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Conterra Scarab

Scarab Scarab Ti
Scarab Scarab Ti

Overview


Conterra took the name SCARAB that SAR was already using for an entirely different device, registered the name, and then took legal action that forced SAR to change the name of their device. That may have been legal, but ethically, that type of action is lower than whale dung. I regret having purchased these.


Scarab
(#1164)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Side Open for Rigging
Side Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Conterra Scarab from Rescue Response Gear Inc. in 2008.

The Scarab is made from 303 stainless steel. It is 146 mm tall, 67 mm. wide, and 31 mm. thick. Mine weighs 394 g.

The frame is milled from 12.1 mm. plate. It has a central slot that is 71 mm. long and 29.2 mm. wide. There are two horns on each end. Each horn is 28.2 mm. long, and has a 12.1 mm. inward bend at the outer end. There is a 5 mm. wide, 2.6 mm. deep groove milled along the two sides of the Scarab, presumably to save weight.

The brake bar is turned from two pieces of stainless steel (probably 303) threaded together. The assembled bar is 64.8 mm. long, 31.4 mm. in diameter at the ends, and 25.4 mm. in diameter for the central 23 mm. where the rope runs. The transition is rounded so the total length of reduced diameter is 30 mm. The main piece is 59 mm. long. One end has a slot cut in from the end to accept the frame, and is threaded for a locking cap which holds the bar onto the frame. The other end of the bar has a 10.6 mm. wide, 16 mm. deep slot to allow closing the bar on the frame. The locking cap does not support load. The center of the main bar is bored out to 20.6 mm., the end to 25.3 mm., and the locking cap to 19 mm., all to save weight.

The end of the locking cap is etched with "SCARAB®" and "www.CONTERRA-INC.com."

Comments

The Scarab copies the ideas introduced decades before with the Bonaiti Robot and then adds some improvements. The Scarab is suitable as a rappelling device and a lowering device. It works equally well on single and double ropes.

When rappelling, it does not give enough friction when used as a straight brake bar (neither Conterra nor I recommend doing that), but the horns allow looping the rope over the top to get enough friction. If you need more friction, you can then loop the rope under the lower horns and then back around to the other top horn. Do NOT loop the rope under one of the lower horns before passing it over the top, since this hinders bar movement. (The instructions warns that this can also damage the Scarab, but I find that hard to believe.) The horns also make it easy to lock off.

The workmanship on the Scarab is exceptional. Conterra's instructions emphasize the Scarab's strength, and while I don't place much value in excess strength beyond what is needed, there is no question: the Scarab is strong.

There are some sharp edges on the brake bar where the slots are cut. The rope can run over these, possibly leading to sheath damage, so I recommend rounding these edges before use.

My main complaint with the stainless steel Scarab is its weight: although not extreme, for a constant friction device, it is a bit heavy. The titanium version is much lighter.


Version B
(#1167)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Side Open for Rigging
Side Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Conterra Scarab Ti from Conterra Inc. in 2008.

The Scarab Ti is similar to the Scarab so I'll use the same description, shading the unchanged portions"

The Scarab Ti is made from titanium alloy. It is 133 mm tall, 59 mm. wide, and 31 mm thick. Mine weighs 192 g.

The frame is milled from 12.1 mm. plate. It has a central slot that is 63 mm. long and 25.8 mm. wide. There are two horns on each end. Each horn is 37.6 mm. long, and has an 11.3 mm. inward bend at the outer end. There is a 5 mm. wide, 2.3 mm. deep groove milled along the two sides of the Scarab Ti, presumably to save weight.

The brake bar is turned from two pieces of titanium alloy threaded together. The assembled bar is 58.7 mm. long, 31.4 mm. in diameter at the ends, and 25.3 mm. in diameter for the central 20 mm. where the rope runs. The transition is rounded so the total length of reduced diameter is 28 mm. The main piece is 52 mm. long. One end has a slot cut in from the end to accept the frame, and is threaded for a locking cap which holds the bar onto the frame. The other end of the bar has a 9.3 mm. wide, 17 mm. deep slot to allow closing the bar on the frame. The locking cap does not support load. The center of the main bar is bored out to 20.6 mm., the end to 25.3 mm., and the locking cap to 19 mm., all to save weight.

The end of the locking cap is etched with "SCARAB®Ti" and "www.CONTERRA-INC.com."

Comments

Not only is the Scarab Ti made from titanium alloy, it is smaller than the stainless steel Scarab. This saves half the weight and 20% of the volume.