Dropweight or Crank? from Alpha...

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by federermcenroeagassi, Dec 28, 2006.

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Dropweight or crank machine?

  1. Dropweight

    30.6%
  2. Crank

    69.4%
  1. federermcenroeagassi

    federermcenroeagassi Rookie

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    hey everyone,

    I'm torn between getting the Alpha Revo 4000 crank machine or the Alpha Pioneer DC (dropweight).

    I know most of the pro's and con's of both types of machines (i hope anyway), but i'm not sure which would be a wiser decision to buy, and its a lot of money, so i dont want to waste money (heck, who does, lol).

    I think I should get the dropweight, because at least i can get consistent tensions that way (constant pull), so i dont have to worry about inconsistent results when i string for other people, which i will be doing.

    My dad says we should go with the crank, just because its much easier to use, and plus ive read that the dropweight does get tiring quite quickly, especially when stringing a lot of rackets frequently (which i dont think i'd be doing. i'd mainly just string for friends and our high school team). I've also read that the dropweight can be inconsistent because the bar has to be exactly horizontal (except for the laserfibre machines?), so it can be a real pain. I just dont know if i'll get consistent results with the crank machine.

    I'm guessing many of you have gone down the same road, so i was hoping i could get some suggestions/advice from you guys, including you Mark!

    Thanks a lot guys (and umm, vote in the poll for whichever machine you think would be better)
     
    #1
  2. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    Dropweight tensions by a levering action or torque, i.e. the distance between the weight and where the ratchet is. A few degree of deviation from the horizontal will not change the distance significantly, hence it will not change the tension too much.
     
    #2
  3. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    I bought the dropweight and 2 days later switched to the crank. The bar thing does get annoying.
     
    #3
  4. jj300

    jj300 Semi-Pro

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    "I think I should get the dropweight, because at least i can get consistent tensions that way (constant pull), so i dont have to worry about inconsistent results when i string for other people, which i will be doing."

    You can get consistent results with a crank. Cranks are generally faster and that is the main factory why peopel buy them, along with the ease of use. NOTE easy to use but not super easy to be consistent, but if you take a mental note of your steps and do the same process racket after racket, the results will be consistent on the crank. I have owned the revo 4000 and was happy with it.
     
    #4
  5. Court_Jester

    Court_Jester Hall of Fame

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    You can also get consistent results with crank machines. As long as you turn the crank at the same rate every time you tension the string, the result is no different from that of a dropweight.

    Having used both droppies and cranks, I'd pick cranks every time. Like what your dad said, droppies can get old pretty quick but YMMV.

    Even if you are off by 10 degrees, you'll be off by no more than a pound. Check this post here.

    Check my sig. Pick the Revo 4000! :-D
     
    #5
  6. federermcenroeagassi

    federermcenroeagassi Rookie

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    thanks for the replies guys. i think i'll try and watch some videos so that i can understand what you guys mean by turning the crank the same rate every time.

    and most likely ill get the alpha revo 4000... hopefully :)

    thanks
     
    #6
  7. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    If your budget allows, go with a crank.
     
    #7
  8. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    If you have extra $ and don't mind spending it, the Revo is probably the way to go. If you want to save the extra $ and spend it on other things, the dropweight will (in my experience) be a great machine for you.

    I've used both my crank and dropweight at our club, and didn't end up feeling any "crank-envy." :)

    Just to ally any concerns, it is easy to get accurate tensions w/a dropweight. You can be off by as much as an inch up/down and still be within 1lb of your intended tension, but it's a breeze to get it on the mark w/the alpha's clutch and ratchet setup.

    You might want to assume that you'll string a few more racquets than you expect to, that does appear to be a somewhat common result when folks get stringers... :)

    Oh, and the Revo is about 75 or 80 lbs, vs about 45 for the DC Plus...if you're thinking about hauling it around outside the home at all, the DC might be a better choice. Either way, start thinking about a stand of some type, as unless you have a permanent spot in mind, you're going to need soemthing to put it on. There's a thread here on stands for table-top models.

