# Constant pull vs Lockout

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Irvin, Aug 2, 2011.

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## Who here thinks this 5 year old thread has outlived its usefulness and should be locked or deleted.

31.3%

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1. ### MathieuRProfessional

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Yes, of course. But at the same reference-tension, and if you use a cp correctly, the tension-loss after clamping the string is marginal compared with a lock-out

Well, you come up with a nice term for elliminating the permanent-elongation ( that part of the elongation that "stays" after you stopp pulling and let the string relax)

Yes, twisted steal wire can act as a "spring". I was referring to "straight forward steel wire" , which can not be used due to lack of elasticity

The energy goes into the deformation of the stringbed. Look at the definition of SBS.

I meant "length-string", should have used M-string.

Elasticity is the only thing that holds the tension of the string and the stringbed.
Lets take 2 examples:
- take a string that has NO elongation when stressed. You stress at 30kg's, clamp, and what happens? No tension in the string
- take a string without elasticity, and just some creep: tension at 30kg's, the string will deform, and after releasing the tension, the deformation is still there. So if you use this string, you will not be able to give this string any tension.

see my previous post with measured data

Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
2. ### tennis_ocdHall of Fame

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Virtually every material elongates when tensioned; if you can't notice or hold it, you're just running into limitations of technique.

3. ### tennis_ocdHall of Fame

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Only if one is going to claim superiority to string manufacture's expertise.... that's not to say many here might do so.

4. ### MathieuRProfessional

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In my string-tension-experiment I left the string under 50kg tension all night. I did the 4th set of measurements this morning, no problems. The retensioned again at 50kg's. When I came back after a few hours the string had broken.....

You can buy a lot of pre-stretched strings, eg Luxilon/Kirschbaum. They all sell with the argument: better tension-maintenance

5. ### Karma TennisProfessional

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All of this is very interesting reading to me even though I am perfectly happy with the results I'm getting with my LO machine ... which is really all that matters at the end of the day. As long as the player's using the racquets I string are happy, then I'm happy.

Anyway, I'm interested in any opinions with regard to the following ...

As far as I understand, with a LO machine the string is pulled to tension one time and then starts to lose tension when the tensioner locks out until the string is clamped and any slippage ceases. With a CP machine, the string is pulled to tension, starts to lose tension, is pulled to tension again, starts to lose tension, is pulled to tension again, etc. etc. until the desired tension is achieved and stabilised. Then the string is clamped.

So with a LO machine, the string is "stressed" one single time. With a CP machine, the string can be "stressed" several times. Now, while I understand that the point of the exercise is to achieve relatively consistent tension for each string, I wonder whether stressing multiple strings, multiple times has any negative impact on the string bed compared to stressing multiple strings a single time?

I would think that pulling each string to tension a single time is better than pulling it multiple times regardless of the fact that string is "elastic".

Thoughts?

6. ### Karma TennisProfessional

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@diredesire, indeed not everyone has identical criteria for optimal playability which then makes any general criteria somewhat moot as far as I'm concerned. It is pretty much all subjective and no amount of "science" is going to make it otherwise - until such time that someone develops the perfect string that everyone will end up using.

So taking that position, the whole string thing is not that complicated to me. What can be complicated is understanding each player's individual preferences and then providing them with a solution that meets their individual needs as closely as possible. Some would argue this has a lot less to do with the science of tennis strings and stringing technique, and a lot more to do with human psychology

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7. ### tennis_ocdHall of Fame

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I don't doubt that you can improve tension maintenance; just not convinced that's the real end goal. My question is how to best keep strings feeling fresh and elastic. Sure it's somewhat related to tension but think there is more to it.

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The only claim is that you affected elasticity, not that you killed it. No one is suggesting that you reduced elasticity down to 0%. That'd be an insane statement. You affected/changed it from it's "natural" (or conventionally installed) state.

I take issue with the "correctly" assertion - this is an opinion, and again - it depends on your goals. If a tensioner has come to a (reasonable/satifactory) "resting" state, it isn't an incorrect technique.

