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Author Topic: Psycho revisited  (Read 2782 times)
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stapp59
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« on: February 15, 2014, 09:52 PM »

Now that I'm building it seems natural to explore more into design.  Have been tweaking and modding kites for years but have never changed the sail shapes or overall frame geometry. It strikes me that many classic designs now retired and out of circulation would do well by today's standards if they had a little updating. To that end I now have a bag of classic kites to examine their designs and flight characteristics and perhaps how they might evolve into something still relevant today.

A couple weeks ago I picked up a used Psycho from Allen and DD sent me some alternate bridle and other tweaking information.   I pulled out the kite and assembled it with the thought of tossing it in the car for some test flying.  The kite had seen some wear so I thought maybe I'll replace the nose.  The Velcro tail piece is worn and the LE has a spot to tape. The sail panels were in fine shape but wondered how the kite would fly with an Icarex sail.  If you're going to do that with the sail, why not try a skyshark frame to update the .2300 pulltruded original frameset.

Over the next few days I had a new set of templates, an Icarex sail, and a recycled P200/5PT frame.




Have already made some small changes.  The keel is an inch longer to give weights more leverage and a broader keel to tame the handling a smidge.  The standoffs are 1/2" longer for a nice taut sail.  Still have to tie a bridle and will start with a stock bridle.  The are many things to test and tweak with the bridle, standoffs, upper spreader, weights, yo-yo stoppers, etc.

Minimally I have a Psycho in like new condition (that looks like a lighthouse) and with some tweaking am bound to learn something and just may end up with a really nice flying kite.

A few more pics on Picasa and more details after flying...
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Steve in Indiana
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 10:10 PM »

Really interested to see how it flies. I like the original with bridle tweaks. I enjoy the overall speed of it
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 10:34 PM »

Why would you put a weight on a psycho?HuhHuh?

The stranger came in icarex and nylon....... Did fine
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 10:38 PM by thief » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 11:55 PM »

I've done a lot of this myself over the years and came to one conclusion.  By the time your done tweaking you normally end up right back where you started as far as specs go just with different materials.  Some kites are just perfect the way they are and all it takes is a good hand at the lines to get them to perform.   The Psycho is a capable kite once you can get a handle on the speed.
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stapp59
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2014, 04:47 AM »

Right now I expect it to fly just like a Psycho, because that's what it is.  Wink 

I was toying with buying a Micron to have something zippy when the winds pick up.  Don't think I'll need that now  Grin

Really interested to see how it flies. I like the original with bridle tweaks. I enjoy the overall speed of it CoolTongue

To see how many times it rolls up with the flick of the wrist Cheesy

I was sent a lead on a Stranger.  It's brand new and also Nylon. Have not flown it yet.

Why would you put a weight on a psycho?HuhHuh?

The stranger came in icarex and nylon....... Did fine

I agree most kites are well designed and fly fine just as they are.  I've spent years playing with the Exile and still fly the Std and UL almost completely stock as Ken shipped them. I did find you can adjust the upper spreader and affect the speed and handling a bit.  Also now have a vent and two different SULs.  The vent took some experimentation and the SULs needed bridle, standoff, and US adjustments to reach potential.

I may or may not find any improvements tinkering with kites.  Always fun though and lots to learn.

I've done a lot of this myself over the years and came to one conclusion.  By the time your done tweaking you normally end up right back where you started as far as specs go just with different materials.  Some kites are just perfect the way they are and all it takes is a good hand at the lines to get them to perform.   The Psycho is a capable kite once you can get a handle on the speed.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 07:00 AM by stapp59 » Logged

Steve in Indiana
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2014, 02:32 PM »

Some kites are just perfect the way they are ...


Nothing is perfect the way it is ...

Just like every racing driver prefers a different setup for different tracks or conditions, golfers are always tweaking their clubs (that the manufacturers tell us are the "perfect" clubs for our game), and different audiophiles have different settings on their equalisers... we all have our individual preferred response from our sport kites.  How do we get this? Tweaking!

That's why every "number one" flyer in the R-Sky squad has a unique bridle on their personal Nirvana.   Wink

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Kevin Sanders

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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 08:10 AM »


That's why every "number one" flyer in the R-Sky squad has a unique bridle on their personal Nirvana.   Wink


That's interesting to know!
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stapp59
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 03:30 PM »

So why rehash an old design like the Psycho?

Kevin said it well - nothing is perfect and improvements are made by tweaking and testing different ideas. Plus I have the thing, can build kites now, and would like to see what I've learned over the years. There are a number of very good designs no longer in production that should not be forgotten.

After construction, I installed an adjustable bridle set to the factory measurements. The bridle has all three legs independently adjustable and the pigtail convertible between a three point and turbo configuration.  Prism started that idea I think Wink. There are pictures of the bridle on Picasa. Into the car trunk waiting for some wind.

