Ball machine - Go high end? Or are the features not worth it?

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eaglesburg

Guest
Great. The Spinfire Pro 2, even at $400 more CDN than the SP Smart, 80mph/130kph vs 95mph/158kph top speed on the SP Smart, 200 ball capacity vs 300, a bit less programmability and only 1 year CDN warranty instead of 2, seems to be the one I want more and more. It seems a generation ahead of the SP Smart (and the Quest & Rival) in terms of having internal oscillation, ergonomic design and a contemporary look and usability with its touch panel with LCD. I also like that with the addition of the $150 CDN fast charger I automatically also get a machine which can be powered by AC whereas with the SP you need to order it with AC in order to get that additional capability. Btw, the remote with antenna is not going to be an issue shortly. Spinfire told me the remote has been redesigned to be antenna-less and with a few more features and will be introduced in the next 2-3 months. Existing machines will require new software to be flashed, a receiver chip to be swapped out and the new remote of course. No word on the cost to upgrade but if not a free upgrade if I buy now then I am going to wait until the Spinfire Pro 2 with new remote is released.
The antenna remote is not an issue anyways. U don't even have to take out the antenna. Works very well. No problems.
 
That may be the case for you but I have read reports of reception issues even with the antenna extended. Also, if they can eliminated it makes the unit all the more attractive.
 

nn

Hall of Fame
I agree remote is weak spot of the machine in construction wise..looks like toy but functions flawlessly for me. make sure you get case before taking it out..oh never open antenna once..
 
I agree remote is weak spot of the machine in construction wise..looks like toy but functions flawlessly for me. make sure you get case before taking it out..oh never open antenna once..
I agree a case is important just in case it starts raining when I am out at the court. I'll just get my Mom to sew a case for it as I can buy the same material for $10 and the case is $60 here with tax.

Btw, there is no place to store the remote on the Spinfire Pro 2 like there is for the remote on the SP series. Those remotes always have a habit of getting lost. I was thinking of gluing a small case for the remote upside down on the outside of the hopper such that it is right side up when the hopper is reversed and placed on the base or another method would be to have a pocket sewn on the outside of the cover with a velcro flap. The only problem with that is if you take the cover off, forget the remote was in the flap and the velcro flap was loose and then the remote flies out of the pocket onto the pavement and possibly gets damaged. So, I think the former method is better.
 
Oh, I assume you were talking about a case, ie cover, for the Spinfire or were you talking about a case for the remote? I don't see that Spinfire offers a case for the remote or do they?
 

nn

Hall of Fame
Oh, I assume you were talking about a case, ie cover, for the Spinfire or were you talking about a case for the remote? I don't see that Spinfire offers a case for the remote or do they?
yes I am talking about remote case (you can make your own..SP don't offer). I don't have machine case but in case you store in backyard or outside it is must otherwise no need.
 
yes I am talking about remote case (you can make your own..SP don't offer). I don't have machine case but in case you store in backyard or outside it is must otherwise no need.
The machine cover is needed even if you don't store it in the backyard or outside. What if you are on the courts and it start raining. Water getting into the internals of the machine is not good. I guess one could also just use a green garbage bag.
 

nn

Hall of Fame
The machine cover is needed even if you don't store it in the backyard or outside. What if you are on the courts and it start raining. Water getting into the internals of the machine is not good. I guess one could also just use a green garbage bag.
I never take machine out if forecast is rainy or even in winter time moisture can create problem. So it depends on location & weather (personal choice as well)
 
I never take machine out if forecast is rainy or even in winter time moisture can create problem. So it depends on location & weather (personal choice as well)
I wouldn't either but sometimes the unexpected happens. It is good practice to always put the cover on as soon as you stop using it as that will also keep dust and debris from getting inside except when you are using it.
 

JonC

Banned
Oh, I assume you were talking about a case, ie cover, for the Spinfire or were you talking about a case for the remote? I don't see that Spinfire offers a case for the remote or do they?
This will be my second summer with it and it's been great. I'm not sure that I need all the fancy spins and programs that it can do but if you're not afraid to spend some money, I recommend it.

