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Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Topic Author's Original Post - May 15, 2007 - 02:53pm PT

I just finished testing some Aliens for a guy who was nervous. As Charles Manson said in his interview with Tom Snyder in the 70's..... "yeah.... the head popped off"
Alien Failure notes:

Test date: 5/15/07

Tested by: Russ

Unit: Blue Alien.

Manufacture Date on trigger: 11/05. No "tensile test" markings from manufacturer.

Visual damage, pre-test: unit is used, with no significant wear or damage visible. NO Dimple.

Test method: clip in end attached to puller via wire loop, not through sling. Head was attached to fixed point via a webbing loop that loads evenly on either side of the cable terminus across the axle.

Results: cable pulled out of terminus ball at 900lbs.

Cable end at failure is devoid of solder and shows some corrosion or powdery material in the terminus ball and on the cable. Cable can be separated from itself at solder end as there is no solder bonding the individual strands. The inside of the terminus fitting shows some corrosion or white powder and little to no evidence of solder. There appears to be no cable left in the hole.

Misc. mechanicals (approx):
Hole depth in terminus: .390
Length of cable with no solder: .250
Apparent depth of soldered area that was inserted into terminus: .109

Wild Bill

May 15, 2007 - 02:55pm PT

Thanks Russ.

NoName City and It Don't Look Pretty
May 15, 2007 - 02:56pm PT
Holy Chit! 900 lbs??? I'm close to that now...

mountain view, ca
May 15, 2007 - 02:59pm PT
I guess Chez shouldn't be hanging on those.....

Social climber
Davis, CA
May 15, 2007 - 03:00pm PT
Russ, I can't quite picture how you had the webbing loop around the head for the test. WOuld you mind posting a photo of that?

crap your pants EDIT:

I checked the cch website, it claims blue aliens are rated to 2200lbs...

Trad climber
the south
May 15, 2007 - 03:00pm PT
Wow, that does it for me, all my Aliens are going to the trash!

Oh wait, I don't have any, cause they always looked like someone made em in their garage, apparently while smoking a joint.

Trad climber
Durango, CO
May 15, 2007 - 03:06pm PT
SCARY! Thanks Russ.

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
May 15, 2007 - 03:07pm PT
Ow! Thanks for posting, Russ!

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
May 15, 2007 - 03:08pm PT
i spoke to a guy from sacto on saturday at the base of el cap who claimed to have some sort of pull test apparatus and he told me he'd recently tested 15 post-recall aliens and a handfull had failed in that range.

$64,000 question: how does a laypersun go about pull testing his aliens to determinew if they are safe?

i own a dozen and i use them all the time, but i can't say that i'f ever fallen very hard on any of them- several slow (rope strechy) falls but no slams i can recall.

any useful suggestions (short of the compost pile) appreciated, thanks.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 15, 2007 - 03:11pm PT
CCH should know about this, but may not be aware of SuperTopo. Is there some way to contact them?

Also, Russ mentioned he'd tested several - the test report seems to be for one unit. How were the others?

Trad climber
San Diego
May 15, 2007 - 03:12pm PT
effin'a. Now I'm getting nervous.

What's a good estimate on how much force a rigorous bounce test can yield? Yes, I know F=mxa, but I don't know how to measure "a" for a bounce test. I'd rather not send my aliens away for testing, but then again, I'd also rather not end up cratering.

How long a turn around time can I expect from CCH if I send 'em in?

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
May 15, 2007 - 03:18pm PT
my best recolection(?) was that sacto feller said he'd had units fail at 800 lbs., and that you could generate that kinda force w/ a stiff bounce test.

(naturally i went up the 10c on the salathe and placed aliens left and right- literally- in the double cracks)

Social climber
May 15, 2007 - 03:18pm PT
"Holy Chit! 900 lbs??? I'm close to that now..."

Heh heh.

At least this thread is amusing, in addition to being alarming.

Like Matt, I don't know if any of my Aliens has held a hard fall. They're older though (~2000), and I gotta think that if Aliens manufactured back then were bad we wouldda heard about the problems long ago.

Ice climber
May 15, 2007 - 03:19pm PT
One could call them up directly and check :

I sent a batch back last winter (Jan 06) for testing, and I think it took about a month, but that was in the midst of a recall frenzy.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 15, 2007 - 03:20pm PT
What's the Blue one rated for?

Mountain climber
Dak side
May 15, 2007 - 03:20pm PT
improper wetting of the material to be brazed together. either didn't flux the whole cable that goes into the housing or only was surface heated.

send it to me i'll braze the sucker up so it never comes apart.

May 15, 2007 - 03:21pm PT

May 15, 2007 - 03:21pm PT

If I understand you correctly, this cam was within the recall range. One question, was the cam dimpled?

Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Topic Author's Reply - May 15, 2007 - 03:29pm PT
edited info above... no dimple

I tested 11 in this batch. Test goes go 1200lbs +/-. One failed at 900.
Is 1200lbs enough? probably knott, but it should find some glaring weaknesses.... any more than that and the unit might be damaged with our setup.

Test your own....hmmmm.... I know I have broken biners with a fukness device and can break #1 heads by bouncing.... a #1 cable loop will go to 800+/-

For a dirty test you could order up a bunch of #1 circle heads (hint) and then put them in the system and then honk on them with a fukness... cable breaks at a known number = alien tested to that number..... would probably work fairly well for an everyman test.
feelio Babar

Trad climber
Sneaking up behind you...
May 15, 2007 - 03:34pm PT
Thanks for the info and write up Russ!
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