The Psycho flight characteristics are well known. The kite needs a steady 5 mph or so to stay in the air, is a lot of fun in 8+, and gets zippy in higher winds. The kite has oversteer, spins tight and stalls easily, axels and flips quickly with little hand movement, and requires steady attention or you'll find it on the ground. I quickly remembered why I did not get along well with this kite before. Sad

After verifying the expected stock (shock) behavior, I started tuning the bridle more to my liking. It turns out the bridle is as much responsible for the Psycho's characteristics as is the high aspect ratio. 

The factory bridle settings:
Uphaul:    18.75
Outhaul:    21.25
Inhaul:   18.75

When I was done after the first session, the bridle legs measured:
Uphaul:    17.25
Outhaul:    19.5
Inhaul:    18.75"

I have never moved a bridle so far on a kite before.  Almost two inches is a lot and will destroy the tuning of many kites. The Psycho however is more predictable at these settings. With the tow points moved out I can actually stand there and fly figures.  Forget crisp square corners with this kite; it is the Psycho after all. Hand movements for tricks now resemble something closer to what I'm used to.

The turbo bridle published in "psycho therapy" also move the tow points out to help tame the kite. After the first session I overlayed the turbo bridle on top of the three point and noted the tow points are even further out towards the leading edge with the turbo.

Turbo bridle from Psycho Therapy:
Uphaul    11-13.5" (variable)
Outhaul    12.5"
Inhaul    23.25"  (inhaul seems too long)
Turbo:    5"

I decided to work more with the three point and moved the tow points all the way out towards the LE.  The measurements are now:
Uphaul:    15.0
Outhaul:    15.0
Inhaul:    20.0"

With these settings the oversteer is completely gone and the kite is quite controllable and predictable! The kite still spins around the lower leading edge fitting but but does not stall when spinning. Other hand motions are typical as one would expect. Axels can be done more slowly.

The P200/5PT frame works well, seems plenty stiff, and there was no bending or tip shudder during gusts.  The taut sail and tight leech line also perform well and the kite is silent with an occasional light buzzing in big gusts. The kite is surprisingly smooth in bumpy winds and I estimate the workable wind range around 5-20. The Psycho does fine on 50' lines which is nice for small fields.

I have yet to try more than a few tricks but the kite seems quite capable.  I don't see any need for the trick line. I will fly the kite at these settings for a while before changing anything else and expect a small tweak on the uphaul to tune the AoA.

For those that decry an alternate bridle as tantamount to a lobotomy of the poor Psycho, rest assured the kite is quite tolerant of bridle changes.  You can tune the level of neurotic behavior that best suits your personality - sane to psycho.  I call my current settings "delusions of competence".

Also well documented, the Psycho will do ABT (all the basic tricks), rolls up with a wrist flip, and does not like to sit in a back flip for very long. I'm going to punch additional holes in the trailing edge and play with the standoff position.  Maybe add a second standoff and make it look like a little Nirvana. Oui?

Lastly I want to try stoppers and 5-10 grams of weight.

Whatever the final results, I'm already happy with the project. I can faithfully reproduce a classic kite, have learned some things, and now actually like the thing. If you have a Psycho gathering dust, you may want to pull it out and give an alternate bridle a try.

For the those actively following this thread (2-3 at last count), I'll post updates as testing continues.  Feel free to share your own Psycho experiences (kite related please).
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 03:55 PM by stapp59 » Logged

Steve in Indiana
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2014, 04:00 PM »

How would you compare that frame to the 6mm?
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2014, 04:19 PM »

Yeah, but how does it fly off the back of a ship?   Smiley

(Old skool Psycho reference)
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2014, 04:22 PM »

But seriously, this is a fun project, and I'm looking forward to some high wind reviews.
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2014, 05:04 PM »

Statically it's a wash.  Both the original and my reproduction weigh in ~7.6 oz give or take a little.

I have a crude setup where  I suspend a 4.5lb steel block from the middle a given tube suspended at each end at a distance of 30" then measure the deflection with a ruler.  This gives a rough idea of the static stiffness.

Both the P200 and the Excel .2300 (6mm) deflect at 1.25 inches.  The P2X is a little stiffer at 1.125 deflection.

I don't think I'd reframe your original unless you want something really stiff like a P3X or Nitro even.  Yikes!

How would you compare that frame to the 6mm?
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Steve in Indiana
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2014, 05:12 PM »

I have a friend with a water ski boat.  May be able to find the exploding wind speed for the Psycho later this summer.  Huh  Bring on those Nitro Strongs baby.  Cheesy

Seriously have been lucky to have a few sessions with winds in the teens.  With the crazy winter there will be some fronts coming thru to stress the Psycho.  Have been using 90# lines and have 150# and 200# in the bag if needed.  I've never folded a frame in the wind before.  Always a first! 

