21/10/17 Explanar straight out of the box - what you really wanted to know
Saturday morning, 7.05am, knock on the door ... [Yes there are two 7ams on a Saturday!] ... "Parcel for you, mate"
The courier driver picked up what he made look like a huge box of air and brought it into the house; wow - that's big! After he'd gone I tried to move the box; wow - that's heavy! I looked at the space in our home gym; looked back at the box; looked back at the gym ... I need some coffee before even opening this
Having got over the initial excitement of this morning's delivery, I plucked up the courage to open and assemble my new best friend for the winter - Welcome to my winter of using the Explanar Home golf and fitness Training System
Setting up out of the box
Let's do this properly, right first time. Everyone recommends to read the instructions fully - at least twice - on any flat pack, so why not with an Explanar
All seemed to make initial sense; instructions written in a good logical manner; nice list of contents - looking good so far
Next step - make as much working space as possible, lay out the big bits out of the box, and open the hardware bag somewhere where nuts and bolts won't roll away.
The booklet shows that there should be 12 M8 lock nuts but there were only 6. At this stage I'd usually lose confidence in the packing, but thought I'd check back through the assembly instructions. They seemed to support a need for only 6 nuts, so I decided to give it a go. A couple of hours later and it turns out that 6 is correct – confusing!
The rest of the assembly was pretty straightforward for anyone who's followed flat pack style instructions before; I would suggest that you allow at least 2 hours to assemble; take your time; check and recheck ... you might want a quick drink and a cuddle for reassurance after every section ... I managed to do this single-handed, without compromising safety, fingers, or furniture; albeit with an occasional concerned look from Mrs G of "are you sure that'll fit?", and "don't upset my gym"!
I found the following useful
Set up the top quarters first, then bottom quarters - as per instructions
When you're ready to connect both sides of the full hoop, set it up folded in half
This is much easy to handle, and it'll fit in your room / garage - trying to flip up and over a 2.40m hoop in a room with a 2.40m ceiling is impossible!
The base hook and the retainer tab instructions (steps 2.5 to 2.9) don't look very clear on the booklet; I found it best to treat these as if you were looking at the Explanar from in front when someone was using it. The base hook should be set up on the inside of the hoop; it should rotate towards you and downwards in a closing manner; the intent is that it catches onto a hoop as it folds downwards
The retainer tab should be attached so that it is on the top side of the frame; it should leave a bigger space between itself and the frame
When you set up the calibration arms, fix the bottom arm in place first per the instructions; when you're ready for the top arm, fix the top arm in place over the bottom arm so they're inserted within one another, then fix the hoop to the top arm. In this way, you can then lift the hoop to fit within your ceiling space. Doing it as per the instructions means you need >2.40m of headroom - fine outside; tricky inside
WARNING - Don't forget to attach the clip pins to the calibration arms
WARNING - don't forget to clip in place the side arm stays to lock the hoop
Real world dimensions
Overall, in an appropriately safe environment (ie no kids, obstructions etc) I don’t think most people need the full 4m width that the website and booklet suggest.
That is a huge space (around the size of a small car); for me, the width - facing the unit - needs to be about 3.5m to account for the roller extending outside the frame of the hoop; the depth - looking from the side - needs to be around 1.80m; the height is likely to be your limiting factor indoors
I've found that in a UK 2.40m ceiling space, I can set up the Explanar at a reading of +4 on the calibration arm as maximum; I'm likely to use it most as a 5iron or driver set up with a relatively flat swing place - reading +2 and +1 respectively for me at 1.80m height
I've not tried the short roller, but I would think that this means much more vertical and potentially more limited headroom - and because the roller does extend over the ends of the hoop, this may need >2.40 of space; I'll let you know once I get there
Now its up and looking resplendent, time for a lie down before first practice tomorrow.