You can use a straight forward steel wire if you so desire, there's no limiting reason why you couldn't. I would even go as far as to say that I believe you are looking for low amounts of elongation and aren't pursuing the tension maintenance as much as you (and ricardo) suggest. My concern here is there is a false equivalency between the two that is being made. Low elongation (if we take it to the extreme of a steel wire) would result in a very consistent string bed across the life of the string job. I see very similar desires here from the extreme pre-stretchers. I am also curious if you guys have tracked SBS across the string job life and compared it to a conventional string job.

"Look at the definition of SBS" only suggests to me that you missed my point (again). If you have stretched out any non-permanent elongation from your strings, you have reduced the strings ability to elongate - which would also reduce the ability for the string to deform to the ball. Since the string cannot deform as much, assuming an equal amount of force into the system, where does the energy go? SBS is simply SBS. It doesn't suggest anything about the dynamic deformation of a string bed beyond the standardized test methods - again, there are real-world differences to frames/string beds with the same "starting" SBS. I know you understand that the force requirement is not linear, I've seen you post on it before!

Your examples are misleading, as they aren't reproducible in real life. You are correct from a strict 'thought experiment' perspective, but I'm not sure what the point is? (If you tried to measure SBS, it'd be infinity and zero in your examples) Steel strings (solid or not) can still hold tension. They are much, much less elastic than nylon or copolymer strings, but they can still hold tension. Maybe I'M missing the point here. Feel free to educate me.

Not at all - blindly trusting a manufacturer's expertise is a rhetorical trap. One doesn't have to value their own opinion higher than the manufacturers!

Depends on what you want! If you want the "side effects" or systematic benefits of a CP, then that's great! There's no real value (negative or positive) to be placed here. At the end of the day, the systematic difference isn't something we can honestly control for. There are going to be both types of machines in the future, so the difference(s) will always be there.

"Until such time that someone develops the perfect string..." - I'm sure you're not 100% serious about that statement, but if you think this is a possibility, I'd like to point you to this talk, it may change the way you (or others) look at what "best" means. I'm not suggesting this is fact - form your own opinions after watching.

(IMO, there are differences that can't be completely/truly compensated for, and ... that's OK.)

9. ### Karma TennisProfessional

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"People don't know what they want! ... "The mind knows not what the tongue wants." It's a mystery!"

Hmmmm

10. ### am1899Professional

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Again, stating the obvious here...there are different types of machines in existence which set out to achieve the same objective. The implication, that one is somehow better than another, is at odds with the very existence of the different types of machines. If LO machines are inferior, as you seem to suggest, then why are they still manufactured? (Flame suit on, awaiting Steam engine comments).

The relevant point, IMO is that the 2 methods of imparting tension (LO vs CP) are different. The differences between them doesn't equate to one being "bad", and the other "good." Speaking generally, both mechanisms have proven reliable, and practical, as a means to string tennis racquets. To me, that makes both methods, while different, relevant, as a means to achieve the desired objective.

11. ### ElMagoElGatoSemi-Pro

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I rephrase what you're thinking. Correct me if I'm wrong.

If you use a drop weight, tension the string, clamp it, still keep the tension even after clamping for longer time, which means "use a cp correctly," the tension loss is less than a lock-out.

You'll probably keep the tension more than a minute?

12. ### MathieuRProfessional

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I am very wrong. I checked with a (thick) steal wire, 1.65mm on a lock-out, max.tension, and the wire DID hold tension after lock-out. And not too bad either.

There should be no slippage The string stretches under tension, and the cp compensates the "fast stretch". After clamping the string stretches still a little bit, which also gives tension loss.

On a CP the string is tensioned with same reference-tension all tensioning-time. In this time, the string stretches (a little bit).

A lot of contributers to this thread seem to think so.

agree

have to do this on a regular basis (did not do it so far)

I have stretched/removed the PERMANENT elongation while pre-stretching. The elastic-elongation is hardly changed

No, I promiss I will never say this (again). A LO is fast, is consistent, is accurate. BUT the simple fact that you go down in tension after lock-out makes it for me more an "art" to string on such a machine. My goal is to controll all aspects of the stringing process, and I think a (e)CP helps (me better as a LO)

No, on poly 2-3 seconds, syn.gut a little longer (max 10sec. I would say)

13. ### ElMagoElGatoSemi-Pro

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So you accepted my rephrasing. Then you wait 2-3 seconds or 10 seconds max after clamping? Why do you wait after clamping? It's much better to wait before clamping if you want.

