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What is best Chronograph?
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 Posted: Sun Sep 11th, 2011 07:38 PM
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12semi
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Hello HB-

I need a better chronograph.  I bought a used one that works (RCBS) but after I tried it, realized how badly I needed more functionality. 

I need one to store info and make it available for upload to a spread sheet.  (I am moving all my recipes to a spreadsheet). 

So, I want to see shot by shot results as I am shooting, I want to store and retrieve those shot strings, I want to upload the data into a spread sheet so I can associate recipes with chronograph results and even jpgs of the target.  I do not want to carry a pen and paper to the range and write down results, I may be old but I know there is a more efficient way.

What chronograph would you get?

And many thanks 



 








 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2011 01:20 AM
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williamwaco
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If you want to download the results to your computer be careful.

I bought a PACT primarily for that comupter interface.

The web site clearly states:

New PC interface lets you download your ballistic data to your computer and upload new bullets from your computer to your PACT chronograph.


What it doesn't tell you is that they do not provide the cable to connect to your computer. ( Not even as an optional extra. ) They will tell you you need a USB cable. Easy enough, until you take a look at the unit and discover there is no USB port. The only port on the unit is an Ethernet port. I tried it with an Ethernet cable and got no results. The factory guy was decidedly unhelpful, after all it WAS 4:30 PM Friday afternoon.

He told me it was not Ethernet, it was USB. "All I needed" was a USB cable with an Ethernet connector on one end.

I couldn't find one at any computer store in Dallas/Fort Worth - including the wholesellers. All I got was amused smirks.

The unit works fine but I can't connect it to my computer.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2011 02:19 AM
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Thecyberguy
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I did a poll on here a while back and the verdict was ...the best chrony was one with no bullet holes..!!! :-)

Good question, I will be watching this thread....
TCG



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2011 02:49 AM
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klallen
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i guess i still do things the old fashion way. i've come to trust our shooting chrony machines. they're affordable and accurate in their measurements. and i need to have paper and pen with me at the bench. i'm always writing myself notes about a load's performance or the day's conditions when a load was shot. manually documenting the velocity's just part of it.

once i get a load developed, components and performance for that load are documented on a master spreadsheet i have for rifles and handgun, but until a load is finalized, all pertanent information is documented by hand in my notebook.

good luck with your search.


k



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2011 10:43 AM
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OldStuffer
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The "upper end" Shooting Chrony (The Gama model), is PC-hookable.

The Beta AND the Gamma, are connectable to your PC.

http://shootingchrony.com/products_SCMMCM.htm

"Can be switched off, taken home and switched on for reviewing, information retrieval or, (together) with optional IBM Interface) downloading onto your computer;
"

Chrony sells this adapter, USB to serial port.

"In order to download data from the CHRONY to your PC/Laptop, the following items are needed: Item# 37 & Item# 40 (If your PC has a 9-pin serial port available) & Item# 40A (If your PC has only USB-Ports available)

• Item# 37- Chrony Ballistics II Software $67
• Item# 40- IBM/PC Interface $23
• Item# 40A- USB to Serial Adapter $28



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2011 10:48 AM
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OldStuffer
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Williamwaco.............

USB to Cat5 Ethernet is no legendary myth, it exists.

There are adapters from pretty much every interface out there to every other one, even legacy stuff such as Paralell and Serial, they just don't cary the less-comon stuff in the major retailers liek Best Buy/Circuit City/etc.

I have bought a great many computer items from Tigerdirect over the years, never have I had a complaint, I reccomend them.

13 pages of adapters USB to Cat5, starting @ $20.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_slc.asp?CatId=589&name=10-100%20Ethernet%20USB

Good luck.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2011 05:20 PM
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12semi
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Okay, seems like the Chrony family is the way to go and the pc uploadable ones are at the top of the price range, par for the course.


K- I do take paper and pen with me, its in the ammo box, and I keep track of wind speed, direction, and temperature.   Uh, bear with me, I thinking outloud...

