zaterdag 13 juni 2009

Terra Nova Laser Competition Mod:
The Speed Hood

Today I had some time to work on the Laser Competition.
I was very pleased with the trial setup. The stability is greatly improved, but still can be better.

This was on the agenda
Luc’s Speed Hood
New guy lines, with extra attachments.
Switch the inner tent clip.
Two loops, and a line in the top of the inner tent

I started to sew new strong loops made out of webbing I found at the outdoor shop, onto the seam of the fly.
I’ve made some other guy line attachments, which I describe later.

Then I started on the Speed Hood itself. I made the holes a little bigger, so it’s more easy to put the rope trough. Because the rope is rubbing against the sides I thought it would be a good idea to make a reinforcement patch. This material I had laying around and is made of thick coated fibers. But any strong piece will do. I glued it on with SilNet.

Then I cut up one of the original guy lines in half and attached it with a pole hitch to this new loop. On the end of this piece of rope I made a figure eight knot.

I left the original rope, the attachment ropes for the top and the shock cord of the hood out of the first trial untouched for now.

Then onto the tent. In about twenty seconds the hood is on and fixed securely. Normally it would take me this time just to open one of the small loops to put the rope through. It works so great that I call it the LSH Luc’s Speed Hood :-)

The direct connection of the side guy line to the fly is a great improvement, but experimenting learned that two would be ideal. The choices are an extra point on top, or just below the hood. A guy line connecting to the top will give no problems with the hood. I’ve checked this, but it would require more line. But an extra point might come in handy, when fixing the hood permanently. So I made both. The top with two loops, facing the sides and the ones just under the end of the hood.

I’ve cut this webbing so that the ends are next to each other so that the forces on this point are on a greater surface. The webbing is cut on an angle facing the direction of the pull. This way the guy line is not only pulling the tent down, but really holds it sideways.

The top attachment of the guy line is made by the kite-knot (Lark's head or cow hitch) I described earlier. For the lower I could choose for the same method, but this would give me two disadvantages. The guy line is then separate from the tent, with a change of losing it. And for the adjustment with the line lock I would need an extra piece of cord. This combination seems to me the smartest thing to do.
I’ve attached a piece of shock-cord to the new guy line attachment. This because the guy lines are longer. Now I can after detach the top part, roll it up, and fix it in place easily. I was surprised how easy and fast it worked an decided to do the same with the hood. I didn’t cut of the connection cords in the middle of the hood. These I connect to the new loop. Because the webbing is stitched to the seam on one side of the pole sleeve the rolled up hoop does not come in the way when inserting the pole. A piece of shock cord will fix the rolled up hood.

The advantages of making the hood and guy lines this way are;
Very fast putting the hood on and off.
The integrity of the tent in high winds does not depend totally on a hood which is a separate part and can get lost.
Now that the hood is fixed to the tent, the problem of losing it and possible leakage is solved as well.
The tent can handle more sideway wind force.
The tent is much more quiet in windy conditions.
The ease and possibilities of setup is greatly improved with the bigger radius of possible peg placements, which is almost a necessity in rocky terrain.

I’ve used aluminum line locks that are light (2 gram) but not ideal but work. The bigger plastic line locks that are also used with Hilleberg Akto and weigh also 2 gram are better. These and there are also smaller and lighter ones that work with line of 1 to 2 mm but would have to order them somewhere outside the Netherlands because I have no luck in finding them here. If you know a shop here in the Netherlands where I get them please let me know.

The ones I use now require a bigger line diameter, and I choose a dynema core line with a nylon sheet line, that weighs 2 gram per meter which I found in the kite shop.
The somewhat bigger diameter of this line would give me the opportunity to ditch the line locks and use prusik knot instead. I’ve used prusik knot as a line lock on guy lines before on the extra guy lines I’ve made for my Golite Hex, and that worked ok. If I replace the line locks on all basic guy lines it could gain 6 x 2 grams.
But I will still have to do some testing of using the prussik knot as a worthy replacement in icy conditions.
For the guy lines on the both ends of the tent I choose a double line, and extra attachment point setup. My thoughts were that if I would use one extra peg on each side I must use this extra weight to its full potential. By adding two attachment points, it does not only enhance the stability but also the fly is tensioned better over a much bigger area.

The difficulty of tensioning the inner tent is well known. I’ve seen some solutions of attaching a loop made out of a piece of line. I choose to switch the clips, so that the weight is the same but the handling is easier. Also because I have created the variable vents, there are lines running to that end which I don’t want to get in the way with an extra loop.

I’ve made two small loops in the inner tent and attached to those a piece of line. I have made this in earlier my Akto and was very pleased with it and I use the line more than the loop itself. A light, to dry my socks etc.
Weight gain
Line lock: 2 gram, used 6 total 12 grams
Extra Pegs: 10 gram, used 2, total 20 grams
Guy line new : 2 gram per meter, used 4 x 2 meter, sides 2 x 4 meter, total 6 meter, total 12 grams
Shock cord: 7 gram per meter, used 1 , total 7 grams
Webbing: 2 x 3 gram for side lines, 1 x 3 gram for the top, 4 x 1,5 gram for the end lines, total 15
Loops and webbing for line in inner tent 3 gram, total 3 grams
Sewing yarn: 4 grams
Total 77 grams

Weight lost
Guy lines: including 4 plastic line locks, 2 side lines, 1 end line. 18 gram
Attachment ropes hood 4, total 1 meter, 4 gram
Total 22 grams

Total weight gain 55 grams

Since I just improve things and only have a limited supply of material I can choose from in the shop, I know for sure if I could imply these changes and choose other materials for these changes when the tent is fabricated it would be the same weight, or even lighter. Hood construction and material, which now only have to prevent water leakage, lighter but stronger guy lines and line locks that also absorb less water.
I took this tent out for one night in a very windy conditions. And as others might say to always put the pointy end in the wind. But winds can turn. And so it did. And there was a thing I hadn´t anticipated at all. It was quiet. Wow. No earplugs and a good night sleep.

The 55 gram weight gain are for me well worth it. The ease of setup alone makes the frustrating bit of this tent totally gone and with a good night sleep as a super bonus its even better. It makes me wonder if I shall keep the Akto, even for winter use.

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Very Good, It is important to make the tent work in a way that is better for you.


  2. Yes it is, products like tents are placed on the market for a predeterment price level. Some quality and possibilities aspect are often trimmed off or not developped at all to keep within the sales price. Especially with tents improvements are always possible. And its fun to do.