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SOS Update


John Szimanski

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John Szimanski

Gentlemen,

As a result of field testing we have settled on and overall handle length of 5-5/16”.  This length is a median for a "standard" considering average hand size and comparative gripper sizes based on feedback from testing. Our final specification for overall handle length will be 5-5/16” +1/64”, -0”. We feel this is a sufficiently tight enough spec to make SOS grippers uniformly consistent and certainly tighter than anything else available.

This tolerance, combined with the quality control applied to the other SOS factors will set a high standard and make the ‘feel’ among SOS grippers consistent with the IP rating at face value. As it is, we have noted some fat lady syndrome (“I can’t be that fat, the scale must be wrong.”) with respect to comparisons among grippers with varying configuration. We expressed early on, and it has become obvious, that all of the gripper characteristics we have identified so far play a roll in how a gripper ‘feels’. This feel may appear to disagree with the IP face values.  However, IP ratings are as uniformly measured as bodyweight is based on gravity.

The fact of the matter is the run-of-the-mill grippers are not apples to apples to one another, to SOS grippers, and vice versa. We have identified the dimensional variations based on skew and included angle as contributing to apparent gripper difficulty. Likewise for the dogleg and overall handle length. Pat P. has suggested that the wider coils of the thicker wire, higher rating grippers also contribute to apparent difficulty. And, it numbs the mind to try to consider individual differences such as overall hand size, strength or weakness at a particular part of the pull, etc., etc.

Our testers best expressed it as, “[we] think the difference in feel is due to spring differences along the ride”. Which pretty well throws all the gripper characteristics into one bag and sums it up thus:

1. The degree of difficulty of a gripper as a whole is the sum of the parts. Comparisons between inconsistently produced grippers may appear baffling and variable from individual to individual. A similar situation has arisen for comparisons between inconsistently produced grippers and consistent grippers.

2. The IP rating for run-of-the-mill grippers and quality provides a specific measurement and distinct rating.  

3. The IP rating alone CANNOT, in and of itself, define the overall apparent difficulty (feel) for typical run-of-the-mill grippers.

4. The IP rating alone CAN, in and of itself, define the overall apparent difficulty (feel) between any two consistently produced grippers.

What does this mean in practice for training? For SOS grippers, the consistent configuration means the IP rating can be taken at face value for direct comparisons with other SOS grippers regardless of who makes the squeeze. Where other grippers come into play, use your judgement combined with the objective measurements. What does this mean in practice for competition? We hold the line that a consistent machine that controls cheating will always surpass grippers as uniformly objective competitive tools. On that topic, photos of the Gripanator will begin appearing over the next few days.

Production has started on the revised SOS grippers. We expect to have the first batch within seven days and begin seasoning, calibrating and shipping as the requested IP ranges are produced. The batches are not prioritized. The best we can do is estimate we expect to start shipping not later than 11/26/01 and have all current commitments shipped by 12/15/01.

In the process of testing we hit upon the configuration that gets us to the higher model 3 ranges and past. We will then back up and fill in another low range, then back up to the top and beyond.

John

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