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So you want to build a Mechanical Ion?

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    So you want to build a Mechanical Ion?

    I've noticed there has been a big influx of "how do I build" posts for these. I figured that I'd start off a (hopefully stickied in the future) thread that has some pics and diagrams on how to build and where to buy, from my experiences.

    Parts:
    • Complete Ion (All banjos, even with a broken board since we are ripping it out)
    • A length of Cocker microline (I suggest getting it from Maggot)
    • SMAV-3 (From Clippard)
    • T33-2 (From Clippard)
    • SMAV-3 Mount (From SSC)
    OK, let's do this!

    After taking the grip frame from the body, disconnect all the hoses from the PTC connectors on the banjos and pull the wire harness for the eyes and the eye board. You'll end up with something like this pic from ZDSPB.com:
    ​​
    • Next you'll need to pull the 1/8" hose from the plastic barb on the board
      BE CAREFUL! If you want the ability to change back to electropneumatic, the barb can be fragile. Be super gentle as you are pulling it off the board. If you don't care, go to town but being gentle will keep you on track without having to trim any bits of the hose off
      • Also, if you have enough cocker hose, you can just leave this hose on the barb and run enough to and from the SMAV-3
    • Next, pull the larger stock hoses from the Solenoid Head
    • Push the hoses onto the T33-2 t barb
    • Push the opposite end of the 1/8" hose onto the back end of the SMAV-3 (NO Inlet (1))
      • Note: NC Inlet (3) is not used
    • Take the cocker hose and run it from the SMAV-3 (Outlet (2)) to the 1/8" PTC connector on the Front Banjo Bolt of the Firing Can
    It should look something like this pic from SSC's kit:
    • Push the 2 4mm hoses into their original 5/32" PTC connectors on the Banjos
    At this point, you can officially air it up and cycle it to test for leaks and proper plumbing. You can also take this time to measure your cocker hose going from the SMAV-3 to the PTC. Trim as needed and make sure you have enough room for all the hoses to live in the tray area while not pinching off any air.

    Here's a cleaner view of how your layout should look:


    Once you you've got it all buttoned up, go have some fun!

    A couple of takeaways:
    • This is a base build - There are more things to buy to make it even better.
    • Stock/single oring bolt - There is no seal for the air when you keep the trigger pulled. It will just dump all kinds of air. you need to be really quick and crisp with your trigger pulls. (Think of trying to rip with a Cocker.)
    • You can cut your own channel for a dual tail oring.
      • Thanks Jordan for supplying this diagram!
      • It's also been said that you can send stock bolts to SSC to get them cut for cheap
    • Moar air stuff - A 360 QEV will help with air efficiency too.
    • No Safety - With how tiny the trigger pull is, you need to be really aware of your trigger control. Adding an on/off ASA can help with this.
    • If you aren't about that DIY life by sourcing all of your own parts, you can get the drop in kit from SSC.
    • Speaking of SSC, while I developed my own SMAV-3 mount, it's not ready for prime time and I recommend getting theirs... for now.
    • Air efficiency isn't great without updating the bolt to dual tail and getting a QEV. I can do 2 rounds with a hopper and maybe 1 to 1.5 pods before I have to get more air on my 48/3000 HPA tank.
      • That's roughly 400-450-ish rounds so if you are playing at home, this is pretty under the rough calc for 480 shots on a 48/3000.
      • You can use a 68/4500 but that's a bandaid to the air efficiency problem.
      • I'll be doing a top to bottom air efficiency video soon once I've got all the parts to compare
    If you haven't seen the shooting vid on my other thread, here ya go!
    https://youtu.be/bxjJ40HQmWM

    What's great about this build is that once you have all your parts assembled, it's only about 15 minutes of work!

    ---

    SMAV-3 Mount

    As with the content up top, I added more info to my blog post about building one of these Ions. Here's a reworked version that suits the forum better

    OK, people have asked about mounts and dimensions. I've previously talked about the mount I designed as well as the one from Super Stanchy Customs. For the record, the SSC mount is great! It's well designed. The mount has multiple points with set screws for fine tuning your trigger engage point on the trigger. (See the 2nd pic, above.)

    With only seeing pics of their mount, I set off to design something that would provide the same kind of thing that I can 3D Print, at home, that's not a knock off. That's the hard part... A block of plastic, that mounts and holds a SMAV-3.



    Some of the process was measuring and looking at the specs of the SMAV-3 and printing a couple of test pieces.

    Rinse and repeat.

    After making 5 total versions, I was able to make something that not only looked good, it was highly functional! It only required 1 setscrew, the height is adjustable by utilizing the original board slot, the back end is angled to provide additional reinforcement/distribute stress to the back of the grip frame instead of only on the rail and setscrew, and there are recesses for the grip panel screws to act as additional mount points.



