Any Power Pong robot users?

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I have the Power Pong Omega with the Tablet, so far it is the easiest one to use, and I’ve tried quite a few different robots, the most recent ones are TenniRobo (my second favorite) and Joola Inifinty (my least favorite).

Both TenniRobo and Power Pong Omega (PPO for short) use three spinning wheels to throw the ball, but TenniRobo actually turns the head to aim, while PPO use a guide rail to aim. Joola Infinity uses two wheels, so it can’t do as many stuff as the other two.

I’ll list a few things I think that people might be interested when looking to buy a robot:
  • Placement consistency: TenniRobo wins, no contest at all. Power Pong Omega is consistent for the most part, but due to the design flaw it will gradually become inconsistent over your training session, though there is a quick fix, which is to scrape the guide rails clean of debris.
  • Timing consistency: PPO wins. TenniRobo always have some weird delay once every few balls. Joola Infinity eats balls for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Spin and speed customization: TenniRobo wins, no contest at all. Both PPO and Joola Infinity have some capabilities to change these settings, but no where near the amount of freedom you get in the TenniRobo.
  • Ease of use: PPO wins. Set it in place and you’ll never need to touch it again, other than cleaning the guide rails every so often. Ball recycling is also done very well, no jamming after 6 months or so of ownership. TenniRobo can’t recycle balls on its own , and sometimes the balls get stuck in the bucket, and you have to find the same spot you put it last time, though it is also a plus since it means you can put it anywhere you want. Joola Infinity eats balls for midnight snacks now.
  • Price and availability: PPO is the most expensive one, but available all the time. TenniRobo isn’t available at the moment due to people being stupid and killing other people. Joola Infinity is not as expensive as PPO, but still not ready for retail yet.
So for me, the ease of use got me using PPO most of the time now, and the timing consistency is what I need right now.
Hi Guys,

Just to build on the post @DukeGaGa added...

I purchased the PowerPong 2000 model in February 2020, right before Covid lockdown, which was just fabulous timing.

This was my first and only robot but I've used a couple of other ones in clubs and I wasn't particularly impressed with them. I certainly wouldn't recommend a robot with only two spinning wheels if you can afford to pay for three wheels as it greatly limits what it can do (e.g. no non-spin balls, etc.). Now that I own the robot for three full years I think it's a great time to do a review of it for you. I would rate myself as an intermediate player, so don't expect an amazing analysis!

Purchasing - I paid €1400 which isn't insignificant, but felt it was the right choice after lots of research. I'm based in Ireland and bought it from the UK and everything went very smoothly with the delivery and Ben was very professional in how he managed it.

Setup - it's easy to setup and take down - about 3 minutes to setup and 2 minutes to take down. I also play with my son at home and he's not a fan of using the robot so I set it up and take it down again very regularly. I was worried that this might lead to wear and tear of the equipment but it's been rock solid for me.

Performance - It does exactly what it says it does. The control unit enables you to configure up to six different balls in sequence. They can all have different backspin/topspin, sidespin, speed, height and direction. It has 20 memory settings which is very convenient too. The only issue with the version I bought is that you use a physical knob to define the direction of the ball so this isn't stored in memory. Therefore, you have to change these directions for your other memory settings if they don't match (which is very likely if you like a variety of pre-stored combinations). If I were to do it again, I would buy the next model up for this extra convenience but it isn't a big problem.

I find it very reliable and if there are tiny differences in where the ball is placed it doesn't bother me as it keeps me from getting complacent. One of the issues I've seen with some cheaper robots is that the feeder only allows a relatively small number of balls to be collected at the bottom of the net. I started with 120 balls and there was plenty of room for more. Secondly, some of the robots have a poor collection net so balls annoyingly slip out the side or it's just a bit flimsy overall. I think the net on the PowerPong models is very good. And this is an important feature if you don't want to have to keep picking up balls from the floor.

It started to make louder than normal noises at one point but this was simply because I didn't put enough effort in to keep it (and the balls and the floor) clean. Once cleaned, it was back to normal.

Support - After about two years the spinning wheels started acting unreliably, which greatly reduced the variety of balls that it could shoot out. One of the buttons on the control unit also became stuck. I contacted Ben and he was very helpful and supportive from the start. After many emails, lots and lots of testing and after getting feedback from the manufacturer, we finally resolved the issues. For the button that was sticking, Ben sent me a new control unit so that was a quick fix. For the unreliable wheel behaviour, it turns out that I had accidentally connected the wrong power cable to it (from my son's mini-arcade game), so the problem was me all along! It took 76 emails back and forth to get it sorted as understandably, the robot's behaviour was difficult to diagnose. I have to say that the support I got throughout was excellent and I never felt that they would give up on me until it was resolved. I've seen other robots have problems over time so I'd rate the support you get as being very important.

