The Texas Caver

The Texas Caver

Material Information

The Texas Caver
Series Title:
The Texas Caver
Texas Speleological Association
Texas Speleological Association
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Special lighting issue. Contents: Bulbs batteries -- Bulbs: one more time -- Burn out -- The Petzl carbide/electric combo -- The big lamp -- The Petzl -- Future attraction -- A Brunton conversion -- The Justrite Plastic Dinosaur carbide -- TSA dues? -- TSA convention -- TSA project: Neal's Cave -- Editorial -- Neal's Cave map.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 26, no. 02 (1981)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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K26-04634 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4634 ( USFLDC Handle )
11368 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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the Texas Caver Vol.26, No.2, 1980 CONTENTS BULBS & BATTERIES ....................... 19 BULBS-ONE MORE TIME ................... 21 BURN OUT ................................ 22 THE PETZL CARBIDE/ELECTRIC COMBO ........ 23 THE BIG LAMP ............................ 24 THE PETZL ............................... 2 5 FUTURE ATTRACTION ....................... 26 A BRUNTON CONVERSION .................... 27 THE JUSTRITE PLASTIC DINOSAUR CARBIDE ... 28 TSA DUES? ............................... 29 TSA CONVENTION .......................... 29 TSA PROJECT-NEAL'S CAVE ............... 30 EDITORIAL ............................... 31 NEAL'S CAVE MAP ......................... 32 COVER PHOTO: The light from a carbide lamp and the candle was used to expose this picture of Troy Bishop in Inner Space. Photo by James Jasek CONTENTS PAGE PHOTO: The small figure in the picture is Sam Pole taken during one of our many trips to La Gruta del Palminto, Mexico. Photo by James Jasek The TEXAS CAVER is a bimonthly publication of the Texas Speleological Association (TSA), an internal organization of the National Speleological Society (NSS) and is published by James Jasek in Waco, Texas. (817) 776-1727 SUBSCRIPTIONS are $5 00 per year. Persons subscribing after the first of the year wi!l receive all back issues for that year Single copies are available at $1. 00 each, postpaid. The TEXAS CAVER openly invites contributors to submit : articles, reports, news, cartoons, cave .maps, caving articles, and photographs (any size print black and white or color print) for publication in the TEXAS CAVER. Address all SUBSCRIPTIONS and EDITORIAL material to the editor: JamesJasek, 1019MelroseDr Waco, Texas 76710. (817) 776-1727 When sending in a change of address please include your old address. Persons interested in EXCHANGES or FOREIGN subscriptions should direct correspondence to the editor


BULBS & BATTERIES have noticed that new comers to caving taking to the electric light rather "fool" around with the carbide lamp, I suspect the longer they cave,more and of them will be "fooling" around with carbide lamp In the mean time, the lowing information should be very use-The following two articles are reprinted past years of the TEXAS CAVER. The editor EXTENDING FLASHLIGHT EFFECTIVENESS Ralph D. Gerhardt THE TEXAS CAVER April, 1973 o you like to use a flashlight in a e to see the formations better, but hate carry extra sets of heavy batteries? re is a better way that allows you to long the effectiveness of a set of baties. Simply step down to lower voltage bs. For obvious reasons, this is abetter a when used on five or six cell flashhts, but two and three cell flashlights also benefit. This also adds a safety tor to your flashlight in the event lose your other light sources. Be sure carry the bulbs in a case that will p them from being crushed and also afford e shock protection. Number of Bulb Volts Cells Type 2 PR2 2.38 2 PR4 2.33 2 PR5 2.35 2 PR6 2.47 2 PR9 2.7 3 PR3 3.57 3 PR7 3.7 4 PR13 4.75 4 PR15 4.82 4 PR17 4.9 5 PR12 5.95 6 PR18 7.2 19 There are two kinds of bulbs, regular and heavy duty. The heavy duty, long life bulbs (see bulbs on chart rated at 30 hours) operate at a lower filament temperature, thus giving a warmer quality (like carbide lamps) rendering a yellowish appearance to objects. It also emits less light per watt-hours of electrical energy. The advantage of heavy duty bulbs is ruggedness and reliability. They are good as emergency lighting. Also they just about double battery life over the regular bulbs. Replace the bulbs as folluws: 2 Cells -Start with PR2 then switch to PR4 3 Cells -PR7 seems to give survival light "forever". Use PR3 until batteries become weak then switch to PR7. 4 Cells and over-As batteries gain internal resistance, step down to lower voltage bulbs. Good quality light is obtained for easily twice as long: Example: Amps .5 .27 .35 3 .15 .5 3 5 .5 3 5 .55 4 cell PR13 to PR3 to PR2 5 cell PR12 to PR13 to PR3 to PR2 6 cell PR18 to PR12 to PR13 to PR3 to PR2. Candle Life in Power Hours .8 15 .4 10 45 35 .45 30 25 45 1.5 15 .9 30 2.2 15 1.9 30 1.2 30 3.1 15 5.5 15


