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By Bill Mills - Nov 2004
Pressing and holding the bottom button activates the 03. The LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) does not just turn on, instead its brightness steadily increases over a period of about one second. This is possible in part because the display is lit not by high frequency current as are most backlit LCDs used in paintguns, but instead by a superbright white light emitting diode (LED.) This is a very power-efficent means of illuminating the display, and means that the LCD can remain illuminated constantly, while putting less of a drain on the battery.
When first turned on, the LCD reads “ODYSSEY 03” and the rear LED illuminates in green. The 03 is in safe mode at this point. Pulling the trigger will not fire. Pressing once on the middle button brings the 03 live into semi-auto mode. The LCD then reads “SEMI 30” followed by a six digit shot counter which starts at zero, and an icon representing the battery indicating its charge level with an internal bar graph.
While in SEMI mode, the top button can be used to set the eye mode. On the right hand side of the receiver is a cover, which protects the 03’s infra-red emitter and detector, as well as their wiring to the grip frame. These two components make up the 03’s anti-chop eye, which measures the amount of infra-red light reflected in the breech to determine of there is a paintball in place ready to be fired. The top button can cycle the 03’s software through each of its three modes – ON, OFF and AUTO. ON and OFF perform as their name implies. The AUTO mode is not used with the 03’s base software.
As the eye mode can be changed while the 03 is live, it should be noted that NPPL tournament rules do not allow a player to operate any control buttons on their marker during a game without the permission of a referee. The PSP tournament equipment rules do allow a player to change anti-chop eye modes during play.
Pressing and holding the middle button will switch the 03 into SAFETY mode. In this mode it will not fire, and the display will read “SEMI 03 SAFETY” with the word SAFETY blinking. A quick press of the button will switch it back to SEMI mode.
Pressing the lower button quickly cycles the display through various modes. COUNTER mode displays the shot counter, and allows it to be reset by pressing the middle button. TIMER mode allows a game timer to be set. Pressing the middle button cycles the time on the timer upward. Once the timer has been set, switching back to SEMI mode starts it counting down, and the timer will display in place of the shot counter. When the timer reaches 00:00 the display will revert to showing the counter. The 03’s timer does not feature an auditory alarm, only a running countdown. RATE mode is designed to show the average rate of fire of the last consistently shot string. SPEED and GAUGE are not implemented in the base software, however they are in place to allow for a future built in chronograph and built in electronic pressure sensor.
The CHARGE mode shows the voltage output of the 03’s battery down to a hundredth of a volt. The POWER menu allows the 03’s power off options to be set. When AUTO is selected, the marker will automatically turn off when unused for 30 minutes. The SAVE mode will turn the LED backlight on the LCD off after one minute of not being used. The 03 will still be live and operational, it will simply consume less power. The CONT selection keeps the display and power on until they are turned off. The SENSOR menu, which can also be set at any time the ‘gun is live by pressing the top button, has three options, ON, AUTO and OFF. An additional feature called ALERT, like SPEED and GAUGE awaits components for future use. SETTING RESET is a simply way to return the 03 to its default settings.
As changing to firing modes other than SEMI, or adjusting timing values is not done though the 03’s menu system, the electronics and software are tournament legal under both the NPPL and PSP rule sets.
Holding the bottom button down for about four seconds turns the 03 off. In a reverse of the power up sequence, the LCD’s backlight fades out, rather than turning off abruptly. Included with the 03 is a small AC/DC transformer, which plugs into a standard 110-volt wall outlet, and charges the 03’s internal battery.
For review, the 03 was put both through typical field use, as well as checked out on the WARPIG Ballistic Labs test stand. Powered by a Crossfire compressed air system, and fed by a HALO with V 35 Victory Board, the 03 was tested with DraXxus Hellfire paintballs using the stock barrel and a Smart Parts Freak Barrel.
On the field, the O3 handled well. The electronic trigger, while not quite as crisp as some other high end electros, was easy to shoot quickly, and easy to walk. With the anti-chop eye activated, there were no ball breaks in the breech or problems with misfeeds, regardless of how fast the trigger was pulled.
The perceived recoil from the hammer moving with each shot felt a bit greater than that of most higher priced electros, but was definitely manageable.
On the test stand, the 03 was checked out for velocity consistency, shoot down and accuracy. The 03 was also tested for maximum feed rate with the anti-chop eye activated using a variety of feed systems.
Feed rate performance for the 03 was best with the Q-Loader, with which it fed at electronically controlled 10 shot bursts consistently at 13 shots per second. Next in line was the HALO, which consistently fed the 03 at 12 shots per second. It was also noted during feed rate testing that the 03’s electronics consistently under-reported the maximum rate of fire achieved. Click here to see the feed rater comparison with different loaders.
To test shot to shot consistency the 03 was first adjusted to fire at approximately 285 feet per second. Thirty shots were taken under microprocessor control at one second intervals. The velocity spread yielded an average velocity of 284 feet per second with a standard deviation of 4.4. The 95% value is another way to look at consistency of data. This number is a +/- range of how close any given shot is likely to be, discounting 5% of the shots which are the least consistent. This number takes into account that a small number of shots will be oddballs, and ignores them. The 95% number yielded a figure of plus or minus 2.0.
To check for velocity drop off, another set of 30 shots were taken, this time at a rate of 12 shots per second. The average velocity decreased to 277.2 shots per second, indicating a small amount of velocity drop off. While the standard deviation increased to a value of 5.6, the 95% value remained at +/- 2.0. Considering that the standard deviation was higher while the 95% value was unchanged it was apparent that the “wild” shots, likely from inconsistent paintballs were further from the average velocity while rapid firing, but the velocity consistency of the rest of the shots remained the same, aside from the average velocity drop.
Checking for accuracy, the 03 was fired at a target from a distance of 75 feet. Ten shots were taken at one second intervals first with the stock barrel, and then with a Freak barrel, using a .687 inch diameter insert, matched to the Hellfire paint. The stock barrel achieved a noticeably tight grouping.
the 03, Odyssey has delivered a lightweight true electropneumatic paintgun
with an effective anti-chop eye system. It is simple enough in design
to make maintenance almost as simple as with most blow-back semis, and
it is an effective performer on the field.
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