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heightec & heightec-PMI

heightec Sync D44 heightec Twist D42
heightec Sync D44 heightec Twist D42
 
heightec-PMI Twist D42A, Version A heightec-PMI Twist D42A, Version B
heightec-PMI Twist D42A
Version A
heightec-PMI Twist D42A
Version B

Overview


Heightec once marked some of their products with the "heightec-PMI" brand for sale by PMI in the U.S.A.


heightec Sync D44
(#3500)

Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed Side View: Closed
Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed Side View: Closed
 
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my heightec Sync D44 from heightec in 2022.

The heightec Sync D44 is 96 mm. tall, 75 mm. wide, 35 mm. thick, and weighs 145 g.

Like most chest ascenders, this one is left-handed. Cam faceThe ascender shell is a 4.0 mm. thick subrectangular orange anodized aluminum stamping. The rope channel is formed by bending the right side of the ascender into a U. The rope channel is 15 mm. wide. The left end of the shell is bent on an inclined axis to form another U. A hole drilled through both sides of the U accepts a semi-tubular rivet. The cam, cam spring, and a spacer washer are mounted on this rivet. The head of the rivet is in the front, while the roll is in the rear. The hole in the roll is nearly s deep as the shell is thick. The pivot is centered 47 mm. from the inside of the rope groove. There is a stamped cam stop above the cam. The attachment points are horizontal slots in tabs on the top and bottom of the ascender. The tabs are bent inwards, accounting for the Synch's rather large thickness. The top slot is 41 mm. wide and 0.3 mm. tall. An opening near one end allows removing webbing from the slot without having access to the end of the webbing. The lower slot is a more conventional 43 mm. wide, 2.2 mm tall slot. The ascender is supplied with a 1.5 mm. thick plastic spacer.

The cam is a plated skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius increases from 33 to 53 mm. over an angle of 45°, giving a 31° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth, all of which have their axes approximately perpendicular to the cam face. The tooth pattern is (2)(1.2)^8(B). The B stands for a small bar. A plastic spring-loaded manual safety is mounted mounted on an axle riveted to the bottom center of the cam. The normal action of the spring holds the safety against the cam.When the cam is opened, the shell interferes with the safety, thus preventing cam opening. At full open the safety can be released and the spring will hold the tab against the back of the shell, locking the cam open.

The front of the rope channel has a printed heightec logo. The rear is printed with a standing man icon, "↑," "D44," "Sync Ascender," the heightec logo," "heightec," "CE0598, "UKCA", "0120," "EN567:2013," "EN12841B:2006," "Ø10.5-12 mm," "100kg," "120122," and a book-with-an-"i" icon. It is stamped with "D1576."

Warning:
The weight ("100kg") printed on the shell can easily be
less than the weight of a fully loaded caver.

Comments

The heightec Synch is an integrated chest ascender designed specifically for their Axon harness or Eclipse/Corona harness combination. As such, it is not shaped for use with normal caving harnesses. I do not recommend it for the normal caving or climbing community, as it was not designed for your typical application. There are better chest ascenders on the market for those applications that sell for a similar price.

Having said that, it is only fair to note that the Synch is a solid, well-made ascender, and I would not recommend against using it in the applications for which it was designed.


heightec Twist D42
(#3501)

Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed
Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed
 
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my heightec Twist D42 from heightec in 2022.

My heightec Twist D42 is 107 mm. tall, 71 mm. wide, 34 mm. thick, and weighs 149 g.

The rope channel is 16 mm. wide. The cam axle is centered 46 mm. from the inside of the rope channel. The cam radius increases from 33 to 53 mm. over an angle of 45°, giving a 31° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (2)(1.2)^8(B).

Like most chest ascenders, this one is left-handed. Cam faceThe ascender shell is a 4.0 mm. thick subtriangular orange anodized aluminum stamping. The rope channel is formed by bending the right side of the ascender into a U. The rope channel is 16 mm. wide. The main sling attachment point is located below the cam and behind the rope channel. A second attachment point is located above the cam and also behind the rope channel. The shell is bent backwards at both points to provide clearance between the attachment slings and the main rope. This accounts for the rather large thickness of this ascender. The attachment points appear to be circles distorted by the stamping and bending operation. The lower attachment point measures 16.0 mm. wide by 17.0 mm. high and the upper 14.3 by 14.6 mm. The left end of the shell is bent on an inclined axis to form another U. A hole drilled through both sides of the U accepts a semi-tubular rivet. The cam, cam spring, and a spacer washer are mounted on this rivet. The head of the rivet is in the front, while the roll is in the rear. The hole in the roll is nearly s deep as the shell is thick. The pivot is centered 46 mm. from the inside of the rope groove. There is a stamped stop above the cam.

The cam is a plated skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius increases from 33 to 53 mm. over an angle of 45°, giving a 31° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth, all of which have their axes approximately perpendicular to the cam face. The tooth pattern is (2)(1.2)^8(B). The B stands for a small bar. A plastic spring-loaded manual safety is mounted mounted on an axle riveted to the bottom center of the cam. The normal action of the spring holds the safety against the cam.When the cam is opened, the shell interferes with the safety, thus preventing cam opening. At full open the safety can be released and the spring will hold the tab against the back of the shell, locking the cam open.

