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Thread: Two pin wires

  1. #1
    Initiate lagraf05 will become famous soon enough
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    Default Two pin wires

    Having recently made the transition to two pin wires/sockets, I'd like to vent a little frustration about them, then get an answer on what people consider to be the best two pin body wires around.

    I've used Ulhmann/Allstar wires and PBT 'long life' wires, and have had reliability issues with both of them (mostly loose pins/fraying issues). I don't want to revert to bayonet (for several reasons), so can anybody give me some indication on what you think the best two pin wires are?

    I'm open to all suggestions, as maybe I've just been unlucky. Price isn't an issue, as I'd rather nab a good quality, well made wire that'll last a long time than a rubbish cheapo one that'll last two weeks then go wrong.

    Thanks

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    Senior Member J4G has a spectacular aura aboutJ4G has a spectacular aura aboutJ4G has a spectacular aura about
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    I use Allstar/Uhlmann ones and they last me pretty well. The only issues I really have are around wear and tear, no more than you'd usually have with them (cut in the insulation, bits of wire being pulled out from sockets)

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    95% of my club use two pin from Uhlmann. never really had any problems and that includes those fencing overseas.
    The main thing we check is the retaining hook, ie press down and tighten with your finger nail or small screwdriver.

  4. #4
    Initiate CaptainCommuter is on a distinguished road
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    As a convert to two pin wires the only issues I have had are the same with all the makes (LP, Ulhmann, SwordPriceFighters!) - that is there is no proper strain-relief for the wire coming out of the two pin end so the constant flexing breaks the wire. However it is so easy to fix (and doesn't happen that often) that it doesn't bother me. Ironically the cheaper wires are more flexible so for me tend to last longer.

    I'm not certain what you mean by lose pins? Occasionally I need to prise the pin apart to make it 'fatter' but again it is easy and again doesn't happen that often.

    Compared to the bayonet socket which would break every other fight the problems above wouldn't make me go back to bayonet. It is easy enough to teach parents of younger fencers how to fix them and it is no more difficult than wiring a plug!

  5. #5

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    I've never had a problem with a bayonet in three years. Two pins seem to fall out on every lunge though.
    I think it's inherent in their lack of a securing mechanism.
    "The goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning"

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
    I've never had a problem with a bayonet in three years. Two pins seem to fall out on every lunge though.
    I think it's inherent in their lack of a securing mechanism.
    German style 2 pin cords have a built-in security device....if it gets lost, that's on the fencer's head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Fencer View Post
    German style 2 pin cords have a built-in security device....if it gets lost, that's on the fencer's head.
    Seconded - your two pins should come with a retaining clip.

  8. #8
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    All 2-pins must have a retaining device (it's in the rules). If the wire doesn't have a clip to grab the socket, the socket should have a clip to grab the wire. This alone should result in the wire not falling out.

    To ensure good contact, two out of the three pin types will work well over long periods of time.

    1. Leon Paul style "offset" pins. The two pins don't quite line up, the result being they make good contact in the socket, where the holes *are* in line. These are also the easiest to fit and repair due to the simple design of the pins and plug.

    2. German style split pins. These pins are straight, but they pins themselves are split lengthwise. These again provide very good contact in the socket. Over time, however, the squeezing of the pins makes them narrower. All you need to do is get a small screwdriver, one size up from the one you use on grub screws, and use it to prise the split sections apart slightly. There should be a very slight "cigar-shape" to the pin. Doing this will restore the fit of the pins in the socket.

    3. German style "collar" split pins. Not good. These pins have a rotating collar to provide the wider part of the contact. While good to start with, over time they will corrode, causing intermittent contact. It is possible to improve them slightly when this happens, squirt them with electrical contact cleaner (same as used for foil and epee points) and rotate the collar to clean it up. Then repeat. This will improve the contact, but these pins are never as good as the other two once they start to fail.

    Note - everything above also applies to the 3-pin plug as well. As to wire, transparent insulation is best, as you can see where the wire has broken...
    Turns out my ignore list is pretty much everyone.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saxon View Post
    All 2-pins must have a retaining device (it's in the rules). If the wire doesn't have a clip to grab the socket, the socket should have a clip to grab the wire. This alone should result in the wire not falling out.
    Unless, of course, you use the Prieur style....where the plastic retaining clip around the socket bracket rarely fits properly over the plug body if the wires are installed....argh.

    Or you could use tape, a rubber band, hair scrunchie, etc...the rules only require a security device...no rule abot WHAT you can use (and I've taped in plenty of people who lost the clip on a German cord)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Barry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud of Barry Paul's Avatar
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    At the weekend Eden Cup and Leon Paul International I saw repeatedly problems with two pin body wires and referee, coaches and fencers having to prise open the collapsing part of the contact pieces to get rid of intermittent white lights.

    The problem with the old bayonet system was if the fencers did not push the plug in before rotating the plastic retaining lug wore out and there was nothing to stop the plug from rotating and then fall out.
    The socket looks OK but is in fact broken.

