Apr 8, 2011 at 7:31 am #1271902
Here's a flexible tent pole connector (hinge) that might be of interest to some of you. I borrowed the idea from kite making.
It is simply a short piece of tubing connecting two tent poles. It allows the poles to flex. Any strong flexible tubing works (e.g. nylon, vinyl, etc.) I used clear vinyl in the photo so you can see things better.
The photos show the connector, the tent pole and the tent that the pole supports. The flexibility of the poles' upper two corners allows me to adjust the tent's tightness from inside the tent. Moving the two vertical poles outward lowers the tent and slackens things. Moving them closer to each other raises the tent and tightens things. This is helpful with nylon tents that get wet and start to stretch after you've gotten all cozy inside.
So far I've only tested this in my yard but I think it is a keeper. Vinyl pieces shown weigh about 1/7 ounce each.May 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm #1732993
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
That works for TWO corners – with help from guys.
It does NOT work for 3 or more corners!
Of course, in many cases 2 corners is all you need, so it is a rather ingenious solution. My compliments. My only thought is that you might want to replace the bits of tubing at yearly intervals – but that is hardly a problem.
CheersMay 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm #1733074
You might be careful what sort of tubing you use in certain situations, tubing like the clear PVC pictured can get pretty brittle if the temp drops to around freezing or below, rubber tubing might be more robust in the cold, though probably marginally heavier.
Cool idea though, nice looking tarp/tent.Jul 12, 2011 at 8:46 am #1758432
i am mesmerized by this construction and did forfeit all my other tent/tarp plans that included (expensive and heavy) aluminum-poles.
Poles made of carbon could be cheaper here in germany – but most important, they are lighter.
Could you name the length/diameter/thickness/material constrution specs of your poles?
thanks from germany,
mataiJul 12, 2011 at 9:24 am #1758444
Miguel ArboledaBPL Member
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Just thinking out loud… would a non-stretch, dyneema cord inside the poles work?Jul 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm #1758530
I used these tubes for the poles in the photo:
You can also have poles made here:
Tubing is available from many places that sell kite and archery equipment.
You probably want to use wrapped tubing.
I'm no expert on making tent poles and my methods are pretty crude.
The flexible hinge contunues to work well but I've only used the poles on a couple of backpacks so far.
DarylJul 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm #1758550
sorry for the stupid question, but the O.D. of .385 is measured in inch units?
If yes, thats a 'wow' from me, as i thought they had to be much thicker.
the link you are posting does state the poles as 32.5", which seems much shorter than the one in your picture (compared to the fridge and doorhandle).
but if even this is correct, than i'm happy at all, as i can buy wound carbon fibre rods to 100cm for really little money here.
btw: could you name the thread, where i can find the posted tarptent? i'm not eager to read through all of your 455 posted comments ;)Jul 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm #1758603
Yes, the .385 is in inches.
The poles in the photo are about 4 feet high and 2 feet across. I cut the carbon fiber tubing into sections and connected them with ferrules, except for the flexible tubing hinges.
DarylJul 13, 2011 at 2:35 am #1758751
at the risk of annoying you – do you have a close-up oft the ferrules connection? my english is too bad, so i haven't met the word yet ;)…but as i can't see them from the outside, i assume its some interior bolt? is it also made of carbon?
aannnd – still any hint where to find the tent you post in your profile pic? ;)
thanks for your support,
mattaiJul 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm #1759456
Here's a link to the post where my one person tent is discussed:
Here's a photo of a typical ferrule. Yes, it is like a bolt. The one shown was from a scrap of either carbon fiber tubing or fiberglass. It is about 4" long, slightly smaller diameter than the tubing into which it is placed and glued with some kite making glue called Zap A Gap.
DarylNov 12, 2013 at 8:11 am #2043665
If you are like me (and I know I am) you like to know how some of the hair brained ideas posted on this forum turn out. Well here's a report on the ftpc(flexible tent pole connector).
I've used it on the tent shown in my avatar for 2+ years and something like two dozen nights in the field. It has experienced moderate winds and heavy rain. So far so good. As Roger recommended I've carried a spare but have never needed to use it.
The surprising thing to me is how well the ftpc (pronounced ffftttppppk) protected the fragile ends of the carbon fiber, shock corded poles to which it is attached. The inside of the ftpc's bend is evidently sufficient to keep the spar ends apart during use.
I've asked my staff to find other uses for the ftpc but no results so far. Perhaps you have some ideas?Nov 20, 2013 at 10:49 am #2046539
Kevin BeedenBPL Member
The thread resurrection brought it to my attention for the first time…
I think the first time I saw this sort of connection was on the Peter Powell stunt kite, for which there was a craze in the 70's in the UK. IIRC, it used reinforced PVC tubing at the front, with a hole punched on one side to allow the centre spar to be held in place; this might answer Roger's earlier comment about it only accommodating two poles…
I'm sure I copied the idea into some design ideas similar to Daryl's a few years ago (none of which ever saw the light of day, as with most of my scribbles..)Nov 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm #2046613
Thanks for the specific reference. The idea is borrowed from kite making but I couldn't come up with a specific reference in my original post. I've seen it used on several kites.
The kite makers have a lot of good ideas. I visit the discussion forum at Kitebuilder.com regularly for ideas. The forum members are quite willing to give advice, answer questions and help solve problems.Mar 22, 2014 at 10:34 am #2085205
My wife wanted to use her hiking poles for the two verticals on a 1 person myog tent with an inverted U shaped pole.
Turned out to be an easy adaptation using the flexible connector.Apr 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm #2092557
How time flies. I see that I posted this a couple of years ago.
We've used tents with this pole connector a couple dozen times over the last two years. No problems.
The flexibility of this connector has an advantage over rigid elbows. One can pull the poles inward from inside the tent. This raises the ridge of the tent and takes up any fabric slack that might have occurred since setting up the tent. It is a good thing to do just before going to sleep, especially if wet weather or dew has created some slack in the nylon fly.
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