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Lines: Equalizing and Sleeving


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#1 airin

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 05:45 PM

I am wondering what the best way of equalizing a set of lines is? I have some dual lines where one line has stretched and also a set of quad lines that were broken which I am now turning into dual lines. What's the most foolproof (and idiot proof) method of getting the lines even and knotted?

As well, I don't currently have a sleeving kite but I do have some salvaged sleeving I can use. What can I use to thread the line through the sleeving?

thanks for your help,
Erin
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#2 kairusan

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 06:11 PM

You can make a sleeving needle out of a length of thin wire; just cut about 15 inches or so, fold it in half, and there you go. The stuff they sell at craft stores for wiring flowers or wreaths or whatever works well enough.

For equalizing, I prefer to sleeve, tie, and finish one end of the lines and roughly sleeve/tie the other end. I secure the finished end of the lines to a fencepost or something else that's elevated off the ground a fair bit, such that the lines hang down when you stretch them out and hold them at about waist level. I wrap the loops of the other end of the lines around a winder, and pull taut. If the lines are not equal, one line will droop slightly below the other(s). I pull on the droopy line(s) until it's taut, then mark where the edge of the sleeving should be with a sharpie and retie the knot. I then stretch the lines through pulling them until they'll no longer give, and staking them down good and tight, leaving them be for a few minutes. I then re-test equalization (generally, they're still equalized) and go ahead and finish the rough ends of the lines, leaving a little bit of extra line hanging out of the end of the sleeving for future adjustments as the lines age.

I've used this method to make five quad sets so far, and all of them have been equal on first flight, and have remained so for many months of use.

But there's lots of other methods that work great; I'm sure everyone will share theirs.

Edited by kairusan, 03 August 2009 - 06:16 PM.

kairusan

#3 kitecowboy

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 07:41 PM

I am wondering what the best way of equalizing a set of lines is? I have some dual lines where one line has stretched and also a set of quad lines that were broken which I am now turning into dual lines. What's the most foolproof (and idiot proof) method of getting the lines even and knotted?

As well, I don't currently have a sleeving kite but I do have some salvaged sleeving I can use. What can I use to thread the line through the sleeving?

thanks for your help,
Erin


I use a guitar string folded in half and as for equalizing the method above works great, if you make sure your sleeving pieces are the same length making field adjustments can be made easier.
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#4 Jim Foster

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 08:08 PM

I use a guitar string folded in half and as for equalizing the method above works great, if you make sure your sleeving pieces are the same length making field adjustments can be made easier.



High "E" string works great. Get a cheap one. You really don't care how it sounds.

Edited by Jim Foster, 03 August 2009 - 08:09 PM.

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#5 airin

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 09:36 PM

Thanks guys, you've been a big help! :)
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#6 Simon

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:39 AM

I use a guitar string folded in half and as for equalizing the method above works great, if you make sure your sleeving pieces are the same length making field adjustments can be made easier.


I made up 4 or 5 sets for The Flying Squad, and just done 3 daul line sets too.

Guitar String = Good. Go as long as you can cope with, that way you dont need to bunch up the sleeve when it's on the tool.

I used 450mm of sleeve.

Sleeve one end, double knot this end.

Next sleeve onto the other end.

Stake lines and pull out when all lines are pulled out even, mark all or both lines. Pull sleeve down to mark, and tie with a single knot.
Repeat last line when ever you need to equalize.

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#7 Acrilix

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 01:52 PM

I have to say, this line stretching thing has me terrified! The manual I got with my kite talks about 1/4" affecting control!!!! As a beginner, I haven't got a clue how to check, or adjust for this. I suffer from anxiety as it is, and this has definitely got me worried! :wub: A lot of what I read in these threads, and in the instruction manual at the moment, sounds like some weird foreign language!!! Hopefully, in time, I'll be able to get my head around it. :huh:

#8 Baloo

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 02:19 PM

Dont worry too much. Your hands will adjust to line stretch to some extent.

It is best if you have all lines equal. More importantly the top lines need to be the same length, and the bottom lines the same length.

However equalising lines is realy easy. If a bit time consuming the first time.

