Rant & Rave Blog

  • SkySystems Quick Release Service Bulletin

    SkySystems USA has released a Service Bulletin on its Quick Release handle. The Quick Release is a cutaway system for chincups and the Vapor Narrow and Vapor Wes Pro helmets.

    According to the service bulletin, the company found a weakness in the handles manufactured from January 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010. Those with affected handles can return them to SkySystems for a new replacement handle at no charge.

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  • Overview of Argus Operations

    The Argus is manufactured by Aviacom in Belgium. It has three parts: Processing Unit, Cutter and Control Unit. The Argus turns on with 4 button pushes. The first wakes it up, which is followed by a HELLO. The Logo, ARG and US will then flash in sequence. As each part flashes, press the button. If you are too fast or slow with the flash sequence, it will turn back off with a Bye Bye.

    The unit will give the status on 3 checks during startup: Battery, Cutter and System. A check mark indicates each part is in working order. An error will be shown followed by a shut-off. If everything is in working order, the unit will show the current mode. The unit is on for 14 hours before the automatic shut-off, or you can manually turn it off before 14 hours. Continue reading

  • Argus Menu Item: Config

    With the unit on, press the button twice and select the Menu option and then Config option. Items under this menu item include: Alt Unit (Meters or Feet), Sys Unit (Metric or U.S.), Time Cfg (time and date settings), Log Mode (Normal or Trace).

    Confirm after changing the altitude, system or log mode. The date and time updates are completed when you finish with entering the year. Continue reading

  • Argus Cutter & Display Replacement

    Both the display and cutter are secured through a screw-on connection. The cutter has a 3-prong connection. The display has a 4-prong connection.

    Once the new cutter and/or display has been installed, turn on unit to verify the Argus unit passes the systems checks. Continue reading

  • Argus Menu Item: Info

    With the unit on, press the button twice and select the Menu option and then Info option. Select Jump for info on your skydives and Admin for info on your unit.

    Jump: Jump info such as number of jumps, last freefall time, total freefall time, vertical speed, temperature, barometric pressure and the number of times the unit has fired. Continue reading

  • Argus Menu Item: Modes

    How to change the mode on an Argus AAD.

    Mode Sel: With the unit on, press the button twice and select the Menu option and then Modes option. Select Mode Sel option and choose from Standard, Novice, Tandem or Swoop. Press the button at the appropriate mode you want to use. Follow that by pressing the button when Confirm is shown. Wait several seconds for the unit to display the mode you selected. If the proper mode is selected, then it is ready to use. If not, repeat the process until you’ve selected the correct mode.

    Firing Altitude & Speeds for the 4 modes.

    • STD: 820 ft/78 mph
    • NOV: 1000 ft/45 mph
    • TAN: 2200 ft/78 mph
    • SWOOP 820 ft/78 mph/Standby upon parachute opening.

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  • Argus: Filters, Screw and Ring

    One filter is located on the inside on the battery back plate. A second filter can be installed on the outside of the battery back plate for swoopers who may get the unit wet on a regular basis. To replace the filter, pick the old filter off and stick the new filter on. The filter or filters must be replaced after getting wet and/or damaged. Once a filter is removed, it can not be used again.

    The closing screw is a small Phillips head screw that secures the back plate to the Argus unit. It should be snug/hand tight. Continue reading

  • Argus Cutter Service Bulletin Revised

    Aviacom has issued a revised service bulletin for a mandatory replacement of all Argus cutters manufactured August 2007 and earlier.

    The bulletin says the cutter is to be replaced "at the next repack but no later than 31 December 2010." Previously the service bulletin said the cutter had to be replace before the next jump, the company said that wording was in error and released the revision. Continue reading

  • PIA 2009 Gear Showcase

    The Parachute Industry Association Symposium 2009 has wrapped up in Reno, Nevada, and it did not disappoint those looking for the latest, greatest skydiving products, gadgets and information.

    Here is a rundown of the new products and improvements you'll soon see for sale in gear shops.

    Performance Designs announced its Optimum Reserve canopies are being manufactured in the larger sizes. This low-bulk reserve canopy was only previously available in sizes 99, 106, 113, 126 and 143. It is now being manufactured in sizes 160, 176, 193, 218, 235 and 253.

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  • Skyhook Javelin Odyssey Review

    The first Skyhook-equipped Sun Path Javelin Odyssey was dropped off at Chuting Star Rigging Loft in April 2008 for a full assembly. I had seen the new Javelin Odyssey updates at the Parachute Industry Association 2007 Symposium in Reno, but this was the first time I was able to really see how the updates work with a fully-assembled and packed rig.

    From the outside, the Javelin look remains the same. It has always been a rig that has little flash, but gets the job done. The Javelin reserve container has also been one that is what I consider to be rigger-friendly and easy to make look good. It's a combination of the limited reserve container flaps (4) and the fact that the reserve freebag sits fully against the side flaps. This keeps wrinkles in the reserve container nearly non-existent with a smooth pack job.

    The new updates do not change the looks of the reserve or main container. A smooth pack job still leads to a nice looking rig.

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