Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Best mobile box solution?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    323

    Best mobile box solution?

    Dear all,

    What are your recommendations for the best reel/box combo? Are there decent commercial wireless systems yet? Price is an issue here as well.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member SJCFU#2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    3,146
    For a small club, where cost is a major concern, you might consider the Fencing Technology SG11, the Favero FA-01, the Leon Paul C620 or the Eigertek Eclipse - any one of which is generally available for somewhere in the neighborhood of $400. Each of these boxes has its advantages and disadvantages - rather then list them all here I recommend looking at the equipment reviews. There are also a couple of new machines that came out within the last year which are even less expensive - Firefly makes one with integral time for under $300 and Siyon makes one for $200. (edit: one disadvantage with new manufacturers is the increased risk of them failing and you being left with an orphan machine).

    If you prefer a scoring machine with integral score and time (nice to have for tournaments) then you might look at the Favero FA-05 or Fencing Technologies SG-12ST. Unfortunately they do cost significantly more than a "club" box.

    The one machine I recommend staying away from is the Tripplette.

    As far as reels are concerned, your best bet is probably a pair of Favero Millenium reels. However if price is a concern you might consider getting a pair of used Uhlmann reels from Blue Gauntlet (these are the reels that they used to provide for NAC's - I believe they are supposed to have been refurbished with new cables and such). Or you could get a bungee system - not quite as convenient however a complete system generally costs less than a single reel.

    As far as wireless systems go, about the only one outside of the STM system used by the FIE is the Hitemate system, now available through Fencing.net. Cost wise it looks to be comparable with most club machines and it doesn't require any reels. Unfortunately it only works for epee.
    Last edited by SJCFU#2; 01-16-2009 at 08:59 AM. Reason: added comment

  3. #3
    Senior Member Displacement's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    130
    I thought LP made the wirless system used at FIE events. Or is that only in the Olympics?

  4. #4
    That Guy Craig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,895
    Blog Entries
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Displacement View Post
    I thought LP made the wirless system used at FIE events. Or is that only in the Olympics?

    StM manufactured that system.

    Craig

  5. #5
    Senior Member catwood1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Redwood City, Califoria
    Posts
    2,305
    Blog Entries
    96
    My club, which is on a VERY tight budget. We got the firefly box with a pully bungee system. I love the firefly box. It is very very nice. The bungees are not great if you can't leave them up. They are, undeniably, cheap. And they are pretty reliable.

    I would recommend the firefly box to anyone, but go with reels if you don't have a permanent space.
    "Sir, didn't I parry"
    "You didn't take advantage of his blade enough, so no."

    (I guess i should have romanced it a bit more..."

  6. #6
    Senior Member TodG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Helena MT
    Posts
    357
    Anyone tried the Siyon box? At $200, it look very attractive for club use.

    http://siyonelectronics.com/default.aspx

  7. #7
    Senior Member SJCFU#2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    3,146
    Quote Originally Posted by TodG View Post
    Anyone tried the Siyon box? At $200, it look very attractive for club use.
    This thread pretty much covers the entire history of the Siyon box. A few of the posts near the end include feedback from some of the first people to buy the machine.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TodG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Helena MT
    Posts
    357
    I bought a Syon, and modified it for an internal battery. It is super portable. I use that and a pair of Favero reels as a 'grab and go' system. Couldn't be happier for under $1000 all up.

  9. #9
    Member Regret d'Vie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Murray, KY
    Posts
    53
    This is a long post, but that is my way.

    I bought my first Eigertek Eclipse in 2002. For three years, I used it in dozens of locations on hundreds of occasions. It stood up to everything we threw at it. I purchased a second box a few years ago, and it's proven equally reliable.

    After performing without fault for over seven years, my first Eclipse has now died three times in less than two months. (Current theory is that higher-than-normal static electricity has been killing it, and Eigertek has now provided guidelines instructing us how to avoid this problem.) Each time, Eigertek has repaired it without hesitation and free-of-charge. Most recently, they replaced the entire circuit board and sent a new AC adapter. They've even paid for return shipping each time.