One thing that is nice is the internal oscillation - you don't where the ball is going. Also practicing overheads is a nice feature.

Battery seems to last for about 4 hours.

Any ball will work - the pressureless balls give less fuzz. Any wetness on the ball and it gets stuck.

I will feed in various patterns - and it's easy to set it beyond your limits.
 

JonC

Banned
I would buy the cover if I did it again - you want to protect it from dust and a garbage bag doesn't fit - I blow it out with a leaf blower every now and then.
 
This will be my second summer with it and it's been great. I'm not sure that I need all the fancy spins and programs that it can do but if you're not afraid to spend some money, I recommend it.

One thing that is nice is the internal oscillation - you don't where the ball is going. Also practicing overheads is a nice feature.

Battery seems to last for about 4 hours.

Any ball will work - the pressureless balls give less fuzz. Any wetness on the ball and it gets stuck.

I will feed in various patterns - and it's easy to set it beyond your limits.
Thanks for providing your experience with the machine as I haven't found many people who have the Spinfire for any time and commen about it. I too prefer internal oscillation and that's one of the main reasons I am choosing the Spinfire. For a less expensive machine there is not much choice if one wants internal oscillation, certainly not the Lobster or Silent Partner series. The Playmate Volley is about the same price but with fewer features, its extra weight and bulkiness makes it harder to transport and the warranty is not as good.

I think the ability to program topspin and backspin/slice and do horizontal/vertical/triple oscillation are great features but, like yourself, not everyone needs or wants them. If so, the Spinfire Pro 1 is a great alternative if you want internal oscillation at a much lower price but without the extra programs, although it does to medium and wide horizontal oscillation and the 2 types of spins. Also, it's upgradable to the Pro 2.

I would buy the cover if I did it again - you want to protect it from dust and a garbage bag doesn't fit - I blow it out with a leaf blower every now and then.
Good to know that a garbage bag won't fit and a great tip to use a leaf blower on it.

Btw, one question. Do you use pressure-less or pressurized balls? Weight and feel issues aside, some say the latter won't last long but others say they have no problem using them all season.

Thanks!
 

JonC

Banned
Thanks for providing your experience with the machine as I haven't found many people who have the Spinfire for any time and commen about it. I too prefer internal oscillation and that's one of the main reasons I am choosing the Spinfire. For a less expensive machine there is not much choice if one wants internal oscillation, certainly not the Lobster or Silent Partner series. The Playmate Volley is about the same price but with fewer features, its extra weight and bulkiness makes it harder to transport and the warranty is not as good.

I think the ability to program topspin and backspin/slice and do horizontal/vertical/triple oscillation are great features but, like yourself, not everyone needs or wants them. If so, the Spinfire Pro 1 is a great alternative if you want internal oscillation at a much lower price but without the extra programs, although it does to medium and wide horizontal oscillation and the 2 types of spins. Also, it's upgradable to the Pro 2.



Good to know that a garbage bag won't fit and a great tip to use a leaf blower on it.

Btw, one question. Do you use pressure-less or pressurized balls? Weight and feel issues aside, some say the latter won't last long but others say they have no problem using them all season.

Thanks!
I use both - both work.
 
I use both - both work.
Interesting, as Spinfire informs me that although pressurized balls do work they go flat very quickly in a ball machine and that the pressure will vary between pressurized balls thereafter, which results in inconsistency.

I am surprised you have not encountered this but then there are reports of people using pressurized balls in a ball machine all season with no problem. I can't see how anyone can use them like that without a big trade-off. There are complaints with pressure-less balls as they don't feel the same as pressurized but that's the trade off for the fact they last much longer and are more consistent.
 

JonC

Banned
Interesting, as Spinfire informs me that although pressurized balls do work they go flat very quickly in a ball machine and that the pressure will vary between pressurized balls thereafter, which results in inconsistency.