14. ### MathieuRProfessional

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Yes, you are right. That is of course the procedure, and that is how I work (and all stringers with an (e)CP. Allthough some seem to clamp "immediately after the beep of the eCP", no waiting for possible stretching of the string.

15. ### ElMagoElGatoSemi-Pro

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You are making self-contradiction. Do you wait before clamping or after clamping? If before, do you admit your comment below is wrong? You're clearly commenting 'after clamping.'

16. ### MathieuRProfessional

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I wait before clamping (like all stringers using a (e)CP). And no, there is no "self-contradiction"
The effect of the constant-pull, while waiting, is that the string will loose the (fast) stretch at reference tension. Then you clamp.
On a lock-out, the string is "locked-out" as soon as the reference-tension is reached. Waiting to clamp is useless, the string is already clamped by the lock-out, and your "clamping" action will only isolate a piece of the already clamped string.
So, the (e)CP-method removes the (fast) stretch at reference-tension, the lock-out doesn't. Therefore the string-tension in a lock-out is lower as a (e)CP using the same reference-tension. Of course you can compensate this by using a higher reference-tension at the lock-out.

17. ### ElMagoElGatoSemi-Pro

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You're changing the point where you're making contradiction. You're saying 'after clamping' in your statement below. Is it wrong that you said 'after?'

18. ### MathieuRProfessional

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@Irvin: It is clear what your stand is

if you would make it an "open" poll, ok.

19. ### eelhcHall of Fame

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Who knew that the Dutch could take a stand on anything. Always thought they were nice if sensible/insipid bunch But I've not explored beyond Amsterdam.

Seriously... MathieuR and Ricardo... You can explore pre-stretching, re-sue of strings, etc.. with another thread that's more on topic. The discussion here is way, way beyond Irvin's original post and is just plain extreme thread hijacking.

Start a new thread with a subject line that is on topic... Please.

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20. ### MathieuRProfessional

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ok, I'll start a new one (or revive an old one, cause I think there is already one on pre-stretching)
And I will come back on the 'thread-relevant-open-questions". Cause I still think the proposition as given by Irvin in the opening post is "incorrect"

21. ### ricardoHall of Fame

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Elasticity = Energy return

22. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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Elasti City is a town just north of Podunk.

23. ### ricardoHall of Fame

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I know that town.
It is in Connecticut.
I worked at GE when they were still there.

24. ### MathieuRProfessional

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I did do some thinking First, you have to make some assumptions. (if the string is 100% elastic, no permanent elongation, there is will be no difference in this experiment between the 2 pieces of string).
Of course this is a first "rough" approach. I trust this will be improved by fellow-posters.

Assumptions:
1 I take a "creepy" string, that will have at reference-tension of 40kg 10% length increase, of which is 7% "lasting elongation", and 3% elastic elongation. Both the lasting and elastic elongation are linear in the range from 0-40kg "real" tension (so at 20kg there is 5% elongation, of which 3.5% is permanent, and 1.5% elastic; there is 0.175% permanent elongation for every kilo, and 0.075% elastic elongation).
2 the tension in the string is linear with the elasticity/elastic-elongation
2 a tensioned string will loose 10% tension due to "slow creep" in the first 24hours.

So, when I use a CP to give a piece of string 5% elongation, I have to use a reference-tension of 20kg. Length goes from 100% to 105%. After 24hrs tension has dropped to 18kg, remaining elasticity is 0.9*1.5%=1.3%. When you relax the string, length will be 0.987 * 105 = 103.64% of original lenght

The LO, to give 5% elongation. Reference-tension needs to be more as ref.tension of the CP, say +15%, 23kg. This means this piece of string will be "deformed" more, there will be 3 * 0.175% +3.5% = 4.025% permanent elongation. Leaving only 0.875% elastic elongation at lock out. Tension is held by the elastic-elongation, is direct after lock-out 0.875/0.075 = 11.7kg
After 24hrs -10% -> 10.5kg = 0.788% elasticic-elongation
After relaxation length will be 99.212 * 105 = 104.17% of original length.

