Picavet line storage

edited November 2007 in Technique
I have recently found a good way of storing Picavet lines by winding them round a short piece of wood. The wood I use is about 20 cm long and is short enough to go in my pocket whilst KAPing. It's quick and easy to wind the lines up on when taking the rig off the kite line and hasn't tangled them so far. I've put 3 photos on my flickr page>http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2417/2019443647_c52f7ba59e.jpg<

Sue ("opuspicavet" on flickr)


  • I've been figure-8 winding mine around the two longest legs of my Picavet and securing them with a rubber band. It's worked well so far, with no tangles to speak of. The only real gotcha is I can't check how tight the Picavet's screw is while the lines are wound on this way. So that aspect of pre-flight has to happen with the lines unwound.

  • edited November 2007
    Sue, your solution is very tidy, but I agree with Tom -- just wind the lines around the X, either figure-8 or not. It helps to connect the hangups™ or KAP-klips™ to each other immediately upon removal from the kite line.

    If you don't figure-8 them, Tom, but figure-0 them, you have access to the axle nut, which allows removal of the X. I do it both ways.

  • Brooks, I'm gonna look like an ijit, but I swear I never thought to wrap them that way. DOH!


    P.S. See what I meant in that earlier thread about spending time with someone else who does KAP? Not all the obvious stuff is all that obvious! Even when it's obvious! Thanks for the idea.
  • I do the figure-8 thang, too. I clamp the hangups together with the smallest squeeze clamps available at Home Depot for about $.50 apiece. These little clamps have lots of uses, so I went for broke and bought more than 2.
  • I pull one of the clips in tight and hold it down to one arm and then do a figure C with the remaining 3 arms. Then I put a twist tie around all 8 lines just below the clips.
  • Am I the only one who chain stitches their picavet line? :)
  • I'm an inveterate chain stitcher.

  • ah-ha! I knew I'd seen it somewhere before.
  • I used to do that too, but it ain't foolproof enough for me, getting crossed up enough times that I gave up. That bar probably fixes it for you, Cris.
  • Hey, this raises another question: I've noticed a number of people remove their Picavet crosses from their rigs prior to storage. I don't, but that's just me.

    It's funny, my older parafoil I always chain stitched the bridle lines, and I never had a tangle. But the Flowform just plain doesn't have enough lines to make it worthwhile. I cram the ring over the ends of the keels, tying them together, and throw the bridle down one of the cells. I haven't had a tangle doing this, though I'm at a loss to say why.

  • Here's the way I used to store my Picavet lines:


    And my adoption of Brooks's O-wound technique:


    Both work equally well for keeping the tanglies away, but the O-wound technique leaves the Picavet's screw exposed so it can be checked when I'm checking all the other screws on the rig, prior to unwinding the Picavet lines and hanging my rig on the kite.

    So far, still no tanglies. Life's good! Thanks, Brooks!

  • Woops! Everything looks good, Tom, except that it looks like you're hanging your rig from the original servo screw! Very risky! Am I seeing it wrong?

    That should be a 4-40 x 1" screw with the head on the inside of the servo's main drive gear and a locknut on top of the Picavet X. It's about 1000% more secure that way.

  • edited November 2007
    AHA!!! Ok, now my paranoia level is going down. That's the one part of the rig that has had me the most scared for the longest time. That makes WAY more sense.

    I'd still like to move toward a pan gear set at some point, but that's a mod I can make before my rig sees sky again. WHEEW!

    I wish I could make it to KAPTahiti, but I don't think I can pull it off. Still, I >NEED< to go flying with someone who's been doing this for a while so they can point out stuff like this! Any time anyone's planning to head out to Hawaii, please puhLEEEEZE let me know. I'll show you some good spots to fly, and you can show me stuff I need to quit doing. ;)

  • Tom, I think you must have built your kit without reading the manual. Reread the part about servo modification with the 4-40 screw inside the gear. It's all there, on pages 8 and 9.

  • edited November 2007
    I'm remembering it now. (I really did read it!) I remember not doing that part because it was a little confusing from the description just what it was for. Now it's making perfect sense, and I'll do it tonight.


    P.S. Yes, I really do know just how lame that sounds... I'm the worst sort of tech support call. I swear.
  • Here's a series of photos showing how I modified a servo for 360 degree rotation and added the 4-40 screw. Maybe those, in addition to Brooks' instructions will help.
  • benedict,
    Remember rule number one in Guy World, "Never read the instructions." ;o)

    I've taken a different approach storing my Picavet; I made a bag for mine. It is large enough, and long enough to pace the camera and Picavet lines in full length. I leave the hang-ups sticking out and tie the bag off tight with its drawstrings. As long as the hang-ups don't fall through the lines they will not tangle.
    It works for me.
  • Heh! Well, I DID go back and read the instructions, and now I remember why I didn't do that part of the mod. I thought that section was just to get 360-deg rotation. I've done that a number of times, so I wound up skipping it. DOH!

