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View Full Version : Any hacks for older Brain Bag to get a cache on rail to work?



luvdabags
10-03-2015, 06:51 PM
My husband has a version of the Brain Bag that does not have rail loops, only the webbing for the annex clips. Is there a hack to get a cache to work on that system without having to sew in rail loops? I am sure all you brilliant forum gurus have a cool solution, right?! Let me know!!

tpnl
10-03-2015, 11:26 PM
Check out @Perseffect's excellent solution for a western flyer without need to sew in rail loops. This should work on a Brain Bag as well.

Cache with Rails on a Western Flyer (http://forums.tombihn.com/questions-about-bags/8542-cache-rails-western-flyer-2.html#post81800)

http://forums.tombihn.com/attachments/questions-about-bags/8819d1414177220-cache-rails-western-flyer-photo-24-10-2014-16-45-54-jpg

Hope this helps

Cheers!

luvdabags
10-04-2015, 07:15 AM
Thanks. This makes me think about some other possible solutions too--if any of them work out, I will post!!

moriond
10-04-2015, 08:26 AM
@luvdabags, Just a quick comment to add to @tpnl's suggestion about using chunky Velcro ties and Single gatekeeper clips to retrofit bags designed with Annex Clips for Brain Cells to work with the newer caches with rails: this hack works for the spacing of horizontal caches with rails. It does not work as a retrofit to carry the vertical caches with rails, which have a much closer spacing of rail loops (this hack fails to match the rail spacing for vertical caches by at least 2"). The Brain bag is sufficiently wide that you can use some of the horizontal caches with rails inside it this way: the Brain Bag product page allows you to add size 4 and size 6X Horizontal Brain Cells. The 6X is designed to fit the 13" MacBook Air. There's no current exact cache counterpart for the Size 4 Brain Cells, since those sizes were designed when they sold Brain cells for many more PCs than Macs, but they fit many 14"+ diagonal PC screens that could be slightly wider than the 13" MacBooks without the widescreen proportions. Size 4 in Brain cells was about an inch shorter than the 4X and 4Z lines that accommodated different generations/versions of 15" MacBook Pros.

So you're not going to able to use this hack to hold a long, 17" laptop vertically in a cache with rails, or even a 15" one, I think. (Someone who owns a Brain Bag will have to check this.)

I'll also excerpt my suggestion for using Tech Zone chunky Velcro ties for @perseffect's hack if you are in the U.S. or Canada (Amazon links to both the Fisual ties and the Tech Zone ones for the U.S. Amazon store are given in my quoted, excerpted post below.



On the other hand, to follow up on @tpnl's earlier post, the method of retro-fitting earlier models of bags like the Tri-Star, Western flyer! Empire Builder, etc. that have annex clips for horizontal brain cells is very simple, and the link to show how @perseffect hacked a modification to adapt the bags to use horizontal caches with rails will work. … My suggestion is that U.S. and Canadian forum members might try using the Tech Zone - Chunky Large Hook and Loop Fastener Cable Ties (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009A70VD0) instead of the Fisual ties (http://www.amazon.com/Fisual-Chunky-Reuseable-Hook-Cable/dp/B001RPWPQE/) that are also available from the U.S. Amazon Store. (The Tech Zone ties are cheaper and easier to order in the U.S.). My other suggestion is that a slightly tighter "roll" on the Velcro straps seems to work a little better. The "chunky" design of these ties (wider and shorter than the Strapeez you can order under Accessories) seems to work better for these hacks, and also for securing webbing straps.
HTH

moriond

luvdabags
10-04-2015, 10:29 AM
The hope is to add a vertical cache for an 11" macbook air. There is already a Brain Cell in the bag for one laptop; this is to add a second laptop to the bag. I wonder if the horizontal cache for the 11" would fit in a Brain Bag? What do you think? Thanks in advance.

moriond
10-04-2015, 11:27 AM
The hope is to add a vertical cache for an 11" macbook air. There is already a Brain Cell in the bag for one laptop; this is to add a second laptop to the bag. I wonder if the horizontal cache for the 11" would fit in a Brain Bag? What do you think? Thanks in advance.

