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100% KOOK-Proof connector idea

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Postby theflyingtinman » Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:47 am

[quote="kitezilla"]Words to live by:

“The objective is to remove as many 'opportunities'
to screw ourselves, as possible.â€Â

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Postby Ten4 » Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:03 am

the thing i don't get is. when you self launch and your you've hooked the back lines up the wrong way. won't it not self launch cause you'r pulling down? i dono about you guys but every self launch i do with my bow its like that. even when i self launch it like a normal c (which you can do!) your pretty much pulling down if you bar is 180'd.

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Postby kite_n_rnd » Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:38 am

Ten4 wrote:the thing i don't get is. when you self launch and your you've hooked the back lines up the wrong way. won't it not self launch cause you'r pulling down? i dono about you guys but every self launch i do with my bow its like that. even when i self launch it like a normal c (which you can do!) your pretty much pulling down if you bar is 180'd.
Even if you were able to figure out last second before launch
that you had to flip your
bar to make it fly correctly (because you switched the back lines),
if you later dropped the kite in the water, and recovered the bar,
you may forget that you have to have the bar flipped (red side on RIGHT).
If you relaunched in the water and were close to shore, you would
be in for a bit of a surpise. This happened to a friend of mine.
He almost got dragged to shore when he reovered his bar and
didn't realize it was backwards. His kite suddenly relaunched
and he steered it into the power zone, while thinking he was steering it
to the edge of the window.

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Postby tautologies » Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:47 am

kitezilla wrote:[
Unless.....hmmmm......Unless, it just can't physically be done.
Right that was why I was hinting on the lock and key, but still there would be weaknesses. For instance like Bullshit pointed out, metal on metal I would expect that had a great potential for bending and breaking.
Mechanical engineers (I know quite a few, and believe me, they get a kick out of me and my tinkering), ... call the concept "Stupid Proofing".
I do agree though, it there is a way for users to mess it up, they will find it...same goes for systems design.
This concept is incorporated into almost everything they design from automobile design to PVC pipe and connector design. For example, it is impossible (without concentrated effort) to insert any element of PVC cold water pipe or connectors into the CPVC Hot water system of your house. The engineers made it "Stupid Proof". The engineers did not say: "Hey, the pipe is already a different color...that's got to be good enough." No, they make it physically impossible to mix up the pieces to the hot and cold water systems...and that is then "good enough".

Hey, Bill Gates may be the smartest man in the world, but he drives a car that has been "stupid proofed". I doubt if he feels insulted even though he is smart enough to remember to turn on the backup lights, every time he puts the car in reverse, but he drives a car that won't allow him to back up without the lights coming. The engineers saw to that, when they designed the transmission and electrical system.
But this usually only holds to a certain degree. I terms of your metaphor, the car will one have these functions on some of its functions. (I hate all the car metaphors but here we go) You can still bump into things with your car. You can still put the gear in forward and drive, even if you meant to go backwards. You can drive on a red light, and cut in front of someone. It is not technically impossible to change that, but it sure is expensive to designs a completely fool proof car. I think the same goes for kiting. It should have some safety, but at some point we have to be responsible for setting it up right. I am not unsympathetic to kiters who's kite goes into the tree, because they set the lines worng, but I guess when you put your kite down on the beach it is about time to wake up anyway. :-)
Real engineers design stuff with double and triple redundancy. They don't do this to insult the intelligence of the end user of the product. They don't say to each other: "Hey, Les and Jeff, this design is good enough. Only an idiot would screw this machine up..." They don't arrogantly say to each other: "If someone isn't smart enough to use this device within our strict design parameters, they are hopeless imbiciles, and they should get a life, and wise up".
No but redundancies also goes on the expense of the end user, and total cost of product. For instance, (gahh back to the friggin' car metaphor) a new car is now launched with a system that can help pocket park your car. Many people will not buy this, because they already park their car fine. However for some it is nice. I think the same holds for kiting, maybe some are more distracted and have a higher need for it, and some does not. I think a kook proof system would be nice if it has benefits without adding too much complexity or price. I am very happy with the system that Naish is using. I have been using slingshot bar before on my Best kites, and I had no problems, but I think I have good routines while attaching the lines.
Real Engineers know that things do not always go as planned. They base their actions on the fact that real live people (1) don't always make good decisions (2) like to fiddle with mechanical things (3) don't always use devices for their intended purpose (4) are careless when distracted or under stress and (5) Bla, bla,bla ...I'll stop here.
I completely agree, and I have been through this while designing and implementing information systems, but I really don't think it is feasible to make a system for anything that can go wrong in kiting, but I'll be happy to accept anything that can be improved upon without adding too much price.
I apologize for using your statement as a springboard. I appreciate the detail, you include in your posts, and I really can't disagree with anything you said...but..I am wound up and it doesn't take much to set me off, today!
hehe, I know what you mean, no offense taken. I am still happy with the Naish system though.
I think your idea of using tape to mark the lines is good as well.


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Postby kitezilla » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:07 pm

Here is a follow-up report on my new line connector set-up...

I love it, and will stick with it on all my kites and bars.

I should say that I have reversed the ring and the link, so that I keep the ring on my right rear kite line, and the screw link on the kite. The reason was to have the lighter, less bulky piece, on the kite line.

I have flown kites with this set-up 3 times now...I will get back to this thread, if I run into any problems with the set up.

My initial thoughts were that I would possibly run into problems with:

(1) sand jamming the threads of the SS screw gated link.
(2) the ring on the end of the kite line, due to its' weight, would swing, and become an annoyance when working with and separating tangled lines.

