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My old 1.5 vs. 1.5 SLE?


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#1 Joe B

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 12:41 PM

Hi everyone,

I've been out of the kite scene for a few years but I'm getting back into it once again after a few years' hiatus.

So, I have an older Rev 1.5 (non SLE) that I purchased back around 1995. It actually is the same pattern as the 1995 model pictured in the banner at the top of this forum. Things have definitely changed a bit since those days. I noticed the plain Jane 1.5 is no longer available and I'm curious how exactly it compares to the current lineup. Is the 1.5 SLE basically the same as the old 1.5 SLE but with the larger diameter leading edge spars? Does that mean the EXP is basically what the original 1.5 used to be? Just trying to figure this all out as it's been such a long time and I have a lot of catching up to do! Has the bridle or anything else changed as well?

I also have an older Supersonic I got back around 2004. Is its leading edge similar to what I'd find in the 1.5 SLE? It'd be interesting if I could interchange them....

Thanks for your help.... it's great to be back in this world again!

#2 stroke survivor

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:18 PM

Let me get this straight before we continue - your old 1.5 has 1/4" leading edge rods?? If so, great! They would have gold labels and there should be 5 pieces total!! I'm not sure where this falls in the land of 1.5's lineup now, there weren't many options available back then! Maybe the EXP and some form of the 1.5 before the SLE was introduced!! If I remember correctly, the 1.5 was just coming on the market around then, so if you have one with 1/4" rods, enjoy!! Not sure about the interchangeability issue, maybe someone else has answers, but if the Shockwave also has 1/4" rods, they may be the same strength (wraps)!! So you might not get any changes, but if something breaks, you'd have spares in hand!! Make sure you check your lines for equal length, control issues are tougher to solve if your lines are unequal, but if the sail is in good condition, handles are ok, lines equal, then get out there and fly the thing!!!Posted Image
PS: I still fly a Rev1 from around that time period, flies great!! Posted Image

wayne from portland
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#3 RevWizard

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:50 PM

Actually the panels shapes of the first REV 1.5(1995-1997) are not the same as the 1998-2008 1.5 EXP. They just appears so at first glance. You will notice that the center panel is the main difference in that the REV 1.5 had seven sides and the EXP has five sides.
You could say that the first REV 1.5 are about the same in flying characteristics, however I personally think the first REV 1.5 flew a little bit better. They both have all ripstop nylon sails.

The REV 1.5 SLE was a different animal. It had ripstop polyester sail and a the thick 3/8" Leading(Super Leading Edge).
Those two features made it a bit more radical. By changing out the 3/8" leading edge rods to 1/4" rods it became much smoother. The basic flying characteristics of the first and last 1.5 SLE are somewhat similar when using the same rods.
SLE is no longer printed on the sail, I believe, as of this year. I am not 100% positive, though I think the REV 1.5 is now shipped only with 1/4" rods.

The panel layout on the REV 1.5 SLE has had three variations over the has years. 1998-2000 7 panels, 2000-2002 9 panels, 2002 to present 11 panels. It appears to me that the flying characteristic has improved as more panels were added.

Now the REV 1.5 JB definitely has an improved flying characteristics over the REV 1.5 SLE with the same rods.
The REV 1.5 JB Pro, being carefully handcrafted, tuned and who knows what else, is the Rolls-Royce of the 1.5s. And it costs more. It is like the difference between a BMW 325 and a BMW M3.

Not knowing the lengths of the supersonic rods, I can't answer your question there. The material is the same. The diameter and number of wraps is the same. They are also made on the same machines.

Long John (formerly Mr. R)

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#4 Joe B

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:51 PM

Thanks Wayne and John!

