MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

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bowl1820
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MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by bowl1820 » February 26th, 2020, 8:21 pm

Yes I know you can DIY one out of a food dehydrator, In Fact I'm probably one of the first ones that had made one and posted about it online years ago. But It's wore out now. Be that as it may, this is a review of one you can buy.



The Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor, uses a forced air heating system to heat a bowling ball to extract oil from the ball by circulating heat evenly around the ball.

About me I've been bowling for almost 30 years and have had a lot of experience using many ball cleaning and surfacing products, I even pieced together my own DIY ball revivor which I used for many years. So I feel I have a good eye for what works and doesn't in regard to ball cleaning.

The unit I got worked as advertised, it only required some simple assembly before use. Operation was simple I just placed my ball in the unit and pressed the on/off/ button to start the preset 30 minute heating cycle.

The unit automatically shut itself off at the end of the cycle, I opened it and wiped the now oil covered ball off, turning the ball over I replaced it into the unit and started a second heating cycle.

At the end of the cycle I removed the again oil covered ball and sprayed some ball cleaner on it and wiped away the oil. Thee ball was now clean and the surface “tacky” again. I'll give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Pros:
1: The heating unit is at the bottom of the Revivor, I like this because since heat naturally rises I believe the ball will heat more evenly (This is like my DIY one). Similar devices heat from the top down so have to force the heated air downwards.

2: Construction is fairly solid and of good quality.

3: The big ball cup in this can be taken out and used on your table if you need to have something to set the ball on.

4: It's made in sections which allow for easy cleaning and ball placement.

5: Price is lower than other similar units.

Cons:
1: This is a small nitpick the lid is just a little fiddly when you put it on, you might have jiggle it around so it seats fully.

How I reached my 5 star rating:
I've tested the Phoenix's operation for eight hours and with 7 balls from different mfg's, Checking internal and ball surface temperatures during this period.

I started with a internal temperature test (using a digital thermometer w/probe ) without any ball in it. Over a half hour cycle the temperature slowly rose to a final temperature of 153° which I figured was within the operating range. With a ball in the unit, the internal temperature still reached 153°.

(Note: I found probe placement could affect readings. Such as against the cylinder wall.)

Using a low cost IR thermometer ball surface temperatures measurements fell in the 120°-130° range which is about where you want it and where most other home revivor type machines reach.

This a new product from Pyramid Bowling and functions well IMO. I have several of Pyramids products and they are decent also and Bowlingball.com and Pyramid Bowling are pretty good about helping customers if they have a problem or questions about a product.
"REMEMBER, it isn't how much the ball hooks, it's where."

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Re: MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by VLe » March 9th, 2020, 12:37 pm

Great review! Thank you very much for your effort.

Some ball manufacturers have a temperature limit of 125 Fahrenheit to avoid warranty issues. I remember also seeing a 110-limit mentioned somewhere.

I'm still a huge advocator for the ultrasonic cleaning. With ultrasonic you can basically get oil out of the ball even without any heating involved. I have used my US-cleaner for years and never had an issue.
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Re: MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by Glenn » April 3rd, 2020, 4:14 pm

I had a chance to use one of these units recently. And, my experience matches yours. I believe this unit does a better job of bringing the oil to the surface due to its updraft design than the dehydrator-type models with the heating element/fan in the lid.

The thing with the Phoenix lid can be a minor annoyance, This unit has the lid "snap" to the top ring tight enough so the the ring comes off with the lid - can get to the ball quicker - LOL! I did notice several hairline stress cracks on the lid, but I couldn't feel them with my finger nail. They may be a result of manufacture, handling, or heat expansion/warping. I don't know if they will be a problem down the road.

The air flow is around the outside edge and the bottom ring sets in this location. I don't know how much air flow is restricted by this design, but the base seems to get quite warm.

The ventilated ball cup just doesn't work. Every ball comes out with a dry circle where it sets in the cup. The vents are in the shape of a pyramid (imagine that) with three vents on the outside of the cup and three smaller vents (half the side of the outside vents) on the inside of the cup. We will likely add some additional vents to this cup to see if this improves the situation.

And, lastly, the big question is how long with this thing last with just home use.

It was interesting that most of my equipment didn't need oil extraction. I have one older Roto Grip ball that is an oil sponge, and revivor pulled a bunch of oil out of it.

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Re: MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by Glenn » April 9th, 2020, 7:57 pm

I noticed that Mo answered a bowler's question on #MoMonday about bowling ball oil extraction at home.
Mo doesn't appear to be a big fan of the revivors offered for home use - preferring the pro shop with commercial revivors.
He recommends keeping the temperature between 125-130 degrees to keep the plasticizers from being extracted with the oil at higher temperatures.
I found it interesting that he brings up the plasticizer issue that's been hashed over many times (Bowling Chat, Ron Hickland, PBA, etc) - LOL!

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Re: MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by bowl1820 » April 10th, 2020, 12:58 am

Glenn wrote:
April 9th, 2020, 7:57 pm
I noticed that Mo answered a bowler's question on #MoMonday about bowling ball oil extraction at home.
Mo doesn't appear to be a big fan of the revivors offered for home use - preferring the pro shop with commercial revivors.
IMO, he wasn't a big fan a people trying to bake their balls in their cooking oven where temp. control is a lot harder to control. He wasn't really being disparaging to personal revivor units which are made for oil extraction.

