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  1. #1
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    Default Shock Cord Replacement - Hubbed poles

    A buddy of mine has an REI Half-Dome 2 Plus from the previous generation/design (tent is 5 yrs old). The poles' shock cord was lax, but neither of us could find replacement cord of the right diameter in person. I ended up just snugging up the cord since it still had a bit of stretch left. But when full replacement time comes, the right cord (probably 3/32" diameter) might have to be ordered online.

    But I couldn't quite figure out how some of the poles' cordage fit in the hub end. They're not simply knotted and threaded through. Instead, a loop goes into them, and seems to hook around something recessed in there. A 90-sec REI video on a similar hub design (unsure what specific tent they're using in the video) sort of glossed over it, but at one point it seemed that the loop was pushed out through another pole entrance "port" in the hub. And maybe the interior clip will come with it? See attached picture. If anyone knows how this works, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

    Screenshot_2020-06-20_13-12-41.png

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    Default Follow-Up & New Question

    The follow up for the REI tent (Half Dome 2+) is that yes, there's a V-shaped clip in there, not unlike a tiny bobby pin, which seats in the hub from the interior of the ring. The shock cord loops around it. You have to push it out toward the interior of the hub to get it out and re-thread it.

    Had a similar issue come up on a buddy's Fly Creek HV ... in that case, the clip was actually longer than the interior of the hub! You had to push it out as much as you could, then push it from the side to get it out of the hub.

    ***

    So now I have another conundrum with shock cord, hope someone here can help. This involves a frontcountry tent with fiberglass poles. The issue with them is that I can't get the end caps off (one is pictured, on left), so I can't figure out how to thread fresh cordage through. Any ideas?

    IMG_3688.JPG

    Thanks

    TZ

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    Is there any evidence the cap is glued in place?
    I've never had to pull an end-cap off a fiberglass tent pole, but I've replaced tips on a treking pole. The tips were held on strictly with friction, but it was some pretty strong friction to over-come. Obviously if you stress the fiberglass poles too much to test if they caps are just held in place with friction, you will risk breaking the pole.

    But the only other idea I have is that if there is still cordage in the last section of the pole, stretch it to it's max capacity and as low as possible, tie a new piece of cord to the old. Use a 'double fisherman's knot' and that should hold and might, once stretched tight, might allow the knot to fit back inside the pole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Is there any evidence the cap is glued in place?

    Only indirectly, via the twisting/pulling force they have withstood thus far. But I've not used any mechanical helps yet. You may be right - it could be a very tight friction fit, unlike the fairly easy twist needed for most aluminum pole sets I've come across. Not quite sure about how to pull it off otherwise. I could see using a vise, not to clamp anything, but to create an opening smaller than the metal collar, but larger than the fiberglass pole - and pull straight against that. I've also contacted the manufacturer / distributor to inquire. The cord has not yet broken, but is fraying. I think some of the aluminum segment collars/connectors are just not highly polished and may have abraded the cordage.

    I suppose shock cord is not strictly necessary for the poles to operate. You just have to be sure each pole segment is well-seated in the next, lest that create forces sufficient to splinter the fiberglass. And that "good seating" is true whether you have cordage or not. A set of aluminum replacements would run about $125 - and save 24 oz. A good bargain for backpacking, but kind of irrelevant for car camping.

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    Doesn't this endcap have a thru hole?
    Looks like the brushy end of the cord peeking over the very end of the cap.
    Seems that you just have to push the cord, instead of pulling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Doesn't this endcap have a thru hole?
    Looks like the brushy end of the cord peeking over the very end of the cap.
    Seems that you just have to push the cord, instead of pulling.

    Yes! I just noticed - the tip is open-ended, a very small hole, currently impacted with dirt from the ground.

    So what does this mean in terms of a method of replacing cordage? Any end knot is on the inside - but if it's small enough to go through that hole, what is it catching on to stay in place at the end of the pole segment? Sure seems strange.

    [I did test whether the end caps were friction fit by opening a vise large enough for the pole diameter but small enough to catch the collar of the endcap. Pulling laterally, I made no progress - I could pull my entire workbench, the cap did not yield.]

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    At this point, if I were in your shoes, I would look to see if I could find any source of replacement poles (such as the Coleman Tent Pole Kit) and see if it is possible to replace this segment of tent pole.
    If so, then that would be my "backup plan" to replace this last segment with a new segment. Once my backup plan was in place, then I might start adding some additional force to the situation.

    Since there is a hole in the end of the metal cap, perhaps you can find something to insert thru that hole and using your vice setup mentioned before you might be able to tap the pole off the end cap.
    Or, perhaps start pouring some acetate on the outside of the pole and in that hole to see if that will loosen up the glue. Then perhaps start using some twisting motions or anything else that will give you some leverage is forcing that cap off.

    When you eventually break the fiberglass pole trying to get the end cap off, you then cut the pole at the end of the cap, then use a drill bit to mechanically remove the bits of fiberglass still glued to the inside of that cap. At this point, you'll have likely figured out a way to keep the shock cord attached to that cap, and you can use it on the end of one of the new segments from the replacement tent pole kit. If one segment is too short, you could replace with two segments cut to length. If you do have to cut the fiberglass pole, I'd rap it in some sort of tape and cut thru the tape to cut down on the fiberglass pieces peeling. Once the cut is made, you might need to use some glue to make sure any splinters are firmly glued together.

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    Most likely, the end cap has a thru hole that is counterbored at the outer end, and the cord goes straight thru with a seal (a tiny piece of aluminium tube) pressed around the end of the cord to prevent it from slipping back.

