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Old 10-31-2007, 11:59 PM   #15
pico23's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Between the Cats and Daks
Posts: 727
Originally Posted by eddogg12 View Post
Thanks for all the responses guys. I was actually looking into those Rock Empire Cams, particularly the Durango's which are, from what I've read, remade Trango Flex Cams. All the Rock Empire cams are CE certified and I've read many people have fell on them on different occasions. I would like to later build out my rack with friends, and Camalots just like everyone else. I also like the Robots, but I'm unsure if they are flexible like the Durango's are? Pico23, are the Robots you have flexible? I guess I may be leaning towards the Robots because they are rated at a higher "Kn". 14kn on the Robots as opposed to 12kn on the Durango's. Is this something I should be worried about?

I will look for some info on Chris ??? (Harston, maybe) which I found so enlightening I saved it to my HD several years ago. A black diamond engineer who was very careful to explain that climbing gear isn't designed to never fail. Ratings are really just an idea and an average. Such as how many falls a rope can take and how many Kn a biner is rated. Situations dictate whether gear fails or works. He really got both technical and philosophical at times which was a breath of fresh air in a sport where gear is Kn's and falls, and active and passive. Basically nuts and bolts type stuff, and he kind of made it personal.

That isn't to say a biner rated to 25Kn isn't better than a biner rated to 20Kn but it is to say it doesn't necessarily mean one will never fail and one will.

Keep in mind though that your gear really isn't exposed to horrendous forces. Your rope and your belay absorb a lot of the fall (reason why fresh ropes are important, as is a good belay). Most falls put less than 8Kn on your top piece. And your body can only sustain 12Kn before your organs turn to mush.

If you absorbed 12Kn how much did the top piece absorb? 1.66 is the multiplication factor...guess what, the 14Kn cam failed as well as you just hit 19Kn.

Here are my feelings on the Robots. They are very good cams. But the biggest caveat is they are really a TCU. The middle cam lobes are very closely spaced. The Durango's are very similar though. Both have a flexible wire stem. The Robot is just a dual stem (like Metolious 4CUS and TCUs), and the Durango is sort of a Alien knockoff. I'd have to break them out to see if they are narrower than a Camalot or Alien but they the middle lobe spacing tends to make them more prone to walking. Is this a serious problem? Not really. Definitely use longer runners though to avoid rope drag wiggleing them.

The advantage of the robots is single finger placement, and being able to stick a nut tool (remember that from up above) into the crack to help retract a cam that walked inward. And as opposed to real camalots the Rock Empires (any of them) allow you to clip directly to the cam for shortening up placements while aiding like the Aliens do.

I actually rappeled off the black robot as bail gear on the top of a climb in J-Tree. I couldn't find the rappel bolts and it was getting dark. Nice bottle necking crack, figured a $25 cam was expendable if the fit was perfect and I was going to hit ground safely.

"As to every healthy boy with a taste for outdoor life, the northern forest -the Adirondacks- were to me a veritable land of enchantment." -Theodore Roosevelt

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