HOW LONG WILL THEY LAST? Roger V. Bartholomew THE TEXAS CAVER April, 1972 This is the question that bugs cavers the most when they decide to try electric lights in place of carbide lamps. Often the answer comes after three or four hours underground when their electric lights get so dim they cannot see by them and a battery change is needed or they have to tag along behind someone who has a working light. Being curious about the problem myself, I decided to get a better picture of the situation by setting up electric lamp and battery combinations, turning them on and then continuously monitoring with a photoresister the visible light coming from the bulb until the light reached a level which was one percent (1%) of the original level. The results of these experiments were very fruitful because it became known to me not only how long it took for the light to reach the one percent level but also what is more important, how it reached the one percent level. 10 suming that only one run was made for ea1 bulb battery combo. Therefore these curv1 are for guidelines not gospel truth. One final note is that whenever batter: are made from cells, the individual eel should be soldered together to prevent a loss of electrical power between the eel PDICENT Of LIGHT VS TIW '011 NO. 4ZS L-AW-l'lAT[O 5.0 \1l ----==-=----=----. ---------I'll. -------0 ___._ _ .J.___j__ Pt:RCOIT Of UQHT VS Tit 'Oft NO. V 0 3 AWP AT 4.1 va.n 100 10"4 -I -FOU'I AU

BULBS ONE MORE TIME JAMES JASEK After retyping these two articles, I felt there must be a little more, I felt like I was hanging. There seemed to be a very wide choice for the PR user, but what about the screw base bulbs. All that is ever talked about are the 425, 27, and 502. So, I got a Sylvania bulb catalog from a local electronic store, and did some looking. The results are found in the following chart. As it turns out there is just as wide a selection of the screw base bulbs as the flange base. Since the screw base is what most of us cavers use, you can switch to a lower voltage bulb as the battery grows weaker. (The 425 bulb was not listed in the Sylvania catalog?) One interesting thing I noticed about the voltage rating for each bulb is that the bulb voltage is usually much lower than the battery voltage. I also included bulbs with voltages higher than most cavers would probably use, but the information might prove useful to some. It could be interesting to try a #430 Toy Train bulb with a 6 volt lantern battery and see how bright and how long the bulb lasts. The illustration below shows the actual bulb shape and sizes: PR Bulb #ll2 Flanged Screw Screw Screw Base Base Base Base SHOWN ACTUAL SIZE None of this is new information, just a little more than in the past. I have been using the screw base bulbs for sometime and have been wanting a better selection of bulbs. Now I have it. One final thing to remember is that if you want a bright light use a higher amp bulb. High amps bright light -Low amps dim light. 21 Lamp No. PR2 PR3 PR4 PR5 PR6 PR7 PR9 PR12 PR15 PR16 PR17 PR18 PR20 Base Flg. Flg. Flg. Flg. Flg. Flg. Flg. Flg. Flg. Flg. Flg. Flg. Flg. Volts 2.34 3.57 2.33 2.35 2.47 3.7 2.7 5.95 4.82 12.5 4.9 7.2 8.63 Amps. .50 .50 .27 .35 .30 30 .15 .50 .50 .25 .30 .55 .50 Life Hours 15 15 10 35 30 30 45 15 30 50 30 3 15 Application 2-D Cells 3-D Cells 2-C Cells 2-D Cells 2-D Cells 3-D Cells 2-D Cells 5-D Cells Lantern 8F* Auto Spot Lantern 4F* 6-D Cells 7-D Cells 8-F Cells and 4-F Cells Flg.-Flange ll2 Screw 1.2 .22 5 1-AA Cell= = Screw base pointed with magnifier lens 13+ Screw 3. 7 .30 15 14+ Screw 2.47 .30 15 123+ Screw 1.2 .30 10 131+ Screw 1.3 .10 50 1446+ Sere 12.0 .20 2 50 1447+ Sere 18.0 .15 250 1449+ Sere 14.0 .20 250 233+ Sere 2.3 .27 10 + Bulb 11.7mm dia. globe 27 Screw 4.9 .30 30 31 Screw 6 15 .20 15 430 Screw 14.0 .25 250 432 Screw 18.0 .25 250 502 Screw 5.1 .15 100 605 Screw 6.1 .50 15 1127 to #605 Bulb 15mm dia. 3-D Cells 2-D Cells 1-D Cell Bicyle Toy Train Toy Train Toy Train 3-C Cells Lantern 4F* 5-D Cells Toy Train Toy Train Lantern 4F* 5-D Cells globe The above information was taken from the Sylvania Miniature Lighting Catalog #302. The electrical characteristics of each bulb is based on the following information: Desig n The socket voltag e for which the lamp was originally designed and at which all of the data is based. Amperes. The approximate current which the lamp will draw at design volts. Life. The rated averag e laboratory lif e to be expected operating the lamps o n stationary racks, energized with regulated A.C. voltage. Actual service life will vary with the particular applications.


