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View Full Version : Tennis Tutor Plus, Batting Practice, and Practice Balls


MUSCBoneDoc11
10-02-2006, 10:28 AM
1. Tennis Tutor Plus: After a very thorough review of things, I think I'm probably going to go with the tennis tutor plus. Judging from many of the threads on this site and what I've heard, I'd say it is very well respected as a good machine. (if anyone wants to reinforce this choice or voice a major objection, please do so!) My main question now is whether or not to get the 2 line feature. On one hand I think it may be nice and doesn't cost that much more but on the other hand I don't want to spend an unnecessary $200. The only reason I would want it would be because I would want to get a good workout sprint back and forth across the court to hit shots. I can see where it would be useful if you have 2 people hitting but to be honest I think that will be a rare situation for me and if it does happen, we'll just pick sides of take turns. The other thing I need to know if how fast the oscillation is and is it related to firing rate--in other words, the machine sweeps right to left and then back left to right. If you set it for say, 2 seconds, how many does it throw in one sweep? Also, if you set it for 10 seconds, does it still throw the same number of balls (ie-the oscillation slows) or does it still oscillate the same speed and just shoot every 10 seconds (ie-less balls per left to right sweep). Perhaps the best way to ask this is to give you the bottom line--I want to run and get a good workout while hitting tennis balls--if I set it to oscillate and make it rapid fire, I was thinking that each ball may not be that much further than the last one so I wouldn't run that much whereas with the 2 line function I could set it for 2 seconds and literally have to sprint side to side, which would be great. Any help is appreciated!

2. Batting Practice: I also play competitive baseball and take batting practice with tennis balls. I was thinking of using the tennis tutor to double as a pitching machine. Has anyone tried this? I hear it is plenty accurate but if the balls are slightly different pressures does it make it impossible to throw a strike? (see question below, which may partially answer this)

3. Practice Balls: Lastly, balls for the tennis tutor. I just saw a review that said to not use normal balls because it will drive you crazy. What balls do you guys use? Also, if you do have balls of varying pressures, how drastic is the difference? If one ball is shot at 85 MPH to the baseline and the next ball is pretty flat, does that mean it might just make it to the service line or does is roll out of the machine without ever making it over the net? I'm just trying to get an idea of how much the varying pressures matter and what balls you guys use in them. I imagine a little bit of pressure variation may be good as it would also vary the length of shots. I have a batting tutor (from the same company) and I know that the balls you use can make a difference, although the machine is generally fairly forgiving of different densities. I'd love some tennis tutor facts.

Thanks so much for all the advice and wisdom--I really appreciate it!

varuscelli
10-02-2006, 12:53 PM
3. Practice Balls: Lastly, balls for the tennis tutor. I just saw a review that said to not use normal balls because it will drive you crazy. What balls do you guys use? Also, if you do have balls of varying pressures, how drastic is the difference? If one ball is shot at 85 MPH to the baseline and the next ball is pretty flat, does that mean it might just make it to the service line or does is roll out of the machine without ever making it over the net? I'm just trying to get an idea of how much the varying pressures matter and what balls you guys use in them. I imagine a little bit of pressure variation may be good as it would also vary the length of shots. I have a batting tutor (from the same company) and I know that the balls you use can make a difference, although the machine is generally fairly forgiving of different densities. I'd love some tennis tutor facts.

I use pressureless tennis balls. Lots of brands are available from various sources.

Personally, I picked up the ones I use at my local Target. They're Penn pressureless and came in a mesh bag of a dozen balls per bag for around $7 per dozen. I spent about $60 on 100 pressureless tennis balls and they seem just fine to me. There is quite a bit of debate about which brand of pressureless balls is the best, but I'll leave that discussion to others. The ones I got were convenient for me to pick up and not very expensive, relatively speaking.

The pressureless balls don't lose pressure, so if you want to have a bunch of tennis balls to hit with and want them to behave consistently, I think buying them in large batches is the way to go.

