Our fencing club is primarily a foil club. We often experience weapons failures if the body-cord or the floor-cord doesn't fail first.
The most common failure by far is in the tip. One touch is fine but a minute later a white light comes on when parrying before I have a chance to riposte. This is not completely diagnostic or limited to a tip problem but it often can be. After checking the connection between the body-cord and the weapon, mostly wiggling or un-plugging and plugging back in, I then check the bolts that hold the body-cord to see if they are loose. Then I check the length of wire that runs behind the pad to see if is crushed, and then inspect the length of the blade for "inch-worms." If there is nothing obvious then it is probably time to take off the tip and clean out the corrosion as Hawaii is a great place for things to rust quickly.
But if we weren't primarily a foil club we could do sabre where the most complex pieces of equipment carried around are the lame, which is only complex due to delicate strands of wire, and the body-cord. The sabre itself is either broken or the plug is bad if everything else checks out. I read somewhere of a procedure that would be able to isolate the malfunctioning piece of equipment, I forget where and how, but then after that the malfunctioning piece must be fixed and sometimes it is a struggle to know what to fix.
As I learn more I will share, hopefully our fixed weapons will work!
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