Find fields & stores near you!
Find fields and stores
Zipcode
PbNation News
PbNation News
Community Focus
Community Focus

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-14-2021, 03:25 PM #1
beekermartin
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Rhode Island
 has been a member for 10 years
The Virtue Spire Ncharge damaged the PCB on my Spire 3. Long but maybe helpful info..

I figured I would post this here to help inform people of a potential issue with the Virture Spire Ncharge.

I have been using an Ncharge for a long time on both a Spire 3 and an original Spire without any issues. Recently a noticed the Spire 3 would sometimes stop working for a second or two. I would tap the side and it would start working again. I assumed it was a minor jam or a shot didn't register. That only happened a few times. I wouldn't have thought anything of it until what happened this past Saturday. I loaded it up and turned it on. It was working properly for a few shots and then it stopped feeding. It then made some odd beeping sounds and turned off. It wouldn't turn back on after that. I tried a different Ncharge and also the stock 3 AA battery pack. No matter what I tried it wouldn't turn on. I also noticed the chip on the bottom of the PCB was hot to the touch. I knew then something was obviously wrong with the PCB. I installed the motor from the Spire 3 in a Spire 4 I had just to make sure it wasn't a motor issue. The motor worked properly in the Spire 4 so I knew the issue was the PCB.

I contacted Virtue about the issue and sent them photos of the PCB. I then decided to take a good look at the PCB to see if I could find anything wrong. I couldn't see anything obvious to the naked eye. I then looked at the photos I had sent to Virtue. I found the issue immediately! Some of the traces on the PCB were damaged. I then looked at the back of the Ncharge and I could feel tiny pins poking through the felt backing. Those pins cut into and damaged the traces on the PCB. I brought this to Virtue's attention and they basically said the pins damaged the PCB because I overtightened the Ncharge. I know it wasn't overtightened. The vibration of the Ncharge moving slightly while playing cut into the PCB. That is what caused the damage. Regardless if it was overtightened or not there shouldn't be pins poking through the back of the Ncharge!

The warranty is only for 90 days and I have owned both the Spire 3 and Ncharge for longer than that. Virtue was nice enough to send me a coupon code for a discount on a replacement PCB but they wouldn't fully cover the replacement PCB. That was better than nothing but since I feel this is a poorly designed defect it should have been warrantied. I pleaded my case but the discount code is all they would do. Oh well, I tried.

Maybe Virtue corrected this issues with the newer versions of the Ncharge. I don't know. I am going to remove the other Ncharge I have when I get home and check if the pins are poking through that one as well. If so some electrical tape or felt should help to protect the PCB. I will be sure to cover the pins on this Ncharge when I install it on the replacement PCB.

I recommend if you have an Ncharge to remove it and check to see if there are pins poking through the back side that could contact the PCB. If so put some electrical tape or some other type of protection over the pins.

I might be the only person that has experienced this issue but I figured I would post it here to possibly help someone else.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Spire 3 PCB 2.JPG (126.0 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg ncharge 2.JPG (124.8 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by beekermartin : 09-14-2021 at 03:58 PM.
beekermartin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sponsored Links Remove Advertisement
Advertisement
Old 09-14-2021, 06:44 PM #2
beekermartin
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Rhode Island
 has been a member for 10 years
I just checked the Ncharge I installed in my brand new Spire 4 and the pins are even worse on this one! It cut into the Spire 4 PCB as well. The Spire 4 is still working but it wouldn't have been for long if I would have used it this way. Rigorous play definitely would have caused it to damage the PCB.

I honestly can't believe all Ncharges are like this. There would be a ton of failures if they are.

I strongly recommend you check the PCB of your Spire 3/4 if you are using an NCharge. I was using this Ncharge in an original Spire. In the original Spire the Ncharge does not attach to the PCB like it does in the Spire 3/4 so it isn't an issue.

I am honestly shocked that the Ncharge was sold like this. I am even more shocked that Virtue won't admit this is an extremely poor design and won't warranty the PCB for me.

Edit: I used some Scotch double sided tape to cover the pins. I didn't remove the tape from the side that touches the PCB since I don't need it to stick to it. This tape is thicker than normal electrical tape and seems to stop the pins from penetrating nicely. This is a simple fix but it shouldn't be necessary. Virtue should have caught this flaw!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20210914_192342_1631662815455.jpg (1.80 MB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210914_192301_1631662825026.jpg (3.47 MB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20210914_195334_1631664028994.jpg (2.22 MB, 9 views)

Last edited by beekermartin : 09-15-2021 at 05:15 PM.
beekermartin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2021, 06:47 PM #3
Paul77
Can't find my old account
 
Paul77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Canada
Annual Supporting Member
Paul77 supports DLX Technology
id contact virtue directly and forward the pic to them. im sure theyll help you out. thats a production fault of not trimming the through hole pins down on the ncharge. i have it in 3 loaders r2, ctrl, s4 and none have this issue.

virtue (631) 617-5346 east coast, they close pretty early
__________________


Powered By Powerhouse Regulators, DLX Luxe X, Pro-Shar Paintballs, Prairie Storm Paintball

All my weird random paintball parts for sale on eBay feel free to PM me offers on here.


Paul77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2021, 08:00 PM #4
beekermartin
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Rhode Island
 has been a member for 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul77 View Post
id contact virtue directly and forward the pic to them. im sure theyll help you out. thats a production fault of not trimming the through hole pins down on the ncharge. i have it in 3 loaders r2, ctrl, s4 and none have this issue.

virtue (631) 617-5346 east coast, they close pretty early
I have been emailing them. Should I call and ask for a supervisor? The person I've been emailing back and forth with gave me a coupon code for 50% off a replacement PCB. I do agree this is definitely a defect that shouldn't have happened and I should get a replacement PCB for free. Maybe even the Ncharges should be replaced as well. Although with the foam tape covering the pins I think they will be ok.
beekermartin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2021, 09:57 AM #5
beekermartin
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Rhode Island
 has been a member for 10 years
I called and spoke to a supervisor just to let them know the problem with both my Ncharges. I ordered the replacement PCB using the 50% off coupon code. I have owned both the Ncharges and the Spire 3 for well over a year. They can't warranty them forever. I am fine with the discount code.

I am more concerned about other people having this same issue. If my loader would have failed in the middle of a crucial game that would have really pissed me off. I was lucky that it failed when I was shooting at home after cleaning my gun.

I strongly recommend if you have an Ncharge to check yours for this potential issue. Again, it is an easy fix if you catch it before it damages the PCB.
beekermartin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
Forum Jump