The gearbox is basically the heart of all mechanical, electrically-powered Airsoft replicas, and it's also the most troublesome, jamming- and malfunctions-prone one, given how sensitive it is to anything from dirt to humidity or power drops due to the use of worn-out battery packs. Most of these inconvenients are enough to cause irreparable damages to a gearbox, making an AEG basically useless until it's replaced... which in most cases is not something exactly easy or cheap to do. However, according to what all4shooters.com came to know at the 2012 IWA expo in Nuremberg (Germany), all this might soon be the past, thanks to ARES Airsoft, a well-known company whose main activity is the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies to the MilSim and replica market.
The new ARES Airsoft gearbox, dubbed the NFCS (“Non-contact Firing Control System”) is probably the most innovative electrically-powered Airsoft gun operating system ever since the first AEGs where rolled out by Tokyo Marui in the early 1990s. Traditional gearboxes feature a standard electric circuit, with a direct contact that must close to provide an uninterrupted, endless path for the flow of current thatʼs necessary to run the mechanisms, with the trigger acting as the two-positions switch: “On” when pulled, “Off” when released − this is what causes the long delay, or “Trigger time”, between the moment pressure is applied to the trigger and the moment a 6mm BB pellet is actually propelled out of the muzzle. Said contact anyway causes internal sparkles, which can be cause for damages and malfunction. The use of Micro-Switches and MOSFET (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor) circuits to solve these problems mostly replaced them with others, as Micro-Switches generally operate too fast for the structure of these replicas and generate vibrations which can be a further cause for wear. Even MOSFET circuits can suffer of the same trouble if employed in conjunction with a Micro-Switch.
ARESʼ new “Non-contact Firing Control System” features no direct contact, as electricity flows through magnets and magnetic sensors, which completely eradicate the causes for the above-mentioned issues. Plus, the integrated programmable MOSFET transistor ensures maximum reliability, markedly reducing the “Trigger Time”, eliminating long or incomplete cycles, reducing the probabilities of a jam and allowing the user to “customize” the firing modes. The new system will be first made available on the ARES Airsoft replica of the Polish “Beryl” assault rifle, due to hit the market before the end of the year, and is completely compatible with 15V batteries, which will allow the use of the extremely dependable Lithium Polymers (LiPo) battery packs.