    General Dimensions:
    • SMAV-3 Mount hole - 1/4"
      Allow for extra tolerances to slide it in since it's mounted by a threaded nut or you'll have to do some sanding
    • SMAV-3 Mount Tab - 4.00mm
    • Minimum Distance SMAV-3 - 3.75mm (from center to deck)
    • Full Mount Length - 20.25mm
    • Full Mount Height - 20.00mm
    • Full Mount Width - 13.50mm
    • Mount Deck Height - 9.50mm
    I let off the extra nuances for the large set screw, grip covers mount points, and rail since these things aren't for everyone. If you are designing your own to model/print or fully machine, this should get you started!

    If you want the mount as I have in the pic, I published it to Thingiverse!
    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4738833
    Last edited by ChoSanJuan; 02-17-2021, 10:39 AM.
    Fred aka ChoSanJuan
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    #2
    Great writeup!
    This should be stickied ...
    Love my brass ... Love my SSR ... Hard choices ...

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    • ChoSanJuan

      ChoSanJuan

      commented
      Editing a comment
      Woo, thanks!

    #3
    Nice, very nice. But, for the guys like me Who live in Europe, buy a ssc bracket will be really expensive with shipping and border fees. And I can mill one for me but I need lenght, hight to cut it.

    Comment


      #4
      Originally posted by fouge View Post
      Nice, very nice. But, for the guys like me Who live in Europe, buy a ssc bracket will be really expensive with shipping and border fees. And I can mill one for me but I need lenght, hight to cut it.
      Thanks!

      That's fair... Let me get out some calipers and share some dimensions of my mount. I'll update the main post when it's done.
      Fred aka ChoSanJuan
      Team: With Intent
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        #5
        I've done two SSC kits, one with the dual tail bolt, and one with a Shocktech Supafly bolt. Hopefully I can get some efficiency numbers for comparison. Also I'm tracking down an L6 bolt hopefully soon, so I'll have that super light bolt and maybe better numbers there. Mine both run a clippard QEV as well

        Comment


        • Myrkul

          Myrkul

          commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm more curious about the different operating pressures the different aftermarket bolts require to achieve velocity. Right now I have a NDZ firing can in my mech Epiphany and a SP 360 QEV with the SSC dual tail firebolt and its shooting great at 160 PSI. I have stuck my finger in the breach and fired it (Too many lvl 10 automags) and it was shockingly gentle. I suspect that if the operating pressure is low enough it would be possible to get these to stop on a paintball similar to a level 10, just with no venting. I'm hunting around for either a lucky or NDZ donut right now to hopefully shave a few more PSI off the operating pressure, and then it's going to come down to the bolts. I suspect that the Tech-T Level 6 is going to function the best at lower pressures, but am super curious to see if you could get pressure readings as well when you do your efficiency test.

        #6
        Where does the qev go and how many?

        Comment


        • JeeperCreeper
          JeeperCreeper commented
          Editing a comment
          The qev replaces the middle banjo fitting on the breach. It's the smaller one of all the fittings

        • ChoSanJuan

          ChoSanJuan

          commented
          Editing a comment
          To further this, it's the same QEV install for standard Ions. If you want to cobble one together, you can get a MEV-2 and a 10-32 threaded to 1/8" PTC collar from Clippard (PQ-CC04N).

        #7
        I can use an aftermarket bolt with 2 orings like beoranged bolt or tech T bolt in a mech ion without issues?

        Comment


        • JeeperCreeper
          JeeperCreeper commented
          Editing a comment
          Good luck finding a TechT. Just took me 3 months to track down an L6 and I had to buy stuff I don't need with it

        #8
        Originally posted by fouge View Post
        I can use an aftermarket bolt with 2 orings like beoranged bolt or tech T bolt in a mech ion without issues?
        That's exactly what machining the bolt on your own will do without DIYing it. The dual tail oring bolts will stop it from dumping air when you keep the trigger pulled.
        Fred aka ChoSanJuan
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          #9
          OK, updated first post to include my musings about the SMAV-3 mount.

          fouge
          Fred aka ChoSanJuan
          Team: With Intent
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            #10
            Nice. Thanks, you're helping me

            Comment


            • ChoSanJuan

              ChoSanJuan

              commented
              Editing a comment
              Always happy to help!

            #11
            Someone can confirm me the size of barbs for the t33 part before I'll order? That's 1/8" for the bottom barb and 3/32" for the right and left barbs?

            Comment


              #12
              https://www.clippard.com/part/T33-2-BLK
              Here you go!

              Edit - Fixed the dimensions.
              Last edited by ChoSanJuan; 02-05-2021, 02:16 PM.
              Fred aka ChoSanJuan
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                #13
                No, you want 1/16" ID for the smaller port (1/8" OD hose)

                Comment


                  #14
                  Originally posted by Jordan View Post
                  No, you want 1/16" ID for the smaller port (1/8" OD hose)
                  Oops, fixing!
                  Fred aka ChoSanJuan
                  Team: With Intent
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                    #15
                    Thanks you all.

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