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Setup of the Shocker NXT for use is basically the same as for the SFT, with different tools needed to set velocity, and additional Vision modes available.
The Shocker NXT is turned on by pressing the power button on the rear of the grip frame. It needs to be pressed for about a half a second, shorter presses will not work, so if it is accidentally bumped in a gear bag it is less likely to turn on. When turned on the Shocker NXT will respond with a chirp, and blue glow of the LED beind the power button. The NXT comes on in Vision mode, unlike the SFT which activated with Vision off, because the Vision hardware is now a standard feature.
When Vision is on, the Shocker will not fire if the Vision beam is not broken, it will instead chirp the on-board speaker alerting the user to a feed problem. Pressing the power button momentarily will switch Vision off, resulting in a double-flash pattern of the LED. Holding the power button for two seconds will result in a low toned chirp as the Shocker NXT turns off.
Electronic adjustments are made “under the hood.” With the grip opened, two programming buttons are visible on the Shocker NXT circuit board, that allow four settings to be adjusted. Dwell and ROFDelay timing, firing mode and Vision mode. Because the programming buttons can not be accessed without tools, the Shocker NXT is field and tournament legal.
As mentioned previously, the dwell value determines how long the solenoid valve will stay open to fire each shot. When the Shocker NXT unloaded of paint, its barrel covered, and paintball eye and face protection in use, the dwell setting is adjusted up or down simply by pressing the upper or lower programming button with the grip open. The dwell may be adjusted between 3 and 14 milliseconds. Each step up or down with the buttons results in a change of 0.25ms. The circuit board speaker chirps with each change, and gives a rapid low-tone chirp when the adjustment limit is reached.
To set the dwell to a specific value – 8ms for example – the dwell setting must first be lowered to the bottom of its range (3ms) and then the upper adjustment button pressed 20 times to raise the dwell by 5 ms (20x0.25=5, and 3+5=8.)
Optimizing the dwell value, does not require knowing any target numbers, and sets up the Shocker NXT for best performance with whatever particular bolt and solenoid hardware is installed – as well as to compensate for wear or friction of the o-rings. It requires dry-firing the Shocker NXT (Vision mode must be turned off) and turning the dwell down to the point that it is no longer sufficient to close the bolt. The dwell is then raised, one button press at a time until it is high enough to fully close the bolt each time the trigger is pulled. From this point, the dwell should be raised another 10 to 15 button presses (5 to 7.5 ms.) According to Smart Parts, this procedure will set up the Shocker NXT for the best possible gas efficiency.
The other timing value used by the Shocker NXT is Rate Of Fire Delay. This was formerly simply called Rate Of Fire, but Smart Parts has switched the name in newer product manuals. Although the setting ultimately affects how fast the marker can fire, it is not a true rate of fire setting, it actually sets a delay of how long the Shocker NXT must wait between shots. A higher ROFDelay setting means a longer wait, and thus slower rate of fire, while a lower ROFDelay means a shorter wait, and therefore faster rate of fire.
In Shockers without vision, the ROFDelay was valuable to slow the marker down, so that it would not out-shoot its hopper and break paint. With Vision, this is no longer necessary, and the only time a player would need to set their ROFDelay to anything but the lowest setting, is when restricting rate of fire for use in leagues like the NXL and PSP that have 15 bps limits.
The ROFDelay is adjusted by holding down the trigger while pressing the up or down programming buttons. It is adjustable between 30 and 70ms, in 1ms intervals. Setting the Shocker NXT to be limited to a specific rate of fire, requires knowing its current dwell setting (move the dwell down one click at a time, counting button presses, until the bottom is reached – then move it back up to its setting.) The dwell setting must be converted to milliseconds. The same must be done with the ROFDelay setting. The timing values must be converted to seconds (divided by 1,000) added together, and then finally inverted (1 is divided by them) to determine how many shots per second can be delivered. If that sounds like too much 8th grade algebra, a number of Shocker programming calculators are available online that will calculate the ROFDelay needed to reach a target rate of fire limit for any given dwell setting. Also, Smart Parts optional Blackheart board for the shocker will automatically set an ROFDelay value necessary to achieve a limit of just under 15 bps, when both buttons are pressed.
The rebound mode adjustment sets the Shocker NXT's mode of fire. A rebound setting of 1 turns rebound off, so that it fires in true semi-auto (for NPPL, CFOA and most fields.) Settings of 2 through five provide increasingly aggressive levels of ramping. When the trigger is pulled rapidly, additional shots are added, resulting in much higher rates of fire.
Adjusting the Rebound level is similar to dwell setting, except that with the marker on, the power button is pressed and then held – and immediately, the up or down programming buttons pressed. If neither button is pressed within 2 seconds, the long hold on the power button will turn the Shocker NXT off. The Shocker NXT ships in Rebound level 5, so if it is to be used where semi-auto is required (most paintball fields) this adjustment must be made.
The Shocker circuit board supports three Vision modes – Break-Beam, Toggle Vision and Reflective Vision. By default, Break-Beam is selected, and is all that will ever be needed with the NXT. Break-Beam mode will not fire unless something is blocking the Vision beam in the breech. Toggle Vision is designed for use if ball detents are worn and allow a ball to roll forward, or if an aftermarket body is used, in which the Vision sensors are not placed properly. In Toggle Vision mode, the beam must be broken once, but does not have to stay broken. So if a ball breaks the beam, but then rolls forward, allowing the beam to reconnect, it will still fire. Reflective vision mode allows the use of reflective eyes in an SFT or older custom body, which doesn't allow the placement of breakbeam eyes. By retaining backwards eye compatability, current production Shocker NXT boards can be used as replacement parts in Shocker SFTs.
It is important to note for Shocker NXT owners considering an upgrade circuit board, that they will need to purchase a newer model board with break-beam eye support, or switch to reflective eyes (which also fit in the NXT body) to use an older model circuit board.
The Vision mode is changed with the marker unloaded and degassed. It is then turned on while one or both programming buttons are being held down. Holding down the top button selects Break-Beam Vision, the lower button selects Toggle Vision, and holding down both selects reflective Vision.
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