Of course plenty of holes to shoot . Like to see another "calculation" with new assumptions.

25. ### ElMagoElGatoSemi-Pro

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I thought now you'd stop using this thread.

26. ### MathieuRProfessional

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Well, I started a new thread on the subjects not relevant for this one, but as I did say:

was meant: come back IN THIS THREAD ( allthough it seems Irvin doesn't like discussions that question his stands )

27. ### am1899Professional

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It seems that neither do you.

28. ### MathieuRProfessional

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And here you are wrong . I am here to learn, and share experiences. If I have a (bold/insane/..) stand, I am happy when I am corrected when wrong. But then I always need to know the facts/figurs/experiences that demonstrate that I have to accept my stupidity (on that specific subject, not in general )

29. ### am1899Professional

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Ok, fair enough.

Hmm...

You having a bold stand? You don't say...

Hmm...

Yes, you're a fact seeker...got it.

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30. ### MathieuRProfessional

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Could well be that result of a LO and a CP are exactly the same when they string a piece of string 5%.

New approach to calculate the difference between a LO and (e)CP stretched piece of string, both stretched to +5% length, clamped. And after 24 hours both pieces of string are relaxed, and the length is measured.

Assumptions:
1: I take a "creepy" string, that will have at reference-tension of 40kg 10% length increase, of which is 7% "lasting elongation", and 3% elastic elongation. Both the lasting and elastic elongation are linear in the range from 0-40kg "real" tension (so at 20kg there is 5% elongation, of which 3.5% is permanent, and 1.5% elastic; there is 0.175% permanent elongation for every kilo, and 0.075%/kg elastic elongation).
This is the "fast elongation"
If we would tension the string for 24hrs at 40kg, the "slow creep/slow-permanent-elongation" would not be 7%, but 9%. Elastic-elongation at 40kg/24hrs is unchanged, 3%. Total elongation 12%
2: the tension in the string is linear with the elasticity/elastic-elongation

So, when I use a CP to give a piece of string 5% elongation, I have to use a reference-tension of 20kg. Length goes from 100% to 105%. (3.5% lasting-elongation, 1.5% elastic elongation). After 24hrs, the "slow creep" will give a shift. At 20kg/24hrs slow-creep/lasting-elongation would be 4.5%. If the lasting-elongation% goes up, the elastic-elongation% has to go down (lenght stays the same )
Let's assume lasting-elongation% goes from 3.5->3.75%, and the elastic-elongation from 1.5->1.25%.
After 24hrs the tension in the clamped piece of string is now 1.25 / 0.075 = 16.7kg (at 16.7kg the lasting-elongation24hrs% would be 16.7/20 * 4.5 =3.75%)

The LO, to give 5% elongation. Reference-tension needs to be more as ref.tension of the CP, say +15%, 23kg.
In fact the faster you crank, the higher the ref.tension needs to be to get the 5% elongation. (if you crank extremely slow, result is same as CP)
Most of the "fast elongation" will be elastic elongation (if you stretch a string in a split-second, and release it again, the "creep" had "no time")
Elastic elongation will be 1.725%, lasting elongation 3.275% (less as with the CP stretch); this is the "fast stretch"
After clamping and 24hrs waiting, the same math applies as for the CP-situation. A shift from elastic-elongation towards lasting-elongation.
And with the starting-assumptions you will come to exactly the same result.

I wonder when the relation between elastic elongation and permanent elongation is NOT linear with tension, the result would be different. Back to the drawing board, cause I can't believe there is no difference.

EDIT: BUT: you do not tension on length-increase; you tension on "reference-tension". And that is a complete different ballgame.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2016

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Sorry to keep this thread going.. let me know if I should move this quoted post over to the new thread - I can do that. I just figured there'd be a ton of discontinuity in discussion. Feel free to un-sub if you are not interested

I'd be curious to see your data as compared to a conventional string job. Before you do this, though, I'd like to see your hypotheses regarding the absolute tension loss of the very stretched string jobs. My hypothesis is that you are losing a lot more tension than you think you are even after this prestretching. The feel might not change as much as compared to a regular string job, but that is a separate phenomenon than tension loss. I think playability arguments are often confounded with tension loss, but playability focused techniques are as interesting (if not moreso!) than tension focused techniques because that is what the player actually experiences.

http://www.kazuli.com/UW/4A/ME534/lexan2.htm

If you have made any permanent elongation, you have absolutely affected the elastic properties of the string. It is naive (and very misleading!) to make a statement about the elastic elongation being hardly changed. This is for a thick piece of lexan (polycarbonate) plastic, but the principles still apply here.

