sexta-feira, 30 de abril de 2010

Meet Micha of Cidasoft

­Cidasoft is making raves in the airsoft industry with their Cidasoft grenades which are the safest to handle for airsoft players, though we would not recommend you trying to handhold the grenade inside it while attempting to detonate it with BBs inside as the videos are for demonstration purposes. I have been corresponding for sometime now with Micha, the owner of Cidasoft, and perhaps the only airsoft manufacturer in the Far East who is not Chinese nor Japanese, nor Korean, as he is originally from Holland. Now, let's get to know him more and his company.


This is a Taiwan made product [Cidasoft Grenade] but I was surprised when I found out that you’re European so first of all please tell me how did you end up in Taiwan?


I married a Taiwanese. We met while we were both traveling in India. After having both lived in Taiwan and Europe we decided that we wanted to settle down in Taiwan.





I guess your love for airsoft started on the island. Do you still remember your first encounter?


Yes, it is. Although when I was still in Holland I was a member of a gun club for 6 years. I had a .22 pistol (Pardini Fiocchi SPE) and a .22 rifle (a replica of an AR-15). In Taiwan it is not possible to use or own these types of weapons (fire arms). This is when I found out about airsoft and I joined a local airsoft team. I don’t remember my first game or how it felt to get shot for the first time. But I do remember that I borrowed a team gun the first few times and that soon after I bought my first AEG rifle.





What is your way of airsoft? (you can talk about your team, your loadout, places you guys go, favorite brand, favorite gun, etc..)


In English my team is called, Students Force. Although not all people in this team are students (anymore).





I prefer not to carry too much gear with me because that will hinder me when I play airsoft and it is also too hot in the summer. I always play with my M4 and I also carry a backup pistol, which is a Glock 19. Most of the time I also carry my airsoft hand grenade. Unfortunately I can’t always use the grenade because people who live nearby where we play might call the police because it’s too loud when it goes off.





We usually play in abandoned buildings, factories or old military buildings (bases).





My favorite brand is Tokyo Marui because they make good quality products. My favorite guns are, M4, TAR-21, Dragunov sniper rifle, Mini Vulcan (way too much money and not practical in an airsoft game), and Glock pistols.





Now let’s talk about your invention a bit. What made you come up with the idea of this grenade and what is the CidaSoft Hand Grenade?


The basic idea of how this grenade works is not original. There used to be another grenade which works in principle like the CidaSoft grenade. The difference is in the delivery system of the baking soda, also called the detonator. The grenade works with citric acid, baking soda and some water. This mixture will make CO2 and the pressure will make the bottle explode.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5_qC-6EuVc&hl=en_GB&fs=1&]

Where does the brand name “CIDASOFT” came from?

CI comes from citric acid, DA comes from baking soda and SOFT comes from airsoft.





Taiwan makes almost anything so I guess it wasn’t that hard to find a manufacturer. How long did it take to get the first fully functional prototype?


Yes, Taiwan has many small and medium factories. Although it did take some time to choose one of those many factorie, it took me 3 years from the first initial idea to a product that was ready for sale.





There are several different hand grenades available for today’s airsofter but none of them(as far as I know (There used to be the AG-01, but I believe that it is not available anymore) works like yours. Please explain what the advantage of your product is.


First of all, it is affordable. It gives off a nice bang. You might not feel it hit you but you certainly will hear it. The spoon or handle doesn’t fly off and it doesn’t weigh much.





The detonator is basically a plunger and it starts a chemical reaction by releasing baking soda into the main compartment (bottle). How reliable is this detonator? How quick will the bottle explode? What happens if the grenade lands upside down?


If the detonator is prepared properly then it is quite reliable. There is always a chance that the grenade won’t go off. The grenade is 98% or more reliable if it is prepared properly.





Sometimes it can go wrong:



  • When the plunger rubber doesn’t have a good seal. Always bend this rubber before putting the orange tube in place and blow into it to see if it is airtight.

  • The washer ring (the rubber ring between the detonator and the bottle) is missing. This way pressure can’t build up in the bottle.

  • The bottle has been screwed on too loosely. The pressure will escape from the bottle.


Use 12gram of citric acid + 20ml water if the temperature is 25 degrees Celsius or more, 18gram + 25ml water if the temperature is between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius and 24gram + 30ml water if the temperature is between 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. Don’t use the grenade if the temperature is lower than 15 degrees Celsius. In this case you would need more citric acid and water and you would only get an 80% chance that the grenade will go off.





