Stringing on a klippermate is more annoying than I expected.

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by pmata814, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    To say stringing on klippermate is annoying...would be like saying that Hitler wasn't a very nice person. :-?

    Man was I spoiled! I used to own an axis pro/WISE tension head combo. And after a long time of not playing tennis I finally decided to sell it last summer. Boy do I regret it! Now that I came back to tennis I bought a used klippermate, since that's all I could afford. I hate the cam system. I imagine it would be slightly better if I had the ratchet system of the x-2. But what I hate the most is the floating clamps! I can't imagine them being as accurate as fixed clamps. Especially in the hands of an inexperienced stringer like myself. But oh well, you gotta pay for your mistakes :cry: At least it only cost me $70.

    I do have to say though...after you're finished stringing the racquet it's curiously satisfying. Sort of like starting a fire with flint stones instead of a lighter. It gives you that "I AM ALL THAT IS MAN!" feeling. You know??

    BTW,
    A huge thank you to 'Irvin' for his video on the 50/50 pattern and stringing an 03 racquet in general. And ofcourse thanks to everyone on this board for all the invaluable info! Don't know how I would manage without TW!
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
    #1
  2. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I know how you feel Not fan of flying clamps at all.
     
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  3. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    the inside joke goin is that the act of using a klippermate causes 'klipper-rage'

    thats the machine I use to do my rackets. I miss my gamma 602
     
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  4. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    Starting a fire with flint is pretty easy, try starting a fire with sticks of wood.
    You don't appricate what you had until you have used a lower end machine.
     
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  5. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    this is why i always repeat myself: buy the best machine you can. dont cheap out
     
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  6. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Isn't it funny/annoying when you see the same question over and over, though? "Which of these two or three cheapest machines should I buy? Can I get professional results with these?"

    When you're starting out (on an admittedly expensive "hobby" or "investment"), though, you don't see things the same way. It's one of those "rites of passage" that you just have to deal with when breaking into the stringing game. I let it roll off my back these days. I understand (and sympathize with) both sides now.
     
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  7. rich s

    rich s Hall of Fame

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    it's the truth.... same holds true for houses....
     
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  8. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Thats kind of funny. I started with a Klipper and then went to a high end electronic machine. After a few years I got rid of it and went back to my Klipper because I liked it more.
     
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  9. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I would like a nice solid machine with fixed clamps and drop weight. That's all. Tempted to get a Stringway and if I see the right model used I'll grab it.

    I only string at most once a month - I can't justify a big $$ machine
     
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  10. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    And I did that...both times I purchased a machine. lol

    My first purchase was an Axs Pro (kuz that was the best I could afford) then later added the WISE tension head. I didn't have a need for such a machine btw, as I only strung for myself, but i could afford it at the time so what the heck...I got it. Then I quit tennis (not because I wanted just life circumstances). I kept telling myself "don't sell it because one day you might pick it up again" after several years of not coming back to tennis I finally sold it (last summer). Fast forward to now...all I could afford was a used klippermate. So it was either get the klipper or go with the dropping off at shop route...so I got the klippermate. Hopefully it'll grow on me though.

    I've only strung one racquet. It took me 1 hr to string, which isn't bad considering it was my first time with a dropweight and flying clamps AND my first time stringing a prince racquet with o-ports. Without Irvin's videos I probably would still be trying to finish the crosses! :-?
     
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  11. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    This is where I'm at.

    I've strung for so long on my Kmate that it all goes pretty fast and pretty smoothly. Depends what you've become accustomed to, imho.
     
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  12. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Yeah, I think OP has a bit of time to put in on the klippermate before relating it to hitler..
     
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  13. jgrushing

    jgrushing Rookie

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    Agree. My Klippermate is like a family member. It's over twenty years old and I am very, very proficient on it. I don't mind the clamps at all. I have access to a Neos also. I can most certainly move the floating clamps more quickly than the Neos' glide bar clamps. No way I'd upgrade to another drop weight over the KM, even with fixed clamps. You just can't prove to me that I get a better job.
     
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  14. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    Well, the good thing is that I just came back from the courts and I was very pleased with the string job. :) I just felt like I need to string a couple pounds tighter to match the string job that I'm getting from the shop I usually take it to. I suspect that the drawback from the floating clamps is the reason for the lost tension. I compared it to the other ozone I had strung at the shop with the same string (forten sweet 17) and the ping was lower in pitch and it also felt softer. But it still played very well.

    I plan to restring it again tomorrow about 5 lbs higher and see how it feels. I won't be able to make a side by side comparison because I'll be using a different string but it doesn't matter. This is what I'll be using from now on so no point in trying to match someone else's stringing machine.
     