I'd also like to point out to others to check out the deformation behavior section of the site. It is one reason why the stretch-ad-nauseum approach is an interesting one. Homogeneous materials can have interesting effects when stretched beyond the elastic limit/yield point that can affect playability in a large way. However, this doesn't say anything about preference or absolute "best."

Serious question as I can't find a definitive answer (although I recall reading about this in the past) - do strings really snap back faster than the ball leaves the string? Is a string bed a trampoline or is elasticity a non-factor in true energy return? Is it on the same order of magnitude as a stiff frame?

Is this amount of string deformation really "returning energy" as we think? I swear I saw some high speed footage years ago that suggested that strings do not snap back until after the ball leaves the frame, but I'm not able to find any articles now.

32. ### ElMagoElGatoSemi-Pro

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Maybe the thread about elasticity started by ricardo is a good one for this topic?

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I'm new to stringing (my brief experience was using my friend's Klippermate). I have been enjoying reading this thread as well as many others along the topic of the pros and cons of using various types of stringing machines. I called TW today to pick their brains about stringing machines and was told they use only the Prince Neos 1000. The reason why was because they found they could string much faster with it versus a high end electronic CP machine. I was shocked at this response and always thought an electronic CP would be much faster.
Their response really through me for a loop......pun intended. Also, the TW rep said if I wanted a more accurate machine then I should go with an electronic CP.....

34. ### ricardoHall of Fame

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The reason why was because they found they could string much faster with it versus a high end electronic CP machine.

Interesting.
This is what I have always assumed.
The benefit of a Prince Neos 1000 (lockout machine) is primarily for the stringer.
You can string much faster with a lockout. Stringing quality? Who knows??

The Prince NEOS 1000 stringing machine gives you a simpler, faster way to string and is designed for maximum ease and speed.

If you are a very busy (high volume) full time professional stringer, get a lockout machine.

If you string only/mostly for yourself (i.e 1 racket/week), get a dropweight, at least with fixed clamps. I have the Gamma X-6FC.

35. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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The reason the NEOS is faster is because of the single action clamps. Yes you can turn the crank as fast as you want and pick up a little speed too but the clamps once you get used to them are the big time saver.

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36. ### MathieuRProfessional

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Or an automatic dropweight Stringway .

I have one with double-action clamps, and an "oldfashioned" (single action) glidebar system. The latter is easier and much faster.

37. ### ricardoHall of Fame

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a more accurate machine

I wonder what 'more accurate' means.
Does it imply that lockout is 'less accurate'?

And what does 'accuracy' refers to?
Does it refer to 'reference tension'?
If it does, then an ECP, according to TW, is closer (more accurate) to reference tension compared to a lockout.

If a lockout is less accurate than an ECP, why does TW use a lockout to string customer's rackets?
Is it because they can string customer's rackets much faster than an ECP even if it is less accurate?

In this case, the use of a lockout stringer is business driven, not quality driven.

Last edited: Dec 6, 2017

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"Does it imply that lockout is 'less accurate'?"

Yes, that is precisely my interpretation that I got from TW. By the way, when I called TW I asked to speak with someone who was very knowledgeable about stringing machines. He gave me the impression that they had such a high volume of stringing to do that it was merely a business decision. But to be fair, he never went into any details how inaccurate the lockout method was, just that the ECP would be more accurate. Also, he said they used a 2 point mounting system of the Neos 1000 over the 1500 because it was faster mounting the racquet. So, my conclusion is they definitely went with speed over accuracy. But is the lockout method off .1% in reference tension?, 1%, 5%.....???, he did not elaborate. I might call them later today to get some details. Again, I did not end the conversation thinking the lockout method was significantly inaccurate but just not as accurate as an ECP. Also, I haven't gone onto the TW University to see if they have done any experiments but I'll check.
Thanks to all for your feedback.