I am surprised you have not encountered this but then there are reports of people using pressurized balls in a ball machine all season with no problem. I can't see how anyone can use them like that without a big trade-off. There are complaints with pressure-less balls as they don't feel the same as pressurized but that's the trade off for the fact they last much longer and are more consistent.
I have encountered flat balls but that's to be expected. Pressureless are better for any long term practice ball - unless you keep them pressurized.
 
Pressurized and no problem. Not a single jam either.
How long are you able to use the pressurized balls for without finding they degrade too much that you need to switch them out for new ones. Also, how long have you owned the Spinfire Pro 2? I'm contemplating the pressure-less ones even though they don't feel quite the same as they last forever pretty well. The cost for 144 Spinfire pressureless is $372 CDN ($2.58/ball) whereas I can buy 180 Penn Championship pressurized for $159 ($0.88/ball) so the pressureless are almost 3x the price of the pressurized but the latter won't last past (or even) one season.

I see, btw, from another thread that you are only 15. You sound older (that's a compliment). Must be nice for your parents to have bought you the machine unless you have already made enough to buy it out of your own pocket!
 

bob

Rookie
Here's my 2 cents:

I bought a lightly used (less than 25 hours) Silent Partner Quest AC/DC from the manufacturer for $1250 on ****. It came with a one year warranty.

1. I warm up hitting 20-30 forehands and backhand ground strokes down the middle.
Then I turn on the 2 line & hit alternating cross court forehands & backhands.
2. Then I alternate forehand and backhands going cross court and then down the line.
3. Then using the same ball pattern & speed I move in a little & hit forehand and backhand volleys.
4. I repeat the volley drill and move in 2-3 feet after hitting a few balls on each side until I get 4-5 feet from the net.

You can program the SP quest for 3 different ball speeds & spins.

My program #1 is a crisp ground stroke with some topspin.
My program #2 is a loopier ground stroke with a bit more top
My program #3 is for overheads.

I go through the above 4 steps with program #1 with 100+ balls and then program #2 with 100+ balls.

Assuming you are using good form the above should help ingrain good ball striking.

Other points:

The exterior oscillation is not a factor in doing the above drills.
I used the machine for 2 1/2 hours without any battery degradation.
The remote doesn't have an antenae & works fine.
I use regular balls.
If you want to do strictly cross court shots you I think you have to move the machine closer to the corner, aim it cross court, and don't use the 2 line feature.

I looked at the Spinfire & might have bought it except it was $650 more than my lightly used one. Also, the SP staff are very good to work with.

I hope this helps.
 
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eaglesburg

Guest
How long are you able to use the pressurized balls for without finding they degrade too much that you need to switch them out for new ones. Also, how long have you owned the Spinfire Pro 2? I'm contemplating the pressure-less ones even though they don't feel quite the same as they last forever pretty well. The cost for 144 Spinfire pressureless is $372 CDN ($2.58/ball) whereas I can buy 180 Penn Championship pressurized for $159 ($0.88/ball) so the pressureless are almost 3x the price of the pressurized but the latter won't last past (or even) one season.

I see, btw, from another thread that you are only 15. You sound older (that's a compliment). Must be nice for your parents to have bought you the machine unless you have already made enough to buy it out of your own pocket!
I saved up for it :)
I would buy normal balls. They don't wear out terribly fast. And it's more realistic.
 
Here's my 2 cents:

I bought a lightly used (less than 25 hours) Silent Partner Quest AC/DC from the manufacturer for $1250 on ****. It came with a one year warranty.

1. I warm up hitting 20-30 forehands and backhand ground strokes down the middle.
Then I turn on the 2 line & hit alternating cross court forehands & backhands.
2. Then I alternate forehand and backhands going cross court and then down the line.
3. Then using the same ball pattern & speed I move in a little & hit forehand and backhand volleys.
4. I repeat the volley drill and move in 2-3 feet after hitting a few balls on each side until I get 4-5 feet from the net.

