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Author Topic: Question on Zephyr Leech Line setup.  (Read 631 times)
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Captainbob
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« on: July 31, 2014, 06:16 AM »

Yesterday, I decided to try settling up the leech line on my Zephyr, which is about 2  months old. Following the instructions, I attached one end of the line to one wingtip, and tied it off. Then I went to the line on the other wingtip and started pulling on it, expecting to see the bit of slack I left on the side I just tied, to start disappearing. What I saw instead, was the side of the trailing edge I was pulling on, became tight, and only that trailing edge started to wrinkle. I then went back to the first side, pulled on that, and same thing, only that side of the trailing edge showed any signs of tightening.

I then called up Prism, and explained the situation to the tech support person. He came to the same conclusion that I had already, that the leech line on my Zephyr, was fastened or stuck in the middle somehow, where the tail weight would be located, not allowing the line to pull through. So he said , just tension each side separately, which I did.  Now my question is, has anyone else had this issue with their late model Zephyrs, or is mine just one of a kind?   I guess the only problem this would pose, is if I ever had to replace the line for some reason, it would be impossible. Just curious.
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2014, 06:43 AM »

My Zeph is similiar with the leech line fixed at the keel.  I expected that actually and adjusted each side separately.  I prefer to tighten leech lines at the keel and could replace it sometime which will require ripping a little of the TE seam and resewing I expect.  It's not my main kite so will likely just leave it stock.
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Steve in Indiana
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Captainbob
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2014, 06:38 AM »

My Zeph is similiar with the leech line fixed at the keel.  I expected that actually and adjusted each side separately.  I prefer to tighten leech lines at the keel and could replace it sometime which will require ripping a little of the TE seam and resewing I expect.  It's not my main kite so will likely just leave it stock.

I set the leech line up on my Zephyr, and am anxious to fly it and see what difference it makes, but alas, not enough wind since I did it.
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 06:56 AM »

Try the leech line tightened and loose in various winds and see what you prefer. Makes more difference as winds pick up. I generally adjust by pulling the line to remove slack and then another 1/2".  Can also assemble the kite and pull the leech line until you see obvious puckers in the TE, then back off a bit.  Some make the leech line tension adjustable with a bungee.  I just tie mine off.  YMMV.

I'm not a fan of noisy kites.  Some flyers prefer the speed control and added precision of a loose trailing edge.  The sound may bring back fond memories of baseball cards in bicycle spokes  Cheesy

At 11oz, the Zeph is NOT a UL, more of a light standard. Still a nice flyer.

My Zeph is similiar with the leech line fixed at the keel.  I expected that actually and adjusted each side separately.  I prefer to tighten leech lines at the keel and could replace it sometime which will require ripping a little of the TE seam and resewing I expect.  It's not my main kite so will likely just leave it stock.

I set the leech line up on my Zephyr, and am anxious to fly it and see what difference it makes, but alas, not enough wind since I did it.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 07:40 AM by stapp59 » Logged

Steve in Indiana
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2014, 12:26 PM »

Well I finally got some wind to try the Zephyr this afternoon with the leech line tensioned. It flies like a different kite. The sensation I go when the trailing edge fluttered with the leech line loose, was like a Cessna aircraft going too fast, when the flaps are lowered, speed brakes on a glider. Now the Zephyr is smooth as silk, and with 1/10th noise, and it also is faster. I didn't put too much tension on initially, I think I will tighten the lines up just a bit more.
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2014, 01:23 PM »

Anything more than "just enough" tension is too much. It doesn't need to be really tight to do it's job. An overly tight leech line can lead to broken sticks, or even more hassle, a broken leech line. They can be tricky to replace. Be sure the trailing edge isn't bunching up at the spine or around the standoffs.
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Captainbob
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2014, 01:41 PM »

Anything more than "just enough" tension is too much. It doesn't need to be really tight to do it's job. An overly tight leech line can lead to broken sticks, or even more hassle, a broken leech line. They can be tricky to replace. Be sure the trailing edge isn't bunching up at the spine or around the standoffs.

No it is just "snug" now with no bunching at all. I think I will leave it as is, since it flies really well.

 
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Captainbob
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2014, 02:41 PM »

Flew the Zephyr again today for about 2 hours with the leech line tensioned like I had last time. It flies great!!!!!! Love it, different kite than with the leech line not tensioned.
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2014, 02:56 PM »

That's good!

Generally speaking, when a kite has a leech line, it was designed to fly with it in proper tension. Most kites as have 'em come with 'em properly tensioned. I can't remember the last time I had to mess with one other than as part of a repair or some other odd event.

Of course, messing with various things like LE tension, leech lines, spreader positions, etc is part of learning about kites, but it can also be a huge time suck. If I had it to do over again I would have flown all my good kites at stock settings for a long time before I started tweaking. As it was, I wasted a lot of my first year of kiting on fiddling with stuff. The fact that I still regret the lost flight hours more than 15 years later says something.

One of the problems with a hobby like this is that us old timers (and sometimes newbie know-it-alls) give people way to much "advice" when they should say "just fly the damn thing"   Cheesy
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 03:04 PM by Allen Carter » Logged

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stapp59
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2014, 05:12 PM »

Glad you got the leech line sorted out.  As Allen says once you get a kite working for you, it is often best just to fly it for good while to really learn the kite. I'm happy though for all the many hours spent testing things though I'm a little unusual that way  Wink  If you do test things, make sure you can go back to original settings as many changes will not necessarily be improvements.  Even better, have two kites, one to leave stock and one to test.
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Steve in Indiana
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Captainbob
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2014, 05:57 PM »

Glad you got the leech line sorted out.  As Allen says once you get a kite working for you, it is often best just to fly it for good while to really learn the kite. I'm happy though for all the many hours spent testing things though I'm a little unusual that way  Wink  If you do test things, make sure you can go back to original settings as many changes will not necessarily be improvements.  Even better, have two kites, one to leave stock and one to test.

Being a relative newbie at kite flying, once I get something that feels right, like the Zephyr does now, I am not going to mess with it. I don't have the skill yet to tell if  changing this or changing that is going to make it better or worse, so I think I will just try to sharpen my flying skills leaving the kites I have as they are. 
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« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2014, 05:33 PM »

.......If I had it to do over again I would have flown all my good kites at stock settings for a long time before I started tweaking. As it was, I wasted a lot of my first year of kiting on fiddling with stuff. The fact that I still regret the lost flight hours more than 15 years later says something.

One of the problems with a hobby like this is that us old timers (and sometimes newbie know-it-alls) give people way to much "advice" when they should say "just fly the damn thing"   Cheesy

Amen & Amen
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