How to chose the right tennis ball machine
1) Operating Mode
Basically there are two different operating modes:
- Mains Operation (AC, energy from the electric socket)
- Operation by battery
The majority of the manufactures offer either AC or battery. Using the MSV PlayTec or the MSV DirectShot you can switch between the two operating modes.
When you operate a machine with a battery it is important to know which type of battery that is.
- Lead battery ( almost all machines offered on the market have a lead battery)
- Lithium-Ion battery (only with MSV PlayTec and MSV Directshot)
A lead battery, 12 V, allows a playing time of rd. 5 – 6 hours. When you have used more than 50% of the energy, the shooting power decreases. You can install a second battery aside of the machine but you need to purchase it and is has to be charged.
The battery which you can put aside of the machine looks like this:
Lead batteries must be charged every two months to ensure it works when you want to use it – even if you have not used it within this period. For some machines on the market you can purchase an optional transformer (199.00 €) to have an AC power supply. This transformer is placed next to the machine.
It looks like this:
The MSV PlayTec and the MSV DirectShot tennis ball machines are operated by a Lithium battery providing a playing time of eight hours. You can consume more than 90% of the charged energy without any loss in power. The performance of the machine remains at the same strong level. The durability of a lithium battery is two to three times higher compared to a lead battery. Furthermore you can fully charge the lithium battery of both MSV machine within 3 to 5 hours where as you need 13 hours for a lead battery.
Lead battery, you need two pieces:
The external power supply (transformer) of both MSV are built-in and integral part of the machine. It is standard.
Energy Benefits of both MSV machines summarized:
- Savings of rd. 400€
- The charging time is only 3 to 5 hours
- The battery durability is two to three times higher
- The external power supply is already built-in
The battery level is displayed on the backside of the MSV PlayTec (most machines don’t offer this feature):
2) Remote Control
A ball machines can be controlled by switches on the back side of the machine or by a remote (depending on model). There are two different types of remotes:
- Simple remote to control the basic functions as ball feed and random.
- Multi-function to control all functions of a ball machine.
- Without Display
- With Display
The remote of the MSV machines are multifunctional remotes and includes a display. The remote allows you to access 21 programmed settings through clicks on the buttons. You can select 53 points on the court. Above this you can self-program 28 more shots.
3) How are the shots directed from left to right and vice versa?
Again there are two different alternatives:
- The machine stands on a kind of plate and the housing moves. The player realizes immediately where the shot will go and he can adapt himself. Most of the US suppliers offer still this method.
- Modern machines have a gear which swivels the throwing wheels from right to left, up and down and vice versa. Both machines have such a gear.