To check your lines just do as above. Hook the loop around a fixed point. Then stick your finger through the loops at the other end to see if thay are all about the same length. You might find 2 are the same and the others not. Just carefully undo the knots in the ones that are not right, after marking the length you want. Slide the leaders along the line to the mark. Then re-tie and check again.

You do need to worry about line lengths if you have to give the one handle to a person next to you just to maintain a stable hover. :devil:

Honestly it sounds so complicated to write it down. So easy to do in practice. If you are worried I think Stephen said he would offer you advice on flying fields. He will be able to help you with lines. And if you can get to Dunstable I bet you will have to fight the help off with a big stick. (SLE rods are good for beating folks who want to help you)

#9 airin

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 03:45 PM

I made up 4 or 5 sets for The Flying Squad, and just done 3 daul line sets too.

Guitar String = Good. Go as long as you can cope with, that way you dont need to bunch up the sleeve when it's on the tool.

I used 450mm of sleeve.

Sleeve one end, double knot this end.

Next sleeve onto the other end.

Stake lines and pull out when all lines are pulled out even, mark all or both lines. Pull sleeve down to mark, and tie with a single knot.
Repeat last line when ever you need to equalize.


Probably a dumb question, but why double knot sometimes and single knot others? Does it matter much whether the line is double knotted or single knotted?
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#10 Jim Foster

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 05:36 PM

After I put the doubled guitar string through the sleeve, I use a "Bic" or similar lighter to burn the ends of the sleeve before I pull the kite line through the sleeve.
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#11 kitecowboy

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 08:00 PM

After I put the doubled guitar string through the sleeve, I use a "Bic" or similar lighter to burn the ends of the sleeve before I pull the kite line through the sleeve.



awesome idea, although I kinda like the little flower look from the frayed ends. ;)
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#12 kitecowboy

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 08:02 PM

Probably a dumb question, but why double knot sometimes and single knot others? Does it matter much whether the line is double knotted or single knotted?



I'm guessing but that might be to make those field adjustments eaiser.
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#13 REVflyer

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 04:11 AM

you don't need the sleeving at all,
just a "stopper knot" built into the loop used for lark-heading to the pig-tails so it's easy to remove, even with gloves on.

Line adjustments are much easier without sleeves too, since the longest line can have a very small knot tied into it's length in an effort to equalize.

As advised above,
drop all four lines over a well placed stake or hook-on to a fence post, soccer goal, something stationary. Affix your flying handles and pull 'em back snug, do they align perfectly? If not your lines need adjusting. If you had multiple sets of handles you'd just "tune the leaders" for each set. If you have more lines than handles you need to tune the lines and have the leaders remain as a constant.

Let's say you've purchased a spool of line and are planning to make your own sets.
First you need a pair of forceps from the sporting goods store or from a fishing supply house. This tool will be both a measuring device as well as a heat shield and also used to lock things in place. Honestly?, you'll wonder how you ever lived without them!

You will make the line-sets by division, so first layout your loop used to start the process. You need a stopper knot built into the loops on each end. So the stopper knot goes halfway down, before you form the loop. I use two wraps around the forceps as my unit of measure.

Pinch the line from the roll at the very edge of the forceps jaws, lock them in place and go twice around insuring the second lap falls directly over your starting point.
Remove the forceps and place on this new location.
Place a single overhand knot butted firmly against the forceps.
Add a doubled overhand knot next and jerk it tightly against the first knot placed. That is your stopper knot. These two knots can move easliy, so really jerk them tightly. You haven't made a loop yet, just placing the stopper.

The loop forming knot on the other end is a "figure of eight", that knot travels in both directions when tightening. That is no way to make an exactly duplicated and equal flying line set though. Again the forceps come to the rescue!

Take the stopper knot in one hand and run your fingers down
both the short line from the stopper, as well as the long line leading back to the roll
until you get near the end, pinch both lines at that spot and lock the jaws. The figure of eight can be anywhere along that length to make the loop! Longer is better though, in case of final size adjustments.

