Electropneumatic paintball marker


Electropneumatic paintball marker

An electropneumatic paintball marker is any of a class of paintball markers that utilizes a pneumatic solenoid to actuate the hammer and/or bolt's movement.

History and basic operation

The origin of the electropneumatic paintball marker is the subject of a patent dispute, [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20050309063557/http://www.icedillusions.com/Anti-SP.html Smart Parts Lawsuit ] ] but is generally acknowledged to have happened more or less simultaneously with the introduction of WDP's Angel and PneuVenture's Shocker, marketed by Smart Parts, both in 1996. The markers were operated differently; they were similar only to the extent that they both make use of one or more microswitch-controlled solenoid valves.

The Shocker used two solenoid-operated control valves in order to obtain separate controls over the ball loading sequence and the air delivery sequence. The Angel made use of a linked hammer and bolt assembly, which permitted the use of a single solenoid to actuate the entire firing sequence by controlling a piston that powered the hammer/bolt assembly forward, simultaneously chambering a paintball and releasing the propulsion gases at the end of the hammer's stroke.

The twin-solenoid arrangement of the Shocker permitted slightly lower operating pressures to be used, however the drastically simpler arrangement of the Angel provided a faster firing sequence, which ultimately proved to be favored by the players and as a result the basic operating principle behind the Angel has remained unchanged (indeed, it has even been copied many times over by a series of "stacked tube electros"), whereas the Shocker has gone through a series of revisions that culminated in a complete redesign in 2003, and now utilizes a single solenoid powering the increasingly popular mechanical configuration known as a "spool bolt".

It is also worth noting that while these two markers essentially tied for first electropneumatic markers to market, both designs were pre-dated (by years in some cases) by a series of homemade electropneumatic "kits" that modified pre-existing markers such as the Autococker or Sterling.

Backlash

The increased availability and use of these markers also encouraged a movement that had already been chafing at the previous technology advances of paintball. These players desired a return to the days of pump markers, ten round capacity, and 12-gram CO2 "powerlets". The movement eventually became what is known today as "Stock-Class Paintball".

Necessities of very fast guns

The Angel and the Shocker exacerbated a fundamental problem that had been brewing in the sport—as markers got quieter, with less vibration and kick, the vibration that used to keep paintballs from jamming in the hopper feedneck went away. The solution was a move to motorized loaders, most notably the ViewLoader Revolution, which used a paddle to agitate the balls whenever an infrared beam in the feedneck became uninterrupted.

However, the reality of gravity set in, and it was obvious that to satisfy the appetites of the modern marker, the loader manufacturers were going to need to force the paintballs down the feedneck faster than mere gravity would allow. As a result, modern markers now feature Empire's Reloader B2, ViewLoader's VLocity, Odyssey's Halo, The Q-Loader and the Draxxus Pulse systems, each feeding at rates of 22 balls-per-second or more.

Ball detection systems

Two main ball-detection systems were created to ensure that a ball is present in the chamber when the player pulls the trigger. These systems were needed because, even as the loaders fed paint ever-faster into the markers, so too did the markers develop shorter firing cycles and more responsive electronics. Descriptions of the two BDS's and their subtypes follow:

Infrared "Eye" (Optointerrupter or Break-Beam)

Makes use of an infrared emitter and receiver to detect the presence of a ball based on whether or not a ball in the feed tube blocks a beam from reaching a receiver on the opposite side.

Reflective

Detects whether a ball is present based on amount of emitted light reflected back to a sensor.

Weight sensor

Detects presence of a ball based on force applied to a rod within the at the base of the chamber, which converts that force to an electrical signal via a piezoelectric "pad".

COPS/COPS2

A rod pokes up into the firing chamber so that the tip just comes into contact with the bottom of the ball. The rod is oscillated at an extremely high frequency (imperceptible to humans) by a crystal on the control board, and when a ball falls into the chamber and hits the rod, the oscillation is affected, allowing the marker to detect when the ball is fully chambered.

ensi

As COPS, above, but the calibration of the software to detect ball presence is automatic. Note also that Sensi incorporates an LDS (Load Detection System) that allows it to detect presence of balls further up the stack, occasionally allowing exceedingly-fast performance when it detects a full, pressured stack.

