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Old 08-22-2014, 01:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Review of the Dangerous Power Fusion Elite --- A Novel by CA_Tectonics

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Review of the Dangerous Power Fusion Elite

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to do some evaluation and testing of the new Dangerous Power Elite. From my understanding, the Elite I used is very similar to the actual production run model. There are a couple of very small differences that I will note in the text below (the differences are the finish of the accents – gloss vs. the dust on mine and the LPR sleigh will not be included in the production run). I know many will want to know how the Elite stacks up to other markers on the market and, specifically, how it compares to the Dangerous Power FX. I will do my best to make those comparisons in this write-up. I also want to give a little disclaimer that all of the testing, tuning, and playing I have put into the Elite was done with all stock parts as much as possible. Therefore, tuning was done with the stock barrel, which results in a large overbore for the reball and paint sizes I use.

I have organized this write-up into parts so that it is easier to follow and easier for me to write and edit if anything should change in the future. If edits are justified, I’ll be keeping the original text here and line it out or use a different color text for changes. My goal is to provide an accurate and thorough evaluation of the Elite. Of course I will be adding my own opinions on things since many subjects are subjective but I will note my opinions accordingly. I did take A LOT of pictures and have included some of them here so, be warned and get comfy; this is going to be a long one. Enough on this rambling intro and on to the good stuff…….


What you get:

In my opinion, the Dangerous Power Fusion Elite comes VERY well packaged. I received the Elite in a standard brown shipping box which contained some bundled up packaging paper to take up void space along with bubble wrap. The Elite’s first layer of packaging is a nice cardstock paper box. There is the usual graphics included on the outside, similar to the Dangerous Power markers of the past. The Elite box includes a sturdy plastic handle on the top as well as the marker color and serial number on the side.





When opening the top of the Elite box, you will be greeted with the 2nd and 3rd layers of packaging. The 2nd layer consists of a simple foam pocket that the 3rd and final packaging is in…..a marker case.




The foam pocket works great for keeping the marker case from rubbing the inside of the box. So, because of the foam pocket, the outside of the marker case was perfect. No scratches or rub/wear marks to be seen anywhere.

The Elite’s marker case is the same as what the Rev-i comes in. It is a black hard case with the dense foam section for the marker and a center divider that has elastic barrel loops on the back side. As with the Rev-i case, on the marker side of the divider are two pockets with a see-through mesh material front. One is a smaller open pocket that contains a barrel condom and the other pocket is closable, via a Velcro tab, which contains the full color manual, a quick start tuning guide, and some stickers.


Departing from the Rev-I case design is the layout of the dense foam. There are 2 layers of dense foam in the Elite case. The top layer is removable and consists of the cut-out silhouette of the Elite. When the top layer is removed, two cut-outs are reveled in the bottom layer – one for a set of allen wrenches and the other for a small parts kit.


With everything in place, the Elite is well protected and secure. Everything else is also nice and snug in place so there is no likelihood of metal objects rubbing together, unless one puts metal objects in the mesh pockets.

Moving on from the packaging are the accessories and documents you get with the Elite.


As they have done in the past, the Elite comes with a full color booklet style manual that covers everything from how to adjust the feedneck thumb screw to how to program the OLED board. The manual contains sections, with color pictures, for the “how to” type of typical maintenance along with recommended marker tuning methods for the operating pressure regulator (OPR – aka the HPR) and the low pressure regulator (LPR). In addition to the manual is a single page pamphlet style quick start tuning guide. The quick start guide is something Dangerous Power has added for those who just want to open the box, put a battery in, and start using the Elite right away. The bulk of the quick start guide is a step by step guide from installing the battery to ready to fire. On the back side are recommendations for how to fine tune the OPR and LPR. What the quick start tuning guide does not include is any in-depth board settings. The only board settings the quick start tuning guide covers are the solenoid dwell and the bolt return set points. If you want to open the box, air up, and ramp at 10.2 bps, you’ll have to look to the manual in order to find that kind of set-up information.

Now, I believe there are going to be some revisions to both the manual and quick start tuning guide compared to the copies I have. However, there are a couple things that I want to mention regarding some of the instructions in both documents I have. First is with regards to the instructions in the manual for turning the eyes on and off, for scrolling through firing modes, and for increasing and decreasing marker set points. I believe the text in the manual version I have is opposite what is necessary for the above mentioned tasks. To turn the eyes on/off requires a tap of the power button (bottom button). Scrolling through firing modes in the main operational menu (not the programming menu) requires a tap of the programing mode operation button (top button). When in the program menu and trying to increase or decrease a set point value, simply use the buttons that would make sense – the top button (programing mode operation button) to increase a value and the bottom button (power button) to decrease a value.
The second thing I want to address that is included in both the manual and the quick start tuning guide is the notion of turning the adjustment screws for the OPR and LPR a given number of times from closed (or open, or flush) to achieve the desired pressures and, therefore, an approximate FPS. Now, I have a lot of markers with multiples of the same model and I have found that this type of instruction is only going to get you so far because there are just too many variables in achieving a specific pressure and FPS speed. The individual markers themselves will have slight differences to them that can effect tuning. So can the player’s location in elevation, climate, paint size, paint quality, barrel bore and the list goes on and on. I would use caution when using these specific “turn ____ number of times” type instructions included in the manual and quick start tuning guide. They very well may get you in close range for tuning an Elite but I would not take it as an absolute. Of course, one should ALWAYS check the speed using a chronograph or other suitable velocity measuring device and fine tune the regulators accordingly based on the FPS readings.

