All Silent Partner ball machines have the same high-power ball propulsion system with two independently driven propulsion wheels. This enables ball throwing speeds of up to 150 km/h as well as a wide range of ball spin control. The propulsion wheels have a special coating that prevents ball slip without the need to regularly roughen the wheels.
In a protective recess on the side of the machine there is a control panel allowing all ball machine functions to be adjusted at one central point.
Ball speed and spin can be specifically and independently adjusted, while the machine's electronic control system automatically regulates the propulsion wheels. The wide range of adjustment covers ball speeds from 25 km/h upwards and spin settings from extreme back spin to straight drive to high-speed top spin.
The feed rate can be adjusted up to 1 ball throw per second, for instance to give practice in hitting balls in rapid succession at the net.
Weighing only 18 kg, the LITE is extremely light for its class, making it very easy to handle. But even the PRO, at approx. 23.5 kg, does not weigh much more.
The Silent Partner STAR and PRO is equipped with a remote control, which is only about twice the size of a matchbox and fits conveniently into the trouser pocket and lets you switch ball throwing on and off, sweep start and stop and the sweep function from any-where on the court.
All machines have a facility for continuously variable adjustment of ball throwing height.
On the Silent Partner STAR and LITE, throwing height is adjusted by fastening a clamp at the required position along a guide slot (see picture).
The PRO features an electric elevation motor operated from the control panel. This not only enables more precise adjustment but also makes it easier and quicker to modify ball throwing, as it optimizes simultaneous adjustment of the interrelated factors of speed, height and spin.
All Silent Partner ball machines feature a random sweep mechanism allowing balls to be distributed around the court. Sweeping can be set to one of two speeds.
The sweep feature can give you practice in hitting balls on the run, in alternating between forehand and backhand, and – together with a fast feed rate – in perfecting your reaction time at the net.
The Silent Partner PRO offers a programm-able sweep feature as a versatile and highly effective enhancement.
Two control knobs (see illustration below) are used to set any two positions within an area parallel to the baseline, which the ball machine will then target alternately. This lets you practice, for instance, alternating forehand / backhand strokes. You can also continuously improve your legwork by gradually extending the sweep area – not to mention many other training options.
The control knobs are notched at small intervals, allowing you to quickly reproduce settings you have found to be useful without having to repeat the setup procedure.
The PRO still features the random sweep function. But unlike the STAR and LITE, it lets you adjust the breadth of the sweep area using the control knobs already mentioned. On this model, the sweep function works at only one speed.
Handles and transport wheels
All Silent Partner ball machines are equipped with transport wheels and a telescopic handle that allow the machine to be moved around conveniently (see photo).
In addition to the telescopic handle on the backside all ball machines feature a recessed grip on the front side and back side for convenient lifting.
Battery and charger
All machines in the series are equipped for battery operation. The Silent Partner LITE has a maintenance-free lead-acid battery with a capacity of 10 Ah – unusually high for this class of machine. This allows you to play for up to 3 hours without recharging the battery.
The SPORT and PRO models have an even higher-capacity battery allowing you to play for up to 6 hours. This battery also has the virtue of lasting through a particularly high number of recharge/discharge cycles.
The ball machines are equipped as standard with a high-quality smart charger, whose electronic control system constantly measures the battery charge state and derives from that the optimum settings for charging the battery quickly and gently. At the end oft the charging the devices switches to trickle charging thus preventing the battery from being supercharged.
Mains power unit
As an optional extra for the STAR and PRO ball machines, a mains power unit (Silent Partner PS) is available to connect the machines to a standard 230V AC outlet (see picture). Thanks to its state-of-the-art technology, this heavy-duty power unit weighs only 5 kg. Its robust aluminium housing will withstand even the roughest handling. Unlike other power units on the market, the Silent Partner PS is splashproof in compliance with protection class IP44, which means it is licensed for use not only on indoor courts but also outdoors.
The Silent Partner PS mains power unit is obtainable as one of two variants:
Hopper and transport
The hopper holds up to 200 balls.
It can be removed and placed upside down on the machine for transport purposes, so the machines fit into any car boot or even onto a bicycle trailer.