View Full Version : [Intermediate] Tuning E-cockers: a GatorGuide

11-29-2006, 03:58 PM
I originally wrote this to post on PBNation, but I decided that folks here might be interested as well.

So, lots of people are asking questions about eBlade/E2/ZeroB settings. I am writing this to answer those questions. Some of this is relevant to T-Boards as well, but not all of it. I might post a T-Board addendum later.
Here’s a disclaimer before I start: There are NO “best” settings that will work on every gun, because every gun is different. People use different rams, different regs, different bolts and backblocks, have their reg pressures set differently, etc. “Naughty Dogs (or whatever team or pro player you want to talk about) settings” may not work on your gun, or may not represent the fastest your gun can be. Remember, most pros are sponsored by gun companies, and are stuck using the stuff offered by that company, which may not be the best available (WGP is not renowned for producing the best cocker parts – the crappiest rams I’ve ever owned were STOs). We the consumers have the benefit of getting to choose the best parts from all the manufacturers to put on our guns, so we can make ours better than what the pros use. So don’t put too much faith in settings that other folks are using – you might use them as a starting point, but take the time to tune your settings to the best for you.

First and foremost, let’s look at what the settings mean:
SON is the amount of time the sear solenoid is activated. It is also the “dwell” time of a mQ setup. On recent boards, it has a maximum of 4.0 ms.
CDEL is the delay between when the sear solenoid is activated and when the cocking solenoid is activated (the amount of time allowed to actually fire the gun before the cocking/loading cycle begins). On the more recent boards, it has a minimum value of 4.1 ms.
CON is only relevant when the eyes are OFF! It is the amount of time the cocking solenoid is active when the eyes are off. When the eyes are on, they override the CON time.
CTO is only relevant when the eyes are ON! It is the amount of time the board will wait for a ball to be chambered before closing the bolt.
COFF is the amount of time the cocking solenoid must be off before another firing cycle can begin, allowing the bolt to close fully.

The maximum ROF (with eyes off) of any set of settings can be calculated by the formula CPS = 1000/(CDEL+CON+COFF). As mentioned before, when the eye is enabled, it overrides the CON time.
Let’s use Factory Fast as an example of what I mean. Factory Fast settings (on a ZeroB v.1.10) are: CDEL 6.0 ms, CON 55 ms, COFF 24 ms, for a total of 85 ms per cycle. 1000/85 gives us the maximum ROF (with eyes off) of 11.76 cps, which the ROF display rounds up to 12. This is why many people say the eBlade is capped at 12 bps (They’re wrong; it’s only “capped” if you’re using stock settings and not using your eyes).
With the eyes off and Factory Fast settings, your gun will not shoot faster than 12 bps. If you use paint and a fast loader, it will “magically” shoot faster, because the eye overrides the CON.

But what if you want it to be faster still, even with the eyes off? Guess what – we can do that! Eclipse graciously gave the user full control (well, almost full - there are some minimum/maximum values) over the timing.
Your LPR can also affect speed. The settings control the amount of time that the cocking solenoid is active, whereas the LPR controls the amount of force applied during the time it’s active. If you’ve taken high school physics, you should remember that impulse = force x time. The impulse applied to the backblock by the ram is what actually recocks the marker, so increasing the force (turning your LPR up a tad) can allow you to decrease the time, and increasing the time can allow you to decrease the force (turn down your LPR a tad).
What does this mean in easy words? A higher LPR can make your gun faster (within reasonable limits – no amount of force that a standard LPR can deliver will allow your gun to cock with a CON of 1 ms). Of course, it can also increase your odds of breaking paint, so it’s best to be balanced with your timing and pressure.

So let’s start by tuning your LPR. Put your gun in Classic mode, look down the feedneck, and pull the trigger. You want to be able to see a small sliver of the bolt in the back of the feedneck. If you can’t see the bolt at all, your LPR is probably too high, and you are running the risk of having rollbacks and chopping the next ball in the stack. You should turn your LPR down and try again. If you can see lots of bolt, you may not have enough force to reliably cock the gun or allow a ball to drop into the breech. You should turn your LPR up and try again. Now that you have your LPR tuned, let’s move on to electronic timing.

CDEL times can be lowered to 3 or 4 ms without affecting the performance of most guns with a traditional hammer and poppet valve setup. I’ve found that a time of 5 ms is best for my mQ Karni, but your individual set up may vary. Like I said before, the minimum value for this setting on the newer Eclipse boards is 4.1 ms, so you can probably just set this for the minimum.

Now on to CON. If you don’t care about actually being able to shoot paint with your eyes off, you can lower your CON time quite a bit. A value as low as 30 ms (combined with a decent LPR pressure) will be sufficient to cock most guns that have a well-lubed, good quality ram with QEVs. You may be able to go lower, especially if you have an mQ valve (because with an mQ, the ram no longer has to push against the mainspring when cycling the bolt). If you have no QEVs or a crummy ram, you may need a higher value to ensure that the gun cocks reliably. To set your CON time, tune your LPR first, then set your gun for semi and turn the eyes off. Set the CON time for a low value (20, for instance) and shoot. It probably will not cock. Increase the CON and shoot again. Continue to do this until the gun cocks consistently every time you shoot, then add a millisecond or two to be on the safe side.
If you plan on ever shooting paint with your eyes off, it’s best to leave your CON time fairly high (around 50 ms) to reduce the chances of chopping paint. You won’t get the quickest possible ROF with eyes off, but your gun will be just as fast with the eyes on. I run my CON time at 47 ms, so if I ever have to turn my eyes off mid game (because they’re thoroughly gooped or something) I can continue to shoot (my Reloader B can reliably feed in that amount of time – it’s actually faster, but I added in some safety time to allow for weak batteries, etc). Depending on what hopper you use, you may want to run a slightly higher time.

You can also lower your COFF time – 18 ms is more than sufficient for most guns running a ram with QEVs and a hammer/poppet valve setup (like with CON, you might be able to go lower). mQ guns tend to need a higher value here to avoid shootdown, (which results when the gun fires before the bolt is fully closed, due to the fact that the mQ opens quicker than the standard valve setup) – I run mine at 22 ms. Tuning your COFF is harder than your CON, because it’s hard to tell if your gun is firing before the bolt is fully closed. The best way I know of to do it is to start with your COFF at the default time (24 ms), set your gun for PSP mode (since 15 bps is as fast as most people will ever shoot), load up some paint, and shoot a string. Then decrease the COFF time and shoot another string. When it gets too low, you’ll notice wicked shootdown – turn it back up a millisecond or two.

If you follow these simple steps, you’ll have the fastest settings for your individual gun, and you’ll (hopefully) have a better understanding of how it works.