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Rex

New Age of Mosfets

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Rex
Posted (edited)

I recently took the step to replace the fried stock G&G micro-switch trigger and mosfet with the new Gate Aster. More specifically, I had Nox do it... 

Anyway, while researching the newest Gate offering, I came across multiple rifles which came pre-installed with this $70 programmable mosfet. This alone did not surprise me as companies such as Umbrella Armory has been using the Gate Titan for years; however, I was surprised to find multiple sub-$500 rifles pre-installed with these high end mosfets. I've provided a couple examples below, which obviously may no withstand the test of time, but each (KWA Tekken TK45 & EMG Daniel Defense M4A1) can be purchased for less than $500. The KWA is actually only charging a $10 premium for the installation of the mosfet for a total increased cost of $80 above the base rifle. 

KWA Tekken TK45: https://www.evike.com/products/14413/

EMG Daniel Defense M4A1: https://www.evike.com/products/94420/ (currently on sale for $299 which just melts my brain a little).

I feel that this is a positive trend in the airsoft world. The ability for individuals with limited technical skills or limited time can now purchase a mid-tier rifle with a high end programmable mosfet pre-installed. I hope we continue to see this trend continue into other manufacturers and end the rain of mediocre pre-installed mosfets (looking at you G&G, ICS, G&P, etc). I also hold hope that as more manufacturers begin using higher quality stock mosfets, the high-end aftermarket industry may feel the need to offer more competitive pricing. 

What are your thoughts? Have you seen other rifles offered with these pre-installed aftermarket electrical upgrades? 

 

p.s. The Gate's binary trigger programming is just hilarious. 

Edited by Rex

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Nox
Posted (edited)

Specna Arms Edge series are mid level guns that come preinstalled with the Gate X-ASR mosfet. It's not terribly impressive, but a step in the right direction. Personally, i would rather lower priced guns just come with basic mosfets and the high end guns come with better ones. Doesn't really make sense to put a high quality unit in a low performance gearbox IMO

I changed my mind. Keep the fancy mosfets to those who are technically inclined, or can pay someone to install it. Gotta spend cheddar to shoot better (yes I am aware that skill is more important than how your gun performs but I wanted to use that saying)

Edited by Nox

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Hanback

I am an old school gun tech biased against mosfets. They are great feats of engineering and finally we are getting into units that are not only quality, but finally offer some longevity (looking at you ASCU). It has always been the drawback, and always will. Electronics are susceptible to dust, debris, water, and general moisture intrusion which wrecks them all given that airsoft guns are exposed to these environments constantly. Although it effects even simple circuits (diode, gate, resistor), robust parts can stave it off. It wreaks absolute havoc on anything digital and circuit board wise though.

As a tech, I have hated computerized mosfets from day one simply for the fact that they are so fragile, not the easiest to install always, and awful to diagnose problems on. Mix in high prices and short life expectancy, and I never could get behind them. I admit that modern ones have curbed these issues greatly, but my old school mentality still stands. Good wire, good contacts, proper connector, and if need be, a simple mosfet of two resistors, a gate, and diode if you want to go overkill. With low grade wire and the such, fets are required to prevent premature wear to contacts and the such. On a properly built and tuned setup, the requirement vanishes and it plays more to wire runs and available space. Most guns these days are coming with some version of this hardware mosfet installed (Krytac). Its great from the factory, but it doesn't yield much since very cheap and low grade parts are typically used.

Everyone has their own opinions though and I have installed many a computer mosfet to the customers desires and had them work fine (albeit short life span). Im just a fan of the simple method myself, hard wired with good wiring and an occasional home-built hardware fet when needed. Guaranteed to work without failure every time. Id rather save the money from a fet and buy more mags, better radio, new goggles, etc etc etc.

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Nox
1 hour ago, Hanback said:

I am an old

How short of a lifespan are you talking? Aside from firmware bugs or user error, I usually see high end mosfets lasting quite a long time, at least a long time in terms of airsoft lol

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Hanback
Just now, Nox said:

at least a long time in terms of airsoft lol

lol. Really not that "old" but in airsoft years I suppose I am.

And that there is the problem. Some companies thing the 90 day warranty period is sufficient sadly.

Its been all over the board. Ive had numerous factory defective, more broken within a year, and occasionally one that stretches its legs and goes for a while. The fets will the multiple thin wires (3 - 4+ of them) were always a pain in the ass. Nine times out of 10 they had to be glued into the shell to prevent damage to the wires. Ive fiddled with tons of different brands and never seen a mosfet last more then 2 years of proper heavy use (playing every week to every other week). And thats the problem, "heavy use." They just typically cant stand up to it.

The other problem Ive seen is overheating issues. Companies want to pack everything into a very tight space thus they skimp on proper air volumes and forgo heat sinks in order to fit in buffer tubes, hand guards, etc. This retards and ultimately destroys the mosfet long before it should. Auto-brakers don't exist really anymore because of it. We were in house building auto-brakers (non-computer controlled) and kept getting heat failures. I finally sat down and ran the calculations and found that a heat sink to properly dissipate the heat in the mosfet would have to be a quarter the size of the gun for that amp load...just not realistic.