BURNOUT Roger BartholOMew In an article in the August 1974 TEXAS CAVER (v 19, #8, pp 122-123) I warned about the unreliability of using a PR 4 lamp with two alkaline D cells for a second light source. The warning was based on problems I encountered during a cave trip when I had to use m y second source. Two PR 4 bulbs burned out in rapid succession after each gave only twenty minutes of service on the two alkaline D cells. I had always wanted to repeat this same situation of two alkaline D cells burning out a PR 4 lamp and also check out a possibly better situation of two alkaline D cells powering a PR 6 lamp. So I performed a crude experiment under more controlled conditions (see figure I) and obtained the results presented on the graph. The data I obtained showed the first PR 4 burning out after about 1. 6 hours of service; the second PR 4 burned out after 4.1 hours of service: the third PR 4 lasted for the remainder of the battery life, about 33 hours. PR4 -;(1.33Vo\t5 b "i 1 Vo I -h. AW'Ip t:J,3o Aw.p Some observations are in order: 1. If you use a new PR 6 with two fresh alkaline D cells, you should reliable second source which will steady light for about 32 hours without bulb burnout. 2. The initial stage when the battery maintains a current greater than the rated current of the bulb for several hours puts the most strain on the lamp filament. Alkaline D EV N E-95 \ \ \ -----All electrical Connections are soldered, TWO D CELLS EV NCJ. 0 5 /0 15 35 22


THE PETZL CARBIDE/ELECTRIC COMBO JIM SCHROEDER When it comes to lighting systems the French are a step ahead of us. First of all, the lamp is made of aluminum and a virtually indestructible nylon. The battery pack which attaches on the rear of the helmit is also maae of nylon. The electric lamp has an approximate two inch reflector. A micro switch is located on the right rear of the lamp. It is small and somewhat difficult to operate with gloves on. Directly above the electric lamp is the carbide lamp. This is one of the most unique and efficient lamps ever designed. The uniqueness begins with the tip. A rectangular hole is used instead of the usual round one. This opening produces two jets of gas approximately 30 degrees opposite each other. When ignited the twin jets of gas produce one flame about one inch wide. The gas is supplied via a belt mounted generator. Any type of generator may be used, but it must be of large capacity since the lamp requires large quantities of gas. Ian Ellis supplies an 8 or 12 hour generator. The 12 hour model holds 15.8 ounces of carbide. The water container will hold almost a quart of water. This generator uses no felt and is almost flush with the base of the water container. The gas outlet is no more than a 5 mm tube jutting out at the base of the water container. The ultimate in simplicity. Both carbide and water containers are held together by a screw clamp and sealed with an "O" ring. Upon field testing the lamp, I found the large belt generator very easy to adapt to. In tight crawls it is necessary to remove the generator, and push it in front. I found the gas flow was always consistant except when bumped or turned over. This produces a gas tantrum which lasts about 20 seconds sometimes longer. The 12 hour generator actually produces about 8 hours of gas. The large flame produces a light so bright it defies description. All other carbide lamps we are accustomed to pale in comparison. Its broad flame produces a beautiful diffused light very similar to that of a coleman lantern. I found myself seldom using the electric lamp,depending mostly on the carbide lamp. I use the electric. only when a deep fissure or viewing some d1stant formation. The pizo electric ignition system takes all the fuss out of gas ignition. No wheels 23 or flints. A square nob on the right side of the lamp is rotated. The pizo igniter moves forward until it touches the tip. At the same time a hammer is cocked at the rear of the ignitor. When released it strikes a pin which contacts a crystal inside the igniter which produces an electric spark which jumps a gap at the front of the ignitor and the gas is lit. All this occurs in one quick motion. It is as easy as turning on the electric light and it never fails. The entire ignition system is replaceable. I found the Petzl lamp very satisfactory Though somewhat expensive, it is worth it.