    The last but one redesign did away with the plastic lug replacing it with a crimped metal part however they could get damaged and difficult to put back.

    The latest version solved all these problems they have stronger spring force, the crimp stainless steel bracket cannot wear out, the unit is riveted together and works perfectly. CaptainCommuter I sent you a mail to see if you would take up a challenge to try the latest system for three month please check your mail box.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Fencer View Post
    Unless, of course, you use the Prieur style....where the plastic retaining clip around the socket bracket rarely fits properly over the plug body if the wires are installed....argh.

    Or you could use tape, a rubber band, hair scrunchie, etc...the rules only require a security device...no rule abot WHAT you can use (and I've taped in plenty of people who lost the clip on a German cord)
    Prieur sockets with LP two pin wires are great. I've not had any problems with this and it's dead easy to maintain.

    I'd use LP sockets, but their retaining clip is somewhat more stiff and brittle than the Prieur version.

  12. #12
    Initiate CaptainCommuter is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Paul View Post
    At the weekend Eden Cup and Leon Paul International I saw repeatedly problems with two pin body wires and referee, coaches and fencers having to prise open the collapsing part of the contact pieces to get rid of intermittent white lights.

    The problem with the old bayonet system was if the fencers did not push the plug in before rotating the plastic retaining lug wore out and there was nothing to stop the plug from rotating and then fall out.
    The socket looks OK but is in fact broken.

    The last but one redesign did away with the plastic lug replacing it with a crimped metal part however they could get damaged and difficult to put back.

    The latest version solved all these problems they have stronger spring force, the crimp stainless steel bracket cannot wear out, the unit is riveted together and works perfectly. CaptainCommuter I sent you a mail to see if you would take up a challenge to try the latest system for three month please check your mail box.
    Hi Barry,

    Thanks for the reminder and the offer. I have responded to your message.

    For the record I have found the bayonet wire more reliable (i.e. needs less maintenance) over time compared to the two pin (apart from the odd time of rubbing the end screw of the bayonet to remove muck). It was the socket that used to fail me and specifically when the metal holding the plastic socket was bent by a corps-a-corps (oops!) the socket would then keep falling out. If you have fixed that then I would be interested to see.

    Out of interest what do you believe the main benefits of the bayonet over the two-pins are (about from the obvious reliability)? I have perceived the combined weight of the socket and bayonet is heavier but I have never actually weighed them!

    Thanks.
    Plan A - Fence, Plan B - Run, Plan C - Epee...

  13. #13
    Senior Member Barry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud of Barry Paul's Avatar
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    L.P Bayonet body wire 79.9 grams Two pin version 84.5 grams making the two plug 5.0 grams heavier. The L.P.bayonet socket is 17.9 grams and the L.P. two pin socket presently is 17.7 grams but a new version will be about 18.5 grams. So the bayonet system is slightly lighter.

    The problem with the two pin system is that contact is made by the spring like elements which are fixed parallel to each pin. In order to manufacture them and make it possible to push the pin in and out the elements are highly stresses and after a relatively short period of time start to fatigue at which point the contact pressure decreases until white lights appear. Also many cheaper pins from China and other countries have sharp edges and every time the pin is pushed into the sockets the socket hole is slowly enlarged. At the Junior/Cadets Championships in Belfast the latest Allstar two pin sockets and plug were so bad that even new ones failed and one of the U.k armourers (Mr Litchfiield ) spent lots of his time with a large spanner twisting the sockets so the two hollow pins were offset to each other to increase the contact force.

    The other main advantage is the rubber covering of the plug means the wire is not constantly bent over a sharp edge and does not fail at the point the wire enters the socket. For full unbiased report see

    http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/Bayonet_Bodywire.html Barry

  14. #14

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    If two-pin bodywires are inherently poorly designed, why dowe not hear about the same problems with epee wires, or at least the non-bananasprung versions? To the non-professional/engineering eye they look to be aslightly larger version with an extra pin.

    Slightly off subject, why are epee bodywire plugs at theweapon end so large? With spacerestricted within the guard would a smaller version not be beneficial or isthis not possible within the rules?

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    Senior Member Barry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud of Barry Paul's Avatar
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    At epee a hit is made by making a contact between the two pins of the three pin plug, if there is any break in the contact in the plug nothing will happen, except if you are hitting at that very moment your hit might not be registered. At foil you hit by breaking the contact and when this occurs at the junction of the plug and socket the apparatus thinks it is a off target hit and registered it as a white light.

    The size of the plug is due to the original pin diameter and spacing which was drawn up in the 1950 when electric epee was first introduced so all fencers personal kit would plug into spools and be compatible with every other piece of equipment

  16. #16
    Initiate lagraf05 will become famous soon enough
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    Well the main reason for my switch was to start being a little more compatible with other people. I started fencing at clubs where two-pin (largely due a greater continental contingent) was the 'done thing.' Got a little fed up of being the only person using bayonet (despite not particularly disliking it at all), so I switched.

