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Posts Tagged ‘DMM Buddy Catch’

DMM Catch Review

DMM Catch Back-up device for Rope Access review

Yesterday we had a sneak preview of the DMM Catch back-up device. Our initial impression is that it’s well made and well designed (we’d expect nothing less from DMM who offer a range of quality climbing products) and should prove popular with those looking for a tow-able back-up device for rope access, attachable to a harness using a cowstail from their waist attachment point.

Whilst the body of the device (a tweaked version of the Buddy) has been around for a while, the ‘catch’ element has been long in the making, has gone through a complete metamorphosis and is now a sleek, clever and well thought-out design (much improved from the inverted hammer with red emergency button offered up as a concept in the early stages of the design process!).

For those who are unfamiliar with the Buddy, it is one of the various devices available on the market today which use rotational braking (the device locks on to the rope when the device is rotated when loaded). For the rope to run through, the device needs to be rotated in the opposite direction to the lanyard attachment point, and this is done by pulling gently on the catch.

The principal of the catch itself is that in the event of a mainline failure, the user will squeeze the catch which will become detached from the cam of the device allowing the device to rotate and lock onto the rope (although the same result – locking of the device on the rope – can also be achieved by simple letting go of the catch so the device rotates, research has shown that there can be a tendency for people to grip a towcord even harder when they suddenly drop. When using the catch correctly this gribbing action will cause the catch to release and the cam will then lock onto the rope). The catch remains connected to the body of the device by a small wire so there is no chance of dropping the catch part.

When ascending the device can be moved up the rope in the same manner as has been used by rope access technicians when historically using the Petzl Shunt as a back-up I.e. by grabbing the lanyard at the device end and flicking it upwards (sometimes requiring you to hold the tail slack end of the rope).

DMM have gone to great lengths to test the device on an extensive range of ropes and brands, and having found the test results varied substantially from brand to brand, have decided to only rate it for use with 11mm ropes (the most and only disappointing thing about the DMM Catch in our opinion).

On a positive note however, although the device is marked with a maximum load of 100kg, it has been rated for, and can be used in exceptional circumstances, for rescue.

The DMM Buddy Catch is due for release onto the market in July 2014. Pre-orders can be made through Abaris International by simply calling customer services on 01484 768277.

Rope Access Back-up Devices – Your choice!

Latest information on Back-up Devices for Rope Access

Back up Devices

Since Petzl’s last statement on the use of the B03 Petzl Shunt while towed by a cord as a back-up device in rope access (Click here to read the Petzl Shunt statement and here for the IRATA Shunt statement) we have been getting  a lot enquiries asking what can be used in it’s place, so here are the most popular alternatives:

B71 Petzl ASAP. Made by Petzl, comes complete with OK Triact Karabiner, it travels up and down the rope with no contact from the operator. As it’s a toothed device ordinarily used with a shock absorbing lanyard. There are three types of lanyard available: L7120 ASAP’Sorber 20cm, L7140 ASAP Sorber 40cm and the L57 Absorbica. The Absorbica is the only one of these lanyards rated for more than one person (i.e. for use in rescue). It is great on inclines as well as vertically tensioned ropes and will lock up when it starts to descend quickly even if the operator has hold of it.

RA003 Rocker. A SAR product.  Also made under licence by ISC for Miller and P+P. A simple and effective device which fits easily onto the rope and is used with a short lanyard. The S0014 Rocker Lanyard Assembly is the recommended lanyard but SAR do say that any rated quickdraw with the correct locking karabiners will suffice. It tends to travel freely up and down the rope and can be used on diagonal, horizontal and vertically tensioned lifelines. The operator must let go if holding this device when mainline failure occurs. It can be locked in position on the rope using a simple catch at the top of the device. Locking it in this manner allows the user to position it as high up their back-up rope as possible thus limiting the fall distance in the event of a main line failure. The device is rated for two people (i.e. for use in rescue) and can easily be released when under load.

The ISC RED has recently been released onto the market and can be bought with no cord, with a fixed tow cord or with a tow cord and ‘Popper’ (the latter relying on the user pulling the tow cord to release the popper in the event of a mainline failure). The body of the RED in each version is the same so if you buy the Popper Version then this towcord can be removed completely or can be replaced by a towcord without a popper. All version of the RED are designed to be used with a dynamic cowstail from the waist attachment point of your harness and are tested for use in a rescue situation (for a two person load).

On the horizon is also the DMM Buddy Catch (a ‘Buddy’ with a ‘catch’ – their Buddy device with a tow ‘cord’). The prototype has a release system which relies on the operator squeezing a trigger in the event of a main line failure).

All of the above are / will be available from our website. If you know of another back-up device of interest then please contact us with details.

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