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Southpaw Enterprises Height Adjuster 5000

Version A Version B
Version A Version B


Version A
(#260, 2091)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Cam faceTechnical Details

I acquired this device used on eBay from Logan Garrison in 2008. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun’s collection.

Version A is 120 mm. tall, 78 mm. wide, 29 mm thick, and weighs 204 g. The extrusion is the same as the one used on the CMI Shorti IV but it is milled differently so there is no top hole. The cam is a skeletonized steel casting with a (5.4.2)(4.3)^4(2) conical tooth count. The two teeth in the third row are huge: 5 mm. tall compared to about 1.3 mm. for the others.

The cam axle is a pin secured by an external retaining clip.

The only markings are "Cmi" in raised letters on the cam, and a sticker that was worn away by the time I acquired this ascender.


I don't like either of the changes on this ascender. There seems to be no purpose in leaving a large "sail" above the cam. My preference would be to either mill an opening like on the Shorti II through IV, or cut the extrusion shorter to eliminate the top portion completely.

The huge teeth on the cam certainly grip, but there is no need for teeth this large. I suspect that they are rather hard on the rope.

Read on for more to this mystery….

Version B
(#1538, 2092)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

Cam faceI acquired my Southpaw Enterprises, Version B from Mike Bessette in 2010. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun’s collection.

Version B is 120 mm. tall, 77 mm. wide, 28 mm. thick, and weighs 200 g. The rope channel is 18 mm. wide. The cam radius increases from 31 to 51 mm. over an angle of 48°, giving a 30° cam angle. The tooth pattern is (5.4.2)(4.3)^4(2). The cam axle is a semi-tubular rivet.

The cam axle is a rivet.

"Cmi" appears in in raised letters on the cam.


The sticker identifies this as a product of Southpaw Enterprises in Dayton Ohio. It is clearly made by CMI for Southpaw, but not for use as an ascender: Southpaw marketed this for adjusting suspended furniture such as porch swings.