The Trouble with Tribals...

The Trouble with Tribals...

Doc Nickel
Doc Nickel

June 27th, 2012, 6:49 am #1

I was digging for some parts today, in one of several boxes I put away years ago, full of parts I figured were obsolete and in the way... and found a Tribal I'd forgotten I had.

I was never much of a Tribal afficionado, and really I've only worked on a bare handful- and the last such repair was many moons ago.

This one, I vaguely recollect, was a trade-in, swapped for some work on another marker or somesuch. And, as with most of my personal project markers, it got placed in a project tray and set aside to be worked on later. I seem to recall I had some plans to collect all the then-hot Tribal tidbits and mods for it, maybe drop in a Morlock with ACE, maybe do a little body milling, the usual.

On disassembly, it appears to be largely intact, with the worst damage being minor scuffing of the valve stem. I put a semi-fresh 9V to it, and the LED blinks and I can hear the solenoid click.

Now, here's a question... As I said, I was never much of a Tribal expert, even back in the day, and what little I knew I've long forgotten. Here's a pic of the back panel, along with the internal DIP switches:



The upper-right red LED lights up and blinks when the trigger switch is actuated. The switch on the left is obviously the main on-off. But what are the other two LEDs and the phono jack for?

I saw the green LED blink once when I hit the trigger switch, but just once. The yellow one (the right-hand of the two) has not come on yet.

I'm assuming the jack is either a remote trigger switch, a control for a loader (the old "Intellifeed" mod that was popular in the pre-force-fed loader days) or a charging jack for the battery. The jack doesn't seem to connect directly to the 9V connections, but that's not a dealbreaker.

Anybody know? It sure looks factory, rather than a homebrew "Intellifeed"... 'Course, the whole board assembly looks somewhat aftermarket- all the wire connections are strain-relieved with hot glue, and there's a hand-written sticker on the IC chip that says something like "VEB" or something like that.

Finally, anyone know what the DIP switches do? I'm assuming things like dwell, ROF, and/or various fire modes like FA or "Turbo" mode. Presumably I can do some trial-and-error to find out, but there's lots of combinations- a proper instructional would be a real time saver.

Now, what's the scoop on the hardware? I seem to recall the built-in LPR was barely adequate even when new and properly lubed; is it rec-play adequate, or stable-HPA-pressures-only adequate, or is it don't-even-bother?

Similarly, what's the poop on the foregrip reg? This one seems to be in good shape, the piston isn't badly marked up from the adjuster screw, the main seal looks okay... Is this another one that works okay if fed fairly stable HPA but doesn't like bouncy CO2 pressures?

I was kind of thinking I could just gut it- reversibly- and use it as a gas-thru for another Max setup like I have on the mech 'Cocker... What's a stock-valved Tribal like to see, probably about 350 to 400 psi or so?

And, of course, any other tips and tricks I ought to know about?

Doc.
Quote
Share

ta2maki
ta2maki

June 27th, 2012, 7:12 am #2

Looks like the phono jack is a charge port. Dipswitch functions are in there as well. Seems you just just need to figure out which model.

http://www.cet.com/~sbryant/manuals/tri ... Manual.pdf
Quote
Share

Joined: January 23rd, 2012, 7:14 pm

June 27th, 2012, 7:30 am #3

I was digging for some parts today, in one of several boxes I put away years ago, full of parts I figured were obsolete and in the way... and found a Tribal I'd forgotten I had.

I was never much of a Tribal afficionado, and really I've only worked on a bare handful- and the last such repair was many moons ago.

This one, I vaguely recollect, was a trade-in, swapped for some work on another marker or somesuch. And, as with most of my personal project markers, it got placed in a project tray and set aside to be worked on later. I seem to recall I had some plans to collect all the then-hot Tribal tidbits and mods for it, maybe drop in a Morlock with ACE, maybe do a little body milling, the usual.

On disassembly, it appears to be largely intact, with the worst damage being minor scuffing of the valve stem. I put a semi-fresh 9V to it, and the LED blinks and I can hear the solenoid click.

Now, here's a question... As I said, I was never much of a Tribal expert, even back in the day, and what little I knew I've long forgotten. Here's a pic of the back panel, along with the internal DIP switches:



The upper-right red LED lights up and blinks when the trigger switch is actuated. The switch on the left is obviously the main on-off. But what are the other two LEDs and the phono jack for?

I saw the green LED blink once when I hit the trigger switch, but just once. The yellow one (the right-hand of the two) has not come on yet.