    Mod's done. I ate one servo's output gear doing it on the drill press, then did the second one on the lathe. (I've got an indicator on the lathe's tailstock, so that time I knew I wouldn't go in too far.) Hobby shop down the road has spare gear sets, so I'm not even out the servo.



    My next project is to photograph every aspect of my rig, post the lot, and make sure I didn't skip anything else in the instructions that'll bite me in the butt at some point.

    Thanks for all the input, folks. Pretty sure the collective KAP consciousness has kept me from dropping a camera somewhere dire. Now if I can just quit working weekends, I might get to fly again some time soon!

  • I use a clear plastic tube that I sliced lengthwise. The picavet lines get spun around and then I push the 'braid' into the tube. Getting it in takes a bit of effort but popping the line out is very easy which is important since I KAP alone and already don't have enough hands. Post- KAP I've got plenty of time to use a coin or a stick to help get it back into the tube.
  • Hi
    This topic got you all going!
    I'll give you my reasons for using the piece of wood. Firstly the ease of use and secondly the speed.I often 'walk down' the rig and the kite. On reaching the rig, with one arm over the line I can unclip (thanks Brookes for the 'kap clips', they're great) the rig, slot the clips onto the wood roll up and stow it and carry on walking the kite down. The reverse for clipping it on at the start of a kap session.
    I use a power sled - 24 or 14, depending on the wind. These are also easy to put up and take down as they fold into thier drogue with no assembly needed. I admit they sometimes bounce a bit but with my new BEAK there are so many photos to choose from, a few lost ones are no problem. I'm thinking of making the genki which someone had adapted for light wind KAPing. I dont chain the picavet line or wind it round the cross as they take too long for me. I just want to get KAPing. Fly high
  • You did indeed get us all going! Thanks, Sue!

    And thanks for sharing info on how you fly and how you get your kite down. Knowing details about someone's flying and KAPing style helps with understanding their gear choices, procedures, etc.

    For my part, I've been flying in places where I can't walk the kite down. My winder doesn't let me wind when the line's under appreciable tension, so typically I'll put it on the ground, and pull the kite down by hand (wearing gloves!) until I reach the rig. At that point I unclip the rig (I'll add my thanks to Sue's... Brooks, those clips rock), set the rig on the ground, throw one clip one way, the other in the other direction, and wind up with my rig sitting next to me with the Picavet lines extending out on either side. Once I land the kite, bag it, reverse my line, and wind it up, I'll pick up the two "arms" of the Picavet lines and wind them back onto the Picavet.

    If I was walking the kite down my style of doing things would leave the KAP rig sitting somewhere off by itself waiting for me to get back to it. Not so good. So yeah, in that case I'd want to do something else. In that case the winding stick looks like a really good approach. I'll keep it in mind.

  • In high wind situations where I need to walk it down I'll typically walk it down until I'm at the rig. Then I'll carry the still flying rig closer to my anchor where I'll detach the rig. I make sure to keep the rig about 10 feet away from where I plan to wind kite line. This helps prevent a situation where I get the line tangled with the picavet.
    Then I remove the spool from the anchor and wrap the tight end of the line around it a few times to hold it while I wind the slack portion of the line. After the kite is down I'll wind up the picavet.
  • SueSue
    edited May 2009
    @benedict. It is a good idea to throw the picavet clips in different directions to prevent them from tangling.
    @murrayniell. I always chain the kite bridles.
    @sdunn. Also a good idea to place the rig well out of the way of the kite line and the area you are working in.
    I've come up with a further improvement to my piece of wood. I now use a plastic bag closer about 4 or 5 inches long next to the Kap clips.
    picavet line clips on flickr
  • I was just mulling this problem over today and did not think to check the forum first!

    My problem is that I am typically am shooting alone and have consistently run into the problem of tangled lines at all the wrong times. I wanted to toss out the idea I came up with, which has similarities to Kato's above.

    Since the problem with lines is keeping them straight and untangled I was thinking that having something to encase a group of lines in would be a great way to go. But the problem with casings are that you then loose the point of having the lines connected to the pulleys at X distance. I did not have the materials I needed for my first choice of a solution which was to use a line splicer to pull the each "group" of line (one for the front clip, one for the back clip) through a length of hollow core line. For storage the hollow core line could be stretched the length of the lines leaving little free to get tangled. For flight the hollow core line could be compressed up towards the clips and not interfere (to an appreciable degree) with the length of the lines suspending the picavet from the clips.

    Unfortunately the only hollow core I had was to narrow to try this so I opted for an expedient solution. I used two household drinking straws per line group and threaded them as above. The effect is that for storage I can slide one down to the picavet and one up to the clip and then neatly package it up. For my arm swing test flight the straws nicely slide up on their own towards the clips leaving a good amount of line free to allow the kite to swing. I understand that I am effectively loosing some of my picavet line length, but I believe this could be corrected by calculating the additional line needed to make the picavet match the original length of "free" line.

