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I acquired my Zero-G G-Spot from Walkhigh Mountaineering in 2007.
The Zero-G G-Spot is a plain belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. Mine is 46 mm. long, 53 mm. wide, 100 mm. high, and weighs 57 g. Each slot is 33 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 15 mm. below the ends of the slots. The G-Spot has a moderately stiff plastic covered cable keeper.
One side of the G-Spot is etched with an illustration showing how to rig the device, the Zero-G logo, "ZERO-G," and "0107" (presumably the date of manufacture).
The Zero-G G-Spot is one of the following closely-related belay tubes, all called "ATCs" after the original Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller:
Each of these is 54±3 mm. long, 46±1 mm. wide, and weighs 59±9 g. Their slots are all 32±1 mm. long and 14±1 mm. wide. They all have plastic-covered cable keepers.
The Black Diamond ATC was the first of these to appear, by many years. The basic design evolved and similar devices appeared from others.
The ATC is a lightweight, popular belaying device among climbers. Rigging is simple: insert a bight of rope and clip it with a suitably anchored carabiner, making sure that the rope is not running over the keeper. Two-rope rigging is similar. On thinner ropes, adding another carabiner helps.
My biggest complaint is that none of these give me enough friction when rappelling with a heavy load on fast 9 mm. rope. I also prefer more friction while belaying, unless my partner is particularly lightweight. For these reasons, I prefer using a Trango Jaws or one of its equivalents.
Any of these will overheat badly on long rappels. Overheating is not an issue when belaying, but can be a concern when lowering someone more than a short distance.
There are four different shell styles in use::
The differences between the styles are cosmetic rather than functional.
None of the keepers-to-shell are strong enough to support body weight, so don't be stupid enough to rely on a keeper to protect you.
There are also several different diameter keeper cables used on these. Cable keepers are a compromise between a cord that stows easily but tends to get tangled in use, and a rigid rod that stands up to the rope running over it (by accident, of course). I prefer a stiff keeper, but any of these are stiff enough to be used without significant problems.
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I acquired my Zero-G G-Wedge from Maximum Adventure Sports in 2007.
The Zero-G G-Wedge is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine is 60 mm. long, 48 mm. wide, 111 mm. high, and weighs 73 g. The slots are 33 mm. long and 15 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 9 mm. below the ends of the slots. The keeper is a stiff plastic-covered cable.
One side of the G-Wedge is etched with an illustration showing
how to rig the device, the Zero-G logo, "ZERO-G," and
"0205" (presumably the date of manufacture).
I like this design enough to give it three stars:
The following notched belay tubes, including the Zero-G G-Wedge, are essentially the same device:
Each of these is 60±1 mm. long and 48±1 mm. wide, and has a weight in the 76±3 g. range. Their slots are all 33 mm. long and 15 mm. wide.
These are just like many other devices except for one little difference, but that difference makes any of these a much better device than those others. The special feature is the teeth. First of all, if you don't need them, turn the device 180 degrees and they are out of the way. On the other hand, if you want more friction, then these teeth canprovide it. This is the only device design of this size and weight that I feel comfortable rappelling my 9 mm. haul line on. With any others, I never really felt completely in control (to be fair, I haven't tried this on the the Omega Pacific SBG or the Simond Cubik). The extra control is well worth carrying the extra 15 or 20 grams. One caution: like all belay tubes and tubers, these can get very hot on rappels.
I borrowed the following paragraphs from Trango's web site, although they should apply to any of the devices in the table:
Jaws stops better than most belay/rappel devices. The addition of the V notches really grabs the rope, assisting in slowing down the fall. In lab tests using a UIAA drop tower, an 11 mm. rope, an 80-kg weight with a fall factor of 1.2, and a clutch holding the rope with a 50-lbf slip threshold, we found the following results:
Pyramid/ATC/Tuber style devices 16" - 20" slip, no rope damage GriGri 1" - 3" slip, no rope damage Jaws 6" - 8" slip, no rope damage
Jaws allows you to adjust the rope friction during a rappel. By flipping the rope out of the notches and over the side plates at the start of a long rappel, you can reduce the friction the device gives you at the start. When the rappel begins to speed up as you get closer to the ground, flip the ropes back into the notches to slow it down.
You must rig Jaws correctly. It's not symmetrical so you need to be sure the notches are on the brake hand side of the rope, not on the side which goes to the leader. Also, because of the additional friction provided by the device you'll find that the beginnings of long rappels can be a bit jerky. The solution is to allow rope to slide through by varying the angle of your brake hand rather than just letting rope slip through. On low angle slab rappels, turn Jaws around so the notches are on the anchor side and your brake hand is on the smooth side.
The printed instructions that I received with my Lotse and Zero-G G-Wedge are identical; both refer to the device as a "Multigrip."
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