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Vortex University FAQ's


Easy set-up, easy break down, balls bounce off rather than break in almost every case...makes reffing a breeze as rub becomes a none issue, they break down and easily fit into totes...all in all, great stuff, they pay for themselves in hours saved washing bunkers...
Randall N. Fruzza II


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1.  What are Vortex Bunkers?
2.  What kind of battery are they?

3.  How long do the batteries last?
4.  How do you recharge batteries?
5.  How long will batteries last before replacement is needed?
6.  How heavy are the batteries?
7.  How many batteries do we need?
8.  How does the remote control work and how does it affect battery needs and useages?
9.  Why doesn't paint break often on Vortex Bunkers?  
10.  What happens when players aggressively crash in to the bunkers?
11.  How do the bunkers "Pay for themselves"?
12.  How mobile are the bunkers?
13.  How are the bunkers held down?

Q1.  What are Vortex Bunkers?  
A1.  Vortex Bunkers are a fabric based, self inflating bunker.  The bunker uses a continuous running fan to keep the bunker inflated.  Once you connect the battery power source, the bunker inflates by itself.
Q2.  What kind of battery are they?
A2.  The batteries are sealed lead acid which do not have memory effect and can be charged and recharged anytime.  Commonly used in Motorcycles or scooters and golf carts.  
Q3.  How long do the batteries last?
A3.  As in most batteries, run time is a function of how much power stored and the amount of power needed or draw.  The standard battery we ship with most bunkers is 7 amp hours (7AH).  This battery will keep the bunker inflated for 9 to 12 hours depending on many things such as environmental conditions, age of the battery and so on.  If one needs more run time, batteries with more AH are available.  Such as 9AH, 12AH, 18AH and so on.
  Q4.  How do you recharge batteries?
A4.  Supplied wall chargers trickle charge the batteries overnight.  Chargers draw very little power and are commonly placed on power bars for nightly charging.  Charged batteries are connected and bunkers inflated.  See the video below for an example of bunker inflation without remote controls.

Q5.  How long will batteries last before replacement is needed?
A5.  Batteries can last 1000 cycles of which one cycle is a charge and discharge.  Again there are many factors that will come in to play on how long a battery will last.  Our own field experience at Red Dot Paintball is 1 to 5 years is typical. 
Q6.  How heavy are the batteries?
A6.  The 7AH battery is 5 pounds.
Q7.  How many batteries do we need?
A7.  At its bare minimum you need 1 for each bunker.  As with any batteries, it is helpful to have a few extras around as backup.  
Q8.  How does the remote control work and how does it affect battery needs and usages?
A8.  The remote control allows you to turn the bunkers on and off on demand.  Each bunker has an installed controller with one channel frequency.  The remote key chain turns them on and off.  If a bunker is slightly out of range, walking closer to the bunker will activate it with a separate "on" push.  Range is about 100 feet.  Standing in the middle of the field works well.  If you do not have continuous play on your speedball field, the remote can extend time between charging by turning off the bunkers when not in use.  There are two ways to use the remote system with batteries.  1.  Continue changing all batteries nightly and recharging.  2.  Buy a bank of 50% more batteries than bunkers.  Only swap batteries when the remote will not turn on or off.  Put the discharged battery on the charger.  Here is a video of the remote system starting all 48 bunkers on our field at Red Dot Paintball.

Q9.  Why doesn't paint break often on Vortex Bunkers?
A9.  The paintballs hit the bunkers and the fabric is able to absorb the energy of the paintball letting it drop to the ground.  Unlike vinyl where paintballs bounce will all their energy, a Vortex Bunker bounce is much softer with little energy left in the paintball.  Below is a video of the paintball break test demonstrating how the paintballs react on Vortex Bunkers (left can) versus a vinyl bunker (right pillar).

Q10.  What happens when players aggressively crash in to the bunkers?
A10.  The bunker is designed with a tray that secures the battery and cables to act as one unit.  When a player crashes the bunker, the entire fan box moves and returns to position leaving the wires unstressed and attached.  See the video below for the crash test.  

 Q11.  How do the bunkers "Pay for themselves"?
A11.  Most of us field owners pay for labor to set up the bunkers.  Or if we are doing it ourselves or with family, there is a cost to your business while you are spending time inflating bunkers.  The way the bunkers pay for themselves is simple math.  
  1. On average it takes 2 employees an hour each with two blowers to inflate 48 bunkers.  This is two labor hours.  The reason is that each employee must stand behind each bunker holding the blower while they inflate, cap it and then finally move to a second bunker.  With Vortex Bunkers you simply attach the battery, seal the velcro door and move on to the next while it self inflates.  With the remote system, batteries will turn on with a push of a button.  So lets just say it takes our two employees 15 minutes for 48 bunkers.  The labor savings is 2 hours - .5 hour or 1.5 hours each morning.  If you operate 3 days a week, this is 4.5 hours x 10.00 = 45 a weekend x 52 weeks is $2340.00 per year in inflation costs.
  2. On average it takes 2 employees an hour each to squeegie, clean and was the bunkers with vinyl.  With Vortex Bunkers there is very little clean up.  Referees will walk with towels in their pockets.  Any visible paint splats will self dry from the air pushing through the bunkers.  About an hour after a wet paint splat, a damp towel will clickly remove it.  This should all be done while reffing.  So at night time, referees simply pull the batteries and set up for charging.  again we will use 30 minutes.  Again the savings is 2 hours - .5 hours each day.  If you operate 3 days a week, this is 4.5 hours x 10.00 = 45 a weekend x 52 weeks is $2340.00 in take down savings a year.  
  3. Vinyl bunkers require you to patch the bunker immediately when there are small leaks or rodent holes or else you will be needing a blower all day and an employee to keep them inflated.  Vortex Bunkers will stay inflated even with minor holes that need patching later.  Fabric patches are quickly applied with spray on glue and supplied fabric for patching.  On average most fields will spend 5 labor hours a month maintaining vinyl bunkers.  5 x 10 = 50.00 a month x 12 months is 600 a year.
  4. Total savings in year one is $2340 + 2340 + 600 = 5280 annually.  
  5. Vortex Bunkers do not need annual or semi-annual replacement.  The "skins" without repurchasing a whole new bunker are $40.00 a bunker cheaper than a complete set.  You can simply replace whatever skins needed on an as needed basis.  Gone are the days you need to shell out 5000 to 7000 for a complete set replacement.  Buy in only the skins that are worn out.   

Q12.  How mobile are the bunkers?
A12.  The bunkers are the most mobile bunker you can buy.  Simply remove the battery and fan box.  Roll up the bunker and place in a 45 gallon plastic tote.  One tote can hold 25 bunkers.  You can easily set up a mobile field anywhere for paintball or laser tag.  Don't worry about messy bunkers at the end of the day....with less paint breaks, they can be wiped down with a damp cloth or shaken off.  Storage is clean and easy.  
Q13.  How are the bunkers held down?
A13.  Each bunker has grommets for staking the bunkers down.  However, many fields choose to use weights.  Given the bunkers have a large access door with velcro, the weights can be placed inside the bunkers.  For example, sand bags.  This allows a much safer playing environment for the players.  The bunkers have internal loops sewn in to the bunker for attachment of a strap or bungee to your weight to hold in place.  

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