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Author Topic: ReSparing your kite?  (Read 2117 times)
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jeepersjoey
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« on: February 11, 2011, 06:25 AM »

I got a killer deal on 2PT and 3PT spars.

I have several big heavy kites that I am thinking of putting in the light weight spars.  Are there some kites that REALLY benefit from this or is this a loosing game?

The kites I am considering are:
Prism Zephyr
Prism Quantum
Prism Hypnotist
Flying Wings Airwave UL

I have the Quantum Pro SUL and Ocius SUL and 4D.  These are the kites I fly 80% of the time because winds are typically gusty and less than 8mph here.

Ideas or recommendations?  I have 8 2PT and 4 3PT and 2 Zero spars to play with.

Thanks!
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inewham
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2011, 08:25 AM »

Pick the one that you think already flies in the least wind - that would be a good place to start

Don't expect miracles, often UL's have more than just light frames, sometimes they have RSN rather than dacron for LEs, lighter reinforcement, subtly different sail cut etc. but if you already have the spars you have nothing to lose  Cool
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stapp59
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2011, 08:50 AM »

Pick the one that you think already flies in the least wind - that would be a good place to start

Don't expect miracles, often UL's have more than just light frames, sometimes they have RSN rather than dacron for LEs, lighter reinforcement, subtly different sail cut etc. but if you already have the spars you have nothing to lose  Cool

Agreed!  A lighter sail can sometimes save as much weight as a lighter frame. As Ian points out, weight is only part of the equation.  Sail cut, spreader lengths (aspect ratio), standoff location and lengths, bridle settings are all important.  Small changes can make a substantial difference.  Experiment and keep notes.
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tpatter
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2011, 09:56 AM »

It would be interesting to see how you like the Zephyr with 2pt/3pt.  That kite can generate some pull in medium wind, so the top end would be much lower for it than with the standard frame I imagine.


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Allen Carter
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2011, 10:23 AM »

Reframes are rarely straightforward. If you have lots of time for testing and tweaking, then it's a great way to learn more about kites. There were some wonderful reframe threads on the old Forum, bygones.

Some tips:

KNow the kite well before you mess with it. Think about what you like and what you want to change and what you would be willing to give up. There are always compromises with even a simple bridle tweak, a full reframe is all about what changes you'll settle for to get the wind range you want.

You'll need TAPA LE fittings and probably ferrules, center T, nocks, etc.

Measure the original frame for spar length and connector position.

Hold the kite face up overhead and balance the spine on your fingertip to find the CG. Mark it with a small dot on the sail. This static balance isn't the end-all, but it's a good starting point. Your upper spreader weight is key to tuning. You'll need some small diameter pultruded rod for lighter upper spreader. Get a couple of different sizes.

Generally, upper spreader length, position and weight are great things to play with. The width and depth of the nose is a big factor on any kite, but very noticeable on SULs.

Standoffs often need to be shortened or the more bendy spreaders will bow too much and the kite will fly funky. With kites that were made for strong wind like the Prisms, it's probably good to just replace the beefy stock standoffs with lighter material. This sometimes keeps you from having to go extremely light on the upper spreader.

I've had more satisfaction reframing heavy standards like the Quantum to UL with 3PTs. Going for SUL with 2PTs is much trickier.

After 12 years of messing with frames, my most recent SUL project is probably my most successful. Even so, it was a trial and (big) error process. It's an HQ Midi, which is about the same size as a Quantum. Years ago I reframed one from .2100 pultrude to 3PT and it's one of my all time favorite kites. It tried another with 5PTs and never liked it much. I'd often though about taking that heavy and redoing it as SUL. I have more hours on the 3PT than any other kite over the last few years, so I know it very well.

I went with a 2PT/2P hybrid frame design used in the similar sized PBSK AerZero. Very light and plenty strong in the AZ, so I figured it would be a good place to start. It sucked and my first few rounds of tweaks were not helping, then an LE broke. The LEs were just way too bendy.

I set it aside a long time and then when winter SUL season was coming I started thinking about what I could do. By coincidence I came upon some short Skinny SUL sticks in my pile of spars and the lightbulb went off. I made new LEs with full length Skinny ULs upper and these short (27"?) Skinny SULs as lowers. This added a couple of grams overall, but the frame is much much stiffer. After going down to a .180 upper spreader the kites is excellent.

So, it's a tweakers game. Have fun.
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justinpwheeler
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 10:57 AM »

Isn't the zephyr already 3PT LS?  What is the LE?  Spine should be P100, right?
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mikenchico
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 11:38 AM »

The Hypnotist would probably benefit the most from a re-frame, it was pointed out by Kent that the framing & sail shape are nearly identical to the Quantum Pro, just different materials. I seriously disliked the Hypnotist every time I've flown it, I enjoyed the Quantum Pro the one opportunity I had to fly one. Most of my dislike could probably be attributed to the heavy frame and fittings etc. Somebody had posted their specs for a re-frame online but I didn't find them in a quick search, check the Prism Forum they are out there. I bet you could copy the Quantum Pro Specs if there is a light model, I wouldn't shoot for an SUL using the 2PT's since you will be disappointed as the sail is much heavier on the Hypnotist.