So yes, my old 1.5 has the 1/4" leading edge spars. They do have the gold labels and they say "Ultra Light" on them. Does that make them 3 wraps? I did get this 1.5 not long after they first came out, if I recall correctly. Things were much easier to figure out back when there were just those first few models. I'm just trying to figure out what the old 1.5 would be closest to in the current line, and/or if I can do anything to bring it into the 21st century, so to speak! :blue_wink:

I was checking with my nearest local shop, Into the Wind, and they had recommended EXP spars to replace any spars I might break on my old 1.5. I'm not sure if that was correct or not, but I picked up one EXP vertical spar on that recommendation, and it's the same length and diameter... although it appears to have somewhat of a tighter spiral to it. Hopefully that's not an issue. I'm also wondering if I had to reframe the entire kite, what could/should I use? The wingspan seemed a bit longer than everything I thought it might match (EXP, 1.5 SLE, etc). It's about 94.25" across the leading edge, versus 91" or 92".

#5 RevWizard

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 03:12 PM

The 3 wrap rod is the same as the EXP rod. The latter simply does not have a label. There is a whole range of rods you could change to if you felt the need.
Those spirals you see on the rods are just the creases left in the resin by the cellophane wrap that was wrapped around the rods before they when into the oven to be cured. The cellophane is removed when the rods have cooled down.

Are you measuring the sail or the leading edge rods?

Long John (formerly Mr. R)

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#6 stroke survivor

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 03:44 PM

Any rod set for the 1.5 should interchange ok, but John's right, are you measuring rod length or the wings length?? If you had to re-rod the whole kite, I'd recommend the race frame!! The flex works with your kite better to get better control!! But you don't need to get one right away to enjoy flying that baby!!! Ultra light is equal to 3 wrap, new spars have silver labels and there are 2, 3, 4 wrap, race frame, and ultra race frames available!! Lots of choices!!Posted Image Only thing I've gotten for my Rev1 was a race frame, but I watch it in higher winds, that 9' wing puts a lot of torque on those rods!!!Posted Image

wayne from portland
You have 2 choices - live on or die!! I ain't the dying type!!!  Also known as "portland flyer" on some forums!

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#7 Joe B

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:04 PM

Thanks guys. To answer the question, I measured the length of the leading edge rods themselves. If I were to reframe with a new leading edge from say, a 1.5 JB or a race frame, would that be okay even if it's 3.25" shorter? I guess I will need to measure the wingspan itself to make sure it's not longer than that. Thanks for all the help and info, guys!

#8 RevWizard

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:01 PM

I have seen rod length variations with the early 1.5 SLE rods only. All 1/4" rods, as far as I know are very consistent in length.
You might need to adjust the bungees. You basically want the end caps holding snugly on the ends of the rods. Not too tight where it really stretches the bungees and hard to put on nor so loose that the end caps pull off easily, in particular when you drag the tip on the ground.

Long John (formerly Mr. R)

STACK International Executive Committee - 6/1996-6/2008
International Rules Book Committee and STACK International Head Judge - 6/2004-6/2008
World Sport Kite Championship Judge - 2004-2005-2006(Chief Judge)
13x 1st - 12x 2nd - 6x 3rd places in 37 overall Quadline individual competitions


Web Site - http://www.johnnmitchell.com/index.html Check it out today!


#9 stroke survivor

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 10:30 PM

This whole business got my grey cells in gear, so out came my spare 4 wrap leading edge! I measured that and came up with 93"!! All new leading edges should be very close in length, just adjust your bungee's accordingly and you should have no problem!! In the mean time, check your line lengths, make up some leaders (there's plenty of info on those), and fly that thing!!Posted Image
PS: Did you assemble the rod before measuring?? Posted Image

wayne from portland
You have 2 choices - live on or die!! I ain't the dying type!!!  Also known as "portland flyer" on some forums!

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#10 Joe B

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 08:52 AM

Guys, thanks so much for all the help. Wayne-- yes I did assemble the leading edge before measuring. Thanks for taking the time to measure yours. It sounds like everything is in order after all. Thanks again both of you for all the info and help. Now I just need to check those lines and get flying!

#11 stroke survivor

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:14 AM

Don't forget the "having fun part"!!!Posted Image

wayne from portland
You have 2 choices - live on or die!! I ain't the dying type!!!  Also known as "portland flyer" on some forums!

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#12 Joe B

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:29 AM

Oh don't worry, I've got that part covered! B)




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