/ PRODUCT NEWS: New Wild Country Helium Friends - In Stores Soon

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Helium Friends Full set from 0 - 4, 4 kbThe awesome new Helium Friends hit the stores in about three short weeks and so in this preview you can get the lowdown on this amazing new product - the best Friend ever and a perfect evolutionary step drawn from 33 years of experience and nearly 1 million units sold.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/news.php?id=3461
Scarab - on 22 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:


This makes me wonder, DMM claimed they didnt want to use thumbloop with Dragons because thin slings cut through at too low KN ratings. Now we see Wild country cams with thin slings, and they are made by DMM anyway...

Other than that nice cams.

Luke90 on 22 Feb 2011
In reply to Scarab:
> This makes me wonder, DMM claimed they didnt want to use thumbloop with Dragons because thin slings cut through at too low KN ratings.

The slings are fatter than the ones on the DMM Dragons (12mm vs. 8mm), I think that's the key difference.
CurlyStevo - on 22 Feb 2011
In reply to Luke90:
and they are used singly not doubled through so you can extend them.
Mike Lewis - on 22 Feb 2011
So they've increased the range of each cam, without altering the camming angle. Does anyone know how they've done this? Presumably it's not just by increasing the size of the cam...
r0x0r.wolfo - on 22 Feb 2011
To Mike Lewis: Bingo
Scarab - on 22 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:

thx for replies


Now a comparison with camalots would be interesting, on Weight versus camming range :)
Charlie_Zero on 22 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:

Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh!

Too much cam choice.....cannot compute.....cannot compute.....system now shutting down to prevent decision-making circuit burnout.
steveshaking - on 22 Feb 2011
In reply to Charlie_Zero: I understand the sling design, but how do they get the range?
psaunders - on 22 Feb 2011
In reply to Scarab: Your wish is my command

http://i55.tinypic.com/eumxco.jpg

zhwang on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to psaunders:

Any chance you could label the sizes on the graph?
neil the weak - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to steveshaking:
> (In reply to Charlie_Zero) I understand the sling design, but how do they get the range?


The range has not changed in the sense you think it has (or that they want you to think it has?). A size 1 Helium has more range in mm than an old size 1 Tech not because of any new clever engineering, but simply because it is bigger. Clever eh?
steveshaking - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to neil the weak: I have looked at the charts, size 1 does have slightly a larger starting point, but they also manage to add a couple of mm at size 1 and 2, more at larger sizes, while starting at a smaller size. So they are increasing the range. Is it simply that the cams rotate more? If so how and do they manage to do this smoothly?
JoeD on 24 Feb 2011 - client-86-31-136-161.oxfd.adsl.virginmedia.com
In reply to steveshaking:

Yeh, looks like they've just managed to be much more consistent in expansion range:

Size . Expansion ratio . Improvement
........ Tech ..... Helium

0 ...... 1.4615 ... 1.6071 ... 9.96%
0.5 ... 1.4118 ... 1.6099 ... 14.03%
1.0 ... 1.5263 ... 1.6098 ... 5.47%
1.5 ... 1.5217 ... 1.6100 ... 5.80%
2.0 ... 1.5172 ... 1.6096 ... 6.09%
2.5 ... 1.6667 ... 1.6102 ... -3.39%
3.0 ... 1.5349 ... 1.6103 ... 4.91%
3.5 ... 1.6078 ... 1.6099 ... 0.13%
4.0 ... 1.5625 ... 1.6100 ... 3.04%
steveshaking - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to JoeD: Strange, so the old 2.5 manages a better ratio than the rest and even the new ones and the main issue is not a huge leap forward so much as better consistency in getting what is possible out of this design. Though, not being an engineer, I'm sure I am under estimating the challenge.
Isn't time a Wild country boffin jumped in?
Ian Milward on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to JoeD:

You're comparing apples with pears, though. The Helium sizes are larger than the Tech ones...
Toerag - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: can't be bothered t olook up the figures, but say I lost a size 1 tech friend - is a size 1 helium a direct replacement, or will it leave a gap between my smaller and larger friends?
steveshaking - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to Ian Milward: They aren't consistently bigger, they are different in their starting and ending points, but both over and under the tech sizes. Replacement sizes would be the same I would have said.
Kane - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to steveshaking: I wouldn't pay too much attention to their sizes as there seems to be inconsistencies in either/both the given sizes for tech friends or heliums. For example the 2.5 tech friend 33-55 and helium 34-55 whilst the next size up - tech 43-66 and helium 42-67.

The only possible way they could increase the range is if the cam stops on the techs were positioned so that the tips of the lobes where greater than 13.75 degs (WCs camming angle) from the horizontal when the cam is fully open. This is because the smallest size is limited by the lobe tips coming into contact with the opposite side of the crack.

This would have been a stupid thing to do as it adds weight and decreases range for no gain and, from some crude measurements on my cams, I don't believe it is the case.

So I don't believe they have really increased the range at all and think that the increase they talk about in the marketing is achieved by comparing units of different size.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to Ian Milward:
He's not comparing apples and pairs he's comparing the ratio of expansion calulated by taking the largest expansion and dividing by the smaller. This is not particularly size dependent (once you get out of the smaller sizes anyway). The cam manufacturers use a similar measurement also.
If you average this number across the range you'd get the average expansion ratio of the cams and is handy for comparing different brands.
ads.ukclimbing.com
CurlyStevo - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to JoeD:
I've done these type of comparisons before, one thing to note is the old WC figures are not very accurately measured which may account for some disparities.
JoeD on 25 Feb 2011 - client-86-31-136-161.oxfd.adsl.virginmedia.com
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Yes, I was interested to note that for the heliums they're quoting to 1/100th of a mm, while the techs (& 4CUs) were just stated to whole mms, presumably in order to maximise the gain in range.

