HALO B versus Empire Reloader B
I want either a HALO B or Reloader B but what's the difference?
Cosmetically there isn't much of a difference other then one has Halo jewel stickers and a Halo back plate and the other has Empire jewel stickers and an Empire back plate. The shells are also manufactured by the same company, Odyssey which makes the Halo loaders. In fact, all parts are interchangeable between the two loaders.
Now getting under the hood the Halo uses an eye system, much like a marker with an eye system; in fact their is virtually no difference between the eye of the Halo and the eye of a marker other then the Halo uses a reflective eye system. I double checked the Odyssey website on what eye system the Halo uses, it says 'reflective detection system' for the description.
The Reloader B does not use an eye system, it uses a sound activated board instead. There is a small microphone on the board of the hopper, underneath the faceplate, that detects the noise of the marker being fired before it feeds. When you are not firing the Reloader B will not fire, but when you are firing it will feed everytime.
Those are the only difference between the two hoppers, one has eyes and one uses a sound activated board. Other then that they are basically the same product as I mentioned Odyssey makes both hoppers but installs the Empire sound activated board to make the Reloader B.
Some people say the eyes on HALO's are bad, why is that?
The main reason for that is the fact that the eyes are reflective, meaning the beam needs to be sent back to the eyes. This is not a break beam system in which the beam is broken it registers. The problem comes from dark shelled paint.
The dark paint can 'absorb' the beam and the signal is not registered in the eyes, making the hopper think that there is no paintball in place when in fact there is. Even some of the matte dusted paint can cause problems, due to their being less reflective, resulting in an inconsistant feed or no feed at all. Finally, some "glitter" shells can scatter the light beam.
The Halo can be frustrating to work with in a tourney situation when you don't have control over the type of paint you are using. One tourney may be having you using a solid orange shelled paint but the next you maybe using a dark purple or blue or maybe even a black shelled paint. This is also an issue at fields that only allow you to use their paint. This is when the problems of the eye system come into play. Any other time when you can choose your paint there shouldn't be a problem as long as you stay away from dark colored paint.
Other people say the Reloader B is bad, why is that?
The Reloader B uses a sound activated board as I mentioned before. The problems can occur when you turn the hopper on in a noisy area. When you first turn on the hopper the backplate light blinks before it spins the drive cone, during this time the microphone is checking sound levels and adjusting itself accordingly. So if you are near people shooting, yelling or even just talking loudly it will adjust itself to a less sensitive setting versus a quieter setting. An easy remedy is walking away from the area for a few moments to someplace more quiet and then turning on the hopper.
Another problem can be attributed to a 'quiet' marker. Some markers don't have that loud 'pap' sound which can make it hard for the sound board to pick up. Some Matrix markers for instance are rather quiet with the right tweaks and even some Angels are as well, but these are just examples of what may be a quieter type.
What do you think is the better hopper?
Personally, I feel the Reloader B is the better hopper. Mainly because it does not use an eye system and can see any kind of paint. Why do I feel this way? This comes back to the usage of paint.
I mentioned that before you may not have control over what kind of paint you use, especially for a tournament. So if you have dark shelled paint and you're using a Halo and having problems because of the paint, you are rather stuck unless you have another kind of hopper on hand and thus... this leads to an essential lack of control.
With the Reloader B you DO have control. Remember when I said to turn the hopper on in a quiet area if it's too noisy? It's up to you whether to chance it and turn it on next to somebody screaming into their cell phone or taking an extra five seconds to walk away and then turn it on. Paint will not affect this hopper so you can throw anything you want into it and it'll work, provided you take control of the sound situation; which can be done as I mentioned above. Just walk to a more quiet area if you are unsure, I can not stress that enough.
Why the price difference?
I mainly believe one reason for the higher price of the Reloader B is not only the more costly sound board but also the Empire brand name. It's kind of like buying cereal in the grocery store. Do you get your Lucky Charms for three dollars or do you buy the generic brand Clover Puffs for a dollar-fifty? They're both made in the same place, the same parts are used, the only difference is the name and the packaging essentially.
I want a new board for my hopper!
This is one thing I will never understand and here is my reasoning behind it. A stock Halo B and Reloader B will feed a consistant 22+ BPS on their highest settings. Most fields and tourneys are now capped at 15 BPS. So why spend an extra fourty dollars on that Cheetah, Predator, or WAS board that will feed 31+ BPS when you physically can only shoot 12 and the cap is 15?
Not only that but these boards put extra stress on the motors by making them spin faster. This in turn means a much shorter life span on the motor as it can and will eventually burn out from the extra stress. I say a stock board is more then enough to suit any normal players needs. The only time I would recommend an upgrade board is when the stock board dies, fries, breaks, or you get hungry and take a bite out of it thinking it's a Triscuit cracker.
The only beneficial thing of a new board is new anti-jam software, such as the Z-Code for the Halo, and some new eye logic to cut back on the problem of seeing paint. So unless you're constantly using brittle paint in which you need a slower setting or are having a really bad time with the eyes seeing paint, I would suggest holding off on the new board all together just because it's more of a luxury, not a neccesity.
With or without a rip drive?
A rip drive is good if you get a jam suddenly during a game and the hopper can't undo it. By turning the wheel to your left the drive cone will spin backwards and clear the jam. Or if your battery suddenly dies or something electronically fails you can still manually feed the balls by turning the wheel to the right. You won't be shooting ropes of paint but you'll get enough balls in to push that guy back into the bunker.
I would vote for the rip drive for the extra money, as the Halo hoppers are sold with the choice of with or without rip drives. The Reloader B comes standard with a rip drive.
Last edited by Tabris17 : 11-29-2005 at 01:31 PM.