Next Return Previous

Brake Belays

Version A Version B
Version A Version B

Overview

If you know who made these and/or can provide more information, please email me.

Version A
(#1614)

Front View Rear View Bottom View
Front View Rear View Bottom View

Technical Details

I acquired Version A used on eBay from Dawn Kordek in 2008.

Version A is 225 mm. tall, 170 mm. wide, 160 mm. thick, and weighs 3810 g.

The body is made from 1/8" (3.2 mm.) stainless steel sheet bent to form a U-shaped channel. The internal width of the channel is 28 mm., but near the attachment holes this tapers to 14 mm. The holes themselves are 19 mm. in diameter. 9.5 mm. stainless steel rods welded at the top, center, and bottom provide additional rigidity. Inside the channel are two pulley wheels made from a soft rubbery material. The wheels are 95 mm. in diameter and 24 mm. thick, with a 14.5 mm. wide rope channel cut to a depth of 14 mm.

One side of the device has brackets that support an Avia disc brake assembly that acts on a disc attached to one of the pulleys with a keyed aluminum block. A 3.2 mm. steel cable with a loop in the end activates the disc brake.

On the other side of the device is another brake assembly that appears to be inertialy activated. There was obviously a piece missing since the drum is free to turn. To make it work properly, I need to fabricated something similar to what is on Version B. I took the photos before fabricating that piece.

Comments

I tried to get more information from Dawn, but she had acquired these indirectly and couldn't provide any details on their origins. She wrote:

These were bought from a rock climbing business by an auctioneer. Sadly, I don't have any other information on them except for them being repaired and in working condition. Sorry I can't be of more help.

What can I say? At first it was by no means obvious exactly what these were or designer had in mind for rigging these, and there aren't any wear marks to guide me. Then it happened: in a momentary cessation of stupidity, I realized that these were not belay devices at all; they are trolley pulleys for timid people to use on zip lines. I discussed this idea with numerous experts at the 2009 International Congress of Speleology, ande we all seemed to agree. When I returned home, I found an email from Eric Schmidt, who had the same idea.

I can hardly give them a lemon award. Maybe I need a different award?


Version B
(#1615)

Front View Rear View Bottom View
Front View Rear View Bottom View

Technical Details

I acquired Version B used on eBay from Dawn Kordek in 2008.

Version B is 210 mm. tall, 167 mm. wide, 174 mm. thick, and weighs 4445 g. The shell does not taper toward the attachment holes as the Version A shell does, and the top and bottom support pins are omitted. There are minor differences in the brake disc assembly. A bar with two pins supports the brake drum assembly.

Comments

This one had a working support for the inertia brake.