I was happy to see that my concern was ill-founded...although (1) could still become a problem....however, I have gotten into the recommended habit of rinsing off, and pre-rolling the bridle pulleys on the kites, so I will add the rinsing of the threads of the link to my routine, at the same time.

As far as (2) goes, I found that the weight of the little ring was actually a positive feature in untwisting my lines. The weight keeps the one line, hanging down, more stable than the other 4 lines, and prevents the re-tangling of the line with the other lines, once the line is cleared of the others. This fact pleasantly surprised me. It really helps when untangling the ends of the lines when it is windy.

Someone in this thread alerted me to the possible problem with metal to metal wear and fatigue...I will watch for any deformation of the 2 metal parts. I think that deformation will precede the fracture and failure of part, and that I will be able to detect the deformation of the ring, visually, and also, that I will be able to detect the deformation of the link, by the increased resistance, the gated screw will demonstrate, as I try to unscrew the piece, each time I disconnect the lines. I doubt that lack of durability and strength will be problem, because, I think that the the 2 parts are much stronger than necessary to withstand the loading from the rear line, on which I use it. Time will tell. I would be more concerned about the much higher load placed upon the connector, if I used it on a front line, but obviously, it would never be needed on a front line. I also would be more concerned if I were to use it on the rear line which goes to the "Oh, Sh-t" handle or re-ride safety, but I do not use the metal connector there.

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Postby ronnie » Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:15 pm

The first idea that comes to mind is to only have knots on the ends of the lines.

All 4 lines would be different colours, matching the leaders they were connecting to.

Each line would be connected using the matching colour of plastic clip.
The plastic clips would be like a plastic square tube with a base. The line would come in through a hole in the centre of the base and the knot would prevent it being pulled out again. The other part of the clip would also have the same method of attaching the line. The sides of the clip would connect like the buckles on the straps you use when you have rolled up your kite, they are squeezed in on one part and slide down the other tube until they reach the gaps in the sides where they spring out and lock. Each clip would be different in size from the others so you could not connect them to the wrong other half.

They would have to take a 400kg load, so maybe plastic is optomistic. There might be a problem with the line breaking where it went through the base.
Last edited by ronnie on Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby kitezilla » Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:14 pm


Thanks for the suggestion. I may persue that idea. I am trying to find out the limits of the ring and chain link ideas, right now, and have discovered something important already, after 4 sessions with this type of connector.

I said previously: "My initial thoughts were that I would possibly run into problems with: (1) sand jamming the threads of the SS screw gated link. "

This did occur, and made unscrewing the link hard, yesterday. Here is the modification, I feel is necessary: A rubberized grip wrap around the "screw gate" part. Here is a picture of the link with a piece of poly tube inserted over the "gate". I can already tell that this enlargement of the "gate" will give me a better grip, to unscrew it, against the resistance of the grit which gets into the threads.
DSCF0002.JPG (121.02 KiB) Viewed 1031 times

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Postby Peter_Frank » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:25 pm

JGTR wrote:Don't you guys check your lines before launching :o :o :o :o :?:
What a stupid comment :o

No matter how careful you are at checking your lines - it will ALWAYS be better and safer with a fully kook proof connection system :thumb:

Why do you think the knot-loop was invented ?

Because noone are checking their lines ???


Well, apart from that - I dont get the "flat kites looping around" idea fully ?

You are 100% right - you can not make a clean check of your lines the instant you launch - if you selflaunch a flat kite in the most "standard" way.

But two things:

1. You just let go of the bar if it pulls too much ! Thats the whole idea with the flat kites 8)

2. Whenever you selflaunch a flat kite, you always depower the kite fully to avoid pull if it slides further down the powerzone on the ground.

Having said this - I still think a 100% kook proof connection system would be nice - if it is not more complicated/heavy.

It should be said - that even if you had a 100% kook proof connection, the bar can still be grabbed 180 degree turned around - even when colour coded (has been seen...)

Kindly, Peter Frank

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Postby Ozone Kites AUS » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:52 pm

I'm with Peter Frank on this one with bow kites, I have not made a mistake with my lines that caused a problem, although one day, like kitezilla I was distracted and managed to connect both lines to the wrong side, even though they were colour coded.

Saw it when I went to launch, and rerigged. Distraction when rigging is the thing that has gotten me every time. Once I went to launch and I did not have my harness on!!! :lol:
After a short period of time I worked out what to do in that situation though and no lives were threatened.

If something goes wrong on launch with a bow let go of the bar immediately.

To make something completely kook proof would require elimination of the kooks wouldn't it?

The way cabs,naish,north,slingy, are set up is good, but would prefer a different colour line end and pigtail for each corner of the kite.

Cya and


Steve McCormack

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Postby PAFF » Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:16 am

I don't get this...

Have been using the Shift for a few years now.. (On different kites.)

I have to give Naish that.. If that system isn't kook proof... None is.

On the SLE kites...
Everything is RED on the left side.. Bar-Lines-Sock-Pigtails- The line has a knot, and the kite has a RED loop..
Everything is BLUE on the right side.. Bar-Lines-Socks-Pigtails- The line has a knot, and the kite has a BLUE loop.
Everything is Grey/black on the front-lines...Lines-socks-pigtails- The line has a loop and the kite has a knot...

On the C kites.
The same, but the 5th is yellow, and the nose-line on the kite is yellow.

If you are colorblind, you would be able to put your right steering line on the left side, and left steering line on the right...
But system will still work 100%, and if you are colorblind, you don't care what side is Blue/Red anyway.. :D

They have had this system for years, and on SS-North kites i have used this bar because i like the none plastic depowerrope, and the self-centering CL.

The most 2007 gear i have seen have it like this now, but there are still some whit white-lines.. :roll:

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