New Ball Machine

ball machine 01Ball Machine

Mount Pleasant has a ball machine which is great for practicing on your own, or with a friend, and perfecting those strokes. 

It's battery operated and it is kept in the shed just behind court 9. It should always be plugged in and charging while stored in the shed.
The first video below gives some details on what to do when you want to use the ball machine.
Key points:
  • Book an order of play court on the screen in the clubhouse entrance, selecting "Ball Machine" instead of singles or doubles. Only allowed outside of peak hours (those are 5 to 8:30 weekdays).
  • Currently the machine is only allowed on the Order of Play courts (9, 10 and 11)
  • Get the key to the shed from the tennis noticeboard in the clubhouse entrance lobby (it should be hanging on the noticeboard)
  • Unplug the machine and wheel it out carefully
  • Also take the bucket of balls which are labelled for the ball machine
  • Detailed instruction for using the machine controls are attached to the handle, or watch the video below for a summary
  • Be careful never to walk in front of the machine while it's switched on! There could be a ball jammed and it could release at any moment.
  • There's also a handy gadget for picking up the balls, it's kept in the shed beside the ball machine. See the second video below.
  • When finished, bring the balls and machine back into the shed, put the plastic cover back on the machine, and put the machine back on charge (check there's a red or green light on the charger)
  • Remember to lock the shed and put the key back where you got it from!.
More information on this ball machine from the manufacturer here

The full user manual can be downloaded here

There are full instructions on how to go about using the machine in Mount Pleasant in this video

Please note the following:

  • the key to the shed is now on the noticeboard in the clubouse lobby, not in the changing rooms
  • the two small front "feet", which were missing from the machine, have now been replaced. So while recently the machine had been angled slightly too low, it's now back to its correct angle. This means the preset programs should work better now too.

There is also a tool to make it easier to pick up the balls: the Kollectaball


There are some videos on ball machine practice exercises here:



If the machine does not work check the following:
  • Is the main switch (hidden down below the control panel on the left side, near the wheel) in the UP position?
  • Is there a ball stuck in the machine? Turn the machine off, take all the balls out of the hopper and look into the mechanism from above. If you see a ball stuck:
    • DOUBLE CHECK POWER IS OFF COMPLETELY! (No light at all on the control panel)
    • Now carefully put your hand in through the feed wheel and try to pinch the threads on the ball, and pull it out. If this fails, put the machine back and let Dee know.
  • Is the trip-switch off? This can happen if a ball was stuck in the machine. The trip-switch is down under the control panel, on the opposite side to the main switch (near the other wheel). Try to flick this on and see if it helps.
  • If the battery fails for you, put it back on charge and try again another day:)
  • If you can't resolve a problem, contact a member of the tennis committee, or Fergus O'Callaghan (contact details on Club Manager)
If the ball machine is not charged when you first go to get it, or does not start charging when you put it back:
  • is the charging cable plugged into the machine?
  • is the switch at the socket on?
  • there are trip-switches just above the socket: have any of these tripped? If so contact Dee or somebody from the tennis committee.
Finally, some of the "preset" programs (e.g. Wide, Medium) do not seem to work correctly, the ball often gets hit far too low. This seems to be a fault with the machine, we'll need to consider getting a new machine at some stage. In the meantime, try other programs (Grinder seems to work OK), or just stick to the "Manual" program.