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Tidal Rave
By Bill Mills - Aug 2005

Aim Paintball is a company specializing in machined accessory products for paintball.  Their product offerings include drop forwards, aftermarket paintgun bodies and ASAs.

Part of AIMís product line is the Tidal Rave, a name keeping with their earlier drop forward, the Tsunami.
The Tidal Rave is a more minimalist approach to drop forwards and ASAs.  While it retains key features, it is quite lightweight.

The Tidal Rave drop forward is curved, with some decorative cuts, billet machined from aluminum, and hard anodized.  The top of the drop forward is equipped with two inline holes for industry standard mounting on almost any paintball gun (Spyders will require an adapter to match it to their offset screw placement.)  The bottom end of the drop features a ¾ inch dovetail rail.  

A pair of set screws allow the drop forward to lock to its ASA.  The screws are removable, and positioned such that duckbill ASAs or other bottom-line mount devices can be mounted to the drop forward even if they do not have slots for a dovetail.  A nice feature on the drop is an access hole drilled directly above the rear set screw.  Many air mount devices leave little room for a hex wrench to get in to their lock screws.  This can sometimes mean that they have to be removed from the paintgun, to get a wrench in at the right angle, or that only the short end of the wrench can be used.  With the access hole in the Tidal Rave, locking the ASA in place is quick and easy.
The second half of the Tidal Rave is its on/off ASA.  It is compact, and lightweight, weighing in at only 2.5 ounces.  Rather than knurling, which can accumulate mud and dirt, the on/off knob has two large wings on which to get a sure grip.  The knob depresses a steel core to push the pin valve of a CO2 tank or screw in compressed air system.  

The ASA not only will turn the tank on or off, but it is also equipped with a degassing feature.  After turning a tank off, a couple more turns allow the internal depressor pin to slide past the point where it seals, and excess gas in the hose is released around the knob threads and through a tiny vent hole in the center of the knob.  This simple feature avoids the need for dry-firing while unscrewing a tank to protect the bottle o-ring.

One eighth inch NPT openings on either side of the ASA allow it to be set up for right or left hand hoses, with the option of a pressure gauge on the unused side.
With both components together, the Tidal Rave weighs only 4.5 ounces, yet on the field proved to be amply sturdy to handle typical paintball abuse with no problems.

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