Newbie question on surveying equipment!

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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby pub » Oct 21, 2009 10:45 am

1982 In October, Cave Specialist Ron Kerbo and Geologist Mike Queen use light cord, balsa wood, and helium balloons to float cord to area 200’ above Baby Hippo area, snagging a stalagmite. Later, both climb rope into area later named Balloon Ballroom. -NPS Source

My questions are: How did they get the balloons to the Baby hippo area? Did they bring them in already inflated? or did they inflate them when needed? Wonder what the balsa wood was for? Navigation?

We are considering using the CO2 canisters for air guns filled with helium if we can find somewhere to get them filled... :tonguecheek:
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby Martin Sluka » Oct 21, 2009 11:35 am

Be careful, the CO2 tank are constructed for much lower pressure than tanks for He. There are special helium cylinders from 0,25 l (300 atm).

You may use the old method to produce hydrogen in cave (use LED no carbide lamps!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TinQ3iV403s
The video is quite horrible, but all depends on amount of water (if mix of SI and solid NaOH is used) or water solution of NaOH (if only Si is used) you add. It worked for us and I have both hands and both eyes till now. :)
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby pub » Oct 21, 2009 5:51 pm

Thanks for the warning about the CO2 canisters sulka. Unfortunately all the He cylinders I found websearching are too big for caves & expensive but I'll keep my eyes open for other work-a-rounds.

I won't feel comfortable generating hydrogen in the caves; I can see the headlines now...
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 21, 2009 5:53 pm

You could try methane. :nannabooboo:
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby pub » Oct 21, 2009 6:17 pm

Are there adapters readily available that filter out solid material? :funny post:
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby Martin Sluka » Oct 22, 2009 12:44 am

Try http://www.gts-welco.com/gts-welco.aspx?pcid=321&ptid=5 :waving:

Solid particles - the simplest way is to bubble gas through water.
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby Martin Sluka » Oct 22, 2009 1:20 am

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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby pub » Oct 22, 2009 6:49 pm

tnx again sluka but a couple of the disposable tanks would be enough to buy a Bosch. Guess we have to save up our Pesos for one and use balloons until then.
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby Martin Sluka » Oct 31, 2009 9:30 am

pub wrote:tnx again but a couple of the disposable tanks would be enough to buy a Bosch.


Anyway the tanks should be refillable.
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby pub » Nov 1, 2009 7:59 pm

What I meant was buying two disposable tank would almost be the price of the Bosch DLR165K and two refillable tanks would probably be more than enough to buy the Bosch, so we it's better to save the money for the real thing. Thanks anyway sluka! :waving:

Still trying to visualize the methane adapter though. :lmao: :yikes: :lmao:
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby Ronal Kerbo » Nov 19, 2009 10:38 am

Regarding the post "One guy even told about balloons being used in Lechuguilla: 1982 In October, Cave Specialist Ron Kerbo and Geologist Mike Queen use light cord, balsa wood, and helium balloons to float cord to area 200’ above Baby Hippo area, snagging a stalagmite. Later, both climb rope into area later named Balloon Ballroom. -NPS Source"
Just a point of clarification: The "Balloon Ballroom" is in the Main Corridor section of Carlsbad Cavern, not Lechuguilla. We wheeled a rented helium tank (It weighed about 65 pounds when full and contained about 150 cubic feet of helium) down the paved trail on a hand truck which we left in the cave for the four nights it took to complete the project. we then pushed the bottle on deeper into the cave and took it up by elevator.
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby pub » Nov 19, 2009 5:54 pm

Thank you very much for the clarification Ronal; I’ve edited my post to read “One guy even told about balloons being used in Lechuguilla but a websearch shows it done in Carlsbad Cavern:”

Further websearch resulted in two more sources:

americanprofile.com:
Goodbar helps in the research projects and pushes the boundaries of numerous caves. At Carlsbad in 1985, he and National Park Service caver Ron Kerbo rigged helium balloons to float climbing cord 255 feet to the top of the cave’s Big Room. They looped the cord around a stalagmite near the ceiling and climbed straight up, where they discovered another 800 feet of passageways. They named their find the “Pearly Gates” and the “Spirit World.”


worldmysteries9.blogspot.com:
An unusual method of exploration was invented in 1985. In a dome area 255 ft (77.7 meters) above the Big Room floor not far from the Bottomless Pit, a stalagmite leaned out. Using helium filled balloons attached to a balsa wood loop, the explorers — after several tries over several years — floated a light weight cord that snagged the target stalagmite.

