In the sport of modern, Olympic-style fencing, scoring is done electrically. For the electrical signal to travel from your weapon to the scoring machine, the signal needs to travel:

  • through a wire in your weapon (except sabre)
  • up your sleeve and down your back through your bodycord
  • through a long cable that connects you to the reel
  • across the floor in a floor cable
  • into the scoring machine

This Instructable describes how to test and repair a bodycord used when fencing epee.

Tools Needed: screwdriver, small screwdriver (5/64), pliers, wire cutters, wire stripper (or a knife), something to test resistance (e.g., volt-ohm meter, continuity tester, or specialized fencing tester such as the Leon Paul TT10)

Step 1: Initial Testing

Picture of Initial Testing
Before we begin, look at your bodycord. We're going to call the pin that is separate from the other two, the Outside Pin. The one next to it will then be called the Middle Pin. That makes the pin on the opposite side the Inside Pin.

The wires in the bodycord all go straight through. When we take measurements we will be testing the Outside Pin on one end of the cord with the Outside Pin on the other end of the cord. Similarly, we'll test the two Middle's and the two Insides. When we test them, we want to make sure we have low resistance, or at a minimum continuity.

For example, when I tested the bodycord below I got:

  • Outside-Outside = 0L (no connectivity)
  • Middle-Middle = 0L (no connectivity)
  • Inside-Inside = 0.4 Ohms (connected. OK)

From that information, it's no surprise this cord didn't work on the fencing strip. Two of the three pins are not able to transmit any signal back to the machine.

coppeis4 years ago
Thanks I will know test mine tonight!!!!!!

PS:GO EPEE WOOT!!!!!!!!!!!
xyin5 years ago
I have repaired my son's epee bodycord for several times (broken wire at one end) so the cord is getting shorter.
Does any one know if it's possible to buy some kind of wire (for instance, from HomeDepot) for replacement?
Jayse1967 years ago
what works for me, after you find which pin doesn't work, try tugging on it a bit. Sometimes all the strands of wire will be broken at a single point, and if you pull on it and the pin comes out with some length of wire attached, then that'll tell you exactly where it broke and where you need to cut behind. hopefully that makes sense and is helpful.
Eidiard7 years ago
Nicely done but could I suggest a small edit:

"In the sport of modern Olympic style fencing,"

For us historical fencers that is just a little more accurate :)
kedoin (author)  Eidiard7 years ago
Thank you for the suggestion. I have made your change. Thanks for making the comment. I hadn't heard of historical fencing before!
Lots of it going on in the SCA and the like. There are an amazing number of historic manuals left to us all basically competing to be the text book for, "How to Kill a Guy with a Sword 101."
blckthng7 years ago
awesome work man, bizzare is it may be one fine day my rapier just snapped and i have no idea where to get a new one in India, its really frustrating. anyway cool instructable.
fd937 years ago
will this also work 4 sabre my bodycord has been messing up latly
KentsOkay7 years ago
Hooray! More fencers! I'd be honored if you would join my group, Soul of the Sword.
Really good Instructable! Looks kind of hard to do (for me), but awesome anyways.
Ferrite7 years ago
I fenced for about 1 year or two but then my glove and jacket stopped fitting, and i got to busy ( excuses excuses) but I really enjoyed it
Lostkid7 years ago
Good Instructable!! I have fenced foil for about 3 yrs and I just started Epée about 3 months ago