    Happy shopping!
     
    #8
  9. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    Excellent question!
     
    #9
  10. me is bored

    me is bored Semi-Pro

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    crank for sure...im getting a revo4000 with a wise tension head..
     
    #10
  11. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Neither.

    Get the Alpha Equinox and move to the south part of Houston (where the climate and other factors suit the Equinox). I know people there who will help you use it. :p

    Al Ruscelli
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    "Currently Residing Just to the South of Houston"
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2006
    #11
  12. me is bored

    me is bored Semi-Pro

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    hey i live in south houston =]
     
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  13. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Yeah, there are a few of us from the general Houston area who participate in the forums.

    If you end up with that fancy Alpha Revo 4000/Wise tension head combination, I'm coming over to visit you as well... :)

    I'm actually in League City, by the way. But since people are always asking, "Um, where's that?" and I always have to explain its proximity to Houston, it's just a bit easier to say "Houston." ;)
     
    #13
  14. me is bored

    me is bored Semi-Pro

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    ya lol im from Friendswood if u know where that is =/
     
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  15. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Yeah, lots of times when I get tired of saying that League City is "Just south of Houston," I'll say we're "Adjacent to Friendswood" for a bit of geographical variety. ;)

    Now you KNOW I'm gonna have to come see that machine (if you get it). :)

    Edit: PS, I'm a photographer in the Houston-Galveston area. Do a Google on Al Ruscelli and you'll get about a billion hits on me locally. Not that it means anything here on TW, but since we're neighbors of sorts (and since Google seems to like me)... ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2006
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  16. me is bored

    me is bored Semi-Pro

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    lol cool were prolly gonna get it but were gonna see how business goes first before we invest $1000 dollars into it but ill hit u up if we do =] were getting the revo4k itself soon probably on saturday when im at a superchamp major zone in austin, but theres another seller selling the revo with the wise and no crank,used and i saw pics and its in great condition (1 year 1 month old) for $800, so maybe u could help give me an opinion too lol whats ur email? mines all_polak@hotmail.com

    and i guess ur pretty obsessed with the equinox lol =p
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2006
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  17. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    I don't think you can go wrong either way, either getting something new from Mark at Alpha or getting the deal on the Revo with Wise head from the other forum member. That looks like a heck of a deal for the price.

    There are photos of the very machine you're thinking of buying on my site (Flash9's machine) at www.photostringer.com under the Alpha section. My opinion? It's a great looking combination. I like it, and his machine looks to be in excellent condition from the photos.

    You can also e-mail me from any page on the photostringer site. My e-mail is on all the pages, but here it is:

    vruscelli@houston.rr.com
     
    #17
  18. me is bored

    me is bored Semi-Pro

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    ya im might buy that very one thats his lol :) ;) and we already talked to mark, we just need to evaluate which ones the better deal. We're prolly gonna just get the new one and see how business goes, but if we dont get it from him buy saturday morning then he's gonna sell it to somebody else.....:( so we're frantically calculating the differences and stuff lol :]
     
    #18
  19. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    If you're curious about the Wise tension heads (and as we continue to hijack federemcenroagassi's thread), I've got photos of them on several different machines that forum members have submitted to the photostringer site.

