So, I just spent ten minutes looking for some reference on CD to a patch kit for our logo piece tube thingies (btw, what’s the right name for those?) and was surprised not to find anything. What have people been using, besides duct tape, to fix up popped tubes? I’m especially interested in finding what they used at competition, and of course, the cheapest solutions as well.
Tuck tape works fairly well. That’s the thin red stuff used on Tyvek House Wrap, not duct (or duck) tape. Building supply places - Home Depot, Rona, Home Hardware, Lowe’s - carry it.
Gaffe tape is the best you’ll get. That will at least get you a tube that works for a few minutes.
Sheathing tape (Tuck tape for Americans) sounds like a good idea, actually. How well does it hold up to brutal use?
One problem, though: Sheathing tape is not available in all the patriotic colors of FIRST, or yellow. Just red and white. It’d be nice to have all our tubes be uniform, not patchwork.
We’ve used gaffer’s tape already. It’s a little better than duct tape, but still far from a real patch job.
I still really want to know what they used at competition.
If the tubes are made of vinyl (I think they are?) then an inexpensive vinyl repair kit, available at any hardware store (or Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc) would work.
So they are. Thank you for reminding me of the obvious - sometimes you just get used to roundabout problem solving in FRC!
When I was Field Supervisor in Boston we had a couple of hundred tubes Alex Cormier repaired when he was impromptu Field Supervisor at GTR West and almost every one of them were tossed out. Once the tubes get damaged they just aren’t long for this world. They are very cheaply made and break easily. FIRST provided a tube repair kit (I think it was vinyl tape) to try to make tubes last but rarely did it really work. Once a tube got popped they were gonna leak no matter what.
If your occurrence is a small hole, I would suggest patching it by using a lighter/hot source to mold the plastics back together. I have yet to do it but I may test it up at our shop tomorrow. I will let you all know how the results play out.
We did this a few times, sometimes even molding on plastic from other sources/tubes(ie. a snow tube). It wasn’t a permanent fix, but it definitely lasted longer and worked better than just tape.
We just grabbed new tubes. When we started running low on new tubes, we tried to patch them in a variety of ways - all I can remember now is gaffe and electrical tape, but I think there were a few more - but nothing worked very well and the tubes just deflated as soon as they were squeezed against something or put through a roller claw. The best method that we found was to put a small piece of tape over the hole, then put a larger strip on top of it. It didn’t work very well, but it could work in a pinch, and will need continuous repair.
If you plan on keeping logo pieces for demonstration purposes, I would recommend filling them with some type of lightweight foam.
All you need is a bike tube pach kit. I popet a cuple of tube and after paching them up they are still good 4 months later.