I can imagine that the more modern fets are quite good at what they do. Im interested to see what kind of lifespan they will be getting though in a variety of environments. The airsoft environment here in Indiana can be brutal on guns throughout the course of the year.

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Nox
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Hanback said:

lol. Really not that "old" but in airsoft years I suppose I am.

I just did it as a joke lol, I think age-wise we're within like 5 years of each other.

I do agree that many mosfets are poorly designed and take way too much gearbox modification to fit and last properly. However, I have to respectfully disagree with some of the other thoughts. If your build is properly balanced (i.e. you're not using low ratio gears with a very low TPA motor and a high power spring, etc) and you have a battery that can appropriately deliver the energy output that your gun needs, overheating shouldn't be an issue. I've got two BTC mosfets in very different builds, one being an outdoor gun with a semi auto cycle time of 30ms and the other a DSG with a cycle time of 23ms and 50rps, neither of which heat up more than what's ordinary.

BTC's "limited" warranty is 3 years and I put limited in quotations because they rarely seem to not get fixed or replaced. From what I've seen on other internet sources, it seems like their most common issue, the small microswitches breaking due to improper installation or excessive force applied to the trigger, basically have no limitations on the warranty. Even users who purchased their units secondhand from other players have been able to get broken switches repaired. But, that is all anecdotal evidence so it does still need to be taken with a grain of salt.

With gate, they have not as lenient of a warranty and it is only for 1 year, however they seem to be pretty punctual in responding and often times will send the user a new unit to replace the defective one. Defective units are actually required to be snapped in half with proof sent to Gate before the new unit will be sent out, as it is not cost effective for them to remove the coating applied to the circuit boards, fix them, and then reapply the coating.

 

EDIT: I was just reading up on the upcoming BTC Spectre Mk3 and among the numerous new features that will be implemented, BTC will have a lifetime warranty with unlimited transfers

Edited by Nox
Learned some new info

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Hanback
Just now, Nox said:

BTC will have a lifetime warranty with unlimited transfers

There we go! That would be the thing to look for. Warranties like that are unheard of unless the product is simply that good.

My overheating point is almost mute these days. No one understood wire, resistance, voltage, etc and just slapped things together leading to mosfets that tended to run hot. As with most industries, they quickly learned what does and doesnt work though and started using better. I still utterly despise stock wiring with a vengeance, though it is much better than it used to be and is engineered within the margins now.

I am a simple proponent of "the larger the pipe, the more you can flow" and building in ridiculous overhead factors for electrical. Ran an m60 on a truck battery once for fun with my custom wire harness just to test (and giggle madly because is an LMG on a 800 CCA battery). Harness held, and suffice to say, the gun ran like a raped ape. But I digress.

If the new BTC checks out ill be interested to see the wiring layout. Specifically with fixed stock LCT AK's, you are almost required to run mosfet because there isnt enough room to run the primary wires to the contacts. It forces the battery to be in the stock and primary wires to route directly to the grip and motor leaving only enough room for two 24aug wires to the contacts. Its a frustratingly significant oversight in the design that ive fiddled with now for a few years and mosfet is the only way I have solved it. The time delay of the contact circuit closing and the logic gate allowing primary flow kind of degrades trigger response though which is again frustrating.

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Nox

Unfortunately the Spectre has never been made in a V3 version. BTC has the Chimera that has a V3 version, which is similar in function but put the brains of the unit on a separate circuit board that is placed outside of the gearbox. That one might be the best bet for LCT AKs.

This is the one I have in my CA AK. I wired it to the stock and just the ribbon wires run along the top of the gearbox.

index2.jpg

Edited by Nox

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Rex
On 1/8/2020 at 12:22 AM, Nox said:

I changed my mind. Keep the fancy mosfets to those who are technically inclined, or can pay someone to install it. Gotta spend cheddar to shoot better (yes I am aware that skill is more important than how your gun performs but I wanted to use that saying)

I can appreciate keeping the price point low, but the problem with cheap mosfets is they break and require a level of technical knowledge to fix. This move to include more high end electrical systems in mass produced rifles could help reduce this occurance. 

While paying $400 for a rifle won't be for everyone, I just love that the option exists to get a high end mosfets for sub $1,000. I hope to see more brands teaming with comoani s like Gate and BTC in the future. 

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Hanback

I'll have to snag some pictures tonight of what I worked up on the LCT I've got. It took a while and was incredibly frustrating, but I made it work. Still not happy though. Too many brakes in the wiring system compound to reduce trigger response, the fet in the stock eats up battery space, and it's a royal pain to fully dismantle.

LCT is the only AK to date I have had the problem with. It's a byproduct of their proprietary stamping process and rear trunnion support. It only exists on the non-folding full stocks as well. E&L on the other hand with the 1.5mm stamped receiver....wiring is a breeze.

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