Possible improvements? It would have been great if it had a catalogue of pre-configured ball combinations like some of the other robots have. Instead, you have to configure everything yourself, which takes time, but I knew this when I bought it so I'm not complaining. The bracket to connect the control unit to the table didn't fit my Stiga table and I had to modify it but this is a minor point. The head is placed in the centre of the table so the net fits both sides evenly but the ideal scenario would be where the head could be moved to one side without affecting the net so you could get it to send you a serve from each side of the table instead of from the middle all the time.

Summary - I love my robot, it helped me realise how inconsistent my shots were, helped me improve and refine them and I still get joy from training with it regularly. I would highly recommend it, though if you can afford it, the higher level model would be very nice indeed.

Hope this helps!
 
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Is it normal to program a fh topspin and have 2-3 ball land where you want, then have 1 ball go off the end of the table, then another ball land toward the middle of the table?
Not with the PowerPong robot, we're only talking small differences of an inch or two (at least, in my experience). From time to time you might also notice that a ball that was designed to go over the net by a small margin might start to touch the net on the way over every 4th shot or so, but the obvious fix is to simply increase the height of the trajectory in the program, and of all the settings the height setting has the most granularity.
 
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Is it normal to program a fh topspin and have 2-3 ball land where you want, then have 1 ball go off the end of the table, then another ball land toward the middle of the table?
I would say no. However I do find when creating a drill that the sample ball tends to be a little bit different to the one that will be sent during the drill. This means first create the drill, then try it and gradually adjust each ball until it does what you want.
 
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Is it normal to program a fh topspin and have 2-3 ball land where you want, then have 1 ball go off the end of the table, then another ball land toward the middle of the table?
Not with the PowerPong robot, we're only talking small differences of an inch or two (at least, in my experience). From time to time you might also notice that a ball that was designed to go over the net by a small margin might start to touch the net on the way over every 4th shot or so, but the obvious fix is to simply increase the height of the trajectory in the program, and of all the settings the height setting has the most granularity.

Like @Schplonk said, it shouldn’t be that common. I do occasionally get a few wonky ones, and that just means I forgot to clean the aiming rails, and after scraping it clean the problem goes away till I forget to clean the rails again. That’s why it’s annoying sometimes, and why I say it’s a design flaw. Also, don’t touch the aiming rails when the robot is on, it only self calibrates during startup, so touching the rails will cause the aim to be off, a restart will solve the problem though.
 
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Like @Schplonk said, it shouldn’t be that common. I do occasionally get a few wonky ones, and that just means I forgot to clean the aiming rails, and after scraping it clean the problem goes away till I forget to clean the rails again. That’s why it’s annoying sometimes, and why I say it’s a design flaw. Also, don’t touch the aiming rails when the robot is on, it only self calibrates during startup, so touching the rails will cause the aim to be off, a restart will solve the problem though.
When you say "Rails", do you mean along the 3 wheels?
 
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Is it normal to program a fh topspin and have 2-3 ball land where you want, then have 1 ball go off the end of the table, then another ball land toward the middle of the table?
Yes, happens very frequently. It happens much more often when you have it set on high speed, spin, pace, and more locations. It also happens more often with shorter trajectories (i.e. +/-8 or +/-1 locations). Cleaning the rails help (don't forget to clean the deflector on top as well), but won't eliminate the problem.

For my random BH/FH drills I have it set to 25 speed, +4/+5 spin, 80 balls/min, 10 locations from -8 to +8. Under those settings probably 30% of the balls will either be too low (clip the net or not go over) or too high (off the end of the table).
 
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I just got a power pong omega w/the tablet. could someone post a pic of the rails that get dirty? besides ceramic coating, would other materials work? teflon strips, etc?
 
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I'm jealous bro!! that's my dream robot.
Power pong is NOT that expensive considering how expensive coaching and playing are. Time is money and money is time. So if you get power pong and that saves you some time and improve your skills, it is totally worth it!!! :) :)
 
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TT robots should have a throw wheel that spins backwards. The would allow the robot to shoot ghost serves and very spinny top spin loops.
This requires extra circuity, but not much, that will generate positive and negative current to the motor(s)
Not sure if the ghost serve is realistic in game situation though.

I am pretty happy with three-wheel robot. The no-spin is a great feature. With the plastic ball, the spin really is a lot less than before. So having no-spin and little spin (top or back) makes the robot a lot more realistic.
 
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