Worth upgrading from Lobster Grand Elite IV to Grand Elite V LE

yogisri

New User
After years of service, my Grand Elite IV started acting up. When I called the Lobster Support, I was told I needed a new touch panel. This would cost me $150. If I want to upgrade from IV to V LE, that would cost me $600
Should I bite the bullet and do the upgrade or spend $150 and sit with IV? Am I missing out without V LE?
Any experience with any upgrades you've made?
Your suggestions are welcome.
 

yogisri

New User
All the buttons on the Elite Grand IV touch panel are not working. Also the remote light doesn't come on after pressing it. So remote doesn't work either.
 

yogisri

New User
@bobleenov1963 .
Couple of questions:
Did you sell your ball machine locally or on ****? Can you share the link to get the Proton? Also can you please share your experience with Lobster V LE and later with Proton?

Thanks
 

bobleenov1963

Hall of Fame
@bobleenov1963 .
Couple of questions:
Did you sell your ball machine locally or on ****? Can you share the link to get the Proton? Also can you please share your experience with Lobster V LE and later with Proton?

Thanks
I sold the lobster Grand Elite V LE locally for 1/3 of the cost I that purchased. The lobster is so bulky and heavy. Proton is so much lighter and suit with what I need.

https://www.hydrogensports.com/ The proton is currently in back order. I don't think you can order one until either Jun or July. Great machine.
 

paulfisher

New User
I own a Grand V LE and had a few of the buttons not working. When I removed the control panel there is a ribbon cable on the right side that arcs between the control panel and the board. It had been rubbing on the motor that turns the feeder (had a rub area.). I put a flexible plastic cover over the area and it has worked fine ever since. Might be worth a try since it is easy and free.
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
All the buttons on the Elite Grand IV touch panel are not working. Also the remote light doesn't come on after pressing it. So remote doesn't work either.
The remote likely just needs a new battery. I actually upgraded mine to a VLE but I think they only charged me an additional $100. Let me explain. I needed to send my machine back in to them. I was going to be charged $499 for a new IV control panel and I asked about upgrading and they said it would be $699 but they would give me a $100 credit because I was turning in my control panel. So the additional $100 was really $599. I got it back at the beginning of the year but I haven't actually used it yet. I'll probably sell my machine. I've been using a Playmate Volley when I go out to hit on a ball machine of late. I find I only really like the 2 line oscillation or random oscillation. I haven't really used the built in programs of the IV but a couple of times. I doubt I'd use the programmable features unless I was teaching some lessons and wanted specific shots to be practiced. I might mess with it this summer.

I do like the internal oscillation of the Playmate. If I were to upgrade, I'd likely go to a Spinfire for the same reason. I'm not so sure I'd buy a Proton for many reasons; questionable lifespan, maybe too lightweight, and difficulty actually getting one.
 

twalkman

New User
I think the only reason to upgrade from the IV to the V is to get the 6 programmable drills.

I have an Elite IV and like it a lot but I find the pre-programmed settings limiting. For example, if I'm using the 2-line drills to practice with my two pre-teens, I find that's it hard not to over-power them with the way the machine automatically raises the elevation if I lower the speed. Likewise I like to practice slow hit volleys at the net in addition to hard hit volleys. To get exactly the shot I'm trying to work on I frequently use manual mode. Programmable drills would allow me to create specific 2-line drills for my kids, or a mix of the kind of volleys I want to work on.

A couple of other points I'll make about the Lobster Elite IV while I'm at it.

- I think a remote is essential for a ball machine. The 20 function Lobster remote is nice - BUT it was a huge oversight not to include the ability to select 'manual' mode with the remote (I think you can do this with the phone app).

- Machine oscillation. I don't ever wish the machine had internal oscillation. The machine is great if you want to work on footwork or conditioning. I think the way the machine moves is more comparable to a live opponent as I can usually tell where a player is going to hit based on body position and previous tendencies. I just make sure I use proper footwork in moving around the court (don't just walk from one hitting position to another). You can tell 'generally' where the machine is going to place the ball, but there is enough variation to still require the small adjustment steps for a good stroke.

- The ball machine is not that heavy, but it is awkward to pick up and put down. The reason is you have to reach under the hopper and base of the machine to find the handholds. It looks like the Spinfire did a better job of placing the handholds for their machine.

- Lobster had done a very nice job of placing technical/troubleshooting information and videos on their website. They will also sell you components so you don't have to send the entire machine in for upgrades or service if you are mechanically inclined.
 
I've owned the Lobster VLE for almost 10 years. Breakdowns or problems have been almost non-existent. Battery life is phenomenal (but I do follow their directions of charging fully at least 1x per month). Being my first ball machine, I researched everything on every ball machine brand, machine, model, etc. Having never really used one, I was not sure how exactly (which features, drills, etc,) I would actually use to train, improve my game. Ball machines can/will improve your game drastically. Therefore, I recommend getting a machine that can "grow" with your improvement.

For the reasons I've mentioned above, I was willing to spend the 20% or so more to get the most feature rich machine available. Programmability seemed a very wise investment to me while shopping, and getting the Programmable Grand VLE, for me, was absolutely the correct choice! My machine has practically every pre-programed, manual, static, 2-line, single shot (like lobs for instance - however/whichever/wherever you want them) option available. To be honest - I really don't know how many it has. Even before using the "custom programmable options", all the other options mentioned above are seemingly endless. With the programmable feature it is practically Infinite. I use my custom designed programmed drills, which I can create & save at home or coffee shop on my laptop, ipad, iphone, etc......or on the court......85% of the time. Various other features, while only used 15 to 20% of the time, are nonetheless critical to have & use. You can dial in very specific or problematic shots to work on OR regularly practice so as to not get rusty (short balls, overheads, etc.)

I did not want to spend XX amount of $$ and have a machine that was limited, or worse, became boring. I was counting on the extra 20% invested to erase or minimize that from occurring. IT DID!

There are other good ball machines brands & machines out there. It just made common sense to stick with a proven, long-term company with a track record for service, reliability, parts availability, etc. Lobster's reputation, years in business is irrefutable. Again, there are a few others. I am extremely pleased with my machine, Lobster support, etc.

Knowing what I know now......if you are in a quandary trying to decide, don't be! As long as you are considering a leading manufacturer/brand, at whatever price point, budget, model, feature rich or basic........if you love or like tennis, want to practice, train, exercise, work on your game, strokes, footwork, etc...... GET A BALL MACHINE!!

PERHAPS THE GREATEST ASPECT/BENEFITS OF INVESTING/OWNING A GOOD BALL MACHINE IS THE ABILITY TO PLAY/TRAIN WITH OR WITHOUT ANOTHER PLAYER/PARTNER, WHEN & WHERE YOU WANT, FOR AS LONG/SHORT AS YOU LIKE!

FREEDOM!!

PS - A REMOTE or REMOTES IS CRITICAL!!
(I have every kind, type, option Lobster makes; including the iPhone App which allows me to use my iPhone or iWatch). They all work superb.
 
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