Once the cord was in position up, over, and back to the ground, a climbing rope was pulled into position, and the explorers ascended into what they named The Spirit World. A similar, smaller room was found in the main entrance corridor, and was named Balloon Ballroom in honor of this technique.

If I may, can I ask for more details of your balloon method? What was the balsa wood for? It would be good to have a first person account of this historical feat, if you don’t mind?
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby Ronal Kerbo » Nov 21, 2009 12:07 pm

This may be too long a post and in the wrong place but to answer your question: The balloon efforts in Carlsbad Cavern were born during a walk through the Main Corridor of the cave with Albuquerque New Mexico caver Jim Hardy in about 1979. We had stopped just above the formation know as the Baby Hippo and Jim pointed up to the ceiling and a ledge of rock protruding out, just a little off center of the corridor, "Up there," he said, "could be the continuation of the Main Corridor on a higher level. If someone could get up there it might go." Yeah, I though and if pigs had wings--. So how the hell would I get up there? Carefully, I though, that doesn't look very safe, at least from here. On my off time I started going into the cave with binoculars, laying down on a bench near that lead and just staring at it, trying to figure out how to get up to the ledge without damaging the cave.
Finally I hit on the idea of using helium filled balloons to float a light line up and over the ledge. I discussed my idea with my friend, caver and a geologist, Mike Queen. Mike and I had been pushing other high leads in the Cavern and I thought he might buy into the idea of hanging a rope over a ledge high off the floor of the cave and climbing up to see what might be discovered.
As our plan evolved we thought we thought that one large balloon would do the trick but as we looked at the ledge we realized that we could not get the apex of the line high enough before the balloon would hit the ceiling. As time went on we decided to use two bunches of balloons to get a wider span between the lift lines without having the balloons hit the ceiling. Mike designed and constructed a lightweight spreader composed of balsawood, redwood, and waxed silk thread. The idea was to maintain a separation between the lines being lifted by the two sets of balloons. In the high humidity of the cave the wooden “spreader” just wiggled around, required more balloons to get it aloft and finally proved unnecessary to the effort. We simply placed the balloons far enough apart on the line to allow us to float up what for our use acted as two independent lines joined by a sagging line between the balloons.
The Spirit World attempt in the Big Room of Carlsbad proved to be more difficult because the stalagmites we were trying to reach were set back above a jutting bulge of flowstone. There we needed to devise a “hoop” of balsa wood that would allow us to reach back far enough to settle the line over the stalagmites. The front of the hoop was lifted by two bunches of balloons and the back of it was held level with two plastic dry cleaning cloths bags heat sealed by ranger Tom Bemis with his clothes iron and also filled with helium. This effort also took several nights and a number of people helping us to get the lines up and over the stalagmites.
Several times people have asked why we did not just float a camera up into the leads rather than floating up lines and then pulling up ropes. It would take a lot less energy and also not be as risky as climbing up ropes looped over questionable anchors. My answer has always been that if the camera showed a going lead you have to climb up, if the camera showed no lead, how could you trust the damn thing and you would have to climb up just to make sure, so why waste time messing about with cameras and miss all the fun of climbing up ropes looped over questionable anchors!
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby pub » Nov 22, 2009 5:58 am

:hijack: unintentionally, I didn’t mean to hijack WVCaver’s topic, my apologies to him, but it seemed his question was answered on the first page when he posted:
WVCaver2011 wrote:Thanks to everyone, Looks like ill be sticking with the laser rangefinder and the cheap clinometer that ill be making.

… and I (newbie) had more questions on surveying equipment

Anyway, THANKS Ronal for the condensed summary of your adventure! I can only imagine the difficulties and frustrations you encountered. It’s great to see that low tech combined with ingenuity and perseverance succeeded in the end.
Balincaguin comes from the Zambal phrase, "Bali lan caguing" meaning "house of bats."
This was the former name of the Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, when it was part of the Province of Zambales (of Mt. Pinatubo Volcano fame).
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Re: Newbie question on surveying equipment!

Postby WVCaver2011 » Jan 25, 2010 7:48 pm

Just thought I would drop a line or so and say that I actually went ahead and bought a Suunto Tandem and a fiberglass tape. I've completed about 6 surveys with it and the total so far is around 1500 feet of passage and the depth so far is 82.4 feet turns out I liked the instruments and it was well worth the wait til Christmas time to get them!!!
Thanks for the info everyone. I'm off for some more surveying!! Peace!! :bat sticker:
There's nothing that makes me more excited than finding a place underground that no one has ever seen or been in!

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