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Holabird Sports
Old 2007-07-04, 18:34   #1
rhyslewis
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Default String tension testers after stringing

Hi

I wondered if anyone can help.
I dont know if this would be my machine, but after i string a racket the tension tester i have (gamma STT) gives a total different result to what my machine strung the racket at.
Could this be a fault with the tension meter? or could it be my machine and what would i have to do?


Rhys
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Old 2007-07-04, 19:24   #2
gotwheels
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Check your machine with a "calibrated" calibrator. The meter/gage you are using will not necessarily reflect machine meters will measure a number 20-30% less than the machine reference tension, so you need history from repeated stringings to determine your consistency. The best measure is stringbed stiffness (dynamic tension), which is a post stringing measure.
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Old 2007-07-05, 01:24   #3
Tim Strawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotwheels View Post
The best measure is stringbed stiffness (dynamic tension), which is a post stringing measure.
I agree 100% with this comment. Devices used to test string bed stiffness (SBS) post stringing are not going to reflect the exact numeric designation in comparison to what the reference tension is on the machine--none of them do this. However, the best time to measure SBS is directly after the racquet is removed from the machine. This reading is for baseline measurements and is something that can be used to measure your own personal consistency when stringing. This reading should be recorded in your stringing log.

It matters little what device is used as long as it's accurate and consistent in it's readings.

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Old 2007-07-05, 22:18   #4
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Try this:

http://marc.roettig.org/tennis/freqmess.php

Dynamic tension or any post stringing tension test will always result in a lower tension reading than your reference (pull) tension. What I believe that you want to try to achieve is consistent dynamic tension. And, then you will want to know how much tension a particular string job loses over time. So, you test (with your Gamma twisty thingy) at regular playing intervals (2, 4, 6 hours, and so on). The difference in readings with your Gamma gizmo will tell you about how much tension you are losing over time.

When you string for a reference tension of, say, 58 lbs. your actual tension may be around 36 lbs. or less after you finished stringing. That is because you will always lose a bit tension as the string sets or as you move clamps or tie off strings. You lose more tension as the racquet is used (or even if it goes unused). What you want to try to strive for is a stringbed stiffness that suits the player and a loss of tension that is expected and manageable. So, you might want to get to know the expected tension loss for a particular type of string or a particular type of string job (like, hybrid).

IMHO,

tw
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Old 2007-07-05, 22:36   #5
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Hi
Thanks for all your replys.
I have attached a picture of the device i am using. And if someone can explain it then that would be great.

The one thing i dont understand is "That is because you will always lose a bit tension as the string sets or as you move clamps or tie off strings."

I understand that say i strng a racket at 56lbs, it would loose abit of tension because the strings set etc but WHY DOES IT LOOSE SO MUCH?

I mean on one reading like i said, there was about 20lbs different, and if this is correct, then the tension lose is a huge amount which will effect any bodies game.

Can you explain please
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Old 2007-07-06, 03:05   #6
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Well, you lose tension because you pull, then clamp, then release the pull tension on the string. So, when you pull, the string continues to stretch even after being pre-stretched. Maybe not much, but some. If you are using a lockout machine, then you will only truly get the reference tension at the moment the clutch breaks. The string will pull back on the clutch (or whatever it is) and you will lose a little tension. Maybe not much, but some. You lose less if you have constant pull machine. Clamps aren't perfect. When you clamp and you release the pull, the clamps move. Maybe not much, but some. On the crosses it can be difficult to clamp next to the frame. Flying clamps move much more. So, again, you will lose tension. Now add all of that up and you'll probably be losing at least 15 lbs. YMMV. Besides all of that, different strings behave differently. Softer string will lose tension during stringing faster than stiffer string. At least, this has been my experience.

You will lose more tension after you weave. Your actually pulling and stretching the mains when you pull the crosses. Likewise, since the crosses are woven, they are subject to friction and resistive pull from the mains that they cross, so, they lose some tension too. By the time you are done losing 20 lbs. would probably be typical. If you go to the link in my previous post, the freqmess programmer expects about 22.2 lbs difference between pull tension and actual tension of the finished string job. So, I don't think what you are seeing is unusual. I may be wrong, but when I talk to pro stringers they don't seem to find that unusual either. I think we all strive to be able to create a certain string bed stiffness. String bed stiffness will change with string type and, of course, tension and will have all kinds of effects on the players perception of the racquet.

If you really want to know how much you are losing after a pull, then get one of these:

http://www.atssports.com/tennis.cfm?prodid=283

1. Attach a piece of your desired string to each end of the calibrator.
2. Mount a racquet and guide the tail end string through the appropriate holes in the racquet. Then, with the device in the center of the hoop, guide the head end string through the frame just as you would when you pull. You may not have to mount a racquet, but I have to with my stringer.
3. Pull the stringer at the head end and read the "reference tension" on the calibrator.
4. Clamp the head end string as you would when normally stringing and release the pull.
5. Read the indicated tension on the calibrator. It will probably be quite a bit different. About 10 lbs (4.5 kg) on my stringer. I can do things to mitigate a small amount of loss, but I still lose some tension. I don't think 20 lbs. difference is unusual. I may be wrong, but when I talk to pro stringers they don't find that unusual either. I think we all strive for being able to reproduce a certain string bed stiffness. String bed stiffness will change with string type and tension.

I don't worry about it, because I like the way the string bed ends up. I won't over tension the string, because I don't want to break the racquet. As far as I know, the tension specs on racquets are pull tensions, not actual tension after you've finished stringing. Not sure if it matters anyway. 60 lbs is 60 lbs.

If you think that your actual tensions are low or if you don't like the way your racquet plays, then try a stiffer string strung at the same tension (or a softer string if you think your string bed is too stiff). I think you'll find that a stiffer string is markedly different.

Just my $0.02 (well maybe a little more),

tw
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Old 2007-07-07, 02:31   #7
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7Ecapilot makes some valid points, in particular, the one about SBS will change with various types of strings and tensions used. All strings lose tension, some more than others. It pays to know the string you're using and what the tension maintenance qualities of that string are. The best way to find this information is to take baseline measurements (post stringing) and incremental measurements over time as the string is used.

You will see various tensions resulting from stringing technique as well. How the knots are tied, what knot is used, how and WHEN the string is clamped off, how the string is inserted into the tension head and much more. There are several things like this that can affect the overall consistency of a string job.

Accomplished stringers can take several racquets of the same model, same string, same machine, and the same reference tension and arrive at the same end result with each racquet. It takes practice and experience but it's not like this cannot be accomplished by any stringer.

What is more difficult and time consuming is knowing what strings to use in various racquets--what hybrid string combinations work well together etc. There are so many different strings on the market today that it's getting tougher and tougher to do this but still, the strings fall into only a handful of categories and for the most part, each category of string reacts in similar ways.

Tim
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