THE BIG LAMP James Jasek While I was on vacation in Colorado this summer, I found a "hand-type" carbide lamp. The lamp I found just happened to be a Justrite (brand new). There were others, but they were well used. The lamp was not real cheap. I could have purchased one from Bob & Bob a lot less, but he didn't have one at the time when I wanted it. I have found that even though the lamp is large, it is really no more trouble to use than a regualr carbide lamp. I quit using the lamp attached to my helmit years ago because I hated the weight and besides the light was never aimed where I wanted to see anyway. So I started carrying the lamp and attaching it to my belt when I wanted to use both hands for climbing. The lamp can be attached to the helmit when climbing ropes. The larg e hand lamp can be attached to the belt with a carabiner. No way to attach this large lamp to the helmit. Boy, what a millstone this would be. The lamp burns for a solid eight hours, and when opened up there is still leftover carbide chunks in the lamp I carry a screen in the cave with me and sift out the spent carbide and replace the unused chunks. This gives me added time. The spent carbide is carried out or mixed with my granola for better flavor. It's a little sour though! 24 I am sure that most of you have seen t h1 lamp advertised by Bob & Bob and wondere a who would use a lamp like this. Well, now you do. The lamp I have is the smaller o f the three that he sells. One distinct advantage is that you don't have to carry a lot of extra carbide and water in the cave especially if it is a day trip. Y o u can go all day with no carbide change w hi: those around you have gone through severa: changes. Yuck! I have been using carbide for the past twenty years of caving, a n d am sure that I always will, unless they making carbide. I wish that I had gone t a l a lamp like this years ago. The only thin1 I have found about the lamp that I don't really like it that my hand is not large enough to fit around the bottom of the l a r This make it difficult for me to crawl a n i hold the lamp at the same time. The large lamp operates just like the 1 smaller lamps. There is no difference thai I can see. It's just a larger lamp. The light from the lamp is brighter since y o u can use a bigger flame (more water flow ) and not worry about flooding out the l amp and using up all the carbide. I normall y a flame that is inches long. I seem to have plenty of light. I use the flat 4 iru reflector. I get plenty of diffused lig h t and a bit of a spot for seeing distant objects. Get one for yourself and hav e fun seeing with a no hassle light. TEXAS CAVE (512)-686-0234 KREIDLER ANSWERING SERV. McALLEN, TEXAS RESCUE CALL COLLECT REQUES T CAVE RESCUE In the event of a cave emergency where spelunking techniques and equipment ar e needed for search and'or rescue, CALL 5121 686-0234. You will be requested to leave your name and phone number and stand by. Cave Rescue in your area will return your call.


ThePETZL James Jasek About six months ago I purchased a Petzl headlamp/battery pack combination from the Speleo Shoppe. The entire unit is self contained and fits on the hard hat. I have been using it on just about every cave trip for the last six months and have really put it through a lot of hard use. The entire unit appears to be cheap plastic, but it is actually made of nylon and is very durable and rugged. There are lot of scratches and scars on just about every part that in no way interfere with the over-all sturdiness. The power source is a 4.5 volt Wonder battery in combination with a 4.5 volt screw base bulb. There was no information about the current draw of the bulb, but I would imagine it to be between 3 and .5 amp. Battery life seems to be about 14 hours of continuous use. After that the light is so dim that it is most difficult to see anything at all. During the first seven hours the light is fairly bright, and could be used as a main source for the caver. After this time period, there is only enough light to see in the immediate area around your feet. Wonder batteries and bulbs are a normal stock item for your local bicyc l e shop, so it is not difficult to find them once you purchase the unit. The cost of the 25 Petzl unit is a little over $25 which is high for what you get. There is nothing else like it on the market as far as I know. There is a rechargable 4.5 volt battery made by the Wonder battery people that costs $30 for the battery and charger. I have not yet purchased one of these, but this is the way to go as the batteries get expensive if you do a lot of caving. Wonder batteries cost from 1.08 to 2.50 depending on where you find them. REI is the cheapest place to buy them. The Petzl lamp unit fit a need that I had perfectly. I am doing a lot of cave mapping, and with this lightweight light on my hat I am able to take notes much easier. I put a thin piece of mylar over the reflector to diffuse the light. I have a soft diffused light that enables me to easily write down survey data and sketch without a glare. In this aspect the Petzl works perfectly. The biggest drawback is the short life of the battery and the low strength of the light it