What I would really like is to carry a laptop (a smartphone?hmmm)  out to the range and have the Chrony connected direct to the laptop.  Select a rifle from a pull down, a bullet type,manufacturer, weight, primer, powder, & case.  Every round would post, produce an on-screen graph of trajectory, energy at specified distances, and anything outside the standard deviation would beep or something to get my attention.  Change one of the variables, select a different pull down.  I could get fancy and key in the X,Y, coordinates of each bullet strike and then produce a virtual target with the results and take a picture or scan in the paper target for historical purposes.  Could be a notes page is associated, also. 

Soon as I get a new Chrony, I'll look at the data string and see what format it is in and what can I do with it. 
 








 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2011 08:17 PM
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OldStuffer
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The bottom end chrony's are plenty for me.

I don't have the slightest interest in making massively detailed chronograph reccords of every bullet I shoot.

I do all my load development with a target, and powder charge reccords.
When I find a suitable performance load, I will shoot it over the chronograph to see what that tells me and move on.

I have saved A FEW particularly special targets over the years, but most certainly not every one, maybe 10%, MAYBE. Prob. not that many.

But, to each their own.

I will say that the "master" of each chrony is a nice improvement. It puts the display (and controlls) on an 18 foot cable separated from the chrony, to place nearby you.

After something close to 15 years, I had my Alpha upgraded to Alpha Master, just nicer.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2011 09:06 PM
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12semi
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Well Stuffer, you have a point.  Accumulation of data that may never be looked at again seems a waste, nearly governmental in nature.    Right there, a shiver went down my spine, yikes. 

Still, I like to be able to look at a recipe and see a detail picture of the results of that recipe.  Right now, I have comments like, "95 GR blstic 38.5  RL15 = great"  "40 spreads by+1?".  Tell you what, I get this working right, I ship it to you for evaluation. 

  

 





 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2011 04:05 PM
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Ferryman
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I guess I am a lone voice here for the Oehler Model 35P



 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2011 06:45 PM
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12semi
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I thought Oehler was out of business, I was incorrect.  

The 35P looks like a superior product.  The price is 535.00, which is 2, 3 times  the cost of Chrony with a printer.  Still, what would stop me besides the cost is the fact they left the market once before, supposedly parts and support were still available.

They appear to be the Ferrari of the chrono market but I am still on F-150 paycheck. 




 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2011 09:42 PM
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jman
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Last I heard Oehler was still in business. I have an Oehler Model 35P and (recently) bought a CED M2 chronograph. Oehler has printer and a bunch of cords and is much larger.

Reasons I bought CED M2:
(1) Got tired of set up of Oehler (requires 2 tri-pods)
(2) Oehler doesn't export data to my RSI Labworks software, CED M2 does.
NO regrets for etiher, very repeatable results. Of course, unless you want to cough up 500+ dollars for the Oehler. I would go with the CED M2, and consider buying the carrying case, fits well/compact.

Find them below websites:

http://www.shootingsoftware.com/chronographs.htm

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=773378

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=50537/pid=6889/ttver=2/Product/CED_M2_Chronograph?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase&mc_id=10000&gdftrk=gdfV21820_a_7c187_a_7c3466_a_7c399000012_d_399100001_d_10061



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 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2011 11:20 PM
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Don Fischer
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I've got Pact Mk4. It keeps track of every shot, givess me low and hi, standard dievation and doess the math to figure out sighting in any way you want to do it. It'll give trajectory out to at least 500yds, that's all I've done, And I have done it with 10yd increments, bet I could do it with one! I think it will give trajectory out to about 1000yds. All this stuff in reads out to a printer I got at the same time. I have shot against the data I've got for trajectory and it is unbleveable accutate, I never question it any more. One of my pups ate a sky screen and they sent me a new one, on a fifteem year old unit.



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2011 08:41 PM
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12semi
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Well, did some research, seems like the CED and the PACT have mixed results. 
Of course internet information/reviews need to be evaluated carefully.  Oehler is probably the best but so far out of my price range it really isn't in the picture. 

