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heightec & heightec–PMI Quadra

heightec Quadra heightec–PMI Quadra heightec Quadra D01
heightec Quadra heightec–PMI Quadra heightec Quadra D01
heightec Quadra D011 heightec Quadra D012
heightec Quadra D011 heightec Quadra D012

Overview


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


heightec Quadra
(#3150)

Front Rear Left Right
Front Rear Left Right
 
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my heightec Quadra from eBay seller break k in 2022, but it is a much older model, probably dating from ~2006.

My Quadra is 200 mm. tall, 97 mm. wide, 29 mm. thick, and weighs 618 g.

The Quadra consists of a number of parts mounted on an irregular 2.9 mm. thick stainless steel back plate. A swinging front plate of the same material covers the active parts. The front plate has two curved cutouts to clear pins to be described later, eleven irregular holes of artistic merit. A 17 x 17 mm. subtriangular hole is punched in the lower corner of each plate, and the lower portion of the plates are bent slightly inward. These holes align to form the main attachment point.

The active parts are an upper bollard assembly, a fixed pin, a lower bollard assembly on a pivoting handle, and a fixed brake block.

The upper bollard is a turned aluminum block that is 38 mm. in diameter and 17.5 mm. thick. The center 15 mm. of the rim has a shallow U-shaped groove that reduces the central diameter to 35 mm. The bollard sits on a mushroom head shoulder pin riveted to the back plate. The reduced section under the head fits into a curved slot cut in the front plate. The bollard mounting is eccentric (about 8.8 mm. off-center). The fixed pin is 11.9 mm. in diameter and 18 mm. high, and is riveted to the back plate. In use, the rope runs between the upper bollard and the fixed pin. A small tab stamped in the back plate limits how far the upper bollard can open.

The brake block is a stainless steel rectangular block riveted to the back plate. A roll pin prevents block rotation.

The lower bollard is a stainless steel casting that is fixed to the handle plate. The casting is a skeletonized D-shape, with the flat surface on the right side. The handle plate is 2.9 mm. stainless steel. A plastic hand grip is molded to the top of the plate. A cast steel rope guide/brake is riveted below the grip. A spring rotates the handle upward. The handle and front plate pivot independently on a common axle riveted to the back plate. A 4 mm. socket-head cap screw in the rear plate limits how far the handle can be pulled downward.

Pulling the handle downwards causes the nose of the lower bollard to squeeze the rope against the fixed anvil, slowing the descent. When the user moves the handle upwards, the flat side of the D moves toward the brake block, allowing space for the rope to move between the lower bollard and block. If the user raises the higher, the handle rope guide wedges the rope against the upper side of the anvil, adding friction.

The front of the Quadra is stamped with "heightec," "QUADRA, and a rigging diagram. It was also stamped with "RW18Q" by a previous owner who wanted to number each of their Quadras. The rear is stamped with "MAX 200KG." The hand grip has "•," a book-with-an-"i" icon, "Ø10.5–12," and "•" molded in the front and "•," "prEN12841C," "CE0120," and "•" molded in the rear. The cap screw is marked with "8•8" and "A•4."

Comments

None of my Quadras are particularly easy to rig ont o stiff caving rope, but this one is the easiest. It is not as hard to rig as the Powerlock, and it slides a bit better on 11 mm. rope.

I prefer the fixed handle on this Quadra to the folding ones on later models. Having the handle as an extension of the lower bollard plate makes controlling the descent easier than using a folding handle that rotates independent of the lower plate.

The Quadra has all the disadvantages of autostop descenders (see my 1995 internet post on rappel safeties for more information), as well as the rope diameter sensitivity typical of double-stop descenders.

This is the lightest and smallest of my stainless steel Quadras. I view it as too large, heavy, and complex to be able to recommend it for caving or climbing use - but that was not heightec's intended market for the Quadra.


heightec-PMI Quadra
(#1169)

Front Rear Side
Front Rear Side
 
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my heightec-PMI Quadra from On Rope 1 in 2008.

My Quadra is 185 mm. tall, 92 mm. wide, 30 mm. thick, and weighs 692 g.

The Quadra consists of a number of parts mounted on an irregular 2.9 mm. thick stainless steel back plate. A swinging front plate of the same material covers the active parts. The front plate has two curved cutouts to clear pins to be described later, eight irregular holes of artistic merit, and some additional cutouts of less obvious purpose. A 17 x 17 mm. subtriangular hole is punched in the lower corner of each plate, and the lower portion of the plates are bent slightly inward. These holes align to form the main attachment point.

