September 11, 2013

Nerf Rebelle Powerbelle Review!

The Powerbelle was spotted weeks ago by observant NIC members on Walmart's website, as a store exclusive. Well, I spotted it in store earlier today, and gladly snatched one up.

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First things first, a teardown! Remove all the exposed screws.

The Powerbelle is clearly a reshell of the automatic-firing Dart Tag Speedswarm - hold the trigger, and the electric motor spins the gears to pull back and release the plunger. However, the box claimed 75ft. ranges - ELITE ranges. Let's undo the three screws holding the plunger/turret mechanism/gearbox down. Also push in all four locking tabs (in the corners) to separate each half.

There's an Elite blaster-sized plunger tube, with the same air restrictor behind the turret as the Guardian Crossbow. The turret advances via the "piston" arm moving forward and back.

The motor sits in the other half of the box:

And finally, the turret. As you can see, the turret itself has no air restrictors, as per Nerf's recent trend for turreted blasters.

The question on everyone's minds: ranges? Well, they fulfill expectations. I could only do a rough test in the parking lot at college, but with some quick estimation, we can get an idea of ranges. Angled, of course - we're talking about the way range claims are measured for the box in store, not the NIC-preferred flat ranges.

Average grouping of darts: 8-9 parking spaces away
Parking space width in the US: 7.5 - 9 feet (assuming 8 feet, as this wasn't a lot for compact vehicles, yet I want to be conservative in estimation).

Average grouping in feet: 64-72 feet.

Based on sensible estimation, I would say that the Rebelle Powerbelle meets expectations. I plan on adding PETG barrels sometime soon to try and max out the range. Keep in mind that, while operated electrically, this is still a spring-powered blaster. Unlike a Stryfe, upping the voltage in the battery tray (and thus the current, according to Ohm's Law) will not fire the darts themselves faster - it will instead cycle the plunger faster to raise the rate of fire. You would need a stronger spring - not something I'm willing to try, given the relative ease of stripping gears or simply burning out the motor from having too heavy a load.

2 comments:

  1. Sooooo... it's a blue trigger Speedswarm. Nice write up. It's nice to see someone go into the really technical stuff :)

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  2. I'm glad to see this was noticed and torn down for info. I'm a non-nerfmod initiated dad shopping for his daughter, amused by the Powerbelle $35/Speedswarm $95 difference on Amazon for an obviously repackaged product... But hey I'm happy to save.

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