You can program the SP quest for 3 different ball speeds & spins.

My program #1 is a crisp ground stroke with some topspin.
My program #2 is a loopier ground stroke with a bit more top
My program #3 is for overheads.

I go through the above 4 steps with program #1 with 100+ balls and then program #2 with 100+ balls.

Assuming you are using good form the above should help ingrain good ball striking.

Other points:

The exterior oscillation is not a factor in doing the above drills.
I used the machine for 2 1/2 hours without any battery degradation.
The remote doesn't have an antenae & works fine.
I use regular balls.
If you want to do strictly cross court shots you I think you have to move the machine closer to the corner, aim it cross court, and don't use the 2 line feature.

I looked at the Spinfire & might have bought it except it was $650 more than my lightly used one. Also, the SP staff are very good to work with.

I hope this helps.
Thanks. That's great information. I too was going to buy a used 2yo Quest for what I thought was 1/2 price a week ago. After I drove an hour out of town to make the purchase I found out the machine was a lower end model than the Quest. (So, a classic bait 'n switch which they likely knew they were doing as the name of the machine is right on the control panel and they ordered it two years before and had used it since. Also they probably thought since I was driving an hour I'd buy it anyway for the price agreed upon for the higher-end unit). Anyway, they wouldn't accept my revised lower offer for this lower end machine than was agreed upon for what I thought was a used Quest so I drove back home empty-handed (and frustrated!).

I am in Canada 1/2 hour away from Silent Partners assembly factory and it turns out the used and demo machines sold by 'silentpartnerbyauction' every few months on that website that you enter by the Bay uses US currency for their pricing such that the used/demo price was within a hair of what I could buy one new for in Canada (with a 2yr not the 1yr used/demo warranty offered). That's because Silent Partner charges orders shipping to people in Canada using Canadian dollar pricing but in the US using US dollar pricing. With a 25% decline in our dollar vs the US dollar since last year this is a huge bonus. (Finally the one time I've found a decline in the Canadian $ hasn't hurt us!).

But, I digress. This caused me to do a full review of all the machines now that I was going to buy a new machine as no other used machines were available other than the ones Silent Partner was selling. The Spinfire Pro 2 is priced at only 17% more new than a new Silent Partner Quest in Canada and for that I get internal oscillation, a remote (actually a new antenna-less remote of a new design which is being released shortly) and the capability of a removable battery as Spinfire now offers an external battery option (on their recently revised model) in a carrying case that does not require there to be an internal battery present. There is also an AC option. That provides a number of advantages. It makes the machine 6kg/13 lbs lighter, so 18kg/39 lbs without the battery vs 50lbs/23kg for the Silent Partner Quest, makes it easier to lift in and out of the car when you go to the court, allows you to leave the machine in the car and only bring the battery in to charge and allows you to not even bring a battery to the court and just plug the machine in using the AC adapter if there is an outlet there. Also, if you purchase the machine with the internal battery installed you can later buy the external battery pack and carrying case without the battery itself and remove the internal battery and install it in the case. I don't know if Silent Partner Quest (or Rival/Smart) is upgradable like this if you buy the battery-only machine as they sell 3 different versions (DC-only, AC/DC and AC-only) but I know they do not have an external battery only option. Actually, Lobster has an external battery option but you have to have the internal battery present too. That's a disadvantage as the weight of the machine is not reduced. Lastly you can buy the AC adapter later for the Spinfire (and use it with any of the batteries present).

Spinfire has really thought out their machine design exceptionally well as all of these options are available on the one machine. You can buy the machine with either the internal battery, no internal battery + AC adapter, no internal battery + external battery or internal battery + external battery + AC adapter. Also, you can add any option later. If you buy the machine with the internal battery only you can later convert it to the external battery version youself by just buying the external battery housing and carrying case and installing the internal battery in it. You can buy the AC adapter at any time to provide AC power.

