Drop Weight Accuracy?

#1
I've been stringing racquets for a while now with my Gamma X-2 drop weight, and when I first started off, the consistency of the tensions for mirroring mains would be pretty off, especially between the last mains, since I had to tie them off. Since then, I've gotten better with the consistency, as the strings now sound really similar whenever I pluck them, and I just got a starting clamp, which helps me tighten the tie off knots really well. However, I still have some problems. I can't seem to get the middle two mains around the same tension. I've been trying different techniques shown on YouTube made by some of the credible people recognized on this forum, but they always result in the two middle mains being off a decent amount, judging by the sound. Is this just bound to happen or are there ways to mitigate this?

Another question that I have regarding the accuracy of my machine is why the tension is so different when I measure it right after stringing. I purchased an app that claims to be able to tell the tension based on the frequency of the sound from hitting the string bed with an object. I typically never spend any money on apps when I don't need to, but given the reviews for the app, I really wanted to try it out. On multiple occasions with different racquets, the tension is always lower by almost 5 lbs when I measure it with the app right off the stringer. I would think that my machine would be incredibly accurate (although not precise) since it's using the force of gravity to pull tension. Another reason that could be the case is my clamps being too loose and that the strings are slipping through my clamps. I was also thinking the fact that I did not pre-stretch the string also would make a difference, although I'm not too sure about that. For every racquet I've strung so far, I've either used Forten Nylon in both the mains and the crosses or Forten in the mains and OG sheep micro in the crosses, both of these strings being considerably more elastic compared to polyester strings, which lead me to be skeptical about whether pre-stretching made that big of a difference in tension.

I was considering getting a Gamma Progression II ELS as an upgrade to my drop weight, but I would like to "master the basics" before I go ahead and drop a huge sum of cash on something that wouldn't compensate for whatever the problems I've talked about were.
What are your thoughts on this?
 
#2
Another question that I have regarding the accuracy of my machine is why the tension is so different when I measure it right after stringing. I purchased an app that claims to be able to tell the tension based on the frequency of the sound from hitting the string bed with an object. I typically never spend any money on apps when I don't need to, but given the reviews for the app, I really wanted to try it out. On multiple occasions with different racquets, the tension is always lower by almost 5 lbs when I measure it with the app right off the stringer. I would think that my machine would be incredibly accurate (although not precise) since it's using the force of gravity to pull tension. Another reason that could be the case is my clamps being too loose and that the strings are slipping through my clamps. I was also thinking the fact that I did not pre-stretch the string also would make a difference, although I'm not too sure about that. For every racquet I've strung so far, I've either used Forten Nylon in both the mains and the crosses or Forten in the mains and OG sheep micro in the crosses, both of these strings being considerably more elastic compared to polyester strings, which lead me to be skeptical about whether pre-stretching made that big of a difference in tension.
SO many posts/threads on this topic it will blow your mind. Go search. Basically, as long as the bar is within 5 degrees (or is it 10?) of dead level, the machines are incredibly accurate. As for the difference between ref tension (what the machine says) and "real" tension, there are a lot of factors that could be impacting that. Using some stretchy strings (like you are) could definitely be a factor.
 
#3
SO many posts/threads on this topic it will blow your mind. Go search. Basically, as long as the bar is within 5 degrees (or is it 10?) of dead level, the machines are incredibly accurate. As for the difference between ref tension (what the machine says) and "real" tension, there are a lot of factors that could be impacting that. Using some stretchy strings (like you are) could definitely be a factor.
Mind linking some good ones? Believe me, I've tried to search for this before, didn't get any pertinent results, but seeing as there are so many posts out there, you must have came across a couple of the better ones.
 
#5
Some people will disagree, but with stretchy strings, I would not clamp off until I was sure the string has stopped stretching. With a DW, which is constant pull, you can wait for a 10, 15 or 20 count and see if the bar is still dropping. When it has not moved for a few seconds, then clamp. While waiting with crosses, straighten them out while they are under tension. Remove as much interstring friction as you can. If you clamp immediately, you are replicating a LO. When you do clamp, clamp as close to the frame as you can for the mains. For crosses, I would brace at least one tooth against a main.

