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Spank-O-Matic II, Hand Control
Spank-O-Matic II, Disassembled
SOM II vs. the Competition, Page 2
The Robospanker folks have frequently played fast and loose with the facts, even clearly lying on their website in some cases and even leaving lies up to be read after the truth was brought to their attention. I feel it is important to document these questionable moves, and that the best possible way to frame my responses is to present dubious claims as "myths" from DD machinery and follow them up with actual facts. This content is always current based on the latest ploys from DD Machinery.
An Archive of DD Machinery's Claims
Shortly after the SOM II rollout, the folks at DD Machinery posted a table of their own comparing their Robospanker with "Other imitation machines"... a table that simply mischaracterized what was clearly a comparison between the Robospanker and the SOM II. I responded in detail here, and invited you to fairly decide which machine met your needs based on truth, not lies. Most of my original response remains in Myths and Facts section below. The following link will open an actual screenshot of the prior Robospanker site, showing the comparison table that started this document. Note that the graphic in this link is quite wide. You may need to click it for a full-sized view.
Robospanker's Comparison Table, June 11 2009
Although their claims about the SOM II warranty, equivalent height adjustability between RS and SOM II, no SOM II endorsements, and so forth were provably false and they knew it, DD Machinery remained content publishing lies and misleading information and this table stayed on their site for nearly a month.
On July 7, the table went away completely. Good thing I saved a copy! It was replaced with a bunch of text that I'll also document for posterity. Basically, this was the start of an anti-SOM II approach from DD Machinery is the bizarre claim that air compressors are a health risk. By all means, read the claims from Robopanker and the links they provide. Do some research on your own. And read my response, briefly below as one more Myth from Robospanker, and on the Pneumatics for Spanking Power page. The Robospanker content here is in two parts, as copied from their site:
Robospanker Product Page Text, July 7 2009
Robospanker Second Page Text, July 7 2009
By September 18, the folks at Robospanker had yet another response to the SOM II... a whole new Robospanker! No new name, so we'll just call it the "new Robospanker." All in all, it's not much different than the old one, but it has just as questionable a description. This is now the machine I focus on in the Competition section, Page 1.
By mid-October, new claims had been inserted into the page describing the new RS. These claims continue on an old theme... attacks on pneumatics for spanking power. The relevant two sections are archived below for posterity, since they too are bound to change in the dark of night.
Robospanker New Product Page Text, October 20, 2009
Taken as a whole, this litany of misleading claims and fabrications make quite a statement about the nature of the folks at DD Machinery. As long as they continue to mislead, I'll add to this section and track their deeds for your consideration.
Myths and Facts
MYTH: Orgasm Alley's Spank-O-Matic products are inexperienced and "followers in the field"
FACT: I've been delivering successful commercial spanking machines since 2002
The RS July 7 update includes some claims about "pioneers" and "followers," and the implication and OA lacks experience in development relative to DD Machinery. Let's be clear... I've been designing and building spanking machines for a decade, and delivering commercial machines since sometime in 2002. During that time, I've built and played with both electromechanical and pneumatic spankers in many different designs. Three of those -- the SOM, the SOM Flexor, and the SOM MAX -- went commercial between 2002 and 2005. The SOM II was released in 2009. It came about when I finally made the leap to computer-controlled pneumatics, which give the SOM II its tremendous capabilities.
Beyond the spanking machine line, you may know I'm one of the world's foremost designers and bulders of sex machines. The Orgasm Alley sex machine line started in 2000, numbers more that 20 models, and has sales in the thousands worldwide. This robust design and fabrication expertise shows in the SOM II, a finely crafted and intelligently designed spanking machine.
None of this "followed" DD Machinery, and I dare say I've got considerably more design expertise than they do. I'm not sure when they released the Robospanker... their site was registered in 2002, and I first learned of it from the Howard Stern show in 2005. I'll let you judge the relative merits of the two machines, but don't be fooled by any claim that I lack machine design expertise, or that there aren't years and years of experience behind the SOM II.