The active parts are an upper bollard assembly, a fixed pin, a lower bollard assembly on a pivoting handle, and a fixed brake block.

The upper bollard is a turned aluminum block that is 38 mm. in diameter and 17.5 mm. thick. The center 15 mm. of the rim has a shallow U-shaped groove that reduces the central diameter to 35 mm. The bollard sits on a mushroom head shoulder pin riveted to the back plate. The reduced section under the head fits into a curved slot cut in the front plate. The bollard mounting is eccentric (about 8.8 mm. off-center). The fixed pin is 11.9 mm. in diameter and 18 mm. high, and is riveted to the back plate. In use, the rope runs between the upper bollard and the fixed pin. A small tab stamped in the back plate limits how far the upper bollard can open.

The brake block is a stainless steel rectangular block riveted to the back plate. A roll pin prevents block rotation.

The lower bollard is a stainless steel casting that is fixed to the handle plate. The casting is a skeletonized D-shape, with the flat surface on the right side. The handle plate is 2.9 mm. stainless steel, with a spring-loaded, pivoting, aluminum handle attached near the anvil. The handle and front plate pivot independently on a common axle riveted to the back plate.

When the user squeezes the handle toward the body of the quadra (i.e., moving the handle upwards), the flat side of the D moves toward the brake block, allowing space for the rope to move between the lower bollard and block. If the user squeezes harder, the handle wedges the rope against the upper side of the anvil, adding friction.

The front of the Quadra is etched with a book-with-an-"i" icon, a bulls eye icon, "Ø," "10.5-11," "MAX200KG," " a rigging diagram with "LIFELINE-RAISE" above it, a different rigging diagram with "LOWER" beside it, "heightec PMI," " QUADRA D01A," "www.heightec.com," and "0808 025."

Comments

InstructionsThe instructions for the Quadra say that it was "designed for use on low-stretch (EN 1891, type A) kernmantle rope between 10.5 and 12 mm. diameter, for the following purposes:

The inconsistency in acceptable rope diameter between the instructions and the markings on the Quadra are the manufacturer’s error, not mine.

The Quadra is not as hard to rig as the Powerlock, and it slides a bit better on 11 mm. rope, but I find the handle rather awkward. The Quadra has all the disadvantages of autostop descenders (see my 1995 internet post on rappel safeties for more information), as well as the rope diameter sensitivity typical of double-stop descenders.

The phrase "to arrest the movement of a safety rope attached to a person" refers to using the Quadra as a belay device, not as a rope grab. The instructions warn that 10.5 mm. rope requires special care when belaying.

The instructions say that the Quadra is approved for ascent, but that is so awkward that no rational person would choose it as their preferred ascender.

Although I find this device interesting from a collector’s perspective, it is large, heavy, complex, and not very user-friendly. I cannot recommend it for caving or climbing use.


heightec D01
(#3148)

Front Rear Left Right
Front Rear Left Right
 
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired this heightec Quadra D01 from heightec via Miles Bradshaw in 2022.

My Quadra is 185 mm. tall, 92 mm. wide, 30 mm. thick, and weighs 692 g.

The Quadra consists of a number of parts mounted on an irregular 2.9 mm. thick stainless steel back plate. A swinging front plate of the same material covers the active parts. The front plate has two curved cutouts to clear pins to be described later, seven irregular holes of artistic merit, and some additional cutouts of less obvious purpose. A 17 x 17 mm. subtriangular hole is punched in the lower corner of each plate, and the lower portion of the plates are bent slightly inward. These holes align to form the main attachment point.

The active parts are an upper bollard assembly, a fixed pin, a lower bollard assembly on a pivoting handle, and a fixed brake block.

InstructionsThe upper bollard is a round, skeletonized stainless steel casting. It is 36.5 mm. in diameter with a slight 15.3 mm. wide U-groove that reduces the internal diameter to 4.1 mm. The bollard is eccentrically mounted on a rivet through the side plate, and can rotate counter-clockwise toward a cast steel anvil riveted to the lower left of the bollard. The head of this rivet extends outside the pivoting plate, and a circumferential groove in the head fits into the upper curved slot in the pivoting plate. A pin extension on the rear of the bollard fits into a curved slot in the fixed plate, limiting the bollards motion in both directions.