I would not worry too much about loose outer mains or 1st/last crosses. If it bother you, add additional tension to the string before tying off. Just be consistent.
 
#6
Some people will disagree, but with stretchy strings, I would not clamp off until I was sure the string has stopped stretching. With a DW, which is constant pull, you can wait for a 10, 15 or 20 count and see if the bar is still dropping. When it has not moved for a few seconds, then clamp. While waiting with crosses, straighten them out while they are under tension. Remove as much interstring friction as you can. If you clamp immediately, you are replicating a LO. When you do clamp, clamp as close to the frame as you can for the mains. For crosses, I would brace at least one tooth against a main.

I would not worry too much about loose outer mains or 1st/last crosses. If it bother you, add additional tension to the string before tying off. Just be consistent.
Well, I guess there isn't much to do about tying off, just the more you do it, the better you get at it.
But I'm still concerned about the inner most mains being different frequencies.
I've mainly been following the first method from this video:
I understand that he says there is a difference in tension initially because of the friction from the double pull, but afterwards, once you pull tension to release the starting clamp and re-clamp the flying clamp on the first two mains, shouldn't the tension be the same at that point?
 
#7
esgee may disagree with this technique, but I have found my tie off have improved in consistency since I started using the tip of an awl to "hold tension" while I take my time to pull out all the slack in the tail and make sure I am getting the knot right (been using the Parnell). I could be imagining it, but I feel like I get way less drawback using the awl to hold the strings and not feeling pressure to tie quickly to hold off as much drawback as possible has given me much better knots the first time through.

I use the last method in the video for my mains. I have found it to be the easiest and most consistent for me using flying clamps. I attempted the starting clamp method a few times and struggled to get consistent results. I do try to equalize by "clawing" at the first few mains on each side as I go. So far seems to be pretty consistent, although maybe not as precise string to string like other methods taut.
 
#8
Here is the method I came up with to start my mains on the the Gamma X-2. Pictures are linked below...

I run my first two mains through then clamp at the top of the head with my floating clamp (8 mains in the throat).

Then I will pull tension on the first main and clamp it off with a starting clamp and the improvised block of wood as shown.

Next I will pull tension on the other center main and move the floating clamp that was at the hoop down to the throat. Since there is no tension on the string inside of the clamp in its original position the bar will drop enough for one click on the ratchet to bring it back to level.

From there I can go on with the same side and string three more mains so you'll have one center main tensioned with the starting clamp and four on the other side so your floating clamps won't get in th the way of each other.

Lastly pull tension on the main with the starting clamp and remove it and begin using your second floating clamp and string that side until you catch up with the other.

Staring mains on a dropweight
 
#9
The difference between the two center mains is a result of the floating clamps. When you clamp, you end up with two tensioned strings on one side of the clamp and one string on the other side of the clamp. The force differential is enough that the single string will be pulled through the frame just a bit (watch it closely as you remove tension), adding tension to the string two back and reducing tension from the string one back from the last tensioned string. This happens to each string in turn as you work your way out, so it's not a problem except for the center mains. The penultimate mains also end up at lower tension, but this seems like much less of a problem. You can try evening out the middle mains by ear, but I never figured out a consistent, repeatable way to do it otherwise. I upgraded to fixed clamps (still drop weight).
 
#10
Irvin posted a vid for me for starting mains with a drop weight, I have used and perfected that method and it works fine. You pull tension on 1 and 1/2 mains to start, then contunie on the same side for just one more just so the clamps have space when they are on the same side.
 
#11
Irvin posted a vid for me for starting mains with a drop weight, I have used and perfected that method and it works fine. You pull tension on 1 and 1/2 mains to start, then contunie on the same side for just one more just so the clamps have space when they are on the same side.
Don't need my video just clamp the 2 center mains in the center and tension a 2nd main and clamp with the other clamp as near the frame as you can. repeat on other side with first clamp used.
 
#12
Don't need my video just clamp the 2 center mains in the center and tension a 2nd main and clamp with the other clamp as near the frame as you can. repeat on other side with first clamp used.
This is the method I've settled on after fiddling with some of the more complex approaches. Since switching it has been giving me my most consistent results to date.
 
