Sunday, January 18, 2015

TBNC 01-17-15: Bunkers, Tacmod Trouble, Green Koosh, Vulture Trials

Yesterday was the latest event of the newly formed Tampa Bay Nerf Club, the latest iteration of the same group I have been playing stock class with for the last year.

A recent change is that we have added bunkers. The day before yesterday was a "mod party" at dkdavid721's place and in addition to the quick RS fix, UMB coupler, Centurion mag servicing, CleanCut planning, Hammershotting, chrono fun, Triad speed-holing, and lighting crappy kooshes on fire... We made 5 of these super cheap easy obstacles.

I thought I got an image of them installed, but I think I deleted it, and I only got this shakey video. This one is sagging because it was hit by a player, but it was the worst of them at the end of the day. They worked great. 1/2" Schedule 40 and 4 mil poly, I would have used 3/4" pipe perhaps, but regardless, these things are DIRT CHEAP and work. They store rolled up and for less than a case of ZS Elite you can have a speedball field where there was just grass.

One game made heavy use of them, it was a lot of fun. I got a good number of kills, but I didn't pack enough ammo and ran out. There will be more games with them which I greatly look forward to playing and posting about.

What I can say is that having cover like this forces players to avoid maximum range standoffs, and since these standoffs are IMO the worst part of the way nerf is usually played, it is a lot more satisfying. With bunkers ~50 feet apart, stock class players can shoot accurately at enemies.

I was also primarying this beast for most of the day. It did well, the velocity and accuracy are slowly coming up as it develops buildup and the motors break in. I can confirm that it handles great and doesn't f*ck my wrist up like a Rayven, so objective accomplished.

I did have a lot of trouble with mag changes, though. I am still not a fan of a bullpup primary in most situations. Training will help, but it is always going to be unfavorable geometry for quickly reloading.

BUT WHY would I primary this thing so much?

Because the Tacmod prototype cratered in the first game!

It was an HvZ/Infection round. I aimed at a zombie and pulled the trigger. There was a loud bang, and something white flew from the right side of the weapon, as if it had ejected a shell casing. I thought it was a stray dart hitting. Went to fire again, dead pusher.

Then I notice the pusher endbell cover is missing. That white object was the endbell cover, violently ejected from the receiver. What the hell??

I busted out my tools and checked her out in the field. Found the pusher circuit not getting power. I quickly figure out that the 1N5551 drop diode has gone kablooey.

Thinking that the diode blew because I had a pusher crash and stalled the motor (also kicking the motor back in the mount and busting the cover) I spin over and ohm out the pusher motor to be sure it isn't shorted, slam in another 1N5551, and my pusher now has half its ROF... What the hell??

Check switches, all good. That narrows it down. Motor blown. What the hell?

So I grab the Vulture and play on.

Early today I tear into the problem.

Find a crispy fride FK:

Brush gear barely broken in. Burned winding. The broken end of the winding must have flown around in there and caused it to momentarily lock up hard enough to kick out of the mount and break the cover. Pusher box unharmed and quiet as ever. FCG unharmed. Popped in a new FK and it's ripping again.

Active braking service is hard on motors and when you get into a game with a constant background rate of semi-auto fire going, you can have a heat situation, but why this died now, I have no idea. I suspect this is a factory defect. It does however seriously bother me. This gun did have a high round count but this just shouldn't happen whether this is an engineering deficiency of the '3240 in this particular app, or a quality problem.

For the last month or so I have been wanting to have a second rifle. I have also wanted to try Xtremes for a while. I am going to act on both these thoughts.

As to the forest green BW12 koosh darts, I started the day with about 100 rounds loaded up, all BW12 greens. They surprisingly did fine. A couple tips got loose and increasing numbers of wild shots happened as they wore out (lots of scavving happened and I must have fired 600 rounds at least in this game), but the severe immediate foam problems didn't materialize. The weather was favorable, however. I would never use these for HvZ during the hot season here. They are OK darts to use and lose in stock class, which is what I am using them for. I brought home about 50 of them and they are mostly usable.


  1. Seems like you finished the Vulture just in time.

  2. Maybe a braking resistor would help take some of the heat off the pusher motor (literally)? I'm paraphrasing from the second answer specifically.

    1. A braking resistor would reduce the braking current, thus the braking torque, and these motors are barely on the edge of braking hard enough as is. The reason for the 180 pusher motor is mainly to get more braking torque.

      I did determine the cause of the failure. It was a pusher crash, caused by a bad magazine and/or a magwell tolerance or wear problem. I will discuss it in an upcoming post.

  3. For the Vulture, have you considered moving the mag release to the front side of the magwell? It would make magazine changes less awkward. You would probably have to flip the guide insert around, and load your magazines in reverse, as well. It isn't an optimal solution, but it's an idea to consider.

    1. The guide insert (magwell liner) is not related to the mag release or the fabrication needed to relocate or replace it. Also, the magwell liner could be modified by removal of the 2 keys to remove its directionality and accept backwards mags in order to use the original locking notch on the mag body. However, backwards loaded mags would be incompatible with my primary and other weapons nearby.

      The mags could be modified with a second locking notch, but this makes other mags incompatible with this gun.

      In the end the solution would be to use a linkage to move the control to the front of the magwell, keeping the catch itself in its standard location.

      However, the front location for the mag release is nonstandard and throws a wrench into training. It is one more step toward making a Rapidstrike platform into a non-Rapidstrike. That location also offers no conceivable advantage - the standard rear European style mag release already allows thumbing the release while pulling out the empty mag; the shortcoming is that with a bullpup the trigger finger cannot be used to drop the empty while retrieving the new mag. This is a technique common to reloading quickly with a conventional layout carbine; and also, the rear location of the magwell slows down getting that mag into place once the empty is out of the way.

  4. Any reason why you're using a 1N5551? Aren't those things pretty pricey in comparison to a plain old silicon rectifier diode like a 6A05?

    1. Because I can get the 1N5551 surplus for cheap and I have a bunch. If you were to order components online, the 1N5400 series is recommended.