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  15. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Actually, that's the entire point of the reference tension. You don't match the tension number, but the feel off the machine. If you have to +5 lbs, that's just your reference number for your desired string bed stiffness. Kind of a weird concept, but that's really all it is.

    Let me know if the CAM gets any more intuitive, I haven't had the pleasure :)twisted:) of having to get to know the Klippermate intimately, I'm really curious how the feel/intuition of the machine changes over time.

    As far as the floating clamp twisting, well, you can upgrade to LF triple clamps or swap machines down the road :)
     
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  16. evantsung

    evantsung Rookie

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    You can lightly twist the clamp the other way to take out the slack (watch the arm drop), or go SW/LF floating clamps.
     
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  17. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    This doesn't solve the problem(s) on the last string (tie offs), and I suggested SW/LF clamps in my post :confused:

    You can pre-load the clamp a tiny bit before actually latching the clamp down, but it's just the nature of the system -- no big deal.
     
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  18. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    What is "pre-load"?

    Also, I'm assuming that I'm losing a little bit of tension throughout the entire stringing proccess (each time I clamp a string), not just on the last mains before I tie-off, am I correct in assuming this? On my previous WISE machine i would always increase the tension by a couple of lbs on the last mains to compensate a little for the knot. I didn't do it on the Kmate because it's more cumbersome to move the weight back and forth. Should I be doing it anyways?

    Thanks for your help.
     
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  19. CHOcobo

    CHOcobo Professional

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    I have no problem/complaints with my Klippermate. If you don't like it because of the flying clamps being inaccurate, then you shouldn't be. I think it's pretty accurate. Just because it moves a lot after you release the weight doesn't mean it lost tension. As long as it doesn't slip while it's clamped.

    The obvious defect of the klippermate are the tension scale. Very horrible. I think I use a factor of 1.4545 for setting the tension on it, then it turns out perfect. Otherwise I need a starting clamp.

    If you're picky on your tension then I would do it. Otherwise I don't think the last cross affect your game.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
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  20. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    Can you please elaborate a little on what this means? I don't know what 'tension scale' is and have no idea what you are referring to with the 1.4545 factor. And how does a starting clamp help with the 'tension scale' problem? Thanks so much in advance.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I strung probably over 1,000 rackets on an ektelon floor stand machine for a shop and for some pro players 27 years ago.
    4 years ago, tried a cheapest Klippermate, and the results were fine, even though it did take just over an hour. The second racket was better, because now I knew the tension adjustments I needed.
    The third, within a month of the first, took less than 40 minutes and came out very good
    While it certainly CAN be the pilot, sometimes the machine, and sometimes a combination of both, a good string job can be had with a cheap stringing machine.
     
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  22. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Not necessarily true, as mentioned below. If your clamp isn't slipping, AND the next pull is pulling the twist out of the strings (your floating clamp becomes re-aligned), you (in theory) should be coming back up to reference tension. There's a minute amount of stretch and friction loss associated with this, but lets just assume an ideal case.

    This issue is not trivial on the last pull, though. It's exaggerated. If you want to up the tension, that's fine. If you don't want to, that's fine. Just do it the same every time. This is what I meant by "it can be a hassle" on a dropweight -- some people don't want to stop mid-job to adjust tension for 2 strings, and then drop back down.

    Pre-loading is a bit wishy washy, but it essentially means you counter-twist the clamp a tiny bit and then clamp down on the string. You can't get much benefit from this with floating clamps, but I imagine it'd be measurable on the last main. I don't have data, so ... take that for what it's worth :)

    On a fixed clamp machine, pre-loading would be eliminating shaft play in swivel clamps. All you do is you clamp the string with the clamp head first, nudge the base towards the tensioner, and then lock the base down. The clamp shaft should be ever-so-slightly angled, and the drawback should be reduced.

    I understand the reasoning behind this argument, but I think it obscures the real issue -- the systematic drawback is more-or-less a non issue except for the last strings before tie off. This just brings me back to my (constantly regurgitated) point of: accuracy versus precision.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accuracy_and_precision

    Which is more important for a (home/enthusiast) stringer? In my opinion, the precision is much, much more important, as long as it's consistent precision. Moving the tightly-clustered hits towards the bulls-eye is great (moving your tension as close as possible to reference), but consistency is important, and there's a reason we even call it "reference" tension in the first place. I'll leave it at that.

