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Window Nets. Let's talk latch design.


Ian
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It's time to pull the trigger on a window net hanger.

 

Our old car used the sliding top bar, but it was mangled in the wreck.  Is the seat belt buckle kind better?  It looks prettier, but is it easier to use?  More safe?  Pain to install?

 

Let's hear those opinions.  We have a relatively large opening to work with, but have a head wing seat.  So I'd prefer the mount to build "out" not down, to prevent helmet scratching and whatnot.

 

 

IMG_20200215_154550945.jpg

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Thanks for posting this great question.  I am also looking at window net options.  We have the seat belt buckle attachment and I really don't like it.  Since the button is small and slightly recessed into the buckle (it's literally a normal buckle like in my childhood Oldsmobile Delta 88) I find it hard to push in...when NOT in an emergency situation.  I've been curious to see what other options exist.

 

Has anyone modified the buckle or button to make it easier to press when wearing a glove?

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I use this style:

Image result for window net latch racing

 

The lever allows a person to pull the net up tight when latching and it releases with the flick of the lever. You could put a lanyard on it to make it easier to release with gloves on but I haven't felt the need.

Edited by mender
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Of the ones I've tried, this one is the easiest to use, but I've only seen it on triangular nets, and I didn't like how that fit my window opening. 

SAFECRAFT

 

Now this thread has me thinking about possibly using some of the camlock harware from expired harnesses as a window net release though...

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13 minutes ago, ABR-Glen said:

Of the ones I've tried, this one is the easiest to use, but I've only seen it on triangular nets, and I didn't like how that fit my window opening. 

SAFECRAFT

 

Now this thread has me thinking about possibly using some of the camlock harware from expired harnesses as a window net release though...

 

Oh.

 

I hadn't even though of using old cam lock buckles.  I have at least 3 kicking around.   The plot thickens.

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1 hour ago, mender said:

I use this style:

Image result for window net latch racing

 

The lever allows a person to pull the net up tight when latching and it releases with the flick of the lever. You could put a lanyard on it to make it easier to release with gloves on but I haven't felt the need.

I hate that style, lol. The problem is that you actually have to be able to see if the blade is seated before rotating the latch to catch. And the part shown in the picture is inside the driver compartment, so you can't see it from outside the car. It's worse at night. 

We've had that type, and now have spring-loaded bars, which are IMO much easier to use since you're just spearing each end into a fixed hole. 

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21 minutes ago, Ray Franck said:

Whichever style latch you choose make sure the latch is at the top and the net drops down.  As it will not pass tech if it is latched from the bottom.

 

Our car has passed tech 3 years in a row with a window net that latches at the bottom. I guess one more change to make before the season starts never hurt anyone, right. 

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22 minutes ago, Ray Franck said:

Whichever style latch you choose make sure the latch is at the top and the net drops down.  As it will not pass tech if it is latched from the bottom.

 

Yah, I wouldn't want a hanging net.  That's seems like a horrible idea on so many levels.

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9 minutes ago, SonsOfIrony said:

 

Yah, I wouldn't want a hanging net.  That's seems like a horrible idea on so many levels.

 

We just mounted ours based on the instructions with the kit, but looking at it it probably does make more sense to be reversed and drop down when unlatched. It is not a big deal to change for us, so we will. 

 

It is still disconcerting that we have been through tech 3 times and passed, and now apparently we will not, without warning. I checked the BCCR, and it is not mentioned in there, and I cannot find any communication of this change in policy in any emails from Champcar. What other surprises can we expect when we roll up to the tech line.. 

 

Quote

3.5.1. All competition cars must have an SFI-approved window net mounted to the cage of the car only. All window nets must cover the window opening such that a driver’s hand or arm cannot extend outside the vertical plane between the a- and b-pillars, or (for open cars) the a-pillar and the main hoop of the roll cage while the driver is seated and belted in-place. Cars with nets that have extensive openings, as defined solely by ChampCar officials, will NOT be allowed on track.

