. I made my own drogue centerlines and made a generous profit on them, even charging far less than the UPT price. It's been several years since I've worked on tandem gear (I just don't have space for it these days), but for repacks I would probably add at least $20, maybe more, to the price I charge for sport gear. Needless to say, if you want to charge what UPT charges, your work needs to be factory perfect... Good luck!
  6. Sketchy strategy, IMO. Low price should not be your main consideration, *especially* when you're buying used gear -- cheap new gear will be workable; cheap used gear is a gamble. I can't tell you how many times people have come to me with their "great deal" used gear, for me to then find on inspection that there's a ton of stuff wrong with it that they need to spend hundreds of dollars to address before putting it in the air. It may have worked out well for you, but if it did, it's because you got lucky! To the OP - you can't find a used "190" reserve because few manufacturers make that specific size. You'll easily find a used PD 176 Reserve with a little patience, and maybe even an Optimum 193. There are lots of used gear groups on facebook, so cruise those a bit while you're waiting for your new container. I'd personally recommend a used PDR over a new Rush, for reasons already expressed above...
  7. SOME manufacturers require tacking the soft links. Aerodyne and Icarus World do. PD does not. Not sure about Precision, NZA (which doesn't make reserves anyway) and any others.
  8. On mini-risers they'll stick out before they take a set, or if they take a set without the tab tucked in. So if I'm putting gear together for a customer I know isn't amazing at noticing things about their gear, I'll tack them. I also tack wayward main slinks that come into my loft sticking out of the riser. The tacking allows the slink to be "trained" to stay inside the riser.
  9. Agreed. But if I have to snip the tack to inspect them, I will only re-tack if the manufacturer instructions require it. And when I DO tack, I use a wide stitch to make it easy on the rigger who has to inspect the slink next time around, if they need/choose to pull the tack out to do so.
  10. Actually, it is on the new sizing chart. Pilot 104 is standard fit
  11. Your kill line is too short (they shrink with time). Ask your rigger to lengthen or replace the kill line, or if the pilot chute is old and worn out, you may choose to just replace the entire pilot chute.
  12. It's just really bad for everybody. Bigger DZ's might have bigger reserves to draw on and larger customer pools to pull from when they reopen, but you're exactly right - they also have higher overhead. The skydiving landscape is definitely going to change after this season. It would be interesting to watch as an outsider, but as one who works in the industry and has many, many friends who are being very negatively affected, it's worrying.
  13. For this reason you should rule out the J2K, which is too small for the reserve in the size range you want (even a low-bulk reserve). Same with the M4 series of Mirages. a V348 should work sweet if you get an Optimum 176 reserve. Javelin J3K and Icon I4 will both work if you get a low-bulk reserve. Before you make your final choice, run the canopy sizes and container size by your rigger - she may have an opinion on which reserve she'd rather pack - not all low bulk reserves pack equally small... Good luck shopping!
  14. absolutely. I take this step not just to protect myself, but also to protect my coworkers and customers, not to mention the essential workers with whom I come in incidental, hopefully-sufficiently-socially-distanced contact.
  15. Definitely true. But while I personally have a choice whether to skydive (no thank you at this point), I don't have a choice whether I provide customer service for my company, and I am sure many independent riggers are increasingly in a position where turning down work would be economically devastating. So it is good to know how to handle this stuff. For my part, I'm just not starting work on what comes in for a minimum of three days. The vast majority of my customers are fine with that, since skydiving in my area is not up and running yet, and flying season is pretty quiet too.
  16. I'm a no because, even if social distancing were possible on a skydive, and other recommendations could be followed (and I am skeptical about this), once I start packing, there is basically zero chance I won't touch my face. I can't imagine the hangar/packing area could possibly be sanitized enough for me to feel OK about that probability.
  17. In my experience, Smart LPVs pack larger than equivalent-sized Optimums (Optimi? lol). The container manufacturer is the best to ask about fit, since they will have encountered more different combinations in their own containers.
  18. Back when I worked in a pro shop that sold used gear, I got into the habit of photocopying the data card if the container and reserve were being sold separately, and sending the original with the reserve, and the photocopy with the container, for just this reason.
  19. exactly. It may sell faster, but not for more $$. There's definitely no way you'll get as much more $$ at resale as you will spend on the retrofit. Does that mean it's not worth it? that's up to you, OP. You have to decide what your peace of mind is worth...
  20. A 7-cell rectangular canopy will have four of each suspension line type on each side - for instance, you have 8 A-lines, total, four of them left and four of them right. An elliptical model might have fewer D lines than A lines (I *think* that's what you were reading about). This varies from canopy model to model - Spectres do have four D lines on each side, however. You should be putting all of each line type into the center of your packjob, as much as possible - the more you've got lines creeping toward the outer edges of your pack job, the more you are inviting the still-slim possibility of a line over, since things can get further disrupted as you begin rolling the tail during your pro pack. So you would never want to intentionally leave a line out there...
  21. I'm thinking that in an actual skydive, the pilot chute will oscillate (as they do) enough to clear that corner without you noticing any delay whatsoever...
  22. Actually... It would be really easy to create a google forms (or some other) miscrosurvey about whether or not the members want the USPA to contribute or not, and the data gathered would be reasonable easy to work with. No, I am not volunteering to do this, lol. I'm ambivalent about the whole thing (as I suspect most of the membership is).
  23. I've had several Crossfire2s, all of which have opened like butter (except that one time I rushed through literally the first pack job on one of them - that one was literally the hardest opening I've ever had. Still no ice-pack needed). Worth noting that they are not the most on-heading openings I've ever had, but in about a thousand jumps on them, I could count the jumps on which I've had line-twists on the fingers of one hand