MYTH: The SOM II is powered by a "Noisy bulky air compressor"
FACT: The SOM II is powered by a range of sources of compressed air
The SOM II certainly could be powered by a bulky and noisy compressor... any air compressor will work, including one that is both of these things. A completely silent passive air tank will power the machine as well. My recommended compressor weighs 20 pounds, is roughly a cubic foot in bulk, and produces 67 decibels of noise (in the range of normal conversation), and that minimal noise is only during the 35 second recharge period. This compressor is neither bulky nor noisy. In fact, a complete SOM II with the Senco compressor weighs about 60 pounds. The RS I have was factory packed and weighed by UPS at 92 pounds. While the 20 pound, one cubic foot compressor with convenient carry handle is the largest component of the SOM II, when disassembled the RS's main body is a massive 70+ pound box measuring 37" x 14" x 10".
MYTH: There are health risks associated with consumer use of air compressors and pneumatic power
FACT: Utter fabrication, there is no basis for such claims
In their July 7 update, the RS folks swapped their table for some text that claims air compressors and pneumatics present a consumer health risk. The October update continued the tactic with another link and more claims. This "health risk" theory is totally laughable and isn't even supported in their own references, which link to unrelated marketing text from industrial suppliers. First, let's note that hundreds of thousands of construction workers, auto mechanics, contractors, and consumers use air compressors and pneumatic tools every day. Air compressors are a mass-market product available from places as diverse as Home Depot, Walmart, and Sears. They come with a comprehensive list of warnings, right down to "don't smoke while spraying paint" for the ultra-stupid and every other imaginable issue they want to protect themselves against. NONE of which refer to the supposed "health risks" the RS folks want to create.
The supposed health risks of pneumatics proposed by the Robospanker people are lies, utterly unsupported in fact. There is no published information that reflects oil inhalation or bacterial health risks associated with any consumer use of air compressors or pneumatics, no matter what DD Machiery wants to claim. Please review compressor manuals, MSDSs, Google searches, and any other informational source and see for yourself. See the Pneumatics for Spanking Power page for more information and reference links on this topic.
MYTH: The Senco compressor manual says "the compressor should only be used in well ventilated areas", and "there is a risk of fire if the filter gets too dirty."
FACT: The first statement above is taken out of context, and the second is made-up by the folks at RS.
You'll find a more detailed response to this part of the October update on the Pneumatics for Spanking Power page. The Senco manual is clearly discussing use to spray flammable and/or toxic materials when it makes the statement about use in well-ventilated areas. There is no statement about a risk of fire due to a dirty filter anywhere in the manual.
MYTH: "You should also be aware, that if you like a spanking session that last more than 5 minutes, there is a good chance that air compressor controlled units will loose too much pressure to maintain the same spank intensity, and speed."
FACT: This is also a complete fabrication.
An air compressor will have a turn-on pressure and a turn-off pressure. When the tank reaches the turn-on pressure, guess what? The compressor turns on and runs until the turn-off pressure is reached. A compressor well-matched to your play style will never produce less than the desired power level. As I've noted repeatedly for DD Machinery's benefit, the SOM II is controlled by a computer. Since it's a computer, strokes will always be delivered at exactly the set speed.
MYTH: Lexan paddles break, polypropylene is much more durable
FACT: Polycarbonate such as the Lexan brand is a stronger and tougher material in every respect.
Both polycarbonate and polypropylene are thermoplastics. Polycarbonate is an incredibly strong and durable plastic, used among other things in bullet-resistant glass. Polypropylene is a considerably less expensive material with a wide range of consumer and industrial uses. Both of these materials are documented in detail in industrial datasheets. You can check out polycarbonate and polypropylene yourself. A couple details should tell the story with truth. Pay special attention to the IZOD notched impact figure, which measures the impact strength required to cause the material to fail... a higher number means more force is require to break the material.
Tensile Strength (psi)
Flexural Strength (psi)
IZOD Notched Impact (ft-lb/in)
MYTH: The Robospanker has "Additional stimulation" that the SOM II does not
FACT: Any additional stimulation that can be used with the Robospanker can be used with the Spank-O-Matic II
For the RS: "Optional variable speed vibrator or variable speed sex machine on bench." Are we talking about the spanking machine here? I assure you the SOM II will work just fine on someone with a vibrator, or on a bench with a sex machine. Futher, the flexibility of the SOM II will allow the use of a broader variety of additional play than the RS can accommodate.
