The Pop Toss utilizes a pneumatic timer to trigger the release of the Ball Striker and launch the ball. This is what allows the machine to be used by one person and not have to not rely on batteries or electricity to launch the ball.
Adjusting the Timing Knob is simple and can be set to however long you need to load the machine and get comfortably back into your batting stance. The Pop Toss main purpose is to get as close to a game situation as possible while practicing, so it is important to get comfortable in your stance like stepping into the Batter’s Box in a game.
While using a stationary batting tee everything is on your terms; you place the ball where you want it, you stare at the motionless ball for as long as you want and you swing when you want to. In a game, none of those things are on your terms; you swing when the ball enters the strike zone, you have a limited amount of time to track the moving ball and most importantly, the ball is moving within the strike zone. The Pop Toss allows those quick twitch muscles to develop the memory to launch like a coiled spring when the ball is ready to be hit anywhere in the strike zone.
Follow these simple steps to adjust the timing of the launch
Turn the knob about a quarter to a half turn at a time (about 1 – 2 seconds) and test launch a ball to see what the wait time is from loading until the ball launches.
Turning the knob clockwise restricts the amount of air taken into the valve and increases the wait time.
Turning the knob counter-clockwise allows more air into the valve and decreases the wait time.
Most Hitters need about 5 – 7 seconds to load the machine and get back into their stance comfortably. Although this depends on how far away you have the Poptoss from the strike zone
The first time you use this machine, take it from storage, adjust the timer or change the spring. Make sure to follow these directions to Test Load the Poptoss.
1. Place the Bat Knob on the Anglar and steadily push down the Ball Striker until it bottoms out in the Chamber. (Keep the bat on the same angle as the Pop Toss is sitting.)
* Do Not remove the Bat during “Test Loading”.
2. Make sure to place your hand on the top of the end of the bat while keeping the Knob in the Chamber. Just hold the bat in the machine (gently making contact with the Anglar) do not continue to push down on the Ball Striker. You will feel the Ball Striker pushing up on the bat.
* Always keep the bat and the machine pointed away from people and faces.
3. Count off how many seconds it takes for the Ball Striker to pop up while maintaining a firm grasp on the bat end. (The machine has enough power to pop the bat up.) This is your count-off time. This can be adjusted by using the Timer Knob located on the Base of the machine. 1/4 or 1/2 turn clockwise for more count-off time and a 1/4 or 1/2 turn counter-clockwise for less count-off time.
Repeat as necessary to get the count off time where you want it.
The height of the launched ball is determined by 4 main adjustments:
1. The size of spring used in the machine. (Green Tee: 1 spring for Short Toss & 1 spring for Long Toss) (Black Tee: 1 spring for Wiffle Balls, 1 spring for Baseballs & 1 spring for Softballs)
2. The Angle of the Pop Toss. (Angled straight up and down the Pop Toss will pop at it’s highest. Angled down the Pop Toss will launch the ball on a lower trajectory.)
3. Both the Anglar and/or the Anglar position. (For the Black Tee: Plastic Anglar will have less height and more spin and the Rubber Anglar adds more height and less spin.)
4. The Height Adjustment collar. (Screwing the collar up over the holes on the Chamber = Less height. Screwing the collar down to open the Chamber holes = More Height.)
What does the Anglar do?
The Anglar simply screws into the Ball Striker and is what makes contact with the ball upon launch. The Green Tee only comes with the Rubber Anglar as it doesn’t need the lower launch for Slow-Pitch. The Black Tee comes with a Rubber Anglar and a Plastic Anglar.
1. The Rubber Anglar bounces the ball off the machine making the launch/distance greater. It should be screwed in all the way until it becomes snug.
2. The Plastic Anglar is adjustable. Which means it can rest at different heights depending on how much or little you screw it into the Ball Striker.
If you have it protruding above the Ball Striker it will have less spin and movement on the launched ball. (Good for simulating Fastballs, Knuckle balls and Change-Ups.)
If you have it screwed down recessed into the Ball Striker about a 1/16″ below. It will add height/distance and spin creating late movement in the strike zone. (Great for simulating Curve Balls, Sliders and Fastballs with movement).
If you screw it down further into the Ball Striker it will decrease the amount of height/distance on the launched ball but will increase the amount of spin on the ball as well (this is great for simulating Curve balls and Sliders with increasing movement on the ball to all corners and parts of the strike zone).
What does the “Height Adjustment Collar” do?
1. Screwing it up to cover up the holes on the Chamber restricts air flow in the Chamber and lessens the height/distance of the launched ball by inches.
2. Screwing it down to uncover the holes on the Chamber allows air to flow, increasing the amount of height/distance on the launched ball.
By adjusting the front and/or the back legs on the base of the Pop Toss you can control the angle at which the ball is launched. We also refer to the different modes as “Short Toss” and “Long Toss”.
