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Thread: floor cord system

  1. #1
    Just Joined Swordswrn's Avatar
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    floor cord system

    I'm with a rather small high school club and we are trying to build our own electric scoring machine and floor system. We've got schematics for the scoring machine already. Is there anywhere that we could find schematics for a floor system? We can't install an overhead system because the place we practice in won't let us put in anything permanent. Thanks
    "The sword isn't our lives, it just keeps us alive for the really good parts" - Graham Ashe

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    Senior Member damianip's Avatar
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    We use the Triplette floor bungee system at our club. The only thing you need for temporary installs is a roll of duct or gaffer's tape and a table.

    I had thought of trying to build one from scratch, but by the time the cost of materials was totalled, it cost only a bit less than Triplettes, and I had to deal with multiple vendors.

    The part is called TCA REEL. It sells for just under 200 USD per strip. They've been very trouble free so far.

    <a href="http://www.triplette.com/sport%20fencing/sport_fencing_scoring.htm" target="_blank">http://www.triplette.com/sport%20fencing/sport_fencing_scoring.htm</a>

    Paolo
    "He is a man of splendid abilities but utterly corrupt. He shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight." "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."

  3. #3
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    A floor bungee system looks the same as an overhead system, just laid flat on its side and anchored to points on the floor or wall (if you can put a couple of eye-bolts into the baseboard that you can hook the large pulleys to, that'll be ideal). Paolo's suggestion of tape will also do for a temporary set-up.

    Another option is to replace the bungee cord and larger pulleys with a pair of retractable clothesline reels ($13-$17 apiece)-- they'd still need to be anchored to something, or else mounted on a heavy base.

    -Dave
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    Needs to get Outside Inquartata's Avatar
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    Anyone know of a good wire for use with these systems? We have a bungee setup the wires of which are shot, and a recent article in Am Fencing said any replacements need to fit some pretty exacting standards...
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  5. #5
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    Joe was referring mainly to reel wires in that article-- bungee systems can be a bit less finicky, depending on how small the wire pulleys are (bigger pullys will handle less flexible cable than small ones).

    If you're on a tight budget or need something to slap in there pronto to get you through an upcoming tournament, I've put together bungee systems on the cheap using flat 4-conductor phone cable that you can get at any Home Depot or Menards'. It won't be nearly as durable as other wire, but it's so inexpensive that even if you have to replace it three times as often you'll still come out ahead, money-wise.

    More typically, the Prieur-style braided cable is used. You can get the OEM Prieur stuff from American for about $60, but Triplette has a pretty good copy of it for much less (about $35).

    -Dave
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    Needs to get Outside Inquartata's Avatar
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    Thanks. Phone cable, just what the doctor ordered...
    Use the Shift key, people! Keyboard manufacturers everywhere are ineffably saddened when you ignore what they made just for you!

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    I've been rather busy but now I'm back to the reel system thing. Would using retractable extension cords work? Like this one:
    (I couldn't get the link to work so if you go to <a href="http://www.sears.com" target="_blank">www.sears.com</a> and search for 'retractable extension cord' it should come up as the first option)
    If you just cut off the ends and install epee plugs... Someone I talked to did mention that there may be a problem with resistance? Any suggestions? BTW It's a 16 gage 3 wire 10 amp max and only $30

    [ 01-29-2002: Message edited by: Swordswrn ]

    [ 01-29-2002: Message edited by: Swordswrn ]</p>
    "The sword isn't our lives, it just keeps us alive for the really good parts" - Graham Ashe

  8. #8
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    It's been thought of before. In principle it could work. Complications/issues to be addressed:

    1. Most have only 20-30' of cord-- too short to use as reels (a strip is 14 m= 45.5' long). A 50' reel would be the bare minimum, and even then that's barely enough. I've seen 50' extension cord reels listed in catalogs occasionally, but never seen one in a store. Fencing reels typically come with at least 20 m (65') of cable.

    2. There's usually a holding ratchet in there that you'll need to remove-- assuming you're even able to open up the reel to get inside (it might be held together with a rivet rather than a nut & bolt). Otherwise it won't retract properly.

    3. Again related to whether you can open it up to get at the innards: is there provision to easily clean the contact brushes when they get dirty? Since extension cord reels aren't intended to be in continuous, back-and-forth motion during use, dirty contacts isn't as much of a problem to be addressed in the design. And at $30/unit, I can guarantee they're not using Mercotacs.

    4. How long will the springs hold up? The springs on extension cord reels are rather weak in comparison to fencing reels, again because they're not intended for constant motion. It's the same thing with the clothes line reels I mentioned above, but those only cost $15 or so to replace when they go bad, and require no modification to be used.

    -Dave
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