MYTH: The Robospanker can operate in a manual mode with the "variable speed control"
FACT: There is no manual mode for the Robospanker, this is also made-up
Manual (adj): of, relating to, or involving the hands (Merriam-Webster). A manual mode for a spanking machine means to manually initiate a stroke, hence the "manual." The Robospanker has no such mode. You turn it on, and it periodically pulls back and releases the paddle. You have no direct (AKA manual) control over striking with the RS. Striking every so often when turned on is automatic not manual, and a RS style basic periodic mode is one of eight automatic modes provided by the SOM II computer. It is also completely unclear if the Robospanker actually has a variable speed control, as it is not discussed or pictured on their site. The optional remote hand control is just a box with a button in their pictures.
MYTH: The paddle height of both Spank-O-Matic II and Robospanker are "fully adjustable"
FACT: The SOM II paddle height is fully adjustable, infinite positioning from the floor to 36" high
FACT: The Robospanker paddle height is (now) adjustable over some limited range, to a number of fixed settings not disclosed on their site
These two capabilities are clearly not equivalent, and if the SOM II defines "fully adjustable" then the RS is obviously not. Robospanker apparently now has adjustable legs... the company wrote to me that the height was fixed at 36" when I was researching facts for my own table. As it happens, the RS I have includes adjustable legs as a custom option. They'll put the paddle from about 30 to 38" off the ground, in 1" increments. That is certainly not the equal of the SOM II, and definitely not "fully adjustable." The RS website has no detailed information about the adjustability presently offered.
I lined up my two machines, the Robospanker against the wall and the SOM II in front of it. The following three pictures illustrate the range of adjustability of the two units. Note that there is just one paddle on the SOM II, and what looks like another is actually the shadow of the paddle's edge cast by the camera's flash. First up, both machines set to their highest position. In the middle, the RS has been lowered to its lowest position, while the SOM II is still at it's highest. Finally, I've dropped the SOM II as low as possible, so both machines are at their lowest height. I believe these pictures tell the story. As an aside, the SOM II is quick and easy to adjust. Working alone and without flipping the RS over to make the adjustment, changing the Robospanker's height was a painful experience.
The new RS isn't much different when it comes to height adjustability. As far as I can tell, it is accurate to say the paddle can be adjusted to specific heights between about 25" and 36" from the floor. I don't have pictures for a comparison, due obviously to the fact that I don't have the new RS. At the very least, one look at the new RS will quickly reveal that it won't actually go as low as the floor, as seen from the SOM II in the photo directly above.
MYTH: The Spank-O-Matic II not trustworthy, Robospanker dude says it "failed at first attempt, currently experimenting with new design"
FACT: The Spank-O-Matic II entirely trustworthy and in it's final production design
I am always experimenting and have built many things that failed, but the SOM II certainly isn't one of them. It kicks ass. No product I've taken commercial has "failed," and the SOM II has been in its final form since about 6 weeks prior to release at the beginning of May 2009. The statement written in the Robospanker table doesn't resemble any truth.
MYTH: Robospanker says build and finish quality is "frivolous" and the not something the consumer cares about
FACT: When paying hundreds of dollars for a spanking machine, you deserve a quality unit built with care
This myth is in response to pictures of the finish quality on my own Robospanker, as shown later on this page. Perhaps everyone doesn't care about quality work, but my experience handcrafting fine sex machines is that most do. Poor globular welds are an eyesore, and easily corrected if one simply cares enough to do so. In the SOM II, you will find a uniformly high standard of build and finish quality.
MYTH: The Spank-O-Matic II does not have a warranty
FACT: The Spank-O-Matic II is covered by the same warranties covering all Orgasm Alley machines, this is made-up
The SOM II comes with the same lifetime warranty that backs every machine from Orgasm Alley, and the same satisfaction guarantee as well.
MYTH: There are no endorsements of the Spank-O-Matic II
FACT: While the Spank-O-Matic II had only been out a short while when RS wrote this in their table, an endorsement was clearly linked on the product page
Ginger's blog entry about her TASSP encounter with the SOM II, linked on the SOM II page for all (including Robospanker dude) to see, is about as nice an endorsement as one could have, closing with the following from a skeptic: "I was actually thoroughly impressed with this machine. It wasn't a pansy machine - it actually delivered quite a good wallop!" That's not an endorsement? Additional endorsements have since come in from some early customers, and are available on this site. That collection of testimonials will inevitably grow further over time.
