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A real low and short no-spin serve can give you some easy points in matches, as they are difficult to flip hard, and they require good timing to push hard. Mix it up with a heavy backspin in the same spot. Remember to get it short, the ball should bounce short on your side close to the net...

 Prakttismate Robot review:

PK1 = $1300  PK2 = $1000

I received my Prakttismate PK1 yesterday.  Everything seems good when I unpacked it.  I haven't set it up yet as my garage is still in use (finishing a wood-working project).  Hopefully I will be able to set it up and start using it today or tomorrow.  

My initial impressions:

1.  I was surprised how small and compact the box is!  1/2 the size of the V988 box. 

2.  Quality is superb:  everything looks strong and super heavy-duty.  No plastic anywhere.  Everything is metal.

3.  I didn't know the head height is adjustable!   That was a feature that only the $2400 Amicus had.  Nice surprise!

4.  I like the manual.  This is by far the best manual of all the robots.  It is at least double the amount of writing as the other manuals, and the pictures really help. 

Summary:  I think I really struck gold here. 

  • -This robot was about $1300,

  • -is made of solid metal,

  • -is compact,

  • -has a head that adjusts up and down by about 6 inches,

  • -the heads also tilt up and down,

  • -it rotates 360 degrees to make any spin,

  • -it also makes dead balls,

  • -you can run spin independent of speed so you can have dead ball fast or slow, or mega spin fast or slow as well as any combination in between,

  • -it makes a LOT of spin (13000rpm at max), it makes a LOT of speed (90mph at max),

  • -the robot mounts INSIDE the net, so no matter where on the table you put it, the balls will recycle (note: even Amicus can't do that)

  • -and it oscillates.  Oscillation speed is adjustable. 

Is there anything this robot can't do?  Well, it is not programmable so you can't have a short underspin followed by a long topspin automatically.  But do you need that?  Further, do you need that functionality at the expense of having no ability to make sidespin, and having to pay $2500+? (Obviously I'm talking about Amicus).

I think we now have an Amicus-killer!

Well now that I've had a few days to spend with the Prakttismate PK1 robot, I thought I'd give a little conclusion. 

This robot does everything it claims to do.  In fact, it actually OVER-DOES it. 

I just set this thing to mega underspin, and it is an UNGODLY amount of spin.  I set it up to do a heavy short underspin serve, and just for fun tried the highest settings possible.  The ball came out low, bounced on the server side, just barely cleared the net, then bounced on the receiver side, landing very short, then one more bounce and then did an about face and went right back over the net from whence it came!  Now is that mega underspin or what?

Just touching such a ball made the ball slam hard straight down into the table.  This is a SICK amount of spin. 

But in case you are wondering, you can adjust for lower amounts of spin, all the way down to a dead ball. 

The robot head adjusts up and down easily.  The robot head tilts up and down as well very easily.  The head swivels easily 360 degrees and adjusts in seconds to any spin you want, just like a Newgy and just as quickly. 

Ball delivery is silky and smooth and quiet. 

The oscillator works flawlessly, and controls to turn it on and adjust speed of oscillation are conveniently located right on the remote controller. 

The net worked perfectly and was easy to set up.   In fact the whol robot is fairly easy to set up and take down.  Though it is not as easy as a Newgy or V-series Paddle Palace. 

Bottom line:  I have no complaints with this robot.  It does exactly what it says it can do and does it at a fair price. 

One suggestion:  well even though this manual was about twice as thick as any of the competition's manual, I still want more writing.  I suggested to Prakktismate that they include a page with about 6 settings fully described.  For each setting, I would like to specifically know how high to set the head, what angle to set the head, and how to set each control on the remote controller.  I would like this info for short underspin, long underspin, short dead balls, long dead balls, and some topspin varieties.  This way it becomes that much easier to get started.  Side spin suggestions are not necessary because any time you have the robot set you can just turn the head to sidespin and it will work just fine with a minimum of setting adjustments. 

I am very happy with this robot. 

BTW, in case you were wondering the way to get the Mega underspin is to turn the head so that the big wheel is down, set the big wheel to about 6, then turn on the small wheel with the "reverse" switch set to Reverse, and turn the reverse wheel setting to about 4.  Have the head as low as possible to the table and the head angle almost straight horizontal.  It's nasty!

Marco Borrillo

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