    Combine this with all the free chip upgrades they've provided over the years, and it's safe to say that I'm now a detriment to Eigertek's bottom line. Yet, they continue to treat me as if my business is sending their kids to college. So for all of these reasons, I recommend the Eigertek over the other low-cost, "portable" boxes I've tried, even though it's somewhat more expensive. Well-worth the extra cost.

    That said, I must confess to buying a Siyon Reflex last year when money was extremely limited. Overall, I'm satisfied with it. I must say that we're not one-hundred percent confident in its sabre program, though I haven't read any similar complaints on fencing.net's boards. Advantages over the Eclipse, besides cost: brighter LEDs and longer battery life (though the Eclipse is perfectly adequate, though in both regards.)

    The Eclipse auto-silences when weapons are unplugged or equipment problems develop -- a non-trivial plus over the "screaming" Reflex, as my fencers constantly complain about the Reflex's insistent, panicky pleas for working connections. The Reflex does sport significantly shorter signal durations than the Eclipse, which I consider desirable but which others would count as a flaw. (Newer incarnations of the Eclipse are supposed to include a "practice mode" with shorter signal durations, but I can't speak to how they compare to those of the Reflex.) Also, the Eclipse, unlike the Reflex, natively supports extension lights.

    You won't go terribly wrong with either, but as SJCFU#2 pointed out, what happens when you need service work or a chip upgrade in the event Siyon fails? (Then again, if we all had this attitude, new vendors would never succeed, including Eigertek when they first brought their offering to market.)

    Again, I agree with SJCFU#2: Avoid Triplette's "club" machine. For reasons I won't get into, I was forced to purchase three of these things over a six-year period or so, and they've been a thorn in my side since. They each seem to have their own unique, recurring problem in addition to all the timing/touch-registration issues reported by many others on this board over the years.

    For about half the cost (or a little more) of a single reel, you can buy a Triplette pulley-bungee system. They're certainly more difficult to set up in temporary locations than a reel system, but with practice, you'll learn how to 1) wrap the wires and cords so they don't become tangled in transport, 2) secure the floor plates so they don't tear away from the surface and fly into the back of a fencer's head, and 3) "take up" and retain the proper amount of slack from the bungee cord (varies from installation to installation). Repair both less-frequently required and a simpler process than with a reel system, and you just can't beat the price, assuming that's an issue.

    The pulley-bungee system works flawlessly if you can permanently anchor it to a wall (which requires only a few minutes). Maybe it's just me, but I regularly trip and/or stub a toe on reels and floor plates, and a wall-mounted system eliminates both, and keeps the entire apparatus out of the way when not in use.

    However, it's not as effective in an overhead installation: It results in a considerable amount of slack wire hanging low from the ceiling and/or inadequate wire tension near the ends of the strip. Nevertheless, it's largely functional as an overhead unit. Perhaps there's a superior method to set up an overhead system that we haven't discovered. If so, I'd love to hear about it.

    Regret
    Sow a thought, reap an action;
    Sow an action, reap a habit;
    Sow a habit, reap a character;
    Sow a character, reap a destiny

  10. #10
    Senior Member SJCFU#2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    3,146
    Quote Originally Posted by Regret d'Vie View Post
    However, it's not as effective in an overhead installation: It results in a considerable amount of slack wire hanging low from the ceiling and/or inadequate wire tension near the ends of the strip. Nevertheless, it's largely functional as an overhead unit. Perhaps there's a superior method to set up an overhead system that we haven't discovered. If so, I'd love to hear about it.
    The two things that I've found make a big difference in the performance of overheads are geometry and tension.

    I've found that it helps to have the center anchor point (where the wires are secured prior to going to the machine) higher than the wall anchor points (where the wire is redirected back toward the fencer). The wire tends to form a "<" as it enters and leaves the block - the wider the < the better (this generally works best with a fairly high ceiling, although I admit a high ceiling can make rigging the center point more difficult).

    The other thing you can do is adjust the length of the cables and bungee cord to fit your space. I usually just tie a loop in the bungee cord somewhere near the middle so that it is always under light tension even when no one is hooked up at either side. You can do the same thing with the cables (although you will probably want to leave a little slack in there - the weight of the resulting catenary should provide enough tension to keep things in line). You don't even have to shorted the cable - leave the extra length between the center anchor point and the plugs. If your end anchors are high you may also want to tie a knot in each cable a few feet back from each fencer end socket so that they will hang down somewhere near shoulder height when not in use rather than be pulled all the way up to the block.