MYTH: "For those of you who are into self bondage, you will have the option to add our [RS] time release handcuffs. The time release handcuffs are controlled by an electric solenoid which releases the cuffs automatically after the 15 timer has expired."
MTYH: "For those who require a lighter spank, we [RS] recommend our special padded paddle."
FACT: The availability of these items is a fabrication
Since these cuffs weren't described anywhere on the RS site that I could find, I added a RS to the cart. While I was presented a page with several things I could buy, there were no time release cuffs. There was no special padded paddle for a lighter spank, either. They say you can buy these things, but you cannot. I presume you will eventually be able to buy them, but the promise is that you have the option now.
MYTH: "Hurry sale ends soon!"
FACT: It was also ending soon in June, but has not yet ended
This text floating around after your cursor on the RS site also appears to be false, since the sale has been ending soon for months. Yes, this Myth and Fact is totally tongue-in-cheek!
In thier table, the Robospanker folks have taken my observation that the SOM II can work on a person in positions like "bench, bed, floor, standing, etc" and applied it to both machines. The Robospanker is basically limited in positioning by the fact that it's paddle has a fixed aspect, parallel to the floor and 36" up from the surface it's standing on (height adjustable now, apparently, but it's not clear the range... lets say every inch from 30 to 38" off the ground). This severely restricts the positions with which it can be used, period.
I don't know what they mean for Robospanker to position someone "bed" or "floor." I'll freely agree that the RS will work with someone standing (if it's height-adjustable and they're not short) or on a bench (or any other piece of furniture used as a bench and within a limited range of height). The SOM II will work on a person lying on a bed, because it's paddle can be oriented vertically to strike down upon a prone person's buttocks. The SOM II will work on a person lying on the floor, because it'll also adjust so the paddle strike zone is mere inches from the ground. The only way the Robospanker will work in either of these positions is if you have a pair of strong men hold the machine vertically so the paddle strikes up-and-down. Simply not going to happen. I challenge the Robospanker manufacturer to prove me wrong by putting up photos of the Robospanker spanking a person who is lying on the floor. They saw this text by June 20 at the latest... yet no pictures. I guess it wasn't true that RS can work on someone on the bed or floor.
An update: with the September 18 update, DD machinery now has a new RS machine. It provides a bit more positioning adjustability, as discussed on page 1, but neither as much as they'd like to claim nor nearly as much as the SOM II.
Here is a brief gallery showing a bit of the positioning flexibility offered by the SOM II. The paddle can be oriented at any height and any angle... infinitely variable. Making each change shown here took seconds. It's worth noting that the SOM II is not "right handed" like the RS but fully ambidextrous... the paddle can hang off either side of the vertical member, and could even turn to face partly or fully sideways in the pictures below.
Features for Solo Play
As I'm sure the folks at Robospanker know, solo play is an important use of a spanking machine. Many customers buy a machine to play alone, either because they don't presently have a partner to spank them or because they simply don't want a partner spanking. Even those with partners enjoy the solo features of a spanking machine, since you can "set and forget" the machine while doing other things with/to your partner. From a marketing standpoint, this is a vital category, and I'm sure thought went into the wording here.
First, what are the capabilities of the Robospanker for solo play? Well, you can certainly use it alone. Turn it on and it will deliver a whap every so often. Optionally, you can add an Intermatic springwound timer like this one (timer at Home Depot) for $30 when you order the RS. It will cut off power to the RS after a set amount of time, up to 15 minutes after it is set. This option, from my Robospanker, is shown below through the rear hatch. A similar capability could easily be added to the SOM II with a discreet timer that doesn't need to be integrated with the machine, such as this digital timer for $20. Plug the timer into the wall and SOM II into the timer, and the machine will operate normally until the timer cuts of power (up to hours later, if you're crazy). As solo play goes, that's not very interesting. The RS table next points out some time delay cuffs on the spanking bench. I can't find any information about this on the RS site, and again it's not a feature of the spanking machine but the separate bench. A bench with such cuffs could -- obviously -- be used with the SOM II as well. With the new RS as of September 18, their machine also apparently comes standard with a speed control knob on the hand control. This is a bit better, but of course you still can't adjust the striking power without standing behind the machine.
