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Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Flexible tent pole connector on 04/08/2011 08:31:44 MDT Print View

Here's a flexible tent pole connector (hinge) that might be of interest to some of you. I borrowed the idea from kite making.

It is simply a short piece of tubing connecting two tent poles. It allows the poles to flex. Any strong flexible tubing works (e.g. nylon, vinyl, etc.) I used clear vinyl in the photo so you can see things better.

The photos show the connector, the tent pole and the tent that the pole supports. The flexibility of the poles' upper two corners allows me to adjust the tent's tightness from inside the tent. Moving the two vertical poles outward lowers the tent and slackens things. Moving them closer to each other raises the tent and tightens things. This is helpful with nylon tents that get wet and start to stretch after you've gotten all cozy inside.

So far I've only tested this in my yard but I think it is a keeper. Vinyl pieces shown weigh about 1/7 ounce each.

Connector

Pole

tent

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Flexible tent pole connector on 05/04/2011 16:22:55 MDT Print View

Hi Daryl

That works for TWO corners - with help from guys.
It does NOT work for 3 or more corners!

Of course, in many cases 2 corners is all you need, so it is a rather ingenious solution. My compliments. My only thought is that you might want to replace the bits of tubing at yearly intervals - but that is hardly a problem.

Cheers

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
clear pvc tubing on 05/04/2011 18:59:07 MDT Print View

You might be careful what sort of tubing you use in certain situations, tubing like the clear PVC pictured can get pretty brittle if the temp drops to around freezing or below, rubber tubing might be more robust in the cold, though probably marginally heavier.

Cool idea though, nice looking tarp/tent.

bla blubb
(Mattai) - F
Re: Flexible tent pole connector on 07/12/2011 09:46:18 MDT Print View

Hi Daryl,

i am mesmerized by this construction and did forfeit all my other tent/tarp plans that included (expensive and heavy) aluminum-poles.

Poles made of carbon could be cheaper here in germany - but most important, they are lighter.
Could you name the length/diameter/thickness/material constrution specs of your poles?

thanks from germany,
matai

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Re: Flexible tent pole connector on 07/12/2011 10:24:46 MDT Print View

Just thinking out loud... would a non-stretch, dyneema cord inside the poles work?

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Re: Flexible tent pole connector on 07/12/2011 13:42:52 MDT Print View

Matai,

I used these tubes for the poles in the photo:

tubing

You can also have poles made here:

poles

Tubing is available from many places that sell kite and archery equipment.

You probably want to use wrapped tubing.

I'm no expert on making tent poles and my methods are pretty crude.

The flexible hinge contunues to work well but I've only used the poles on a couple of backpacks so far.

Daryl

Edited by lyrad1 on 07/12/2011 13:43:52 MDT.

bla blubb
(Mattai) - F
Re: Re: Re: Flexible tent pole connector on 07/12/2011 15:03:06 MDT Print View

Dear Daryl,

sorry for the stupid question, but the O.D. of .385 is measured in inch units?
If yes, thats a 'wow' from me, as i thought they had to be much thicker.
the link you are posting does state the poles as 32.5", which seems much shorter than the one in your picture (compared to the fridge and doorhandle).
but if even this is correct, than i'm happy at all, as i can buy wound carbon fibre rods to 100cm for really little money here.

bye,
Matai

btw: could you name the thread, where i can find the posted tarptent? i'm not eager to read through all of your 455 posted comments ;)

Edited by Mattai on 07/12/2011 15:08:42 MDT.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Re: Re: Re: Flexible tent pole connector on 07/12/2011 18:00:22 MDT Print View

Matai,

Yes, the .385 is in inches.

The poles in the photo are about 4 feet high and 2 feet across. I cut the carbon fiber tubing into sections and connected them with ferrules, except for the flexible tubing hinges.

Daryl

bla blubb
(Mattai) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Flexible tent pole connector on 07/13/2011 03:35:54 MDT Print View

Hi Daryl,

at the risk of annoying you - do you have a close-up oft the ferrules connection? my english is too bad, so i haven't met the word yet ;)...but as i can't see them from the outside, i assume its some interior bolt? is it also made of carbon?

aannnd - still any hint where to find the tent you post in your profile pic? ;)

thanks for your support,
mattai

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Flexible tent pole connector on 07/14/2011 20:26:42 MDT Print View

Mattai,

Here's a link to the post where my one person tent is discussed:

tent

Here's a photo of a typical ferrule. Yes, it is like a bolt. The one shown was from a scrap of either carbon fiber tubing or fiberglass. It is about 4" long, slightly smaller diameter than the tubing into which it is placed and glued with some kite making glue called Zap A Gap.

Ferrule

Daryl

Edited by lyrad1 on 07/14/2011 20:28:14 MDT.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Follow-up Report on 11/12/2013 09:11:43 MST Print View

If you are like me (and I know I am) you like to know how some of the hair brained ideas posted on this forum turn out. Well here's a report on the ftpc(flexible tent pole connector).

I've used it on the tent shown in my avatar for 2+ years and something like two dozen nights in the field. It has experienced moderate winds and heavy rain. So far so good. As Roger recommended I've carried a spare but have never needed to use it.

The surprising thing to me is how well the ftpc (pronounced ffftttppppk) protected the fragile ends of the carbon fiber, shock corded poles to which it is attached. The inside of the ftpc's bend is evidently sufficient to keep the spar ends apart during use.

I've asked my staff to find other uses for the ftpc but no results so far. Perhaps you have some ideas?


xx

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
peter powell stunt kite...? on 11/20/2013 11:49:11 MST Print View

The thread resurrection brought it to my attention for the first time...

I think the first time I saw this sort of connection was on the Peter Powell stunt kite, for which there was a craze in the 70's in the UK. IIRC, it used reinforced PVC tubing at the front, with a hole punched on one side to allow the centre spar to be held in place; this might answer Roger's earlier comment about it only accommodating two poles...

http://www.my-best-kite.com/peter-powell-stunt-kite.html

I'm sure I copied the idea into some design ideas similar to Daryl's a few years ago (none of which ever saw the light of day, as with most of my scribbles..)

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: peter powell stunt kite...? on 11/20/2013 15:17:59 MST Print View

Kevin,

Thanks for the specific reference. The idea is borrowed from kite making but I couldn't come up with a specific reference in my original post. I've seen it used on several kites.

The kite makers have a lot of good ideas. I visit the discussion forum at Kitebuilder.com regularly for ideas. The forum members are quite willing to give advice, answer questions and help solve problems.

here

Edited by lyrad1 on 11/20/2013 15:18:30 MST.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Hiking Pole Adaptation on 03/22/2014 11:34:48 MDT Print View

My wife wanted to use her hiking poles for the two verticals on a 1 person myog tent with an inverted U shaped pole.

Turned out to be an easy adaptation using the flexible connector.

xx

xx

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Update-Flexible tent pole connector on 04/13/2014 13:42:00 MDT Print View

How time flies. I see that I posted this a couple of years ago.

We've used tents with this pole connector a couple dozen times over the last two years. No problems.

The flexibility of this connector has an advantage over rigid elbows. One can pull the poles inward from inside the tent. This raises the ridge of the tent and takes up any fabric slack that might have occurred since setting up the tent. It is a good thing to do just before going to sleep, especially if wet weather or dew has created some slack in the nylon fly.