Impulse – The Beat Goes On
Smart Parts unveils the all new Impulse professional tournament marker at Bitburg Millennium Series event.
Loyalhanna, PA – May 28, 2009 – The Classic Impulse was one of the most popular electropneumatic paintball markers ever produced. It found its way into the winner's circle in the hands of teams like the All Americans and Strange. Pros loved it for its performance and amateurs loved it for its price. Even though it has been out of production for several years, it remains a popular used marker due to its fast rate of fire, simple cleaning requirements and rock-solid reliability.
Now, the beat goes on. Paintball players at the 2009 MAXS European Masters paintball tournament in Bitburg, Germany were treated to the unveiling of the all new Smart Parts Impulse. Smaller, faster and smoother than its legendary predecessor, the Impulse is built to exceed the needs of today's professional tournament paintball player.
“The Classic Impulse was a phenomenally successful marker and players have been asking us to bring it back for some time,” said Smart Parts Vice President, Adam Gardner, “but we weren't going to do it until we could do it right. That all came down to perfecting a new valve and dual-regulation system that gives us the speed and gas efficiency players expect from a poppet valve marker, combined with the smooth kick-free shooting that we deliver in our best spool valve paintguns.”
True to its heritage, the Impulse is a stacked tube marker, but this isn't just a modification of the Classic, it is an all new marker with a more compact design, and numerous new features including:
* Pressure balanced poppet valve allowing 1700 to 1800 shots from a 4500 psi 68ci system
* Dual regulation allowing extremely low bolt force and eliminating kick
* Air buffered firing piston shoots smoother with less vibration
* Ultra-compact in-grip regulators reduce forward weight for improved balance
* Hose-free design eliminating common leak points
* Rechargeable lithium polymer battery powering the Impulse through approximately 100,000 shots per charge
* Hinged Vision eye covers open without tools for cleaning and aren't easily lost because they stay attached to the marker
* Volume chamber fore-grip eliminates shoot-down
* Modular body design allowing for fast repairs and mix-and-match color styling
* Freak compatible barrel system accepts bore inserts for changing paint sizes
* Trigger based programming with modes for all major leagues and scenario use
* Q-Lock feedneck quickly clamps and adjusts to all high performance hoppers
“The keys to the new Impulse design are its valve and regulators.” says Hans Semelsberger, Smart Parts' Director of Technical Sales. “Most poppet valves are pushed closed by the air inside, so when the pressure is right for good efficiency, you have to hit them pretty hard to knock them open, and that shakes the gun, throwing off your aim. Our pressure balanced valve lets the air pressure push forward and backwards on the valve core at the same time. Those forces cancel each other out and the valve opens easily regardless of the pressure inside. It's so soft, I can push it open with my little finger. Because the valve opens so easily, we are able to use two-stage regulation to drive the firing piston with very low pressure gas. That makes the Impulse gentle on paint, and lets it shoot without kick.”
The all new Impulse will be shown at the PSP Chicago Open in Bolingbrook Illinois, June 24th-28th, 2009, and will be available soon at Authorized Smart Parts dealers everywhere.
Smart Parts, Inc., is a leading developer and manufacturer of equipment and accessories for the sport of paintball. Smart Parts, Vision, Freak Jr., The Freak and Impulse are registered trademarks of Smart Parts, Inc.
Impulse Frequently Asked Questions
May 28, 2009
Smart Parts, Inc.
What barrel thread pattern does the Impulse use?
The same thread pattern that was introduced with the Classic Impulse. Because this is now the thread pattern used on all Smart Parts markers, it is now simply referred to as Smart Parts threading.
How much does the Impulse weigh?
Weight of the Impulse is approximately 2.1 pounds.
Can the Impulse be upgraded with a tapeworm mod?
The Tapeworm Mod was a popular upgrade for the Classic Impulse, however it is not necessary on the new Impulse because it already features dual-stage regulation.
If spool valves are so great, why make a poppet valve marker?
Some players like the feel of a spool valve marker, while some prefer a poppet. Regardless of their preference, all players are looking for performance – that's where the Impulse delivers.
Does the release of the new Impulse mark the end of the Shocker product line?
No. In fact, this new product release proves that the Shocker SFT and Shocker NXT were not the end of the Impulse.
Why is the Impulse pressure balanced poppet valve a big deal?
