|CUSTOM WORK GALLERY - PROTOTYPE LOADERS|
This page is dedicated to a special project of mine, based on the development of a new loading device of mine. It's called the Cap loader, and that's all I want to say about it. Please though, don't get your hopes up too soon...this is merely a custom project of mine and that's how it will stay for the time being.
The most common question I receive is, "is this a new Halo?" The answer is no, it's really very different from a Halo. It doesn't use a spring or drivecone-type setup. It's completely different, and there's nothing like it on the market today. This prototype version of mine isn't really even a prototype as much as it's a hand-made conceptual model. This version is large and bulky, so it has some quirks. This was designed on purpose so that it would be easy to adjust, operate, and refine. As you can tell from the information displayed here, the loader functions extremely well and can crank out fire rates that most mainstream loaders can't even touch.
Here are some sample videos using a Shocker. The current date is December 20 (2006).
During these trials the device topped out at 25-bps, however a lot of this is due to the dwell time being too lengthy with the marker. It was using a Humphrey solenoid (laggs compared to the Parker solenoid alternative for a Shocker/Nerve) and as a result took longer to cycle than it should.
Shocker video trial 1: 25-bps
Shocker video trial 2: 26-bps with two 32-bps peaks
Shocker video trial 3: 25-bps
Other trials were made but they're more or less the same, so I don't bother to post them. At this initial point I feared the loader was capped at this speed at it's current state, however I fortunately found evidence to the contrary. I tested this marker afterwards and deduced it was able to completely cycle only at about 39 milliseconds using the settings I was using, which led to the top speed of 25-bps that was observed (please note I'm assuming reasonable margin for error in my cycling speed test). The video was limiting the firing speed, not the loader.
Interestingly, in the last video, you can actually hear the regulator topping out. During the course of these high-speed tests, the reg had definitely excerted itself more than usual, and had become a bit worn out (dirty and requiring relubrication). The fastest I've tested this style Max-Flo regulator is at 32-ms recharge cycle, so this audible cap arond 25-bps is somewhat justified. Some of this time is taken up after the solenoid is de-energized, but not all (since the marker is still drawing pressure from the reg during this time, as the bolt retracts). Additionally, 32-ms is the ideal recharge time, and the reg was undoubtedly recharging any number of milliseconds slower. These vertical Max-Flo's are plenty fast when shooting 20+ bps, but anything faster than around 25 and you may run into issues.
This doesn't mean the Shocker is capped at this speed. It simply means the combination of bolt and solenoid performance during this period of trials was effectively capping the marker at whatever speed it was firing. I will revisit the Shocker later with decreased pressure/dwell combinations with different electronics, and see what happens.
Anyways, I next tried things out using a Nerve, but the results were slightly worse, initially leading me to believe the Nerve's settings were slowing it down (it was using a different board, for instance).
Nerve video trial 1: 24-bps
I haven't done as extensive pressure/venting tests with a Nerve so I don't have any definitive data towards its maximum cycling times, however it is obvious (or so I think) that Nerves take less time to cycle due to the consumed air pressure being much less in volume, and the ram being much closer to the solenoid. The only thing that could affect it would be the moving mass, which is considerably heavier than that of a Shocker. Obviously, further testing is recommended; I hesitate to draw any definitive conclusions since I only performed one trial.
I will make more trial videos as I refine the design further, and examine the raw data from these tests. The most important thing on my side was that these trials allowed me to form a psychological connection between facts I knew from pressure testing and their actual, practical causality when actually put into use. I will use this new connection to deduce trends used in other markers, and try to optimize the cycling time further without massively compromising velocity (I want to fire as fast as possible using unbalanced settings if necessary, but that's definitely not practical...but then again shooting as fast as possible isn't practical either...I digress).
Update January 17: (2007)
I've made some small refinements to some moving parts to the loader, and as a result I needed to test them out to see what differences occur higher-up in the system. Although I should use a Shocker for testing just because I've used it so heavily with the previous tests, I decided to try these trials with one of my Ions. The reasoning for this is because I've compared the cycling times of a basic Ion to that of a Shocker, and an Ion equipped with a QEV tends to cycle slightly faster overall. It's just a factor of the design.
Anyways, I prepared the marker for some high speed firing by decreasing the dwell setting to the minimum needed to fire the gun with any semblance of consistency (referencing the fact that lower dwell decreases shot consistency). The marker is using the following parts: HE-modified stock bolt, slightly altered SP 360 QEV, and of course a stock solenoid (since it's extremely fast). Other than the board, the Ion used in these videos is functionally stock.
Some tweaking was needed to find the correct balance between dwell and input pressure. Normally (in a marker other than an Ion), one would be able to increase the input pressure to compensate for the drop in dwell time, but due to how the Ion solenoid fires this would actually slow the performance since a higher pressure equates more force needed to actuate the solenoid. This in turn leads to a longer dwell setting to achieve the same firing performance. This particular marker didn't enjoy being set to less than 10-ms dwell, as you can see in the first video below (balls roll out the barrel due to short-stroking).
Ion video trial 1: 25-28 bps
Ion video trial 2: 27-34 bps
Here's a graph of the firing speed for the second (faster) video, based on an average between every two shots:
These results are very impressive. The firing speed of the second video wasn't too consistent, it varied from shot to shot, but it was as fast as 34-bps at some gaps. This video is a good example of super-fast firing markers not being perfectly consistent in terms of speed. If the firing cycle takes just a few milliseconds more or less, the firing speed can vary by several shots-per-second. Accordingly, it's impractical for a marker to fire "only" 32-bps, it would instead go up and down as shown in this video.
Dwell doesn't have a practical effect on the maximum speed when firing 20-bps and under, but when you start going this fast it does make a difference (this is why I didn't adjust it in the above Shocker videos). I'll have to adjust things and go back to the drawing board on this one.
Update January 19: (2007)
I tested out the loader using my Nerve today. The results weren't any better or less than the previous test I did a few weeks ago.
Nerve video trial 2: 22-23 bps
Nerve video trial 3: 23-24 bps
The marker was using a dwell setting of 9-ms which is relatively low for the Humphrey solenoid, input pressure 200-psi and a high LPR pressure. I believe I'll have to do some cycle time tests on this Nerve so I can see what's going on. I've got a lot of info to go over right now.
Update April 20: (2008)
It's been a while! I shelved this project in light of other work, but I've had some ongoing ideas for it, and I need a project to continue, so I decided to revisit the loader. I've made some videos using items not yet released, and they are quite impressive, though not better than the above Ion videos. The marker being tested fires over 30-bps with a standard loader (Magnahalo) so you can get the idea of what happens when I use the CAP loader.
Anyway, the newly-redesigned loader has a few small changes I've made with regards to areas I was unsure about. I've been using some special software-based physics analysis systems to highlight the physical limits of some components, letting me push them as far as I can go. To this end I've taken the time to machine several new precision components for the new loader.
I'll be posting the results later, when this marker is released and when I can machine more parts.