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Edelrid Eddy as a Slackline Pulley System Brake

Introduction

Today I would like to test the Edelrid Eddy as a brake in a slackline pulley system in comparison to a previous test comparing the Petzl GRIGRI 2, Petzl RIG, and Petzl I'D. The price of the Eddy is considerably lower than the Petzl devices and my hope is that the performance will at least be on par with them.

 

Methods

I plan on using the Edelrid Eddy as a brake behind a 5:1 main pulley system consisting of a pair of SMC 3" Double PMP's. I will embed the Eddy inside the Pulleys using a 12mm Twist shackle. I'd like to note that this shackle will not normally fit through the becket of the SMC 3" Double PMP, so I had to dremel out the hole a bit to make it work. I strongly suggest not doing this to your pulley as it will void any warranty provided by the manufacturer. With this pulley system, I will tension a slackline to as much force as I possibly can using the Elite Multiplier Kit. I will then record this number and compare it to the previous test results that I acquired when comparing the Petzl braking devices. From this, I will be able to tell just how much advantage is lost within the brake compared to the others.

After testing how much friction is lost in the brake, I will be testing how easy the release is under high force. To do this, I will have to add on a few more multipliers to the system to reach a much higher force somewhere in the range of 3,300 - 3,500 lbf. Please note that this force is beyond the working load limit of the SMC 3" Double PMP and should not be repeated.

 

Results

After pulling as much force out of the slackline using the above setup, I was able to achieve a force of 2,856 lbf (12.7 kN).

After taking the force up to 3,300 lbf (14.7 kN), I was able to release tension without any troubles.

 

Discussion

On initial inspecting, the Eddy seems like a very good braking device. It's a little on the heavy side, but not so much so that it's inconvenient. The profile of the device is much smaller than any of the Petzl brakes, which makes it a great candidate for embedded brake style systems. The handle has a nice profile that looks as though it will be easy to access even in tight quarters. There is a cool feature that if you pull too hard on the handle during detensioning, the cam will automatically close, which can sometimes be a pain, but also can save your hands if you happen to pull too hard when the tensions are high.

One thing I noticed about the Edelrid Eddy is that it's very wide. It won't fit on the 5/16" 316-Stainless Twist Shackle in the shop. I had to modify my SMC pulleys in order to fit a larger 12mm twist shackle that fits the Eddy. I'm hoping that the 3/8" Twist shackles will work well with this device because embedding it inside the SMC's is just beautiful.

Another thing about the Eddy is that you must load it in the opposite direction as the GriGri 2. This means that you have to reave your pulleys such that the tail comes out the right sheave of the moving pulley rather than the left to have the brake handle on the bottom. This isn't a huge deal, but it's something to be aware of if you are used to the Petzl devices.

The overall build quality of this device is very nice and feels quite solid. The cam is roughly the same size as the Grigri's, but it rotates on a different pivot point, so the effective diameter is considerably larger. This helps reduce some of the friction within the device during tensioning, which is nice.

Comparing my results to the Petzl brakes, we can see that the force achieve is significantly higher than even the best Petzl brake (the Petzl I'D), which I was only able to reach 2,680 lbf with. This was very surprising to me considering how large the cam is in the I'D. I had zero issues reaching this tension and could likely get to 12 kN very easily on my own on some fairly large lines. I believe this is the perfect companion to the SMC 3" Double PMP's for a bomber 5:1 pulley system (provided the 3/8" twist shackles work, which I will be testing soon).

Releasing tension prooved to be quite simple at 3,300 lbf. There was a bit of difficulty on the initial opening of the device, but not enough to make it an issue. Letting tension out in a controlled manner with just a simple redirect to a carabiner was extremely easy.

One thing that I do not like about this device is the fact that you have to take off your connector to install/uninstall the rope. If using a shackle, this proves to be an even bigger pain. However, this is a small sacrifice to make considering this device retails for around $130 and it performs at the same level as the Petzl I'D.

My final thoughts are that the Edelrid Eddy is a fantastic brake solution that pairs extremely well with the SMC 3" Double PMPfor a high-efficiency 5:1 pulley system. Combine it with the Elite Multiplier Kit and you have yourself a fully capable 15:1 pulley system that works for lines with tension up to 12 kN (full working load of SMC Pulleys). I would recommend this device over any of the Petzl devices when using the above SMC pulleys. The unique features and low price make it an extremely good bargain.

Here is a video of the test:



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5 thoughts on “Edelrid Eddy as a Slackline Pulley System Brake”

  • I saw that you now carry the 3/8" twist shackle in the shop for use with the Eddy. I was wondering if that shackle is compatible with the Rock Exotica Mini Machined Doubles: does the shackle fit through the becket on those pulleys?
    Does the Eddy work better then a Grigri 2 in an embedded brake setup (like your minimalist kit) with the Rock Exotica pulleys? It seems to me like it is thinner and there would be less rope drag on the device.

    • Unfortunately, the 3/8" Twist Shackle does not fit through the becket of the Rock Exotica Mini Machined Double Pulleys. It does, however, fit the Eddy quite nicely on the pin. This setup will work with the SMC 3" Double Pulleys, and a few other types of pulleys, but not the Rock Exotica's.

      The Eddy works the best out of all the brakes I have tried for embedding due to it's small profile.

  • Jerry,

    "I had to modify my SMC pulleys in order to fit a larger 12mm twist shackle that fits the Eddy."

    Are you sure that you do not mean 10mm twist shackle? At the page of the 3/8" twist shackle you write that it corresponds to ~10mm (which makes more sense). Is this 12mm a typo, then?

    • When I wrote this article I did not have a 10mm twist shackle, only a 12mm. I later discovered that the Eddy does indeed fit on the pin of a 10mm twist shackle, which will fit through the becket of the SMC Double Pulleys. The fit on the Eddy is VERY tight though, but it does fit.

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