In addition to a full color manual is a quick start tuning guide. This quick start tuning guide is a brief, single sheet, folded pamphlet which contains step-by-step instructions on how to tune the Elite. Now, there is more than one way to tune a marker but the quick start tuning guide is an attempt to boil it down for all potential users of the marker. As mentioned above, this quick start tuning guide uses “turn ____ number of times” type of instructions that may or may not work for each individual. It is not a one size fits all type of thing so just be aware of that if trying to tune the Elite per exact instructions in the manual and quick start tuning guide.
As mentioned above, the Elite comes with a black Dangerous Power barrel condom. The barrel condom is the same that comes with most other Dangerous Power markers (G5, FX, and Rev-i to name a few). It is full size (not the smaller/shorter ones that came with the E1 and G4s) with a typical cord cinch lock on it to adjust the cord length. It is made of thick, stiff, woven material (I think it is polyethylene) that is not likely to tear if snagged on something.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In the bottom layer of foam in the case is where a set of allen wrenches and a small parts kit are found. The set of allen wrenches are the same that have been included with the G5, FX, Rev-i, F8, etc. (not a few loose, single allen wrenches like what was included with the G4 and E1 markers). The parts kit included with the Elite is similar to the one included with the G5. It is minimal but contains most of the bare essentials. It is not a full parts kit like what is/was available for the Fusion/F8, FX, Rev-i, etc. The small parts kit included with the Elite includes several o-rings, a small tube of DP-40 lube, a couple of trigger springs, a couple of solenoid springs, a pair of detents, a pair of eye cover screws, and a couple of zip-ties (yes, zip-ties….I’ll get to that later on). Since having a 1:1 scale o-ring size chart is very useful (:idea: ), the piece of paper in the lid of the parts kit folds open to reveal 12 different o-ring silhouette sizes – all labeled of course.



A quick comment about those zip-ties… I found it very odd that small zip-ties were included in the parts kit when I first opened the kit up. However, once I completely broke down the Elite, upon reassembling I realized why zip-ties were in the kit. The zip-ties are used to keep the eye and solenoid wires nice and tighty when putting the frame back onto marker body. On the Elite, there is very limited space between the frame and marker body. Because of this limited space and the outer housing design of the solenoid, the solenoid wires have to lay flat on top of the solenoid and remain in place so that the marker body and frame come together correctly.


Similarly, there is limited space in the grip frame for the wires. The zip-ties keep everything together so all pieces fit correctly and the wires are routed away from the microswitch. That is not to say that the zip-ties are necessary, in fact, they are not. They just help. Since I tend to tinker a lot and am into the heart of the marker often, I ditched the zip-ties and routing of the solenoid and eye wires is still manageable.

On to the marker. The Elite has a unique finish to it in that the back half of the body – from the backcap and snatch grip area of the frame, up to the eye cover cutouts and to the front of the feedneck – is a gloss finish. The remaining parts of the marker are a dust finish.


I am told that the production models will have gloss accents as well, which should help with the look. Personally, I’m not too sure about the current look. It just looks….unfinished in my opinion. It will be interesting to see the look of the production run markers. As far as aesthetics, Dangerous Power (Amazone) may have been better off going all dust with gloss accents or all gloss with dust accents…or even something like a dust with gloss splash similar to what DLX has done recently (I don’t necessarily like the splash look but it sells).

The Elite comes with a 2-piece barrel in a 0.689 bore size with an overall length of 14 inches. On the barrel tip is a removable ring (although it doesn’t look great with the ring removed). The ring doesn’t really serve any purpose other than looks and, if someone wanted to, for personalizing it with some engraving or lasering. The finish of the barrel’s exterior is dust and the interior is a nicely honed surface.



Compatibility:

The Elite appears to be a model that does not hang on to previous model’s physical attributes. There are very few parts on the Elite that are interchangeable with previous Dangerous Power markers. The OPR operation is the same as introduced with the FX but the internal parts of the regular are the same as what is in the G5. The OPR internals of the FX will not work in the Elite. The lower half of the G5 OPR and the internals will. To note, the top portion of the OPR housing on the G5 is not compatible with the Elite. The top housing piece on the Elite has double o-rings on the top portion, making the part that screws into the marker body much longer than the G5. The G5 RAPS will also work on the Elite. The feedneck on the Elite stays as the same Matrix threading as previous Dangerous Power markers so any DP feedneck will work along with any aftermarket Matrix threaded feedneck. Similarly, the Elite barrel threading is Autococker, as the DP predecessors before it. Lastly, the eyes on the Elite are the same as what is used for the FX and G5 and the detents are similar to those of the FX.

