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Home › Forums › Gear Forums › Make Your Own Gear › Types of Catenary Cuts??
Are there different types of catenary cut ridgelines? I realize they follow a hyperbolic cosine function, but how is the "a" parameter chosen for tarps & tents? Is there only one type for all manufacturers?
Thanks in advance for educating me.
Tom
They are all the same curve. We have an article on it in fact:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/myog_tech_note_catenary_curves.html
How do you choose 'a'?
:-)
Whatever seems like a fair thing to you!
Cheers
I downloaded the spreadsheet from this site and computed some curves. I don't have the numbers anymore, but the difference between a centenary with a 6 in displacement over 8' and the arc of a circle was negligible. I think it was around 0.016. I just use a circular arc.
Having sewed a number of tents using a simple arc of a circle in lieu of a geometrically correct catenary curve, I can attest that it works just fine. As another poster suggested, the arc will be very close to the theoretical curve when you are talking in terms of a few inches of deflection in a seam several feet long.
I've had pretty good luck using about 1/4" deviation from straight per foot of seam length – so if your seam is 8 feet long, each piece would have an arc such that the center of the arc would be 2" away from the straight line between the two ends of the line.
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