Way to Distribute tension across mains?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by tycooper, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. tycooper

    tycooper New User

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    I just started stringing for the first time, and checked the tension across the mains after tying off, to find that it was inconsistent. Basically, I expect the middle two strings to ring the same note when plucked, and so on as you go out from the middle, since the two paired strings are the same length. My thought is that this can be a decent check to see if the tension needs to be redistributed so that at least the string tensions mirror each other. My first question is whether or not my theory is sound, and that different notes mean that I need to redistribute the tension. The second question is how to effectively do that. Or am I being neurotic, and the strings will even themselves out after a few hard serves?
     
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  2. bugeyed

    bugeyed Semi-Pro

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    Theory is good. They should be close. If not, there may be a problem with the process. If you are seeing a big difference, not sure how to quantify this, check your clamps for slippage. Pay attention to your technique. Specifically, the length of time between pulling tension & clamping.

    Cheers,
    kev
     
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  3. tycooper

    tycooper New User

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    so no good fix?

    So there's no good fix once they are tied off? Pressing down on an individual string will loosen it's tension and tighten the ones adjacent to it, but I went round and round with them to try to even them out without any good success. I thought maybe there was a trick to the trade for that.


     
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  4. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think your theory is sound. When you string your racket's mains and finish the racket is compressed from the tension applied to the mains only. Yes your racket is distorted at this point. When you string the crosses the sides are pulled in and the racket goes back to it original shape.

    When all the mains in the racket are in the center strings will be lower in tension that what you started because the racket length is shorter. If all the mains were the same length and the racket did not distort then the tune would be the same. If the racket did not distort and then you shorter mains (outside) even at the same tension would be a higher frequency.
     
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  5. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    If you equalize the tune on all the mains the center (longer) strings will have a higher tension. When you string the crosses and stretch the racket back out they go even higher.
     
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  6. David 110

    David 110 New User

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    tycooper, I agree with your assessment. The youtube video link below shows a method of pulling two main strings at the same time and using the tuning technique (like tuning a guitar) to make sure the main tensions are as equal as possible. The method was originally developed for use on Ektelon Model D machines which have a short tension arm. I now use this method on the D as well as a Model H and would not string a racquet any other way.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHaUrtUqS_M
     
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  7. tycooper

    tycooper New User

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    symmetry

    I think you guys missed the fact that I'm just looking for symmetry. The middle two should be the same, the next pair outward, and so on. If the strings aren't exactly the same, I'm guessing that's fine as long as they are symmetrical. You don't won't a loose side and a tight side because that would drive you crazy on the court. I guess I could get a tension meter and shoot for making them all the same tension, but I'd still have the same question about how to best distribute the tension if it is off at this point in the stringing process.
     
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  8. tycooper

    tycooper New User

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    Interesting video

    Interesting video. He was actually testing adjacent strings by ear instead of paired opposites. I would think that would be problemmatic. As the other guys noted, if you compare two strings that are different lengths, they will sound different at the same tension. My main problem with doing it as I go is that the clamps can't be set accurately enough, and by the time you remove the clamps, you can't really make adjustments.

     
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  9. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    I think Irvin misunderstood. I understood what you were trying to say and yes you are correct. Each string of equal length should sound alike.
     
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  10. David 110

    David 110 New User

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    No string job will every be perfect with no tension lost during the stringing process. Each time a string is clamped a little bit of tension will be lost no matter how good your string clamps or stringing method. The goal is to minimize the tension loss to maximize consistency. The point of the video is that pulling two main strings can result in more consistent main tension than the more common method of pulling the center mains over the throat beam and clamping each string separately Perfect? - no. But much more consistent that the normal method
     
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  11. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I did misunderstand, yes each string of equal length should have the same tune.

    EDIT: after thinking about this maybe the method of stringing the mains may have an effect on the frequency. For instance, when I string the mains I string thre on one side six on the other back to the first side to finish and then do the remaining mains on the second side. This may cause distortion in the frame more so than never getting one string ahead on either side. I will do some testing with each way to see what happens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
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  12. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Well I was going to use racquetTune to measure the frequency of each string. That does not work. I did try first using the 3-6 method and that does not end up with the same frequency on each string.

