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    + Silhouette 190
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    Cypres 2

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  1. Usually, this can be found on the manufacturer website. Different manufacturers have different requirements (sometimes none at all). There's a talk on youtube by a British rigger that talks more about this, intermeshed with other stuff regarding inspections etc. I have never heard of reserve canopy lifetime being limited or dictated by actual flight time though, only based on amount of activations and/or repacks and/or age.
  2. Terrible openings and constant line twists are not necessarily a result of the canopy type. They may also occur when the canopy hits a certain age, and especially when the lines hit a certain age. Most line types (especially microline, which is commonly found on a Sabre2) will exhibit some sort of shrink. This affects the line trim, which in turn affects (usually negatively) the openings of a canopy. With smallish canopies (~135 and below) those effects can easily happen after only ~300 jumps on the lineset. Microline will typically still look perfectly fine at that age, so just looking at the wear & tear on the lines isn't enough to determine if the lines are still good.
  3. When I bought a secondhand camera helmet, it had a poor man's sight on it. A round piece of coloured plastic with a hole in the middle, on a peg bolted on the helmet. No articulation or other fancy stuff, something like this: http://www.chutingstar.com/camera/skydive-video-gear/ringsights/tinted-eyesight-assembly At least a lot cheaper than all the newton ring or otherwise fancy optics, and it worked perfectly fine for me.
  4. Or even better if they've forgotten that we want to get out 3 km prior due to doing CRW with hardly any uppers. Jackpot is if they climb out right after us. Have fun hiking back! ^_^
  5. About as well as I can (or want to) hear "Door!" while on jumprun.
  6. That's why I like my €0,15/pair high-end foam earplugs (3M earsoft FX or Moldex Spark Plugs). Plenty good enough protection, and zero worries if I lose one. Sure, there's no super-fancy frequency-dependent attenuation to hear speech more easily, but we aren't holding deep philosophical discussions anyway while skydiving.
  7. Agreed, metal hardening is a fairly involved process that requires the full skill, test facilities and QA capabilities of a manufacturer. But TiN treatment is not new, and there are plenty of companies that are skilled enough to do it. It might cost a bit more, but I see no major technical reason why a rig manufacturer cannot buy a batch of TiN hardened reserve pins (likely a pin is defined as a part number with associated drawing and material specifications) and test those for use in their reserve ripcords. As for the grommet, unless I understand the mechanism wrong, a scratched grommet won't cause as much pull force increase as a scratched pin. The scratches in a pin hook into the loop material, meaning you have to physically either pull them out or pull apart the hooked fibres of the loop material. Scratches in the grommet are also obviously not good, since they can cause wear on the loop and/or grab the loop during the opening sequence and delay (or worse) the opening of the reserve container.
  8. Interesting video & discussion. From a materials point of view, I'm not sure that polishing a scratched reserve pin is a good solution, since the material is soft enough that it was able to get scratched in the first place. Polishing it up removes the scratches, but does not remove the ability to be scratched again.
  9. That's why you let a rigger look at it and determine if they are still airworthy. It's an absolute waste to throw away slinks because it's not you but someone else who put 50 jumps on them. A rigger will (should) be able to look beyond jump numbers, and determine if the actual state of the slinks merit replacement.
  10. That's why he was wearing sunglasses!
  11. Lightnings also pack at least a size bigger than equivalent-sized 9-cell normal mains. Plus, there's a whole lot more fun in the air with them ^_^.
  12. If the canopy doesn't already have an attachment point, then it will need some work by a master rigger to create one, especially for jumping it repeatedly. As Lee already said, reserves have some different materials used for fabric, but also for the lines. Typically, they are uncoated (to reduce risk of sticking/tension knots I think), which means they are much more susceptible to damage than normally coated lines. Keep an eye on it, and don't expect to get 500 jumps out of it.
  13. Hand it to someone who can open a Velocity or similar on-heading, and let him/her jump it a few jumps while you pack as normally. If the off-headings are gone, it's your body position. If they also have off-headings every jump, its packing or canopy related.
  14. Based on their manuals, neither the Solo nor the Solo II can be adjusted in their volume. The Optima and Optima II can be adjusted, but the lowest volume on Optima II is 112dB, still painfully loud. Wikipedia helpfully states this is above a non-electric chainsaw at 1m distance. Concern regarding hearing loss is valid, but in my opinion better solved by use of earplugs rather than by adjustment of an audible. Ear plugs have the added advantage of protecting against engine noise and freefall wind noise as well as against super-loud audible noise. Think of it this way: earplugs generally lower ALL volumes. If you can hear your audible in freefall, it is loud enough to rise over the rest of the noise. By lowering ALL volumes, you don't change the difference in audible volume vs other noise volume. So you'll still hear your audible perfectly fine. Anecdotically, I use my Optima II mostly for canopy alarms, and typically in my front pocket due to a halfshell helmet (#CRWdog). Those rare cases where I have my audible inside my video helmet and I forgot my earplugs, even the canopy alarms are physically painful to hear. Earplugs are the way to go, and even very high quality foam earplugs will only set you back €30 for 200 pairs, just €0,15 per jump if you grab fresh ones every jump!
  15. There is no specific jump number for this type of stuff. My advice: discuss it with the instructors at your home DZ, and find a demo jumper that has experience jumping with extra stuff. Any jump-specific advice (like higher pull altitude, things to keep in mind, etc) are highly dependent on details like your actual experience, the exact way you want to do this, how you're going to make and hold the banner, etc... Generic things to think about and discuss with said instructors and experienced demo jumpers would be: How to hold it in freefall while maintaining stability (restricted use of arms)? How to handle it during deployment? What happens if you do lose it? How do you exit properly with it (also depends on airplane type)? And probably a couple other things I'm forgetting here.