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List of 2011 improvements IPONG Topspin, Original and Pro are the 2011 IPONG models, which are in many ways better than the previous model which was called "IPONG".
IPONG Pro is the top of the range IPONG Robot.
The IPONG Pro combines everything you love about the original IPONG with a new and exciting oscillation feature! This quality table tennis practice partner comes in a radiant red color and provides a world-class workout.
With the wired remote, players can set their own pace, from a casual to blistering ball-feed without having to leave his or her side of the table! In addition, players can control the oscillation of the unit’s core for ball placement on the table and even adjust the balls anywhere between backspin and topspin.
There’s no more waiting for a practice partner. This compact machine is more like a live opponent rather than a ‘playback feature,’ and it can continuously shoot more than 100 balls before reloading. To sweeten the appeal, it assembles in seconds with only three essential pieces to put together! No tools or equipment necessary. Simply snap in the pieces, plug in the power, and enjoy your IPONG!
Shipping weight: 6 lbs
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Reviews of IPONG Pro (4)
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I had heard some bad things about the oscillation feature of an older version of this robot. It's supposed to be fixed now so I bought one on sale from Megaspin.
I was very surprised and disturbed by the robot's tendency to "oscillate" all be itself -- even with the oscillation turned OFF! This thing would shoot balls all over the table, and there was no way to ensure they would even stay on! This was NOT an occasional glitch but a constant annoyance whenever I tried to practice a stroke. It was VERY frustrating!
Since the design looked simple enough, before contacting Joola I decided to try fixing it myself without doing anything to void the warranty.
First I cleaned the rubber wheels that spin the balls from above and below to see if some dust or other particles were to blame for the erratic behavior. This made no difference.
Then I noticed that the top wheel was fashioned with more of a concave surface to keep the ball centered as it's ejected, while the bottom wheel was flatter. Hmmm...
I thought about filing down the center of the bottom wheel so it would match the top, when I noticed that the little plastic ramp the balls must roll down to be fed into the spinning wheels was not as solid as it could be. Pressure from the balls above may sometimes move the ramp and the ball at the bottom just prior to ejection, changing the ball's trajectory. So I decided to jam some cardboard between the ramp and the side of the robot to keep it stable, at least in the horizontal plane.
And it worked! Now the robot shoots balls only where it's aimed and is very usable!
This does not seem to be the same fix Frank was referring to in his review on September 18, 2011 when he wrote about balls jamming, but I think it reduces jamming too. So I'd say jamming is rare now.
I gave this robot an 8 overall because you can't beat it for the price, esp. when it's on sale or part of a package. It has enough spin and speed (but no side spin) and I like the fact that it can be moved to different parts of the table to simulate shots from different directions, left-handed opponents, etc.
I have not yet tried the REAL oscillation feature but I can see that it does work. I'm just too traumatized from the initial shock of having practice balls aimed at my forehand go to my backhand instead, and CLEAR OFF THE TABLE on both sides at random intervals! That's enough "oscillation" to last me for a while. .)
This Robot came with my table, I hate the table but love this robot. I'm just a beginner so it does fine for teaching me how to hold my racket on different spins. I have had no issues so far with it. I wish it could hold more balls so I don't have to refill it all the time. I did have to put a towel underneath the robot to make sure the table doesn't scratch, but again that might be cause my table sucks (Joola World Cup S)
The chord that connects the robot and control box is not long enough to allow the box to reach all the way to the end of the table. Whenever I want to stop the machine, I have to move several feet to reach it which means at least one or two balls always shoot past me before I can shut it off. Also, occasionally I will set it up for practice and when I turn it on, nothing happens. [Edit: After the first week of use, it no longer fails to start up.] Regardless of its issues, it has been a useful tool for practicing shots. By positioning the robot at various location and at various heights and angles, I can reproduce some pretty specific shots that I want to practice hitting. Two throw wheels is a nice feature to have when fine tuning a shot. Lastly, I should mention that the trajectory from the iPong Pro when sitting on the table is much lower and flatter than I was anticipating. Maybe that's how all robots are, but it feels a little unnatural and harder to hit than a similar ball from a human. Finally, the oscillation feature barely works [at a low oscillation speed setting.] Sometimes, it refuses oscillate for unknown reasons. When it does work, the chord from the control box can't be pulled too tight, or it will restrict the machine's movement. This seems like a poor design attaching the the chord to the moving part of the robot, so that you have to make sure there is extra slack in an already too short chord. Bottom line is that I like the two throw wheels, and the flexibility to create almost any type of shot, but the cheap build quality is disappointing. Even for the low price, I wish they had been able to provide about three more feet of chord for the control box. I had issues with jamming early on, but after being more careful to wipe dirt off of the balls before reloading, I have had any more jams.
It has 2 wheels (contrairally to what it says above), thus permits flat balls.
The bottom wheel motor a too strong for the control max position (you need to bring it down or tilt the robot.
You need to put something on the robot itself as the balls will fly out when they it the robot.
The one I have needs to be returned (as per joola) since the base plate is too loose and sometimes a ball gets under it and jams the machine. If my replacement does this again, I will simply add a small piece of carboard to prevent a ball from getting under the plate
Enven though I tried hard, it seems nearly impossible to create a recycling systemt that will feed back inside the ipong (I gave up when the the time got to add a motor to move the ball from my recycling basket (the second part was concluded.. which consisted of pushing air in a pipe and sucking the balls via a T adapater to that tube (inconvenient was to keep the shopvac running all that time)
You can practice your feet work (Personnally, I vary with 2 routines.. Route 1: I alternate front end / backend while it oscillates
Routine 2: I keep hitting with either front end or backend and move continuously to follow the osciallation
Route 3: I simply hit 2 FE followed by 2 BE (has it has time to shoot 4 balls per round of table (at max osciallation speed)
I added a pierced bucket on top so that it can hold +200 balls. After putting a lot of thinking if I would swich to a 2040, i decided it was kind of a good thing to empty my 200 balls bucket every 3 minutes or so.. (this resemble more a tabata training..where one needs a small break after doing a heavy efforts.. et than get back to hitting 200 balls
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