Lobster Elite One Portable Ball Machine Customer feedback

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Please include any relevant information such as skill level and style of play.

Comments: I bought this machine three years ago, so this review applied specifically to that model. But it does not appear much has changed. I did purchase the remote. For context, I am in my 50s and have been playing for only 5 years. When purchased I was a 3.0 player working to become a 3.5. Pros: the Lobster is a solid machine and the "guts" (motor, etc.) are top notch and I've never had any problems. This alone makes it worth the price. I used the machine regularly (3 or 4 times a week, May-Oct) for the last two and a half years. My workouts tend to be 1-2 hours and I typically leave the machine running the whole time. The "toss" provides the right amount of variation in where the ball lands. The topspin option works well and can spin the ball so it has a nasty kick when it hits. The speed is more than enough for a player at my level. The machine is easy to wheel around and get on and off the court. I use public courts that have narrow gates (to keep bikes out) and never had a problem getting it on the court. But it is heavy -- most ladies will have problems getting it in and out of the car without help. Cons: a lot of this is nitpicking, but what the heck. The remote does not work reliably from the far baseline, which is my biggest beef. I pretty much have to walk up to the net to stop the feed. Yes, I changed the battery in the remote multiple times. I don't know that I'd buy the remote again, especially given how (overly) expensive it is. The handle is flimsy and it's very hard to press the release buttons to get it to fold. A better option would have been the telescoping handles you find on most suit cases. The battery died after 2.5 years, which is what prompted this review. A replacement was only $40 with shipping, so not a big deal. The Lobster seriously needs a feed on light. LEDs are cheap and it's very difficult to tell if the feed is running if you are not close to the machine. I did not find the "lob" feature useful as the feed is too fast, even at the slowest speed. I did not find the "baseline oscillation" feature useful as the balls are fired randomly all over the place, so it's hard to work on anything. The adjustment knobs are kind of loose, so it's easy to accidentally bump and change them. The jack where you plug in the charger eventually worked loose and I lost the screw so I had to Jerry rig it back on.
From: David, 7/16

Comments: Part 2 (from my comments below): Resolution of Lobster issues I had -- The old battery was kept on the Elite Premium Charger as recommended in the instructions for the Lobster. It went dead in about a year. Upon removal, I found it swollen and warped. Installed a new battery and it works again, but now I am afraid to leave it on charge with the Premium Charger per instructions. I charge it, watch it and take it off just like with the standard charger. So far it works.
From: James, 11/13

Comments: Used my Lobster that I bought from Tennis Warehouse moderately a couple times per month for about 1 year. The machine now shuts down after about 5 balls. Opened it up after talking to their warranty department and it looks very cheaply made. I also purchased the Premium Charger for an extra $100. No abuse at all, and they tell me the battery has a 6 month warranty. Lobster's warranty department informed me that I probably need a battery, it costs $97 for battery and shipping. I can only hope this solves the problem, but as is, I have a $1,200 useless ball machine. If this doesn't work, I can send the machine back to California for over $60 more. I am not happy with the product and wish I had saved the money and bought something else. These machines are not built to work life long.
From: James, 9/13

Comments: I am an advanced player (5.5) who bought an Elite Model 1 in late 2005. I have hit an average of 3,000 balls per week for 9 to 10 months per year for the last 5 years with very few problems. In fact, the only issue I have is a quirky horizontal switch on the control panel that can be easily fixed, and is more about convenience than performance. This machine is so rock solid and such a reliable performer that I would not even consider another brand machine, and I've demoed a dozen other brands. My Lobster is the perfect portable backboard and drill master. Kudos to Lobster.
From: Beau, Harpers Ferry, WV, USA, 01/11

Comments: You did not mention the dc voltage of the said ball machine.
From: Danny, State of Qatar. 8/08
(Danny, You can ask for standard US voltage or the 240V version and Lobster will set it up. The machine is 13VDC 1000 mA. -- TW)

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