#13
This is the method I've settled on after fiddling with some of the more complex approaches. Since switching it has been giving me my most consistent results to date.
Your clamps never get in the way of each other so you have to stagger the clamps, it’s fast, it’s simple and provides the same pull all center mains.
 

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#14
I've been stringing racquets for a while now with my Gamma X-2 drop weight, and when I first started off, the consistency of the tensions for mirroring mains would be pretty off, especially between the last mains, since I had to tie them off. Since then, I've gotten better with the consistency, as the strings now sound really similar whenever I pluck them, and I just got a starting clamp, which helps me tighten the tie off knots really well. However, I still have some problems. I can't seem to get the middle two mains around the same tension. I've been trying different techniques shown on YouTube made by some of the credible people recognized on this forum, but they always result in the two middle mains being off a decent amount, judging by the sound. Is this just bound to happen or are there ways to mitigate this?

Another question that I have regarding the accuracy of my machine is why the tension is so different when I measure it right after stringing. I purchased an app that claims to be able to tell the tension based on the frequency of the sound from hitting the string bed with an object. I typically never spend any money on apps when I don't need to, but given the reviews for the app, I really wanted to try it out. On multiple occasions with different racquets, the tension is always lower by almost 5 lbs when I measure it with the app right off the stringer. I would think that my machine would be incredibly accurate (although not precise) since it's using the force of gravity to pull tension. Another reason that could be the case is my clamps being too loose and that the strings are slipping through my clamps. I was also thinking the fact that I did not pre-stretch the string also would make a difference, although I'm not too sure about that. For every racquet I've strung so far, I've either used Forten Nylon in both the mains and the crosses or Forten in the mains and OG sheep micro in the crosses, both of these strings being considerably more elastic compared to polyester strings, which lead me to be skeptical about whether pre-stretching made that big of a difference in tension.

I was considering getting a Gamma Progression II ELS as an upgrade to my drop weight, but I would like to "master the basics" before I go ahead and drop a huge sum of cash on something that wouldn't compensate for whatever the problems I've talked about were.
What are your thoughts on this?
Wow, it's been a while since I was searching Youtube to find some good tutorials on learning how to string. Just understanding the difference between flying clamp and fixed clamp was challenging.

I can tell now, that a lot of the tutorials under-tension the second main or both mains. I think @Irvin videos do a great job of describing how much tension is in various strings as he goes through some of his tutorials.

I have a co-worker that recently acquired a 2pt, flying clamp, DW from gamma. Probably X2? I've not used a flying clamp before so I'm trying to do some research. Assuming my co-worker doesn't have a starting clamp.

This is probably the best video (other than Irvin's) that I've found so far; but still has some mistakes.
1) 2 mains are not tensioned to reference
2) On one of his pulls, he bounces the weight. This is getting to reference tension by stretching the string and thereby removing some typical static tension loss from time and playing. On another pull, he notes he hit the reference tension on the first try. These two strings will have different tension losses because one has seen "pre-stretching".
3) This may not be an error but just an unintended consequence? He starts the cross by tying a finishing knot to be begin with. He weaves two crosses and then pulls tension. Cross #2 is at reference tension. But Cross #1 is not. However, I'm not sure how much different tension #1 would be if he used a more typical method of using a starting clamp and pulling cross #1 after tensioning the 3rd cross because of draw back from finishing knot.

Also, I would recommend to always start tensioning with the drop weight in the down position.

Can you think of any other tips?

oh...edit...forgot to respond to OP's original concern. I think DW stringers are more challenging to get a consistent tension. See my point #2. You would have to be very consistent on how long your DW is pulling tension before clamping. It should be repeated exactly the same. I strive to hit reference tension in 2 iterations (ratchet) of moving the weight up and down. Also, about 8sec from the time I start pulling tensions (dropping weight) to clamping off the string. If I repeat this for every string, I know that I have very consistent tension on all my string. If I vary from ratcheting 3 times or hitting it on the first time, then the string has seen different "pre-stretching". Also, if I clamp off in 6 sec one time and 10sec another time, then again, it has seen different duration of "pre-stretching".

So in terms of tension accuracy, I think it is very HIGH is using right technique.
But in terms of stringing consistency, I think there is more room for differences in final tension that puts it rather low.
 
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