    Here's a link to the Wise page if you'd like to see what some other folks have done:

    http://www.photostringer.com/wise.htm

    And again, I don't think you can go wrong with either purchase. The general consensus around here seems to be that most machines will pay for themselves in a relatively short time. A couple of hundred dollars either way is probably not going to make a huge difference to you in the long run (my guess based on all the related feedback I've read from experienced stringers). Spend two or three hundred more buying new or save two or three hundred buying used, you'll probably be very happy either way and probably quite easily make all your money back in a short time. My guess, too, is that Flash9 will sell that machine rather quickly in either case. If I weren't already set up, I'd want it myself. :)
     
    #19
  20. me is bored

    me is bored Semi-Pro

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    hmm before we get banned for spam and hijacking threads lol :grin: we should prolly just send emails...it seems almost as if people want flash9's more than a new one lol ;)
     
    #20
  21. federermcenroeagassi

    federermcenroeagassi Rookie

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    lol HIJACKER! haha just kidding, i dont mind/care. i just have one question:

    what exactly is a wise head and what does it do?

    thanks
     
    #21
  22. me is bored

    me is bored Semi-Pro

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    a wise tension head is an upgrade that is compatible with most manual crank stringers. It makes it electronic and has many features go to www*dot************dot*com
     
    #22
  23. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    #23
  24. federermcenroeagassi

    federermcenroeagassi Rookie

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    thanks guys. so ill take it you cant use a wise head on a dropweight right?
     
    #24
  25. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    I was able to implement a Wise on my drop weight system. Here is my write up! Since then I donated the drop weight and purchased a crank machine.

    After a year of research, I finally decided to upgrade my Eagnas Star Y12-3 with a Wise 2086 electronic tensioning system http://img391.imageshack.us/img391/8840/dsc020517fq.jpg . The Y12-3 comes with a 6 point mounting system; spring assisted clamps, solid mounting system, and has performed well for the last 6 years. The decision to upgrade verses buy a new one was decided based on the lack of quality electronic machines in the $1000 price range. Most had either rotational grippers or did not perform a true constant pull function.

    My goal was to use the counterweight system for backup, and the Wise 2086 as the primary tensioner. After receiving the mounting bracket from Guy Perez (Thanks again), I installed it by drilling 4, ½ inch holes into the ¼ inch steel plate (recommend if you do it, use a drill press). Also to compensate for the height of the flange, I used 2 ¼ inch wood, mitered the corners, and installed it on the steel plate. I use the machine on a table. Also I had to drill 2 holes into the back side of the wood riser, allowing for mounting of the old drop weight system if ever needed http://img391.imageshack.us/img391/2422/dsc020920my.jpg. Spray painted all of the parts black, and waited for the Wise delivery.

    The Wise 2086, foot pedal, and shipping came to $554.95. It was packaged well, clear documentation, and took 2 weeks to arrive over the Thanksgiving holidays. Once received, it took about 5 minutes to unpack, and hook up http://img391.imageshack.us/img391/3100/dsc020882iq.jpg. I was impressed with the new designed linear griper; it grabs the string as well as my old drop weight system. Once the unit was powered up, it self calibrates and you are ready to string. I mounted a racket and begin stringing. The unit is much quieter than previously reported. I thought it might wake up the neighbors, but my Wise unit is quiet. Second, the foot pedal is a little awkward. I found it just as easy to push the long bar at the center of the machine to set and release the tension, but it may take a little more time to get use too.

    I use hybrid strings, poly mains with synthetic gut crosses. The mains were as easy as using the drop weight system. Poly does not stretch, so it is ideal for a drop weight system (no repositioning of the drop weight). The crosses were much easier to string using the Wise unit. You could see the string stretching and no repositioning of bars.

    Playability, the rackets have more of a consistent feel, not sure why, but the sweet spot seem larger and the tension more even. I did use the pre-stretch feature, it takes a second or two longer, but pulls to the +10%, then releases back to the set tension. Two beeps and you know it is ready.

    Overall, I am impressed with the unit, and will give Wise an A on design. To get an A+ the next generation should allow for 360 rotations. Wise 2086 and my machine exceeded my expectations, and hopefully will serve me well for another 6 years. One thing for sure, I am not sure I will ever go back to a mechanical tensioner, the electronic unit spoiled me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
    #25
  26. me is bored

    me is bored Semi-Pro

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    but generally u cant do it on a drop weight =/
     
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  27. federermcenroeagassi

    federermcenroeagassi Rookie

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    barry, that sounds interesting, i dont know if i could do that with my dad, but it does look like fun :)
     
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  28. me is bored

    me is bored Semi-Pro

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    it does sound like fun lol =]
     
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  29. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    For a couple of visuals, the first two stringing machines on this page are drop-weight machines that were modified for use with Wise heads.

    http://www.photostringer.com/wise.htm

    However, from what I understand, a bit of ingenuity had to be used in both cases to make it work.
     
