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Manufactured by Extreme Rage

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ER Timer 45 Grip Frame
by Bill Mills
April 2002

The ER timer 45 grip represents the second product to be released in Extreme Rage’s new Omega Series Accessories product line.  Extreme Rage has built a name with their softgoods, like packs and backpacks, but they are now expanding into paintball accessories.  These they are marketing under the Omega line, saying “Omega: n, The last letter in the greek alphabet: the last, the end , the final and only upgrade parts you’ll need for your paintball equipment.”

The first Omega product was their 45 wraparound grip, but the ER Timer 45 grip takes things up a technological notch.  From the left side, these grips, available in solid black, or semi-clear neon colors look like a typical 45 wraparound rubber grip.  45 style grips are compatible with the venerable Colt model 1911 .45 APC pistol.  Many paintgun designers have borrowed this grip shape and dimension, allowing their paintguns to use grip panels or wraparounds from the firearms industry. 

Omega’s grip features soft rubbery side panels connected around the front with a pair of finger grooves.  Overmolded internal stiffeners help them keep their shape.  On the left hand side, is a jewel with Extreme Rage’s little angry guy face logo.  The right hand side is what sets the timer grip apart from others.

On the right face of the grip is an LCD game timer with three colored control buttons.  The timers come with their own battery installed.  It’s a long life battery under the application, just like in a wristwatch, and is replaceable by peeling back the insulated cardstock cover on the inside of the grip. 

Comparing a few samples of the grip, some had either blank or garbled displays out of the box.  It soon became apparent that the grip is meant to be installed on a paintgun.  When mounted in place, the pressure of the grip frame to the panel solidifies contacts between the main circuit board, LCD, and battery. 

Setting the game timer is easy.  Each press on the white button advances the time by a single minute from 0 to 99.  Pressing the green button starts and stops the timer from counting down.  When 0:00 is reached, the beeping alarm sounds, which surprisingly was louder when the grip was on a Tippman 98 Custom than when it was unmounted.  Pressing any of the buttons stops the alarm from beeping.  When the timer is not running, pressing and holding the red button for 2-3 seconds resets the timer back to zero.

The instructions with the timer grip talk about how to set a game warning time.  On first glance one might think that it is a second alarm, a warning that there are for example 30 seconds left in a game.  This is not the case, it actually means to add anywhere from 1 to 59 seconds to the game time to allow for the pre-game warning whistle.  To set the timer for a 10 minute game with a 30 second warning whistle takes a couple of steps.  The timer is first advanced to 1:00 with the white button.  It is then started with the green button, and stopped with the green button when the time reaches 0:30.  Then the white button is used to advance the minutes to 10:30.  When the ref blows the whistle the green button starts the timer, which hits 10:00 when the game starts and counts down to the game end at 0:00.

In practical use, the timer placement on the right hand side has both pros and cons.  For right handed players, in a standing or normal shooting position, the timer is on the outside from their body, so the paintgun has to be flipped over to see it.  For crawlers though, with their paintgun down in front of them, ready to move, the display is perfectly placed.  The other advantage to the display placement is protection.  For right handers, the LCD is protected by the shooter’s hand.  In order for the timer circuit to be slim enough to fit in the grip, it doesn’t have the armor needed to handle a close range direct hit, and would probable come out damaged, keeping it under the palm of the hand gives it shelter.

Surprisingly, the control buttons don’t get pressed messing up the timing as the grip is naturally held.  Instead they fit under the knuckles where the hand does not apply pressure to them.

For not much more money than a brand name wraparound grip, the ER Timer does the same thing, and gives the extra features of an LCD timer system in a very easy to install upgrade.

 


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