Most poppet valves are pushed closed by the gas used to fire the marker. At the pressure ranges needed to obtain efficient operation (in terms of shots per tank fill) these valves must be struck fairly hard in order to knock them open and fire a paintball. The balanced valve in the Impulse also uses air-pressure to counter-act the pressure pushing it closed. It opens with little force, regardless of the pressure it is holding back. The balanced valve requires so little force to open that on prototype marker one of our engineers was actually able to fire the marker by pushing the valve open with his little finger. Since the valve takes less force to open, the Impulse is not shaken by the recoil of a hard hitting heavy hammer or ram.
Is the small part sticking out under the Impulse barrel a volume chamber?
No. The fire valve housing is an integral part of the pressure balanced poppet valve. The tail end of the valve is exposed to outside air through a passage in the center of the housing. The difference in pressure between the gas inside the valve, and the outside atmosphere is what provides the balancing force for the valve.
What is the advantage of dual-stage regulation?
The best pressure for firing a paintball and getting maximum air efficiency is not necessarily the best pressure to drive the firing piston which closes the bolt and opens the poppet valve. By regulating these gas supplies separately, each can be optimized for its own function. The Impulse uses approximately 50 psi to drive its firing piston. Compared to competing brand markers that drive pneumatic rams or hammers at 120 psi or more, this pressure reduction means that the Impulse bolt does not strike paint as hard, nor does it cause appreciable recoil or kick. This ultra-low force piston is only possible with the combination of the pressure balanced valve and dual-stage regulation.
Where are the Impulse's regulators and how are they adjusted?
Both the primary and second-stage regulators for the Impulse are built into small rectangular cartridges housed inside the grip frame. They are adjusted using allen-wrenches through the Impulse control panel - a rubber panel on the back of the grip frame. The modular design of the regulators also makes them quite simple to remove, inspect and clean or repair.
If the regulators are in the grip frame, what is in the foregrip?
The Impulse foregrip is an over-sized expanded volume chamber for the pressure balanced poppet valve. It provides a buffering reservoir of gas immediately adjacent to the valve, to prevent velocity drop-off under rapid fire. The bottom of the foregrip also contains an integrated relief valve to protect the Impulse from over-pressurization in case of a compressed air system regulator failure.
Can an aftermarket regulator be screwed in place of the foregrip, bypassing the primary Impulse regulator?
No, the Impulse foregrip does not use an ASA connection to attach to the marker body. A customized adapter and additional modifications would be required to use a different regulator.
The Impulse has no hoses on the outside, but what about the inside?
The Impulse has no hoses on the inside either. Compressed air is routed through the regulators, grip frame and body via channels machined within the aluminum walls of those parts. A pair of stainless steel transfer linkages route gas from the grip frame into the body.
Why is the Impulse firing piston air buffered?
By restricting gas flow vented from the firing piston, an air pressure buffer is created, slowing the piston and bolt as they near the end of their stroke. By slowing these parts, rather than letting them slam to an abrupt halt on impact with the valve, recoil is further eliminated from the Impulse's firing cycle.
What kind of HPA system should be used with the Impulse?
The Impulse will perform optimally with a compressed air system delivering between 600 and 900 psi. “Low-Output” compressed air systems outputting 400 psi, are not recommended, as they may not react fast enough to maintain consistent pressure under high rates of fire.
Will the Impulse run on CO2?
The Impulse was designed from day one to run on compressed air only. The integrated relief valve that protects the Impulse from HPA regulator failure also protects it from the pressure spikes related to CO2, so although the marker is not designed for CO2 use, it is protected from CO2 related pressure damage.
Why is an integrated relief valve important?
Increasingly, compressed air system some manufacturers (not Smart Parts) save money by neglecting to include output-pressure burst disks or relief valves in their products. If such an unprotected air system should develop an internal leak, it could deliver full tank pressure to a marker. The Impulse's built-in relief valve protects the marker's solenoid valve seals and other components that could otherwise be damaged by over-pressurization.
Does the Impulse use a spoopet valve?
No. The Impulse has a pressure balanced poppet valve. Internet rumors have suggested that Smart Parts was soon to release a marker with a valve that was a hybrid of spool and poppet valve designs. These rumors were not true. The Impulse is a poppet valve marker. Although it is not a spool valve, the new Impulse valve core does share a feature in common with the some Smart Parts spool valves designs – a tail. The tail end of the valve core is exposed to the outside air, the same as the pin end. This allows the gas pressure in the Impulse valve to press equally in both directions, resulting in a balanced valve that requires very little force to open.
Is the Impulse compatible with integrated air accessories for the Luxe from DLX Technology Group?