Noise activated

Using electronic "ears" hoppers will "listen" for the marker to fire and feed the next ball accordingly. This saves batteries if the hopper is left on, and since it does not require an "eye," it does not run the risk of impaired performance due to a dirty or obstructed sensor.

Although it stops excess battery use, when in an intense firefight, with nearby players, the hopper might load accidentally as the reports of other markers can deceive the sound sensor.

ee also

*Angel
*Bob Long Intimidator
*Dye Matrix
*Excalibur
*ICD Bushmaster 2000
*ICD Promaster
*Planet Eclipse Ego
*Smart Parts Shocker
*Smart Parts Ion

References

External links

* [http://www.zdspb.com/tech/index.html ZDSPB.com Tech Articles] - In-depth articles on how markers work, with animations and diagrams.
* [http://www.AngelFAQ.com AngelFAQ.com] - Extensive tutorial on how the modern Angel paintball marker works.
* [http://knol.google.com/k/steve-mccarty/top-paintball-guns-in-every-price-range/2numhlc3ztqtb/2?locale=en# Top Paintball Guns] - Article on What paintball marker should I buy.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Paintball marker — A paintball marker, also known as a paintball gun, is the central or main piece of equipment in the sport of paintball. Markers make use of an expanding gas such as carbon dioxide, compressed air or nitrogen dioxide to propel paintballs through… …   Wikipedia

  • Shocker (paintball marker) — paintball gun|Smart Parts Ion title= Smart Parts Ion caption= A blue Shocker NXT marker type=Electropneumatic action=Semi Automatic, Rebound, Three Round Burst, Full Automatic barrel=14 inches bore= rof=20 balls per second price= $725 USD… …   Wikipedia

  • Ion (paintball marker) — paintball gun|Smart Parts Ion title= Smart Parts Ion caption= Smart Parts Ion marker type=Spool Valve Electropneumatic action=Semi Automatic, Rebound, Three Round Burst, Full Automatic barrel=12 inch ported bore= .689 rof=17 balls per second… …   Wikipedia

  • Bushmaster 2000 (paintball marker) — The Bushmaster 2000 is an electro pneumatic paintball marker produced by Indian Creek Designs, (ICD), a manufacturer based in Idaho. Technical specificationThe Bushmaster is designed with tournament style speedball in mind, being capable of… …   Wikipedia

  • Paintball equipment — is central to paintball, given its equipment intensive nature. Although good equipment by no means guarantees a good player, a good player s ability can be seriously hampered by poor quality equipment. In order to safely conduct a game of… …   Wikipedia

  • Angel (paintball) — paintball gun caption= Angel 1 Fly marker type=Electropneumatic action=Semi Automatic with multiple preset ramping, league and custom modes. barrel=14 inches. Carbon fiber tip. bore=Multi bore kit .691, .693, .695 rof=30+ balls per second… …   Wikipedia

  • List of professional paintball teams — This is a list of notable professional and semi professional paintball teams that have played in a professional tournament. A professional paintball team is one that plays paintball with the financial, equipment or other kind of support of one or …   Wikipedia

  • NPPL Championship Paintball 2009 — Cover of NPPL Championship 2009 Developer(s) Sand Grain Studios Publisher(s) …   Wikipedia

  • National Professional Paintball League — The National Professional Paintball League (NPPL) is one of two American paintball national tournament series that travel throughout the United States each year, and was also the largest professional seven man paintball league in the… …   Wikipedia

  • NCPA (paintball) — The National Collegiate Paintball Association is an all volunteer, non profit organization created by college players for college players. The goal of the NCPA is to promote the positive aspects of the sport in an intercollegiate manner. The NCPA …   Wikipedia