Quick Link Payload Connectors

by Larry Noble

Since we are going to be using quick links to connect the payload string together, remind the recovery team to have either a multi-tool or small crescent wrench with them in the field to break the connections. The quick links will only be finger tightened prior to launch and should be easy to loosen by finger upon recovery, but should the links develop some type of sticktion as a result of their trip to sub zero temperatures, a tool should be available to deal with the situation.

We will re-use the quick links so make sure they are re-attached to the EOSS payloads after recovery. If the customer payloads arrive pre-strung have them put a loop at both ends or the EOSS prep guys can make the loop if not pre-tied. Quick links DO NOT return with customer payloads after recovery.

We will no longer have to tie knots in the dark with below freezing temperatures at the launch site! Nor will the recovery team need to untie a knot or cut EOSS flight string!

The quick links use a 7 mm open end wrench. A small 3 or 4 inch crescent wrench or a multi-tool with pliers work good. With the longer end up, close the link by turning clockwise, to open turn counter clockwise. I hold the link in my left hand between my thumb and index finger, using my right hand to hold the wrench. If your fingers cannot provide enough counter force from the wrench then insert a small screwdriver or similar object inside the "0" and across the sides. BE VERY CAREFUL not to damage the nylon support line if you must use some type of tool to grip the quick link. Also, if any damage occurs, note it and report it to the ground station so they can be made aware of the possible need to replace the section of support line prior to the next flight.

I suggest flight string prep is made with ALL quick links the same direction on the flight string. The "up" should be toward the parachute. This make it easer for the recovery folks to turn all links counter clockwise to open. I will put a black marker on the "up" end for easy of identification (see attached low res image).

This is really simple - hope I did not confuse everyone.