    #29
  30. federermcenroeagassi

    federermcenroeagassi Rookie

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    thanks a lot varuscelli!
     
    #30
  31. tcaptain

    tcaptain Guest

    Alpha Revo 4000

    We just bought the Alpha Revo 4000 for my son for Christmas. The first racquet he strung took about 4 hours due to the knots. The parnell knot didn't work well for him at all and he finally decided on a double half hitch. The next racquet took him 1 1/2 hrs. We bought the "red" work table from Northern Tool and Equipment for $40.00, works perfectly. We have no regrets at all concerning our purchase. He is busy now purchasing strings for his new business.
     
    #31
  32. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    4 hours might be a record, but he will be down in 45 minute area quickly. Great purchase and have fun trying all the different strings!
     
    #32
  33. meh

    meh Semi-Pro

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    Barry, I noticed that your Wise head was mounted off towards the side of the machine base, rather than where the tensioning arm used to be. Was it technically more convenient to mount the Wise this way, or was it personal preference? I remember that rich s mounted his Wise where the tensioning arm sat, but maybe the design of your Eagnas gives more flexibility than of his Gamma?
     
    #33
  34. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    The mounting piece I had looked like this http://img467.imageshack.us/img467/8215/dsc020771ag.jpg and http://img467.imageshack.us/img467/9611/dsc020789ks.jpg .I found it easier to mount it in the center. I think you could do it either way, and you do not need 1/4 inch steel for the mount since you are pulling less than 80 pounds. This was overkill, but worked very well. I wanted to make sure I could go back and forth with the drop weight which was another reason to mount it in the center. Overall an easy project, but I think the crank does just as good a job for my needs.

    My only issue with the setup was I could not get the gripper horizontal with the racket, so I felt the tensions were off a little. Verified with Herb at Wise and he says you need it to match the height of your old gripper. If it is higher or lower, then the tensions will vary, which was my case.

    Overall I like the unit. Couple people had issues but most owners have posted very positive comments, me being one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
    #34
  35. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Hi, Barry

    That's a great looking example of coupling a Wise tension head with a drop-weight machine. Would you be willing to let me post some images of that machine on the Eagnas and Wise pages on the photostringer.com website? Maybe the photos along with your write-up so that others might benefit from it?

    Let me know.

    You may e-mail me off list, if you like, to let me know.

    Thanks! :)

    Al Ruscelli
    vruscelli@houston.rr.com
     
    #35
  36. meh

    meh Semi-Pro

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    Barry, thanks a lot for the explanation. This Wise mod is looking more and more attractive to me, as I also have a dropweight with a solid turntable and mounting system. $500 is cheaper than most crank machines, let alone electronic.

    I hope Guy Perez is willing to do one of those brackets for me too =]
     
    #36
  37. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    Guy had a friend build it for him, I still have the piece if you are interested. Which machine do you own? I think the Wise 2086 is and excellent choice. You might contact Herb at Wise and have him send you the free template which will show how high the gripper should be.

    Here is a picture of the text and template Herb sent.

    http://img369.imageshack.us/img369/3746/picture17th.jpg

    http://img369.imageshack.us/img369/1728/picture23cq.jpg
     
    #37
  38. meh

    meh Semi-Pro

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    I own the MP Hercules 610. I'm actually thinking of doing this later, maybe a half-year from now. It's not often that you see somebody mod a dropweight machine though, so I just took this opportunity to satisfy my curiosity.
     
    #38

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