I figured I’d share a few of the results my team has found regarding the versatility of a fixed angle hooded shooter this year, and the success we’ve found with angle adjustments simply by altering relative ball spin. We initially built a simple monowheel hooded shooter, using 1" of compression and churro-backing.
Initial protoype construction and verification testing
Once shot testing began, we found backspin to have a detrimental effect on the ball path, causing balls to decelerate rapidly midair, and nearly reversing direction at high backspins. The RapidReact balls seem to be air sticky.
An attempt at simply raising the velocity on our high+fender capable angle with monowheel prototype, backspin had an intense effect on the balls flight characteristics
We iterated upon this design to dial in backspin characteristics, adding a top wheel stack to our shooter, the angle locked at 67 degrees (the angle we’d used for our high fender shot with a monowheel). The top wheel was independently controlled by a second neo, geared 1:1 (for roughly half the surface velocity of the bottom roller, assuming both are at full speed). We kept the backing standoffs compressing at 1", and the top roller increasing compression to 1.5". We’re aiming to tune this compression number more in the near future, particularly optimizing consistency across ball pressures.We’ve found colson wheels to grip the balls extremely well, and shoot quite consistently and smoothly.
Shooter prototype improvements: individually driven bi-wheel
We were pleasantly surprised to find we could consistently hit our three unique shot targets by varying only ball spin (more backspin for higher angles, more topspin to induce a flatter initial angle).
Shots on high fender, low fender, and high launchpad with varying ball-spin
I figured I’d share this testing data, I find the variability possible from a fixed geometry like this to be interesting, and very compelling for design simplicity’s sake (particularly because it doesn’t seem to sacrifice consistency). I’d like to better document how this style of adjustment handles lower ball pressures, and optimize compression to mitigate this if possible.
More info can be found in our 2022 build log here, we’ll be testing this design further in the next day or two, we’re currently weighing this option against a 2-position adjustable hooded design. The merits of each should present further as more testing is done.