    All of this tends to work best when you have a more or less permanent installation (or at least permanent anchor points you can clip everything to).

    The Eclipse auto-silences when weapons are unplugged or equipment problems develop -- a non-trivial plus over the "screaming" Reflex, as my fencers constantly complain about the Reflex's insistent, panicky pleas for working connections.
    Maybe you should point this out to its creator (AlfredII). When this issue was brought up prior to initial release he didn't seem to consider it to be a significant disadvantage. Perhaps he will take it more seriously if he hears it from actual paying customers.
    Last edited by SJCFU#2; 05-16-2009 at 11:37 AM. Reason: spelling

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    915
    Is anyone using the LP club package? 2 reels, cords & club machine in nice carry case for $800. I've heard some discussion about frequent cleaning needed for the reels...

    If you go with a bungee system, don't bother purchasing the Tripplette package, you're going to want to replace some or all of the pulleys, and maybe the bungee cord itself. Every package I've gotten had a too thick bungee cord (strong enough to drag small youth fencers backwards) and the pulleys are small, leading to breakage of the outer cable insulation. Buy a couple of replacement cable ends (LP, Favero, Uhlmann are all available) & 3 prong connectors. Pick up one or two pieces (either 2 @8 meters, or 1 @ 16 meters) of 1/8" or smaller bungee cord at your big-box hardware or marine store along with 4 large plastic pulleys (think clothesline types) and assorted snaps & links to fasten everything together. You can either use decent cable, or go really cheap with telephone wire. Either way, total outlay for everything is going to be less than $100.

    Currently I'm using the Full Arm-01 machines with Millenium reels. Pros: Durable, lights are easy to see, reels _do_not_ move around. Cons: Cost for one club strip is ~$1100 to $1300. Two Milleniums in a case are heavy!

    Someone mentioned the Tripplette machines. They do have some good points, they're hard to break and those lights can be seen 3 strips over. Cons? Well they're Tripplette and occasionally you get some weird conditions & they get really strange...

    I don't think BG has any of the USFA refurb. reels left.

    John

  12. #12
    Member Regret d'Vie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Murray, KY
    Posts
    53
    To SJCFU#2: Thanks for the advice. We've many times adjusted bungee and cable lengths without ever fully solving the problems. Your geometrical advice may well be the answer. Unfortunately, the reason that this reel was setup in an overhead (rather than wall-only) configuration is that 1) the wall is necessarily lined with weapons, tables, and chairs, and 2) a large piece of duct runs the length of the strip about eighteen inches from both the ceiling and the wall, supported by hangers mounted to the ceiling every few feet. It seems to be in the way no matter what we do. At any rate, I'm about to move to a new building. I'll be sure to put your advice to use when we set up the strips.

    To jfarmer: This forum is about nothing if not differences of opinion, but I've had none of the trouble you've described with either of my Triplette bungee systems' pulleys, cords, or cabling (though I've had endless trouble with some of their other offerings). One of my systems was purchased in 2001, the other in 2008. Differences are minor and mostly cosmetic. The only functional problem I've observed is that the body-cord connections on the 2008 model are INCREDIBLY tight -- I often have to hook up my younger fencers, as well as most of the women. As for tension: My seven and five-year-old daughters have no trouble fencing with these systems, and my two-year old boy will pick up an end and walk past the center line before letting it go and rejoicing when it smacks whatever lies beyond the rear-limit at the time. How many Triplette bungee systems have you had these problems with, and when were they purchased? That said, I'll give your home-made version a shot on one of the strips I'll soon be setting up in my new building. Thanks for the tips.

    Regret
    Sow a thought, reap an action;
    Sow an action, reap a habit;
    Sow a habit, reap a character;
    Sow a character, reap a destiny

Similar Threads

  1. A puzzler, and it's solution
    By mutantmoose in forum Armory - Q&A
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 01-31-2007, 01:04 AM
  2. New Mobile Phones In Store
    By uchman77 in forum New to Fencing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-16-2006, 01:33 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26