Review of BHBH and Geoff's new Racquet Diagnostic Machine

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Geoff, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Hello

    BHBH and I have entered into a partnership on a racquet diagnostic machine. We bought an exact version of the Gamma Racquet Test Center and the Prince Precision Tuning Center. We acquired this device directly from the factory that produces the Gamma and Prince version. I have a good friend in the stringing industry that made it all possible. Our machine performs the same functions as the Gamma and Prince models. It measures swing weight, static weight (to 0.5g) and balance. The manual for the Gamma machine worked well for calibrating our machine. Our machine came with no manual nor 110v cord (it came with a 220v cord)! I used an extra PC cord that was identical.

    Swingweight
    A calibration bar comes with the machine. You can move the weight to 300, 200, or 100. I used 300 seeing that was closest to most tennis rackets. The calibration is a simple trial and error with a small screw adjustment on the back of the machine. Also there is a level bubble in the holding mechanism of the racquet. You can adjust the level by adjusting the feet of the machine. To measure the swingweight is quite easy - simply mount the racquet perpendicular, hold to the left until the machine beeps and the machine will beep again when finished with the display on the screen. This was onviously quite easy. I take 5 readings per racquet and record the most frequent reading. I have not seen a reading more than a variance of 2 units. I am also taking unstrung specifications for matching and customization purposes. This will allow me to place lead under bumpers and grommets as needed.

    Static Weight
    The scale is very easy to use, There are 2 support arms and a more than adequate table. The scale readings for the static weight are displayed on the screen below the swing weight reading. This is convenient to record both specifications per racquet when working on multiple racquets at one time.

    Balance
    The balance can be read in cm or inches. The balance bar is metal which tends to have less friction and not make the balance measurements as easy as the other two. The Gamma manual says to take the measurement when the butt of the racquet goes off the device. It is virtually impossible to balance the racquet exactly. Once again I take 3-5 measurements to insure accuracy.

    Overall I am very pleased with the machine that BHBH and I have purchased. It meets our goals, needs and expectations. We look forward to matching our own rackets as well as the local university men's and women's teams where BHBH lives.

    I am more than happy to answer any specific questions.

    [​IMG]

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  2. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
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  3. petercoffey

    petercoffey Rookie

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    Hey, can I send you a fake K Tour 90 & see what it specs out at?...I have some suspicions... Lovely machine.
     
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  4. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Hello Peter
    I would be happy to check the specs for you.
     
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  5. ionutzakis

    ionutzakis Semi-Pro

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    what is the price?
     
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  6. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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  7. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Awesome machine, Geoff!! Looks like something out of Star Trek!

    Performs all the functions necessary for great customization. Do you plan on taking measurements, and then comparing to a babolat??

    Congrats!!!
     
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  8. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Hello ionutzakis
    I have put a call into my contact to see if these will be readily available. If so I will post the price with his approval.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
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  9. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Hi Drak

    I would if I had a Babolat RDC readily available. There is one at a large chain near my house but it is so far out of calibration. Measures SW under 200 for K90s. Pretty sad to see a $5000+ machine in that kind of care and condition. Mine is easy to calibrate with the fixed bat at 300, therefore I feel good about the measurements that I am getting. Here is the welcome screen.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. star 5 15

    star 5 15 Professional

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    I would be interested in purchasing one of these bad boys asap... as soon as someone finds out a price. please post it and where to buy it.
     
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  11. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    If any one is interested in buying through my contact, please e-mail me privately. I have been asked not to post the price publicly. Payment can only be made via bank transfer. The shipping is from Taiwan and requires having a UPS or FedEx account number. There is also a small customs charge.
     
    #11
  12. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Better tennis through modern science. I love it. :) BHBH
     
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  13. chrisplchs

    chrisplchs Professional

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    Geoff,

    send me an email as it doesn't given me the option to email you
     
    #13
  14. drummerdan

    drummerdan Semi-Pro

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    Ditto for me, too.
     
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  15. lilxjohnyy

    lilxjohnyy Hall of Fame

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    hey geoff email me as well... i got a couple family members from taiwan so they might be able to get it for me depending on the price. thanks
     
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  16. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's too bad about that RDC machine. You should keep a close eye on it, as you may be able to purchase it down the road from them at a cheap price. :)

    Anyway, your machine looks great. Look forward to hearing how it assists you in your customization of client frames.
     
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  17. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    I am curious if the Babolat RDC can or is calibrated in the same way as my machine. I may have to bring the fixed weight and eyeglass screw driver with me on my next visit to that store. I would love to have the Babolat RDC machine for a fire sale price!
     
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  18. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    That would be awesome. I'm still kicking myself over not purchasing the one sup2dresq could have gotten me for a cheap price.
     
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  19. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Not the one that was non-working?
     