With the exception of some o-ring sizes and screws, that is where compatibility ends. The Elite has a redesigned LPR that is much shorter than the original Fusion’s and since the FX only had a volumizer front cap, that will not work either. The bolt of the Elite is shorter than that of the FX and the bolt pin is larger in diameter that it’s FX counterpart.

NOTE: Pictured for comparison above ^^^ is a TechT Hush bolt for the FX. Elite bolt is the top bolt.

The list can go on and on for older marker parts that will not work on the Elite – eye covers, backcap, ram, trigger, poppet, valve, solenoid, board, etc.



Features of the Elite and differences compared to the FX:

Obviously, there are some changes incorporated into the Elite that differ from the FX and previous Dangerous Power Fusion markers (the original Fusion and the F8). Rather than go over every single one, I’ll hit the major ones, and some of the minor ones here. First thing you can notice is the Elite’s appearance but there is more to it. Yes, the milling differs but they have also changed up the ergonomics for the better, in my opinion.

When first picking up the Elite, you can feel the difference in the contouring of the back of the frame. The Elite has a more rounded edging of the back of the frame that flows into the tapering of the edges of the grips. The more rounded back of the frame makes for a more comfortable hold, especially when out playing all weekend. The overall width (back of grip to front of grip) of the gripping portion of the frame on the Elite is wider than that of the FX and, with the grips on, the Elite frame is slightly thicker as well. For someone with big hands like me, these subtle changes make a noticeable difference in feel. Because of the wider frame, the Elite is a little more stretched out versus the FX. The gap between the OPR and trigger guard is a little narrower on the Elite but the spacing between the trigger and the trigger guard is larger than the FX.




One thing that isn’t obvious at first is that the center of gravity and weight distribution of the Elite differs from the FX. The grip frame sits well behind the bulk of the marker body. This can be seen if you were to project the inside edge of the grip portion of the frame up through the body.


On the Elite, there is very little of the marker body that is towards the back of that projected line. A stark contrast to the FX, which has about 1/3 to 1/2 of the body on the back half of that projected line. The front half weight bias of the Elite becomes more of a balanced feeling once a full hopper and tank are put on it. When shooting the FX simultaneously with the Elite (FX in my right hand and the Elite in my left, both with Prophecies and nearly the same size & weight tanks, – I am right handed by the way), I found the Elite feeling more balanced. I didn’t feel the need to use a little more grip pressure with the bottom half of my hand in order to counteract a slightly lighter front end like the FX. I think this weight distribution helps in keeping the Elite pointed where you want it without much effort, even when reloading the hopper while shooting one handed.

Last edited by CA_Tectonics; 08-23-2014 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The OLED placement is in the left side grip on the Elite versus the back of the frame on the FX (and Rev-i). This is because the air passageway through the frame prohibits the screen placement in the back of the frame.


Typically, I’m not a fan of screens in the grips and definitely not a fan of those flat panel Lexan grips that sometimes accompany the screen in grip layout. However, it works for me on the Elite because the placement of the screen is high enough on the grip that the screen is not covered when holding it with your right hand and only partially covered when holding it with your left hand. Furthermore, the Elite retains full rubberized and contoured wraparound grips. A couple more things to note are that the window in the grip is actually the entire thickness of the grip, not some thin piece of plastic. I’m pretty sure it is not going to break or crack if it takes a hit. Also, since the window is relatively high on the grip, I think the window is pretty safe from cracking due to gripping pressure and flexing that may occur when one is holding the marker and/or gripping it tightly (think - pinching of the front and back edges of the grip together. Not folding, but squeezing).

The eye covers. I’m sure many of you have heard the horror stories about the FX eye covers. I have seen it first-hand at one of my local fields. I am pleased to report that significant changes have been incorporated into the Elite eye covers. First off, the Elite eye covers are thicker than the ones on the FX.


The screw used to hold the Elite eye cover has a tapered head to it – redistributing the force of tightening the screw over a larger relative area. I think the combination of a thicker cover and the larger tapered screw head should rectify the stress breaks that some experienced with the FX. Now, this does not mean that you should crank down on those screws, just snug will do. The Elite eye covers also have a slick little lip on the very top edge of them and there is a corresponding recessed area on the marker body for the lip.


This helps keep the tip of the eye cover in place. On the FX, when shooting, you can see and feel the top of the eye covers flex outward due to the ball/bolt pushing past the detents and some of that backpressure air when the bolt is in the forward position. There is no tip flexing with the Elite eye covers. The bottom of the Elite eye covers fit nicely into angled notches on the top of the frame. This area is actually covered when the grips are in place. The result is that you could lose the eye cover screw and still have functioning eye covers. The eye covers are held in place at the top and bottom that well. However, this is good and bad, in my opinion. It is good in that the bottom of the eye covers are held securely in place by the top of the grips but when it comes time to clean the eyes, you have to either loosen the top screws of the grips or take the grips off in order to get the eye covers off. Because of the top lip on the covers, you need to take the eye cover screw out and have enough free room from the grips to be able to slide the covers down, then the top out and the cover off.