The horizontal cache with rails for the 11" MacBook Air should work just fine with this hack in your older Brain Bag. The Brain Bag is wide enough hold this, based on the other Horizontal Brain cells they list as options, and also based on the fact that the Brain Bag is wider than the Smart Alec, and I just quickly checked the width of an 11" MacBook Air against my Smart Alec. (Sorry, couldn't check on the 11" MBA in its cache -- he so rarely uses any of the laptop Brain Cell or cases that the cache isn't with the laptop, and anyway it is the version that I got before the switch to the rails design.)

The spacing of the Annex clips is the same for horizontal or vertical brain cells. The Brain Bag is supposed to support Size 4 horizontal Brain Cells, since that's an ordering option. Here's what an 11" MacBook Air lying on top of a Size 4 Horizontal Brain Cell looks like:
13291

A horizontal cache with rails will have its closest rail spacing running a little closer together than the inner edges of the Annex clip webbing loops -- a very acceptable fit, since the rails are deliberately offset a bit so that you can control the slide of the cache along the rails and the cache doesn't just precipitously "drop" in free fall. The rails on a vertical cache with rails are closer together than the two parallel webbing strands that firm the handle and run just inside the loops for the Annex clips.

If the Brain Bag can fit a Size 4 Horizontal Brain Cell, I'd say you'd have plenty of room for an 11" MacBook Air in a horizontal cache with rails. I just don't know a simple hack for adapting a vertical cache with rails to fit there.

HTH

moriond

tpnl
10-04-2015, 03:32 PM
@moriond - good point about the vertical caches.

For vertical caches, how about using the regular Gatekeeper Rail Clips instead of the single Gatekeeper Clips that @Perseffect uses? I tried it with a Smart Alec and Brain Bag and my fake cache (a "modified" Brain Cells with rails - I do not have a cache with rails) and it worked great. The fact that the Gatekeeper Rail Clips have some webbing and can rotate accounts for the difference in connection orientation between the Annex Clips and Rail Loops. I tried this by directly clipping the ends of the Rail Clips to the Annex clip passthrough and then the cache rail (as usual) - worked fine. I am sure adding the velcro loops would only make it easier.

The only possible issue with the Brain Bag is that the upper Annex Clip passthrough is a bit low in the bag and my cache "Brain Cell" just barely cleared the top of the bag (had to squish the top a slight bit).

Hope this helps

Cheers!

moriond
10-04-2015, 04:31 PM
@tpnl, Good suggestion about the regular gatekeeper rail clips, but the problem is that the difference in spacing width for the horizontal and vertical rails is too extreme to make up the difference. I can force up where the Double gatekeeper rail clip ends connect to the Annex clip loops, but the real problem is that the vertical caches are not really securely suspended this way. That is, you can brute force the connection onto the rail clips of the cache at these extreme angles, but the security of having the cache properly suspended and stable against the front or back of the backpack just isn't there -- what you really want to do is resew the gap between the annex clip webbing loops so they are closer together -- by more than 2 inches -- and that's a lot.

moriond

sujo
10-05-2015, 08:18 AM
I just did this. I got two double carabineers and hooked one each to the annex clip webbing loops. Then hooked the other ends to the rails. Ain't perfect but works well.
http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/10/05/c932e6a70839e6df9617620fb2192d43.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

luvdabags
10-05-2015, 11:28 AM
for now, gonna try the new computer in a horizontal cache sized for a 13" because i have one on hand! if that works well, then, we are done. not sure if hubby will be satisfied or not, as he likes things to be just so. the BB has just had its bath, so too soggy to try now, but i hope that a double ended gateway rail connector will just pass through the webbing loop that the annex clips connect to, and then both gateway clips can hook to the rail, and work that way. he does not need the cache to slide in and out, just to be suspended so the laptop doesn't hit the ground when the bag is set down. pics to follow if it works!