I take that back, lost a LS on a Mantis vent once, snapped in half after considerable distortion. That was a 5PT.

Yeah, but how does it fly off the back of a ship?   Smiley
(Old skool Psycho reference)

But seriously, this is a fun project, and I'm looking forward to some high wind reviews.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 05:27 PM by stapp59 » Logged

Steve in Indiana
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2014, 05:59 PM »

Yeah, but how does it fly off the back of a ship?   Smiley

(Old skool Psycho reference)
or on a bridge?
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2014, 03:43 AM »

So why rehash an old design like the Psycho?

Kevin said it well - nothing is perfect and improvements are made by tweaking and testing different ideas. Plus I have the thing, can build kites now, and would like to see what I've learned over the years. There are a number of very good designs no longer in production that should not be forgotten.

After construction, I installed an adjustable bridle set to the factory measurements. The bridle has all three legs independently adjustable and the pigtail convertible between a three point and turbo configuration.  Prism started that idea I think Wink. There are pictures of the bridle on Picasa. Into the car trunk waiting for some wind.

The Psycho flight characteristics are well known. The kite needs a steady 5 mph or so to stay in the air, is a lot of fun in 8+, and gets zippy in higher winds. The kite has oversteer, spins tight and stalls easily, axels and flips quickly with little hand movement, and requires steady attention or you'll find it on the ground. I quickly remembered why I did not get along well with this kite before. Sad

After verifying the expected stock (shock) behavior, I started tuning the bridle more to my liking. It turns out the bridle is as much responsible for the Psycho's characteristics as is the high aspect ratio. 

The factory bridle settings:
Uphaul:    18.75
Outhaul:    21.25
Inhaul:   18.75

When I was done after the first session, the bridle legs measured:
Uphaul:    17.25
Outhaul:    19.5
Inhaul:    18.75"

I have never moved a bridle so far on a kite before.  Almost two inches is a lot and will destroy the tuning of many kites. The Psycho however is more predictable at these settings. With the tow points moved out I can actually stand there and fly figures.  Forget crisp square corners with this kite; it is the Psycho after all. Hand movements for tricks now resemble something closer to what I'm used to.

The turbo bridle published in "psycho therapy" also move the tow points out to help tame the kite. After the first session I overlayed the turbo bridle on top of the three point and noted the tow points are even further out towards the leading edge with the turbo.

Turbo bridle from Psycho Therapy:
Uphaul    11-13.5" (variable)
Outhaul    12.5"
Inhaul    23.25"  (inhaul seems too long)
Turbo:    5"

I decided to work more with the three point and moved the tow points all the way out towards the LE.  The measurements are now:
Uphaul:    15.0
Outhaul:    15.0
Inhaul:    20.0"

With these settings the oversteer is completely gone and the kite is quite controllable and predictable! The kite still spins around the lower leading edge fitting but but does not stall when spinning. Other hand motions are typical as one would expect. Axels can be done more slowly.

The P200/5PT frame works well, seems plenty stiff, and there was no bending or tip shudder during gusts.  The taut sail and tight leech line also perform well and the kite is silent with an occasional light buzzing in big gusts. The kite is surprisingly smooth in bumpy winds and I estimate the workable wind range around 5-20. The Psycho does fine on 50' lines which is nice for small fields.

I have yet to try more than a few tricks but the kite seems quite capable.  I don't see any need for the trick line. I will fly the kite at these settings for a while before changing anything else and expect a small tweak on the uphaul to tune the AoA.

For those that decry an alternate bridle as tantamount to a lobotomy of the poor Psycho, rest assured the kite is quite tolerant of bridle changes.  You can tune the level of neurotic behavior that best suits your personality - sane to psycho.  I call my current settings "delusions of competence".

Also well documented, the Psycho will do ABT (all the basic tricks), rolls up with a wrist flip, and does not like to sit in a back flip for very long. I'm going to punch additional holes in the trailing edge and play with the standoff position.  Maybe add a second standoff and make it look like a little Nirvana. Oui?

Lastly I want to try stoppers and 5-10 grams of weight.

Whatever the final results, I'm already happy with the project. I can faithfully reproduce a classic kite, have learned some things, and now actually like the thing. If you have a Psycho gathering dust, you may want to pull it out and give an alternate bridle a try.

For the those actively following this thread (2-3 at last count), I'll post updates as testing continues.  Feel free to share your own Psycho experiences (kite related please).

I have a psycho in the bag, and fly i not a much as i'd like because of the oversteer. I think i'm going to try your bridle meassurments.
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