Another change that seems small but makes a difference is the buttons. Yes, the buttons. Sounds silly but sometimes it’s the little things that add up. On the G4, Rev-i, and FX, there were those little metal posts that ALWAYS fell out of place if you had to remove the board for some reason. They were also a little hard to push for us big fingered guys – not to mention if you have gloves on. That issue was corrected with the G5 power button and continues with the Elite. The Elite has the same button type as the G5. They are hard plastic posts that fit through the frame to contact the board buttons. Covering these posts on the outside are thick rubber membranes that fit securely in place in the frame. They are easy to use and much larger than those old metal posts. The membrane pieces are easily removable for cleaning but they are needed. Without them in place, the plastic posts have nothing keeping them from falling right out but with the membrane pieces in place, no more loose, dropped, missing buttons.


The clamping feedneck on the Elite is top-notch as Dangerous Power has always done. Nothing really new here so I won’t go into any detail other than a brief warning...be careful when loosening the lever’s thumb nut. My Prophecy neck is a little on the large side fitting into the feedneck. I had loosened up the nut to insert the hopper and, apparently, it was barely on the lever because when I was twisting the hopper on, I lost the nut. It was a tight enough fit that I could still play out the day but not what you want to do on the first day out with a new marker. Good news is that the nut is the same as what is on the FX and G5 so I had no problem ordering a replacement.

The trigger included with the Elite is similar to the trigger on the G5. The trigger is held in place by retaining screws on either side of the frame that fit into and hold the trigger by the bearings. The trigger is highly adjustable with nearly zero side-to-side play. Like the Rev-i, FX, and G5, the trigger return is done with a breakaway magnet type system. However, instead of the trigger magnet attracting to the solenoid, the engineers at Dangerous Power came up with a removable angled piece of metal that the magnet attracts to.


In addition, they have also included a return spring that sits high in the frame. Personally, I don’t like a breakaway magnet system as the only method of getting the trigger to return to the start position. When the trigger has activated the microswitch, the distance from the location of the magnet to the attraction point is its furthest point. Although magnetic forces can be great, they are very much affected by their distance to the opposing pole. So for a trigger, when you need it the most (to get the trigger to return to the start position), the force of the breakaway magnet system is at its weakest. I think this may also be the reason why some Rev-i users experienced mechanical bouncing when trying to set-up a fairly light trigger pull. The good news with the Elite is that one can easily replace the trigger return spring with opposing magnets. It is a very simple modification and is similar to what can be done with the Fusion, F8, and Threshy triggers. The trigger return spring didn’t stay long in the Elite I was using. I will likely post up a “How to” thread on the opposing magnetic return modification at a later date. Back to the breakaway system of the Elite. Because the attraction point is at an angle rather than a vertical point like the FX, etc., the attraction force seems to be more fluid in feel. I found the system on the Rev-i and FX to be either very strong or very weak and finding a good feeling medium point was difficult. With the Elite’s breakaway system, it is easier to find a happy medium adjustment point.

The bolt of the Elite differs from the FX in both design and size. I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I didn’t mention reports of stock FX bolts snapping. The Elite bolt has moved away from the stock FX bolt design gone back to a shape similar to that of the F8 and the TechT Hush bolt (full diameter front section, small diameter mid-section, and back to a full diameter back section with the bolt pin though the back section). Like the F8 bolt, it does not have any o-rings, is made of delrin, and it has a Venturi ported, cupped bolt face. The bolt pin to ram connection is similar to the one used on the FX. The bottom of the bolt pin is notched and fits in a smaller diameter section near the front of the ram. With my particular set-up (Prophecy loader with the standard rip drive on the bottom of it), I found that I could not pull the pin up fully to remove the bolt with my hopper on. The pin hits the rip drive. It is close, but there is just not enough room to get the pin up high enough for the bottom of it to clear the marker for removal. I should also put out a warning that Elite users should very much pay attention to where the ram is when installing the bolt. Because the ram is free from any springs, the ram is also free to move back and forth within the lower tube (without it being aired up of course) so when reinstalling the bolt, be sure to line up and push the bolt pin down into the correct position on the ram.


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Old 08-22-2014, 01:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Moving on to the solenoid of the Elite. Dangerous Power made a few changes to the general solenoid design of previous markers. But, before I get to those, one HUGE change that I am very happy about is that they went with a hex socket on the end cap of the solenoid. It seems small but, in my opinion, there is going to be FAR less people having issues trying to open up their solenoid to service it. Even better is that the percentage of people that end up stripping out the flathead slot that was on older solenoids should drop to near 0. Now, because the Elite solenoid has the task of directing air for both directions of movement of the ram, a couple changes had to be made. Those two little 2mm ID X 1mm CS o-rings that went between the solenoid and marker body (the ones that seem to get lost every now and then), have been replaced with a gasket-like seal. This is due to the fact that there are now three ports on the solenoid to seal against the marker body.