    Yep, I don't think many people actually argue that a 'good string job' can be had on any machine with a competent operator. I think speed issues are slightly exaggerated, too, but I completely understand wanting to have the capability of a 15 minute string job over a 25 minute. It doesn't sound like much at all... but come back and tell me it doesn't add up when you have a stack of racquets 10 high ;)
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I wouldn't think a basic 200 buck Klipper or any other sub $2,000 machine is ideal for mass stringing jobs.
    For a living, buy the best you can afford, for sure.
    For one string job a week, the cheap machines adaquately do the job.
    My tennis level is NOT adaquate, so a adaquate string job is just fine.
     
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  24. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I string maybe two a month. Kmate is a PERSONAL stringer. Anything past this point you need to spend real money.
     
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  25. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    I restrung my racquet again last night. I think everything is gonna be ok.
     
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  26. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    Diredesire...thx so much for all your help...and thanks to all in general. :D
     
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  27. loosegroove

    loosegroove Professional

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    Though I agree that entry level dropweights like the Klippermate wouldn't be good for mass stringing, I'd disagree with the "any other sub-$2000" part. Especially considering that the Prince Neos is what is used for stringing at Tennis Warehouse.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
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  28. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Remember, LeeD is the "Old Man" of Talk Tennis.. :-|
     
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  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If you have a stack of TEN rackets ready for your attention, what machine would YOU choose?
    While a dedicated stringer could knock off all 10 in 5 hours, he couldn't do it and talk to customers, help out with shoes, or explain why a flashy racket that hits hard is not the best choice for the customer.
     
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  30. Carolina Racquet

    Carolina Racquet Hall of Fame

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    A Klippermate is akin to a manual transmission on a car. If you've never used one before, it takes a while to get used to it.

    After a while, loading the string into the tension jaw becomes second nature. It now takes me about 35 mins per frame and I string 3-4 a month.

    As for the flying clamps, I find clamping the crosses on top of the string bed is much better for me. Sometimes I need to slightly lift up the tension arm when I rotate the frame, but it's much easier to clamp on and off... IMO.
     
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  31. loosegroove

    loosegroove Professional

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    Huh? Apparently the answer at TW is the Prince Neos which is well under $2000. I'm not sure what you're getting at.Sure there are nicer machines, but it's apparent that the Prince Neos is quite adequate for mass string jobs and can be faster than electronics for those accustomed to it with its quick mounting and single action glide bars.
     
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  32. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Good post, and I agree. But, I do understand the point LeeD is making. Were I to string for a living (and thank the Lord I don't), I can see where an upscale machine like the Bairdo or Sensor would make a big difference. They are designed with features that allow stringers to work faster than on the Neos just as the Neos is faster than the Klippermate.
     
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  33. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    You know what's hilarious? I remember taking a racquet in for stringing at the now-closed Chicago Tennis and Golf. The kid took over an hour to do it, on a really nice machine, and he was working pretty much continuously. I sat there and waited all the while.

    There should be a category here for "Stringer Input" as a time factor!
     
    #33
  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    So, was he slow to thread, slow to setup, slow to find the strings, or was he talking to hotties and customers all the while? Hope it wasn't his first string job.
     
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  35. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    More likely than not, all of the above.
     
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  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    We've all had those days when we intended to grind thru the whole stack, so starting the first one, a customer comes in and drags you away from the machine. Then another, another, now the head stringer wants your input on the order, it's coffee break, back to the racket which you don't remember clamping, so while checking the tensions, a shoe customer comes in 100' away from the machine, you gotta special order the size after 10 minutes of trying to persuade him a different shoe is just as good, but right there in his hands, then it's lunch........ it goes on, so at 5, head stringer says...."did you finish YOUR stack of rackets needing to be strung? ....:):)
    Oh, yeah, the rep comes in, the one you've been looking for to get the freebie rackets and clothes, but he didn't have the whole package, so you have to rummage thru, pick some for the head stringer (you gotta appease the boss), and the best stuff for you.......
     
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  37. CHOcobo

    CHOcobo Professional

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    Well... more like 0.688 (inverse of 1.4545). What ever tension I want to string my racket, I take that number (lbs) and multiply it by 0.688 and that is what I set the tension to on my klippermate.

    After stringing a racket (95sq in) with the klippermate for the first time at 40lbs, it was much much stiffer than my other racket (98sq in) strung at sports mart of 55lb. I knew there was a problem. I first thought I myself was the problem so I strung it again, later on. Turns out it was still too stiff for the indicated lb. on the klippermate scale. So I did some simple statics and eventually came up with the 0.688 factor. Ever since then all my rackets turn out the way they should. So I used the 55lb strung from sports mart as a reference tension. I made my own scale numbers and stick it on to the klippermate, and ever since then I was very happy with it.

