Review of the Powerlyte Cranium Halo replacement shell
I recently received the Cranium Replacement shells for the Halo/Reloader, made by Powerlyte. Shipping was fast and the packaging was nice and simple.
I opened the box, unwrapped the bubble wrap and here was my new Cranium.
The Translucent top was a really nice shade of blue and the camo bottem... It's just damn cool. Of course that's just my opinion. If you don't like it, Powerlyte makes solid colors too. You will notice as you look it over, that it's a lot like the Suicide Shells. 3 screws to hold the top on, split body construction, in this case very evident with the camo bottom and translucent top. But that is where the similarities stop. The Cranium is a far superior replacement shell.
Looking at the top, You see the Powerlyte logo subtley raised in the plastic.
Next you notice that Powerlyte has joined Odyssey with new magnetic lids. Strong enough to keep the lid closed securely, but easy to flick open an slap shut.
Hybrid does not have this feature on the comparison shells I have, nor do they list or show any on their website.
Looking at the bottom and it takes a second, but it suddenly dawns on you that the familiar seam of where the left and right halves meet is gone. that's right, the bottom is one solid piece.
What should that mean to you? Strength. Less chance of something chipping, cracking or splitting, including the feedneck. a Huge sigh of relief from me, as I seem to crack and break the necks off all my Halos.
So that brings up the question, "so how do you get the electronics and motor, etc in ?" Great question, and Powerlyte has a great answer. the plate that seperated the paint chamber from the electronics is removable. sweet huh?
Not only that, the area for the board is removable too. It is held into place by a single screw, slotted design, and a slight snap into place. It is very secure and almost indestinguishable as being seperate from the bottom portion of the shell.
The last thing you may or may not notice is the weight. the Cranium is a full ounce lighter than the suicide shells at 12 ounces even, but still feels solid and sturdy .
This is the Suicide Shellz minus electronics
This is the Cranium minus the electronics
Ok so now it's time to swap the guts from the Suicide Shells to the Cranium.
I'm going to skip over the removal of the electronics from the Suicide shellz, as if you have ever had a ball break, or had to previous replace your shells, then you already know what a pain in the...neck it is.
Instead, lets start with getting the Cranium ready for the internals.
First remove the top three screws. Set them aside.
Next, lift the top off by lifting up on the very front first. the rest will quickly follow. Set the top aside.
Flip the bottom portion over and remove the 4 visable screws. Start with the front and back first before removing the left and right screws.
Once all 4 are out, remove the seperator plate (which at this point should simply fall out), battery cover, and the electronics cover by sliding them off.
If you have a Rip Drive, this portion is for you.
Remove the clip with a small bladed screwdriver, and slide off the Rip Wheel.
Now, make sure that all the wires are tucked under the feed cup and secure with some tape.
As you start to insert the cup, lean it back a little so that the 2 four plug connectors stick out where the board goes.
Now put the board in place. It goes against the plastic wall and you gently slide it up so that the top corners fit into the available slots. attach the wires from the Halo. I generally go by what wires closest to the center. The right plug should have the black wire on the left side of it, towards the center of the board. The left plug should have a gray wire closest to the center of the board. The pic below is upside down, so refer to the pic above for a view rightside up.
Once the the wires are plugged in, install the electronics cover and secure with the screw.
Now you can put the cup in place.
For those with the extended post for the Rip drive, you need to make sure that you line the post up with it's hole first before letting the cup slide into place.
Verify that there are no wires getting pinched between the cup and the stability ridges. The pic with all the parts side by side shows the stability ridges if you need a reference.
If everything looks good, place the mid plate ontop and screw it back in. Take care that the battery wires are not getting piched and is hanging out the battery door.
Next, slide the Rip drive wheel back on and secure with the clip. Use needle nose pliers if you have problems getting it in place.
Next, attach the battery module to the battery connector. With the connector facing forward, push the wires in and off to the side. You will see that there is 2 ridges inside to help hold the battery module in place. make sure that the wires are on the outside those ridges. I believe that my wires were tucked in to the left side.
Place the Module in and slide the cover on and secure with the screw.
All that's left is installing the top. It fits in place in the reverse method you removed it, putting the lid side in first and then bringing the rest down into place. secure with the 3 screws and you are done.
total time to make the swap should take about 15-20 minutes. I did mine in about 45, but that was with all the picture taking.
So lets discuss the positives and negatives of the Cranium Shells.
- Magnetic lid
- Solid bottem - not split.
- electronic board accessable with hopper fully assembled.
- better secured screws- I didn't mention this before, but the screws for the top and the mid plate are held in place by the same nuts. These are barrel nuts that are completely secured in the plastic, and not held in place by a flimsy covering.
- No long screws and free floating nuts to deal with. The midplate and top shell all use the same length screw. The battery door and electronics cover both use the same size screw as well.
- easy to access the ball chamber for cleaning. 3 screws and it's open. 2 more screws and you can remove the plate if you really have a mess to clean out.
- I don't know much about the composition of the plastic, but it seems pretty tough, and a little thicker than the Suicide Shellz. Only time will only tell on whether or not it can stand up to my abuse, but I have a very positive feeling about it.
- And lastly, PRICE. Direct from Powerlyte's website, solid colors are $32.95, and camo bottoms are $36.95. Standard halo shells are $29.95, with none of the features I just talked about, Empire standard shells are $30.95, (prices will vary. These prices are quoted from Compulsive Paintballs' website) and Hybrid's Suicide Shellz directly from their site are $49.95 in basic black, and $59.95 in colors. They charge 10 bucks for basic colors, and again lacking 90% of the feature I mentioned.
- Well, I don't really have one. I couldn't find a single thing to complain about the Cranium.
Overall, this is a awesome replacement shell for your Halo. But with so many extras, I would have to call it an upgrade, not a simple replacement piece. Great Job Powerlyte!!
Now get your Cranium in the game and mow the competition.