I have been told that three of the 2mm ID X 1mm CS o-rings can be used as a substitute for this gasket-like seal on the Elite solenoid. I have not tried this yet and actually found the new seal to be very robust. Another change obviously had to occur to the spool. The older Fusions (Fusion, F8, and FX), all had 3 o-rings on their solenoid spool, the spool-valve DP markers all required 4 o-rings on their solenoid spool. The Elite tops them all with 5 o-rings on its solenoid spool.


The need for the additional o-rings on the solenoid spool and for the gasket on the port holes is simply because it is now a 3-way solenoid. The good news is that the o-ring size remained the same as previous Dangerous Power markers……the good ol’ 2mm ID X 1mm CS (good news for those of us who own multiple DP marker models).

On the bottom(?) – the side that is exposed and faces down when in place – of the Elite solenoid there are a couple of ridges that run parallel to the length of the solenoid. In between these ridges is where the vent holes of the solenoid are located.


Also between these ridges is where the solenoid wires are supposed to lay in when putting the frame back on the marker. This is something that I don’t like about the new solenoid design and here is why; the vent holes are right under the wires when assembled. This means that when excess lube is pushed through and purged out of the solenoid, guess where it’s going? All over the wires. Not that big of a deal but more cleaning none-the-less. What is more of an issue with me are those ridges. There is not enough clearance between the top of those ridges on the solenoid and the frame so, if the wires are not nice and tighty in between those things, some pinched wires are bound to occur. In my opinion, it would probably be better if those ridges were not on the solenoid body. That way, it would be easier to just slap the frame onto the body without having to make sure the solenoid wires are perfectly lines up. In a perfect world, it would be nice if the two halves of the solenoid were switched. That way, the solenoid wires would literally have to just drop down into the grip area to connect to the board. I think I understand why this is not possible though. The air passageway ports in the marker body would need to move towards the back of the marker in order to line up with the solenoid ports and I think this is just not possible because of where the holes in the ram housing need to be located.

Probably the biggest change on the Elite is going to a fully pneumatic ram system. The FX, along with its predecessors (the Fusion – aka F7 and the F8) were all FASORs. For the FASORs, a spring is used to return the ram after a shot was taken and the solenoid is no longer energized. On the Elite, that job duty is now done by air pressure routed through the solenoid. The operation of the fully pneumatic ram actually works similar to a Rev-i, G3, and Threshy bolt. The Elite ram has a total of 4 o-rings on it.


Moving from front to back, the ram has an o-ring close to the middle of it and this o-ring seals off air from escaping forward when air is applied to move the ram back. The next o-ring in line is a bumper o-ring and acts as the bumper for the forward movement – like the function of the bumper on the older DP spoolies. The largest diameter o-ring on the Elite ram is where all the action is. This o-ring functions and acts like a sail o-ring on the older DP spoolies. It prevents air from escaping towards the back of the ram when the ram is being pushed back and when a shot is initiated, the function is reversed and it prevents air from escaping towards the front of the ram when air is moving the ram forward. Lastly, behind the ram’s sail o-ring is another bumper. This bumper softens the impact when the ram is moving towards the back.

The cycle of the ram is very similar to the older DP spoolies as well. As I understand it, the LPR regulates the air pressure used to move the ram back and forth. The LPR regulated air is directed through the solenoid and to the front side of the ram sail o-ring. At this point, the solenoid is NOT energized but rather allowing air to pass through to hold the ram in the rearward position. When a shot is initiated, the solenoid is energized, the air pushing the ram rearward is dumped, air from the LPR through the solenoid is redirected to the back side of the ram sail o-ring and propels the ram forward. When the solenoid dwell has timed out, the air flow to the back side of the ram sail o-ring is stopped and dumped, and air is again directed to the front side of the sail o-ring on the ram. Because air is used to propel the ram both forward and rearward, and because the air used to do this function is dumped between the direction movements, it appears that the Elite does use more air to complete a shot cycle compared to the FX. This intuitively seems to make sense since movement of the ram in both directions is controlled by the use of air, rather than only half of a firing cycle like the older FASORs. I have yet to conduct a true air efficiency test but what I have seen so far has been pretty low. I have not had a chance to test if I have any leaks that may be occurring during the firing sequence. In discussing efficiency with others and with DP, it seems that my shot count is well below normal as others are getting much better efficiency.

The Elite ram is similar in size to the TechT LAW ram for the FX and is shorter and lighter than the stock FX ram.


In the pic above, the Elite ram is on the left, the stock FX ram in the center, and the TechT LAW ram is on the right. In comparing the mass of the three rams, the Elite ram is close to the TechT ram with one light and one heavy weight sections. The Elite ram weighs in at 28 grams:


The stock FX ram comes in much heavier at 35 grams:


The TechT LAW ram with a mid-weight configuration comes in at 22 grams:


With both heavy weights on the TechT ram, it weighs in at 26 grams. So, the Elite ram is just a couple grams off of a TechT ram with both heavy weights on it.