    #19
  20. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^The one that was non-working. I think it would have been worth the price to purchase and send it to Babolat or tennismachines, and have it re-stored. :(
     
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  21. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    That was a tough call.
     
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  22. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Count me in partner. :) If we can pick up a RDC we can put the Three In One here in Nashville and keep the Bab at your place. :) BHBH
     
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  23. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    BTW, I'd just like to add that I am TOTALLY spoiled by the quality of Geoff's stringing already. I can only imagine what it will be like to have all my frames PRECISELY matched using the new machine. They were pretty close before (within a few grams and 4 pts re: SW) just by using a scale, balance board, and the 'hang and swing' method, but I could always still tell my 'faves' from the others. Best, BHBH
     
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  24. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    I have seen a calibration of the Babolat RDC machine. It's pretty complicated.

    There are no screws, just pushing buttons on the machine itself. You have to get 3 known SW (reference SW) racquets from Babolat. I recall one was high (390 ish), the 2nd one was somewhere in the middle (350 ish) and the third was low (290 ish). Once you're in the calibration mode, you test the 3 reference frames and make the necessary + or - adjustments, and repeat as needed.

    The RDC machine at my local store is dead on!!! They have a 300 SW bar, and it reads 300 every single time since they calibrated the machine with the reference SW frames.
     
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  25. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Hello psp2
    The USRSA has the user manual for the RDC on line but not the technical manaual that shows how to calibrate the RDC. Do you have access to the calibration directions for the RDC? I appreciate your information on the RDC calibration.
     
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  26. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    I was only watching the person calibrate the RDC. You need to have the 3 known reference SW frames. The frames were sent by Babolat and had to be returned to them.

    Also, getting INTO the calibration mode on the RDC is difficult since you need the PIN#.

    I wish I could help more, but don't know what else I could provide.
     
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  27. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Hello psp2
    I appreciate your information. It's not that I have to know just curious. A video on the USRSA site shows how to use the collected data and make it relevant to a customer. A very nice tool for a shop owner. I just like doing custom work for friends and intend on keeping my day job for now!
     
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  28. Sup2Dresq

    Sup2Dresq Hall of Fame

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    We know the real reason you guys bought that machine.

    2 to beam up.

    p.s. Im disturbed by how their shoes aren't dematerializing (sp). So does that mean you guys will be barefoot?


    [​IMG]
     
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  29. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Geoff's shoes were moving too fast for even a time/space continuum reconstructer to capture.......... :twisted: As usual. :cry: BHBH
     
    #29
  30. davidm

    davidm New User

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    Hi Geoff, please email me via my profile as I am interested in this machine too. Thank you!
     
    #30
  31. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Geoff, when you measure SW you measure, then flip the racquet 180 deg and measure again right?

    J
     
    #31
  32. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Hi Jolly
    In theory it should not matter which side is up when measuring SW. I typically take a minimum of 5 readings per racquet. I check the calibration beforehand as well. I only do the calibration often because the machine is stored on a shelf in between uses. I am rearranging my office/stringing room to have a permanent home for it.
     
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  33. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Ya, I understand the theory, but my friend turned me onto doing twice each way, sometimes it reads the same, sometimes it doesn't. I had one frame that read 2 pts different one way or the other depending on how it was in the machine, and others didn't matter.

    Why I have no idea.

    J
     
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  34. Sup2Dresq

    Sup2Dresq Hall of Fame

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    Can we say "loaded question"?

    Would of been nice to put those two posts together from the get-go.
     
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  35. Geoff

    Geoff Professional

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    Hi Jolly

    The SW can easily vary +/-2 points at any time you are measuring a particular racket. For that reason I think it is good to take multiple measurements. If it mattered which side was up when measuring SW one could argue that static weight would be affected by which side is up. Obviously that is not the case. I think your different SW measurements that you have seen are just the "nature of the beast" so to speak.

    It is a sensitive machine with the integrity of the spring determining the accuracy of the measurement. The user's technique needs to be as consistent as possible in my opinion. Another definite variable is how careful the user puts the racket in the machine assuring that the racket is perpendicular as well as the butt all the way back in the vise.

    Therefore in my opinion to insure the most accurate SW reading the best solution is to take multiple readings of each racket that you are testing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
    #35
  36. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^ Makes sense, do you average the readings out, or do you just go with the number you get most often. Like if you got 331,331,334,331,333,332 would you just call it 331, or take the avg?

    J
     
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  37. mlewis721

    mlewis721 Rookie

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    I have the Prince version of this machine. I just pulled a random racquet off the wall and took 5 readings. No variation. I think your technique is varying. Try this: Rest the back of your hand on the glass while you press a single finger (of the same hand) against the side of the racquet to prevent the racquet from springing forward. When you hear the beep pull the finger off the racquet and let it swing. See if that doesn't help.
     
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  38. chrisplchs

    chrisplchs Professional

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    Geoff,

    on my Accuswing, I don't get variation of +/- 2 SW points. If anything if the actual SW is between two numbers, say 334/335, sometimes it will fluctuate between those two.