Next, what features does the SOM II provide for solo play? They'd like to summarized them with the phrase "hand control." It is true that every feature can be adjusted from the hand control:
- Infinite control over the striking power, without getting up to reach into the guts of the machine and select one of three power levels as with RS. The solo player can instantly adjust the power without even stopping the machine.
- Infinite control over the timing between strokes, which you have on the hand control as a custom option with my RS and I believe only through the rear hatch normally.. that's certainly not convenient to the solo player. Note that in any case it's not the same. The timing setting on my SOM II is numbered and adjusts between known values (which depend on the selected automatic mode), while even the custom RS knob on mine is unlabeled and relates only generally as faster and slower.
- Selection of a variety of automatic modes, or you can deliver the strikes manually by hitting a button for each one.
Unlike the RS, with the SOM II you can actually let the machine take control over the spanking, leaving you guessing what comes next... the computer can change the timing of the strokes ,the power of the strokes, or both. You can have it deliver individual strokes or bursts of them, or intersperse bursts with regular stroking in an unpredictable random manner. While it's true that "hand control" might include all of this rich functionality, it's not a very realistic comparison. In point of fact, the SOM II has vastly more functionality for solo play, and was built in large part to meet those needs. It also seems worth noting that the SOM II hand control is well-made, professional in appearance, and clearly labelled. You can judge for yourself how if compares to the RS control, from my own model.
Comparing the Hands-On Experience
As I noted, I traded a customer a SOM II for his Robospanker to help him out, and to check out the competition in more detail. This gentleman couldn't move his customized 2006 Robospanker upstairs due to its size and weight, and was quite interested in the rich feature set of the SOM II. That's how I ended up with a RS, brand new in its original box.. right down to the original invoice for $1059. As I understand it, this machine was customized with a bigger motor, faster stroking, 20' hand control, timer, and somewhat adjustable legs.
It arrived extremely well-packed in a quite sizable box. The original label listed it for 70 pounds, but the second shipment by the UPS Store noted a weight of 92 pounds... UPS upcharges over 70 pounds, so I suspect that was an attempt to avoid some shipping charges in the original transit. It took a while and made a mess, but I finally had the Robospanker unpacked. The legs bolt on, so I retrieved the necessary tools and tightenned them down. Luckily, a friend was handy to help me flip the machine right-side up, as it is both large and heavy.
Reviewing the manual and the machine itself, the operation of the machine was simple. Adjusting the spanking power involves moving a bolt from hole to hole inside the machine, through an access hatch in the back. This applies more of less tension to a rubber bungee cord. The three power settings provide little adjustability, and it is inconvenient to change the unit's power. The timer is also available through this hatch. In my version of the RS, the hand control is permanently attached to the machine and its cord is sheathed in some heavy vinyl tubing. The hand control is very basic and unadorned... there's no labeling for the knob positions, and the knob itself seems to point randomly. Turn the knob and the machine goes faster or slower. This remote speed feature is not shown in the manual or on the current website, so I'm not sure if it is standard now or not. The manual identifies a slide adjuster inside the unit to control speed, which would be impossible to access while using the machine alone. In addition to the hand control's switch, there's a timer switch that changes operation to the hand control or timer. Three paddles were included, made from a black plastic 1/4" thick.
Naturally, it was time for some testing... subject = girlfriend ;). Adjusting the height of the machine is painful and best done as a two-person job. One person holds up one end of the machine while the other removes a pair of bolts. You can then slide the leg to another of the several positions, and reapply the bolts before moving to the other end. It was simpler to have her stand on a phonebook. I attached one of the paddles, plugged the machine in, and reached underneath to connect the bungee to the "low" setting.
The control system is OK. I was able to start and stop the machine from the hand control and adjust it's smacking speed. After a little adjustment and adaptation, everything lined up just fine and the machine worked OK. It was quiet, but not very effective. The RS suffers from the same problem I encountered... a single layer of 1/4" thick flexible plastic for a paddle is too weak and floppy. It whips around unpredictably in use, delivering inconsistent swatting. This problem is compounded at higher speeds, where the rapid strike/withdraw cycle gets in its own way. I suspect the machine would be greatly improved with a thicker paddle, such as the 3/8" Lexan I selected for the SOM II. This problem was reduced somewhat by attaching two paddles to support each other, but the abrupt retraction and striking motions made these paddles whack into each other adding a good deal of noise to the play.