Now, one thing to keep in mind is that the Elite ram does not use a spring. I thought about adding in the weight of the FX ram spring for these comparisons but it really isn’t the entire mass of the spring that is moving when the FX cycles. The spring is just compressing – slowing the ram down as it moves forward and creating an increasing amount of tension force acting against the forward force of the ram – and extension to return the FX ram to the starting position. Because there is no opposing tension force at work due to compression of a spring, theoretically, the Elite ram should require less air pressure (compared to an FX ram of the same mass) to hit the poppet pin with the same force as an FX with a spring.

Last edited by CA_Tectonics; 08-22-2014 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Unlike the Elite ram, the poppet valve assembly does contain a spring as most stacked-tube poppet valve markers do. Correcting a big negative feature of the FX (in my opinion), the Elite valve is removable and replaceable.


The removable valve of the Elite is made of delrin and has the typical shape and seals of most other valves used in paintball markers. As with most other markers, the larger diameter opening faces the front when reinstalling the Elite valve. The valve retaining screw is similar to the one used in the FX. Just make sure the o-ring on that retaining screw doesn’t dry out and crack and make sure that screw is screwed in tight. The valve pin has more of a traditional design – with the pin post screwing into a delrin cup seal. I think this is going to help with the lifespan of the sealing part of the valve assembly. The valve pin that came with the Elite I tested is different than what the production pin shape is going to be. I just want to point this out in case some of the pins that are shaped like the one I started out with actually see the light of day. I found there to be a HUGE difference in performance with the simple change of the pin shape. Once I received the production run shaped pin, tuning became a much easier task. For reference, here is a side-by-side picture of the different pin shapes I have tested. The production pin is the one on the top.


The pin and cup seal are held in place and pushed into the face of the valve with a conical shaped spring. It appears that the valve pin spring for the Elite is the same as the one used in the FX. Although I have not tried it yet, the valve pin spring of the Fusion and F8 also fits in the Elite. The Fusion/F8 spring is a little longer than the FX/Elite spring but it fits.

As I mentioned in the compatibility section, the Elite’s LPR is very much a different design over the original Dangerous Power Fusion. The Elite LPR work similar to the OPR in that the seat is on the face of the adjustment screw and the Belvedere spring (shim stack) has been replaced by a regular spring.


One VERY important thing to note is that the production Elites will NOT have a sleigh in the LPR. In the picture above, the blue part is the sleigh so don’t expect to find that blue piece in an Elite. Here is what the production LPR parts should look like:


I had tested the marker with and without the sleigh and found no significant difference with it installed or not. After discovering that little bit of info, I immediately removed the sleigh and kept it out. In discussions with Dangerous Power, it was determined that the addition of the sleigh would likely create more confusion and calls/emails to the service department than if it was not included at all. For the curious, the sleigh was a spacer that was meant to ensure that the LPR had a minimal amount of air flow to the ram (basically, you would not be able to completely close off the air pressure to the ram) but the tradeoff would be that the end user of the Elite would be able to pull it out of the box, air it up, and it would cycle.

Unlike the Fusion LPR, the Elite LPR is a little more sensitive in actually affecting the performance of the marker. On the original Fusion, many just opened the LPR all the way (or maybe 1 turn in from the c-clip) and that was it. With the Elite LPR, the sweet spot appears to be somewhere closer to the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the LPR pressure range rather than just turning it up all the way like on the Fusion (F7).

The OPR on the Elite is the same as what is included on the G5. The only difference being the very top portion of the housing. Dangerous Power added a second o-ring on the top of the OPR housing to address some of the shortcomings of the G5 OPR. In conjunction with a harder RAPS to frame o-ring, the Elite should be fine when using a high pressure output tank. The internals of the Elite are interchangeable with the G5 internals.


Lastly, the board. Like the FX and Rev-i before it, the Elite comes with an OLED screen. Unlike the FX, this screen is easy to see when out on the field, in the sunlight. The Elite board is fully programmable and can be adjusted to fit any competition or field rules that one may come across. There is also a profile chip on the board. As I understand it, this profile chip is where the setpoints are stored. The profile chip is like a memory stick for a computer. You can adjust firing modes, ramping points, etc. and those setpoints are saved on the chip. Should you need to change to a different Elite, you can pop the chip out, plug it into the other Elite, and all your personalized setpoints are there and ready to go. Personally, I think this is a unique idea but I’m not so sure how it will work in real world situations. I can see this as being able to cut down some set-up time if you are switching out markers but I believe there is likely going to be the need to make some minor adjustments to get the other Elite to match the performance of a (assumed) tuned Elite that the profile chip came from. Individual markers can vary. Even though setpoints may have transferred over, I don’t think it is going to be a simple pop the chip out, plug in the other Elite, and off to play with a second Elite having the same results/performance as the one the chip came from.