 

3.5.1.1. All window nets shall meet SFI or FIA specifications. The certification indicated by an SFI label or FIA label must be present, including a clear “Date of Manufacture” label or, in the case of FIA labels, “Date of Expiration.” SFI nets list a year of manufacture, and ChampCar will accept them until December 31st of the fourth year from the year of manufacture. FIA nets expire on December 31st of the year of expiration sewn into net. Any attempt to modify the date(s) on any net are grounds for immediate team disqualification, without recourse or refund.

 

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1 hour ago, Ray Franck said:

Whichever style latch you choose make sure the latch is at the top and the net drops down.  As it will not pass tech if it is latched from the bottom.

It's not specified in the rules, and my car passed tech every time with it latched at the bottom. Please stop making up rules. 

 

I've used both. I personally like having it latched at the bottom, makes it easier for me hook it up by myself.

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2 hours ago, Snorman said:

I hate that style, lol. The problem is that you actually have to be able to see if the blade is seated before rotating the latch to catch. And the part shown in the picture is inside the driver compartment, so you can't see it from outside the car. It's worse at night. 

We've had that type, and now have spring-loaded bars, which are IMO much easier to use since you're just spearing each end into a fixed hole. 

I like my window net to be tight, not so easy to do with the spring-loaded bars.

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1 hour ago, mender said:

Don't knock it 'til you try it. :)

 

Nope.  Most crashes/fires don't involve being upside-down.  That means if you don't huck the net hard enough onto the roof, it's now dragging across your helmet/H&NR as you attempt emergency egress.  Too many things to catch on and hook yourself back into the car.

 

Not to mention if the car lands on an incline with the drivers side slightly down, the net may never stay on the roof.

 

Add in the fact a full face helmet obscures your downward vision a great deal, and a hanging net will have it's latch well below eye level.  Which means you're opening it blind.

 

Hard pass.

Edited by SonsOfIrony
I kan haz spel
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12 minutes ago, SonsOfIrony said:

 

1. Nope.  Most crashes/fires don't involve being upside-down.  That means if you don't huck the net hard enough onto the roof, it's now dragging across your helmet/H&NR as you attempt emergency egress.  Too many things to catch on and hook yourself back into the car.

 

2. Not to mention if the car lands on an incline with the drivers side slightly down, the net may never stay on the roof.

 

3. Add in the fact a full face helmet obscures your downward vision a great deal, and a hanging net will have it's latch well below eye level.  Which means you're opening it blind.

 

Hard pass.

1. Not needed to get out, unlatch and go. Net slides over helmet and such.

2. Again, unlatch and go, no need to get the net to stay on the roof.

3. If you can't see the latch, you probably can't see your dash. Not sure why you think it would be that low.

 

Saved me from losing a race when my net didn't quite get latched, it was easy to grab and fix without having to pit. Try that with a net that's flopping around on the outside of your door. 

 

Like I said, it's not as bad as you might think. But your choice.

Edited by mender
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38 minutes ago, mender said:

1. Not needed to get out, unlatch and go. Net slides over helmet and such.

2. Again, unlatch and go, no need to get the net to stay on the roof.

3. If you can't see the latch, you probably can't see your dash. Not sure why you think it would be that low.

 

Saved me from losing a race when my net didn't quite get latched, it was easy to grab and fix without having to pit. Try that with a net that's flopping around on the outside of your door. 

 

Like I said, it's not as bad as you might think. But your choice.

 

I'd gladly lose 100 races if it meant not catching a HANS anchor on the window net draped over my head and ending up burning to death.

 

tenor.gif

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17 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

I like a top latched net.  We use the slider bar and it is awesome.

 

The net is pretty tight and easy to latch yourself if it falls down.  You do need to pull offline, but that only happened once.

 

That's how the old car was set up.  It was low profile.  Tight, and easy to latch/unlatch.

 

More and more, I'm leaning towards don't fix what int broke.

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We switched from a link and latch (hated that effing thing).  Then we went to a buckle type.  It was always falling down.  I tried to redo it 3 or 4 times.

 

Then, I saw the spring rod type. Omg!  That is amazeballs.  Easy to get it down when the car is on fire too!  Tested that feature....  twice!

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