Overall, my personal feelings are that the Robospanker suffers serious design/operational issues. It's too large and heavy to move around much, unless you've got two people to do it. There is very little adjustability in the striking power, and as noted making this adjustment is a chore. The "low" setting was about right for my test subject to start (she's a wimp ;), but would be the only setting she could use. The floppy paddle delivers an inferior user experience... in fact, much of the machine's design isn't very user friendly.
Having looked this machine over and done what testing I'd like to do, it is for sale. Robospanker with the options listed above, two paddles, in very near new condition. There is one dent/ding in the hardboard side of the machine from one of the shipments it's had so far. I'll sell it for $400 plus the actual shipping cost.
My Spank-O-Matic II
Of course, I'm quite biased. I can't help it... but I did design the SOM II to meet the needs I see in the spanking machine area. I believe it addresses most of the issues I found in the Robospanker. Here's what you might experience, based on many sessions with the SOM II.
I usually pack my SOM II in a hard-sided golf bag, wrapped in a blanket to protect the parts from banging into each other. It's easy to roll or carry about, as the whole thing weighs in at about 40 pounds including the case. There's also the compressor, which is very easy to carry around. Pulling out the parts and assembling the machine takes about 3 minutes.... if I leave it assembled, it's still easy to move around and takes no time to assemble. Two pieces plug into the wall -- the compressor and SOM II head -- and an air line off the head plugs into the compressor. Finally, the hand control plugs easily into the head unit.
The SOM II paddles or cane unit attach quite similarly to the Robospanker... two 1/4" bolts hold the implement to the striking arm. Based on the position I'll be using, I can precisely adjust the height of the head unit with hand knobs to exactly what I want. Then, the 1/4" hex key lets me angle and swing the paddle to any orientation required. You can literally position this machine any way you need it, without constraint on angle or height... no preset positions and so forth.
In use, the SOM II is a joy. Every option is available at your fingertips. You can switch seamlessly from light to hard, fast to slow, or change from manual to your choice of automatic modes and back again. You can instantly stop the machine at any time, start it up again... you have total control from the well-labelled hand unit. I generally start a session using rather low pressure out of the compressor, perhaps 30 PSI (roughly between the "light" and "medium" settings on the RS). This provides very fine control over the power through the hand unit. I might then bump the pressure (and therefore power) substantially, but a session will typically have none or one adjustment at the compressor. Of course, the SOM II is just as quick and easy to reposition. Move to any desired location or position during a session and quickly adapt the machine to the proper setup.
At the end of a session, the SOM II packs neatly away into the golf bag again, or could be disassembled a bit and hidden under a bed or in a closet. If I'll be using it again before long, I might carry it to the closet and leave it fully assembled. Having the machine break down is highly convenient for movement, storage, and so forth. The heaviest part of a complete setup is the compressor, so anyone can move the unit around. I also have a stand-alone 10 gallon air tank that I can fill for later use anywhere.
There are some general things you should know about the Robospanker if you're considering purchasing one, and they contrast quite nicely with the Spank-O-Matic II.
(1) Changing the power setting on the Robospanker is inconvenient, especially if a person is playing alone. It certainly can't be done from the target position. You stop the machine, get up, go to the rear of the machine, open the access hatch (shown open below), unscrew a thumbscrew from one hole and screw it into another hole. In some cases, the actuating system may be in the way... you'd have to stretch the rubber band to reach the desired hole. In this circumstance, use the hand control to run the machine briefly such that it's no longer in the way. From the RS manual: "Jog the trigger finger so that it is not on the top of the chain, this will allow you to adjust the tension without having to stretch the tension band." Close the hatch and return to the spanking. There are only three power settings... and they're so different that a given individually will probably only like one of them.
In total contrast, the SOM II makes it fast, simple, and convenient to change the striking power. Turn the knob on the hand control. This can be done within 10 feet of the machine using the hand control, and can be accomplished by someone being spanked. There is no need to stop the machine, and the change takes place immediately.
(2) Attaching the paddle is similar between the two machines, as both use a pair of 1/4" bolts with wingnuts to attach the paddle to a swinging arm. However, the location of the arm on the RS makes it a bit inconvenient. The outer bolt was simple to reach, but as shown the inner one is buried inside the machine. I found myself reaching under the unit, and putting this thumbscrew on blind. On the other hand, the SOM II arm is out in the open, and both botls can be reached easily.
