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Old 06-18-2017, 09:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Azodin KD-II: Data and Questions

I recently purchased an Azodin KD-II. After playing with all kinds of markers over the last 18 years, I wondered if technology had improved on blowbacks. If modern solenoid poppets are operating under 200psi, I assumed mechanical blowbacks had to be getting close. My first marker was a Kingman Spyder SE. After considerable upgrades, it could shoot at 280 fps around 450 psi. However, to reliably achieve the higher rates of fire from an aftermarket e-frame, I ran it at 525 psi. I was pleased to see a blowback marker from Azodin that claimed 225 psi operation pressure.

Unfortunately mine has a bad valve or cup seal causing what I'll call a "slight to moderate" leak down the barrel. After playing with the regulator pressure and valve spring tension, it would only fully seal with the regulator around 90% open. A quick e-mail to Azodin, and new parts are on the way. Thanks Azodin!

Disclaimer: The following was performed with the slight to moderate leak down the barrel. I plan to repeat when I get the replacement parts and more paint. I wanted to see the effect of each adjustment -- regulator pressure, hammer spring, and valve spring. I've attached a spreadsheet below.

Although still impressive, the pressure required to achieve typical field velocity (280 fps) was higher than expected (around 310 psi). I by no means trust the mini gage (on another marker) as a perfect measuring device, but it is a good reference. Furthermore, pressure vs. turns is quite linear, at least across the turns/pressures I tested, so again, it's a good reference.

I'm sure a non-leaking marker and a better paint to barrel bore match would improve things. Again, I plan to repeat this testing when the new parts arrive, and I get some more paint. I have no intentions of bore matching. I overbore, except when using my Autococker to prevent rollouts.



My questions are:
1. Lightest valve spring with lowest requisite regulator pressure seems easiest on paint but worst for efficiency. Highest valve spring with higher requisite regulator pressure would be harder on paint but better for efficiency. Does anyone know approximate shots per (insert tank size/pressure here) for lightest valve spring? Highest valve spring? Or simply a % difference between the two extremes, ceteris paribus?
2. Is 225 psi operating pressure truly achievable for 280-300 fps?
3. Anything else I should test?

Last edited by nak81783; 07-15-2017 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I imagine 225 is achievable. I'm doing similar testing as you are right now for a magfed conversion kit for the Azodin markers. One of the things I've been playing with is the chamber volume depth and even with a small chamber volume, one that is smaller than it should be, I'm getting 375 psi working well. The next test body will have a larger chamber volume by .5" and should allow me to drop my psi down a bit lower. As you state, though, the lower the psi, often the worse efficiency you get. But the way I look at it, is that with magfed guns you'll be able to refill your tank long before you'll shoot enough mags for it to be an issue. So I'm not worrying about the low pressure and efficiency right now and instead focusing on getting the lowest kick and quietest shot I can manage.

Something you might consider to help your testing is to get this: https://www.customproducts.us/products/detail/4844

This will let you put a gauge on it and you can mess with the pressure more easily. That is what I do, only I use a digital gauge attached to macroline.

Really what I would love for you to test, or at least data I would love to have, is what you asked yourself. As in, how many shots/tank you get using a KD2. This way I could compare this against what I'm seeing. I've been using a 45/45 and that is what I plan to suggest people use with my conversion kits as they are small and plenty enough air for magfed volumes of paint. But knowing what a KD2 gets out of that same volume would let me see how my conversion kit compares.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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May I ask how you are altering chamber volume?

I thought about a gage adapter. However, that changes chamber volume, since its downstream from the HPR. I do not know to what extent, but if small spring changes can make a difference, I expect small volume chamber changes can too. Plus, I'm trying to keep the marker in stock configuration. I removed the HPR, and put it on the marker with the gage (no leaks on the other marker). So I know the readings were as accurate as the gage allows. Since it was so linear, I'll probably just calculate from here on out and maybe check it on the other marker a few more times.

With your input, I assume my leaking cup seal is having much more of an effect than I initially thought. I guess I'll find out when the replacement parts arrive.