    But +/- 2 SW points is pretty ridiculous
     
    #38
  39. davidm

    davidm New User

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    Hi mlewis,
    not meaning to thread jack, but since Geoff and BHBH's machine is a replica (or a close one) of the Prince you have, would you mind sharing some thoughts/giving a mini-review of your Prince PTC? Anything you don't like about it? Any issues? How long have you had it? reliability, accuracy, etc? Would be very interested to know.
    Thanks!
     
    #39
  40. mlewis721

    mlewis721 Rookie

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    I've had the machine for a little over 2 years. I haven't had any service issues with it.

    The swingweight tester is easy and fun and customers are always intrigued by it.

    The balance scale can be tough to read at times when the lighting doesn't cooperate because the numbers are after all printed on glass.

    The weight scale is disappointing in a few respects.

    1. It reads out in .5 gm increments. There are scales out there that do .1 gm.

    2. It ONLY reads out in gms. There is no switch to display in ozs which would have been welcome.

    3. There is no tare switch. I have my PTC close to a wall so there is no room to lie racquets down. A lot of racquets will stand up if you set the butt cap on the scale. Others have to be slipped into a make shift stand to be kept vertical. That means turning the scale off and restarting with the stand in place.

    4. It lacks sensitivity when it isn't really loaded. For example, if I have a racquet on the scale and I add a 4" piece of 1/4" lead to it, the reading will go up 1 gm. But if I have nothing on the scale and I drop an 8" piece of 1/4" lead on it, it will continue to read zero.
     
    #40
  41. davidm

    davidm New User

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    Thanks for the review, that's helpful! That said, it does sound from what you are saying that the main use of the PTC is really just the swingweight tester portion of it, since there is no magic to the balance beam (many low cost options available for that function including DIY solutions), and the weighing scale seems less than ideal?

    So 2 years on, do you feel it's been a worthwhile investment for whatever you paid considering you end up with basically just a good swingweight tester (I guess the wow factor with customers of a sweet looking high-tech machine is the other part of it...).

    Thanks!
     
    #41
  42. mlewis721

    mlewis721 Rookie

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    All I wanted was a swingweight tester. I was considering the Alpha but the PTC was available for just slightly more money so it was a no brainer. If I had paid full price for it that would be a different story.
     
    #42
  43. davidm

    davidm New User

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    The Alpha Accuswing is no longer in production (I just spoke to Mark at Alpha and he said the whole project is on hold for now, no ETA or specific plans on a new model coming out), so it seems apart from going up significantly to something like the RDC, the PTC and the crop of clones to that (Gamma, Xtreme, Forza, etc) are the only viable options for an electronic swingweight tester.

    I know the accuswing used to go for $749.

    What was full price for you on the PTC at the time if you don't mind my asking? If you would share what you paid (maybe send me an email via my profile?) that would be helpful too so I can judge whether the prices I am seeing today for the unit are really that good (or not that good...).

    Thanks again!
     
    #43
  44. mlewis721

    mlewis721 Rookie

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    How about you send me an email with the prices you've thus far been quoted and I'll tell you if I'm jealous or not?:)
     
    #44
  45. davidm

    davidm New User

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    I can't find a way to email you from your profile. Did you enable emails from other forum members? Thanks!
     
    #45
  46. mlewis721

    mlewis721 Rookie

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    picture removed to reduce clutter
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
    #46
  47. davidm

    davidm New User

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    That option is missing in the little drop down that appears for me. It only shows the other 3 options, not the email option. I wonder if that's because I don't have enough posts to be allowed to email other members?

    Do you get that option when you use the same drop down on my username? If so, could you email me and I'll reply back that way? Thanks!
     
    #47
  48. chrisplchs

    chrisplchs Professional

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    I believe the PTC is around 15-1600. However, I remember Prince offering a deal when it came out with the 5000 stringing machine that was purchase the Prince 5000 stringing machine (3499 ish) + 400 packs of synthetic gut (1500 ish) and we'll give you a PTC for free.

    Looking back on it, I would have pulled the trigger on that deal or something
     
    #48
  49. ExtremeRacquetSports

    ExtremeRacquetSports New User

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    RE: GM31 FZ Forza Unit

    BHBH or Geoff, I am interested in purchasing one of these units. Could you send me the contact email address of the person I need to contact? I'm preparing for my MRT certification and would like to be able to bring customization into Oklahoma. Checked USRSA and no CS's or MRT's around in Oklahoma. Perfect niche market for me to bring something unique to the local industry.
     
    #49
  50. littlebear

    littlebear New User

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    ExtremeRacquetSports,
    I have a used Gamma 3-in-1 Racquet Test Center that I have been trying to sell (same machine). Let me know if you are interested: greg at hgammon . com
     
    #50

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