(3) The Robospanker manual advises the following: "This machine could leave scratches on a wood floor. Place a mat underneath the machine, before using on a wood floor." The bottoms of the metal RS legs seem to be covered with a flimsy self-sticking drawer liner, and I presume it can tear away. The SOM II legs come standard with non-marking vinyl feet permanently bolted in place. These feet provide a firm grip on any surface, and require no mat or pad on wood or any other flooring.
(4) The Robospanker I have includes a speed knob on the hand control, a feature that is apparently was optional and that you should insist upon should you elect to purchase a RS. The range of speeds (swats per minute, etc) is not clear, but the manual does include a disconcerting warning: "Caution: The slower you run the machine the less power the motor has to run. Never adjust the speed slower than that which would give the motor sufficient power to activate the spank mechanism. To do so, would over heat the motor." There is no setting or adjustment that can be made with the SOM II that presents any risk to the machine or its components, or makes it act weird so long as the system maximum pressure of 150 psi is not exceeded. Should you provide higher incoming pressure, the valve will not hold the "off" position and the machine will not operate (but is still no risk to itself). The new RS does include this speed knob as standard equipment, with a stated control range of 2 - 15 seconds between strokes.
(5) Next, the build quality and fit/finish of these two machines. I can only comment on the Robospanker unit I have in hand, as I don't have other ones to examine. Overall, the parts fit is good, and the unit is certainly solidly built. Both legs and paddles fit accurately on their mounting bolts, and the hatch opens and closes smoothly. The internal components are of heavy construction and strong enough for the task. As discussed above, the paddle material is IMO too thin and flimsy.
However, the poor finish work on the Robospanker is abundantly clear. Large, globular welds populate most of the machine, replete with voluminous splatter as shown in the photo below. Note that this photo in not modified or touched up... however, the shiny black paint combined with a flash picture washes out the high spots and really makes the splatter pop. There has been the most minimal of effort to clean up these poor welds. I can only assume this to be typical, as similar sloppy welding is shown in several pictures of the RS manual! A lack of attention to detail is apparent from the three paddles that came with my Robospanker. Two have moderately clean sides, rounded corners, and just lack consistent edges as they are unevenly rounded. The third looks like it has been chewed -- not cut -- out of a larger piece of material, with horribly rough sides and very inconsistent edges. In pathetic reply to this concern, DD Machinery actually posted to their site that build quality was "frivolous" and not somethign the customer cares about. This text was later removed.
Anyone who has one of my machines -- sex or spanking -- already knows how meticulous my design and construction is, and the SOM II is no exception. You'll find every aspect of my machine optimally designed, carefully crafted, and finished off with an eye to excellence. It is a machine you will be proud to own.
(6) Next up are several observations emailed to me as part of a conversation about the SOM II, shared here anonymously with permission:
My girlfriend and I have a RS but its annoying and hard to hide when company comes over. She saw your invention and won't shut up about it. Looks like I'll wind up buying one, her birthday is at the end of sept. [...] The other problem with the RS if anyone asks is that the rubber tension thing keeps breaking and you need to order them over and over from DD. For as much as that device was he should either warranty those things or just send them without charging us 12 bucks plus shipping. They break after about a month of just sitting and maybe every other weekend use of 20-30 swats.
Not only is this sort of breakage of a critical part a detriment to ownership, but the replacement pricing is horrible. The RS rubberband is the core of a 9" rubber tarp strap with the hooks removed. In bulk, these probably cost a dollar each. Charging $12 for one to a customer who has already ponied up for your machine does not seem like a wise business practice. How is ths compatible with the RS claim in their FAQ that "It is very unlikely that any parts will ever need replaced"?Later in our exchange:
There is another annoying part of the RS, after the swat the whole machine sways back and forth because of its weird steel legs with no center support which makes it loud if you live in apt with people downstairs. They asked once if I had bought a home gym and if I could please make sure to let the weights down easier cause they hear me drop them. haha.
Clearly you should be aware of all of these issues when considering a spanking machine purchase.
Learn: SOM II
See: Video of the SOM II
Control: Take Control of the SOM II
Hear: Testimonials for the SOM II
Compare: SOM II vs. the Competition
Understand: Pneumatics for Spanking Power
Enlighten: Find Truth Through the Competition's Lies