As far as shot count, I would like to set the marker at the requisite pressure to achieve 280fps for both extremes of the valve spring adjustment, leaving the hammer spring all the way out. From there I'll do a partial fill, cycle the marker until it sputters, note the pressure it stopped reliably cycling, and calculate what a full tank would provide. I know this is cycles, not shots, but it should be close. I'll reset to the gentle on paint setting, and see how many shots I get next time I play at the field. There's still a lot of variables in there (e.g., rate of fire, bore match, etc.), but it should give a general idea. After that, I'll apply the percent difference from the cycles to calculate what it might get on the highest efficiency setting. Again, not perfect, but it's something.
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Old 06-21-2017, 02:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm adjusting the length of the body and increasing/decreasing the volume. It requires making a new body each time.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Would making different size "gage adapters" between the reg and VASA achieve the same thing more easily, or does the 90 degree bend the added volume of air would have to take to get through the valve not work?
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Old 06-22-2017, 03:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't have a good answer to that. I've done two things. One, make a small piece that fits into the valve chamber to lower it's volume, and then make different bodies with different chambers. As to the specifics of fluid dynamics and if/how the vasa/reg volume makes a difference I can't say. I have done all of my testing with the same reg to try and keep as much the same, at least regarding chamber volume. But when testing different regs, each with different volumes between the reg and the vasa, I did not see a psi change that I can recall. So, I don't know know, but my guess is that the vasa to body transfer holes can act as a restriction to flow. A bigger hole/s would help with that and could potentially act to increase the valve chamber volume. My guess is that would be ideal. Though I did find there is a maximum chamber volume. Beyond a certain volume it didn't make any difference or it wasn't noticeable anyways. Through really what made the bigger difference is the valve that was used. High flow valves make a bigger difference than the chamber volume seems to.

But test it out. I wrote down a list of all variables I could think of to test for designing my guns and it took up two pages. There are so many many possibilities/variable. So go for it. Maybe you'll find something new, or at least something that isn't readily available on a free-to-all forum.
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Old 06-22-2017, 04:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I received the new parts today. It sealed right up and shot fine. Nothing changed from the chart above though. I got 75 cycles on ~500psi from a 48 ci tank, shooting it from 1500psi to 1000psi, with the same settings that achieved 280 fps. That equates to ~890 shots on a 68/4500, if you assume it will stop shooting at 280 fps at 310psi.
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That's pretty good I would think. I'll do the same thing with one of my guns when I get it to around 225/250 psi and report back myself.
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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After speaking with Azodin tech support some more, they were concerned about me having to turn the regulator 4.5 turns to achieve 280 fps, as this should equate to approximately 450psi for their regulator. In summary, when I increased the regulator pressure to seal the initial faulty cup seal, I damaged the regulator spring and seat. Despite this clearly being my error (I should have just contacted them first and waited for the new parts), they are sending me new regulator parts free of charge. I wanted to document this as evidence of their continued great support.

As for shot count, I actually think it sounds low. I don't know what effect the regulator parts will have (it was still +/- 5 fps with the damaged parts and consistent on the other marker's mini-gage), what the difference between actual shots instead of cycles will be, or how accurate the gage is on my tank (which is critical in the 890 cycle calculation). I plan to use it tonight for drop in league night at TC Paintball in Grand Rapids, MI (advert op!). I'll try to get more accurate numbers with actual paint and playing situations.
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I wasn't able to use it at TC GR on 6/23/17. The bad reg seat reared its ugly head and sent full tank pressure into the marker. It caused the paintball hose effect described below.

Here are some edited excerpts from a similar thread on PBN.
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With all bad parts replaced, I was disappointed that I couldn't get 280fps out of this marker at 225-250psi, but then I realized I was getting too caught up in the numbers. Efficiency seems fairly poor at the lower pressures, and it was double-shooting/breaking paint. The detents are fine, but it was quite the phenomenon. With the valve spring tension as light as it could be (in an effort to use more volume and lowest pressure possible), I think the valve was still open when the bolt was far enough back to let another ball in the chamber. Frequently, two balls would shoot out, one about a foot or two after the first, for a single cycle of the bolt (no burping/sputtering). Sometimes a third would get lodged partially down the barrel, so the next shot would smack into it, making a mess down the barrel. I had my Dye Rotor LT-R tension turned out three turns from flush, so the tension was set quite low. Furthermore, this didn't happen when more tension was put on the valve spring. Lastly, when I had the bad reg seat, it would let tank pressure (800+psi) through the reg. The valve couldn't seal once that happened, so it was a constant hose of balls as the marker just dumped air through the valve and out the barrel. There's a video on youtube of a guy with a similar (or same) thing happening.