I'm assuming the jack is either a remote trigger switch, a control for a loader (the old "Intellifeed" mod that was popular in the pre-force-fed loader days) or a charging jack for the battery. The jack doesn't seem to connect directly to the 9V connections, but that's not a dealbreaker.

Anybody know? It sure looks factory, rather than a homebrew "Intellifeed"... 'Course, the whole board assembly looks somewhat aftermarket- all the wire connections are strain-relieved with hot glue, and there's a hand-written sticker on the IC chip that says something like "VEB" or something like that.

Finally, anyone know what the DIP switches do? I'm assuming things like dwell, ROF, and/or various fire modes like FA or "Turbo" mode. Presumably I can do some trial-and-error to find out, but there's lots of combinations- a proper instructional would be a real time saver.

Now, what's the scoop on the hardware? I seem to recall the built-in LPR was barely adequate even when new and properly lubed; is it rec-play adequate, or stable-HPA-pressures-only adequate, or is it don't-even-bother?

Similarly, what's the poop on the foregrip reg? This one seems to be in good shape, the piston isn't badly marked up from the adjuster screw, the main seal looks okay... Is this another one that works okay if fed fairly stable HPA but doesn't like bouncy CO2 pressures?

I was kind of thinking I could just gut it- reversibly- and use it as a gas-thru for another Max setup like I have on the mech 'Cocker... What's a stock-valved Tribal like to see, probably about 350 to 400 psi or so?

And, of course, any other tips and tricks I ought to know about?

Doc.
There were wall charging units but most of them didn't seem to work. None of ours ever did. Hopefully there is a valve dampener installed. The early ones needed retrofitted. Without one you get the bolt pin slamming into the body and peening until the bolt won't move. Had that happen around the 5 case mark with 2 guns. Fortunately there's room to get a needle file in there. I'm thinking low battery on the yellow light..... So long ago. I'll see if there's a decent faq laying around with board info.

Here's cocker punks short vid, it might have a tidbit or 2.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA5Y2yPxaR8
Quote
Like
Share

Another Evil Monkey
Another Evil Monkey

June 27th, 2012, 1:27 pm #4

I was digging for some parts today, in one of several boxes I put away years ago, full of parts I figured were obsolete and in the way... and found a Tribal I'd forgotten I had.

I was never much of a Tribal afficionado, and really I've only worked on a bare handful- and the last such repair was many moons ago.

This one, I vaguely recollect, was a trade-in, swapped for some work on another marker or somesuch. And, as with most of my personal project markers, it got placed in a project tray and set aside to be worked on later. I seem to recall I had some plans to collect all the then-hot Tribal tidbits and mods for it, maybe drop in a Morlock with ACE, maybe do a little body milling, the usual.

On disassembly, it appears to be largely intact, with the worst damage being minor scuffing of the valve stem. I put a semi-fresh 9V to it, and the LED blinks and I can hear the solenoid click.

Now, here's a question... As I said, I was never much of a Tribal expert, even back in the day, and what little I knew I've long forgotten. Here's a pic of the back panel, along with the internal DIP switches:



The upper-right red LED lights up and blinks when the trigger switch is actuated. The switch on the left is obviously the main on-off. But what are the other two LEDs and the phono jack for?

I saw the green LED blink once when I hit the trigger switch, but just once. The yellow one (the right-hand of the two) has not come on yet.

I'm assuming the jack is either a remote trigger switch, a control for a loader (the old "Intellifeed" mod that was popular in the pre-force-fed loader days) or a charging jack for the battery. The jack doesn't seem to connect directly to the 9V connections, but that's not a dealbreaker.

Anybody know? It sure looks factory, rather than a homebrew "Intellifeed"... 'Course, the whole board assembly looks somewhat aftermarket- all the wire connections are strain-relieved with hot glue, and there's a hand-written sticker on the IC chip that says something like "VEB" or something like that.

Finally, anyone know what the DIP switches do? I'm assuming things like dwell, ROF, and/or various fire modes like FA or "Turbo" mode. Presumably I can do some trial-and-error to find out, but there's lots of combinations- a proper instructional would be a real time saver.

Now, what's the scoop on the hardware? I seem to recall the built-in LPR was barely adequate even when new and properly lubed; is it rec-play adequate, or stable-HPA-pressures-only adequate, or is it don't-even-bother?

Similarly, what's the poop on the foregrip reg? This one seems to be in good shape, the piston isn't badly marked up from the adjuster screw, the main seal looks okay... Is this another one that works okay if fed fairly stable HPA but doesn't like bouncy CO2 pressures?

