Questions about elecator mechanisms

I’m building a game piece elevator mechanism (something like the 254’s 2019 one) so I can do something productive while I procrastinate on college apps. I’ve got a few questions I’m hoping to get resolved before I start working. If you could weigh in on any one or more of these questions it would be much appreciated.

  1. What kind of string or cable has your team used (and liked)? for your string operated mechanisms? (Think 2022 climber and/or a game piece elevator used during deep space and powerup)

  2. Follow up question: What kind of spool do you prefer to use for this cable? Long small dia spool vs short larger dia spool?

  3. On telescoping type elevators, what do you use for linear bearings? How about on non telescoping elevators?

  4. What type of idler pulley do you like?

  5. When calculating required # of motors and gear reduction, how much of a safety factor do you use?

  6. What are your favorite mechanisms for making something lockable/non backdrivable after the match ends?