No. Although the Impulse bottom-line ASA and optional drop spacer rail work similar to those components on a Luxe, placement of their air ports is different, due to the requirements of the regulators placed within the grip.
Is the Impulse battery strong enough to get through a full weekend of paintball?
That really depends how much you shoot in a weekend. A fully charged Impulse battery will power the marker for approximately 100,000 shots under optimal conditions.
How long does it take the Impulse battery to charge?
Approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Charging time is affected by temperature, and battery discharge level.
What if there isn't time to charge the battery?
A second Lithium Polymer battery is included with the Impulse, and the battery side of the grip frame features Smart Parts quick grip snaps. The grip can be opened almost instantly without tools, and the low battery exchanged for a full battery in a matter of seconds.
What countries will the Impulse charger work in?
The Impulse charger is designed for universal operation with 110 or 220 volt AC wall outlets in most countries of the world. Prong adapters may be required outside of the US, Canada or Mexico.
Does the Impulse have a “Cricket” board?
No, the Impulse uses trigger-based programming with multi-colored LED feedback through the power button on the rear of its grip frame.
Is the Impulse circuit board tournament legal?
Yes, the Impulse features firing modes specifically designed to comply with the rules of all the current leading tournament series, and can be upgraded by Smart Parts techs, in case of a rules change. Additional scenario and recreational modes such as multi-shot burst, and Billy Ball are also included. The Impulse features a tournament lock button on the circuit board, that prevents mode changes from being made on the field.
If the grip opens without tools for a battery change, can't a player open it to access the tournament lock during a game?
No. The left side of the grip opens with quick-snap connectors for fast battery changes. The right side is secured with button-head screws that require an allen-wrench for removal. The field-lock button is on the right side of the Impulse circuit board, and can not be accessed without tools.
What type of ball detents does the Impulse use?
Rubber nubbin style detents. The detents are located behind the Vision eye covers.
Why does the Impulse have a two-piece body?
The two piece body allows the electronics of the Vision anti-chop system to remain completely internal without bolt-on wire/eye covers, and provides machining access for the internal gas passages used by the Impulse's hose-free design. It also allows for some interesting parts color combination possibilities and unusual feature upgrades.
How difficult is it to access the Vision sensors for cleaning?
No tools are required. Each eye cover has a knurled latch. Pressing down on the latch releases the eye cover to swing open.
What prevents the eye covers from getting lost in a staging area?
The Impulse Vision eye covers are hinged to the marker frame. They are not removed during normal maintenance, instead they are opened.
Do the eye covers pop open from a paintball hit, or gas pressure when shooting?
No. Inside each eye cover, a small o-ring acts as a spring, securely holding the eye cover latch in the locked position.
How difficult is it to re-seat the Vision sensors in the body after cleaning?
It is not difficult at all, because it is automatic. Both the Vision emitter and detector sit in pockets within the eye cover, held in place by a pair of brackets. As the eye cover is opened, they swing out with it, exposing the optical surface for cleaning, and the Vision beam path in the body. When the Vision eye cover is closed, they are perfectly re-aligned to the body.
How complex is removal of the pressure balanced valve core?
No tools are required, the valve housing can be unscrewed by hand for removal of the vale spring and valve core. If the housing has been over-tightened, it may be removed with an allen-wrench.
How complex is removal of the body from the grip frame?
The rubber grip must be removed, the Vision system and solenoid valve unplugged from the circuit board, two grip frame screws removed, and the grip may be removed from the body. The gas transfer linkages unplug from the Impulse body, and plug back in automatically as the two parts are rejoined.
How complex is separation of the upper body from the lower body?
With the body off the grip frame, and the bolt lifted out, three screws are removed, and the two pieces separate easily.
How complex is removal of the bolt?
It is very simple, just lift up on the bolt pin and slide the bolt out the back of the body.
How complex is removal of the firing piston?
One allen wrench is needed to unscrew the rear cap from the Impulse. After the bolt has been removed, the firing piston is free to slide out the back.
Does the Impulse include a Q-Lock feedneck?
Yes, that is a standard feature.
How complex is removal of the Q-Lock?
One screw clamps the Q-Lock securely in place.
What is different between the Impulse barrel back and The Freak barrel back?
Functionally, the parts are the same. The Impulse barrel back features a different external design. Some of the first photographed and released Impulse markers were shown with The Freak barrel back.
Can parts of the Impulse be mixed-and matched with different color combinations like they were with the Classic Impulse?
Yes, the Impulse has a very modular design. Even the body is built with an upper and lower section.