I was kind of thinking I could just gut it- reversibly- and use it as a gas-thru for another Max setup like I have on the mech 'Cocker... What's a stock-valved Tribal like to see, probably about 350 to 400 psi or so?

And, of course, any other tips and tricks I ought to know about?

Doc.
Have Blue should have all your answers.

Here is his site and contact info.
www.airsoldier.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Scr ... e_Code=AOS
Quote
Share

Have Blue
Have Blue

June 27th, 2012, 2:27 pm #5

I was digging for some parts today, in one of several boxes I put away years ago, full of parts I figured were obsolete and in the way... and found a Tribal I'd forgotten I had.

I was never much of a Tribal afficionado, and really I've only worked on a bare handful- and the last such repair was many moons ago.

This one, I vaguely recollect, was a trade-in, swapped for some work on another marker or somesuch. And, as with most of my personal project markers, it got placed in a project tray and set aside to be worked on later. I seem to recall I had some plans to collect all the then-hot Tribal tidbits and mods for it, maybe drop in a Morlock with ACE, maybe do a little body milling, the usual.

On disassembly, it appears to be largely intact, with the worst damage being minor scuffing of the valve stem. I put a semi-fresh 9V to it, and the LED blinks and I can hear the solenoid click.

Now, here's a question... As I said, I was never much of a Tribal expert, even back in the day, and what little I knew I've long forgotten. Here's a pic of the back panel, along with the internal DIP switches:



The upper-right red LED lights up and blinks when the trigger switch is actuated. The switch on the left is obviously the main on-off. But what are the other two LEDs and the phono jack for?

I saw the green LED blink once when I hit the trigger switch, but just once. The yellow one (the right-hand of the two) has not come on yet.

I'm assuming the jack is either a remote trigger switch, a control for a loader (the old "Intellifeed" mod that was popular in the pre-force-fed loader days) or a charging jack for the battery. The jack doesn't seem to connect directly to the 9V connections, but that's not a dealbreaker.

Anybody know? It sure looks factory, rather than a homebrew "Intellifeed"... 'Course, the whole board assembly looks somewhat aftermarket- all the wire connections are strain-relieved with hot glue, and there's a hand-written sticker on the IC chip that says something like "VEB" or something like that.

Finally, anyone know what the DIP switches do? I'm assuming things like dwell, ROF, and/or various fire modes like FA or "Turbo" mode. Presumably I can do some trial-and-error to find out, but there's lots of combinations- a proper instructional would be a real time saver.

Now, what's the scoop on the hardware? I seem to recall the built-in LPR was barely adequate even when new and properly lubed; is it rec-play adequate, or stable-HPA-pressures-only adequate, or is it don't-even-bother?

Similarly, what's the poop on the foregrip reg? This one seems to be in good shape, the piston isn't badly marked up from the adjuster screw, the main seal looks okay... Is this another one that works okay if fed fairly stable HPA but doesn't like bouncy CO2 pressures?

I was kind of thinking I could just gut it- reversibly- and use it as a gas-thru for another Max setup like I have on the mech 'Cocker... What's a stock-valved Tribal like to see, probably about 350 to 400 psi or so?

And, of course, any other tips and tricks I ought to know about?

Doc.
Mornin', Doc! Someone said I should pop in to my old haunt for a sec... My knowledge is pretty rusty at this point, but here goes:

The 3 LEDs are all for battery status - supposedly when fully charged you should have the green LED lit (I don't recall if the other ones were to stay lit as well). Phono jack is indeed for charging, but I think most of us Tribal users just yanked the 9v battery out and used a proper NiMH charger anyhow.

Stock board assemblies all looked like that, with the hot glue and soldered ribbon cable. The poor state of the electronics was my impetus for building the Warlord boards. I was wondering if perhaps you had a Fury chip installed, but the 'VEB' looking sticker means it's a stock chip.

Someone linked to the manual, and you should have all the DIP switch settings from that.

The stock LPR was rotten, but as long as it was lubed and functioning, it worked well enough. The biggest gripe was the lack of external adjustment. I still have a few of my old cocker LPR adapters kicking around - drop me a line and I can send you one if you like.

The foregrip reg, on the other hand... well, the old Sheridan RG-1 has better performance. It was downright feeble, period. If you can feed the gun stable (and adjustable) HPA pressure, I'd gut the reg and use it as a gas-through-grip to keep the stock look, just like you say.

