Each Thruster in made in house since 2005
The thrusters are precisely machined to exact standards. They are completely made out of metal (except for the rubber bump stop) The outer frame of the thruster is made out of 6061 Aluminum. The catch and latch are made from A513 Alloy steel.
The thrust shaft is round and is able to rotate 360 degrees. This allows the thrusters metal catch barrel to float creating an even wear all around.
The metal latch is placed on a long fulcrum arm to increase box sensitivity and latching reliability. When installed correctly only -/+ 3/16” of pedal travel is required to trigger the box.
These thrusters are used by many box builders around the world and many record setting teams as well!
Many have copied and imitated my design but these are the original ball thruster that have been in production since 2005 with small irradiations here and there.
I must point out that these thrusters are designed for my boxes. Yes, many have built their own boxes and also retrofitted them into other box shells with great success but it's very difficult for me to supoort installations into a box I did not design.
These thrusters will work in a flat front (one peice pedal/ball face) design. If you chose to install them into a box like this you may want to order them with the alternate latch bar configuation. (Please see below)
Why use ball thrusters?
Even though there are many variables that can determine a balls trajectory, ( ie, ball size, ball weight, slobber, dirt, ball seams, how it's loaded, old or new ball etc. ) This style of Ball Thruster will help make the balls trajectory more consistent compared to the traditional catapult/swing arm method or other ball propelling devices. The Thruster hits the ball straight on with no deflection. Speed and sensitivity is easily adjusted.
These Thrusters have advantages over other styles of thrusters or your older traditional catapult/swing arm method.
- Consistent shot,
- Reacts faster,
- Very sensitive (hair trigger)
- Life Span,
- Fully rebuildable
- Minimal maintenance.
- Easy access for cleaning and lubricating,
- No "dead spot" on the pedal when installed correctly,
- Minimal recoil/concussion when fired; this is easier on the box structure,
- Simplified box design making the box lighter when compared to the traditional box mechanism,
- They are not effected by weather (temperature, moisture/humidity)
Standard box De-latch Arm
Universal pedal delatch arms that can be incorperated into most box designs with ease.
- Made out of 6061 1/8" wall Aluminum Channel,
- Roller berring on the end that glides on the thruster latch for a smooth engagement,
- Typically 5-1/2" long but custom lengths can be ordered.
These are the same arms that come in the Standard Flyball Box.
Please contact me for price and availability
Flat Front Pedal De-Latch Arm
To help facilitate the installation of these thrusters into a one piece pedal (aka flat front) box design a different de-latch arm is required.
This allows for easy installation and micro adjustment into a one piece ball face/pedal design. Can be adapted to most Flat Front box designs.
Spare / Replacement parts
Thrusters are 100% rebuildable. They can be shipped back for a complete refurbish or parts can be purchased for DIY.
All springs, thrust rod, latch barrel, cotter pins, bump stops etc. are available.
Though not necessary for most dogs, stiffer gauge springs are also available. The stock springs do have enough adjustability to accommodate most dogs. There can be occasions that a dogs box turn is so quick that it can appear to out perform the action of the Thruster. This is not that comman but can happen especially if you have a driven dog that has an aggressive turn. I suggest making sure the box is set up with a quick reaction time and the dog has proper box turn foundations before changing to a stiffer thrust spring.
Before you decide to swap out the spring, it would be beneficial to slow-motion video the turn to see if the ball is leaving the box in time or not. Note the dog’s head and/or feet position. Changing to a higher rate spring may not cure what you suspect is happening at the box.
Pedal to Thruster De-latch arms are sold seperatly
There are two style, one for a traditional/standard two peice front box and another for a flat front box.
The Production Process and Tolerances
Thrusters are manufactured without the aid of any CAD/CAM. Each one is hand made using manual machining processes. They are made to a tolerance of +/- 1/64” in width/length/height. Unless otherwise specified, the thrusters variability of the manufacturing tolerances can compound if the sourced material used has changed, substituted or no longer available.
This Thruster design has been the same since 2008 with minor improvements over the years. Thrusters are made in production runs and each unit is quality controlled within each run. This needs to be considered if you plan to make a number of purchases over a period of time because they may not be an identical match.