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Argus: Filters, Screw and Ring

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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.


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Argus: Ruggedized Kit Installation

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Kit consists of a black metal face plate, stainless steel button and super glue. This kit protects LCD display screen against routine knocks to the display from use, packing or transportation.


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Argus Menu Item: Modes

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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.


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Argus Menu Item: Info

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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.


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Argus Cutter Replacement

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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.


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Argus Menu Item: Config

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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).


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AADs: Which One To Buy?

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(Note: The article below is current, but the accompanying video was made when the Argus was still being produced, the m2 was not yet available for purchase, the Vigil 2+ had not been released and the changeable mode was not available for the CYPRES 2. An updated video will be made in 2014.)

U.S. Skydivers today have a choice in the Automatic Activation Device (AAD) to have installed in their reserve container as a backup safety device. An AAD cuts the reserve container closing loop if the skydiver is exceeding a set speed at a set altitude. For most sport skydivers, the activation speed is the same (78 mph or greater), but activation altitudes vary from 750 to 840 feet.


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Overview of Argus Operations

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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.


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Camera Helmet Mounting Tips

(Published in Blue Skies Magazine)

So you’ve racked up those first 200 jumps and you’re itching to throw a camera on your head…or it could be you’re looking to delve into video work to break up the monotony of tandem and AFF jumps…or maybe you’ve finally traded in that old camera setup from the ’70s, and you’re ready to try one of these new-fangled camera setups.

In any event, you decided you would just order the new cameras, helmet, box, quick-release, indicator lights, bite switch and the like and assemble it yourself. It can’t be that hard, right? A drill, a screwdriver, maybe some gaffer’s tape, and you’re ready to go.

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Jumping in Gusty Winds

On a gusty day this past weekend, three jumpers of different skill levels decided they needed to make a skydive even though tandem instructors along with numerous experienced jumpers had made the decision to wait for the winds to calm down.

The winds were gusting from 7-25 knots and switching directions 100 degrees. The jumper experience level ranged from about 100 to 2,000 jumps. Amazingly enough, it was actually the most experienced jumper who in the end made the worst decision when coming in for landing.

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Dislocated Shoulder Reserve Ride

Atlanta skydiver Loralyn Laurie recently had an interesting save account that was added to ChutingStar’s “save” page on the Web site. Laurie was attending Mike Mullins’ Halloween Boogie at West Tennessee Skydiving in Memphis, Tenn., when the save occurred.

According to Laurie and witnesses, the freefly portion of the dive was going great until breakoff. When Laurie transitioned onto her belly to track away, her right shoulder (main pull arm) went out of joint. Laurie was unable to deploy her main and was forced to deploy her reserve.

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DZ Talk

Incident #1: A visiting experienced jumper tells a seemingly content and happy skydiving student how he doesn’t enjoy jumping at the particular DZ they are at because of all the “bad vibes.” This jumper also tells the student to check out other DZs where the “vibes” are better.

Incident #2: A regular experienced jumper comes out on the weekend to tell as many jumpers who will listen that another experienced jumper at the DZ has probably stolen several hundred dollars from her. The “accuser” has not personally spoken to the “accused” about the alleged theft but chooses to instead take the accusation public in an attempt to ruin the other jumper’s reputation and gain support for her accusation.

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PISA Improvements

ChutingStar riggers assemble several new rigs a month and the most recent popular reserve/AAD/container combination is Tempo/Cypres/Mirage.

We recently noticed that Parachute Industries of South Africa added spanwise (side to side) reinforcement to its Tempo reserves. This follows similar reinforcement (although not identical in design) of popular U.S.-made reserves manufactured by Performance Designs and Precision Aerodynamics.

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Downwind Swooping

Landing or swooping downwind seems to be a continuing rage at many drop zones. Many of these jumpers are hoping to get a longer surf to finish a great skydive while some are the “high performance canopy pilots” practicing for upcoming competitions.

Either way, this is not setting a good example for students or less-experienced jumpers. And even worse, this is leading to some hectic traffic patterns and close collisions during landing. While jumpers are trained to check the windsock or tetrahedron for the landing direction they are also

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Drop Zone International

A French skydiving magazine has recently started publishing a version of Drop Zone in English, titled Drop Zone International. This magazine is packed with high-quality, full-color, glossy photographs, in-depth articles and, of course, an international flavor to its articles and ads.

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Fun Jumps!

Check out ChutingStar Wingsuit Athlete Oliver "Olee" Finkelde showing off what can be done in an wingsuit!

Wingsuit Video - Oliver Finkelde

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Laura and the Tent