I don't recall stock operating pressures, but I'd start at around 300-350.

Other tips/tricks... The ribbon cables are pinch-prone, so be very careful when re-assembling. Also, redo the hot glue strain reliefs with more hot glue or silicone - they were not very good to begin with (Romania is not well known for building quality paintball guns). I think I may have a few old Fury chips left (Defiance's version of the Chaos chip for the Tribal) if you want a simple drop-in upgrade. (Also have a bunch of Warlord boards left, but it would take me a long time to get around to final assembly of them.)

I liked to do a little valve work to open them up a bit - stick the valve body (tipped forward a little) in a vise and drop an end mill straight down to get a little more direct flow. Shaving the valve stem was a quick lathe job (your old Grizzly 9x20 lathe saw many of those).

As someone mentioned, the valve buffer is a very good idea. I also liked to give the ram shaft a good polishing, and long ago we found a cone spring from McMaster-Carr that was an almost perfect fit behind the hammer to help kill first shot dropoff.

- HB
Quote
Share

Doc Nickel
Doc Nickel

June 27th, 2012, 9:06 pm #6

Looks like the phono jack is a charge port. Dipswitch functions are in there as well. Seems you just just need to figure out which model.

http://www.cet.com/~sbryant/manuals/tri ... Manual.pdf
Thank you, that was quite helpful!

Doc.
Quote
Share

Doc Nickel
Doc Nickel

June 28th, 2012, 12:55 am #7

Mornin', Doc! Someone said I should pop in to my old haunt for a sec... My knowledge is pretty rusty at this point, but here goes:

The 3 LEDs are all for battery status - supposedly when fully charged you should have the green LED lit (I don't recall if the other ones were to stay lit as well). Phono jack is indeed for charging, but I think most of us Tribal users just yanked the 9v battery out and used a proper NiMH charger anyhow.

Stock board assemblies all looked like that, with the hot glue and soldered ribbon cable. The poor state of the electronics was my impetus for building the Warlord boards. I was wondering if perhaps you had a Fury chip installed, but the 'VEB' looking sticker means it's a stock chip.

Someone linked to the manual, and you should have all the DIP switch settings from that.

The stock LPR was rotten, but as long as it was lubed and functioning, it worked well enough. The biggest gripe was the lack of external adjustment. I still have a few of my old cocker LPR adapters kicking around - drop me a line and I can send you one if you like.

The foregrip reg, on the other hand... well, the old Sheridan RG-1 has better performance. It was downright feeble, period. If you can feed the gun stable (and adjustable) HPA pressure, I'd gut the reg and use it as a gas-through-grip to keep the stock look, just like you say.

I don't recall stock operating pressures, but I'd start at around 300-350.

Other tips/tricks... The ribbon cables are pinch-prone, so be very careful when re-assembling. Also, redo the hot glue strain reliefs with more hot glue or silicone - they were not very good to begin with (Romania is not well known for building quality paintball guns). I think I may have a few old Fury chips left (Defiance's version of the Chaos chip for the Tribal) if you want a simple drop-in upgrade. (Also have a bunch of Warlord boards left, but it would take me a long time to get around to final assembly of them.)

I liked to do a little valve work to open them up a bit - stick the valve body (tipped forward a little) in a vise and drop an end mill straight down to get a little more direct flow. Shaving the valve stem was a quick lathe job (your old Grizzly 9x20 lathe saw many of those).

As someone mentioned, the valve buffer is a very good idea. I also liked to give the ram shaft a good polishing, and long ago we found a cone spring from McMaster-Carr that was an almost perfect fit behind the hammer to help kill first shot dropoff.

- HB
Thanks for the info.

Now, for the follow-up questions:

First off, what would a Fury chip do for me? I probably knew, back in the day, but today I can't recall whether some cool firing mode was on a Morlock board, or a Gladiator or a Blackheart- or, for that matter, just one of Jim Drew's fevered rantings.

I was considering dropping a Morlock in this thing- I still have a couple floating around, and it'd be neat to retrofit some eyes to it. I'm going to have to decide what I want to do, though- keep it or sell it, and if I sell it, do I want to keep it more or less stock, reversibly modded (as in using an LPR adapter and replacing the foregrip reg) or heavily customized (as in, possibly even chopping the back off, Fastback style.)

As for the LPR, I saw the adapter you have in your store- is it possible (as in, given the gun's plumbing) to make a "built in" external LPR? As in, instead of a pipe-nipple mounted LPR and a short bit of external LP hosing, something more like an Intimidator/Freestyle/ETek LPR.