I did have to think long and hard, though, about not having the extra programmability that the Quest has (drill-mode and match play mode) but decided they were more of a nice to have than a need to have. Spinfire's 1-line mode with or without vertical oscillation, 2-line (narrow, medum and wide) drill mode all with or without vertical oscillation, medium or wide mode with horizontal oscillation and also with or without vertical oscillation (ie triple/all-court/3D mode) and all with optional topspin/backspin are enough for me. Silent Partner has excellent pre and post-sales support but so does Spinfire. So, the advantages of the Spinfire Pro 2, mainly external battery and internal oscillation, outweighed that extra programmability for me. The fact it's a really nice looking machine (far nicer than the Silent Partner's old-school design) is a bonus but had no bearing on my decision.

Once I receive my machine and have been using it for a while (likely mid-summer) I will be posting a very detailed full review of it on here.
 
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I saved up for it :)
I would buy normal balls. They don't wear out terribly fast. And it's more realistic.
Thanks. The opinion seems to be split on here. Maybe I'll use the pressurized Penns I bought at Costco for one season and if I am not satifisfied they lasted long enough then I'll then get the pressureless next season. There is a big variable though with pressurized as they are affected both by how many times they are used and by how long they have been out of the can. Someone who uses 180 balls 3x/week in a ball machine for 1-2 hours each time for 6 months is going to find they degrade a lot faster than someone who uses 180 balls 1/week for 1 hour each time for 6 months. If the former uses only 90 balls they'll degrade even faster as they'll be hit even more often as they'll cycle through the machine faster (assuming it does not take you as long to pick them up as to use them up from the hopper!).
 
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dnj30

Semi-Pro
I know it's addressed here before, but it can't be that hard to make a large container for balls that can be sealed up and pressurized to extend the life of normal tennis balls. Has anyone ever made one? And if so, did it work well?
 

gatorbait

Rookie
TorontoTennis, did you ever do a review of the spinfire2? I would be interested in reading it. I was debating the SP Smart, but looking at this Spinfire2.
 
TorontoTennis, did you ever do a review of the spinfire2? I would be interested in reading it. I was debating the SP Smart, but looking at this Spinfire2.
No I did not get around to that. However, I am very happy with my machine and am glad I bought a machine with internal oscillation having used an externally oscillating one.
 

bajadrifter

New User
I purchased a Lobster Elite Liberty ball machine three months ago and I’d like to share my experience. I have used it five days a week for two hours a day.

The “Elite Liberty” model is one of their lower-end models priced at $1069 with remote. It has all the basic adjustments that I wanted, but it is not programmable. When in the side-to-side oscillation mode, you can see where the ball is going to shoot because the whole machine rotates on the vertical axis.

Pluses:
  • Easy to transport, rolls nicely between my truck and the court
  • I can lift it onto the bed of my truck and tie it down with one ratchet strap
  • Simple to use controls for elevation, speed, spin, oscillation, and feed rate (delay)
  • Super good topspin and backspin
  • Remote control works well from the distant baseline
  • Remote has two buttons, one starts and stops the feed and the other controls side-to-side
  • Battery lasts about 2 hours using the side-to-side oscillation, three hours if no oscillation
  • Quick response from technical folks if you have issues or questions
  • Machine can be upgraded to run on external AC (for additional $119)
Minuses:
  • The remote control added $169. Don’t even think about NOT getting the remote.
  • The range of side-to-side movement is a bit too much (for me). I’d like to be able to limit the range, but I can’t on this model. More expensive Lobster models allow this.
  • I have to remove half of the balls to wheel the machine otherwise they fall out of the hopper. I carry a plastic 5-gallon bucket for the other half of the balls
  • I wish it held more balls. 115 is about the limit.
  • I’d like to be able to plug the machine into the external AC power outlet at the court, but I can’t with the standard charger. It is strictly a slow, low amp charger. There is an optional $119 accessory charger that makes this possible.
  • The handle is a bit flimsy and needs to be treated with care. I don’t have a problem with it.
I recommend this machine to anyone that wants a portable ball machine that offers basic functionality. It has really improved my game and my fitness. I love it.
 
