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Digital Loos Tension Gauge on Indeigogo

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First thought is why?

Benefit to adding electronics, wireless communications and batteries to a perfectly functional mechanical, analog device?

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I just got a Loose Gauge, professional version. It seems to do all one would want. I don't think it will share my readings with "friends," but maybe I'm missing something. Maybe they give a shit about my rig tension even though my wife doesn't?

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The phone integration makes sense to me. Will be pretty cool to have the gauge next to the bottle screw and not need to be constantly going up and down refitting the loos all the time. Having the target numbers for reference on screen would make life easier too.

Would be nice to have a pair of them to balance up the rig. The ability to cross calibrate 2 devices definitely a bonus there.

Might be an idea to be able to set a tension and then have a visual indicator on the device to show when that is reached? An RGB LED would do it.

Looks like a good product. Will definitely be following progress and finger crossed they reach their funding target.

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bluetooth makes a lot of sense from a product development and cost engineering standpoint.  A bluetooth antenna is a squiggley patch of traces on a PCB.  It costs basically nothing.  A cheap microcontroller has BT as part of its silicon.  It costs hardly anything vs a design without BT, especially if you're not at "greeting card" level of cheapness.

Some buttons and LEDs cost more by the time you factor in the SMT components, light pipes, enclosure design, etc.  It's way more expensive if you want an actual display.

And developing and updating software on an embedded device is much more time consuming and difficult than a phone app.  Phones have so much memory you can write the shittest app ever and it still works.  A 50 MB app that displays a number, sure!  Nobody even thinks that's crap anymore.  Microcontrollers with 4 kB of RAM are not so forgiving of poor quality software.

They'll probably just dump raw ADC counts from a load cell to the phone, and do everything in the app.

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20 hours ago, rgeek said:

The phone integration makes sense to me. Will be pretty cool to have the gauge next to the bottle screw and not need to be constantly going up and down refitting the loos all the time. Having the target numbers for reference on screen would make life easier too.

Would be nice to have a pair of them to balance up the rig. The ability to cross calibrate 2 devices definitely a bonus there.

Might be an idea to be able to set a tension and then have a visual indicator on the device to show when that is reached? An RGB LED would do it.

Looks like a good product. Will definitely be following progress and finger crossed they reach their funding target.

you can have equal numbers and still have a noodle. 

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8 hours ago, mustang__1 said:

you can have equal numbers and still have a noodle. 

+1

I think I'll just keep using my loos gauges. 

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There is a study being conducted about the inaccuracies of Loos and other tension gauges. It seems they are all, all over the board. I believe the person conducting research has a far superior model in the works too. I'd search for the article but I'm too lazy. 

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9 hours ago, mustang__1 said:

you can have equal numbers and still have a noodle. 

hence 'balancing' rather than 'straightening' :D

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8 hours ago, Aqua Logic said:

There is a study being conducted about the inaccuracies of Loos and other tension gauges. It seems they are all, all over the board. I believe the person conducting research has a far superior model in the works too. I'd search for the article but I'm too lazy. 

they have always been mostly relative numbers... but they all seem to relatively work :P . In an ideal world we'd have load cells all over the place. 

 

I've considered rigging up an arduino to a load cell in a similar manner to the old Harken digital tension gauges... but, too many other projects right now and i wouldn't have a great means to test and calibrate. 

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2-5mm wire?  

What's the point of that shit?   

I guess it would be handy for tensioning the LIFELINES on my boat.....

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I'd be nice if someone made one that didn't cost over $350 CAD for a piece of plastic and some metal and springs

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41 minutes ago, thereefgeek said:

2-5mm wire?  

What's the point of that shit?   

I guess it would be handy for tensioning the LIFELINES on my boat.....

good for Stars, skiffs, etc. 

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3 hours ago, alctel said:

I'd be nice if someone made one that didn't cost over $350 CAD for a piece of plastic and some metal and springs

The Loos Pro is actually Al-You-Munium with plastic and springs.

Obviously not perfect, but it gets you close.

'Til you go out and sail...

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3 hours ago, mustang__1 said:

good for Stars, skiffs, etc. 

Yep.

For you guys that trailer your boats, constantly stepping and unstepping the mast, I can see this being handy.  Especially with WiFi...

