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Everything posted by ctrph8

  1. I've been using a semi-stowless bag (UPT) for about a month now and LOVE it. I use large flat rubber bands for the locking stows and it seems to be working great. I used to make my own tube stows and they would last forever. I never really worried about them not breaking if they needed to and never had a problem with them. Just liking the rubber bands right now. Sunpath is now making a semi-stowless. I never used the bag/pilot chute that they sent me with my rig and they agreed to take it back as a trade in on their semi-stowless.
  2. Wow! I think your post went up as I was typing mine. Didn't intend to look like I was flaming you, or Racers or... well, anyone. Just giving my opinion about the things I liked and my perceptions of the sport. No. I don't think the manufacturers have any way of knowing about every malfunction on their system. I think they DO pay attention when reports of an issue come up and try to work that out. I really do like the advancements that have come along over the years. I don't ever want another belly band rig or a round reserve (outside of some special jumps) but I was grateful for them at the time. I think construction techniques and the little refinements that go along with years of producing something have gotten better and better. I would much rather jump my current rig than any of my previous rigs even though I really liked them at the time. Well..let's say, all of 'em work most of the time & some of 'em work all the time. But to say they all work well may be a stretch. Manufacturers collect data on all their reserve activations? I did not know that! From a more critical viewpoint, one could speculate that 'some' design changes & configurations might be being incorporated to temper the problems incurred from the form over function demands of the skydivers today. RSL yanks the pin but the tapered & tight lay out of the reserve added to the full length F.F. side flaps tends to make the pilot chute struggle a bit at times - lets connect the departing main to the free bag, Hell THAT'LL pull 'er out...sure it's a bit complicated but they'll pay for it to have a good looking rig! Suppose we COULD figure out a way to put the reserve pilot chute outside of those flaps...like the high dollar, no 2nd chance, low level bail-out rigs those airshow pilots trust their lives to - but then it would prolly look like, oh god no, a RACER! Hey I got an idea...let's make the EP handles small, slick and hard to grab, they'll LOOK cool and cost a fraction of what metal handles do to make - but we'll charge the same or heck, put cute sayings on them and charge MORE! Tell 'em they're 'safer' because some CReW dog hooked a hard ripcord in a wrap couple decades ago... Most of those guys have AAD's anyway, handles are damn near a secondary afterthought... Bet we can increase profits by...using cheaper thread through hardware on the leg straps! We'll market it as a weight saver, then sell 'em a weight belt...name it something cool & different like step-in harness... 'cause everybody knows cool is always better. Tell 'em the snap hardware that the military has been using for 100 years is no good because it breaks ALL THE TIME, even if they don't really. - I know these people, who wants to pay attention to what they're doin' when they put on a parachute? Who cares if ya can't get it off in a plane crash or when you hit a lake because nobody can spot... I can go on...but ya REALLY don't want me to. Makes the kool-aid taste funny when I do.
  3. In general, rigs have been getting better and better. Most of the manufacturers have been tweaking and upgrading their designs so you have a bunch of good options and a couple of great ones. The reserve systems all work well. The bigger manufacturers obviously have more rigs out there and therefore more reserve activations. That means they have more data to study for what works and what doesn't and have incorporated that into their designs. I really like the low bulk reserves. More canopy overhead in the same space that it would take to pack a smaller one is a great innovation. I have an Optimum but I really want to demo a Nano by Icarus. A MARD (Skyhook, RAX, DRX, Boost, etc) is a very cool feature. I repacked mine last night and was marveling at the ingenuity that went into it. The reality is that an RSL is still a very good thing and they work great too. I recently purchased a semi-stowless D-bag. Mine is from UPT but there are other good ones out there. I like packing it and I also think I'm liking the deployments a bit more. It's still a new toy and I don't have all that many jumps on it though.
  4. Tandems were considered "experimental" by the FAA until not too long ago. They were definitely TSOd. On the other hand, ultralights do not have Airworthiness Certificates. I agree that if there were such a thing as an experimental reserve, it should have some sort of Airworthiness Certificate.
  5. I love hearing stories like that. Good Job PD!!!
  6. That's pretty clever! I made a set using his instructions and they came out great. Are your nails 8" apart? ................................................................................ I started with Jerry's instructions, then I made a jig. The jig is merely an old wooden board (maybe 2 feet long). I drove 2 nails into the board a precise distance apart. Then I wrote on the board: "1,000 pound Spectra suspension line." "Cut twice this long." "Loop over nails." "Finished length = the distance between the nails."