puts out. I do not feel that this light is really that goo d as a main source of light for general caving. It just doesn't put out a brigh t enough light. With this in mind I decided that I would try for a little more po wer in a side battery pack that would not be as heavy as a regular 6 volt lantern battery I found a 4.5 volt battery made by RCA for a portable TV. This battery is actually a D size cell, three in a line, all in one package. It is rechargable, and only cost me $8 in a discount electronics store. The battery is designed to be recharged inside the TV, so there is no ready made recharger for this b atte r y I use a 12 volt car battery recharger and a variable resister to bring the c h a rging voltage down to the correct potential. I have successfully recharged the battery numerous times. After a day of caving the voltage in the battery drops from 4.5 volts t o 3 8 volts. I made a simpl e housing for this battery out of PVC pipe fittings. I took the battery along with me to the hardware store, and stood around putting sections together until I foun d the right pieces. I did n o t use the PVC pipe as yo u have t o buy such a long section. The fittings go together better a n yway leavin g no overlapping seams. I will say that I am still amazed tha t the plastic glue holds the sections together as well as it does. I have been cavin g with this battery 26 pack now for several months, and it has n come apart. I hang it from my belt, and b it around as I go. Because it hangs free, am able to climb and crawl without worry l about it getting in the way. It fits easi through even the smallest openings. Ther e are a number of different wiring techniqu. that can be used to connect the battery t l the lamp. I used a simple connector, that pulls apart if I catch the wire on a rocl projection. This protects the unit and th1 wiring so there will be no damage that I can not repair in the cave. You may choo s1 to wire it with a more secure fitting. There is a miniature toggle switch on th1 battery pack that I added. This switchest Wonder battery out of the circuit. I can use either or both batteries at the same time. If I encounter a small enough passa 1 that I can not crawl through with the bat t pack on my belt, I can disconnect the sid 1 battery and switch to the Wonder battery It also comes in handy if the main batter1 cord is disconnected in a tight crawl by a rock projection. Again I can switch t o the Wonder battery. Mayby this is why iti called a Honder battery-actually it is< Wonder that they work. Right now I am pleased with the unit I have modified to fit my purpose. I suppom that I will further modify it in the futur I am like most cavers, I like to tinker around. Even though I use this system heavily, I still depend on the good old carbide lamp as my main source of light. am a bit of an old timer and the thought of giving up my carbide lamp is like the thought of giving up caving. No way! Future Attraction THE 37thCOMINGof JON EVERAG E Appearing for an Exclusive Engageme n t MARCH 21, 1981 Watch Your Mail for Details ._ _________________________________


A BRUNTON CONVERSION James Jasek The Brunton compass is still being used for cave surveying by a few of us die-hards that don't want to switch over to the Suuanto. The technique of using the Suuanto has improved over the past few years, and the accuracy of the survey has been a lot better, but it can not compare to the Brunton. I made some changes in my Branton that has made it a lot easier to use, and I want to pass this information along to cavers. The first improvement I was to remove the mirror, and replace it with a frosted piece of plastic. Frosted glass will not wor k a t all as it does not pick up enough light. The problem for you will come when you try to remove the mirror as it is cemented in place with tar. First remove the retaining ring, then take a blunt object like the end of a pencil, eraser end, and pushthroughthe sight hole. If you are lucky the mirror will come out. If not,you will have to resort to some other method, like heating the mirror some way to soften the tar. Good luck. With the plastic in place, the shadow it will produce with a small amount of light will amaze you. Another problem with reading a sight with the Brunton comes when the sight is above or below the compass. In both cases the 27 arm will not cast a shadow on the mirror, and an accurate reading is very difficult to obtain. As you can see from the photos, I made a plastic insert for the Brunton that I place on the Brunton when a reading is needed from above or below. The photo does not show the Brunton in place for a reading from below as the shadow would not be seen, but you can easily see that the extra length of the arm would hang over the end of the Brunton allowing the shadow to be seen from way below the instrument. Once the reading is taken the top is opened up and the scale read. The top and bottom of the plastic insert was curved to fit the curved surfaces of the Brunton case. For a reading high above, the insert is placed over the needle in such a way that it fits the curved surfaces of


