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Making up 120 foot lines

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#1 oapbillf


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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:48 AM

Hi to one and all,

I am about to make up a 120 foot ( 36.576 metre/meter ) line set, this is no problem having in the past made several dual line sets, but I do have a couple of questions!

When making the set what tolerance on overall length is commonly used? and is any allowance allowed for stretch and creep?


#2 stroke survivor

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:26 AM

Go over to the kitelife forum and you'll see a whole discussion on how different folks make up linesets!! Maybe someone can provide a link?? Posted Image

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#3 awindofchange


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Posted 02 November 2011 - 11:08 AM

For tolerance, you will want to have all four lines exceptionally close to each other. I wouldn't go more than 1/8" difference on a new set. Over time the lines will stretch out and you will need to make some minor adjustments to re-equalize them.

The overall length of 120' can vary from one pilots set to another. The exact distance is really not nearly as critical as some may think. Sets can vary 8" to 12" in overall length and still fly perfectly fine with other teams. It is always best to try and get as close to 120' as possible but you do have some room for error. Remember that standing 2-3 feet away from each other will result in the 2-3 feet of difference when both kites are flown to the furthest edge of the window. The only time the kites will line up perfectly is when they are all flown directly in front of you. Leading edge touches on the edge of the window will require one pilot to be either in front or behind the others so that the lines will match up.

It is always good to give your lines a good solid stretch before making up linesets, this takes the bulk of the "creep" out of the lines and will minimize the stretching over time. To do this, layout your lines with a good solid stake on one end and then give them all a good solid stretch with a couple firm tugs. Do this several times to make sure they are all tight and stretched out. Once the lines have had a good solid stretching, then mark them off, cut and tie them up.

Hope this helps.

#4 SkyPuppet



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Posted 02 November 2011 - 11:10 AM

It is most important that the top left and right lines are equal and the bottom left and right lines are equal. There is no tolerance to be had between left and right lines, IMO - make sure that left and right are equal length.

Of course, you want the top lines to be equal in length to the bottom lines, but if there is any tolerance to be had here, its between the top and bottom, as you can fix this with an adjustment at the handle leaders (B-Series handles). When making a brand-new line set though, once again its best to get them all the same length right up front.

While making up your new lines, stretch out all four lines, as best as you can by hand, just before you're about to tie your double-overhand loops (figure 8 knot, etc.). Even them out, apply sleeving material if you like, tie your loops, then give them a good stretch again and even them out again.

Don't worry about trying to account for creep in new lines - this will happen, and you will need to adjust for it periodically, no matter how you make up a new line set. "Creep" is the term for the permanent stretch that comes from using lines.
You can minimize some stretch by pre-stretching the lines as described above. However, its gonna happen, so check and adjust your lines periodically.

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#5 HedgeWarden


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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:17 PM

I'm very happy with 1/2 inch initial match. Try as best I can, I cannot stretch the new lines to the point that they don't have two or more inches flexibility. So, unless you know you have stretched each line with the same force, for the same time, it's hard to say the lines are really matched closer than an inch.

But the other advice is important. After you have flown the lines for a few hours - best in heavy winds - then equalize them. JB has a video showing how to do this in the field.

Also, it is most important that the upper lines match each other, and the lower each other. The upper line - lower line differences can be compensated by using the multiple knots on the handle pigtails. What you say? - you only have a single knot on the bottom and the top pigtails of your handles? Get some line about the same thickness of the original pigtails, and make up some adjustable pigtails. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!

Actually, the pigtail adjustments are not to compensate for upper-lower line length differences. The adjustments allow you to balance forward v. brake sensitivity. If you can adjust to the current wind conditions with the knots you have, then the differences between top and bottom have also been neutralized.
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#6 Jim Foster

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 06:32 PM

When I make up new line sets for us, I stretch each line as I make them up. While the sets are new, we switch the upper with the lower every few flights as the upper seem to get a little more stretch. After a number of flights I check for length and equalize as necessary. On down the line I check for length once in a while.
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#7 REVflyer


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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:05 AM

I've made a few sets over the years. I use "division" to make them equal and a set of forceps, so the knots are all perfectly consistent. No sleeving. You layout the line in a straight path, adding a a dozen feet in length overall to your objective. Make a loop (with a stopper knot inside that loop at the very end), then form the loop around this predetermined length. The knot that closes-off the loop length can be placed anywhere along that path, as long as you keep the two legs centered on the stopper knot. I use a figure of eight knot to close off the loop as it travels in two directions, . . . constantly getting tighter.
You've got the first of your loops placed in the end of the line-roll, then just march-out that whole length (+ 12 feet, at least for my loops & knots = 1.5' x 8). My stride is almost perfectly 3 feet, so I count my steps and come close enough. Place the second loop at the end of your measured-out line. Fold the line in half, by draggin the end back to original stake and placing another one at the overall half way point (as a reference) You will use the forceps to determine the exact center.
The line is jerked tight at the stake, TIGHT! , use the forceps' slippery metal outside edge to find the center of that half way point. Slide the line back and forht across the forceps and the centerpoint will find itself. Pinch a tiny loop at that found center point and melt behind that line-fold (pinched into the jaws), creating two equal halves. Add more loops to those loose ends and divide each of two halves once again, repeating the process outlined above. Lines come out perf - fect!

As always, adjust to perfect alignment on the handles (nothing else really matters if your handles don't align!), then carefully mark the tops and/or bottoms with a colored sharpie. You might need to switch one line to another leader location. But by using division, even if the tops aren't the same exact length as the bottoms, at least the two sides are perfect. Without the sleeving and using the longish attachment loops I prefer, you can make fine-tuning adjustments to the overall length by adding knots (double-overhand) into the loops of the longer line (keep the stopper knot centered in the loop). Each knot only shortens a shave's worth of overall length. Since you have the ability to micro fine-tune so easily, . . . . each time you set-up you can run thru this gauntlet!

Now if you're lazy like me, I just leave the lines (spent so much time fiddling with!) on the handles I'd aligned. At the end of the day, using the handles as the winder too. I'll check 'em (aligned on the stake) when I want to show-off, but leave 'em "as is" whenever I'm jackin' around alone.

I use 100# high test bridle line for my leaders, so you can move the knots and make overall length adjustments to you lines from the leaders. Then if you want more down or forward drive you can adjust in small increments (equally to each handle) I have the bridle line doubled thru the handles but not tied together as one unit. Each strand is separate, so the knots are really easy to move and you can have 'em close to each other too, make a 1/4 inch movement if so desired.

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