    As I write I wonder if I might be able to add a small rubber/nylon ring to the top most straw to help dampen any line harmonics from the main kite line?

    Any thoughts on either of these ideas? They are calling for gusts up to 50mph here today so I think I will not be putting this out for a test today :-)

    R. Joe
  • edited February 2008
    RJoe, I think that you are overcomplicating a simple problem. Further, unless I misunderstand, your straws or hollow core sheath would add friction to a system that most of us have been trying to make friction-free. Indeed, there's no point in blocks if your lines all pass through a tube.

    Nearly all of us KAP alone; seldom do I have help. If I can't hand the winder to some passing pedestrian, I always attach Henry's Handle (a piece of wood with a cleat on one end and a lanyard on the other) to some sturdy anchor before launching the kite; launch the kite to 30 meters; tether it to HH; hang the rig about 4 meters up the line from the tether; then launch it to KAPing height. Coming down, I do the reverse.

    The secret is tying off the line to some solid object rather than trying to juggle two hangers, a rig, and a winder. If necessary, I will launch the kite where I can find an anchor and walk it to the KAP site.

    But there are no rules; you gotta do what works for you.
  • edited April 2013
    Great points Broox, thanks! - I think I still have some line hang-ups from when I was using a powered parachute design. I was always having to be so careful about the lines not getting sucked into the prop that now it seems whenever I run into a line related issue I subconsciously look for a solution that would survive that scenario.

    I have been KAPing without an anchor and was thinking yesterday that might be nice addition, but was not sure of how safe it might be for regular use. I am glad to hear that using an anchor is the norm and will be adding it to my regular kit.

    I see there is a nice discussion of anchors at the link below so I will brush up there:


    One observation on the tubes: The tubes are, for practical purposes, friction free because the internal diameter is such that the line passes freely inside the straw. But this point about friction does bring up a picavet line question though. Maybe I am not understanding (and have configured it wrong) but when the picavet is suspended from the clips the line itself does not actually move, correct? In a properly configured system the movement of the picavet is via the pulleys "on" the line, not the line moving in anyway (not sure if I am saying that correctly), so the tube over the line would not be introducing friction?

    Thanks again for your points.
  • edited February 2008
    I used to do it the way Cris still does it - chain stitching. Looks great, but takes a bit of time. Then I did the figure 8 thing. Look great too. Now I do the O-type which I secured with a rubber band like Tom DOH! Benedict demonstrated us in his pictures shown earlier. And now, ladies and gentlemen, I simply use a piece of a flat sports shoelace. I secure the picavet line with a lace loop. What else... Works great.
  • RJoe, it's correct that for the most part the rig moves on the line, but sideways leveling requires the line to run through the hangers (and therefore, lots of straw in your case).

    As to your comment that "I still have some line hang-ups" from a powered parachute, I don't know what you mean by the term, but this is a brooxes hangup™...


    ...and you got a pair with your KAP Kit in 2006. You should also have some KAP-Klips™ that you bought last year. Either will work with your Picavet, and combined with either wrap shown above in Tom Benedict's post, they should keep your Picavet line under control without the need for tubes, IMO.

  • I have anchor hardware (climber's figure-8, carabiner, big strap), but I don't really use it that much. I still haven't made new winders using any of the designs from the winder thread, and to some extent that's why I don't use any kind of anchor. I can clip my line off to a particular length on my winder, and the whole winder fits over my arm. So once I have the kite flying at a nice height, I'll clip the line off to the winder, stick it over my arm, and attach the KAP rig. Once the rig's at altitude and I'm ready to walk around I use the same sort of arrangement. Same kind of thing for taking the rig down: I'll wind in, clip off at the rig and sling the winder over my arm, then take the rig off with two hands. Once the rig is safely on the ground I'll take the winder back off my arm, unclip the line, and keep winding in. It's not the smallest thing in the world, but it works.

    I guess it makes sense that a KAPer's gear choices will also dictate their technique choices, and vice-versa.

    Tom (who's getting off-topic)
  • edited January 2012

    I started without an anchor and found myself desperately winding line around nearby posts, benches, etc. when the wind got strong. I made a simple one by creating a 5' loop of 300lb dacron. To that you can attach clips, carabiners, or use a series of larks head knots. I also have one made from 1' flat nylon webbing that is more comfortable when anchoring to me, but the dacron loop is very small, portable, and works in many situations.

    Getting back on topic...

    Here's my figure C

    I like to keep my cross attached to the rig because it's a pain to calibrate the alignment. Alignment may not be such a big deal with AutoKAP, but when the pan knob on my DuneCam is pointing straight up, I like the camera to be pointing directly away from me.
    So, with the figure C I can grip the arm of the cross closer to the center of the cross. This gives me better leverage and makes it easier for me to complete my winding/unwinding maneuvers while the camera is still in the rig. I also get more room for my long thumb. ;-)
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