The lower bollard is part of an autostop assembly. It is a stainless steel casting fastened to a handle made from 2.9 mm. aluminum. The lower surface of this bollard has an 12.3 mm. wide, 3.5 mm. deep U-shaped rope groove. The right surface is flat. A 26.8 mm. tall cast stainless steel anvil is riveted to the rear plate opposite this flat surface. This anvil has a notch near the top that engages one of the slots in the pivoting plate. The handle and front plate pivot on a rivet attached to the fixed side plate side. The handle is a spring-loaded aluminum lever on the trailing-rope side of the device. Friction from the main rope’s passage tends to turn the lower bollard and force the flat face towards the anvil, thus locking the rope and ideally arresting the descent. The rappeller uses the handle to keep the autostop feature disengaged.

When the user squeezes the handle toward the body of the quadra (i.e., moving the handle upwards), the flat side of the D moves toward the brake block, allowing space for the rope to move between the lower bollard and block. If the user squeezes harder, the handle wedges the rope against the upper side of the anvil, adding friction.

The front of the D01 is etched with "CE0598," "prEN 12841:2006 A/B/C," "LOWER," a rigging illustration with an associated curved arrow that points in the direction opposite the rope motion, "Ø," "10.5-11.0 mm," "Max 200 kg,", another (different) rigging illustration, "LIFE-LINE, RAISE", book-with-an-"i" icon, "D01," "Quadra," "Life-Lining Device," the heightec logo, "heightec," "Patented," "D011229," and "130721." The side of the larger anvil has a cast illustration of light going through a prism.

Comments

The Quadra D01 shares several parts with the contemporaneous heightec Powerlock and heightec Prism. The latter explains the curious prism logo cast into the larger anvil.

The Quadra D01 replaces the aluminum upper bollard of older models with a cast stainless steel bollard. The steel one should wear better. The post has been replaced by a small cast anvil, and the rectangular anvil has been replaced by a shaped cast one. I don't notice much difference in performance between the old and new versions.

The D01 remains difficult to rig, but not nearly as bad as the Powerlock. It requires some finagling with the front plate and the handle to get the rope to slide into place. Fortunately, the top bollard is free, like that one on the contemporaneous heightec Prism, and not spring-loaded like the contemporaneous heightec Powerlock's top bollard.


heightec Quadra D011
(#3135)

Front Rear Left Right
Front Rear Left Right
 
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my heightec Quadra D011 from heightec in via Miles Bradshaw 2022.

My heightec Quadra D011 is 210 mm. tall, 89 mm. wide, 31 mm. thick, and weighs 524 g.

This Quadra consists of a number of parts mounted on an irregular 4.0 mm. thick anodized aluminum alloy back plate. A 2.9 mm swinging front plate of the same material covers the active parts. The front plate has two curved cutouts to clear notched anvils to be described later, and some additional cutouts of less obvious purpose. The lower portion of the plates are bent slightly inward. A 17 x 28 mm. pear-shaped hole is punched in the lower portion of the fixed plate and a 14 by 21 mm oval hole is cut opposite this in the swinging plate. The holes align to form the main attachment point.

The active parts are an upper bollard assembly, a lower bollard assembly on a pivoting handle, and two fixed anvils.

The upper bollard is a round, skeletonized stainless steel casting. It is 36.5 mm. in diameter with a slight 15.3 mm. wide U-groove that reduces the internal diameter to 4.1 mm. The bollard is eccentrically mounted on a rivet through the side plate, and can rotate counter-clockwise toward a cast steel anvil riveted to the lower left of the bollard. The head of this rivet extends outside the pivoting plate, and a circumferential groove in the head fits into the upper curved slot in the pivoting plate. A pin extension on the rear of the bollard fits into a curved slot in the fixed plate, limiting the bollards motion in both directions.

The lower bollard is part of an autostop assembly. It is a stainless steel casting fastened to a handle made from 2.9 mm. aluminum. The lower surface of this bollard has an 12.3 mm. wide, 3.5 mm. deep U-shaped rope groove. The right surface is flat. A 26.8 mm. tall cast stainless steel anvil is riveted to the rear plate opposite this flat surface. This anvil has a notch near the top that engages one of the slots in the pivoting plate. The handle and front plate pivot on a rivet attached to the fixed side plate side. The handle is a spring-loaded plastic lever on the trailing-rope side of the device. Friction from the main rope’s passage tends to turn the lower bollard and force the flat face towards the anvil, thus locking the rope and ideally arresting the descent. The rappeller uses the handle to keep the autostop feature disengaged.

