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Cyclone Blowback Test


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#1 Lord Odin

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 09:52 PM

Due to a number of people wondering whether or not the Cyclone actually uses blowback gases and how much of a difference it has on FPS, I decided to do a test that would give information on both.

The powertube has a Cyclone/RT port on the side of it that lines up directly with the cavity of the valve that supplies air to the ball. When the hammer strikes the valve pin, it releases gas, which then routes around the valve through channels and to the ball and at the same time, also goes through the port previously mentioned and supplies air to the Cyclone. If this is true, opening and closing the port would affect the velocity of the ball, in addition to affecting the functionality of the Cyclone.

Some people believe that the Cyclone operates on blowback gases, the same gas that is used to drive the hammer back and recock the gun. Some believe that no gas is unused in the system. If this theory is true, opening/closing the cyclone port shouldn't affect the ball's velocity and will only affect the Cyclone.

Using packing tape over the powertube's Cyclone/RT port and using a port plug, I was able to block off any possibility of air getting to the Cyclone. I took 30 shots with its blocked off, took off the tape and reconnected the Cyclone, and then took another 30 shots.

Here is my setup:
-Polished A5 receiver halves
-Orange Howizter front bolt
-X7 hammer
-stock powertube w/ FVA flushed
-X7 valve
-2Liter Plus Dual w/ small etension cap and HP spring (550psi max)
-ION threaded barrel adapter
-ION threaded Freak back
-Blue Maddmann spring
-Freak front
-Reball insert
-Reballs
-Gold Cup oil
-1/8" banjos and hoses for Cyclone
-TechT vortex
-TechT lightning rod
-stock feeder cylinder
-HPA on remote line
-CP on/off ASA
-E-grip
-F1 Shooting Chrony

Here is my data:
http://www.mediafire.com/?u00im1yyzzo

As you can see, the average speed did drop by about 5 fps. I was quite surprised at this, expecting it to drop more. Also worthy of mentioning is that the consistency was barely affected as well. So it seems that the Cyclone being attached has little affect on ball to ball consistency but more so on it's velocity. Since the velocity was affected, it seems pretty safe to assume that it does NOT operate on blowback gases but rather shares the same air source that accelerates the balls.

Edited by Lord Odin, 29 June 2009 - 09:36 PM.


#2 cockerpunk

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 10:16 PM

nice, something alot of people have been asking about.
The ultimate truth in paintball is that the interaction between the gun and the player is far and away the largest factor in accuracy, consistency, and reliability.

And yes, Gordon is the sexiest manifestation of "to the front."


#3 Lord Odin

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 10:26 PM

We could also look at it in more realistic terms. Let's say your gun gets 1000 shots per tank before it needs to be refilled. Since the Cyclone affects velocity by about 5 fps, that means it uses up roughly 1.8% of the gas used per shot is your velocity is 280fps. In other words, you're only giving up around 18 shots per tank by using the Cyclone.

#4 Snipez4664

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 10:34 PM

We could also look at it in more realistic terms. Let's say your gun gets 1000 shots per tank before it needs to be refilled. Since the Cyclone affects velocity by about 5 fps, that means it uses up roughly 1.8% of the gas used per shot is your velocity is 280fps. In other words, you're only giving up around 18 shots per tank by using the Cyclone.


Nitpick: Kinetic energy varies as the square of velocity, and these are the top incremental energetic additions - the gas loss is slightly more than you think.

(278.5^2-273.5^2)/278.5^2=.035584321

Odd font change from pasting google calculator I guess.

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#5 Lord Odin

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 10:41 PM

Wow, that's nearly double the percentage (3.5% compared to 1.8%). Could you please explain why that is?

#6 cockerpunk

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 11:34 PM

the velocity term in the energy equation is a squared term.

still alot less then i thought. interesting.

Edited by cockerpunk, 08 March 2009 - 11:34 PM.

The ultimate truth in paintball is that the interaction between the gun and the player is far and away the largest factor in accuracy, consistency, and reliability.

And yes, Gordon is the sexiest manifestation of "to the front."


#7 Lord Odin

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 11:39 PM

I understand the numbers he used [(vi^2 - vf^2)/vi^2] but don't know where the equation came from or what it implies. I thought kinetic energy was (1/2)m(v^2). As you can tell, I'm not terribly fluent with KE; I only know the basics.

Edited by Lord Odin, 09 March 2009 - 08:47 AM.