    I've solved the issues now. I took a screwdriver, contact cleaner, elbow grease, and what little practical acumen I have to fix them. They work perfectly again.

    Thanks to all who have replied to this thread. It was really quite helpful, might have to stick to Allstar electrics for the time being, whilst still using largely LP/PBT kit.

  17. #17
    Initiate CaptainCommuter is on a distinguished road
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    Default LP bayonet wire and socket review

    After some comments I made about the LP bayonet sockets and bodywires and the fact I had converted over to the two pin system, the kind folks at LP decided to challenge me to try out their updated wires and sockets. I did promise to respond sooner but I hadn’t been able to use them fully before now (apologies for that).

    In the past I always had the bayonet wire and whilst I never had a particular problem with the bodywire itself, I did have major issues with the socket. So far as I was concerned this was a design flaw whereby the bent metal strip holding the plastic socket is made from quite a soft alloy and does bend out of shape. This resulted in the socket coming loose and no matter how I tried to bend it back it was never the same, with the result I had to keep purchasing new sockets.

    After a while and because most of my club mates had the two pins I went over to that, however it does have its problems. The retaining clip needs constant attention and the wire breaks at the hard plastic connectors because there is no strain relief; particularly the two-pin end. Additionally the spring pins (banana plugs) need adjusting as they compress over time and the two pins socket also needs the nut tightening. In short I find the two pin system gets loose, the nut on the socket needs tightening and the body wire needs rewiring every few months. I would prefer not having to constantly perform these checks before each competition (usually late at night just before)

    Now I have tried the LP bayonet for a while, I am completely converted. The bodywire itself is lighter and more flexible and doesn’t appear to require any maintenance so far (and is silver which looks cool to me). The LP wire is much more flexible and feels more comfortable. The sockets are a similar weight as the two pin variety and there is only a screw to check which has not come loose so far (even if it did it is very simple to tighten, unlike the two pin sockets where I need to strip the handle, place in a vice and juggle a spanner and screwdriver!). The main failing of the socket has been resolved; the metal strip is now riveted to hold the plastic socket in place and so cannot bend out of shape.

    A few facts; the bayonet sockets weighs 18g vs the two pin at 19g and the bayonet bodywire weighs 80g vs my two pin wire at 120g. The bayonet wire has straight pins slightly offset to fully connect to the spool and self-piecing screws to form the connection (which is much easier with no wire stripping required).

    Whilst I did get a wire and some sockets provided, I have now bought a spare wire and personally I have no hesitation in recommending the Leon Paul bayonet wire and sockets to anyone that asks. I can now compete without worrying about the equipment – just need to worry about my fencing!
    Plan A - Fence, Plan B - Run, Plan C - Epee...

  18. #18
    Initiate MKCap is on a distinguished road
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    I use the German style 2 pins on my foils and am quite happy with it, I use an LP bodywire so get the offset pins at the spool. The retaining clip is quite secure unlike the French style. They are quite simple to fix when something does go wrong. Virtually every manufacturer makes a two pin socket so replacement during a competition is unlikely to be a problem.

  19. #19
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    The Favero wires are the most ridiculously flexible wires I've used. Their 2-pin plugs are well constructed, but the retaining clip is plastic - nicely designed since it uses its material flexibility to clip/release, however, prone to flexing too far and becoming a loose catch, or breaking altogether. Their 3-pin plug has a natty design which clamps the wire beautifully before the ends are screwed into the pins. Excellent wires but a little too pricey in comparison to everyone else.

    FWF also do a fine bodycord. The wire is some kind of impregnated thread instead of regular strands, which makes it very flexible and long-lasting, but almost impossible to solder the ends if you do have to trim it back (in my case, due to a nick in the insulation near the wrist, and subsequent corrosion). They use teeny tiny crimps instead of solder at the factory. The 2-pin plug has the best retaining clip I've seen, never loses shape like the AF plugs - I have NEVER had one come out by accident. IMO these offer the best performance for price.

    My last experience with LP cords was about 15 years ago. I used a bayonet fitting then and never had a problem with it. Remember it unplugging only rarely in a bout. More recently, I have clubmates who are constantly frustrated by breaking socketside clips on the 2-pin style.

    Absolute fencing have average bodycords - hardwearing and priced well for bulk club use, but the clips are always losing their shape.

    ...The chinese suppliers do dirt cheap wires because they spend ZERO on quality control. As armourer for my club I've had to fix far too many fresh from the box (wired wrong or just plain not working). What I gained in price I paid for in time.

    Hope this helps.

    d.

  20. #20
    Senior Member kd5mdk has a spectacular aura aboutkd5mdk has a spectacular aura aboutkd5mdk has a spectacular aura about
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    I agree the Favero cords are the best I've experienced. The Negrini ones take the other approach and are extremely rugged, although even more expensive. I have no idea what it is with Italians and fine body wires.

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