the top of the glass and the top of the case. The photo shows this better than words. After the reading is taken, the plastic insert is removed, and again the scale is read. I scribed a line down the center of the plastic insert a nd filled it with India ink. The method has worked very will on several occasions. I remember all the times we suffered through the problem of getting a good sight. Now I have to work out some method for readin g the Brunton in low crawls, where there is no head room over the instrument. Paul Johnston using his Dinosaur lamp before h e removed the large "bell" reflector. 28 THE JUSTRITE PLASTIC DINOSAUR CARBIDE LAMP Paul Johnston As the title implies, the above light i : no longer made. However, if you can acqui j one, it makes a good general purpose cavi l light. A large water and carbide chamb:r\ sufficient for at least six hours of l1gh: easily. This plastic lamp has two handles. One wire handle on top so one can let the laa hang by his side; another handle is a moll handle at the rear of the lamp making it< convenient place to grasp the lamp while pointing the light in a particular direct A seven inch reflector graced the front this lamp as originally acquired. If one wants to be extravagant, just adjust the flame for about four inches and you willl practically a search beam. I have placed< smaller four inch reflector on the lamp t r make it more agile in crawl ways. The sever inch reflector sounds like a Liberty Bell it hits rocks in small passages. Most cavers have experienced their carb i lamps catching on fire because the bottom was not screwed on correctly, the gasket was left off the bottom, or the tip out of the front of their light. Talk abm nuclear melt-down, you have never seen a carbide fire until you have seen one of tl blazing plastic dinosaurs trying to get tl attention of the Speleo Fire Dept. Once ablaze, you can not blow this fire out, tl the lamp starts to melt. The last time th i happened, I tried to bury it in cave mud The fire was subdued by placing about five pairs of gloves on top of the burning Besides being slightly deformed, the lm recovered and is preforming in fine form; one pair of gloves was charred beyond u se. Just make sure the water chamber is tight ened correctly and the reflector-tip holde is screwed snuggly on, and you will not any problems with the lamp. The only modification I have made is to stuff additional foam rubber behind the reflector-tip holder. This creates a more constant gas pressure and helps prevent th tip from getting easily clogged when the lamp is tipped over. Overall, the Plastic Dinosaur is the bes carbide lamp I have ever had. Despite some of the problems I had when I first broke in the lamp, it works perfectly and gives me the best source of light I have ever in the cave.


TSA DUES? Jonathan Justice An issue that has arisen on and off in the past years is due for consideration again, and that is the issue of the TSA becoming a dues paying organization. There has, in the past, been a lot of controversy over this, and it has generally been discussed to death. However, no lasting action has ever been taken on it, other than to table it for future consideration. Well, that time is upon us now. At the Feb. 1, BOG meeting, held in conjunction with the Neel's Cave Project, this matter was brought up. It was the general opinion that the TSA was hurting somewhat from a rather ill-defined "membership" of no particular prerequisites other than being a caver in Texas, simply subscribing to the TEXAS CAVER, or supposedly having had your name sent in to someone in the TSA, or something. The cavers and delegates at the BOG decided to force the issue to a head, and made the following decision. PROPOSAL: "That the TSA become a dues paying that the dues include a subscription to the TEXAS and the amount be discussed and set at the TSA Convention BOG meeting April." This proposal was voted upon and passed. As is required for a constitutional change to the TSA, it is being announced in the TEXAS CAVER and will be brought to a vote at the next BOG meeting, which is on the weekend of April 25-26. So, all you cavers, it is now up to you to decide if you want a voice in this decision. If you agree, or disagree, with this change, then come to the Convention and BOG and make yourselves heard, share your opinions. If you do not, then others of us will decide the matter. It is felt by some that this requirement of membership will help TSA to become a better defined and more organized organization Those cavers interested enough in caves and caving by cavers in Texas will be supporting,by their dues the various projects and caving efforts the TSA sponsors, as well as the Convention and organizational meets. The dues would go toward expenditures tha t are too often financed out of some individuals pockets, with the hope that the 29 event will break even and he can be repaid. This seriously limits some of the endeavors which can be put forth to you, the Texas caver. With a known budget of annually renewable funds, the TSA could plan and organize events and functions with much less hassle, and you, the member, would benefit from the increased efforts and options that would be made available to the organization. In addition, the TEXAS CAVER would benefit from the financial stability offered by having a general revenue available, as it has in the past been pulled from the brink of failure by the TSA donations. And, as has been pointed out so often in the past, "as the TEXAS CAVER goes, so goes the TSA". A strong TEXAS CAVER creats a strong, unifying source of information and announcements, as well as an exchange of ideas, experiences and various bits of knowledge TSACONV. Fellow Cavers; A while back, George Veni approached me about hosting a TSA Convention. He and I both enjoyed Cypress Bend Park the first three or four times. Our thoughts were that everyone is ready for a change. Here is your chance! The TSA Convention will be held at the 7 Ranch north of Uvalde on the banks of the beautiful Neuces River. (Beautiful if the 500d Lord sees fit to have some water in it 3.t the time.) The site offers: privacy, seclusion, canoeing, one sure cave, cave leads close by, no electricity, and a pretty, shaded campsite. Y'all drive on out and have a good weekend. We'll burn some goats, shoot some bull and float some kegs! One note of warning! There are two bumper gates that must be negotiated on the way to our place. If you do not know how to operate one correctly, get out and hold it open and have another person drive your car through. These innocent looking devices can eat your vehicle. Promise! Bring slides: I have a generator. Come see us, Bob & Alicia Oakley


