I just picked up this loader a few days ago so i will continue to update this review. I already like it better than my halo b w/ rip drive. I conducted a gravity test and the balls just streamed out as if they were running down a tube, it looked as if they were so close together they were touching each other. I attached it to my matrix and filled it up with paint and just let it rip, i emptied my hopper in a matter of seconds with no delay or pauses. On my future tests i will use a timer to get an exact ball per second count.
I think it will prove to be a better loader than the halo in the long run, it seems to be better designed than the halo although it does borrow the same idea as the halo. The raceway in the bottom of the hopper looks to be at least 3/4 of an inch bigger in diameter and it only has 3 large paddles instead of 5 small paddles. It seems that this will be less likely to jam, and will be naturally faster simply because of the bigger diameter.
The "select force" feature is really cool. It leaves a preload on the ball stack on a force level that you select, the only down side is is that it wears out the batteries a little faster and makes a humming noise when the gun is not being fired. This feature can be disabled so that the motor simply runs when there is movement in the ball stack. I have not used it long enough to have an estimate on battery life. One more nice little feature is a toggle switch. They didn't try to mess around with a push button.
The only thing i am curious on is the height of the feed neck, it looks like it could be cut down some, but i don't think i will be trying that any time soon. It looks tall in pictures but when compared to a halo, it is only about a quarter inch taller overall. It feels a little bulky on the gun because the back side of it is wide, but in actuality the view isn't much different than a halo.
The IR sensor uses 2 side by side sets of eyes for better detection of ball movement. Here is an excerpt from the manual: "When the center set of IR sensors are blocked by a paintball the loader will go to tension mode. When paintballs are shot, the rear (IR) sensor is blocked the impeller will begin feeding paintballs. The loader will return to tension mode if no more paintballs are shot." It seems like a great design, and i think it will prove to be so with more use.
The manual gives a full schematic and although i have not yet take it apart it seems very simple and easily upgradeable, there will definitely be some aftermarket stuff coming out for these soon.
Weaknesses: The battery compartment is a little loose, i shoved some cardboard in the gaps to prevent movement. Its a little ugly at first, but it grows on you after a while. I have not done enough field testing to give a full review on the weaknesses, but the only major potential weakness i could see is that you would have to manually open up the hopper in the event of a jam because it does not have a "rip drive" or similar feature yet. But the manual says the programing is supposed to clear jams automatically, i have yet to verify this in actual testing.
Update 12/16/05: I gravity tested with dark shell paint today and it seemed to run exactly the same.
Don't sell your halo b v35 just yet! But save up because this hopper could give the halos a run for the money. I think it has the potential to take over.
More updates to come check back in a few weeks.
10 out of 10
Last edited on Friday, December 16th, 2005 at 10:37 pm PST