He recommends keeping the temperature between 125-130 degrees to keep the plasticizers from being extracted with the oil at higher temperatures.
Which is the surface temp. that the Pyramid Revivor produced on the ball.

I found it interesting that he brings up the plasticizer issue that's been hashed over many times (Bowling Chat, Ron Hickland, PBA, etc) - LOL!
He also mentioned sanding the ball first before extracting (Which he said that years ago also), which has been brought up on here before and everyone said it BS you don't need to do it.

heres the video being referred to:

"REMEMBER, it isn't how much the ball hooks, it's where."

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Re: MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by EricHartwell » April 10th, 2020, 12:41 pm

The Pyramid Phoenix Revivor appears to be a pretty good product.
I jumped on the NuBall bandwagon when they first came out. It does a fine job and will keep using it until it wears out.
I have had to re-lubricate the bushings in the fan and will need to do so on a regular basis to keep it running. Which bring me to question the durability of the fan in the Pyranid.
Is there a felt pad incorporated in the design of the bearings/bushings to hold oil and keep them lubricated?

A good test is when you offer to clean a friends bowling ball that is more than 10 years old and makes your hands slimy when you pick it up. Basically completely saturated. It took 6 hours for the NuBall. This was done taking the ball out every 20 minutes to a half hour and using the spinner and ball cleaner to clean the oil off.
It is amazing how much oil can be absorbed into a ball.
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Re: MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by bowl1820 » April 11th, 2020, 12:37 am

EricHartwell wrote:
April 10th, 2020, 12:41 pm
The Pyramid Phoenix Revivor appears to be a pretty good product.
I jumped on the NuBall bandwagon when they first came out. It does a fine job and will keep using it until it wears out.
I have had to re-lubricate the bushings in the fan and will need to do so on a regular basis to keep it running.
Which bring me to question the durability of the fan in the Pyranid.
Only time will tell about that, the Phoenix is way too new and only been out a little while to see how well it holds up.

Is there a felt pad incorporated in the design of the bearings/bushings to hold oil and keep them lubricated?
That I don't know, I'm not opening it up to find out.
A good test is when you offer to clean a friends bowling ball that is more than 10 years old and makes your hands slimy when you pick it up. Basically completely saturated. It took 6 hours for the NuBall.
This was done taking the ball out every 20 minutes to a half hour and using the spinner and ball cleaner to clean the oil off.
That seems way inefficient, the ball is out of the cooker and cooling off and having to be brought back up to temp too much.

Plus using the spinner every time to just clean the oil off is way over kill. Just pull it out and give it a quick wipe with some cleaner and put it back in.
"REMEMBER, it isn't how much the ball hooks, it's where."

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Re: MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by EricHartwell » April 11th, 2020, 6:14 pm

I understand not wanting to tear apart something brand new, but I am that sort of person that can't resist opening something up to see how it works and don't hesitate at all when something needs to be fixed.

Sure the surface cools a little bit but the core temp doesn't change in the minute or two it is on the spinner due to its thermal mass.

Putting it on the spinner utilizes centripetal force to help pull out the oil. A ball with 10+ years of use/abuse has oil pulled all the way to the core.
These balls ( I've done 2 like this) had so much oil in them tape would not stick in the thumbholes.
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Re: MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by Glenn » April 14th, 2020, 10:51 pm

Eric,
I believe the Phoenix "stays out of trouble" heat-wise by limiting time to 30 minutes so that the core doesn't absorb a lot of heat.
My Phoenix rises to about 138 degrees in 15 minutes when measured with a probe 6 inches from the top with no bowling ball.
Laying the probe on the ball surface still shows 138 degrees of heat blowing over the ball, but a check of the ball surface with a IR thermometer was around 125 degrees. And, it cooled quickly when removed from the revivor. I noticed the oil would re-absorb into the ball very quickly when I carried it from the revivor to the bench.
When I was using a NuBall type device, I would let it sit in the thing at 130 degrees for 60 minutes for each half of the ball - I am sure that the core got a lot warmer.
Here is a shot of the bearing on the appliance-type motor in the Phoenix:
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Re: MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by EricHartwell » April 14th, 2020, 11:57 pm

Thanks Glenn, it looks more robust than the NuBall.
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Re: MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by Glenn » April 15th, 2020, 1:22 pm

Eric,
I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality of this thing. The fan blades are in a "rim" -- not a pinwheel. The printed circuit boards (2) are well-made and the soldering appears neat and shiny. Components are not surface mount. The wiring connecting the boards are not soldered -- used spade lugs/twist caps, and wires are not individual -- used wiring harness/ribbon/bundle.
I did NOT dig deeper to check out the heating element ...
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EricHartwell
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Positive Axis Point: 4-3/4" and 1/2"up
Speed: 16 off hand
Rev Rate: 330
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Axis Rotation: 45
Heavy Oil Ball: Radical Tremendous
Medium Oil Ball: Motiv Villain, Hammer Nail, Brunswick True Motion
Light Oil Ball: Blue Hammer, Columbia Nitrous
Location: Michigan

Re: MY review of the Pyramid Phoenix Ball Revivor

Post by EricHartwell » April 15th, 2020, 8:50 pm

Certainly looks like a decent replacement for when mine gives up its ghost.

Thanks again for satisfying my curiosity.
Eric Hartwell

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PAP 4.75" up 1/2"
45* rotation
12* tilt
330 rev rate
16 mph off hand

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