Programming the board is a fairly easy process. However, I should also state that there is no hard reset button or menu item to get the Elite setpoints back to factory default. Same goes for the statistical values. At least if buying an Elite on the used market, it will be easy to determine exactly how many shots have been through it. There is a roundabout way to a “soft” kind of reset. When in the first page of the programing mode, by entering in the program menu and then into the profile menu, when you select yes for a profile change (to either Tournament, Hot Start, or PSP Pro, the board will load a set of default setpoints for that profile. They are adjustable but if you power down, enter program mode again and load a different profile, a slightly different set of default setpoints are loaded. If you power down, enter program mode and go back to the first profile, the original default setpoints are once again loaded up. This only occurs if you switch back and forth between the three profiles. If you do not change out of a profile you have set up, it will retain whatever setpoints you may have entered.

When I first started going through the programming modes of the Elite, I actually found it a little confusing at first. The layout and names used in the Elite program differ from the Rev-i and FX. The Elite still has up to 6 different profiles on it but three (the Tournament, Hot Start, and PSP Pro) are already set-up as default ones – but you can change and save them – you just can’t switch between them and save settings for each of the profiles. The other three profiles are found in the Tour Mode menu. I have not spent a large amount of time getting familiar with all the little details for setting up, changing profiles, and looking for any bugs or conflicts that may affect marker performance. I have gone through it enough to be able to tune and set-up the setpoints I wanted to use and left it at that.

Last edited by CA_Tectonics; 08-22-2014 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Tuning the Elite:

Rather than using the “turn ___ number of times from” method of tuning the Elite, I used the same method I use to tune my Bob Long Species and Ripper Intimidators. I start with both regulators closed then connect my tank and apply air through the RAPS. I then give the OPR about one and a half to 2 turns open. This should give enough air pressure to the LPR to get the ram/bolt to fully cycle when turning up the LPR. I then slowly open up the LPR (board on and eyes off) while pulling the trigger until I get the ram/bolt to fully cycle. From there, I add paint (or reballs in my case) and begin to chrono. I continue to turn up the LPR – leaving the OPR alone for the moment – until there is no more increase in velocity over the chrono. From there, I switch and start turning up the OPR to achieve my desired field speed while leaving the LPR alone. Once I have my desired fps, I then turn to the solenoid dwell. I tune the Elite solenoid dwell the same way I would a DP spool. I start with a low dwell of 6 or 7ms. Shoot over a chrono and continue to increase my solenoid dwell by 1ms at a time, checking the chrono with multiple shots. I continue doing this until my fps stops increasing and the consistency is better than when starting the process. This point is my optimal dwell setting. I found that a solenoid dwell of 11ms is the optimal spot for the Elite I am using. Once I have my optimal solenoid dwell time set, I adjust the fps as necessary by adjusting the OPR only.

On a side note, this seems like a high dwell setting for a Dangerous Power poppet since the FX solenoid dwell is around 5 or 6ms. However, because the solenoid on the Elite is now controlling both the forward motion and rearward motion of the ram, a longer energized time is necessary. The solenoid on the FX, F8, and Fusion only had to control the forward motion so a much shorter dwell time could be used. Once I have my OPR, LPR, and solenoid dwell set, I then make sure that the bolt return setpoint is greater than the solenoid dwell by at least a few ms. All the other various setpoints are fairly self-explanatory.


Elite Maintenance:

Like the previous generations of Fusions, the Elite is very easy to maintain and does not require a lot of continual maintenance. The primary part that may require regular lubing is the ram. The Elite seems to be pretty forgiving on what kind of lube you can use. I have tried sl33k (Dow 33), TechT GunSav, DP40, and Monkey Poo. All seem to work just as well as each other. After breaking down the entire marker, I did use Dow 55 for all of the static o-rings – like the valve o-rings, the o-rings in the OPR, the marker body to frame o-ring, and the RAPS to frame o-ring. Currently, I am using Monkey Poo for all of the dynamic o-rings – like the ram, LPR, and solenoid spool.

The maintenance procedures for the Elite solenoid are the same as previous DP solenoids. Yes, the spool is still hard to get out and requires some “assistance” to be able to grab it with tweezers.

The molex connectors on the Elite board are easier to unplug compared to the FX connections. The actual connecters are the same design but the locations make unplugging much easier, especially for people with big fingers.

Getting the valve out of the marker body can be a little tricky as can putting it back into place. There is a change to a larger diameter section in the marker body that is just in front of the valve. When pushing the valve out by using an unsharpened pencil through the ram area, the valve tends to become loose and no longer lines up to come straight out the front of the marker. This is especially tricky to deal with when putting the valve back in. I found it easier to put the valve back in by actually assembling the valve pin and spring into the valve then inserting the parts into the marker body. I then look into the valve retaining screw hole and use an allen wrench to line up the recessed area on the valve with the retaining screw hole.

A couple more tips when working on the Elite. The very top of the OPR housing is now a 5/16” allen wrench size. This is still not supplied in the set that comes with the marker but at least it is easier to find that the old 3/8” size on the older Dangerous Power regulators. When putting the frame and body together, be sure to holg the trigger down so that it clears the angled attraction piece on the body (the part for the breakaway trigger magnet to attract to). I also run my eye wires through the front opening of the frame instead of the back opening where the solenoid wires drip into the grip area. Sounds weird but it will make sense when looking at the top of the frame. Also, be sure that the ram backcap is nice and tight. I found mine loosening up on me a couple times. I don’t think hand tight is enough for this particular marker.