  7. I think it is MOSTLY unenforceable. If someone who was not a rigger was charging people for canopy repairs and got someone killed because of his shoddy work, I can see where they could throw some federal charges at him. It would be tough but theoretically possible. That being said I've never heard of anyone ever being questioned about it. In the 90s I was questioned about packing mains... which is sort of in the same ballpark but our Master rigger was close by and was able to show that I was under supervision.
  8. I've been making soft links for years and have tried all kinds of different designs and styles. I got some new risers and was going to knock out a set when I got to thinking that every set I've made has been a little different and that I could use a standard procedure to do this. I can do tabs or rings. Does anyone have a really good design (with accompanying instructions ) that they have been using?
  9. Yep. Getting one that is bigger might not be a great idea. Not saying you can't do it but there are tradeoffs. Your main container tray is a certain shape. If you buy a bag that is a different shape than that tray, you end up with lumpy spots and soft spots. You also end up with more stress on certain parts of your container than other parts. The 348 has a specific length, width, height and depth. Looking at your container, which of those dimensions would you increase and by how much? Here is the UPT chart. You can take a look at which sizes are larger and smaller and in which dimensions. http://www.unitedparachutetechnologies.com/PDF/CHART_00037___Rig_Sizing_Chart.pdf Call Mike Maguire at UPT and discuss it with him. When I was ordering mine (for a Javelin) he helped me come up with the most effective solution that still worked well in the size rig that I have.
  10. On a typical skydive I like to be open by 3000. I also like the option of doing a low hop & pop if that is what is available. The rule doesn't really affect me that much but I'm not seeing the benefit, just the restriction.
  11. I saw this in LAX. It all makes sense now. [inline IMG_1685.jpg]
  12. This is entirely guesswork on my part. I owned a Samurai for a little while that I was jumping in a second rig. I didn't put very many jumps on it but it was a decent canopy. I sold it because my Crossfire just did things better. The openings were more consistent. I preferred the flight and landings. My thought was that the Samurai (and by extension, the Vengeance) were decent canopies at the time but the designs that are out now have better opening characteristics, flight characteristics, pack smaller and are not as complicated to sew and maintain. I suspect that the technologies that are built into newer canopies are just more refined. The fewer little parts, the better. I'll also say that my openings were perfectly acceptable but I've known people who got seriously spanked by them and I was always a little nervous about it.
  13. MEL could make you a lineset if you needed it. I'm sure he'd have the specs. http://skyworksrigging.com
  14. Nice find! I hadn't see those before. I've been playing with a few different designs over the last few months. Is that just binding tape? I like the way the taper at the bottom creates a smaller loop. The ones on my canopy right now have rings and do three wraps but I put one on my bridle attachment point and didn't like the extra ring floating around in there. Now I have a SLINK style link on it.
  15. Could be other things too. Line trim, pilot chute issues, body position, slider issues and condition of the canopy all factor in to it... But yeah, I think they have their own personalities. Some canopies are just drama queens.
  16. The Party bag is VSE's semi-stowless deployment bag. The SPEED bag has many stows, closes a little differently than their original bags and is meant to prevent line dump. Most manufacturers are going the other direction with really good results. My semi-stowless should be in my mailbox this week!
  17. It would work but it might look like crap if you don't do your homework. You would need to get one that is the same dimensions as your current bag. The Racer main pack tray is probably a different shape than your Infinity and might not sit as neatly as your current bag. The folks at Jumpshack are really nice. Give them a call. If they don't already make one that is similar to yours, they might be able to make a custom bag that is the same dimensions as the one that came with your rig. I just ordered a semi-stowless bag from UPT and we spent quite a bit of time measuring things to make sure it would fit right.
  18. Everything that folks just said about fit is true. If it doesn't fit, don't keep it. That being said, I see more people jumping and tunnel flying G3s than anything else. I love mine! Call any of the major dealers and talk to them. I used Chuting Star. Most of them will allow you to return it (unused of course) if it doesn't fit and will talk you through the process of figuring out which size is best for you. There are plenty of good helmets out there so if for some reason the G3 doesn't work for you, keep shopping. Also, if you need parts like a visor or something, you will be more likely to find it with the G3 than with anything else just because they are so widely used.
