CenterFlag HyperFrame

Good day all. If you remember me, I had done a review of the Boo-Yaah/Mako Storm and Kingman ESP electronic trigger frame for the Spyder. Just to be fair, I thought I would give you information on the other electronic frame made by CenterFlag, the HyperFrame. I had located a shop that had one in stock (for an AutoMag) that I could look at. I have also contacted an associate that has worked on the HyperFrame. So my opinions are based not only on personal observation, but also from an associate to clarify some points that I was confused about.

The packaging of the HyperFrame (from here on, known as HF), is alot different than the eLCD. It is very simple and not alot of hoopla and fancy packaging. If you have seen the simple packaging that Kapp or Bob Long trigger frames uses, that is pretty much the same packaging for the HF. There is a yellow insert describing what the HF is for (whether it is for the Spyder or Automag). Along with the frame, you also get an instruction manual of sorts. This tells you how to install and the operation of the frame. There are also contact information incase there is a problem directly to CenterFlag. It is suggested to contact the dealer first. If the dealer has worked on the trigger frame to some extent, they may be able to help instead of possible time delay for CenterFlag to respond. During a NPPL tournament or a Big Game Event, CenterFlag may be busy and hard to get a hold of. A tech, but you can leave a message and they will get back to you as soon as possible.

Machining process is much like the eLCD. It is made out of a single piece of aluminum. There is one very minor scratch on the one that I have looked at around the pin holding the trigger in place. But is just on the anno. It is not a scratch in the metal itself. Nothing major and not real noticeable unless inspected closely. All of the edges are finished correctly and rounded except for the top portion. Not a concern as this edge will be against the paintball marker body.

The sear looked nice and shiny; very well made. Over time, you may find rust appear on the solenoid housing, trigger pin, and/or the screws that hold the electronic board in place. Wiping off dirt and paint will be a big preventative for rust appearing, as should be done to any marker after a days play.

Holding the HF was comfortable for me. A little bigger than most frames, but as expected with the guts inside. The HF comes with a trigger guard that is not removable. The frame and the trigger guard are all one piece. The grip it self resembles a .45 grip, but slightly larger. There are 2 plastic removable panels. The panels are not knurled, rather a roughed surface kinda like ceiling tile. Replacing the panels with an aftermarket .45 grips is a little hard as the holes are wider apart. Some modification would be needed, and not just the holes. Gotta make room for the internals. The feel of the grip was very nice and your hand molds around it very well. Nothing cutting into the hand making it uncomfortable over time. CenterFlag may be making a rubber grip in the near future as a replacement of the existing plastic grips.

The frames also come in other colors by special order. The base colors are red, green, and blue, but most any color is available. To get into the inside of the grip to change the battery or to (dis-)engage the tournament lock, a 3/16th allen wrench is needed to take out the 2 screws for each grip panel. Just the left side of the grip is needed to adjust the tournament lock or change the battery.

Looking at the CenterFlag site and comparing the display with the actual frame, it is the same. No difference. While at the shop, I wondered about the display in the cold. After setting the burst mode and at my request (and a very puzzled look on the shop owners face), he stuck the frame in the freezer for about 10 minutes. With warm weather here, I cannot test out the cold weather performance. Taking a reading on the surface temperature (37 degrees F), I turned it on. As expected, the LCD did not function properly. It did not display at first, but as it warmed up, characters started to appear. The burst mode setting functioned correctly even without a display being seen. I did notice a slight bit of condensation, Obviously going from warm to cold to warm again. But should not be a concern. It is suggested that if there is a large amount of condensation that appears, remove the circuit board (held by screws inside the frame) and allow to dry. Large amounts of condensation can prevent the frame from functioning properly, like turning on. A true life experience, the frame was used in approximately 20 degree weather. The frame worked just fine. It does NOT have a battery level indicator. According to CenterFlag, it is very hard to accurately display an actual charge level of a single 9v.

The trigger pull is nice and crisp. It is a little more than a mouse click. But there is more play after the “click”. Not bad. Unfortunately, this is what you get. This is a non-adjustable trigger. According to an associate, CenterFlag did not want the trigger to be adjustable strictly for liability purposes. There is also a mechanical safety button that keeps the sear from firing the marker, even though the screen will display “Fire” when the trigger is pulled. An excellent safety consideration. However, the frame I looked at, (for an Automag) the safety was above the fleshy part of your hand, base of your thumb. Not like a typical firearm. Also, the double trigger is what you get. For those of you that use to single trigger will have to modify the existing trigger using a saw and file.

The battery needed to operate the HF is a standard 9v. There are no plug-in’s for a recharger. It is estimated that a fresh, new 9v is good for about 12,000 shots or more. That is about 6 cases, 2,000 balls per case. When changing batteries, there is no secondary battery to ‘save’ your settings. Rather, there would be just enough juice in the HF to save the last settings until you change the battery, about 15 minutes worth.

On the back of the frame are buttons that change modes and turns on/off the frame. There are 2 of them in a recessed hole configuration. I had a hard time pressing them, so there is no worries about squeezing them in the middle of a fire fight. In fact, I had to use a pen to push the buttons to adjust the frame. Inside of the frame, beside the LCD is another button. This will engage (or dis-engage) a tournament mode. Tournament mode locks the HF in semi auto, but your able to adjust your ROF as needed.