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gatorbait

Rookie
No I did not get around to that. However, I am very happy with my machine and am glad I bought a machine with internal oscillation having used an externally oscillating one.
Can you still tell where the machine is going to throw the next ball? I didn't think there is a way to program a real random oscillation of the next ball location, so you kind of know where it's going even. Is this true?
 
Can you still tell where the machine is going to throw the next ball? I didn't think there is a way to program a real random oscillation of the next ball location, so you kind of know where it's going even. Is this true?
If you really pay attention, look directly at the machine, set the interval between balls very long so you can pay attention, the top of the net is not blocking where the ball is emitted from and you have really good eyesight perhaps you can. That is a lot of if's and a perhaps. The metal inside of the machine is all painted black and the wheels are black which further 'disguises' where the next ball is going to come from. I have used the Silent Partner and no matter how little attention I pay to the machine I know where the ball is coming from as it is so obvious as the entire machine turns as does the Lobster. I am extremely happy I chose internal oscillation vs external. I know there are people that claim that they still know where the ball is coming from with an internally oscillating machine but I just cannot see how there is much less predictive capability with an internally oscillating machine vs an external one.

As for randomness it is quite random to me. I haven't notice any pattern.

The Spinfire is a premium machine and I love the features it has. I'll also add that the new fully featured remote with that old antenna they used to have is great. I did consider lower end machines and the savings associated with them but really am happy I chose this one. You have to decide whether it's worth it for you depending on your needs and pocketbook. It's hard for others to decide whether it is worth it for you as we are all different in what we want and need.
 
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E

eaglesburg

Guest
Can you still tell where the machine is going to throw the next ball? I didn't think there is a way to program a real random oscillation of the next ball location, so you kind of know where it's going even. Is this true?
If you try to look you will see it but I don't think it is that obvious.
 

esantoro

Rookie
The machine cover is needed even if you don't store it in the backyard or outside. What if you are on the courts and it start raining. Water getting into the internals of the machine is not good. I guess one could also just use a green garbage bag.
I think an extra heavy-duty extra-large garbage bag is sufficient.
 

esantoro

Rookie
I think a machine that has two and three line drills that allow variation in spin, speed, and height, as well as fixed-point positioning is enough. Programmable modes are nice to play with but not necessary.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
I think a machine that has two and three line drills that allow variation in spin, speed, and height, as well as fixed-point positioning is enough. Programmable modes are nice to play with but not necessary.
Programmable actually is pretty awesome if you've tried it. On the Lobster Grand 5 LE you can program it to play towards your weakest shot, combo of shots and places that give you the most problems. It's really advanced tool to customize your training, way better than sweep, oscillation, even better than programmed player modes. I find it's a amazing tool to program a high deep backhand, then a low dropshot, then a lob etc.
 

esantoro

Rookie
Programmable actually is pretty awesome if you've tried it. On the Lobster Grand 5 LE you can program it to play towards your weakest shot, combo of shots and places that give you the most problems. It's really advanced tool to customize your training, way better than sweep, oscillation, even better than programmed player modes. I find it's a amazing tool to program a high deep backhand, then a low dropshot, then a lob etc.
On the 5 LE, for each of these shots you can individually program speed, spin, height, and location, and the machine performs this function reliably? The wheels can in three or so seconds go from a deep extreme top-spin lob to an extreme backspin drop shot near the net? I'm impressed. Is this just the 5 LE, or can the Elite 5 do this as well?
 

esantoro

Rookie
Programmable actually is pretty awesome if you've tried it. On the Lobster Grand 5 LE you can program it to play towards your weakest shot, combo of shots and places that give you the most problems. It's really advanced tool to customize your training, way better than sweep, oscillation, even better than programmed player modes. I find it's a amazing tool to program a high deep backhand, then a low dropshot, then a lob etc.
Something like this deserves a thread of its own: "Programmable Ball Machine Sequences: What You Got?
 

