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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Beginners Corner => Topic started by: Ara Ararauna on February 26, 2012, 03:03 PM

Title: Lower Speader of my Soul Broken
Post by: Ara Ararauna on February 26, 2012, 03:03 PM

Today I was flying my Soul in gusty wind.
At one point there was a gust that was a little stronger. I cannot really tell how strong it was, but I would have thought it to be "not that strong"...
However, in mid air the lower spreader that has the female end in the center T, split open making the kite lose its shape and fall to the floor.
The picture below tries to show how the rod cracked with two longitudinal cracks (one ~3cm and the other ~2cm).  :'(

So some questions:
1. Is it normal to have such a breakage? Could it be that the rod was faulty?
2. Can I fix this or do I have to buy a new one?
3. In case it cannot be fixed, how feasible is it to find an equivalent rod that is not specifically bought from Flying Wings?

This last question is to try to avoid having to wait for the rod to come from the USA and try to find an equivalent one here in Barcelona. I want to continue flying my kite asap.  :(

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


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Title: Re: Lower Speader of my Soul Broken
Post by: chilese on February 26, 2012, 10:45 PM
You can try tightly wrapping some of your kite line (50 or 90 lb) around the split area in a spiral for a few layers. Then, apply CA glue to all exposed sections of the line and make sure you rub the glue into the line with a small clean stick or piece of plastic. Let the glue dry completely. The part should be ready to go.

You can also use heat shrink tubing, but I have had better luck with the wrapped line.  :)

Let us know the outcome.

Title: Re: Lower Speader of my Soul Broken
Post by: damp_weather on February 27, 2012, 05:20 AM
I'll have a go at answering question 1.

There has been one of two reasons when this has happened to me.  The first one is that the ferrule (the bit sticking out of the male part) has either moved into the male part (glue come unstuck) or was incorrectly assembled/too short and never long enough to properly transfer stress between the two tubes.  This has usually happened with leading edges.

The second reason, and the one that I suspect may be the case here, is that the ferrule has been wearing away at the inside of the female tube.  This happens if the fit is loose.  As a general rule I have found that with Skyshark and similar, the (internal) ferrules are usually spot on in diameter.  However the interior diameter of the tubes varies, and can be a loose fit.  Then one can often see the inside of the female tube wearing away with use, roughly at the position where the tip of the ferrule is.  Eventually the tube snaps in the conditions you describe.

There are two things one can do to reduce this wear happening.  The first is to use the rubber band trick, which involves tying a (thickish) rubber band across the lower spreaders, so that the tension in the rubber band keeps the spreaders together and stops them from moving in and out.   Tying the rubber band is fairly easy when you know how, but is best explained by a photograph.  Perhaps someone has a photo handy to post.  If I recall correctly, it involves larksheading the rubber band onto each spreader (larkshead = the knot used to tie the loops of the lines onto the bridle pigtails).

The second is to pack out the joint.  Putting thin layers of CA on the ferrule, is a common way of doing this.  Personally, I prefer to use epoxy on the inside of the female part.   This is because I find it a longer lasting fix, CA wearing away quicker.  Also, if a ferrule needs replacing, the replacement is generally the same size as the original, but if a tubular spar needs replacing its internal diameter is likely to be different from the original.  But using epoxy to pack out the interior of a tube is a longer process, and it could go wrong.  It involves putting a little epoxy on the inside of the tube, and periodically using a greased ferrule to ensure the minimum hole diameter is maintained while the glue sets.

Title: Re: Lower Speader of my Soul Broken
Post by: Ara Ararauna on February 27, 2012, 09:59 AM
Thanks so much Chilese and skb!

I'm now feeling much more optimistic with regards to fixing the wreckage and getting back to fly soon.
I will try the solutions as soon as I have some spare time and will report on how it went.

With regards to the reason why it broke. Gee! Thanks damp_weather.
Now, this is starting to show me the field I've gotten in...
I would have never imagined I'd have to invest so much effort in preventing wears and cracks.

Now, the fact is that I had flown the kite about 6 or 8 times only (and most for about an hour only).
So I guess wearing should not have acted so harshly in this short time... am I right?
Then, how can I check whether the ferrule is too short? How long should it actually be?
It would be very useful to know to avoid new cracks in the rod (whether it is the repaired one or a new one).

Thanks all and any other comments and info will be greatly appreciated.


Title: Re: Lower Speader of my Soul Broken
Post by: Gamelord on February 27, 2012, 10:16 AM
As far as replacing the rod, you should be able to contact any shop that carries Flying Wings kites and they should be able to get you a replacement rod.  Females are the easiest to replace, just let the shop know what rod you are looking for and then trim the small end off to size.  It should be a "Dynamic T12" or "Dynamic T15" rod which is very common.  Cost for the rod is around $20.00 usd.  If you are going to be ordering one in from the U.S.  I highly suggest ordering in 3 or 4 because the shipping is going to be the same for 1 rod as it is for 10.

You should be able to get one from a shop more local to you to save on the international shipping.  If you can't find one local, I am pretty sure that Steve has them in stock.  If not then let me know, we have all the Dynamic rods in stock.

Title: Re: Lower Speader of my Soul Broken
Post by: Hadge on February 27, 2012, 10:51 AM
Try fixing it as the others have said, you might be lucky - definately try heat shrink.  If you need a new spar you need a 78.5cm length of Dynamic DT18. In the UK I can't get hold of Dynamic spars at all. However I believe they are available from some of the European kite shops ( I see you live in Barcelona) and I know that Eolo Gayla kites use Dynamic for their kites ( Over, Neox etc) so you can probably get one through one of their outlets.

If you really can't get Dynamic then you would be able to use Skyshark instead - 5pt will be slightly lighter, 7PT will be slightly heavier. If you use Skyshark you would have to replace both lower spreaders.

Title: Re: Lower Speader of my Soul Broken
Post by: Ara Ararauna on February 27, 2012, 04:05 PM
Great! Thanks Gamelord and Hadge again.

I will check my local store for that in case the fix doesn't work.

Great to have you "close by" Hadge and great that you have a Soul too!