July 6, 2015 Update: Trigger Wire & Sleeve Issues
In the month since writing the below article I’ve come across a few small issues with the Alien Evolution Cams. One involving the trigger sleeve and the other the trigger wires. The issues first cropped up on a pitch mid-way up Mt. Slesse. My partner was having trouble getting a green alien cam placement out, a lot of trouble. The trigger had stopped working and so he had to use his nut tool to pull directly on the trigger wire attachment bar to get the cam out. The issue: the fabric sleeve that connects the trigger to the trigger wire attachment bar had detached from the collar at the trigger wire bar.
I contacted Fixe Hardware about it and they said that the first batch made had an issue with the sleeve but that they would send me a new cam under warranty. So it seems that this issue is localized to small number of the units. It’s not a safety issue at all as this failure only makes the cam hard to remove (nut tool is critical in this effort) and Fixe will replace any cams with this failure under warranty.
I’ve also come across two of the new cams where the trigger wires had frayed. These were not my cams however and so I cannot comment on how they were used. Unlike most trigger wires, which are made from a solid piece of wire or a woven synthetic cable, the new Alien cams use a cable made from numerous very small wires twisted together much like a smaller version of the cables used on cranes. This cable is very flexible and tends not to kink, however if one of these small strands breaks it can unwind from the rest of the cable, ie. fray. While this does not pose a safety risk no one wants a cam with some frayed trigger wires.
So what is being done about this issue? Fixe will warranty cams that have these frayed wires so nothing to worry about there. As for the cause and extent of the issue and what is being done, I’m waiting to hear back from Fixe but will keep you posted.
In the meantime I plan to get my broken cam replaced and I’ll be putting the new one to use. I still really like the new Aliens and neither of these issues compromise safety.