Etha - It May Be Entry Level, But Why Start at The Bottom?
Planet Eclipse has long been known as a market leader in high-end
paintball markers and accessories. Our aim has always been set high; to
produce the very best paintball equipment possible. Unashamedly, our
products to date have always been aimed at the higher-end of the
paintball market. They are feature- laden, finished to the very highest
standard and immaculately prepared and presented. Entry Level they are
We understand that not every player has the budget for markers at that
level. New or recreational players within the sport may not see the
benefit in such fully featured products, but why should those players be
precluded from receiving exceptional value and quality? We believe that
they shouldn't be.
No matter at what price-point... there are some fundamental features that every customer should demand...
That was our philosophy when we set out to design our latest paintball
marker. One that retains the core elements of all Planet Eclipse markers
but comes wrapped in a more affordable package, allowing more players
to enjoy the ‘Eclipse Ownership Experience’
The challenge was on and we are proud to share with you...
No matter at what price-point you purchase your paintball marker we
believe that there are some fundamental features that every customer
Quality. Reliability. Service.
At Eclipse we have endeavoured to build these features into every marker
we have ever produced. Even though the Etha sits at a less expensive
price point not previously occupied by an Eclipse marker, the all-new
Etha is no exception.
The Etha uses the same materials machined to the same tolerances as
those found in other Eclipse markers such as Ego, Geo and the Etek. In
many cases, such as the regulator internals, they are the exact same
parts as those used in those other markers. The philosophy behind the
Etha is to reduce costs by simplifying the design of both the internal
and external components, and manufacture those components to the same
level of accuracy and quality as
Etha is repeatedly tested on state-of-the-art equipment before making their way to the testing room...
those found in other Eclipse markers and not to reduce cost by using
cheaper materials machined to lower tolerance on less accurate machines.
Of course quality doesn't stop with the parts that go into the Etha. At
every stage of production and assembly the same systems and procedures
that are used to test components, sub-assemblies and fully finished
units during the manufacture of all other Eclipse markers, are utilized
on the Etha production line. During assembly each marker is given its
own unique barcode which stays with the marker on its journey through
the factory. Once assembled, every Etha is repeatedly tested for leaks
on state-of-the-art leak detection equipment before making their way to
the testing room. Once in the testing room an Etha has its barcode
scanned to initiate a comprehensive computerized test procedure and then
has paintballs fired through it on a range and over a chronograph and
the velocities noted. All tests are recorded alongside the markers
serial number and barcode in our production database enabling us to
track each individual marker and results can be accessed at any time in
the future. Only once an Etha has passed all tests is it given its final
"Passed Test" tag and moved to be packaged.
Though long and laborious, the testing of every single marker by this
method means we can be fully confident that when a customer opens up
that case for the first time that the marker should work flawlessly,
achieving full velocity and completely leak free.
Utilizing the philosophy mentioned above, regarding the quality of the
manufacturing of the components that go into an Etha, helps us
immeasurably in building-in our second goal - reliability. Using proven
materials, manufactured using proven methods and finished with proven
techniques that we have used for years in the manufacture of our other
markers means that we have an incredibly strong platform on which to
build. Quality materials, machining and finishing are only part of the
equation. The design has to be robust enough to work in all conditions,
all of the time, shooting all kinds of paint. From arid desert to frozen
wasteland every Eclipse marker is expected to work, without excuse. It
should work when you take it from the box the very first time it comes
out of the packaging and it should remain that way for as long as
possible with just the bare minimum of regular maintenance.
The design has to be robust enough to work in all conditions, all of the time, shooting all kinds of paint...
In order to prove the reliability of the design the Etha has undergone
intensive field testing. Hundreds of thousands of paintballs have been
shot through it during development and testing in order to uncover any
flaws or defects in the design before being put into production. This is
a critical part of a new product’s development and years of
manufacturing markers has shown us time and again that there is just no
substitute for getting markers into the hands of players and shooting
paint through those markers, lots of paint! Only after months of brutal
all-weather testing will the final design get signed off and earmarked
for production. But that's not the end of testing. Moving from
prototyping to production creates its own series of challenges. So once a
new product is put into production the first batch of markers are
pulled from the production line and split between intensive longevity
bench testing and a select group of players and teams across the world
to carry out final approval. Only after satisfactory feedback from all
these different sources will a new design be considered fit to go into
full production. At this stage we are confident that we have a marker
that will live up to the Eclipse legacy of reliability.
Eclipse has always been about a lot more than just what you get in the
box. There are the things you can't really put a price or a value on,
such as customer service and support. Eclipse prides itself in having
one of the most comprehensive technical support and dealer-backed
networks in the industry and that network is there to support you
whether you shoot an Ego CSL or an Etha. We invest heavily every year in
making sure that the stores and dealers that sell our equipment know
how it works and how to fix it and have access to all the spares and
accessories needed to maintain and repair our products. These trained
technicians can be found in stores all across the globe. We endeavour to
have technicians at more events, more tournament series and more big
games and scenario events than any other manufacturer out there.
We endeavour to have technicians at more events,
more tournament series and more big games and scenario events than any
other manufacturer out there...