The rear is printed with "D42," "Sync Ascender," the heightec logo," "heightec," "Ø10-13 mm," a standing man icon, "↑," a book-with-an-"i" icon, "100kg," "CE0598, "UKCA", "0120," "EN567:2013," "EN12841B:2006," and "121121." It is stamped with "D3291."

Warning:
The weight ("100kg") printed on the shell can easily be
less than the weight of a fully loaded caver.

Comments

The Twist is solidly made. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are simply holes in the shell, and although rounded they should have been beveled more; even so, I would consider their small radius too sharp for directly attaching rope slings.

The safety is awkward to use with one hand when the ascender is not constrained by a harness. The cam and its teeth are very well made. I'm not sure what purpose the bar serves - several people have sent me emails telling me that the analogous bars on the Lucky AB-20 and VauDe AB-20 Bloquer keep the cam from closing and touching the shell (so what?), but the bar does not do touch the shell on the D42. Perhaps it is there to keep the ascender from gripping small cord?? It certainly keeps the lower teeth from working effectively.


heightec-PMI Twist D42A
Version A
(#268, 2140)

Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed
Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed
 
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my heightec-PMI Twist D42A from On Rope 1 in 2009. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun’s collection.

The heightec-PMI Twist D42A is 107 mm. tall, 71 mm. wide, 31 mm. thick, and weighs 142 g.

Like most chest ascenders, this one is left-handed. Cam faceThe ascender shell is a 3.8 mm. thick subtriangular orange anodized aluminum stamping. The rope channel is formed by bending the right side of the ascender into a U. The rope channel is 15.8 mm. wide. The main sling attachment point is located below the cam and behind the rope channel. A second attachment point is located above the cam and also behind the rope channel. The shell is bent backwards at both points to provide clearance between the attachment slings and the main rope. This accounts for the rather large thickness of this ascender. The attachment points appear to be circles distorted by the stamping and bending operation. The lower attachment point measures 17.5 by 16.5 mm. and the upper 16.6 by 13.7 mm. The left end of the shell is bent on an inclined axis to form another U. A hole drilled through both sides of the U accepts a semi-tubular rivet. The cam, cam spring, and a spacer washer are mounted on this rivet. The head of the rivet is in the front, while the roll is in the rear. The hole in the roll is nearly s deep as the shell is thick. The pivot is centered 47 mm. from the inside of the rope groove. There is a cylindrical cam stop riveted to the shell above the cam.

The cam is a plated skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius, measured from the pivot, increases from 38 to 52 mm. over an angle of 37°, giving a 26° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth, all of which have their axes approximately perpendicular to the cam face. The tooth pattern is (1.2^3)^2(1.2)^2(B). The B stands for a small bar. A spring-loaded manual safety is mounted mounted on an axle riveted to the bottom center of the cam. The normal action of the spring holds the safety against the cam. The safety has a 12.8 mm. tall, 6 mm. diameter pin mounted on it for the fingers. When the cam is opened, the shell interferes with the safety, thus preventing cam opening. At full open the safety can be released and the spring will hold the tab against the back of the shell, locking the cam open.

The rear of the ascender is printed with a book-with-an-"i" icon, "D42A," "Ø8-13," "heightec-PMI," "www.heightec.com," and "1008 038."

Comments

InstructionsThe heightec-PMI is solidly made. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are simply holes in the shell, and although rounded they should have been beveled more; even so, I would consider their small radius too sharp for directly attaching rope slings. The cam is the same as the cam on the other heightec-PMI ascenders (Pulsar D40, Compact D41A, and Rescue Compact D41A/ D44 Rope Grab/ D44A).

The cam stop is completely superfluous: the cam does not touch the cam stop, even when the ascender is off rope.

The safety is awkward to use with one hand (like the Petzl Basic). The cam and its teeth are very well made. I'm not sure what purpose the bar serves - several people have sent me emails telling me that the analogous bars on the Lucky AB-20 and VauDe AB-20 Bloquer keep the cam from closing and touching the shell (so what?), but the bar does not do touch the shell on the D42A. Perhaps it is there to keep the ascender from gripping small cord?? It certainly keeps the lower teeth from working effectively.

A major problem with mine is that the cam rubs against the cam axle channel whenever one tries to open the cam fully. This causes the cam to grate as I open or close it. I actually feel - and hear - a pronounced "click" as the cam binds and breaks free. Mine is definitely NOT a smooth-operating ascender.

At present, there are better chest ascenders on the market that sell for a similar price.


heightec-PMI Twist D42A
Version B
(#1502, 2141)

Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed
Front View: Closed Rear View: Closed
 
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging
Front View: Open for Rigging Rear View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

Cam faceI acquired my heightec-PMI Twist D42A, Version B from On Rope 1 in 2009. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun’s collection.

Version B is 103 mm. tall, 73 mm. wide, 38 mm. thick, and weighs 145 g. The only significant difference between Versions A and B is that Version B has a plastic safety.

The rear of the ascender is printed with a book-with-an-"i" icon, "D42A," "Ø8-13," "heightec-PMI," "www.heightec.com," and "1108 092."

Comments

The new safety is also awkward to use; perhaps even more so than the one on Version A.