    I didn't mean to say the starting clamp has anything to do with fixing any issue. I just meant having a starting clamp would just be nice.

    Makes a lot of sense but I think nobody should dig this deep. lol. The error is too small to investigate.
     
    #37
  38. aussie

    aussie Professional

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    You know the reason I originally bought a Klippermate was I was tired of the inconsistent tensions I was receiving on stringjobs from various pro shops in Brisbane, Australia. I would take a fav frame to various pro shops and found that a requested 60 lb tension stringjob at one shop was nothing like a 60 lb job at another. With the number of pro shops dwindling over the years, it became more of a problem to get that consistent, replicable stringjob.

    Bought the Klippermate, and it turns out replicable, good quality stringjobs in around an hour. Now my 60 lb stringbed tension may not be the same as a 60 lb job on a pro shop high end machine, but whatever it is, it is exactly the same from one job to the next on the K'mate.

    At this stage of my life I can afford any machine on the market, but for the 1 stringjob a week I do for myself and mates, I cannot justify leaving the Klippermate. And me and my mates are damn happy with the quality job I do and the low cost I do it for.
     
    #38
  39. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I understand the spirit of your post 100% -- I'd like to point out that the difference between shops was simply the difference between reference tensions. You said it yourself: Your reference tension and final stiffness might actually be very different when using the same reference number at a shop. However, your work from job to job stays the same.

    This (probably) would be true if you stayed at one shop every time, right? Again -- it's accuracy versus precision. Home stringers don't have to deal with adjusting their reference tension every time they move to a new stringer :)

    I'd actually argue that the error on the last string is pretty huge -- but whether not not it matters at the end of the day is different story.
     
    #39
  40. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    After reading this it got me thinking about my kmate. So i went and bought some batteries for my fish scale and tested it during lunch today. Its off by 1 lb. 4 oz. which isn't too bad i think. At 45 lbs the fish scale read 46 lbs 4 oz. at 50 lbs it read 51 lbs. thats where my scale maxes out so i dont trust readings over 50 lbs. however, at 62 lbs the scale read 64 :)

    The most interesting thing i learned was how little the reading changes when the bar isn't perfectly level. It can be off by quite a bit and the readings only change a couple ounces. I had read this already but its pretty cool to test it and see it urself.
     
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  41. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I'm confused a bit. I've never heard of a fish scale having batteries.

    How do you know it's not your fish scale that is off measure?

    With respect to the "perfectly level" aspect you mention, a couple of years ago a young guy good in math did some calculations and estimated that one could be off 3-degrees either direction from horizontal and be fine.

    The chief thing I noticed when moving toward the Kmate was that it felt a bit firmer than strings jobs I received elsewhere---this is because the dropweight is a constant tension machine.
     
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  42. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    My fish scale requires 2-CR2032 batteries. It's very similiar to this one (older model): http://www.amazon.com/Berkley-Digit...1367009510&sr=8-1&keywords=berkley+fish+scale

    As far as it being off measure... it could be. The last time I used it with my WISE tension head it was dead on, but that was years ago, which is why I needed to replace the batteries. I don't know if the scale tension sticker is already placed on the bar from the factory or if you have to do it yourself when you recieve it. If it's the latter, it's very possible my friend didn't place it on correctly.

    I observed the opposite with my Kmate. My stringbed was softer than where I usually get it strung. But he uses a high end Babolat machine with constant pull. I blamed it on my flying clamps. :confused:
     
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  43. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    How do you test with a fish scale? very curious
     
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  44. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    The sticker is put on at the factory. It would be weird if they effed it up.
     
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  45. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Hang a five pound weight on the scale. With the weight directly below the scale without any jerky motions it should read ten pounds. If it doesn't read at least ten pounds it is no good for fishing just use it for stringing.
     
    #45
  46. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    #46
  47. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    #47
  48. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    haha yea. i have been here way too long.
     
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  49. CHOcobo

    CHOcobo Professional

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    I agree, the last pull is the worse due to the tie off but it doesn't feel like it affect or have any difference for me. It's too far away from the impact zone.

    That sounds really accurate. I wanted to try the fish scale method too but I never had one.
     
    #49
  50. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    OP: I think the "secret" here is that you learn to live with what your machine gives you at the ostensible tension. Once I had to work with two stringers: one man's 64 pounds was very different from the other's. I learned to tell him to go 62.


    I'm still confused, by the way, that somehow you've found the Kmate to be off the mark; how this happened.
     
    #50

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