Originally Posted by hammock engineer
I have been thinking about this. It actually would not be that hard. All you need is a scale that measures weight by hanging something on it. Like the fish scales or the ones you see people hanging their pack on to weigh.
With that we could attach it inline with the hammock support. We know the weight of the hammock, so we can figure that in. We can add a 20 lbs weight to it and see what the resulting pull on the scale is. Than scale it up to whatever the user weights.
It should be a linear system. The only thing that I can see making it non-linear and skewing the scaled down experiment, is if the ropes or hammock body perform different with different loads on them. If they did, it should be small enough to approximate out.
Kind of a back of the napkin way of doing things, but should work.
If you're going to do it at all, why not go all out? Get a bunch of 2L soda bottles, fill them with water, and weigh each one as it goes in the hammock. As the weight gets up there, just use a bag of dog food or something to reduce bulk. I'd go all the way to around 200 lbs. - that way you'd KNOW if the function was linear or not.
One issue - as the weight increases the support angle will change, which WILL make the data nonlinear. You could use a plumb bob and a protractor to measure the angle each time, but there would be a lot of room for error there. I'm not sure how else you'd account for it though.