To form the figure of eight knot, wrap both these lines around your index finger, next to the forceps, remove those lines carefully, by sliding your finger out. Rotate those loops of string 180 degrees together and then pass the stopper thru the loop, you will see "the figure eight" take shape. Notice how each leg goes inside the other? You need to flip 1/2 of the figure eight OVER itself, then butt it against the forceps and pull all the slack out back towards the roll (all in one direction). Practice this technique a couple of times until you can duplicate your efforts exactly. If you pinch the lines with just a hint of jaws sticking out above it, you can use that metal point as leverage to slid the excess out as tightening takes place.

This sounds way too complicated in text format. I wish I had a picture, the concept is quite simple. You're using the forceps to prevent the knot from moving in two directions. You are using a knot designed to do exactly what you don't want! The logic is so profound. IT CAN'T MOVE after you've tighten it! The forceps' thin metal jaws are also slippery, . . .... enough to make this work.

Okay, so now you know how to tie a loop with a stopper knot, you've practiced it enough to have consistent repeatability. Back to making your own line-sets.

Layout a second stake in the ground approximately the length desired on your final size line-sets AWAY from the first point. Add a couple of feet for the distance used in making your loops. It doesn't have to be exact. You goal is a four perfectly equal lines. If they turned out 118.6 feet instead of a perfect 120 nobody will ever care!
Personally I walk all the way out to 486 feet, add a second loop and cut away the reel. Walk that second looped end back to the first one and drop it over the same attachment point you started with. Go back to the middle, place the smooth side of forceps into the loop and pull it snug. You are looking for the exact center. the lines can slide to find it! When you feel that center point has been found, pinch it into the jaws, leaving a tiny dangle sticking out. Melt the point away to create two equal lengths, (using the forceps as a heat shield) each attached to your original starting point with loops containing stoppers. Keep adding stoppers, loops and dividing lines until you have four equal lengths with loops on each end (8).

Attach the flying handles to the loops and insure they align perfectly, ... pull 'em back snugly! Here's a secret, keep each half (of any divisions) separated. One half for each top handle and another round of divisions for each side's bottom flying lines. Fly the kite for awhile to stretch the lines and then adjust or switch the positions around if necessary. If you have to make any length adjustments you need to identify the longest line and add a doubled overhand knot into it's loop. I put them closer to the kite as opposed to me (next to the stopper).

This process has served me for almost two decades, 50# or 300#, I don't like sleeving. It tangles too much when laying out lines PLUS sleeving can catch bridle leg knots or end-caps during slack line flying.

I wind my lines up around the handles for storage, so no sleeving really helps to prevent a tangled mess next time I set up!

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#14 kiteking

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 06:56 AM

Personally I walk all the way out to 486 feet, add a second loop and cut away the reel.


Must be nice to have a space larger than a football field to make line sets.

I personally like sleeving,

On a new roll I will slide 8 (18") sleeves, (I too finnish the ends while on the wire) onto the line, one knot at each end of the sleeve then a overhand knot to create the loop. Attach the loop to a stake and walk out the distance (sliding the other 7 sleeves along) when I get to my line length (+10 inches) I leave 1 sleeve and move the others past the mark, burn the lines (I like the idea of using the forcepts as a burn point) then repeat the knot at each end of the sleeve and create the loop. repeate the process for the remaining lines.

I make the sleeves and get them on the line while at home instead of in the field, and after the lines are (close to) equal I use one of my dual line kites (stacks) to streach the lines. I can componsate length difference with 2 lines much easier than 4 ( 2% streach x 120 feet = 2.4 feet) (on a rev the top lines will streach more than the bottom so you must keep switching top to bottom many times during the streach period) (attached to a stack, a couple of good hard passes throught the power zone and the're streached) once all lines are streached I stake them and adjust as needed to equilize.

Remember that creeping will continue so it a good idea to swap top to bottom reguraly as well as end to end to wear the lines evenly
Wind to your back, Kite in the air.

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#15 Sailor99

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:41 AM

Remember that creeping will continue so it a good idea to swap top to bottom reguraly as well as end to end to wear the lines evenly

An alternative Mike

- Don't worry about the top line stretch too much - it gives you more options for greater brake. If it gets too much, take up a little on the top leader.

I know people will consider me a philistine, but I didn't adjust my lines or swap my tops/bottoms all last season. I just saved it up as a winter job and even then left my top lines a few inches longer. Interestingly the LPG ones were more 'uneven' than the others.