Anyway, there are, obviously, and as the manual states, efficiency gains as the valve spring is put under higher tension. This requires higher regulator pressure, and the marker has more kick. The higher pressures don't seem to be breaking paint, and I can hardly notice the recoil difference.

Here's the data from the last test I did that convinced me to just play with it with "mid-range" settings, and adjust from there if I need changes to efficiency, recoil, or gentleness on paint.

1A. Hammer 2.5 turns in from flush with back cap (50% through Azodin's 5 turn max recommendation), valve spring 4.5 turns in from front c-clip (~75%), pressure required to achieve 275fps was 400psi. This resulted in about 900 cycles on a 68/4500.
1B. At 400psi, 4.5 turns in on valve, 1.25 (25%) turns in on hammer, velocity was 260-ish
1C. At 400psi, 4.5 turns in on valve, 3.75 (75%) turns in on hammer, velocity was 290-ish

2A. Hammer 2.5 turns in, valve spring 3 turns in (50%), pressure required to achieve 275fps was 365psi. This resulted about 855 cycles on a 68/4500.
2B. At 365psi, 3 turns in on valve, 1.25 turns in on hammer, velocity was 265-ish
2C. At 365psi, 3 turns in on valve, 3.75 turns in on hammer, velocity was 285-ish

3A. Hammer 2.5 turns in, valve spring 1.5 turns in (25%), pressure required to achieve 275fps was 350psi. This resulted in about 810 cycles on a 68/4500.
3B. At 350psi, 1.5 turns in on valve, 1.25 turns in on hammer, velocity was 275fps (no change)
3C. At 350psi, 1.5 turns in on valve, 3.75 turns in on hammer, velocity was 275fps (no change)

It seems at the lower valve tension settings, increasing hammer tension does nothing to increase velocity. I believe this is because the valve is already being fully opened, no matter what the hammer spring tension. Only increasing pressure can increase velocity at very low valve tension setting.

I may repeat this at maximum valve tension to see what maximum efficiency could be via the valve spring adjustment.

However, I think my end goal will be to set the hammer spring at 2.5 turns in and adjust the valve spring until the regulator sweet spots right around 270fps, as long as it doesn't break paint, and I don't mind the extra recoil. From there, I would just make tiny adjustments with the hammer spring. Hopefully, there's enough adjustment in the valve spring to do this. If not, I may have to set the hammer spring initial value differently.

If this gets too tedious, and I stop having fun, I'll just enjoy it at mid-range settings.
----------
I ended up sweet-spotting my reg. It was a very short task, as the 1A settings from above were the sweet spot. Turning pressure up or down reduced velocity. I finally got to play with it today (7/2/17). Shot about 1500 rounds of Valken Graffiti. Zero issues. Efficiency was much better than previously described as well. I assumed it would be, as I've read (and experienced with my Automags) actually shooting paint is typically more efficient than just dry firing. I never ran through an entire tank from full to empty, but I was watching the gage before and after games compared to how much paint I shot. Ratio-ing my actual results (300 from 1000psi, 460 from 1500 psi, etc.) to a full 68/4500 would result in about 1200 shots, assuming the marker would stop cycling reliably at 280fps and a fast rate of fire around 500 psi left in the tank.

...if you want the lightest shot, wouldn't you simply leave hammer and valve springs as light as possible, and adjust velocity solely with reg pressure? This is my plan next time I use this marker. Except, I'll have to screw in the valve spring some to avoid the double shots I mentioned earlier from the valve being open way too long. I'm curious to see how efficient it is with these settings.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with the marker. For $200, it has quite a bit of soul (way more than any electro I've owned or shot). Is it an Automag or Autococker? No. But for less than half the price, it's a heck of a lot of fun and a great addition to my mechanical arsenal.
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