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Front View Rear View
Front View Rear View
Side View Open for Rigging
Side View Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Orcus from Ondřej Belica in 2015.

The Orcus is 187 mm. tall, 46 mm. wide, 37 mm. thick, and weighs 248 g.

The two side plates are made of 35 by 3.75 mm. aluminum. The upper end of each side plate is bent inwards in a quarter circle so that when the bobbin is in use the side plates keep the rope on the top bollard. The lower ends of the side plates are bent to converge at the attachment point, which consists of a 12.3 mm. wide, 13.7 mm. high hole in each side plate. One side plate pivots to allow threading the rope. The bollards are turned aluminum with a milled slot to keep them from rotating on the fixed side plate. The bottom bollard is riveted to the side plates, and the top bollard may be as well (the construction is not clearly visible). The pivoting side plate pivots on the lower rivet and has a slot to allow clearing a turned knob on the top bollard.

There are no markings on the Orcus.


Ondřej sent me the following information on the history of the Orcus:

Orcus descender - it used to be "produced" by caving club Orcus in Bohumín (city in "wild north-east" of Czech Rep.). Some members of Orcus were working as teachers in vocational school form lathe operators, welders, locksmiths, milling machine operators, etc. So during practical training, instead of making various training shapes with no further use, they let their students to make the parts for those descenders, which they later completed into descenders and used for caving. I know that in my way of explaining and with my English it sounds that they were misusing students for making descenders, but it wasn't like that.

My Orcus is worn from extensive use. It is a bit stiff to open and close, and it does not have a gate to facilitate changeovers and similar maneuvers, but it is quite serviceable for normal descending.