TSA Project:Neel's Cave George Veni The weekend of Jan. 31 -Feb. 1, 1981, saw 48 people and two dogs attend the TSA project at Neel's Cave. Though often thought of as the downstream end of Powell'c Cave, Neel's is developing into a major cave in its own right. This trip, as many as 30 cavers were in the cave at one time. There was no overcrowding and some teams never crossed paths. The teams were divided into 3 groups, downstream (teams 1-4), upstream (teams 6 -8) and other (teams 5,9,10). Team 1: Bill Dean, Bill Mixon, Eric Short Harry Walker. Picking up where the old survey left off in 1977, this team started surveying 362 m downstream in the cave. After 130m they connected to team 2's survey. "Leap-frogging" past teams 2 and 3, another 130 m was surveyed. Team 2: Steve Boehm, Scott Harden, Del Holman, Kurt Menking. Plagued by a fogged compass, the team had a hard enough time trying to finish their portion of the cave, 139 m, and connect the survey to the team ahead. With the slow moving pace, Del was able to collect a spicer and a thysanuran for identification. Scott later reported about the cave "Some thing s we found essential for a trip into this cave: a sealed compass, kneepads, a well fitting wetsuit, and a sense of humor". !earn 3: Craig Bittinger, Jon Cradit, George Love, Kay Love. Starting in a fair size room about 600 m downstream,they surveyed 180 m through long, low passage. Jon described that the "survey was as smooth as the mud-clay we were slipping on''. Of course there was the usual difficulty in keeping the survey notes dry. After a brief lunch, the team exited, having spent seven hours in the cave. Team 4: Don Coons, Robert Hemperly, Randy Waters, Jonathan Justice, Bruce Wharton. The original plan for this team was to push to the downstream sump, then start surveying outwards. Since the sump has never before been reached (we know it'sthere because the cave's water resurges at the submerged Woolf Spring miles away) it would establish its approximate location from the entrance and the spring, and would provide a better idea of the type of passages and leads to expect. Of course, things never go 10 according to plans. It started off a litt sour when due to a too tight wetsuit, Br had to exit after going in only a short a Things started to pick up at about one downstream because they had reached the limit of previous exploration. A side passage at this point was followed about m to a breakdown dome. Large chunks of r c were cleared as the crew pushed 7 m up towards the surface. Various other and side leads were locked into this most still go. The survey began 100 m further downstream from these leads and headed 421 m upstream to connect with main survey. As the survey began, pushed another 100 m downstream and rep01 that the cave still goes. Silverfish, a white milliped and cricket were collectec for identification. Crayfish, frogs and t bats were also observed. Team 5: Gil Ediger and Mike Walsh did surface reconnaissance of the downstream section of the cave. Of major interest 7 m pit to breakdown that they found. I t suspected (hiped) that its location near breakdown dome that Team 4 found. If a connection can be made, it opens the unex plored downstream section of the cave to within 250 m of an entrance rather than ti present 1.4 km. Owner relations were also secured at Woolf Spring. Permission waf given to temporarily drain the lake wnjch submerges the spring so that this norman sumped section of cave can be pushed a r d surveyed. Team 6: Don Arburn, Alan Johnson, Eri c Spears. These fellows were left with t h e inglorious task of carrying scuba tanks 1 km to the upstream sump. Its not an eas y job and that is why it is so important. B a dive to succeed, the sump divers mus t b< as fresh as possible to make the dive. this case, that dive also involves map"{:-lni an estimated 300-400 m of passage then carry the gear out the other entrance, 1 almost equal to that of bringi1g it in. This day the gear was transportej about 700 m towards the sump. At that point energy and enthusiasm reached a low and so the team headed out. Team 7: Wayne Russell and George Ved. Team 8: Tom Byrd, Patricia Herrera, Lo! McNatt, Pete Strickland. Because of t i : e i


