Cave Regiser Design

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Cave Regiser Design

Postby cavedoc » Apr 19, 2008 12:58 am

Not sure if this is the appropriate forum. I would like to make some cave registers. The cave in question does flood so I want to make something as water proof as possible, that can also be cabled to something so it doesn't wash away. I've seen PVC tube registers that seem like they could work. I'm sure I could come up with something but if there is a tried-and-true design out there already i would love to see it. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Roger Mortimer
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Re: Cave Regiser Design

Postby wyandottecaver » Apr 20, 2008 3:28 pm

I've seen pvc and ammo can registers. some better than others. Depending on how frequently you plan to change it, you could use a large size widemouth nalgene bottle and use a quicklink to connect the nalgene to the cable. I would recommend using locktite nd pliers to make theft of the nalgene more difficult.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: Cave Regiser Design

Postby shibumi » Apr 20, 2008 10:05 pm

I'll echo that, except use a SS u-bolt (not a u-boat) through the lid with extra nuts and
washers on it to tighten on each side.

I run four registers in caves and I've found that
PVC registers are very difficult to make completely waterproof. One possibility is
to use mylar paper and pencil, this is a very waterproof combination and doesn't
fall apart like paper due to humidity.

The register I put in Freemans Pit is an old welding rod holder I
picked up somewhere. It has coarse threads and a decent gasket.
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Re: Cave Regiser Design

Postby cavedoc » May 15, 2010 12:56 am

So next question. Is there a standard list of questions for a register? Seems like I've seen an NSS form in the past but it seemed like overkill. I guess I'm mostly interested in visit statistics and differentiating organized cavers from others. I'll talk to the land manager (the BLM) about it but wondered what the rest of you have found useful.
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Re: Cave Regiser Design

Postby trogman » May 15, 2010 2:10 pm

cavedoc wrote:So next question. Is there a standard list of questions for a register? Seems like I've seen an NSS form in the past but it seemed like overkill. I guess I'm mostly interested in visit statistics and differentiating organized cavers from others. I'll talk to the land manager (the BLM) about it but wondered what the rest of you have found useful.


It doesn't matter much if you put a questionaire or form in the register-most folks will generally write whatever they want. When I sign a register, I do so just to say "I made it here, this is the proof." I think the original idea behind registers was to provide people a way to do that without writing all over the walls. It's just human nature. If you try to turn it into a kind of a research tool or survey, I don't know if most people would even fill that out. I for one probably wouldn't, but that's just me. There are too many such things everywhere you go nowadays, (especially on the internet), and since caving is kind of an escape from everyday life, I wouldn't want to be bothered with it when I'm caving. If you do decide to do something like this, I think it would get more response if it was kept very minimal.
One thing you should try to achieve is making it waterproof, even if the cave is not prone to flooding. It drives me nuts when I open the register and the paper in it is all damp. One bad thing about the PVC ones, and also the old steel pipe registers-they tend to be very hard, if not impossible to open. I'm not sure how they could be redesigned to improve that part, but the idea of a Nalgene bottle sounds good.

Trogman :helmet:
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Re: Cave Regiser Design

Postby cavedoc » May 15, 2010 9:06 pm

trogman wrote: It drives me nuts when I open the register and the paper in it is all damp.


Thanks for the input. I too am a fan of simplicity. For a minimalist register I was thinking of taking some mylar/acetate and spiral binding it so it could be soaked and still writable. If a name is all we want then plain "paper" would work. If it needs to be printed then I need to start thinking about Rite-in-the-Rain copy paper and it all becomes more complicated. Probably put local Grotto and NSS contact info on the front page and be sure to use that page to model some information that would be nice. Folks will write what they want no matter what.
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Cave Register Design

Postby Ernie Coffman » May 18, 2010 10:27 am

Roger, why not get in contact with some of the guys in Stanislaus, for they've done a good job over the years with their registers. :clap: Also, as you've indicated, the cave floods, so is there a place that you can leave the register that doesn't get hit with water? And, are you going to attach it to a wall, so that its not thrown away, like so many cave registers in CA? Just my thoughts. :cavingrocks:
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Re: Cave Regiser Design

Postby cavedoc » May 18, 2010 1:02 pm

Hi Ernie,
We're looking at using some cables to attach them. There are enough places to attach around stable breakdown. If they disappear we'll reevaluate. The PVC design will probably come in at $20-30 apiece. Not catastrophic if they walk away. We hope to have them out of the flood zone but I won't make too many assumptions about how high the water gets. If they double as water samplers/flood stagers that's still interesting information.
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