Though am also curious to which unit, and how they measured it, the 'upto 20% greater range' comes from.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to Scarab:
the expansion ratio (largest expansion mm divided by smallest mm) of C4 is generally over 1.7 whilst the heliums is close to 1.6. What this tells you is that if you take a C4 and create / find a helium with an identical smallest contraction, the C4 will in general expand by just over an extra 16% or so.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to JoeD:
Acutally I think you have made an error in your percentage figures,
taking the size zero figures:

1.4615(old friends) ... 1.6071(new WC hellium)

lets imagine we are measuring in units of whatever the smallest contraction is and comparing cams of the same smallest contraction, then the expansion would be .4615 and .6071 respectively

therefore the percentage increase in expansion is ((.6071 / .4615 ) * 100) - 100 = 31.55%
Kane - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to JoeD: The expansion range is not a function of size and should be the same (1.62) for each unit based on a 13.75 deg camming angle.

It goes to show that the quoted sizes of the tech friends are not given accurately enough (a ratio of 1.67 isn't possible) for a proper comparison. As I mentioned in a previous post I doubt there is any real expansion gain for the heliums.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to Kane:
> (In reply to JoeD) The expansion range is not a function of size and should be the same (1.62) for each unit based on a 13.75 deg camming angle.
>
> It goes to show that the quoted sizes of the tech friends are not given accurately enough (a ratio of 1.67 isn't possible) for a proper comparison. As I mentioned in a previous post I doubt there is any real expansion gain for the heliums.

I take it we have both been drinking beer ;)

The range obviously is a function of size :P

The expansion ratio (max / min) is more size independent but is unlikely to be exactly the same in the smaller sizes due to limitations of scalling the materials but still retaining the required strength.
Kane - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to CurlyStevo: Yeah I meant the expansion ratio, not range. It will be very close to size independent as the only thing not making it so will be a rounded tip shape on the lobes.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to Kane:
" will be very close to size independent as the only thing not making it so will be a rounded tip shape on the lobes."

and the thickness of the axel in the smaller sizes no? (as well as accuracy of manufacture and neccesary give between the parts)

I compared the published figures over a few brands a while back and they weren't as consistent as you seem to think they would be. Perhaps they are not quite as consistently designed / manufactured as you'd expect or maybe the published ranges are inaccurate as you mention.

Certainly the WC published figures for ranges pre hellium seem more variant than the design would suggest, more so than figures from most of the other manufacturers.
Ian Milward on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Ignore my comment, I'd only had a quick glance at the blurb and was under the (false) impression that the Helium sizing was considerably different from the old sizes, whereas it appears they are broadly equivalent.
Kane - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to CurlyStevo: The thickness of the axel doesn't matter as the limit of the range is always when the tip of the lobe comes into contact with the opposite wall of the crack. Accuracy of manufacture can be an issue (Aliens having the holes in the cams drilled in the wrong place springs to mind) but I'd expect WC to be quite good.The problem with the published figures is that they normally round to the nearest millimetre which isn't accurate enough at the smaller sizes. You could calculate an upper and lower bound and I bet they'd be either side of 1.6.

The ratio will vary for camalots and dragons as the range depends on the spacing of the axles and this varies with their size.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to Ian Milward:
technically if you are comparing expansion ratios of different manufacturers, as expansion ratios are fairly size independent it wouldn't mater if the brands you are comparing are considerably different in sizing (ie offset by half the increase to the next size between brands). You should however be comparing a range of cams for both manufacturers that span a similar set of placements (ie don't just compare WC zeros with the larger BD cams)

If the brands have a fairly consistent expansion ratio across the sizes (which most cams do apart from in the smallest sizes) then you can use that directly as a reasonable approximation, however if it varies you would need to compare EITHER the closest sizes directly, OR averages (ranged averages or overall averages) OR plot the expansion ratios against minimum expansion on a line graph to compare at specific intervals.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to Kane:
Yeah obviously for twin axel the exact spacing of the axels effects range but the actual expansion ratios vary less than you'd think based on size of cam (once you've taken in to account the random variance due to measurement inaccuracy)
steveshaking - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to CurlyStevo:
OK, glad I asked, so they aren't much better; no gain in range, possibly lighter, assuming they bother to measure this accurately, and fresher looking, but basically no great leap forward.
Stick to dragons and c4's?
Buy up reduced tech friends?
CurlyStevo - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to steveshaking:
well as I pointed out on the published figures there is quite a big gain in expansion ratio on the heliums compared to the WC friends (in the size 0 anyway), just how accurate those figures are we don't know.

The percentages Joe D calculated are not the (size independent) percentage increase in expansion, which I believe are more like roughly 3 X the figures he presented. But I agree with Kane in that the old figures WC quote for friends seem inaccurate, and that the new design doesn't seem to be a major break through, so take from that what you will. I haven't calculated that a camming angle of 13.75 should be an expansion ratio of 1.62 (meaning the helium are just standard expansion for a single axel 13.75 camming angle friend) as Kane suggests and he hasn't showed his math but I'm willing to believe it.

That said I really like the WC friends I currently own and the new design seems really nice with the thumb loop, plus they are lighter. You've not just got to consider the range of the individual units but how heavy they are and how well they function. If you can carry X heliums for the same weight as X - 1 C4s and cover the same range of placements to many people the heliums would be better.

I also really like my BD cams and zeros and my HB quadcams are looking a bit tired now. Looking forward to buying a dragon or two and will probably test drive a helium at some point :)
blackreaver - on 26 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: Are they likely to bring out a set to save money in buying 3? E.g. There is the dragon cam set 2,3,4 for 120 ish, saving 30.

Thanks,
BR

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