39. ### 10shoeRookie

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My guess is he lost patience with you and gave you ANY answer that he thought would allow him to get you off the phone since you obviously DON'T GET IT.

BOTH systems are accurate. Properly calibrated, a LO machine pulling at 60 lbs will pull 60 lbs accurately. Same for the CP machine. It isn't a question of accuracy. My recommendation....stay off the phone. Do more reading.

40. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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Not quite, the eCP will pull to something above reference, hold the string, the string tension drops to something below reference the eCP’s load recognizes the drop then pulls again to something over reference. The LO pulls to reference and although it continues to pull instead of holding it never recycles.

41. ### MathieuRProfessional

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No Irvin, this idea of "LO continues to pull" is busted. There is no "stored energy" in the LO system that can restore the tension lost by creep.

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42. ### 10shoeRookie

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Ok. Clearly then, LO is more accurate. There. It's settled. Now, get off the phone.

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43. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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You believe whatever you want to believe.
That means the tension spring is still applying a pull on the string.

44. ### OccasionalStringerRookie

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Like I said in that thread:
- At lockout compression of the spring is about 0.1 - 0.3 mm
- I can easily compress the spring 15-20 mm between my index finger and thump

So I measured this with my Tenex 6000 tensioner ( same as Gamma 6000 )

So how much pull do you estimate that spring is applying on the string ?

Just give a ballpark estimate.

45. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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That would depend on how much the string relaxes or the stiffness of the string. For instance Kevlar would have less stretch losses than a soft nylon. Prestretched would have less loss than a string not prestretched. I heard it said that to get similar results from a LO as you would get on a CP raise the tension 5-10%. A stiff string may be 5% where a soft string may be 10%. Not trying to avoid your question but I just don’t know for sure. My best guess is if there were a true lockout or hold put on the string and you lost 10 lbs you would loose 5 lbs with a lockout machine.

46. ### OccasionalStringerRookie

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So you mean that if I put a my Wise to my Tenex in lockout mode and record tension loss after 10 seconds post lockout ( with a scale inside a frame) and then repeat that with my lock out tensioner, using the same tension and the same entry point of the string to the gripper my scale would indicate 50 % less tension loss after 10 seconds?

47. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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Yes I think so, but don't use the same string as it will be pre stretched for the second test.

48. ### MathieuRProfessional

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Irvin, an example to show a "pulling LO is bull":
- the elasticity, elastic elongation of the string holds the tension
- take " a" string with a linear elastic elongation of 5% at 25kg
- assume the total length of a LO tensioned main is ~525mm. (500mm tensionfree, 25mm elastic elongation).
- after LO "the creep kicks in". Tension drops 10% to 22.5kg.
- if a LO would " pull" (as you say) and would compensate 50% of this "creep-tensionloss", it has to move the tensioning-head ~1.25mm to elongate the string again.

This does not happen!

49. ### ImagoHall of Fame

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Aug 28, 2013
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Sofia, BG
How do you on LO solve the problem of the final compensation pull before clamping? Mark the final drop of the weight. As you probably know, not releasing the other clamp/base is not an answer...

50. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

Joined:
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I don’t have a problem with final compensation pull before clamping, but I don’t have a LO anymore either. Not sure exactly what you mean but I’m assuming you’re talking about the arm dropping when you release the base of your clamp.

When you clamp a string and release the tensioner the clamp is drawn back when you release the tensioner. After tensioning the next string if not all of the drawback is recovered when you release the clamp the lower tension in the previously tensioned string is raised as the tension is the two strings equalize. I think that is more a clamp issue than a tensioner issue.

EDIT: @Imago Here is a test for you. Clamp a cross string as you normally do and tension the next string. Now do not release the base but release the clamp. Does the string move? Do you notice any sound of the string creeping as the clamp is released. I do see either of these issues but I have on all other machines I’ve used. That’s why I’ve always seen it suggested to release the base first then the clamp to avoid the issue. The issue is compounded if you only use 1 clamp the way you have it set up.

Last edited: Dec 7, 2017