I too use leaders, but I am interested in the idea of not using them. I can really see a drag benefit in zero winds. Unfortunately I am not sure I am with the instructions (this not meant at all critically). Like you say I think it must be difficult in text.

Edited by Sailor99, 05 August 2009 - 07:42 AM.

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#16 Jeff

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:48 AM

I like sleeving too. It's just easier to work with. I don't know if there is any measurable effect as far as protecting the line from breaking at the loops, but that's not why I do it. I just like having something a little more substantial to handle at the connection points. My fingers and my eyes appreciate that. ;)

I think the process is pretty simple, I've done it a couple times now.... I cut 8 equal lengths of sleeving. Now I can't remember if it was 12" or 14", but they were all the same. Went ahead and melted the cut ends so they wouldn't fray.

I used a thin gauge wire that was dirt cheap at the hardware store. It's 18 or 22 gauge, I bought it a couple years ago, and my memory isn't so good. :P I think it was with the picture hanging supplies. Very much the same as a guitar string, for this purpose, and cheaper and easier to find, unless you happen to have spare guitar strings around.

Folded the wire over, and fed through the sleeving at the ends, pulled the line back through. Fixed the loop with two knots. Cut the line at the other end to allow room to loop it and have the right length. You can finish the other end now, or do all 4 lines half way and do the other sides all at once, whatever you like.

In any case, the second side, you may want to fix the loops on one end with one knot just to make it quicker to adjust the length when all 4 lines are made.

What I did was try to get them all the same right away, but then just to adjust, with the original ends staked down firmly, I take the other ends and put my fingers trough the 4 loops and pull them gently towards myself trying to apply equal pressure to all the lines. If any of the lines are a different length, you can take a thin point marker and put a mark on the longer line even with where the edge of the sleeving on the shorter line comes to. Then, you can untie the loop on the longer line, push the sleeving forward to the mark, and retie. Assuming that your sleeving is all the same length, and you tied the same number of knots in it, your lines are now even.

I haven't done much pre-stretching of the lines, myself. I'll pull on the lines while they're staked down, just for a little bit. But what I do is just fly for a session with the lines one way, then next time switch the tops for bottoms to equalize how much stretching they're getting. And then after several sessions, then I'll pull out the lines and have a look to see if there's anything that needs adjusting.
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#17 Simon

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:59 AM

Probably a dumb question, but why double knot sometimes and single knot others? Does it matter much whether the line is double knotted or single knotted?



Simple, I only adjust from one end. I've found tie-ing and un tie-ing adds creap into the lines so just adjust from one end now.

Having read the later posts, I tend to adjust before a big event, as it also gives me a chance to check equipment for damage. When flying in team and doing kissess etc, the LE can rub (cut) across the lines and Dacron will cut Spectra easily, also I check when I've flown with anyone that uses "different lines" as the type of line may also, cuts on the lines.

I know it sounds weird but when you are in a strange country and flying in front of thousands of people you dont want to have to stop and make a new set of lines. :blushing:

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#18 oparadis

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 12:50 PM

Geez... I have done this before and probably never the same way twice. And reading all the above has my head spinning. It must be crazy for new-bees to read. No disrespect. In fact it really says something positive about the sport when so many people will sit down and take time to write so much.
If it has not been done maybe its time a video how to could be made. After all the lines are the critical part of quad.
Peace
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#19 Felix Mottram

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 02:27 PM

Geez... I have done this before and probably never the same way twice. And reading all the above has my head spinning. It must be crazy for new-bees to read. No disrespect. In fact it really says something positive about the sport when so many people will sit down and take time to write so much.
If it has not been done maybe its time a video how to could be made. After all the lines are the critical part of quad.


The concept of tying lines of equal length is very simple but the method of achieving it may be somewhat difficult to describe in practical detail.

The objective is clear. At a certain level it has to be left to the individual to understand the concept and find their own way to achieve the objective.

Felix

#20 REVflyer

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 03:45 AM

Kurtis,
I would enjoy helping out with making videos of how to
create & use a bridle board

and how to
make your own line-sets




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