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R.E.D.E. Rack
(#525)

Front View Rear View
Front View Rear View

Technical Details

I acquired this rack from Desert Rock Sports in 1997.

My R.E.D.E. Rack rack is 262 mm. tall, 242 mm. wide, 32 mm. thick, and weighs 780 g. The frame is made from 9.5 mm. stainless steel bent into a U, with an internal width of 33 mm. There are 5 functioning brake bars, held in place by lock and cap nuts threaded to the top of the frame. The top four bars bars are 19 mm. in diameter, 70 mm. long, and made from anodized aluminum alloy. The second and fourth bar notched so they can pivot. The fifth bar is 19 mm. in diameter, 235 mm. long, and made from aluminum alloy tubing with synthetic rubber end caps attached. Below this bar, each side of the frame has a 68 mm. tall coil spring made from 2 mm. wire. A bar, similar to the first and third brake bars, sits below the springs and gives them a positive bearing surface. This bar does not contact the rope and does not act as a brake bar.

There are two stickers on the long brake bar. One says, "THE R.E.D.E. DESCENDER MEETS N.F.P.A. STANDARDS PNLY WHEN USED WITH 11mm N.F.P.A. APPROVED ROPE AND N.F.P.A. APPROVED BODY HARNESS. TESTED TO 10,000 LBS. OF TENSILE STRENGTH." and has a United States Testing Co. logo. The other says, "WARNING! DESCENDING CAN BE DANGEROUS. DO NOT USE THIS DEVICE WITHOUT PROPER INSTRUCTION FROM A QUALIFIED TEACHER. INCORRECT USE INCREASES THE RISK OF INJURY OR DEATH. THE USER ASSUMES ALL RISK INHERENT TO HIS TYPE OF ACTIVITY."

Comments

The R.E.D.E. descender is an unusual variation of the U-frame rack. It is well made with two glaring exceptions. First, the threads for the cap nuts were made about an inch longer than they needed to be. Second, and more serious, the two sides of the frame are not the same length. The long side is about 3 mm. longer than the short side. This causes the top brake bar to sit crooked, so much so that tit is only supported by the nuts on the shorter side. If I were serious about using this rack, I would remove the nuts and trim the long side to the same length as the other, and then reassemble everything.

The fifth bar is longer so that both hands can be used to move it. Usually that much strength is not required, and the long bar just makes the rack take up more room in the pack. For some reason, the fifth bar is not anodized. The springs force the fifth bar upward, which tends to give the rack an auto-stop capability which really isn't needed since the rope provides the same assistance. If nothing else, the long bar makes tying off easy if you don't know the normal methods.

The long bar might have some rescue applications, but that is not for me to say.

The R.E.D.E rack meets NFPA standards and is tested to 10000 lbf (2.2 kN), making it strong enough for the most obese fireman. Personally, I’d go on a diet if that was an issue.

I don't use my R.E.D.E. rack because it is too big and heavy.

The R.E.D.E. descender is protected by U.S. Patent #5,145,036. The patent design features wing nuts at the top and claims, "[b]y turning the adjustable wing nuts… up or down a fine tuning of the pressure on the friction bars can be controlled." Not having wing nuts on my R.E.D.E. rack, I can't test this and convince myself that this would make any noticeable difference whatsoever.

I never found out what R.E.D.E. stood for.