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Coolshirts and emergency exits.
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TOPIC: Coolshirts and emergency exits.

Coolshirts and emergency exits. 1 year, 3 months ago #82895

  • Ranger
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I have coolshirt hoses going to both a shirt and also to my helmet. I have a coil of fine tubing that I put in the top of my helmet. The hoses emerge out of the top-air port. That way air blows thru the tubes of chilled air. The downside is that when I'm wearing a coolshirt, I'm fastened to my car via 4 hoses. Ever since I put the coolant hose in the helmet, I've been thinking about the problems this idea created for emergency exits.

Coolshirt type hoses and connectors are pretty tough. All my plumbing is home brew. I bought connectors of all sorts of sizes and types from plastic supply houses. Most of the connectors have to be cut out of hoses, the barbs seriously grab. I think that it's easy to underestimate just how tenaciously our coolshirts would try to tether us to our cars. I'd like to think that if the car was on fire, I'd be able to easily overcome the clutch of 4 hoses, but the idea of being in some kind of tug-a-war is unappealing. Having been in a crashed race car and injured, helps to force me to accept that I can't depend on being at 100% CPT America mode and vaulting out of the car like a superhero. I might be all screwed up and barely be strong/conscious enough to climb out.

Coolshirt is now marketing quick release hose connectors, but of course I'm too cheap for that. And besides, I like projects, particularly those that involve Home Depot.

So here's how to make your coolshirt hoses fail when you need them to fail. Go get some 1/4" ID latex surgical hose and some barb connectors that will attach a splice. Latex hose is strong enough to go over the barb and not leak, but it's stretchy enough that if you tug on it good and hard, it will come off the barb.

At endstate you're going to have an inch or two of latex hose spliced into each of your coolshirt hoses. That way if you have to escape and evade the latex splice will fail. The short piece of latex hose will pull right off of the barbed splice-connector. After your car quits burning, you can just pop the latex hose back on to the barb and you're back in business.

So just cut your coolshirt hoses at some convenient point, and use 2 barbs and maybe 2" of latex hose to fasten the hose ends back together. If your coolshirt hose isn't 1/4" ID, then get barbs that will adapt 1/4" to <whatever>.
"Tower, this is Ranger requesting a flyby.
"Negative Ranger the pattern is full."
Last Edit: 1 year, 3 months ago by Ranger.

Re: Coolshirts and emergency exits. 1 year, 2 months ago #82921

  • brian
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Ranger, can you take a picture of what your normal connectors look like? McMaster-Carr sells the QD connectors as used on CoolShirt/FAST for about $9/ea which is what I used in my home-brew system:

www.ghidinelli.com/2011/02/28/diy-cool-shirt-system

Re: Coolshirts and emergency exits. 1 year, 1 month ago #82924

  • Ranger
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From all the projects over the years I have a lot of tubing connectors sorted into various plastic bags. Here's the different types...

Valved/not valved. We are used to connectors that have a spring-loaded valve in them. When you disconnect them, they aren't supposed to leak. If you can live with connectors that are straight thru, so no valve, they are about half price. The two types are generally not compatible. They'll hook together, but the one with the valve usually won't flow because the valve will remain closed.

Metal/plastic catch mechanism. The female connector always has a thumb-release that can be metal (Brian's link above) or plastic (my link below). The male connector has a retention ring cut into it, thin for metal, wider for plastic. Generally these are not compatible, but sometimes the metal thumb-release (female connector) does seem to work with the male connector, even tho the latter has too wide of a retention ring cut into it.

Barb vs. screw on. We would normally use barb types. The connectors with a metal fitting, it's kind of a compression sort of thing, for holding on to the hose works best with hoses that are made of tougher, less pliable, stuff then we normally use.

Fitting sizes. 1/4 and 3/8 are really common. 1/8 and 5/16th is less common. Often the connectors differ only in barb size. That is to say a 1/4 connector will happily mate with a 3/8th connector.

I bought most of my connectors from US Plastics and Zoro.

www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=23885&catid=926&clickid=emailrecommended
"Tower, this is Ranger requesting a flyby.
"Negative Ranger the pattern is full."
Last Edit: 1 year, 1 month ago by Ranger.

Re: Coolshirts and emergency exits. 1 year, 1 month ago #82929

  • brian
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I bought the metal clasp, screw-on type from McMaster-Carr. They are $8-9/ea and you need 4 generally (could be 8 if you do QD on the cooler side too). I don't recall what the cheapies are, and I am definitely a cheapie, but high quality connectors so you don't wind up with water in your footwell in the middle of a race would seem to be a good investment. The other advantage to the QD is that they will break if pulled hard in an emergency.

The post on my site has the McMaster-Carr part numbers if anyone is interested, and specifically, the ones that connect to the FAST Carbon-X shirt.
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