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I built a zip line that is about 400 feet long and starts at about 35 feet elevation at a tree house going to a pole at the same elevation. I didn't want any danger of collision with the end of the line so it is gravity controlled and you zip about 80 percent of the way to the pole and then return and finally stop at the center of the line about 10 feet off the ground and dismount on a step ladder.It works very well but it is difficult to remove the zip pulley every time to return it to the start so I have a fishibg reel return line but it is also cumbersome. This forum seems to have a broad experience base and what I think would be ideal is a remote controlled powered pulley that I can send down the line to retrieve the harness back to the start. I think it would climb the cable as the incline is quite shallow when it is empty. Any ideas?
 

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Dennis, Welcome to the Router Forums! Often we receive "off-the-wall" subjects and yes with thousands of members the chance of gathering (non-woodworking info) from this crowd is great. After reading your first sentence, a fishing line was my first guess, but it looks like you have already thought of that. In my shop I have an air-hose reel which brings-in the air-hose quite quickly, therefore; here is my "off-the-top-of-my-head" suggestion: look into acquiring a used bicycle and a strong permanent magnet. Build a magnet-carrying retriever on a rope. Attach something ferrous to the carriage. Mount the bicycle transmission and drive wheel somewhere on your high-end vertical support. With enough rope, you can make the bicycle wheel (no tire) work like a large fishing reel. What you're going for is an easy-to-spin pedal on a large diameter spool. Dependent on the type of structural cable you are using the magnet may foul, and in that case maybe some Velcro would work!
Good luck, Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
 

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Dennis, Welcome to the Router Forums! Often we receive "off-the-wall" subjects and yes with thousands of members the chance of gathering (non-woodworking info) from this crowd is great. After reading your first sentence, a fishing line was my first guess, but it looks like you have already thought of that. In my shop I have an air-hose reel which brings-in the air-hose quite quickly, therefore; here is my "off-the-top-of-my-head" suggestion: look into acquiring a used bicycle and a strong permanent magnet. Build a magnet-carrying retriever on a rope. Attach something ferrous to the carriage. Mount the bicycle transmission and drive wheel somewhere on your high-end vertical support. With enough rope, you can make the bicycle wheel (no tire) work like a large fishing reel. What you're going for is an easy-to-spin pedal on a large diameter spool. Dependent on the type of structural cable you are using the magnet may foul, and in that case maybe some Velcro would work!
Good luck, Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
We will be releasing our patented "Retriever" very soon in 2016. It is a remote controlled trolley retriever that can be sent to "retrieve" the trolley(s) up to 5 at a time with a hand held remote controller. We will also offer a video View of the cable and approach to the end of the cable for those "Long" runs out of sight of the operator.

We will eventually have multiple models, but for right now, we will start with the commercial version with a 600 meter range and a 5 trolley auto grab trolley return system.

We hope to have the first production models ready for release in Early 2017. Right now we have 15 prototypes we will be placing at certain commercial sites for additional testing and validation.

Contact Ron Chasteen
 

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ziplineretrievers.com

I make them, I am 2 years late but we have them online for sale now. 4 years to get it to where I have it now.
 

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Welcome to Router Forums. This is a bit off topic, but we frequently get off topic here.

As a teen, my friend and I put a salvaged tow truck cable from our tree house to a tree about 250' away. It had about a 14' drop from beginning to end. To avoid hitting the tree at the far end we placed several long springs on the cable, followed by a cable clamp. The springs totaled a length of about 6' and if the springs completely compressed, the cable car (platform) would not hit the tree. Since the platform was oak and quite heavy, we used a rope to pull it back to the tree house. At the low end, the platform was about 4' above the ground, so it was easy to get down from it. With two of us riding at the same time, the pulley would completely compress the springs, but the stop was well cushioned. We enjoyed that ride for over three years before losing interest in it.

Not sure if any of this will be of any help to you, but it does show that there are others out there with similar ideas, although our experience took place over 60 years ago..

Charley
 
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