PQ 500 Series Instruction
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Transcript of PQ 500 Series Instruction
PQ 500 Series InstructionHow to Rig and Use the PowerQuick Ascender in Horizontal Applications
Design OverviewThe PowerQuick Ascender was designed as a pulling machine to lift loads up and down in a vertical directionAll the weight forces are on the capstan/gearbox assembly, controlled through the tension arm and passed through the up-rope guide This gives it great pulling strength, but minimal pushing strength
Design OverviewAnticipating a requirement for angle ascent and descent, the up-rope guide was designed to handle side forces.The down-rope guide was designed to allow the rope to hang loose.This configuration works very well for sharp angled ascent and descent.The ascender by original design is not tolerant of substantial side loads such as are encountered in a same level, side-to-side application.
Side-to-Side Horizontal ChallengesWhen stretched between two points even a low-stretch static kernmantle rope will always sag in the middle.This requires the ascender to push on the uphill side of the rope sag, which it is not designed to do.The rope could slip out of the lower rope guide and become bound in the machine. There is no danger of the ascender falling or dropping the load, but the ascender can become stuck in place.
Decision PointIn working with our customers we discovered that it is sometimes necessary to be able to move loads in a truly horizontal direction for many applications.Our options were to: Do a radical redesign which would take over a year and several thousands of dollars, orMake some minor modifications and develop safe, efficient procedures.In the interest of time, we opted for minor modifications and the development of procedures at this time.
Design ModificationsWe added a body hanger to better balance the asccender orientatin in horizontal applications.We added a down-rope guide lock to prevent the rope from being removed or getting pinched in the ascender, minimizing the potential for jamming.
Horizontal Rigging Procedures Using the ascender in a horizontal orientation requires a minimum of 2 ropes, a minimum of one pulley (we recommend 2 though a carabineer can be used in an emergency).The pulley(s) are attached to the load line and the ascender to the movement line.In some configurations a third rope is needed as a tag line.
Horizontal Procedures-Varied LevelsThe preferred method of climbing is to secure both lines with one end at a high position and the other at a lower position.If possible, the movement line should be attached at a point higher than the load line to add clearance for loads.The ascender should be loaded so that the up-rope guide points towards the highest point. The ascender will move the length of the rope smoothly in both directions with the load.Load LineMovement Line
Horizontal Procedures-Same Level
When the situation requires rigging in a strict horizontal position there are extra considerations. Pull the load line as tight as possible to minimize the center sagging. No matter how tight the line is there will be some sagging.Load the ascender so that the up-rope guide points towards the direction where it will be required to pull the most weight. Attach a tag line to the bottom of the ascender to assist when reversing up to the other side.Load LineMovement Line Tag Line
Horizontal Procedures-Same Level-RiggingFirst load the movement line rope on the ascender,Put a carabineer through the stabilizer loop attached to the gear boxAttach the tag line.Put a second carabineer through the load loop at the bottom of the ascender.Attach both carabineers to the pulleys connected to the load line
Horizontal Procedures-Same Level OperationIf a person is riding the ascender they can make the ascent and descent manually using the had grip. The ascender can also be controlled using the . Both options are demonstrated by these firefighters.
Horizontal Procedures-Normal OperationThis video illustrates that in the high-to-low point configuration the movement line is loosely held and the ascender descends with no problem.
Horizontal Procedures-Same Level OperationIn this video you can see that when the ascender reaches the low point in the rope swag, a tug is needed on the tag line to assist the ascender in reversing up the line.No assistance is needed for the ascender to lift a load in the direction of the up-rope guide, which is the normal direction of travel.
ConclusionWhile the PowerQuick ascender is best suited for movement from a high level to a lower level, it will function satisfactorily when rigged to travel at an equal level with the use of a tag line.The new additions of the hanger and the down-rope guide lock have improved the performance in this configuration.While we used a carabineer for this test, we recommend the use of pulleys to protect the rope and provide easier movement.
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