WTB: #4 Lowe-Byrne Ballnut (Loweball)

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healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 4, 2014 - 01:47am PT
Would really like to have a backup to the one I have as it's looking a little worse for the wear.

It would be going to an appreciative home if you're willing to part with one...thanks.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 5, 2014 - 10:10pm PT
Bump
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Jun 5, 2014 - 11:29pm PT
I had a red one, a long time ago, by any chances would that be a #4? I don't think I ever placed it. I haven't seen it in a long time. I'll look in the collection of old stuff and see if I still have it.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 6, 2014 - 02:46am PT
Appreciate it...
Morgan

Trad climber
East Coast
Jun 6, 2014 - 06:43am PT
I think the Red is a #2. Blue #1being the smallest. I wonder how the size of a #4 would compare to a Silver C3 Camalot. Is the #4 Ballnutz rated a lot stronger?
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Jun 6, 2014 - 07:55am PT
They are currently being made in Korea and are distributed by both CAMP and Trango. The units are identical. You can get them online at http://www.neptunemountaineering/camp-ballnuts.

cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
Jun 6, 2014 - 02:59pm PT
Is this the one you are looking for?



would be happy to sell it to you. Might be the #5 not the #4...

 Luke
Michelle

Social climber
1187 Hunterwasser
Jun 6, 2014 - 04:24pm PT
Only have a #2
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 6, 2014 - 04:27pm PT
Not sure I still have one but isn't the term ballnut a bit redundant?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jun 6, 2014 - 06:06pm PT
selling a rack of the new ones if anyone cares to make an offer.


sorry for thread drift
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 7, 2014 - 01:21am PT
Luke, is that a Lowe-Byrne unit or a Camp/Trango...? Not sure I've ever seen an anodized L-B unit before.

Morgan: I think the Red is a #2. Blue #1being the smallest. I wonder how the size of a #4 would compare to a Silver C3 Camalot. Is the #4 Ballnutz rated a lot stronger?
I have a few sets of #1-3, but only the one #4 and the color of the plastic tubing is different sometimes on the same sizes. Red is typically #2, but not always...

I'd take the Ballnut over a C3 everytime, but then I'm peculiar that way.

Malcolm: They are currently being made in Korea and are distributed by both CAMP and Trango. The units are identical. You can get them online at http://www.neptunemountaineering/camp-ballnuts.
Malcolm, there are actually a few differences between the L-B and C-T units. I sent you and Seth an email about it a some years back and - if memory serves me right - your response was that the Koreans weren't all that happy making the damn things at all let only upset the apple cart trying to make any mods.

Michelle, thanks for looking.

Ron, I always thought so, but hey, can pretty much go with whatever
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Jun 7, 2014 - 03:10am PT
On the left Lowe Balls <br/>
On the right CAMP Ball Nuts #1 to #5
On the left Lowe Balls
On the right CAMP Ball Nuts #1 to #5
Credit: nutstory
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Jun 7, 2014 - 08:17am PT
I was the developer of all the models of the Ball nuts, starting out with the original Lowe/Byrne version that was made in the USA.

The easy way to tell the original ones is by the lead solder on the face of the ball. That is how Steve Byrne, the designer, envisioned them and that was how the first round was made. They were sold in that form for about a year. They were a huge hassle to make and the local machine shop that did the manufacturing, hated making them.

That summer while attending ISPO I was approached by a Korean dude named Young Chu (Currently of Mad Rock fame) who introduced himself and said that they could make them them very fast and very cheap. I said go for it, and in a few weeks, I had the best samples I had ever seen, including the change to the copper on the face of the ball. We carried v.2 of the Lowe/Byrne LoweBalls until I left Lowe Alpine in 1991 to start Trango.

Lowe Alpine decided to quit the hardware business, stopped paying any royalties to Steve Byrne and CAMP took over the distribution of the product. And Steve abandoned the patent.

Sometime in the mid-'90s, under pressure from the manufacturer in Korea we (Trango) started to carry them, but only after I had called Steve Byrne and asked him if we could pay him a royalty for our sales of the devices. He said no, he had abandoned the patent and didn't deserve the royalty, but I think I sent him a check for $500 anyway.

So, by the mid-90's, both CAMP and Trango were distributing the identical product. At the time, CAMP wasn't much of a factor in the US climbing market so everyone was happy, and 2 new, bigger sizes were added to the line.

A lot of people ask why, if the products are the same, from the same manufacturer, the #1s had different strength rating. All I know is what I know and I know that I never, ever tested a #1 BallNutz that failed ABOVE 5kN. SO I rated them at 4kN. It doesn't look like anything has changed about the design. Maybe they are using a magic brazing rod?

Whatever, climb safe,
Mal
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Jun 7, 2014 - 09:04am PT
Thank you very much for the story Malcolm! And what about the “Double Ball”? Could you tell us a little more about it? This treasure would be an awesome addition to the Nuts Museum…
"Double Ball"
"Double Ball"
Credit: maldaly
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 17, 2014 - 09:49pm PT
Malcolm,

Hey, sorry if I got the details of the timeline/story wrong.

The main issues I have with the C/T units are:

a) Paddle width/length ratio is off compared to the L/B units which are longer and narrower and so there is less room for ball travel in the paddle groove.

b) The corners on the C/T units are 'squared off' compared to the L/B units which have much more rounded corners.

c) Handle-to-end-of-paddle, the C/T units are shorter than the L/B units (//at least my four sets of the L/B units//)

At least that's what I recall bugging me about them when I emailed you and Seth back whenever that more than a couple of years ago.
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Jun 17, 2014 - 10:16pm PT
Stephane, The double ball was made by one of the machinists who worked at Collins Mfg, the manufacturer of the original Lowe/Byrne Ball nut. They work pretty well and are placeable, although not very stable, in a 35° flare! I think I actually have one or two around that I'd be willing to send you.
Mal
tithaf

Trad climber
Sierra Madre, CA
Jun 17, 2014 - 10:39pm PT
Way back, I took a 25 footer off of Hagakure at Lumpy Ridge - #1 Loweball held me - rock solid. Thanks Malcolm!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 22, 2014 - 11:53pm PT
Toker: Not sure I still have one but isn't the term ballnut a bit redundant?
Ha! Have you used them down your way much?
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