Question - Lobster Elite 5

#1
I had an opportunity to try out a Lobster Elite 5 today. It is a "new customer returned" model someone is selling locally at a decent markdown. :p I need some input from others here with knowledge / experience with this machine - or the other "Elite Grand" line with same throwing motors - before I commit to buy it.

Here's the issue: After test / calibration, the machine does a decent job of hitting it's spots on the pre-programed settings. However the calibration had to be maxed out just to hit the "T". When I tried to check the range of settings manually, the machine could not get the ball over the net at 35 MPH at any elevation angle I tried. :(

The booklet says not all manual settings will put the ball in play - mostly it talks about sending the ball crazy long at 80 MPH with +3 spin, but I was just wondering if that's normal -- I would think a 35 MPH ball at 40-45 degrees should get over the net from the baseline. That plus the fact about how it had to be maxed out to calibrate properly makes me wonder... short of a radar gun though I don't know how I can check if the balls are shooting out at the proper speed.

Also, it was a little wet out today. After running through about 2 hoppers, the feeder started to jam, and the thing would shut down with an over-current error on either the top or bottom throwing wheels, so I called it a day and wn. My guess is that it was the balls were getting wet, but they weren't soaked or anything - just damp. I'd appreciate any opinions about whether this is a frequent hassle with these machines?
 
#2
I had an opportunity to try out a Lobster Elite 5 today. It is a "new customer returned" model someone is selling locally at a decent markdown. :p I need some input from others here with knowledge / experience with this machine - or the other "Elite Grand" line with same throwing motors - before I commit to buy it.

Here's the issue: After test / calibration, the machine does a decent job of hitting it's spots on the pre-programed settings. However the calibration had to be maxed out just to hit the "T". When I tried to check the range of settings manually, the machine could not get the ball over the net at 35 MPH at any elevation angle I tried. :(

The booklet says not all manual settings will put the ball in play - mostly it talks about sending the ball crazy long at 80 MPH with +3 spin, but I was just wondering if that's normal -- I would think a 35 MPH ball at 40-45 degrees should get over the net from the baseline. That plus the fact about how it had to be maxed out to calibrate properly makes me wonder... short of a radar gun though I don't know how I can check if the balls are shooting out at the proper speed.

Also, it was a little wet out today. After running through about 2 hoppers, the feeder started to jam, and the thing would shut down with an over-current error on either the top or bottom throwing wheels, so I called it a day and wn. My guess is that it was the balls were getting wet, but they weren't soaked or anything - just damp. I'd appreciate any opinions about whether this is a frequent hassle with these machines?
I had an opportunity to try out a Lobster Elite 5 today. It is a "new customer returned" model someone is selling locally at a decent markdown. :p I need some input from others here with knowledge / experience with this machine - or the other "Elite Grand" line with same throwing motors - before I commit to buy it.

Here's the issue: After test / calibration, the machine does a decent job of hitting it's spots on the pre-programed settings. However the calibration had to be maxed out just to hit the "T". When I tried to check the range of settings manually, the machine could not get the ball over the net at 35 MPH at any elevation angle I tried. :(

The booklet says not all manual settings will put the ball in play - mostly it talks about sending the ball crazy long at 80 MPH with +3 spin, but I was just wondering if that's normal -- I would think a 35 MPH ball at 40-45 degrees should get over the net from the baseline. That plus the fact about how it had to be maxed out to calibrate properly makes me wonder... short of a radar gun though I don't know how I can check if the balls are shooting out at the proper speed.

Also, it was a little wet out today. After running through about 2 hoppers, the feeder started to jam, and the thing would shut down with an over-current error on either the top or bottom throwing wheels, so I called it a day and wn. My guess is that it was the balls were getting wet, but they weren't soaked or anything - just damp. I'd appreciate any opinions about whether this is a frequent hassle with these machines?

When calibrating......many factors can influence and require adjustments. I would'nt fret too much over needing to adjust, nor would I spend too much time trying to get ball to hit the T perfectly or even real close.
Some of the factors that will effect the test calibration shot:
Wind; type/condition/age of Balls; Battery condition/age/charge; weather/temp/humidity;
and especially Moisture/Rain/Damp balls or court.
 
#3
I'm providing this update the benefit of people who might have stumbled on this post in search of more information about this machine:

Here's what I've found...

The "degrees" you set are kinda misleading. At the 45 degrees setting, the ball might be descending at 45 degrees, but it shoots out of the machine at a lower actual angle. That is why in my first test run, it kept hitting the net. If you want to practice with low speed "approach" balls near the net, the settings that seem to work (on a day with no wind) were 35 MPH and a 60-65 degrees elevation. Out of 100 new pressureless balls in the hopper, only about 3 didn't make it over.

At low speed settings, you'll need to have the spin at 0 / flat for the ball to travel far enough. Any top spin will take away from the exit velocity... it's not like topspin from your racquet where you can put more power in with more topspin.

Also when practicing on a slow setting, increase the time interval between balls, as it's the travel time of the first ball there is a point where the ball is so slow reaching you that the next shot is already fired before you even finish the first shot. Shorter intervals actually work better with faster shots.

Once I've used it more I'll maybe write up a more detailed owner's review, but for now that's what I've discovered about how to get low speed practice set up shots to work...

*** UPDATE ***
I got around to trying to "Full Random" setting, which allows you do pick the time between balls, and then is supposed to randomly pepper the court. Out of 100 balls it literally put 50+ of them in the net. Apparently the folks writing the software at Lobster suffered from the same misconception I originally had about angle and power. A lot of those balls hit the net 12-20" off the ground -- not eve close. I will get around to trying some of the other "random" routines and post more.
 
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#4
The Lobster Elite 5 has six preset custom drills (Grinder, Power Baseliner, All-Courter, Moon Baller, Slicer, Lefty). I read just now that for each individual shot, speed and spin be varied, and that this can also be done in custom program mode. If this is correct, how well does this variability actually work? It seems like there is a lot to go wrong when one factors in condition o individual balls and level of battery power.
 
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