#8 Snipez4664

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 12:09 AM

I understand the numbers he used [(vi - vf)/vi^2] but don't know where the equation came from or what it implies. I thought kinetic energy was (1/2)m(v^2). As you can tell, I'm not terribly fluent with KE; I only know the basics.


The masses and 1/2's will cancel
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#9 Lord Odin

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 08:47 AM

To find the change in velocity and it's percentage of the original, why would they have to be squared? We're only looking for a percentage of the original velocity; not it's kinetic energy in Joules. So I guess I just don't see how the formula applies here.

Edited by Lord Odin, 09 March 2009 - 08:49 AM.


#10 Snipez4664

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 09:18 AM

Energy is what is relevant when extrapolating to gas consumption...
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#11 Lord Odin

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 09:36 AM

Considering the velocity is derived from a larger sample, that should have already have been accounted for.

#12 Snipez4664

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 10:02 AM

Uh...what? I'm not talking about statistics, I'm talking about physics. I'm not doing any least squares voodoo or anything like that.

The VELOCITY that you measure is a measure of how much ENERGY has gone into the ball. EFFICIENCY is a measure of how much of the tank ENERGY goes into the ball. To make statements about gas consumption, we need to compare apples to apples: the obvious example being that to shoot balls at 100fps requires 1/9th the energy required to shoot balls at 300fps. Every so often you run into someone claiming 2500+ shots - often at a 250fps indoor field.
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#13 Lord Odin

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 10:27 AM

Ok, I think I understand now. So if the ball drops by 1.8% in velocity, it will require more than 1.8% to get the ball back up to it's original velocity. This could be verified by shooting with the Cyclone active and again with it off. Since the velocity would be higher and comparing it to my original velocity change, the second velocity difference should be larger. Is that correct?

#14 Snipez4664

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 10:30 AM

Turning the cyclone on and off again should produce the same velocity discrepancy. If you measured the efficiency directly though, you'd find a percent change much larger than the velocity percent change.

Make sense?
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#15 navycut81

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 10:42 AM

LMAO now if we can bring this conversation back down to something the average person can understand lol jk

Now with this all said i have a little curve ball to throw into the mix. I currently run 2 a5's 1 has is bone stock except for squishy paddles and an e- trigger w/ was board and the other a5 been modified the complete techt cyclone upgrade, venturi bolt, palmer stabilizer,e-trigger, polished internals, ect,ect.

Now my question has to do with the claims made about the venting ports on the cylone feeder tube.
Now from what your testing shows or atleast from what i understand is that the gas being used to cycle the cyclone is directly coming from the tank and not the blowback ?
Now if thats the case and please correct me if im wrong, wouldnt that mean the holes or slot in the tube would cause more air to be used.
Now I know to some this may seem like an insignificant amount of air but the reason I ask this question is because like I pointed out above I have 2 a5's and the a5 without the cylcone upgrade gets alot more shots per tank than the modified a5 enough to notice it every time.
I use Co2 and i know how inconsistant Co2 is but i fill my own tanks I have about 12 20oz tanks, so they allways have time to sit and expand. None the less this happens each and everytime time so im sure theres more to the story than just inconsistant Co2 expansion. Further more ive ran both guns with the palmer on it to the same result.

So if there's any input you can offer on the subject the would be greatly appreciated

Thanks alot guys for what your doing to the sport, we need more people out there like you guys. You guys are helping to bust all those myth's out there KEEP IT UP THE PAINTBALL WORLD NEEDS YOU GUYS.

#16 Lord Odin

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 10:47 AM

So you're saying that velocity change is not indicative of gas usage and can't be used to calculate shots per tank?

If so, how can we measure it to find the difference in shots per tank besides simply counting them?

To Navycut81, I think they the vented cyclinders would use more air as well. Testing would verify it though.

Edited by Lord Odin, 09 March 2009 - 10:49 AM.


#17 navycut81

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 10:57 AM

is there anything i can do to assist in the testing? Unfortunatly i am in Ontario Canada but if theres anything i can do let me know.

#18 Snipez4664

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 12:06 PM

I'm saying exactly the opposite - the velocity loss IS indicative of energy loss from the tank, and to a larger tune than you might expect.
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#19 cockerpunk

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 04:31 PM

So you're saying that velocity change is not indicative of gas usage and can't be used to calculate shots per tank?

If so, how can we measure it to find the difference in shots per tank besides simply counting them?

