Below is a check-list of potential causes that can contribute to the deterioration of a markers performance in Winter. We would welcome you to circulate this information amongst players facing such issues and it might help to alleviate the influx of seasonal support requests. Topics covered in this article:
Public enemy number one in this scenario (and often the last to be blamed) is the humble 9 volt battery. You will hear citations of "my battery indicator reads full" and "I changed it last week" but don't take this as gospel as the voltage that the battery indicator reads is not the same as the charge that the battery holds. There is also nothing to guarantee that a battery will be good as soon as you unwrap it. We always advise customers to use a reputable brand of ALKALINE battery in their Eclipse marker.
Over-lubing, under-lubing and using the incorrect type of lube can all contribute to the demise of your equipment in Winter. We've experienced several markers through our Technical Support Booth that clearly showed the incorrect lubricant had been used and caused a variety of related issues including components within the solenoid sticking. We always advise that the owner of the marker refers to their owner's manual for guidance on where and how to lube their marker correctly, and advocate that Eclipse Oil or Grease is exclusively used accordingly.
We often encounter users that have tuned their marker for what they consider to be the optimal settings and may have reduced their dwell setting considerably from stock to enhance the efficiency of their marker. Whilst enhanced efficiency is all well and good this may well have removed the inbuilt margin of error that we provide with the stock/factory settings for reliable operation and should be checked prior to proceeding further. Raising the dwell even slightly will also aid to alleviate inconsistency issues.
Solenoid Flow Restrictors
A recent trend in Eclipse Markers is to facilitate to ability for the user to determine the level of air-flow through the solenoid assembly via single or double Solenoid Flow Restrictors (SFRs). Much like the dwell setting recommendations above, users will often lower their SFR settings (restrict the flow) for smooth shooting markers but once again this could compromise the reliable operation of the marker, especially in Winter weather conditions. Opening up the restrictors to increase the flow will help to combat this.
Solenoid Power Settings
Certain Eclipse Markers have the ability to adjust the power going from the circuit board to the solenoid assembly by switching between High and Low power levels. Winter weather conditions generally tend to dictate that the solenoid is more power hungry and as such switching to a high power setting now is a shrewd move as the only downside is marginally lower battery life in a trade for reliable operation.
Barrel Bore Size
Paint to barrel match is another factor that needs to be considered, especially when attempting to shoot paintballs that are not of a specific formula to match the season. If in any doubt it is always better to use an over-sized barrel when playing in colder conditions.