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Thread: One Cam or Two ? Whats the difference

  1. #1

    Default One Cam or Two ? Whats the difference

    ok, so I know that in general two cam bows shoot faster than similar single cam bows at the same draw weight but I don't really understand why

    also, why is it a single cam bow seems to pull easier than a double cam bow at the same draw weight ?

    and another thing - you know when you're pulling back, at some point in the draw it lets off and gets easier to hold ? does it seem to you like on a single cam bow the let off place doesn't feel as steep - I mean it sort of eases smoothly into the lesser weight area where the double cam drops off abruptly into the easy pull area ? Is that true of double and single cam bows in general, or is it just the difference between my Firecat and my Saber.

    I would be interested in understanding whats the difference between a single cam and double cam bow, pros and cons of each - any insight you can offer would be great.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bfisher's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    Yours is a question that comes up fairly often. There is no cut and dried answer about whether dual or single cams are better, but there certainly are differences.

    The draw characteristics is not one of them. How a bow feels during the draw (draw cycle) has nothing to do with whether the bow has one cam, dual cams, or however many cams. It is determined by the design and shape of the cams and modules.

    The same can be said about how the bow feels as it drops into the valley or against a draw stop, however this is usually a matter of the shape of the module.

    The same can be said about the difference in speed. It has nothing to do with the number of cams on the bow. Just the design of the cams and modules. The more aggressive the cam/module design the more the archery has to work to draw the bow. The more work involved the more energy that is stored into the bow. This translates into more speed.

    As to which design is better? This is something that's been beaten to death on many forums. I honestly believe that most young shooters who have grown up during the single cam era would choose such. Then there are those like me, who have been shooting for 35 years or more and shot both types extensively, that are not quite as biased, and see virtues in both.

    Me, I'll take a dual cam bow any day simply because they're more tunable. You can just do more with them when playing around.
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  3. #3
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    Dec 2009
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    It is important that you understand the difference between a cam system and a cam's characteristics.

    Cam systems differ in the way they connect each other together and in the way they compress the limbs.

    Cam characteristics differ, in the efficiency, shape of draw force curve, and let-off% they provide.

    There are four basic cam systems.

    (1.) Dual cam
    (2.) Single cam
    (3.) Hybrid Cam
    (4.) Binary cam

    A dual cam system, uses each cam, to pull the opposite limb tip towards it, by attaching it's cable to the axle of the opposite cam. Each cam pulls the other limb towards itself the same amount. If only one cam is turned by the string, the limbs are compressed the same amount as if both cams were turned. The only difference is, that one cable will be holding the entire load of the limbs.

    A single cam system, compresses the limbs by attaching a single power cable to the top limb at the axle of the idler wheel. The single cam feeds the string off the string track below the nock, and off a reverse string track over the idler and above the nock.

    A hybrid cam system, works the same way as a single cam, except instead of using a round idler wheel and one long shoot string, it uses an eccentric idler wheel, that is slaved to the cam, with a control cable. Instead of having a super long shoot string, it cuts the string in half and attaches the two ends to the eccentric idler wheel. The bottom cam and power (buss) cable is what actually compresses the limbs.

    A Binary cam system, works the same way as a dual cam, except instead of attaching the cables to the axles, it attaches them to the opposite cam, so that as cable is reeled in by one cam, it is also being fed out in a lesser amount by the reverse track of the opposite cam. Since the cables are pulling both ways on each cam, one cam cannot rotate, unless the other cam rotates with it. If only one cam is rotated, the other will rotate with it, and they will both compress the limbs together, even if the shoot string is slack on one of the cams.

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