And always read the user guide. All the above is explained there.





By the time the grenade lands the spring operated valve has already pushed out the baking soda and the pressure is already getting higher.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gijVEqG5AE&hl=en_GB&fs=1&]

How far I can possibly throw one of these? What’s the weight of the loaded unit?





My friend threw the grenade ones more than 15 meters in an above hands move. This way of throwing is not recommended though. The grenade may go off by the impact if the ground surface is hard, like concrete. Throwing it under hand or rolling it would be better. I have also once thrown it over a door because the other team was on the other side. The grenade worked fine and it took out one member of that team. The grenade weighs about 100gram when it is ready for use. This does not include bbs.





You’ve uploaded some videos on YouTube demonstrating how safe this grenade is and let me tell you I am pretty impressed. Did your product ever cause any injuries? In that video you are holding the grenade on your open palm while demonstrating its safety but what happens if someone wraps his/her finger over the bottle while it goes off? I’m just trying to figure out how foolproof your idea is.


The grenade has never caused any injuries but you’ll need to be a little careful when you remove the bottle neck from the detonator and when you use the bottle neck remover tool because it is sharp.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ifnk-zziVPA&hl=en_GB&fs=1&]


­Well, you are right. I wouldn’t like to demonstrate the grenade while holding the grenade very tight without a tactical glove. Please take into consideration that this is something that explodes. Would you hold on to a fire cracker? I would run away from it and I would do the same when someone would throw this grenade at me. I never had a team member trying to throw back on of these grenades, most of the time they just try to run away. Even if the grenade fails to explode or isn’t near someone when it explodes it is a great way to scare the other team.





My advice is to always wear face/eye protection and tactical gloves when using these grenades.





I already figured it out that keeping the mixture balanced is important if I want effectiveness. What’s the maximum amount of BBs you can launch out of the bottle? What happens if I put more baking soda in the bottle? What happens if I load 0.40g BB in the bottle?


I would say not more than 100 bbs. The green lid, which separates the baking soda from the citric acid water mix, might not open if it is obstructed with bbs.





More baking soda in the orange tube will give a shorter “fuse” time.





I never tested it with 0.40gram bbs. I guess that they will not fly so for because they are heavier.





If the bottle lands in the middle of a medium-sized room (let’s say there is no furniture in there) what’s the chance of not getting hit by any of the BBs? If this grenade goes off near a person will it leave any stain or mark on gear/clothing?


I have had pieces of plastic from the grenade fly more than 10 meters away. The issue is not of getting hit by a bb or not. The issue is that most likely won’t feel it if a bb hits you. The speed of the bbs is to slow and most airsofters wear tactical clothes. The use of this grenade would be better if you use the rule that you’re out [or call your hit] when it goes off within 3 meters near you.





Yes, there is a chance that you might get some stains on you gear or clothes. If so, then those stains consist of a citric acid, baking soda and water mix. These are usually small drops which can be cleaned easily. Usually my clothes and gear get dirtier from just playing airsoft.





Did you ever try to figure out the initial speed of the BBs leaving the bottle?


No, I never did.





How many times can I re-use the detonator?


I have 1 detonator which I have used for about 100 times. But that is no guaranty that each detonator will last that long. If the grenade would be thrown too hard and it would hit a wall in a wrong way the detonator can get damaged. The good thing is that damaged parts can be replaced.





Is it possible to use any other bottle with your detonator? You know that’s the first thing people will try.


No, unless you can find a bottle which is very similar. Most likely the detonator will get damaged because the bottle is too thick. It took a lot of time testing to find the right thickness of this bottle.





How can people access your product? Do you have a retailer in the US or Europe? (website, payment method, shipping times, shipping method, etc..)


At present there are no retailers yet outside Taiwan. So people can buy the grenade directly from my website, www.cidasoftairsoft.com Payment is via PayPal only. I ship only via Taiwan Post to keep the shipping costs low. Shipping by DHL etc will make the sipping cost up to 3 to 4 times higher. Shipping should take about 2 weeks and all shipments are registered and insured.





Are you planning to release other airsoft goodies or do we have to be patient for a while?


Yes, I am but you’ll need to be patient for some time.




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