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    If it is glued,many adhesives can be defeated with heat. A hair dryer,for example. Back to your vise,keep pressure on it,and warm it up. If it comes off,can be reglued with expoxy.

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    You may want to try immersing those tips in boiling water just in case some glue was used and that might soften it up.

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    Honestly, I don't belive the endcap has to be removed in order to replacement the cord.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Honestly, I don't belive the endcap has to be removed in order to replacement the cord.
    I think I see what you are getting at... that the hole in the end is bigger than the inner hole and all you have to do is cut the existing shock cord (so it's no longer pulling tight against the inside) and you either have to have a thin stiff rod to either push the shock cord out the hole... or get a fishing hook and crimp it to fit in the hole at the end and "fish" the shock cord back out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I think I see what you are getting at... that the hole in the end is bigger than the inner hole and all you have to do is cut the existing shock cord (so it's no longer pulling tight against the inside) and you either have to have a thin stiff rod to either push the shock cord out the hole... or get a fishing hook and crimp it to fit in the hole at the end and "fish" the shock cord back out.
    Thanks all!

    Not sure the hole in the cap is bigger than the hole in the pole segment, but there could be a bottleneck in there (like a washer-type thing) that would let an end knot get inside the cap yet still "hang up" and not just get pulled through the length of the segment.

    The other day I saw a video showing how to use Coleman's pole repair kit, and included in it is a long thin flexible rod used for threading shock cord. It has a tiny hook on the end, and that can be used not only for pulling through the cord, but also pulling out an end loop/knot from the endcap's open end (the video person referred to it as a "perfection" loop, IIRC; looked like a basic slipknot to me, but he did form it a bit differently than I do). Anyway, I tried to make my own little hook with some fine pliers and a paperclip, and I just can't get it past whatever knot is in that endcap so the hook can come around and grab it.

    Guess I'll just wait until the fraying cordage actually breaks, and when that happens, maybe just try to get by without cordage on that trip, being careful to ensure the pole segments are well-seated before flexing them into the dome curve shape. I wonder - if one can do that consistently, do you even really need shock cord?

    Part of me is considering spending the ~$120 or so to get aluminum poles. This was a frontcountry tent, though - it's not what I backpack with typically. It's 37sf, 68 denier floor, etc. 6.9 lbs with fiberglass poles, probably would be ~5.5 lbs with aluminum poles ... and that would be pretty much size and weight of an REI half dome 2 plus. It's just less than a year old, so it should have a few years of life left before PU delaminating begins.

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    Is any of the other endcaps clean and undamaged enough to get a clear view of the bottom side of the hole, and possibly a glimps of the knot or crimp seal thats supposed to hold the cord in place?
    Do you have any old poleset you could destroy to know whats inside?
    This is not rocket science but most likely a cheap&primitive solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Is any of the other endcaps clean and undamaged enough to get a clear view of the bottom side of the hole, and possibly a glimps of the knot or crimp seal thats supposed to hold the cord in place?
    Do you have any old poleset you could destroy to know whats inside?

    Unfortunately no on both counts. Of the endcaps that aren't packed with dirt, it's not possible to see what knot the cord has. You can see the cord a bit. My guess is that when the cord does break I'll feel pretty free to do what I need to in order to get it out. If I break anything, the cost of fiberglass replacement poles (at Bean) is startlingly low. Like maybe under $15 for all three (2 long for the "X" and 1 short that forms the overhanging awning). The cost of custom aluminum is 8x as much.

    And as mentioned, if one is careful, shock cord may not be necessary. If one is clever with paracord and hiking poles, tent poles may not be even strictly necessary.

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    There seems to be a quality issue with shock cord that many (even highend) tent manufacturers affected , maybe one (Chinese?) OEM delivered some poor quality, unnötigen for quite some time.
    I had the shock cord go slack in both my tents, an Exped and a MSR.
    Replacement was easy, though.
    Good luck!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    There seems to be a quality issue with shock cord that many (even highend) tent manufacturers affected , maybe one (Chinese?) OEM delivered some poor quality, unnötigen for quite some time.
    I had the shock cord go slack in both my tents, an Exped and a MSR.

    I've noticed that too with backpacking tents from a number of other brands as well. Going slack seemingly before their time. It may be inevitable with age, but perhaps lower quality elastics were used and they went even quicker than we're accustomed to seeing.


    In the case of this frontcountry one, it's a matter of abrasion rather than slackness. I think the ends of the metal sleeves joining the poles aren't smoothed as much as the ends of quality aluminum poles.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    There seems to be a quality issue with shock cord that many (even highend) tent manufacturers affected , maybe one (Chinese?) OEM delivered some poor quality, unnötigen for quite some time.
    I had the shock cord go slack in both my tents, an Exped and a MSR.
    Replacement was easy, though.
    Good luck!
    Did those two tents have DAC poles ?

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    No, both are highend tents, having Aluminium pole sets.
    I also did a cord replacement at a cheap family dome tent having fiberglass poles recently, and it worked exactly the easy way I've described above: thruhole in the endcap, knot in the cord.
    Last edited by Leo L.; 10-15-2020 at 09:55.

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    My question was related to this line : I had the shock cord go slack in both my tents, an Exped and a MSR.


    Both brands have sold tents with DAC aluminium poles but use other brands too . I happen to have noticed folk commenting about their shock cord failing related to that brand of poles. DAC only makes high quality aluminium poles, used by several high end brands.

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