Probably going to go with Chrony-Midway has them on sale.  I guess I will find out shortly if the Beta Master can live up to its advertising hype. 

Thanks to all.  Dave




 Posted: Wed Oct 12th, 2011 01:04 PM
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GaCop
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I own a Beta Chrony. It quit working after 1 year giving me either no reading or velocity readings way off the chart. I use my chronograph almost daily (fully retired) so replaced the Beta with a Prochrono Digital. I like it because it sets up far quicker than the Beta Chrony. It has the option for a printer but for me, that's in the future. I'm sending the Beta Chrony back to the company for repair. I guess I'll find out how good their customer service is. I was originally going to go with a PACT but after getting a run around as to when they would ship me a unit, I cancelled my order with them.



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 Posted: Wed Oct 12th, 2011 06:01 PM
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DesertMarine
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I use an Oehler 35P.  Believe it to be the best out there.  But it is pricey now, in the $500 bracket.  Oehler stopped making it for a while but making them again.  If my 35P bites the dust, I'll go to the CED M2, price now under $200.  Friend of mine has one and it is great, better than 35P only in that you can interface with computer.  Have seen the Chrony's being used, no thanks. 

Thing about the Oehler is that is running two chronographs at one time.  First and second screen is proof channel and first and third screen are second channel.  Tells you if you have good data or something went wrong with the shot for whatever reason.  Rarely happens. 



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 Posted: Thu Oct 13th, 2011 09:28 AM
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gary0529
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I got a Oehler 35P about 4 years ago, just before they pulled them from the market due to the difficulty in obtaining a printer part, I believe.
Yeah, it is a lot to haul to the range but the Proof Channel was the selling point and at the time they were not 500 and the Obama administration had not yet destroyed my personal economy.
Never had a problem with it and I seems to be the one guys at my range with a Pact or Chrony come to when their unit is giving them fits.
Since Oehler is still around and expect to be for my shooting time frame I will stick to what I have and would probably do it again if money was not a factor.
Since my Oehler prints off results, I can simply staple the run into my logbook and have it as a permanent record with my reloading data and not in a hard drive. Just my preference.
Of the units I see on the range, the upper end Chrony seems to be the favorite.

Gary



 Posted: Thu Oct 13th, 2011 02:55 PM
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DesertMarine
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I use 8 1/2"X11" size paper targets.  I tape the printer tape from my Oehler 35P to the target.  Like Gary, that works for me.  I keep load data, actual groups and chrono printout on each target and targets on a book or folder for each rifle.  Started to scan data into computer but more a pain, so no longer.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 13th, 2011 04:30 PM
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12semi
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Yes, I agree, scanning in is impossible.  Instead, I have my Daughter take a picture and load it into a particular folder, from which I link range results to in my spreadsheet.  Anytime I want, I can click on a load and see the results.  And yes, it gets backed up to two different locations as do all the bazillion pictures my family takes. 



 Posted: Thu Oct 13th, 2011 10:16 PM
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OldStuffer
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GaCop wrote: I own a Beta Chrony. It quit working after 1 year giving me either no reading or velocity readings way off the chart. I use my chronograph almost daily (fully retired) so replaced the Beta with a Prochrono Digital. I like it because it sets up far quicker than the Beta Chrony. It has the option for a printer but for me, that's in the future. I'm sending the Beta Chrony back to the company for repair. I guess I'll find out how good their customer service is. I was originally going to go with a PACT but after getting a run around as to when they would ship me a unit, I cancelled my order with them.

My Alpha hasd been to Chrony twice since I bought it in the late 1990's.

 

First time was because of a .308 SABOT. 5gr of nylon @ 3980fps breaks LCD displays quite well.

The "shot shields" stop this event from occuring.

Seccond time was to upgrade it to a Master (remote display).

 

No complaints from me, always fast, adn cost was either nil, or "as advertized".



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I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


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