Programming the frame is very simple. There are 3 fire modes with a wide range of customization (sorry kiddies, no full auto). The 3 modes are semi auto, burst fire, and hyper mode. Turning on and off the frame is done by pressing and holding the bottom button unitl the display turns on (to turn the HF on) or off (to turn the HF off). When you first turn on the HF, the version number turns on. After a short time, the screen will show the last display you had at the time you turned it off. You will notice a small ‘F’ on the left. This tells you that the frame is in the firing mode screen. On the right displays what firing mode your in (semi, burst, hyper). The center portion tells you time left (if you programed it in) or the ROF. To change the firing modes, simply press and hold the top button until the firing mode starts flashing. When flashing, press the same button again to change modes. When at the desired mode, press the bottom button. The center portion will start to flash. Semi auto mode, you can adjust the bps between 1 to 13.

Burst mode, you can adjust how many shots that you can fire in the burst (either 3, 4, or 5 balls fired per burst). Then the ROF, from 1 to 10 bps

Hyper mode, you can adjust the bps up to 10. This is probably my favorite. How this mode is explained is as follows:

Hyper mode: To get into hyper mode you have to pull the trigger 3 times in 3/4 of a second and continue firing at that speed in order to sustain the firing mode. Although you pull the trigger 4 times a second the gun will actually fire at the rate at which it is set. When you stop, if you stop for less than 5 seconds the gun will pick up where you left off when you restart. If you wait longer than 5 seconds you have to restart hyper mode by firing the 3 shots. THE BPS is the only thing you can adjust.

Pressing the bottom button, you can scroll through from fire mode screen, shot counter screen, and the timer screen. Each time you do this, the left hand side of the display will change from ‘F’ (fire mode), ‘C’ (shot counter), and ‘T’ (for timer). To reset the counter, make sure the display shows appropriately. Press and hold the top button. This enables you to reset the counter. Use this to see how many shots you get per tank, battery, or during your game.

The timer display, you can adjust the timer to hours, minutes, and/or seconds. To start, simply fire the gun. The timer can only be set to count down, not up. When the time expires, that is it until you restart it. The frame will not vibrate or chime when time expires. Stopping the timer before it expires will simple reset the clock until you pull the trigger to restart it.

Installing the HF to a Spyder was very easy. I did this in the shop to test out the look, feel, and ease of installation. It was as easy as taking out the 2 screws and removing the existing trigger frame. Then simply screwing in the HF with the existing screws. No need in adjusting the solenoid housing to make a proper fit like you may need to do in an eLCD trigger frame. If it doesn’t fire the marker, you may be able to use a shim spacer between the trigger frame and the Spyder body. Another option is to file the original hammer itself. The sear actually pushes back the hammer a little just before release.

It is suggested (for an approx. price of $30) that a new style hammer is purchased. This new hammer will improve the function of the HF. It is because of different manufacturing processes and age of the markers that produces different characteristics. This hammer matches the hardness and has a specific cut angle to match the sear.

Attaching the ASA is a little tricky. Especially for the stock Spyder users. The holes are in-line, not off center like the Kingman ASA. So, if you do not have an inline ASA, count that in for the purchase price. I like the Automag style of ASA’s, but that is a personal preference. (SE owners will need to get a new ASA, steel braided hose, and possibly a new expansion chamber or upgrade to a regulator). It is possible to use the existing screws to attach the ASA (or drop forward). Just make sure that you will not screw into the electronics.

Final thoughts: I don’t care for the use of non rechargeable batteries. Using the premium batteries can get expensive over time. Particularly if you use the frame on a “daily” basis. I would suggest investing in a charger and 2 or 3 9v batteries. There pretty cheap from Radio Shack (wall charger and 2 batteries – about $25). I like the possibility of getting an anno’d frame to match your marker. Imagine a red shutter with a matching red HF.

Plastic grips are not the best. Rubber would be nice. A Hogue style grip surrounding the frame a plus. But until then, hold on tight to that plastic. The lack of trigger adjustment and full auto may be a turn off to some consumers, but think about it this way – CenterFlag is concerned about safety and liability. Not just for them, but also for you. Also, consider this. Be honest with yourself and ask, “Self, would I really be shooting full auto for more than 5 seconds at 7bps? Can’t hit anything if they don’t pop out.”

Programing the frame is very easy and self explanitory, though a pen or allen wrench needed to program the trigger. Very large display area of the number offers quick viewing. Also, the layout is super simple and to the point. No rocket science degrees needed to operate it.

The “one size fits all” is nice. No need to adjust solenoid housing to make a proper fit. It is to bad that the “proper” hammer is not included with the frame. But, you may not need one anyway. Or a self fix to the hammer may solve or enhance your current equipment.

Since it was first introduced out on the market, the frame was very expensive and could not compete with it’s competitor, the Boo-Yah eLCD. But the price has come down at the time of this writing, which is about $225 MRP. This is much more appealing and should be considered in the purchase of an electronic frame for your Spyder.

Bottomline, this is a very nice frame and should be considered along with the eLCD. It is very rugged and much care put into making a fine product. Overall quality is very high and is backed by CenterFlag. It fits very nice in your hands and has a mechanical safety for those fields that REQUIRE a working safety. I am sure improvements are on the way to an already exceptional electronic frame. Check out the main web page at CenterFlag