One of the most commonly talked about tech-ing topics within airsoft is whether you need a MOSFET and why. For newer players, it’s possible that you may not know what a MOSFET is and for more experienced players, you might not be getting full functionality from your current setup.
Here, we’ll be taking a look at the role of MOSFETs within airsoft, the benefit they bring along with whether you need one installed on your weapon.
To understand this, we need to take a look at how a gun performs without a MOSFET. Inside your favourite AEG (or any standard AEG for that matter) is a fairly simple circuit, comprised of a battery, a motor and a trigger.
When the trigger is unpressed, the circuit remains broken, with no current flowing through it. However, when the trigger is pressed in, the trigger switch closes the circuit, allowing electricity to flow and for the motor to activate, firing the gun.
When the circuit is completed, an electrical current travels from the connectors on the trigger to those inside the gun, creating the potential for an electrical arc. An arc is created when two conductive metals come close into contact, and the circuit is completed through a normally non-conductive medium, such as the air.
This electrical arc creates a discharge of carbon, which can form multiple layers covering the conductive plates of the trigger and the gun. These will eventually wear over time and cause the weapon to stop working, requiring either cleaning or complete replacement in order to work again. The arc can also burn through your trigger contacts rendering the gun unusable, but this is usually if you use higher power batteries (11.1V LiPo Etc).
When a MOSFET is introduced into the mix, things are much better inside the airsoft rifle. Essentially, the role of a basic MOSFET is to control the flow of electricity inside the rifle, minimising the potential damage caused between the two conductive plates.
This works by allowing a much smaller current to run between the two conductive plates, controlled by the MOSFET. Once the MOSFET picks up this low current, it then allows the full flow of electricity to be sent to the motor, without current passing through the trigger switch assembly.
The principle benefit of using a basic MOSFET is to provide protection for the trigger switch, as mentioned in the above paragraph. This allows your gun to keep firing for longer without the worry of any of the parts breaking down.
Using a MOSFET reduces the creation of electrical arcs, and carbon build-up on the trigger points, which also means that you won’t have to disassemble your gun as regularly to clean or replace the trigger assembly.
When the MOSFET is activated the ‘Hall Effect’ (yeah, we’re not sure either, best look that one up/science!) turns it into as close to a no resistance solid block as you can really get. Which means one of the other benefits of using a basic MOSFET system is that you have a much more efficient system giving you a slightly higher rate of fire and trigger response. Although for many AEGs this is barely noticeable by eye or ear, for some this can turn the feel of an AEG around.
Basic MOSFETs shouldn’t set you back too much money, but as with everything in airsoft, you get what you pay for. This means, even for a basic setup, it’s worth not going entirely budget end, so you know you’re at least getting some quality.
We’d suggest looking at the range of products by Gate, a Polish company that create high-quality goods, ranging from the essential requirement up to highly customisable pieces of kit.
If you’re looking to grab a new MOSFET, we’d suggest considering whether you could benefit from any of the additional features offered by more customisable products. This is where you progress to what is commonly known as a trigger computer rather than a simple MOSFET switch.
One of the next level features is battery protection. It allows the MOSFET to track the amount of charge left in a battery and is able to shut the system down or alert you when your battery is about to run out. As we all know, you should never let your Li-Po battery fully drain out, so this handy protection helps to avoid that from happening.
Additionally, if you’re looking to get one of the premium Gate products, such as their Titan AEG V3 kit, then you can expect far superior customisability and functionality. Once installed into your rifle, you can plug the MOSFET into your computer (software installation required) and customise a whole host of different aspects of your gun. These replace your AEG’s trigger unit completely so are a great choice if you already have damaged trigger contacts! But be aware as they do replace the whole unit they are only compatible with some fairly specific AEG models, V2, V3 and M4/Scar based NGRS systems (you have to select the appropriate model Titan for your gearbox).
Firstly, you can select your trigger sensitivity, determining how much pressure is required on the trigger before a shot is fired. This change is not designed to be made in-game and can only be done using the computer or mobile phone app plugged in via a USB adapter.
Also, there is the ability to configure the fire selector, giving you the option to choose between six different settings to suit your playstyle. There is also cycle detection and pre-cocking, which make for a more fluid shooting experience and eliminating any delay that may come from using an AEG.
Additionally, the V3 allows for customising the burst fire mode of the gun, allowing you to select how many rounds are fired in a burst. This is useful for managing ammunition in more realistic settings such as mil-sim games.
Finally, there are a couple of ROF settings allowing you to customise the ROF of your gun, reducing it if you so wish to enjoy a more realistic shooting experience.
When choosing which MOSFET to use, there are some considerations you need to think about before making the jump. Firstly, consider which functionalities you need and what you’d like from your gun. If you want full customisation and to change a whole bunch of settings, the more expensive MOSFETs will likely be a good choice for you.
However, if you’re looking to protect your trigger switch and your battery, you could opt for a more basic setup such as the Gate Pico SSR3 or if you already have damaged contacts the Titan V2 Basic MOSFET. This still provides a range of functionality but comes in much more affordable than the V3 or the V2 Advanced.
Another consideration is the installation process and how you plan to go about getting the MOSFET setup. We’d always suggest using a professional, such as ourselves here at Surplus Store, to install the MOSFET and you know that you will be able to use your rifle without the worry of any breakdowns (hopefully)! Although the Titans come complete front or rear wired out of the box and should just drop in other systems, they can involve re-wiring the whole AEG which we can help with!
If you have any further questions on the use of MOSFETs in airsoft, or questions about airsoft kit in general, get in touch with us on Facebook or on the phone!