The front of the D011 is printed with "CE0598," "EN12841:2006 type C," "LOWER," a rigging illustration with an associated curved arrow that points in the direction opposite the rope motion, "Ø," "10.5-11.0 mm," "Max 200 kg,", another (different) rigging illustration, "LIFE-LINE, RAISE", book-with-an-"i" icon, "D011," "Quadra," "Rescue Device," the heightec logo, "heightec," "Patented," "011121," a human icon, "↑," "UKCA," "0120," and a rectangle containing "EN341:1993 type B" and "Max 100 m." It is stamped with "C4404." The side of the larger anvil has a cast illustration of light going through a prism.

Comments

InstructionsThe D011 has a plastic lever while the D01 has a metal lever. Since the rope runs against the lever, wear will be a much greater problem for the plastic lever.

The D011 is not nearly as hard to rig as the Powerlock, although it requires some finagling with the front plate and the handle to get the rope to slide into place. Fortunately, the top bollard is free, like that one on the contemporaneous heightec Prism, and not spring-loaded like the contemporaneous heightec Powerlock's top bollard.

The Quadra D011 worked much better on my caving ropes than either the heightec Powerlock and heightec Prism. I found the handle to be rather awkward. The Quadra has all the disadvantages of autostop descenders (see my 1995 internet post on rappel safeties for more information), as well as the rope diameter sensitivity typical of double-stop descenders, but it worked reasonably well.

Although I find this device interesting from a collector’s perspective, it is large, heavy, complex, and difficult to rig on stiff caving rope. I would not recommend it for normal caving or climbing use, but one could do much worse.


heightec Quadra D012
(#3149)

Front Rear Left Right
Front Rear Left Right
 
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my heightec Quadra D012 from heightec via Miles Bradshaw in 2022.

My heightec Quadra D012 is 211 mm. tall, 89 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 527 g.

This Quadra consists of a number of parts mounted on an irregular 4.0 mm. thick anodized aluminum alloy back plate. A 2.9 mm swinging front plate of the same material covers the active parts. The front plate has two curved cutouts to clear notched anvils to be described later, and some additional cutouts of less obvious purpose. The lower portion of the plates are bent slightly inward. A 17 x 28 mm. pear-shaped hole is punched in the lower portion of the fixed plate and a matching hook on the swinging plate align to form the main attachment point. A spring-loaded plastic gate helps to prevent inadvertent opening of the swinging plate.

InstructionsThe active parts are an upper bollard assembly, a lower bollard assembly on a pivoting handle, and two fixed anvils.

The upper bollard is a round, skeletonized stainless steel casting. It is 36.5 mm. in diameter with a slight 15.3 mm. wide U-groove that reduces the internal diameter to 4.1 mm. The bollard is eccentrically mounted on a rivet through the side plate, and can rotate counter-clockwise toward a cast steel anvil riveted to the lower left of the bollard. The head of this rivet extends outside the pivoting plate, and a circumferential groove in the head fits into the upper curved slot in the pivoting plate. A pin extension on the rear of the bollard fits into a curved slot in the fixed plate, limiting the bollards motion in both directions.

The lower bollard is part of an autostop assembly. It is a stainless steel casting fastened to a handle made from 2.9 mm. aluminum. The lower surface of this bollard has an 12.3 mm. wide, 3.5 mm. deep U-shaped rope groove. The right surface is flat. A 26.8 mm. tall cast stainless steel anvil is riveted to the rear plate opposite this flat surface. This anvil has a notch near the top that engages one of the slots in the pivoting plate. The handle and front plate pivot on a rivet attached to the fixed side plate side. The handle is a spring-loaded plastic lever on the trailing-rope side of the device. Friction from the main rope’s passage tends to turn the lower bollard and force the flat face towards the anvil, thus locking the rope and ideally arresting the descent. The rappeller uses the handle to keep the autostop feature disengaged.

The front of the D012 is printed with "CE0598," "EN12841:2006 type C," "LOWER," a rigging illustration with an associated curved arrow that points in the direction opposite the rope motion, "Ø," "10.5-11.0 mm," "Max 200 kg,", another (different) rigging illustration, "LIFE-LINE, RAISE", book-with-an-"i" icon, "D012," "Quadra," "Rescue Device," the heightec logo, "heightec," "Patented," "D012073," "110521,"," a human icon, "↑," and a rectangle containing "EN341:1993 type B" and "Max 100 m." The side of the larger anvil has a cast illustration of light going through a prism.

Comments

The only functional difference between the D011 and D012 is the hook-and-gate closure on the D012 replaces the simple swinging plate attachment hole on the D011. While this is an advantage, the D012 is just as difficult to rig as the D011, and so making it easier to attach to the harness does not substantially reduce the overall effort.