Dwell Lowering Devices
There are certain parts that, when installed, will allow you to lower your dwell, allowing for a major increase in efficiency and rate of fire. The most well known of these devices is the Quick Exhaust Valve, or QEV for short. As stated above, the QEV allows a huge drop of dwell, from the stock 52, down to numbers as low as 6-16 (varies from gun to gun and QEV to QEV). The QEV replaces the middle banjo, and will also help you gain higher rates of fire. It works by venting excess air during firing. This air normally goes back to the solenoid, and can slow the process down. An animation of how it works from Ydna at www.zdspb.com is found here (you have to copy and paste into your browser- sorry):
There are many types/styles of QEV’s. One of the most popular QEV’s is the Smart Parts 360 QEV. Many users prefer this QEV because it is installed like a normal banjo fitting, with an allen wrench. Plus, almost no fitment cases (where the stock body must be modded a bit to fit the QEV) have been reported.
Another way to lower the dwell of your marker is to buy an aftermarket bolt. There are many different brands of aftermarket bolts to choose from, and it’s important to look at the reviews when/if you decide to buy one. Aftermarket bolts are lighter than the stock bolt and usually provide greater airflow. The lightest bolt currently out is the TechT L7, which weighs in at 8.5 grams. Other well-known bolts are the TechT L6, TechT Lightening, Orange Nano, Smart Parts Firebolt, and the Warrior SL Ion Bolt. There are many others out there, and more information is provided in the reviews.
But, how do these bolts help one achieve lower dwells and increase efficiency? Well, the answer is quite simple- by being lighter. It takes a lot less air pressure to push forward a 16-gram bolt and a paintball forward than it does the stock 32.6-gram bolt and a paintball. In fact, some people with the QEV/L7 Bolt combination have reported dwells of 0 on their stock board. Also, most aftermarket bolts have a two tail-o-ring design. This design seals the firing chamber during the process of shooting, stopping excess air from being wasted. Dwell drops from bolts vary, depending on the bolt you are using. It is usually only a few blinks on the stock board.
Two other upgrades you can buy to maximize efficiency are aftermarket firing cans and rear donuts. There are currently only two companies that make these, which are Lucky Paintball and New Designz. Many people say that these two parts are more cosmetic upgrades than performance, as you can order them in different colors to match the color of cut-through aftermarket or modded stock bodies better, and efficiency gains are not usually that huge, or sometimes even discernible from the stock parts. These aftermarket parts are also lighter than the parts they replace by a few grams.
Please note that the Lucky Firing Can, or Stage 2, has a built in o-ring in the rear, so two tail-o-ring bolts will not work as well, and it is suggested you buy a bolt with one o-ring on the tail, as that then equals the two o-ring suggested. This is not a real problem, as most companies offer bolts with the one tail o-ring to fit this firing can, and on most bolts you can just remove one of the o-rings on the tail.
I am going to start off this section by saying that the words “ROF” and “Recharge” are interchangeable. They are the same exact thing. I think it was a stupid move made by Smart Parts to label Recharge as Rate of Fire, as it does confuse some of the less-experienced users out there, and has caused a lot of misconception on this forum, as well as many others. For your sake, I want you to think of Rate of Fire as Recharge, as Recharge better explains the purpose of the setting.
Anyway, Recharge is defined as the amount of time that your marker is forced to wait after the dwell has expired before it is allowed to fire again. Essentially, this setting just adds time to the length of the firing process. It has NO effect on how the marker fires, nor on the recoil, efficiency, consistency, etc. of your marker. It only affects the Rate of Fire your gun can achieve, by adding that time to the firing cycle. Basically, the lower you set your recharge, the faster your marker will be able to shoot.
As stated above, ROF is essentially Recharge. Smart Parts labeled this setting as Rate of Fire because that is what the setting affects. It only affects how fast your gun can shoot. That was their logic, I believe. However, the word recharge much better describes the setting, because that is what it is. How long you are making you marker wait after completing firing before it is allowed to shoot again. My opinion is that this setting can only effectively be used as a cap on how fast you shoot. There are two major ideas on how to set your ROF, and I will go into each of them. Along the way, I will also provide information on the setting of ROF.
The 48 Rule
The 48 Rule, as some call it, has caused many misconceptions across the ion community on how to set your board. This rule basically calls for the user to set their dwell and recharge so that when added together, they equal forty-eight. For example, if you set your dwell to equal 40 blinks, the rule calls for you to set your recharge to 8 blinks. 40+8=48. Another example is that if you have your dwell set at 16, you should set your recharge at 32, as 16+32=48. I am going to say this once, and ONLY ONCE. This rule IS NOT THE FASTEST SETTING FOR YOUR MARKER. All that the 48 rule does is cap your marker at 17 bps, which the stock board already does. So, personally, I think that the rule is somewhat pointless. What I recommend you do is set your dwell according to the previous instructions and then your ROF to 0, as recommended by the following “0” Rule. It is simpler, and will give you the same BPS on your stock board. I do not want to get into aftermarket boards, but I’ll say that most aftermarket boards have built in programmable caps to your BPS and tournament locks making it much easier to cap your marker for tournaments, etc.
If you want to cap your Ion at a lower BPS than 17, the following link takes you to a site that can help you figure out the Dwell/ROF combo that will get you at that rate. Input your current dwell and than adjust the ROF till you get your desired speed. This site works for the stock board and Blackheart board.
The “0” Rule
The “0” Rule is really the way to go by, in my opinion. This rule calls for one to set their marker to a recharge of 0, no matter what the dwell is set to. Now this setting will allow you to shoot as fast as your dwell and internals allow. Of course, on the stock board, you are still capped at 17 bps, making it and the 48 Rule work the same. But this one is a lot simpler and easier to maintain. If you change your dwell, you don’t have to go change your recharge as well. On aftermarket boards, however, you will be shooting much faster than the 48 Rule. As fast as your dwell will allow. Essentially, unless you capped your board/your board has a cap, your dwell is your cap, and your recharge does nothing. Think about it. Upping your recharge adds time to the firing cycle. If your recharge is at 0, then the firing cycle time will be shorter, allowing for more shot per second. Please, take a look at the image below, provided by Ydna:
As you can see, as you up your recharge setting and/or dwell setting, you increase the total time of the firing process. Longer time=less possible shots per second. Imagine if you set you recharge setting to 0. You would be cutting quite a few ms off the firing cycle, and would be left with just the dwell (and lowest recharge setting on the board) limiting how fast you shoot. With the 48 rule, you will always be at the same amount of time for the firing cycle.
Also, most aftermarket boards have programmable caps to your BPS and built in tournament locks that allow the user to cap their marker anyway. The 0 Rule and a cap on your marker are much easier to work then the shifting of dwell and ROF.
How to Set your Recharge
You can see how confusing this subject is. Here's how you set it:
Open the guns grips and press the gray Programming button.
- Push the gray programming button until you reach the Single Blink Red setting.
- Now push the power button multiple times until the yellow led in the grip frame stops blinking.
- To exit the programming mode, push the trigger once. After pushing the trigger, turn the board off to save the settings. If you pull the battery, the new setting will revert back to whatever it was last set to.