To Navycut81, I think they the vented cyclinders would use more air as well. Testing would verify it though.


on a shot per shot basis we see that the energy require to achieve a said velocity is

E(v)= (1/2)m(v)^2

so we plug in for your high average that on average your no cyclone shot of 278 fps

E(278)=(1/2)m(278)^2

and for your low velocity

E(273)=(1/2)m(273)^2

to relate one every level to the next, we can devide

E(273) (1/2)m(273)^2
-------- = --------------------
E(278) (1/2)m(278)^2

the (1/2) cancels, the m cancels and we get a ratio -

273^2/278^2 = 96.4%

so it take 96.3% as much energy to shoot a paintball at 273 as 278

comparing that to the tank itself, if you get 1400 shots at 273, you will get 1349 at 278



i have never done this style analysis for the barrel bore test, i think im gonna do that later tonight.

Edited by cockerpunk, 09 March 2009 - 04:32 PM.

The ultimate truth in paintball is that the interaction between the gun and the player is far and away the largest factor in accuracy, consistency, and reliability.

And yes, Gordon is the sexiest manifestation of "to the front."


#20 Lord Odin

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 05:46 PM

Oh, now I'm getting it. I feel like such a dunce.

Actually, with the Cyclone on or off, the gun gets the same number of shots, just at different velocities. The valve puts out the same pressure at the same volume regardless of what the Cyclone does. Since both the gun and Cyclone operate on the same pressure, that means the Cyclone is just stealing volume from the gun. To get the same velocity for the ball, either the pressure or volume has to be increased.

Now combine that information with Snipez' example of 300fps needing vastly more energy than 100fps, that would mean that to get the ball back up to field velocity would require more energy than the original difference. So I would think that even 96.4% might be overvalued. I think I'm gonna retest this tonight to see what kind of difference there is.

#21 navycut81

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 02:48 PM

Allright Odin this is what I have come up with so far I have only one test left to do and thats the techt tube with factory cyclone internals

I must say I was very suprised by the results basically in a nut shell the techt upgrades definetly make a huge difference. About a 50 psi difference. The slots allowed the feedrod to work at a lower pressure, the techt tube worked as low as 310 psi But the factory tube wasnt able to go below 360. The Techt tube worked 100% of the time at 338 psi. The factory tube needed to be at more than 420 psi and thats with the techt internals. The factory Tube and internals needed to be atleast above 450 psi.

Unforunatly my pressure gauge only went up to 450 psi I'm going to get another gauge so i can get higher psi readings so i can test the techt tube w/ all factory internals.

If i missed anything or if i did anything wrong let me know and i'll correct redo the test again

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#22 navycut81

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 03:00 PM

Oh and all reading were taken off of a 2 inch gauge attached to my palmer regulator at the tombstone w/ remote line and i took a 1 min. break between shots to make sure i didnt freeze my gun up at all

#23 cockerpunk

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 03:13 PM

well, pressure and energy are not exactly the same thing. its feasible that a lower pressure can still be more energy.
The ultimate truth in paintball is that the interaction between the gun and the player is far and away the largest factor in accuracy, consistency, and reliability.

And yes, Gordon is the sexiest manifestation of "to the front."


#24 navycut81

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 03:21 PM

well, pressure and energy are not exactly the same thing. its feasible that a lower pressure can still be more energy.



LOL well sure "go and cloud the issue with facts and physics" anybody can do that. jk lmao

Is there anything different you would do to test this problem?
Im open to any ideas.

#25 Lord Odin

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 03:25 PM

I did another test getting the gun as close to the original velocity but with the Cyclone functioning, got some numbers, then disengaged it. Check the original link.

Navycut, that's really cool. If anything, I would have thought it be reversed. You should share that info with the A5OG and X7OG as well. They love seeing stuff like that, too.

#26 navycut81

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 03:36 PM

I did another test getting the gun as close to the original velocity but with the Cyclone functioning, got some numbers, then disengaged it. Check the original link.

Navycut, that's really cool. If anything, I would have thought it be reversed. You should share that info with the A5OG and X7OG as well. They love seeing stuff like that, too.



I will post it up there for them. The one thing i was surprised with was how much more psi the stock cyclone needed to turn the cyclone opposed to the fully upgraded TechT one. I think it has more to do with the reduced spring tension inside the ratchet. That the next thing im going to test I think the internal little spring inside the ratchet has alot to do with what pressure the cyclone cycles as well

Edited by navycut81, 10 March 2009 - 03:38 PM.


#27 Evil Fingers

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 04:15 AM

Interesting Thread and a Good Read.




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