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«METALTEK 455 Kitty Hawk Drive Morrisville, NC 27560 Tel: 919.544.0344 Fax: 919.544.1430 Serial #: _ Rev A 2 PLAYMATE ...»

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Owner’s Manual


455 Kitty Hawk Drive

Morrisville, NC 27560

Tel: 919.544.0344

Fax: 919.544.1430


Serial #: _____________

Rev A 2


Copyright by METALTEK

All rights reserved. This document is supplied to the user with the

understanding that no part of the contents may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of METALTEK.

METALTEK has attempted to insure that the information included in this document was accurate and correct at the time of printing.

METALTEK cannot be held accountable for typographical errors or mistakes. The information in this document is subject to change without notice.

Disclaimer Information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of METALTEK.

METALTEK provides this document “as is”, without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the particular purpose. METALTEK reserves the right to make improvements and/or changes to this manual or the product(s) described herein at any time.

Information provided in this manual is intended to be accurate and reliable. However, METALTEK assumes no responsibility for its use, or any infringements on the rights of fourth parties that may result from its use.

This manual could include unintentional technical or typographical errors. Changes are periodically made to the information herein, with the changes incorporated into new editions of the publication.

Rev A 3 Dear Valued Customer, Congratulations on the purchase of your new PLAYMATE Tennis Ball Machine. We have packed over 40 years of experience and dedication into the production of each and every ball machine that leaves our high-tech facility in Raleigh, North Carolina.

It is our mission to build the most durable, dependable, and player-friendly machines. Quality is assured; from the gear motors and pitching wheels, to the fully programmable control boxes and remote controls.

We hope that you enjoy your new ball machine as much as we enjoyed building it. We encourage your comments and suggestions on how we could better serve you in the future.

Please feel free to contact us on our Consumer Connection Line at 1-800-776-6770.

Sincerely yours, Alfred F. Yarur President and CEO Rev A 4 Contents Introduction

Safety Instructions

Electrical Requirements

Getting Started

Operating Instructions

Getting to Know your DEUCE


Drill #1

Drill #2

Care and Maintenance


PLAYMATE Consumer Connection........... 20 Warranty and Limitations of Liability...... 22 Rev A 5 Introduction The best way to improve your tennis game is to practice. That may sound like simple advice, but it is advice we take very seriously here at METALTEK. We believe that the best way to practice your game is to spend some quality time on the court with a ball machine. By utilizing a ball machine as a constant partner, you will be able to repeatedly attack all the shots that make up your range as a player, whether that means strengthening your weaknesses or perfecting your strengths. A ball machine is your best choice of practice partner when it comes to developing a well-rounded game.

In this age of technological development, we have tried to find a happy balance between technical complexity and ease of operation. We have worked hard to maintain the clean simple appearance of our design and the utility of our controls, while generating machines that can offer full game simulation and programmability. After only a short while with this manual you should have your new PLAYMATE up and running and be practicing the shots that you want to be practicing!

–  –  –

1.Read all instructions carefully before operating this machine.

2.To protect against the risk of electrical shock, never immerse any part of this machine in water or any other liquid.

3.Always use a grounded three-prong extension cord to supply power to this ball machine.

4.Close supervision is necessary when operating this machine near children.

5.Never walk in front of this machine when it is operating. Tennis balls leave the machine at high speeds and could cause serious injury.

6.Always stand to the side, or behind the machine when attempting to alter the settings of the various controls.

7. If it is necessary to free a jammed tennis ball, make sure that the machine is turned OFF and unplugged.

8.Always wear protective eyewear when attempting any repairs or adjustments on this machine.

9. Never attempt any repairs or adjustment on this machine when it is plugged in. Always turn the power switch OFF and unplug the power cord.

10. This machine is intended for pitching tennis balls only.

Never attempt to use this machine with any other type of ball, or any foreign objects whatsoever.

11. Always make sure to turn this machine OFF when it is not in use.

Rev A 7 Electrical Requirements A heavy-duty grounded three-prong power cord (not included) is recommended for use with the PLAYMATE Ball Machine. All machines should be plugged into a 120V 50/60 Hz outlet (220V 50/60 Hz outlet for overseas machines equipped with transformers). If you are using an extension cord of 50 feet long or less, we recommend that you use a 16 gauge or heavier extension cord that is grounded. For longer distances, a 14 gauge grounded extension cord is recommended.

Rev A 8 Getting Started Your new PLAYMATE should have arrived securely packed. Make sure to inspect the machine for any damages that could have occurred during shipment. If machine is damaged please save all packing and box for inspection purposes. Inside the packing box, you should have found the owner’s manual, warranty card, and hand held remote control. If any of these are missing, please notify METALTEK immediately. Your new PLAYMATE should be ready for use in only a few minutes by completing the following easy steps.

1. ASSEMBLING THE HANDLES - The handles are reversed along the sides of the machine for compact shipment. To place them in their proper position, loosen the black triangular head screws until they are free. Swing the handles around 180 degrees until they are running parallel to each other behind the machine. Line up the holes and replace the triangular head screws, tightening until snug. DO NOT


2. SUPPLYING POWER – Plug an extension cord into a grounded threeprong outlet of the proper ratings (see ELECTRICAL REQUIREMENTS), and attach the other end to the power cord on the left side of the machine.

3. FILL THE HOPPER – For consistency, we recommend that all the balls used in the machine at one time be of the same type and approximate wear. DO NOT USE WET TENNIS BALLS.

4. SET THE CONTROLS – Your machine is just about ready for use. The last thing you will need to do is set the controls to a specific program.

Make sure to carefully read the OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS before attempting to use this machine.

NOTE: If possible, save the shipping box that your PLAYMATE arrived in.