Get rid of that shock absorber thing, but keep it in your pocket, you can probably lobotomize the next dog that goes after your kite in the park with it and a good arm.

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Dolphinboy
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 12:34 PM »

I have reframed quite a few kites and it does take some fiddling to get them to fly & trick well. But I have always gotten them to work well in the end and it has been well worth the effort.

Since your using tapered spars to replace straight LEs /spines, that will add another issue to deal with but it is doable. I would recommend some straight rods for the LEs / spines to minimize the hassles but you can use what you have too.

There have been several people that have reframed the Hypno with reported good outcomes. Personally, I wouldn't mess with the Quantum, the Zeph could be made lighter for sure. I've never seen an Airwave UL so i have no comment.
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2011, 06:06 PM »

I got a killer deal on 2PT and 3PT spars.

I have several big heavy kites that I am thinking of putting in the light weight spars.  Are there some kites that REALLY benefit from this or is this a loosing game?

The kites I am considering are:
Prism Zephyr
Prism Quantum
Prism Hypnotist
Flying Wings Airwave UL

I have the Quantum Pro SUL and Ocius SUL and 4D.  These are the kites I fly 80% of the time because winds are typically gusty and less than 8mph here.

Ideas or recommendations?  I have 8 2PT and 4 3PT and 2 Zero spars to play with.

Thanks!
Well first off the Zeph is already a light frame kite being it has p100 for  spine and LE's and 3pt LS.  The only way to lighten up that kite would be to go p90/2pt or zero spars.  THe quantum and hypnotist would be the ones that benefit the most.  On the quantum you won't get a lower end on the range but you will get better low end performance in the 3-8 mph range(yes the quantum will fly in 3 mph stock with 65' lines) if you use the 3pt but you will lose a LOT of top end range and the same goes with the hypno.  MOst people I know that reframed a HYpnotist used the Q-Pro ul or STD spars.  Another thing to think about is tapered spars don't have the same deflection along the length.  THey tend to be stiffer at the large end.  The few kites I have tried that used tapered spars in the LE only used them for the LLE to get a bit of flex at the wing tips.
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jeepersjoey
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2011, 07:25 PM »

I flew the Hypnotist today for 2 hrs.  The whole time I was thinking "how would this fly with lighter spars?"

When I finished flying...I pulled out all my spare parts and came to the conclusion that I DO have enough spare parts to redo the kite.

My biggest issue is the spine.  That darn shock absorber means that I have not "bottom" to the spine if I toss it.  I think I will need to reuse the "bottom" but rig it so that it is still attached in the normal way but not springy.

It also looked like IF I were to sew up the pocket I could have a good "bottom" to the spine (albiet 1"-2" higher than the bottom edge of the kite).

Other ideas on how to terminate the spine?

BTW...Ya'll are great!  I love the response and great ideas!
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 08:08 PM »

I flew the Hypnotist today for 2 hrs.  The whole time I was thinking "how would this fly with lighter spars?"

When I finished flying...I pulled out all my spare parts and came to the conclusion that I DO have enough spare parts to redo the kite.

My biggest issue is the spine.  That darn shock absorber means that I have not "bottom" to the spine if I toss it.  I think I will need to reuse the "bottom" but rig it so that it is still attached in the normal way but not springy.

It also looked like IF I were to sew up the pocket I could have a good "bottom" to the spine (albiet 1"-2" higher than the bottom edge of the kite).

Other ideas on how to terminate the spine?

BTW...Ya'll are great!  I love the response and great ideas!
To do it any other way you will have to sew a dacron strap with velcro on it to the tail for a spine pocket cover.  DO NOT shorten the spine length for any reason.  What you can do as an alternative is replace the LE's and leave the stock spine for now, you do not want to use a tapered rod for the spine on that kite.  Another idea I had is to take a inside ferrule that will fit the shock cord tail piece and glue it inside the spine that way you still have the original tail piece and don't have to sew anything.
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Flying High
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2011, 01:27 AM »

I got a killer deal on 2PT and 3PT spars.

Zephyr: Don't change the frame change the bridle to be more active on all three legs and you get a much better kite. This now controls how fast it turns, how much wind the sail will take, and finally how much control that you have, I now love my Zephyr compared to std configuration.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 01:28 AM by Flying High » Logged
justinpwheeler
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2011, 06:12 AM »

I got a killer deal on 2PT and 3PT spars.

Zephyr: Don't change the frame change the bridle to be more active on all three legs and you get a much better kite. This now controls how fast it turns, how much wind the sail will take, and finally how much control that you have, I now love my Zephyr compared to std configuration.


Please do tell what you did, measurements and such...
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jeepersjoey
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2011, 05:29 PM »

So I have a different idea.

PRISM is selling E2 sails for $20.  Buy a bridle for $18 and I am 1/2 way there.

Any recommendations on this specific direction of creating a kite?  I would use 2PT for the LE, 3PT for the lower spreader and P200 for spine.

As always...thanks for the help and recommendations...this should be fun!

Paul
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Dolphinboy
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2011, 10:12 PM »

Just tie a bridle and it will only cost a couple of bucks for the line & use the extra money for other parts you'll need to build it.
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James -
Grants Pass, Oregon
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