I'm sure with time I can sit down and puzzle that out, but I'm just curious if anyone's tried it, or determined it won't work for whatever reason.

Second, what's this bumper mentioned for the valve? I see a roll pin in there, is it something to keep the hammer from whacking that pin? If so, what's it look like? Is it something like nylon or delrin, or more like urethane?

Doc.
Quote
Share

Joined: January 23rd, 2012, 7:14 pm

June 28th, 2012, 2:46 am #8

This thread has some pics in the first couple posts.

http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?t=84463
Quote
Like
Share

Have Blue
Have Blue

June 28th, 2012, 3:32 pm #9

Thanks for the info.

Now, for the follow-up questions:

First off, what would a Fury chip do for me? I probably knew, back in the day, but today I can't recall whether some cool firing mode was on a Morlock board, or a Gladiator or a Blackheart- or, for that matter, just one of Jim Drew's fevered rantings.

I was considering dropping a Morlock in this thing- I still have a couple floating around, and it'd be neat to retrofit some eyes to it. I'm going to have to decide what I want to do, though- keep it or sell it, and if I sell it, do I want to keep it more or less stock, reversibly modded (as in using an LPR adapter and replacing the foregrip reg) or heavily customized (as in, possibly even chopping the back off, Fastback style.)

As for the LPR, I saw the adapter you have in your store- is it possible (as in, given the gun's plumbing) to make a "built in" external LPR? As in, instead of a pipe-nipple mounted LPR and a short bit of external LP hosing, something more like an Intimidator/Freestyle/ETek LPR.

I'm sure with time I can sit down and puzzle that out, but I'm just curious if anyone's tried it, or determined it won't work for whatever reason.

Second, what's this bumper mentioned for the valve? I see a roll pin in there, is it something to keep the hammer from whacking that pin? If so, what's it look like? Is it something like nylon or delrin, or more like urethane?

Doc.
The Fury chip would do pretty much everything that a Chaos chip would do - a few more firing modes, tighter dwell control, etc. You could also run break-beam eyes if I recall - took a bit of soldering, but Defiance had programmed one of the pins to be a photoeye input. I think the nicest thing that the Fury gives over the stock chip is simply shot buffering - the stock chip will actually stop firing if you get above a steady 13bps on the trigger (I had to use a function generator to discover that). Most people probably wouldn't notice, but if you have a 25g microswitch rather than the stock 80g and have really quick fingers, you may notice skipped shots with the stock chip.

Built-in LPR is most certainly possible - in fact, MacDev actually had one available for a time. Should you find one of the MacDev ones, I don't recommend using it - the external threads were woefully undersized (and had only 3-4 complete thread revolutions), and there was at least one report of it shooting out of the front of the gun when gassed up. Edwin Herasmiuk (a fellow Tribal enthusiast from back in the day) may have a few of his TILPRs left: http://www.tribal-paintball.com/products.html

I made my valve buffers out of Delrin - was really nothing more than a washer with a clipped edge to clear the pin. You just need something thick enough that the hammer will contact it before the pin (thus imparting the force on the valve body rather than the pin).

One other thing that's sticking in my mind is the need for a bumper of some sort on the ram shaft. If the bolt pull pin is bottoming out in the body slot before the ram/hammer has moved back as far as it can, the pull pin will start peening the end of the slot over time. Toxic toys used a rubber washer on a few guns, but we found that a thick o-ring worked nicely.
Quote
Share

Doc Nickel
Doc Nickel

June 29th, 2012, 11:51 am #10

So if I have a good LPR (stock or aftermarket) a good inline reg (something aftermarket) the bumper for the valve, a bumper on the ram shaft (or that cone spring) and keep everything reasonably well lubed, it's pretty much ready to go in otherwise-stock configuration?

Looking at the LPR, I wonder if anyone's tried to retrofit a Trilogy reg on there... You'd need the external hose, sure, but it's a decent reg, would leave some fair internal volume, wouldn't look too goofy...

I might have to look into that...

Oh, and it turns out I have two Tribals. One's all black with very basic, straight body milling (a Mephisto, I believe) and the other is red and black splash/sponge with the same basic milling. Both are 2-finger, but the black has the LEDs up at the front of the tray, rather than the back as the above photo shows.

Black one looks brand new. Still has the sticker on the reg. I seem to recall I took it in on trade for some posters several years ago...

Doc.
Quote
Share