SpinItIn
10-02-2006, 01:22 PM
I've had a TT+ (w/ remote but no 2-line) for a couple of months and am quite happy with it so far. I don't think you'd be making a mistake in buying this model. In fact, just this morning I was able to run up to the local court & hit for a couple of hours ahead of some bad weather - probably wouldn't have been able to do so if I had to co-ordinate with a hitting partner.

The oscillate function is accomplished with a small arm-over-arm linkage arrangement driven by a single-speed motor. The ball feed is a four-position carousel driven by a variable-speed motor. The speed of each is completely independent of the other, i.e. the oscillate and feed rates aren't mechanically linked in any way. Doing so keeps the machine simple, and probably also improves the randomness of the feed location. Rest assured you will be able to get a pretty intense workout just by turning on the oscillation and setting the feed rate appropriately. I actually use the oscillate feature more as a remote positioning device to switch between FH/BH.

As for balls, I'm using 120 of the cheap Wilson pressureless, available at Wallyworld for about $7 per dozen. About half of them were used for serving practice for a couple of months before going in the machine. The older balls do feed a bit shorter than the newer balls, but the variation is pretty small. I actually find this to be a benefit - even when trying to groove a particular stroke I don't like every ball fed to exactly the same spot. BTW - even though the machine's capacity is 150 balls I've found missed feeds to be less frequent if I don't put in much more than 120.

Also, for storage I bought a large Rubbermaid deck box from Home Depot as a result of a discussion on another thread. It is just the right size for the machine, the Gamma bag I keep the balls in, and a hopper full of balls my daughter practices with. At $90 it was quite a bit more than the cover they sell, but does a much better job protecting the machine while stored in my garage.

HTH.

varuscelli
10-02-2006, 01:31 PM
Also, for storage I bought a large Rubbermaid deck box from Home Depot as a result of a discussion on another thread. It is just the right size for the machine, the Gamma bag I keep the balls in, and a hopper full of balls my daughter practices with. At $90 it was quite a bit more than the cover they sell, but does a much better job protecting the machine while stored in my garage.

I was sort of wondering what had resulted from the advice in that older thread. I hadn't realized you went for something quite that large (don't remember if you ever posted your solution), but you make a good point about storing the machine and peripherals together in something just slightly larger. I think I had in mind something along the lines of a $20-25 or so Rubbermaid-style container, just big enough for the machine.

SpinItIn
10-02-2006, 01:58 PM
Actually, the TT+ spin option makes the machine several inches taller than the no-spin model. As such only the $69 "medium" and $89 "large" Rubbermaid boxes were viable options. The store had no display that I could measure and only after reading the fine print did I notice that the quoted "Storage dimensions" are outside dimensions! Apparently these are the dimensions to store the box, not what the box can store! Anyhow, the large model is just about a perfect fit for this machine and having the associated junk out of sight is a real plus.

varuscelli
10-02-2006, 02:15 PM
The store had no display that I could measure and only after reading the fine print did I notice that the quoted "Storage dimensions" are outside dimensions! Apparently these are the dimensions to store the box, not what the box can store!

Argh! What a ridiculous way to show the specs of the storage container!

Rubbermaid Marketing/Distribution Guys: "When we package these things up, let's make sure to show only the outer dimensions so that the customer will think the container will hold more than it actually can. After all, who really needs to know the inner dimensions? And who'll know the difference? Bwahahahaaaa...."

I'm glad you passed that along, though. Helpful stuff for future reference. ;)

HaNbAnG
10-02-2006, 10:41 PM
I started a new post for this issue. Please help!

varuscelli
10-03-2006, 06:19 AM
I started a new post for this issue. Please help!

Well, OK then.

My guess is, though, that anyone reading this thread will find (or will have already found) your other thread without the extra prompt from here. Um...depending on what issue you're talking about...

Interesting approach, though. ;)