We try to make sure that we are available to help our customers when and
where they need us: at events. We understand that players invest a lot
time, effort and money in order to attend these events. So we try to
ensure that, if the need arises, for whatever reason, we've got your
back and are there to get you out onto the field having fun and winning
Support and customer service shouldn't only be the preserve of those
that play major events. That is why Factory Trained Planet Technicians
are never more than a phone call or an email away. Every attempt is made
to answer enquiries and queries in the most timely way possible so that
any downtime is kept to an absolute minimum and your equipment is
always running at its most optimal. For when you simply cannot get hold
of someone when you need them, there is always the hugely comprehensive
printed manual, tool kit and spare parts bag to help tide you over.
Hopefully there is little else you should ever need.
For the first time we utilize a spring return bolt system in the firing mechanism...
But what of the Etha itself? Well, internally the Etha is a radical
departure from anything seen before in an Eclipse marker. For the first
time we utilize a spring return bolt system in the firing mechanism,
allowing us to simplify the pneumatic side of the marker and use a Pull
Poppet spool to release air from the firing chamber.
The Etha bolt features dual-stage acceleration so that it picks up the
paintball at a lower speed before accelerating further to push the ball
fully into the barrel. The front of the bolt has a ramped rubber
section. This extended rubber piece is both removable and replaceable
and designed to flex freely in order to prevent clipping of the second
ball in the stack as well as to be flexible on the face to cushion the
paintball as its pushed toward the barrel. Both of these features work
hand-in-hand with the Deftek Feed System and Break Beam Sensor System to
keep any occurrences of barrel breaks to an absolute minimum.
The Pull Poppet that releases the air from the firing chamber is driven by a new, super-robust high pressure solenoid...
The Pull Poppet that releases the air from the firing chamber is driven
by a new, super-robust high pressure solenoid that is controlled by the
fully adjustable PCB. The PCB controls the firing mode (semi-automatic
and ramping), rate of fire, dwell and de-bounce through the multi-colour
LED mounted in the rear of the frame. It is pre-programmed with modes
compatible with all major tournament series meaning no upgrade needed
wherever you play.
The frame, together with the lever operated clamping feed-tube, eye
covers and the new OOPS knob are all manufactured from extremely
resilient glass reinforced nylon. The Etek3 LT has proven to us just
what this amazing composite is capable of: it is extremely strong, very
tough, and more than capable of handling the abuse that even the
roughest and toughest paintballer can throw at it. When it came time to
specify the materials for Etha there was no question that this material would be at the top of our list for these parts.
Inside the frame there are sintered brass bushings for the trigger pin
to pivot on and a captured, fully adjustable leaf spring similar to that
found in the Ego11. These components combine with the externally
adjustable trigger to produce a crisp, smooth trigger action with which
to operate the micro switch. And for the first time in an Eclipse marker
the trigger can be fully removed for maintenance or cleaning without
having to separate the frame from the body - it makes cleaning up after a
hit to the frame a breeze. To help keep paint and debris out of the
inside of the frame, the grip panels are sunk into the frame around
their perimeter, they also use a clever upper locating tab that means
that each grip panel only requires one screw to fix it in place making
access to the board and battery quick and easy.
On the bottom of the frame there is a brand new OOPS (On/Off Purge
System) ASA with front exit porting and the same internals that are
found in the POPS ASA. It actuates
with the twist of a knob and fully vents the entire marker when turned
off. It mounts to the frame via the robust T-Slot system.
The OOPS feeds through a macro-line and up to an SL3 regulator. The SL3
reg was first seen on the SLS and has since made its way onto the Geo2
and the Ego11 as well as the CSL where it has been very well received.
With the ability to run HP, MP or LP compressed air tanks without
adjustment it makes it a truly versatile regulator. And with its
replaceable and reversible main seal it is robust, reliable and easy to
service too. Like all other Eclipse markers, the Etha is designed to run
solely on compressed air and not CO2.
The barrel also shares some similarities with those found on its bigger
brothers. The Etha barrel is a 14.5 inch, two-piece, precision honed,
0.693 bore barrel that has a ‘Cocker’ thread into the gun body and uses
the same threading as the Shaft4 barrel to join the front section to
rear section. This means it has the longer control bore as well as being
compatible with all other Shaft4 barrel accessories such as the Boost
Kit and 16" tip. With such a good standard barrel there should be no
reason to run out and spend money on an aftermarket system.
And like all other Eclipse markers, the Etha comes delivered in a hard
case, lined with shock absorbing foam and packed with everything you
need to look after and maintain it: a full colour manual; a full set of
hex keys; a tube of Eclipse Grease; a comprehensive marker and regulator
spares kit; and a barrel safety device.
So that is what goes into the Etha today. What about tomorrow? With
paintball moving into ever expanding markets it makes sense to make
provision for future developments. The Etha has been designed and
constructed with a modular approach in mind and incorporates mounting
points around the body for the addition of accessories and upgrades to
be bolted directly to the marker. It should make for economical
expansion of the Etha for those looking to build upon this exciting new