Lastly, as with all Dangerous Power velocity adjustment screws, do not over-tighten the adjustment screws on the OPR and LPR of the Elite. The little rubber seat on the tip is easily marred and a nice ring left on the surface.


Dangerous Power Elite performance compared to the FX:

Since I also own a FX, I took both markers out to evaluate how both of them performed. I do not have a stock FX bolt so I am unable to compare stock vs. stock so the FX should have a lead right from the start. Well…it isn’t enough. I compared the FX with the stock ram and TechT Hush bolt up against the Elite. There is a very noticeable difference in sound signature. The Elite has a much more quiet sound than the FX (guess the Hush wasn’t very Hushy :P ). I can only assume that using a stock FX bolt for comparison would only further the difference in sound. The shot feel of the Elite is much more subtle than the FX with the stock ram.

Now, I usually don’t discuss marker “kick” because I’m 6’5” and around 260lbs. I can hold a 2 pound object pretty still. However, there is a difference is the perceived kick with the two markers. The FX does have some barrel rise at higher rates of fire whereas the Elite has very little to none. I feel that it is a no contest between the FX with stock ram and Hush bolt vs. the Elite. Elite wins that battle.

I then swapped out the FX ram for the TechT LAW ram with the lightest weights on it. Now it is getting to be a close call. I think the Elite is still a little bit more smooth and a little bit more quiet over the FX with the TechT upgrades…but it is close. The Elite has a slightly different kind of shot feel to it compared to the upgraded FX. The Elite shot seems to have an ever so slightly clank to it, both sound wise and in the feel. It almost feels like you are hearing and feeling the vibration of the valve pin spring. It seems to be a metallic kind of feel to the shot.

The Dangerous Power Elite can shoot just as fast as an FX, the trigger feels better and more crisp over the FX trigger when walking it and the overall balance of the Elite makes it easier to hold (as strange as that sounds). Although I have not directly compared air efficiency, my guess is that the FX may be a little more efficient, but that is yet to be determined. I did notice a couple of small things with the Elite that fall towards the negative side of the spectrum. The back bumper on the ram is starting to show some signs of heavy wear to it. I think that the notched parts on the front face of the backcap are marring up the back bumper of the ram every time the ram returns to the ready position. That notch has some sharp 90 degree angles to it and those edges are probably going to chew up that bumper o-ring over time. As I mentioned earlier, there is no hard reset, which is a bummer, and I’m guessing that the gasket for the seal between the solenoid and marker body is going to be one of those normal wear parts you can only buy from Dangerous Power (although the use of 3 of the 2mm ID X 1mm CS o-rings sounds promising).


Overall Impression:

I can honestly say that it appears Dangerous Power has taken many of the things that users have had issues with or complained about with past DP marker models and have addressed those things. Like any marker, I’m sure if someone looks hard enough and close enough, they will always find something to complain about. That is bound to happen whether it is a $200 marker or a $2,000 marker. I’ll let the potential customer decide if the Elite price tag is worth the product they get in return. Personally, I find the Elite to be very comfortable to hold and use. I have put close to 7 cases of paint/reballs through the Elite and like the way it feels and shoots. Over the chrono, I was typically getting a consistency of about +/- 6 to +/- 8 at 285 fps. The +/- range is misleading though. Most of the time I would get within a few fps with the occasional low or high every 7th+ shot. My feeling is that this +/- range had more to do with the field grade paint I was using during testing.

Overall, it is pretty simple in design internally. I think this makes it very simple to work on if need be. With the exception of a couple of minor things as I have pointed out above, I think Dangerous Power did a great job in addressing and changing a lot of the smaller details that previous DP markers may have fallen short with. I think there are going to be a lot of very surprised people when they get a chance to shoot the Elite. It seems to be a solid marker that has finally come together for Dangerous Power.

I know that was a novel but I wanted to cover as much detail as possible. There are still gaps like efficiency numbers to fill. When I get a chance, I will fill in whatever gaps may come along.

Feel free to post up any questions and I'll answer them as best as I can. Thanks for reading.

Last edited by CA_Tectonics; 08-22-2014 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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8/21/14 - Added pictures of: Parts in parts kit; Menu and power buttons
8/21/14 - Corrected some sentence spacing

8/23/14 - Added pictures of: Contour of back of Elite frame; Elite and FX side-by-side back of frame;
8/23/14 - Replaced Elite vs. FX TechT Hush bolt picture with better picture of comparison.

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Old 08-23-2014, 09:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Did a few minor updates:

8/21/14 - Added pictures of: Parts in parts kit; Menu and power buttons
8/21/14 - Corrected some sentence spacing

8/23/14 - Added pictures of: Contour of back of Elite frame; Elite and FX side-by-side back of frame;
8/23/14 - Replaced Elite vs. FX TechT Hush bolt picture with better picture of comparison.
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