*We recommend placing the Pop Toss in a ball bucket for Short Toss and behind a bucket (shielded from the batter and bat) when using it in Long Toss Mode. This protects it from a hit ball or a swinging bat.
Short Toss Mode
Screw in the back legs to make them as short as possible and unscrew the front legs (on the Black Tee) below the height of the back legs or to match the height of the back legs.
Having the front and back legs the same size – allows the Pop Toss to launch the ball straight up to act like a spring-loaded Batting Tee. (This is good for any drill a stationary batting tee would be used for and it will help the hitter more with hand-eye coordination, timing and in swing adjustments)
Having the front legs shorter than the back legs – allows the Pop Toss to launch a ball from the side or right in front of the hitter. (Great for Soft-Toss type drills, getting warmed up or locating the pitch into different areas in the strike zone)
Long Toss Mode
Screw in the front legs so they are as short as can be and unscrew the back legs to make them the longest they can be. When unscrewing the back legs try keeping 4 or 5 threads buried in the base.
Setting up the Pop Toss 3-6 feet directly in front of the hitter (from where the pitcher would be). This simulates Fastballs of different speeds and location. By changing Anglars and positions you can simulate a 40 mph fastball up to a 100 mph fastball. This is based on reaction time and when the Pop Toss is launching the ball with the least amount of height the reaction time can be as low as .30 of a second from launch until it’s un-hittable.
Setting up the Pop Toss 3-6 feet in front of the hitter but offset on the outside part of the plate (to angle the ball from the outside corner to the inside corner of the plate). This simulates a curve or a slider from a Right Handed Pitcher depending on how much spin and speed is on the ball.
Setting up the Pop Toss 3-6 feet in front of the hitter but offset on the inside part of the plate (to angle the ball from the inside corner to the outside corner of the plate). This simulates a curve or a slider from a left Handed Pitcher depending on how much spin and speed is on the ball.
Pop the ball higher to simulate Change-ups and have the batter wait back on the pitch until it’s in the zone.
Pop the ball lower to simulate Fastballs of different speeds forcing the hitter to jump on the pitch and hit it where it lets you.
1. Hold the Chamber and the Base securely while unscrewing the top from the bottom. The Pop Toss contains a coiled spring under tension. To avoid anything popping up once the machine is separated, maintain a firm grasp on both parts. *Keep the end pointed away from face and/or people.
2. Turn the machine over while securely holding onto both ends of the Pop Toss and unscrew until they separate. At this point, you can rest the top of the machine on the ground or sturdy table while unscrewing to help hold the machine together, even after both ends have separated.
3. Remove the spring from inside the Chamber. Leave the Ball Striker in the Chamber while still holding the top Chamber upside down.
4. Replace the removed spring with the desired spring making sure the new spring fits around the end of the Ball Striker still in the Chamber. (The longer the spring the more popping strength of the Tee.)
5. With both parts still upside down, line up the threads of the Chamber to the Base and screw in all the way until snug. Make sure you don’t over tighten.
6. Follow the Test Loading instructions to get the Timer Knob adjusted correctly. *When a spring has been changed it will affect the timer because it will have more or less tension on the vacuum.
After a few seasons or if you notice any variation of the launch time without moving the Timer Knob follow these steps… (Always use a General Purpose Silicone based Lubricant for the o-rings, never use WD-40 or comparable lubricant.)
1. Unscrew the Chamber from the Base of the Poptoss. *Make sure to firmly hold both ends of the machine as it contains a coiled spring under pressure.
2. As the chamber and base become unscrewed turn the Poptoss upside down while holding both ends. Lift the base of the machine off of the upside-down chamber. The Ball Striker will remain in the chamber as well as the spring.
3. Remove the spring and slide the Ball Striker out of the Chamber by tilting down and holding your hand under the opening.
4. Apply a dime (or nickel) sized amount of General Purpose Silicone (Lubricating, Protecting and Dielectric) Compound directly to the o-rings on the Ball Striker.
5. Drop the Ball Striker with Anglar facing down back into the upside-down chamber.
6. Put the spring back into the chamber, making sure the end of the spring fits onto the Ball Striker end.
7. Attach the base back onto the Chamber by lining up the threads and screwing it completely in until it’s snug against the Chamber.
8. Load the machine with the Bat Knob and test the timing.
If water, dirt, etc. gets into your Poptoss follow these steps…
Follow the above directions 1-3. After step 3 proceed to #2.
Once the Poptoss is empty of the spring and Ball Striker, clean out the chamber of any debris (you can use an air compressor to blow out the chamber and base as well).
Follow above steps 4-8 making sure to thoroughly lubricate the o-rings during step 4 (maybe a nickel or quarter sized amount since the o-rings are cleaned off). Also make sure to perform a Test Load to check the timing.
How to position the water bottle in the black rubber holder to eliminate any movement of your PopToss when using it.