Not only will it provide a safe place for long term storage, but will also provide proper protection if it is ever necessary to ship your PLAYMATE in the future.

–  –  –

POWER – This switch controls the power to the machine. When it is illuminated, power is being supplied. The Power switch is located on the ball machine cabinet.

1. FEED RATE – This knob determines how frequently the balls are pitched. Turning the knob clockwise increases the number of balls pitched to a maximum of approximately one ball per second. Turning the knob counterclockwise decreases the number of balls per minute.

2. REMOTE – This machine is equipped with a radio remote control system. By selecting the REMOTE position, the hand held remote becomes activated. By selecting the BYPASS position, the hand held remote becomes deactivated. For more information on the radio remote control system, please see below.


The SHOT SEQUENCE and DIRECTION controls work together to program the direction and which shot leaves the ball machine. The DIRECTION control determines the horizontal placement of the ball across the width of the tennis court. The SHOT SEQUENCE determines whether Shot A or Shot B will be pitched. Examples of programmed shots are listed on page 15.

Using these controls in combination, the machine can be programmed to do everything from pitch the same exact shot repeatedly, to produce infinite variations and game-like conditions.

3. SHOT SEQUENCE – This control features toggle switches labeled “A” and “B”. These switches correspond to the shots programmed using the shot memory control panel located directly below the direction thumb wheel panel. To select a shot, switch toggles up for Shot A and down for Shot B.

Rev A 11

4. SHOT MEMORY – The shot selection panel features two shot selection memories, each utilizing three different control knobs plus a DELAY on Shot A. These knobs can be used to set the HEIGHT, SPEED, SPIN and DELAY (Shot A only) of each shot.

HEIGHT: This knob controls the overall height of the ball being pitched. Turning this knob clockwise increases the height of the ball.

Turning it counterclockwise decreases it.

SPEED: Turning this knob clockwise will increase the speed of the ball being pitched; turning it counterclockwise will decrease it.

SPIN: This knob controls both the TOP and BACKSPIN of the ball being pitched. Turning this knob clockwise will give TOPSPIN, counterclockwise BACKSPIN, if this knob is at 12:00 o’clock it will be a flat ball.

DELAY: This knob allows you time to return to the baseline or create the appropriate intervals between shots during a drill.

5. DIRECTION PROGRAM – The direction control features seven builtin directions. The seven numbers across a base line graphically represent the direction of each of the shots from left to right on a standard doubles court. There are seven thumb wheels, labeled “1” through “7” which recall the seven specific directions in any order, producing different patterns. Each thumb wheel switch features any of the seven directions for your selection.

To set a pattern of shots, turn each of the thumb wheel switches up or down to the number of the corresponding direction you desire. Thumb wheel switches “2” through “7” feature the extra letter ‘A’. If this letter is selected, it will limit the shots and directions to those set to the left of it.

6. RANDOM DIRECTION ON/OFF – Once you have set the thumb wheels to any combination of the possible directions, you can select the order in which the machine will produce the directions. If you put the RANDOM ON/OFF toggle switch on the RANDOM OFF mode, the machine will pitch the shots in the exact order that they have been selected on the seven thumb wheels. It will start with shot “1”, and continue through to shot “7”unless it sees the letter “A”. Once it reaches shot “7” or the letter “A” it will repeat the sequence again.

If you put the RANDOM ON/OFF toggle switch on the RANDOM ON mode, the machine will produce the selected shots in a random order, automatically arranging them in up to 800,000 different patterns. This Rev A 12 will add an element of surprise, and is especially useful when you want to practice a variety of directions without being able to predict what the next one will be. If you want to increase the probability of any given direction, simply set the same direction on two of the thumb wheel switches. In order to triple the probability of a direction, set it three times, and so on.

RADIO REMOTE CONTROL – The hand held remote control unit activates and deactivates the ball delivery system of the PLAYMATE tennis machine. Push the button once to activate the delivery system, and once more to deactivate it. Hold the button down for 3 seconds to reset the machine. The remote control is only active when the POWER switch is illuminated, and the REMOTE toggle switch is in the REMOTE position. The radio antenna is located in the back of the ball hopper. Make sure this antenna is pointing upward in order to increase the range of the remote control system.

SAFETY PRECAUTION: If the machine is turned ON and the REMOTE ON/OFF switch is in the BYPASS position the machine will begin to pitch balls.

NOTE: Any control adjustments can be made while the machine is running, provided the safety precautions are being followed.

Rev A 13 Getting to Know Your DEUCE If you have never used a PLAYMATE Tennis Machine, or are unfamiliar with the programmable possibilities of the DEUCE, please take a moment to follow these easy steps to better comprehend the features of your new ball machine.

1. Place the machine at the center of the base line.

2. Check to make sure that the machine is plugged into an electrical outlet of the proper specifications (120 V AC 50/60 Hz, or 230 V AC 50/60 Hz for overseas machines equipped with transformers).

3. Load the hopper with tennis balls, making sure to stay clear of the ball exit in the front of the machine.

4. Go to pg. 16 and follow directions to DRILL #1 to set up a Flat Groundstroke or Volley to your Forehand and Backhand.

5. Now move on to DRILL #2, which will incorporate the DELAY feature, allowing you to return to the baseline following a short ball.

To help you familiarize yourself with the machine, we recommend you try the 7 FAVORITE SHOTS we have included.

–  –  –

Set Remote to REMOTE Push Red On/Off Switch on Ball Machine to ON Set Random Direction to Off Set Shot Sequence first and second switches to A Set Direction thumb wheels to 3, 5, A Set Ball Frequency to 4

–  –  –

Now walk to the other side of the court and use your remote control to start your drill. When balls are depleted or you tire, turn machine feeder off with remote before loading balls.

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