  19. I have been shopping for a rig and had it narrowed down to the Curv and the Javelin. I ended up ordering the Javelin mainly because of the Skyhook. Also, I really loved my last Javelin and a friend showed up at the DZ with a tricked out Odyssey that made me fall in love all over again. These are great rigs. That being said, I had the order form for the Curv filled out with colors and measurements. Every single person I've talked with that jumped them LOVED them. No one ever just said "I like it". They gushed about it. They are priced right. Javelins... Not so much. I don't know anything about the MARD that RI is developing but if they put one out, it will be a good one. I have an Infinity that I like but don't love. It's a good rig but IMHO not my favorite of the 3 you are looking at. The new ones really do look cool though!
  20. I'm guessing a PDR 143 if I had to choose from that list. I think the others are made to open a little more reasonably. This is all coming from the guy who has exactly zero jumps on any of these canopies but I own two of them and am looking for a Nano. Which one OPENS fastest (snivels least)?
  21. http://www.icaruscanopies.aero/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=123&Itemid=672 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10100344095023078&set=vb.46702800&type=2&theater
  22. Last year I bought an old seat container that was manufactured in 1951 and last packed in 1966. We opened it up and it was perfect. The seal was still on it but with different thread than our red break thread. It broke. There were rubber bands and with a couple of exceptions, they were perfect too. They were made out of different material than any that I've seen on a rig and were wider. The canopy came right out and the pilot chute still had some kick to it. It would have worked!
  23. I think that answer depends quite a bit on the owner of the rig. On my personal rig, I'd think that a year or two might be OK... But I'm messing around with my rig all the time and as a rigger and am constantly checking and tweaking things. This has to be done for the lowest common denominator. This is for the person who doesn't pack much and really can't/won't evaluate what is normal wear and tear vs what is a safety concern that needs to be fixed. These folks rely on others to check that stuff for them. Most of the people reading this forum are pretty nerdy about gear and rigging. We are at one end of the spectrum. The cycle is for the folks at the other end. I think the 6 month inspection/repack cycle is just about right.
  24. I saw a demo of Mark's system back in the mid to late 90's. We knew he was planning to cut away but he got so low that I had long since decided that he'd aborted and was going to try again later. It was amazing! He cut away lower than I ever dreamed you could cut away, the reserve opened perfectly and he landed. To the best of my knowledge, it was not a "Skyhook" yet. It was a BASE specific MARD. There were issues that needed to be worked out for skydiving gear. I watched him pack his reserve once on his skydiving rig and can say that at least on that rig, there was no MARD. I'm trying to improve our understanding the history of MARDs as we know it here on DZ.com. Did Hewitt have the disconnect mechanism worked out for skydiving? Was his MARD tested in the shop or the sky or just a cool concept for future development? In one online video about the skyhook, the text shows that Bill wondered about the concept during the first years of experimenting with tandems. (Holding the pilot chute for a test jumper jumping from the front of a tandem -- thus allowing the tandem pilot to "fly the jettisoned canopy" back to the DZ in effect.) In the video he mentioned '20 years and 3 false starts' later, before having the Skyhook, but doesn't go into the details. I can't recall what Bill has written over the years on the Skyhook history here but someone should go through the posts. Still, a search for posts by "billbooth" show zero that include the word "hewitt". The Sorcerer rig has often been mentioned, but Hewitt's role at Relative Workshop less so. (My opinion is that Bill Booth will be a little like Edison: Not everything that comes out of his shop is 100% personally invented, even if he had a significant hand in design / development / popularization.)
  25. OK, I'll bite. I think the real answer is the age old cop-out "It depends". I know a guy who had a canopy in a couple of days under some seriously unusual circumstances.... OK, he SAID he had one in a couple of days under seriously unusual circumstances... But I think it could have happened. Realistically though I think it depends on how many canopies they have in production and how many people work on different aspects of a canopy and what kind of manufacturing facilities they have. Any snag in the process slows things down. If you factor in staff irregularities, maintenance, paperwork snafus, complicated color patterns, the two different 8 way teams that need matching canopies in different sizes for the next big event and issues with the materials, it's a miracle that they can get one out as efficiently as they do. I'd guess, and this is totally guessing, that all of the different aspects of producing a canopy happen in about a week. Spent a couple hours googleing this subject, although I could have missed it...thanks for the obvious brother. I think what JM meant was: call the various manufacturers up and ask a real person. Otherwise, the info that you will be getting is what people remember the wait for theirs was two or five years ago. LOL, I realize I can call manufacturers next week, just asking if anyone here on DZ,com "has a ballpark" knowledge of the process time.