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Thread: For Simon: Z2 vs Prophecy basic design

  1. #1
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    For Simon: Z2 vs Prophecy basic design

    Hey. I've been a big fan of the prophecy ever since it came out, and more recently the Z2 as well.

    Having worked on both projects, do you feel that the software changes in the Z2 make up for its lack of magno clutch and the spring loaded drive cone?

    I cant decide where I stand. I like the reduced weight and increased capacity of the Z2's simplified drive mechanism, but I like the IDEA of the adjustable clutch, and I definitely like the idea of actually being able to use the rip drive wind up the drivetrain and force feed 5 or so balls when the hopper fails or batteries run out in a game.

    That said, I've never had issues with crushed paint in the Z2, and I've never had my prophecy or my Z2 go down in a field and necessitate the use of the rip drive to actually feed paint.

    I'm just curious how you feel about the two designs, now that you aren't with empire you may be able to speak more freely about them.

  2. #2
    Welcome to my forums.

    Tough call. There are pro's and con's to both designs.

    I love the smaller drive system of the Z2 for the improvement in paint capacity and feed consistency. I liked the clutch but it may have been overkill and put people off the product because they thought it was more complex than it was.

    I love the auto-unjam of the Z2, most often it works before you even noticed it happened. I don't get why people put up with jamming loaders. For the last 10 years my goals have been to prevent jams.

    There are some things I would, and will be, doing differently in the future but you will see that some of the great features of both will live on in new products I make.

  3. #3
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    Yeah. For me they both work equally well so there is no reason to have the heavier and lower capacity magno clutch (besides that I like it). Possibly it would come in handy with ultra brittle paint where you could set the clutch to slip really easily to protect it. I like the idea but I never really needed to make use of it.

    I'm looking forward to the next wave of loaders. As good as it is, there is a lot of room to improve the Z2. There is weight and height to be removed while increasing the capacity, for sure. I don't know enough to think of a way to improve its feed consistency / reliability because mine has never really hiccuped at all. I'm always looking forward to new loaders.

    Thanks for the welcome to the forums. I've always wanted to pick your brain about various things and I appreciate the opportunity to do so. You'll see me around that's for sure.

    Regarding future loaders: What exactly about loader technology is really proprietary? I can't remember all of the patent info I used to read about (who owns the rights to "eyes" in loaders, and sound detection) and stuff like that. I don't mean a complex legal breakdown, but what are the key design features of a good loader that are patented, and by who? Navigating the legal landscape is a really stiffing aspect of design.

    Another question that came to mind: Your have probably studied a lot of various loaders. I recall my evolution hoppers (with the z board) feeding very well and being gentle on paint. They seemed like such a simple system, and one that wasn't very prone to jams either. What are some the limitations of that design that the Z2 overcomes? I always felt it was a solid design and viewloader just never implemented it very well. I know they aren't the quickest things out there.

    Sorry if this is all too much. Its not often that I have the chance to ask an expert questions like this.
    Last edited by Cunha; 02-09-2014 at 07:24 PM.

  4. #4
    I've always wondered why no one had ever explicitly loaded the arms with springs or magnets to make the compromise of.speed, ease on paint, and ability to practice outside the patent. The vmax2 has a sort of this, but I haven't heard much about their performance.inv practical.terms.

    It seems.like you could accomplish much of what is desired through the use of compliant paddles, but in a more reliable and predictable fashion.

  5. #5
    Insider Lumberjack's Avatar
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    I think cost/complexity of having springs and magnets is a big reason we haven't seen it. Plus, if you are thinking a of hinged system that takes each slot (in the Z2 let's say) then the slot behind it is unable to contain a ball or the hinge has no room to work because of the ball behind it.

    After having a Rotor that perpetually jammed, I've wondered if having a softer paddle material of the upper, black arms would help.

    I know as far as being gentle on paint, the TechT squishy paddles made a difference in Cyclones for Tippmanns. But I think the Cyclone has similar issues like the original Halo 'A' did of being completely too rigid of a system (crushed paint).

    For the record, I prefer the Prophecy over any other loader on the market. I like the rip drive's tension on the ball stack and the capacity. And the shell withstood Simon stepping on it. It fixed all the issues I had with the Halo: brittle shells, battery door location/brittleness, ease of dis-assembly/cleaning and an added bonus of a massive mouth to poor paint in since I don't like to pod like a pro. I think the programming in the Z2 is great but I prefer the extra size and drive system of the Prophecy.

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    Hey Lurker I don't think I understand what you mean...what part do you want to be spring loaded?

    Prophecy has the whole drive cone with a spring that winds up with tension which is held on the paint in the feed stack when the hopper is at rest and the motor isn't spinning.

    Evolutions had flexible feed arms that preloaded the paint but were soft.

    Rotor just compresses the paint a little bit.

    I guess the Z2 also just compresses the stack a little bit too.

    Edit: and lumberjack I think you are right regarding the A5. It was just putting too much rigid unflexible force on the paint which is why the rubber paddle helps so much.

    Rotor...who knows. I hope dye is working around the clock perfecting it for the next version. If they can fix the jamming, the weight, the height, the capacity, they will have an amazing hopper.

    Edit again: as far as Z2 capacity goes, just find someones broken feedneck Prophecy shells, remove the feedneck till it looks like your Z2 shells and then run those on the Z2. They work 100% perfectly. The lack of magno clutch on the Z2 means you gain a handful of extra paint capacity too.

    I never broke a feedneck off the shell of my prophecy but I've seen a lot of them. I think it happens a lot when people clamp their feedneck too tight, and only the top rim of the feedneck really does any clamping and it puts a tight ring at a very focused part of the prophecy shell. The best improvement of the Z2 is that the rear left and right halves are a lot easier to put back onto the loader correctly. I was like the only person in my group of paintball friends capable of putting a normal prophecy back together correctly (so both buttons actually pop up flush with the shell).
    Last edited by Cunha; 02-09-2014 at 10:57 PM.

  7. #7
    Insider new ion?'s Avatar
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    What I didn't really understand at the time (and am still kind of curious about) is the reasoning behind removing the ball stack tensioning on the Z2. I mean, I understand that it's kind of more difficult to detect a jam with force on the stack, but to me, the advantage of Empire loaders of anything else was that they were truly force-feeding.

    I guess though, with lower ROF caps and faster cycling guns, you don't need to make a hopper that will feed paint instantly; there can be a little bit of lag in the system as it'll go unnoticed. The Z2 is smarter than the standard prophecy so I guess it'll better feed brittler paint too.

  8. #8
    Wait, are there now no modern force feed loaders that maintain stack tension?

  9. #9
    Insider new ion?'s Avatar
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    Spire I think does... but electronically and not physically.

    edit - I'm unfamiliar with the Pulse RDR or that Machine hopper, so they might.
    Last edited by new ion?; 02-11-2014 at 11:23 AM.

  10. #10
    Insider Lumberjack's Avatar
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    I assume the Scion is Z2-based internals.

    So no, I don't think anyone has a true maintained ball stack tension.

    Spire at least has soft paddles.

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