September 19th, 2012, 04:13 PM
Soooo.....because I never start new threads and usually just cannibalize someone else's thread - I figured this wouldn't be too bad of an idea:
Discuss and weigh in on our experiences with different feed gates in different configurations atop different hoppers. Tips and tricks, etc. I'll..umm...go first.
Virtue Crown (no longer made- but widely available)
Uses a universal collar that snaps atop the halo feed hole. Removal of the lid and lid spring were pretty effortless. Virtue crowns come in two varieties. Ultra soft and 'don't bother trying w/o at least 1/2 a pod of paint's weight'. Primarily this is a 1-way feed gate that does arguably the best job keeping the paint in...but has issues allowing it through.
My biggest gripe is the exterior retention clamp. Hit it wrong, and you lose the membrane and the clamp. Get paint under the clamp and you lose the membrane and clamp. Get paint under the membrane, on the snap-ring, and you lose the membrane and the clamp. I have TONS of snap-rings... 1/2 as many "tons" membranes, and 2 clamps.
Trick: Use dish soap to clean the membrane, the snap ring, and the collar to get all oils off of them. Dry completely. Then assemble.
Dye Speedfeed - Arguably the best ball-retaining speed feed I've used. While it is starting to sag after a few months of use, balls go in easy- balls don't come out easy. I'm hard pressed to lose many. Installs between color pannel and rotor shell - so no vertical profile. Short break-in period. Backed by Dye warranty.
The gripes: The fins in the feed are held on by thin strips of what appears to be rubber. These tend to break. My buddy's broke the first day out. Fins also start to sag after a break in period of 2-3 cases. rapid shakes can jar balls out of the hopper, but regular movement, uniform movement, or swaying does not appear to rattle balls loose like it does in other feeds.
Tips - be sure to line up the feed with the screw pegs.
Virtue's attempt at what looks to be something like a spine-feed. It has soft variable length rubbery fingers that prevent balls from escaping. They're also easily replaced, so if one breaks/is lost/etc, you don't have to spend another $35 on a speed feed. Fits on similarly to the Dye Feedgate. Does a fair job keeping paint in. Not as "1 ball at a time" friendly as the Dye one - but does a fair job keeping paint in, while allowing paint to enter the gate easily.
Gripes - The fingers easily dislodge from the rubber retainer piece. Included "fixed" gap-ring is cut just slightly too big to be usable. Short fingers seem to have limited utility - as more balls escaped alternating short&long..than just using all long fingers. Can't easily find replacement fingers to purchase.
Tips - At this point, unless someone has a recommendation as to how to jimmy-rig this to work properly without damaging or changing the state of my Rotor...or they fix this issue...I'm gonna say...don't buy it.