interaction, these teams are discussed together. Team 7 was to dive the upstream sump in hopes of connecting with Powell's cave. Team 8 was going to check a good upper level lead that Tom and Logan saw while surveying to the sump in 1977. The teams entered the cave separately, but after both teams had some lighting problems, team 8 caught up with the divers and so the two groups traveled together towards the sump. Upon finally reaching the gear deposited by the tank crew, they began to assess their situation. Wayne had recently recovered from a bout with the flu and though he thought he was well enough to dive, the rigors of the cave were proving otherwise. To play it safe, the dive was postponed to a later date. Because Hayne's tank was rented, he and Pete began heading out with it. Meanwhile, Tom grabbed George's tank and took it to the sump. Other gear take n there was Wayne's pony tank, a regulator, pressure gauge and dive reel. This w a s all stashed safely in a upper leve l passage for use on the next trip. On the w a y out a stop was made to check the dome intersection for Team 8. Tom chimneyed up the 4 m dome followed by Logan. A crawl was followed for 7 m to a low spot. Seeing stoo pway size passage ahead, Tom dug through and proceeded 6 m more to a breakdown plug T eam 9: Gil Ediger, Martha Meachan, Jack Ralph, Robert Zacher. Downstream photography by Robert assisted by Gil and Martha. Robert later took some upstream photos, assisted by Jack. While upstream, they met Wayne and Pete and helped bring out the dive gear. T eam 10: Jerry Atkinson, Mark Minton, William Russell. After many long years of effort, justifiably tempered by caution and restraint, Bill finally cleared permission to work in Silver Mine Cave. As Neel's is belie v e d to be the downstream end of Powell's Cav e the Silver Mine is believed to be the upstream end. The entrance is an old mine shaft. The team had to dig their way into the cave due to some recent collapse from the shaft's walls. Proceeding 640 m, the intersection with the stream passage was reac h ed. From here the survey began and continued downstream towards Powell's for 200 m. At this point, a breakdown plug was reac h e d and there a good bit of effort was exp ended to dig through it before exiting. The n ext trip to the cave should easily finis h digging past the breakdown. The airflow through it will serve to remind cavers of w h a t is up ahead. 31 The project's total amount of surveying in Neel's Cave was 557 meters. This brings the cave's total to 2.475 km, making Neel's the 12th longest cave in Texas. Though this is exciting news, the first object of concern after exiting the cave was food. Tracey Archey spent most of the day preparing an excellant beef stew that everyone feasted on and greatly enjoyed. For entertainment, were provided through most of the evening. The following day, Menking and Eric Short made a brief photographic trip into the entrance area. Shortly thereafter, the BOG began and following which, about 15 people visited Woolf Spring before starting home. Overall this was an excellant project and it wouldn't have been possible without the support of all the people who attended. The cave map on the back cover is the portion of Neal's Cave that Team 4 surveyed of the Dome and its possible relationship with the surface. Map drawn by Randy Waters. EDITORIAL This issue was supposed to be a complete report on the different lighting systems that cavers are using today to light the darkness, but several people did not come through with the articles that were promised. It seems that something always gets in the way of doing what is supposed to be done, but I guess this is to be expected out of some. Most of the information, or all of it, will be "old-hat" to the old timer, but there are a lot of novice cavers that are searching for the right system. I tried to gather information from past issues of The TEXAS CAVER that I thought would be of interest to the person searching for this ir;formation. This only scratches the surface of the different lighting systems. Each caver uses a light source that suits them the best whether it is an off-the-shelf light or a customized rig. So, good luck! The February issue was really late this year. There was just no material. Everyday I waited for the postman to bring me another article, but for the longest time nothing came. This issue will put me back on a better schedule. I have some material for the next issue, but not enough. How about some of you old timers sending in material like you used to in the past. Please! This will be the last issue of the TEXAS CAVER you will get this year unless you send me your renewal. No more free issues past this one. So, if you don't sena in your $5 right now, you can bet your sweet ... that you will not get the June issue


The Texas Caver 1019 Melrose Or Waco, Texas 76710 Surface Pit (Relationship To Dome Unknown) BULK RATE US. Postage PAID Permit No.1423 Waco, Tx. 76710 l --To Low -+ Wide Room 'It tst Main Lead Downstream 0 10 2.0 Feet Sketch By R.M. W.

Special lighting
issue. Contents: Bulbs & batteries --
Bulbs: one more time --
Burn out --
The Petzl carbide/electric combo --
The big lamp --
The Petzl --
Future attraction --
A Brunton conversion --
The Justrite Plastic Dinosaur carbide --
TSA dues? --
TSA convention --
TSA project: Neal's Cave --
Editorial --
Neal's Cave map.


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