    I have to run out for a bit but when I get back I will try the alternate method to see if that works better.
     
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  13. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    First I strung a 16 main racket using a 3-6 method where I strung 3mains on the right, 6 on the left, finished the right, then finished the left. I thought that I could hear a big different between like numbered mains.

    Then I strung the mains using the alternating method where I strung 1 on the right, 2 on the left, 2 on the right, 2 on the left, and continued alternating never getting more than 1 ahead on either side until I was done. I could hear some difference but nothing like what I thought I heard on the 3-6 method.

    I got the idea to download a spectrum analyzer on my iPad and measure the frequencies and what I found was interesting. The frequencies for the alternating method were lower but I measured them a while after stringing the mains. When I measured the 3-6 method it was right after I strung the mains.

    Here are some graphs of the data:
    [​IMG]

    For what it's worth it's easy to see the frequencies for like numbered mains was much closer using the alternating method.

    Just in case you are interested here is the raw data showing the frequencies:
    8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
    "Alternate
    method" Right 921 747 648 612 546 520 504 477
    Left 923 724 646 594 541 520 484 472

    "3 - 6
    method" Right 951 758 659 618 550 521 487 469
    Left 899 743 653 588 540 512 487 487

    That data did not come out as I would like but each frequency is the mains from 8 to 1.

    Don't know what all this means or if it is even useful but thought I would pass it along. I think I am still going to use the 3-6 method even though it is clear to me it is not as consistent. After all when you put in the crosses none of this matters unless someone can point out something I am missing.
     
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  14. tycooper

    tycooper New User

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    How to distribute it tho?

    I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of everyone's answers. Remember, I was just using the "tuning" to approximate the tension in lieu of a tension meter, and it was clearly different after I had the mains tied off. For example, several strings on one side were lower pitched than their counterpart on the other, indicating that I had somehow strung one side lower than the other. I would imagine that this would make ball striking inconsistent, depending on which way the racquet is turned. Obviously, not good.

    The main question then, is how to redistribute it at this point in the stringing process, before putting on the crosses. As I said, I pushed around on the strings, making the pushed string give a little tension to its adjacent strings, but I couldn't really come up with a consistent way to move the tension where it was needed. If anyone has a trick for that, that's what I'm looking for.

    I'm guessing now that the answer is just to be more careful while stringing. But hey, it's just my first stringing job, so I'll sort it out.
     
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  15. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    They have been tests made that shows when you string a racket with proportional string it does not distribute the tension from one string to another when you play with the racket. So if one string has a tension of 55 lbs and the adjacent string have 53 and 57 lbs they stay that way. They don't average out to 55. When you push on one string it makes sense that will pull some tension from the adjacent strings and loosen the one you push on (or pull on) but it just does not work that way. There is a lot of friction in the grommet system so when you tug or push on one string it stretches that string. When you stop it returns to the original state.

    If I were you I would quit worrying about it. It happens.
     
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  16. tycooper

    tycooper New User

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    Wow Irvin, that alternating method was spot on, according to your chart. I was doing the 3-6 method too. I'll try that next time and see if I get more consistent results between the two sides.
     
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  17. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    ^^Not quite but noticeably better. Also try to work at a standard pace. If you have a constant pull (which you do) the longer you pull the longer the string gets. Tension is the same but the stretch is different. Not sure what that will do to your frequency but I imagine you wouldn't like it.

    That give me an idea. What would happen with a lockout. I am gone to do more testing.
     
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  18. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Pretty much the same thing when using a lockout tension head. I only pulled each main one time so the frequencies were a lower but as much as I expected.

    [​IMG]

    Maybe I am going to have to rethink the 3-6 method and go back to the alternating method too.

    EDIT: in this example I can see the same thing you pointed out. The mains on one side are almost all lower than the other more consistently.
     
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