APE (Advanced Paintball Electronics) has been busy in the past year or so, making OEM boards for new kid on the gun scene Machine Paintball as well as keeping up with the ever changing market for boards in today’s paintball guns.
APE sent along a board for the Planet Eclipse Etek 3 for The Ford Report to check out. It comes nicely packaged in a box containing the board new grips, and instructions to install the board. The stock Etek board is an LED board, with lights flashing through the back of the gun’s grip to indicate settings and the status of the gun when on the field. They work extremely well, and always have but at least for me intially setting the gun up is a pain because you have to interpret what the board is trying to tell you.
With the Rampage board, it’s all spelled out for you. Because the Rampage incorporates an OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display, new grips are required. The test gun for this review was my wife’s backup, a well cared for Etek 3 LT. Before installing the Rampage board, it was bone stock. It’s a great shooter, if a bit loud.
Installing the Rampage was easy, taking around 10 minutes to do. The Rampage board comes in two pieces, a motherboard and daughterboard arrangement. The motherboard is sits in the same place as the stock board, and the daughterboard, which houses the OLED display. Once you drop the motherboard in place, plug the daughterboard into it and you’re done! The acrylic grips APE ships with this board to accommodate the display are thinner than the stock grips, but this suited my wife’s smaller hands just fine.
With the addition of the OLED display, changing settings on the LT were simple, and Ashley knew exactly which settings she was altering, without having to refer to a manual to interpret flashing lights. Out on the field, we noted that the firing impulse from the LT was noticeably smoother. The Gen 3 programming included on the Rampage board allows for switching the various modes of fire on the fly, which for a scenario player could come in handy. For tournament players, there is a lock on the board to prevent any changes on the fly.
One of the really intersting features of the Rampage board is APE’s “Auto Tune” feature. By accessing the programming menu on the board, you can tailor the dwell and bolt return to the environmental conditions at the field that day to get maximum smoothness and efficiency out of your Etek.
For the player looking to get some more flexibility out of his Etek, the Rampage is a great way to get easily accessible modes of fire, an OLED display and flexibility over the Etek’s stock board. MSRP from APE is $129.99, which puts pricing on the US made APE right on par with everyone else’s board offerings, and you get a new set of grips as a bonus! Check out APE’s lineup of boards at http://www.goapeonline.com