For those of us with boats longer than 14 feet LOA, I suggest building one with a load-cell capable of calculating a rig tension higher than 1000lb.

Wow, two out of fifty people have jumped on the discounted offer of $599  $333.

Better hurry.  Dude on Kickstarter is in his garage right now hammering out these bitches as fast as he can.....

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 12.16.44 PM.png

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honestly it'd be kind of a fun project to build a digital tension gauge with an Arduino and a load cell. Only trouble is i would need access to several different rigging types, some sort of reference device (not a freaking Loos gauge) - ie an inline load cell, and a good bit of time. Someone to help actually do the building part would help too since i'm a better electronics geek than a builder. 

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mustang_1, if you want someone to do the mechanical bit/machining I can lend a hand.

The VMG gauge looks nice but I have concerns with ALL the gauges regarding how they interface with the rigging. My Loos gauge has been cross referenced with a pro's so I know it is correct...the biggest source of error on those gauges are the rollers, they are plastic and wear. I have a couple extra sets of stainless steel ones if someone is looking (and yes I did get an ad at one point).

My other contentious point with the VMG gauge is the cost, even the discounted price of $333 seems pretty steep compared with a Loos Pro or the Spinlock Gauge ($111). I believe the Harken Digital Gauge was selling in that same ballpark and it was soo successful they discontinued it...for most of us a gym membership would be a better investment.

 

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I have access to a PCB milling machine at school (Electronic Engineering). Happy to help with circuit design or other ideas for an arduino tension guage.

 

We could use a spinlock tension gauge as a starting point, I cant think of any small boats that commonly have load cells off the top of my head though. :huh:

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I can machine PCB's and materials up through stainless steel in-house if needed. PCB fabrication out of house is pretty low cost, but it might make sense to use the right tools for the prototype setup.

The reality is all the sensors etc. needed to do this add up to $100, then throw in development time etc. and you are quickly at a $300 product. Maybe the market is bigger than I am thinking, but if so, why did Harken discontinue their unit?

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7 hours ago, A Boy Named Stu said:

I have access to a PCB milling machine at school (Electronic Engineering). Happy to help with circuit design or other ideas for an arduino tension guage.

 

We could use a spinlock tension gauge as a starting point, I cant think of any small boats that commonly have load cells off the top of my head though. :huh:

My comment about loadcells was more about having a stable and repeatable method of testing. While the spinlock gauge would technically be a good platform, my preference would be a harken style gauge with an over-center lock, that way you don't need to worry about spring degradation or friction changes over time. 

22 minutes ago, samc99us said:

I can machine PCB's and materials up through stainless steel in-house if needed. PCB fabrication out of house is pretty low cost, but it might make sense to use the right tools for the prototype setup.

The reality is all the sensors etc. needed to do this add up to $100, then throw in development time etc. and you are quickly at a $300 product. Maybe the market is bigger than I am thinking, but if so, why did Harken discontinue their unit?

It might have been poorly timed... It'd have worked for the J70's and other sport boats popping up recently (although the M24 was fairly popular when they were out, i think). If there was a bigger size available, or a single size capable of measuring different wires, maybe it'd have been more popular? Harken is also a mechanical hardware manufacturer, i'm sure almost every piece of the design and build was handled outside - maybe the process just didn't work for them? 

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14 hours ago, mustang__1 said:

My comment about loadcells was more about having a stable and repeatable method of testing. While the spinlock gauge would technically be a good platform, my preference would be a harken style gauge with an over-center lock, that way you don't need to worry about spring degradation or friction changes over time. 

It might have been poorly timed... It'd have worked for the J70's and other sport boats popping up recently (although the M24 was fairly popular when they were out, i think). If there was a bigger size available, or a single size capable of measuring different wires, maybe it'd have been more popular? Harken is also a mechanical hardware manufacturer, i'm sure almost every piece of the design and build was handled outside - maybe the process just didn't work for them? 

i also own a harken gauge. my concern with that is over time the oblong tensioner would wear out.

I think spinlock has found a consistent way to get tension assuming that the batten is not delaminated and the sheave is not worn down. What would be the best way to measure tension in a similar way?

Also yes, on a large scale PCB manufacturing is pretty cheap. The only reason i mention my access to a milling machine is for prototyping. You could easily email GBR files to someone for a production run. 

Happy to keep spitballing.

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