Pioneer Balloon Company - Makers of Qualatex balloons
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 22:00:45 EST
Subject: Re: SDS

Your plight with the distributor is common, I am sorry. 
As distributors of SDS ourselves, Pat and I provide product support on our 
Yes, the clips will work around the grid and conduit.  New product 
development designed the clip as part of the SDS package so the consumer 
could basically assemble the grid right out of the box.
The conduit is sandwiched between the frames and then the clip goes around 
the joined sections and is squeezed together.  There are two sets of grooves 
on the inside of the clip that the frame rails rest in I believe. Use the 
deepest set to wrap around the grid with and that should make the connection 
All our frames are assembled with duct tape and cable ties.  The tape and tie 
combination is used for panels we keep assembled in formats we use the most 
of...such as: 2 ft. x 8 ft. and 4 ft. x 8 ft.  When we stack or hang the 
units we found early on that the tabs on the clips get hung up in the other 
units and it gets crazy trying to unhook them!  When we join the units on 
site we still use ties because its easier to carry around a pocket full of 
them opposed to clips!
A good tip for joining your frames together is to only tie the two rails 
(rods) that touch each other on one side and then the same on the other side, 
not all four with one tie.  Oh yeah, don't cut the tails off on the ties 
because it create SHARP points.

In regard to the foils, I know we blow them hard and they work well.  Your 
problem might be more in the technique you use to insert them into the grid.  
    1. place the tail in between the grid first 
    2. followed by the bottom corners of the balloon
    3. then we "roll" the rest of the balloon into the compartment 
        a. compressing the top two corners in towards the balloon center
            (this clears the frame and cuts down on breakage)
        b. release corners once in place
Pioneer left a lot of the research and development up to the industry to find 
out on its own.  This is partially because the fellow in charge of SDS moved 
on to greener pastures, but in reality, with as many CBA's that are walking 
around up there, they are not decorators by trade and would not, and in some 
cases, do not know what to look for anyhow.  (The foam version of SDS called 
Flex-Frame is a case in point.) 
The main problem is that the industry has kept a lot to itself and not 
provided much feed back for them to publish in IMAGES.  So, if you find out 
anything new and interesting pass it along to their great editor, Kristi 
Only one class is given on SDS by another instructor this year at IBAC but 
since there is not a standardized teaching guideline, I am not sure what will 
be covered. 

Best Regards,
Jim Skistimas
SDS Patent holder
The Balloon House Design Studio