esantoro

Rookie
Programmable actually is pretty awesome if you've tried it. On the Lobster Grand 5 LE you can program it to play towards your weakest shot, combo of shots and places that give you the most problems. It's really advanced tool to customize your training, way better than sweep, oscillation, even better than programmed player modes. I find it's a amazing tool to program a high deep backhand, then a low dropshot, then a lob etc.
How much of a trial and error process is it to program such a variety of shots to get them all placed as desired? Does performance of settings decline as battery power wanes?
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
How much of a trial and error process is it to program such a variety of shots to get them all placed as desired? Does performance of settings decline as battery power wanes?
The 5 only does 6 shots near the baseline the 5 LE can do 18 shot placements. It is a lot of trial and error but one you get it, it stays in there, maybe one session of tinkering with it. I haven't found the performance to decline as the battery power wanes, much. Mostly everyone has a few specific shots in regards to speed, trajectory, spin and possibly in sequence with other shots that give them trouble so you have that ability with this machine.

I found this ball machine very good, only thing I don't like is lugging them, another trip to car for ball basket. But this applies to all ball machines and the main reason I don't use it as often.
 

brc7

Rookie
A little off-topic, but how do you charge these machines? Do they consume too much electricity to get fully charged?
 

esantoro

Rookie
A little off-topic, but how do you charge these machines? Do they consume too much electricity to get fully charged?
The 30-Amp lithium-ion battery for my s4015 requires 10 to 11 hours to fully charge. I ordered the machine with two external batteries (no internal battery), as I didn't want to be tied to having to leave the entire machine connected to a charging source, just the battery. One fully charged battery gives me about 6 two-hour hitting sessions, factoring in machine downtime for breaks and refilling the hopper.
 

brc7

Rookie
The 30-Amp lithium-ion battery for my s4015 requires 10 to 11 hours to fully charge. I ordered the machine with two external batteries (no internal battery), as I didn't want to be tied to having to leave the entire machine connected to a charging source, just the battery. One fully charged battery gives me about 6 two-hour hitting sessions, factoring in machine downtime for breaks and refilling the hopper.
Alright, so I guess it will consume like ~8kW to get charged.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I found this ball machine very good, only thing I don't like is lugging them, another trip to car for ball basket. But this applies to all ball machines and the main reason I don't use it as often.
Thats why I bought the tennis twist. Its super light and easy to use. I use it pretty regularly.

It has no features except trajectory. Simulates hand feeds but you can practice a decent amount of things like high bhs

 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
Thats why I bought the tennis twist. Its super light and easy to use. I use it pretty regularly.

It has no features except trajectory. Simulates hand feeds but you can practice a decent amount of things like high bhs

If I didn't have a bad back I'd probably use it more. The Lobster Grand 5 LE helped my game a lot when trying to win 4.5 nationals, I was tinkering with the super low tension recommended here.

https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/low-low-tensions-30lbs-feels-great-20lbs-pretty-good-too.319527/

No hitting partner wants to be a guinea pig when you're trying out 20lbs tension and the balls are flying everywhere. So if you like trying different techniques/ideas/equipment a ball machine really helped. The low short service line shots and deep on the rise half volleys were uncontrollable with 20lbs so I programmed the machine for shots I hated to hit the most.

I have owned a sports tutor player plus and a silent partner. I think they all weight about 40lbs and the Lobster Grand 5 LE is the best one by far, lots of customizations and the remote has tons of functions.

I think the issue with a lot of balls machines is I spend as much time picking up balls as I do hitting. If you had 2 people, like a parent picking up, the kid could get more reps or a roomba tennis ball pickup.
 

esantoro

Rookie
I don't have a great drop shot, and I think it is one of the best weapons to wear down recreational players. I want to make this a reliable shot for me. Too often I hit the net, more so than popping it up center court. Hitting off a ball machine is like meditation with a bit of cardio and sweat.
 
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